Sunday, March 16, 2014

Réunir

Réunir by Pj Prudat featuring the 2013-14 Circle of Voices is ...



Letters float in ... Are they from the past to the present? From the future as recollections of the present sent to the past? Were they sent by the drum ... The fiddle ... The hanging wolf skins howling silently trapped in a braid of tree branches ... Perhaps the trees themselves  or the leaves of the trembling aspen dropped the letters to the earth

Who reads the letters ... The Kookum listens ... a spirit Kookum, a grandmother to a people ... listens to her daughter ... her sister, her grandchild, her lover, her lovers ... listens to the voices of elders, leaders, oppressors, voices, gunshots, silence, shouts, the heartbeat ... listens to the aspen leaves as they tickle the sky with their stories

Why  ... trembling aspens are relatively short-lived, an average lifespan of up 80 years in the wild ... reproduce clonally by root sprouts to form large long-lived stands, essentially, one large plant ... an early successional tree, meaning one of the first species to grow in a forest that has experienced some kind of disturbance ... The Métis survived all disturbances and weave their story into one infinite strand ... the sash ... a survival

The stories ... the stories appear before us shreds of color & sound, disorganized & chaotic like unwoven threads begging our imagination, our collective memory to weave ... to make sense of ... to shape & see the patterns ... our hands tremble with love & fear, disgust & joy, mourn & hope ... Still the sash will be long & true ... "The truth about  stories is that that's all we are"
Thomas King wrote that about stories and he wrote this:
        "But then who will sing for us? Who will dance for us? Who will remind us of our relationship to the earth? Who will tell our stories?
The one about the Coyote and the Ducks, for instance. Take it. It's yours. Do with it what you will. Tell it to your children. Turn it into a play. Forget it. But don't say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story.
You've heard it now."
Witnessing Réunir I had the sense that long ago a pact had been made ... a pact with a being somewhat  between the devil & wihtikow ... in a time of great metaphorical darkness ... seemed faustian with goethe's eternal feminine ... But that was my witness ... I don't know what those around me saw in the many layers, shifting images & narrative ... expressionistic engaging associations

I have heard the trembling Aspen on my walks on the prairie ... summer or autumn ... it is winter now, spring approaches ... I live in the river bends of the Métis ... I listen to the stories ... I won't forget Réunir ... As elder John Sugar quoted from the program ...  "good medicine"

:: Note :: ... Pj Prudat was a first year student in a class I taught and I saw her impeccable acting a couple years back & now I get to see a powerful play she has written ... What an honour to watch an artist explore ... She will make difference ... Watch her ...