I have personally witnessed six generations come or go on Grand Manan, I’ve witnessed 19th century hymn-singing culture as it morphed into 21st century Facebook culture. I often catch myself dwelling on what has been lost, at the cost of not remembering the vibrant dramas that unfold every day on this constant, but ever-changing island.
Today my friends on Grand Manan are heading out to sea, planting potatoes, playing basketball, and freezing a hockey rink; preaching sermons, digging graves, and bearing children; they are building weir, making beds, running stores, hunting, dulsing, getting married or divorced; they are driving giant trucks and tiny tricycles, heading out to Alberta or returning home; dreaming and doing.
This place is going through hard times, but it’s still a place teeming with human life, a fact not to be missed by those of us who might get lost seeking answers in the fog of the future or the twilight of the past.
The preceding paragraph is the last (and most optimistic) of ten chapters in my book&exhibition project, “Dead Reckoning: Stories from Grand Manan Island”, which is temporarily available in full preview.