…of my last leisurely mornings has been exhausted by the incessant beep, beep, beep of large machines rolling up and down my back alley. The city has decided to resurface the lane, while one block over, they still have gravel. ??
And so, here I am lamenting the fact that I read too little of what I was hoping to read for my last four classes in the fall, but not worrying too much–I like a little bit of pressure, in fact, I think I work better with it. My random posting should smooth over and become steady as I avoid and procrastinate the last four classes–did I mention that I’m doing the last four classes? I’ve spent the summer in contemplation of what to do when I’m done the last four classes; I have two weeks in May well-plotted, but what to do after that? What to do, what to do? Another degree? Do I go away? Do I stay?
Time echoes in my house…beep, beep, beep.
Now the whole house is vibrating, a slight shimmy to the computer screen–is this a sign?
And here in this place, and here.
I found out about the film “The Silence” here, which incidentally enough begins with a post about place. More pictures and information about the movie by director Mohsen.
“The pleasure of the sentence is to a high degree cultural. The artifact created by rhetors, grammarians, linguists, teachers, writers, parents–this artifact is mimicked in a more or less ludic manner; we are playing with an exceptional object, whose paradox has been articulated by linguistics: immutably structured and yet infinitely renewable: something like chess.
Unless for some perverts the sentence is a body?” –Roland Barthes from The Pleasure of the Text
…is what I’m pondering, the physical way we attempt to snap the taut line of nothing with a voice, an email, anything to reverberate something that echoes our ear, our mind. According to Flora’s Lexicon (Thanks Ariel for the loan of the book), the white rose expresses the sentiment of silence:
“The god of silence was represented under the form of a young man, with one finger placed on his lips, and holding a white rose in the other hand. We are told that Love gave him the rose to secure his favour. The ancients sculptered a rose over the doors of their festive halls to interdict the guests from repeating anything that was spoken” (180).
It has come to my attention that the guidelines for this contest haven’t been posted on the web page yet, so to help get the competition writing, here are the guidelines as copied from the magazine:
Send us a postcard along with a story that relates to the image. The relationship can be as tangential as you like, so long as there is some clear connection to the image or place. Maximum 500 words, fiction or non-fiction.
Type your literal postcard story on standard paper, in at least 11-point type, and attach the postcard with a paper clip (no staples, please). Judging is blind, so do not write your name on the story or the card. Include a cover letter with your name and the story title(s), as well as your address, phone number and email address. Send with a cheque for the entry fee to: Geist Postcard Contest, 200-341 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8.
Postmarked no later than Dec. 1, 2006.
Entry fee: 20$ for the first entry (includes 1-yr subscription or subscription extension), 5$ for each additional entry.
The 3 winning entries will be published in Geist. Runners-up will receive swell gifts.
…I can’t figure out how to post pictures here without an url address, the pictures of my great northern adventure have gone to the old blog. I suppose words will have to suffice for this part of the journey.
My trip to Neso Lake was wonderful and filled with relaxation. I was able to get some reading in during the long drive, although there was usually quite a bit of scenery to amuse me, and because of some crickets I was transporting for H’s spider (don’t ask–although may the spider rest in peace) I decided to read Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”.
Brenda and Harvey were wonderful as hosts/guides, and helped provide information on Flin Flon/Creighton. Brenda took me berry picking, and even gave her share of berries to me. Now that’s a real friend! Lucky, lucky me. We will have pie.
Bear stories also filled our ears, although no bears filled our eyes and our last night was somehow disturbed by phantom bears filtering in and out of our sleep; these bears managed to keep my eldest daughter and myself awake.
I think B and H are lucky to be living in such a spectacular location, the trees, the lakes, the birds, and the rock are very impressive. All in all, it was a great trip, and a good time.
So, one of my favourite things to do is to pick berries. Mostly I pick Saskatoon berries in and around my parents farm, but when Brenda posted pictures of her berries I knew I was picking. Brenda was a wonderful host, and willingly traded some of her picking secrets as we pulled enough berries for blueberry pancakes the next morning, and still enough left over for some pies (which I will be making tomorrow). The wild blueberries are far sweeter than any domestic blueberry I’ve ever tasted before. Thanks to Brenda and Harvey for taking time out of their lives to amuse us.
My other favourite person (besides Brenda and Harvey) was this guy– such a character.
Sunrise: my last morning at the cabin captivated me with a wonderfully dense fog that hovered and spread like wild rice over the lake. It eventually faded to a fantastic clear day.
And so I went on the road, and because my name is spelled wrong, I decided not to take this particular road (it was only good for 52 kilometers anyway). My ultimate goal was Neso Lake in Manitoba, a lovely area just outside of Flin Flon.
This is road #165 that goes from just south of La Ronge to the Hanson Lake Road. It was so straight at times that all you could see were the trees and the road. This is very close to the geographical centre of Saskatchewan (just a bit north of it), so for those that think we’re only horizon and prairie, think again.
Amidst the carpet of green the belly of the land is hidden among the trees. Hiking in from the road, we realize it is beautifully alive with vegetation I’ve never seen before. Some were mushrooms like this, although I don’t know anything about any of it, I would love to know what’s edible and what’s not. This mushroom was spotted on a 1.3k hiking trail to the sand cliffs as we were heading east from La Ronge to Flin Flon.
The end result of our hike. Of course, we couldn’t get an eagle’s eye view, but we did get quite a nice view of the Nipekamew Cliffs from the banks of the Nipekamew River.
A sun falls in the horizon through the trees, burnishing through the branches and into the heart’s memory.
The view here is from Bakers Narrow’s tower. A terrific view of many of the lakes that surround the area.
…it was the chicken, which required a chicken card, which required not much more work than retelling a story already choked on–and then, of course, I choked, literally. Oh, and I didn’t win anything for my performance.
This year I’m not so certain which direction to move in, but whatever, I’m sure to figure out some angle to enter Geist’s 2006’s Postcard Contest. Last year I found the story first, and the postcard second. This summer I’m hoping to find the card first and perhaps the story will follow. Writing these short prose pieces keeps my faith that I may, some day, write another short story, or a novel. Or not.