Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.

Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.
Prize Winning Stories from NOWW

Friday, December 16, 2016


Ice Meets Water, Freeze up on Lake Superior.
(photo J. Baril)

Momentary Journeys
by Carl Goodwin

“It’s here. Right about here. The elder of my two brothers is pointing towards the crumbling cement foundation under our village’s last fish shanty. Veda, my sister-in-law has told me about Guy wanting to live as close as possible to the centre of “his” world.

“Bring me something you find on the ground!” It’s a few years earlier and our friend Gail is responding to my question about what souvenir Rae and I could bring her when we return from the south. (We used to travel south in winter, far enough to get warm and see real sunshine and stayed until the money ran out.) Gail was a frequent visitor to our place on Denman. Used to tow her small Boler trailer and park it beside the herb garden.

In journeying, we’ve become a destination-minded people, notching up and bragging about places we’ve been. Forever calculating distances. Best and fastest routes, estimators of mileage, fuel consumption. Air miles here to there.

My mother, forever attached to the house and us kids was a voracious reader. Dreamt of a cottage in Provence. My father mind travelled as well. Newfoundland. The war years. Flights out of Gander. The convoy escorts.

Perhaps as a species, still evolving out of the ooze and standing upright to gaze across the Savannah, we’ve come to focus too far ahead seeking truths at greater distances – globalization of the mind. But my brother and Gail shared the luxury of centeredness in smaller settings – journeys to momentary places.

So shall I tell you of the single shaft of morning sunlight on a scarlet leaf on our morning path?  Bleached bones of a tiny fawn, forever wrapped in cedar roots? Rae and I on our beach blanket with meteor showers streaking a black, black night above the channel? The buck deer, vaulting mist, profiled against a silver moon. There, on the ground, the first blue robins egg of spring.

Whish of raven on the wind, shadow in pursuit. Fading chatter of summer cyclists. Staccato of woodpecker telegraphing on the hemlock. Herman whistling.

T.S. Eliot tells of journeying outward and, having ceased wandering, returning to the place from where he first started and knowing the place for the first time.


Let there be moments and, not necessarily, destinations. For the sacred, private spaces are too soon gone and tourist-trampled and besides, ever seen the colours of a dragonfly’s wing?


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