15 March, 2009

on trains and memories

I still haven't rectified the lack of March photos...

But I've been busy. And I've been catching myself thinking about things from long ago. Maybe it's the fact that I'm now staring my future in the face and I can't figure out what to do, maybe it's just that I can hear the train at night while in my room, trying to go to sleep.

I miss the train. Trains and water bodies...

Okay, so granted, that's not the correct water body, but it's still a train. Our family cabin, on a tiny speck of a lake between Edmonton and Edson, was on the CN Rail main line. ... which means there's constant train traffic. Or, well, not CONSTANT, but... you get the picture, there were a lot of trains. I loved the train. I loved hearing the horn sound, and the echoed rush of cars and wheels over steel tracks. I loved the way the sound was amplified as it rung out across the lake. And every time I hear a train, I think of that.

Thankfully I don't think of my poor cousin, who, at the age of two, couldn't hack it with the trains. Sure, everything was fine during the day, we were playing, and there's so much fun to be had in the sand piles and grassy lawn of the Lake that your average toddler hardly bats an eye at the sound of the train horn. BUT at 2am, it's a different story, there's nothing saving you from that awful "twain" and oh did we all begrudge him his fear. There's nothing quite like being woken up by a 2-year-old with an irrational fear of trains EVERY TIME the train went by (and it went by more than once an hour some nights. Eventually we would be able to convince him that the train wasn't going to hit our cabin since we weren't on the track, but it took a lot of talk sometimes, and a lot of tears and anguished screams too (which kept us all up).

But, as I said, thankfully that's not what I remember. What I remember when I think of trains is the absolute stillness of everything. That twilit calm that settles over prairie water bodies. The cackle of grebes and the distant clunking of what I always assumed was a coffee urn over a fire (I never did find out what the sound was)... That and the clunk of our wood stove. I think of those memories when I think of trains. And I miss them so much, and want to wrap them around me like the greatest of all blankets. But I can't, they float in my head like so much flotsam on the shore of the lake. And I want to chase after them, scoop them out, with each sounding of the train horn, but, like the horn call itself, every memory is fleeting, living but for a moment in my mind, before it is flushed back amidst the other scurf washing up on shore. And I drift off to sleep in a mixture of indistinct memories and thoughts of what's going to happen in the coming months.

09 March, 2009

Where has time gone?

Wow, it's almost mid-march. And here I am hoping to go see Caesar before the Ides are upon us (ha, lovely, Julius Caesar is playing here, with some of my favourite local actors up until exactly the ides...). At any rate, I don't know where time has gone. I passed my thesis defense, ran into a mad scramble of editing and printing and submitting before the submission deadline not two and a half days later, and then got hired a week and a half post-defense on a six week contract... of which I am now smack in the middle. And it's going, and I'm... writing a paper. deja vu.

I don't know what's happened to time. I feel like I have time, and then suddenly three days have passed and I have no socks or underwear to speak of, nor time to do laundry. I am sleepy and still wanting to hibernate, much like that poor, reluctant Punxatawney Phil. Alas, I am no "groundhog" and instead of hibernation, I have to pay bills... so work! On a cool contract, and with some fun people and great subject matter. Who'd've guessed I could possibly ever contribute to a report on national biodiversity? awesome!

But anyway, that's not the point of this post. The point of this post is to show that I have taken all of three photos in February. And NONE in March so far. NONE! Okay, so I took more than three in February, but there were only three subjects, and I don't like most of them, so it ends up being three photos. They show you a bit of what I was up to, but not much, to be honest. Basically it says I took time to look at the sky at least once, and then there was a lot of cake. Lots and lots of cake. Seriously. Just look:

moon square
Early February gave us a lovely full moon, that showed itself before sunset. ... which is nice. I like looking at the moon on the background of a periwinkle sky...

And then cake:
roy cake square
For my boyfriend's birthday. He said he liked chocolate zucchini cake, and since it's MY FAVOURITE, who am I to refuse? :)

sklaarbog square
The weirdest cake ever, for my roommate. The roomies conspired to make an enormous ginger spice cake and I was in charge of turning it into an insect... hence sklaarbog, the cake. (or pill bug, for those of you who don't know of the IKEA plus toy...) He has shoestring licorice antennae and feelers, and candied ginger eyes. And there is enough cream cheese icing there to probably cause a diabetic coma if you aren't careful!

But seriously, that's it. Three lousy pictures. And March, so far: NONE. I have to do something about that... namely do something worthy of photographing, or be outside when it is worthy of photography (which is difficult with an office job, let me tell you!). *sigh* I never realised how nice it was to have the flexibility of grad student life! hahaha, except the pay stunk and the hours were horrible... And, to be honest, on this contract, I can work when and wherever I want, so long as the work is done on time. So who am I to complain? I just have to WORK!