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The Gift of a Navajo Blanket at the End of An Era: Everyday Magic, Day 695

Updated: Sep 29, 2023


So much lately — from radio interviews to poet herding, plans from all directions coalescing to plans just glimmering on the coming horizon — signifies that it’s the end of an era. In my last month as Kansas poet laureate, plus many other projects fruiting and flowering, receiving such a gift dazzles me into a contented stillness, the kind that says, “It is done.” What comes next, if I’m lucky and ready to recognize it, is “Relax,” or even, to quote many Buddhist teachers, “Rest in the alaya,” which is the essential of everything.

So I’m resting under, upon and against this blanket. For the next four renga readings — in Downs, Beloit, Salina and Manhattan, Kansas — I plan to drape the blanket over the back of my car


When I’m staring into space, at increasingly frequency, I turn my gaze toward the blanket. I look at the shape, the colors, the consistencies and inconsistencies. Ken and Forest look into the rug also, counting the tiers of the gray tree at each end to find the purposeful mistake which, according to tradition, is necessary. Pofessional weaver Ron Garnanez explains this in an article in the Native American Times, “It must be done because only the creator is perfect. We’re not perfect, so we don’t make a perfect rug.” Which makes this rug even more endearing to me although I don’t have to purposely make make mistakes in whatever creations come through me.

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