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It’s been a nice, easy start to my travels.  Although I haven’t left the country, my only possessions are the ones on my back, so I think it’s fair to consider the traveling officially begun?  I have been living ‘elsewhere’ in my mind for a long while now, so it’s nice that my physical presence can finally catch up!

The city of Vancouver is beautiful and busy and each street is a contrast in terms.  Outside the high-end stores, the high-end shoppers dodge (and ignore) the homeless.  It’s SO busy and bustling but it starts raining and everyone disappears.  Luckily there are enough Starbucks to find shelter in.  The area outside the Art Museum is quite a thoroughfare during the average weekday, but 5:00 pm rolls ‘round, and the steps swarm with kids and homeless and hippies..  is there something artful about this….is it human art?

…I would think it may be considered installation art.

I have been doing a lot of walking in the last few days.  I consider myself somewhat of a local of Vancouver; the majority of the family is here and we did a lot of visiting growing up.  Canuck games and concerts bring me over periodically as well.  This past summer/fall – Kevin’s treatments took place here every two weeks.  I can now navigate through downtown (in a car) without wanting to impale someone with my bare fist.  I like to think that summer traffic at rush-hour taught me patience.

Anyway, I am now trying to see the city through the eyes of someone who hasn’t been here before. It’s hard to do, but not impossible.  The best part of pedestrian-style transport:  You have time to look up.  The clouds and sky seen from below, looking up between the buildings, are awesome.  The mountains in the background, with their dusting of snow, peep through the buildings…this is an incredible sight.  If I were not from here I would be awestruck.

Cupcakes from Cupcakes...the other beautiful aspect of Vancouver: the food!

Cupcakes from Cupcakes...the other beautiful aspect of Vancouver: the food!

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So I am on the plane soon – less than 24 hours….  I am finally doing it.  Thank you to everyone who helped me get here.  We did a lot in just under three weeks!  I admit I still have a few things to do before I head to the airport, but what a reward I have to look forward to.  The next time I write I will be in Australia.

Theme songs of the day:

The Canadian Dream – Sam Roberts, from the album We Were Born in a Flame

California Dreaming The Mamas and the Papas, from the Album If you Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

If Venice Is Sinking – Spirit of the West, from the album Faithlift

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The house is barren and it’s wonderful.  I feel I can breathe again.

Isn’t it amazing how we incessantly collect things; always wanting more? We tend to wrap memories and feelings around inanimate objects. In the end, our stuff has the upper-hand. It maintains emotional power over us. “I can’t get rid of that: it was my aunt’s…it was expensive…it matches the couch…”

The boys get the big stuff loaded

The boys get the big stuff loaded

As the moving team (a group of really loyal friends) carts and carries and lifts and packs, I wish that we had a dumpster outside where I could throw out the lot. I am a true believer: we shouldn’t let our stuff own us.

Of course, saying that, I still have a hard time giving a good portion of it up. These quiet power-wielders will not have the last laugh… oh, er…wait – I should probably keep that candle-holder… uh, yeah… a friend gave it to me.

..sigh

So I guess it feels like this next chapter of my life is finally starting.

Using a word like “finally” conveys a sense of impatience, and although I only made these life-changing decisions in the last few weeks, it feels like I’ve been waiting eons to see them come to fruition. I guess I am a little impatient. I am nearing the end of packing up. I have some cleaning to do and some errands. My heart is in my backpack already and I will fill the rest of it with a few essentials (no candlesticks mmhhh?..). I will head to Vancouver for some visiting and some live music for a fantastic cause: http://www.savethebrainsvancouver.com/.

I will get on the plane and I will be free.

I know I am looking for something. What? I’m not sure… but I have a feeling it will always be waiting around the next corner. Will travel help me get around the bend to have a peek at what lays beyond? I think it will. Or at least it can’t hurt. I’m not going to get all the answers I want, but I will have a really good time searching for them.

I am very aware of the perception of running away.

I don’t think I am, and if I am, I don’t care. The thing is: I faced life head-on when I needed to. The last 16 months have been the toughest, most painful, most tender, most hope-inspiring, test of human-ability that I have ever witnessed; that I will probably ever witness. Not only was I seeing it up close, I was living right smack-dab in the middle of it.  I was partaking in it, moving it forward, keeping it together.

I need a rest. And by rest, I mean journey.

Theme songs for the day:

Masterfade – Andrew Byrd from the album The Mysterious Production of E

Gravity Rides Everything – Modest Mouse from the album The Moon and Antarctica

Silver Lining

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