The city protects some trees with chicken wire. There are big, old trees near the water you can see chicken wire patterns embedded in the bark. Last spring Luka chased a beaver into the water at the marina. It swam circles around her, pausing to thwap! it’s wide tail at her. She’d never have caught it, but if she did; I shudder to think how badly a beaver would fuck her up. She’s on the hunt. Normally, I keep her leashed up whenever we near beaver dens. She’ll stop, lift her nose high in the air, eyes closed and smiling as she smells them on the wind.
Fifty years ago Dad was hitchhiking alone across Europe from Canada. Mom was hitchhiking with a male friend across Europe from Australia. Both were in Thessaloniki for Greek Independence Day. He spotted her at a party. He describes this moment as if he was hit by a thunderbolt. She was sitting on the lap of her travel mate on a tall wicker basket. He assumed it was her boyfriend. Being hopelessly romantic his heart was defeated but his thoughts were consumed by her.
They were staying in the same hostel and he struck up a friendly conversation with her companion, while she was across the room packing her bag. Her friend said he wanted to hightail it to London but that she was determined to go to Turkey and at that time women weren’t allowed to cross the boarder without a male escort. Dad acted swiftly, impulsively. Minutes later he approached Mom with his hand out ‘Hi, my name is Bruce. I just traded you for maps of London’. Mom, 5’6 feet tall looked this 6’5 west coast Canadian up, down and said ‘Alright then. We’re going to Turkey’.
The following day they were jammed in the street watching a parade. She was frustrated she couldn’t see over the heads of people in front of her. He didn’t notice her leave his side till the whole crowd had turned their heads and were pointing up. He saw her, in her short summer dress, shimmying up a guy wire to the roof of a shed above the street. He fell deeply in love. Children scrambled up the wire after her and the shed almost collapsed.
They picked grapes for money in Greece. Hitchhiked through the country on their way to Turkey. They hadn’t eaten or drank much when a little truck filled with glass soda bottles picked them up. Riding in the back of the ute, exposed to the afternoon heat, he moaned ‘What torture this is being surrounded by so much to drink and no way to open these bottles’. She picked up a bottle, smashed the neck across the side of the cab and handed it to him. He said, once in Turkey, he was offered three camels and a small hotel in exchange for her.
My youngest sister and I were looking at this picture talking about how much we love it, how romantic it is. Mom came up and said ‘Some local offered to take a picture of us. Bruce grabbed me and pulled me into him. I pushed him off and said ‘Hey buddy, I’ve barely known you a month!’ Sis and I reexamined the body language in the picture and started laughing.
After several years vagabonding through Europe and Australasia, they married at the justice of the peace in Canada with two best friends as witnesses and ate a black forest cake from the grocery store.
Fifty years, four adult children and the first grandchild on the way. A forty one year, going strong, book business they built together. Fifty years of endless adventure and companionship. They blow us away daily; as individuals and united. They’ve lived. On their own terms, and with a generous open door policy to friends and friends of friends alike. They drive each other crazy and with wild hearts, love one another deeply in all that craziness. Happy anniversary.
Fifteen years ago I was in a goodwill on the Island and picked up a vintage fur hood. One of the elderly volunteers walked past me and said “That’s wolf, you know.” I felt chilled and sick. I couldn’t believe it. I stood there holding it. “Beautiful isn’t it?” I bit my tongue, chewed my cheeks. I couldn’t respond to her sweetness. I bought it. It belonged to the wolf it was stolen from, no one else. It sat in a box all these years like an albatross. In January, I was sitting on a table in the costume room talking to Alex about what to do with it. “I’ll show it to you Alex, before I get rid of it.’ She shook her head “No, don’t do that. I’ll want to keep it. Bury it. Bury it where you want the wolves to come back.”
Where I want the wolves to come back. I had a few months till the ground thawed to ponder this but spring came early and with the new moon I figured it was time. Luka and I hiked way up the mountain, to the same spot where twenty years earlier, a close friend died in a car accident.
I brought a tree planting shovel and the fur in this tote. It just came in the mail as a perk for supporting Will Potter’s Drone on the Farm: Ariel Expose Kickstarter campaign. Artwork by Matt Gauck.
Someone built a inukshuk overlooking where my friend had passed. It looked like an eagle from where I stood. New wolf packs have been reported a little further north. It had been at least ten years since I last visited her here. I think she would like the company of wolves too.
I love Julia Eff’s writing. I can’t compare Eff to anything. Eff is an entity unto itself. A reflection of warmth and pain; candid nostalgia and horrors. Pioneers Press is printing Every Thug is a Lady: Adventures Without Gender, as a book and running a contest in conjunction with the release. Take a picture of Julia’s zines with an object other than yourself – an anti selfie.
I couldn’t find the zine copy of Every Thug is a Lady but my book shelves are a mess right now. A little Slayer/Eff koozie love. Keepin it cold, or hot. Cameron mildly of blew my mind when he showed up on the farm with his coffee koozied.
I was reminiscing over a favorite childhood pop up and Eff just fit right in. The new printing should be out soon at Pioneers Press ->here<-.
Luka and I were walking along the channel on the band side yesterday. We started up the old kettle valley trail when one of the wild horses appeared and stood right in the middle of the path, as if it was saying “Look at how fucking magnificent I am in this sunlight” or, more likely “Yeah, this is as far as you are coming.” I don’t know how many there are running around those hills but it’s a pretty hearty herd.
We stopped when the horse came out of the woods. It’s the white spectre where the trail curves, this is also where we turned around. Luka is use to the draft horses up at the farm and knows they don’t like the look of her. Respect the wild.