Thursday, February 16, 2006


     When I drove to Elliot lake about noon today, the roads were dry. When I left E.L. about 2.5 hours later, fine snow was blowing down from the sky and sticking to the asphalt. I kept the speed at 80kph or less. The car held the road well, the winter tires (or tyres) made the difference. The snow muted the colours, reducing even bright reds and greens to softer earth tones, and shifting the dull blues and browns that we Canadians love for our cars into mildly tinted greys.
     Highway 17 showed some bare asphalt, and I could push the car to 90 occasionally. The snow swirled up from the wind of other cars' passing, the oncoming traffics trailed a haze of white dust behind it. I passed no cars between the turnoff and Blind River, and no cars passed me. Eastbound traffic came in short bunches, less than usual: the gathering storm, moving in from the southwest, must have convinced many casual travellers to stay home. The forecast this morning told of 15 to 30cm of snow, and much wind, with freezing rain in the south. Marie just talked to Cassandra, RoRo's flight landed an hour late, and Cassandra said she'd advised RoRo not to drive in from the airport. Bria said they couldn't stand up on the sidewalk. Jon said he wanted to walk to NoFrills for coffee, but decide he could do without it.
     And that's the weather report for this evening.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Just caught a glimpse of sea turtles as I clicked back to TVO and turned off the TV. I love the way they move through the water, flying in slow motion, their flippers such inadequate wings in air but perfect for water. They are among the oldest species on Earth, hardly changed in tens of millions of years. As they move past the camera, their indifferent gaze reminds us that what we call life is as remote and inhuman a phenomenon as the stars and galaxies. We live, but the life we think we live is an illusion, a play of shadows cast on the screen of consciousness, observed by an observer who cannot observe itself. The body continues to do what it does, and we notice almost none of its functions; yet we flatter ourselves into believing that what we can know of it and the world in which it moves is all the reality there is. We identify our experience with reality. I think the divine injunction against idolatry warns us against just this misidentification.

The turtles don't, apparently, suffer from mind; self sufficient and focussed on the operations of survival, they fly through the oceans and demonstrate grace.