foggy future

You are on a bridge, looking toward the future. What do you see? Is there a corner, or a window, or a door? Do you know where you are going, and where you’ll end up when you cross that bridge? It’s foggy over there, and if you looked the other direction, toward the past, it will be foggy there, too. You think you can see the present clearly, but it’s foggy where you’re standing as well, although it’s not immediately obvious. Just take a few steps, look back and you’ll see it. And you’ll also see a little farther ahead, each step you take. Don’t rely only on your eyes; use your ears and your sense of touch. Listen to the voice inside you. Follow where your heart leads and all will be well. All will be well. All manner of things will be well.

Taken on August 20, 2010

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crossing Reversing Falls

The fog is so thick you can barely see across the river. This narrow rocky gorge is where the St. John River rushes and foams into the harbour mouth. These rapids are extremely dangerous, featuring whirlpools, strong currents and sharp rocks… that is, when the river is running downstream. At high tide, the river is overcome by the the sea, which pushes the water back upriver — this is the local phenomenon known as Reversing Falls. You can see how the current runs from left to right, instead of the other way around. The fierce force of river and rapids has been tamed by the tide, but only for a short time.

Taken on August 20, 2010

the mill

Saint John is an industrial city. There’s no mistaking the slight tang of sulfur in the air when the wind is blowing the right (or wrong) direction. There’s no avoiding the pulp and paper mill at the site of Saint John’s most famous landmark, the Reversing Falls (Rapids). I was told recently about a survey conducted with tourists at Reversing Falls; one of the questions was about whether they found the sight of the pulp mill offensive. But the tourists didn’t see a problem with having the mill there. What they wanted to know was the history of it — how did the pulp mill get there; what role did it play in Saint John’s history, what does it tell us about the role of timber and pulpwood in the growth of the city? And when you look at it like that, this pulp mill is at least as much a landmark as the blockhouse on Fort Howe, with perhaps more historical significance.

Taken on November 19, 2009