Friday, April 13, 2018

"The Outside Circle"

Yesterday, some blessed sun, so another walk in Drumbeg Park where we met all kinds of nice dog people who wanted to meet the adorable Sheba. (click to enlarge)

Tom Thomson, anyone?

Harder to work when the sun’s out, but the morning was rainy so we did get stuff done. When Chris went out to do errands, Sheba took full advantage for a little nap on his bed.

Later, Patsy came to get me; we had supper at the Surf pub with the most glorious view of ocean, mountains, passing ferries - and a seal. 
I ran into a couple Chris and I had just met at Drumbeg. “Where’s your husband tonight?” they wanted to know. “Say hi to Sheba.”

Patsy and I were there for a “Reading and Reconciliation” literary event, two indigenous writers discussing their books, hosted by Shelagh Rogers who lives here. The discussion was particularly terrific because one of the writers, Patti LaBoucane-Benson, half Ukrainian and half Metis, who runs Native Counselling Services in Alberta, spoke of her graphic book, The Outside Circle. About a violent young indigenous man who enters a healing warrior circle, learns the history of his people, and manages to heal and change, she says it is nonfiction based on her work. Its powerful story illuminates First Nations history and life, and Patti was extraordinarily articulate about what’s needed to change our society, to “dismantle the colonial foundation of systems of despair.” “We don’t need Indian agents,” she said. “We need caseworkers to walk with indigenous people on the healing journey.” Amen.

The other writer was Monique Grey Smith, author of “Speaking our Truth,” also interesting. A moving and stimulating evening. And then the ride home on the nearly empty roads lined with thick forest. Not what I’m used to after an evening at the IFOA.

Today, dark and wet again. I truly don’t mind, because it makes working so much easier – spent the entire day finalizing my talk on the Beatles for the Miles Nadal JCC on the afternoon of May 24. With music, slides and video – and a bit of singing from me - it’s going to be a LOT of fun. Then during a brief lull in the rain, taking Sheba for a romp, and then more work before dinner. Only two more days here to finish this rewrite, and then I hit the busy, distracting world. I’m already missing the millions of trees, the sweet air, the silence, the many wild animals and birds, my dear friend and his gorgeous pets and house, his fireplace, his baking. Today he brought me a present to the studio – a tiny pot of the divine lemon meringue pie he just made.

But I’m sure he’s had enough of this intruder, and it’s time for me to go to Vancouver, my re-entry point to city life, and then, next Saturday, home.


  1. Sounds absolutely divine. I can imagine myself making great progress on my own writing project if I were in a log cabin with gorgeous trees all around. And silence. And fresh, clean air. And the ocean not far. On an island. Out here in the dangerous big world, we woke up this morning to learn that the US, UK and France are bombing the hell out of Damascus.


  2. Yes, Juliet, unfortunately the news gets to Gabriola Island too. There's no escape from the madmen out there. But it's true that being surrounded by trees and ocean helps forget them for a bit.