"The only people for me are the mad
ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of
everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace
thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like
spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and
everybody goes 'Awww!'"
– Jack Kerouac
I don’t know if it’s proper Facebook etiquette
or not, but I just had to borrow the Jack Kerouac quote from Phoebe Phoenix’s
site for this story. Why? Because, in my opinion, nothing I could write better
describes this transplanted Aussie than this one-sentence paragraph written by
the King of the Beats…
Ever been to a Fire & Ice Show in the
Whistler towncentre? Ever watched, mesmerized, as the fire dancers twirl and
twist and jump and play with burning apparatuses only inches from their bodies?
Courting disaster, stepping off the edge, pushing the boundaries of the possible
with every move they make? If you have, then you’ve seen Phoebe.
“We killed it this year,” she says, enthusiasm
splashing from every word. “Especially with two towers, you know, the one that
has two groups of spinners with two people on bottom, and one person on top. We
do a lot of two person interweaving moves that no one else is doing.” She
stops. Takes a breath. “It’s a great way to get a ski pass!”
She’s a force of nature. A laughing, talking,
smiling, whirling, wonder of a woman who cherishes every breath she takes...
And I love the paradox that Phoebe represents.
She’s real, grounded, and totally dependable. Yet she plays with fire. She
loves math and numbers and ledgers and deadlines. Yet she considers herself an
artist. She grew up in a semi-tropical environment — the Sunshine Coast
of Queensland — and loved her childhood summers on a sailboat. Yet she
took to the snow like she was born to it — gets up the mountain every day
she can — and snowboarding is now the passion that keeps her in Whistler.
“I have this theory on birth dates,” says the
thirtysomething Pemberton resident with just a hint of a mischievous smile
playing on the edge of her features. “If you’re born in the summer, you’ll turn
out to be a summer person. But if you’re born in the winter, well, winter will
become your thing…”