A Wander in my Wilderness

I am a member of a small group of people of like faith. There is a chapter in Alberta and British Columbia. My faith is open to change and tries to find the best in others and incorporate those qualities and characteristics into my everyday life.

Stay with me, as the pieces will all come together.

I read a book, the first in a trilogy, titled The Son of a Trickster, by Eden Robinson. It won second-place for CBC’s Canada Reads. The author is Indigenous and wrote the story in that style. I didn’t fully understand what that meant but was drawn to the distinctive construction. It is not a book I would have usually been interested in reading. Without giving too much away, it starts with the stereotypical biography of Jared. He is a young Indigenous fellow. Then somehow morphs into a fantasy with talking animals. Some very mean with the intent to kill Jared.

The story took a non-linear timeline with looping. The fantasy portion snuck up on me with a few teasers to get me seduced, then became a prominent part of that latter part of the story.

I’ve worked with many indigenous people throughout my life, with a few who have become lifelong friends and acquaintances. I learned the hard way that when an elder talked at a meeting, it was often difficult for me to track the flow of his story. I learned that I had to have patience, and by the end of hid delivery, I got it. I understood the points he was making.

I struggle with the use of imagery and finding meaning in life’s experiences. I tend to believe that we humans like to give meaning to almost everything that happens.

Some people have a strong connection to the elements of the Earth; water, air, land. I am making connections, too. For example, Life is impossible without water to drink and land to provide food. By honouring the water and land in small ways, daily, I understand how that reinforces our need to care for the water and land. Without proper care, we have a reduced chance of a satisfying future.

The fantasy parts of the book weave such messages into a framework I understand and appreciate their paramount importance.

I am encouraged to incorporate such fundamental truths into my beliefs. How will that change my thinking and my behaviour? A starting point is to reflect daily to remember that without water, there is no life: For example, when I’m drinking water, flushing the toilet, feeling the rain or snow, floating on a river or lake, splashing in a puddle, consuming my favourite coffee. I live in the city and spend most of my time there.

I don’t need to wander in the wilderness to make these obvious connections.

Please give a bit of a think.

What are the essential elements of your beliefs? How do you try to behave, consistent with those beliefs? Is there one discrepancy you can focus on, to better align your beliefs with your behaviour?

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment. I really do read every one.

If you enjoyed The Blog, please share it with others. Thanks.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
-for those with a curious spirit
Volunteer Blogger

8 thoughts on “A Wander in my Wilderness

  1. Patti Dolman says:

    Is there a name for someone who is fanatical about recycling , who mourned the loss of a century old maple tree that was cut down in my neighbourhood and who advocates for the survival coyotes who live nearby? My role as a grandparent is to teach my grandson about the importance of respecting our planet and understanding the purpose of every living thing whether it’s beautiful or not.
    The Trickster’s Son looks like a good read.
    Thanks for recommending

  2. Diana says:

    Hey Glenn – sounds like a book I would be interested to read. One I have just finished that really made a lot if sense – Breakfast with. Buddha – by Roland Merullo

    • glenn says:

      Glad your interest was tweaked. It took the CBC Books program to tweak my interest. Your suggestion has a sequel, Lunch with Buddha. Looks equaling as interesting. I’ve put both on my “want to read’ list in iBooks. Thanks.

  3. Gail Benshabat says:

    Glenn, your post really resonated with me and your questions gave me something to think about. You said “What are the essential elements of your beliefs? How do you try to behave consistent with these beliefs?” and I think I can answer that in a few words. To give it justice, it would probably require many more than a few words! Out of the five elements of western culture: earth, air, fire, water, and space – I gravitate to water. I’ve always loved water ever since I was a little kid. I’m talking about fresh water lakes and rivers, not swimming pools. Maybe it was part of my upbringing. My dad always took us swimming, so it was a huge part of our lives. You allude to “water” in your blog. “Without water there is no life.” That’s so true. Water has magical healing qualities. It’s calming, rejuvenating and purifying in so many ways. Actually, every one of these elements have a powerful effect on our lives, if we just stop and observe. Water is just one of them.

    Your post reminded me of a book I read a few years ago called “The Secret Life of Water,” written by Maseru Emoto. Look it up. This is one of Emoto’s quotes on the importance of water: “To understand water is to understand the cosmos, the marvels of nature, and life itself.”
    The book “Son of a Trickster” looks like a good read. I will add it to my book list!

    I enjoy your blogs Glenn. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more!

    • glenn says:

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful response.

      I am a slow reader. I have added it to my reading list. It will be a long time before I get to it, but inevitable!

      It’s fun to write these blogs and I seem to get the ideas to resonate with others some of the time. At least often enough that folks read the blog each week.

  4. Gail says:

    The book that I recommended is not a book that needs to be read from cover to cover. I haven’t read the whole book! I’ve just read snippets of things I found interesting. I refer to it from time to time. I have so many books that are shelved and brought down when I have an inkling to read a section that
    strikes my interest. It’s a very eclectic library! Looking forward to reading your blog on cell phone use!

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