08 May 2007

Big-city dog

A glorious morning in the cabin, listening to the Pernice Brothers and getting ready for my second day of poetry with the older students. The light is amazing in the morning, like at 6 a.m., a time I am rarely awake. And the light is amazing at dusk, the way it drifts through the trees, over the mountains. The buzz of insects sounds pretty good too.

Apparently there is a bear in town. Spotted on the highway last night. Just a little one, so that means there's a big one around too.

Got some writing on the novel done this past weekend. Had an amazing hike with Terry and her brother Russ and Russ's kid Ev. Veered off the Galeana trail up past Sandin, a ghost town that once housed miners and now hosts a dilapidated train and bus collection. We made out way up a mountain to where there was once a mansion; all that remains are a few big rocks that once made the structure's foundation. The servants' quarters are in better shape: a big collapsed mass of wood with some cement foundation still visible. To get there, I went across a river on one of these things:

Now, there's something I never imagined I'd do. Also had to walk along some very narrow precipices. I had to send the others ahead so I could face these passes myself. Awkwardly, I made my way. Is it possible to beat acrophobia? I'm thinking maybe I can at least get myself to a place where I can do "normal" things, like peer off balconies and walk across those pods at Ontario Place.

Yesterday's poetry workshop with the older kids went fairly well, especially when we moved into collaborative poems. But because it's off-site and a lot of the kids don't know each other, there was a big giddy factor that surprised me. And working for part of the time down on the pebble beach by the lake, the kids went a bit crazy. Big spider scare.

But we made our way through a bunch of different poetry strategies, and some fabulous lines and passages emerged. Today should be a lot more consistent, and I'll be trying out a different approach: imitation.

Met Wendy and Amanda, who are the visiting animators for the town's film festival. I'd met Wendy about 25 years ago in Montreal and Dave and Alison's place. Nice to see her again and talk about film and writing and art. Thing is, they brought their pooch, Rosco, along and we were supposed to look after Rosco for the day here at the house yesterday, while W&A worked at the school with the kids. Wasn't long before Rosco went awol, off into the woods. I took Beckham the bigger doggie and we searched the Galeana trail, calling for Rosco and waving a freshly BBQ'd hamburger in the air. No luck.

Rosco had now been gone for about five or six hours. What would I tell Wendy and Amanda when they came to pick up their little guy? But, through wondrous serendipity, one of my poet students had taken the back path into town and saw Rosco's shivering beneath an old abandoned prospector's cabin. I went out with a leash and Beck, and then some more of the kids showed up, and after an hour or two we got Rosco out from under there.

Good ending to a scarey prospect: big-city dog gets lost in the woods.

Over and out.


At May 09, 2007 11:45 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like loads of fun, except for the lost dog part. What lucky kids! I am jealous of them.



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