Winter 2005

Across Ages

Serendipity marks this issue of Reflections on Water. Subject matter, authors, artists seemed to find one another and fall into place. As often is the case for ROW, this issue begins with Lynda Williams. Last summer, I met my friend Lynda at Fortune Palace for a meeting of Norspec, a small group of science fiction writers, and of course, lunch. I told her about Ida Cutler, a Vanderhoof poet who hoped to be published. Significantly, Ida is 92 years old. Lynda and I tossed around some ideas about older writers like Ida and the younger students I teach, where do the minds meet? From that discussion we developed this issue: Across Ages.

Ida Cutler was brought into my world by Joy Butler, Ida's neighbor, and member of the
Federation of BC Writers. Joy came to a Fed meeting, and as I am northern representative, brought Ida's ambition to my attention. I received an envelope with a CD of Ida's work, "ready to go." Over 60 poems! Too many for ROW to be able to showcase! To find the poems that best spoke to the young people of today, I called on the students in my Writing 12 class at Prince George Senior Secondary to help me make a selection. I narrowed the range to three sets of 12 poems, and I asked the students to select their favorite three each time. Their favorites appear here in this issue, with several that I had to print because they spoke to me! I have a suspicion you will be able to tell which poems were student choices and which were mine!

The serendipity of this issue continued when Si Trasken responded to the call for submissions with the proposal to interview Jacqueline Baldwin, nationally renowned local poet. Si's interview, a labor of love, reflects the intellectual and poetic serendipity of these two women. Laced with snippets of Jackie's poetry, the words of the poet are nestled Si's lyric prose.

Audrey Smedley L'Heureux attended that same serendipitous Fed meeting, and she immediately volunteered to contribute to this issue. Included here is a brief excerpt from the complete transcription of the oral interview conducted by Melanie Rutherford as part of the Young Canada Works project of the Prince George Public Library, summer 2004. Audrey offered as well two examples of her artwork: a self portrait and a multi media visual art representation Central BC Heritage, further evidence of her renaissance talents!

Building a bridge between this issue and future issues of ROW, Michelle Read, who will be next editor, contributes both a narrative and poetry here.

Across Ages has to include the opposite end of the spectrum. Secondary student contributions offer two views of grandparents. Geoffery Receveur describes a ride in the country, and Chelsey Holzworth honors her heritage.

The assembly of the issue has been an honor, and it is always fun to have an excuse to work with Lynda.

Elizabeth McInerney Woods
Teacher, Prince George Secondary School