The Pine On The Kauri Pass


“The trouble with literature today everybody wants to write it, nobody wants to read it.”

So yes, we’re on the sunny side of the street out here. Very well situated. I don’t know what else to tell you.

“The terrible wound that had opened up in his side and he didn’t know if he was going to make it. He was looking down at the blood running out of him. His mind was still working so he knew he wasn’t actually dead. It had slowed down a bit, this blood. He put his hand on the gaping wound. The blood was coming through the fingers of his hand but only sort of seeping through.  Everything was going to be all right.”

The air is refreshingly cool in the sun. Temperate. Beautiful afternoon. I said that. Back here at the Coastwatchers pub I’ve ordered a bier and a splash of Suntory “Toki” Japanese whisky. Toki = Time. It’s good. Like the Japanese it’s subtle with a great attention to detail.

“Not sure why we’re not connected.”

February 24, 2017. 4:32 pm. The day a continuation of yesterday. Weather-wise entirely acceptable to bolster my theory February is beautiful here.

I think part of what happened is I went a “Toki” too far and discovered another feature, or tasting note, that this is a fairly powerful drink masked by the Japanese passion for delicacy and self-effacement.

“Toki” is a fine, deep yellow and the Japanese passion for degeneracy is nicely masked by a mild, almost innocuous-seeming smoothness. I had two shots and they weren’t overly generous although adequate, and I was already into the Japanese stagger. I don’t much like staggering.  It leaves you with a certain feeling of inadequacy.”


We drove in to the store for pudding because we’re out of dessert. And being out of dessert is like being lost in the desert. Where no dessert is.

Maybe something of an experience once if you survive it. But why take that chance when you don’t have to? Side trip down to the defunct winery to get some rosemary from the abundant bushes around the abandoned Auberge. They called it “The Bistro” and they’re all gone. I like “Auberge”. We can’t remember if the place is for sale or not, the bistro and all those vines planted, what is it, twenty years ago? “Saturna Winery”. They tried they failed.

February 25, 2017. 3:53 pm. It’s been looking like a bit of rain most of the day but the rain hasn’t happened. It’s very quiet here, that’s for sure. 5:19 pm. Time is not my friend, but “Toki” is. Dusk and the wind’s come up a bit.   Just listening to some Schubert lieder. Guy’s famous in these islands.

February 26, 2017. 10:32 am. Up an hour ago after a much better night. Yes, that’s quite right. Feel almost normal. Rained a long time last night and sure, it was kinda nice hearing the rain on the roof.  Raindrops. Pretty little raindrops. Fallin from my eyes.

6:12 pm. Forgot what I was going to say. That’s when you know you’re in “Toki” time again, the time capsule, the fine Japanese whisky. The bottle is going down and you’re going up. Up to the Toki stratosphere and, here again, you’re liking the time you spend with this inscrutable Asian concoction. “Toki” at your retailers now.

Snow season.  1:57 pm. Still coming down. We go out to have a look at Cliffside Road and meet a neighbour and her dog. They’re from down the road at 116. We agree getting in the car and trying to get to the store isn’t a good idea. She said she’d planned to hit the store too. So we continue ixnayed.


It’s 2:00 pm and it’s coming down now in bigger flakes again. Alright already. We’re talking “Snow Falling on Cedars” here. Did I see the movie? Definitely never read the book. Cute chestnut chickadees at the suet feeder outside the window here. And a hummingbird in a snowstorm at the hummingbird feeder.  Things are really kicking into gear around here. But we’re also stuck.

4:44 pm. These times are real, and time is real. I can feel it.

“If we do that we’ll never get to the bottom of the mysterious island. And that would be too bad. Our brethren couldn’t hack it. They’re here for a reason. They just don’t know what that reason is. And they want to find out. That’s your island right there. So let’s move on from this esoteric stuff and have another discussion about all this weather. Oh, this darned snow.”

5:24 pm. “Who will speak for the fossils? What about them? Don’t they have rights? A fossil in the ground, just because it’s been there for many millions of years, doesn’t make it right. We have to stand up for the fossils because they can’t stand up for themselves. Who is with me on our campaign of hope?”

February 28. 5:05 pm.  We’re getting through time and we’re getting through “Toki”. It’s been good. There’s hardly any left. I’ve enjoyed my week with time. There are but a few desultory sips left in the squared off rectangular glass bottle with the short neck and black plastic screw-top cap. What the Japanese mean by that I’m not sure. It’s different. And I like things that are different.  First it’s ironic then it’s iconic.

“And then, at last, you come to the end of time. You look up and there it is. No mas. It’s been a bloody knuckle fight but it’s over. And we’ve both gained confidence. Or maybe it’s just me.”


Author: Steven Brown


2 thoughts on “The Pine On The Kauri Pass”

    1. Hi 14. Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to have new friends, I hope. “Toki”. Good name for a pet. I had to look up “Kuari Pass” myself. Forgot where it is. There was this tree, you see, on the Kauri Pass in a book I read by a guy who did a lot of climbing exploits in the 30s in the Himalayas. And this tree took on a special significance for this guy and I found that significant. And that tree in the picture kind of reminded me of that. And Tuesday when I was back there where the tree is, you know, out there, the light was so brilliant I took some brilliant shots because I’m brilliant. It would have looked cool in the snow too, Toki or no Toki.


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