Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: lewis and clark

History Book Brings Me to Tears: Breaking News

How many times has a history book kept you on the edge of your seat or brought you to tears?

Here’s the thing; I didn’t know much about the Lewis & Clark expedition when I picked up this book. I have been to the Three Forks, Montana area, about fifteen years ago, on a camping trip with my family. We went to some exhibitions, museums, and historical sites, mostly by lucky accident, planning to return some day and check it out more thoroughly. It hasn’t happened yet, and now my children are grown and on their own. Maybe they’ll take their families there some day and build on what we learned when they were kids.

history book doesn't do it justice
My Children In Yellowstone – 2008

That reminds me of the quote from Nietzsche that I shared on Instagram this morning.

Thinking back on the book, I can see that some of first chapters and pieces along the way, hinted at what the author believed I already knew, but didn’t. Lewis abruptly ended his life a few years after returning from the Pacific Coast. My heart broke reading it, like I’d just heard the news of an old friends’ demise.

So much work to get the expedition on its way, so much planning and sacrifice. All that he, along with Clark and the Corp of Discovery, went through to gather and document along the trail. They lost no one along the way. And only got into one fatal skirmish with tribe on the way back. So much to gain from all that knowledge. And there he was struggling in his mind at the end.

Undaunted Courage is an amazing history book. I’ve never read anything like it. It reads more like a novel so that every day I read I don’t want to put it down and look forward to picking it up again. Every page was wonderful, insightful, and honest.

Honest! Yes, our views have changed 200 years later. He’s honest about how they dealt with native tribes, women, and slavery. The politics of our nation are not whitewashed, but neither are the triumphs and discoveries diminished.

This is Lewis’ story and it’s beautiful. I didn’t realize how much was going on and what it meant. I closed the book thinking, “Oh, Lewis. If you could only have held on for another year or two.” And “Jefferson, did you not know? Did you regret your inadvertent roll?” If you never read another history book about the late 18th and early 19th century, read this one. You won’t be disappointed.

PS Bring some tissue for the last few chapters.

Return to my first post, “Undaunted Courage: New Read” to find more posts about this inspiring book.

You Gotta Fight for Your Right…

Yeah, I hear the Beastie Boys every time I hear “fight for your right.” 8o’s kid. What can I say?!

Short (and a tad rough) post today because, once again, it is my “calling day” and I have things to do and people to see OUTSIDE my house!

Yoga, skipped. Meditation, shortened. Journal, I’ll do it later. Breakfast, rushed. THAT’S how much I want to share this thought with you. In the past, I’ve tried to keep my posts neutral. There is little that I am so sure of that I’ll go to war to force you to do what I think is best.

But I will fight (and by “fight,” I mean use my words and my money) for my right to be left alone, so that you also have that right.

fight for your right

“Lewis asked that volunteers sign up for twelve months’ service and ‘thus prove themselves worthy of their fathers of ’76 whose bequest, purchased with their blood, are those rights we now enjoy and so justly prize; let us then defend and preserve them, regardless of what it may cost, that they may pass unimpaired to the next generation who are to succeed us.’”

I read this line from Undaunted Courage and teared up a bit. Sentimental, maybe. Possibly a little nationalist, but…dammit it hit home this morning.

Our nation was not founded on perfect principles, but it was a start. Every step toward independence and freedom for all is better than going backwards.

When we give away our rights in the name of safety, we give away our children’s, and our grandchildren’s, rights away as well.

When we allow the use of force on one person, we allow it on ourselves.

When we give power to one entity, we give it to all, and they will use it against us in the future.

I’ve run out of time this morning and I have so much to say, with little know-how to say it, and with a lot of fear of expressing it, which pisses me off even more.

I’ll leave it here today. We all need to stop and think before we authorize and back-up the use of force on others, inside AND outside our nation, state, town, or business. “Do unto others as you would have done to you.”

Want to read more posts inspired by this book? Click back to my first post, “Undaunted Courage: New Read.

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