Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day Three: Ahoy, Matie

I'm walking past the Kenosee golf course in the morning and I'm feeling like such a phony because yesterday I waxed poetic about the white birch trees and I'm afraid they arn't really white, but browns and greens and possibly ivory, but definately not white. The line, "These treaty walks are heightening my senses" is haunting me as I walk along in the drizzly air. The lighting is soft and I snap pictures of mushrooms against the end of a felled tree, a rip in a chain-link fence, a family gathering of thin aspen.

I'm walking down the ashphalt path before supper from the Kenosee Inn toward the town. The sun has come out and the lake is not blue, blue, but more purple, blue. I'm so happy to have found the birch trees and I take a picture up close of the lines on the peeled bark which look just like lined paper. I especially like my shot of a curled piece of birch bark. Many of the birch trees are growing from a common, great stump, yet growing as individuals.

I turn around and start the climb back to the Inn. I sing "Johnny I hardly Knew Ye", weakly and partially out of breath. Then I hit a level area and my voice is stronger through "Danny Boy" and "Factory Girl." I have an Irish and Sea Shanty Gig at Boundary Fish and Chips tomorrow night at 6:00. I haven't really figured out what I'm going to say to introduce "Northwest Passage". Do I just let the song be the song, or do I need to address the eurocentricism in the "explorer" theme or the word "savage" which blasts out in the chorus? And what if I sing "Old Maui" with lines like, "them native maids, them tropical glades is awaiting our return... even now their big brown eyes look out, hoping some fine day to see, our baggy sails running for the gales, rolling down to Old Maui"? Or, do I let the songs sing for themselves and let them stand as part of our Canadian history, warts and all? I just feel that if I don't name the racism, then I participate in it. Or, does just singing these songs make me part of it? Help? As I walk up the steep, grassy slope toward the Inn, I'm singing "Barret's Privateers."


  1. If your looking for guidance from me, you're barking up the wrong tree! But the juxtaposition of the nature you describe so beautifully with the inner struggle is interesting to me. It reminds me of part of a prayer from Laurel Singing Cat- "open my heart to the healing wholeness of nature, we are all related and through this I will find serenity".- so maybe you should ask the trees? ;)

  2. I think its coming along wonderfully! I love your visual writing style. :)