Saturday, September 24, 2016

Imagine! Vancouver Love Stories and Taking Flight to Where?

 While I'm busy trying to cram organise ten weeks' worth of clothes into a carry-on case, downloading Boarding Passes, and entering a hand-written version of our digital itinerary into my always accessible little Moleskine notebook (TripIt is a great app, but especially on the day of take-off, it's too easy for me to imagine situations in which electronic info is not available) -- while I'm doing all those myriad pre-flight, slightly frantic activities, I thought I'd take a few minutes to load up some pretty pictures of a new addition to Vancouver's tourist delights for you to enjoy until I tell you where exactly I'll be playing tourist...
 Since I'll be traveling solo for my first two weeks away, I'm not going to be attaching love-locks to any bridges, but we've all seen some version of this once-was-romantic gesture. Before it became a civic nuisance, with cities spending bundles of cash to remove locks that threaten the integrity of various historic structures, there was something charming about the notion of locking two names, a date, and a declaration of love to a memorable and supposedly fixed spot.
 To provide this opportunity, without the accompanying budget headaches,  a Vancouver city councillor suggested commissioning a sculpture, and after a process which involved public consultation on best place, then a sculpture commissioned, this piece, Love in the Rain was designed by Vancouver artist Bruce Voyce, and recently installed in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park on Little Mountain, where I was delighted to discover it serendipitously on my run last weekend.
 Of course, I immediately saw an excuse for a break from the heavy breathing, yanked out my camera, and thought I'd share All the Pretty with you. . .
 The sculpture's only been up for a few weeks, and already is filling up with locks. I'll be very curious to see what it looks like when I'm back in December.
Other sites have been troubled with the litter effect of all the keys discarded, but here the disposal also becomes part of the romantic gesture. . .
I've got to get back to my pre-travel tasks now, but I thought you might like to imagine stories prompted by some of these little locks and the messages written on them. In fact, I have an idea:

Leave me a Postcard-short story prompted by one of the images below. Keep it to the length you could write on the back of a psotcard -- 250 words or less, let's say -- and include details that make it clear which photograph your story is based on. I'll choose three of these stories, and, if you're willing to send me (by private email--we can do that later, once I've chosen the stories) your home mailing address, I'll send you a postcard from somehow on my travels.

Let me know, in your comment below, whether or not you'd like/be willing to receive a postcard or whether you're just leaving your story for the fun of it. And feel free, as always, to comment otherwise -- you don't need to leave a story if you're not so inclined.









There you go. I hope you've enjoyed these photos and perhaps will have fun imagining a variety of love stories to go with them. Next on my list is seeing my little ones before I have to leave them behind to grow for a few months without me. That includes a baby-sitting gig at 8:15, so I'd better get going. We'll chat soon, okay, and I'll let you know where I'm sitting as I read your love stories.

25 comments:

  1. No love stories, they are not my forte. How about a love emoji? <3 :)

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  2. Nor mine. I see someone momentarily forgot how to spell 'their'. We used to learn, well, spelling actually but I was going to say little tricks like 'their begins with the'. There was something to be said for memorization and training. Although maybe it quashed my creativity to the point where I can't invent a story about a lock.

    I don't have any 'big' travel planned until spring so am looking forward to whatever you are willing to share. The last days before departure are such a storm of emotion. Such sweet relief when the plane leaves the ground...

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    1. Yes, that misspelling caught my eye, and I could easily imagine a story around its poignancy.
      I feel the same way about spelling, rote memorisation; the possibility my creativity was squashed vies in my mind with a certain-- dare I admit it?--confidence, comfort, perhaps even smugness, about my spelling and grammar.

      Yes, this is what I'm like -- once the plane lifts, such a relief. . . . (even better when my head is finally on the "elsewhere" pillow. . . .)

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    2. Same here. I learned to diagram sentences and pride myself on excellent spelling (to the point that I am always picking out misspelled words in published books - who let that go unnoticed?). I've wondered if that crushed my creativity. Oh well.

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    3. Have a safe, wonderful trip! I am so impressed that you fit 10 weeks' worth of clothes in a carry on bag.

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  3. No love stories here either...
    I am admiring that fabulous art installation...

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    1. It's pretty great, L. Check it out next time you're over. . .

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  4. Interesting photos and it will be interesting to see how they end up as more locks are added. Am I right in thinking you might send me a postcard in return for a 250 word assignment? Really? Lol happy travels Mary

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    1. Yes, that's the deal, Mary! But otherwise, you're welcome to all my words and photos for free. Thanks for the good travel wishes.

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  5. Hi Frances, I can't believe you'll be away for 10 weeks, and with carry on baggage no less!! Good luck with getting everything seen to before you leave, safe journey. Love the sculptures!

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    1. I know, amazing, right? We'll see how the wardrobe works -- a bit sad having to ignore my boots and sweaters for another few months, but I think I can make this work.

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  6. He noticed the way she admired her friends' sparkly rings. Her steps slowed and sometimes stopped while passing a jewelry store window downtown. She never said anything, but he knew. And he wished he could have given her those diamonds, those glittering baubles to wear. She wore her plain gold band always; through the years of scrimping for schooling, raising a young family, and sending the children through university. The budget constraints eased considerably, but diamonds seemed less important than they once did.
    For their 30th wedding anniversary, he presented her with a small box. Her eyebrows raised, then contracted. It was much too heavy for jewelry. Opening the box, she saw the heart, covered in diamonds. Real diamonds. She held in her hand, examined it, and raised her eyebrows again.
    "We'll leave it here, in this park," he said. "A symbol of our forever love. No one will suspect these are real."
    She leaned in for a kiss, as he pulled the second box from his pocket. "Here's something else."

    A very quick, unedited story for you, Mater. What a lovely idea for the park. I'd love to receive a postcard, if my story is chosen.

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    1. You are such a good sport, Lorrie, and a good writer as well -- I do love the twists at the ending. Astonishing how much can be conveyed on a postcard, no?

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  7. What an idea! It looks so great and clever,too
    No love stories here....to hear anything you'll have to wait těte-á-těte :-)
    Lorrie,I love your love story :-)
    Dottoressa

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    1. I can't wait, D! More incentive to visit Zagreb!

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  8. It had not worked out after all. She had always wondered if he loved her the way she loved him and nothing he did could free her from that doubt. When some of her friends had taken their sweethearts to the park to put a lock on those strange statues, it had occurred to her that maybe they should do the same. If he was willing to confess his love for her in such a public fashion, she wouldn’t have to worry any more, would she? She suggested the idea, he shook his head. That was ridiculous. He loved her, he had told her a thousand times, wasn’t that sufficient? It was not, she insisted. She needed the ritual, the formal act. After that, she promised, she would believe in his love forever. He shook his head again and laughed.
    But three weeks later, for her birthday, he took her to the park and unwrapped a shiny lock. “Let’s do it”, he said. She looked at the lock, then at him. “Where is the key?”, she asked. “There is no key. The lock opens with a code. You close it, turn the dial, and nobody can open it again.” “Unless you know the code”, she said. “But nobody does”, he said, folded his hands around hers, hung the lock on the statue’s arm and clicked it shut. “There you are”, he said. “Happy now?” She nodded. And wondered. Did he remember the code?
    The things people do to receive a postcard....

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    1. And another very good sport with a wonderful imagination and a clever way with words. . .
      Admit it -- storytellers and wordsmiths such as you and Lorrie just can't resist -- It's not even about the postcard at all! ;-)

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  9. I've never done this before, but I could not resist. This lock was crying out for a story. (Sorry, a bit too long for a postcard.)
    It had not been love at first sight between them. Later, they could not recall the exact moment or circumstances of their first meeting. They had worked in the same building, Sam on the fifth floor and Stan on the seventh. They began to exchange looks when they met in the lobby or the elevator, then the looks turned into smiles. They had coffee together at lunchtime. They went to the movies, had dinner, and finally went to bed together when it seemed only natural to do so.
    But the day Sam moved into Stan’s apartment remained special for the two of them. Neither had lived with a partner before. Both were worried that quarrels about toothpaste in the sink and wet towels on the bathroom floor might ruin their love. But nothing of the kind happened. Different as they were, they seemed made for each other. Sam was a wonderful cook, Stan enjoyed doing the shopping. Sam was excellent at planning trips, Stan was able to start a friendly conversation in the most exotic language. Sam never forgot the birthday of any of their friends and relatives, Stan was famous for his ability to invite the most diverse set of people and make them all feel at home.
    There was one thing they had in common: they were quite superstitious. Most of all, they feared that their relationship might break up in the seventh year. So when the sixth year of living together drew to a close, they started to throw nervous glances at each other. They treated each other with particular care and tenderness. The year advanced and nothing happened. They began counting the days, feeling more and more confident. When the day of their anniversary arrived, they were jubilant. People in the park turned round to watch the two middle-aged men who radiated happiness while they were hanging a lock on one of the statues.

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    1. For this story, I'd just make a bigger postcard! For someone who's "never done this before," you're a natural.
      I also thought the lock demanded a story, and I photographed it with that notion -- so pleased you responded to the invitation.

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  10. Lovely story Eleonore

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  11. "I'm trapped", she thought. Years went by, children came and went. He decided that she stay in the house and make a home for the family. She felt, at times, like a prisoner. Lovely wallpapered walls enveloped her home, but walls none the less. A few times a year she longed for the sky with no burdens or bounds. The children grew, the finances became easier and she had learned to make peace with her circumstances. It dawned on her one day that being part of this marriage wasn't a warden and a prisoner, it was a team which worked together. One evening in summer, they decided to walk, reveling in their empty nest and calm understanding of each other. At the sculpture, she took a lock from her pocket. She had started writing on it years before, but couldn't finish the thought. Then, with the pen, she changed 'This" to "Their" and finished the sentiment.

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  12. Thanks for taking up my invitation (and the lock's), Stacy. Another interesting twist -- I'm sure the romantic mis-speller never thought of those negative implications. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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