The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thoughts from the arctic

By Ania Vesenny

Twilight at 3:30PM. Night-like darkness at 4:25. I’ve been in Iqaluit for only four months, so I still find this exotic. Two kids were letting bicycle wheels roll down a snowy hill by North Mart. They would chase them down, climb up the hill, and start again. We stopped and watched. A surreal scene.

Yesterday a huge raven, its feathers glistening, spent five minutes on the rail of our back deck. “Kloo-kluk, kloo-kluk.” Like pebbles dropped into a well. Melodious and rhythmic. Did you know that ravens mate for life? Did you know that polar bears can smell a human 30 kilometers away? If you meet one, and it charges at you, don’t run away. Fight for your life. This is what the instructional video says.


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Lovely. Like receiving a postcard from you. The polar bears! We went to a place here in BC called Botanical Beach and at the start of the long walk to the beach is a sign with warnings of bears and cougars. Make noise it says. Don't try to run. Leaning against the sign were big sticks you could take to beat off the animals if they attacked. What are we doing here? I said to Colin.

Sun Nov 05, 06:53:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger ania vesenny said...

i think i will blog in postcards from now on. thanks for the idea, Tricia.

i met a couple in their forties at the visitors' center here. they were visiting from bc.

have you seen any polar bears? the woman asked me.

No, i said.

oooooooooh. a sigh of disappointment.

are you serious, lady? don't you see i have two small kids with me? do i look like a person who wants to encouner a polar bear?

i was at a place on vancouver island called a Botanical Beach. are there many? i don't remember the sign. but it was before i had kids.

Sun Nov 05, 11:03:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

You probably went to the same Botanical Beach. Maybe you got there a different way than we did, or maybe you didn't see the sign. I don't think the appearance of bears and cougars is new.

Mon Nov 06, 12:10:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Can't wait to hear more from Iqaluit, Ania. Lovely post.

Mon Nov 06, 09:23:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger tamara said...

This is really lovely; a nice interplay between delicate and dangerous.

Nearly everyone I know who grew up in BC has a bear story. I'm the exception, thankfully. But my sister and brother-in-law in Whister have several stories, including one about the bear that was standing on their porch, trying to open their sliding glass door. That's close enough for me.

But I thought there weren't supposed to be bears on the Island? I must be thinking of some other wild animal.

Mon Nov 06, 04:06:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Those new eyes make everything in life more clear, don't they? You're such a great Mom.

Mon Nov 06, 09:30:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

aghhhh....I keep posting a comment and it keeps...aghhhhhh!!! buy lots of sticks ania...don't ever run from a bear!!! really, and yes, as Tricia says, make noise...xoxo

Tue Nov 07, 10:18:00 pm GMT-5  

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