October 24th, 2019
Belden Lane: "Coronado . . . marched with three hundred troops into the Zuni village of Hawikuh in the hot July of 1540. He had come with hopes of fulfilling a dream as old as the Middle Ages and as recent as current rumor—a dream that seven sumptuous cities of gold could be found in the hinterland of this unexplored and unexpended land. He was quickly disappointed, however, finding no precious metals there at all—only Zuni sandstone and a few pieces of turquoise. His eyes traveled over the variegated flaxen colors of the nearby cliffs, the yellow corn growing along the muddy river, and the village's sun-baked adobe in the golden afternoon light, and he saw nothing. The Zuni love of the golden earth as a richness in its own right was an appreciation lost entirely on the sensibilities of a hard-bitten treasure hunter like Coronado."
Monday's and today's posts are variations on one of my favorite adages from Thoreau: It's not about what you look at, but about what you see. Our ideas, our prejudices, our expectations can get in the way of truly seeing what is right there before us. As Lane also says, for the Zunis, "the earth was gold enough." I sometimes, when I'm most awake, feel the same way.
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