Sunday, February 19, 2017
We had a good snowfall last Monday bringing joy to all those who love the snow. For a few days the city looked clean.
Between my cameras being in for repairs and the slog of daily blogging last year, I am taking much longer pauses between blog entries. The good news - one of my cameras was repaired under warranty and I will be picking it up this week.
By Thursday the temperature was close to freezing with even warmer temperatures predicted. This resulted in great puddles. Crossing streets was a particularly challenging activity as people picked their routes around the water hazards. It was lovely to be out. It's funny how in November when the temperature goes down to the freezing mark we all feel cold but by February when it goes up to the same temperature it feels warm. For the first time I walked hatless for a while. Delightful to have lunch and coffee at a new vegetarian restaurant, LOV.
You never know what you will see when you walk. Winter can be hard on more than people. This phone booth reminded me of a cubist painting - probably the result of an altercation with a snowplow.
Is this an allegory? The church cast in shadow while the commercial building is bathed in sunlight? Christ Church Cathedral is the cathedral of the Anglican diocese of Montreal. Some years ago I wrote about how the church improved its finances by allowing a shopping mall to be built under it. So maybe the juxtaposition here of church and commerce is appropriate.
just my wanderings...
Thursday, February 9, 2017
It's always nice to wander around Old Montreal at night - even in the cold with icy sidewalks. Buildings are carefully lit to show off their architectural details.
You can barely see the spires of Notre-Dame Church. While the lights cast a warm glow, you could here the crunch of the brittle ice laced snow under my feet.
Columns give a feel of solidity to a number of buildings in the area. They were built to feel imposing, to make a statement about the seriousness of what took place inside: banks, court houses, city hall.
City Hall is decked out to celebrate 375 years since the founding of the city. It seems to me an odd number to celebrate but there are many projects and festivities planned.
Bonsecours Market shows off its winter lighting. The restaurant we had hoped to eat at there, before a concert, was unexpectedly closed. We found another across the street and then strolled the short way to hear Barthold Kuijken and Mika Putterman playing baroque and classical flutes. What a wonderful concert!!!
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
I have a number of orchids. I have posted photographs a number of times. But at the moment I have seven blooming and an eighth has put out a shoot. I think this is a record for me! The one pictured above is blooming for the first time in over three years. It came to me when my very dear cousin passed away at 95. I put the orchids that are not flowering on tables near the windows. I water them and eventually they reward me with a surprise.
On grey days my indoor garden is a great antidote to the dreariness outside.
Orchids teach mindfulness. Their intricacy demands taking time to examine, to be in the moment, to enjoy and wonder at their form and beauty.
From the patterns on their leaves, to the central parts involved in pollination the details are intricate.
I'll let the rest of my collection speak for itself.
Stop a while and enjoy.
Friday, January 27, 2017
There is a stillness that happens when snow falls. Sound is muffled. I found myself driving slowly to take in the beauty. I wished I could stop more as each tree seemed to be more photogenic than the last, but there was nowhere to pull over.
All has turned to shades of grey - a monotone palette. So many grey days in a row.
For now the grime of a city is covered up with the clean new-fallen snow. The trees seem to embrace their winter whites.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Our up and down winter brought a misty rain and fog. Everything seemed to be grey.
Parts of the landscape disappeared in a haze.
Just a few minutes parked and my car window was dotted with drops.
Drops hung like pearls on branches.
Like amber, they capture the branches around them. Beauty can be found even on the greyest of days.
Friday, January 6, 2017
It has been a week of art. I saw the film Herb and Dorothy about the Vogels who collected art in the 1960s and beyond. They collected mainly minimalist and conceptual art, two styles I have difficulty relating to. It was a fascinating film both about their passion for art, their totally non mercenary reasons for collecting and about their devotion to each other.
I also went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to see an exhibit of photography by Robert Mapplethorpe - quite a change from the art the Vogels collected. I liked parts of the exhibit but not all. His flower photographs were quite amazing as were his portraits. He had such a command over lighting and his camera.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Ah - back to just blogging when I feel like it, when the spirit moves me. This blog is not dead - I just need breathing space. Time to notice and not feel driven. I loved the winter light. Although this person is probably looking at her phone, I imagined sitting and reading. It wasn't quite warm enough to sit for long, but I liked the idea of being so hooked on a book that even a few minutes to read just a couple of pages could justify sitting in the cold. Stolen moments of pleasure.
Winter provides such moments of beauty. While it is a challenging season, it is also glorious. Trees wearing their snowy finery... and those moments when the sun lights it all up. While freezing rain can strike terror in a walker, the spectacle of the sun on ice coated branches turns everything into a scene from a fairy tale. I've learned to dress for the cold and to go out and enjoy it. Yes there are days when the weather feels daunting, but there are so many days that provide unparalleled beauty.