Reconciliation: A Prayer

Under The Stars by Andrey Shumilin with kind permission

Reconciliation - A Prayer

by Joy Harjo

We gather by the shore of all knowledge as peoples who were put here by a god who wanted relatives.

This god was lonely for touch, and imagined herself as a woman, with children to suckle, to sing with - to continue the web of the terrifyingly beautiful cosmos of her womb.

This god became a father who wished for others to walk beside him in the belly of creation.

This god laughed and cried with us as a sister at the sweet tragedy of our predicament - foolish humans -

Or built a fire, as a brother to keep us warm.

This god who grew to love us became our lover, sharing tables of food enough for everyone in this whole world.


Oh sun, moon, stars, our other relatives peering at us from the inside of god's house walk with us as we climb into the next century naked but for the stories we have of each other. Keep us from giving up in this land of nightmares which is also the land of miracles.

We sing our song which we've been promised has no beginning or end.


All acts of kindness are lights in the war for justice.


We gather up these strands broken from the web of life. They shiver with our love, as we call them the names of our relatives and carry them to our home made of the four direction and sing:

Of the south, where we feasted and were given new clothes.

Of the west, where we gave up the best of us to the stars as food for the battle.

Of the north, where we cried because we were forsaken by our dreams.

Of the east because returned to us is the spirit of all that we love.

© 1994 Joy Harjo. The Woman Who Fell From The Stars, Norton.

About The Photographer:

Andrey Shumilin

I'm an amateur photographer from Russia, Western Sibiria and I have a passion for landscape photography.
My equipment: Nikon D700, Nikkor 14-24 f2.8, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 and a few old Soviet-made lenses (they're not
very good). My other work you can see at or or of course,

This image was taken in August 2010, Western Sibiria, Russia. In this area the end of August and September, the most pure sky and the stars are bright.
A small bonfire was made specially for shooting.
I used Nikkor 14-24/2.8 at 16mm. Exposure was 3 minutes at f5.6 (ISO 200) for the ground (additionally used a
LED flashlight), and 20 sec at f2.8 (ISO 3200) for the sky.
For bonfire - 8 sec, f5.6 ISO 200.


  1. i believe ecstasy and yes, even agony can be a calling out to love fiercely, to live mindfully, to make a difference, to ring out our humanity.

  2. Magnificent poem and perfect for these days --

  3. Noelle, this is beautiful. The sky and stars that can be shared by all. Fire for illumination, warmth, passion. And the poem that really makes a huge statement in these times. A prayer wheel...


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