Multiple Fires Dampen River Spirits In Rogue Valley

Multiple fires that have continued to burn for several days have dampened the river spirits in the Rogue Valley.  A large fire out of Glendale, which has split into different fires has attracted more than 650 firemen and the National Guard.  Air quality has been “hazardous” for several days in Medford.  At one point, the smoke was so thick that you couldn’t see Table Rock from Modoc Road.  Needless to say, river traffic, including floaters and fishermen, has been minimal.  There are signs of clearing, but ash still decorates cars and a smoky smell remains.  I had to cancel a few tubing trips and my eyes are still burning.  The recommendation is not to go outside unless you have to.  Not a healthy sign for a city that relies on tourism for much of its income.  We can only hope that a few cloudy days with local winds will clear up what to many has become an intolerable situation.

A Native American Voice: George Fence Speaks, Part 2.

“You will find that if people want to ask a question, that waiting is a very important part of that asking.  What we are taught from an early age is that if we remain silent and observe, that sooner or later we will have this demonstrated to us.  So, there is a cautionary aspect to learning;  not to ask questions about specifics before we achieve the capacity to really understand and to practice what we have learned…

The importance of your relationship to place is the foundation upon which the individual cultures represented by the 400+ different tribes exist.  Native communities are represented by limited geographical regions and areas, although, they might extend to other areas for tribes that are more nomadic in nature.  However, even within the tribes that have migratory histories, there is still an incredible relevance to site, to feature and to landscape.  Relationships to place embody, virtually, volumes of books of learning.  And interestingly, the more you know and compare what you know against a symbol, the greater the amount of explanation of a symbol that comes to the individual.  Local examples are the Rogue River, salmon, Pilot Rock, Table Rocks, or Mt. Pitt, otherwise known as Mt. McLaughlin.  These physical places embody a tremendous amount of historical knowledge, of everything from mathematics to medicine to social discourse, to relationship and social involvement.  It takes a lifetime to learn the many volumes of information that are packed into these symbols…

The whole egalitarian perspective on economics not only assisted in the distribution of wealth or commodities, but it also played an important and figurative role in the social structure of our communities.  Those who were best possessed with the talents and capacities to accumulate were provided with the greatest opportunity to aid and assist and to provide service to others.  And thus they acquired the mantle of leadership and responsibility and were seen as providers and protectors for those around them.  So that merit was bestowed based on the actual process of support and assistance.  This egalitarian perspective on economies valued each and every contribution, and recognized that each was important in its own specific way, that without them, there would be a lack of balance in the communities.  So, rather than bestowing specific or greater honor to the person who brought back salmon than the person who brought back obsidian, the whole point was a sort of social or cultural leveling belief that all life forms were important to the balance and the harmony of the dance that this world engages in.  We are constantly reinforcing the idea and attitude that no matter how a person or other life form is represented, it has value and importance, and that even the most lowly can be counted upon to make the greatest contributions.