I love Friday. I have always loved Fridays, but now, living in Banff, I enjoy it even more. From here on in, Friday will now be called CreativeDay in Chrissy-speak, just so everyone is clear. To actually have a day fully devoted to creative endeavors is pretty fantastic.
I was feeling horribly lonely yesterday during the day. In fact, I wrote a pretty raw blog post explaining my head space while on my lunch break. I saved it in my ipod, with the intention of posting it online when I got home. Work was pretty normal, but in the evening, I was able to attend my first actual event at the Banff Centre. It was called “Artists Crossing” and it allowed employees and workstudies to give presentations about their work. A girl I work with, Leanne, who is a writer, showed a video and spoken word piece, which was really moving. Also there was a sculptor, a sound engineer/composer, and a videographer. The turnout was surprisingly big—it was held in the Maclab bistro in the Kinnear Centre, which was the perfect space for the event. Imagine a modern restaurant combined with the laidbackness of a pub—all windows and gorgeous mountain views. Plus, they serve beer, and what likely was the most incredible burger that I have ever consumed in my lifetime. So I shook off the loneliness, got a chance to talk to some new people, drink a lot of beer, and observe the insanely inspiring talent that seems to inhabit every inch of this place. Needless to say, I didn’t post my raw blog post when I got home. I’ll save it for another day, because I think it deserves a place, too.
Despite not getting to sleep until 2 a.m., I awoke this morning at 9:12 (a totally respectable time in my option, under the circumstances). So I’m up, showered, gulping down a mediocre cup of coffee, surprisingly functional, and ready to go by 10:09. I’m impressed with myself. I grab my camera and head out the door.
Today is wonderful for a lot of reasons. 1, (as stated) it’s CreativeDay! 2, it’s three degrees outside! THREE! And for the first time in weeks I have been able to leave the house sans toque and scarf. I kept the mittens, as I knew I would likely be crawling around in the snow, but the temperature was perfect. The temperature reminded me of home.
I headed to this tiny cemetery that I pass each day on my way up the mountain. It’s so small, and serene. I’ve had my eye on it since the first day I arrived, mentally counting down the days until I got to wander around in it. Added bonus—on route, in the yard of the instrument maker, were two beautiful deer. And for the first time I was able to capture them with my camera. It was shaping up to be a good day already.
A strange thing about this cemetery, apparently no one goes there, aside from the deer… and girls stupid enough to try to wade through almost 3 feet of snow in the name of photographic exploration. I know this because of the dainty deer tracks mapping their way around the tombstones, and my clunky gigantic footprints messing up the pristine snow everywhere else. At times, I felt like I was treading water trying to make my way through it all. This was the stuff of parent’s stories meant to evoke guilt in children (unsuccessfully, I might add). This was “Don’t you complain about that, because I HAD TO WALK TO SCHOOL IN 3ft OF SNOW UPHILL, BOTH WAYS” snow. And admittedly, it was pretty tough to walk through.
I had intended on trying to get about 150 shots today, and ended up getting 349. I’m shocked by that number, but I did take a ridiculous amount in the graveyard trying to capture mossy tombstones and old decaying statues. I’m a sucker for the angel wings. If I get 20 solid shots from that 349, I’ll be thrilled. The secret to good photography? Take stupid amounts of photos.
Tired of snow trekking and picture taking, I decided to loop around the downtown core to grab a couple of things at the store. Did I mention that I only had a cup of coffee on my way out the door? So understandably, I was ravenous by the time I got to Safeway—which, as we all know, is a recipe for spending insane amounts of money on things that you would never purchase under normal circumstances—like Fig Newtons and Kraft Singles. I almost went for Cheez Whiz, but mustered up the willpower at the last minute to restrain myself. Lesson to myself: eat before you adventure.
Two gigantic shopping bags later, I’m toting the groceries down the street mentally wishing for a wagon, and accompanying dog with which to pull it. No such luck. I stopped at the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine, and reasoned that since I was already lugging 42lbs of groceries, my super heavy camera, a bottle of wine, and my enormous purse full of crap I never use, why not go all out and stop at the library? Two hardcover books added to the pile. Sled-dog, where are you when I need you? Good-for-nothing, lazy imaginary dog.
A word about the library in Banff—it has provided so much pleasure while I’ve been here. I always forget about how wonderful the library concept is, with their ridiculously unprofitable business model. Most of the time I stare at the clerk incredulously, still expecting them to say “That will be $37.91, please”. And yet, they never do. They just stamp the inside cover card (old school style!) and push the books across the counter. Done and done. This town is great.
(Trust me, I do appreciate the irony of the bag of Hershey’s kisses laying atop the 0-calorie Coke Zero)
Funny the difference a day makes. Yesterday morning I was feeling hollow, desperate; Today, I feel inspired and content… slightly stronger from the grocery lugging, considerably poorer from the grocery buying. Home by 1:47. A very successful CreativeDay, indeed.