I haven’t written these blogs all by my lonesome. No way, Hosea. I have an editor. Sue is my editor and it’s Sue who corrects my usages of ‘had’ and ‘have’, ‘practice' and ‘practise’, ‘take’ and ‘bring’ and all the other language practices I have learned or not learned to use correctly over my life-time. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I’m thinking that the last ‘practices’ I just wrote, might, by the time it strikes your eyes, be spelt ‘practises’. (Ed. note: Not this time, Larry, though I can see why you might think so!)
Oh, and then there’s all that punctuation! You see, I sometimes add too many punctuation marks, put them in the wrong places or don’t use them at all when I should. Then it’s up to Sue to grab her grammar broom and sweep some of them away. Or scoop up her grammar pepper shaker and begin jiggling a few of those there punctuations into their grammatically correct hideaways.
Grammar could make a person scream, “Bloody hell!”, if it weren’t for an editor. Tenses getting all tense, co-ordinate conjunctions constipating the writing flow and the proper use of ‘taking’ and ‘bringing’. I mean, it all gets there, doesn’t it, whether you bring it or take it?
Then there are those possessive endings, passive and active verbs, quotation marks gone wonkers, and on and on and on. AND ON. Per se and ad infinitum.
In an effort to subjugate grammar
For although I love words
I adore the absurd
Punctuated, pauses; tend to enamour.”
Mike Youds, T’talking
So, when I’ve finished writing what I have written, and then handed it to Sue, I’m expecting she’ll temper my passionate over-kill with a few cautionary pixels of advice. I listen to her advice, because I don’t want to piss the wrong people off. And when I say the wrong people, I don’t mean those who are in power, but the folks who regularly read this blog. Thank god I’m not paranoid or full of conspiracy theories. Would I write this blog if I were? However, I don’t always listen to Sue and then I do or don’t pay for that decision.
Sue also does all the blog set-ups, as I’m not as familiar with the computer as Sue, nor do I want to be. She also chooses some of the pictures from time to time, or suggests quotes that she finds on her beloved computer.
So there. I didn’t want my readers to think this is all me, me, me. It’s also Sue, Sue, Sue. And it only took thirty-three blogs to say it. What a guy.
Every writer has an editor and I feel lucky to be Larry's. He has a unique way of looking at things that I find thought-provoking, so I thoroughly enjoy reading what he writes and occasionally having my suggestions accepted.
“In Eskasoni there is a hill you may climb
There is a cross and the image of the Blessed Mother
You may climb as we do, especially on Good Friday
Then maybe we may look upon each other as friends
Like we wanted you to since the day you came.
Na ntalasutmaqnminal mawita’tal-Our prayers will join
Aq we’jitutesnu wlo’ti’.”-We will find happiness
Rita Joe, There is a Hill
A hiking friend from Eskasoni, had given me a fairly good idea where the trail up the mountain to the cross could be located. Also, when I drove through Eskasoni, I could see the giant cross standing on top of the mountain, so I knew its general location.
I turned into what looked like the trail. An Aboriginal woman, on the way up her steep driveway, stopped her car. She rolled down her window and shouted, “What are you looking for?”
Her voice wasn’t particularly friendly. There was a little park nearby and she was probably wondering what this gray-haired guy had in mind while poking around the area.
I asked her if she could tell me which trail leads up to the cross. Her face went smiley and she directed me to the correct path.
I thought of the lines in the poem:
“You may climb as we do, especially on Good Friday
Then maybe we may look upon each other as friends.”
All along the route up to the cross, are Stations of the Cross. As I looked at the pictures and read the words, I thought about the suffering being shown in the stations. I meditated on some of the hardships the Aboriginals have suffered as they’ve tried, and still try, to fit into a society which seems set on its present course of pursuing infinite growth and the resulting destruction of the natural world. How they’ve had to learn to forgive those who were connected to the residential schools. Places that were established, not to segregate the aboriginals from the colonists, but, as was infamously said at the time, “…to kill the Indian in the child”, by removing them from their families, and refusing to allow them to speak their own language.
“I lost my talk
The talk you took away
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.”
Rita Joe, I Lost My Talk
Also, treaties signed in good faith were broken and the list goes on, and as I looked at the stations of the cross, I thought, this is why many Mi’kmaq can relate so naturally to the Easter story.
“If we are slow
Embracing today’s thoughts,
Be patient with us a while
What wrongs have been wrought,
Native ways seem not so wild.”
“When the stranger says: ‘What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?’
What will you answer? ‘We all dwell together
To make money from each other’? or ‘This is a community’?
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.”
T.S. Eliot, Choruses from ‘The Rock’