Forty years ago, Exhibit A knocked on my door
Four days ago, here came Exhibit B
Who am I to say there’ll never be an Exhibit C?
It was 1978 or so. I was the instructor of Project Insight at Lethbridge Community College in Alberta. It was a life skills course for young adults who wanted to get into regular college programs. These folks had seen some tough times, with low self-esteem linking the twelve people together.
I decided to take my students on an outdoor education day trip to the mountains of Waterton Lakes National Park. We’d drive the Red Rock Canyon Road and snowshoe up the trail to Crandell Lake, then back down the other side to the snow-covered Cameron Lake Highway, which was closed to traffic. Then we’d walk back down the road to Waterton townsite, where we’d pick up one of our two vehicles. Adventure!
Some in the group were fit and keen. Others had never been on snowshoes before. We obeyed the good wilderness rule that the faster ones would stop for extended breaks, allowing the slower ones to catch up. Like a caterpillar, we were together.
We were maybe a mile from our vehicle rendezvous when “John”, one of the students, came up to me. “I can’t find my glasses!” John didn’t need them for walking in the wilderness but they were essential for near vision tasks. So many years later, I don’t remember how long it took me to act, but I did. Leaving my friend Cam to be responsible for the other students, I turned around and headed back up the road.
It was irrational. I shouldn’t have been doing that alone. John had no idea when the glasses fell out of his pocket. And what were the chances of finding them? The snow hung well above our snowshoe prints. I could walk right by the glasses as they lay in a snowdrift. And I couldn’t just keep going and going. Darkness would become an issue.
What in heaven’s name possessed me? Good question. In any event – well up the road – I found the glasses.
Last Friday was far less dramatic. After two Evolutionary Collective Zoom calls and an afternoon of errands in St. Thomas, I’d returned home for supper. Time was running out to do a blog post since I’d bought a ticket for the James Bond flick Spectre in London. Besides I couldn’t think of anything to write. “That’s okay … mañana.”
It’s a short drive from Belmont to London, and I got in Ruby half-an-hour before showtime. As I was heading north on Westchester-Bourne, and then west on the 401, something strange was building in me. Something non-physical was pulsing. Really weird. I found my seat in the theatre ten minutes before the announced time, and immediately whipped out my phone and the WordPress app. “What are you doing? The movie’s going to start. You sure don’t have time to do a post.”
Someone else was tapping on the keys. The title was “Power” because power was coursing through me. “Where are these words coming from?” I didn’t know, but they kept coming. (I just looked back at the post – it was 219 words long) The theatre had darkened halfway and the future attractions were entering my mind. Undeterred, my lovely brain and lovely fingers kept going. I was proofreading as the manager’s message about Covid precautions came onscreen. It was perhaps a minute away from total darkness and then the surge of Bond action. “Please turn off your phone” reverberated at the back of my head.
I tapped “Publish” in the WordPress app
I tapped “Share” and chose Facebook
I typed “In the middle of …” as a title
I tapped “Post”
And the Bond music began