It was a cold night. Nothing stirred. I woke up early
and watched the fluorescent tangerine balance on the horizon for a moment
before the earth fell away. The ball of infinite goodness that Doppel
explained welled up in me as I beheld the sun. The ball of infinite goodness
had two poles to it: the happy pole and the sad pole, mixed and intertwined by
invisible magnetic forces pushing and pulling, repelling and attracting, all
from the same ball. A sunrise is such a thing of beauty: the life-giver arrives
bestowing warmth to all that ask. I thought about it all, the good, the qualia
of beauty, and the mystical are all born from the same source. The faculty
within us that receives enlightenment: that is the divine in our soul. It is
the home of wonderment for poet-philosophers who try to define and describe,
and yet defied, constructs and deconstructs, attempts and stumbles, like trying
to grip a watermelon seed between your fingers. So the poet-philosopher becomes
an artist of imperfection, a connoisseur of the remainder that lies outside
normative logic, the residue, evidence of imperfection, and strives to overcome
the need for complete possession and absolute categorization. He lives with the
enigma of: what is good? Labeling from endless analysis eventually becomes a
game of sticking the closest hieroglyph to a phenomenon, blunt instruments
trying to measure the ethers of magic. She is too slippery to capture and
My identical twin brother came out of his tent and sat
on the grass beside me.
"The knee is a bit raw today," I said. "As always."
"For the Sleepy Viking, the exploit is a chance
to sleep in new lays of the land and to experience vibrations of a new
geomancy." He drank water and ate cheese and bread. I had nothing to share but
the confidence of brotherhood. I crouched near him because I was injured, still
silent of my ailments. Just being there beside him bathed me in a blanket of
love that soothed the sharp edges that stung me. This is it, I thought, this
moment will never happen again. How does one immerse totally in the moment? To
exist as a point in time is to lose your duration, to cease to exist. Maybe the
non-quantifiable point is a smudge or a blur that lasts for an unknown moment,
as I held on to it then, not wanting my present situation to change. Was that
happiness? Is this the peak? Why can't I be this way forever? Our silence was perfect. A perfect moment. A
union of two souls bound by blood and chance, with no requisite words to
disturb. A language beyond logic, unspoken and without flaw, a sensation of
security and comfort, yet knowing it is the final moment.
"It will be good to see Dad."
"Yeah, it will. And Grampa."
"He must be ninety-three this year."
"Best grandfather anyone could ask for. That's Grampa."
We packed and slowly coasted to a pedaling speed
through the park. No one was around. The pavement was hot. Just as we were
getting into a flow, we came upon a historical plaque.
LOST VILLAGES OF THE ST. LAWRENCE
the St. Lawrence Seaway required the flooding of 20,000 acres along the
Canadian shoreline between Iroquois and Cornwall. Some of these lands had been
settled by the Loyalists in the 1780s. Between 1955 and 1957, 6,500 residents
were relocated, many of them to the new communities of Ingleside and Long
Sault. Work crews moved buildings to new sites and re-routed highways and
railway tracks. Iroquois and part of Morrisburg were rebuilt on higher ground.
On "Inundation Day," July 1, 1958, the rising waters of Lake St. Lawrence slowly
submerged the villages of Aultsville, Farran's Point, Woodlands, Dickinson's
Landing, Wales, Moulinette, Milles Roches and a farming community on Sheek's
"Well, eerie isn't it? The
government decides on the seaway and whole towns are evacuated and then
"Still there now," I said, thinking
of the afterlife. A smile.
"Untouched except by protective womb of water."
"Interesting. A womb of something
There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The top of my head
felt like an egg frying. My mouth was sandpaper so I quaffed all the water I
have. I wrapped a bandana around my frying egg Aunt Jehmima style, and then
hopped on my bike and felt that sense of freedom that uplifts. An open road and
flow, we didn't stop until we reached Cornwall.
"There's a Mohawk reserve here on an island between
Cornwall and the States," said Doppel. "Let's check it out." I knew better than
to argue with Doppel about such a detour so we cycled the kilometer to the
bridge that lead to the Mohawk reserve in the middle of the St. Lawrence River.
I climbed in low gear up the crest of the half-kilometer long bridge when the
protective railings disappeared beside me disappeared. Ominous crosswinds
created a very shaky flow. With only two feet of space between me and falling
off into a free fall to a very hard splash, and with the bridge reverberating
from passing cars, I gracefully reached for my brake. I cut myself a wide berth
of space away from the shimmering diamonds on the surface of the St. Lawrence below.
I couldn't ignore the vacuous gusts and my slippery tires. I carefully lowered
my weight as I slowed to a stop but Doppel went on, passing me as I stopped. I
walked my bike off the narrow bridge walkway onto the roadway because the curb
was two-feet high. I had to laugh at the thought of falling, a full negation of
my finite amount of time left to me.
Coasting down the tail end of the other side of the
crest on the bridge, I met Doppel at the entrance to the Akwesasne Mohawk
reserve. It wasn't different from anywhere else except for the number of dogs,
so we kept riding right back over the bridge and back to the road leading to
With the sun nearly overhead a flow of adrenal energy
flushed through my limbs carrying me faster, I caught a swift groove along the
thicker currents above Cornwall and found myself at the top of a hill where the
view was clear to the water. I felt the warmth of the sun and smiled at the
beauty of the moment. I coasted and savored then descended the hill, accelerating
and feeling exhilaration I hadn't felt since I was a kid. My legs pedaled like
pistons, burned numb, drowning all history into the now. My pack felt
like a bunch of feathers and the stream of my cycle-flow didn't even enter my
immediate consciousness. I personified flexibility between rider and machine of
if it were an inflecting bike. The oneness existed forever in the moment.
After an indefinable period of time I emerged at the
bottom of a long hill where I approached a sign for another fort. I slowed my
pace and turned for the fort knowing Doppel would find me.
Right after a small creek and a stone bridge I saw the
fort. It was an eerie place littered with stone ruins outlining the remnants of
old foundations. By the waterfront there were two blockhouses. They were tall,
six-sided structures that were like turrets for riflemen. Both blockhouses were
perched at the point in the rapids. It was the range of sight to Montreal that
made it an ideal location.