Monday, October 18, 2010

Bridging Time

Was it only a week ago today that we gazed, shivering, across the strait to Prince Edward Island, marvelling at the great expanse of the Confederation Bridge and the coldness of the wind?

That, bundled in old jackets and blankets and borrowed hats, the girls cast their glances out to sea from the blowing sands at Parlee Beach,

growing misty-eyed at the thought of parting

and the great distances that would separate us all.

Oh gather ye rosehips while ye may
and take them home for tea
For who knows when we'll meet again
to walk beside the sea.

Oh what a time it was.


  1. Beautiful post. Wistful.

  2. DCW,
    Merci! Wistful, yes,a perfect fit.

  3. Someone's been up early,
    Bathing in a sea of misty reminiscence,
    Glowing iridescence,
    Youthful happiness wrapped in blankets,
    Full of effervescence,
    Where horizons, sky, wind, and sea
    Melt in coalescence,
    Blurring in the endless, timeless
    On the coastlines
    Between our confines and the infinite
    Where floating bridges
    Disappear into the distance
    Reminding us that oceans can be crossed
    That what is far can so be near...

    Oh my goodness, it's all enough to cause a poor unsuspecting man to wax poetic, to start declaiming in impromptu declamations, exclamations, those lines not yet memorized entirely, but soon to be, for the full moon, but one can be allowed a warm-up recitation, a rehearsal of sorts perhaps, of these lines from a love song which somehow seem so perfectly appropriate here :

    "Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me.

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

    (more Eliot, of course !)

  4. Oh, BrOwen,
    Look at you, your white flannels all bedraggled and clinging wetly to your ankles, poetic wax dripped down their fronts; the parting in your hair nothing more than a thin memory; your poem torn from your lips by the stinging wind and drowned at sea.
    Take care on the night of the full moon, BrOwen for those mermaids may have their way with you. Stuff up your ears with some of that poetic wax and don't forget, once captured, the mermaid will no longer sing.

    I speak sternly and disparagingly to you, dear BrOwen, to disguise the great happiness and gleeful revery that your lovely comment has induced in me. It is the way of a Big Sister.

  5. Ah ah ah ! It's been a hard day by the seashore, clearly. Those white flannels were about ready for the Salvation Army anyway... guess I'll slip out of them and into a steaming hot bath for an hour or so, and then see if I can part my hair again. Poetry on the other hand was meant to be torn from ones lips by the salt wind, so all is well. Now what's for dinner ??? After all that I could go for some lobster tails in butter, and a good tossed salad, with fresh hot french bread. Of course a bottle of meursault to wash it down with, or a suitable equivalent... And you being the wonderful big sister that you are, I'm sure the table will be set by the time I'm out of the bath ?

    PS "Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
    And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
    Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas."

  6. No, on second thought, maybe I'll set the table and open the wine, and crack the lobster shells, or at least help P. with all that... didn't mean to suggest that the big sister in the house should do everything... certainly not !

  7. How nice it must indeed be to connect time, space and memory with such a bridge.
    Always a safe step ahead for you all.

  8. I see you guys are getting set for a nice dinner without me! Oh be still my trembling lower lip...oh, no it's not my lip its the earth shaking again.

    I would love to go scooting over that bridge, rosehips scattering in my wake as I adventured off to who knows where, and who knows how long I'll be gone! (but if you're having lobster tails and wine I'll be back by tea time)

  9. So beautiful! Are the beach and the fence photos? Paintings???

  10. Only a week ago?! So long ago and far away we did a time step or two, searched for bathtub mamas, and befriended a mammoth nephropidae. Sheer heaven.

    A beautiful post. To Monctobus!

  11. Very wistful, but what a fantastic bridge. Even if it did make me feel slightly sick!

  12. Driftwood,
    Always a joy, albeit a rare one, to have you stop by as well.

  13. BrOwen,
    toc toc toc! I think you've fallen asleep in the bath. The table's all set, the candles lit, Pierre has cracked the lobsters (hope you don't mind eating a whole lobster rather than just the tail) and baked a bread; I've made a salad put some Brazilian guitar music on in the background. Sister Saj has just awoken from her blissful nap on the couch (resulting from that marvellous massage and lullaby you gave her just prior to your walk on the beach:
    "And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
    Smoothed by long fingers,
    Asleep . . . tired"). We've donned our bracelets and wrapped ourselves in our shawls and are chatting about Michaelangelo over our first glass of mersault. So hurry and dress, BrOwen: "Let us go and make our visit."

  14. Robert,
    "Like a bridge over troubled waters," as Simon and Garfunkel so aptly put it.

  15. Sister Saj,
    Your long nap after that massage and lullaby administered by our BrOwen in my previous post has clearly left you a bit muddled. I'm sure this glass of well-chilled wine will clear your head in no time.

    I have to warn you about that bridge--it's free to cross it, but you have to pay to get off the Island.

    Now drink up, your meursault is getting warm.

  16. jann,
    Mille grazie! Not being sure whether my pictures are photos or paintings is probably the highest compliment you could pay me about them. The beach and fence pictures are photos I took on the excursion that day and then treated them to a whole lot of layers and different blending modes with the magic of Photoshop.

  17. NevStar,
    Yes yes, and don't forget a stint or two of walking on the moon and engaging in a turkey trot now and then, and how you girls felt to get all warm and fuzzied in my studio. Indeed, a Monctobus never to be forgotten! Everything was better than all right.

  18. Madame DeFarge,
    I am sorry for your queasiness at the thought of crossing the bridge. I hasten to assure you that the sides of the structure are so high that it almost feels like being in a tunnel, save for the open sky above. If that is not sufficient, I can provide you with a knit merino eye mask for the trip.

  19. Huh, uh, ah, et oui, er, ah yes, it is time to wake up... must have dozed off there in the hot water... happens to us geriatric types... now where's my glass ???

  20. BrOwen,
    Puh-leez! If I am your Big Sister, meaning your older sister, indicating the elder of we sibs, and you refer to yourself as geriatric...well, ahem, where does that leave me??? Next thing I know, you'll be putting me in the Home!

    I think you put your false teeth in your glass just before you got into the bath.

  21. aaaah, mermaids and Eliot scattered all over this enchanting dialogue, and such amazing friends, what more could one wish for a quiet late autumn afternoon? and rosehips!

    (my eyes grow misty looking at these frosty images, not the frost of early winter but the frost of time, what will soon become the silvery web of memory. simply gorgeous)

  22. Roxana,
    Lovely to have another mermaid swim to shore, draped with pearls of frosted mist, adding her voice to the chorus of those already drunk with poetry.

  23. I do like to walk beside the seaside
    I do like to walk beside the sea.......
    tiddly om pom pom
    etc etc.

    the beach gets me everytime

    why is it almost universally seen as the best place in the world?

    HAppy weekend

  24. Elizabeth,
    Is it because we've emerged from the primordial sea soup and crawled ashore eons ago? Or remembering the waters of the womb on the most primtive level? Whatever the reason, water soothes. I would hate to live far from a body of water of some sort...preferably the sea. But I was born on the west coast and now live on the east coast, so am perhaps biased. Woods give me claustrophobia after a time; prairies are meant to be passed over, as far as I'm concerned.

  25. Oh dear, BrOwen is getting a bit passed it? I guess it's me left to carry on the torch...excuse the sakiness of it. We had a lovely 4.8 this arvo....

  26. Saj,
    I always knew you were a mover and a shaker. Just try not to set anything on fire with that torch. I hope you have a lovely time in Paris, by the way. Thanks for inviting me.

  27. Very nice post!
    Love the photo of the wooden barrier and the sand dunes. It reminds me of some places in Portugal and France along Atlantic Ocean;o)

    Have a nice day****

  28. Cildemer,
    Thanks for stopping by. Seems we can share the same view from opposite sides of the "pond."

  29. You make me feel as though i was there - beautiful photos

  30. Lulu,
    It's lovely that you showed up here but you might be feeling a bit chilly in your office attire (though you look fabulous in that bikini). Here's a blanket to wrap up in.