There’s nothing like the sight of the heart of the galaxy ascending over a vast glass surface, like the view I had, this morning, down at Spencer Smith’s Park in Burlington, Ontario. A city so comfortable that it almost bores me. A habitual situation that I’m not necessarily born and bred for – having relocated from the university city of Waterloo, rife with chaos, disorder, and at pace that peaks and valleys on a timeline that coincidentally runs parallel to the drinking habits of it’s residents.
But now I am here, locked into a good commitment with this 1 year lease, alongside a companion who is better fit for the safety and accessibility of Burlington. The amount of uninspired yawning I do here is almost offensive. I must look like some kind of arrogant Big City snob, only the true rendering of that character, the devil driving my yawning habits, is that of a sub-human bohemian artist – a radical penman whose weekends included lengthly plots of excess, congregations of weirdos and freaks, and enough danger & violence to ward off any of the casual acquaintances I have, who lack the fortitude to weather the storm. A life fit for the working class philosopher; a fraternity from the school of hard knocks, the kind of shit that kept me alive just long enough to starve.
However, Burlington is not conducive to the misunderstood rituals of pirate life. It’s for people who have expensive tastes, but don’t have the budget or desire to live in Toronto (only a 20 min drive/40 min train ride away). And many of these people, Burlingtonians, conflict with everything that I have come to accept as compatible in my life. Sometimes overly superficial, disrespectful, arrogant. Though, to be perfectly fair, I have come to know a number of people from this city who I’d willingly categorize as Good Shit. Maybe this entire paragraph is an unfair generalization. I know it is. But I can’t retract it now. We’ve gone too far and have already started dousing the bridge behind us in gasoline.
If I were to slow down and restate the initial statement, I would say that this city, opposed to Waterloo, has a larger demographic of those kinds of, aforementioned, superficial, disrespectful, arrogant, faux-elitists. But that’s not to say that’s all the city has to offer, and in fact I recommend this city to anyone in the possession of Good Taste. Maybe the problem is that I just have bad taste. This is a fairer, more accurate statement than anything else written in the previous 400 words: I must have bad taste.
But the one thing it does have, one wonderfully undeniable inherent benefit – is that it rests on the edge of Lake Ontario, and for a wildly chaotic individual, like myself, that natural meditative source of grounding is worth, at least, one hundred thousand yawns.
Feel free to gander a few of the images I captured, below.
On my way down to the lake, facing the opposite direction, the night’s sky was still a cool, cool blue. The contrast and complexity of the tree leaves caught my eye. I’m always so fascinated by Trees… But that’s a topic for another time…
Naturally I was distracted by this fountain at the Park Entrance…
But when I finally gave my attention to Lake Ontario…
It’s not very good to aim my camera directly into the sun, it’s dangerous, but I thought I would go for it anyway. Turns out, as humans we’re not really built for staring into the sun through an unprotected telescopic lens. I just focused on something just left to the sun, and then turned into it, using my peripherals to judge whether it was ready to catch. I like the shapes drawn by natural lines in these 3 photos, but I think, in another time, I might have re-touch the images to soften the texture on the water surface. It certainly crossed my mind, but there’s almost a steel like quality to the harshness of it. And I kind of like it. It’s a matter of opinion, I suppoese.
I wanted to take a few to take in the fresh morning air, while I listened to John Frusciante’s Curtains album on my wireless headphones. I found a bench to sit on beneath a small pathway lined with trees…
Interestingly, and mostly unrelated, the bench I was sitting on was dedicated to a former Burlington resident, Leslie Mahaffy, who was brutally murdered in 1991, by Paul Bernardo. It was unsettling, but I paid my respects by picking up some discarded granola bar wrappers, and putting them into the garbage.
I let myself get lost in theoretical moments that might have led up to her encounter with that heartless savage. What kind of girl was she? Was she an MC Hammer fan? Was MC Hammer even a thing in 1991? I liked MC Hammer. Must’ve been one of the first few songs I remember hearing as a kid… The first I remember recognizing was Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible… I wonder what she would’ve thought about Robert Palmer…
Luckily, a gull landed only a few from my position. It was enough to draw me out of the perpetual void of theoretical time travelling.
The gull and I shared a strange man/animal interaction. It knew I was watching it, and I knew that it knew that I was watching it. It hopped casually around the other side of the tree. I kept letting the shutter close on it, and began to following it around the tree, one trepidatious step after another. Eventually we had circled the tree trunk two full times before my new friend took flight.
I stood there, like an idiot, just staring at the ground where his little bird feet had been planted only seconds earlier….
I’m curious what these little outliers have witnessed, and what stories they’d have to share – if only we could speak the language of the Earth. Until then, I’ll do my best to acknowledge the little guys.
It was about 7:50 when I made my way back home to piece together some sort of tofu Breakfast, and huge mug of coffee. Not a bad little morning stroll, and if you’re in the Burlington area, I urge you to set an alarm, make your way down to the Lake, grab a coffee, bring a book, or camera, and catch the views.
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