Sorry, not that. I’m talking blacksmithing. You know that hammer and metal thing you thought no one did anymore?
Some people are still doing it. In fact, the craft is enjoying a resurgence in Saskatchewan, as people look for something that doesn’t come from Walmart. Something not digital, something they can hold in their hands. Something they can make themselves.
Dustin Small and the Saskatchewan Blacksmith Guild host a hammer-in every month. Artisans, farriers, and crafters come together to share their knowledge, pound the iron, and pass the skill down to the younger generation.
Fourteen-year-old Jesse Porter prefers to do more with his hands than hold an iPad. Jesse, who has ADHD, attends hammer-ins and finds that working with metal helps him to concentrate.
For M. Craig Campbell, a blacksmith and sculptor, metal is just fun. “With the heat and fire, it’s a phenomenal material, a bit of a chameleon. At 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s buttery soft, almost a liquid.”
As a species we’ve done our best to wipe each other out, wrecked whole continents of people because they weren’t like us. Didn’t look the same, didn’t think the same, didn’t speak our language.
And yet, despite our millennia of ignorance and arrogance and greed, we haven’t managed to destroy everything…not quite everything. Not yet.
Thanks to people like Katani Julian, a Mi’kmaq language teacher from Nova Scotia, indigenous languages live on.
In celebration of the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages, Julian took on the task of translating Paul McCartney’s Blackbird into Mi’kmaq feeling that lyrics like Take these broken wings, and learn to fly resonate with the indigenous experience in Canada. “It’s the type of gentle advice we get from our elders when we feel defeated, when we feel down.”
In the hope that we can learn to not break any more wings, here is Emma Stevens of Eskasoni, Nova Scotia singing Blackbird…
Personally, I’m not into the whole Valentine’s Day hoopla. That heart-shaped box was a big deal back in high school, the year I was actually dating someone when February 14th rolled around, but I’m over it now 🙂
I don’t know what the day means to any of you, but I’m betting no one does Valentine’s Day like Paul Lewis. No hackneyed card, or mediocre chocolates for our boy, Paul.
The Victoria, B.C. man, finding a creative use for all the white stuff lying around his backyard, built his girlfriend an igloo.
The home-made snow house, featuring solar-powered lights, a fire pit, and a bed kept Paul and Julie warm as they toasted each other over a glass of wine.
And, in case you’re wondering…
Yes, they spent the night outside, inside their bubble of snow 🙂
From the National Film Board of Canada, celebrating 79 years this month, one of it’s most requested classics — The Log Driver’s Waltz
Passing on the smiles 🙂
These days, most of us need all our coordination just to cross the street and the logging industry long ago replaced the dancing loggers with machines, but national consciousness originates in the past.
As my neighbours in Quebec say, “Je me souviens.” (I remember.)