Fire and Ice – Through the Elephant Ears mjdominey.ca
I am sure most rural children had a favourite pond where they liked to skate and I am fairly certain hockey was involved on some level. It didn’t matter how big or how small or how bad the ice was, if you could lace up a pair of ice skates a hockey game ensued. In the story Fire and Ice I write: “If we were lucky the ice was smooth, having been frozen on a windless day, but usually it was bumpy, and if the water was low clumps of crusty straw poked through the ice and had to be shaved off with a skate blade.”
When I was a child we had a pond just like this behind our house, and the kids in my neighbourhood also fought over the ice, some of us wanting to skate and some of us wanting to play hockey. That was the tidbit of memory I used to create the fictional story, Fire and Ice.
Tidbits, bits and bobs, snippets, whatever you want to call them, are what I used to build all of the stories in Through the Elephant Ears. I took a simple memory and built a narrative around that memory. In some cases I used more than one memory and filled in the rest with imagination. For anyone who knows me personally they will see similarities to me and my family, but how could anyone not? ‘They’ say, write what you know. So, I reiterate this is not a memoir, these are stories about growing up in a small town, any small town really. My aim is to take my readers back to a place and time that was much simpler, but still universal in theme. Everyone has a desire to be liked, to be loved, to be successful in something, anything. Everyone feels jealousy and envy, anger and fear, or has felt unworthy at some point in their life. Everyone has hopes and desires,is curious and at times idealistic. And you would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t want acceptance and peace.
Fire and Ice is the fifth story in the collection. It is here that Kat meets her first love and it is here that Kat realizes a much bigger truth about relationships.