Friday, June 18, 2010

Knitting Sprawl - Calgary

You know I was joking in that last post right? I just loved the audaciousness of her parochial attitude - I mean, if you're gonna play, play. Right?

But back to the reason that we have embarked on this wild ride. Knitting Sprawl. We drove from Saskatoon to Calgary, which I was informed, I did backwards - should have gone first to Saskatoon, then Regina, then Calgary. But whatever.

Who ever said it was just flat, flat, flat in Saskatchewan? Jeez. Talk about parochial!

The landscape is incredibly varied. Just look!

Ok, I'm kidding. I loved Saskatchewan and was actually quite sad to enter a more varied landscape as we entered Alberta and went through Drumheller and the Badlands. We stopped in Drumheller on the advice that there was a great Greek restaurant there but it was closed and we ended up at a regular old coffee shop. After the profoundly broad expanse of solitude that was Saskatchewan, the touristy bustle of Drumheller (famous for its dinosaur fossils) just didn't set right with us. It was here that Finnian made is now famous statement, "First we went to The 'Peg, then The Jaw, then The Toon, and now, The Hell." (Translation: Winnipeg, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Drumheller.) It summed up the general feeling of the moment perfectly. So, we moved on.

To Calgary, the heart and soul of Western Canadian Sprawl.

Calgary was a challenge. It is nearly all sprawl and so very hard to actually take in for that reason. We drove and drove (with Finnian at the camera) and barely touched on it. It felt impenetrable.

I found myself revisiting some of my original questions of how does one enter these communities?

How do you situate yourself in a centerless landscape?

Is it possible to create a center? Find the heart of the community?

I don't know. I still don't know.

We did spend a great day at the Glenbow Museum, which I highly recommend to any and all who venture to Calgary. Here is a little statue of Buddha. I have never seen one with his arm raised like this. They also have an excellent exhibition about the First Nation people who live and lived in the region. Very informative and honest, I thought.

And this is just a picture of a display of pastries and cookies that won the "Most Likely to Kill Any Craving for Sweets" award. It was right outside the museum.

I didn't visit with any knitters in Calgary. I was turned away from one group (first time for the project) and I just never bounced back. The whole place was rather overwhelming in a way. We took an extra day to film and photograph, and I am glad we did, but mostly I felt a sense of relief to move onward towards the mountains.


Anonymous said...

Hi Robyn, I would make a confident guess that that statue is of the infant Buddha and is used at the Buddha's birthday festival (hanamatsuri). Green tea is poured over the statue - hence the bowl-shaped base.

Best wishes, Kyoshin

Robyn said...

Thank you Kyoshin. That is really interesting!