Wood carving, drumming, writing and traveling

The last few days have been busy and I have not had a lot of time to write so here I am to try and pull it together.

Ellen was a great host in spite of her push to get the house in perfect shape for the real estate showing that will be tomorrow. As she painted and cleaned she thought about great things for me to see and do. I almost got to a jazz concert but ended up side tracked by something better. One afternoon I headed for a visit to the I-hos Gallery where the local first nation displays the work of local artists. While there I was very taken by the work of Andy Everson. Most of the stuff he had in there had a story attached to it and maybe it was the marriage of art and story that had me, or maybe it was the idea of straddling two worlds, but I was hard pressed not to spend my gas money on several prints. I will find myself some of his work when I don’t have to roll it up and send it home.

Outside of the gallery I met Randy Frank who had set up a table and was carving. He laughed and told me he had the best office. His table was sitting with a view of the water and the mountains. I wouldn’t get anything done in that kind of an office. He did confess to knocking off to go fishing when ever possible. He was carving a mask at the time and had finished pieces all around him. My inner carver was really interested in the tools he was using. He told me how he cuts up old machinery bits and shapes, heats, and sharpens them til he has workable blades which are then attached to handles. The process sounds fascinating and doesn’t involve my friend Lee Valley at all. Very organic. It gave me a new look at the process. Then he spent time showing me how to sharpen my tools. I spend a good hour with him. What a generous man…and then looked at my watch and realized that the Jazz concert was over. Oh well


View from Randy

Randy mentioned that he usually goes to the Campbell River carving contest but that he hadn’t this year….it was on at the very moment we were speaking. Reminded of that, I stopped on my way through Campbell River and took a look around. By the time I got there the carving was done and the winners were available for a good look. Wow. I have a long way to go as a carver but it sure is something to aspire to. I took tons of pictures.


Later Sunday evening I went with Ellen to the local drumming circle. What a magical place. The sound of the drums was woven into the fabric of the land. The sunset, breeze, shrieks of the seagulls and the evening chill were somehow all elevated by the drummers as I am sure they were by the setting. WOW!!! I am getting the music I need out here.


Sunset over the mountains from Goose Spit

Drummers on the Beach

Drummers on the Beach

I got up on Monday morning and headed for Sayward on the north end of the Island but my first stop was to the farm of  Susan Ketchen a writer from the Comox Valley. Pheobe had asked me to drop in and say hi.

Susan lives with her husband and horses on a beautiful little farm about 20 minutes outside of Courtaney. She introduced me to the horses and we talked about writing. Her first book “Born that Way” is in stores now and she is writing a sequel to it as well as polishing up another. I was surprised to find that she is using the WCDR website for a resouce. As a member of the Writers Circle of Durham Region, I welcomed her officially to one of the best writing resources in Canada…no the world.  I had lunch with Susan and her husband and then started driving north.  (for more info go to www.susanketchen.ca)

Susan and the Horses

Susan and the Horses

I took the laid back, winding road along the coast instead of the inland high way. That way I drove close to the water most of the afternoon. I stopped a couple of times just to take pictures and marvel at the views. Once I passed Campbell River the road changed. Not many cars accompanied me on my trip north. Great trees lined the road and the shoulders were narrow, not much place to stop except for some rest areas along the way. At times I caught glimpses of the mountains or water along the side of the road but the trees mostly blocked them. It felt remote but beautiful.

As I drove I realized that I was having that “pinch me” feeling all over again. My whole life at this moment seems so unreal, so removed from reality that it is hard to believe I am really here.

It took about one and a half hours to get to Karen’s place. I think it would have taken almost half an hour less if I hadn’t read and followed her directions backwards from Sayward. Oh well, everyone knows the Doctor’s house so all I had to do was stop and ask for directions.

Once I got here it was like no time had passed between our last meeting in Victoria almost 20 years ago and today. I met Holly and Evan her only two children left at home and latter had dinner prepared by the neighbour Myron.  Today her husband Harvey will arrive home from his country doctor route and I will meet him.

I am not sure how long I will stay but probably I will spend July 1 here and then move on. It doesn’t seem to be a good idea to show up on anyone’s door step on a holiday.  More later.

Last sun on the mountain seen from Karen's yard

Last sun on the mountain seen from Karen

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