Tuesday, 22 November 2011

LIKE A VOICE FROM ONE'S HOMELAND

To an exile, hearing news from home is wonderful. I believe that I've earned the right to understand that feeling. When I was a child, the government of Alberta and British Columbia sent me to an institution because they assumed that I couldn't be taught at my local public school. Because I was among strangers in a strange province, I feel justified in empathising with outcasts and deportees.

In Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), I wrote about how radio became my best friend in that uncaring asylum. It kept me sane and helped me momentarily forget how far from home I was.

One day in November of 1969, it also brought the feeling of home to me. Here's how that happened.

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The atmospheric conditions also provided a different type of sublime experience. On another foggy afternoon, I sat on my bed while tuning the dial of the vacuum tube radio. Suddenly, I discovered distant stations coming in. That was unusual since they generally were heard only at night. As I turned the tuning knob, I heard CFRN, one of the Edmonton radio stations. It seemed like a voice from home. A delightful nostalgia filled my heart. For that brief time, I felt connected to the place I loved.

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Deliverance from Jericho is filled with many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Read more about Deliverance from Jericho here. Please feel free to contact me directly as well.

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Deliverance from Jericho is filled with many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Read more about Deliverance from Jericho here. Please feel free to contact me directly as well.