Monday, January 18, 2010

Olympic viewing . . .

Years ago, looking on-line for some background on Dionne Brand in preparation for teaching one or other of her poems, I found this little gem: #30, it's apparently titled, from her Winter Epigrams. I adopted it immediately as a favourite -- it so perfectly expresses my sentiments!

I feel wicked
when there's no snow in December
as if I've willed it so
I say 'damn good there's no blasted snow';
I have no sympathy for skiers,
I say they enjoy other people's misfortunes,
snow plough drivers and other warm blooded
as for ski resort owners -- procurers and panderers!
when there's no snow in December
I feel wicked and positively sublime.

I'm feeling more wicked and even guilty, right now now, and less of the sublime, looking over at these coastal mountains on the Vancouver mainland -- while these mountains aren't the specific sites of the 2010 Winter Olympics, they're representative. And while the briefly-appearing winter sun is illuminating some snow on those mountaintops, that cloud above them will be releasing mainly rain, with sea-level temperatures between 8 degrees and 11 (Celsius, that is), and thus little chance that it will be cold enough for snow even at Whistler-Blackcomb elevations.

And while you won't catch me sporting the red Olympic mittens, and while I would have preferred that the money poured into our Olympics went to addressing homelessness and education, and while our Forces could do so much better deployed in Haiti (where a good-sized contingent of them will be helping out anyway) than guarding against terrorism on the ski slopes, I can't help sympathize with all of those who have worked for years toward these few weeks. As long as they can keep it on the hills, I truly wouldn't begrudge them a few feet of fresh snow by the beginning of February.

After all, that would be all the better for my view and my photographs . . .


  1. So . . . you're not going to the Games? I'll be purchasing cable for it--I only watch TV during the Olympics!

  2. Since all that money has been spent, I would like to see snow. We are having a snowless Dec-Jan too, so even if we have blizzards in Feb it's still a half-winter.

  3. Mater: Am I reading somewhere between the lines, that you are not particularly liking winter sports? I find doing my ironing going very cheerly, as I listen to the radio while the ski jumping is going on!

  4. That blue against that grey is a slice of HEAVEN I tell you. I need to get a slide show of all your landscapes on my bedroom wall to sooth me, perhaps a leeetle soundtrack would be good too?
    The whole Olympics thing is a two edged sword. Excitment is mounting here and the regeneration of what was an eyesore is awesome, I guess this is not a factor with your games! And quite frankly with the weather we have had and will be getting maybe should have bagged the winter games too!

  5. Strange winter here too, less snow than usual, and I can't say I really mind, although at least the white on the ground masks some of the gray-brown dreariness of the season.

    Still, though the money has been spent perhaps a little snow might be nice. Would that it would snow there, and not on you though. Perhaps too much to ask.

  6. Miss C: I'm not a spectator of any sports, really, but I will be interested to see some of the pageantry, the opening ceremonies, etc.,
    Duchesse: We quite often get more snow in February than in other months, so I'm not ruling it out -- and yes, although I'm not an Olympics-booster, I don't wish them ill either.
    Metscan: I used to enjoy cross-country skiing, but I'm not much for watching sports of any kind. The big problem with snow here on the coast is not only our terrain (all sloping down to the sea, really, so hilly, windy roads) but also the likelihood of thawing and re-freezing. Nasty driving conditions.
    Alison: The brightness of the sun on those snow-capped mountains in that "slice" didn't quite get captured in the photo, although it's a bit better when "embiggened." The ambivalence here to the Olympics is not only the money spent in times of other needs but also some of the heavy-handedness of the Olympic Committee and notable interferences for what many of us take to be our civic liberties. . .
    Mardel: Exactly! You're on my wavelength -- snow over there on the mountains, leave my driving roads free!

  7. Snow would be nice. It's only right that winter has snow. Particularly if Winter Olympics are in the picture.

  8. Hmmm, I'd agree with snow in winter if it would agree to stay off the roads. . .


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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