beautiful moments on the road, new friends and heroes

I’m standing at an intersection near the highway in Whitby, Ontario, holding a cardboard sign that says “OTTAWA” in big black letters. I’ve just gotten dropped off by a woman and her dad, and she just gave me her email address in case I want a hitchhiking partner the next time I go. I think that is pretty awesome. I’m feeling pretty good, smiles and all the rest of it, and this tiny old woman rolls down her window in the passenger seat of a car. She’s got to be at least eighty years old. I prepare myself for the usual lament that they aren’t going in the direction that I want to go, but instead this old woman says spiritedly, “I wish I was going with you!”

Later I’m sitting in Patty’s Pub in Ottawa, a pint of Alexander Keith’s in hand. Beside me are a couple of about my age, both singer-songwriters, and absolutely wonderful people. I’m here to see Charles de Lint play music, and to tell him that his writing has inspired me and to ask if I can please send him a recording of a song I wrote based on one of his short stories. It is so cool to meet one of my heroes, and he says he would like to hear the song. The music is wonderful and the room is full twinkle. There’s a fiddler playing from Nova Scotia, and the guy beside me goes up to sing a couple of his own tunes as well. I’d never gotten the draw some people feel to Ottawa, but I think I got a taste that night.

The next day I hiked to Montreal, where I spent the weekend with my friends, and my mom and dad who were there for a film shoot for their documentary on democracy. Sunday we gathered at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, where I filled in for a missing alto on a text setting of one of Robert Frost’s poems. I love the sound of human voices together. The shoot went smoothly. Today I caught a rideshare home and now I am back in Toronto.

Tomorrow I start a job! A real job, where I have hours and have to show up on time and stuff. I’ll be telemarketing for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and as much as I love the symphony I have to admit I am a little bit anxious about spending hours on the phone calling people. But I’m crossing my fingers that it will be okay, and at the very least it will be nice to have enough money to be able to go once in awhile. Aubrey and I went to see Bruckner 8 the other week and the experience was pretty awesome.

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~ by Natasha Duchene on May 13, 2009.

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