The question I ask a lot of people is, “Where do you go around here to recharge your own batteries? To show off the place to people?”
One man told me to go down Harling Point and turn left before the Chinese Cemetery, go to the end, and find the tiny trail out to the rocks. Well. I went, and was gobsmacked to find, amongst the camas lilies and rocks and stunning view, this chair, with the plaque on the back: “Chris, 1947 – 2011. The dude abides.” I had to do a painting.
Then I got a phone call. “I saw your ‘Harling Point Chair’ card on my friend Richard’s mantle. Richard built the chair for my husband Chris.” So we met, had a hug, a few tears. I told the story at markets. At one, I heard there was now a red chair there as well, in memory of someone who used to sit in Chris’ chair. I added that to my story.
Sure enough, one day a woman said, “Yes, it’s true.” She is a U Vic prof, who had a small seminar group. At the end of term, one of the students went to Vietnam and was killed in a motorcycle crash. One or two of his buddies from her seminar knew his affinity for Chris’ chair, so built him the red chair.
Telling more of the story at markets, I have met the mother of the fellow who built the red chair, and Richard who built Chris’ blue chair, and the woman who supplied Richard with the raw materials for the chair.
Go find the little path at the corner of Lorne Terrace & Maquinna St, and add to the story. These shared connections we build with each other, people who love the same places we do – these are what make community.