I’m sitting in Balzac’s writing about last week’s walk. I don’t think I’ve ever done this before actually. It reminds me of the day when Terrence and Gosia followed me around and I was wearing my Walk In Her Shoes t-shirt. I’m wearing it again today. It’s confusing because I’m doing today’s walk while writing about last week’s walk, while worrying that getting a job means no more walks, while flipping out in general.

I started volunteering at Ronald McDonald House on Mondays as part of the summer camp. So I set out and walked along University, stopping at the Starbucks, and making my way to McCaul Street to the wonderful place that is Ronald McDonald. I thought I would have to do an activity or something but instead I got to just sit and watch a wonderful magic show, performed by Tim, one of the tutors from Tutorbright. He awed the kids with his ‘mind-reading’ abilities and ability to straighten out his twisted arms. I recognized a couple of the kids from the school, and it was really nice to see them.

After that I had lunch at the Village On The Grange, at this cute little vegetarian restaurant that I used to go to years ago. The owner is still the same and she greeted me warmly with “Hello gorgeous!”. I stopped at a cute little art gallergy after – how pretty is this picture?!! Reminds me of something Gosia would paint. I felt a little like I was in Pretty Woman because I was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and the woman working there was not being very friendly or answering my questions. I think she might’ve even rolled her eyes at me!!

Photo at Baux-Xi Photo Art Gallery

Outside the art gallery was a brain. I love how The Brain Project has taken over Toronto.  There is nothing more beautiful than the human brain (except perhaps the human heart). Or the ability to go on in the face of overwhelming obstacles. This brain was about psychological trauma, so it hit close to home.

The Brain Project, Steven Nederveen

The Fertile Mind is covered with lush greenery, vibrant flowers and a host of birds indicative of a miniature ecosystem. Vegetation pollinates the mind with fresh life and ideas while the birds carry strings of thought, connecting one busy cluster of growth to another. The greenery contains all kinds of flowers, from herbal remedies to spiritual lotus flowers to the poisonous berries of the Nightshade plant. A healthy ecosystem embraces renewal and decay. Problems arise when some aspect of the system falls out of balance. With the brain, there are physical and chemical imbalances but psychological issues may be equally debilitating. With a view to disease and trauma, the vegetation that wraps around this brain can be seen as an invasive and parasitic overgrowth that feeds off its host.

Lastly, I passed by this symbol of unity of all religions near Nathan Philips Square (image above), which made me pause and reflect considering everything going on in the world right now. In times like this, it is important that we remember that we are all in this together.

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