November 19, 2009

Grown Ups

Years ago back in Saskatoon I was part of the set up and performance of a Winter concert (poetry, music, skits)—Sundog it was called for the rainbows ‘round the sun you can see with particular vividness on a Prairie winter’s iciest days. Two of the organizers’ children were making a lot of commotion and getting in the way. A parent gave them the most ambivalent dressing down I’ve ever heard—scolding himself as much as them for insisting they stop acting like children, or go someplace where they wouldn’t interfere with things. “So if you don’t want to play that game of being boring adults, you don’t have to. But you have to play someplace else.” I watched the two children a moment after he’d walked away. The young girl broke the silence by saying to the younger boy, “Come on. We’ll be adults.” So for the next two hours that’s what they played at; as we all do.

November 11, 2009

Sounds of Silence

A blaring voice over TTC Speakers--heard it two,three times in my travels up and down--informed riders that at eleven o'clock the subway system would observe two minutes' silence in remembrance of our veterans. It occured to me since the speakers are silent mosty of the time, the only way to indicate the reason for this silence would be to announce first, that it was beginning, next, that it had just concluded. I've been on the subway at eleven on Remembrance Day and never noticed that they did that. Usually I only noticed after the time was past.

The canonical or official time, of course, is 11:11. That was the time I observed it, sectioning off the moment with a sip at 11:11, then a second at 11:13, of Creemore. Between these I tried to make the stillness in my head match the quiet around me.