If you don't live in a northern climate where cold and snow
are a daily fact of life, from mid-November until April,
you don't know how profoundly the weather affects
our northern habits. It occurred to me today that our
lives as moles lead to the invention of malls. A fitting
discussion at this time of year when malls and visiting
malls are the social highlight of a Canadian mole's day.
Summer? We remember it fondly, not just for the warm
weather, and this year there were a few balmy days that
qualified, but also because we sat out on our porches,
painting, we sat on the back porch having dinner every
single evening. We'd see Chris next door putting the steak
on the barbecue, and sometimes he'd hold his daughter
Brooke, on his shoulders so she could see us over the
dividing fence and laugh..
All over the neighbourhood you'd hear sounds of laughter
and people playing, doing chores, joking with one another.
On the weekend music drifted through the dark, from
backyard parties. People were having fun.
By contrast winter is a long slog through hell. Snow, snow
and more snow. Malls save the day. Why? Because you
can park in a dry, underground parking lot, and let
the snow melt off your car, you can buy a book, see a
movie, and get Aunt Gretchen a lovely sweater for
Christmas. As a non-religious person, I get the importance
of festivals of light at this point, and the presents.
The whole ritual of gift giving gets us out of the dark,
little snow-bound rooms we live in and into the public
sphere. We feel a communion with total strangers,
plus it's pretty. Bright colours, lights, design, maybe
even a coffee. We need that. Otherwise we are doomed
to lives of quiet desperation, digging ourselves out of
higher and higher snowbanks, never leaving the TV in
basement, and thinking Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
are our best friends.
For Canadian Moles, malls are the best. Hurray for malls.
Have a what's-so-wrong-with-going-to-the-mall? day.
- Barbara Muir
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!