Is THIS true?: One cannot write poetry in Calgary.
The dowager sleeps in her bed in the Sandman Hotel. She is not exactly Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, but she is a version thereof. Oh, the stories… the stories.
We have a little Apartment for two nights, quite by accident, room 111. This is of course our personal favourite family number, for no clear reason, but whatever….
I have taken my mother out on a road trip with Rosie. She is 84 and has been struggling for some time, nay, perhaps, all her life. “looking for the Magic Kiss” so they say… anyway, one thing and another, we are now in Calgary. We drove in four days from Collingwood. The first day was with my 84 year old father who was off to do a two week surgery locum in Hearst. “Somebody’s gotta make some money around here,” he says sorta laughing, but also with some unlying concern. Afterall, he loves his children, but they seem to have been struggling to work and be gainfully employed, and, well, make something of themselves. Is this true? More stories.
Anyway, my mom and my dad separated when I was seventeen, and not a blessed second too soon as far as any of the children were concerned. “not a more unhappy to be together couple in the world could be imagined by any of the children”. And until, four days ago, they had not spent more than a few moments together a few times or shared a few verbal exchanges in 40 years.
Anyway, Hearst is on the way out west, and I don’t like my dad driving alone up there for 10 hours on his own. So I wondered if perhaps my mom would like to go on a road trip out west, and well, we could drive with him up to Hearst, and take his car and Rosie, and pick him up in two weeks when he is finished working and well, have a lark in the meanwhile. So here we are in Calgary, at the Sandman Hotel, suite 111, it is almost 8 o’clock and Rosie and I have been off on a dog walk and to survey the situation.
The Sandman Hotel is across from the Olympic Ski Park, from the 1988 Olympics….So this particular spot must have been flourishing then for a while. The remnants are obvious, building artefacts. Rosie and I take pictures of the graffiti on the wall, and the blossoms with the strange building in the background. It must have been an Olympic Building, or something like that. Now the paintings on the brick…. Etc. In the Metaphysics of Adjacency, we are watching molecular waves of our own physical creations rise and fall……but the underlying, thick molecular stew upon which we walk and float, this is much more stable than we are….. but boring, lets face it, who would want to be a rock, or even a cow, for that matter. My mother and I were watching the Alberta Beef Cows in fields. How long would a person want to bend over chewing their cud staring and traffic now and again before a welcome bullet would make you into a beef pattie. We had hamburgers at Denny’s for supper last night. There is still a half of one in the fridge. I am longing for a salad.
To day we are going to see Luke and Lori and the great grand children, Lacey, Riley, Jessie, and Jake. My mother and I have gone over the lineage a few times in the last twenty four hours. The blood lines are hard to keep track of. It occurs to me that from the dowager’s perspective, everything is ‘drifting off’, where from a younger person’s perspective, everything is still ‘coming towards’. Imagine, great grand children. These four are little beauties if I ever did see them. Luke and Lori are beautiful too…. In a luscious and generous and perhaps somewhat precarious way. I love them all and hope the world is forever kind and happy for them.
Anyway, My mom will be ‘all duded up’ as we say in the family. We bought new curlers at a pharmacy yesterday, because we forgot hers at home. This was a set of coloured ones, about 50 curlers or something. I am considering curling my hair also. But not just yet….
So Is it true. You can’t write Poetry unless you are free and happy and able to see these great mythological stories bubble up and froth all around you, in the most common and ordinary event.
My mother liked the waiter we had last night. A Dark man, who exclaimed over and over again how grateful he was to serve us. I wondered why he did this. Was it his custom? Was he ingratiating himself? Or did he look upon us, this strange travelling duo: The dowager and my self, and consider that perhaps in some strange and distant land, he was for a moment serving the Royals? O’, we can only hope.