Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a horse on top of a horse

Well, I did it! I drove to Halifax. (This is not my car. The black on the bottom right, is my car.) We were stopped for construction for the fourth time - no joke - and noticed there was a rainbow in the rearview mirror.

At Antigonish we turned down onto the Eastern Shore route, and went through Sherbrooke. As I was driving, my friend Mel was in charge of taking pictures.

In Sherbrooke we stopped to eat lunch. There in a tiny cafe in a tiny town, was a girl I had gone to High School with. Just an hour before, driving along and talking, Mel and I were talking about High School, about prom and graduation. And then there was Genevieve, who I hadn't seen in about seven years. She lives there now. It was neat to catch up, to sit with someone I used to see every day. The past doesn't stay static, people continue to live and grow.

(There was a little bridge across a little brook - which I called the "Sure, Brook" even though it very likely wasn't. And I liked the colors. They are the colors I wear a lot - bright blues and pinks.)

The drive along the Eastern Shore was beautiful. Lots of little coves and islands. I had to pull over to take a picture, just to remember it. So we wouldn't just pass it by with our talking and music and driving along.

A place we stopped for gas. I liked the sign and the clouds behind.

The view from our hotel room. The busy intersection of Robie, Quinpool, Bell and Cogswell roads/streets. And I made it through! Despite arriving at rush hour - good planning there! - with a good navigator (Mel with the map) it seems anything is possible.

 The ceiling of a Chinese restaurant where we went to eat before the concert.

You weren't supposed to take pictures during the performance, so I shut the flash off and snuck a couple. They're blurry but that's OK. This is Michael Kaeshammer with his band. I didn't get any of Jill Barber. The whole show was - jazzy, on time, snappy, sparkly, beautiful rhythms and music. I must have whispered to Mel twenty times - I love this! or I'm in love!

On the walk back, Mel's new, cute shoes hurt her feet. She took them off and walked in her sock feet. It was cold but clear. This is our hotel, the Atlantica. I love the geometry and the pattern of light of windows in a big building, at night.

The next morning we set out walking. The wall waved to us.

At Cora's on Dresden Row, massive breakfast waited. I got a crepe filled with fruit and chocolate/hazelnut spread. Oh my my. From eleven am, I was full until roughly 4 or 5 pm.

Wandering around the downtown. So much public art, so little time. This is in honor of the direction my life has taken me with my latest employment.

Freak Lunchbox is a candy store on Barrington Street. (Visit their website, if nothing else, for the hip hop music that plays.) We went in. Color, smells of sugar, and so many different kinds of candy. This is a display of jellybeans.

Have I mentioned how much I love graffiti and public art? I just really do. Bringing color and verve and ideas to a public space. Something so great about that. I also love taking people's portraits up against colorful and neat walls. I wasn't going to post this - I'm feeling rather self-conscious these days - but then I thought - what the hell. I could die tomorrow. What does it REALLY matter? And, you all get to see my pink coat in all its glory.

Love, Me Boutique. They have all handmade stuff. This is a display of keys that is not for sale, but just for beauty. I kind of really like it.

Felt bangles bought from Love, Me. I'm wearing them as I type. They're so wintery, so "snuggle up and get cozy." They're lying on a merino wool tank top I bought at MEC for doing yoga in. I was sick of wearing either a too-tight old workout top from years ago, or a baggy tee shirt that either rode up or got too hot, or both. So I treated myself to some workout gear that fits, and looks good.

And we came back to this. To winter. On the drive home, as we got closer and closer to Cape Breton, there was more and more snow on the roadsides. And then once we were home it snowed some more. Today it's snowing again - and I'm resolving to love it. I didn't at first - grumpy me came to the surface and grumped about having to worry about the weather, having to clear off the car, et cetera. And I took it seriously until a few days had gone by and I realized, Nah, that's no fun. Better to grump a little bit, then look at the snow falling and rejoice. Re-find joy.

The often-photographed lighthouse of my hometown. And a big fat icicle that for once gets to be bigger than a lighthouse.


I've been reading "Long Quiet Highway" by Natalie Goldberg, she of "Writing Down the Bones," possibly the best book about writing out there. "Long Quiet Highway" is her memoir. It's also really good. In it she talks about Zen Buddhism, and her teachers. One of them said something about not complicating things. "Don't put a horse on top of a horse," he says, "and then try to ride it."

It makes so much sense. And it's something I do all the time, put that horse on top of another horse. Complicate things. Well, I'm resolving to take the horse down. Just have the one.


A blog I'm reading these days is Emily Falconbridge. She's a cool Aussie chick with long dreads and a beautiful family of three kids and a husband. Right now they live in New England. She has an Etsy shop with felted materials, and she writes about art, her kids, her adventures, her feelings. Her kids' names are Ivy, Banjo and Yindi. Doesn't that make you want to find out more? Her blog and her family have won over my heart with their sweetness, their simple beauty, their take on life.

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