In the realm of thought-provoking writing about the short and long-term consequences of childhood adversity over the last month, these three articles stood out. Perhaps you might find them of interest, too.
When poet, writer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie talked with Atlantic.com’s Joe Fassler, he said that he almost didn’t become a writer (and the world would be without The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven). But when he read this line in “Elegy for the Forgotten Oldsmobile”, a poem by Adrian C. Louis — “Oh, uncle Adrian, I’m in the reservation of my mind” — he immediately decided to become a poet.
The interview explores what that line means now to Alexie, who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He says it describes how people are stuck in their own mental prisons, including the prisons of the abusive families of their childhoods. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the interview, which is well worth a read:
Now I am actively and publicly advocating for Native kids to leave the reservation as soon as they can. The reservation system was created by the U.S. Military. It was an act of war. Why do we make them sacred now, even though most reservations are really third-world, horrible banana republics? I think “I’m in the reservation of my mind” has an incredibly destructive connotation for me now. It’s apocalyptic, when I think about it. The human journey has always been about movement. And a century ago, when we moved onto the reservation, my tribe stopped moving. All the innovation we’ve done since then has been just modeling after Europeans. I mean, our greatest successes are casinos! So, “I’m in the reservation of my mind”