Monday, 29 April 2013

Retracing and remembering

Frost 5

It will be six months tomorrow since I returned from my year on the road: a time of mostly really crap weather here in Calgary. When I left Montréal last Hallowe'en, it was on the heels of the wind and warmth of the remnants of Hurricane Sandy, and I came back to dull grey ice fog and snow. So tired of this....

And since I couldn't get all that excited about taking pictures of it snowing yet again in Calgary today, some of these pictures may well look familiar, because I've resurrected them from a few years ago. And that's why there is a picture of a bright flower too.

The reason I've selected these shots is because they are from the neighbourhood I used to live in after I finished graduate school and left exhubby #2. I've not spent much time back there since we packed up and moved back, in 2010, to near where I grew up, and especially since I've been back on my own, as there have always been too many memories of much happier times.


But there has also been a couple of good reasons to go back: one of them is Wreck City, a large-scale, ambitious artist-run project that three friends had pieces in. And, to be honest, at some level, I knew I would have to deal with those emotions sooner or later anyway.

So it has been with more than a little trepidation that I've been in the 'hood much more often, and, especially, walking through portions of it with someone again. Emotions -- good and scary -- have been dredged up: things that I wish I could simply deal with, rationalize, and move on.

Two of my recent social adventures have touched on this fact to a greater and lesser degree. At the higher end was my interview with Canadian writer Susan Musgrave, the first in my series of interviews exploring the creative process for CJSW (air date TBA).

What this means

In a spirited and wide-ranging talk, we explored the hows and whys of process, but also touched on the mechanics of the doing, which is vital in Zen Buddhist practice. Susan reminded me of two things I've reflected on since: the importance, as well as the necessity, of being in the moment, and letting the grief process take its own course.

At the lesser end, oddly enough, almost the exact same words were spoken three days later, at an evening panel discussion at The University of Calgary, with the Hon. Ken Dryden as raconteur (he's much more comfortable with speaking in public than when I interviewed him in 2000 for my Masters Design Project: I guess being on the campaign trail and in Parliament will do that).

Afternoon delight

In the second of the three panel discussions, the doctors talked about evaluating concussions, and assessing when -- or if -- the athlete was ready to go, to use that sports cliché back in the game. The consensus was that mostly the athlete was the least likely person to be able to evaluate that with any accuracy, that it varied widely between individuals, and that the best rule-of-thumb they could give was twice as long without symptoms as with.

If one considers the concussion that grief delivers on the heart and the mind, then I hope my bench-sitting days end sooner rather than later. I'll know, when I'm ready to make homemade pizza again.


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