Hello... It's only occurring to me now that you should be the ones I write to. I have known your absence all my life, yet it never occurred that I should reach out to you, your spirit. Maybe its because you were both outdoorsmen and you have left behind your presence in the lakes, the sight of the Eagle or Northern Lights.
What I know of you is mostly stories from my parents. I feel as though they know the importance of keeping your memory alive. The others, they don't speak of you as often, or at least not around me.
I've always had a fondness for grandpas, whether its in passing, while I'm at work those who belong to friends. I never had that experience of the care from a grandpa. When my sister speaks of you (Corky) she talks about about a smell, a smell that my senses do not know.
It's strange to think about how can one miss another they've never known. Do I even miss you? How would my life been different if you had stayed longer on this Earth in physical form?
But returning to your presence in nature, the bush or Up North, you are alive. Your wisdom of the land and how to do things exists so how can it be that one ever leaves? Because we are part of everything, I feel as though I can believe you are here. I was spared the experience of direct loss when you left your body as I was too young. I know know where I was at the time. I don't remember the sadness of my parents of family. There is a photo of us the burial-all in our red checkered jackets. One of the few moments in time we gathered together.
If you were alive, I would've loved to hear stories from you. Your perspective on growing up in the bush. The hard work. Or did you even see it as work or just a way of life? Even if you didn't share stories verbally, the chance to sit with you would be enough as stories live in the bodies of those who have lived them.
I will sign off for now. As you know, things are okay down here. Maybe someday I see your spirit again, in passing. Until then... Much Love.
Healing and Action Through Live Performance
We gathered together for six days at Canada Stage in Toronto to work with Kiki Katese, the founding director of Rwanda Professional Dreamers and Ingoma Nshya ("New Era")-Women Initiatives. She spoke of her work around loss with survivors and perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda. The forgiveness required in order to move forward is almost unimaginable. We were then asked to write personal letters of loss to serve as material to work with for our public showing. It was an intense time... each story of loss had connections to others yet we each stood alone in our own process. With trust our stories weaved together through moments of listening, vulnerability and song (from China, Mi'kmag, Rwanda).