Posts tagged ‘Indigenous writing’

Late Summer 2020

The Range on Saturday

here we are, September 2, Labour Day and the end of summer looming! last Friday I thought okay… what to do with Saturday and Sunday? but i heard the sirens and noise and insanity of the city every week night and said to myself: we’re going for it. 8 hours down the highway, we’re going.

The deck is nearly finished!

i arrived on the range at 3:30 a.m. what a gigantic change in scenery, sound, smells, the whole kit and ka boodle! the first thing i did was call out for my old buddy Percy who had been listed as missing in action, going on 2 weeks by that point in time. no sign of him, and so he is gone. that was the blues at that hour but when the sun came up i saw my brand new big time steps on my brand new deck! later in the day i saw my old buddy Bob the Cat out there sleeping on the 2nd from top step, over there on the far end. i’m very happy to see that deck out there. took only, what? ten years? in this case, it’s all about the money. or lack thereof! anyway it is here now. and i’m going to enjoy many a fine morning, afternoon and evening out there.

An August evening

it wasn’t the smoking hot 30 plus C out there this past weekend. truth is it was down right breezy and 20, and the sky was filled with drama, the clouds shape shifted their way across our sky throughout the day and what wonderful scenes.

Saturday night on the range

that’s good old Poochie (Poochie has 3 names, depending on who is in the residence!) in the recline on Saturday night. i kind of wondered if she was thinking about Percy and where he got off to. by this point in time the kids had arrived from O Town and they sure were in need of some refreshments and fresh air! there was plenty of both out there at that hour!

Saturday night on the range

the kids arrived and moved in, 4 of them, and i’m not sure which ones were brand new to the range but it was quite a sight. i said to them, after they were settled in, notice the light and noise pollution out here!

A room with a view!

there’s Bob the Cat. we’re both waiting on the moon. and it is that time of the summer when you can leave those big windows open and not have to worry about any critters flying in! (remember that blog entry of mine from September 2017: the fine wine, the dark nights, the alien abduction, the big windows open, something out there to the north east… )

The moon on Saturday night.

and so she arrived as expected, but gosh she was far south! quite unlike say, the Berries Moon, July. and that green grass was cool to the bare feet, quite unlike say, an evening in July.

i watched this scene for a few moments, that is looking south east, and behind me the house was filled with chatter and laughter, beautiful. i turned around to see lights blazing out of every window. the kids were at home and moved in. wonderful! beautiful.

Big Lake, Manitoulin Island, Sunday morning in August

what i like to do is get up before the sunrise and enjoy the show and out there on the range there is a show every morning! but i also like to take a morning drive through the back country and see the lovely outback scenes. usually i make these drives alone as the folks on the range, most of them like to sleep in, which was never my thing. and so i hit the road shortly after sunrise and came across this little hideout next to Big Lake, between the small towns of Sandfield and Mindemoya. you see that little lane that goes up there to the right? (he he… ) teenage dreams and parking schemes…

The government dock, Lake Mindemoya

and so it was a trip down memory lane on Sunday morning. i had to go by Lake Mindemoya which was our fun house, age 7 to 18. that dock was our meeting place when we were still in elementary school. we’d take our bikes and ride down there, the whole gang, doubling too, and spend the entire summer vacation at the end of that dock. it was a safe place to be!

Providence Bay, and Lake Huron

also on the drive, a trip out to Providence Bay. that was a magical scene out there and i finally smartened up about shooting some movies with the cell phone. i haven’t posted them to my youtube channel (twinravens2000) but i will very soon: the waves were rolling in every several seconds and they weren’t big wild waves, but gentle, peaceful. no one was out there at that hour and so i had the place to myself. those are my tracks along the sand. not sure who the other tracks belong to… (maybe HER!)

Providence Bay in August, at sunrise

yes folks you could easily lose yourself here, time wise and other things. if you’re new to the place, especially at this age, i wonder what it would be like. as for me, i grew up here and so this beach for me, is filled with wonderful memories that go all the way back to 1972.

Sunday afternoon in August

all weekend it seemed the sky over the range was filled with drama. the clouds swirling past and the wind over the willow tree, movement in every direction. soundtrack: crickets! also in every direction. what music they make!

The Range on Sunday afternoon, late August

by this point in time the clock was ticking! i had to get in the car and make that 8 to 12 hour drive back to the city and i sure didn’t like thinking about that! at this point in time the kids were out somewhere and the lady of the house, she too was who knows where, so it was just me and the many ghosts that haunt me. american cigarette in hand.

before i split the island i stopped by Providence Bay for one last look and wowza it was a sight to behold! the sun was shining off the big waters and behind me i saw this! what a sky! it being late in the summer i pretty much had the beach to myself at sunset. nice work!

the folks at Huron Island Time, one of the last of the galleries still standing, that displays my artwork, is there on the Providence Bay beach but do you think i could muster up and walk over there? nope! i LOVE how they called my novel: “gripping”. the folks at U of T called it: “hair raising”. i love that stuff! version 2 of the novel will soon be ready!

acrylic on canvas board, 7×9″, from autumn 2018.

and so i hit the road and made the night drive, through the wild fog between Nord Baie and Pembroke, all the way back to O Town, arrived at 8 a.m., switched into office wear and made it to the desk for 9 a.m. of course that is a lot of time to think things over, making that drive. one of things on my mind was Percy. i hope he had a good death. quick and painless. i found this painting in the photo files, it was created way back in the autumn of 2018, back when we were living on Blake Street.

somewhere in O Town

and so we’re back in with them, the wild scenes. the wild sounds. the weird smells. the fumes. the destruction of spirit and sanity. the rise of spookysville. the unknown. and a stranger in a strange land, for how long?

the good thing IS!!! Labour Day weekend will soon be here! over there on the island, for us, Labour Day weekend was truly the very END of summer. Monday night, at sunset… you can kiss good bye whatever dreams you had for the summer because once that sun sets, summer goes with it. now if you’re lucky you’ll be visited by Indian Summer, which, like i mentioned in that blog post from September 2017, the fine wines and the alien abduction, Indian Summer is one of the most magical times of the year, but who knows where we’ll be when that one comes around.

Many moons ago, Monday night, Labour Day weekend, Providence Bay

if all goes well i’ll be at this spot on Monday night next week! you see i’m going for it. i’m not staying here in the city. come 7 p.m. i’ll be pointing that blue war horse in the direction of WEST! blazing down highway 17 and turning left only at highway 6, going south. that is the plan! but we know about a man with plans… anyway. we’ll see what we can do.

my sweet Jasmine Moon, that’s her, i think it was the night before grade 6 was about to cue up. we had the entire beach to ourselves. the summer crowds had gone home as it really was Labour Day Monday at sundown. we had the good fortune of living a few miles down the road so we could stay and see it.

but this is Wednesday. we have things to do before we get to Friday night at 7.

Paintings, Writings, Music and road tripping Native Style

Power Bird on the Range, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9″, Artist Collection.

in the spirit of Pride, the Power Bird on the Range, artwork by Mark Seabrook. ah yes was it the summer of 2013 when we walked out to what became “the Art Bridge” and re visited our landscape painting? the Art Bridge is part of the laneway into the range, back home on the island. and the “twinravens” landscape is something we were developing way back in art school: many moons ago. developing yes. unfortunately not connecting the dots, never following through. the idea was brewing alright and one day when i get home to the range i’ll snap a photo of one of the paintings from that era, where the brewing was beginning! in recent years, in full brew (ha!), we managed create paintings like this:

For Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, Acrylic on canvas, 36×58 inches

i’m pretty happy with that one. many thanks of course to the good folks at Abstract Expressionism, c. 1950.

Body, Mind, Spirit. Acrylic on canvas board, 12×12 inches. Artist Collection.

we’re going to hang onto this one as we were almost there with the idea. what we need though is a block of time back at the bridge! maybe we can get back there in August, as i have been thinking about that one!

Clouds over Lake Mindemoya, acrylic on canvas, 16×20″. Artist Collection.

we want to remember too, that THIS was part of that landscape idea from art school. this one was painted during 3rd year and thank goodness we still have this sketch! the large painting of this idea is the first painting i sold! many thanks to those doctors from Toronto. (Doc: if you’re reading this please contact me as i’d love to see the big painting again.)

Anishnabe at Full Moon, acrylic on canvas board, 16×20″. Artist Collection.

we want to remember we still have this going on and its going to continue to go on!

The Lottery Ticket in Thunderbird Stories Edition One

i want to say Aanii and Boozhoo to any of you folks here from the UTM Scribes on Instagram! “The Lottery Ticket” is a part of the horror story: SUN INFINITY MOON which is my first attempt at a novella.

the famous: Moosonee Proof!

yes we kind of rushed through production last summer and what they gave us was a book full of howling errors! errors like cockroaches, i didn’t see all of them until i started paying attention last autumn. so if you come across one of these copies, what it is is the Artist Proof. sorry about that. it is being retooled and we are soon printing the cleaned up version with a brand new cover. example of howling errors: right there on the cover: the clown changed my “coarse” language to his “course” language…

you see this is what happens when…

yeesh.

anyway. we move forward.

Very much still active a full 25 years later!

the famed twinravens Summer Mission Statement. words we lived by up until just a short 4 years ago when this road trip started. we have had bits and pieces of this mission statement covered since but some that have not been covered are: “swim out beyond the confines of the cover, into the big water where the big fish like to go”, “spend a morning, afternoon and evening with your mom and dad and have them tell you about the times when they were your age”, and “design your own tattoos”. my tattoos have faded away, now long gone. (Meen Geezis translates to: Berry Moon, or July)

Page 178, from INFINITY

yes there is a lot of coarse language and mad capped high jinx going on within the pages of INFINITY but the same can be said about SUN and MOON. this ain’t no Indian Disneyland type story.

Refer to: this piece at cbc.ca

The Doc Project·Personal Essay

My adoptive parents tried to erase my Indigenous identity. They failed.

Kim Wheeler was adopted during the Sixties Scoop and fought to find her way back to her culture

Kim Wheeler · Posted: Jun 18, 2020 5:29 PM ET | Last Updated: June 18

well that is Kim Wheeler’s tale. mine is quite different. my parents did NOT try to erase my Indian identity. what they did instead was save my life.

but going through that adventure: The 60’s Scoop, for me, sure did open a lot of doors where a natural born artist like me can stand and see a great many things, people included. i was one of the lucky ones.

Words and music by Shag Shaganash

i didn’t write any part of that one. that’s all Shag and his work. but that’s my band and lets hope and pray one day we get that show back on the road. the world could use some NR.

Words by Mark Seabrook, Music by Shawn Corbiere, Vocal by Jen B.

i did write the words to this one and you can hear in the lyrics: that 60’s scoop experience… many thanks to Mr. S.C. for the music and the great Jen Brunelle for the vocal. Danny Boy on the drums! (Hey that record was nominated for a Juno Award! just saying.)

well we are here and it is now: we’re on the swanky 9th. the cook is working up something very nice for lunch and the afternoon is all ours: what to do with Saturday afternoon?!!! ha ha. i say that knowing the mad capped twinravens classic: “What to do with Sunday afternoon?” (on my youtube channel), some of you found offensive and accused me of being obtuse!

Summer in the city

what we have to do is make up our mind which is our best foot and put it forward! GO!

Love Song No. 6

as some of you may know: ages ago i was in an amazing all native rock and roll band. we grew out of the drama team at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre over there in Sudbury, Ontario. ah but those were some glorious and exciting times!

on stage at the Northern Lights Folk Festival (ages ago!)

the band was called No Reservations and gosh they were a wild bunch! some day we need to write a book about that one.

and so around that time, i bought a Fostex brand 4 track recorder which used basic cassette tapes. i’d plug a cassette in there and use those 4 tracks to try and make something song wise i could take to the band. of course we had that Fostex sitting around at the party house too and some mighty weird songs were recorded on there including the infamous: What to do with Sunday Afternoon… (also on my Youtube channel, warning: coarse language and sexual content in that song!)

anyway: the Fostex and all those original tapes lay buried in a plastic bin back home on the range, for who knows how long. about 5 years ago someone who knows how to transfer these old analog tapes to digital went to work on a few of them and we ended up with some snap shots of the past, which we still need to make videos for and post them to the twinravens youtube channel. for kicks you see!

recently though i was given a gizmo that connects a guitar into a computer to record on Garage Band. this thing is an Apogee brand “jam” connector. the line in is the 1/4 inch jack and the line out is this magic whatever it is that turns your guitar into a digital. but instead of plugging the quarter inch line in jack from the guitar i plugged the far end into this Fostex and boom: we can hear all these old tapes once again but this time on computer. super fun stuff especially as some of this “insane and abstract” music hasn’t seen the light of day since 1995. like: The Shadow of You. (yikes! what a song!)

anyway. i haven’t got the details sound wise figured out: how to mix these four tracks into the digital without a lot of back ground noise, buzz, and all that crap that goes with a jangle of wires all over the table top. and i’m no ACE when it comes to using Garage Band! i’m still trying to figure that one out!

but here is Love Song Number 6 for you! fussed with last night to the tune of a half a dozen beers, a lot of wiggling and waggling of wires and yes the mix is very muddy, but this is our first run at reviving these old tapes and putting them on the youtube air.

Fostex analog to Garage Band digital, first attempt.

i think i wrote and recorded this in 1994 when the band was starting up and really getting going. we were a rock and roll band so this song definitely didn’t make the set list.

i put this cheesy video together last night after fussing for several hours with the sound and those measly 4 tracks! (gosh the business of recording sound, songs and so on is time consuming! best not to be consuming a half dozen beers along the way… (we’ll try it again on the sober straight and narrow very soon!)) the drawings in the video come from that time! those are drawings of mine from a sketch book dated 1994/1995. you’ll even see the famed Stacie from Malibu in there! gosh she was a thunderbolt!

anyway! there it is! my first attempt to revive these old songs of mine that never made the No Rez set list or album list. i had a lot of fun trying to figure this out last night and yes, those tasty German beers can become a diversion in the process but you have to remember last night it was a blistering 30 C plus! up here on the 3rd floor it was smoking hot! we were down to our bikinis!

Me and Shag going to work in No Reservations

ah but the music business was fun and how i would love to get back into it. but a fella like me needs a band and right now my band is working other irons in other fires.

the glass ain’t half empty/full, its BONE DRY!

you see in the band i was never one of the vocalists. we had 3 good singers up front and that is where they’re supposed to be! a voice like mine just couldn’t run in that race but i was mighty happy to be in there on one of the guitars.

ah for kicks here is another one of the Fostex tapes digitized by one of the lads who really knows how to make the sound proper and clean. well, as clean as it can be considering the tape is 25 years old! (this is what Love Song Number 6 is supposed to sound like, less the tasty German pilsners!)

WARNING: Coarse language and sexual content.

made up on the spot, Sunday morning, Suds, 1995

this is one of those songs made up on the spot: no lyrics written, just made up as the tape rolled. same with the guitar, i picked up Shag’s 12 string and hit the record button. you can hear Shag in the back at the beginning, he’s cooking up breakfast. that’s also Shag in the background vocal which is kooky as he is a LEAD vocal!

here is what the band really sounds like, with all the bells and whistles of a fancy studio production:

Nice work!

so i’ll go back to work on those old cassette tapes and see what we can scrounge up in the lost songs/Fostex dept. (might be best to start the project in the morning minus the German pilsners! ha!)

and that’s the story behind: Love Song Number 6. words and music by Mark Seabrook. artwork too, drawn over the fun times of 1994 and 1995. what art fun!

September 11, 2019

oh the dates in history…  i remember it well 18 years ago:  we were deep deep deep in the bush, far from any radio, TV, internet, completely unaware of what was happening south of us.  as far as i could see on that morning:  the big woodland skies were blue, the land was filled with greens and the waters were dark and mysterious, the sand was warm to the bare feet.  our jungle gear was brand new, untested, like us.  i managed 7.5 years in that jungle, but my gear was pretty much worn out by the time i came back.  i think i came out of there in November 2008, darn near crawling on my hands and knees!

but as my old buddy Sallah would say:  life goes on Indy!

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we’re getting ready for a reprint of Sun Infinity Moon!  now…  yes.  i do know there are some spelling errors and layout problems in the first run.  the folks at the printers gave my project to some junior whoever, not sure how new they were to the layout position but anyway the man in charged assigned the young lad and away we went.  the problem of course is we were in a time crunch situation.  we had booked our little release party for July 20th, and there i was still fussing with the writing of it, on the morning of July 2nd, WHEN we sent it to the printers.  as far as i was concerned, when i saw those layout problems within the text, in particular, the business of paragraph indents, in the e version proofs, i was okay to run with as time really was running out.  (we had already missed a dozen deadlines.)

how i did not see:  “course language”, on the cover, i do not know.

where we really in that much of a time crunch that i missed that?  well anyway there are only 150 of them out there with that on the cover, so if you have one, you have the collector’s edition.  when we had the little release party we joked that yes, it is course language, university course language, not meant for high schools…  (ha!)

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Beaded Dreams, on Bank Street, just north of Gladstone, in Ottawa:  i dropped off a fresh bundle of books to these good folks so if you’re in the area, you can get your collector’s edition, first run copy of SUN INFINITY MOON over there.  same with Huron Island Time down on Providence Bay Beach although i imagine these days, this far into September, things might be a little slow in downtown P.B.  now sure of the hours they might be keeping.

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The Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa:  the show is still up but your chance will soon be gone to see “For MMIWG” by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook, up close and personal.  the canvas is 36×60 inches, Stevensons acrylic, and after this show, that painting is going into the Artist Collection, never to be seen in public again!

that is the great Peter Purdy’s artwork hanging next to mine.  title unknown, price unknown, 36×48 inches or there a bouts.  First Nations artwork.

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Mother Earth sketch, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  we continue to play with the idea.

Found Poetry:  The Clone Trees, as read by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  The Found Poetry idea has been a lot of fun, we’re coming up with some mighty strange poems and artsy little books.  The starting point is of course you take a hard cover book from the goodwill, one with quality paper, toss the paper cover, and go to work:  much like you see here with the Clone Trees.  A book of found poems can be pretty telling as the days go by: it is not a quick fix project, book 3 was started in early May 2019 and finished just last week.  Very telling indeed…

Book 4 is in the works.  Fun stuff, crafty, artsy, and one of a kind.  And oh yes:  you’re suppose to pick a book with a title that says it all for you…

Let me know how it goes.

Labour Day Weekend 019

we’re a long way from that paradise today:  back home on the range.  even if we did have a car, there is no way we could have made that drive last night, having been awake for the previous 2 days:  in the field.

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Clouds over the Ottawa River, Thursday, August 29th.  we’re a long way from home out here.  every now and again though, there is a place of peace.

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the one and only blaze i got a chance to sit with this summer:  Thursday night in the woods, somewhere off the 6th Line, west of Ottawa, in the child friendly boons.  the troops had gone in for the night but i had to stay on a bit longer with this one.  kooky i know but i had two songs going to work on me, playing in my mind: song 1: Sick As a Dog.  and song 2:  No More No More.  both from ages ago and a long lost childhood back home on Manitoulin Island and in partic:  small town Mindemoya.  back in the 70’s.

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Screen shot:  page 15 from Sun Infinity Moon.  do you know those tunes and that artwork? (of course that wasn’t me in the 70’s, that was more like the 90’s!)

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Walking After Midnight.  a lot of that going on.  at night the city is more dangerous than the wilds and outback ten thousand acres north of the Manitou River, more dangerous by a long shot, especially where we are.

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The Great Jazzy Moon, watching my six, somewhere along spooky Montreal Road, sometime in August, after the 11th.

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Visiting from Over Seas-Deep in Indian Country, acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches, framed sometime in August.  Artwork by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

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hmmm.  you see that rack up there on the wall, sporting the gas mask?  i asked the young lad tending, if it was an original Marc Adornato and the poor kid, clumsy about the waist, had no idea who i was talking about.  this being the town of Ottawa, with CBC and all, i would have thought he’d have been in the know.

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went to see it, at the Bytowne over in Spookyville, on Rideau St., the Friday night the picture came to town.  now i’m not sure what it was but i dozed off somewhere in the show and missed some of the kooky high jinx.  so i went back for the Sunday matinee, bright eyed and bushy tailed thinking i was going to see what i’d missed the first time but nope!  dozed off again.  i guess i’m getting tired of see non indigenous people talk so surely about indigenous subject.  i will say at the Friday night show, all the Grey Owls and Joseph Boydens were out in full force, wearing their pony beads and chokers and medicine wheel buttons!  from what i could see i was the only indian in the joint.

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oh yes i forgot to mention: i was inspired by the Mr. Adornato and so went up to the St. V. d P. on Wellington and found this gem:  from January 1975.  i think its acrylic, it is on canvas, about 18×22 inches, by a “F.lait”.  googled the name and up came a page from the obits.  on the back there is a title of sorts:  Sandy Hill Road, Ontario.  so this boy alive and here in 2019 is going to HACK this painting!  yes.  lets see what a free hand and an hour can do.  (i remember the summer of 1975, not so much the winter of…  )

i’ll post a picture when i have this bad boy tuned up, HACKED styled.  thank you Mr. A for a fun idea.

and thank you too, to a Mr. Jackson Pollock, for those fun ideas.

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Putting our Best Feet Forward.  the summer is over.  and i have missed it.  yes i did crash two cars coming back from my island paradise but total days out there were just 14.  well i enjoyed them and made the most of them.  August 11th remains in my mind, one of the best days of the summer and likely of the whole year.

 

 

Dear Diary: August 15, 2019

oh my goodness where to start…  Well I can say the book launch party held at Huron Island Time at Providence Bay on July 20th was beautiful!  We had a great little crowd on hand, introduced the book: SUN INFINITY MOON, a little history, and opened the floor for questions and open discussion.  Now that was a lot of fun.  We have copies of the book available at Huron Island Time in Providence Bay, and if you’re rolling through the town of Tehkummah, they’re over at Ward’s General Store.

Here in Ottawa, we have copies available at Beaded Dreams, 426 Bank St., those folks are open 7 days a week.  And of course they’re on ebay, just type in Mark Seabrook in their search.

And so!  Between today and several weeks ago we’ve had some wild high jinx out there on the summer, late night, super highways between the town of Ottawa and home sweet home, Manitoulin Island!  My little red “war pony” took down a moose just east of Sudbury one fine and dreamy morning, around 1 a.m.  What a ride that was!  The cop got to looking at the car with his flash light and said:  You’re lucky to be alive.  (It didn’t take me long to figure that one out as I was ready to shake hands with the moose, up close and personal!)  And so my little red “war pony” was totalled.  The insurance guys gave me a beauty rental, a flash Malibu “Stacey” (ha!) and I was happy to have that limo, riding around the town of Ottawa and the back roads of Tehkummah, AC blasting.  On the ride back to return the limo, blazing back to Ottawa, 3 a.m., yes…  you guessed it.  I hit a deer full on.  BOOM!  And so the Malibu “Stacie” was totalled.

I sat there on the road side at 3 a.m., beauty night it was, freakishly warm, waiting for the cops, and wondered about this kooky stretch of weird luck on the highways this summer.  There have been some kooky adventures over the years:  Yes, I did survive the 60’s Scoop.  Yes, I did survive the Great Hay Wagon Disaster of 78.  Yes, I did survive being struck by lightning (although that one hurt!).  Yes I did jump out of a burning plane.  And yes I did survive a sinking at sea.  But 2 big game animals inside of 2 weeks?  Sheesh.  And I’ll be honest with you:  going eye ball to eye ball with that moose at 1 a.m., on highway 17 east bound, I really did have time to say to myself:  I’m dead.

With the deer gag, the cop settled me down, the tow truck took Stace away, and I was left there alone in the middle of the night, wondering the BIG WHY?

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Back home in Tehkummah, classic summer afternoon in progress, August 8.  Barefoot behind the wheel, barefoot on the field.

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The front of the house in Tehkummah, as seen from the trampoline/sun tan bed, on August 4th.

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Clouds over the range: a classic summer afternoon in progress, barefoot with the medicines, at peace while the war rages, many miles away.

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Looking east, at home, late afternoon: heavy duty storm clouds brewing!  Good thing it was going east!  There was an incredible wind happening when I snapped this photo.  I asked my old buddy Scott, how far away is that?  I mean yes, over the Georgian Bay, but is it over Parry Sound and Muskoka?

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“For MMIWG”, acrylic on canvas, 36×60 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  The show is on going at the Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa.  There is still time to get over there and add this one to your collection!  Priced to sell at $3 500.

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What a difference a frame makes, twenty four little dollars…  Found this frame at the goodwill, repurposed it!  That is an authentic twinravens acrylic on canvas in there, 8×10 inches, and ready to go!  (The frame though wasn’t 24 bucks, it was really only 4 bucks!  I dressed it up with some black acrylic paint and ta da!)

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Memory lane:  found this photo, after the 2nd car crash, hanging in the upstairs, cobwebbed.  That is me and Levi working through the first 5 minutes of D. Taylor’s one act play:  Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock.  The date is June 8, 1991.  We’re on stage at the Northern Story Telling Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon.  We’re 80 plus shows into a national tour which started at Membertou First Nation months earlier, so we were a well oiled machine when we hit that stage!  I’m playing Rusty and Levi is doing Keeshig.  That’s the second stage, not the main stage, and this was our first show at the festival, of which, if memory serves, I think we were booked for 4 shows over the weekend.  So this would be sometime after midnight, Friday night.

The festival organizers had no idea who we were or what we were about so they all sat in front row seats to see this Indian outfit all the way from Manitoulin Island:  Debajehmujig Theatre Group.

We rolled through there like a bunch of bobcats and tore that place to pieces!  Like I said, we’re 80 plus shows in, and when you have that many readings stowed, you really know your lines and how to say them.  We worked them over until they were laughing themselves silly and at the end, sobbing wrecks.

The festival organizers immediately re jigged the game plan and took us off the second stage and put us on the main stage including top of the bill on a packed to the rafters Saturday night, which of course we owned.  We did a Sunday matinee and by this time the fans were in there thick!  Yeah…  first time I ever played a festival where every show had a standing ovation.  Very cool.  And a cool photo to see, after all the wild high jinx of this crazy summer.

 

Book Review by Steve McPhail

SUN INFINITY MOON
a novel by
Mark Seabrook

“Mark Seabrook” is a renaissance artist from the “Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation”, also known as “Many Rivers Joining-Human Beings”. Sagamok’s culture and language is “Anishinabek” / “Anishinaabemowin” and is made up of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Pottawatomi bands. (The Sagamok reserve is approximately 120 kilometres west of Sudbury, Ontario.) I first became aware of Mark’s brilliant “Woodland” style of painting at the “Providence Bay Harbour Centre” on Manitoulin Island, where his work illuminates the walls of the “Huron Island Time” ice cream parlour.

“Contemporary Canadian native artists have produced three major schools – ‘Westcoast art’, ‘Inuit art’ and ‘Woodland art’. All three have been based on ancient traditions that, despite the persistent and pervasive forces of acculturation, have endured to the present day. The woodland style developed as a direct result of the imagery ‘Norval Morrisseau’ brought forth into the world in the early 1960’s. Despite censure from elders in his community, he chose to make public the spiritual concepts inherent in the ‘Midiwewin religious society’. Common to contemporary and prehistoric traditions is the prevalence of images of ‘transformation’: representations of a man or an animal being two life forms at the same time.” – (http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/woodlandart.html)

For the record, “Midiwewin” is a religious society made up of spiritual advisors and healers, known as the “Mide”. The Mide serve as spiritual leaders for the general populace. They perform religious ceremonies, study and practise sacred healing methods and strive to maintain a respectful relationship between humanity and Mother Earth.”
– (https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/midewiwin)

Though Mark Seabrook is no stranger to expressing himself in the written word, as a musician, poet and playwright, only recently has he released his first novel, “Sun Infinity Moon”. Much like his brilliant work in the visual arts, Mark reveals the story of a narrator’s “recapitulation” of his memories of childhood friends on Manitoulin Island, in a non-linear manner. (“Recapitulation is a core shamanic technique used to heal emotional charges. On a deeper level, it is used to reclaim energy and return it to one’s self.” – (http://toltecnagual.com/toltec-tools/the-recapitulation)

Whether these various characters are different people, or aspects of the narrating character’s fragmented personality, is up to interpretation. On the book cover is the warning: “contains course language, violence and sexuality”. Whether the reader identifies as Indigenous or not, take no offence at the harsh and humorous collage of scenarios depicted. As one follows the narrator’s struggle through his personal transformation to regain his “Indigenous soul”, consider the act of visualizing this story a personal shamanic journey.

Derek Stephen McPhail

Providence Bay

SUN INFINITY MOON

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There it is!  With flash book marks to go with.  Wow!  Those folks at OJ Graphix in Espanola did it up nicely, quickly, and exactly.

Book launch, island style, will be this Saturday, July 20th, 7 p.m., at Huron Island Time, on the beach at Providence Bay.  Flash art show as well, and hopefully, live music by one of the great island musicians who we know, going back 45 years.

Here are a few sample pages:

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Opening 2 pages, Sun Infinity Moon, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

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Opening 2 pages to SUN, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

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Opening 2 pages to chapter 2, SUN, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

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Opening 2 pages to chapter 3, SUN, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

It is a short read:  just 250 pages:  perfect for the cottage on a summer afternoon.  Mind you it IS a horror story…

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Back cover, SUN INFINITY MOON, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

It will be available on ebay soon!  Amazon to follow.  Book launch on the island this coming weekend and city book launch here in Ottawa coming soon.  So stay tuned!

Miigwetch!

Saturday morning in Ottawa

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she won’t be happy until she scares the living CRAP outa me…  (i’m putting the icing on a novel project and here we are now, this morning, with a brand new idea for horror…  )(where did THAT come from?!!!)

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waiting at the diner in Westboro, hoping she will show, Friday night, an artist in the city, alone as usual…

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“Afraid to Wake Up”, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches, from September 13, 2000.  Private Collection.  (so nice to see you again my friend, so much has happened since September 13, 2000 man.)

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Found Poetry Book 2, started on December 20, 2018 and finished on May 9, 2019!  an enjoyable project, telling too!  i thought i was finished with the idea, Found Poetry: repurposing hard cover novels from the goodwill but the other day i came across a brand spanking new, never been opened copy of Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man.  i guess it was too well written for someone!  i grabbed that one off the shelves for 2 bucks and we’ll see what we can do with Bill’s flash words, the quality paper of 1994, and an Anishnabe’s wild and unruly hand of savagery!  go Daddy!