Friday, May 15, 2015

Black Wings, Amber Highlights

How do I feel about my writing this year? Like this:

The Champlain Lookout in the Gatineau Park is 270 metres above the floor of the Ottawa Valley, and the road up the mountain is often steep. In the Spring, at several points, I have to get off my bicycle and walk uphill; in the Fall, I can bike all the way -- not with ease, and certainly not with grace, but I can get there.

The view is always worth a pounding heart. The light has a rawness, an intensity, that I never see elsewhere; the Ottawa River gleams like brass or silver far below; the ravens glide and circle over the hillside forests below my feet, or wing their way high above my head.

Sometimes, other cyclists come to a stop near the edge, and I can overhear their conversations. They talk about marathons and races, tennis and squash, skiing. From their appearance, I can see that they not only talk about such things, they do them -- apparently often, and no doubt well.

I do none of these things; I just ride my bike.

And this is how I feel about my writing: I can see the light of evening turn silver and gold. I can see the amber highlights on the black wings. I can bike up to the peak. But the people around me are athletes, and I am not.

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