Sunday, January 15, 2006

From the Cave: Clams


To whom it may concern;

I value your analytical abilities. Voila, my cover letter. Giving me an informational interview matters only if you want to hire the point of this pen. In no other way do I seek to contend. Though I am rusty, you may give it in French. My Arabic and Korean phrases are suited only for desert or drench and the prices of fish. It is an indigent Nova Scotian who writes. Ever try sculpin?

I was born on Sandy Point, in what was once called Port Roseway, after the French Port Razair, after the lean, sharp little razor clams that still cling to some of the flats in Shelburne County. From King’s Bounty (Robertson: 1978) I acknowledge this, “Our fate seems now decreeded and we left to mourn out our days in wretchedness. No other resource…but to submit to the tyranny of exulting enemies or settle a new country “(Loyalist of the Northern States, 1783)

My tonguing my way around teaching ESL, mere curiosity, journeying home on fifteen hour flights once a year for a month or so – that was the treat. Soon Air Canada will be selling us toilet privileges and calling it a feature. Now I have read that Alistair Pennycook thinks I was acting as the worst kind of agent of colonialism, and am too incompetent to get a job (or a life) in Canada. Hopefully wrong thrice, I completed all my contracts for generous saddle bags. This breeder of fine wildflowers and green alders is highly observant, and notes our provincial crime rates, the destruction of our provincial common lands, and the retraction of provincial government services. This loathsome sloth of economy, these piddly birth rates, this aging, cranking population, present challenges to the viability of this province in future. In a nation of immigrants. Outrageous.

My valley spirit never dies. I had land bought on the North Mountain in Baxter’s Harbour over five years ago, preparing it every holiday. Leaving my last job took several months in caliphate-like exit procedures, so I could not already have a monotonous job here before taking another. I have spent the last six months sending out applications, playing a Pakistani drum, reading Lao Tzu, studying for a Diploma of Adult Education, and preparing for the reality of having to leave- encore? A strategy of patience should be sufficient and a firm refusal to eat with Druids.

I could not settle for a competitive, squabbling parking lot mentality. It is overfull with paranoids, languors, and lemurs, like an ESL convention. My expert quill scratches and satisfies management teams requiring a flashy critical thinker with more than a few tour-guided snapshots of the global economy. I am an excellent researcher, and I noticed one expert in The National Post forecasting gold futures based on the Chinese market, something I wrote to a secretary in Kentville over eight months ago. I have an accountant’s sense of humour. Such media is almost irrefutable evidence of my oracle-like anti-hoodoo.

At heart, I am a trail climber, a leader, a follower, a doer who first dreams, and learns a little of the language. My creativity leads me to music, and art. Currently I most enjoy The Gypsy Kings, particularly their song, "The Mountain Where I Cannot Live". My flexibility leads me to long walks. If a few sandpipers keep me here, I would get a stubborn but noble pony, with a small cart hand-made by me out of driftwood, to collect (more) driftwood along the Bay of Fundy on the weekends. Mine would be a cottage home with slab on grade, all walls faced with blued basalt. I would set each one, which should give you an idea of how long I intend to stick around.

If you find any fault or flaw in this letter, it is merely my antiquated liberal arts education cracking to work. I can fly nowhere without this shell. Now, how about that interview?

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