This is the loveliest spot in the village. The one business was a very busy gas-grocery-LCBO complex in an old house. We stopped in the crowded parking lot, and I dashed across the speedy highway to take a moment, and a photo.
|to find the actual Parkhurst homestead|
I shall have to enquire the way of Eurithe
|1943 - courtesy E.Purdy|
A few scattered village houses, then back into the silence of the country. On a farm such as the one above, carved from the forest and rocks, was born one Eurithe Mary Jane Parkhurst. In early years here she learned her determination, her make-do attitude, her strength and forbearance, her practicality, fearlessness and imperturbability.
She needed all of those as she made her life with Al Purdy.
|Eurithe and son Jim, 1945|
photo courtesty E. Purdy
Al can do it. In the poignant preface to his last book 'Beyond Remembering' , poems selected by Al and editor Sam Solecki, Al Purdy creates a image of Eurithe in this interchange:
"...And to thank Eurithe for many many reasons. I said to her a moment ago, 'What does it feel like to live with someone who write poems most of his life and yours?'
She said, 'To me it feels normal. I can't compare it with anything else. It was a life.'
Sure it was a life. But can't I wring even a modest superlative out of her like: 'Al, it was wonderful! I loved every minute of it!' Couldn't she lie a little just to make me happy? I tell you it's maddening to live with a woman who always has to tell the truth...."
It was quite a life. And still is. Eurithe is a difficult woman to keep up with.
Printed in The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology
Harbour Publishing 2009