Two days before New Year’s Eve! It’s rather late in the season to be thinking about cleaning off the grease and grime from the past. But I have fortuitously received an exceptional alternative to wiping the history of my thoughts, for brightening the discolouration and smoothing the deterioration. I cannot enhance the smears but I can polish the stains!
Most peculiarly today, since the moment of arising (when I received from Lynn the first of several spirited emails), the day has uncoiled with unimagined advantage and gusto. Our initial venture of purpose was a matter of lofty business for which we proceeded directly to Main Street, parked in front of Baker Bob’s (that communal warehouse now closed for the remainder of the year) and intently concluded the duty at hand. It was a small success but nonetheless one which had preoccupied us for several weeks. We subsequently alerted our American correspondent accordingly. Following which we peered at one another, asked “Where to now?”, then headed deliberately along unfamiliar territory (which is to say, off the beaten track) and snooped at what we saw.
Habit (that exlixir of astuteness and precision) may however inadvertently distance one from certain of the things and places that are extraordinary and nearby. It seems we routinely take the same streets to get where we’re going, beyond and past the immediate. Yet as we discovered peremptorily there is so much enlivening before our eyes, just a titch to the side.Thus animated by our inspiring local investigation we prolonged the venture in a similar manner into the Village of Pakenham; that is onto the tiny laneways off the main road twisting along the river then up the hill behind the church and down the dead end; and afterwards through Panmure as far into the city as the Château Laurier Hotel on Mackenzie Avenue, past the Parliament buildings, Major’s Hill Park and the Embassy of the United States of America, then down Colonel By Drive nearby the University of Ottawa along the Rideau Canal into the Glebe thence westward to Bells Corners where at last we stopped at a Starbucks for a more than passable coffee break and a bubbly exchange with a four-year old boy and his seven year-old sister as their young mother stood proudly by and watched.
How better next to punctuate a day of indolence than a healthful cleanse at the nearby car wash? Many of the usual attendants were pointedly absent, no doubt already in preparation for the New Year’s celebrations. The vacuums were deserted. The eclipse is shortly to arrive.
The return drive home likewise as before directed us along hitherto unfrequented territory to complete the cycle of curiosity and initative. Nor were we unfulfilled, seeing the lovely country estates outfitted for equestrian exploits, all notable for their tranquillity and remoteness. But it was with glee that I parked the car subterranean and afterwards set off upon the tricycle for an extension of the limbs (including some whistling to accompany the purgative ramble).
The conclusion of the serviceable portion of our day involved an unwelcome but ultimately satisfying communication with Sirius XM. We cancelled our subscription. Even though our current subscription was without charge until mid-March. Sirius XM is now but one of many for Everything On-line, whether music, podcasts, videos, etc. And the latest automotive creations are deftly connected to one’s iPhone whence derives for example Apple Everything, the seat of our current technological connections. Apparently the new genre of retail supply is independent absorption; that is, retailers have confined their ingredients to their central theme while enabling connectivity to whatever else one already has (in our case Apple Music). And through the internet we can recover whatever news we prefer to digest. Meanwhile Cadillac affords its own OnStar connection for emergency assistance. And of course the iPhone connection enables Google Maps which are unparalleled for accuracy and simplicity of use. Already it feels as though I were reminiscing about the quaintness of CDs or tape recordings. And did I mention the capacity while driving to send an email or message without so much as, “Hey, Siri!”
The sky is dark now. The mist has dissolved into impenetrable blackness. Tomorrow we have one more day to recall the way it was, what used to be, nearing ever more the cliff over which we shall fall as though in a dream into the unseen galaxy. What remains is only the inescapable patina, the unblemished trace of our past.