Monday, October 05, 2020

Trip Report - Part 3

We were invited to Quirpon Island by friends who live there. We hadn't seen them in quite a while. Another friend of theirs whom we hadn't met was also there and had caught the fish they were serving only 3 hours after the fish was in the water.

Quirpon (pronounced Carpoon - I know!) is a small island off the Great Northern Peninsula.

Here is the view from the front door of their house:


And a view of the local lighthouse (also an inn):


The fish was to die, fresh out of the water, lightly battered in that Newfoundland way and served with fresh cut fries and coleslaw like it should be.

Our host had gone through many cancer treatments and had stopped. He's a writer, performer, broadcaster and composer. A massive multi-talented artist. He also paints, photographs and makes documentaries. Their house was full of his work.

Over dinner, he was quiet and then told us his daughter, a doctor, had died in childbirth two years before. There wasn't a dry eye at the table. He mentioned the reason that he had brought it up, even though difficult for him, was we tend to be complacent about modern medicine. Her obgyn had panicked and the birth was traumatic and appalling and his daughter bled to death and the baby died. We moved on to discussing authors and books and writing and art. And I noted he was eating very little, a man of formerly lusty appetites. My observation over the years has been that the death of a child can trigger disease and dementia. I've seen it in my own family along with others.

After dinner, we sat down around the fire (their home was exquisite - two huge windows over the water in their bedroom AND a Japanese style bathtub in the ensuite) and his partner asked him to play. He first of all shook his head. I don't believe in wheedling anyone so we resumed conversation and then he picked up one of his guitars.

And I'm telling you, my eyes are flooding with tears as I write this, as it was a magical ending to the day. His songs were beautiful and personal and enchanting.

I would link to his YouTube, etc., but I think it best to protect his anonymity due to the heartbreak he has kept so very private.

As we were leaving, his partner, with tears in her eyes whispered to us, "He hasn't played a note in two years. Thank you. Thank you!"

30 comments:

  1. Tears here too.
    And thank you for sharing these precious moments and scenes.

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    1. I will never forget it and his face was so full of light as we left. Like he had reconnected with some vital part of himself.

      XO
      WWW

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  2. So sad, but what a wonderful and rugged coast although it appears to be sheltered water, a bay or similar.

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    1. Many bays around this huge island Andrew and it was the furthest north any of us had been.

      XO
      WWW

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  3. Life is hard. Thank the universe for not meting it all out to one person. Thank you for telling us.

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  4. Life is very hard Joanne. I was also grieving the death of a long term blog friend so it was particularly poignant. He didn't verbalize it but it looked like he had made the decision to die rather than more chemo.

    XO
    WWW

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  5. What a wonderful trip you've had, a very special caring considerate granddaughter, and so fortunate to be able to spend the time with old friends, meeting new ones. The time with the host you mention was most meaningful for all and sounds like especially for him, too. Such precious moments and memories.

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    1. She is a wonderful young woman, extraordinarily kind and mad about her granny as I am about her. It was an unexpected ending as frankly, I wasn't particularly enamoured of visiting them as he was quite dismissive and remote on a prior occasion. But he was changed forever by his tragic experience and his heart was so open. And so was hers. I'm still moved to tears by it all.

      XO
      WWW

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  6. Oh criminy, I cried when I read about his daughter and the baby and an obgyn who panicked probably feels very bad about it too. I'm glad your friend played his guitar again.

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    1. It was an unforgettable experience River, and totally unexpected. A kind of duty call that evolved into something entirely different.

      XO
      WWW

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    1. Thank you Charlotte, and thank you for your techie expertise.

      XO
      WWW

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  8. What a wonderful discovery! There are truly some amazing people (and places) hidden out there in the big wide world, NL certainly has her share! Priceless experience, beats Vikings and famous doctors hands down.

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    1. It really did Annie, I get so emotional thinking of it. A real gift in our trip.

      We have no idea of others' tragedies and journeys.

      XO
      WWW

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  9. A very sad story. But how nice that he felt comfortable enough to play his guitar after two years.

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    1. It was very moving and the three of us will never forget it, it was so profound.

      XO
      WWW

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  10. What a special evening, although sad.

    I responded to your comment on my post about tiny houses.
    You are right, WWW, it was in Oshawa. If fact, I wanted to feature it here but couldn't find the photos (pre-digital) in my files.
    It was created by Cullen Gardens and I remember going there in the early 90s!

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    1. Hi Jackie:
      Cullen Gardens, I couldn't think of the name. It was adorable.

      XO
      WWW

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  11. Oh my, sounds ethereal. You had to feel enchanted.

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  12. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip to a magical place. The greatest magic was when that guitar came out. I'm with you - it never would have if anyone had coaxed him. Music speaks to the soul and it seems that having you there helped soothe his broken heart. You have not 'lived in vain' if you 'helped one fainting robin unto his nest again."

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  13. I like that robin quote Molly. Even if it was a small segment of joy in a heartbreaking time I am so grateful to have been there.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. You have had a memorable trip and since you have not mentioned that the series is to be continued, I assume that you are back. What a memorable way to end the trip. A remarkable story indeed.

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    1. Ramana it was a memorable time in so many ways. Joy and sadness and gratitude.

      XO
      WWW

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  15. I am so sorry to read about his daughter's and grandchild's deaths. How hear wrenching. I am glad that you got to hear his music.

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    1. Me too Gigi, he offered us a gift in a time of such sickness and heartbreak for him. I can't even imagine the pain he is in.

      XO
      WWW

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  16. Though so much context is missing, it's quite a lovely end to the story. It's hard to imagine how a tragedy such as befell his daughter could happen, especially since she was a doctor herself, but regardless of the situation, his reality is what you found. And the end of the evening had to mean something.

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