The Pope's Visit
Today was a beach day. We packed cars, brought sandwiches, watermelon and towels. We all arrived at the same time and it sure was busy. The smell of sunscreen reminded everyone of childhood. It was a beautiful day. Someone had brought the Pope. We were bored and so we buried him in sand. Everyone forgot where he was! Finally, the sun went down and we all went home and went to sleep. The Pope was happier in the sand, soft, damp, and cool. One day, he hoped, he’d be discovered.
A NOTE ON ADDRESSING ISSUES OUTSIDE OF MY WHEELHOUSE
I wrote these four little pieces because the Pope came to visit Canada to address the church's role in the genocide of Indigenous people. The church was involved in the formulation and implementation of racist and genocidal attitudes and practices, from the Doctrine of Discovery to Residential Schools. Canada had a "Truth and Reconciliation Commisssion" which wrote extensive and significant reports and created recommendations. The Pope came to Canada after a representation of Indigenous people went to the Vatican to speak to him. The details of what the Pope said and didn't say are available in the news.
I hope, though, that I can be one voice among many and that readers can consider the messenger—his experience and limitations—and judge accordingly. The role of a writer is to think and engage with things they consider significant.
Like always, I hope that I've not miscalculated, not just in these little pieces but in others. For example, in my novel, Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy, which makes connections between the Holocaust and Indigenous genocide and the concept of intergenerational trauma generally.
I hope that as a writer, I'm joining other writers in consideraing and expressing what is important. Being an ally where being an ally is appropriate. Being a comrade where that is appropriate also.