As you've probably read or seen in the news, Montreal and Quebec are in the throes of a student protest that has drawn hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the streets for more than 100 days. I've been wanting to write about this for you but it's such a complicated tangle of issues, an history, that I haven't yet found the time to do the subject justice in words. But it's still my intention, especially since many of the foreign news reports I've seen seem pretty far off the mark. On Saturday night Jonathan and I went out at 11:00 pm and joined the march as it went through our neighborhood: it was quite an experience. This video will give you the flavor of what's been going on:
Meanwhile, I'm working on my community garden, between thunderstorms, and on the next title forthcoming from Phoenicia, Claudia Serea's Angels & Beasts, a three-part collection of surrealistic prose poems from a very gifted Romanian-American author -- the book will be coming out in September.
Sunday, Pentecost, was another all-day affair for us singers, and full of fabulous music: a contemporary mass setting by Jonathan Dove in the morning, and some wonderful music by Herbert Howells in the afternoon. Between the two services and rehearsals, I helped facilitate a discussion within the cathedral community about the protests, our history, and our city, and what - if anything - we might offer as a response.
Yesterday I was pretty tired! But in the late afternoon we went to Pépinière Jasmin, up on Henri-Bourassa toward the western side of Montreal island, and I bought some plants...a white anemone, some delphinium and achillea, a hosta, and a hardy yellow rose, along with a bag of fumier de lapin: composted rabbit manure, highly recommended by the staff and apprently quite potent. And early this morning, after being woken at dawn by huge thunderclaps and then a torrential downpour, I went to the garden and worked...and worked...while the skies cleared, the earth rapidly heated up, and everybody and everything (including that rabbit manure) began to steam. Now, in the late afternoon, the skies have gotten absolutely black and the rain is starting again.
It's time, I think, to go home and pour a glass of wine.