Honouring Our Stories

Where do we start?

How do we start?

Who do we (trust) to start to talk with?

What do we do?

There are many words and ways to express: resilience . sisu . 力 . Nimashkawizii . fòs’ . What words do you use?

There are many words and ways to express:

gi zah gin (Ojibwe) = love

 

love. love. love. 

We need so much more love in this world.              Right now.                Everywhere.

Inside. Outside.                                  A circle

Recently, two particular gatherings in our community demonstrated how desired and needed it is to hold sacred space for each other to find solidarity, grieve, collectively access strength and vulnerability, and make time to listen. In this process of finding solidarity, we are showing each other the different ways of healing,  the power to be present and putting forward the message for love, respect, and justice — what that feels like, looks like, and means for different people.

When I reflect on my time standing with my father, joining people who gathered at the Thunder Bay Masjid: Expression of Unity and Walking In Solidarity With Indigenous Women, I am reminded: there are consequences to our beliefs, words, and actions. As in natural law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

“How do we talk to our children?” was a question we reflected on that one woman asked and elder Brenda Mason brought to everyone’s attention during opening prayer and smudge at the very beginning of our Sunday, February 5th workshop at the Norwest Community Health Clinic.

Local artist, Zoe Gordon (Cricket Cave) facilitated a soundwalking workshop that got us out and about in the neighborhood feeling and listening to the sound of wind, snow, and following our feet and heartbeats.

…there were many sounds in the neighborhood that pull our attention to different places.

Before we went outside, we took time to write in our journals and we learned a bit about Zoe. She talked about her experience and practice as an artist having been shaped by her time in doing street theatre, farming, film-making, broadcasting, community-engaged arts, and falling in love with sound.

She referenced how one teacher (Hildegard Westerkamp) inspired her with the practice of soundwalking, and how she applies it in her everyday life as a mother and an artist. Soundwalking for Zoe is listening to the world around as a composition itself- as it is. 

Radar was the word Zoe used to describe how sound is like when we are talking; we wait for sounds to come back to us. Meanwhile, satellite was the word that got us to imagine our ears in a different way – opening our ears to the world so that we let sounds come to us. She had talked about living in a urban busy city-scape before and the kinds of sounds she would notice or stop noticing and a study of documenting the changing sounds over time according to decibel levels.

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon to practice being present, and listening to the world around us.

When we returned from our walk, we jotted down a list of sounds that we remembered. Many women talked about how they often have headphones on to listen to music. On this afternoon, instead we heard the music of the neighborhood:

chimes .

our steady feet, crunching the snow.

— w i n d! windy               www i i i nd.

birds chirping, –dogs barking!

door opening.

a car r r r olling, gently, to a stop.

slushysnow.

Sounds as memories, textures, in and outside of our body, sounds and feelings. We came together to make these sounds in anyway and struck up an improvisational chorus, before jumping into doing some drawing and writing together.

When was the last time that you’ve listened to yourself and trusted your gut?

Until next time. Happy listening and much love,

-j.chung

#HonouringOurStories #WeBelieveSurvivors

Funding for this work was provided by It’s Never Okay: Ontario’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment 
 
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