Up on Garrison Creek

July 2001, early morning. I pass through an intersection in a quiet neighbourhood and walk along a street that appears impossibly green, even for Toronto. As I look in all four directions I see no one else. The light is golden, the air still cool and I have a rare unobstructed view into the distances. I am about to begin a new chapter. There’s a lot of fear but this moment is breaking it up. This corner of stolen land or what is built upon it seems briefly mine.

November 2011, mid morning. I reach that same intersection in a busy neighbourhood, to view the apartment home that my wife, children and I will live in. The corner is bustling. Much has changed here in a decade, in my own life to an almost unfathomable degree. Spiritually it feels like coming home; mentally the years are a discarded anchor; physically this is only a brief resting place.

July 2013, late evening. I stand on our balcony, staring out at the intersection. Always that. The year is barely half over, and already it has seen almost as much change as the dozen just passed. Change that flows out of the natural course of things, and sudden, surprising change. It’s not all good, it just is. Love is more difficult, but deeper. Ideals are more firmly grounded, less rosy. But dreams don’t die.

Halfway mark, insha’Allah.

By elmahboob

Bruce A. Russell aka Ibrahim El Mahboob (b. Kingston, ON, 1968) is a composer and self-taught pianist living and working in Toronto (Tkarón:to, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat). He studied at York University with James Tenney and Phillip Werren. He has composed music for the Madawaska String Quartet, Modern Times Stage Company, McMaster Dancers and choreographers Pam Johnson and Tracy Renee Stafford. Interest in his work increased in 2020, with performances by Arraymusic, Prism Percussion, Second Note Duo, San Juan Symphony and Idaho Falls Symphony. He was host of Radio Music Gallery, and has written for Musicworks and I Care if You Listen. His interests are in 20th and 21st century concert music especially postminimalism, and music of the African diaspora including notated and non-notated forms. He is a parent of three and is employed in the financial sector.

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