CAMAS LILY Patch, (Camassia quamash), One of the central [ click photo for next . . . ]
foods of the Nez Perce. South Wallowas VI.23.2008 . . .
Quamash, a pit-cooked bulb similar in taste to a
sweet potato, was offered by the Nez Perce to a nearly
starved Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and the men of
the Corps of Discovery in 1805 after a snowy September
crossing of the Bitterroots. It probably saved them,
and yet few of the present inhabitants of the same
country 200 years later know either the plants, the
story, the food, or the even incredible beauty--just
the color is in a singular, signature way, unique--
of this remarkable species.
On the road in the American Northwest.
Norms or standards follow the way of the natural and
profound asymmetry between creativity and destruction.
It takes a thousand years or more to grow a
But it only takes a few seconds to cut one down.
So it goes also with ethical norms.
One single act of torture, and the work of more than
two hundred years of constitutional law and democratic
freedom is instantly called into question.
One single act of torture, and the work and suffering
of countless generations of setting ethical and
humanitarian standards is razed to the ground.
One sing act of torture, and for the whole world, America
is always a torturer.
That is knife-sharp edge which necessarily separates
creativity from destruction, and ultimately, freedom
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