Rumon CarterComment

Tilaï & Stephen | Day 012

Rumon CarterComment

Tilaï (phonetically: “Tee-lie”):

The name’s African, it’s a movie title. I haven’t seen it yet - apparently it isn’t very good.

Steven:

Not a great movie. But it was a great title. I remember seeing it but really it was the name that stuck with me and his mom. I just always hoped that we wouldn’t find out that Tilaï in African meant Monkey Shit or something.

We live in Victoria.  I’m from P.E.I.; Tilaï was born in Newfoundland. We left when he was a year and a bit old in the hopes for greener grass, to get away from the ever-present recession and depression that the East Coast is always in. I thought, if we could move when he was young then he’d have an easier go of it than those of us who grew up on the East Coast. Because when you grow up on the East Coast you know you’re going to have to leave. It’s reality - you either leave for education or you leave for a job. One way or another you leave - you have to.

I think it’s been good for Tilaï. He grew up on Salt Spring. He’s just about finished his nursing education and he may even end up working in Victoria, and that’s really what the whole idea was.

Tilaï:

That’s what I’m hoping for, to stay here. There’s good weather, there’s the forest, there’s the water.

Steven:

We’re down here today to do a little beachcombing and to get Tilaï out of the house. He’s just finished a stretch at the hospital and hasn’t been outside getting any fresh air or the sound we get with the breakers. I have tinnitus in one ear and this is the most soothing sound that I’ve been able to find.  It’s enough of a background sound that I don’t hear the tinnitus, it just makes it go away; I love it. When you get the breakers and the undercurrent rolling out, and the gravel rolling…it’s a beautiful sound. Have you ever been to Sombrio? The waves and the rocks are bigger there - it’s more protected here - and the sound there is just remarkable.

Tilaï:

I think because he liked it so much he always used to bring me here as a kid, so it’s sort of a childhood memory to come out and listen to the breakers.

Steven:

When he was a little kid he used to just stand at the edge of the ocean and throw rocks in the ocean - he could do that for hours. And then when he got a little bit older he’d get a bucket and he’d turn over rocks and collect crabs, endlessly. Tidal pools…exploring.

Tilaï:

At the end of a long day it’s really relaxing, just to listen to the waves and the rocks rolling underneath. It’s peaceful.

Steven:

We’re looking for certain weathered…how do I explain it? Specific pieces of driftwood…oddly enough, pieces that have been shaped by humans and then their edges have been softened again by water and erosion. I just find it really interesting and I’ve started putting them together in little panels.

Tilaï:

They’re kind of like 3D paintings…

Steven:

…jigsaw puzzle put-together pieces of driftwood.  

advocate / explorer / storyteller