For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her (i.e. Waswanipi)

I want to dedicate a song to my dear friend Emily, who (while I was at a Wolf Parade concert) was dealing with the threat of actual wolves in Waswanipi. Here is a really good song that mentions wolves. Not really topical in any way, unless you count the fact that the album it’s from was written and recorded in a cabin in middle-of-nowhere-Wisconsin (both W places!).

I can only imagine how crazy it is to be in northern Quebec at this time of year. Despite being a fourth or fifth generation Canadian on my dad’s side, I’ve never really witnessed the weather or geography that supposedly unites us in true patriot love, unless you count what I’ve seen in car/beer commercials and Heritage Moments. It’s probably why I listen to Gordon Lightfoot so much: it’s not hard to imagine the Canadian wilderness with an acoustic guitar and a lilting baritone.

That said, I have a newfound love for winter in the city, despite the slush and the fact that I blew two tires in three days on my bike. When people are out in the street after the sun has gone down in Toronto these days, it’s because they have a reason to be there. The people who are out aren’t tourists: they’re people on their way home from work, or off to meet friends at a bar, or tripping along in impractical footwear to see a show, or looking for the warmest grate to sleep on overnight. Whatever the reason, these are real Torontonians living in their city. I feel a lot closer to the people around me knowing we have that in common, and it’s nice to find a personal source of community in an urban space from something as simple as a drop in temperature.

I felt like a total grownup eating a hot dog on Thursday night at Nathan Phillips Square, killing time between work and a fundraiser. Also, for the record, it’s decidedly not cold here, despite what newscasters are saying. I doubt whether Toronto knows the true meaning of wind chill.

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2 Responses to For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her (i.e. Waswanipi)

  1. emjoykash says:

    This makes me happier than you can imagine. I couldn’t agree more about the weirdness of being in Northern Quebec, smack dab in the middle of the Boreal forest trying so hard to love winter, and the importance of temperature drops causing solidarity.

    Re: Wolves. They are much better in the form of songs, and/or band names.

  2. Nikki says:

    I remember I promised Kichler (and maybe you too, Meag?) that I would make a wolves-themed CD to accompany you guys as you worked on the set for Anna’s play (you know, the one with wolves). In the state of perpetual procrastination that only 4th year university can bring, I never burned it, but it was going to include:
    – Wolf Like Me (TV on the Radio)
    – Mama Wolf (Devendra Banhart)
    – Werewolf (Cat Power)
    – Something from Hawksley Workman’s Last Night We Were the Delicious Wolves album
    – Of course a requisite Wolf Parade track
    – and the above Bon Iver track.

    Something about wolves + song that is so much better than wolves + real Northern Quebec danger.

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