Coming Full Circle with “The Spirit of My People”

Coming Full Circle with “The Spirit of My People”

I am not sure when I became interested in Gerry Squires’ work. Maybe it was while attending a wedding at Mary Queen of the World Church and seeing his disturbing and beautiful Stations of the Cross murals on the walls. Maybe it was on one of my frequent visits to The Rooms. I know nothing about art but am amazed by people’s ability to create through drawing and painting.

The Daily Post’s word prompt for yesterday was ‘circle’ and I hadn’t intended on posting but after viewing two films at Beothuk Interpretation Centre last night, I decided to write a post.

Since moving back to the northeast coast of Newfoundland, I have visited the Beothuk Interpretation Centre several times. When I first walked the trail and came upon Shanawdithit it was powerful. I suggest that if you do walk this trail that you walk it by yourself or with someone who is respectful of silence and spirituality.

The film Who will sing for me? by Roger Bill tells the story behind the creating of the sculpture. Mr. Bill wondered if, after seeing how the sculpture was created, it might lose some of its mystique. For me, and I think the audience in general, learning of Mr. Squires’ vision, his hours, months and years of work and his participation in bringing Shanawdithit to her resting place only added to my wonder and awe. Learning that the precise location was orchestrated by Mr. Squires, only made me appreciate it more.

The second film I heard the birch tree whisper in the night by Kenneth J. Harvey focuses on Mr. Squires life and his discovery that he was dying (he died in 2015). Informative, sad and moving.

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Thank you to the staff of the Beothuk Interpretation Centre for helping me come full circle with Shanawdithit.

“I am grateful for curiosity, ….

“I am grateful for curiosity, ….

which keeps my brain elastic and my spirit young.”  fr. a book entitled simply, Gratitude

I recently attended my second Unscripted Twillingate festival and thoroughly enjoyed it.

My first event was presented by TA Loeffler   at the Beothuk Interpretion Centre in Boyd’s Cove, NL. I think everyone must know who TA is but, if not, just  click her link above and have an adventure!  This event, Miksang Photography Adventure  was joyful, contemplative and stirring to the senses. Miksang was a new word for me, it is Tibetan and basically means ‘good eye’.

First  a mediation with TA and then we had a drumming demonstration by staff member Desmond Canning of the  Beothuk Interpretation Centre Provincial Historic Sites .

Desmond made this drum from spruce, steamed the wood and molded it around an old bicycle wheel. A ridge in the wood and sinew holds the oxford cloth (no, he doesn’t buy it at The Mall in Stoneville:)) but gets it from a store in Labrador. The sound is amazing and it is so interesting to listen and to watch. Check out the Interpretation Centre’s website and listen to Desmond tell the stories of drumming.

Interior of Interpretation Centre

After a snack, we hit the trail for a unique photography experience. TA  divided our photo journey into colour, form, texture and space and we were encouraged to take photos using each component. I found ‘space’ the most challenging.

A most interesting exercise occurred when we were divided into pairs, one person closed their eyes and became ‘the camera’ with their ‘lens’ (eyes)  opening and taking a picture when their partner gently pulled their ear. One workshop member described it as “a flash of vividness.”

I love it when you go to an event and almost instantaneously, you bond with like-minded individuals. I believe we were all “in the moment.”

Hole in Leaf



there is a crack, a crack in everything

that’s how the light gets in.”  Leonard Cohen


As I rubbed my hand over the trunk of this tree, I experienced three different textures…..forgot to tell TA that….bet she would have been impressed…I was using two senses simultaneously:):)


 Thank you Twillingate and Dr. TA Loeffler.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”.  Marcel Proust


This is one of two posts that I will write on Unscripted Twillingate.