There to Here
The unsurrendered territory of the Mi’kmaq People
This is the last post in a while and, therefore, a long one.
One of the books my father grew up on was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I was thinking about this book months ago when I rounded a corner, on Cape Breton, and came across a father and son, with their respective motorcycles. The son emailed me a few months ago to ask about how much of my then-trip, As The Raven Flies, was planned and how much was wiggle room built for wandering, wondering, and serendipity. I told him that something similar to that expression of having “an open mind but not so open that your brains fall out” has, so far, worked for me. All journeys have destinations that the traveller is unaware of at the outset of the journey.
For me on this trip, for example, one of the stories I was most curious about listening to was the internment of Japanese-Canadians. Since the last post, I met and stayed with Lillian Nakamura-Maguire and because of her was able to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) to listen to a few scenes from her currently-being-developed play. Similarly, one of the people I was most hopeful about spending some time with was Ryan McMahon. I wouldn’t have been able to synthesize a lot of the findings from this trip without our hang in Winnipeg, the subsequent present of a book he gave to me (Truth About Stories by Thomas King) and then again when we ran into each other at the airport a few weeks ago. The images of the work by Bill Reid are from the Musem of History in Gatineau, where the NAJC AGM was held.
- We reached the Arctic Ocean, parted ways in Whitehorse, and independently finished our trips at the Pacific
- Finished a CBC piece comparing my two cross-Canada bicycle trips
- Hosted a roughcut screening of my first film, A Moveable Chair, which was edited over the course of a day in the Ottawa Valley
- Aiming to have an online version in early 2017, lots of footage to work through(!)
- Review in my university paper, few errors …
- Began marinating a journalism fellowship idea + announced the first fellow, Fatin Chowdhury
- Fatin may be reached at email@example.com, feel free to say hullo and inquire, investigate, we will be publishing a longer bio of his work in the New Year
- Started researching small and BIG publishing houses for what will be a two-year building project for us: attended our first Wayzgoose at Gaspereau Press
- Hired our first staff member, G. Mundabs (gm), who will be taking over a lot of administrative duties at CHAT
- G. Mundabs may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
- gm will be handling digital downloads of fotos, coordinating shipping of photo prints early in 2017
- Hosted a few gatherings of folks in Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal
- Spent some time on a beautiful farm with some lovely farm folks remembering and looking at roots and root vegetables rather than routes
- Finally: Found a corner to rest, recover, recuperate, rejuvenate for the eventual return
One of my favourite hosts (Maritimes!) whom I’ve corresponded with on and off in the last few weeks wrote to me and asked, “So how does this story end?” given that we had funders, subscribers, those waiting to hear about some semblance of a resolution.
The short answer to their question is: It doesn’t end just yet.
A longer answer is: Similar to a lot of monumental tasks, it only feels like we are beginning this journey anew. The spirit of Chairs and Tables, the entity under which this project was born and shaped, at it’s very core can be summed up in that old expression, “A society is wise when old people plant trees whose shade they will never sit under.”
Maybe there is something similar to to be said for when young (and young-ish) people plant and protect trees which they might not enjoy either.
HiyHiy, Meegweetch, Shukriya, Merci, Dhanyawaad, Thank you, Waalkuumin, for following along here, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (personal + CHAT), email, this website, and of course, in-person, face-to-face! More in a season.