41. Saskatchewan

Hello Fans of the Rectangle, Great and Small,

My name is Daniel. I know, woah.

As the father of Eliza’s child, a committed follower of this blog, and a fellow rectangleologist, I’m writing a guest post. I would like to thank Eliza for providing this opportunity to dip my toes into rectangular waters.

Which brings me to my topic: a beautiful land, far, far away, called Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan, very rectangular

:saskatchewan: VERY rectangular:

I lived in this magical, rectangular land for the last year. Before living there, I didn’t even realize that Saskatchewan constituted its own province – in the same likeness as British Columbia or Ontario, the provinces people actually care about. But it does, bitchz, and it’s proud.

I lived in a city by the name of Regina. Pronounced like Vagina. This is a subject of great shame for the residents, though they mostly choose to play it cool, as if saying the name of their city isn’t awkward. It’s a concept I was never fully able to grasp. Not to mention that their football team is called the Roughriders and one of the closest cities is called Prince Albert. You might be surprised what you find when you google Prince Albert. But back to the rectangles. Vagina is, not surprisingly, essentially rectangular, at least in the way it’s thought of by the citizens, who use the geographical demarcations of North, South, East, and West to describe where they are in the city. Oh, you’re in the East End? I’ll come meet you at one of the many enormous (rectangular) big-box stores!

Notice how the top and bottom are rectangles on their own.

:flag of saskatchewan. observant readers will notice that the top and bottom form rectangles of their own:

While the official slogan of this region is “Land of the Living Skies,” I prefer the unofficial but brilliant slogan: “Easy to draw, hard to spell.” And that it certainly is! Just try to spell it, I bet you’ll get it wrong. I also could not spell, or even apparently say it properly before living there. But the greater importance of the slogan is its undeniable nod to the rectangular form of Saskatchewan– it’s the only place I can think of where one’s sense of belonging is deeply and inextricably enmeshed in their notion of physical shape, that the rectangle brings a necessary stability and distinguished importance to a part of the world that nobody knows exists.

But the overall shape of the land is just the beginning. Saskatchewan is largely flat and dry, which makes it the ideal landscape for farming. And how are farms divided, people? That’s right, into rectangles. Therefore, the greater rectangle begets smaller rectangles. Need I say more?

Rectangular farms on a rectangular land.

:the rectangular farms of a rectangular land:

Saskatchewan can be most centrally characterized by its painfully desolate, frighteningly cold winters, the kind that make it dangerous to be outside for more than ten seconds at a time. They bring with them blankets of snow that wait months to melt. Once it’s cold, there is no great thaw until spring. But the snow brings with it a beautiful, poetic equalization. The snow covers the boundaries between the rectangular farms and the rectangular cities to create, once again, one giant rectangle. If that ain’t some kind of lesson about humanity, I don’t know what the fuck is.

October 14, 2009. Culture, Geography, Guest Writers, Rectangles.

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