Thursday, December 28, 2006

Photo Froliccing

So I've been having fun with the new camera I got from my bro bro. If you'd like to see more pictures check out my Flickr account which is linked to on the lower right side of the screen.

Here are some pictures from today. (and remember Mom, you can click on them to make them bigger) (the pictures)

To my right you can see a fine example of the Pacific Northwest Coastal Shrunken Head. The triangular eyes symbolize the upward gaze to see what the weather is actually doing at the moment. This is truly how one checks the weather on the west coast. The large smile is the happyness felt at being fortunate to live in this wonderful coastal temperate climate. And in case you were wondering I did not make this. I merely came across it as I was on my walk today. Though I have been trained in the proper way to construct such culturally important figures, and can pass on my training for a small fee.

Further down the beach,
I found a lovely log.
Slowly I crept closer.
Closer I slowly trod.

While high up in the sky,
Yes high above my head,
The grey moon silently looked down on me,
and made it's plans of dread!

From it's geosynchronous orbit,
it wandered round about.
Next time it comes to visit,
It will try to take me out.

So Porkins and Wedge are scrambling,
They're taking to the sky,
Only one things for certain,
The Death Star dies, or I.

~ Composed by Luke Skywalker before the first Death Star Assault.

I pulled up to the stop light and looked around the intersection of Quadra and Hillside. To my left the sun lit the building beautifully as the moon rose up above. I was admiring it when I realized there was a camera in my backpack on the floor next to me. I hastily scurried around to get it out. As I dug in the bag with my right hand I tried to open with window with my left. And succeeded. In locking the door. Finally I got it sorted out and was able to take one picture as the stoplight changed and on I drove. I like how it turned out.

And now it's getting late and I'm getting more tired and more lazy. So less description and jocularity on the last few pics. :) Los siento. Sorry. ;)

May we all have the vision to see the amazing and wonderful that surrounds.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dec 25th. Christmas Day

Though it is monday today, the path is crowded. The sun shines down to the water and over towards me. It is late in the year and Sol does not ride very high in it's vast blue range. The shadows this 1:41pm sun cast are long as they frolic and gamble alongside the multitude of puppies and persons, both large and small.

The crashing thunderous waves of yesterday are gone now. Replaced by their gentle resting wash that currently rolls along the shoreline.

The ebb and flow of the passing pedestrians brings snippets and pieces of conversations, dreams, fears, fights, and fondness. But the gentle waves and soft warm sunlight ease those concerns as they draw one out into the beautiful reality.

A large brown dog runs by in the most garish pink knitted outfit. Not only is the large brown dog wearing a pink knitted sweater, but there are bold red and vivid green faux dragon spikes going back along the spine ridge. It must be Christmas. The time when no matter how ugly or tacky, the gift must be worn. I feel sorry for the dog, who like a small child, has no choice in what it wears out in public.

A cormorant pops out of the water and after a brief survey of the surroundings decides to dive deeply once more.

A knotted pile of bull kelp rests on the shore; the remnants of last days festivity, much like the Christmas trees which soon will find their way to the sides of the road, the wood chippers, and the fire.

A little bit of a long distant relative of those Christmas trees flies through the air, a dog soon to follow. Both enter with a splash, the salty sea. A number of birds, those that Julian from Quebec called "gull seas", fly through the air in front of me, and all I can think is that it's too bad that dogs don't have wings to fly after birds cause I think they'd look pretty funny. But it's a good thing too cause it's bad enough when a bird flies into your window, or drops one on your car.

Apparently this year's hot dog gift is a stick and a walk on the beach. At least they all seem very enthused about it all. Two dogs go by with matching festive red and white, belled collars. Though it does set them apart for a bit of ridicule from the other dogs, the don't really mind. They're just glad they aren't the ones weating that pink sweater with red and green faux dragon spine.

Friday, December 22, 2006

One of my loves is flora

An Arbutus tree is my favorite tree, generally, not specifically. An arbutus tree is a thing of beauty to behold. Ok I feel that way about most trees. Truth be told, each has it's own wonder to share and lessons to teach. None the same, yet all similar and different. Still the arbutus has a special place in my heart, along side the Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Yellow Cedar, Red Alder, and Broad leaf Maple of my early years. It is somewhat unfortunate that I met Vine Maple in my late teens and had to build trail through it's tendency to droop and drape and fall. The many overlapping leaves can bring layered beauty to be sure, but it is not an elder companion and constant friend as were the trees of my youth.

I think, in my heart, I view the arbutus as the Orthodox viewed the Pope. I hold the arbutus tree to be, for me, the first among equals. The reds and oranges of the curling wisps of bark. The deep waxy green of the leaves. Those crazy berries that look so wild and are great fun to throw at a brother. The wild unchartable path of growth, with many twists and turns, that goes on to enhance the marvelous mystique and wonder of that tree. Being part of the 3rd generation to be born on this coastline I feel like I have a history here. A love for the land and the trees, for the rain and the sea.

There is a story from when my mother was a little girl. She had learned the names of the various trees. Including one that grew on the adjacent property. One day that tree was being cut down and she roared home in great concern for her butus tree. How could they do that with her butus tree? Someone explained that it was on the other fellow's property but she still didn't understand. Realization dawned on the faces of those around as she said one more "how can it be his tree? I thought it was our butus tree?"

And I think she was right. It is our butus tree. They are our butus trees. Ours to admire, appreciate, and share.

But perhaps their time has come. Perhaps my family's relationship with those great evergreen broadleaves is coming to a close. Due to climatic change, their range is shifting. A blight is also killing them off in many of the areas I came to first meet these trees. These unconventional coastal fellows who seem to go whichever way they chose. In some places all that remains is their stark skeletal frame, twisted and naked, all of the vibrant colour shed to the forest floor. Sun bleached bare branch bones, the only monument that remains of what once was there.

Yet as the climate changes and growth patterns alter, as species move and adapt, I am still in wonder and awe at the world and it's movements. There is a sorrow in the passing of these trees, but a joy as well. In light of their fragility and temporance I appreciate the time I have with my favorite of trees. It is a lesson I'm learning to apply to other areas of life as well. Perhaps it is wisdom, perhaps growing older, "perhaps it's about damn time" some may say.

I become less able to define the "whys" behind things and have become more to just be thankful and enjoy it while I can. I feel this is a good thing. And other then when I'm having momentary stressful times, I'm generally pretty content.

So thank you. Thank you my family. Thank you my friends. Thank you for the life this far lead. Thank you for what the day brings and what it does not. Thank you for each second, each breath, each extra beat that we've got. Sooner or later this road it does stop. So enjoy the roadtrip and all it entails.

Till our paths cross again. I'll be travelling my road too, then perhaps for a time we'll get to share a car, a meal, a breakdown, an adventure, or a pit stop.
Till that day we meet again,
I remain,
heading onward inward, and inward out.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Road Tripped Adventures

7am..... my watch starts beeping.. i set my alarm for 7:20
7:15am... I want to sleep still... but I can't. But I'm not getting up either.
7:20 am.... my watch starts beeping.. my mummy bag zipper protests as I work it downward, releasing me from my nocturnal confines. I sit spin and my feet touch down. I lurchingly leave the futon behind me as the jumbled up other sleeping bag on the floor asks what time it is. I tell it and go put on the kettle.

It's still dark outside. I don't remember the last time I actually left bed when it was dark outside. I know.. you're all jealous right now. Of course you also have jobs. That's the tension I suppose. ;)

We grab our various items and head for the door. Dad and Dave head down to get the vehicle going while I await the kettle's completion of it's task and fill up my kick-ass thermos. The greatest gift I never knew I wanted.

We stop in Duncan for breakfast. McBreakfast. It's been a long long time since I've eaten at a Mc's. Here we are with the results of our modern hunting trip. We took down 4 wild breakfast burritos while they were grazing by the left register. My brother's gun jammed so he had to kill his Sausage McMuffin with his bare hands. It was an epic struggle but Dave prevailed. We then ate what we had killed. It is our family's way.

Satiated we struck forth once more, heading up island in the face of the inclement weather.

Around 9:40amish (am ish.. not Amish like the religious group) we pulled in front of my friends house. I had been there once before. About 4 years ago. So I used mapquest to figure it out before we left the house. She opened the door at my first knock with the question "have you been waiting long?". I found this somewhat odd seeing as I knocked once and she opened the door. So my perspective on the thing is that it generally works that way. Arrive, knock, door is opened. Hurrah!

Not too fantabulous there eh? Well her experience of the situation is a little more interesting. She was lying in bed... woke up.. thought why do I have to be around 9:30?... hmmmmmmm.... remembered that I was coming, jumped up, threw on clothes, and stumbled to the door which she opened to look outside. Finding me (having not heard the knock) she enquired if I had been waiting out there long. In fact we all got there at the same time. I found it all to be rather amusing.

Anyhoo... we talked of the past few years and our various differing and similar experiences. She got to work, I drank mate and played on her guitar. Sing song sing alongs for awhile and before I knew it my father was at the door and it was time to go. A greatly enjoyable day thus far.

Well pops and I cruise on down to Vic and feeling a bit peckish decide on a healthy and nutritious hamburgesa. We consider going to the Irish Times but all that dang busy city christmas parking insanity is in full swing. Instead we come park back home and walk over to the Beagle. On our way we pass Dave "Pumpkin Head" Burke and Jim "Bag", 2 guys my dad plays wallyball with, at Starbucks. Conversations ensue. We then go to have lunch (3pm) with them intending to join later.

The loaded beagle burger has mushrooms, bacon, and cheese, along with the other normal burgery things. It's good. We drank VI's Hermans Dark Lager. The boys showed up and the day went on. We watched, observed, talked, pondered, and did other usual pub hang out things. We were talking metaphysics when the girls at the table next to us said they'd join us but they were only discussing Geology. I mentioned my knowledge of geological terms.. like the way in which rocks cleave. You know. Cleavage. It's a technical term. I don't know what you're thinking. And when the one girl said it was too bad she had to go but maybe she'd see me around. Hah. It's my knowledge of geological terms that impresses so.

Another epic amusing moment (some say I'm easily amused... I prefer to believe that I live with much joy at that which occurs around myself) was when I finally went to the washroom after a number of hours there. *The following conversation blurb has to do with happenings at a urinal and the length of time urinating. If you would rather not hear the story then continue on until the next paragraph. You have been warned* So I pull up to the urinal and start going. A guy saddles over to the one next to me and starts going.. going... going.. he leaves. I keep going. Another guys walks in and over and goes... and then he leaves before I finish off. At this point in time I wonder if those 2 guys have small bladders or if in fact I am gifted bladderly? Like one time when we were in Saskatchewan and a co-worker had gotten a van stuck in the snow, my friend Ben and I went off to the side to write our names in the snow. Cause it's fun. And I don't really remember much handwriting so I was printing. I managed to print Jordan Oram was he. I couldn't get the re onto the end... but it was still pretty good.. all that stopping and starting. Yeah they say my bro is an artist... but I am too in my own way. :)

Ok... so anyhoo... as can be seen I've now got my own digital camera. It's awesome! It makes grinding noises.. it takes awhile to save the picture (at least 5 seconds). The zoom button is quite... fussy... on account of my brother accidentally launching the camera across a parking lot one time. That's probably when it started making that grinding noise... but we know it's a tough piece of work. So now... pictures of things that I find amusing. Or fun. Or neat. Or pretty.. or or or or... oh so exciting!

So I shall leave you with the following... adios and may you go well.

Today's lunch. Almond butter and banana pieces on bagels that "expired" on the 8th. They're still fine. And I toasted them so that takes care of any little baddies.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dec. 16. 2oo6- Waiting... adventures. Team ADD

Dusk. A cyclist cycles by.
Lights become lit.
And I've dirtied my pants.
Climbing a tree. Twice.
While awaiting my ride.
He called a half hour ago.
He called my father me.
He asked if I had a shovel.
I donated my shovel to camp.
We are going to dig frozen water.
Tonight is to be festive.
And my pants are dirtied from climbing a tree, and the night hardly begun.
Some could view this as a poor sign to begin the night.
Me? Nothing wrong with a night of dirty fun!
If only the Pastor would arrive so we could get this show on the road.

So D finally pulled up, I partially scurried up the tree, he honked, I came down and got in the truck and on we drove. Paint chips from the hood occasionally flew up at the window as we attempted to find a place to "retrieve" "snow". The first arena we drove by, while avoiding the cops, had construction fences erected. We cruised the area but couldn't find a way in. Onward we went, towards Colwood and the JdF Rec Centre. We arrived to find the area locked up. We contemplated a scurrying attempt. We settled for diplomacy. Suddenly the Zamboni drove by... on his way to empty his load. D shouted at me to jump out and get him to dump it in the truck. I rapidly exited the still moving vehicle while tossing my hat in for safety and trying not to allow my beloved thermos to fall out. Dodging traffic and pedestrians I hurriedly approached buddy and his machine. He had ear protection on. Dang. He dumped. I waved. He inquired. I spoke. He informed me of the general unhygenic nature of rink "snow". The fact that it's full of hockey player sweat, blood, whatever fluids are leaked on the ice.... and said we'd need to talk to his bossman. He drove off. D went in. I parked the truck. The Bossman, seeing me, approaches. Asks if I'm the fellow from the church. I cautiously assent and he informs me of the unhygenic nature of the "snow". I'm starting to think.. maybe this isn't a great idea. D is unfazed. "They aren't gonna eat it! Just make ice sculptures with it". Ok. So Bossman hobbles over and around and unlocks the gate. D backs up. We shovel up. I wonder if I should be wearing a biohazard suit. And we get to work under the cover of darkness. We go, and go, and go. I stand atop the pile of biowaste on ice and wedge apart pieces of "snow" into the truck. Finally we are full. D pulls ahead. I lock the gate.. and we cruise towards the church. The parking brake is stuck. It unsticks. I smell rubber. D says the brake's off. We arrive at the church and I smell burning rubber still. Getting out I notice smelly steam from the rear wheel wells. A back full of "snow" apparently can sink the box enough that the wheels rub the wheel well. Lesson learned.

D ask's my learned opinion on product placement. Where should we set up the "snow". I locate a place for maximum viewing. On the grass by the corner. Everyone will see it when they drive in tomorrow. We unload the "snow" and form it into 2 roughly equal piles that bear a somewhat icy resemblance to Jabba the Hutt. Or the worlds crappiest "free form" snowmen. Basically... piles of "snow". The C&C's will create masterpieces out of them and all of the church goers will see the work in the morning. It is brilliance.

Fast forward, highligh version.
We go inside. We set up inside. We move TVs. We prepare nachos. I prepare the Yerba. Father Constantine and his wife show up. He is the new local Greek Orthodox Priest and sharing about what Christmas means in their faith. Evening proceeds. Father Costas does well. Keeps going. The groups into it. Nice guy. Fun. Look forward to more discussions and goodness. Time passes. We watch movie clips from good Xmas flicks. A little National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation, A little Simon Birch, a little Grinch. The evening closes "officially". Clean up starts. Clean up ends. People leave.

As I leave I ponder upon what people will think as they pull into church sunday morning to see two prominently placed piles of snow that resemble nothing really... except horrible Jabba the Hutt shapeless blobs. I shudder with horror at what may happen if people decide to play with the "snow" as surely they will. I wonder if I have assisted in an atrocity. As I scurried up a tree so many hours ago I had no idea what the evening had in store for me. But as I type at the keyboard here, and realize I really should go to bed cause I'll be getting up soon, I can go to sleep with the feeling that this was a good day. A fun day. And that's pretty good.

I also talked to strangers. One guy said the army can use people who climb trees. I don't know how many trees there are in Afghanistan. It looks like mostly hot desert. I'm a pale skinned, red haired boy who climbs trees on a whim. I think that would take the spontaneous joy out of it. Plus I'm not too into that whole "killing" thing, or sunburns.

Another fellow wondered what the definition of nation is. I said I think there are numerous definitions. I told him to use care when climing the local trees. He asked why. I mentioned my dirty pants. He walked on.

Father Constantine did well in a potentially hostile environment. I told him that if there was a throw down.. I had his back covered. We cut red and green peppers together for the nachos. We had a knife fight. Ok I made that last part up. It was tomatoes.

Some girl said she didn't like it when her hair was kinky. I bit down on a comment. She noticed. She attempted to clarify. I pretended to not understand the clarification. Instead I said "good job on matching your shoes to your top." She said thanks and said something about it. I was distracted. I went to open the door for her. I walked into the door to open it, and swing it out for her. Too bad I picked one that was locked.

I made a schism joke around the Father. Then I asked him if it was really bad form to mention that whole schism between the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Church.

I told the C&C's that whoever guessed the pile of snow with a body in it would win a prize. I think they think I'm silly. I challenged them to a knife fight. That probably changed their opinion. Now I have respect. Then I tried to see if I could run and jump and hit a sign hanging from the roof with my head. I missed the one in the hallway.. but got the one in the foyer.

I started doing the hand snappy thing. A guy said "you can do amazing things with your hands". I said "You promised you wouldn't bring that up here at church". He looked confused. Conversations stopped. I laughed. He attempted to clarify. I pretended not to understand his clarification. He laughed. Many laughed. Some were confused.

During the crazy Nativity scene from Simon Birch there's a moment when Joe says "Holy Sh*t". D was concerned about playing the scene. But it's a great scene. So I mentioned that I could develop fish tourettes syndrome and yell out different fish names everytime there was an "innapropriate" word. Like TUNA! or MACKERAL! or SALMON! to cleverly distract and draw attention away from the "innapropriate" word. So as the movie played and the scene occured it was my job to do the whole "cough really loud into your hand while saying TUNA" trick. I think it worked well. Though now people really think I'm silly.

That and the fact I kept trying to find out where the after party was. Apparently there isn't. What kinda young 20's somethings is this? Maybe me and Father C will go cruisin' some other time. He has the pimpinist cassok (robe). All black and shiny. I wonder if he can hook a brother up? Maybe I can get one if I promise not to wear the white collar.....

ok.. getting up in 5.

There's more where this came from if you go to with me.

We go up island on monday to pick up my bro bro. And I get a camera. That's right. Soon I can mesmerize, amaze, and amuse you all with stories, scribbles, and accompanying pictures. Score. Pictures taken by me, on a camera I have consistent access too. Who am I kidding? I really don't care what you think. I just like to blather and record. And it's a good thing I don't care. All of those negative comments I have to keep deleting. For the last time Mom. Stop calling me those things, or sharing those stories on this public space!

Bed now, me go.
Peace you, ya yo.
Ya ya, ya yo.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


If you want to watch a crazy movie about America's descent towards Fascism for free on the internet you should check out America: Freedom to Fascism. It's a pretty crazy movie. And just cause you're may be living in Canada doesn't mean it doesn't effect you. Check it out.

On with the show

The sky reflects from the wind rippled pool, running out a foot above the waves' steady wash.

My reflections disturbed as the jingling sound of keys can be heard slipping from my pocket and falling midst idle pieces of driftwood before final alighting in water above rock shelf. The sun is shining somewhat through the cloud cover in the distance over the Olympic mountains. The seaplanes fly back and forth across my field of vision as a sailboat plyes the water to my left.

I have been on another blue glass hunting expedition. The tide being up has modified my plans and so I started at the front of Clover Point. Where the detrius accumulates. History in garbage, washed upon the shore. Bricks and ceramics being worn by the abrasion of uncounted waves revealed underneath the more transient logs and bull kelp remains. I am hit by a very coastal smell as I shuffle along my current stretch of shoreline. That of cedar mingling with what could be a skunk cabbage if I were near a swamp. But I am not. So somewhere nearby must be another variant of skunk foliage. I keep on with my quest.

In the distance on the hill a man with a yellow hat struggles, not with an inquisitive simian, but rather, with many long lines attached to an orange and yellow parachute. He's got it up now! As he struggles to avoid getting blown backwards and away. As he struggles to avoid taking out people on the walking path. And he's down once more.

Two people stumble and slide over the slick wet rocks this way. A guy and a girl. He has a tatoo on his thick neck. She's wearing a plaid shirt. They carefully traverse the logs to my left and go along their merry way.

I too shall now depart to follow after natures alluring call. I've drank quite a bit of water and with the steady crashing waves it is time to go.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Retracing New Journeys

I'm sitting on my uninflated, unrolled thermarest; resting with my back upon my backpack. Small components occasionally rattling draw my attention from the engines thrum and vibrations. An excited, boisterous boy exuberantly cavorts after his mother. A cup of soup floats by; held aloft by an attractive apparition in blue jeans wearing an earring and close clip cropped hair. Two sports bags rest alongside me, twixt the Swartz Bay Foot Passenger Exit and I. They have the look of a sports team. Perhaps it's the Diadora blazoned on their side. Or perhaps the mother who hovers over them, coffee and newspaper in hand.

The fish, in their stationary movement, climb the wall going nowhere outside of the Pacific Buffet. Lunch is available on the 1 and 3pm sailings. $15.75 for an adult. $8.75 for a child. Squinting at the sign it would appear that children are those between the ages of 5 and 11. If you are an adult at 12 then even if I were to shave I don't think I could pass for 11. I could claim an overactive pituitary gland and cite Andre the Giant but then they'd ask where my parent/guardian is. Perhaps a lost unaccompanied minor would get a discount. I could use my Bobby from Bobby's World voice. Or Kermit the Frog. Mind you I'm not really hungry having been treated to a Costco hot dog as I received a ride to the ferry from the Tiessen family in their people's car. I got the back middle seat from Hope to Abbotsford, wedged in between Eli's baby carrier, Josiah's car seat, and the front seats. We're a cozy bunch!

Two more ladies have positioned themselves upon the floor. With 6 foot buffers. A guy with a black leather jacket, dress slacks, gray hair and a mustache walks by, stops, half turns and gazes through the glass doors towards the Pacific Buffet. People with mustaches often remind me of walruses. Or sea lions. He then resumes his nautical circumnavigation. I recognize him from Saanich Baptist Church. He walks back again, scrapping his circumnavigous journey.

The sign of welcome to the buffet strongly proclaims
Welcome to our Pacific Buffet

Enjoy one of BC's most unique waterfront dining experiences. Spectacular coastal views and a wide selection of delicious choices offer great value for one all-inclusive price.

Join us for a memorable dining experience throughout the day.

This has me thinking of other dining experiences that could fit that criteria. Like, say, the gutter in a fisherman's market down by the sea.
Unique BC Experience? Check
Spectacular Views? Sure
Wide selection of delicious choices? Ok
Great Value/All-inclusive price? Can't beat free.
Memorable Dining Experience? You bet!

Any out of towner treated to that would remember it.
Perhaps that was a bit silly. I'll be a tad more serious. A quaint seaside restaurant where they slap you in the face with a fish. I think that could qualify as one of BC's most unique waterfront dining experiences. That is of course until it becomes an "in" thing and all the other restaurants do it too. Maybe in time for the 2010 Olympics.

A girl has joined the immobile jumping fish across from me. Purple nail polish adorns her left, book holding, hand with which she removes her reddish brown leather jacket. Green comfy pants and green snow boots. A white scraggly scruffy scarf adorns her neck. And glancing outside I see that we are through the Inside Passage. I look up and she has vanished. Without a trace. Someone call Anthony La Paglia. All that is left behind is what looks like an instrument case, a pull along mini-suitcase with two plastic bags slung over top, one containing a purple nalgene, and her coat.

I think she may return.

She did. With a little black hoody and an accompanying black pursy thing with orange and red flowers. I figured she'd be back because it's cold outside and people don't generally abandon nice jackets without cause. Brown hair with some grown out blonde bang highlights, a nose ring, and pensive eyes, as she scans her book of plays. Perhaps time for a sports pun? Her playbook?

A tiny little girl giggles and squiggles by; her parents in tow. They retrieve her from her dash through the doors. Though she looked to be under five so she would've been allowed in for free. But you probably aren't supposed to use it as free daycare. Though there is no sign saying "no unaccompanied minors" so.....

A gentleman with salt & pepper hair, graying out at the temples, walks by in brown dress shoes, olive dress pants, and a black down jacket, holding aloft a black tray with 3 cafeteria coffees. He must really like coffee. Ferry cafeterita coffee no less. A true connoisseur.

My neighbor to the left has departed. 12 feet to the lady in the corner wearing her blue adidas zip up. However a young red bag toting, book reading woman has taken up residency between us. Though only 3 feet from me. Leaving 9ish feet betwixt them.

I am no longer the only male waiting near the door to the overhead walkway exit. A young lad sits over to the right between the two sets of doors. He's fully plugged in. IPod on his lap, earbuds in his aural cavities, and Nintendo DS in his hands. Stopping only to spare the occasional hurried glance at his wrist watch. He's in his own world, which is much smaller than the one I'm currently aware of, yet perhaps unlimitedly large as well. For who can demark the limits of human experience?

What is this? The sports bag watching mother has taken up conversation with the 12 foot distant Adidas wearing lady. They've taken off to destination unknown? Perhaps to coffee, discussion, a brief impassioned tryst? A ferry romance? Who knows.

A fuzzy blue dry mop works it's way around the corner and into the open floor of our waiting area. It drags it's female ferry handler after it and around. As quickly as it appears it is gone once more.

The Adidas lady is back dragging a black bag! Not enough time has passed for it to've been a murder. Sports bag Mom is back too, with other bags to place 12 feet to my left. I'm re-evaluating her mom status when two girls fill in the large left space. One has a blue nike bag. One a blue diadora! The sports team theory is strengthened. The mother theory is waffling towards coach/chaperone.

Straw broom and mobile dustpan on a stick conspire and combine forces to bring the female ferry handler back around and through.

More people arrive and I believe it is time to roll up my thermarest and let it re-assume its familiar spot atop my backpack. 10 minutes to scheduled docking time. Might as well prepare. Plus I think my ass has gone to sleep. At least the left cheek.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Birthday Experiences and Other Observations

Dec2 was my birthday. Here's some of what occurred that day.... oh so long ago. Ok. Last Saturday.
I stand cold on the back and warm on the front. The snow still covers the ground and holds aloft the little birds who venture forth on the white frozen expanse. The fire crackles and smokes as the heat radiates outwards and up into the crisp clear blue sky. I stand in the middle, along the heat's border, cold on the back and warm on the front.

A bird perches on the open metal hand attached to the outstretched metal arm of the iron birdman sculpture.

Not only can I hear the snap, crackle, and pop of the fire, but also the dripping of melting snow. The icicles point down from the wooden eaves, as, behind and beside me, snow clumps discard their branches for the earth's embrace. The fronts of my legs feel toasty but my tootsies are ice. Beside me in the snow is a tomato. Chilled in the giant expansive refrigerator of our localized existence.

Time to push the fire back together as the birds look on. Perhaps it is time once more to enter the art show; the press of the crowd. I want to have a cookie.


I await a sign! Soon it will be time. The line is forming. Like bovines they stand. Creatures of habit, they scurry and scuttle after each other. Why? To be first on a ship that won't yet sail for a time. What does this hurry gain them?

The awaited sign occurs! Magically the gates part and the race is off. The throng charges up the loading ramp. The crowd surges forward as at the start of a marathon. But this marathon mob has only a short sprint in which to accomplish their goal.

Our culture greatly respects personal space and because of this there is very little actual physical contact. There is very little jostling. Much like race car driving it is jockeying for position at high speeds with inches of room for error.

Time has passed and the forward crush has advanced onward. Now it is my time to proceed. The bulls have run their Pamplona streets. Now I, like a wily predator, will pick my way through the burdened mothers, their young children, and the infirm elderly. For this leg of the race matters little.

Experience has taught me, perception has equipped me, wisdom has guided me, and practice has prepared me. I will go find a seat at the front of the boat. Though I am one of the last to walk on, there will be one at the front of the boat. As we near the Tsawassen terminal they will line up once more; expend their energy wastefully as they stand and mill about like sheep. Still I will sit. Part of the dock structure will drift by. More will stand. Those standing will tire. Still I will sit. The sailor will walk by, make his way through the crowd, go out the door, and prepare. More stand, still mill, as I sit. Finally when the time is right I feel the fire in my belly. I stand. Calmly, confidently, and quickly my backpack comes to rest upon my hips and shoulder. I stand aside the front of the line. I am near the bottle neck: the doors and the gangway. I politely, purposefully, always respectfully, merge and ride the wave of people propelling energy forward. The pressure pushes me across the gangway and into the closed series of straightaways. A few of those long term standees will be in front of me. But to my well rested legs they are no competition. They quickly fall away, victims to my long stride and unrushed steady pace. This is a race with purpose. To avoid the crush and cram. To avoid those that clog and close the channels. To get out of the arrival area ahead of everyone else and avoid the car lot chaos. This is the reward. The thrill of the race run well. A chance to stretch legs long left idle. The arrival room will be full of people. Eagerly they await a sign. Their sign will come to them borne on long legs; a backpack on his back. When I arrive, the doors shall part.