South Wind in Winter: Storytelling

I shared poetry and memories with a nice group of people on Saturday, March 16th, at Singing Pebble bookstore. We had a good time and I appreciated the feedback.

But the strange thing, I’m more comfortable these days speaking to an audience made up of offenders in a maximum security prison than I am with the community’s law-abiding citizens. I guess I’m in ‘Millhaven mode’ and it can’t be shaken off as easily as my old dog used to shake off snye* water after he’d been chasing muskrats in it for all the hours of the forenoon.

Developing a style of communication that the boys in Millhaven’s J Unit could understand wasn’t easy. A lot of pre-thinking had to be done first. I had to be prepared to respond in a sensible, unbiased way to any question or opinion thrown out by them regarding something I said about justice and rehabilitation. I had never been at a loss for words in my life before working at Millhaven and I wasn’t about to start at its steel doors.

A lot of the memories I shared on Saturday were from my childhood. The formative years. Poetry in the making. A young heart being tested. Would my spine be made of jelly? And the chip life put on my shoulder back then, how would I remove it? A chainsaw came to mind but I didn’t need it. Spirituality was the answer. The real stuff. To honour and acknowledge spirit. What is more simple than that? What is more serious than that?

I told many stories on Saturday and recited a few poems. I hope that at least one person in the audience left Singing Pebble bookstore with a song in his/her heart. A song which stirred the soul, even a tiny bit, enough at least for it to whisper to the person it is attached to: “Hey you, wake up. Spirituality is important.”

Keep the Circle Strong,
Albert “South Wind” Dumont.

Were you at the Event on Saturday? Please post your comments here!

* “Snye” is a great Canadian word that isn’t used much these days. It is a channel that has been cut-off from the main river, tends to have stagnant, low oxygen water, and has quite the stench! Endless fun for boys and dogs.

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3 Responses to South Wind in Winter: Storytelling

  1. Alice Tupling says:

    Dear South Wind,
    I was at the Singing Pebble on Saturday, March 16 to hear your poetry and stories.
    I was very touched by your childhood memories and the wisdom that you drew from them. I was also moved by your love of nature and how you express those feelings through poetry. Your work with aboriginal inmates is compelling on its own.
    Listening to your stories , I saw the tapestry of my own life.
    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your desire and courage to share with all of us, the voyage of your Spirit, so, we in turn, open up to our own.
    It was an honour to meet you. May you be always blessed by joy. Alice Tupling

  2. Pingback: VIDEOS: Storytelling & Poetry by Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont - | EquitableEducation.ca

  3. Pingback: VIDEOS: Storytelling & Poetry by Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont - | EquitableEducation.ca

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