" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

January 19, 2011

The Dude, Lane 31 and a Crane for the Fir Tree

  If you're in the city, sit down somewhere really quiet, listen to your breath and imagine a full moon dropping silver dust across the grass, spotlighting the potholes in the gravel lane and freeze framing the steeley rippling ocean as if you've been dropped into an Edward Hopper painting.

That's what it's like driving along Walker's Hook Road where I live. The narrow, windy asphalt creeps and winds just above the water's edge on the North End of the island. I must keep my eyes on the road to avoid the ditch even though I have taken lately to driving smack down the middle of the yellow line. A car is rather a rare sight in the evening.

With one hand on the steering wheel, I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the moon and the purple and pink haze of streaky quotation marks around the otherworldly translucent orb. It's my happiest moment of the day. It brings me back to the luck and beauty of  being alive.
Salt Spring Island is a quiet place in the winter. Maybe that's true of every small place. What to do? Read more.Local authors. Brian Brett's Trauma Farm is ready to be cracked open. I just devoured George Sipos's Geography of Arrival. Movies. More movies.  I catch up on watching movies that most other "normal" North Americans have already seen because, let's face it, I'm a bit of a pop culture alien. Understatement.

Last night I watched The Big Lebowski by the Coen Brothers. How could I not have seen this movie? The Dude characterization gave me all sorts of ideas. I"m surrounded by The Dude in various incarnations and as worthy on a daily basis in my job. Maybe I should invite the Coen brothers up for a visit on a little "recky" mission.

As for tonight it's a bloody  miracle I'm not on my knees out in the back yard howling at the moon in frustration related to problems with the creation of a new website for myself. It's never simple. Even when it should be. Especially when an insurmountable problem arises and you turn into an obsessive-compulsive, wimpering, temper-tantruming desperate piece of quivering and totally-stumped brain matter attached to a set of 10 fingers tapping madly at the keyboard all to no avail.

Maybe a dip in the pool and a little weekly Deep Water Aquafit will relieve my angst. Being January, the class is packed with women and one guy who merely, by his presence, I admire immensely. He's cute and he's  a film maker and of course he plays in a band. We discuss it in the hot tub. They're called Lane 31. I'm not crazy about that name. It's the Lane islanders must get into when they return from Victoria and line up for the Fulford Ferry. So?

I'm listening to their MySpace downloads and wow, my first impression wasn't fair. I have listened to this song, Shari's song, about 25 times while I'm writing this. Love it. Love the lyrics. Love the guy's voice.

The evening gets capped off with a long call from Pauline to report in on the latest Monty Python skit of how not to build a cottage.

Turns out that a huge fir tree smack dab up against the new little cottage must come down.

"What?" "You never noticed this before?" I ask stupidly before I think, "Shut up Gayle."

 "It will require a crane," they say. Call your insurance provider they tell her. Check your coverage. Does it cover Acts of God? Freaks of Nature?
Never seen anything like it, they say.
"I couldn't sleep last night," she said. I kept seeing two people -  city slickers -  sleeping peacefully in the new B&B crushed to death by the tree. I imagined hearing the crack and waking up just in time to see the towering inferno of branches devouring the roof.
I'd lose everything. They'd die. Their relatives would sue. Gone. All gone. (Blessing in disguise I think to myself but wisely refrain from saying.)
"It's a miracle that thing hasn't dropped before," said the arborist.
"Is he really an arborist?" I ask. "Like, a real arborist?"
"He has 30 years," she says. "With trees though?" I ask again.

I only ask because everybody here, on this crazy little island, is something whether they are or not if you know what I mean. It's a bit like Hollywood in that way, I imagine. I should ask to see my doctor's degrees just in case.

"Call me when they're ready to hoist it outta there," I say to her about the Giant Evergreen.
"Doesn't matter where I am or what time of day. I want to see this."

But for now, enough already. I lay me down to rest.

No comments: