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Thursday, March 11, 2010 - Bosque Birdwatchers RV Park, San Antonio NM

Snag, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio NM, February 25, 2010
Snag, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio NM, February 25, 2010

A managed environment

The Bosque is a carefully managed environment. Hang around a while and you begin to realize water levels in the ponds and wetlands are constantly monitored and adjusted. Food is grown and distributed for the wildlife. The ponds are drained and the grasses mowed. Even the snags the raptors to perch on grew up elsewhere.

Night camp

Site 16 - Bosque Bird Watcher's RV Park, San Antonio NM

When Hope Dies

When you give up on hope, something even better happens than it not killing you, which is that in some sense it does kill you. You die. And there's a wonderful thing about being dead, which is that they—those in power—cannot really touch you anymore. Not through promises, not through threats, not through violence itself. Once you're dead in this way, you can still sing, you can still dance, you can still make love, you can still fight like hell—you can still live because you are still alive, more alive in fact than ever before. You come to realize that when hope died, the you who died with the hope was not you, but was the you who depended on those who exploit you, the you who believed that those who exploit you will somehow stop on their own, the you who believed in the mythologies propagated by those who exploit you in order to facilitate that exploitation. The socially constructed you died. The civilized you died. The manufactured, fabricated, stamped, molded you died. The victim died.

And who is left when that you dies? You are left. Animal you. Naked you. Vulnerable (and invulnerable) you. Mortal you. Survivor you. The you who thinks not what the culture taught you to think but what you think. The you who feels not what the culture taught you to feel but what you feel. The you who is not who the culture taught you to be but who you are. The you who can say yes, the you who can say no.