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These are some items I’ve found on trips to Downtown Vancouver with TALONS that stood out to me.

In today’s trip, I felt I gleaned a bit more information about what it means to explore something. If you have ever seen the pictures of climbers atop their favourite mountain, surrounded by wilderness, then you may be able to picture my own day, surrounded by newfound knowledge.

The Vancouver Public Library: built after the circular shape of the Roman Coliseum, this is my favourite place to make a day trip to in Vancouver.  It takes up a whole city block, and when you go inside, the wide open plaza strip makes you feel like you’re walking outside on a cobblestone street. That is, if a Vancouver cobblestone street in October could be as warm and sheltered as the Vancouver Library.I love the way that, when you walk around the outside of the library, the building looks like a roll of film, slowly unwinding. The reflections of the sky and outside light on the glass walls inside the library are breathtaking – even when you’re watching from the ground level. From the street, it looks like the library walls keep turning, going on beyond my line of sight.

As I enter the domain of knowledge, I head to the top floor. Up there, there’s a keyboard with headphones attached. All is quiet. I slip on the headphones and power on the keyboard. As I run my hands over the keyboard, low notes pluck at my mind and spiral higher as I reach the end. In the back of my mind, I’m considering grabbing some of the music scores and sitting here for the rest of my life, playing through Tchaikowsky’s masterpieces. Breathless, I slip off the headphones, looking around to see a reaction. My eyes wake up my brain as I see the woman, the only one sitting here, still engrossed with her novel. The music was just for me – I heard it and I made it, and no one else will know it. Fleeing to the escalator, I hobble (darn this knee) to my next destination. A soft sigh escapes in a breath when I think upon the time I have left here. Why is it that time must always dictate what I do?

The sound of my my own whirring thoughts nicely drowns out everything else.  I enjoy thinking: a little  off kilter is how I see things. My imagination roamed and roared after Solo Spot. In Mcleod’s bookstore, a dusty smell with paper and ink wafted to my nose. The books were stacked two deep in shelves, and piled up in rows on rows. I lost track of time, wandering aimlessly through the vast words and old texts, plucking one up and getting a taste, then putting it down for another choice. I was  overwhelmed, with these stories and tales and histories and mystries and dictionaries in Latin that were too big to move! There was a ladder, but I saw even it couldn’t reach to the tops of those stacks with fabric-cloaked backs. Some books were old, with stamped gold print; there was one that had handbound pages, and only 275 copies made: 250 for sale and the rest to be saved.

Note: Below is a couple of sentences stitched together – I would not call it a poem exactly, as it has no meter or rhythm. Perhaps someone can help me come up with a name for writing that has some rhyme but no rhythm? I know that Mr. Albright came up with the term “lyric prose” for writing that is poetic but not poetry.

       “The bus ride is a childhood dream, calling from far away. In days where windows streaked with rain are just another way to play. As the road hurtles down below, furry green heads rear up between rivers of fog: like mossy rocks with only the tops to show. I sketch in a notebook with straight black lines, now traced with gray graphite into rough-drawn pictures with wobbly inclines. The bus’s front bumps along and along jumps the caboose, jolting me out of a reverie with tree leaves that fall loose. All alone is lovely here, just my mind and I. Though I haven’t achieved what I’ve dreamed I can certainly try.”

           If you’ve read down this far, thanks for staying with me. You’ve gone through quite a ramble, but those are my thoughts. They’re rather strange to a stranger, but I’d expect that to be so. This trip made me think, and think lots, and gave me time to just be quietly. A good start to the weekend, and a much-needed break from the normal routine. Thanks for this day, to whoever thanks goes to; my mind’s far away in clouds reflected on skyscrapers.