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Richard E. Gower

Richard E. Gower is a writer, living in Ottawa. "The small pleasures in life that arouse our senses sometimes get buried in the day to day jostlings of humanity. These are different for everyone, but when truly savoured they penetrate to core and cortex and hard-set there like handprints pressed into wet mortar. For the fortunate, they remain as tiny treasures that can be uncovered, brushed off and used to elevate a bruised spirit and apply as balm to a bad day. Certain tastes and flavours in my orbit come to mind, as do sights and sounds, things from both present and past; a perfectly rounded umami that snuggles duvet-like around the tongue; the faultless symmetry of a cherished jawline seen sideways from a pillow; Joni Mitchell’s aurally-filigreed piano chords from the BBC tapes – so like the purity of summer-morning robin-song. Any dead-calm mid-July day with its humid mantle of heat instantly brings back the delicate, sweet scent of honeysuckle blossoms and the barely audible chirr of hummingbird wings from a golden afternoon thirty years ago. And the tactile satisfaction of old-fashioned stonemasonry; setting in a building stone of exactly the right shape, size and colour, can be almost carnal, as was that moment in the cockpit years ago, solo at the controls, when lift overcame gravity and the wheels left the ground, for the first time. Writing, for me, is all of the above and more: pleasure, pure and unadulterated. Although I do it for a living it doesn’t really feel like work. I often look around for someone to thank and a line from the movie Let it Ride seems apropos: ‘Some days you can be walking around lucky and not even know it.’ Life is good."

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