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16 Jun 2020

Healing Our Founding Pandemic

By |2020-06-16T14:05:35+00:00June 16th, 2020|Articles|0 Comments

May 25, 2020
Published on the What I Miss? website

As virus panic mounted in the United States, I was already researching the psychic and actual sickness that came with the Mayflower four hundred years ago. Appalled to find myself descended from six of its passengers in a year when big celebrations were planned, I wanted Americans to see our history through the lens of disease. A full ninety percent of the Indigenous Wampanoag people had died from European illnesses even before the ship landed—and our founders themselves faced […]

16 Jun 2020

Tracking America’s Racial Karma on the Silent Screen

By |2020-06-16T14:03:20+00:00June 16th, 2020|Articles|0 Comments

December 5, 2019
Published on the Eat Drink Films website

My first reaction is “No way I’m going to review a film with the name “R——.” I’ve spent too long telling relatives in the nation’s capital how their team’s name evokes bloody skins of the First People of our continent hunted for bounty. Even though this film acknowledges the R-word as a slur, even though today’s reviewers think it progressive for its time, I’m reluctant. Our history is […]

16 Jun 2020

Mayflower, Pandemic, Uprising, and Dreams of Flowing Water

By |2020-06-16T13:23:42+00:00June 16th, 2020|Posts|1 Comment

A dream came weeks before we knew how serious the pandemic would be, much less the nightmare police killings and the uprising to preserve Black and Brown lives. I knew this dream was about something big but back then it was hard to know how big. In the dream, I was floating through moving water at the eastern edge of the continent, in a huge tidal river making its way through a city to the ocean. Other floaters at a distance, all of us picking up speed, no […]

22 Oct 2019

What Am I Doing Here?

By |2019-10-28T14:41:05+00:00October 22nd, 2019|Posts|0 Comments

By guest writer, Patricia St. Onge

What am I doing here? Yesterday, I was sitting on my mama’s lap. Her heart was beating fast… it’s been happening more and more as we’ve been on this magical adventure. Moving every day, walking on different paths, finding new foods to eat. The roots taste different, the flowers have different smells. Every night as the sun goes to bed, the sky shines with different colors; reds and oranges when we were still near home. The night before last, the last time […]

10 May 2019

When Settling Did Not Mean Taking Over

By |2020-06-16T13:15:50+00:00May 10th, 2019|Posts|0 Comments

There are contradictions as I write about the Napa land and my ancestors’ relationship with genocide. One of them is in our language—the word “settle,” the idea of settling and the settler. There may be hidden potential in that word, a way to heal.

When I started this book, the term “settler” filled me with shame. It evoked my great, great grandfather, Nathan Coombs, the one who came here in the early 1840s, before the gold rush in California, before statehood. The Bear Flagger who was so successful […]

19 Dec 2018

“How did you get so lucky?”

By |2018-12-20T01:46:59+00:00December 19th, 2018|Posts|2 Comments

“How did you get so lucky?” There’s awe in the voices of friendly tradespeople in small trucks, who find their way up to our place to fix the sprinkler system or check for termites—and look around in wonderment. Their work takes them to so many places tucked away in the Napa hills, but somehow this one stirs them. Maybe it’s the unpaved road winding through the huge live oaks as if into deep time. Forty years ago, my father did a beautiful job laying it out past […]

28 Nov 2018

How My Settler-Ancestors Set Us Up for Uncontrollable Wildfires

By |2019-01-04T22:53:48+00:00November 28th, 2018|Articles|0 Comments

Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images | Firefighters battle flames at a burning apartment complex in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California, on November 9, 2018.

November 28, 2018
Published in Yes! Magazine

I want us to go humbly to the very people our culture tried to exterminate to listen to what they can teach us.

27 Jan 2017

We Can’t Move Forward Without Looking Back

By |2019-01-04T23:23:23+00:00January 27th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

January 27, 2017
With Courtney Martin
Published in OnBeing

California was particularly violent, but the story holds true in different ways throughout the country, whether our white ancestors were actually there for the killing or immigrated later and moved into places that had been conquered….We’re living with the kind of shadow Jung talked about — played out in our political life, denial of climate change, and lack of true respect for darker-skinned people.