Both of My Extremes

 In Creativity, Inspiration, The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

That Sushi looks incredible! Way to go Ladies! I love how even though it was just you and Kadie at home you garnished with lime! She must have loved that!

I LOVE cemeteries. I know; it’s morbid… but they are so inspiring. There is something there, because for me there is nothing there. So so peaceful. And so often such beautiful gardens. There is a HUGE one in Hamilton, just behind the Royal Botanical Gardens. As soon as I got my driver’s licence, I started taking the scenic route home from my Grandparents’ houses back to Oakville when I would visit them. Hamilton is a fairly old city, with a lot of money historically, which makes for some incredible grave markers.

Pre-driver’s licence, I used to ride my bike out into the farm land North of where I lived and stop at a little pioneer cemetery for a snack. It was the turn around point, and there was a huge lilac bush that kept it hidden from the road. My Dad had found it on one of his bike rides and showed it to me. My Dad is definitely where I get my explorer from. It’s funny to think of that with this topic in mind. He taught me the Artist Date! Even cooler now to think of him explaining the concept periodically. He did a lot of traveling with is work, and when he came home, he would bring my brother and I each a little souvenir. He would also have some story for us about an adventure he had during his free time away. (He once almost got himself locked in the big park in downtown Boston because he got lost while going for a run!)

Fun to think of these things!!!

Your post, though, reminds me of a place called Silver Islet. It’s at the top of Lake Superior. It’s maybe one of the most mysterious places I’ve ever been. It’s summer cottages now, but it was originally settled by the miners of a silver mine in the mid 1800’s. They were isolated to begin with, but in the winter months, totally cut off except for the ships that would bring them supplies. It’s such a magical place, even now. Because it is still so isolated, it looks as if it is actually 1850! And being built by miners, it has the look and feel of a bona fide ghost town from the wild wild west. I’m not sure what those buildings are made of – hemlock perhaps – but they were definitely made by some strong people! The timbers in old mining towns are always huge, heavy cuts, and the buildings look as heavy as lead. Silver Islet is like that, but because the homes have been passed from generation to generation (apparently hardly ever sold publicly, just sold to a family member or friend) they are pristine and kept up lovingly.

This website includes it on a list of ghost towns, but I don’t think that’s completely true. It is definitely a summer cottage community, and when I drove to Ontario in 2010, I’m pretty sure there were permanent residences.


Anyway, one of the neatest features of this “ghost town” was the cemetery. There were stone and wood grave markers. That’s incredible to think about, and even more incredible to witness. The wooden markers should have rotted. They are all in various states of erosion, but many of them are still legible. People and children of all ages. Standing there, looking at them, you can feel not just the people who lived there, but the land feels like a conscious creature also, supporting and providing the harsh limitations. It’s wild personified.

This memory lead me to think of the difference between Aboriginal populations at that time, how they interacted with the land, as a part of it, compared to the immigrants who came from Europe. I like to imagine myself as a wild thing, and I also like to think of myself as some kind of refined art-thing. I love being able to kind of travel in my mind between both of my extremes.

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