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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

The solidarity of anatomy

BY Sonny Orr Feb 28, 2020

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about blockades and protests against a pipeline that crosses lands that are unceded Indigenous territory. This led to other blockades and other demonstrations and slowly the eye of the world looked west. The eye saw that this has been going on for a long time and saw that something was wrong about this whole situation. Perhaps a war of the words escalated to what may seem to be an economic glitch in the matrix and then the eye saw that this was much bigger than it looked and widened the scope of its vision.

The eye saw that this was a common occurrence across a beautiful land and the eye shed a tear. The tear fell to the earth and filled many with sorrow and anguish and great gnashing of the teeth.

Gradually, the eye was joined by the ear. The two wondered what all the ruckus was about. Then the mind decided to join in. The mind processed all the available information and found that all the fruitless negotiations that led nowhere had produced this predicament. But they remained silent, as the tongue was nowhere to be seen or heard and could not speak on their behalf.

The hand crawled quickly to feel out the situation and found that there were many other hands like it that were affected. Some were idle, other only pointed fingers, while still more were covered in oil from hard work. Meanwhile, other hands were stained by blood and sweat and embedded with the creases of knowledge and instruction. The tongue was still missing, probably blabbing away somewhere, the mind thought. Where could it be?

Finally, after many months of no discussions, the tongue returned and told the others that it was busy talking up a storm and settling some big business. The tongue joined the others and they formed a face and managed to get other body parts to join with the masses of protesters. At night, the tongue would tell stories of its trips to other places and mentioned that there wasn’t too much turmoil when the tongues got together with big brains to come up with a grand plan. This was all done without protest, it said.

The mind and the eye retorted that didn’t see or think about what the tongue was talking about. The tongue replied that all this had been talked about before, asking why they should rehash it all. Instead, it suggested, let’s do new things. The mind agreed, as it was bored with the same old ways, and the eye winked with approval. The rest of the parts quickly agreed that they should all work together as one body.

Soon, the united body met with other bodies and they shook hands, the mouths formed wide smiles. Then it was time to tell the rest of the world that some things can be done without seeking attention first.

Thinking about how protests go, many happen all the time for many different reasons. There are teachers’ strikes or union disputes or environmental rallies or demonstrations against the leading nations of the world. It’s happening all the time and why? If I knew the answers to these complicated questions, I don’t know who would listen anyway.

But if you are wondering what the heck I’m writing about, then use your imagination and turn these measly 500 words into hundreds of thousands of words. But use your mind before your tongue.

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.