It’s starting to come together, this little workspace of mine. It’s an odd shape, what with the sloping attic ceiling and the room being roughly triangular, but I’m working it. I’m sitting in that chair by the window right now, in fact. It’s a nice nook.
I spent yesterday morning exploring the lane ways around Kensington. I had wondered if this bigger, younger city would have them even. In Montreal, I fell in love with the alleys, which were always so much more interesting than the storefronts to me… colourful and random and dynamic and unmonitored, full of animals and weeds and children playing. Thriving corridors littered with random junk, graffiti, crumbling architecture, where the dirty evidence of life and the passing of time hasn’t been erased. Alleys are a space in the city almost devoid of the usual marks of human purposefulness, an ignored and often forgotten territory where different rules apply, the light is softer, the lines more organic… I am so pleased to find that persists here as well. Alleys are like my secret garden.
So imagine my delight and surprise when an old Italian neighbour noticed me taking photos in the alley and invited me in to see the dahlias in his secret garden.
He was a kindly old guy and spent a good ten minutes telling me all about the various kinds of dahlias his wife grows, and the mystery of genetics that all-red and red-and-white flowers could come from the same tuber. He was impressed that I recognized the bushy bean plants, and excited when I told him I had just moved from Montreal. “Oh! I have a granddaughter in Montreal — maybe you know her…”
It was an entirely pleasant way to start the day, and when I left his garden to continue on my stroll he said “God blesses you!” and I really felt in that moment like I had been.
And then passing around the block in front of his house, I found that long green table in the photo above in a garbage heap across the street – it is the perfect shape and size. I had been making do with a careful stack of boards and boxes acting as a desk, but this is much nicer. Even if it only has three legs. Heh. (It’s an ikea number, replacement legs are only 5$, so that is on my list for the weekend.)
There has been a lot of useful things found in the trash here so far – I guess it is a fruitful time of year for it, as so many students are moving in and out. Besides furniture though, the best has been all the flower seeds I have gathered from my neighbours gardens; I have quite the collection now to sow in the spring.
We’ll see if any of them germinate, but its exciting to dream about in any case. Our building has a tiny weed-ridden and neglected front yard plot that I am imagining burgeoning with red poppies and black eyed susans and silver dollar plants, marigolds, and mint and lemon balm… Maybe a long shot but I’m going to take aim anyway.
Which is a bit how I am feeling about work these days. I finally contacted a couple of the companies that my former boss had recommended to me, after stewing these last few weeks, not feeling like I had a chance. One in particular feels like just the longest shot ever – their work is just so cool – but I realized that I hadn’t a chance at all if I didn’t even contact them. So, we’ll see. It feels good just to put that energy out there at all.
On that note, I’ve been trying to make more art-for-art’s-sake lately, to keep the good feelings flowing and stay open to whatever possibilities are out there. It is exhausting putting so much out into the ether looking for work – it’s just a vacuum that can greedily suck up endless amounts of time and energy without giving anything back to sustain a gal. So until I make a connection and find something to grow on, I’m trying to be conscious of doing things that support myself on my own. Which is always making things, right? And so, a collage:
And now it’s time for lunch. See you later!