Toronto Island. July 2011. Inspiration without photographs

Early in the morning today, I left on the spur of the moment to go to Toronto Island. In my bag I had a book to read. I would look for a shady spot overlooking water. I had forgotten that I would be traveling in rush hour, crammed into the subway. I stood holding onto a pole in the middle of the car, almost cheek to cheek with the other passengers with our hands arranged up and down the pole. Behind me I felt butts pressing into me, hips beside me. The two pole grippers on either side of me began to talk.
     "Where did you get your coffee?" the man asked.
     "I made it," she said, screwing the top back on the thermos.
     "It smells good," I said spontaneously and their heads jerked toward me and away. There was silence. I wasn't there. I ought to have observed the etiquette of rush hour. No jumping into strangers' conversations. Acting as if no one around can hear anything you say to each other. And as if you actually can't hear them. I stared straight ahead, said nothing. After a while they resumed their conversation. I remained quiet. She pulled up google on her cell and asked about the best route to take to work. Their outfits both bore the insignia of the City. Parks I seem to recall, but I don't know. He suggested going east on the subway instead of going down to Queen. So she got off at Bloor and he at Queen and I continued on to Union Station. In silence.
     On the ferry, I realized I hadn't brought my camera. There would be no photos of whatever caught my eye, whatever might act as inspiration for a hot day in Toronto. There are no photos to post here. But it was a good outing for the morning. I took the ferry to Hanlan's Point because it was the first one leaving the ferry docks in downtown Toronto. When I arrived I meandered for a while, occasionally sat down to read the book I'd brought with me (The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins). Sat on a bench and watched birds fly across the blue sky, listened to the waves on the sandy shore.
     When I glanced back behind me, I saw the tall buildings of downtown and the CN Tower. This is the life, I thought, as I wandered gradually back to the ferry at Centre Island. Along the way, I discovered a new park for children I will go back to explore one day. And much to my surprise, actually began to write this piece in my head at the same time as I decided to incorporate a couple of poems into a manuscript I am working on. It's a collection of short pieces, many of them linked. Why not a handful of poems? There is one photograph in the manuscript already and there may be others.
     Let's see!
Posted on July 5, 2011 .