October was a blaze of activity and flurry of leaves.
For two weeks, my autumn consisted of frenzied walks through crowds. Of scrawling notes in the dark and tweeting between speeches. Of conversations and interviews. Of hosting authors and sitting on backstage steps to hear them speak. Of signed books and signing books. Of laughter. Of hor’d’oeuvres. Of parties I’d never be invited to under normal circumstances. Of reunions with old friends and teachers. Of coffees with writers and critics. Of finding outlets so I could charge my phone before my battery died. Of sitting at the Harbourfront to watch planes land. Of eating too many cookies. Of standing at bus stops and TTC stations. Of smiling at strangers who, for the most part, smiled back.
Of listening to Elder Bob speak about how he was told to shut up in the classroom. Of having conversations about Truth and Reconciliation with artists from Six Nations. Of creating webs of meaning and connection. Of walking with a fellow artist: One foot after the other. Of collaborating. Of listening. Of witnessing.
And now, November.
Skeletons of leaves. A gentle, cold sunset through train windows. Twinkling lights. Festive songs. Rose gold ornaments. Icy breath. Geese flying low and heading South. Early morning frost lacing the windowpanes. Silence as companion.
We are pulling out warmer blankets, cosier pyjamas, woollen hats and mitts.
We huddle at the train station holding cups of tea and coffee.
We are descending into darkness before dinner.
We are descending into winter.
We are descending.
I always ask myself at this time of year: Where have I been this year? Where am I going?
All I know is that we are coming closer to the end of what has been a strange, inspiring, complicated year. A year that has burned through illusions. A year that had me standing at the in the middle of the road not knowing where to turn time and time again.
A year that provided me with incredible opportunities and yet also deprived me of opportunities I thought I’d have again. A year that made me question whether this path is still for me. A question that still lingers.
All I know is I’m ready. I’m ready to tackle this question with humour and hopefully some grace. I’m ready to strategize, hibernate, build, become.
What are you ready for?