Gotta love this country . . .
Two days ago, I set out in my little Kia Magentis, vintage twenty-oh-seven, to navigate the treacherous roads of this country. It is winter, after all, and after a dry spell, it was snowing again, but I had to make this trip. Two hundred seventy kilometres away, in Thunder Bay, there was a seminar in which the government would tell artists and writers about the money they were prepared to give away. Is this a great country or what?
Couldn’t miss that, so I was on the road. The snow-trashed, ice-covered road. I didn’t quite get up to speed, my normal one hundred five klicks an hour. It was, you will remember, a treacherous road. So I held it down to somewhere between ninety and a hundred.
It was sufficient. Sufficient to pass everything on the road. I do so love my little Kia Magentis. Couldn’t do it without the front-wheel drive and the studded tires.
The road was crowded because every driver of a transport and a semi (pronounced SEM-eye, remember?) travelling east or west in this great country was on this road. THIS road. No other. The other option, Highway 17, the North Shore route, across the top of Lake Superior, was either closed – due to the storm – or about to be closed by a transport or a semi in the jackknife configuration. And every driver or a transport or a semi in this great country knew it.
I set out with great confidence and I never lost that confidence and I will never lose that confidence even when, some time in future, I am not driving my little Kia. There is something else entirely which infuses me with confidence on the most treacherous of roads.
Maybe I can tell you what it is, if I try hard, because, after all, I am a writer. And a writer’s ultimate goal – the goal of every painter and musician and dancer and crafter and that blessed being called a writer – is to express the inexpressible.
So this morning, before I woke up, I started thinking about this post.
And I started driving down this treacherous road that I drove down two days ago. And I discovered I was no longer in my little Kia. I was in a pickup truck. And I was no longer the driver. I was the passenger.
And a benign entity was behind the wheel.
[Continued in Chapter 2]