It’s Canada Day today. I’m home with a bothersome cold, which wouldn’t be nice to give to anyone so I’m alone, listening to the CBC and reading Richard Wagamese. Good, they’re talking about Canadian Literature. Since reading is one of my greatest pleasures, I’m interested. They haven’t mentioned any of our native writers yet, but they may.
Our book club has given me the gift of discovering,
often for the first time, many writers I didn’t know of before. The books we chose to read this month are ‘One Native Life’ and ‘Embers’, both by Richard Wagamese. We
had already read two other of his books, ‘Medicine Walk’, and ‘Indian Horse’, each of which were very worth reading. (Indian Horse was made into a movie, but I haven’t seen it. I don’t like to see films based on books I’ve read. I like to hold on to it in my own way.)
We lost a special Canadian when Wagamese passed away in 2017. He was an Ojibway journalist, radio and TV broadcaster, and producer. All of this in spite of an abusive childhood and little education. (His parents were Residential School survivors.) Wagamese was only 61 when he died and certainly had more books left in him. He did, however, leave us a rich legacy. I’m now reading his ‘Embers’. Here are a few quotes from this account of his journey in learning how to live.
‘I am a traveler on a sacred journey through this one shining day.
Walk gently on the earth and do each other no harm.
We live because everything else does.
A gift is not a gift until it is shared.
Keep what’s true in front of you.
Freedom is letting go of bounds and barriers, and hurling yourself into the adventure of living.
Let the mystery remain a mystery.
Be filled with wonder.
Take the first step and try to make it beyond.
I hope this moves you to read ‘Embers’ and then more of Richard Wagamese’s books. Enjoy!