cj fleury


Sunday September 29 / 2002

It is 3:30 pm Eastern Standard.
The small O forms are sparingly edging & tracing granite outcrops of the low, late September river.   It is “studio tour” time. 
Throngs of other-than-tourist visitors come to the region, capture sight of the “famous” covered bridge & stand on these rocks... sound bytes of the(ir) Wakefield memory… standing on layers of summer
Budding-teen romances, uncautious tans, late night swims &
screams leaping from said bridge.


i am busying myself with this business of sorting thoughts,
shell sections & the rituals of  year, direction, belief…
I am guarding tender lines, free to wind and water current…
less set to curious photographers and “train” wanderers.
At the same time i am seeing small shapes being “discovered” by a new crop of budding-teen
citizens / village-zens.
What’s left for next summer?
It’s happening twelve months to soon & they haven’t seen high river levels yet. City ten year olds think they have new prizes from their day in the country. Brothers fight over if they are stickers or…


There are small future men who throw stones
at anything that moves in the water.
i tell them that water-beetles are not targets
on a computer screen.
A mother tells her sons that maybe they should give them back to the “lady.”  Has she been reading my mind? 
The boys dutifully ask. i tell them of your projects…“Huh”…silence.
They stay, so i talk of shells that could once have been buttons in “cowboy” days. They leave and take most of their collection and throw them in the river. Alas…budding teen memories and hot July promises… not for local consumption or wonder. (Artist-in-residence at the rock was NOT what i had anticipated.) Art-to-the-people, let the children “taste”-the-wonder now happens at lightening speed.

It is  5:00 pm Eastern Standard.

The speed of “ephemerality” at the covered bridge rock
“moved” me to a more private shore of the river.
i go to the water at my parents.
i explain to them over Earl Grey.
My father, who never listens, at least interrupts less
since my return from the UK.
My mother offers dinner upon finishing my part II task.
i go down to the different shore…submerging large discs in beet-sized river-stone shore.
“How,” i ask myself, “will the water lift these shell nickels up, out and away from the crevices in which they settle.
Maybe i will find them … rewards… i go up further
past the “odd” neighbour’s shorelines.

The squares are for last… playing with dancing surface
under water as last indulgence. i finish and dawdle with the waterfront “scrap” from man & nature. i think i see a submerged metal form from a church rose-window??
My father has made his octogenarian way to the foot of the stairs. He calls me for dinner. I stop playing with Diana, having “caught” her cold today over our long phone call
of art & heart & dreams.

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cjf - The Gatineau River