Tuesday, May 31, 2011

what this represents

totems, Stanley Park by jeesau
You'd think time away from home would have given me some good writing time. But no. Well, the time was available, but I spent it not writing.  What I did do:  discovered that Granville Ave does not lead to Gastown, learned that there are homeless people in Canada too (but like Canada, they were nicer and cleaner, somehow), ate all the food on a three-tiered tea tray, took a bus tour only to remember too late why I don't like them, saw two bald eagles in a tree, saw two Orca in the Sound, waved to people on the passing ferry (which made me feel lonely for some reason), and met a dog named Mr. T (I resisted "pity the fool" jokes). It wasn't a good outing for writing, but perhaps later it will be.

  

photo:  Totems, Stanley Park, Vancouver

Friday, May 13, 2011

watermarks

I can't help but think of my grandma during this time; Ol' Man River is overflowing.  The Big Muddy is breaching.  Water, water everywhere.  She grew up near the Mississippi River on the Louisiana side.  When I was a kid, she told stories about the river flooding, their house filling with water.  She said that they'd return in skiffs to collect what they could of their belongings.  I imagine the older siblings paddling them in through the front door, ducking their heads as they entered.  Because they were a poor family, they had to return to the house after the water receded.  Eventually, they could count the number of floods they'd had by the watermarks on the walls.

With all that water, surrounded by bayous and a massive river, my grandma didn't know how to swim.  It's crazy to me that no one taught a child, who lives close to a mile-wide river, to swim.   She did learn later in life, after she became a grandmother.  Lessons in a swimming pool wearing a stylish, skirted bathing suit.  Or at least that's how I imagine it.