September 20, 2017

















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 it forward.

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 like home.

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 flourishing.

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.