Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Late celebrations lead to even later posting

Pre-Dawn March 17th
The Bad Beginning:
I was worried about QNY this time 'round. Not getting together with people until April 2 is an unprecedented delay and I typically NEED the pick-me-up that our quest conference usually provides me. This year it was especially true, what with my popped rib-head, a cracked rib, alienating my parents and all. The evening had some disappointing elements for me, but on the whole, was very satisfying.

It started out with a great walk to our chosen meeting place. For the first time the girls came with me and we were all giddy with anticipation. We took our time, stopped at a couple of parks, and talked about what Questing meant to the three of us. Anwyn took an approach similar to mine. She said that anything you did could be a Quest, it was how you did it that mattered. Shepherd Book might have said that "how you get there is the worthier part." Leora thought that Questing was pushing boundaries. She thought that to do it you might have to bend the rules just a bit. I think Jane's Addiction would have said it a little differently. Between their two answers I'd never felt more proud.

On arrival, I bought drinks for us. Leora looks forward to the two days a year when she can have a sip of coffee. I surprised her with her own small with 1n1 and Anwyn was happy with a hot chocolate. January and Matt showed up shortly with Vin and Chantelle, so the kids went off and started their own meeting .

All Sr. Questers were there in short order (7-7:30ish) and we commenced with the festivities.

Dave was entrusted with the treasure chest that I made two years ago. Vin had it last year and adorned it with the labyrinth. Dave says he looked at it daily and inspiration never struck. All the more space for James to consider adding a piece of his personality to, what I am coming to think of as, "the cask of anticipation." We all added our dozen twonies to it for the third time and sealed it up again for the year. For several hours I was worried that my belt pouch had been locked inside for the next 365 days, but in the spirit of honesty I must admit that further analysis revealed that it was attached to my belt the entire time.

New book choices for this year:

General Silliness:
One who has seen the EYE!
The star of the night were the magnetic bearings that James brought. The provided endless fun and photo opportunities. The were also a welcome distraction from endless tirades (and to be fair some good discussion) about Liberty.
Long exposure
It was startling to witness the passion that was brought to the subject by Dave and especially Vin. I found myself a bit uncomfortable. Mostly in a good way. Perhaps as Bilbo felt when he heard the dwarves sing of gold and revenge knowing so little of either.

Geof told me a bit more about the Quest calendar that he has been perfecting for a number of years. When you read this, Geof, just you consider putting something online so we can all enjoy it.

What I missed:

  • We didn't formally discuss any of last years reading picks. I was quite disappointed. It is usually one of my favorite moments. Especially this year when I went to such effort to prepare. I even ordered in 4 mammoth volumes of The Nature of Order from the Regina Public Library.
  • Questions. I'll have to come up with a few for next year.
  • Goal setting. Dave asked about last years goals, but I didn't have anything new to pursue for this year. And, for the record, I didn't save a thousand dollars (I bought a new camera), I lost my way with the guitar, and I broke two records (push-ups and resting pulse), got within 3cm on the splits, and was excruciatingly close on chin-ups and the tower run (which beat the 24 me, just not my all time record). I'm definitely going to continue on the physical goals for next year. It ranks up among my favorite all time personal challenges.
  • A sense of renewal. I proposed that next year we gather in Calgary or Canmore, not so much to give Dave a break from the burden of travel, but more to make a change to something special that has become just a little too routine. I hope we can make it happen. Dave already told me not to expect to do any mountain climbing. I'll settle for coffee with altitude.


The end:
Dave and Vin split a cab and James, Geof and I walked together for a while until our ways parted. I felt the lonely sense of wonder I get every time I share a walk with my silent sister(youtube). She let me take a few pictures before sleepiness and my early waking, and sensible wife overcame the last of my resistance.

Visit all 58 photos in this year's QNY set.