Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Giving Up The Ghost

I awoke early Sunday morning to the sounds of shouting and a crackling blaze. A house in my neighbourhood was going up in flames.

It was 3:30 in the morning and the firetrucks has just started to arrive. It's a case of arson that is under investigation.

I am sorry to see it go. It was built in the early 1900's, which made it one of the oldest houses in this young city. It has housed politicians, artists, sculptors and was even used as a place to crash from time to time for Canadian poet and musician, Leonard Cohen. In recent years, it was the home of Bill Bourne, a local Edmonton talent who's wonderful grassroots music is known throughout North America. It's tradition was being carried on by the young musicians who lived and worked in the spacious home.

No one was harmed in the blaze, but many beloved instruments were damaged beyond repair.

Of the many photos I took that night to mark the passing of this house -familiar to many Edmontonians on their daily commute- this one seemed the most fitting to share.


I burnt the house of love tonight
It made a perfect ring
In which I saw some weeds and stone
Beyond not anything

Certain creatures of the air
Frightened by the night
They came to see the world again
And they perished in the light

So now I sail from sky to sky
And all the blackness sings
Against the boat that I have made
Of mutilated wings

Fire in this house of mine
Fire of my own design
Fire from the sky
Fire from the sea
Come fire come
Fire onto thee
Fire in the house of love

I burnt the house of love tonight
I burnt the house of love tonight
I burnt the house of love tonight

-Leonard Cohen


andrea said...

Very strange that I should come across this post while listening to Cohen. Seeing older buildings go down makes me extremely sad. The ghosts of times past have nowhere to go any more.

Tav said...

At first I thought this was a painting. Aaron, this photo is beautiful in a morbid way. What a loss. I am very happy that you and M are well.


jade said...

So sad...I really feel sore about the building:(

Aaron Paquette said...

Yes, it was a very sad night.