L'hiver à Québec

Clear sky, pleine lune, the fur around my hood whispers through the scrape of the wind on my face. 21:00 Les Plaines deserted, except for the street lamps that succesfully compete with the moon. Instead I must imagine la neige au clair de lune. (Writing that phrase, I remember my father playing Debussy. The aural memory immediate.)

Ash blue light after sunset, before dark, webs of branches black against it.

Weekend of 22,23, and Monday am. Extreme cold almost thrilling. Taking out the garbage, half-dressed, cold slips under my long skirt, encases my knees. crack, crunch .According to the weather network, it feels like minus 43. I remember my beaded muklunks, my long skirt, scraping at the interior windshield of my vw station wagon as I drove into Whitehorse for work in the mid-70's. Lis waiting for the bus, bundled in her turqoise blue snowsuit, face wound with scarves.

That Monday night,waiting for the #25 at Maguire because the driver dropped me off too early. Il fait froid de canard et le bus est en retard! Bon que je continuais, parce que, when I finally reached the Centre Formation I met a very good teacher and many good étudiants de FSL. Je pense que je vais apprendre beacoup. Mais, trop froid!

My day often begins with the smell of coffee from the downstairs neighbour, who grinds his beans at about 6:30, and ends with the sound of water running through the pipes as he showers at about 23:00. On Saturday I woke smelling coffee, but the neighbour, whoever he is, was still sleeping. Pavlovian connection now: When I wake I smell coffee, when I smell coffee I wake.

Concert at Palais Montcalm. Wonderful conductor, Airat Ichmoouratov, presented his own Symphonic Poem based on the legend of David of Sassoun. Thrilling musical imagination, and he inspired an idea for my fictional composer. These concert tickets Russ supplies...what a gift! To return the favour to some extent, I have introduced Russ to small cd players and the work of Arvo Part and John Adams' El Nino.

The beauty of flocons catching the sunlight,scintilla, snow dances.

Excitement à les Plaines. People buying queues de Castor, watching snow sculptors carve and chain saw, and finesse their huge blocks of snow, waiting for the ferris wheel to open, standing at the fence as the ice palace is completed. Skiing off across the Plaines. That night, more excitement, many more people crowded into espace Hydro Quebec for the opening ceremonies, music, the sculptures coming closer to their final white shape. A concentrated, brilliant explosion of fireworks above les Plaines!

2 fevrier

Snow blowing sideways, whitening the mortar between the bricks. Wind gusting to 52 k. A perfect day to stay inside all day.