line drawing 

1 hour, 8 minute action

i was in northern minnesota, in the tamarac national wildlife refuge. i thought i may meet Manoomin, the life whose rights had been legally recognized by the White Earth band of Ojibwe. although tamarac is outside Chippewa ceded territories, i was told by a woman at a spring off highway 2 that wild rice still lived there. in tamarac, it’s important to pay attention to maps, not only as an outsider, but also because assorted roads and trails are closed for periods of the year in accordance with the fluctuating needs of resident creatures and habitats. on my second day inside the refuge i was hiking a stretch of the north country trail. the bottom of north tamarac lake was somewhere not far off to my right. to the left, pine lake was widely visible. though a large field stood between it and me, i thought i recognized the wispy stalks of Manoomin rising from its shore. i broke away from my path toward the objects of focus. marching quickly through the field toward them, my knees swung waist high so to stamp a way forward through the dense, intricate grasses. when i felt the ground below start to muddy and soften, the crunching of grass stalks continued sounding inside me. i paused, seeing how, despite my vision, i could not tell where i’d put my foot, my root. so i retreated, through the scarring, to take my original way, but this time to meet the persons who’d been gone over, to ground the knees, to wrest the boot.

made in the tamarac national wildlife refuge on august 11th, 2019.

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