The art of Nelson

i have been remiss in my reporting duties. The meditation retreat summary has been weighing on my mind and, as usual, having something already in the pipeline jams up everything that’s coming up behind. So, for the record, my first impressions of Nelson:

I arrived on Sunday last, after a delightful drive with young Jessica, a co-meditator. Normally i dread long drives with strangers — the burden of six hours ofconversation is crippling — but i surprised myself by not just holding up my end, but enjoying it as well. Thinking of it, that’s something that has atrophied in Ukee all these years: the interest in and ability to swap liives and stories with strangers. Sometimes it’s good to get outta town.

The town itself seemed to be … closed. It was a novelty to see almost everything shut up for the Lord’s day. The few people who were out and about seemed busy and unhappy — fast walks and frowning faces, which surprised me. The impression i was expecting, based on the effusions of WestCoasters who have moved here (and there are several), was the opposite.

Another thing I was looking for is evidence of Nelson’s rep as an arts town. It bills itself as the “#1 small arts community in Canada” (which does beg the question of what “small arts” are). I’m not sure what i expected — opera singers practicing from top-floor apartment windows, impromptu improv on street corners — but the only evidence of arts i could see were a pretty healthy poster boards of events, mostly festivals held somewhere in the region. Still, it’s early days.

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