Keith Harrison (1945-2019)

Born in Vancouver and encouraged by Earle Birney, Hornby Island’s Keith Harrison himself became an inspiring teacher at Vancouver Island University, bringing out nine books along the way. FULL STORY

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#76 Annus horribilis & Site C

December 22nd, 2017

Eight ayem and I’m up. MerryMary is still sprawled on my bed, sleeping soundly. She’s been doing a lot of that and I suspect she’s on to something we should all try.

There’s something liberating about giving yourself permission to just turn away from all the duties, tasks, chores and responsibilities of daily life and going to lie down on your bed.  The process is made even better if you can turn off the voice in your head, “I have done those things I ought not to have done and have left undone those things I ought to have done and there is no hope in me.”

It’s my sincere hope the coming year will be better than this wretch we’re leaving behind us! It’s been what our lady queen once called “annus horribilis.”  Even discounting that minor stroke I pitched, the past year has been a bitch. My dear companion for fifteen years, Skinny Minnie Ambereyes, died, and the hole left by her passing hasn’t started to fill. Then my brother, one of the few truly nice men in my life, lost his valiant battle with cancer. I was still reeling when my youngest son died, also of cancer. And now a twenty-four-year old young man who called me “grandma” even though we shared no DNA, has died.

So, I’m feeling just a tad beat up.

I was feeling beat up before John Horgan betrayed the people of this province by deciding to go ahead with Christy Clark’s vanity project, Site C dam. My first reaction to the Site C sell-out was a blast of rage so intense I felt as if my eyeballs were going to burst from my skull. That fury has gone and I’m left with a feeling of sadness.

I really question why any of us bother to get up off our beds and head out to vote. We’re going to pour good money after bad, send it down a rathole, and wind up producing electricity we don’t need and can’t sell for more than the cost of producing it. I’m no mathematician, and I’m not an economist, but it seems, on the face of it, that’s no way to do business.

So, for whatever good it might or might not do, I’ve written my letters of protest and I doubt there will be an orange sign in my front yard come the next inevitable election. I’d drink drano before I’d vote for the Liberals or the Cons, and I’m very underwhelmed by the leader of the Greens, so I don’t know at this point for which pack of pizmires I’ll vote. Maybe I’ll just follow the excellent example set by MerryMary the pug, and lie on the bed, instead.

Here in Tahsis, life continues. We’ve just had Solstice. To some of us, Solstice is more important than Christmas. It’s the day the queen bee lays her first four eggs of the new year. Too bad nicotinoids are wiping out the bees. We’re going to be in real trouble without bees to pollinate the crops. It’s going to take an awful lot of people with an awful lot of feathers to get out there busily trying to pollinate the crops so we can grow enough food to feed all those feather-wielding people. Why, we’ll be so busy we won’t be able to find the time to watch daytime television or go onto the internet.

The goat track out is a mess of mud, and is “slick as deer guts on a door knob.” A car went off the goat track and over the side, the driver has been evacuated to a major hospital in Vancouver, with spinal injuries, and some folk who don’t live here still seem to want to call that mess a road. But it’s not, it’s a goat track.

Western Forest Products is cutting road through some of the most gorgeous scenery on the Island, and “progress” is hurtling toward us as they get ready to go in and clear-cut. If they do the same kind of job they’ve been doing, they’ll leave an ungodly mess and silt up a few spawning channels but hey, you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs and it’s jobs, jobs, jobs, doncha know. They seem bemused by the fact some of us are quite prepared to form a blockade to keep them out of what used to be our watershed.

On the up-side we did get a ban on grizzly bear hunting. Now if we can just get a ban on all trophy hunting and stop the disgusting wolf slaughter we might have half a chance of not insulting all of creation.

I was brought to a dead halt for several minutes when I learned there are people who are quite willing, even eager, to shoot Kermode bears. I guess those folks would trophy hunt Panda bears if we had any Pandas for them to slaughter. Maybe they can go into WalMart and slice open the stuffed Panda toys, scatter the white filling on the floor and feel whatever triumph it is they feel when they bag their living victim. I mean, really, folks, who or what would want to kill a Kermode bear? And why?

Can we not keep a few miracles? Must our species wipe out all the magic in the world?

Enough. That’s it. Site C is going ahead.

And I’m going back to bed with MerryMary.

__

Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.

 

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