Some more images from the truly wonderful annual Polish festival on Roncessvalles in Toronto.  Though it is true that many have moved away from the old area over the years, this also means this party is unmissable – because it’s always full of much-missed friends.

Concertina All-Stars (top photo)

You can’t have a party without music (not if you want me to show up, that’s for sure) and I’ve always loved the spirit of Polish musicians I’ve worked with – not only a high level of diversely-applicable skill (classical, polka and free improv – none interfering with the other!), but also more modesty and listening ability than many of similar technical accomplishment. Modesty, for those who haven’t yet noticed, is one of the greatest of the super-powers available to us by choice – because when calibrated and deployed just right, we welcome EVERYTHING – and thus receive treasures we would not only never get any other way, but not ever even hear of, were we being more typical self-absorbed jerks.

Traditional photo-op

If there were any cliques going, I sure as heck couldn’t spot them – older and younger folks seem to get along beautifully, and it was particularly nice to see how many Polish Canadians were taking pride in showing off their neighbourhood to Poles from back home – smiles everywhere.

Friendship Treasured

I got two photographs of this nun – one was one of the loneliest images I’ve ever taken, a long-shot with her sitting by herself on a bench, under an awning, looking worried and sad about the world. I am SOOOO glad that we walked back up Roncesvalles when we hit the bottom, because on the return trip I got to see that same symbol of loneliness, glowing with warm friendship.

I have no idea what these two have seen together, and share – but I can say for sure that friendship like this is magical stuff. A reason to smile, a day to look forward to – a joy to help us carry on.

Everyone wants the cool priest

Funny how this works in every social grouping, isn’t it?  Some folks have scholarship on their side, or mastery – and then some lucky sods show up with natural charisma – and there’s nothing to do by enjoy it. (Jealousy being, in this particular case and line of work, most explicitly forbidden).

Young folks, old fashions

It’s not only the old folks who have traditional glad-rags in the back of their closet – this was especially nice to see – not just youngsters enjoying their traditions – but really rocking the look, too – no sense of resentment or confinement here, the way we sometimes see on a kid who’d rather ditch their Sunday outfit for dungarees. They are, like every generation may afresh, making it their own.  Love it!

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