I walked twelve kilometres yesterday, through the parkland by Toronto’s Humber River. All was green. I meandered past tennis courts and fire circles, wooded slopes and wide lawns, with benches a-plenty for sittin’. And I went slow.
All sorts of folks came my way. Unless they looked supremely grumpy, I said hi. Only three people gave me a sincere hello back. I wonder if I look dangerous. Or maybe it’s just the big city mentality, perhaps “Someone who says hello wants something.” Oh well. I wasn’t going to let the prevailing responses besmirch my day.
Near the end of the journey, I parked my bod in the lounge of the Old Mill Inn. Lots of nice stonework and comfy chairs. I found myself facing the portrait of a severe young man. I asked myself whether he ever smiled in his earlier life. I sure hope so. I sipped my glass of white wine and read sports articles on my phone. Sort of a mixed metaphor but I don’t mind.
Off again, this time to the mysteries of Bloor Street. The sidewalks were full of all and sundry, enjoying the spring sunshine. But I was fading. Was it the wine, or the long walk, or my continued movement away from sleeping pills? My head beat out a nasty rhythm and my legs were declining towards the asphalt. “It’s okay, Bruce. You’re off these pills and there’s no going back.”
My walking plans fell apart and I stumbled towards a subway station. Fifteen minutes later I was slurping coffee in a Tim Horton’s, watching outside folks scatter under a sudden thunderstorm. I was happy to be dry and sad to be vacant. Coffee completed, I continued to stare out at smashing raindrops. How would I stay awake at the concert? So … another twelve ounces of Dark Roast.
Koerner Hall was only a three-minute walk from Tim’s and the rain had faded when I poked my pounding head out the door. Inside the gorgeous concert hall, I awaited the presence of Rosanne Cash. Slowly my brain cleared and I was ready for tunes.
Rosanne’s voice filled the space with sweetness, accompanied by the guitar runs of her husband. One song especially hit home:
We’re falling like the velvet petals
We’re bleeding and we’re torn
But God is in the roses
And the thorns
I left The Royal Conservatory of Music with “500 Miles” on my lips and a skip in my step. All deficits were in the rear view mirror. Until, that is, I got to my home bed-and-breakfast. Head banging again and a troubled caffeine-laden sleep.
So it seems to me this morning that life is both A and B
Despite my efforts to call it A
I guess I can live with that