August 21, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on August 20, 2018

Yesterday morning W. and I took a walk. As we stopped on the way back in front of City Hall, debating whether to go to T.-café across the street, two acquaintances walked by with their “new” (10-month old) dog: N.M. and L.P., longtime friends of N.L. and S.R. We hadn’t seen them in years, not since before we moved away in 2002, certainly not since we moved back in 2012. A couple of interesting things: what N.M. remembered (and liked) about me was my “activism.” She recalled how I led some kind of effort – which I can’t seem to recall nearly as vividly; I mean, I do, but it wasn’t something that still strikes me as “activist,” as it apparently struck others. It was an attempt to get a grocery store back into downtown – a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, into a location at a significant crossing where another store had recently shuttered, leaving an empty space and big parking lot. The space is now occupied by a large drugstore, part of a national chain.

It was funny to hear N.M. go on about how she admired my effort, because the same thing came from W.F., too, when I saw her after moving back here in 2012. Seems I really made an impression on people, and I didn’t even know it. Now they say they admired my effort(s). Maybe at the time, though, some were freaked out just a bit by my vehemence (which I didn’t – and don’t – perceive as vehemence)? Who knows.

We also talked about the A.’s condo conversion, which they too had visited (and liked). But since they just got a dog, it’s not an option for them. Various other things came up, including another mutual friend’s involvement with the Zen Center, and I mentioned that I knew its founder. N.M. became convinced there was nothing I didn’t know about our little city, no one I didn’t know, that I was totally plugged in. I quickly tried to disabuse her of that notion. But I guess I do know some things.

I wish I knew a wider range of people, though: more age diversity especially. In a different kind of city, it would be inevitable that someone like me – an introverted connector, a wounded and guarded connection seeker – would know a wider variety of people. I certainly did in Victoria. But they don’t seem to be here.

Time and space – what was I saying the other day about land use and making / claiming my space in the world?


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