Gabriola Art Council and why I live here
Gabriola’s Art Council is the breath of live, of energy on this “Isle of the Arts” community. I’m proud to be a sponsor and member, and an artisan of sorts. I love to write. The late night seems to be my most creative vibe.
Turn on a Brazilian rap, lilt the ivories and sink into my keyboard. The words flow. A little of Hemmingway, a little of Wolfe, a little of Martin, a lot of Gabriola. Why do I live here?
This ramble has more to do with the isle d ’Gabriola than me. Back a ways, in July I recall of 2002 maybe it was, I took the ferry from Nanaimo and drew into the bay of Descanso. Yes, I was pulled. Maybe a longing to be pulled, but pulled I was landing on both feet waiting for a someone to pick me up. There were no taxis or buses back then. I could have hitched but I wasn’t of that sort whatever that is. Brave enough I had not.
Back and forth I came and went when timid slipped a notch, “Would you have room for one more?” and off I was opening shut doors of city safety, for rolling along country roads. It was and still is. You really must see for yourself. No airs; only openness.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, why I was here. The wind just took me there.
Stopped along the way a Brickyard Beach. Swung from a long rope laced around a tall tree overhanging El Verano. I was in love and swung back and forth slowing the momentum until I dragged my foot on the sea shelled sandy beach.
My house found me in a totally logical way. I put out there a list of’s and in it came. Little
rancher, no stairs, close to the ferry, close to the village markets, walk everywhere. And, one day in July I moved in, unpacked and found that the front door didn’t lock. OMG! What? Night was descending, the dead-end neighbourhood came quiet and I forgave myself for the spin-out that was about to occur. Whatever. So there is a hole where the dead-bolt used to be. I stuffed a sock in it.
Getting ‘round to why do I live here? Well, it is safe did I say that. And, I love it. Smells sweet. Birds chirp. Sometimes the animals act up. It’s really funny. They are just like us, but more in tune to their surroundings. We like to mold and construct and change and then sit back and do it all again. They don’t. They just do what they do in their own family groupings, their own unique characters.
Catch me one day and I’ll tell you the story of two juvenile ravens, playing antics on my driveway. You don’t mess with ravens. They have the upper hand – they really do.
Then, there’s the hummingbirds, and the stellar jays, hawks, eagles, Western Tanagers, Cedar Waxwings, owls and hawks, and a comeback of the Peregrine Falcon. I do love my birds. Whistle and they’ll respond. They are just like us. Love the attention. Love kibitzing around.
I’ve gotten a bit off track, so let me share a little Valentine’s evening with you. The Arts Council of Gabriola announced an evening of readings in the passionate genre, and myself was invited. Much ado about what to read, who the audience was. Given my nerves, tightly grasping the podium, I settled on this short and sweet, a slight edgy-abstract to it. See if you can figure it out. O heck, let me set the stage for you! Velvet is a bolt of fabric who has taken the personality of a woman in love; the broker is an entity of commercialism only interested in the quick sale. Now, you’ll get it!
Velvet folded herself into the arms of her desired.
Soft, caressing, the beautiful antique opalescence became a drug for the onlooker, the broker.
Fingering the luster, weight, depth. Market value. A sneer.
Crass! Gleam in the eyes! No depth of warmth for the luster, the smooth stroke. A sigh!
Velvet dipped, she slunk within the fingers of the broker.
Her dream cast on a beautiful evening gown, gleaming, descending the staircase, dancing the night within the arms of her beloved, touching ever so slightly, the folds.
Cast back, the broker.
Velvet, on a bolt. To be sold, and not besot.
Not this time.
The wait for the beautiful awakening had past.
Written by Carol Martin February, 2003