Sunday, March 22, 2020

stump in the air

Once upon a time a tree grew into the wires overhead.

Or was there a tree already and wires were strung along the street anyhow?

The service people who install wires don't always exercise foresight. We moved into a house with a stone windowsill pulled a foot out of the brick wall by the weight of the telephone wires that had been hooked into it some years previously. R had to fight with Bell to get them to come remove the wires and reattach them appropriately. That was hard enough. They categorically refused to pay for the damages incurred. 

A tree is a tree and it keeps growing as trees do. At what point did the tangle of branches and wires become a problem?

Was it a problem? Clearly the wires continue to function even though they became surrounded by and embedded in the branch. And yet the tree was cut down.

I would love to have been party to the discussion as to decide what to do.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Ontario February

In February we drove to Ontario to visit family and friends. R asked if I felt like I was going home, but I've lived more years in Quebec than Ontario.

Maybe my Ontario roots aren't deep because my parents were immigrants. Maybe being the child of immigrants means one transplants easily?


With this pic I discover that I'm more grey than I thought I was. Surprise!

It's many years since my hair was reddish-blond, but when I look in the mirror I think I still see a coppery hint. Apparently not. 

Still life of ketchup, hot sauce, and empty champagne glasses. This is in Hamilton, which was called Steel City when I was growing up, and is now known as The Hammer. 

In The Hammer you can have ketchup with your champagne--and champagne with your ketchup.

Here's my uncle Kurt. Not him exactly, but I like to call objects by the name of the person who made them or gave them as gifts. He carved the statue, which is actually an extended candle holder. The candle--carried on his shoulder--is carved as well.

In my kitchen I have a toaster oven who has the same name as my brother, since he gave it to me. It takes fifteen minutes to make toast. We don't eat toast that often and it's handy to know that you can take a shower in the time it takes for the toast to be ready. 

An empty train track.

We travelled to Ontario when the Montreal-Toronto rail corridor was blocked by the Mohawk in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en pipeline protest in BC. We weren't able to take the train as we'd meant to and had to rent a car and drive. It was a small inconvenience compared to the impact of the protest.

How could this café close? It has such a great name! For sure, I hope the cook didn't lick the whisk while cooking, but the words recall childhood and baking cookies. I like the ick/isk consonance.

I wonder if whoever thought of the name could help me out with a few good short story and novel titles? 

We stopped for a winter afternoon hike on the Bruce Trail. And here, these colours and the landscape do resonate like home. Creeks that overflow and make swamps in the spring. Sun-bleached marsh grass. The bushes whose branches turn red in the winter. (I think... dogwood?)

The day was warm and bright enough that I expected the sap would start running soon. We were an immigrant family that made maple syrup.

Wood glue and Jack Daniels. 

Another still life.

R is watching the church across the street where, he tells me, people have been dashing up the steps and through the heavy doors while others hurry out to catch a streetcar. I said maybe a service was about to start. He said the traffic in and out was constant.

After we ate, we crossed the street to look. A mass was in progress. People would bolt in, splash themselves with holy water, genuflect, kneel in a pew to listen to the priest for a few minutes, genuflect and cross themselves, rush off again. Mass on the fly better than no mass at all?

We visited a few galleries while in Toronto. Here, I admire the expressive delicacy with which the metal is worked, her face, her stance, her preternaturally long body. The artist is Marie-Josée Roy. 

I could look at this sculpture every day for the rest of my life.