My internet connection was down for a week and thereby shut me out of the Temple of Solace and Soul Food Cafe. After a few days I realized that anywhere in Soul Food is my Temple of Solace from my surroundings. The whole world seemed to get stuck on the “ugly channel” for a while. And then somebody switched it to the “Seanna” channel again, and though that channel is a painful one, it is anything but ugly. There’s so much love and beauty to be discovered in there.
One of the reasons for getting a ferocious looking dog, and a dog who indeed would be ferocious if anyone broke in while I was asleep upstairs, is the lovely addition to the neighbourhood of the crack house on the corner of my block several houses to the right of mine. They of course are not to be outshined by the neighbours three doors to my left who left such an enormous number of bags of garbage outside the city refused to take them away and the tenants let them rot by the sidewalk until they were overrun with rats. Yes, rats. Neighbours called to yell at The City, and The City called to yell at The Building Owner, and The Building Owner threw The Tenants out and there was quite a scene.
The rats came from the hazardous waste site that my property nears. I say “nears” because there is an alley between my backyard and their storage yard. It’s really called an “environmental waste storage facility“, but they are moving and the land being redeveloped into something friendlier. I think.
I know everybody likes Spring, but winter’s snow covered the garbage in the alleys and streets and gulleys and ditches. The snow has receded to reveal the same mess only now with colours muted slightly from last year’s garrulous hues.
The brightest display this season was put on not by a showy flower but by flames shooting skyward from what we thought was the old St. Vincent De Paul building. Coming home from dinner two nights ago we saw thick black smoke rising in the sky and followed it down to its obvious source:fire. The fire appeared to be coming out of the building next to Beasley Park just around the corner from my house (inner city version of a “park”). No fire trucks or police cars were on the scene so we called 911 and got through just as the first fire truck arrived on the scene and said “Never mind. They’re just arriving.” We drove around the block to park well out of the way and came back to discover that the building was not on fire, but just a car that was parked in front of it. Totally engulfed in flames. Must have had a full tank of gas. Welcome to the neighbourhood!
Last night I dreamt that I was looking for my Seanna, sure that she couldn’t really be gone, that she must be around here somewhere. Where’s my beautiful girl? Where’s my beautiful babe? Where’s that pretty smile hidin’? Where’s she tuckin’ away them pretty hands? I dreamt that I broke into her birth mother’s house, where Seanna died, to look for Seanna there. Thinking that I’d been misinformed. But no. There was no sign of her. Life had gone on with all of its kid stuff but not with Seanna. They went on without her.
The world was such a pretty place when Seanna was here. But then…I wasn’t living in this house…then. Here. This is a sad place. I have been planting trees and ducking the bees buzzing the gorgeous scent of the blossoms on my apricot tree. Tomorrow I will take pictures for you, but today is a migraine headache day. Damn the sun! Ow!!!! I took a small wayward seedling of plum from the back corner and planted it in the front. And in the corner of the postage stamp lawn (where people throw garbage…argh!!!!) I dug up a section for a wee patch of garden. There are peonies, something that will reveal itself when it blooms, and a tiny tree replanted from the kitchen garden.
My eyes are filled with ugly images and the promise of beauty alike. I wonder which will follow me into my dreams tonight. I’m looking for something. I need something. I need solace. This house, this home, must become my own temple of solace.