There’s form in the abstinence of absence. White space where the bent branch for years brushed against passing river water. In sheared time.
I wasn’t witness to the cold moment of severance. Snow throughout day and night. Cat o’ nine tails crying – wind from the American center. And this river escaping its banks. Running free. Revving dangerous ice.
With children, between one day and today emotional weather changes. Unseen elements suddenly strut the boulevard of parent and child relations. I’m amazed I don’t recognize I communicate with fable. A limb of societal norm has disappeared. White space floods relationship.
Between words there is enough room for a universe to flicker and find life. There are streets to walk. Store fronts to browse. Parks to explore. There’s time to watch night descend from the chariot of sun. There’s time to find a room above a bakery. Time to shop for furniture. Arrange clothes in the closet. Iron shirts against the need of looking for work. Cook a meagre supper. There’s time to sleep. And awaken from restless white seas.
Between you and I a universe of words flourishes. Frail words in a soil once tilled now abandoned to weeds and weak promises. Emotions in cruise control. The safety of repetition. Silverware in its place. Cups filled with filtered water and futures fabricated in China by slave labour.
And all the words fall into the white hole. The missing. The corners of conversations and time which we could never fill yet always felt were so important that we could not continue without them.
The repetition of images in a slide-show is a parade down King Street past the Biltmore which has morphed into a late-night club where across the street Diane’s Restaurant once was, a Friday walk from Waterloo into Kitchener, for a hamburger and coke, before walking further to Heintzman’s to listen to 45's straight from the era of rebellion.
Nothing I learned from that era prepared me for where I am today, on crumbing streets in a crumbing economic environment – retiring man, walking away from old buildings housing dying industries – retiring man drinking coffee with street people in Tim Horton’s, watching sunrise creep down city streets like an invading army of MBA graduates.
My mother sits in her back room (cancer survivor), watches birds fight for the seeds she spreads across the deck beyond the family room sliding doors, tries to control access to food between raptor squirrels and innocent doves – pontificates about her memories of Dresden, the Tatras and DP camps, spins another thread through what discrimination means when you are force-fed into an alien culture
and I remember shorelines, waves, that crashing against rock, the first feel of sand beach after all the effort to become, to become, to be a part of the history breathing around me – person in distress unless I preform AR/CPR to substantiate that which I’ve pinged off of, man on the street, giving interviews which make people laugh because they’re not the reality they grew up in, or the reality they could ever follow, the way I follow forest paths, covered in snow, just waiting for the first spring flower to bloom.