Sunday, April 22, 2012


I learnt from Cheryl L'Hirondelle yesterday that nêhiyawêwin is the Cree word for language. It literally means "sound out your worldview".

This is beautiful.

In this word, I have found a teacher, a guide in my efforts to locate a mother tongue out of my obstacles and desires. It  makes me wonder what sounds might come out of my worldview, which I recently described as being Daoist, with a post-colonial chip on the shoulder.

Friday, April 20, 2012


This week, I found myself saying, "When I dance, I am at my most generous."
I may have been lying.
But I've decided it doesn't hurt to start practising it.
So when I find my generosity challenged by a situation, I just tell myself to dance in it.
It seems to help.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Speaking in Tongues #2

Yesterday, while leading a warm-up in the studio with Karen Jamieson, it occurred to me that perhaps language is a construction of time and space out of the landscape of desire and obstacles in the mouth and throat.

Speaking in Tongues

Since returning from Malaysia last year, I have discovered in myself, allowed myself, the joy of speaking like I speak in Malaysia. Which means speaking an English inflected with Malay and Chinese words and syntax, rhythms and tones. Initially, as a way of expressing his suspicion mixed with amusement, Junhong would say, "You can speak in English, you know. We are in Canada now". But recently, amid a minor mishap with the pasta machine in the kitchen, I heard him yell out, "Aiyo, aiyo, aiyo!"

And so, I pass on my "mother tongue" - a tongue that has been peeled and cut up, tossed in a salad of other ingredients.