Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Was there a real Val Marie? said a customer at the museum cafe in Val Marie. A nun said the woman handing over his takeout latte. At that she turned back to her story about her friends visiting from Vancouver who had not yet embraced the landscape. In a later story, 12 ball teams came down for a tournament two weeks ago. Good for liquor sales? Oh for sure. They crashed at houses of the single guys from around here. This second story diverted me from the point I was hoping to make with the first, which was that we could try out this statement by Barry Lopez, delivered on page three of "Landscape and Narrative": "The landscape seemed alive because of the stories." We would re-introduce the friends from Vancouver into the Grasslands National Park, let them graze out there for a day and half, then get them talking. Or get them to play ball. Drifting under a fly ball (mosquitoes, raindrops, holes, all that sky) and catching it--that's a story they'll tell.

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