Sterling Sinclair Remembers Gord Downie and Visits the Vigil in Kingston Ontario Oct 18 2017: Photos, Videos, Media Reports, and A Poetic Message
I aspire to be half the man Gord Downie was.
One Kashechewan First Nation, on James Bay, gentleman visited the vigil earlier in the day. This is an exerpt from the Whig:
“He fought for us, for so many things,” Nakogee said. “That really means a lot. The first time I heard somebody that really fought for us was Gordie. We don’t hear that other bands do stuff for First Nations people. Gordie fought for us.
“It’s good that he did that, but it’s sad that he lost the battle. Now he is in our spirits.”
Nakogee was among dozens of people who gathered in Springer Market Square under a cloudless sky and unseasonably warm temperatures to pay their respects to The Tragically Hip’s lead singer, who died Tuesday night after a year-and-a-half-long battle with brain cancer.
Downie’s work to bring attention to the history of residential schools in Canada was among the last chapters in his life and one that fan Richard Noble said many people, including himself, knew nothing about.”
The Whig Article
This is a short video that I took when I went the vigil in Kingston. By the time I got there, only a small number of people were there. The intimate silence was like walking in the air of a hug.
Video: Sterling Sinclair visits Gord Downie Vigil in Kingston
Today the headlines lit up the news in Gord Downie’s honour. I read not one negative word.
In Rolling Stone, the voice of the family was expressed. It told of Mr. Downie’s truth:
“Last night, Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by,” his family wrote in a statement. “Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss … on the lips.
“Gord said he had lived many lives,” they added. “As a musician, he lived ‘the life’ for over 30 years, lucky to do most of it with his high school buddies. At home, he worked just as tirelessly at being a good father, son, brother, husband and friend. No one worked harder on every part of their life than Gord. No one.”
“Thank you everyone for all the respect, admiration and love you have given Gord throughout the years,” his family wrote following his death. “Those tender offerings touched his heart and he takes them with him now as he walks among the stars.”
“In the wake of his diagnosis, Gord only fought harder for what he believed in: social justice, environmentalism and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples,” he added. “Gord did not rest from working for the issues he cared about, and his commitment and passion will continue to motivate Canadians for years to come … He will be sorely missed.”
Rolling Stone article
Today I sat down to process my grief and to reflect upo the person of Gord Downie. As an Auracature artist I began to draw an Auracature, just as I did the night before photos of me leaving the drawing at the vigil are posted below, but thid time, I began writing a message inspired by Gord Downie.
Sterling Sinclair Recites the Message
Gord Downie poem
Oct 19, 2017
“Her Children Die from Centuries of Pain
Kick off your shoes – go dance in the rain.”
“Together We Are One”
By Sterling Sinclair
“Remember not me
Remember the work to be done
It was never about my battle
Their stories had to be sung
The battle’s not over
Much work’s need done
We fight the battle together
Until the battle is won
Upon blood soaked prairies
She gathers her young
How’d she wake in her mourning
Her fallen knight was her son
How can she see the light
From fear we mustn’t run
Look into her black brown eyes
Reserved, her soul was shunned
The fight to live’s not over
The fight has just begun.
Oh Canada, do you even listen?
Sorrow is being Sung
Grieve not my recent passing
Seeking justice is not fun
My death is not the message
I’m a husband, father, son
First peoples are in danger
No matter the spin that is spun
Pour your tears upon the lands
Cuz, healing’s barely begun
If you honour my memory
If I am Canada’s true son
Instead of being saddened
Go out and help someone
The war will be over
The battle will be won
When all people come together
And together we are one.”
The following are photos of my experience at the vigil.
Gord, rest in peace.
To Gord’s loved ones, I send my sincerest condolences.
Much Love, Sterling Sinclair