Monday, May 27, 2013

Dream a little dream

It seems that all of our travels in The Rattler have convinced us of the joys of getting away. Of course, it's possible that the construction of the GIANT house next door may have something to do with that too. 

Whatever the reason, this weekend saw us poking around south of the border, in an anomaly of a place called Point Roberts. According to Wikipedia, it's a pene-exclave of the U.S. -- something I'm pretty sure translates as part of the country that's not connected physically. It's a tiny place that, if you're travelling by land, is only accessible via Canada.

We had a wonderful time, strolling the beach at low tide and exploring a few of the properties for sale there. 

These ranged from low-end (more realistic to our budget) where the realtor's descriptions are always the most creative. Yes, the floors do indeed 'slope in a few directions.' You wouldn't want to try a game of marbles in there. 

We also indulged in some beyond-our-means dreams, like taking a look at this property on the bluff with its view of forever. 

Again, the description shows creativity. 'The cabin needs some work' translates as 'there's a rose bush growing through the foundation into the main room.' 

Oh well, it's always fun to dream. And washing it all down with lunch at a seaside pub wasn't a bad thing either. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pieces of pie aren't squared

Nor, for that matter, are they triangular.

Usually they’re wedge-shaped, though I have no idea what the correct term for wedge-shaped might be. Segment with arc?? Whatever. Pie-shaped.

But this isn’t about geometrical terms or determining the area of anything. 

It’s about seeing things in fresh, new ways.

Whoever it was that amended this sign needed only a single line to alter it completely.

I don’t think I will ever again be able to see a no-smoking symbol without considering the wonders of pie

Monday, May 13, 2013

The poem is mightier than the chainsaw

Saturday saw yet another event of celebration resulting from the Han Shan Poetry Project, the brainchild of poet Susan McCaslin. Only Saturday's event was more than poems.

Langley artist Susan J. Falk was inspired by the poems in the trees and created a series of paintings for a show she’s calling “Written in the Forest”. The paintings incorporate words into their design – just a key phrase from each poem – enough to firmly link the idea of visual image and poetic line.  

It isn’t very often that poets get the privilege of seeing their words incorporated into another form of art. This time, the privilege was doubled by being able to read our poems while standing in the midst of the paintings. In the photo above, Susan McCaslin (right) reads her poem while Susan Falk, almost a part of her glorious painting, looks on.

The works are currently on display at The Fort Gallery in Fort Langley. For the duration of the show, there’s an ongoing silent auction. Falk intends to donate proceeds of the auction to WOLF, the organization that first brought McLellan Forest to the attention of the public.

But the best part of all? Publicity garnered by the Han Shan Project has resulted in at least 60% of the endangered forestland now being protected as parkland. That’s good news for the future and a testament to the power of art. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Beautiful, serene -- and even good for you!

Saturday was not just 'May the 4th be with you' day (and really, who started that one, George Lucas?). It was also World Labyrinth Day.

I'm quick to admit the only reason I knew the significance of the date was that I was part of an event marking the official opening of a new labyrinth at nearby Kwomais Point Park.

Nearly a year ago, I did a post on this labyrinth, which was then only a clearing in the woods. I called that post "A Place of Vision" as that's what the word 'Kwomais' means.

And what a lovely day we had to celebrate this 'place of vision'. The weather was perfect -- sunny and unseasonably warm for early May. Certainly no one complained, including the singing eagles who soared overhead.

Although the official ceremony was at 11, many of us stayed in the park to celebrate the 'Walk as One' at 1 pm which marked the world-wide observance.

I filled the time between events with a walk in the forest and discovered as I always do, that the natural paths provide their own kind of meditative labyrinth. I also discovered this treasure that someone had left behind in
the forest, their creation which I call an 'art tree'.

One o'clock was also when the 'unofficial' part of the ceremonies began. Local artist and writer Virginia Gillespie, one of the prime movers behind construction of the labyrinth, led us along the pathway while beating a drum and speaking beautiful words about labyrinths, their history and a number of beliefs and practices surrounding them. The one I found most intriguing was the practice of drawing labyrinth patterns on the bellies of pregnant women -- supposedly a track for the unborn infant to follow!

Even if you're not pregnant, walking a labyrinth is supposed to provide many health benefits, especially when it comes to stress-related ailments such as high blood pressure and chronic pain.

If you'd like to see this particular labyrinth a bit better, there's a link to a song (a bit long, but...) which praises the Eagles' Nest Labyrinth and which shows it as it looked earlier this year.

And in case you think you (or your group) would like to build your own labyrinth, here's a link to some instructions for doing just that.