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Kismet is the bond between people

June 22, 2010

I woke up this morning with my tongue feeling like sandpaper and a huge bruise on my right ribs. I vaguely remember falling against a fence about waist high. And I certainly remember a bathroom stall with some really interesting pithy statements. This stuck out:

Kismet is the bond between people.

I left my house with the intent to play some afternoon basketball. But because it’s summer the school has taken the nets down from the black top court. I ended up taking a stroll down the street and found myself at Shoppers Drug Mart buying vitamin water and reading tabloid headlines. I left with no real direction.

The sun was right above my head. The sky was cloudless, and the humidity was just tolerable. So, I thought I’d head over to the Native Canadian Centre. Luckily, a big black sign outside said Native Arts Festival. I walked in and found Tannis Nielsen had organized the Native Arts Festival, and I had my afternoon full of volunteering, since they were short-handed.

It was the first year for the festival that was a series of workshops and ended with a delicious feast and performances. I didn’t know what to expect since I just showed up and began lugging tables around, but the show was inspiring and featured some truly talented artists.

The Metis Fiddler Quartet began the festival with some real toe tapping, foot stomping string action.

Cherie Dimaline read from her latest work. I’m the first one to fall asleep at book readings, honestly after only a year in publishing I’ve had my share of snoozefest, but she kept my attention with a whimsical fiction tale about a girl with planets revolving around her head. Sure, it was unusual, but the idea that this character manifested planets from her feelings is a hilarious and imaginative way of illustrating how we all carry around a lot of our own anxieties and fears.

Shkwe Win, a women’s hand drum group made up of Eva Rose Tabobondung, Marie Gaudet, and Rosary Spence (Cherish Violet Blood The First was MIA) wailed on stage. I mean a good wail. It sounded fun and powerful. The sound of the hand drum always gets my heart pumping, and the sound system captured the rhythmic thump.

Lee Maracle, Chris Bose, Red Slam Collective, Raymond Weasle Moccasin, Cheryl L’hirondelle, and Rebecca Baird all put on stellar performances.

I’m glad I decided to wander around and found myself at the NCCT. I was just going to go home and lounge in the yard with my guitar. But seeing the great performances and hearing all their great creativity made me feel like being more creative. Chris Bose told me If you want to write just do it. He also told me about the fear.The fear that comes with being creative.

All these performers accept the fear and put their works on display. It was good to see it all and maybe kismet or Jesus Coyote, or nanabush stole the basketball nets and put me there.

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