Montreal, Canada feels deceptively new. So many things, on the outside, look the same: the people, the shops, the food. Until you begin to listen, read, and see.
The day we drove into Canada, as I was art-journaling (you can follow us our on travel journey here), I sensed the word "listen" come to mind. As I prayed (which typically consists of me saying something like, "Jesus, was that you or me?" and waiting for an internal sense of his reply) I got the feeling it wasn't something I conjured, but a gift in advance. Now that we're here I better understand its significance.
As I pay attention the differences become glaringly apparent. Not good nor bad - just different. Like the language - most people speak French, but if you notice and ask nicely (in French), most people attempt to speak in English to the best of their ability. Like their food - while here I've decided to conduct a mini experiment. As many of you know I have some pretty gnarly food intolerance's (for those of you who don't, I'm sensitive to: wheat/gluten, dairy, corn, and soy). But I've theorized my intolerance's may be due to the processing of said item rather than the item itself. As I've eaten "off the grid" (for me) while in Canada, I haven't had nearly the amount of reactions as I would have in the States had I eaten the same things. I even got to eat Fettuccine Alfredo without gastro-catastrophe. We ended up having an enlightening conversation with a local chef and restauranteur about the differences, and similarities, in Canadian farming and food-ing.
And as I go out each day with my camera, I look perhaps too intently for what it is I'm to photograph. Reflecting on these experiences, though, I wonder if listening is mere attention-paying rather than straining (like an editor) to find what's interesting, engaging, and true.
Listening, in that way, feels a lot more intuitive and natural. I look forward to going out and listening again tomorrow.