Thursday, November 4, 2010

slushy rain and sushi in Sydney

Last weekend I headed for North River. The same people who put together the fabulous writers' festival, partnered with Cape Breton University and offered a workshop. A way to get the university out into the community. Six hours of writing. Thirty dollars. A professor to talk about narrative and short stories and beginnings. 10 am on a Saturday. I'm not a fan of giving up my free time but this seemed a no-brainer.

It's a thirty minute drive but there's construction on the way. I gave myself lots of time and ended up being early. So I was able to stop on the way, park and take some pictures and look out over the water. Think, how lucky am I. (Above is: my jeans, my pink Lole coat, my blue scarf. In dreary late Fall, I've got to have fierce colour.)

I kept going. I held the camera up as I drove. Snapped randomly, hoping it would somehow grab the beauty.

The Oregon Road. I took a short walk down it, since I was early. Thought about how many times I had walked or biked or drove down this road, heading to a piece of land, to friends, to a lover. How much that stretch of road used to mean to me. Still does mean. The friends and the lover have gone back to the US, their buildings and land no longer lived in or repaired. I've lost touch with those people - I haven't kept in touch. And unless I'm there in North River, I don't really think of them. Then I walk down the road and it's like I'm back in time. Back there again.

I really liked the way these raspberry canes by a brook looked, with green at the bottom progressing upward to yellow then red, so uniformly. Like something Andy Goldsworthy would have done on purpose, yet here it just was.

In the hall, coffee was on. We filled mugs and sat around a big table. Do not forget that though you may be discussing prose, imagery, symbolism here in this hall, it is also used for darts. For other community gatherings. And they are no less meaningful. Useful.

(The hall is also used for Bingo.)

Driving home in the slushy rain with so much to think about. Stopped for the ever-loving construction. I love the way headlights and streetlights look through a rain-covered windshield.

Boats up on stands. This gravel was used as a parking lot all summer. Now it is storage. The boats people came to float away on, now hauled in and put on jack-stands. Supported, settling in for winter.

Another day this week I drove to Sydney. Coming over Kelly's Mountain there was some rain, edging towards snow. I stopped at the lookoff, I had to, there was this massive cloud over the Seal Island Bridge. This above is what you saw looking to your left. Then below is what was to the right.

Driving into Sydney on Kings Road, a sign advertised sushi. "Oki Maka Sushi, 196 Charlotte St." What?!? Sushi in Sydney? What I've wanted for so long? I've got to check this out. I decided I would  look for it after my appointment.

Walking into the building where my appointment was, I saw this graffiti. Close enough, I thought. Looks like today is sushi day.

And so I found them. With an hour to spare before they closed. I think I'll probably end up doing a whole post about them - I took more pictures than this. Overall it was good, a little on the bland side but fresh. I liked the spicy salmon roll the best, I suppose because it had the most flavor. But honestly? I was really happy just to be IN a sushi restaurant, on Cape Breton Island. Smelling pickled ginger and soy sauce.

Back to work. The calendar here at work - with the lovely typography, you remember - has this image for November. I think it fits - as dreary as it is, because hey, November IS dreary! Some dude out shooting with his dogs. The leaves off the trees. The sky grey. I can almost hear the lonely singular sound of the gunshot. Then grey silence.

The tree under which I park my car. Look up, look way up. This is November. Already, here it is, the second last month. We get ready to fall back an hour - I don't know if I'll ever entirely understand Daylight Savings, but whatever - and keep on falling, falling into winter. Falling in love with our own projects. Our own faults and flaws. Nature changes and time relentlessly moves forward and so with it, do we.

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