For the first time on my walk home from work… the gate by the tracks was open

March 4, 2010

So I went through…

7.2 minutes later: There I am, inching along a narrow mud-slicked ledge, fenced suburbia to my right, a perilous 20′ icy-cliff drop on my left – with only a paved off-ramp to catch me! One slip and I’m rush-hour roadkill. Clinging to the sparest of twigs, I creep forward, only one thought in my mind…

“This is so cool!”

There’s something ridiculously wonderful about getting lost in your own city, especially on your most familiar route. When was the last time you allowed yourself to explore? It’s spring isn’t it? What better time to dive sneaker-first down a rabbit hole?


A short note on the injustice of other people eating bacon at 7:10AM

May 21, 2009

My walk to work takes me through one of Calgary’s swankiest neighbourhoods. Wandering through The Better Homes and Gardens Theme Park so early in the morning can be pretty demoralizing to those of us not booked on a flight to Cannes this week. I can deal with picturesque window treatments and carefully landscaped lawns. Current model BMWs cutting me off on the sidewalk? No problem. But…

A line was crossed today. There is one house on the route so magnificent, so architecturally breathtaking in all its cedar shingled glory, that even its Home Depot outdoor potters transend our reality to honour the sublime. Anyways, that house, that family, was cooking bacon at 7:10 this morning! Is it really so much to ask that there be just a little pinch of justice for those of us with empty stomachs trudging by in beat-up sneaks? 

But then again, what a wonderful way to find out, at 7:10am, that yes, it is possible to have everything.

The Dorian Gray Snowman

March 30, 2009

I saw a perfect snowman on my walk home last Thursday. He had black button eyes, a carrot nose, and a jolly hollowed out smile. The snowman stood, proudly postured, with his well proportioned stick arms throwing a happy hug to the world.

This Monday morning on my way to work, I passed by the snowman again. He still stood on his frosty lawn, in front of the same ludicrously expensive, beautiful, home. But… Oh what horrors of debauchery that family must have gotten up to over the weekend!

Not only had the snowman had been stripped of his arms, but he had had his eyes plucked out and his nose torn away. His proud stance had melted into the awful droop of a being who has given up on the world, with his head lolling back on sloping shoulders and the rest of him sinking slowly into the earth. And his mouth, that was the most gruesome transformation. His jaw gaped and his bulging lower lip was sagging low, off to one side, halfway down to his chest. I could almost hear the wretched thing howling at me from its slushy maw as I trudged by on the sidewalk.

I must admit the scene cheered me, in a way.

So often we walk by large lovely houses and imagine large lovely families living large, and lovely, lives inside. What a relief it is then, to see how they might not be so perfect after all – that a single one of their weekends could leave a portrait, albeit in snow, so ruined. Of course, the weather did warm up a bit on Saturday, but that wouldn’t have anything to do with it ~wink.

Hop a Calgary city bus to…Tuscany?

September 11, 2008

A Calgary city bus cruised by me on my walk to work this morning, route number 30, destination Tuscany. Tuscany?? The bus was full of dreary fall jackets and grim faces. Imagine getting on a bus every morning promising escape, joy, sun and relaxation, and then being dumped off in some dark forsaken corner of the same city you woke up in. The cruelty of it. The inhumanity. That’s one joke I never want to be a part of. It takes almost an hour to walk my route to work, and an hour back, but I’ll choose sneakers over that kind of heartbreak any day! Note: I walk for a myriad of other reasons too, and yes, I know it’s crazy ; )

Embarrassed? No. Mortified? Yes.

August 8, 2008

Groan. Walking while “story-ing” is always dangerous. Only by the Grace of God, and the strange providence of writers, have I survived a lifetime of walking busy city streets while oblivious to all but the plight of my characters. I thought I was being so careful this morning. I made sure to look both ways (at least I think I did), but there are always other dangers. 

I rounded a corner while deep in the ponderings, and lilting voice, of one of my current male characters. “And then I comfort her”  came blurting out – just as I walked right into a crowd of startled business people waiting at a bus stop.

What can ya’ do? I hid under the brim of my baseball cap and sped through. Writing always finds a way to get my heart pumping faster. lol

Wondering if you’re a writer? Let Agatha Christie solve the mystery

July 9, 2008

If you can relate to the following quote from Agatha Christie… it’s already too late!

“One walks along the street, passing all the shops one meant to go into, or all the offices one ought to have visited, talking to oneself hard – not too loud, I hope – and rolling one’s eyes expressively, and then one suddenly sees people looking at one and drawing slightly aside, clearly thinking one is mad.” – Excerpted from “Agatha Christie – An Autobiography”

How does she always just, you know, know! Sigh, if we only could follow her lead.