Column 2: Tricksters Visit Closed Canyon

27 Jan

In Closed Canyon along the Rio del Norte, TX

Second column for Alpine Daily Planet. Byline:

Editor’s note: Elzi Volk, the Alpine Daily Planet’s newest columnist, offers a trickster story about a visit to Closed Canyon, a revision for context outside of the series “The Green Lizard Cafe.” Volk says she likes this for several reasons: “It is informative in our scientific acceptance of the field of geology, and it contains a version of an Eastern Native American creation story that I revised with respect to offering a myth that counters scientific narratives, but is valid (and applicable to our location in Big Bend). The style is in itself a trickster to the Anglo conventional styles of stories, in which animal voices are not ‘acceptable’ (pah, I say!). And because, in the trickster fashion, it questions our philosophy about and our views of ‘Nature’ — innate [intrinsic] versus anthropomorphic value. I may be a scientist/biologist, but I love stories. And even science, all science, is comprised of narratives and contains many stories that are subject to interpretation and change. I like to be, and am known for being, the Trickster in science, as well as in other subjects; I like to challenge people to think. And we need Tricksters now more than ever. For how else can we ask questions of each other and ourselves?”

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