Thursday, 14 July 2016

It isn't even June, it's July

Though that isn't necessarily evident here in Labrador. It is rainy and cool - let me check the temperature - yep it's about 18 here - which is about 65 or so for you Amuricans. Not bad. I didn't have to wear my sweater but it is close. I'm at work, on my break and wanted to update this blog.
I'll say it right out - I'm having a tough time doing anything that isn't work or the dishes. I am plumb outa poop as they say (where? where do they say that? In my head, that's where.) I'm deeply sadly homesick and I can't seem to recover from it. I look at the beauty here and all I can see most days is prison bars. I've been immobilized with chronic pain in my hip and although I'm fighting it with lots of good food and exercise, I feel it is a losing battle. Work is good - by which I mean it is meaningful and plentiful - but difficult. Like most of the world, it seems like a struggle to find the basic goodness here right now. Oh, I know it is here, otherwise I couldn't be - but every step forward seems fraught.

I read the other day that Aboriginal communities were tired of believing that their youth were suiciding because of mental illness - they were suicidal because of the disease of colonization. I agree. And I'd like to add to the list of symptoms of that disease - sexual abuse, physical violence, murder, addiction, depression, anxiety, and a general malaise I'd call No Hope. We miss the point when we blame the weak and dis-empowered  for their own problems. It has been a long battle in my heart - this taking on the guilt of the oppressor but I cannot hide from it anymore. It doesn't matter that I tell myself (and others) that my ancestors were more oppressed than oppressors - Scottish people hauled from their land so the English could graze their sheep - I know that the mantle of oppression shifts from shoulders to shoulders but the whites have worn it since they arrived in the new world. Period. We don't want to know about it - who wants to know that their privilege comes at the expense of others - but it is true. The most miserably downtrodden white street person has more power than the most lauded and moneyed Aboriginal.

I will have learned much on this sojourn to another part of Canada and I will forget much of it. But I won't forget the kids here. Ever.


  1. You're touching on such a difficult and challenging issue, Jan! There's so much pain on both sides, and it's hard to set that aside, if you will, because it's all wrapped around the way we interact with Aboriginals. You're lucky to have made some bonds that have taught you.

  2. I wish I automatically received your posts Jan ... I know I've tried before. Every now and then I think of you - this time this early freezing morning I sought you out. I'm glad I did. Thank you for this post. I think of this topic so often it drives me round the bend. I don't know what to do about it.

    Magnesium oil can be applied topically for relief from pain. It actually works.

  3. So sorry to hear of York suffering. Internal and external. I have aboriginal friends who share with me. It feels insurmountable at times. I know the studies done on the holocaust in Ireland bear witness to extreme multi-generational trauma. Same with jews and their genocide.
    I feel so hopeless at times too.
    Health and healing my dear.

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