“Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.”
- E.B. White
So there I was, knitting away in circles on The Blob, a great procrastinatory device that I’m drawn to when the words aren’t coming, when the telephone rang. It was just as well; I’d been in a knitting trance for awhile, and my hand was starting to cramp. With a gruelling weekend of rehearsals approaching, a cramped hand was the last thing I needed: there’s no sense in dropping the bow in the middle of a concert* just for the sake of obsessive knitting a few extra rows.
I reached for the phone with my wobbly hand. It was Editor John. How unusual, I thought. With all the work we did over the summer on Harbour View, we never once spoke on the telephone. The ether crackled with our edits whizzing back and forth by email between Halifax and Toronto, but we never once resorted to the telephone. It’s an amazing thing, the Internet.
Well, we exchanged pleasantries. We talked about the weather; enquired after each other’s spouses. Eventually, Editor John got to the point.
Was I surprised, thrilled, delighted!
We chatted for a little while, patting each other on the back telephonically. We signed off and I picked up my knitting. This time both my hands were wobbling, so I put down The Blob and stared out the window for awhile.
Then I climbed up to the Garret, opened a waiting file, and got back to my writing.
(*The concert, by the way, was also a thrill and a delight. Thirty minutes before the downbeat, Sid the Kid put the puck in the net in a move that brought millions of Canadians to their feet, roaring their approval. Backstage at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium it was mayhem. To open the concert we played, all 100 of us, an impromptu “Oh Canada” that brought our audience to their feet, roaring their approval. It was just great; I was coated in goosebumps and everyone in the orchestra was grinning like fiends. In thirty years of performing with symphony orchestras, I’ve never seen anything like it.)