There’s no real tangible reason for me to feel this way, but I’m glad that this week is over. It’s been a tiring five days and I’m not exactly sure why, but I fumbled my way through the week with a cloud of lead ball bearings enveloping my head and shoulders. It felt as if someone had fastened bowling balls to my kneecaps, filled my ears with cotton and UHU Stic, and pushed me into the middle of a highway.

Renée has been feeling the same way all week, too, so either we’re both fighting off another round with the plague, or someone is secretly piping eau de laudanum into our apartment. I blame the patriarchy.

Jane JacobsJane Jacobs died earlier this week, and the first thing I thought when I read the news was, “damn”, followed by, “this is exactly what it felt like when Pauline Kael died.”

Jane Jacobs was another person (like Pauline Kael) whose writing made me feel smart. Discovering and reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities while in high school… well, it was one of those so-called watershed moments. I remember finishing the book and having a sense of my place in the world and a feeling of great potential. Considering at the time I barely had a grasp on my own hormones this was a pretty big deal.

I remember actually thinking that I wanted to become a politician afterwards; the book made you feel like the only proper response to reading it was to act. That was her gift, really - this incredibly intelligent, articulate, unmistakably human voice that made you want to jump up and make shit right.

There was something about the fact that Jacobs chose to live not only in Canada but in my adopted home of Toronto that make me feel proud. It seemed like a little smidgen of proof that Toronto has been doing at least some things right all along.

Rest in peace, Jane Jacobs.

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