Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Gone fishin' !

Prelude to Summer

I have been struggling lately with my Muse... and for the longest time ... she was winning. I seemed to be operating at a stand still. The usual fare that I dish out seemed irrelevant. Even the landscape that I love no longer spoke to me as it customarily does. I lacked direction and purpose.

I customarily listen to CBC radio when I travel about... I find music soothing and the radio hosts... both male and female interesting and intelligent to share time... and ideas with. Simply put... they encourage thoughtfulness... and common sense thinking - a very rare commodity these days within so much of other media or government sources.

I owe the much-delayed occurrence of today's post to such a morning sharing/collaboration! I simply decided to "go fishin" - just do something [different]... for my"Self". Over a few days of "truancy"... here's what transpired. I snagged a "golden opportunity" to explore new ground.

River Boy and his golden catch!

Yellow Perch anyone???

Surprised????... Certainly not something that you... (or I) might have attributed as my subject matter or focus. It did please me to come away refreshed and once again focused. It too, carried my memories from out of my deep past here on the river... days when I hurried at first light down to dip a worm into the sheltered waters of that weathered white clapboard boathouse.

There in that place, I spent hours peering in great anticipation as schools of yellow perch scurried to snare my bait. It became a daily tactical encounter to entice the bigger perch to bite... before the fry cheated them of a meal... and me of the thrill of the capture. By gone days... and little boy ways!

This activity would repeat itself each and every morning of the two weeks that we rented this cottage at the Narrows Lane Road. It would set me out on a path of adventure of many fishing trips and a lifetime of many hours of endless pleasure... never mind the feeds of freshly fried perch.

If nothing else... this simply-for-fun project pays homage to that now completed chapter of my river life. Hmm... maybe a novel in the wings of my consciousness???

I wonder...

"Summer breeze... makes me feel fine..."

I began this post several days ago with the fullest of intentions and adequate preparation to carry out the task. And then... out of no where a suffocating blanket of summer heat and humidity descended upon all of Eastern Ontario, including the Thousand Islands region where we live.

We are blessed to live in this region of usually predictable weather patterns... especially during the summer. The winter comes with deep cold and snow, but as Canadians... we grow up with... and accept this fact. It is even a part of our unique cultural heritage. Activity and holiday celebrations during this season are built around the cold.

Here... at this juncture in my fish tale lies the necessity to further explain my delay in posting. The deep heat and humidity truly cripples my creative spirit and activity levels. It simply makes me feel ill. Earlier in life I regularly painted out in such conditions happily and productively... and often not even in shaded conditions. I am paying for that earlier indiscretion... BIG time now.... "Silly 'ol bear,"

Just prior to this deep heat wave.... my thoughts swept through events drawn from my early youth and the many idyllic hours of summer fun and life on the River. My most memorable experiences are usually tied into multi-sensory influences/perceptions blended with activities which relate exclusively to summer.

The smell of rain striking the sizzling hot pavement  is one such strong and reoccurring memory. Another is the feel of a soft summer zephyr ever so gently kissing my cheek. Neither sensation is linked to any other season. Both of these powerful memory inducers denote S-u-m-m-e-r...

These powerfully summer reminders link up with music and seem to possess the ability to turn the pages of one's life journal to exact "pages"... including places... dates... activities and specific people. This occurrence also displays the ability to link those sharing the same experience... creating an unbreakable bond between them. These songs become unquenchable and intoxicating anthems that we all share.

"Pass the bottle... Amigo!"

Where were you during the summer of 1972... when Seals and Crofts recorded their iconic summer anthem "Summer Breeze"? This summer anthem like so many pieces of music that get deposited into our memory banks along our separate journeys seem almost to link us together magically for the remainder of our lives.

Timeless they seem ... perhaps nudged forward into the present by a smell... a sound... or a sight that keeps repeating as a each new summer emerges.

It was only this past week while I was making my way to Lansdowne to do grocery chores that my constant radio CBC companion conveniently belted out "Summer Breeze". I was immediately transported back to 1972.

"It was a very good year"- a memorable summer for me.

Have you had the experience of having a song enter into your psyche... and having difficulty getting it to leave? It plays... over and over, despite many and conscious attempts to set it aside. It simply won't leave. Until it's suddenly vanishes without warning... as mysteriously as it appeared. 

Before the heat wave swept in so viciously in the week earlier, those sweet summer caresses followed a similarly rapid fire pattern. Summer breezes seemed to follow me everywhere I went. 

I apologize for the delay in posting... but life does get in the way at times. So I offer the "fishy excuse... and a YouTube sharing. Along with these, I include a very BIG and combined greeting to both sides of the River:

      HAPPY FOURTH... 
                    and CANADA DAY ...                             
              HAPPY SUMMER...

                              TO ALL!!


  1. Happy summer, Bruce. We, too, have been brought low by oppressive heat and humidity which, I’m sure, contributed to a 2-day headache that would not go away. Now, a cold front has come in and lifted that ugly weight of the heat and I could actually sleep with the windows open last night - what a relief! Your memories of your fishing days and vacation times is special - we all have theme songs or just background songs for our lifetimes and sounds like Summer Breeze is one for you :). I wish you summer breezes and cooler nights when the mind can clear and the muse can return - in all her wonderfully surprising ways!!

  2. Happy Summer back to you Rhonda! Loved your triptych project... very expressive and interesting to the eye!

    The heat wave has stepped back (for now)... and you are right. Night time and day time seem so much more bearable. Deb had the headache thingy as well... migraine very likely related to the change of air

    Music remains a very strong component in my creative thinking and process. Certain memories refuse to let go either. For whatever reasons... I seem to be locked into the sixties music and lifestyle.

    They were turbulent times in the world for certain... but I feel that in many ways that uncertainty became the glue which has bonded our generation together solidly.

    Enjoy your summer hiatus and the joys of your own summer past!

    Thanks for checking in!

    Warmest regards,

  3. Good Evening Bruce,

    I was thinking of you recently: there was a programme on TV about railway journeys through Canada, and they were doing the section from Ottawa to Toronto via Kingston. It all looked quite familiar to me from your posts! One feature was the annual service at Half-moon Bay.

    We've been having unusually hot weather here too. The rivers are drying up and the ground is parched. The sun has been good for the garden, but the lack of water is causing it to suffer a bit now. The heat certainly is draining and makes watercolour painting difficult. Even in the studio I've been too hot and had problems with washes drying too quickly.

    I love your plaque, it's very different for you, but very creative. I hope it's the kick-start that you need!

    Stay cool!
    All the best,

  4. Good evening Keith,

    It pleases me greatly that my posts convey some accurate glimpse of my surroundings and the historic traditions. Yours does the very same in reverse for my interests and connection to Scotland.

    The weather has been brutally hot... but the past three days have brought in cold front which has drastically afforded us relief. Rain is still very badly needed.

    The oppressive nature of the heat really robs one of any inclination to think or act upon creative thoughts... especially outside.

    The plaque project was indeed fun and completely "off the wall" in terms of my usual interests... a pleasant change from the normal fare. Might be more of the same on the radar???

    Stay tuned...

    Hope that your heat and the impediments that it brings fade away for you too!

    Happy Summer... and "warmest" regards... HA HA!! Couldn't resist!

  5. Well a change is as good as a rest ;o) what a fun project.

    I too am longing for some long cool rain. It's too hot here even in the shade of the trees as when there is a breeze it is hot. Our weather seems all a bit extreme at the moment. I didn't imagine this when we had our very unusual spell of snow and freezing rain. I seem to remember you had some bad winter storms too. ( I feel very British talking about the weather so much...) Best wishes.

  6. Hi again Lisa!... Thank you for checking in and commenting about the project and the weather. Strangely... both are "universals" in the world it seems... very little variance anywhere on the planet from all reports.

    Even the political landscape seems "parched" and heated up... thanks to one [misguided] individual. NO name is required... HA HA!!

    How is your own new project fitting in to The Le Quelenec household routine and environment. I Jack a big-little supporter and lover??? Children and dogs are a natural fit. Great fun!

    I think of your every single day when I look at your framed peaceful seascape. It hangs with other Allison memories in our living room retreat looking out on the River.

    Grateful every single day for your Friendship and generous gift Lisa.

    Have a wonderful and safe summer!
    Warmest... I mean coolest... just kidding HA HA!!... Greetings