Roots & Reasons

May 1, 2013

 

One of the most common questions I am asked when I was touring ‘Dark Moon Walking’, was “Where did you come up with the story?”

 

Sometimes it seems as if stories appear from nowhere, grabbed out of the air as they float past, but the reality is something different. Stories come from life. All of them. Even when they’re fictional.

 

‘Dark Moon Walking’ came from thirty years of sailing the west coast of Canada. It came from exploring remote inlets where the only other living things were trees and wildlife. It came from exploring the crumbling remains of villages and canneries. It came from finding ancient middens and the rotting timbers of abandoned longhouses and totem poles. And it came from talking to the people I met along the way.

 

Those people, while very individual, shared several traits. They were all passionate about the coast, about the land and the water, and about the things that lived there. They were not only familiar with the Orca, and the Sea Lion, and the Salmon, and the Black Bear, they knew where they lived and how their lives were inter-connected. They thought of them as neighbors, sharing a community, each with a role to play.

 

It was a revelation to me, and it changed my perception of the world. ‘Dark Moon Walking’ grew – unconsciously - from that perception, and Walker became the spokesperson and teacher, with Dan Connor as the main actor and student. 

 

Writing the book has been a joy, in part because it brings me back to those incredibly beautiful inlets and islands and the people who live there, and in part because it allows me to share it with you, the reader.  That’s the magic of writing. The very act of putting words on paper brings new knowledge, new friends and a greater understanding that we are all one.

 

I hope the same happens for you.

 

Gilakas’la.

 

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© 2014 by R.J. McMillen.