Thought Trafficking


Never put off until you are pregnant and working what you can do when you are 16.
July 18, 2013, 4:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

That is, in my case, an upper-level piano exam with the RCM. My poetic brain has been replaced by a tactile one. Not that they aren’t part of the same larger organ, though I’m not sure which one. The liver? 

At a time when I feel like maybe I should have more to say than ever, I’m mostly wordless. Toronto is no place for human beings in the summer; I rhapsodized the hot summer evenings of Victoria. Now I just hide. This baby must be a baby of the West, destiny manifest, wanting nothing more than an absurdly long drive through the mountains in either direction, or a compelling flatland. Already at 5 months, it scoffs at the ubiquitous Eastern metal silo, prefers the grain elevator as linchpin of the landscape. Already the first kicks are like the needle of a compass drawn by a magnet: will it insist on being born facing toward the Pacific?

A scant three years ago I learned to fast for Ramadan, now I am learning how to not fast during Ramadan. Tonight I tried to make koofteh for dinner. Then, while they were cooking, I googled what I will rightly call real koofteh. Mine was the right colour, but other than that… Real koofteh can be a giant meatball with a cooked egg on the inside, or, in some cases apparently, a whole chicken. Mine was the right colour, but the consistency was inconsistent. Then I checked and there were no chickens inside my meatballs. Where did I go wrong?

So at this time of night I lie on the couch, wanting to go to bed, wearing old starched cotton pajamas in an attempt to mitigate the heat, wondering whether I should go downstairs and water the tomatoes, resenting the night air or what I imagine the night air to be. Later, I’ll try to sleep, hugging a water bottle that I’ve had in the freezer all day and setting my prayers on the kind of thunderstorm that breaks the heat. 



Water Music
July 12, 2009, 11:12 pm
Filed under: between times, living, outside | Tags: ,

My mother emailed me this morning to tell me that she was going canoeing today, and that she was excited. This made me glad, and also heightened my anticipation of going home. The fall is a nice time to convince my parents to strap the canoe to the top of the van and head out to a body of water. After kayaking yesterday with Amanda and Kyle, the urge is that much stronger. But she ended the email by telling me that the lake–the slough, really–at the Wilderness Centre is no longer there. That it has dried up. I know that landscapes change, rivers dig themselves deeper, fields just blow away. But it seemed wrong to know that it’s gone, that I never paid it any mind and now it is gone.

Kayaking yesterday we paddled under three bridges, further up the Gorge, followed geese when we could and held still to be visited by dragonflies. I like to paddle as fast as I can for a minute or two and then enjoy the glide, the illusion that you aren’t moving because the wind is combing the ocean the other way. We had to turn around at the bridge that is part of Tillicum Road, when the water got too shallow and the weeds started to suck on our paddles. The water was the only bearable place to be in yesterday’s heat, the sun came off of the surface in a breeze, whereas the pavement reflected and amplified it, and sunbeams rose in wavy mirages and unfortunate city smells. A wind lifted off the ocean in the evening, though, bringing in a cloud cover and changing the colour of the air.

Today my shoulders groaned when I mopped the floor, put out by being asked to make themselves useful two days in a row.