Magic is Actually a Collie
Well, you never know who you.ll meet and the circumstances which make it happen. With that in mind, here.s a story for all the assiduous readers out there. On the way out of town the other day, the nuts on the front fender worked themselves loose and fell off. The bike was still rideable, but the bottom part of the fender was rubbing against the tire. One of the most pleasant things about riding is a quiet ride. Not in terms of everything all quiet (which you never have) but in terms of the bike not contributing more than it should: the hum of the tires on the road and the whirl of a clean and lean drivetrain. No squeaking parts. And definitely no distraction of mudflap rubbing on the tire! While debating whether to tune it out it or turn around, the Nest Cafe appeared around the bend. It.s a new(er) cafe I.d recently seen on the Galloping Goose and had wanted to check it out. Time for a cold drink. This is how I met Magic.
Always Carry a Book with You
The Nest Cafe can be accessed right off the Galloping Goose and there.s a large selection of outdoor benches and seats on two levels. There.s also bike parking galore and an air pump with tools for basic adjustments / repairs on a work area (even with bike stand!). Lots of friendly cyclists around exchanging stories. The friendly barista recommended a cold chai latte and I sat outside at one of the parasoled tables. I carry a book most places I go and on this day in the saddlebag was Self-Publishing in Canada by Suzanne Anderson. While reading away, a table of cyclists were debating heading up to Matticks Farm on the table to the right and to the left a table of two sat down with a large collie with a well groomed coat. This was Magic and she liked to say come up and greet people. And yes, not only is the Nest Cafe bike friendly: it is also dog friendly!–there.s ‘hitching posts’ at the outdoor tables to attach the leash! What a great idea!
On my way out, one of the ladies asked me if I was in the process of self-publishing. Books are good conversation starters. It turns out L and M were good friends and that L had gone through the process. Now it.s hard to remember the whole conversation, but it.s an inspiring story. Over ten years ago, L.s husband was diagnosed with MS. It wasn.t looking good. Diligent friend M would help out by reading him novels while the patient sipped from a snifter of scotch. Things like that always catch you off guard but especially so since L.s husband was 45 at the time. L decided to self-publish a title relating her experiences. I.m sure there.s lots of folks going through caring for someone with MS that have benefitted and will benefit from reading her experiences. I haven.t looked, but I.d guess that there.s lots of books on MS but far fewer books from the perspective of coping with living with someone who has MS.
I was glad L shared her story with me. She.s moved beyond her book now (it came out over ten years ago) but I think she.s still conferencing and speaking on the subject. They also asked me about what I was working on. That was good as it gave me a chance to practise talking about the book. It.s something that I don.t really get to do that often. When I gave them my shout line: ‘You can.t be a hero unless you got something to lose’, M commented that it reminded her of something she had heard from Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces. She had seem him lecture, I believe (I must really start taking supplements to improve my memory!). Wow! He.s a legend! I have some of his books on my shelf, perhaps I should read him next? Talking with both of them was a tremendous encouragement. That is helpful in that so often when writing I think, ‘Ugh! Why do I subject myself to this torture’. Something simple like being able to bounce some ideas off receptive folks is actually a great motivation boost.
So after chatting with for a little while as I turned to go, I said bye to L, M, and Magic. L said, ‘Would you believe it, she.s 14–a little slower but still curious and full of life!’. I didn.t put the numbers together at the time, but now thinking in retrospect, maybe she and her late husband bought Magic as a little puppy dog when he was first diagnosed with MS? Though I can.t remember the numbers, the time frame works out: it.s been over ten years since the book came out and while working on the book the question of whether her husband would see the publication was always in the air. And that would explain Magic.s name as well: after being diagnosed with MS at such an early age, they were looking for some ‘magic’ and gave their hope form by the addition of the collie dog to their family. If that.s the case, wow, that.s a beautiful story.
I.m glad L and M shared their stories with me. They had a lot of wisdom. It reminds me, there.s a bit of magic and a bit of loss in all things. It also reminds me of how wisdom comes too at a steep price. I.m glad they.re friends and that must have helped out. One thing I notice about friends in woman-woman friendships is very often they come in pairs with one who is more introverted and one who is more extroverted. But that.s another story. Remind me to tell you the story of the ‘runaways’ on the viaRail trek across Canada one day.
This time last year I was having lunch with GP.s uncle in Vancouver. He had a bit of a sore throat, acid reflux or something. I remember, he was eating slowly. But he looked great. He was saying to check out his studio sometime and have some beers. Flash forward a few months, they found out it was throat cancer. From the diagnosis, he survived I think just a few weeks. It was fast. Until next time, I.m Edwin Wong and I.m filled with a sense of wonder that I.m able to be Doing Melpomene’s Work.
Bonus Photo: TS has inspired me to tweak up my bike for longer rides. After making some mods, went for a night ride around town yesterday and saw the cruise ships in town at Ogden Point! Bonus points to diligent readers who can spot my mighty all-titanium Marinoni Sportivo chariot!–