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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Canada (01/29/09)

TITLE: Separated at Birth
By Kenneth Bridge
02/04/09


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The line that both joins them and divides them swings like a sinuous strand of silver, five jeweled pendants at the end of the strand, the last one the greatest one. Afterward, except for a little bump, a lake-woodsy, mini sort of bulge, the border plunges a plum line to the Pacific. The entire length of this line there are no massed armies, no Maginot Lines, no bristling bayonets, no wearying, wary hostility between committed foes locked in some ancient feud.

They are, on either side of the boundary, mirror images, and like mirror images, they are not alike, but have many things reversed.

They are twins carved out of a shared history, but the history they share is not the same.
One twin is fiercely independent, impetuous, importunate, filling his frontiers with boisterous clamor, spinning webs of railways and highways to encompass himself, Gulliver lain low by his own Lilliputian labors, and thus encircled, finds a false freedom hurtling around its frenetic, kinetic filaments.

The decorous, domestic one, the civilized scion of Europe, embraced the wanton wilderness of maple and oak, birch and pine, tundra and glacier, soaring mountains, crystal lakes, wide windswept prairies, tundra and frozen seas. Its people are few, its reaches vast, home to marten and fisher, moose, elk, and caribou, brown bear and white, with wolves howling down the northern lights against the deep winter long midnight sky.

The call of the loon, the hooting of an owl, the splintering crack of tree boles surrendering to the shattering cold, and then the silence settles again. There is a wild music here, unheard by human ears, a symphony of wilderness.

Rough and ruddy Esau has corralled his game, has tamed his wilderness, has turned his wildness inward. Gentle Jacob, with due deference to his mother, Rebecca, his Regina, has pitched his tent on the edge of the wilderness and breathes the untamed air. Twins they were, and twins they are. They live their lives in parallel. Their boundary cleaves them; it divides them and also holds them fast.


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This article has been read 696 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/05/09
Lovely, and I was fascinated by the comparisons. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/06/09
You chose a great idea for comparison and described the mirror images splendidly.
Catrina Bradley 02/06/09
You paint a detail-rich portrait of Canada, and your words flow almost poetically. A couple of my favorite phrases: "no wearying, wary hostility" - what a wonderful description! and how true. "civilized scion of Europe," I like how this rolls of the tongue. You may be a bit weak on topic,(?) having essentially written a comparison of 2 countries. Excellent writing!
Seema Bagai 02/07/09
Wow! Beautiful writing and a wonderful analogy.
Joanne Sher 02/08/09
Gorgeous writing - incredible images and so delightful.
Linda Payne02/09/09
I love your idea of twins alike yet different, each country with its own personality. I agree, it is poetic in nature.