A broadly curved road

I went subterranean twelve weeks ago, maybe more.  Came up again two days ago, I think.  I know this because I found myself gardening yesterday.

DomsLilly

This was a tunnel of a place I’ve been in, a way into and through the deep, long list entitled Impossible-but-Necessary.  In twelve weeks strong and beautiful people died, shockingly, suddenly, and those of us who grieve them turned inward then slowly forward; old and treasured things were broken then transformed phoenix-like amid the mourning, the loss.  Boundaries were breached, injuries dealt and received, some old trusts betrayed and also new ones established without question.  Concerts were rehearsed and played; family homes sold and contents dispersed, others burned and the tenants embraced by this rich community. Long overdue letters were written and sent; 50-year careers ended; a 20-year-old vehicle sold for parts; the streets in the city opened and excavated in the great replacement of metal with plastic…

BackyardLawn

As the boxes were packed and the old things released into landfill sites, recycling depots, re-store Judy Collins sang who knows where the time goes? to help the tears come.

As the goodbyes were said after the stories were told, as the weeping hugs were shared, Kodaly’s solo cello sonata raged and softened and spoke …

As the solos were played and the painting delivered; as the portfolio was presented and the university applications sent, Cohen sang ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering…

Through all the overnight insomnia on the studio couch Joni sang dream on, dream on...

Forsythia

As we turned forward into spring, and green and growth, david sereda sings, you’re beautiful.  Be You.  Coco Love Alcorn sings We gather ’round when we can, and we let ourselves be true…  Tyler Wagler sings …out the doorway, ‘way we go.  Where you lead, I will follow … Kati Gleiser plays Rachmaninoff and then sings our beauty back to us.

As the pipes thawed, so did we.

 

Frozen Pipes semi-resolved, Day 20

The morning raising of the bedroom window blind reveals a bright blue pipeline stretching east-west across the backyards of our neighborhood block, turning north at my forsythia bush. I look out the front of the house onto our street and it’s filled with orange trudging men.

It’s raining water and corn snow as I ask one of them if he’s tired, because I know they’ve been at it non-stop.

“Getting there, ya.”  but he’s smiling

2015-03-14 12.27.09

Some of us gathered a while later to talk with Denis about what it’s been like – how the experience has raised questions about water as a human right (it is); how it should never every become a commodity for sale only to people who can afford it; little we know about the system that brings it to our taps (and want to know more); how good it feels to understand just exactly what 30 litres can do; how this is such a first-world problem but nevertheless bathing in our own homes will feel like heaven…

the street. They brought the men dressed in orange and the blue pipes sometime in the early early morning
the street. They brought the men dressed in orange and the blue pipes sometime in the early early morning.  Brent next door left coffee out for them.

And then I came to work to write music for Liz’ film and develop my water paintings concept a little further.  I didn’t stop on the way to load up with 30 more litres, though I did consider it.

At 7:30 my daughter texted this:

“WAAAAAATERRRRR”

this is a picture of happy.
this is a picture of happy.

So never mind work.  I’m going home to my bathtub and my washing machine now.

Can you hear the angels singing?

Frozen Pipes Day 19

“..last year the pipe to the barn froze in February and didn’t thaw again until May 15. Nothin’ I could do about it, so we hauled water…”, said the farmer beside me in the feed store. Of course then I added my story of hauling 30-60 litres per day depending on house activity, “…well over 300 houses now, and everyone on our street just has to wait ’til April…”

“Water guys are out there 24/7 I hear, losing battle against frost though.  City water bills might be a tad lower now  (chuckle…)”

A version of this conversation is shared every hour or so across town and in barns & kitchens.  So and thus the February freezes of 2014 and 2015 are woven into our local history.

harbour from studio roof, March 13, 2015
harbour from studio roof, March 13, 2015

I still haul 30+ litres of water a day, cook only simple meals that don’t waste alot of water (I cringe at the thought of boiling pasta or potatoes now), and flush our toilets with a bucket.  Somehow, the fact that I can go outside in shoes (not boots) and with only a sweater on is helping.  Faucets that actually run with water could be weeks away but the thaw has begun, and that makes all the difference.

2015-03-13 13.07.46

We may not need to wait that long.  City staff (the heroes!) have knocked heads with a local engineering firm to devise a temporary solution for our little street that may have me in a hot bath by the end of next week.  Woot.

I’m feeling cheerful today.