Sunday, December 5, 2010


Homewards and onwards. I am at the back of the bus Gus, in car 5, seat 16 S (for single) beside Walter and Janice, the red sweater couple who are reading matching New Yorkers and popping pills every half hour for good health. We are at the back, with no escape from here due to a broken vestibule door. I have already been called the "hammer girl" as it is my job to elbow smash the plastic sheath covering the tiny hammer incase of emergency. Alriiiight. Good thing I am very comfortable with a hammer, even one that falls under the Purse category. I am also very comfortable with the idea of heading back for Montreal, my home away from home. My home, home. It was funny to be announced as "she is from Montreal" this weekend, even though I am not. But I do live there now, and am so thankful for it.

Train rides provide wonderful amounts of sitting and reflecting time, something I was in dire need of. Tonight it is dark as night outside my window, save for the occasional blast of town light, or the odd flash of racing red. It is nice. The car is dark and quiet at the end (Walter and Janice quietly discuss Prince William's upcoming nuptial bliss) and I am left to my own devices and thoughts. A cup of warm church tea, one milk two sugars that might keep me up until kingdom come (that is okay, I have a lot on my plate) and a fat stack of letters to keep my hands busy. Lisa, Liza, Rags, Ma, Grandma, Maude, Ronny Rouge. Oh! I just remembered the letter that Erin gave to me to read 'on the train going home'.

So there is that. (I just read it Fritz, thank you one million. Hanky applied to face, stat. Sisters skate already framed and hung in my mind. So perfect, so needed and so appreciated.

There was Toronto too. This trip was even more than a solitary train trip, it was a meeting of siblings as well! Milky and Frin and I walked miles stacked upon miles, ate what we felt like when we felt like it, drank pitchers of local brew and laughed in the fancy hotel beds in the downtown morning light. I walked fast because I just had to and they kept up, laughing behind me, beside me, behind me, beside me. It was so nice to be together, shmaking cloves and lady mints, trying to keep Erin's blur of color in my field of vision in H&M. I forgot how fast she shops!

Another TO highlight was actually meeting my pal Eddy from the bush upon my arrival in Toronto. I had written him a letter along with the details of my train schedule as well as a request to meet, not actually thinking it would work, but there he was. That familiar face. It was really nice. It took a few city blocks to relax into the easy relationship we shared daily this spring, just laughing and asking questions and drinking coffee and jazzing it up in colorful lanes. But it felt nice to spend time with a friend I came to know so well in such a short time period this May. My friend Eddy.

He took me to his favorite graffiti back allys off Spedina and Queen to show me some of his and his pals work. I took so many photos in that tiny window of time together. There is one shot of Eddy standing on a metal staircase making this crazy face. The moment the shutter clicked, the word portfolio just slipped in through my ears into the centre of my head and I felt so grateful for friends like him (among so many others) who make me feel totally comfortable while shooting. That photo whether it turns out or not, is one of the reasons I take photos. One of the reasons why I want to pursue a career in photography. How many people is it possible to connect with in a single life (A. Marj)? Anyway, just meeting him never in one million years would I have guessed Eddy and I would connect the way we did/have. Probably the same for him when he met me in my stripes (tights and Hi Vis) standing in the mud on Strecker Farm in Kenora. Thanks man, I had such a good time and I needed to shoot like that again, it had been awhile since I had taken any portraits (of anyone other than Leo who has zero choice in the matter).

I also shot a bunch of the downtown and my siblings looking at maps while smoking or laughing. A few train shots and subway glimpses. It was a really nice trip.

Now back to reality, back to the basics. Let's get back, back to the basics. Time to purge and rearrange, time to clean and take stock of the important things, time to get real, time to save for many moons, time to start formulating a plan on how to get to the Yukon by July first. Time to get seasonal, time to sew, time to just be.