31 May 2005

Water ceremony - a mari usque ad mare

Just got back from the last show of the Tour, at the LSPU Hall Gallery in St. John's. The last show, can it be true? Well, it is, though I frankly cannot come to terms with the fact right now. Fortunately there is the "bonus" Tour-capping show coming up in Quebec City on Friday.

We celebrated with pan-fried cod at a pub on Water Street. Absolutely delicious. One really does begin laying plans in the back of the brain of how one could move to Newfoundland.

No pics yet from tonight's show, but it had a good success: about 12 people in the audience, and fine art by local artists on the walls of the Gallery around us. It was strangely hot under the lights! Also got the chance to shake the hand of Mr. Justice Malcolm Rowe, who stopped by and also warned us about the Moose on the Trans-Canada. I hadn't realised it, but they are apparently
attracted to headlights, so there are effectively several hundred thousand two-ton antlered torpedoes out there on the Rock, ready to zoom straight for you. Will I sleep better, knowing this?

Tomorrow we head off bright and early, but I can't forbear from blogging the Water Ceremony of yesterday afternoon.

[Bottling the Pacific]

The keenest reader of this blog may have forgotten that back on 11 April, the day before the Tour began, I wandered down to English Bay in Vancouver to fill up a bottle in the Pacific ocean. Dave and I pondered whether we should play it safe and use a screw-top bottle -- eliminating all chance of spillage -- or go for the classier wine bottle. The wine bottle won because we couldn't find a screw-top bottle, and every now and then throughout the Tour I would notice the bottle sitting in the trunk and think, "Whoa Nellie! I hope the cork doesn't come out." I had explained, you see, to Dave that, based on my experience on Epic Tour 2000, when I likewise brought a bottle of water
a mari usque ad mare (emphasis on usque), the shelf-life of bottled seawater is short. In fact, when I had opened it up in my grandmother Affleck's living room in 2000, I had unleashed an unholy odour.

But the cork held, and yesterday afternoon -- a gloriously sunny day -- I ceremoniously dumped the Pacific into the Atlantic. And Dave, standing 10 feet away with the camera with a strong breeze blowing, commented on the particular tang in the air.

[Pouring the Pacific into the Atlantic]

A mari usque ad mare. Literally, that motto encompasses more than the mind can easily conceive. This Tour has taught me a lot about this country and its people: we've seen mountains and prairies, vast lakes and quick brooks, islands and immense cities, snow and sunshine, and of course two seasides. But it's the people that make the nation, the young and the old; and even as we plan for the days to come, I hope we continue to look with interest to the epic past.


Anonymous said...

What a Tour this has been! Beautiful photos fitting the ceremony of the occasion. Congratulations on an extraordinary achievement.

Anonymous said...

Amazing performance

Hollis said...

Congradulations! You did so well! We have been following you on the website the whole way! GOOD JOB!