Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In Memory of Paul

And for the memory of the sweetness of electric youth in all its timbres, and of hearing the 1982 Gould-berg variations for the first time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Of wind and the reminders of living dangerously

The wind's unusual gusto as of late, consistent only in its ability to second guess those objects and things that seem unmovable and static reminds me somehow of this passage from the book I am currently clawing, tearing, breathing through, The Winter Sun by Fanny Howe:

Be safe - you don't want to say these words to children. Instead, I remind them that Br'er Rabbit knew how to extract himself from the tar and brambles, so he could afford to get stuck to them.

Echoes of the possibilities of what life offers to me with smudged hand and dirty, grinning face every single day. Places of uncertainty, a call to action pushed from responsibility and tireless love for things-all-sizes-and-sorts, and a never-ending promise of instability that I can handle.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anybody who can smile like this must be on to something...

As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.

Wise words from Anthony de Mello, Jesuit Priest and multi-faith believer who got to the guts and heart of the matter(s) of things. Highly mistrusted by the catholic church, which is always a good sign.

Led Zeppelin for 4 a.m.

Its been a long time since I rock and rolled,
Its been a long time since I did the stroll.
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
Its been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.
Yes it has.
Its been a long time since the book of love,
I cant count the tears of a life with no love.
Carry me back, carry me back,
Carry me back, baby, where I come from.
Its been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.
Seems so long since we walked in the moonlight,
Making vows that just cant work right.
Open your arms, opens your arms,
Open your arms, baby, let my love come running in.
Its been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A drop of rain above your comfortable couch

I have been thinking lately of (cat)alysts and symptoms and the relationship between the two. And transference, most of all.

The relationship these three words have with each other is not without its painful bouts of elucidation and deeper understandings about systems and selfhood at large. What I mean by somewhat foggy turns and loops is that the way in which catalysts, symptoms and transferrals work (against, for) together is always mysterious, forever nuanced, and if meditated upon, can offer up the most marvelous maps of where the heart wishes to go next, and how to let the mind relax and let go of some of its need to hold on to its externalizations.

Phew. That wasn't really any clearer at all, was it? Perhaps a visual example will do the trick, even when portrayed through verbal means:

You sit on a couch, end of day, somewhere familiar. A known and comfortable space, however potentially unrewarding, boring, or even unhealthy, in some ways. There is something in the back of your mind that gently reminds you of this every now and again, that the couch is likely not where you want to spend too much time. It could even be that the couch is fine really, you're not sitting next to a chain smoker, it offers no loose pens jutting into your back, it smells more or less inoffensively.

Yet you somehow know you need to get off of it, you should move on, it's time to go. That perhaps you've spent the time you need to sitting from this vantage point. Yet the notion is vague, or ambiguous at best, and there's no real reason to move, so people might think you're crazy, you might think you're crazy. So you stay put a bit longer.

Then one day, the ceiling above said hunk of furniture starts collecting water, (like the good vessel that it is) until the moment where it begins to drip on you, right in the centre of the top of your head. This drip follows you no matter where you sit on the couch. It isn't a downpour, no flood here, no need to start rounding up the animals in twos, but the moisture is there nevertheless. The frustration is as well.

You no longer have peace, you start feeling less comfortable, you moan inside, you whine, but you try to adapt, after all, this couch and your relation to it commenced long before the water ever dared to fall. But eventually you can't take it anymore, a breaking point occurs, and you leave the couch by jumping off of it, cursing the room, and running off.

Not that this is exactly how it always works, or that the story is over. But the point, perhaps, is. On the surface level, you have reached a boiling point with some external issue, (the raindrop, in this case) and you have reacted to it (out of a kind of anger, the straw breaking the camel's back, etc) and are now fleeing the scene due to said disruption.

While this is one interpretation of said scenario, I chose it as it illustrates some of the ruminations I have had of late in regards to catalysts, symptoms, and transferrals. It seems to me that if looked at on a deeper level, the drop of water is in fact a catalyst, not a true cause of anything. The frustration felt is symptomatic of an aching desire to leave the place and space anyway. And in order to be able to leave with an external excuse, which is how this culture I know functions, the reasons for leaving are transferred. From an internal disquiet within to an external sense of malaise from an outside irritant.

This post is already far too long, so it is doubtful anyone will get this far other than myself. But if you do, all this to say that I have a sneaking suspicion that if looked at from this angle, I will find most situations I spend time with have little to do with the humans involved in terms of my actual emotions towards them when I am frustrated, angry, upset, etc. and so much more to do with what their catalystic comings and goings teach me in terms of helping to expose on a deeper level the things I am struggling with myself.

In this way, an exciting (and challenging) revelation, as it means I can let so much more go. Frustrating but true, and a good lesson on the way to being a (better) gentle giant.

Monday, May 18, 2009

bro and dog - or bro dawg

This dog was a total stranger to me and my brother, we met on the streets of Toronto and it was love at first site.
The owner had more patience than I will ever have, as they let us manhandle it for over 30 minutes.
This video is a testimony to our love.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On the way home from my hot date

Night gardens are so mysterious and melancholic that they knock the wind out of the lungs and air around one.

My Hot Date with an Old, Old Man

Tonight I went to my first Chamber Music Festival event, which was an amazing night of Mozart Quintet/Quartets. For any MAJOR losers out there who want to know, the actual program was as follows:

Quartet #2 in E Flat Major, K. 493 (1786)
Quintet #3 in C Major, K. 515 (1787)
Quartet in G Minor, K. 478 (1785)

All written before our dear friend Amadeus turned 30. So ultimately, he can go f*ck himself, really, can't he? Yes, oh yes he can. Also the violinist, a certain Jonathan Crow, who is in his 32nd year of life currently and is remarkably talented, can go screw himself as well. How dare he be so amazing at the instrument at such a young age? Seriously.

Regardless of who is f*cking who, the compositions are wondrous pieces, and the musicians played the bloody heck out of them. It was an incredible event, suspended-blurred-time like the lights that hung above me. The venue itself was St James Church, which amidst the sounds of such incredible beauty is in the process of chipping paint and loosing patrons during their regularly scheduled programming, which somehow added to the charm of the whole show.

One thing about the evening that totally shocked me, however, was the insanely rude folks lining up to get their tickets. I have to admit that I was younger than the majority of the people there by about as old as Mozart ever got, and so I expected the other classical nerdlings to be more polite and accommodating then myself as I have learned awful behaviour due to generational breakdowns of common decency, etc.

However, these people totally crushed, like old grapes in young, strong fists, my belief that any one age group or cultural community can be categorized so easily. They were ten times more intense and immature than the crowd at Animal Collective the night before. Their denture stuffed mouths were yelping and barking at security while (it seemed) each and every one of them used their canes and umbrellas to try to poke and prod their ways to the front of the line.

It was crazy. Maybe senility had literally kicked in for each and every one of them AT THE SAME TIME, and at that exact moment. What finally made me loose my cool, however, was when a man behind me started shouting loudly at two women whom he had assumed had somehow cut in front of him.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I actually turned around and told him in so many words to chill the f*ck out, at which point, he said to me that he was calm, and just wanted everyone to be civilized. This after having behaving completely belligerent to a couple of complete strangers. Now I have learned to temper my tongue as the years have gone on (believe it or not) and so I considered whether or not I should continue engaging with the man for a moment, and decided to simply add, "well, sometimes being civilized means letting go"...

To which he stared at me straight in the face and without hesitation said, "no, it doesn't."

His answer reminds me of why I am hardly surprised at all the bloodshed and ridiculousness that has gone on in the name of civilizing people, objects, homes and pets and why I get an immediate allergic reaction when someone mentions the word.

The lights before the show

Saturday, May 16, 2009

After Calling Bingo, It's Time to Party

I called Bingo for Puces Pop the other night, and had a pretty darn good time doing so. Which scares me just a tad (instilling fear equivalent to the amount of vanilla you put in most sugary recipes) as I was on stage, alone, for over 3 hours. People kept asking me if I was tired. I kept wondering what they were talking about. I mean, I had one pulled pork sandwich (homemade) to snack on, all the gin and tonic I wanted and a microphone. I could have gone all night.

The only photos of the evening I snapped were at the end, when a creepy Julien and somewhat grouchy/hot Rory and Amy quasi posed for me after the pinata came down. Dancing followed soon after, meaning the three of them swayed a little to some Michael Jackson before we all headed onwards and outwards.

This is what I get to sit under everyday

Wanda Landowska and Thunder

Make the perfect Saturday afternoon combination.

Friday, May 15, 2009

on Hafiz, part II

All the Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of

on the subject of light, part II

"One day the sun admitted, I am just a shadow. I wish I could show you the infinite incandescence that has cast my brilliant image. I wish I could show you (when you are lonely or in darkness) the astonishing light of your own being."

- Hafiz, the tongue of the invisible.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

It is there, up ahead, and you can't wait to get to it but such feelings of urgency are in part because it is in the distance. It is the opposite of what you are experiencing now. It is the direct antithesis of current frustrations or aches, pains or problems.

Funny that, though, as nothing is really the antithesis of anything else. Objects, emotions, feelings and cats all move in relation to one another, leaving slimy trails of subjectivity in their wake, making it impossible to call one thing a direct oppositional force to something else, really.

Still, there it is nonetheless, in all of its glorious, terrible beauty. The end of something, a new beginning and an arrival. The light might be blinding and might feel awkward, will feel awkward, feels awkward. Yet as you adjust to it, the potentials and portrayals of shadow and subject within its path, you feel its surge of possibility and motion and passion that it's offering to your life. Or mine, really.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Goodnight, Sweetheart

Things that cannot happen sometimes do

Yesterday, on my way from here-to-there, I saw a plane, cutting through the midsection of the sky like a knife to orange, hovering. Hummingbird, hummingbird, without speedy wings, where do you go when you're headed nowhere?

Planes are compelled to propel, forward, to rip the sky in some manner or other. Causing or closing rifts, (of spaces and peoples) but never have I seen one just BE. It was a plane hanging out, looking for a cigarette, pondering where it should go. It felt frozen in time, and my hot seat was the only thing that dispelled my notion that perhaps, indeed, I was as well.

When something simply hovers, the dark horse of indecisiveness seems to stampede by, leaving a sense of urgency about getting said idea or person or plane to land or simply fly away, already.

Photo courtesy of Li Wei.

On Childhood

"Perhaps the self (like smoke) is spun from infinity with everything else and a growing awareness of its pending annihilation. The self opens up to its condition in stages and often because of its accompanying realization of adult hypocrisy. Childhood is the stage where a person either submits to or resists life as another adult. Why go on to become like that?

Martin Luther, in John Osborne's play, said, "I lost the body of a child, a child's body, the eyes of a child...and I was afraid and went back to find it...But I can't."

Enriching and thoughtful words from Fanny Howe, my new staple mind-companion.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Of Plastic, Defeated

Keyframes for Toronto Animation/I might have a slight addiction

Yes, was it mentioned that all of these photos appear courtesy of a seething metropolis?

Of the synchronicity of beast and fowl, but mostly, plant.

How do they manage it? If all the other trees decided to get leaves at the same time every year, I think I would purposefully avoid blooming then. (I murmur this opinion from that parallel universe where I am a plant, by-the-by). Somehow human uniformity and conformity makes me squiggle around in my seat, gerbil-nearby-trying-to-get-in. Yet with plants it is miracle, it is miracle and fire and reminder and promise, all of these things, when their symphony of colours and fabrics pulls out bow and arrow at the same time, together.

The explode display of spring