An Interview With Richard Nelson
A Koyukon hunter once told me with great pride, “I’ve trapped this country for fifty years, and it’s as rich today as it was when I first started hunting here.” If you overuse or disrespect the environment, you’ll get a message back. Isn’t that exactly what’s happening to us now, on a much larger scale? The message comes to us in the form of cancers that invade our bodies, in the changing climate, in the erosion of soil, in the diminishing capacity of the earth to sustain us. The message is that we can’t go on living like this.
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.
When we finally reach the street, it’s like moving into the current of a mighty river. We pass the White House, the Treasury, the Justice Department, all the cornerstones of empire that remind us this is Washington, where decisions are made that affect everyone, the way one careless moment, one broken promise — one broken condom — can affect your whole life.
As I walk along these cold floors to your room I hear the sweep of my nightgown sliding like a breeze through my aching legs. I am tired, Hanna, worn out from carrying too many boxes into this borrowed home full of someone else’s love for the color green. Why are you calling me now?