An audio-book calmed us, my wife and I, during a night drive north on Alberta’s highway 63. Moving past our Grassland pit stop, we turned left traveling northward to Fort McMurray. As we drove, a snow storm brewed until we were within a wall of big, heavy snow flakes. I backed off on the gas and turned our high-beams to low. I minded the road, scouting the snow track left by previous vehicles. I gave oncoming vehicles a wide berth. I placed our vehicle with care on this highway with sharp shoulders.
I pushed the first audio-cassette in.
A familiar, Canadian voice met our ears – Donald Sutherland began narrating our story. “Did he know? Had he guessed that I knew for certain what everyone else only suspected?” … “I found myself looking straight into the past. Sunday, October 28, 1956. A cabin, not ten miles from where I stood now.” … “This is the weekend when we’re closing the cabin for the season and my mother has been moving around in the other room, cleaning, but now the screen door snaps shut as she steps outside. It is now that I see my father. He is hurrying away from the cabin ….” (Part 1 – May Brightman, Chapter 1 – ‘The Red Fox’ by Anthony Hyde, 1986). The cabin is starting point for a narrative that moves the reader compellingly around the world, a journalistic detective story that weaves historical fiction into curious and intriguing questions of ‘what-if.’
The homestead in the photographs posted here is one I have photographed many times. The edit arrived at in this image has brought forward mind’s eye recollection of the family summer cabin that Robert Thorn, protagonist (and journalist) recalls, as well, in an October funeral for his mother. Anthony Hyde’s novel led us as listeners through the untangling of truth from lies and the consideration of possibilities and where their trajectories of reasoning would lead you – definitely the right book to listen to on a long, snowy drive into Alberta’s north.
Listening to – Bruce Springsteen’s ‘If I Should Fall Behind.’
Quote to Inspire/Consider – “The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” – Robert Frank