Friday, December 31, 2010

Part of me hates this. I tried to explain it to someone very special to me today as I was saying goodbye, I said, I hate this. The anxiety about leaving. The tiresome being on your guard constantly. The never having a safe place to rest your head; worrying about your belongings; where's my passport panic? But then I told them, this is what I love. This is what makes me tick, travel is my life-blood.
I don't think they understood. We said an awkward goodbye anyways, both of us being unable to leave first. I finally bounced out of the car, muttering: Well, bye then, I'll see you later, even though I knew that it was just habit to say that, that I probably wouldn't see them later.

Once I was through security, it felt like I had returned to my alternate reality that exisits only when I travel. Comforting, thrilling, every second unexpected. My dad had given me one of his Maple Leaf lounge passes to spend my 3 hour layover in Toronto in comfort, so that's where I am now. I rolled in looking rumpled and poor, gorged myself on the free food, and am now sipping a Scotch on the rocks while using their free internet. It's nice to live like the rich people do. I hope that everyone thinks I'm rich. I'll pretend to be a princess or heiress or something.

New Years Eve will be spent in the air on my flight to Munich. I hope they serve champagne. I hope I can stay awake that long.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We cut down our Christmas tree this Sunday. It has become a tradition to drive out to our neighbours acreage, find some spot along a deserted back road, hold down the barbed-wire fence, and hop over. We wander into the woods- everything is soft and cushioned with snow: the ground the pines, the air. My siblings and Keifer and I let the Olds look for a perfect tree; we have exploring to do.

We throw ourselves headlong down deer trails, bumping through the tight undergrowth, trying to dump loads of powder down each others necks. We run far- though it is -15 or something we get warm, not sweaty, but comfortably toasty in our puffa jackets and layers of wool. Once in a while we stop in a small clearing and all lie down in the deep drifts and pretend it's Narnia, or that we are Harry Potter.

Through the trees ahead, we see a change in light. Cautiously, we creep to the edge of the pine trees and peer in. It's a birch grove, full of fallen logs and prickle sticks. There is much more light here, we can actually see the sky. Almost reverently we enter. It's quiet. Well, the whole forest is quiet, but it seems like a friendlier quiet then the oppressive pines. Of course, the quiet doesn't last for long. We are 4 people between the ages of 16 and 21, and soon laughter and screams of protest and singing ring out.

We realize time has passed, and far far away is the road with the big van and the trees.
Let's go back now, says Keifer. We are miles into the forest. They will be wondering where we are.
So we follow our tracks back into the dark, and we run at a crouching level so as not to get brained with a branch. When we eventually stumble upon the adults again they aren't angry, but how could you be with 4 rosy-cheeked, laughing, good-spirited, snowy kids?

We drag our trees to the vans, tie them on, and drive back to the cabin. A fire is going and we make pizza in it, and gluvine (mulled wine), and we dance around the tree hanging ornaments everywhere. It seems pagan, this religious holiday, probably because it is originally, but I guess my Nordic roots embrace it and the celebrating with friends and family, with the "drink and be merry" sentiment.

We brought a tree back into the city with us. It is smaller than the one at the cabin, but still lovely and scrawny and full of character. Those are the best kinds, I've come to realize. Not the most picture perfect or magazine worthy trees, but the ones with memories attached.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I think I want some beach. Some mountain. Some forest. Just a wide open space to get lost in. To swim in, whether literally or figuratively.
Some quiet. That's really what I want: silence.
Golden, dripping and all encompassing silence. Apparently, it makes you live longer. Too much noise cuts years away.
I like sounds. Sounds and light and life are all tied up together. But NOISE?
Shhhh. Please. Just stop talking for a while. Just lie here, breathe my breath, be still.