My sweet little Jazzy Moon had a homework thing from school that she needed help with and of course I was more than willing to give assist.  At the top of the page were the lines:  Canada is a multicultural country.  Many different cultures have contributed to Canada to make it what it is today.  What are some of the contributions from your family’s culture?

Next, the lines:  Culture/Country of Ancestral origin.  So I wrote in:  Ojibwe/Ojibway, La Cloche Mountain Range, Nomadic, Spanish River system and the North Channel of Lake Huron.

Then the lines:  Interesting family history details we know:  And I wrote in:  Ojibwe/Ojibway family was decimated by government policy towards “Indians and land reserved for Indians”.  As a result , the history, culture and family make up of Grandpa’s family, including extended family, was completely destroyed.

I tucked that into the homework bag and sent her on her way, back to Grade 6.  Then I got to thinking, jeez…  Maybe I should have written up something a little more rosy, something about canoes, scone dogs, rattles or pow wow dance moves but the truth is I have no idea what happened to them.  All I know is my name was changed, I was raised away and never even made it to their funerals and until recently had no idea where they were buried.

And so!!!  I started up a few little paintings and while waiting for paint to dry cracked open Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and read:  Letting go all else, cling to the following truths.  Remember that man lives only in the present, in this fleeting instant-all the rest of his life is either past and gone, or not yet revealed.  This mortal life is a little thing, lived in a little corner of the earth; and little, too, is the longest fame to come-dependent as it is on a succession of fast perishing little men who have no knowledge even of their own selves, much less of one long dead and gone.

Well there once was a man named Jack Seabrook and he saved me.  A fella like me tries to live up to a man like that but it isn’t easy by any stretch as he was a great man.

Sketch on 65 pound paper

Interesting family history details we know…