I fell in love when I was seven. I mean really and truly in love. It was the kind of rapturous love that changes the lighting in your world and makes everything sharper, clearer, like it never existed in quite that way before, or ever will again.
My grandfather’s name was John Wagamese. Our family name, Wagamese, comes from an Ojibway phrase meaning “man walking by the crooked water.” It was shortened by the treaty registrar because Wagamese was all he could pronounce of it, but it came from the trapline my great-great-grandfather established along the Winnipeg River. The same one my grandfather walked all his life.