Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Long time, no blog. I have been so busy for the last couple of months that even 15 minutes at the computer seems like a luxury right now. Since the last entry I have: taken down the community artists' show in the gallery; put up a photo and text essay exhibit; built costumes and uphostered furniture for Beauty and the Beast; worked to plan and oversee a student show in the gallery; planned and executed a week-long trip to Disneyland for 9 people from 3 different cities; taken down the photo essay and replaced it with 8 pieces of "some assembly required" sculptural work; designed and built a set for a childrens' theatre production; spun two sample sock yarns and knitted said socks; spun and plied 2 oz. of cashmere into 680 yds of yarn; handpainted said yarn and designed the lace pattern; knit another pair of socks; celebrated Ground Hog Day, Valentines Day, Family Day, Steve's birthday, St. Patricks Day and good report cards. And tried valiantly to keep up with laundry, meals, keeping the house relatively tidy and doing dishes by hand because the 20-year-old dishwasher finally gave up the ghost. Who has time to type?

Well, today is the first day of relative calm and it is my hope to keep it that way. There will be busier times ahead--I still have my art gallery job until the end of May--but the times in between will be a little less intense. I have learned this cool new word--no. Let's see how long I can keep that up! Two, three days, tops, I figure. :>)

And now for today's rant:

We live in a boomtown. Thar's oil sands in them thar hills! We have work camps that house 10,000 transient workers, and now camps are going to be built inside our city limits to house more people who drive up on Sunday and leave town on Thursday and contribute nothing to our community. A 30-year-old three-bedroom bungalow sells for half a million dollars. Our emergency ward is packed with people from out of town with headcolds. Our streets are busy and rutted because of the volume of traffic, not to mention the heavy equipment constantly moving through town. We have barroom brawls and drug busts and assaults on an hourly basis. And now the violence has hit home.

Brendan was walking back to his dorm after running to the convenience store across the street for a cold drink on Saturday night and was accosted by a teenager with brass knuckles. He was hit in the eye area, but, thank God, his eye was spared. His whole upper face is cut and bruised, but he seems otherwise to be physically okay.

But now, three days later, my 6'4" son is afraid to leave his dorm room. He has pain and horrible swelling around his eyes and sinuses. He spent 6 1/2 hours in emerg yesterday before a doctor could see him. Campus security and the local constabulary are overburdened and will probably never catch the kid who did this to him. And I feel so helpless.

Brendan is an adult, living on his own, though in the same community as us. He's perfectly capable of looking after himself. This was a random, and relatively minor, when you consider what could have happened, incident. Friends, teachers, neighbors, have all come out of the woodwork to help and support. We are blessed, even in this episode of senseless violence. But the rage it there, too. The sense that if we lived in a more stable community, this would not have happened. Of course, that is not true--kids are angry and disenfrachised and becoming alarmingly violent everywhere--but up here, it just seems to be magnified by the isolation, the transient population, and the stupidity of the get-rich-quick mentality.

In talking to Brendan, we have both come to the conclusion that these things happen. Do we let them defeat us? No. We stop and consider what is important to us. And we live our lives.

For me, that means family and fibre. The two things that tend to get back-burnered first when a paying gig calls. What's that about? So it is time to make a new resolution to keep the two Fs at the top of my priority list. I have lots of other stuff to do, but today, I spin.