Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Oh. Canada.

Canadians are cheesy. There's no getting round it, they're cheesy as hell. It is as though all of the camp counsellors of the world got together and made a country. It's not the campy Go-Team-Go of cheerleaders, or of the irrepressible boy with a copy of '1001 Jokes For Kids.' It's a low-level blinkiness, an innocent and bland happiness which sits, with spongy solidity, imperceptible below the surface. It is lacking in irony, in the direction of Americans. It is pleased to help, in the direction of Scandinavians. It is mired in underdog self-consciousness, in the direction of New Zealanders. It mixes all these things together, and like all the colours of paint mixed together yields something very difficult to name.
Canada would be the perfect labrador. Pleased, but confused about being pleased. Inoffensive and co-operative. Slightly too big to be completely in control of all its parts. Happy to guard the door all night without a single thought about what burglars might be like.

The short day here reveals to me my own out-of-whack body clock. The sun has risen by 10 and is starting to set by 3. The night is interminable. I sleep from 4am-8am, then not again until 7am the next day, rising at 6pm. I may sleep at 2, or 7, or 12. Under the dopey gaze of the dim northern light, all things are equally possible. I read endlessly, and write, and follow thoughts down the rabbit hole. The timelessness of my existence introduces an incredible dexterity, an infinite amount of freedom.

I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space,
were it not that I have bad dreams.
Hamlet, II,ii.

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