Lately I've been bringing out a lot of old material from a journal I kept on a west-coast swing in '01, particularly from a stay on Galiano Island.
A year later I took a trip back. I was working in Trana at the time and took a vacation at the Galiano Island Film & Television School.
As the Americans dropped million-tonne bombs on brown people, I had the great luck of meeting the effervescent Jane Rule
, and even appearing with her in a student documentary called Navel-gazing.
I looked incredibly inarticulate as I complained about vanity, primarily because my talking head followed Jane's, and she delivered a spoken treatise on the tremendous importance of navelgazing. She said something like this:
"In the lottery win that is life, having been lucky enough to be born out of all those millions of sperms and eggs, it is our sacred duty to gaze at our navels, to contemplate the source of our existence and of the universe, to live a thoughtful life, and to make the most of every living moment."
Jane passed away the other day at the age of 76, and the news made me sad. I met her just that once, and hadn't even heard of her beforehand, but those brief moments in her Galiano home had an indelible impact on me, and I have tried to follow her sage advice ever since.
Labels: 2002, non-fiction, Travel, west coast