Sunday, 6 May 2012

Journeys and seasons

Today's post is for yesterday. Tomorrow I'll write for today. Things are started to back up on the 'to do' list, and there's a concertina of tasks in my diary. Life is still fine, and wonderful, but the season is changing.

The trees outside my house in Toronto are covered in bright green leaves: baby, fresh, enthusiastic clumps of leaves. Spring in these kinds of places is so clearly marked, and the season it marks for me this year is that it's time to pack up and move again.

In a month I leave my apartment, in six weeks I'm flying to Aotearoa, in three months time I will be living and working in Hawai'i. So many journeys ahead, and such a huge amount of organisation and planning to do... but also, in the middle of it all, what a privilege!

Yesterday (Friday), Aboriginal Studies had a farewell for four of us who are leaving for new adventures: two women who have taught in the dept for a few years, Daniel who has taught there for a decade, and me. We gathered in the Turtle Lounge, spent time together, and those of us leaving had an opportunity to talk. Afterwards, an elder stood up and offered some thoughts about the day.

Quite a few things caught in my mind, and one of them was about the relationship between journeys and knowledge. He looked at us all and reminded us that those who journey carry knowledges with them. We spend quite a bit of time thinking about knowledge being tied to specific places, and it has been good for me to reflect on the responsibility and privilege of carrying knowledges. Carrying knowledges. Not owning them, not controlling them, not managing them. Taking them from place to place, being engaged in a vibrant and complex ecosystem, leaving them where they should be. Carrying things requires organisation, planning, people at each end, thought about containers and vessels and timing.

As I work out the details of the next few weeks and months, I will take the time to reflect on what else I have the privilege to carry with me from place to place. Who will need what? How will I ensure things get there? How shall I carry things? How will I prepare myself so I know I can complete the task ahead?  

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