“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
“Write just to please one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
I attended a First Nation’s ceremony at the Musqueam Reserve on Saturday. A friend of ours had just finished teaching 10 people how to weave hats out of cedar over the course of 10 weeks. The ceremony celebrated the completion of the course and hats and also the gifting of the hats by their makers to someone special to them.
I felt honoured to be a witness, a quiet observer. As the weavers spoke about the journey they took throughout the 10 week course and also about the person for whom they made the hat, the irrevocable link between family, identity and culture became so clear to me. Here stood people, up on that stage, so intensely touched by their experience, by the chance they had to learn something that enabled them to begin taking back their culture. I felt their tears, felt their humility, felt their love.
And now these thoughts bring me back to the issue of the disenfranchisement of First Nations people from their culture through the imposition of reserve communities, The Indian Act and its variations, residential schools and other forms of imperialism. People sneer or feel contempt at the social problems plaguing many First Nations communities. What did we expect, I ask, when we stripped them clean of all their cultural and familial knowledge and foundation, in order to “civilize” them?
An emotive short.
The writing is mine.
The photography is Marcus Ranum.
2014 is here. I can hardly believe 2013 has passed. I made a 1 minute short as I contemplated my very own 2013 (see link below).
2013 has been a year of growth, sometimes, but not always, painful. It has been a year of reconnection with my family, in particular my siblings, because my oldest brother fell critically ill.
It has been a year of endings, of letting go. It has been a year of beginnings ~ I met a man that totally rocks my world. It has been a year of realization for me, of realization of the world around me and that helping others and making things happen is the best antidote for despair and loneliness. I began to take the walls around me ~ walls that I myself had erected ~ down. I reached out and made myself a part of an anti-oppression, anti-violence-against-women movement.
I saw my Mum for the first time in five and a half years and I mended fences with a beloved sister after 10 years of estrangement. And that man, that man who totally rocked my world? Well, he’s still doing it. And sometimes I don’t think I deserve him. And sometimes I pinch myself, to convince myself this isn’t a dream, that it’s really real, that he’s really real. Because in so many ways, I think he is magic.
So, here is the short.
I need to write. Something. Here. In this space. I did have this passing, well fleeting really, fancy about writing something all grown-up like, like the kind of stuff this bird writes about. But, but, gah, do I have that kind of intellect in me, I mean, really?Phffffbbbbththttt.
I really am supposed to be writing for me, like, working on my writing projects. But …. well, I haven’t yet. Yep, 0 word count for me today. Do I feel guilty? I should. But I don’t. Not really. Or …. wait. Maybe I do and I’m just in denial about it. That’s quite likely it. Sooo, I have this restlessness rattling inside me, one that wants me to create something, to carve something out of words.
What am I gonna do about it? Eat chocolate and make a Bitstrip comic or two. Yes, just like a proper grown up would do.
Also, I need to wash the dishes. Like, really, really need to wash the dishes. As in, there’s a level 5 bio-hazard growing in my kitchen sink. And the floors, I need to wash the floors. And there’s laundry, I need to do a load of laundry. Because I’m starting to run out of knickers. And that could be dangerous. Yes, yes, it could.
Sooooo …. I REALLY need to: CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!
(Image Credit: Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half)