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Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This church spire rises above a small Ontario village.
Unlike many village church spires dating from the c.19, someone is still maintaining the place well.
Nice Gothic window. Someone's painted not long ago. Nicely clad steeple.
But though I am a student of old buildings, and hungry for the details that tell their story, I didn't go closer.
Didn't take photos. Didn't consult my favourite local history books to find out the who/when/how.

Because all I needed to do was to see that church steeple, across this body of water, to hear this:

"Across Roblin Lake, two shores away
they are sheathing the church spire
with new metal. Someone hangs in the sky 
over there from a piece of rope
hammering and fitting God's belly-scratcher."*

I do this a lot. Search for resonance, as I call it. Connections. Listen for old voices. The way it was, how  folks thought and dreamed. Old places, old photographs take me time-travelling (and I find many of you there too). Mom raised me to listen for "the stories that house could tell".

Jean Baird, 'she who makes things happen' suggested I might like to create a 'literary tour of Al Purdy country', finding the links between Al (and Eurithe, and the writing) and the local area - Trenton, Belleville and the country north of it, Prince Edward County. Hmm, let me think about that, got a nanosecond? And the local resource for this local girl? None other than the indomitable Eurithe Purdy.

* Wilderness Gothic (Wild Grape Wine,1968)

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