Sunday, May 18, 2008

Home again, home again

it's 5:52 am and i am sitting in our living room in edmonton keying this post in the early morning quiet.

there are so many unusual things about that sentence i don't know where to start. perhaps with the quiet. i can't believe how beautifully quiet it is here. though i think of myself as a "city person," i find as i get older that i am less and less tolerant of city noise: the screech of subways, the ubiquity of car horns, buses, jackhammers, backhoes, garbage trucks, yelling. it's still exciting (nothing says new york like four trains screaming through a single stinky station), but i find the thrill wears off faster. bring on the electric car, i say.

it is also unusual to be a living room -- embarassingly, one of two living rooms i could be sitting in right now. after the compact apartment we've been renting, the house feels huge. you could lose a person here. also strange: it's detached on all four sides from its neighbours, perched on its own little patch of green. it feels isolated, not to mention wasteful and unnecessary, anti-social. then again, it has its very own patch of green, and yellow, and purple and orange and white, as the daffodils, dandelions and tulips are blooming. there's the promise of a bleeding heart, the tickseed and peonies are back, and the valiant little rhubarb is plugging along (ours being the only yard i know of not to foster rhubarb as a weed). it's may in edmonton, and everything is on the move.

but, edmonton.... edmonton, why aren't you better? why is it that when we want to go for lunch after our long and tiring travels, we end up at a chain restaurant in a shopping complex? why is your skyline so squat and repetitious? is it because you're built of houses? (but will the condos at railtown change that?) is it because you're so isolated that no one bothered colonizing you (no one til wal-mart and home depot, that is)? is it because we live in rec rooms all winter and patios all summer? (but why not better patios?) is it because we're space pigs? because we don't fund public art? don't have an architecture school? lack historical consciousness? tend to be lower class? worship the automobile? edmonton, edmonton ... i want you to be more enticing, more seductive, more beautiful. if you can't be pretty, be unusual, idiosyncratic. take me aback, make me marvel, strike me.

i'll be looking for something striking all the way to save-on foods.

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