my baby takes the morning train

train travel definitely has its charms. cutting through the land with a steady forward chug you see the back side, the exposed belly, the gentle pastures kept hidden from the noisy smog of road. you can imagine the land before roads and in that way the train transports you back in time.


i spent the five hour trip to ottawa staring out the window and sampling strange combinations of foods offered in the economy on-board menu like hummus and crackers and coffee and the last of jeremy's carrot sticks that came with his egg salad sandwich.

we arrived at 10, found our hotel, and waited for morning to herald in breakfast in my favourite ottawa restaurant with my favourite ottawa friend. stone lion wanted to come but he was too big and he left concrete crumbs on the burgundy naugahyde booth seats.



i know people who don't care for ottawa and i can see how school age trips or the wrong kind of experience could lead you to that conclusion, but i adore it. i love the parks and the grandeur of the buildings. i love the sprawling lawns and i love the clock tower, heard from all corners of downtown.

i love the silence, almost deafening, and the history and the view. i love the way my hands smell of iron from all the peeping i do through the gates and doorways.


every where you look you are surrounded by architecture or landscape or bridges or river. you are nestled among them. you are cradled in their arms.

this trip we went to the national galleries to visit the pop art exhibit and the massive spider sculpture that guards the entrance.

it's an incredible thing. giant and egg bearing it manages to be maternal and terrifying all at once.


there are classic pieces in the gallery as well. like picasso and van gogh and monet. i cried at the monet when i read the little plaque beside the painting where he describes what it was he was trying to achieve.

"to reproduce something that exists between the subject and myself, the beauty of the air, something wholly unattainable"

and to that my heart replies, "pitter patter".


we called on rapunzel though she'd recently cut her hair so we had to visit shouting back and forth between the sidewalk and her turret.



sometimes i wonder if passerby understand that i am merely imitating the unicorn.

and the lion. and that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery even if you are a statue.


on the train ride home i dove into my book and another egg salad sandwich and i thought about the space between past fun and present reflection, between ottawa and toronto, between me and you - something wholly unattainable.

2 comments:

Miss Yu said...

Oh Mrs. Sorrell, I do adore you. Have a wonderful weekend.

Melly

Jennyflower's Mom said...

Ah, my little monet...your words and your pictures are pure art...creating emotion and beauty for the rest of us.