Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dealing with the dark and light on Elgin

I guess I'm not a resilient as I used to be. All week I've been struggling against what seems like a sort of emotional flu. It's only today that I've feel somewhere within striking distance of my normal energy level which, let's face it, never was that high.

Today was overcast, and the day turned out to be flashes of colour against the grey. We had business along Elgin Street which is my favourite downtown street in Hades. We stopped in at Leading Note because younger daughter will be tackling sight reading this year. (Gulp.) We had brunch at the Elgin Street Diner where I had a waffle totally obscured with brilliant slices of strawberry, kiwi, pineapple and banana. We stopped by Boushey's Fruit Market which always has a surprise. Today, the surprise was chocolate and raspberry liqueur spread. We didn't buy any, but it's nice to know it's there. Then we made our way down to the Byward Market, past Oktoberfesters in Bavarian type garb (does this give the Jewish community nasty flashbacks, I wonder?) and picked out a trio of pumpkins so bright, they might not even need candles come Hallowe'en night. Younger daughter carried hers home with great reverence and pride.

By late afternoon, my spirits were flagging. In the tradition of other NaBloPoMos in which I've taken part, I've been reading through past Octobers in my journals, which is a double-edged sword. Even as I encounter happy memories I'd long forgotten, I keep being haunted by the line in "Stockton Gala Days", one of the songs I'd saved to my iPod this past week:
"What I've learned to hide
What I've lost inside
You'd be surprised if shown
But you'll never, you'll never know..."

(Also, we learned today that younger daughter's voice teacher has bought a two bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom condo, not far from Elgin Street. The maintenance fees, just the maintenance fees, mind, are twice what the Resident Fan Boy and I paid as rent on a two bed/one-and-a-half bath condo when we were first married.)

One of our stops this morning on Elgin Street was at the National Arts Centre for rush seats to tonight's Pop Concert, shamelessly using younger daughter's student discount, so this evening we headed out under a sky which had cleared to reveal faint stars straining to twinkle over the street lamps and headlights. The rather drab Indian High Commission on the corner of our street was festooned with coloured lights; it must be Diwali this weekend.

The conductor led the NAC orchestra with large fluid movements and an earpiece; the orchestra had to keep up with the soundtracks of selections from seven films of Rogers and Hammerstein musicals. The orchestral bits had been deftly removed, so the these living musicians could play along. ("It's sort of karaoke in reverse," commented the Resident Fan Boy at intermission.) Occasionally, they got a little behind -- "There is Nothing Like a Dame" seemed a particular challenge. However, for the most part, they got to rather seamlessly accompany the likes of Shirley Jones, Joel McCrae, Mitzi Gaynor, Julie Andrews, Pat Boone, Bobby Darin... (Okay, the last two were a bit of shock; they were in the second film version of State Fair.) And in the dark, I could see younger daughter's face glowing with delight and pleasure.

I keep having to remind myself that you need the dark to understand what light is.

No comments: