Our guide Joel took these photos.
I have so much to tell you. Stay tuned.
I’m going to be on Smithers community radio today, CICK 93.9, around 2pm to talk about the Peel Project and how artists draw inspiration from their environment. You can livestream from the website, or I’ll be able to share it as a podcast later on if you miss it!
So let’s take a minute to remember that I sometimes write good stuff. Like this poem. I really love this poem. It’s from a summer I spent working with bees, sociopaths and felons. A terrifying experience that will provide me with excellent material for years to come! Still waiting for the right moment to use the image of me, huddled in a wasp-filled outhouse at forty degrees, hiding from a meth’d up ex-Hell’s Angel co-worker who had called in sick but still rode a stolen bicycle to work to see if I wanted to buy it. How thoughtful.
This poem is actually about my other co-worker. Yep. There were two of them.
Thanks, impulsive decisions!
Me and Jug
together in the honey
house on Coldwater road.
I bottle and package,
he works the DECAPPER.
CAPS chunks of thick
comb, so you can get
the honey out.
Frame after frame
on the conveyor,
little chains rip
the caps off the cells
with the honey
and the bees
who won’t leave their quarry
even though he tried to smoke
‘em out. Little chains rip
the bees limb from limb, pieces
of bodies on the floor,
thorax and leg, with
splintered wood and wax. The noise
that thing makes
Christ, the noise.
That’s not the whole poem. Read more at the Incongruous Quarterly.
Since those of you who know me know that I am single and hot, and I do play D&D, and that D&D in general is a TOTAL FUCKFEST, I feel the need to be clear that this is from a piece of fiction I’m working on. This is the writing I do before the magic happens. When I’m sorting things out.
Being single and being hot means you are a threat. A threat to women who aren’t secure. Women who suspect they are hot, but years in limbo have them wondering now. They look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves whether their legs really are okay. Weren’t these legs okay before that new girl started sniffing around? They seemed like pretty good legs. Sure, you can see those little veins just below the surface, NOT VARICOSE VEINS, GROSS. Spider veins they think. Equally gross. Spiders. God.
They do squats and lunges. Look into SPIDER VEIN removal, which involves shooting tiny lasers at the veins to KILL THEM FOREVER. They take a luffa to their legs and then rub coconut oil on them. It makes the skin slippery.
They suddenly want to give massages, so many massages to this man they’re kind of annoyed with. But they massage him anyway, after work, after a workout, before bed. They try to massage a confession out of this man, what do you really think of that hot single girl, the new addition to your D&D game? And some men, because they like massages and their girlfriend’s legs wrapped around them with that smooth slippery skin, may be a little evasive. They weren’t getting a lot of massages before this new girl came along. Their women work and knead and prod those muscles, and wonder just what the hell is going on at those Dungeons and Dragons games. The only thing their guys get together to do that they’re not invited to.
I’m the hot single girl in a Dungeons and Dragons group. We play second edition. I was asked to join because I’d played before, and because I like to play a healer. No self-respecting dude wants to play a healer. Nonono. They want to be the tank, sacrifice intelligence points for a high constitution so they can charge into battle, broadsword swinging, and bust some heads. They want to be the first responder, the hero that characters like me stand behind. And that’s where I am, right behind them, ready to cast innocuous but useful spells like Bless or Charm or Hold Monster. Or to heal them if their HP gets low. But they want to bust heads, they need to bust the heads.
Other guys want to be mages. They start off pretty puny: low constitution, high intelligence so they can learn more spells. Can’t use heavy armour because it interferes with their spell casting. But as they level up, the sacrifices pay off. Magic Missiles. Ray of Frost. If they could shoot lasers, they would, but let me tell you, SPIDER VEINS would be the furthest thing from their minds. They’re thinking about hydras and rust monsters and wraiths. About the fact that even though the tank fighters can get in there and make a mess, it’s the wizards with the truly terrifying power. The thought of the power they’ll be able to wield by level twelve of thirteen makes them shiver, makes them a little bit hard. They keep the healer in sight, me, because even though one day they’ll be taking down Astral Kraken with a single zap, right now they need my Barkskin and Cure Light Wounds. They need the help of this hot, single chick who is happy to play a supporting role in their glory. Happy to laugh at their jokes and flirt a little. At the end of the night, maybe they’ll get some gold, or a magic chest to open. Experience points will be divided, some will level up. Then they’ll take the spoils of victory home to a beautiful woman with great legs, and get a massage.
Got to start somewhere.
The Peel project Indiegogo fundraiser is live, and I hope you’ll have a look. Calder, Tony, Daniel, Callan, Katie, Aurora and I are getting ready to paddle from Whitehouse, YT to the Arctic Circle through the Peel River Watershed, which has recently been opened up to mining exploration.
Given The Peel’s tenuous state and uncertain future, this is a documentary of adventure, art, culture and Canadian identity. But most importantly, it is a documentary about people and landscape. This really will be a once in a lifetime trip for us, as mining development in the region will inevitably change the landscape forever.
Northerners are well aware of the threat to the Peel, and are taking action. But to the south, the Peel Watershed hasn’t received the same attention. With your help, we can use film, art and science to bring the issues that face the Peel to audiences across the country, and through this, contribute to a dialogue about Canada’s approach to natural resources.
Please share, and consider donating. Thanks very much!