Sunday, January 24, 2016


Last year, at the end of a hot dry summer there was a wind storm
we didn't know it was coming, it had been so dry and the forecast was for a rain event
instead we got high winds and all the trees still laden with their leaves
and brittle from the long hot summer, were sails and got hooked and torn
and spiraled and fell when that wind came. We got stuck in it, going for a walk at the last minute,
not realizing how strong it was and how the trees were easy victims, unprepared as they were.
A big leaf maple came down near my piles and I have felt unable to begin clearing away the debris
even though I know the piles will grow as a result

The last post on this topic

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Inspiration this week: Rita Joe, Mi'kmaq Poet

I was only a housewife with a dream to bring laughter to the sad
eyes of my people and trusting the anchor we live by to complete
the woven tale we are still telling. Quoted from the back cover of

her recent book, We Are the Dreamers
I am just an Indian on this land
I am sad, my culture you do not understand.
I am just an Indian to you now
You wrinkle your brow.

Today you greet me with bagpipes
Today you sing your songs to me
Today we shake hands and see
How we keep good company.

Today I will tell stories
Today I play the drum and dance
Today I will say what is on my mind
For being friends is our goal.

Today I will show I am just like you
Today I will show what is true
Today I will show we can be friends
Together we agree.

Today I will tell about my race
Today I will share what is mine
Today I will give you my heart
This is all we own.

Today I show.
Hello everybody, my name is Rita Joe.

Rita (Bernard) Joe was born in Whycocomagh, Cape Breton Island, on March 15, 1932. At the young age of ten she was orphaned and shortly after was sent to the Indian Residential School, located in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. She later moved to Eskasoni where she met her husband, Frank Joe; they married in 1954. They lived all of their lives in Eskasoni, raising a family of 10 children.

In the 1960s, Rita first began to write poetry, primarily as a mechanism in which to challenge existing negative stereotypes regarding aboriginal people. She wrote about the manner in which the Mi'kmaq viewed the world, about Mi'kmaw traditions, culture and especially about the beauty of the Mi'kmaw language. She believed that her poetry demonstrated a gentle persuasion in changing people's negatives views of aboriginal people.

Rita's poetry became celebrated nationally and through her lifetime she went on to publish seven books. She became known as the Poet Laureate of the Mi'kmaq people for her accomplished writings and also received many awards, including the Order of Canada in 1990 and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1997. She also was known for her two song recordings, The Oka Song, and Drumbeat is the Heartbeat of the Nation.

Rita Joe died March 20, 2007 at the age of 75 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


The east wall of my living room. My mothers diplomas among other things.

January again. The beginning of a new year. As usual I am reflecting. I spend a lot of my time thinking about my creative practice. I walk and look up at the trees and I take notice of what is happening in the sky. I feel small and glad. To be alive. I think being an artist is maybe the same thing as what it means to be a person. You just keeping getting up each day and making an effort. Art is just a metaphor for life, we seek it, that feeling of understanding, of realization, of contentment. It is natural to want to make order out of chaos. Housekeeping is part of it. Without concern for form, with no product in mind. Laying hands on natural things. Domestic earth arts. Lately my making has been around sewing and cooking and building up the most beautiful compost pile.  I consider my lifestyle as striving toward piousness. Without god obviously.  My job is to observe and reflect, and yes, to serve the planet in some way. We are curious to learn about the natural world. We create a life that is artful in it's approach. We are wild, and lets face it. We want to do what we want to do. That cannot be sold. To create nothing except that which can be broken down and absorbed back into the earth. Clothing, books, piles of sticks. Can the practice be the art. The beginning of the year. I am reflective. In the midst of everything. Bowie is dead. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It