Saturday, October 22, 2016

Notes from a year named Thrive: October

It's the first cold evening of autumn. Two neighbouring houses received their firewood drop offs this morning—that's a thing that still happens in the city. I came home to the smell of woodsmoke lingering and the promise of November on the wind, and it was fall, fall, fall.

Bloggers from Ottawa were up this weekend, so after Read Harder we all went out for a late lunch/early dinner. It's good to see people, who even though they're struggling or they went through difficult times, are climbing up and moving forward and taking care of themselves. In that all sports people think their team is the best, I have an incredible basis for book fandom/readers—it's where I come from and it's always been good to me. But Toronto—and Ottawa as well—has made such an effort to create an in person community around reading and thinking and talking about we read. Every time I go back to it, I am always so grateful it exists.

It's been a lot of people already this weekend, as last night my workplace said goodbye to my manager as she moves on to her next job. It's really amazing opportunity for her, and I'm very happy for her. The next few month are probably going to be challenging, but we're down to the last three shows of the ten we're running this year so there's light at the end of tunnel in the form of a holiday break on its way.

This was also the first Thanksgiving since the year I moved to Toronto that I didn't go to Alberta to visit family. I thought that was going to be much harder than it was—I ended up with friends for dinner on both Sunday and Monday. I didn't have jetlag from travelling, and I was surrounded by people who cared and it was minimal stress—which is what I needed since we're doing two shows this month.

Before Thanksgiving me and a friend went to the Bastille concert at the Danforth Music Hall. It was their only Canadian show on this little tour in smaller venues they're doing, and possibly the first time they played their Wild World album all the way through in front of a live crowd. I've come to love the all ages shows at the Danforth since it switched management, because the younger fans go right down in the front and they sing along with every song and they cheer like it's their absolute favourite as soon as they recognize that first chord. (They recognize the first chord of every song.)

And it's an odd experience to be a crowd trying to determine if we should sway along to the prison ballad about capital punishment, but we sure do love joining in on the chorus.

It's an amazing album live. All the intensity and the underlining anxiety disperses among a crowd who want to sing and move. That's the wizardry of Bastille—their songs are not happy, but they are sincere and when they perform in Toronto it always feels like a celebration. Here's a band so thrilled people showed up and a crowd so thrilled the band is there.

I'm going again in March with another friend to see the stadium tour stop at the ACC, because I came home from the Danforth glowing and so delighted to be alive.

At the beginning of the month, I was with a friend when she quite unexpectedly learned her father had passed away. Not sure that's a thing most of us are ever ready for, regardless of the relationship we have with our parents. It was a difficult thing, but I'm glad I could be there for her.

It's been quite the month, and it's not quite over yet. But it's been quite the year.