We haven't had as much of the thick wet white stuff as New York, though it did snow most of yesterday -- it's been a pretty easy winter here in Montreal. But the city is at its ugliest: piles of grey glop everywhere, four inch slush with ice water underneath at every streetcorner, heavy ruts in all the alleys, and, on most days, a leaden sky. I paw through my clothes closet looking for bright colors, and every time I pick up my paintbrush it automatically hovers over Hansa Yellow, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue: palette as Ouija Board.
Today, which began with a howling wind out of the north, has turned sunny and almost warm, and I hope some of the slush is melting and running down the drainholes into the St. Lawrence to be carried away, far away from here, out to the Gulf and the big bumpy sturgeons who like that grey color. If I don't walk home while it's still light, I'm thinking I may go down to the end of the next block where there's a little florist and look for something bright - a little primrose or something - to ease the turbulent days when winter refuses to relinquish its grip. I don't think I've bought flowers all winter. They're expensive here and, well, I forget. Instead, we always have bowls of fruit: right now I'm looking at yellow pears and fat orange clementines. But I do sometimes wonder think we're absolutely crazy as to live here. We moved NORTH! Nobody does that.
I guess you have to just laugh about it. My friend Vivian sent me a Kate Beaton comic today - I didn't even know about her - and I thought this one was very funny - I love her face when she's in the stationary store saying "PENS!" and I love the bits about halfway down where she goes outside and talks about Canada with, well, what we could call "a grim but familiar affection." Yep, Kate, you're right. It's nuts, especially when you weren't born here. But -- take that, New York City! How long will you be immobilized? Finally, something we're definitely better at than you.
But it's almost the weekend, and I'll leave you with humor: here's another Kate Beaton, this time about poetry: Hipsters Ruin Everything, and one about Queen ELizabeth I. The artist says she "was born in Nova Scotia, took a history degree in New Brunswick, paid it off in Alberta, worked in a museum in British Columbia, then came to Ontario to draw pictures." As her topic index indicates, she likes drawing about history, literary figures, Canada, Catholic saints. She's good, eh?