First Peoples

View Properties in the Okanagan

This is the Head of the Lake. Really, it is the “head” of the “lake”. That’s not a metaphor. It’s a sacred place. People with bulldozers have tattooed it a bit, so that people from Canada can build large view homes here. On the lake’s head!

Not Nature

Below are the Monashee Mountains, with Bull Nose sticking up mid-image and a sacred Cougar to the left, along the ancient trail from the Fraser River to the Columbia. There are at least six old village sites down there along the trail.

A Map of Stories

Here it is, with houses built for Canadians, so they can have a view of Nature.

When there is talk of Nature in Canada, it is talk of power and its assertion in fiction, Canada’s one revered literary form.

6 replies »

  1. To draw on James Hillman as regards so many conspicuous efforts to “include” Water in the architectural sites and schemes of human endeavor: it betrays a too dry and high, too lofty and rarefied soul in search – subconsciously, unconsciously – of a living connection with the low, the moist, the fecund; the copiously reflective, seeping, flowing, subterranean, even messy “world”… alas! without ever addressing the true predicament, but instead, by reinforcing Self – or a notion thereof – through constructs of measure, style and distancing…

    No less prevalent, evident, in so many designs that try to reshape our urban landscapes… as it is in the hilltop, residential fortresses you allude to in your post…

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    • The conception that water is wet might be at fault. The conception that it flows is also a bit off for this climate. Thanks for inspiring me to write a post on that.

      On Sat, Apr 16, 2022 at 12:56 PM Okanagan Okanogan wrote:

      >

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      • Apologies for the redundant comment; I must have accessed an unfamiliar portal.

        Ah, the home atop the hillside in one photo. I assumed it was enjoying a view of the lake as framed in a separate photo. Rightly or wrongly. A natural inclination (?) for continuity and “narrative” in the selected frames of a photographic presentation. Interesting.

        Ah, dry and moist qualities of soul. These are cognitive or imaginary elements reinforced by culture over the ages ( Heraclitis and ancient Greece, by one historical ( story ) thread ( sutra ). They impress upon perception and mental organization, more often than not unconsciously if in ways that strive to satisfy – pacify, balance, compensate – constructs of ego ( or complexes born of those very cognitive or imaginary elements! )

        Thus, as regards water, consider: the selling-point vista of Elliott Bay as seen from a Seattle condo tower that hovers high above the street; the lakeside porch or patio of a gated community; the reflection pool of a government or college campus; the architectural waterfalls and fountains punctuating an otherwise concrete urban plaza.

        Or a fortress residence on a hilltop ( lofty, dry, wise, empowered, closer to the realm of the gods ) overlooking a lake ( low, moist… a place of life – joyful – and death ).

        Such cognitive and imaginary elements are not easily obliterated when reinforced by cultural heritage; nor do they always satisfy the striving for psychic integrity by an individual, community, or culture! Whatever the potential shortcomings, they can also, of course, inspire imagination and creativity to a practical end in the service of human endeavor and relations.

        Consider: alchemy, astrology, vestiges of myth and folklore, even the Native American medicine wheel ( when in the wake of forced relocation and diaspora, it became a transcontinental conveyor of meaning and model – abstraction – of universal Creation in balance: four elements, races, cardinal directions, etc. ).

        As for dynamics of, and relations to “place” – biological, geological, hydrological – another story, thread, narrative… experience?

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      • Yes, I’m familiar with the fortress mentality. It’s very Canadian. There is such a need for people with wealth to be high, to look down over trailer parks. Very strange. Like the townships in South Africa or something.

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