Friday, May 18, 2007

Treasure Hunt (the clues that led me)

(Canada Chronicles continued ...)

Simply walking down the road is like going on a treasure hunt. Inevitably there is always something to catch my eye and take me in. These are like clues, leading me from one point to the next.

First clue
Yesterday morning, riding the tram to the office, I saw a large red heart with the word 'YOU' under it, painted on a wall. I decided to return and take a closer look at it later. Upon leaving work in the afternoon, it was chilly and perfect for wandering on foot ... so I headed off in the direction of the heart.

Second Clue
Beyond the heart, I encountered a little reminder of the Soul Window on the sidewalk ...

Third Clue
A little further on, I noticed a small doorway with a steep, narrow staircase leading into a little art gallery. I crossed the road and went in. The photo exhibit in the upper room featured vibrant images from around the world. One in particular, taken in Cuba, caught my eye. It was the close up of a silver winged hood ornament on the front of an old car. Passing by, somewhat muted but obvious in the dark background, was a young woman, hunched deep in thought. Her slightly bent form, seen so close to the hood ornament, reflected its curved shape ... so much so that I instantly got the impression that she also had wings and was an angel, caught unaware. The photographer was in the gallery and when we were speaking, he asked me what I thought of the photos. I told him I especially was drawn to the Cuban photo with the girl who looks like the angel. He looked at the photo and agreed, saying that he had never seen it that way before. "That's photography," he said. "Sometimes it just captures what you wouldn't normally see."

Fourth Clue
The fourth clue was on me. The photographer, standing next to me talking about an image, suddenly stopped and said: "I have to ask you what that beautiful smell is. I followed it up the stairs and you were in here." I told him it was Patchouli. (I wear it all the time ... and I never smell it, but now and then someone will stop and ask me what it is).

Fifth Clue
Upon leaving the gallery, I followed the next clue, which was a loud noise. It sounded like a distant crowd of drummers. The rhythms were echoing, which made me feel that they were indoors practising or having a class. It sounded like the children we interviewed yesterday in the York drum class. This audio trail took me around a bend, along a back street, through a simple residential area and to the source of the noise ... not drummers, but a machine (like a small pile driver), pounding and breaking up the surface of the road on Dundas.

Sixth Clue
Small world. Looking up from the source of the noise, I noticed 'the sign' and entered the doorway. I met, was welcomed by and spent pleasant time with four lovely people. My companion was there.

Seventh Clue
I will return.

Summary of the clues:
1. Heart
2. Soul
3. Angel
4. Patchouli
5. Drums
6. Companion
7. Returning

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