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Paired organs…

June 28, 2010

For that teacher I wasn’t an Indian…

I was a kid in need…

So she took the time to show me how to write properly…

Every day,

before and after school,

she and I sat at a desk and worked through the primary writing books…

I shaped letters time after time,

until I gradually unlearned the awkward process I’d taught myself…

Unlearning something is a lot harder than learning it…

I struggled to break down my method,

and at times it seemed I would never get it right…

But I persisted with the help and encouragement of that teacher…

I write on a keyboard these days…

But there isn’t a time when I set pen to paper that I don’t remember learning how to write,

and what it took to get me there…

I still shape my G’s and D’s wrong, though…

I still write them back to front…

Sometimes life turns us upside down and backwards…

It’s caring that gets us back on our feet again and pointed in the right direction…

— in One Native Life by Richard Wagamese

I find it funny when from across the table,

I hear middle-management types in their early fifties say to each other,

I want to be like her when I grow up…

This makes me sing the Superman Song to myself,

under my breath,

and it makes me say out loud,

Be careful what you wish for,

because when you open up,

you’re opening up to EVERYTHING…

I remember the day the principal with the reptilian eyes,

called me down to the office,

and told me,

Today you get the prize…

And then I met the little First Nations boy that she was referring to,

out in front of the office,

and I walked him down the hall to my classroom,

like two fish out of water…

We went for a wild ride that term,

he and I…

Surfing rip curls all the way from April to June…

I wasn’t sure that I had done right by him,

until that next September when the principal from his school called me to say,

I wanted to thank you for the report card you wrote…

He isn’t an easy boy to work with,

and you found such a positive way to describe his strengths,

and areas for further growth…

In such a short time you seemed to see who he really is…

I want you know that when he talks about you,

he calls you his teacher…

When I was thirty-eight I was given the words to describe my learning disability…

It helped me to understand my panic when I was in a new learning environment,

and the desire to run for my life under the tyranny of theory…

The hands on healer worked some cranial-sacral magic and adjusted a schism in my brain,

which I’d experienced as a log jam,

where all the information going into my brain backed-up,

and I couldn’t get it to the places it needed to go for integration,

and understanding…

But then it was like a dripping faucet got turned on full blast…

And as I learned to moderate the flow,

I felt like I was going crazy…

I was frustrated that I’d had to wait so long to find out about this faulty wiring,

until I remembered my own wisdom,

and that we don’t remove the blocks in ourselves until the time is right…

Someone once told me,

You’ve had a very good reason for keeping this shield over your heart…

It has been protecting you until you are in the right time,

the right place,

and with the right people to remove it…

Instead of being frustrated,

you need to trust yourself,

and what you know about your own safety…

You are exactly where you need to be…

On Friday night I was knitting a triangular blanket,

while listening to a mariachi band,

at the Russian Hall,

in my neighbourhood…

A boy in the row in front of me turned,

and watched me knit…

I sped up,

slowed down,

sped up,

and slowed down,

so he could see how I made each stitch…

We didn’t say a word to each other out loud,

but he made the shape of tuning forks with his middle and index finger,

put them to his forehead,

to mine,

and said,

with eyes wide open,

What you are doing is amazing…

So you turn to the only friend you can find...

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