After landing in Vancouver I picked up an email from Vivian saying that she was in Gaienmae shortly after I left and experiencing pangs of sadness in my neighbourhood.
Ah, Gaienmae. Why did that seem part of a distant past? I had closed my apartment door and left the keys in the mailbox that same morning, walked north on Gaienmae-nishi dori past Citron to catch a cab in front of Francfranc. The sun was bright and the air crisp.
On arrival in rain-soaked Vancouver my second Saturday morning began. I returned to the Airport Fairmont where I’d started my journey with a glass of Veuve Clicquot, and ended it the same way. When rain pelts down there is such comfort in the bubbles rising up. The Veuve, as always, was true to sparkling form.
And what do you know? Four hours later as we cruised toward the Island the sun came out—that beautiful West Coast light piercing the water-logged clouds in that way you see light through tears—a poignant welcome.
After a sumptuous steak dinner prepared by my brother and his wife, I returned to my toasty suite downstairs. Numerous times, especially as I unpacked my suitcases and rediscovered mementos and gifts tucked away mere days ago, I ached–still do–with that weird cocktail of delight laced with melancholy. Love is a complicated matter.
Rumi put it this way: If love did not live in matter / how would any place have / any hold on anyone?
The journey is by no means over. In the next few weeks I’ll relive moments here through the many stories I’ve had no time to tell.
Already the experience takes on the character of a dream one barely remembers on waking. All that’s left is a feeling that it was a magnificent dream (come true). A dream full of symbolism and significance. Even so, it slips farther and farther away with the hours as I madly scribble to cage it in words