Day’s later and my mind is still running, chasing is perhaps more accurate.
Last week I spent the week on campus. My week started in response based training. Simply put, I struggled. I sat in confusion around the limited (lack of) credit given to other therapeutic practices. I was sad about the distinct power differences within the presenters group while they spoke about the therapeutic need to reduce, if not remove, power in relation to clients. Then, just as I started to find comfort in the extreme discomfort of the approach, comments about how response based practice is the best and only way to practice started to surface. I managed to sit through the first day, entertaining myself by taking notes in various colours and noting the questions that constantly surfaced. I had to write my questions on paper because by the end of the day and after two verbally expressed questions, the presenters were clearly avoiding my raised arm. I let it be, their response was clear!
The rest of the week I spent at a Child and Youth Care (CYC) conference. It was, in so many ways, a wonderful few days. Many of my inner thoughts were challenged and I sat pondering my location in life and specifically on Canadian soil. To my friends, it does not come to a huge surprise that I am often frustrated with long winded welcomes to the land, that I wish I knew why people were hung up on the past, and I struggle with what I believed was a limited respect for those willing to support. This week, while I still sit with some of these challenges, I see things differently (thank you to my peers and new friends!).
A couple friends (I think we shifted from academic peers to friends over the past week) and I held a workshop to talk about the transdisciplinary practices within CYC. We wanted to break down the idea of care. I thought this was going to be a quick forty-five minutes and at the end it would be another item to list on my academic resume. I was wrong. The conversations leading up to and the presentation itself has me rethinking my thoughts. I am starting to think about the not-so-distant past of residential schools that I believe were made to sound like years beyond any physical connection when I learnt about it is grade school. I am staring to think about how my family arrived in Canada because of colonization and political turmoil. How migration offered a sense of safety and security we would not have gained elsewhere. And that because of our welcome into Canada by Pierre Elliott Trudeau I have gained a life of agency, education, human rights, health care, and comfort. The benefits I afford from the colonization of Canada is far greater than I can account for here. Yet, while I am thankful for these benefits and not willing to resend them, I now sit grappling with how I find unequal power and agency with my peers (friends), how we share Canada, how we support one another, and start thinking about how the changing demographics of Canada with migration continues to alter the lives of our Indigenous community and those that have occupied the land.
My thoughts are not limited to the paragraph above, but those are the thoughts I have processed enough to publicly share.
As my mind continued to chase my thoughts, I found a way to sit in the discomfort. I shared the weekend with my parents and we did as much nature rejuvenating as possible. My body eased, my mind calmed, and my thoughts deepened as we wandered along Whiffin Spit and through the Sooke Potholes. I was not satisfied though, I needed more. So we ventured to MacMillian Provincial Park where we strolled through hundreds of year old trees and witnessed the natural revolution of trees uprooting and creating space for new growth. For me, it was the perfect way to end a week of hard thinking. Yet, it stirred many more thoughts that I sat with on Monday, on my couch with a constantly refilling cup of tea. These thoughts, unfiltered, unprocessed, and still occupying a significant amount of my brain energy will have to be left to share on another occasion.
Now, as I move forward in my own academic writing, I attempt to create a new entry point into my thoughts. It is all exciting and yet a little intimidating. But, I suppose blogging is not helping my dissertation writing so I shall switch writing venues now.