Wednesday, 4 April 2007
Life Out of Balance
A thousand years of Aamjiwnaang dreams
spirits touched by pure steam
from sweat lodge rocks
that release a culture’s memory.
One hundred short years of inversion
in the Chemical Valley
fugitive emissions into every space
Is the maple syrup really sweet?
Geese struggle for formation in miasmic air
benzene tears in the artist’s eye
reveal the reasons for
Benjamin Chee Chee’s suicide.
Sweet innocent boys go missing
So too the Snapping Turtle penis
shrinking in the chromosome chaos
the Hopi call Koyaanisqatsi.
A hundred long years of restoration
Geese, turtles and children
once again in perfect formation
life in beautiful balance.
Copyright: Glenn Albrecht
*also A Film by Godfrey Reggio, with Music by Philip Glass.
Ko.yaa.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. Crazy life. 2. Life in turmoil. 3. Life disintegrating. 4. Life out of balance. 5. A state of life that calls for another way of living.
Written on the release of information about the feminisation of the population of Aamjiwnaang First Nation people and snapping turtles. Twice the number of girls are being born than boys and the ‘feminised’ turtles have diminished penis size. Pollution from ‘chemical valley’ (Sarnia, Ontario) is thought to be implicated. Benjamin Chee Chee was a Native American artist, now famous for his portraits of Canada Geese and other birds. His Autumn Flight is depicted. I see his attempt to keep the world in order/balance in geese art as his way of trying to defeat the pathology and tragedy of nostalgia and solastalgia. The Aaamjiwnaang tell of geese trying to land in Chemical Valley in a cloud of benzene and dying before they hit water. Chee Chee’s suicide, the problems of Indigenous people and the death of order in Canada Geese seem somehow connected.
Benjamin Chee Chee Image from http://www.whetung.com/chee.html with deep appreciation.Posted by Glenn Albrecht Labels: Aamjiwnaang, Benjamin Chee Chee, Chemical Valley, Koyaanisqatsi, Poetry, Sarnia, Turtles