"Touching Spirit Bear" is a novel by Ben Mikaelsen that tells the story of Cole Matthews, a young man who is sent to a rehabilitation program on a remote Alaskan island after committing a violent act. The program, known as Circle Justice, is based on the principles of restorative justice and involves the participation of the offender, the victim, and the community in finding a resolution to the harm caused by the offense.
As part of his rehabilitation, Cole is sent on a solo "vision quest" in the wilderness, during which he is attacked by a spirit bear. The spirit bear, or "Moody Bear" as it is called by the native Tlingit people, represents Cole's inner turmoil and the negative emotions that have driven him to violence. The bear's attack serves as a wake-up call for Cole, and he begins to confront the root causes of his anger and aggression.
One of the key themes of "Touching Spirit Bear" is the idea of forgiveness and redemption. Cole is initially resistant to the idea of apologizing for his actions and taking responsibility for the harm he has caused. However, through his interactions with the other members of the Circle Justice program and his experiences in the wilderness, he begins to understand the value of forgiveness and the importance of making amends for his mistakes.
In addition to forgiveness and redemption, the novel also touches on themes of nature and the environment. The wilderness of the Alaskan island serves as a backdrop for Cole's journey of self-discovery and healing. The natural world and its animals, such as the spirit bear and the eagles that Cole encounters on his vision quest, serve as symbols of the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of respecting and preserving the natural world.
Overall, "Touching Spirit Bear" is a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of the themes of forgiveness, redemption, and the importance of respecting and protecting the natural world. It is a powerful reminder of the potential for growth and transformation, and the importance of taking responsibility for our actions and working towards healing and reconciliation.
Circle of Justice in Touching Spirit Bear: Description, Quotes & Members
Cole stammers his apologies and insists he has changed, but his words are empty for the men who need to see that his attitude has, indeed, changed. And I was never able to help those I hurt. Driscal — Peter's father who absolutely does not trust Cole when Peter goes and lives on the island. Beating up Peter was a mistake. The citation above will include either 2 or 3 dates. The supplies in the boat, as well as the building supplies that had been transported to the island earlier, have been paid for by the sale of all his sports equipment.
He solemnly gives the at. They were all afraid, and he despises their fear. Much of the book is devoted towards Cole reconciling his anger and pain. Judge Tanner served as the judge in Cole's trial. The boat left heading west; Cole plans to swim east, stopping at islands along the way to rest, eat, and sleep. It is just his luck to end up on an island full of stupid animals, he thinks.
Is Rosey Roman Reigns? There is no change in Peter, and Cole is still sleeping in the cold, leaky tent. It is now only twenty feet away. Peter screams at Cole to fight with him, but Cole has mastered his anger and refuses. Cole is perturbed that both men keep telling him he must find his own way but seem just as adamant about following their patterns. He then heads for the water and strips down to his underwear. Cole screamed and screamed. She promises she will make-up for never being involved in his life.
Cole is convinced Peter will never forgive him. No one but his father is aware of how strong a swimmer he is—no one but his father, who wanted him to swim because that was what he did in high school. Peter says he wants to be alone, so the other two leave him for several hours. Once it is no longer usable as a canoe, he begins carving the eagle he saw earlier that day. Edwin Chapters 13-15, pp. Edwin meets Garvey and Cole in Drake, Alaska. He has to make a decision to either heal or continue to fuel his anger.
She explains that his father never knew anything but being beaten by his father, and she kept thinking things might get better and drank to avoid having to face the reality. His right arm is virtually useless, but he is getting better and stronger with his left hand. The creature does not move, but Cole turns his back on it in an attempt to find a sapling he can cut into a spear. The incoming tide is causing him to virtually swim in place. After dinner, Cole starts the dancing and Garvey follows with his rendition of a mouse; each of them shares what they learned from the animal.
As he is borne away, Cole understands what Edwin told him, that anger is a memory never forgotten. The animal is unmoving, despite the advancing boy who is shouting at it. Who are Edwin and Garvey in Touching Spirit Bear? He yearns for Cole to be rid of his anger. Peter is not at all certain about the idea, but Cole reassures him all he has to do is carve the animals he sees and asks about the last animal Peter saw. He also understands his encounter with the Spirit Bear is a memory that will ever be engraved upon his heart and memory. Cole does not like to be touched; for as long as he can remember, the only physical contact he ever got was hitting. When they arrive back at camp they see a wolf, and Edwin says they will do the wolf dance tonight.
His day is filled with anger and frustration, and he even shapes one end of the log into the point of a canoe. He is a believer in Circle Justice; while doing research for this novel, the author had a 300-pound male Spirit Bear come as close as twenty feet from him. The cold, wet boy accepts the offer with alacrity. When they ask if he is afraid to be left alone here with the bear, he answers truthfully: he is not afraid of the bear, but he is afraid of being alone. Those were awkward moments, and Cole did not know what to think about her love. As the skiff glides into the bay, he sees his future home and again assures himself he will not be spending the next year in this place.
Edwin murmurs that Cole will be okay if he can find a reason to live. He wonders if he will still be able to sense the Spirit Bear when he returns to his life in Minneapolis. Who is the probation officer in Touching Spirit Bear? Peter seems disinterested in any of it, though Garvey and Cole explain everything to him. Following their sighting, the two draw the symbol of a circle on their respective totem poles, to represent the beginning and the end of their journey together. Peter's Lawyer We also have Peter's lawyer.
When he was younger, he spent five years in jail for some awful things, things he cannot fix or change. Rather, the only way to be happy in life is to help others. The system involves anyone who might have been affected by the criminal's choice of actions. There were no conditions, no vices, no lies, no deceit, no manipulation. Garvey re-emphasizes it is the how, not the what, that matters, but Cole is single-minded about avoiding punishment. He makes hot chocolate for himself and Peter and thanks Peter for allowing him into the cabin.