Thursday, July 27, 2006

Summer in Toronto

It's hot, hot, hot, and humid in Toronto. Summer feels like a continuous series of outdoor events. The Chinese Lantern festival gave Ontario Place a new atmosphere, as if a little part of China had been transported to it. My favourite displays were those along the lake. It was eerie to watch all these lanterns dangling along the shore while waves pounded, seagulls circled, and the sky darkened.

Tonight I was at a women's party. Opinionated professional women all under one roof or rather all in the same garden. There were clothes, bags, scarves for sale in the house, but everybody was in the backyard patio, engrossed in conversations about work, travel, politics. It was a sort of sisterhood, except I knew only the person who invited me. Many of them knew each other through political involvement or from work. It was fun conversing with four women about how predictable men are. One said, "Yeah, they're so simple. Sex and food is all that's on their mind." I suppose male bashing is inevitable in such a party. I agree that the male one-track-mind prevails at times, but still, I can't help finding men very attractive. We need them as much as they need us.

Apart from teenage taunts (were our tongues that sharp when we were teenagers?), the horrrible war in the Middle East (will all the killing ever stop?), issues about the way the city is run, etc.... well, let's try to be positive, it's still a great summer. Lunches and evening drinks with friends in Toronto's restaurant patios. Montreal again. Lots of writing and reading. A photo exhibition. Toronto is hot, hot, hot, and I love it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Weekend festival & getaway

Toronto is incredibly alive in the summer with its multitude of festivals. The diversity of cultures makes it such a special and exciting place to be at this time of year. On Friday evening, I danced on the street - it's not really a habit, just summer elation - and listened to Latin bands with friends. It was a packed crowd at Salsa on St.Clair. I like the open sensuality of Latin people, the way they dance or express themselves, bringing another dynamic dimension to our city. When the salsa instructor talks about her classes, she moves her face close to yours, her intense brown eyes has bright dots jumping up and down in them, her large bosom heaves while her hands flutter with conviction, making you want to rush and register for lessons.

But it was great to get away from the heat, take off with my family, and spend the weekend with friends at their cottage. We lazed around surrounded by lake, sky and trees. It was good to be with our teenagers, to feel the closeness, since they tend to disappear into another world these days ... can't get into the gritty and painful details. We biked, played tennis, sang, chatted, read, took dips in the shimmering water, and played Boulder Dash. Who would ever guess that a tweeny is a maid who also cooks? Or that there is a name for a green handkerchief with white polka dots? The best part of the game was making up meanings for words never heard of. Tregetour? How about a chant by trembling monks? Or the twisted mouth of a stuttering teacher? We cracked up, impossible not to laugh at the wacky inventions. Driving back along country roads on Sunday, I watched the sun go down and felt sad.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ton souvenir

Ton souvenir est comme un livre bien-aimé,
Qu'on lit sans cesse, et qui jamais n'est refermé,
- Te souvient-il de notre extase ancienne?
- Pourquoi voulez-vous donc qu'il s'en souvienne?

Fêtes galantes - Paul Verlaine

My memory of you is like a beloved book
That I keep reading and can't ever close,
- Does he remember our old rapture?
- Why do you want him to remember?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day

Squeezed between two World Cup games, our neighbourhood's annual Canada Day parade was a big hit. It was fun dancing to the beat of drums down the streets. Even the dog had a good time strutting its Canadian identity.