Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paddle-to-the-Sea

I have been away from posting for some time and I do apologize to you, my dear reader, for my unexplained absence. I find that sometimes when there is too much in one's mind then the best thing is not to say anything. Maybe this is a Finnish thing, a stubborn vestige of my ancestry that surfaces at times, I don't know. Or maybe it's more of a digital reality and one needs time to process things when entering so many different spaces, material and imaginative.
I went to Cascades yesterday morning with my sister, Katja. There is something about smooth hard rock under your feet and an open sky overhead and an edging of conifers and the sound of rushing water that is grounding, at least from my perspective as a northwestern Ontario resident who finds this kind of nature a welcoming home.
I saw this beer can floating down the river and rushing into the currents. I said to Katja, "Look! Paddle-to-the-Sea contemporary style!" Paddle-to-the-Sea was a children's book that we loved when we were little, that we read at school. It's the story of a boy who makes a wooden toy canoe with a wooden Indian boy in it and then puts it in the water at Lake Nipigon, the source of the Great Lakes. The wooden Indian and canoe then travel the water route all the way to the ocean. Of course, we did not know then that it was romantic savage imagery that we were learning, along with capitalist industry. This beer can reminded me of the myths we make, but this time the myth of pristine nature in disposable society.

6 comments:

marja-leena said...

Welcome back, Taina! I know what you mean about needing to be quiet and taking time to process many thoughts and impressions, especially after traveling.

I love these kinds of rocks and running water, in fact these remind me of a favourite spot in Manitoba. It's true that it's hard to find anything left in nature that is completely pristine.

Merche Pallarés said...

Yes, welcome back!!! It's lovely to read you again but I know, from last year, that in July/August you hardly write because you're travelling in the Middle East. I hope you come to Spain one of these years! Lovely stream but too bad about the beer can... Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

Hello ML and MP,

I hope your summer has been wonderful and that it hasn't been unbearably humid and hot. When I finish with a deadline I have to meet, I will visit your blogs and catch up.

I hope to visit Spain one day. It sounds like an amazing country with a rich history and wonderful people!

20th Century Woman said...

I am having the same trouble with a jumble of thoughts in my head that refuse to coalesce into anything organized in the way of a post.

Interesting, what you say about the noble savage and pristine wilderness. I have been studying about attitudes toward the middle ages, and find that there were romantics at the time of the industrial revolution who regarded the middle ages as a time of clean, open spaces and a society free of class strife. Not exactly how we view the middle ages these days, I think.

Black Pete said...

Welcome, Taina, good to "see" you again here!

Joyce and I met Holling Clancy Holling (author/artist of Paddle)'s sister in Saskatoon when we lived there in the late 1980s. She told us that he had been born Holling Clancy, but his wife had bigger aspirations for him, and pushed him to get a fancier name. HCH is the result, and he realized many of those aspirations, for better and no doubt for worse.

And "Eid Mubarak" to your household!

Merche Pallarés said...

Now I'm worried Taina, you've been away for too long. I hope you're alright, my dear. Hugs, M.