In the Reservation of our Minds


O Uncle Adrian! Im in the reservation of my mind.

Elegy for the Forgotten Oldsmobile,

poem by Adrian C. Louis

I think every writer stands in the doorway of their prison. Half in, half out. The very act of storytelling is a return to the prison of what torments us and keeps us captive, and writers are repeat offenders. You go through this whole journey with your prison, revisiting it in your mind. Hopefully, you get to a point when you realize there was beauty in your prison, too. Maybe, when you get to that point, Im on the reservation of my mind can also be a beautiful thing. Its on the res, after all, where I learned to tell stories.


So there is power in this. I get to pick and choose what the prison means to me, float in between the prison bars, return in my mind when and how I want to. Were all cursed to haunt and revisit the people and places that confine us. But when you can pick and choose the terms of that confinement, you, and not your prison, hold the power.


Sherman Alexie in an interview by Bob Ivry,

From the Reservation of His Mind.

Mitzi McFarland

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