02 June 2021

Perrin Lovett: Seven Generations

 In developing these columns, I wrestle with several considerations. Any given subject matter must be at least remotely interesting to me. It must be presented so as to be plausibly understood by the audience. And it must be reasonably calculated to survive the whims of the house expurgators. It’s not easy, let me tell you.

Fortunately, today’s issue kind of suggested itself via a short, informative video and a simple, single-picture cartoon. Let’s see if this one works, shall we?

GG (and Yaron, et al) came out with another great IMPACT episode last week, No. 5: Killer Red Fox. Watch that at your leisure. And, no, it has nothing to do with Fred Sanford. (I laughed too). It’s about the work of Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar of the Grand Caillou-Dulac Tribe (LA) and her efforts to maintain her People’s ancestral environment. Her words are thought-provoking (for the sufficiently intelligent): “We live for seven generations.” It makes sense if one can devote twelve minutes to the show; our lives are interwoven with those of the generations before and after us. The notion isn’t limited to Native American lore.

Jeff Keane wrote and illustrated the same beautiful principle this past weekend. See the Family Circus panel for Sunday, May 30, 2021. Mom and Dolly photograph “all the men in our family.” One will note, in addition to Dad and the three lads, the presence of ghostly characters to the left and to the right. Those on the right, behind Dad, are the men who lived and died in the past. Tallied with the living males, the number of generations who are and who have been equal seven. On the other side, are seven little boys yet to be. Seven. Interesting, no?

All of this presupposes that there will be future generations. Remove one link in the chain and … it’s done, the fabric unravels and the line ends. Make of that what you will.