Episode 3: Lac Brochet [by Jeffrey Moore]

My dear friend Jeffrey produced this guest episode reflecting on his life in a small Northern Manitoba community. A time when he struggled with depression, loneliness, and a vast expanse of time to fill.

Wander with me through my last day as I reflect on the familiar thoughts and sounds of the schoolyard and my temporary home in Lac Brochet.

Lac Brochet is a tiny fly-in reserve in northern Manitoba. It is home to a little more than a thousand Dene and Cree people – and a few dozen outsiders trying to make a living or a difference. Lac Brochet is named after the pike of the lake on which the people of this community survived before the airport and the Northern Store.

The Sounds

The semitrailer arrived some time in January on the winter road, and was never opened. Just abandoned. It whistled and howled on windy days. There was a sadness to it that mirrored my own, and I felt content to let it be a mystery until this day. On this, my very last day in the community, I finally investigated where the mewling came from. I suppose I was worried some student of mine might ask what I was doing crawling around under a trailer before this. There was no woeful spirit in the trailer, of course. No anguish. Just physics.

I taught high school math in Lac Brochet. I think I did it to make a difference. I think I made a difference regardless of why I did it. But the burden of it all was too painful for me to carry on, and even though having to give up carries its own pain, I had to make the choice that kept me going and let me continue making a difference for someone, somewhere – anywhere but here.

The Music

The sounds are recorded within one hundred meters of my house, and within one hundred meters of the school. The music is noise I created with an electric guitar and a mobile phone’s EM field.

My name is Jeffrey Moore, and this sounds like life.

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