If I but could…

If I but could
I would reach back 
into your youth
and stop the movement 
of the brutish hand 
that hurt and left the scar
that lingers in you still.

If I but could 
I’d cover you 
with shield of steel
to keep from you 
the pain so real
or wrap you in a cloak 
of earthen hues

If I but could
I’d give you all 
that you would need
Id give you happiness and beads
and health and joy
and love 
for all your friends and family 
and I would grant you love of child 
in arms of other mothers or in yours. 
If I but only could.
But all that I can do I fear 
is listen to your words of tears 
with heavy heart
and weigh them hard 
against apologies 
that never have been spoken or been thought
and know that even if they had 
they could not overcome the bad 
for sometimes 
words can never, ever, ever 
be enough
But nonetheless I promise you 
that I will always care for you 
and daily grant you life renewed
And tell the world
that what you have revealed to me is true.
and I will sing your song each day 
And tell the world in every way 
That I think 
you are the strongest 
most resilient 
I have ever known.

Mizhana Geezhik
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Address to the Grads of Carleton U Nov 14/15

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am privileged to be a recipient of an Honourary Degree from Carleton University today and to share this very special day with this special group of people.

I want therefore, to begin by extending my thank you and express my appreciation to the University community of Carleton for allowing me to be here and for the honour you bestow on me.

I also wish to acknowledge and congratulate Dr. Ben Heppner, who is also receiving an Honourary Doctorate later today from Carleton.

Today, I think of the Military Veterans living and past, for whom and with whom we stood on Wednesday of this week at the National Cenotaph in remembrance of their sacrifices. At such times we were also called upon to remember and honour the victims of mass violence around the world, a point brought home to us by the events in Paris yesterday. Like many of you I suspect, I grieve for those victims and their families. Events like those teach us the importance of love, of family and of friends, and also of the importance of celebrating moments and achievements such as this.

Graduates, I am proud to share this day with you. We will forever be connected.
As we gather here on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, I am guided in my thoughts by the realization that though I may think in my heart that it was not so long ago that I once sat where you now sit, in reality my moment was decades ago.

Forty years ago, on my first day of law school, I was sitting in a discussion circle with classmates, asking ourselves why we were in Law. Some talked about wanting to “make lots of money”, some wanted to change the world, some wanted to be famous trial lawyers.

I wanted to understand.

I wanted to understand why I did not know the laws of my people. I wanted to know why Canada did not know the laws of my people. I wanted to know why a Federal law could define my people, and we could not define ourselves. I wanted to know why I could not speak the language of my grandmother or know the history and traditions of my people – the Anishinaabe. I wanted to know why my grandmother and so many others believed that by not teaching me those things she was saving my life.

I wanted to know why and how, in 1913, my family and neighbors could be forcibly removed from our traditional territory – from prime agricultural lands along the Red River – from the very reserve the Crown had agreed to set aside for us during the negotiation of Treaty 1 just 43 years earlier in 1870 – and be forcibly marched over 200 miles to flood prone swampy land, far to the north, to live there forever.

I wanted to know why and how my tall, silent and strong grandfather had been able to resist that forcible removal and remain on his farm and why a handful of other families had been able to do so as well, despite the use of the army to move others along.

I wanted to know why the displacement of our people was never taught in the schools on the very land from which our people had been displaced.

I wanted to know why my young and beautiful mother had died at the age of 25 from tuberculosis – a disease that killed our people by the thousands and which few of the families of my non-Indigenous friends had ever experienced.

I wanted to know why my serious and stern grandmother – who took us in after my mother died to raise us when she was 63 and my grandfather was almost 70 – never grew up in the house of her mother – why she was raised in a convent by nuns, unlike her seemingly silly sisters whose laughing energy overwhelmed our small house when they came to visit each summer.

I wanted to know why my grandmother and my uncles and aunts who went to residential schools never talked about it, unlike the parents of my non-Indigenous friends who joked and told stories about their teachers and classmates, and held high school reunions.

I wanted to know about the sense of injustice carried by all of the adults in my life like a sword and a shield, ready to be wielded at a moment’s notice at the smallest slight or glance or word.

I wanted to know if anything could be done about that sense of injustice or if we would spend the rest of our lives in virtual and real conflict with our non-Indigenous friends and neighbors.

I wanted to know if all of the things my family had experienced had happened to others.

That’s why I went to law school. I wanted to know why, and I wanted to know what to do. I have dedicated my life to that process of discovery. It has not been easy, but as you know, I have shared its burdens and its joys with many people along the way.

I am now growing old. My body does not let me do what used to be easy, and when it does, it takes much longer. At a time when I want to cram so much living into what little time remains for me, I have no choice but to move more slowly.

But I have learned that as you move more slowly, you have time to think more carefully and to ponder the burdens and the benefits of the load you carry. So, I have come to this conclusion.

Despite all of the pain of the past and the complexities of the problems we face, I want to be your friend. And I want you to be mine.

I want to respect you and I want you to respect me, even if we never get to meet.

I want us to find a way to stand and walk together and live side by side, so the world can see that this great nation was formed not just by the Europeans who came here, but also by us who were here already.

I want us to come to a new realization of ourselves as a Nation for the sake of our children and their children, and the children who will be here seven generations from now. I want us to be better than our ancestors, and for those children of the future to be better than theirs. I want us to strive to be perfect, not just as individuals but as Canadians – knowing that we may never be, but knowing that from time to time we will have those moments when we will come …oh…so…close, and that the process of striving will be consistent with our obligation to the future.

I have seen some amazing things and borne witness to some amazing developments over the years. I have suffered personally at the huge holes in my heart left from losing members of my family and some of my friends far too early. And I have shared the joy and excitement of young people such as you, on the edge of greatness.

Personally, I have gone from the self-absorbed brilliance of a young know-it-all lawyer before I was married, to a deep sense of my inadequacies as a husband and a father.

I have been both lifted and humbled at the love of my beautiful wife, and dismayed at my inability to be all that she needs. Her awareness of my inherent limitations as a husband and her willingness to help make me better, has, I know, been a challenge, and is, she will tell you, still a work in progress.

I have felt overwhelmed at the enormity of my responsibility to my children to ensure they grew up not only to do better than me, but more importantly, to enjoy a better life than I had.

I have also basked in the unquestioning, yet defining, love of my grandchildren who are impressed at my knowledge and my work. It is their love and respect and kindness, which makes me feel brilliant once again, but with a much greater sense of humility.

During much of my life I struggled with those personal responsibilities alongside my growing public ones, and I have to say, I was constantly faced with the guilt of inadequacy as I saw no change in what I believed to be important over so many years. My process of discovery uncovered a lot of painful things – painful not only for me, but painful also for this country.

Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples is nothing in which this country can take pride – at least, to this point in time. But I sense we are on the cusp of something special, as this country begins to come to terms with our history.

Since we released the summary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings and our Calls to Action in June of this year, I have been inspired at the public reaction to what we said, and I have been inspired at the efforts of so many segments of society to work for reconciliation.

As the new generation of professionals and scholars of today, glowing in your accomplishments, I hope that you can see that you are the beneficiaries of our work at the TRC. You are not only inheriting the painful legacies of the past, you are also inheriting the awareness and knowledge of why and how, and a framework for defining Canada’s new relationship with its Indigenous peoples, for that is the edge of the future upon which we sit.

Armed with that knowledge Graduates, we will now be looking to you to continue the conversation of reconciliation which we have begun. We will be looking to you to move this great country of ours into a new and truthful sense of itself, to shed the cloak of pain and shame and to walk with Canada’s Indigenous people into the future where our children will be able to talk to and about each other in a more respectful way. Where your children and my grandchildren can be friends for life respecting each other’s past and future, knowing everything that has happened in this country.

There are among you those who will define that path to reconciliation with greater clarity than we can at present. We know the objective – a relationship of mutual respect – but like a marathon, we can’t see the finish line yet, or the challenges along the way. We may not see them for a while, but like every marathoner, you have to believe there’s a finish line and that you can get there with effort, or you will not even start. If you don’t believe in the race you will not know the importance of continuing to the finish. You have to believe that doing something about this history is the right thing to do, and you have to be fearless in doing what you can.

But be forewarned, there will be critics. There are naysayers out there – some on the sidelines and some among you – who do not believe that any wrong has been done or that things need to be changed or that they have any responsibility to that process. Just remember that such critics define the problem so they do not have any responsibility for it, and even if they acknowledge the problem, they rarely have a plan.

They are comfortable in their criticism because they can not see that this could very easily have happened to them. Or that this could happen again. With the growing strength and influence of other world powers they do not realize that some day, Canada may be colonized again, and how will you know how to deal with that if you have not learned how to deal with this.

I am reminded of the words of US President Theodore Roosevelt who said this (sexism edited for this day and age):

“It is not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong one stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

So graduates, congratulations on your achievement today. Bask in the glory and the honour of the moment….for tomorrow, the real work begins.

Come and join me as we dare greatly.

Thank you.

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A Tribute to Mothers

I think of the mothers
with babies nearby
who hear their soft breathings
and dream based cries
and I think of the mothers
with tears in their eyes
and holes in their lives
who can only ask why
and I think of the children
whose mothers are gone
and I think of the women
who help them belong
and I hope they can feel
our love and respect
for without them
we never could be

Mizana Gheezhik

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The Race to Forget

Mother and child

The RCMP study showing that 70% of Aboriginal female murder victims were killed by Aboriginal men, is leading to a very disquieting assumption – that being that because the so-called “solved” cases of murdered Aboriginal women shows that 70% of their killers were Aboriginal men, therefore 70% of those responsible for the missing victims must also be Aboriginal men. Such a conclusion lies behind the Minister’s statement that Aboriginal men have to learn how to treat Aboriginal women better. Yet to make such a leap from solved cases to unsolved cases is a potentially huge mistake.

Firstly the data does NOT tell us whether the 70% conclusion is accurate. It may be but we don’t know. We have not been given enough information about the investigations that were conducted, and whether the “murder” led to a murder conviction.

We don’t know whether women whose deaths were attributed to suicide or accident or overdose, or freezing temperature, or drowning, may in fact have been murdered.

We do know from studies and inquiries that Aboriginal people generally are more likely to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit than non-Aboriginal accused for a lot of reasons.

We also know that police are sometimes prone to closing a file as solved even where a conviction has not been entered because they are sure of the perpetrator’s identity.

In addition, the majority of killers of female murder victims will be someone the victim knew (and therefore someone from their family or ethnic community) no matter which community you look at.

However, when it comes to unsolved murders and missing women, the fact that an Aboriginal victim’s perpetrator is NOT easily and quickly identified, is highly suggestive of the likelihood that her perpetrator is not Aboriginal.

That issue is being overlooked in this race to forget.

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I have come a ways, alone, he said
A dream once spoke to me of you
When I was still a youth I saw it lead me to this place
where you and I could walk and share this path
of life and light and love and truth
She was not sure, for there had been so many more
who spoke of dreams that turned into a neverending night of hurt
and pain and loss of hope
But something held her hand that always pushed
Something in the kindness of his eyes
Something in the softness of his touch
She sensed a spirit beating in his heart
That had the strength of many thousand souls
And so, she held her hand with bated breath
allowed herself the comfort of his warmth
and calmed herself with words
He whispered softly to the night
She knew the evil ones would stay away
As she listened to the beauty of his song
Yet, always ready
With the hand
To push
In case
She found
That she was wrong.


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Reconciliation: the Role of Education

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed as a result of the largest class action lawsuit in the history of Canada. It is an entity created by the court-approved Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement reached in 2007. The Settlement Agreement involves several Parties including the Government of Canada; Catholic and Protestant Churches; and the Survivors themselves.

The TRC is not a government commission. It reports to the parties and is subject to the supervision of the courts

Not all schools attended by Aboriginal children over the years are included in the Agreement. 140 schools are listed, and there is provision to ask for others to be added. The initial request to add a school is submitted to the government, which can agree or not, and there is a right to ask an oversight committee to review Canada’s decision. There is also a right to ask the courts to rule on the matter if you don’t like the results of those processes. The Government of Canada takes the position that only those schools where children resided and where it jointly or primarily managed the residential part of the school can be added. Requests have been made to add over 1,300 other schools to the Agreement but Canada has agreed to add only two. In addition, the courts have ordered that two more be added.

There are two compensation funds created by the Agreement, the first one being the Common Experience Payment, to which every student who resided at one of the Indian Residential Schools listed in the agreement can apply and receive a payment. The payment schedule provides that they are entitled to $10,000 for the first year of attendance, and $3,000 for each subsequent year. Approximately 105,542 persons have applied and 79,179 been approved for a Common Experience Payment. The total amount paid under CEP has been $1,619,631,106. The average payment has been $19,412

The second fund is for those who suffered a serious personal injury at the school. There is a list of injuries in the Agreement which they have to prove through testimony and other evidence such as medical reports, that they suffered at the hands of another person, whether a staff or a student, while on the grounds of the school.

Just less than half of those who attended residential schools have made claims for serious personal injuries. The total amount paid so far for the claims that have been resolved total approximately 2.3 Billion Dollars. The average claimant has received approximately $115, 259. There are still thousands of claims to be heard and resolved and it is predicted that claims may take until 2017 to be finalized.

The settlement agreement itself has created its own set of bad feelings among survivors. The exclusion of such a large number of schools attended by Aboriginal children at the insistence of the government but which the government did not manage or run itself or in partnership with a church entity, the exclusion of claimants who can’t testify due to death or infirmity, the treatment of survivors by lawyers, lawyer fees, the slow pace of hearings, and the process by which the claims are heard and resolved have all contributed to an entirely unforeseen set of issues calling for a reconciliation process outside of the TRC mandate, which may never occur.

In addition, students who attended residential schools but did not reside there are not eligible for the first level of compensation despite the fact that while in the schools, they were treated the same as the residents. Metis students who attended church run schools are also left out of the agreement.

This has created a significant class of former students excluded from the Agreement and its compensation processes, although we have included them in our processes. As a Commission, we take the view that, to be effective, any process of reconciliation must include all Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal persons in Canada. The road to reconciliation will not be easy so long as so many Aboriginal people continue to feel similarly aggrieved without having their grievances recognized.

When I say that the Settlement Agreement created the Commission, I mean that it exists because the Survivors negotiated for it. They agreed to set aside $60 million of money that would have gone into their compensation fund for the Commission’s purposes and to ask the Commission to complete its work within five years. Canada and the other parties are legally obligated to support the work of the Commission.

Our mandate originally was five years, and was to end on July 1, 2013. However, the first set of Commissioners appointed in 2008 were unable to continue and in the fall of 2008 the Commission Chair resigned, necessitating the appointment of new Commissioners. We were appointed effective July 1, 2009, with a renewed five year mandate to end on July 1, 2014. That mandate was extended by one year to June 30, 2015 due to the lack of timely document production to the Commission by the Government of Canada and the Catholic Church as was required by the Agreement.

The timeline was understandably short to begin with. Given the average age of survivors at the time of its negotiation, time was of the essence. It is also important that we complete our work – or at least as much of it as we can – while survivors are still around to see the results of their Commission. I feel strongly that as a Commission we should deliver a report to survivors by the end of the time period we have committed to.

However, it is clear that reconciliation cannot be achieved in five years, so we have taken the approach that our role is to identify what reconciliation means, where it should take us, and, in the context of these times, what the parties, as well as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, need to do in order to get there.

The first obligation of the commission is to reveal to Canadians the full and complete story of residential schools. Our second obligation is to inspire and guide a process of healing and reconciliation in this country. Certain rights of the Commission and duties of the Parties are identified in the Agreement to clarify and facilitate those obligations.

The TRC is all about the education of children. We have been directed to investigate the federal government’s educational system for First Nations, Inuit and Metis children that was in place for over 125 years. Educational initiatives are implied in that part of our mandate which requires us to reveal to Canadians the true and complete story of that system. The story of the schools, in an obvious sense, is a lesson in education.

However, it is precisely because education was the primary tool of oppression of Aboriginal people, the and miseducation of all Canadians, that we have concluded that education holds the key to reconciliation.

Education is important.

All students, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, need to learn that the history of this country did not begin in 1492, or even with the arrival of Vikings much earlier. They need to learn about the Aboriginal nations that the Europeans met, about their rich linguistic and cultural heritage, about what they felt and thought as they dealt with such historic figures as Champlain, LaVerendrye and the representatives of the Hudson’s Bay Company. They need to learn why they negotiated treaties and that they negotiated them with purpose and integrity and in good faith. They need to learn why Aboriginal leaders and elders fight so hard to defend those poorly worded treaties and what they represent to them and why they have been ignored by Euro-Canadian settlers and governments.

They need to learn about what it means to have inherent rights, what those are for Aboriginal people, and the settler government’s obligations, in those areas where treaties have never been negotiated in the first place. They need to learn of the many issues that are ongoing and why.

They need to learn that the doctrine of discovery – the politically and socially accepted basis for European claims to the land and riches of this country – has never been accepted in Canadian courts and has been repudiated around the world, recently by the United Nations and the World Council of Churches.

But this is not enough. As I said before, mainstream Canadians see the dysfunction of Aboriginal communities but they have no idea how that happened, what caused it, or how government contributed to that reality through residential schools and the policies and laws in place during their existence. Our education system, through omission or commission, has failed to do that and misunderstanding, ignorance, and racism has resulted, on the one hand, and shame, humiliation, a lack of self-respect and anger has occurred, on the other.

The educational systems of this country bear a large share of the responsibility for the current state of affairs. But it can fix what it has broken.

What our education systems need to do is this: it must commit to teach Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children – our children – how to speak respectfully to and about each other in the future. It begins with teaching them the truth about our history. Knowing what happened will lead to understanding. Understanding leads to respect.

Reconciliation is about respect. The relationship must be founded on mutual respect, but we must not lose sight of the threshold importance of ensuring that firstly, Aboriginal children are given an opportunity to develop their self-respect. That must come first.

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Commitment is needed by everyone.

People who have heard me speak about reconciliation, often say they do not support it because they are angry at this government.

I understand that. I have said many times that reconciliation will not be achieved in my lifetime, nor will it be achieved in the lifetime of my children I suspect,

The attitude that Aboriginal people are just another inferior minority group, responsible for their own situation (look how newcomers have pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps they say) working against the Nation’s interest and corruptly misspending public money is very entrenched. The majority of Canadians believe that, even though a majority of Canadians also feel empathy, even sympathy, for the “plights” Aboriginal people face.

Changing those situations is important, but nothing will be very effective, in my opinion, until we educate Canadians in a manner that results in respect for Aboriginal people and their rights as the original peoples of this land. Knowing the history of residential schools is key to understanding why things are the way they are, but knowing what public schools have done and are still doing is also key, It’s not an Aboriginal problem we’re trying to fix, it’s a Canadian one. That’s gonna take time…and serious long-term commitment. The same long-term commitment that was behind the schools even when every analysis done during their existence showed they were failing. The Americans closed down their operation of Indian Boarding Schools in the 1930s for that reason, but Canada just kept plugging away, usually because churches would not agree to closure. They had their own motives.

Money will not buy new attitudes. Education will. It is through education that we got here, and it is through education that we will fix this relationship.

So to the cynics throwing the stones, keep that in mind. I know that’s not going to make you stop – you are entrenched in your thinking too. But next time attach a note to your stone, with your plan, so at least part of what you do might have a positive impact.

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The cloak of life is not a can of paint

God’s eyes were not closed
when our people were created.
His head was not turned.
Nor his thoughts far away
on a task of more importance.
His mind was not distracted,
Nor his heart locked away
in a dark uncaring place,
unaware of our existence.

For God was our Creator too.

With gentle hands and loving heart,
from four parts of Creation,
He moulded our ancient ones.
He placed his loving words
inside their hearts and minds
He breathed his guiding spirit
into the center of their souls,
and in so doing, with the body and the mind
He made them whole.

He showed us his existence
and inspired us to voice and sing
our love and praise for him
and for all of the Creation he had made,
as well as for the life he had bestowed.
A life and land which he had always meant
fo us to use and to protect
for all of our time here on this earth

We loved our Kishay Manitou
and believed that he felt only love for us.
And deep within the center of our souls,
we lived and breathed that thought
It kept us warm and made us feel we all belonged
to something pure and strong.
Our love for life was there within
each living child and ancient one

We truly knew.
We had the right to be
Anishinaabe, strong and free
That very right was told to us
in every story, every song
Creation stories,
We were taught
were always true and never wrong.

And then those others came along
and with their twisted words and thoughts
declared that all his work with us was wrong
and that our sense of him was false.
They made us deeply sick with growing doubt
As, slowly, harshly, deeply
in a vicious rising tide of disrespect
they stole away our spirit
piece by piece,
child by child,
until we woke one dark and lonely day
And found
that our spirit and our faith
were twisted up into a tiny shrinking ball
descending down a dark and dirty hole
and, then, without a warning sound or gasp
were gone.

And when we cried in lonely, empty, pain
They said it was a sign our god was weak
and that we must believe their god was strong
and that we should all fall down on our knees
and pray with them and sing their songs
and somehow that would save us
from that evil place they said
where dwelt our Gitche Manitou
a place we once had sweetly called our own.

They did not know
that it was in their very doubt
where dwelt the source of illness
that infected all of us they touched
And that the best they could achieve
Was to leave us spinning in the wind
No longer feeling part
of our Manitou’s Creation.

They took us off our spirit road
And tried to make us walk inside their shoes
but when we looked behind
We could not see
The point where our creation had begun
And when we looked ahead,
we could not hear
the voices of our mothers calling out
Nor see the light of fires
Showing our way home
We were confused and felt that we were lost
As, indeed, we were.

The spirits that were placed in each of us
were not allowed to dance
or sing our songs
and constantly they came under attack
and so
they ran away and hid
in places dark but safe
Ready to embrace and be embraced
When freedom time would come

In patience, they sat silently
and waited
And they waited
And they waited
And they waited
And they wait

Our minds and bodies,
left behind,
sometimes filled the void
with other spirit teachings
and in those foreign words
some solace found
Yet many could not feel
and many would not seek
Creator’s love
in all those rituals and words

Emptied of their sense of life
many staggered through existence
weighted by despair
falling, rising, falling,
sometimes lying still
waiting for it all to end
and for far too many
the end would come
without a sign
of how to find the path
to go back to Creator’s side
they wander here among us still.

And when the law of man
at last declared this evil-doing wrong
and their descendants came to us
asking for forgiveness
offering their words and beads
designed to cure our broken lives, they said
they still did not believe
their words and beads alone
could not repair,
what had been stolen, damaged and undone.

They still could not believe
that the damage goes on yet today
by teaching children
nothing of this past
So they will never know
It was not always thus

They still do not believe
That God created us as well as them

They still cannot accept
That our healing starts from deep within the soul
Where the spirit placed there by Creator sits

They do not understand
That our spreading sickness lies within the fact
we can no longer sing our healing songs
And that our healing voices have been stilled.
And that our healing cannot come
From any sort of magic little pill

But now that we are finally freed
Of heavy chains of aging pain
and that we can live unrestrained
we go about in hungry search
of all those spirits hidden, almost lost
And there is great rejoicing
when connections can be strongly made.

But sadly some have found
That their spirits have been locked away,
so well and and for so long
that they can no longer be retrieved,

Some do not recognize them when they’re found
Or, desperate,
their hunger drives them blindly to
another devil’s hands

It will take time to heal these many wounds
to overcome the anger and the rage
to see the beauty of and live a promised life
to find our path in this far different age

To live together side by side
was always the Creator’s sacred test
but first we must determine
how to stand
and walk the path
our spirits know the best

we cannot rush
but life is going by
and things are moving at an urgent rate
so  with a sense of  need we must proceed
to honour dreams
and fill our fate
and know the easy way we cannot take
The cloak of life is not a can of paint
It takes a lifetime to create.


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On Doing What I Do and How.

A behavioural psychologist once warned me that when I speak publicly, I speak too aggressively and that one sign of that was that I often pointed.
She said that pointing was an act of aggression and that it put people on the defensive and only served to make people uncomfortable.
She suggested I should stop doing it.
I didn’t.


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On Dealing With the Pain

Every little while
When I’m alone
I find a place
A quiet place
And take some time
For me.
I find a place
Where trees and grass
Embrace the soul
And soothe the flesh
Where wind creates 
a gentle calm
And water whispers loving sounds
Like Kookum singing softly in the night. 
It’s then I let myself relive
The stories of the frightened lonely child
I hear again 
Her sadness and her fears and tears
I grab those memories and thoughts
with both my hands
And hold them tightly to my chest
As though the child herself was there 
And cry. 
And cry. 
And cry.


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