Braided Rivers

This song is inspired by my experiences growing up in the desert and was also deeply inspired by the book, "Postcolonial Love Poem" by Natalie Diaz.  I was honored to be paired with her book as part of the Seattle Arts and Lectures online reading, in partnership with the Bushwick Book Club Seattle.

I would like to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you here, and I highly recommend reading the now Pulitzer Prize winning book, "Postcolonial Love Poem"

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I was born in Northern Arizona and spent my summers on the banks of the Colorado river. We knew it as “Lake Powell,” a massive reservoir in the middle of the desert that looks as if it’s out of a dream, (and it is).  Imagine the Grand Canyon, filled with deep blue water. 

Water seemed infinite, even expected, and it was plentiful flowing out of the taps in my grandparent’s house. As children we would swim and jump from sandstone cliffs, diving and playing in the water for hours. Local visitors and those from neighboring states came to cruise their speed boats across the water's surface, leaving behind a greasy texture I sometimes felt on my skin. Millions of gallons of water are piped from this river across thousands of miles to water crops and golf courses, fill swimming pools and to quench the thirst of 30 million Americans living in the desert.

For a long time, I did not know that just down the road, people whose families have lived on this land for thousands of years have now had to ration their water and haul it in from miles away. According to the Navajo Water Project, just 30% of homes on the Navajo Reservation have access to running water, and they have had to continually fight for claims to their water rights.

This is why 50% of the proceeds from this song will go directly to the Navajo Water Project. 

I hope you will also consider donating directly here:  digdeep.funraise.org/fundraiser/braided-rivers

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All of this I share, along with this new song, in hopes that we can begin to look at our relationship to water, myself included. How do I begin to deeply respect the Water? Especially if I am lucky enough to have never had to ration my water, or haul my water, how do I consider and respect water enough not to take it for granted? I think about the path this water had to travel to reach me. I think about where it is going after me.

I think about how much we ask of the water every day. Every day we come to the water and ask it to cleanse us, and it does. Now, how can I care for the water the way it has shown mercy and care for my life?

I write this knowing that don't have all of the answers, but I would like to continue this conversation.

Thank you for listening, Thank you for your contributions.

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