Letter sent via individual hard copy to Mayor and Councillors, copy to Mack Laing Society -posted with permission)
Re: Saving Shakesides, the honouring of our elders and love of place.
First: I draw attention to the Mayor’s inaugural address.
“As I noted on election night, this is all about trust – what the voters and residents of Comox place in us to serve their interests – but it is also about respect, honour and commitment that each of us as elected officials must demonstrate to each other and to our constituents in carrying out roles as leaders in our community.”
Ah, yes, trust, respect and honour, are all words pertinent to any discussion regarding Mack Laing.
Second: See Comox Valley Echo, Friday 12 June 2016 page 33, where Michael Briones very clearly tells Gordon Olsen’s story about his friend Mack Laing.
Third: See Comox Valley Echo 12 June 2016 page 10 “The Story of Shakesides”
Fourth: A poem
The Place Where We Are Right
by Yehuda Amichai
“From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.
The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.”
Rabbi Shai asks: “I’m especially interested in readers’ interpretation of the line, “And a whisper will be heard in the place where the ruined house once stood.” Is the destruction inevitable? Is there redemption in the whisper?
Depends, I suppose, upon whether ‘doubts and loves’ get a hearing. Some people really love (don’t just consume) place.
A wee read of Ray Grigg “Solastalgia: A Word For Our Time” is pertinent. I quote a bit:
“Albrecht defines solastalgia as “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault… a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at ‘home'” (Ibid.)”
Bob Stiven, Comox
Editor’s note: Mr Stiven uncovered what may be a very appropriate Laing family crest:
Laing Clan Crest (one of varied)
Crest: A dove holding in its beak a sprig of olive.