It’s still snowing. The more or less homeless man who usually shovels for me has found a cosy nest, I hope, because he hasn’t appeared today; I have shovelled twice and it looks as if I haven’t touched it.
Even so, I had a wonderful evening – my neighbour Monique and I got take-out Thai food from a great new place nearby, delicate tastes and smells of a place very far from snow.
And then we went to see Peggy Baker dance. She exercises at the Y and has an extraordiinarily limber body, especially for a 56-year old, with very long arms and huge feet and hands; I couldn’t wait to see her on stage. Luckily the show was was not far away, and Monique bravely took her car. The streets are nearly impassable, people driving blind through the blizzard, car windows encrusted with ice, dark forms looming as people clamber over snow banks to walk on the streets rather than the sidewalks. We felt like lunatics on this excursion – surely the event would be cancelled.
But there were almost 100 other lunatics there when we arrived. Ah, Canadians – they’re not going to let a little thing like an apocalypse of snow stop them from an evening of modern dance. Peggy Baker is a sinuous, expressive marvel; she did one long dance in silence, the only noise her breathing and the slapping and stamping of her feet and hands. The music for the other pieces – Brahms and Shostakovich played by three of Canada’s best musicians. A superb evening, valued all the more because of the effort it took to get there.
And then we all piled on our fifteen layers of clothing and stomped out into the pelting storm again. I waded up the front walk to my front door, thankful for high snow boots, for roof and furnace, for the vase of bright red and yellow tulips I bought today, to keep my sanity. And for the taxpayers of this country who help artists like Peggy Baker survive, so that she can give us an event to remember on a night to forget.