This month in 2004, Kevin Major visited my high school. Kevin Major is a well known Canadian author who wrote such gems as Hold Fast, Blood Red Ochre, The House of Wooden Santas and many more. Mr. Major took time out of his schedule to visit with my graduating class and evaluate our english work and give us advice on how we could improve. Mr. Major wrote me a note that said I had a ‘strong poetic sensibility’ and that I ‘feel things deeply and are able to use language to express them.’
On the end of the note from Mr. Major he states, “Seize the day, hold fast to dreams. May your future take you to exciting places.”
I’ve moved over 10 times since that note was written and no matter where I end up that note seems to navigate there with me. No one can convince me that art is not important. It was because of Kevin Major’s verbal and written encouragement that I kept writing, that I achieved a diploma in journalism and spent nearly 6 years blogging right here on Color of Outdoors (formerly Travelling Infinity).
The butterfly effect of a simple workshop led me to work with so many profoundly talented people and shaped who I am today. If no one shows you that there is a window, how are you supposed to know that it’s there for you to open? Art in schools, art in life, is essential.
Today I had the great opportunity to stand up in front of the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay council and general public and recite poetry that I wrote. It was an honor to speak about how I grew up; the important influencers in my life.
This is one of the poems that I read tonight.
Walking along the shore a little past noon
Eight pieces of sea glass in my pocket
(blue the most valuable)
I had on sandals with no socks
Aunt warned me about rubber boots and mice spilling in over the side,
down at my toes,
so I figured,
Why wear rubbers?
My naked toes exposed.
I was careful for the seaweed and the sea lice surely tangled in –
I watched for beach spiders that could haunt my bed at night,
splayed off from being ‘too involved’ with the grass.
An armful of driftwood under my left and a leash in my right hand —
not that I ever needed it.
The dog galloped and swallowed salt water like he’d never seen dry land.
Pops stage in the distance;
I’d sit for hours — half a day
catching sculpins with twine and bent nails
(it can be done)
even flatfish if you’re talented enough!
The sun sneaks in through the cracks in the clapboard and paints a tiny picture of who I was before now.
Just enough to remember that home is still there,
and memories won’t fade unless you let them.