“Stories gain and lose power once they’re spoken”

I have little to say here; under risk of losing power…

The James Franco Review

Nlaka’pamux, Immediately

Stories gain and lose power once they’re spoken. My mother was over-cultivated with story. The legends became too layered and profound to inherit. She spent days at her typewriter trying to convey the most important things about our lineage as Nlaka’pamux.

Native people say the distinction between stories in our culture and theirs is that the land is a character itself, not setting. My great-grandfather cleared forty acres with only a few tools after the government told his people they could no longer travel seasonally. They didn’t want the Natives to move, in a way to stop what an unmovable force we were. After the smallpox epidemic, we were still alive, able to irrigate, fish, navigate the river basins, and build lodges. The women understood the land was sacred and familial. They planted raspberry bushes that fenced in the yard, a snowball tree inside our circular driveway…

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