On The Train And At The Play

So off I went yesterday, taking VIA Rail from London to Belleville, a trip of 6 hours including a stopover in Toronto.  I found my precious window seat and introduced myself to my neighbour.  I’ll call him Trevor.

We talking about lots of stuff, including our interest in Buddhism.  Trevor and I compared notes about the retreats we’d been on.  Very cool.  He mentioned a book that sounded familiar.  The author started with an historical incident, in which Chinese troops were chasing Tibetan refugees who were fleeing their country for Nepal, and wove a tale of adventure and morality.  “It’s called _____________,” Trevor said.

“I have that one on my Kobo.  Haven’t read it yet.”  And our discussion continued.  Only after a minute or two did I clue in to the fact that I was sitting beside the author.  My small voice said, “Golly gee.  I’m talking to a famous person.”  Happily, that voice closed its mouth almost immediately.  We were just folks, Trevor and me, chatting about our love of words.  It was fun.

Later, as we said goodbye, Trevor and I exchanged books … his about nineteen human beings who were “cast adrift on an ice floe”, mine about my dear wife Jody.  At the Bed and Breakfast in Belleville, I read snippets of reviews about Trevor and his story:

“A triumph of a novel … [Trevor] has pulled off a masterpiece.”

” _______________ is up there with the best work in the genre … This is gripping stuff.”

What a blessing to have spent time with Trevor.  But truly, what a blessing it is to spend time with anyone.  We all glow, even though with some of us, the body is currently hemming it in.


“The play’s the thing.”  Would you believe I just made that up?  No, I didn’t think so.  It was time for the first of three performances of Jake’s Women at the Pinnacle Playhouse.  I walked in the door, showed a woman my Internet ticket for last night’s show, and she walked off into another room.  “I’ll be right back.”  When she returned, she was carrying three real tickets wrapped in a little piece of notepaper.  I opened the note and read:

“Hi Bruce,

Read your blog.  Glad to have you here.  Enjoy the show(s).  See you after.

The Cast of Jake’s Women”

Awesome!  I cried out in joy in the lobby.  Another woman approached me and I showed her the note.  She had seen it before.  Her husband had written it.  “I know who you are,” she said, smiling.  Oh, this is a good time.

I sat in the front row and watched Jake’s every move, every subtlety of mouth and hands, of tone and pause.  He was magnificent.  I was happy for him.  And the woman playing his wife Maggie so deeply inhabited her role, it was a joy to see.


It’s Friday morning.  After a yummy breakfast, I’m in a sitting room, cheerily tapping away.  I’m so glad I’m here.  After a day of meandering around downtown Belleville, strolling by the Moira River, and perhaps getting lost in the trees of Riverside Park, it’ll be time for round two of Jake’s Women.  I’m ready.

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