Personal Landscapes

October 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

It’s Fall and I am nesting. Soup’s on (quinoa salad, actually; plus roasted beets for a risotto later tonight). Puffy clouds in a blue sky above a vista of red and gold. So what if I am gazing at it out of the western exposure of my 9th floor window in a city.

Autumn makes me conscious of the changes to the planet that go on with us or without us, and that we are at the mercy of these changes. These feelings, I think, are strong for Canadians. “Hewers of wood and drawers of water,” as I learned in grade school; making many of us hyper-conscious and protective of our abundant natural resources. Certainly for me, as a child raised in Northern Ontario, I feel a kinship with rocks and trees and lakes. I recoil from the strident frenzied chant of “drill baby drill” as I would from the jagged slash of a chainsaw against my own hide.

Our greatest singer-songwriters regularly use the Canadian landscape as metaphor and context. Here are two fine examples, one newish and one legendary:

Great Lake Swimmers – Your Rocky Spine

Neil Young (from The Last Waltz) – Helpless

I’ve been looking for New King, by The Constantines, but can’t find a video to post. This song also pulses with Canadian landscape as metaphor and saving grace. A clip is here but doesn’t do it justice.

“Your mother and father / walked out of the city / bound together as they were bound to be

To pull a fortune / from the river / to drink the syrup from the trees

Kith and kin when the ice gets thin / we’ll forage and we’ll fend

As you delivered, will begin to deliver them”


Entry filed under: Music, Personal Musings.

Must Watch TV – McCain Blows Off Letterman The Times, They Are A-Changin’

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