Sunday, 30 May 2010

it's a canadian thing

Summertime. Canadians, you’re going to The Lake, aren’t you?

I knew it.

This may be the only thing on which I will always, always disagree with Canada. I have never understood your affinity with The Lake. (Everything else, I adopt and embrace in the way that only a foreigner who has humbly chosen and asked to be One Of You can. Oh, except also, not Ashley McIsaac. Two things).

Y’all know how I love a good seaside. Perhaps it’s originating from an island nation that makes the ocean something that locates me; I know where I am, there where the tide is. The ocean’s the absolute Unknown, but sand under soles, you know yourself.

A decent river absolutely turns my crank too. Rivers are purposeful; they GO somewhere. Like oceans, their history is one of taking things places. Rivers are busy and effective and efficient; they get stuff done. Connect things to other things.

The Lake has no such qualities. It’s so stand-offish, The Lake. It’s got no tides (‘think you can influence me, ‘the moon’, if that even is really your name? I shun you.’). There’s no Unknown; I get that the Canadian lakes are jolly big, but...say you set out on The Lake from Toronto, The Unknown is...Rochester. There’s nothing Kon-Tiki about that.

And it doesn’t DO anything. Off goes the St Lawrence, ‘busy busy, can’t stop to chat, putting in the hard yards, keeping the world running, doin’ my job, 365 days a year’, and The Lake’s just like, ‘oh, you know. I sit here. You can walk along my shore if you like. Or you could sit, too, I guess. I don’t really care, one way or the other.’

I like it not.

What’s yours: lake, river, ocean? None of the above?

I have an important question to ask you, in a few weeks. At the moment it’s exam season and I’m up to my eyes in marking and cannot quite put my mind to important questions (nor, in the interest of honesty, to combing my hair before leaving the house, which, in the interest of further honesty, does not make a great deal of difference to my appearance). But soon.


zircon11 said...

Okay, I completely get what you are saying about le fabled lac, BUT... don't you think, inert and languid body that it is, better that than being completely away from water of any kind? I know I become kinda claustrophobic spending long periods away from ready access to large expanses of water - a bit like drowningchoking in clods of earth and endless buildings or outback dust.

Amber said...

Oh, you are so sensible. Yes, I would rather have a lake than DROUGHT, clearly. But I am not sure I can agree in terms of THE NEEDS OF MY VERY SOUL. A lake might make it worse in fact, to not be near the good kind of water, because it would just be like being faced with failure every day.

And anyway I know you are an ocean girl, and you cannot persuade me to think otherwise of you even with all your pretty words and smoke and mirrors.

Holly said...

Ocean for me, yes. I live on a peninsula, always have; I know where I am when I'm by the ocean...and I know I'm sane. Hah.

Amber said...

A peninsula. I hadn't even considered that. It makes me think of a narrow strip of land with the ocean bashing dramatically at you from all sides, and you could be swept off it in a moment. Probably yours isn't quite like that, but now I am imagining it is. You are so very brave!