The Clearing

After that hailbomb we walked up…

I like it. A lot of land has been cleared up here. The exposed soil is a cedar brown. There’s a lot you could do with this big new patch of ground although I can’t think of a single thing right now, mostly because of where this big clearing is. So I presume there will be a reforestation effort across the curve of time. There’s nothing like big wide open spaces and new vistas to make you think.

I like it. It’s always a learning experience. It’s after the battle. The trees are down and gone away, the earth has been churned up and all the woodland creatures have run off. The world up here as it was is ended and it’s new times.

The land has really been ripped up but it’s not anything different from what I’ve seen elsewhere. Vast tracks of ground have gone through the same thing for all kinds of reasons for many moons. I’m not shocked or feverishly wringing my hands and weeping for all the terrible devastation. I like it. It’s different. It’s business.

Impressive towering pyramids of slash have been built up and they’ll make for some cozy barbecues when fire season’s over in the fall. It’s quite an easy “show” really, just rolling lumpy land unlike some of the hairy sidehills I recall, logs tumbling down and bonking off each other like ten ton toothpicks.

That reminds me of something funny. Saturday Creek. The Super was standing on the road looking up the hill and something like what I’ve just described was happening. “What the hell’s going on up there?” He said, looking at me. “You the hooktender here?”

I was green as grass and it was my first morning in camp. Any camp. I was standing on the road a few feet from this guy who’d just pulled up in his pickup. If I was standing around it was because I was waiting for somebody to tell me what to do. There were four sides going at that time and I guess it was hard for Finnerton, his name was, to keep up with who was doing what where. He had a beautiful daughter. I never worked a side as tough as Saturday Creek the rest of my time in the industry.

Please. Please. No more logging stories. A heavy steel swing gate, locked, blocks the entrance to this new logged-off land on this new punched in road off the main drag not far from home. Other people now I hear are using that expression, my expression, “punched in” and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Am I a force for good or just another glib hacker? The gate is solid but could use some paint. What’s left of the original paint is a vomit yellow, frittering away, but it’s a fine, solid gate and it feels good.

One note about woodland creatures. I never saw “Bambi” before. I mean there was “Lady And The Tramp” and “Pinocchio” and “Dumbo” which is probably the greatest movie ever made, not the remake, the original, and “101 Dalmatians”, but I never had the opportunity as a kid, I guess, to see “Bambi”. I always thought Bambi the little deer was a girl. I didn’t, for the life of me, know Bambi was a boy until two nights ago.

Years, friends. Decades. Eons out here in space. The ravages of time. I didn’t know and the realization comes at last. I’ve been taken down by an assumption, long held. It’s like you’ve made up your mind forever and you think you know what this movie is about. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen it. As it turns out you don’t have a clue. You feel like a fool but finally you’ve learned. And you feel stronger.

Don’t worry about forgetfulness. I don’t. I want forgetfulness. I do. It helps me relax. I have a lot of complicated things I deal with every day and relaxation is vital. It’s self-interest. And self-interest appeals to everybody. I’ve seen it.

 

Thomson Park III

It’s a state of mind when you get to the third in the series and at the start you didn’t even know it was going to be a series.  Is this one any good? Does it suck?  Is there too much animation, cardboard plots and bad acting? What is it?  As a professional critic we get paid to get out to things otherwise we might not go.  We might do something else. But this one is pretty good.  It’s right up there with the others.

Thomson Park III is a hit!  Get down!  Get down there and get all over it!

By the strangest coincidence, the most bizarre concatenation of events all too common when you get right down to it, there’s an article in the current Saturna Scribbler about this selfsame patch of ground Thomson Park. Just when I’ve got another movie coming out.  That’s great.  Syncronicity is still out there.  I believe.

There it is in the distance, the “Thomson Park shelter structure” which needs to be improved, apparently, “so it better reflects the historic, social and even spiritual values of this place.”

I just wonder what that can possibly actually mean?  It’s looking like a bomb-proof heavy steel pavilion structure on a concrete pad with a bunch of big, solid picnic-type tables under a pyramidal green metal roof.  With barbecue. There’s no improving on that. But we understand that it’s all volunteer. That’s what we’re doing ourselves.

Thomson Park is a “site” apparently.  It has a “spacial configuration” and a “functionality over time” and a “broader context in which it played a role”.

I must pause to ask the author of the article what is meant by “deep history”?  Is there “shallow history”?  Is there “not too deep history”? There’s one kind of history.  But that’s enough of this.

Wild speculation that the population of the region may have been “one million” just sounds like bunk.  I’m sorry.  And on to the concept of “settler”.  I’ve seen this before.  This was invented, this idea of “settler” or “settler communities” by one person, somewhere, somehow, in a dark, bureaucratic hole of bureaucratic bs.

There is no “settler” and no “recent settler community” and never was. There are no “settlers” around here and never were.  It’s an academic invention with an agenda and time it was exposed.  It’s heartbreaking.

We need first of all better writing about “Thomson Park” and what it is and what it was before it was “Thomson Park”.  You can’t have lousy writing talking about a special place. It diminishes.  Everything is turned into highly unsanitary mush.  Let’s get with it.  My opinion.

That isn’t what we’re talking about here.


First Nations Logging Show III

Oh deer, what is happening to my habitat?  Make them stop, mother.

We left Bob Stanley in good shape at the foot of Fiddler Rd.  We said “hi” again and told him we had to head back to civilization.  Everybody laughs at that joke and Bob was no exception.  Practically overnight he’d become like a diplomat and a diplomat trying to stay warm standing around all day in this beautiful cool, clear skies week.

He’d had to interact with all sorts of wonderful people with different, wonderful opinions on what was going on here and he was getting through it.  He was okay. He seemed to be a man of many moods, all of them good and the feeling emerged he’d been exactly the man for the job. Good on him and good on good old Campbell River where Bob’s from. Woo woo!

Proust Remembered

Really going to the dogs around here.  I keep seeing fluffy white hounds but they don’t seem to see me so I’m hoping that’s a good thing.  Paranoia strikes deep.  So old school.  So old.  You can’t be concerned.  You just can’t.  You just have to get through the therapy.

Dying time again.  I keep tearing bits off the site before they try to grow back.  It’s slow, painstaking work and like all of you out there I hate pain.  “Take the pain!”  I wish I knew.

Even now, at this late moment, you remember the people that remembered you reading Proust although they can’t remember now because they’re dead.  I remember.  Too bad. Who cares?  Get out.  Bar’s closed.


I wouldn’t have thought to think about it if I hadn’t.  Proust’s first English translator dressed up as a Scottish soldier.  What is this?  How’d he get permission?  For years I knew nothing about this.  I became concerned.  What else didn’t I know?  Royal Scots.  Great War.  Hundred years.  Zzzzz…  Time out.  Remember “quicksand”?  Sinking in quicksand? You never hear about quicksand anymore.  As a young lad I was terrified of quicksand. Never saw it, encountered it.  Saw it in movies and on TV.  Never heard about Scott Moncrieff either.

So I acquired this biography of the guy who translated À la recherche du temps perdu.  It had to happen at some point.  The  cover is the Farrar Strauss and Giroux edition, 2014. Great bunch of guys.

The Marcel Proust I read, for obscure reasons, was translated from the French by C. K. Scott Moncrieff.  It’s indisputable.  Who turns out to be rather an interesting character for a lot of reasons beside his translation of Marcel’s massive work of art.  Less on him later.

He was also a poet, although he didn’t think much of himself as one, an opinion shared by a smattering few, but others enjoyed it.

I read half the Proust translation in Chatto & Windus paperbacks published in London too many years ago because we don’t have all day.  Farrar, Strauss and Giroux take the field against Chatto & Windus.  That would be a match-up for the ages.  Luv to see that!

The poem prefaced one of the Chatto & Windus volumes.  As I sold off these volumes years ago at a trifling loss and am too lazy to check a library copy and anyway continue with a deep sense of revulsion for libraries generally, I can’t recall which volume it was exactly. Doesn’t matter.  The theme is remembrance.  I think it was the second volume.

How’s the ancient Greek mythology coming along?  Mine’s so-so.  You plant teeth from some dragon and warriors sprout up from the dirt.  Goes on from there.  Doesn’t make a lot of sense but there it is.

“Remembrance Day”. “Remembrance Sunday.” “Veteran’s Day”.    Some people are criticizing the thing saying it promotes war and killing.  All that’s happening there is these folks getting high on the rising tide of ignorance.  It’s either that or they’re communists. Pitiful.  We forgive them.

 


To K. S. S.

That men in armour may be born
With serpents’ teeth the field is sown;
Rains mould, winds bend, suns gild the corn
Too quickly ripe, too early mown

I scan the quivering heads, behold
The features, catch the whispered breath
Of friends long garnered in the cold
Unopening granaries of death,

Whose names in solemn cadence ring
Across my slow oblivious page.
Their friendship was a finer thing
Than fame, or wealth, or honoured age,

And—while you live and I—shall last
Its tale of seasons with us yet
Who cherish, in the undying past,
The men we never can forget.


There was probably a lot of women he never can forget but they were possibly not uppermost in his mind at the time.  Romantically, certainly, he preferred men.  Interesting guy.