For most recent winters I've been closer to the equator, where the light is ubiquitous but not as subtle as northern light. This year I didn't have the energy to organise a winter away from the bitter cold and the slippery streets of Montreal, and so, once again, I'm learning to appreciate the icy beauty of a Montreal winter.
I live in an apartment on the 19th floor of a highrise building in the west end of the city. It's just one large room, with a small kitchen and a bathroom. In this compact space is everything I need — with room to spare. The main attraction here is the wall of windows on one side of the room. Beyond them is a balcony where I grow vegetables in the warm season. From the balcony I can see the downtown Montreal skyline, St. Joseph's Oratory, l'Université de Montréal, Concordia University's Loyola Campus. Laval, Dorval Airport, the West Island, Lac St. Louis, Chateauguay, Kahnawake and beyond, as far as the Laurentians. Above it all is a vast sky that changes from one moment to the next.
The days are slipping by quickly. The worst of winter is yet to come, but then, February is the shortest month. Progress on my projects is slow, but I'm not feeling any stress about it. In between naps I work on my memoir and, with my brilliant web designer, Andreas, on two other websites. I read books and do research online. I get together with friends for potluck dinners, where we discuss important issues and conspire to subvert the dominant paradigm.
Life is good, even though it's winter in Montreal.