Saturday, 3 December 2016

colored dreams

 
I click the house lights off, with a slow sigh.  The nightly news that terminates our day with an hour of global atrocities followed by a smile from the newscaster … is miles and miles away, from those 70’s island days.  Though ... we have our dreams.

Victoria, on Vancouver Island, then, was like a Lucy Maud Avonlea – on another side of the country – on another sea.  There was an amiability and olden kindness that suffused the business of living, with a pleasant storybook geniality, that was always close by.

We he and I were young and inquisitive.  We loved learning new things and were as unencumbered as we would ever be.  Recent grads, and former starving students this was our "obsessed foody's" phase.  We spent hours and hours seeking out things like anise extract and bulgur wheat and wonton wrappers and saffron to make great pots of paella – for friends and visiting family – with wonderful flavours from local farms and markets … and from the ocean, just beyond our door.  We searched out obscure cafés and dined on mowbray pie and crocks of cheese and crouton crusted french onion soup – and dared each other to eat a 100 year old egg.  Checkered indigo and white crisp tablecloths, the earthy browns of bakeries and vegetarian shops and the crimson reds of Chinatown – mingled with heavenly new-to-us fragrances – and music – indoors and out.

Sometimes, book in hand, we investigated the bawdy beginnings of local multicolored brick and stone edifices footnoted by the dubious morés of many of the island’s founding fathers, who had built them.

Weekends we went on great rambles, passed beautiful flowers: profusions of bright to pastel hues and greens – and magnificent stands of arbutus trees; unique, in and of themselves, and unique in the world.  There was water everywhere.  It fell upon us.  It flowed to our feet.  It burst from the earth.  And it was lovely.

One evening after a particularly lengthy trudge we stopped atop the arched stone bridge looking down on Goodacre Lake, where we had a haunting vision.  A stirring so exquisite there from out of misted veils two mute swans appeared like ghosts:  white orbs in soft blue velvet twilight. They glided straight towards us and lingered before us – a palpable connection; an eerie gentle specter – a transcendent moment … still ...

in the mists of this life
there is a fountain … 
my happy evocations
spring from that place – 
a spell that colors dreams 

notes:  In the mid 1970's, my husband, Michael and I spend 2 years exploring Vancouver Island (where we had - by today's standards - an impossibly inexpensive apartment about one block from the Provincial Parliament Buildings, the grand Empress Hotel and the Victoria Harbor).  It was a wonderful time in our lives.  It was a beautiful, unique place ... and it still is.

a tanka prose piece.

 photo:  Victoria Fountain with the Empress Hotel in the Background – M.S. Bourke

© 2016 Wendy Bourke

24 comments:

  1. Wonderful, vivid details in your piece, Wendy. And you've got me wondering about mowbry pie - will have to Google it.

    Ah, Victoria. Was there once for just 1/2 hour.

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  3. Thank you for expressing this experience

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  4. What a beautiful poem about a memorable experience!! It is so wonderful to look back at those times.

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  5. Sigh. You were so lucky to live there back in the day. It is busier now, but still so beautiful and the people are so friendly..........I loved every word of this piece. Especially the swans emerging from the mist.

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  6. I loved reading this, and entering into your experience a little while.

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  7. Enchanting... the pleasant storybook geniality, all that food and surreal experiences...

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  8. This is such a charming poem ❤️

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  9. great word crafting...the swan image makes it almost out of the world experience & also love the Chinese delicacy making room into this exquisite piece...

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  10. How wonderful to have a spell that colours dreams..a resource to draw upon in the darker hours.. a delicious slice of your life so generously shared with us

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  11. in the mists of this life
    there is a fountain …
    a spell that colors dreams

    There is always a salvation to sustain a good life. It puts colors in lots of expectations!

    Hank

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  12. Beautiful memories thank you for sharing your story. The swans were an amazing visitation. A few weeks ago two swans appeared in a lake nearby and it was quite the talk as they arrived mysteriously and left mysteriously. They came and left a message of hope and love within the community.

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  13. This was a wonderful description of a special place and a special time.. we as humans have to have those, the special memories.
    "a spell that color dreams"...
    I think there are those gems inside every human heart.

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  14. Whoa! That was good... from the first word to the last.
    ZQ

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  15. Your entire poem was like a delicious slow-dance... and the last line left me with my eyes closed, smiling happily. So lovely.

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  16. Wpw! "an amiability and olden kindness that suffused the business of living, with a pleasant storybook geniality ...." ANd then it all falls into place. Envy! The writing and the exprience.

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  17. What a glorious reminiscence for us so beautifully told that sparked my own memories of the past and exploring and experiencing the wide world with the one I loved.

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    1. Oh yes, please do! I recall reading your interview with Poets United. You've lived a fascinating life, Robin - you literally travelled across the planet - and I've no doubt, that you have some wonderful stories to tell about exploring the world with the one you loved.

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    2. Oops: [as in] Oh yes ... please do write more about your experiences. (a bit too quick on the "publish" button ...lol).

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  18. Wendy, you've written this beautifully. What a rich memory. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  19. I can only echo others comments. Such an enjoyable read

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  20. I read and heard it is a beautiful and charming city ~ Would love to visit it someday Wendy ~

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    1. If you make it to the West Coast, you must plan on hopping across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. That's where they hide the magic.

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