Monday, March 5, 2012

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Ridiculous

The country mice, the pianist and I, traveled to Olympic city for the weekend to celebrate my brother's 70th birthday. We were 23 family, three generations, and celebrated in his apartment high over English Bay with an unimpeded view of the sea, the sunset, the freighters gently anchored out and the distant and beautiful city lights. It was the Good. Equally high in our city hotel later, we looked down on the flat roofs of adjacent city blocks, covered with moss, green and black, pools of dirty water, spouts and pipes and chimneys and mildewed walls with a tawdry drabness seen from above that is never apparent from the lower levels or the street. It looked like Chim Chim Cheree without the music or dancing. It was the Ugly. From our hotel room in the morning I watched the Dumpster Digger work in what was obviously his laneway which was directly opposite my window. He was methodical as he checked his dumpsters up and down the lane every half hour through the morning for the treasures of the garbage. Recycling the throwaway culture to eke out a life without a hope of finding a beautiful thing. This was the Bad! Across the city from our vantage on the 19th floor, the high rise apartment penthouses, secured for the wind, had rooftop trees, evergreen and deciduous, some as high as 30 feet, resting in a potted forest on the roof! Strolling in their personal faux forest on the roof! This was the Ridiculous! The love and kindness the three generations of our family felt for one another, of course, transcends all these four images, or goes through them, carrying what is necessary, but in reality needing none of it. That is really the Good that trumped all. Still, we are called upon to look around as we go!

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