Friday, September 24

Autumn Valley & the Peppermint Lady

Welcoming autumn with a bit of dismay these past two weeks or so, I was nearly overjoyed at the prospect of a warm, sunny, Friday, off-of-work afternoon. I didn't even mind the inconsiderate car that tried to run me and two colleagues off the road or the futile, frustratingly poorly timed traffic lights or the second-hand smoke wafting into my lungs and slowly killing me (ok, so I minded the smoke part). However it was The. Most. Glorious! walk home EVER (in September).

Normally uninspired by such things as being overdressed in the blazing sun I was euphoric (and already mildly sweaty) thus concluded I'd go for a last-of-the-season jog. I changed my clothes and laced up the sneakers (after digging them out from under all the sensible fall boots I'd already moved to the front row of my closet).

Since it was not a national holiday and still before 2pm I had the trail virtually to myself. To avoid the preemptive rush-hour assault I veered down a side street and into the river valley.

I had already determined that this jog was not a last ditch effort for summer weight loss (plus I had just read an article that concluded exercise, unless it's over 250 minutes per week of the most intense variety, doesn't actually contribute much to pound-shedding type goals...apparently the tried and true method of 'skipping dessert' is much more effective - who knew?!) rather this jog was to be an experience of the Great Outdoors (Urban Edition).

And Great it was. I may (or may not) be the sentimental type, but I nearly shed a tear when I descended into the river valley. (Sentimental fool!) There before me was an effortless and untarnishable beauty that made silly things like diamonds & Mona Lisas look like a disorganized cutlery drawer.

I am not one for waxing poetic (but am in fact the poetic type) but this was a thing to gush about! Innocent blue skies brushed with good-natured clouds to set a backdrop of beauty, both striking and humble, for the jovial colours dotted throughout the still-green tree tops like some kind of practical joke in artistry.
Obviously I considered taking a photograph, but I have learned through many a soul-crushing trial, that often times the most touchingly beautiful things cannot be captured justly on 'film' (aka. in megapixels).

I think one of my fondest travel memories from when I was in China was an instant in Beijing where we emerged from an underground mall via escalator into a sparsely populated square (by local standards) festively lit and just settling into its dusk colored dress. It was so magical that I surely had to capture the moment...and alas my camera batteries had other plans. So by the time I'd swapped in the new double AAs, the place was behind us an out of my potential photo portfolio forever.
I lamented that missed opportunity a lot after I returned home and reflected on everything. Every time I remembered the trip I wished I could show people this magical beauty that I experienced...until one day I realized that the picture I was holding in my mind was far more beautiful than that square ever really was - and I would probably be heartily disappointed if I (ever) were to return even at the exact moment and in the exact conditions.

It was then that I realized that there was an integral difference between pictorial and memory form - my memory never contradicted the increasingly grandiose beauty I bestowed upon that little Chinese plaza.

It made me glad to have forgotten my camera, really! So now I hope to start building my memory files instead of just my JPGs... and I hope others have some similar memories too!

But wait, crap! I was so enthralled in the beauty if autumn and the memories of foreign places I forgot to mention The Peppermint Lady.

Next time. Next time.

Monday, September 20

Rushing to 'Stroll'

That was it. (In a fullness of satisfactory completion way, not a questioningly skeptical tone.) I lived through a double oxymoron.

Short of breaking out into a sprint I ran to Stroll. My first edition of The Stroll of Poets and I'm late enough to make me anxious but not cry (trust me it's happened) so I have a pleasant way if dealing with this that seems to work perfectly: politely announce to whomever you're with, where ever you are "I'm sorry but I'm going to run now."

It makes everything seem natural and normal to you the runner but more than likely leaves the walkers in a small state of confusion. Often I believe the walker assumed you made the metaphoric comment "I've got to run" (but you clearly did nothing of the sort) and are surprised when you actually break into a run and leave them to their own sauntering devices.

So I did just that. And it worked until the point I realized I was going to have to wait for the train and by then the walkers would have caught up to me. Not the least awkward situation one could find themselves in, but... eventually made it to my first Stroll "fashionably late." I found myself in the second chapter of said oxymoron: sitting during the Stroll.

Not only did the full 'poultry poetry' reading turn out completely enjoyable and harboured my own personal open-mic success, but I got to experience the Double, Oxymoron.

And I just had to wonder... what does it mean?

Saturday, September 18

Chickens & Cinnamon Buns

After preparing four dozen cinnamon buns to donate to a fundraiser tomorrow I felt compelled to work on some poetry for a cool new group I've found out about called The Stroll of Poets. The kick-off to the new season is on Monday so I need to prepare. This year's theme is fowl: a Poultry Fest! (get it?! Poultry/Poetry?...)

If there is only one way to my heart it through fresh-baked, sugary goodness. If there is a second way it is with dry, witty, pun-based humour. So basically... I've successfully seduced myself.

Since I can't share the baking through blog-land I will share a bit of my 1 minute poem:
'Chicken Scratch (in 4 parts)'

...part 3 - Feather Brained

Impossible dreams to soar the sky
intensified study to fully fly
just drifts by...
as chicken concentration fails
its brief attention span derailed.
No more hope of convocation
from the flight-school revelation.

(parts 1, 2 & 4 unposted, at least until after the Sept 20th "performance")

So what 'part of the chicken' would you pick?

Friday, September 17

Wonderful Worlds: Lost

In all the words in the world I ended up with these, for but there are SO many other obvious combinations and mutations that one could never hope to write even the majority of them in one's own primary language. However, there are times when you read someone else's work of words and can't help thinking (or screaming...depending on the length and specificity of the similarity) "damn, I wish I had written that!"

I find the token genre where that happens most to me is travel writing... and comedy about banality, but the latter I'll save for another time. All of my favourite books are favourites absolutely because they connected with me in that perfectly right way. Many were the kind of things I'd always wanted to write about and now admittedly probably won't.

I felt the closest I could get to actually writing them would to be to write ABOUT them and get others to experience their wonderful wordy glory. So thanks to Flashlight Worthy books I've got my first list with many "oh damn, that was a good idea" titles. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16

This Is the Shoulder Season

Unsure if I can withstand the barrage of meaningless marketing jargon that just collided with my ears and wrote lines of tension in between my eyes and through my jaw - I decided to make it beautiful.

The hive of buzzing euphemism almost got me down, but then by connecting to the groundedness of my carpeted hallway I "found poem" my newfound lexicon
(so to quote the infamous Run DCM- and it goes a little something like this):

'Grounded in the Shoulder Season'

[previously unmoved]
mobilizing land
aspiring revitalization
[in the] shoulder season cafe
[yours/mine] our winter gardens
[without winter, I'm afraid]
astounding groundlevel [as environment's replaced]
public/private [?]
mobilizing land
[or it might make something of itself]

... if the challenge is to find beauty in ugliness that was attempt nĂºmero uno.