Thursday, October 21, 2010

shitsicles and magic

Foggy days on the island. A distant foghorn calls out every few minutes. The shoreline is grey, and the horizon is ocean, fading to white only a hundred yards offshore. Sloshing, subdued, and mysterious.

The skies have been calm, but this evening the wind picked up and blew around the trees for a it. I thought we were in for a storm, but it ended up being only a few minutes of hard rain.

It's amazing how different the weather systems are between here and Vancouver, which is only fourty kilometers away. I can read the weather pretty well in Vancouver, but I feel a little blind over here when it comes to the flow of air and water. I'm learning slowly, though.

I'm so grateful to be able to step outside and piss off my deck and hear nothing but the wind. To take deep breaths of clean fresh air.

When I was living in the Yukon I didn't have indoor plumbing, so I was forced outside to the outhouse no matter how cold it was. Cold enough that you don't use a toilet seat in your outhouse, because your ass will freeze to it. (The substitute for a seat is a piece of rigid insulation with a hole cut in it.) Cold enough that your poop would freeze before it had a chance to settle down flat, so eventually you'd have tall pillar of shit in the outhouse pit, growing up towards your arse. My neighbour called it a Shitsicle - like, as in Popsicle. You had to take out a shovel and smash down the Shitsicle every few weeks.

The outhouse was a blessing because it forced me outside. I remember rushing outside on many nights in the blasting cold, doing my deed, rushing to get back in, but stopping in my tracks when I saw the Aurora Borealis blazing in the sky above. Standing there and just watching, awestruck. If you've seen those Northern Lights, you know that it's magic. I don't care what they say about the earths's magnetic field in the atmosphere blah blah blah. It's fucking magic.

The T'lingit people of the north say that the Northern Lights are the spirits of their ancestors walking across the sky.

I hope to find something that awesome and magical here, by the ocean, this winter. But I have a hard time believing anything could match them old spirits in the sky.


  1. I'm with you on the Northern Lights Jay... when I was growing up in Timmins, ON 20+ years ago we'd get the Aurora Borealis a few nights each summer. Always in green and yellow and white hues, and always a remarkable show. I'd drive or bike out of town to get away from the 'city' lights and into an area with an expansive view of the horizon and just enjoy them for hours.

    Haven't seen them since, but it's something I will never forget - and now that I'm back in Ontario, I'm hopeful that I'll catch them next summer when visiting my Dad back in Timmins.

  2. those bioluminescent dinoflagellates that glow in the water when swimming are pretty damn magical.