This Is­sue |

By Dayanti Karunaratne

Ottawa Magazine - - This Issue -

When a pat­tern starts emerg­ing in an is­sue, an edi­tor can’t but pon­der its sig­nif­i­cance. This is­sue, as sto­ries were sub­mit­ted about our fea­ture homes, we no­ticed that most peo­ple, when asked to choose a favourite piece in their home, pointed to their din­ing ta­ble. In West­boro, an eat­ing area was de­signed around the di­men­sions and colours of a lo­cally made ta­ble — among the few pieces brought from their for­mer home (“Green Dream”, page 52). In Lit­tle Italy, the first “adult” piece of fur­ni­ture bought by Holly and Ju­lia has been brought to a beau­ti­fully ren­o­vated row house, as Holly and daugh­ter Ad­di­son em­bark on a new phase of life (“A Fresh Start”, page 44). And in the Glebe, a unique hand­crafted ta­ble that was gifted to the home­own­ers upon their de­par­ture from Sene­gal serves as a con­crete re­minder of their years in the for­eign ser­vice (“Re­tire­ment as Re­newal”, page 22).

In­ter­est­ingly, all three were brought from pre­vi­ous homes. While these sto­ries cel­e­brate cre­ation and change, there are al­ways dif­fi­cult mo­ments — the art that won’t fit in the new condo, the farewell to a fam­ily home that holds so many mem­o­ries — that nat­u­rally in­clude re­moval, dis­man­tling, and other hard parts of mov­ing house. I like to think that hav­ing the same ta­ble to gather around soft­ened the tran­si­tions for those fam­i­lies.

Pon­der­ing fur­ther, I think on the ta­ble from my child­hood, which was bought in Colombo, Sri Lanka, over 40 years ago. When my fa­ther found him­self a wid­ower with two young chil­dren, he de­cided to forge a new life in New Zealand. At the time, Fu­ture Shock was mak­ing waves, and my dad bought into the cen­tral tenet of the 1970 book by Alvin and Heidi Tof­fler: so­ci­ety was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing “too much change in too short a pe­riod of time,” re­sult­ing in a neg­a­tive ef­fect on our well-be­ing. Dis­pos­able goods, the tran­sient na­ture of jobs (and the friends and com­mu­nity that come with those changes), and the gen­eral “death of per­ma­nence” were all on his mind as he de­cided to pack up that teak din­ing set. Nearly five feet in di­am­e­ter, with chairs to match, the ta­ble was dam­aged by salt wa­ter when the ship­ping con­tainer broke en route to New Zealand, but my fa­ther was un­de­terred, re­pair­ing the ta­ble and re­uphol­ster­ing the chairs. Af­ter my mother came into the pic­ture and the de­ci­sion was made to re­lo­cate to Canada, the ta­ble once again came with, a tan­gi­ble ob­ject that of­fered per­ma­nence amid change. It was the set­ting for books and meals through­out my young life in Lon­don, On­tario, and was shipped again to Bri­tish Columbia when my par­ents re­lo­cated there some 20 years ago. I like to think that my fam­ily’s phi­los­o­phy is one that wel­comes change and does not be­come overly at­tached to ma­te­rial ob­jects — but we must also be kind to our­selves. Like the ta­bles cel­e­brated in this is­sue, it con­tin­ues to of­fer wel­come sta­bil­ity in a fast-paced world.

Speak­ing of mov­ing, Ot­tawa Mag­a­zine re­cently re­lo­cated to City Cen­tre. We didn’t need as much space and are find­ing the fun in be­ing in closer quar­ters. (Art di­rec­tor Jeff Eus­tace is the reign­ing Hang­man champ.) We’ll still be close to our Chi­na­town haunts but are hav­ing a blast ex­plor­ing this nook of the city. Com­ing Up: Our Best Res­tau­rants is­sue takes a neigh­bourly ap­proach with a roundup of over 20 go-to res­tau­rants. Whether you want to know the best place to eat in your neck of the woods or en­joy the ad­ven­ture of ex­plor­ing the city through its res­tau­rants, our Win­ter is­sue has you covered. We’ll also bring you ideas for win­ter get­aways, chat about the #MeToo move­ment with a for­mer Play­boy Bunny, and cook up a cannabis-in­fused meal fit for a king.

Dayanti Karunaratne, EDI­TOR feed­back­ot­tawa@stjoseph­me­

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