Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 6: Territory Stories (part a)


Well that was certainly something all right, you wouldn't believe what was going on in the kitchen just now. When I was back there getting my pack, all of a sudden without any warning a whole bunch of Ghosts arrived. Happy, Hungry, Dangerous too, all three kinds, it was a regular three ring circus. The Ghosts came by to make whale bone stew, they were working together from all three directions, vegetables flying everywhere. Hungry Ghosts spouting out recipes and measuring things into bowls. Happy Ghosts blubbering sentimental songs about coriander and baby peas. Dangerous Ghosts hob- bobbing in a line and chopping up anything that came to hand. And all of them dancing to beat the band, without a conductor or an engineer or a flag man in the caboose. I put on my pack and began dancing too, what else could I do? It was cook or cut bait or end up in the stew.

Francis ran in just as soon as she heard what was going on, you probably saw her jump up from her seat and bolt for the kitchen door. Good thing she did cause those Ghosts were up to a rolling boil and needed some turning down. Well Francis, she can cook and dance with the best, and she got them down to a simmer again, no problem at all or at least not to mention unless you want to dwell on the way the Ghosts kept jumping into the pot which I wouldn't if I were you. I sure didn't, I did a quick shuffle to Saskatoon and came back out to sit down with you. Tell you one thing though, it's going to be one whale of a stew if they can find a pot that's got enough room to fit the ingredients into.

So that's where I was and where you weren't, but Francis will be there a good while yet, so me and you we have some more time to finish up talking. Where I'll be going, Francis is too, so I won't be leaving the Boaters Cafe until she's through with the Ghosts. A couple of guys who haven't arrived yet are due to be coming along as well. So I might as well tell you a few things more you might like to know when you're out there boating. Funny thing though to be telling you stuff about boats and maps and the Territory. Don't know about you, but it seems to me you already know about everything I've been saying.

It's odd the way we always forget the things we know best. Strange as well that we tend to pretend that something's entirely new. But if the Territory is only one thing and we're all of us part of that one thing too, whatever we think and whatever we do, whatever we make or seem to discover is already there. We never create, we merely uncover the Territory expressing itself in a different way than we've noticed before. We all know the Territory intimately, but because of the mapmakers' maps that we have we forget that we do. And when we suddenly see it again in some different form, we act surprised and become amazed. There's nothing new under the sun and there's nothing old beneath the moon. Everything is here right now in this one single moment no matter how hard a guy tries to forget.

Remembering, that's all it all is. Boats weren't made up at all you see, they were merely recalled. One day we were playing with sticks and string and all of a sudden our hands remembered the way boats were. The string and the sticks remembered as well so after a bit a boat appeared. Actually though that wasn't quite it, we didn't exactly remember the boats. We were messing around in a no-minded way, we stopped using maps of the everyday world and remembered the Territory instead. And when we did that the Territory remembered us back and the boats just dropped out into our laps. And everything else I've been telling you came about in much the same way. Pirates and Ghosts, islands and seas, coasts and harbours, everything in the Territory, no-one made up any of it, it was all remembered collectively.

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