It's raining in Toronto right now.
It's a light misty rain. The kind of rain in which you can see the column of the CN Tower, but not the bulbous observation deck and certainly not the spire. The kind of rain that cools your face, refreshing you. The kind of rain that doesn't get you wet, but does get your toes wet since the tips of your shoes kick up drops of water from curbside puddles.
I have three stories to tell. They're actually all the same story, just told from different locations, times and perspectives. They are not all my stories, but in a way all stories are my stories too once I've heard them or read them.
A man breaks up with his girlfriend of a long time. This is never easy since feelings never flow only in one direction. But he's done it, and feels it is the best decision he could make hard as it may be. Though the pain is raw he won't intellectualize the pain. He won't describe and categorize and sort and file the pain. Instead he sits beside the pain, camps out next to it, just to be with it and, maybe, someday, to let it go.
A woman moves to the big city to work with refugees arriving from all over the world. The refugees are claimants, their future not yet secure in their new home. Asked what her work is, what services she provides to the refugees, she has little to say. There isn't really lots of things to do other than certain administrative, bureaucratic tasks, she says. Mostly I am simply here with them, here to sit beside them as they tell their stories, here to be with them in their frustrations and tears and laughter and small celebrations.
Two men, one in from out of town for a visit, arrive at a small lake by car. As they start their walk in the fresh air the older man asks the younger man if, next time, he would not slam his car door shut. Of course. They talk, and stroll, and get back in the car and drive home. Before they re-enter the small apartment the older man says that, while he knows the younger man doesn't realize it, he had slammed the car door again. Sorry.
Little over a year later, sitting on a quiet park bench, the younger man realizes what the older man was talking about. He writes an email to his friend telling him so.
In Alberta it doesn't often rain like this. Maybe it's a function of the nearby lake, or maybe the natural humidity. It certainly doesn't rain like this in January.