This afternoon, as I sat in a darkened theatre watching a movie I never would have chosen to watch had I known how sad this scene I was watching Amy Madigan in was, I remembered something Alexander Prior had said.
Prior is the Chief Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He is young, like 24, I think, which means I have two neckties, one suit and an old Trek 750 older than he is. Anyways, there he was above us on stage a couple of weeks ago during an ESO Late Night gig at the Winspear. He was introducing Jalons, a work by Iannis Xenakis. Right. I'd never heard of him either.
Before he poked his players to life with his baton, Prior said something remarkable to the audience. He said we probably wouldn't like the music. He said we didn't have to like it. Just listen to it and we could talk about it later, he said. And then they played it. The work was unfamiliar, grating in parts, coming apart in other parts, and soaring. I liked parts, but, overall, he was right. I …
I saw some things on the streets today. I heard some things, too.
That's Olga signalling a left turn above. In her impromptu bike network master class, I learned about big green bike boxes and how to safely get across lanes of traffic on the 100 Ave portion of the downtown grid. What I heard: there is a safe place in the city's allocation of space for bicycle commuters.
I saw this dude's shoulder bag and heard him say he thought the new bike lane on 100 Ave was pretty good.
I saw no helmet on this bicycle rider. I saw her smile and heard her say hello as we passed.
"Whoa!" this pedestrian said as he walked on green and watched the car driver turn across his path.
A few blocks later, approaching the traffic signal on the Glenora multi-use path, I saw the green traffic light turn yellow and the yellow turn red, and, as I hummed some old April Wine as I always do when red and yellow seasons change in gear, oh yeah, I heard the rev of a car engine behind me revea…
"I'm gonna stop for some groceries," Shelagh said. "See you at home."
We were leaving, she in her little car, me on my bike, after having coffee at Iconoclast by the graveyard this morning.
I got home first. To a locked house. Unless I have to, I don't carry keys anymore. I still can lose keys if I don't actually have them on me, I have proven that. But it is more difficult. I took my phone out of my pocket to text Shelagh and get her ETA. Dead phone.
Locked out of house and phone, what do I do?
For whatever random reason, my first thought was to pedal to Meadowlark Mall and go to Tokyo Express for a double chicken rice bowl, with skin. Why this came to mind I have no idea. Then I saw the orange plastic ball by the stump of weeping birch in the middle of the back lawn. I keep the ball there on purpose. It's a reminder of boyhood. We used those iconic balls to play road hockey and indoor ball hockey and we also used them to play baseball at this tim…