I was going to say that this crazy mixed-up sunset – which I had to keep watching just to make sure it didn’t change (again) into something different, like maybe a sea lion or an office building – reminded me of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but then I remembered that’s not what did it.
No, it was because I had been reading about the so-called Indian Massacre of 1622, in which native Americans killed about 350 Jamestown colonists who were living, not in Jamestown itself, but in various outlying places, settlements up and down the James River with names like Henricus and Martin’s Hundred. I was struck by a possible parallel with new Israeli settlements in the occupied lands, and by the impression that, even today after four centuries, there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus as to whether the colonists encouraged the attacks by harsh treatment of the natives or by not being even harsher – by being lax.
In a sense, I gather it was a combination of both, or to put it another way, it’s risky to let your guard down and trust your neighbors if your neighbors think you’ve wronged them and don’t trust you.
Then it did somehow connect with the sunset, but here I want to be careful not to fall into the ‘Gee whiz, why can’t we all just get along’ school of international relations – a real danger since that’s sometimes my actual philosophy. But what I was thinking about a sunset, as opposed, say, to the airspace it occupies or the land it covers, is that it’s indivisible and owned by no one. All we ever have is the experience of it, often a shared experience. I realize this may be rightly considered trivial, and I don’t mean to make light of the situation, except in a different sense, but maybe we could use some Israeli-Palestinian sunsets.
Speaking of things shared, my sister Emily, in southern Indiana, precisely because she’s in southern Indiana, very often has “Tomorrow’s Weather Today.” She assures me Saturday’s going to be beautiful.
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Jamestown source, very highly recommended: Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation by David A. Price.
Perhaps I should stipulate, even though it seemed too obvious to mention at the time, that the Palestine–Jamestown parallels only go so far. In the Middle East, both Jews and Arabs can argue ‘original’ claims to the land; not so for the English colonists.
Which reminds me of a bumpersticker I spotted in L.A., circa 1979: Indians Had Bad Immigration Laws.