Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

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TO LEARN OR TO UNLEARN??

I’m thinking about a response I received years ago from the then manager of Fraser Lake Inn, when I applied for a job as a waitress. I’d had very little experience, but Ray (I think that was his name?) said that was good. He wanted his employees to do the job his way. “It’s far easier to learn new job habits ,” he explained. “Than to unlearn old habits.”

Maybe that’s true in other aspects pertaining to the human condition?

I am really perplexed about our seemingly divided views on important subjects. What about my deeply held thinking habits re things such as advocating for vaccination against diseases? Should I unlearn my tendency to go along with the status quo? I strongly believe in being vaccinated but perhaps I am wrong?

What about abortion? My personal observation of friends who’ve been through it, is that abortion is against a woman’s natural need to nourish the baby that is inside her. It is very hard on a woman to have an abortion because it is against nature. She suffers mentally and emotionally after having that abortion. But on the other hand, I had a misscarriage at 2 and a half months. It was definitely not a fully developed fetus, by any sense of the word, at that stage of the game. I felt no emotional attachment…should I have felt sad?

Hope and Change

Obama used the phrase “Hope and Change” as his pre-election slogan. It seems to me that is the only way for our society to carry on into the next phase of our existence. Hope is what we wish for and change is the process that makes it happen. We build upon what we already know.

Medical science has come a long way since I was a kid back in the dark ages. I remember meeting a woman who seemed amazingly young for her “advanced”age. I was in my late teens and had never known anyone who looked as healthy as she did at the age of 60. Now many of my children and step-children are approaching or have reached that magical age of 60. They all look amazingly young for their age, according to nineteen fifties standards. They are still able to work and play hard. Some have sufferred through serious health issues and have recovered.

During the past seventy or so years , medical Science has bumbled their way through some horrific mistakes like the Thalidimide crisis and come up with healing substances such as penicillin and othet anti-bacterial medications; also anti-virals, anti-inflammatorys, anti- psychotics etc. They have developed vaccines to protect us against polio, red measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever and other horrible diseases.

The big killers used to involve heart problems. My uncle died at 36 because he had been born with “a hole in his heart” Shortly after they came up with the “heart lung” machine which made open heart surgery possible. Now half my friends who’ve slowed down because of blocked arteries (including myself) have had stents put in and we now can keep up with our fellow senior citizens. I have also put up with breast cancer (not fun but I survived) I can only say “Hurray for Medical Science!”

IT’S AS IF AN ALIEN SPECIES IS ATTEMPTING TO TAKE OVER OUR PLANET.

Perhaps we need to think of the Coronaviruses as akin to extra- terrestial beings set to multiply and take over our planet?

They are living organisms. Like all living organisms, their main intent is to survive and propogate their species. They are very good at doing this.

They were new on our scene. At first we were helpless to defend ourselves. Because of the airplane the virus travelled to all parts of the world, living and propagating inside the living bodies of tourists and other travellers.

Now we have vaccines which are weapons to stop (or at least slow down) the extra terrestrials from multiplying and wiping out large segments of our human population.

At first it was the elderly and infirm who were mostly vulnerable. But these crestures have a little trick that we don’t have (or perhaps we do but it takes more time for us to develop it?)

They are able to mutate their offspring into meaner and tougher beings that are able to attack younger and stronger human beings more and more effectively as time goes by.

Anyway that’s my take on the situation we human beings are in!

My Son’s Latest Poem

Canada’s Shame by Bruce Ray

give us back our names
as we lie in the cold
and dark Earth
our voices muffled by time
and it’s passing
memories rising up like
pale lilies from our bones
to say we still live
as long as our people
remember us –
let us walk with the
spirit bear once again
let us feel the skin of the land
and walk the fire’roads
of the deepest forest
let us return to the place
where we were born long ago
our names are all we have
our names are what we
leave behind -we speak from
our choked mouths
and hollowed out skulls
waiting now for the names
of recognition -golden eyes
still see -the starlight
and the moon of our sisters
give us back our names
don’t bury the truth beneath
like we’ve been buried
let us be proud of our culture
like we were before
the teachers came to fill
our heads with numbers
give us back our names
for surely we are only dead
if no-one speaks of us
resurrect us with the truth
of your truth
give us back our names
there are no stones on the ground
to mark our passing
there are no stories and tales
to celebrate us -they filled
our heads with useless knowledge
and they took away
our language and history
how we were made to speak
the god’tongue of our masters
we were compelled to think
with the colonized mind
and to put on the white masks
and live out the white dream
give us back our names

give us back the eternal spring
and the waters that rise up
from our open throats
as we sing of our captivity
and the injustice of what
has been done -how we wait for
someone to speak our names
we wait for our faces to be
uncovered from the dirt
as we share our secret story
with the children of mercy
give us back our names
give us back our names
and now a thousand and more
in the neglected graves of
residential schools
forced assimilation, some 150,000
children taken from their
families during this period and
placed in boarding schools.
in order to“’get rid of the Indian’
in the child.”
give us back our names
speak the sacred language
of trauma -let us rise again
bruised and beaten but unbowed
give us back our names
take our bodies and carry them
back to our people
let us sing the funeral songs
and invoke our ancestors
give us back our names
let us be angry and resolute
let us go through pain
let us walk through the fires
and let us feel the heat
give us back our names
and in the calling let us open
our eyes to see again
give us back our names
give us back our names


give us back our names
as we lie in the cold
and dark Earth
our voices muffled by time
and it’s passing
memories rising up like
pale lilies from our bones
to say we still live
as long as our people
remember us –
let us walk with the
spirit bear once again
let us feel the skin of the land
and walk the fire’roads
of the deepest forest
let us return to the place
where we were born long ago
our names are all we have
our names are what we
leave behind -we speak from
our choked mouths
and hollowed out skulls
waiting now for the names
of recognition -golden eyes
still see -the starlight
and the moon of our sisters
give us back our names
don’t bury the truth beneath
like we’ve been buried
let us be proud of our culture
like we were before
the teachers came to fill
our heads with numbers
give us back our names
for surely we are only dead
if no-one speaks of us
resurrect us with the truth
of your truth
give us back our names
there are no stones on the ground
to mark our passing
there are no stories and tales
to celebrate us -they filled
our heads with useless knowledge
and they took away
our language and history
how we were made to speak
the god’tongue of our masters
we were compelled to think
with the colonized mind
and to put on the white masks
and live out the white dream
give us back our names

To Vax or Not to Vax – That is the Question?

It all boils down to choices about whom we choose to trust and about whom we choose not to trust.

In regards to the Covid Pandemic, I choose to believe that the children , in whom our country and countries throughout the entire world have invested good money in, in order to educate them to become scientists, need to be trusted.

They have not only used their own exceptional minds that God gifted them with, as well as the wealth of knowledge passed down to them by previous scientists (who learned what worked and what didn’t work) but they now have amazing tools and data bases on the DNAgroupings of simliar viruses. That’s why these vaccines are as effective as they are.

There is bound to be screw ups from time to time. My thoughts re side effects are that those same people would have suffered even more terribly and likely died if they had contacted the virus itself. It hasn’t been stressed enough that Covid 19 is an emergency situation similar to what people were told to do during WW 2. I lived at the Coast and still remember the blackouts, ration tickets etc. It was what we had to do. Don’t know if anyone complained about “conspiracies.” It was just was we had to do because we were facing a common enemy. Same thing as nowadays and the terrible virus that is mutating into a more dangerous one because that’s what viruses do.

My cousin’s healthy 3 yr old granddaughter contacted a caronavirus (not Covid 19) and died suddenly only a few years ago. Such a horrific tragedy that the entire family is very slowly recovering from! You can bet your booties the entire family has now had their Covid 19 shots!

THE BRAITHWAITE ROSE

I took a run over to the North Shore where our old cabin stands, skeleton-ized but still in a jaggedy upright position. Not so the outhouse- so tippy you’d have to stand on your head to pee! Lots of memories. The petals & glorious scent of the Braithwaite Rose that Ivan Ray once gave me twigged my senses. The plant has multiplied wildly. It’s bright pink plumage peered out from the tall strands of uncut grass on what used to be our lawn. The grassy cavern nearby was the hole that Bruce dug for our septic tank when he was about thirteen. What really gets me is the row of pines, all healed up from the scourge of the mountain beetle, which did attack them during those epidemic years. They are now completely green and tower high enough to obscure the neighbor’s view. I think they could be marketable timber. Leon planted them the year Fern turned two.
Reminds me of the spruce trees my dad planted the summer I was twenty-one. My brother has put cables on them to keep them from falling on the house. Who needs clocks and calendars? Just plant flowers and trees!

History- telling it like it was

I have been re-reading some of my favourite non-fiction books this past while. I love the stories told by those who were there, who personally experienced the happenings. The ones that others in later years gloss over, too often re-telling those same tales, tainted by their own predudices, experiences and misinformation.

Local history books are great and i am especially proud of our own “Deeper Roots and Greener Valleys” Right now I am emersed in Chapter 9 “Stories From The Past.” Those particular stories were collected and compiled by Dianne Lewis and Gina Baker in June 1978 and included in the book published by our historical society in 1986.

George Seymour’s contribution which begins on page 303, is interesting and enlightening. He worked at the Lejac Residential School Farm and described how the children were put to work digging potatoes etc. Well told stories told by an intelligent and hard working man who lived a hard life back in the day.

Early Morning Blurbs

Well, my arm still hurts a bit but feels better than it did last night. I have none of the other possible side effects mentioned by the nurses who arrived at Silver Birch Lodge yesterday morning to provide us “oldies” with our second shot of the coronavirus 19 vaccine.

We are good to go. But now I’ve learned that there’s been a few cases of people not being totally immunized by even the second shot? Covid 19 is a nasty bug. Possibly those same people would have died if they had not received those two shots of the preventative.

It was on the News yesterday that our province is almost up to the stage where the population has reached herd immunity. That apparently means our collective immune systems have the arnament – so to speak – to ward off future invasions by the virus.

Now that I’ve the age of maturity healthwise and have nowhere to go except downhill, I have become very aware of almost daily attacks on my immune system. Some days I can almost visualize the battle lines being drawn up. So far the enemy has been blocked and beaten by my heroic soldiers. The big thing is to know the enemy and it’s weaknesses.

And in some unhappy cases there happens to be what is known in military terms as “Friendly Fire.” That would relate to diseases where our immune systems attack themselves. There seems to be more and more of these quite debilitating diseases developing in unsuspecting people lately. All that can be done medically is to treat the symptons. We need to eat healthier, exercise more and sleep longer. We need to build up the strength and intelligence in our immune systems.

Another thing that affects us (me anyway) is the weather. My parents used to talk about aches and pains when the barometric pressure and weather changed. I remember snorting derisively to myself. But I am finding that it’s true. It’s not the sunshine, rain, snow or forty below that makes the bones ache. It’s the abrupt changes in climate. Lately there has been weather changes reminescent of all four seasons almost every day. The only thing constant is the wind.

ODE TO FRASER LAKE

(RECYCLED FROM ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO)

ODE TO FRASER LAKE

How do I love thee, O small town edged against the northern wilderness and bisected by grey pavement that stretches east and westward like well-chewed gum? Let me count thy ways:

THE LAKE: Its azure and indigo waters sparkle and splash whenever the wind blows. Silhouette shapes of ducks, geese and swans bob back and forth on the waves. Quiet surfaces reflect lush green leaves in summer, laced with crimson and gold in the fall. And in winter a solid mass of white with occasional dark flecks of children and dogs.

THE MOUNTAIN: Its protuberance along the highway indicates home to its travellers. The pine covered bulge behind the ball-field looms skyward like a prickly pillow. The town rests below with neatly folded sheets, blankets and towels for buildings.

The sprawling structure in the mountain’s shadow houses sheets of ice for curling and a larger rectangle for hockey and skating. The building hums with activity from October ‘til April. It then rests sedately, except for summer weddings when whole families dance the daylight hours away until the sun sets at 10 o’clock and the children are ready for bed.

THE PAST: In my mind’s eye I visualize First Nations people skimming across the water in spruce bark canoes or following the shoreline in cumbersome cottonwood dugouts laden with freshly netted salmon. Sometimes they are accompanied by white fur traders such as Simon Fraser, after whom the lake and the town were later named. At the turn of the twentieth century, large clinker built boats straggle in, filled to capacity with survey crews and supplies. These are followed by the first few hardy pioneers who have ridden in through the bush on the backs of horses.

Once when the Nechako River was high, a steam-powered sternwheeler from Fort George laden with trade goods made its way up the steep tributary to the lake, to triumphantly churn up the length and breadth of its waters. After the railroad came through, settlement grew upon the hillside, above what is now White Swan Park. For more than half a century, a sawmill cluttered the waterfront with booms of logs and stacks of lumber. In 1965 Fraser Lake became the chosen town-site for the Endako molybdenum mine. People swarmed in from all parts of the world to work. They helped construct a brand new community alongside the freshly-paved highway.

Guilt and Anxiety (musings from 2011- before I got REALLY old)

As I embark upon

The closing segment

Of life here on Earth

(Seventy-two years since birth)

My long awaited journey to

The birthplace of my Faith

Approaches

But

My concience reproaches

Husband’s recovered

From health issues

But if I really loved him

I’d stay home.

Although there’s money in the bank

And gas in the tank

Of our thirty-thousand dollar car

Money don’t go far…..

But

You can’t take it with you

And why would you want to?

Got a roof o’er our heads

We’re fairly well fed

Reasonably healthy

And

If we were wealthy

We’d have to pay that darn tax!

Might as well use up some slack

So

Off we go, my daughter and I

To Israel before I die.

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