Sunday, June 08, 2008
"Spindrift" by friend Tom Sears.
I am startled sometimes by how full life is and how unexpected the surprises that come my way.
I was invited to a workshop on Thursday, held in a community hall about 150K from here, given by a very inspiring, and as it turns out, quite well known U.S. professor, author, lecturer John McKnight. He had much to say on community development and enrichment, enough to give me an article to write.
He was succint in his analysis of the difference between Canadians and Americans. He said he was astounded to see workshops advertised on the Chicago transit system on how to become "Americanized". He said could you imagine that here, in Canada? And we all laughed at the idea of how to become "Canadianized". Here, he said, you celebrate differences, which is what community is all about. And he then proceeded to share with us how we could improve on that. What made successful communities (less government, more associations) and how to make it all come about.
The event was catered by volunteers who provided a marvellous homemade lunch and endless coffee and tea. Through the windows we could see the crab catches being hauled in by the fishers, the many boats on the water, an iceberg floating on the horizon. On the wall was a huge banner outlining the twenty one reasons it was the best place in Canada in which to live (#7: most eligible bachelors per capita. Me: Where are they?!)
Yesterday I was invited to a BBQ, a last minute kind of thing, everybody was involved in the food preparation and the meal was wonderful. I was startled to ascertain that a most attractive couple who were there were refugees from Iraq, she's an engineer and he is now the local doctor in an outport. We talked of emigration and invasion of sovereign territory and the distinct line that bifurcates your life when you cut your ties with the past and forge a new life in a distant land.
They were an extraordinarily articulate and intelligent couple and meeting them took the devastation of Iraq to an up close and personal level.
Today I took the day off and attended a new farmer's market, a short classical concert, Musica Terraqua, at The Rooms and read (and finished) Jodi Picoult's "Change of Heart". A modern metaphorical messianic tale. I like Picoult's unusual novels. I recommend this one.
Tomorrow it's back to a slew of work that has arrived here and needs urgent attention, playtime officially over.