That was the river, this is the sea

9 08 2012

Where else would I live, except for New York City?

I ask myself this with some regularity—whether to tamp down my restlessness or seek an escape or remind myself there is no escape or a mashup of all of these, I don’t know.

The question popped up again today, in the cauldron otherwise known as the Bleeker Street station. I was thinking of a thread at TNC’s place a week or so ago in which a couple of us rhapsodized over Montreal; another asked But it’s close enough to visit regularly, isn’t it? He had commented late and I didn’t see his reply until even later, and thus never responded.

But what I would have said was: It’s not the same. Montreal is a marvelous place to visit—you should go!—but it’s an even better place to live, so much so that visiting only makes me sad that I am no longer a habitant of that feline city. I could stroll the Main or hike up Mont Royal or point out a chausson au pomme to one of the ladies behind the counter at any patisserie in Mile End, but all that would do would remind me that this is all just a lark, a recess from my life rather than my life.

Besides, Montreal is beastly in August.

No, wouldn’t it be lovely to be in the Gaspé:

Le parc Forillon (M-EveCoulombe, Feb 2010)

The Gaspésie looms over the top of New Brunswick, the St Lawrence spilling out over the top of the peninsula into the Gulf of St Lawrence. It’s by no means the northernmost city in Quebec (that would be Ivujivk, stationed at the northeast entrance to the Hudson Bay), but its furthest region is called “Land’s End.”

My god, who wouldn’t want to escape from the city to Land’s End?

The most famous feature of the Gaspésie is found in the sea off the city of Percé:

Claude Boucher, 2001

You can kayak or paddle out to the massive rock:

Delphine Ménard, 2001

And yes, it really is massive:

archer 10 (Dennis)

Best of all, the average high temperature (according to Wikipedia) in the summer is 68 in June, 73 in July, and 72 in August.

A high of 72. How perfectly lovely!

Of course, to really take in the climate, I’d have to visit in the winter: the average low in January & February hovers around zero, and the snowiest months are December and January, each pulling in an average of 30 inches.

Ahh, trapped in a cabin with a roaring fire during a howling snowstorm at the end of the year at the end of the land: How perfectly lovely!

I suppose I should mention that I haven’t ever visited the Gaspé, so my longing is pure, untroubled. I can dream of Percé or le parc Forillon or the mountains of Chic-Choc and not wonder what I’m missing, only what’s ahead, only what is there.

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Where is the tenderness

28 11 2011

I felt such longing.

What to do with such a feeling, especially since it had been so long since I longed for anything? And why the longing, especially in response to the last, short scene of an uneven television show?

Perhaps it was the tenderness of the moment, made all the more poignant by the unexpectedness of it all.

I don’t expect tenderness, don’t expect longing.

No, I have been frozen in fear of my financial burdens, overcome with debts I cannot and am not paying, triaging my money for rent, first, and everything else, second. My two temporary jobs ease me somewhat, but I can’t remember the last time I felt anything other than anxiety.

So this longing, this unexpected desire for, I don’t know, unexpected tenderness, was all the sweeter for revealing that there is still something more to me, something more to this life.