The waxwings charge about the sky, moving as fish might move through water. They are a most welcome and enjoyable diversion on this late winter day. There is a man beneath them, looking up with a smiling shade of wonderment on his face. For a time the little birds look like leaves, populating the bare trees with their humming and their peaked heads. Then they are a gaggle of fat darts, all moving unison, all pointing somewhere and everywhere, shifting with some unfelt wind. Schools of tiny birds flash over the man’s head, their whispering sound commensurate with the gulp of grayfish. The little berry eaters have plucked these deciduous trees clean, and I’m sure the trees of other blocks call to them, yet they stay on this graying, nondescript block, swimming away a Saturday afternoon. They provide shifting respites for the longcoated man to admire, and he takes them in completely. He stands there just long enough to forget about winter, and then walks on. The waxwings continue to chirp as I drive past.
StreetRag ::: An Urban Notebook
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?