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Wednesday, April 4


She’ll probably disagree with me, but I think that Erinn Langille  can do everything.  A writer, painter, singer, scholar, philosopher, farmer, chef, and costumer, she can also hang a door and kill a chicken. It’s not like she’s boasting, either; all of these professions (many studied at the post-secondary level, leading to four degrees) were slowly teased out in conversation while we explored her elegant apartment.  Too many talents can turn life’s path into a maze, leading me to wonder if Ariadne gave her a thread at the gate.

Erinn is currently writing two books: a memoir of the adventures of Douglas Moffatt (her grandfather, a pioneer of the Canadian east coast transport truck industry), and a semi-autobiographical novel.   The memoir is a straightforward portrayal of an incredible man.  Erinn describes him as a highbrow rambler who brought the first transport trucks to Newfoundland and, along with his brother, built his business from one truck to hundreds of employees between 1940 and 1986.  Erinn was less forthcoming about the novel, saying only that it is about life on the precipice, lost love, sex, and death.  I might have caught some further glimpses of the themes and content while we discussed life and the nature of art.

An accomplished painter, Erinn chooses to live "an artistic life but not the artist’s life," explaining that the nature of the art industry makes the choice to be a professional impossible for her.  I understood from her that art wants time to be seen, that good work makes you slow down and be patient, and that art is not always what is hung in a gallery.  She left me with this thought: "it's not the knowing that's exciting, it's the unknowing."  I realized that throughout our conversation I'd been trying to fit her into one occupation, finally discovering that it is in the blurring between disciplines where she finds her web of connections and insights into life. She doesn't need to find her way out of the maze; she's already looking down on it.

Living Well is the Best Revenge chronicles Erinn's life.  You'll enjoy it.

1 comment:

  1. I used to see this lady at Aunties and Uncles all the time, while I was working there. Thanks for enlightening me... I'm looking forward to reading more!