Attu, Agattu, Kiska, Amchitka, Tanaga, Kanaga, Adak, Kagalaska, Atka, Amlia, Amukta, Yunaska, Umnak, Unalaska, Akutan, Unimak, Unga,1 over 200 islands over 2000 kilometers, “treeless, windswept, foggy, and volcanic,”2 yet among the richest and most beautiful places. There on Unga, my mother’s father was born an Aleut, an Unangan, and I’ve never seen the islands. I haven’t made, with drift wood and sea-lion skin, a baidarky;3 I haven’t cast a harpoon at a seal; I don’t hunt, or gather, or depend on my family for survival. That would be something to dream of— listening to stories in the smoky barabara,4 throwing darts at a wooden whale,5 keeping a gull on a string,6 hanging and falling from the rafters,7 grandpa squeezing my fingers to make them as warm as his.8 Instructions were never shouted. Always encouraged, never criticized as a boy, I could do no wrong, and if misfortune arrived my godfather would always defend me.9 Later, our well-being would rest on me. Observing carefully, always busy, respecting silence, I would tell only the little deity10 where I would be hunting, lucky to have the fresh world outside, the salty air, the ocean water, all the animals of the sea ready to die for me— renewing the spirits of my ancestors, here in my heart.