Monday, November 2, 2015

Is the river pensive? Ask the River. Thinking about Calgary's Bow River.

I got out for a run this weekend, along the Bow River Pathway here in Calgary. And it was a beautiful run for this late in the season. But I wanted to share with you one of my favourite little things about the Bow River here in town.

Along the banks of the Bow and Elbow river, affixed to stormwater outfall signs, an artist group in Calgary poses questions about the river.

And you can't help but ponder the answers when you see them.

The signs direct you to www.asktheriver.info, where you can get a little bit of backstory. The artists in question? Broken City Lab. and the signs were put up as a part of Calgary's Watershed+ Program. And you can click those links if you want to learn more about all that.

As for me, I'm just glad the signs are there, with their understated questions.

I typically run without music or company, just the sounds of my slightly wheezing breath and my own thoughts. I love that running can be a somewhat meditative process for me (in a way that sitting still often can't), and these questions can sometimes be the prompts you need for some self reflection.

Why not rephrase the questions. Am I dramatic? Am I hopeless? Am I breaking? and that's enough to give you something to ruminate on for the next few kilometers.

So next time you're out along the Bow or Elbow River paths, keep an eye out for these signs.


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