Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations


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"Life sometimes is hard. There are challenges. There are difficulties. There is pain. As a younger man I sought to avoid them and only ever caused myself more of the same. These days I choose to face life head on—and I have become a comet. I arc across the sky of my life and the harder times are the friction that lets the worn and tired bits drop away. It's a good way to travel; eventually I will wear away all resistance until all there is left of me is light. I can live towards that end."

—Richard Wagamese, Embers

In this carefully curated selection of everyday reflections, Richard Wagamese finds lessons in both the mundane and sublime as he muses on the universe, drawing inspiration from working in the bush—sawing and cutting and stacking wood for winter as well as the smudge ceremony to bring him closer to the Creator. Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese's most personal volume to date. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality and spirituality—concepts many find hard to express. But for Wagamese, spirituality is multifaceted. Within these pages, readers will find hard-won and concrete wisdom on how to feel the joy in the everyday things. Wagamese does not seek to be a teacher or guru, but these observations made along his own journey to become, as he says, "a spiritual bad-ass," make inspiring reading.

About the Author


Richard Wagamese (1955-2017) was one of Canada’s foremost writers, and one of the leading indigenous writers in North America. He was the author of several acclaimed memoirs and more than a dozen novels, including Indian HorseMedicine Walk, and Dream WheelsIndian Horse was the People’s Choice winner of the national Canada Reads competition in 2013, and its film made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Wagamese began his career in 1979 as a journalist and worked as a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, and documentary producer—both individual works and his body of work have been celebrated with numerous awards, including the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, and the Matt Cohen Award in Celebration of a Writing Life. Wagamese was honored with Honorary Doctor of Letters degrees from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops and Lakehead University Bay. He lived in Kamloops, British Columbia.

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