Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Maple Ridge an Urban Resort?

There is no such thing as an Urban Resort. The two words side by side are not to be found in the urban planner's dictionary. There is no saying whether or not these two words may from time time show up sitting beside each other in a mental equivalent of musical chairs. Then briefly looking askance at one another, the music starts up and off they go again.

Urban. Resort. One pleasant word, one less so. Blending them may result in the urban part becoming a little more palatable to the suburban taste. Then again the opposite effect may occur in the event the resort part is threatened by urbanism. This may not be such a good idea after all.

What would even cause such a thought to appear in the mind of an urban observateur?

The fact that Maple Ridge has one of the largest parks within a bear's fart of civilization may have something to do with it. The Golden Ears Park hosts close to a million visitors annually.

What else do we have? Horses, lakes, hiking, fishing, cycling (lets not forget recycling), boating and now, of all things, agri-tours. You can camp in Maple Ridge. You can tube down the Alouette River. Are you sure we are not a resort town - just 50 minutes outside of what is supposedly the most livable city in the world?

A resort town that is loaded to its sprawling gunwales with young families, schools, social services, shops, infrastructure, industry, business and more to come. A resort town that fights for every square inch of its agricultural land reserve whether within or outside the mysterious Green Zone. The Green Zone is a sort of Bermuda Triangle into which the capital of developers and speculators is said to disappear from time time - often never to be seen again. True, it is also said that from time a few hectare may disappear from the Green Zone on the wings of that devilish Agricultural Land Commission. Developers may sometimes be heard to whisper to certain council members over an almond latte in the cool gloom of Starbucks 'you are the wind beneath my wings.'

Here in the wonderful heat of yet another Maple Ridge summer it is hard not to believe that we live in an urban resort. Boats, fishing rods, motorcycles, cycles, shorts, T-shirts, carwashes, the young, the old, going about their lives. Jazz festivals, Caribbean Festivals, theatre, music, dance, hope, harmony (well, at least once we have that pesky OCP behind us), music on the Wharf, visitors from afar and those from nearby Vancouver who simply come to see what life may be like in the Valley. Many choose to stay. And why not? Why not set up home in this Urban Resort we call Maple Ridge - perhaps the only living example of such sublimity in Canada.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Of children and peace

In solitude’s glare

How will they tread
This fragile thread
Forged by time
The slow and sullen average man
A night out with the green
Ambition of youthful anger

And how are they
To up and keep
A sober life with forward step
Slowed only by the threat of our future
Grotesquely clear and looming in my sleep
Where children bemused gaze up
At the teacher’s grey-chinned scorn

How are they on Earth
Transplanted by passion
Bought here in a singular unity
Trimmed by infinity
Refined By fate
Stationed aloof at the arches of dawn

Orbiting in the angel’s thighs
Caressed by ingratitude
A day from glory
Just as simplicity spelt my name
In your memory
How we are now knelt
Before rising in the darkness
To sip the dew

C. Andrup
December 13, 1990

And inspired
In particular

Sunday, August 06, 2006

False Beliefs - The arithmetic of it all.

Christians form about 33 per cent of the total world population. Muslims number around 18 per cent. That means that Christians and Muslims are more than a half of humanity.

Safe to say then that if the world's Christians and the world's Muslims simply rejected their respective beliefs in one large gathering called the "Feet back on earth ceremony" that half the world's problems would abruptly come to an end.

The world's population of Jews is in the region of 14 million. Small wonder that they are scrappy and self-defensive in the face of the other two religions.

Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 837 million followers - 13% of the world's population.

Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, being exceeded in numbers only by Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.

If one assumes for a moment that God exists then it is tempting to imagine that he sees himself (or perhaps herself) as the devine mischief maker. For "I shall make them believe in so many ways that they shall not know what to believe."

Humanity is an idiot.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ancient Mexican saying

"What's your is yours and what's Mayan is Mayan."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

One liners - Javat?

"Coffee is a mug's game."

August 1, 2006