Archive for old to new

a fin de cuentas

Posted in Alberto Replanski, Community, Steveston, Story, Uncatagorized, Writing with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by Erikakw

When all words are said and done closure and an end comes. Gracias and Thank you to each person who has visited Salon~unidad over these past two years.

I began this blog to commemorate a special friendship, my brief time with Alberto Replanski and lessons learned at Living Stone Studio.

As of the end of this month October 2010, I finish posting. I will let Salon~unidad be, eventually in good time I will remove the content and delete the blog.

Further installments of A Liger‘s Tale and CSL Files 217 will continue to be published elsewhere.

It has been a worthy and wonderful adventure to use this blog as a means of expression for my own words and many words of other people, some of whom I know personally that have come along my path.

Thank you, Gracias and Merci— for visiting and for reading ~ Erika


CSL Files 217, [2.03] After thought

Posted in Cabo San Lucas, Celebrations, Depression, Grief, Living, Lulu Island, Music, OCD, Pain, Richmond, The Path with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by Erikakw

“They say the Irish are head strong. But I prefer to say heart strong. I’ve never been to Ireland but my name, Maude-Regan is pure Irish! I figure that is why I always have little ditties playing in my head that I want to rhyme together into lyrics because I can hear music playing buried deep inside from ancestors past. I think there is physical genetic rendering, music is in the Irish”

My after thought is: music and love go together they are of the same substance. That’s why people fall in deeper love when they remember a song connected to a particular memory of meeting a special someone. You may fall in love with a person, fall in love with your work, or the geography and culture of where you live.

In studying physics I have come to understand the most important thing is to embrace contradiction and chaos. Since we would rather move away from c & c like a magnet in the opposite direction the interesting thing is, if we pay close attention—we are drawn back to the thing we are moving away from.

“Know that I’m not talking about erotic, romantic love but the substance, the matter in you and me that keeps us living and taking breaths everyday that drives you like an olympic athlete to the gold

When I came home from Cabo San Lucas I began to notice fear and anxiety loosening its hold on me. I accepted my perceived failures with new found delight and recycled all the past with the present to make something new

I guess that’s what love can do turn things old to new”


Posted in 21st century, Art, Artists, Living, quotidian, Steveston, Story, The Desert, The Path with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2009 by Erikakw


is no easy

if it pleases

try to come
to terms with

life being unfair
most of the time

work with that
find a way

perhaps this day

CSL Files 217, [1.02] To Cabo San Lucas or ‘Catch of the Ghost Marlin’

Posted in Fisher folk, Steveston, Story, The Sea with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by Erikakw

This time I was determined, it had taken me way to long to find it in the first place.  No more half-assed efforts of fooling around with tourists in El Squidroe and Cabo Wabo while exchanging travel stories and fateful nights at local pubs. I was done with that. I needed that bloody compass!

I gazed through the glass bottom boat that still afternoon, feeling a slight exhilaration. 2322786819I looked closer than I had ever before, there, on the ocean floor, was my compass.

I was relieved the water was still today and with the quiet, I was lulled deep into my soul and brought down to a dream state or was it just the effect of looking through the glass that magnified everything below? Toward the water I peered and I found myself pressing my nose up against the glass wanting to feel the fish—wanting to feel myself within again. All that mattered were those silky bodies that eluded me just like my compass. They passed by silently in continuous motion while my compass shone with a brilliance I had not seen before. As if I was discovering it for the first time I felt a ripple of delight return. With the glimmering instrument came a small hope. It had only been seven days since I had descended into my own private hell.

Fish my favorite; the best sign—aka the ‘dooms day sign’, I call it….

If you are a Pisces you are doomed to a life of emotions and feelings that are so intense they want to burst out of you. Melancholy is often the close cousin to the intensity so you travel between the two poles drifting and riding currents and waves of e-motion. As in Physics where “a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance that may be propagated without net movement of the particles, such as in the passage of undulating motion, heat, or sound”. Even standing waves are a “vibration of a whole system where some points remain fixed, while others between them vibrate with maximum amplitude”. Thanks, I could always rely on physics definitions to help me explain what it is like to be me.

I looked back to the man guiding the boat,

“You like those fish, don’t you” he said. “Yes”, I replied

I studied his face intently he seemed kind. Though I noticed that sometimes he went all quiet and would close his eyes as if he was going to a far away place, he must have done this many times before because it came so naturally to him. He sailed the boat with his eyes closed, he felt the wind on his face and slowly his lips curled into a relaxed smile.

The Cactus Club said that he was experienced at boating and fishing. He had come down to study the native animals and marine life of the region because he was a wildlife biologist but he ended up staying longer than the contract he signed. His quietness I didn’t mind because in between he would make me laugh with his wit, knowledge and humour and that afternoon it became like a balm for my soul. It seemed all was right with the world now. I was laughing in the Cabo sun, soaking in the paradise around me. Finding my compass returned me to my former tranquility which I had lost with the compass.

“Marlins….”, he trailed off. “I beg your pardon”, I retorted.

“I have known one”, he said seriously.

“What do you mean?”, I replied.

“Well there was a story in 2007 that said, marine biologists discovered a kind of living ghost — a giant predatory fish with a sword-like bill and a tail so blue it seemed to glow. The round scale Spearfish was documented just twice in the last century. Experts blame the case of mistaken identity, at least in part, on the Spearfish’s resemblance to the white marlin. It was in the news and everything on NPR as a matter of fact….” again he trailed off and looked towards Los Arcos, he was lost in thought.

“So what are you saying? Do you mean that you have seen one of those ‘living ghost’ fish?” I asked him.

“Ok, can you keep a secret? Not just a small one but probably the biggest secret you have ever kept.” he said.

“Um, well—I’m not sure. I guess so. Your secret would be safe with me since I will be leaving Cabo and returning north shortly.” I quipped.

“I caught one and…. I’ve seen the ghost marlin now—I have the gift”, his face was beaming with accomplishment.

“The gift…?” I said in disbelief.

Original Art by Don Ray

“Yeah, I’ll give you a clue. We’ve been doing it all afternoon in between the quiet moments!” he spoke quickly now yet his voice was hushed.

“Huh?”, I was dumbstruck to what was he referring to.

I started to feel claustrophobic, I wanted off the boat now, was this going to get all strange and go sideways on me like that time I went to that wooden boat show and was forever trying to get away from the conversation that would never end with Billie Gibson?

“Laughing, you know giggling!” he said deadpan.

“I’m sorry I still don’t follow you” I said confused.

“This is the secret part now, are you ready?” he asked with raised eyebrows.

“Ok, ready” I said hesitantly.

“The legend is that when you have caught a marlin and seen a sighting of the ghost marlin you are given the gift of humour then, you are able to make people laugh and giggle in a kind of supernatural way, anytime—day or night!” he said.

“Is that why that nightclub is called the Giggling Marlin?” I asked.

“Well, that story has circulated for a long time and I would say that establishment adopted the name after the legend. I mean who wouldn’t want to name their nightclub the Giggling Marlin!” he said smiling.

“So do many people know about this ‘famous’ catch of yours?” I wondered aloud.

“I only tell special people because most people cannot handle that kind of knowledge, you know the supernatural stuff and all. Of course whenever I start talking about it people think I’m a lunatic—you know crazy, nuts…. like as if all I think about are marlins…white ones, blues ones, even ghost ones…” he was a little quieter again and I noticed that we were almost back to town without even knowing that we had turned around.

We got back to port and started to unload. I asked him if he would be around since I needed a diver to retrieve my compass. He said he would be happy to help me since he knew the waters well and could tell that it was important to me.

“How can I pay you?” I asked.

“Would you go to the Giggling Marlin this evening with me? They have a great view of Place del’amour and they have this giant mural on the wall inside with the history of marlins and there is blue ones and white ones, black marlins and striped ones, ghost….” he noticed my face and trailed off.

I was feeling awkward now, I didn’t want to make this into a big deal. I took a deep breath. It had been a while since the last time I had gone in there. I wasn’t interested in meeting any local fisher folk. The Giggling Marlin was the place to party, every boat that came into port emptied regularly into the nightclub, somewhat like the Buck and Ear in Steveston.

I hesitated, he was looking off in the distance in that same way, somewhat contented with his thoughts yet patiently waiting for my response.

“All right, but only one drink, okay”? I said shakily.

“You do me honour, dear Lady” he replied respectfully.

So we met at the Giggling Marlin that evening. We put a timer on that he had brought, we timed how long it took him to tell me the entire story from beginning to end of the ‘Catch of the Ghost Marlin’! I remember giggling when he brought out the timer, since I was well familiar with them!

That evening I felt I had a permanent smile pasted on my face. My cheeks ached from laughing so much and from one glass of white wine I was flushed. He drank a beer from a local micro brewery called, Cabo Cabo.

“I want you to know it’s true, every last word of it!” he exclaimed.

I left the Giggling Marlin not long after, it had been a long giggling day and I was tired but refreshed from laughing so much. We agreed to meet at the Cactus Club in the morning about 10:30 am to set sail to find my compass but only after he had had his breakfast and Gazebo time, which until Cabo San Lucas he had never experienced. Now he made it a regular part of his day since in that place he always seemed to come out changed.

The man who was the wildlife biologist who was also into marine biology, walked down the pier into the night and I turned resolutely with broad strides back to my room.

Upon entry I struggled to find the light and hit my hip on the edge of the counter because I was moving so fast. Switching the light on an unusual reflection caught my eye.

There on my night side table was my compass, polished and shining and set carefully beside it was his marlinspike.


CSL Files 217, [1.01] The sun from the south

Posted in Chronos, Depression, Grief, Kairos, La amistad, Living, Pain, quotidian, Steveston, Story, The Sea with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2009 by Erikakw

Brighter days lay ahead, even in November….

The sun from the south beckons many. A place such as Cabo San Lucas. It hasn’t been too long now that I dreamt I went there myself. Yet the only thing I can remember at this hour in the afternoon is the glass bottom boat and while peering into the bottom of the one we sailed in to view the fantastic sea life below, I looked closer than I had ever looked before, there on the ocean floor, was my compass….


Posted in 21st century, Alchemy, Apprentice, Art, Artists, Industry, La amistad, Metallurgy, Steveston, Story, Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Erikakw

Out into the light the spots were black popping here and there.

I lifted my mask and got that ring around the head feeling. My hair pulled from the strap and I kept adjusting it while scratching my scalp. I felt fun, dirty, dangerous and neato.

Sparks ordinarily flew to the floor where the oil puddles had congealed long ago and were next to impossible to suck up. Sawdust or cat litter maybe would do the trick, and then I could figure out the way to lift up that poison. Solvent would evaporate in the saw chips so I would throw it in there any chance I had. Into a large metal trash container that in the middle of winter doubled as a fire pit.

As I practiced the lines I took extra care to slow down which is hard for me ‘cuz I seem to like to go quickly especially when I am excited. You see, I have a lot of energy and it needs to be channeled into lines or fillets, not the fish but the shape. Like I was taught, I went back 5 times over it. I mean I kept checking my work and even though it was tedium all I could think of was titanium.

Watching Tom pick up and weld without effort was like magic for me. I marveled at how all the guys were so comfortable with their tools. I had a slim hope that one day I would be too, not afraid of the arc or the spark and no longer silly about the heat. Gone were the days of being afraid to light the barbecue. Now I was lighting bigger and better things and it was a groovy feeling.

Once I knew a man who had the strength of patience like the steel he welded. He was a kind of master at slowing down. He worked with razors to perfect a surface he was capable of creating a flawless sheen. He worked alone and he liked it that way. He was able to sand like no one else and clear coat a finish to its end. He was very good at his trade, I told him so and then he felt happy and went home.

It’s been a little while now and I’m happy wondering if this is going to take me to fantastic places like public art or building scaffolding as high as the CN Tower! Imagination is good for soaring and at the arc of my inspiration the sound of the fire and heat met my desire and I danced, it was sweet.

On the flip side of it I figure I am a fool for such things. I will have to take every precaution to be safe and the only way I want to learn this trade is school. The shop guys will give me tips I wouldn’t learn in school but all the other stuff will have to be learned there. I beg myself to ask the question: why would you want to risk so much?

As I pondered my fate in this environ I took stock of the needed considerations, and let me tell you there are many. Upside and down the other side, I guess I was doomed to writing all the pros and cons +’s and -‘s on a long sheet of paper.

So I began. Wishing I had the patience of the man I once knew I took off my mask and walked out into the light and it was there that I decided who and what I would become.

Thanks to Hawksley Workman for ‘arc of my inspiration’

Gaze at Goodness

Posted in Apprentice, Art, Artists, Celebrations, Kairos, La amistad, Living, Poetry, Steveston, Story, The Path, The Wild, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by Erikakw

If you keep


at Goodness

you can’t help

but remain

open to


Do not turn your

gaze elsewhere

For if you do

it will be like


All kinds of ghosts

goblins demons

and creatures

will assail you

It will be later

and you’ll have

spent a long time

mucking about in ditches

Stay away from that

narrow channel in the ground

Eventually you will be found

in the light

walking along upright

as you gaze at Goodness

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