With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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Richard Nelson is a cultural anthropologist who writes about how we relate to the natural world. His books include The Island Within, Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest, and Heart and Blood: Living with Deer in America.
Today’s excursion started at first light when I stashed camping gear and enough food for several days into the skiff, eased away from our home shore on Anchor Bay, and set a course across Haida Strait.
Two deer came and gave the choices to me. One deer I took and we will now share a single body. The other deer I touched and we will now share that moment. These events could be seen as opposites, but perhaps they are identical. Both are founded on the same principles, the same relationship, the same reciprocity. Both are the same kind of gift.