Category: Personal Growth

Pelican Project Salute

In July 2000 New Dance Horizons in Regina Saskatchewan put together a presentation for “Dance and the Child International”.  It consisted of dance, song and poetry performed by about thirty young people many from Canada’s First Nations. I had the privilege of coaching and guiding them as they wrote their own poems.

This is the story of the teachers and young people involved.

You are the pelican warriors

You are the pelicans who do not run away
you are the pelicans that stay and fight
you are the pelicans that defend your nests
you are the pelicans that defend your tribe

You are the pelicans
who fly from your homes to find a new lake

You are the pelicans
brave enough to fly near people
(it can be dangerous to fly near people)

You are the pelicans
brave enough to fly through your fears
You are the pelicans
who know some people are your friends
who know some people need your gifts

You are the pelicans
who teach pelicans and people
how to care for their young
how to live for their tribe

How to fly and dance and swim
and fish together again

I dip my ink tipped wing
in praise of you

In Greece

In Greece I remember and meet myself everywhere
I am Socrates questioning
I am the athlete striving, the architect planning, the builder building, the potter shaping, the sculptor seeking, the warrior dying and the poet pointing

In Greece I am all men and all gods as well and I remember how many times, in this life alone I have pushed the rock endlessly uphill carried the world on my shoulders had my liver eaten by the savage bird 
How many times I have fallen in love with my own reflection reached out for the sweet grapes and sweet water to find them moving always beyond my grasp
been forced to echo only what others have said
tied myself to the mast to resist the siren's call
Fought in a thousand wars full out on the open field or sea or hidden in the belly of a wooden horse

In memory of Pere, who lit and fanned the love of the Greeks in the author and others; and to Kevin Anderson, this year’s recipient of the Pere Athol Murray award presented to the Notre Dame student who best exemplifies the characteristics, principles and ideals he modelled and taught.