away we go

04/01/2011 § Leave a comment

It began with a text.

“Hey b. Would like to see you for a holiday hug.”

“Of course! Pick a time and a place and I will be there,” I texted back.

That night, I pulled on my moccasins and quietly strolled to The Common — a dimly-lit Toronto coffee-shop-by-day-bohemian-bar-by-night — and, of course, I was early. At the front table there sat a solitary man reading by candle light and at the back table was a group of youth casually sipping on a bottle of house red. I ordered a Tankhouse Ale and chose to wait at the table in-between. I sat on the pew-styled bench — the one on against the wall looking out. It made me remember growing up in Brampton and Conestoga Public School and learning how to sit against a wall with your knees at a ninety-degree angle. It was fascinating how we, as humans, could sit without a seat.

Lost in thought, in entered C.

“Yo. Whaddup b?”

I squished out of the seat and squeezed in a hug.

“Have a seat homie. We will get yourself a drink.”

It didn’t take very long or very many drinks for us to talk about Jonathan Safran Foer.

“I keep thinking about ‘Extermely Loud and Incredibly Close’. His metaphor of the revolving door is killing me and I don’t know why. I keep thinking that the metaphor is stressing me out, but I think I am just stressed out.”

“It’s ok, b. Sometimes it just takes time. The Japanese have the turtle as a symbol of taking things slowly.”

“I know. I guess the tortoise wins the race.”

Still, for some reason I couldn’t wrap my mind around the reason we are running in the first place.

I remember Lizerton coming over to see me the other day. She had some tea while I drowned at the fork in my river. I could twist my paddle and steer my ship left or right. Or crash on the shore.

“I dunno, Lizerton. I have just been stressed out and doing a lot of crafting. Making cards like crazy.”

I could tell she was worried.

When I was kid, I was in the canoe club. I would always choose the front so that I could drive the boat forward. I never learned how to navigate until we were on a camping trip in the eighth grade. It was a frustrating process because our trio could not find a rhythm — each trying a different post, zig-zagging behind everyone. I think I could sense the frustration of those who were ahead of us, as though we weren’t working hard enough. Still, eventually we made it to the island and, most importantly, we were laughing. Then, standing on the silty shore, we wandered off in our separate directions. That was twelve years ago and all three of us still keep in touch.

The memory made me think about Jonathan Safran Foer (again).

Perhaps it is when we are softest that our-“ness” is exposed. This past year, I got to see genuine squigee-ness (even exposing my own gooey, cheesiness at times) and it helped inspire me to do what I love to do — explore. I might be zig-zagging all over the place, but that will only make it epic.

I guess sometimes you have to let yourself out in order to go back in whole.

So it goes, away we go.

Hi ho.


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