Sunday, February 05, 2006

Golf course redux

Jan 24 was my birthday, a sunny island of a day surrounded by stormy days of continuous rain, and I went to have a look at recent developments in Seymour Bay. I hadn't been there since long-time islander Greg Cope had taken me there 25 years ago, but I vaguely remembered a path following a stream through the forest, which opened out onto an overgrown and abandoned apple orchard rolling all the way down to the sea. Carol Robb remembers pressing apples there.
I had been back once a few years previously to see what the new developers were doing with it, but the huge pall of smoke from the piles of burning brush seen as far away as Nanaimo put me off any closer inspection.
So this was my first real return to it.
It's a golf course now, its main purpose being to add a few thousand to the value of each of the proposed surrounding building lots, its main sin being illegally ploughing under three streams and a place of wildness.
Sight unseen, I have always hated the fucking thing.
The golf course combines the blue pill of Viagra, symbol of synthetic answers to unfulfilled desires, with the blue pill of the Matrix, which offers a comforting yet completely controlled and artificial view of the world.

Approaching it from over a rise, you suddenly see a bowl of unnatural unvarying green undulating down to the sea in the middle of a forest. It is quiet and minimalist and artificial, like a zen garden of raked sand. It is also peculiarly and surprisingly lovely, like the environmental art of Christo, who once wrapped the coastlines of several Florida islands with a floating flotilla of pink polyester.

There is a particular fascination about anything that manages to be both beautiful and repellent at the same time. Natural disasters and big weather come to mind, and romantic love has been described as the state in which the repellent is held just below the visible surface of beauty, providing a tension that beauty alone cannot sustain.

As I was leaving I looked back and saw this huge 4' x 8' billboard at the side of the road:
The world's local bank.
Dispensing the blue pills since 1865.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember having picnics with my parents at that orchard when I was a little girl. It was a beautiful spot...

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