The Mountain Speaks

mountain pass

Through mist and shadowed hope we toil

each foot

forward

a step toward success

eyes certain

chins firm

shoulders straight

no thoughts given to the negative space

to the freefall of uncertainty

to the sure death of anticipation

just inches from our trail.

 

“Ji six-mukws n̍iin,” rumbles Sgan̍ist

~ listen carefully ~

Over our heads a boulder whistles

followed by the clatter of lesser stones.

 

The mountain speaks.

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“Ji siix-mukws n̓iin”

My clearest memory of school when I was a child is the yearly project on culture. I say, yearly, because it seems like every teacher in the world thinks that they have developed the “BEST IDEA” to get kids to not only explore their personal histories, but to appreciate the cultures that they come from. I wouldn’t say that I was a cynical recipient of the ever-present “culture” project, but I wouldn’t say that I was enthusiastic either. In fact, my general thought was that my culture was pretty boring, and I’d really rather study someone else’s culture. Any culture.

Paper That Makes You Want To Do Something

Dutiful, obedient, compliant – I would trudge to the front of the room to collect the large sheet of white paper that my teacher wanted me to fill with the patterns of my cultural background. Then, there I would sit, wondering just what was my culture? As I had already done this project the year before, and the year before that, and the year before that I already knew what my mother would tell me when I asked her for help. “You are Canadian,” she would say, “just show what it means to be Canadian”. And I would sigh and stare at that big piece of white paper. Are we Scottish? Irish? English? Continue reading