Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Back in the World...Precious.

There's a place on British Columbia's west coast where the beauty of the world seem to have no limit: mountains rise straight and sheer from the ocean's surface, and where the mountains give way to thickly forested valleys cinnamon-coloured grizzlies prowl the water's edge looking for salmon. I just returned from that place, and I find myself already thinking, hoping, dreaming of a return trip. Last week was spent sailing around names like Toba Inlet, Pendrell Sound, and Waddington Channel, dropping anchor for the night in Squirrel Cove and Tenedos Bay. I'm thoroughly convinced that I've just left behind the most spectacularly breathtaking place on earth. Which, I guess, makes the rest of this province only really, really beautiful...

I was able to read through two amazing novels over the course of that week, a great achievement for a guy who really read nothing but comics all summer. After having a friend last year recommend and loan it to me, I read Gioconda Belli's Infinity In The Palm Of Her Hand, and thoroughly enjoyed it. For anyone familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and the traditional Jewish teachings of midrash, I would recommend this book; Belli's interpretation of the Genesis narrative is captivating. The second novel I conquered has been a long time coming. After ten years of writing it into every "to-read" list I've ever compiled, I finally sat down and read Neil Gaiman's American Gods cover to cover. It blew my mind. Part of that, I think, I can blame on the scenery; reading a novel chock full of mythology on a sailboat moving through rocky channels and cloud-shrouded mountain ranges, well, it'll do funny things to your mind. In a nutshell, the book is a masterpiece, an inspiration, and a not-so-subtle nudge in the ribs that maybe I should pick up his Sandman series. Thus surfaces the ever-present dilemma: comics, or tuition...

And after all that, I'm back in the world (to borrow a phrase from Mal Reynolds); a new school year looms ahead of me, a breathtaking and inspirational sailing trip lies behind me. Frankly, not bad positioning for the beginning of September. I'll make a point of setting time aside to keep this bit of writing relatively current, and with a little luck and a lot of dedication the pens and brushes and I will become ever more familiar with each other and I'll be able to fill these screens with art as well. Here goes.

Oh, and I drew a picture of Gollum.

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."
-Isak Dinesen

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