THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
I'm a book lover...I've always been a book lover. For that gift in life, I'm eternally grateful. Books have always been a way to at times escape the world, at other times to delve deeper into it. I'm a believer that any time spent reading is never wasted time.
My problem is that my passion with books oft times turns into an obsession, where book after book sits and collects dust on a shelf or in a closet. Then, historically, a big purge ensues, where the local thrift store, or one of a number of recipients ends up with my beloved collection. Then the collecting begins again.
I occasionally resort to e-books, and have a large selection of them on my devices as well. But I don't know. There's just something about holding a book in your hands. Smelling and feeling the pages. Turning down the corners to go back to. I think it's a lot to do with my old school upbringing, and my old school self.
In an effort to try and reduce the vast numbers of books that surround me, over the past couple of years I've taken to gifting them instead. Reading them through, taking a photo of a phrase or paragraph that speaks to...or haunts me. Then putting out little verbal, conversational feelers to determine who might next love, learn from and enjoy the book as much as I have.
My most recent read has been Tanya Talaga's "Seven Fallen Feathers". I picked it up at a little bookstore called Queen Books, on Queen Street when I was in Toronto in March to participate in our charity's (Artists Against Racism) most recent campaign launch. It was the perfect accompaniment for the campaign we were launching, which was a cross Canada billboard campaign featuring some of our our country's greatest Indigenous artists. The hope? That people across the country might see these fabulous works of art, take a step back and consider what the piece is trying to say to us. So many of the artworks tell deep, visceral stories of the spirituality, heartbreak, history and challenges of our country's First People. Each story told through the beauty of art.
"Seven Fallen Feathers" ran much deeper into the history and often agony of our Indigenous people. Tanya did a wonderful job of weaving the the loss of seven high school students in Thunder Bay, Ontario into the history that has led to those deaths. In a country where so many of us have been blessed with so very much, to better understand how it is that students across our province (Ontario) have to travel so far from their homes to gain the academic requirements to move forward in the world. She reminds of of much of our country's bloody past, including deepening understanding on The Indian Act, the Residential School system, the racism that still stains our country so deeply.
I try to imagine what it must be like for all the parents who are faced with sending their young, impressionable teenage children miles and hours away from secluded northern communities, into what they know will be a dangerous world of so many first time opportunities, good and bad. The fact that between 2000 and 2011, seven of those youth turned up dead, with no closure as to why, how or who might be responsible is heart-wrenching. Those deaths continue, if you pay attention to today's news. And yet, it seems little has been done to improve the situation. Why is that, in what so many claim to be the greatest country in the world?
I think that "Seven Fallen Feathers" is another one of those books that everyone should make the time to read. If knowledge is power, then the more we educate ourselves on how we've come to where we are in Canada, the more power we can gather as a community that steps forward to demand change. But will we? Or will be continue to turn a blind eye?
For now, I can only hope that each reading opens someones eyes just a little wider, and that the world will slowly inch forward into something that we can become more proud of being a part of, as this powerful read makes it's way to the next person that I hope will find a glimmer of enlightenment from it's pages.
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