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Word pictures…

June 26, 2010

Joe understood that I was Ojibway…

He understood that I needed a connection to the land to feel safe, real, right…

He also understood that there were things in me I could not express,

and he gave me the language of fishermen so I could start to find my words…

Of all the men who came into my life as I was growing up,

Joe Tacknyk was the one who fostered “father” in me…

He gave the word meaning…

See,

Joe understood that we all have one basic human right coming in—

the right to know who we were created to be…

He took responsibility to show me that in the only way he could…

— in One Native Life by Richard Wagamese

 

If you’re going to sell smokies at soccer games as a fundraiser for your children’s Quebec exchange,

it is really important that you cook them long and slow enough for the skin on the outside to be browned and slightly crispy,

and for the cheese that they have been injected with,

to melt…

Otherwise there isn’t any point in selling them at all…

I’ve been looking forward to that smokie since last weekend,

and I was a little disappointed when I bit into it,

because the cheese was cold…

And as I got over my disappointment,

I watched an RCMP helicopter circling around at $1,000+ Canadian dollars,

per hour,

in an act of guarding someone from something,

like a protest…

Yesterday was graduation from grade seven day for the first class I had after returning from my maternity leave with Little Gem…

Hockeyboy, Lacegirl and their classmates are moving on to high school,

and I wanted to be there for the ceremony…

I haven’t been for a visit to my former school since December,

and as I entered the gym one of the boys on the far side of the gym spotted me,

and word spread like wildfire…

Milly caught my eye…

When I’ve come to visit in the past she acts a bit like me,

when I’ve been dying to see someone…

She is so overcome with excitement that she can’t speak…

She just puts her head down on the table,

or hides her face behind her hands,

because she doesn’t know what to do to show how she feels,

and she can’t find the words…

But today she knew exactly what she wanted to do,

and she did it…

From the other side of the gym,

with no care in the world for protocol,

or what anyone thought,

she made her way over…

Not by going around,

but by walking straight through the entire assembly…

And once she’d reached the shore of this sea of children,

she threw herself on me,

wrapped her arms around my neck,

and relaxed into contact…

I was so surprised by this show of faith,

and commitment,

that I died of happiness…

When she sat down on the floor

at my feet,

after the hug,

she looked up at her beloved teacher sitting beside me…

The teacher who wears a little bit of lace as a teaching tool,

and asked,

Red car??? Here???

And her best teacher ever confirmed,

Yes,

Red car here…

And look!!!

red toes here too…

This is the sound of all of us...

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