Just a gentle reminder that the pandemic is still a thing, that we need to maintain social distancing, that vaccines are the next step, that another pandemic is coming, that black lives matter, that for society to work, we actually have to act responsibly, that it isn’t up to somebody else, but each one of us, that the rich are getting much richer and nothing is going to stop any of that, that leaving for another planet isn’t an answer but I wish it was.
I watched the ice rising up, like a submarine, baring its shiny hull, and then another crack and a fury, the iceberg disintegrating right in front of them, gone into snow and dust. It was shocking to see it there and then gone, a solid thing evaporated, the sky, crystal blue, where it had stood.
The remains spread out in the water, shards and chips, like oil, filling the bay, leaving two pieces bobbing, crashing into one another and then drifting amongst its refuse
I finally got out of the city for some exercise and air. Most on the trails were courteous and respectful regarding the mask. They either already had it in place or quickly slipped it on as we passed.
Others not so much.
When asked how I was doing by an older white fellow without his mask, I replied, “I would be doing better if you were wearing a mask.” His reply: “I don’t believe in that stuff.“
Further down the trail, a second man, similar age, ethnicity and lack of mask, replied with a chant, arms in the air, “Vaccinated! Vaccinated! Vaccinated!” I reminded him that I and many others still were not.
I left, half expecting her to be beside me, but she wasn’t and I found myself alone on a darkened path going toward the harbor. I listened to the sound of my shoes on the cement, sharp and clear and then gone.
There was always death, an expiring, a no longer. The world as only I know it – my memories – all of that done. Then nothing, a stone, dead and gone. Whatever I did, good or bad, it was just some story.
They were down from the mountain, the sun hazy through the low trees, so much hotter here, already past the conservancy camp, walking along the rocky edge, when Apollo ran ahead through the tidal pools and leapt at a hawk on the rocks.
Everything else scattered – cormorants, boobies, sea lions and crabs – as Apollo pinned the bird, the frantic brown bird fighting back, catching Apollo with its beak and talons in rapid succession.
“Apollo! No!” Dee stumbled down the rock face.
Apollo held hard to the bird as it flopped around, reared up, spasmed and shrieked.
“Let it go!” Dee yelled at him. “Drop it!”
Apollo hunched away from Dee, gripping the bird firmly.
“Apollo! I said drop it!”
“What the fuck, man.” Pax arrived from the other side of the pool. “Seriously, what the fuck.”
“Galapagos Hawk.” Dee sighed. “It’s a threatened species.”
“Apollo just killed an endangered species?”
“Not endangered.” Dee replied. “Threatened.”
“Well, this one’s fucking extinct.”
I collected a rock from every province/territory on my Cross-Canada Hitchhiking trip in 1983 and described each one briefly in my journal.
Rock #1 Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island: Smooth and rounded, a single white stripe down the side and bit of ocean scum
Rock #2 Cornerbrook, Newfoundland: Jagged, almost gold, sparkling, a 3-D trapezoid
Rock #3 Sydney, Nova Scotia: Small, white polka dots on white, a few glitters
Rock #4 Kouchibouguac National Park, New Brunswick: Orange and broken, rectangular
Rock #5 Metis Beach, Quebec: An unfinished sculpture, black with streaks of green; looks like a bird, jagged and rectangular, when stood on one end
Rock #6 Wawa, Ontario: Dark, weathered and a broken top
Rock #7 Regina, Saskatchewan: Yellowish white of small proportions, chipped
Rock #8: Edmonton Fort, Alberta: Rounded, light brown with white streaks. Pock-marked and lop-sided
Rock #9: Grey Mountain, Yukon: Egg-shaped and worn. Covered in moss shit.
Rock #10 Wreck Beach, British Columbia: black, warped, dent in one side, speckled with grey.
I failed to get to a rock from Manitoba. Not sure why. There were plenty of rocks there.
Reviewing my notes for the Young Chronicles section of this blog reminds me of how little I had a sense of who I was as a young man. More to the point, it makes me realize how much I remain the same person. My sense of self lost in mist.
I am a writer. I know that. I’ve been writing for 37 years – novel after screenplay after novel – but remain unpublished. I’ve also taught for 22 years and enjoyed that. But I feel more the actor on that stage. I do not belong there, as administrations remind me again and again.
It is not that I need praise for my work. That isn’t it at all. Writing is definitively the most comfortable place in this world, a refuge from the blur and nonsense, where I truly know who I am. But it is fleeting. I come back to here, this blog, and think that maybe I’m not.
I hitchhiked across Canada in the summer of 1983 in search of something. I told everyone that I was looking for Canada’s soul – sad but true – but it was clearly more about me.
10,000 miles and 110 different rides later, I can’t say I found anything much but laziness and fear. Not to say that I didn’t try. I stayed at Cavendish Beach in Prince Edward Island, buying enough peanut butter, jam, bread and juice for three days and thinking, “Okay, I’m going to really dig into self-reflection now.”
But I didn’t. I just read, wrote nonsense and walked around, counting down until I could eat another sandwich and have another juice. I was marking time, nothing more.
But it all rang hollow. I was closed. To myself and everyone around me. The writing was horrendous drivel, and I just kept looking down the road to see what might be next.
The power source for an intergenerational space is a matter of great conjecture because the technology does not exist as of yet.
The spaceship in The Cx Trilogy, Aqaara, is powered by Dante, an immense engine – the size of a concert hall – made up of a series of collider chambers which process dark matter during flight. The process is highly unstable and requires a reconfiguration every three days.