Who do you think of – who pops into your mind first – when you imagine a woman in your life who has ‘named the unnamed’? Who has stood up in the face of being told to stay quiet only to say simply, I won’t?
When asking myself the same, I feel lucky to find not just one but many such women fill the space—at least, these days I do. Like a breath of fresh air, it’s recently become easier to reach out and find that desperately needed connection with these others—these women who manifest in my mind’s eye as a clasping of many hands (of my hands) outside of space, and time, and memory.
And we’d learned a few things about that old house, the tall thin one with too many stories it seemed. Like how we all felt safer in one room with all the doors closed, or that it was better to light three candles than one. Or that if me and Lita – but only us – sat in the two chairs by the indoor tree on the third floor with everyone around, noises would begin and we would all giggle and jump up and clap, happy that we’d scared everyone once again before we fell to bed, at least one of us up and watching the ceiling for spiders or rats or whatever anyone else was dreaming of that might come to life there. For everything felt possible, in the swirls of the wood grain, as the distorted faces of creatures leapt from one wall to another.
Slowly, to consciousness, come and find your face crushed on pavement viscous. Dirt falling from eyelashes, blinking it away, gradually bringing your mind around.
On a long-stretch of road, nose full of tar, all movement meagre, your energy’s long fallen from bones. Use your dwindling strength to bring back what happened. Raise hand to forehead and press down on the crumbling wound there.
At first there’s no warmth. Only the hot black pain of frostbite. Then like a shock, the blankness ends again and I feel my skin start to thaw, my blood slowly pulsing through veins that had almost forgotten how to push it.
Straight up, it’s hard to meet people. And in Edmonton’s cold north, the party is often hiding behind closed doors (of course, we’re getting better at it thanks to Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy!). That leaves a lot of us falling into a Netflix trap, keeping to our own circles and our old habits, and sometimes, forgetting that to live in a city means being a part of the thing, gosh darn it!
To Canadians (and maybe the rest of the world), Western Canada is known for its big trucks, big houses, and big energy. Oil, gas, forestry, renewables…you name it, we make it. But if you were with me at Western Canada Fashion Week’s opening night last night, then you’ll know that the energy doesn’t stop at business—it leaks into our culture, our charisma, and most of all, the minds of the incredible artists calling Alberta and B.C. home.