The Blogoshphere. I’ve heard some bloggers refer to it as such. One intimated that it was a clan of sorts and my writing had better be good enough. Obviously, she doesn’t know me very well. I think web logs are like the rest of the internet, as varied, unruly and undomesticated as its users and prowlers. Everyone gets in, regardless of race, religion, caste or education; precisely what is exciting about the internet. Its inherent democracy and populism is its nature. After all these years, it is still a wilderness, even amidst the rampant advertising. What you find is often astounding. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of garbage too but you’re on your own there, wading through and discerning what is pertinent. What is pertinent to me is what my blog is about, which is why I dubbed it One Life. My life, which is as significant as any other. “All life is holy.” Charles Darwin or Ed Ricketts? Neither? I will have to track down the source of that quote. Speaking of wilderness, here are some excerpts from the travel journal I kept during my recent trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands. I fear I am still under their spell, which might explain why I’m having some difficulty getting back into the swing of things.
Sept. 28, 2008
In the ferry lineup, sipping a chai latte that tastes like coffee, trying to ignore the stink of SamIAm on my hands, having just dropped him off at the Dog Ranch with Brinda. We’re flying to Haida Gwaii! Man, if it’s this wet in the Lower Mainland, I have to wonder what the weather is doing up there. Are we in for a monsoon?
Flight leaves at 12:50, is about 90 minutes in duration and costs around $600. round trip. Yep, you could fly to Paris for that. Well, I’m glad we’re finally going, have been telling Susan M for as long as I’ve known her, about six years now, that we would visit. Josef said he talked to a dude who spent $1200. in ferry fees getting up there so maybe flying isn’t such an extravagance. With driving up, one has to spend money on accommodations and food. We will have to rent a car though and they charge mileage, the bastards. So, there is no cheap way to get to the Queen Charlottes so I will shut up about it.
Sandspit or bust! Guard at security was making lame jokes about our destination. Should I let him know spit is just a term for a long finger of sand?
So proud of myself! I left my (new) computer at home. Told my Facebook friends, *see* you next week. Going to do it the old fashioned way, with pen and paper, slow down. Need to in order to read my lousy handwriting, been typing mostly since 1989 and my first personal computer.
I managed to tie up all my loose ends including an AURAL Heather submission to Pacific Contact for a showcase next spring. Fingers crossed. I was telling Roddy that not only am I proud of our work, I’m confident after all our touring this summer. The Fearless Festival show went well, elicited a lot of “oaths” and “ahhs” and “wow”s from the audience. Roderick thinks it’s our best performance yet. We worked on new material at rehearsal, an adaptation of First Comes Mary, a good Christmas poem set in Mexico about ubiquitous depictions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, how Mary worship really being goddess worship and how could there be a Son of God without a Mother of God, first? Blasphemy, of course.
Man, these DC8s are noisy. Turbulence, ugh. I know it’s just the air currents and akin to driving on a gravel road but it always makes me anxious.
Here’s the poem. More on Haida Gwaii nature and wilderness next time…
First Comes Mary
Enchanted morning swim, matrix of turquoise
lagoon. Silver palometas, yellow damselfish
caress my legs. Casa Ocio walls whitewashed
in cactus milk. Coconuts on the lawn.
Palm fronds bowing, rippling like sea anemones.
Heavy mahogany Hemingway digs.
Gecko chirps from behind a gilt frame.
Cool terrazzo marble pulls sand from toes.
Double rain showerhead. Full throttle bottle bar
under a palapa. I ponder the power
of local masonry to withstand hurricanes,
why it seems odd to name them after men.
Who are you going to meet at a resort?
Mail carriers from St. Catharines. Chiropractors
from Winnipeg. Programmed amusements for fraught
tourists wary of beggars. Cockatiels. Street vendors.
They recoil at pulque, mescal, even tequila,
unless it’s frozen, goes down like a Slurpee.
They tap into barrels of Corona or deposit derrières
under cabanas to read the latest Grisham.
Beneath an arbor of pink bougainvillea
sit my dubious nephew, delicate girlfriend,
doubts sinking slowly into the deep
purple cushions. We are going to town. To Playa.
Soft brown doves adorn neon.
Turtles bask on green tile mosaic. Red house
hosts a party tableau of orange Fanta, blue corn
flowers, flags of paper lace, chocolate pan de huevos.
We smell agave, chili, vanilla, coriander and anise,
hear mariachis blaze a mighty La Bamba. Gobble
pumpkin tamales, snow-white beach cooling our heels.
Mongrels expire at the feet of professional urchins
soliciting pesos. I will not cry, pick a white handkerchief
festooned with poinsettias embroidered by his mother.
No, I can’t buy them all. Though downcast he will not cry.
Our Lady of Guadalupe provides. Protects.
Christmastime but it’s Mary I see. Everywhere. To the faithful
the forever virgin manifests in reefs, rays and schools
of gobies and fairy basslet. In the crystalline water
of a cenote near Merida. In the mynah’s cry.
They live in Mother Mary’s shadow, warm as her embrace.
Queen of the Americas imperial as the iguana
gnawing hibiscus, sunning atop Tulum’s serpentine stairways.
She is wing carved into rock, three pelicans soaring above.
Even Mary, standing on the moon, presiding over the jungle
in a cloak of stars, could not stop the calendar,
marauding anthropologists or games to the death.
On every altar she towers over the crucifix, candles,
iron crosses, golden grapes. She is under their skin,
her miraculous portrait inked onto their muscles.
Hammered in copper, in tin. On murals.
Santa Maria assures and comforts all
her Mexican children. Heals. Entirely and ever
Virgin Mary is the horizon, sea and sky colliding
in azure, cobalt blues. Sacred to all. Taxi drivers.
Marimba players. Deejays and charros. She waves
from the cruise ships, watches over fire dancing,
blesses the portrait of two young lovers lost
in a car crash. Her people feel the harbour of her arms
around them. Her mercy. Infinite. Close.
First comes Mary. Holy Mary. Mother of God.