The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

En Saskatchewan

by Steve Gajadhar

It’s cold and flat and home, or at least the place I grew up. But after almost 7 years away it just doesn’t feel like home anymore. Cold and flat have almost completely lost whatever poetry they once held.

Saskatchewan is now something to tug at me, like a yearbook dug out so you can read the farewell signatures your friends made in the back. So when I hear the Les Trois Accords song or catch the movie The Accused, the novelty memories, the good ones, the shiny ones come flooding back to make me smile, phone my mother, email some of the boys and think about being home even though being home is never as grand as the romantic ideal of coming home. I never seem to learn this lesson. I set the date in my Outlook calendar and from then on I experience time in discrete chunks of anticipation. 2 months to go, 2 weeks, 2 days, 2 hours. Yet as my foot takes its first step on the plane, I wish I was staying. Now I count the time until I return. 2 weeks, 2 days, 2 hours. I think there is some deep human truth in this, but I can’t find the words to illuminate it.

You can never go home…well you know, and I don’t want to. I’m happy having Saskatchewan as the place that family and friends will forever bind me to. The place I have left but will always be leaving. And so whenever I’m headed west on the Trans-Canada and I see the sign:

I’ll always be happy and sad.


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I didn't know you were from Moose Jaw, Steve! And I didn't know Moose Jaw was 'the friendly city'!

I get physically sick going back to places where I used to live. I don't know why. It doesn't always happen. I think my body remembers things I don't. I think it's selective recall of anxious moments.

Wed Dec 13, 10:25:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

The beauty of life is in our dreams of the future and our memories of the past. Often, the present is just work.

Wed Dec 13, 10:56:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Oh, how I remember this feeling! The great thing about going "home" is that everyone knows you. The not so great thing is they don't know who you're becoming.

Wed Dec 13, 01:08:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

So Christmas hits early in Moose Jaw. Have a good one.

Wed Dec 13, 01:26:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Just played some hockey last night...

I was lost.

I wonder if that means I'm losing my Canadianness?

Thu Dec 14, 02:23:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

awwww....I am from Saskatchewan too, Maple Creek, I still have family in Saskatoon, however, I'm a west coast girl, couldn't plant me back in the prairies for nothing!

and you couldn't play hockey!!! OMG!!! get out there man and practise!!

lovely post Steve.

Thu Dec 14, 02:29:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

You've found plenty good words, Steve, to describe a feeling that is for most, undescribable.

Sun Dec 17, 10:31:00 am GMT-5  

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