"The Land" 

By Corri Lobbezoo

The Parlay: Folsom Lake College's Literary & Arts Magazine

Published May 2020

This poem was written after Lobbezoo's trip to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in December 2019.

"It was breath-taking -- literally, because the cold wind took my breath away anytime I failed to wear the balaklava -- but also in its stark beauty."


The incredibly cold weather (-37°C) and the barren, snow-covered landscape stayed in Lobbezoo's mind and began to form into a metaphor of life after religion. "The Land" alludes to teachings of the Bible, The Minimalists, and Eckhart Tolle. 

The Parlay is a print magazine and will be available online in Fall 2020.  "The Land" begins with this line: 

These days,

learning is unlearning.

It is a privilege to be included in The Parlay's first print edition. Warm thanks to Prof. David Lacy for his help.

 
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Notes

"The Land" respectfully uses three non-English terms: Tinde’e, Sǫǫ̀mbak’è and Saa. 

Tinde’e means "The Great Slave Lake" in Tetsǫ́t’ıné Yatıé, the language of the Tetsǫ́t’ıné (Weledeh Yellowknives Dene). 


Sǫǫ̀mbak’è is what colonizers named the city of Yellowknife in Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀, which is the language spoken by the Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib) Dene. 

Saa is "the sun."

White settlers named the city Yellowknife after the local indigenous peoples who used copper in their knives and other tools. There are a number of indigenous groups who have sustainably lived in and cared for this land since time immemorial.

Notably, the land has been contaminated as settlers continue to exploit nature's resources and leave toxic waste behind in the land and water. As one example, see The Narwhal's article "This is Giant Mine."

 

Yellowknife Photos

one of the sled dogs
one of the sled dogs
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note the icy frozen eyelashes
note the icy frozen eyelashes
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contact lenses are a better choice than glasses in this climate
contact lenses are a better choice than glasses in this climate
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Saa's low glow....
Saa's low glow....
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kick sledding with two dogs was a highlight of the trip
kick sledding with two dogs was a highlight of the trip
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the sled dogs
the sled dogs
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this is what we looked like anytime we were outside
this is what we looked like anytime we were outside
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it was so beautiful. this is outside of the terrific (free) museum
it was so beautiful. this is outside of the terrific (free) museum
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these dogs are actually built for this weather and for pulling sleds
these dogs are actually built for this weather and for pulling sleds
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me on my kicksled/dogsled!
me on my kicksled/dogsled!
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Saa's low glow again. Daylight at this time of year is from about 11 AM to 3 PM
Saa's low glow again. Daylight at this time of year is from about 11 AM to 3 PM
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cute pup!
cute pup!
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cross-country skiing on frozen lake
cross-country skiing on frozen lake
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resting sled dog
resting sled dog
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view of frosted trees from the hotel window
view of frosted trees from the hotel window
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