Friday, July 27, 2007

quite a week

On Tuesday, near my office, the Trans-Mountain pipeline burst open, and sprayed crude oil over the road and houses and yards for about 30 minutes before it was turned off. Thousands of litres of oil escaped to damage homes, soil and the ocean. Somebody made a mistake. The crew digging up the road thought they were digging in a safe place, but they ruptured the pipe. The damage will take weeks or months to repair. Some of the environmental damage may be irreversible. Several families will be out of their homes for weeks at least. Some of the homes may have to be destroyed, their soil dug up and replaced and the homes re-built. The long term impact on the land, water, plants and animals is unknown at this point. The city and the oil company and the government are working hard right now to take care of all aspects of the situation. It's very awful.

Tuesday evening I met with some of my Poetry House friends for a strategy meeting. So many ideas bubbled around the table. We have done some remarkable work in our first four years since forming a not-for-profit society to promote poetry in our city - planned two festivals, launched and sustained a poets in the schools program, run community workshops and collaborated with the Vancouver Poetry Slam and Vancouver International Poetry Festival. It's time for us to look ahead and decide our shape and plan for the future. It could be any one of a number of things, or all of them. It will be an exciting experience helping it take shape. I love working with the PoHouse directors to get things done. We're artists who like to lead and organize, a funny cross-section of qualities, abilities and personal styles. The "getting there" is as important to me as whatever it is we do.

When I drove home around 9:30 Tuesday, I took the long road. My usual route along the Barnet Highway was closed. It was along that road that the pipe broke. Near the end of my alternate route I found the the road into my neighbourhood was also closed. We live on the other side of the mountain from the disaster, but along the same ocean inlet, and at the other end of the same highway. A worker allowed me past the barricade to get home. While I knew my problem was minuscule compared to those of the people directly involved, I was upset by the experience. It's strange and awful to have to ask permission to get to your house.

On Wednesday, Fiona turned 14. We celebrated on the weekend because she was super-busy on the day. The show that ends her month-long musical theatre intensive opened on her birthday. She was out of the house from 7:30 in the morning until 11pm. Now she's 14. I think she didn't mind spending her birthday this way. We're very proud of her.

On Thursday, We went to see Fiona's show. This is her second year in the program, and we were expecting to be impressed, but it was even better than we thought it would be. After 16 or 17 rehearsal days, these young actors presented a full-length musical review in which they sang and danced their heads off. There were 80 students in all, ranging from about 9 years old up to 18. They all auditioned to get in. They all worked hard through the rehearsal period, with excellent faculty teaching and directing. The show was a take-off on Fiddler on the Roof. Golde takes over the lead in the show when Tevye breaks his leg. There were cheesey moments and corny humour, but mostly clear, beautiful on-pitch singing (including multi-part harmonies), combined with spot-on dancing (which is not easy). The choreography and vocal arrangements were amazing. It was something that would have impressed us had adults done in. Several times throughout the show, all 80 performers sang and danced together on the stage, it it was not a mish-mash. It was like fireworks, only it was people. It was truly remarkable. As a Mom, you have to take my word for it. I'm not just saying this because my kid is in it. It was really something.

Today I will work for just a few hours. Fiona has a couple of birthday parties to attend this weekend, so there'll be a bit of driving for that. The neighbours will meet on the street tonight for a drink together. Tomorrow, we're going to Taste of the City at the PNE.

Sunday, Barb, Kim, Maya, Lukas and Simon come home. Then it will really be quite a week. Really.

question: how was your week?

mompoet - experiencing an extra bonus portion of everything this week


Kristene said...

My week? Well, Harry Potter arrived and so my husband kissed me goodbye for two days! I WON'T spoil a thing (I too love surprises) I will only say I cried buckets and buckets!!! What a talented author - enjoy your reading.

Pearl said...

that's an eventful week. The oil spill sounds horrendous.

Do you sing and dance too?

mompoet said...

Thanks Kristene, We're about halfway through by now. I am really appreciating nobody leaking the ending.

Hi Pearl, yes, it is horrendous. A reminder that we pay a price for thinking that we have mastered all of the forces of nature. As for singing and dancing, I sing in church, and a dancer I am not nor ever was. I love to listen and watch though!