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Grid lock…

July 8, 2010

Monk played with his whole body…

You could hear that…

He played each note as though he were amazed at the one that proceeded it…

It was sensual,

challenging music,

and it required your full attention to follow it…

Once you did,

there was a world of musical shapes,

textures and possibilities to reach for…

I became a jazz fan…

I listened to jazz and read about the music…

I read about the people…

When I started to read about the history of black music,

I saw where the butterflies were leading me…

I learned about field hollers,

spirituals,

the blues and the call and response choruses of a people chained…

Above all,

I learned that soul is a universal experience…

We discern that whenever we clamber to our feet and chase the butterflies…

— in One Native Voice by Richard Wagamese

Well the cat is out of the bag…

The decking on my little back porch has been pulled back revealing rot in a joist of this gabled story house…

The 1890’s were a long time ago,

and pooling water is definitely something you can count on during Vancouver winters…

The carpenter working on the job is an English gentleman who followed his son over here to Canada…

Today he told me about his emigration shock after having spent most of his life in the countryside of the UK…

As we sat together on the front steps waiting for his son to pick him up,

he offered information about predators…

He’d remembered the last time he’d worked in my house,

looking for rot in my wooden window frames…

He sensed that the man working on the windows was not happy for him to be in my house at the same time,

or that the consultation was designed to be collaborative…

I filled him in on some background,

and how his presence had been intentionally scheduled,

because of the sketchy boundaries I’d experienced in the past with this particular individual,

and how I’d had to resort to the laws of physics to manage the situation…

The very last time this glazier was due to work on the houses in our row,

I held him back,

like a woman who stares at old goats,

by looking another way…

When I finally left my house and dropped the bracing,

he pulled up in his van,

flabbergasted…

Telling my neighbour,

You can’t believe what happened to me this morning…

I kept trying to get over here and EVERYTHING you can imagine went wrong…

And then to top it all off,

the traffic was horrendous…

We’ve all heard the expression,

a force to be reckoned with,

I keep mine in my bag of tricks for occasions where they are warranted…

A Summer or two ago I was awakened in the middle of the night by a fierce pounding on my door…

I was so deep in sleep that it took me a while to claw my way back to the physical plane…

When I got down to my front door in my dressing gown,

there was a police officer belting out commands on the other side of the glass…

Although I was terrified,

I refused to OPEN UP,

AND LET ME IN!!!

until he gave me good reason…

With more than a decade as a primary teacher and a mother,

I am more than familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood…

When Mr. Wolf finally calmed himself down and told me that there was a ladder leaning up on my porch roof,

and he wanted to know if I was okay,

AND if anyone else was in the house…

I opened the door to find upwhere’s of ten of our city’s finest,

and their dogs,

in my field of vision…

I couldn’t believe my eyes,

and I had the feeling I’ve been in this scenario before,

and it didn’t end well…

I asked,

What in the Sam Hill is going on???!!!

My next door neighbour was the one who had called 911 after being awakened,

by the sound of an aluminum ladder being dragged down the alley,

and then propped up against my house…

Apparently the VPD had been outside for thirty minutes,

and it wasn’t until neighbour mentioned that there is a single woman living in this house,

that they SWATteamed for further investigation…

I found this a questionable way to demonstrate concern about another person’s security,

and not all that timely considering I could have been well on my way to becoming chopped liver…

I made my point of view quite clear…

But as we all know,

policing is a fishy business…

A double-edged sword of public safety,

and corruption,

mirroring the image of the tangled web we weave in the so called real world…

A mirror that says,

I’ve got my eye on you…

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