can we afford to eat here?
Yesterday I completed my 66th orbit around the sun, then started year 67 with a day full of
the greatest of indulgences. I did as little as possible. I spent the morning on the net and on
the phone with my ace buddy Wade, an accomplished troublemaker now giving grief to
In the afternoon, Jude and I ferried over to Campbell River, where she took a test to renew
her traffic control license. Three years ago, our community sent us and two others to a
certification course so we could flag traffic as electric poles finally reached Granite Bay.
It saved our neighbourhood a lot of money. Since then, we have flagged at several events
for Emergency Social Services, the group that would organize evacuations from forest fires,
floods and such. The license has been of great value to us on our little island. I renewed
mine last week.
So as Jude tested, I wandered around downtown looking for a restaurant suitable for a
birthday banquet. I saw several possibilities: a first-rate Thai place, a new Japanese joint,
a splashy bistro with a deck overlooking the ocean.
I bought a snack box at KFC and sat down in a park to weigh my options. A group of folks
nearby were singing and playing guitars. One young lady had a voice similar to Maria
Muldaur’s. Regrettably, the band broke up after a few tunes. I took out my Shambhala
Pocket Classic The Way of Myth.
It’s an interview of Joseph Campbell by Fraser Boa. Campbell was a scholar who wrote
extensively about religion and myth. He’s best known for his recommendation to “follow
your bliss”. My favourite quote of his, however, is “I don’t have to have faith, I have ex-
So there I was on a lovely day sitting in a lovely park waiting for my lovely sweetie as I
reacquainted myself with Campbell. It was particularly apt because — with the upcoming
fall elections in the U.S. — truth and accuracy will be crushed by spin, cherry-picking and
horse shit both general and specific.
Candidates will become archetypes, either gods or devils. They will glow with the light of
salvation or suck you into a black hole of despair.
As I savoured Campbell’s insights, I thought about how vital it is to know who you want to
be with and where you want to be. As soon as I spotted Jude, I knew where I wanted to
have my birthday meal:
Here. Home. We just made the 3:30 p.m. ferry, sprinting the last 50 metres. We bought steaks,
veggies, watermelon and gelato and headed to our back deck. I grilled while Jude cut day lilies
for the table bouquet. We listened to Tumbleweed Connection and let the rest of the world swirl
away from us.
We completed our perfect evening as only a couple deeply in love can. We watched double
episodes of Doctor Who.