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One year ago today, we crossed the border and moved to Vancouver.

I was going to make a list of all the busy things we’ve been up to these past 12 months.  But when I went to re-read it, it sounded too much like bragging.  I’m proud of what we’ve done—especially of what Susie’s accomplished—but that’s not really what this post is about.

This post is about what we think of where we are.  It’s about what we’ve learned, and how we feel about this city and the people in it, 365 days in. And I’ve got to say, this place is superb.  Vancouver is such an astoundingly open, friendly place.  Vancouver is a livable place. Vancouver is a place where businesses can grow successfully—I’ve seen the lives of everyone improve just in the time we’ve been here.

Vancouver’s a place full of readers, a place full of writers, a place full of creative, passionate people who have plans.

It’s also a place where people don’t work themselves into a rut, or a frenzy.

Vancouver is a place full of penny pinchers.  I’ve seen the most freakish acts of impractical thriftiness occur in front of my eyes.  And yet, there’s a wonderful generosity that Vancouverites have with their time, their ideas, belongings and their charity.  Vancouver is, therefore, a place of contradiction and mixing, a place of salt water and fresh water, of rain and sun, or poor and rich.

Vancouver is a place of beauty.  There is the beauty of nature: water, mountains, sky.  There is the beauty of people: Summer arrives and attractive, fit and trim Vancouverites peel off the layers of rain jackets and fleece to expose pale skin to bright sun.  And there’s a beauty of architecture.  I’m not talking about the residential Vancouver Specials that pock the city, but the glass towers, the diverse and craftsman-style homes, the lofts of Gastown, the modernity and airiness of YVR, the Lions Gate bridge, the mansions of West Van.  There’s some beautiful structures here.

This year has been a lot about the first list, the one of accomplishments, and not nearly as much about Vancouver as we’d like.  I was going to list the people we’d met and become friends with, and then got paranoid I’d leave someone important off, so I just want to say to all of you, Thanks for making this year so great.  We’re blessed to be here, and I think the next 12 months are going to be even better than the past year.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for that, Trav. Both for reminding me (and in some cases, just plaining pointing out to me) what is great about this place, and also for having come! Life here has gotten a lot better for us since you two got here, and I really appreciate it. I'll pass this on to Noriko to remind her, too. I'm sure lots of people are right now asking her how she feels about this place we've moved to.

 

Posted by Jason Manikel
  at 8:59 pm on Oct. 3, 2005

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