After a fine day of sunshine and joy, the evening of Wednesday, December 12, 2018, will be especially memorable to me for many years to come. It will forever mark the time when I launched my poetry book Sitting by the Rapids (Kegedonce Press) at Christ Church Cathedral’s Great Hall.
Two of my closest friends were present to help with opening remarks. I was extremely moved when the Very Reverend Shane Parker spoke eloquently and passionately to an attentive audience about some facts he has come to know about my life. My longtime close friend and spiritual brother, Alex Akiwenzie (a Hereditary Chief), with drum in hand, sang a traditional song to honour the relationship between the Anglican Church and I. The Anglican Church asked me to be their first Algonquin Spiritual Teacher in Residence. I accepted this two-year appointment (see my latest newsletter). Together, Anglicans and I, will sit in the centre of the healing circle where sharing of knowledge and respect for each other’s spiritual beliefs will take place. I’m sure all will benefit!
The poems, quotations/worldviews I selected for reading from Sitting by the Rapids went beyond who and what Albert Dumont is all about. The folks at the Great Hall attending the launch got a pretty clear view of my soul and, hopefully, an understanding of who it is (Oshki Nodin) that all my relations spiritually know me by.
The first poems I shared, “Because of You” and “Because of Me” declare to me at least, why reconciliation is necessary. They speak also about what true remorse is and why only real contrition is acceptable. Acceptable not only to the victim of an outrage but also to Creator. This world, this grand world of song and tall grass and pine trees and moss-covered rocks will come to a final end some day for each and all of us. It makes sense to me that we prepare ourselves spiritually now for that time when the heart will make its final sound.
A human being can be such a magnificent creature! Let us reach out to hold the hand of our neighbours, regardless of who they are, regardless of the colour of their skin, regardless of their religious beliefs, and stand in solidarity with them as human beings who care whether or not we survive as inhabitants of glorious Mother Earth. This is what poetry in general often expresses, and what I hope to reveal in a big way with Sitting by the Rapids.
Copies can be purchased on my website via PayPal.
Give it a read and let me know what you think.