The hidden years in Canada 165, images

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Saturday 05 September 20:46



Long rides and white plains do something to you. It's not necessarily something that you do not want to happen, but your mind starts with something that catches your eye and then goes singing around in circles. Where it ends is not in your hand,  human beings are strange creatures, you let yourself be governed by your brain and when that brain is saturated with the many kilometers of white plain and the growl of heavy diesel punches you into monotony  then your thoughts take you for a ride. Had I understood it correctly, had Bill said something about Beverly  in his sleep, or was I hearing things. I did not want to end up like dangerous McCee Sam, who had become as mad as a hatter. The engine droned by pounding with the same monotony, hour after hour. I fancied that the sound had changed? I listened intently now with pointed ears. If we got unlucky we would come to a halt and sink through the ice, I assumed.

‘No more moose for me,’ it sounded groggy and barely audible. I had an unconscious chuckle, we had indeed had our share of moose meat. That put me in a mindframe far away to a place where a Pop was dancing the  Sirtaki and delicious burgers were  made with blissful milkshakes. That made the circle around again, I had come again at the former friendships and Bev. Don and Bev worked away on their future and also in his own way, Rico as well, and I, hmm, I just worked. This was the waste land from the poem of Eliott. A few lines forced themselves upon me:


And I will show you something different from Either

Your shadow at morning striding behind you

Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.


 I thought wistfully of my Highschool time. I was the only one who had immediately understood the poem as if it spoke to me, reached out to me and expressed itself in my head in images. Mr. Boston had stood before the class and had asked for volunteers and no one dared to give an opinion. With a smug smile he had turned to me. 'Young Daniel, ‘he said,’ can you give us hope? ‘ ‘Enlighten us with your so called insights.’. .  'Mister Boston, sir, ‘I replied,’ I think I have an explanation for this stanza. I heard the crackling over the diesel roar rise. I was going 30 miles per hour! Unnoticed lost in the poetry lessons of Mr. Boston, my foot had become heavier. I steered hard to the left, where the track was the widest and let the pedal go, only at 15 miles an hour I put my foot back. I looked in the side mirror but I saw no real difference in the ice behind me. Would it be weakened? Had I really heard the crunch?

‘They are metaphors mister Boston, sir, I had said,’ The morning after you cast your shadow is equivalent to the beginning of your life if you take the sun, life goes forward. The evening shadows are the last years of your life where you fear the dust to which you shall return. The poet says he feels the fear in both phases.

The uncertainty of the youthful with all the expectations or the fear of death that appears irrevocably on the horizon. ‘ Mister Boston had given me a long and searching look. I jumped back into reality, I had let my mind wander again, we were driving too fast again, the engine made a different sound, I drove a little too fast. Moments later the speed fell back accompanied to the monotone growl. Bloody hell, I thought, the diesel will surely not be flaking, we don’t want to come to a standstill here?


‘That's interesting, boy,’ said Mr. Boston, ‘that is a very good explanation, young Daniel, how did you get to it? At first I did not want to say it, but he looked at me expectantly. ‘I saw it,’ I said, 'I simply saw it’, mister Boston, sir? ‘ you were touched by the poem ' my master had said, ‘ the poet speaking  to you through he poem. Do you understand me, boy? ‘ I said, 'yes mr Boston, sir,' but took it on me to think deeply about what he meant, because I totally did not understand him. Now I understood him, the poet even talking now over the wide plains to me. These were the waste lands, the lands  that made you lose your course bringing your horizon too soon into view. Unmistakably the engine missed a few strokes, spluttered a few turns then to recover itself. I had imagined it, I told myself, it was in my head.

But suddenly the engine ran faster on it’s own accord than to lower in revs again without me moving the pedal. I knew something was wrong, we had a problem and I did not know what I could do about it and to make matters worse, the first flakes of snow began to whirl down.

San Daniel 2015

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