Does a canoe have dreams?
A jimaan is made of birch bark.
Birches are spirits capable of dreaming
Therefore I believe my jimaan can dream.
Perhaps one day, soon
my jimaan will dream a dream as fluid
as the rivers and streams crossing Nimaamaa-aki
and as strong as the roots of the cedar trees
standing tall on the rocky banks of Gichi-gami.
As if powered by a mysterious force beyond,
this dream steers my jimaan along scarlike slopes
and enchanted beaches of the finest multi-colored sand
along places filled with mysteries and lessons and songs.
Through the roar of rushing waves that sing rhythmic songs
of magic tales washing ashore since the dawn of times
Haw sa, my jimaan will take me to that hidden place
That special cove I can finally call my home.
The MAZINAAJIMOWIN or ‘pictorial spirit writings’ - which are rich with symbolism and have been painted throughout history on rocks and etched on other sacred items such as copper and slate, birch bark and animal hide - were a form of spiritual as well as educational communication that gave structure and meaning to the cosmos.
Many of these sacred pictographs or petroforms – some of which are many, many generations old - hide in sacred locations where the manidoog (spirits) reside, particularly in those mystic places near the coastline where the sky, the earth, the water, the underground and the underwater meet.