18/30 gifts

My hair smells of sweetgrass 

And my belly is full with tea, and berry soup, stew and bannock

My feet remember the rhythm of the round dance drum

Even if it took all day to find it

And I am grateful for the gifts of stories and opportunity

This girl away from home, always seeking, embraced by a new circle and Elders willing to claim her and teach her

Stalked by stories

I’m taking a break from poetry on day 12 of my regularly scheduled poetry adventure to explore being stalked by stories, an idea shared with me by a colleague and a wonderful teacher to me in the midst of delving into boxes of artifacts with Saa’kokoto. 

Stalked by stories; that lessons the listener needs will stalk us through stories until we learn them.

Moments when the elusive feeling of knowing how the story goes are like vapour that slip through my fingers and the tighter I grasp at them the more elusive they are. But there is a cumulative effect of stories and the ability to see the connections. The knowing how the story goes doesn’t ever last long, but the brief glances are pure brilliance. Read all the stories. Listen to all the stories. Learn all the stories. Only in looking back do the stories begin to connect.

I see the value as a teacher in loading my students full of stories and all the context possible in the hopes they, too, will look back and see the connections and pay them forward. Today, I am the recipient of enormous gifts and my heart is full while the scent of sweetgrass lingers in my hair. And I am obsessed by the stories that continue to stalk me. I am the lucky recipient of these stories today. And for today, at least, I know how the story goes.

Thomas King writes: “The truth about stories, is that’s all we are.” And borrowing the words of a writer whose words have endured for me is about as poetic as I can get today, friends. 

12/30