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Thursday, August 24, 2006

still life

Vancouver is a world I’ve chosen to leave behind more than once.

I’ve been running around since I’ve arrived, but have taken moments to enjoy the stillness here.

Although this city lacks the energy I thrive off of, there are ways to enjoy it. Walks by the water; dinner at the beach; a yoga class in the afternoon. Walking downtown, where the streets are never too crowded, and everyone walks at an even pace. And the fresh sushi, which sings love songs on my tongue, a tribute to the exotic flavors I grew up with.

Seeing family and old friends has me looking back on my life in a slideshow. I remember purposely bumping my head in the playground so I could get ice from the school office. I remember eating homemade pizza and watching movies every Friday night with my family. I remember drinking so much one night that I fell on the pavement and cut my head open. I remember singing out my friend’s window as we rode the streets aimlessly at night. I remember moments of freedom, and moments of feeling so trapped that I had to think of ways to get away.

These days I see life moving around me. I’m connected to more lives here than in my life abroad. There have been deaths, illnesses, marriages, births, and other cycles of life taking place in my absence.

I can see that even in the stillness of West Vancouver, as everyone continues their daily routines and habits, life throws obstacles. Life will always throw us off balance, throw us rewards, take them away, keep us aware and keeps us moving. It doesn't matter how still the scenery is.

In the meantime, I'll keep on moving in my own life. Next stop, Toronto, school, a new apartment and a different life.

I suppose there’s no such thing as a still life, and if there was I don’t think I’d want to live it.

straight forward
morning coffee
java the cat
traces of my mother
summer apples
rewards
portrait

11 Comments:

Blogger A Novelist said...

Beautiful pictures! :)

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so often there is mention of alcohol in your posts; photos often highlight it...have you noticed? it's such a vital part of your life. you are so young for this to be your truth. do you ever consider this could be a warning sign? is there history of alcoholism in your family? i wonder why family members who are older have not registered some concern over your emphasis here?

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous

I am a family member, her father and find your post rather strange. Do you have a name?

Proud Father

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Marisa said...

I felt very much the same way about Vancouver. I was only there for eight months but everything seemed so still when I was there. Every wet, gloomy winter day felt like the one before it, every cool autumn night was familiar. Sometimes it was breathtakingly beautiful but other times it felt so dull. And I felt like the lives of those I loved in Ontario were zooming by.
It's amazing how much can happen when one is absent, isn't it?
[It feels strange to be commenting on your blog. I've only commented once before and I've been such a quiet reader for so long that it's a strange sensation]

7:38 PM  
Blogger tatiana said...

"And the fresh sushi, which sings love songs on my tongue . . ."

Brilliant!!!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

anonymous- I may be a lush and a glutton, but I'm far from being an alcoholic. Thanks for your concern.

marisa- Well put. And winter is definitely the worst with the consecutive rainy days. Vancouver is beautiful, but the lack in energy can bring me down. Thanks for commenting, as well as reading,

tatiana- The sushi here really is that good...

9:14 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Dear Gill,

As one who knows you and your wonderful spirit, I would say that spirits have never been an obsession with you. I think it strange too that with all your wonderful entries that an anonymous stranger (?) chooses to zero in on the drinking, partying aspect. And your photographs - so clear and expressive - how, in heaven's name, do they "highlight" alcohol?

In situations like this, I would say look to the source but unfortunately the person doesn't want to be identified - a sign in itself.

lots of love

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gill,
Those are great photos, I always loved your family's backyard - there was a trampoline, once, right?

That first photo is really great, I love the symmetry and the angles of the shadows and the slats of the outdoor seat.

Best wishes for your trip back East - the air lately has felt like September to me, slightly chilly, making me feel like it's "back to school" time, even though I have no school to go back.

Vancouver is a unique and lovely place, and even if we don't still live there, we are connected forever to the place thanks to our childhoods - ever-changing yet always familiar. If anything, we are lucky beyond belief to at least have Vancouver as the "home town" to which we can always return.

Jenn in NJ

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Roland said...

Damn you're a good photographer! I've always thought so, but kept trying to excuse it by thinking: "Nah, she's just got a fancy digital camera that over-saturates the colours, and she probably Photoshops them anyway, or else she takes a million pics and only posts the random good ones." Really I'm just insanely jealous because you have a "putain d'oeil", just a marvellous sense of composition, a great sense of light, contrast and subject. And the photos throughout your blog have been consistently good. I couldn't refrain from comment any longer!

If you don't exhibit them sometime, you (or gallery owners) should have their head examined! In fact, the combination of photographs and text puts me in mind of some of Sophie Calle's work - do you know her stuff?

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gorgeous photos! stumbled upon your blog searching for paris related travelers; i am conducting research on boucher for my doctorate thesis. staying in an apartment complex on rue d'alesia and an absolute joy to explore. may i ask-what kind of camera do you have?

2:37 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Thanks Roland! The closest I get to using photoshop is playing with the settings on iPhoto, although I do hope to advance myself one day and learn the tricks of the trade. Have them examined? I would love to do an exhibit of Paris photos someday, thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous, thank you as well. Enjoy Paris, and lose yourself to the back streets as often as possible. I use a very simple digital camera: a Nikon Coolpix 4100.

7:12 AM  

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