It feels like the longest day ever. And it’s only 10:30 PM. The morning started out ok – it was freezing cold and I started walking up University where I ran into my homeless friend who sits at the corner of University & Front. He is always reading an interesting book. Well today he wasn’t, he was just focusing on staying warm. But normally he is reading something good and it is usually something I’ve read too. Then walked to the Starbucks in my old building where I used to work. I ran into the security guy there who recently moved here from Dubai. He is a kind, compassionate Irish man with two daughters and a wife, and he is loving his experience of Canada so far. His daughters enjoyed the Christmas holidays and loved sending a letter to Santa through Canada post, and they even got a response back! They recently started asking their Dad about death and heaven, and so he was making up a version of heaven that sounded, well heavenly, and they weren’t totally convinced, and asked “Is it better than Canada?”. So cute!
Then I went to my creative writing class at U of T. I’m taking Introduction to Creative Writing with Kelli Deeth. She has published a couple books and also won a teaching award, so I know that I’m in good hands. We learned about experiencing the moment through the five senses. Yep I know that sounds more like a meditation class (and it reminds me of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his raisin meditation). But it was really cool and grounding, and I can see how it’s helpful in writing to pay attention to images and sensory details. You can really take yourself back to an experience by including specific details and invoking the senses of touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste.
Then I went to Balzac’s and read my book In A Dark Wood about a man who loses his wife in a car accident, and is overcome by grief and goes into a deep depression. The only thing that gets him through is Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Stopped at Chapters at Bay/Bloor and bought a couple books – one for my friend Tina’s daughter Sienna who is turning 1 next week! And another about a woman who is a fighter with a feisty spirit, who is sexually assaulted and thrown off a cliff and left for the dead, but somehow regains her strength and her spirit and is now a motivational speaker and writer. Stories like this never cease to inspire me. How people get through these deep horrifying experiences always amazes me and gives me hope. Then I went to the Eaton centre and had some dinner and read the Ramayana at Chapters. A lot of reading and writing today! It was kind of a lonely day.