I have an addiction. It’s something I always loved, and after two long years of being unable to indulge it, I now find myself fully in its grip.
Live music is back, and I cannot stop myself—I am stockpiling tickets for concerts throughout the year. Just after this issue goes to print, I will be at my first music festival in years—in Barcelona. I spent the past weekend trawling through set times and artists and venues planning my optimal schedules.
As I became frustrated over impossible clashes between bands I wanted to see, I stopped and took a deep breath. I will be in Barcelona. Watching and listening and dancing—experiencing moments of true joy. I know there will be porta potties and overpriced drinks and sore feet, but in the end, it’s the music that takes me out of myself. It’s my place of peace, and it will be amazing.
If the past two years have been a lesson in anything, it’s to prioritize the things that bring us to a place of calmness. The activities—big or small—that take us out of ourselves. The moments when we transcend our daily lives.
Transcendence is a theme running through the stories in this issue. For me, art in all its forms offers a space where I feel free to let go, to simply experience the moment. For this issue, I travelled to Texas to see the site-specific works of two artists—Mark Rothko and Donald Judd—and feel for myself the power of their work.
For the Coast Salish, the canoe is important in ways beyond the obvious. Both practical and culturally significant, the canoe was also a tool of resistance in the dark days when the Indian Act outlawed gatherings of more than three Indigenous people. In Ukraine, as award-winning author Maria Reva explains, resistance comes with a smile on its face, transcending trauma with barbed humour. And in Marsha Lederman’s essay, Vancouver itself becomes a means to resist and rise above intergenerational trauma.
Making things is often a way to turn off the overthinking parts of our brain. For some, the passion to perfect one thing becomes a way of life. In Yukihiko Sakamoto’s case, that is ramen, specifically dipping ramen or tsukemen. Scaling apparently impossible peaks has been the motivating force of rock climber Tommy Caldwell’s life, and his ability to endure all manner of deprivations to achieve his goal is next level. Meanwhile, the Merrick House in West Vancouver is testament to architect Paul Merrick’s desire to build a home that didn’t follow tradition, with budget constraints turned into innovations, and hard work into fun.
We also look at those transcendent creatures bees, and find out why our conservation energies should not be focused on the honey bee alone. We travel to the Yonne region in Burgundy, immersing ourselves in history, food, and wine, and to B.C.’s Discovery Islands to discover chef Justine Smith’s exceptional cooking at Sonora Resort.
I look forward to a summer filled with adventure, friends, and family, and remind myself to not get bogged down in planning and obligations (real and imagined). It’s the letting go that makes space for the unexpected—those moments of bliss.
As a nature guide once told me on a dawn birdwatching walk in the Guatemala jungle,
“To see properly, you must transcend the trees.”
Read more from our Summer 2022 issue.