Filing, flooding, interviewing—or, “Confluence”

I.

“Filed!” You’re talking about your taxes; when I scream, “Filed!”—or, to be more accurate, type it as a Facebook status update, I’m talking about stories. Meeting deadlines. It’s a verb that determines timelines in my house: “I file on Thursday, so we can go to Banff on Friday”; “I need to file by Monday morning, so no, we can’t do that on the weekend”; “Mom? Have you filed yet? Because we really need to go grocery shopping?”

I filed this morning. Glory, relief, joy.

II.

Flora: I know my Mom’s a writer, but sometimes it seems like what she really does for work is talk on the telephone.

Cinder: Ha. Sometimes, I think what she does for work is swear at the computer.

Ender: Penis?

Sean: Would you guys get the hell out of the house now, so your Mom can do her interview in peace?

III.

photo (18)

Soon, so very soon, I will have a space-place of my own again. But these days, sometimes, too often, my car is my office.

IV.

So. There was this flood. And we are coming up on its one year anniversary… it’s one month and one week away. It’s going to be a hard, stressful June.

“Have you been by the river today?”

“The Bow is low… the Elbow is really running hard, already.”

“And the snow… there is so much snow in the mountains.”

I walk across a bridge with a friend and see, out of the corner of my eye, a piece of unreclaimed bank, still ravaged. I bend over the railing. Throw up.

I’m supposed to be “reclaiming” my lost living space. Instead, I’m anticipating losing it again.

And that’s all of us right now. So. What do we do? So many things… but the one I want to tell you about is the Sunnyside YYC Flood Scrapbook and Theatre Project,  a collaboration of Trickster Theatre, Sunnyside School, and the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association. Community kids will be working together to capture the shared community experiences from the June 2013 Flood. It’s a massive project: the kids will be working with community volunteers to gather photos and video footage from residents and to capture stories of the flood and the recovery that followed. Their goal is to create a digital scrapbook and archive of the community’s flood experience, which will serve, in addition to its obvious and overt purpose, as inspiration for the creation of public performance pieces. These will be performed on June 20th and 21st, 2014… our anniversary.

Artistic guidance for the project comes from Trickster Theatre, and  support from the Sunnyside School Society and The Calgary Foundation, for which we are all so very grateful.

Sean and Falstaff Productions are providing video support for the project. To help get our kids rolling on the story-gathering task, he filmed me giving Flora interview tips—and Flora’s first interview with one of our neighbours.

Flora is brilliant, and I’m terribly earnest and long-winded. If you have 10 minutes to kill:


Link to FP video on Youtube: Tell Me Your Story: Interview Tips for Kids

V.

And… if you have a floodster or a dozen in your life… this is going to be a really hard month. Bear with us.

xoxo

“Jane”