The Ravine

The Ravine represents my store of memories of driving in BC, through the ravines, the canyons, alongside the rivers. Fraser Canyon. Devil’s Canyon. Coquihalla Canyon. Driftwood Canyon.

I once thought of not being able hear as a flaw. I pictured myself at the bottom of the canyon, where perfect hearing soars above me.

Not anymore. The ravine is a nice place to be, and there are no limits to looking up, no threshold line to hold me back. I can climb the canyons, or I can sit back and contemplate them.

The Ravine
The Ravine

A poem by Hannah Gamble, “I wanted to make myself like the ravine”:

I wanted to make myself like the ravine
so that all good things
would flow into me.
Because the ravine is lowly,
it receives an abundance.
This sounds wonderful
to everyone
who suffers from lacking,
but consider, too, that a ravine
keeps nothing out:
in flows a peach
with only one bite taken out of it,
but in flows, too,
the body of a stiff mouse
half cooked by the heat of the stove
it was toughening under.
I have an easygoing way about me.
I’ve been an inviting host —
meaning to, not meaning to.
Oops — he’s approaching with his tongue
already out
and moving.
Analyze the risks
of becoming a ravine.
Compare those with the risks
of becoming a well
with a well-bolted lid.
Which I’d prefer
depends largely on which kinds
of animals were inside me
when the lid went on
and how likely they’d be
to enjoy the water,
vs. drown, freeze, or starve.
The lesson: close yourself off
at exactly the right time.
On the day that you wake up
under some yellow curtains
with a smile on your face,
lock the door.
Live out your days
untroubled like that.

Source: Poetry (December 2014).

CCFA

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Published March 9, 2016

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