Friday, March 21, 2014

Solid Ground.

Life is perfectly assembled.  Manifest destiny.
The Daily forgets to shock us into a reminder that it is as it should be.

Coming back to Canada was a relief; the air tasted fresher & sweeter (no kidding).  My first indication of coming home was the man on the airplane who apologized for putting his seat back, making sure it was alright with the person behind him first.  Little things made me stupidly happy - Canadian currency, A&W's curly fries & root beer, Canada geese, & finding hockey on at the pub in the middle of August.  I cried when I saw the Big Dipper again.

Being home has been great.  I am thankful for so many reasons to be back.  It's nice to spend time with the family.  I get to hang out with my brother & watch Jeopardy all night, which is always cool (we have a lot of episodes to catch up on!).  It's so easy to reintegrate into life in Winnipeg.  I've had such a great welcome back & have only heard one "you abandoned us."

More recently it's been harder.  I've been back long enough to look for my next move.  I have been restless for alone time, and distancing myself from things accordingly.

My new found nook is a perfect inspiration.  I am housesitting for a friend who is away exploring.  My study has many windows facing South.  It is filled with life and glows green from shrubbery, silver from snow & gold from sunshine (some of the gold is from the rogue plant I'd forgotten to water in the corner).  If you look close enough, you will find eyes looking back at you; there are creatures hidden in the plants.  I only realized this because a few glow in the dark!

The living room is filled with winter scenes of powerful animals: a Robert Bateman painting of a bison, paintings of wolves & elk, and photographs of polar bears, belugas & narwhals.  Bones of arctic animals are enshrined around the room, including a few narwhal tusks.  Winter is the season of strength, I know this much.  Mounted above the mantle of the fireplace is a two-sided wooden paddle - like I said, perfect inspiration for my paddling trip to the Arctic.

The basement is furnished with rugs over everything; woodpaneling biting through.  The woodstove in the corner is the only thing off limits, but there is old sports equipment decorating the room everywhere.  Old tennis raquettes, an old bow, skiis, snowhoes & antlers adorn the room.  My friend used to work at the landfill, & we share the same ethos of trying to waste as little as possible.  Everything in this room is 'recovered', along with more than I know. This is the perfect atmosphere to curl up with an old movie & a cup of tea every night - keeping the goldfish company.

I get to sleep in a bed at night!  **This is mostly a joke for my parents.  This Christmas I traded in my air mattress for a cot; the firmness of the cot is welcoming & its portability approved.  For some reason, I refuse to get a real bed.**  My room is full of books.  Other than the two bookshelves full, the dresser features a book of herbs, sailing, fish, Roman mythology, Chinese philosophy, 2 cookbooks, a couple atlases, & a book called Life Smiles Back; all the makings for a well-rounded life.

I am describing the best features of the house while failing to mention that each room has a box of chocolates at the ready, and my friend waves a hand in jest saying I'm welcome to a bottle of wine or so (the basement has about 50 homemade bottles), any beer in the fridge or anything in the liquor cupboard.  On one hand, this gives it away that he doesn't know me very well; on the other hand, we're good friends now!

It is so peaceful here.  When I first came in, it was a bit strange, but the radio was on & it made me feel better.  Nowadays the house's voice is CKUW - the station at the University of Winnipeg.  It gives me such warm feelings to be involved with those folk again.  I was really glad to be back for our fundraising week this year, as it's always a good time filled with live music & camaraderie.  When I don't have to "tune in", I never miss my friends' shows.  I feel like I am supporting them by listening.

Don't hold back: Guitar at any time of day, nudity all the time, & I love waking up all morning to a string of eccentric alarms that start as blues, working its way up to hardcore funk & jungle music that are mandatory dancing tracks.

The sense of peace I get here is calming - something that hardly ever overcomes me.  It is a fortress of solitude; my cabin in the city to retreat to after everything else.  The pipes are frozen (after a particularly harsh February) so I don't have running water, but it doesn't even bother me.  There are buckets of snow thawing in the bathtub, & the plants seem alright with that.

Environment is so powerful.  In creative spaces, the weather is always good.