Sunday, April 03, 2005

Rockbound

In a conversation last night I told a friend that I was reading (now finished) Frank Parker Day's Rockbound. My comment about it was that you can really tell that it was written by a Maritimer. So he replies, "You mean it was deficient in that way?" I was so put off by this that I couldn't find a suitable response. All I could come up with was that it has a distinctly different feel to it than had it been written by someone from Ontario. What I really meant was that the majesty and grandeur of this place and the effect that it has on the people who live here saturates the book. Because of their unique relationship to the land and the sea, the great questions are framed in a different way than they could be if explored elsewhere. Knowledge and understanding come differently here, which can either not be seen or look deficient to some, but they are present. And they are present in a way that is connected to the ebb and flow of the tides and the steady changing of the seasons. It is a knowledge rooted in the way the world actually works.

Times are of course different now than when Frank Parker Day was writing. Most of the fish are caught differently. Some of the fish are gone. Tourism and call centres are brought in to take the place of industry. In the face of all this, I think the sea is too mixed into the blood here for life and living to ever be entirely changed from the picture that Rockbound paints.


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