Saturday, 29 October 2011

housekeeping (flood conditions)

I've spent some hours today going through the many posts on this blog, checking labels and contriving to make the wealth of information accessible, and the blog itself navigable for the non-chronologically inclined. The inciting thought was, "i should make it possible for a reader to click just once, to be able to read all the poetry," or-- "click just once, and have access to all videos" (besides those at the bottom of all pages). As i went along, i thought about the visual artists; I thought, "If i'm going to have one-click access to all the Métis, what about all the Salish artists featured, or the Inuit, Mohawk, Maori, Cree?" As my arms grew heavy with fatigue, i started thinking about all the musicians... 

I have a musician friend staying with me right now. Before she arrived last night, i sat out on my porch for a smoke, scratching in my journal in the dying light. I rallied myself to go inside, to do the dishes & tidy her assigned room before she arrived. I walked into the kitchen, and realized i'd left things far too late: cascades of dirty water were pouring up over the edges of both kitchen sinks, and a river passed through my kitchen at a lively pace, swirling into the main floor storage closet and curling around the corner, clustering along that tiny berm between lino and carpet: my computer station surrounded by the quivering watery build.

I walked back to the door, to swap my slippers for shoes, and went wading.

My eyes were drawn to the power bar sitting on the floor, with it's many streams of influence coming and going in the form of electrical cords, like a still-life of productivity and impending doom. I grabbed the little plastic foot stool, from under the computer table, lifted the little raft of nexus, and elevated the cluster to avoid the water, nicely scented with my neighbour's used laundry water, now sweeping over the tiny berm and galloping toward the wall.

Next, i visited the livingroom, walled off from work station and dining area by a wall of shelving and boxes of paper, all more or less draped with an Anishnabe shawl, an Indian-of-India shawl, a coin-stitched scarf for the belly-dance inclined, made in China, and a dolphin-covered baby blanket, stitched for me long ago by a poet-priest-publisher-financial wizard. I retrieved the telephone, then went wading again the other way, to find the emergency number for the housing complex, on the side of the fridge, in the kitchen.

Once the promise of a plumber was secured, and after a second moment on the porch to gaze up at the stars in heaven and ask, "what is all this about?" I returned to the storage closet area and pulled out the mop and bucket. I pulled out a second mop, and began to lift water from the floor into the pail. I went upstairs, grabbed some rags and towels, brought them down to place on the soaked areas of the carpet, and started moving boxes. I invited my daughter to come and dance on the towels. I gave her other helping jobs, then erupted at her for getting in my way, as i went back and forth-- having noticed the wet bottom boxes-- desperately trying to preserve the archives.

I only noticed the wet bottom boxes as one lost it's strength, causing a cascade of books, papers, fabrics... once the boxes were secured on the dryland, by the eastern wall, along with all that had been stacked upon them, I invited my daughter to lift a mop with me, and we worked quietly. The phone rang. It was my sister in Australia, calling to share nourishment around some of the family issues we've been dealing with, intensifying over the autumn, chapter by chapter. "I'm glad you called. My apartment is flooded." I could hear that silent shock, the gobsmacked energies easily transmitted across the world. "Are you serious?" she asked, somewhat severely. "Yes," I responded, with equal emphasis, but the whole world gilded with my  incipient laughter, "I am. Flora and I  are working on our second bucket of dirty water."

And we laughed...

jo x cal  

cal x jo

1 comment:

Carole said...

You gotta laugh at times like this! ;-)
Love Carole