Memory has never served me well. It seems
the facts slip right through my mind. I recognize them but seem unable to
hold on to them. This is not to suggest that my mind does not have the
information stored. I simply find myself very limited in the ability to call
I know that the picture here was taken not
long after we arrived in Canada. I suspect my sister is not yet three. With
me just a year older. This means we were probably still living in Point
Douglas. There was a flour mill very nearby. I seem to remember that father
worked there. We were doing pretty well.
The picture may have been taken on a
Sunday. We seem to be in our Church clothes. Church being a regular part of
our growing up. Mother serving as the primary influence. Father had other
interests but went along to keep the peace. Church was also our close
connection to the Friesian immigrant community. It felt at least a little
Mother has many stories about learning a
new language. They lead to lots of laughing. But, in the day, the sense of
being unable to express your mind was frustrating. This brought about one of
the formative issues of my life. In the village of my birth I had been known
as a bright boy, who learned to speak very early and very well. This
affirmation was inverted in our new home. My efforts at communication
brought teasing from the neighbourhood. My confidence was undermined.
Insecurity took root. As did resolve. I would learn to speak clearly.
To have my thoughts understood.
Such things are said looking back from my
matured point of view. They were inarticulate at the time. Working beyond
the threshold of my awareness. Where much of our living takes place. As
though there was a deep learner within the developing young mind. That
learner now moving into the foreground. This in the hope of establishing
some small intervention by which the trajectory of our common human history
may be shifted. Allowing outcomes more conducive to our human survival and
Just a reminder. This is my sketch pad. A
place to allow my inner processes access to the page. A restraining of the
censor. An exercise in free, responsible, creative and courageous public
thought. Which seems a key aspect of our democratic opportunity.