Winnipeg Air

The air in Winnipeg lays upon me, heavy with the lake wrung into into its fibrous veins. I haven't turned on the air conditioning as my throat is barely acceptable for singing and air conditioning only serves to aggravate any trace of a cough or sore throat. It seems this is always the crux for me. When it's good, my voice flows like silken scotch, smoothly through my throat. When it's not, I struggle to ease myself around it, holding it preciously, as if I could break it, glass notes, if I exert too much force. I am struck by the goodness of people here, the offering of time and being. The other night, a man invited me into his home to use his piano. A man that had no reason to trust me, but one whoe could see in me, that I really needed to practice for a TV appearance that unexpectedly gifted into my slightly shaky hands. Since I hadn't touched my own piano for about a month, I was feeling a bit distraught at the idea of playing, and somehow the very air here aligned so that when I talked, it was my need that strung between us. He offered his house, his partner answered the door and between the two of them I was humbled by such trust. While I played, the sky churned, thunder rumbling in the ground. Rain fell as notes, as if the sky was suddenly overturned. The air sentient, and me, an underwater creature, fingers graceful in the liquid breath. Afterwards, she drives me to the hotel, another gift and says "look at the sky". It is aerated in plugs of salmon orange amidst the coiling blue. It strikes itself on the very heart, thick as blood.

I find myself loathe to leave, and somehow it is the air here that holds all this. It is heavy with secret thoughts, with lyricism. But I have looked at the clock this very second and it is time for me to say goodbye to Winnipeg. Calgary will suck all this from my lungs, it is it's own vacuum...for now, I will breath this swimming air....

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