Wednesday, 2 July 1997, 8:40 am, Vancouver, BC
Gloria and I walked to Canada Place in the early afternoon yesterday, to take in the Canada Day celebrations. We took the new route of Seaside along Coal Harbour. This seawall has been well thought out, and is very attractive, offering spectacular views of the North Shore mountains and of Burrard Inlet. There is a very good view of the south side of Deadman’s Island.
In the main ballroom of the Convention Centre a perfectly hackneyed, and perfectly pleasant, British sing-along was in progress, Red Rose tea being served around the room. And in a second ballroom, there
was an exceptionally interesting series of displays by the APEC nations, whose hauntingly complex, old cultures permeated the room. Chinese dancers of great exquisiteness; an Indonesian gamelan orchestra; Korean women in flowing silk gowns. A sea of dark-hued faces, many extraordinarily vibrant and profound. We lingered so long that we missed our time to get to the Chinese reception at the Plaza of Nations; so we tarried a little longer instead, then walked through Gastown, stopping briefly at the Western Canadian Wilderness Committee store on Water Street, stopping again at the Convention Centre to hear some music and watch the crowd, and then going back home by way of Seaside again.
We stopped for a video at Blockbuster, sushi on Robson; and ordered pizza at home.
We watched Barry Levinson’s Sleepers. A very gripping story, exceptionally well written and told, with characters very dramatically developed. And first-class acting.
*** 9:01 am
though what if Earth
Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein
Each to other like, more than on Earth is thought?
— Milton, Paradise Lost, V, 574-6
*** 9:29 am
The murder of the guard, in the restaurant, in Sleepers. Things are seldom what they seem to be, and people are seldom what they appear. And perception, although real, is unreliable.
*** 10:14 am
As I was walking along Sparks Street Mall, after having finished with the last session of the CMA conference in Ottawa, I came to a group of six street performers, Ecuadorean, probably, playing native Andean music to a small crowd. Five played; one worked the crowd assiduously with CDs and tapes. All of the group were deep-coloured, with pronouncedly Indian features. Clearly one man was the lead musician, and he involved himself in the music with a passion that was quite extraordinary. It is the kind of self-involvement that evokes both anguish and the welling of emotion. So rare, it impresses itself deep upon one when it is encountered. I stood for some time watching and taking it in.