Friday, February 5, 2016

Ponder: "not attempting to improve it, they never desecrated it"

"In the working of silver or drilling of turquoise the Indians had exhaustless patience; upon their blankets and belts and ceremonial robes they lavished their skill and pains.  They had none of the European's desire to 'master' nature, to arrange and re-create.  They spent their ingenuity in the opposite direction; in accommodating themselves to the scene in which they found themselves.  This was not so much from indolence, the Bishop thought, as from an inherited caution and respect.  It was as if the great country were asleep and they wished to carry on their lives without awakening it; or as if the spirits of earth and air and water were things to not antagonize and arouse.  When they hunted, it was with the same discretion; an Indian hunt was never a slaughter.  They ravaged neither the rivers nor the forest, and if they irrigated, they took as little water as would serve their needs.  The land and all that it bore, they treated with consideration; not attempting to improve it, they never desecrated it."
Willa Cather, Death Comes to the Archbishop, 233-234

No comments:

Post a Comment