Stories have a way of finding us when we need them.
Fall, 2010. I sit in the board room at York Catholic District School Board. It is the first day of the Barrie Region Aboriginal Education Professional Learning Community (PLC). David Bouchard is our guest speaker.
Since I was a teenager I have felt a connection to First Nation and Metis culture. One summer in the early 1990s I bought a copy of Michael Robinson’s poetry at the French River Trading Post, The Freedom of Silence. The next summer I bought another, Touching the Serpent’s Tale. I read the books many times. Robinson’s words and pictures were treasures of my adolescence. Robinson’s poetry inspired me to feel connected to something greater than myself.
By the mid-nineties I was reading Tomson Highway’s plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. Highway’s work is my greatest influence as a playwright. At Trent University I served on the Otonabee Council for a couple of years. One of my positions was Cultural Representative. The best perk of this position was that I was invited to amazing events. In about 1996 I attended a dinner (with 30 or so other people from the university) with Tomson Highway. I remember it was a magical evening. It was one of my first encounters with a real writer, one of my heroes. Continue reading
Born in Berlin. Child of the Enlightenment Era.
Ezekiel Solomon was born in Berlin, Germany in 1735. Solomon shares his birth year with John Adams (second American President) and Paul Revere (American Patriot). In 1735, Alexander Pope was writing poetry and George Frederic Handel composed operas. King George II was on the British throne.
In 1740 Frederick the Great came into power in Germany and would soon declare himself the leader of the Age of Enlightenment. Ezekiel Solomon was a child of the Enlightenment. He grew up during a time when ideas about science and faith and humanity were changing. Was Solomon an educated man? Continue reading
I love sentimental Christmas presents. When I was in my twenties mom and dad gave me Grandpa’s ship wheel clock for Christmas. It works beautifully when I remember to wind it. It is an “Ingraham 8 Day Ships Wheel” mantel clock.
A few weeks ago I chatted with Erika Bailey. Her research at University of Toronto focused on experiential learning and a sense of place. Her work will be published in 2012 by Backalong Books. As I recall, to begin the stories with her research participants Erika asked them to bring an object that had meaning for them. The object became an entry point to a story about place, about learning.
Grandpa Lamondin’s ship wheel clock is one of my favourite things. I was a young child when he passed away, too young to remember him. But somehow having his clock in my living room helps me to feel close to him. It reminds me of the years he spent on the water living at the lighthouse as a child, then as a Georgian Bay tour guide for Toronto fishermen when he retired. I imagine he felt at home on the water.
The metaphor of time is powerful as I begin this journey into the past. Continue reading
There is an art to blogging well: from blog design to topic selection to writing quality. A blog needs to connect with the audience, inspire online dialogue, and serve as a database of insights and information on a given topic.… Continue reading