Plenty of cities, states/provinces, and regions have taken a lot of ribbing over the years about a variety of dubious accomplishments. While some are unquestionably founded in statistics, like high pollution or high crimes rates, others, like shady moral character or even shadier IQ, are not well-founded at all, but stand-up comedians persist for the easy laughs. Through all the trials and tribulations of other locations, the Canadian province of British Columbia has managed to dodge the cheap shots. Until now. Beautiful B.C. has long been affectionately referred to by Canadians as “Lotus Land” because of its mild laid-back climate (social as well as meteorological) and its liberal attitude to pot smoking. But recently (or finally, as some jealous provinces may prefer) B.C. is gaining a rep for something a little more unsavory (not to mention weird, creepy etc). In case you haven’t already heard about it (but it has made CNN!) severed feet have been washing up on the shores of our fair western province. It’s true. The most recent appeared just a week or so ago. That means that over the past 15 months, a total of six severed feet, each complete with its own running shoe, have been found at various locations along south B.C. coast. A seventh was determined to be a hoax. Well, not to be too flip about an obvious tragic occurrence for at least five real people, that was a hoax just waiting to be perpetrated.
So far, forensics and DNA testing have confirmed that two of the feet are from the same male (found months apart) and all the feet appear to have been "naturally disarticulated," which is CSI-speak for "no implements used." Beyond that, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) haven’t said much more, frankly because they’re, well, stumped (sorry I couldn’t resist that one). I recall many years ago reading a humorous haiku about it always being one lone shoe we see lying to the side of city freeways and dirt roadsides, the world over. The same obviously must apply to washed up feet. And poor British Columbia is becoming the butt of foot jokes (fortunately, I will restrain myself from another bad pun here) on late night TV. And all joking aside, I do hope this mystery is solved, and no more feet find their way to B.C.’s (or any other) shore.
Photo: I took this photo of a child’s shoe at my local beach. I’ve since discovered that many people are fascinated, or more like obsessed with, the subject. There are websites and flicker galleries devoted to the existential phenom of the Single Shoes in the Road. If, in reading this post, you find yourself strangely drawn to it as well, you have a whole world opening up in front of you.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.