Sunday, July 24, 2005

On the Shores of the Northumberland Strait

I'm sitting in the common room of the Tatamagouche Centre as a week-long writers retreat is about to begin. How i've longed for a moment to think about writing. I've been swept up in the changing situation of the Catalyst Centre as we prepare to close the office later this year, store the collection for a few months and finally relocate it elsewhere in Toronto. It's a big moment of change for us as we re-invent ourselves and figure out what kind of popular education organization we can be that will best serve the needs of the comunities we serve.

But for now, i am elsewhere. On the Northumberland Strait that separates PEI from Nova Scotia. The most wonderful memories of my childhood are of the summer weeks i spent at Casey Cape with my Acadian cousins. Casey Cape is north of Moncton and remains the most magical beach i've ever known.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Project South new Website! & Upcoming Popular Ed. Training

Project South is an excellent group doing anti-racist popular education work in the American South. The rest of their name is: "Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide." They rock! I've met the folks from Project South over the years and have always been impressed by their take on popular education practice and theory. They have an annual event called "Educators BAM" that you should check out if you're looking for a place to learn more about popular education. Here's their description from their website:
We have designed our Building A Movement Popular Education Skills Retreat to address the critical questions facing Educators, Teachers, and Professors. Learn how to use popular education models, engage with other educators about the issues that matter most, & create your own tools for movement building in the classroom.

A friend's (very, very good) poems

My friend Elise just published some poems on nthposition, an online magazine/e-zine that looks pretty interesting (i'd not heard of it before). You can read Elise's poems here (i'm quite fond of the phrase "ambush home").
I've been rearranging my rather massive book collection - a time to purge and pack away into deep storage many texts to make room for some new ones. I'm pleasantly surprised to rediscover books that i haven't cracked open for some time and as i lay hands on each beloved text - especially those from my collections of tales (folk and fairy and literary) old memories are sparked of the lessons i've learned and am still learning from the tales and ideas that i have read. Lind Sussman in The Speech of the Grail (Lindisfarne Books, 1995) writes:

Times come in every life when one’s world view is not solid, when traditional mores and rules seem not to pertain. One feels awash, with no structure to guide one’s actions. As young children, all of us are subject to the turbulent chaos of an adult world beyond our understanding. What children have traditionally been given to structure their relationship to life are fairy tales. A child’s way of experiencing, as Gawan learned from Obilot, can augment an adult’s, and the fairy tale best expresses this way of experiencing. Incredible as it might seem to the initiate-speaker, a child’s book of fairy tales harbors a treasure. It is no coincidence that interest in fairy tales, and other traditional stories, burgeons now when so many adults feel divided of a secure world view, when so many aspects of life merit questioning.