Monday, April 30, 2018

it will pass


... these days i struggle  ... increasing absence of mind, slowness of recall and inability to remember names...

... visit my grandson who turned seven months old yesterday ... every time we meet his penetrating gaze gives me the impression he needs time to recognize me ... the same day i visit my ninety-three-year-old mother whose conversation circles around in a state of confusion repeating events over & over ... am not sure what she thinks ... can call me by name but i have the impression she needs time to reorganize who we are ...

... in conversations, i stutter ... often because as i start to speak there is so much complexity to what i am about to say i have to stop ... i begin to articulate some point & at the same moment realize another point could also be made & another context is required & i stutter to a stop ... when ... feels like ... copy & paste ... "the penumbra of the eventual personal extinction beginning to extend itself over my being" ...

... used to take pictures of the trees outside the temple ... every spring, summer, fall & even winter ... have loved them dearly ... four days ago took a picture of the tree shadow ... took it unconsciously ... staring at the image have the impression of needing time to acknowledge the light behind ...

... shadows are an ancient basic instrument that helps with a single drama ... the drama of our existence ... helping us find the way to the source ... i used to believe my work in education of the imagination was that tool ... maybe i still believe ... i struggle ... oh the unashamed melodrama redeemed by a haunting that exerts a primal sympathy ...

... shadows are (from) the ... they open possibilities that things may be different ... desolation tries to colonize me ... certain kinds of connection so deep that when they are broken you feel the snap of the link inside you ... to follow the meaning was to follow a trail of deception ... shadows are demons not intelligence tools causing a loss of relationship with reality so we don't know what we do ... shadows are nourishment forging bonds that reinvigorate connectivity ... start again ...

::Note:: ... it will pass ...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

left again


... this morning a bag of shoes were left at the door ... first, a butcher knife now shoes ... both unsettling ... are they connected?

... at least the bag was easier to handle ... place it next to the trash ... things will proceed as usual ... the bag will disappear ... more precisely the two pairs of used runners will move to a new place ... that's the way around here - place anything of any value outside in the front or back or side & within a day it disappears ... except ...

... the purse a few months ago ... that had to be dealt with ... a wallet inside with credit cards, health card, drivers licence, pictures ... no money ... even an iPhone, energy bills, correspondence, make-up, pens, pills, candy ... the purse looked more like a travel bag ... couldn't locate a phone number ... phone was dead ...

... drove to the address ... you see i once found a wallet on the street and went to the police to drop it off ... four months later received a thank you note from the owner ... did it really take that long or ... anyway twenty minutes later was knocking at the door ... no answer ... the place looked rundown ...

... oh well ... no choice but drop it off at the police station ... strongly disliked this option requiring lots of questioning & id presentation ... at least a chance to go inside the recently opened new building ...




... Monument by Lionel Peyachew outside the Saskatoon Police Service Headquaters ...

... it took over an hour ... waited for 45 minutes ... it was a weekend so only two windows were open ... one closed the second i walked in & the officer went to the other window apparently to help the other officer dealing with a couple ...  i was next in line ... ten minutes later the officer proceeded back to his window & i thought great ... he closed his window and left ... next another officer came in and went to the window servicing the couple ... after a time he left ... still waiting ... i was the only other individual in the building besides the couple ...

... i walked around ... there were some displays ... read messages on the walls ... thought about leaving then finally was adressed ...  presented the found purse with a fifteen-minute interrogation and form filling ...

...  finding lost objects is a moral dilemma ... writing about it seems crazy ... still, the last time i wrote about finding something received a message from a past friend ... he reached out and we superficially communicated through blog comments ... it was actually exciting ... he wrote about a dream he had ...

... if you had gone to the link of the knife you might have noticed it was a 2016 entry ... this post sat buried on my desk ... spring cleaning revealed it ... sometimes i write on paper when on outside walks away from devices ... even though this writing was found two years later was able to retrieve the incident and even elaborate on details ... memory collapses time ...

... this memory is linked to the incident when my wallet was stolen from my drama schoolroom office ... i had to use the theatre up the stairs from the drama room ... the group using the theatre needed to be relocated so sent them to the drama room ... it was a kids at risk program ... i got the theatre group organized and went down to the drama room ... fifteen minutes later discovered the wallet from my jacket was gone ... not wanting to cause a disturbance approached the kids at risk group leader ... he insisted it could not have been anyone from his group ... i left it at that ...

... i did get my wallet back a week later ... it had been found in the back alley by the school ... the person that found it actually lived outside of the community and was a dumpster diver ... he phoned me ... i gave him a twenty dollar reward ... left it at that ...

... a year later one of the students from the kids at risk group was now at the school taking a drama class ... he asked why i didn't trust my students and always locked my office door ... i explained we sometimes had guests  i hadn't had time to build trust with & described the above incident ... he proceeded to share he was there that day when the wallet was stolen and knew who stole it ... i left it at that ...


:: Note :: ... update ... a few months later after writing on finding the knife the friend who contacted me passed away ... it was somewhat sudden and unexpected ... at least that was the message received from his son ... treasure every moment ... memory might collapse time ... what stirs memory ... what triggers memory ...

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Wild West


... i missed my chance ... i had something to say ... sitting before me were ten performers and playwright ... the show had ended ten minutes ago and they had returned for a talk back session ... i didn’t really have a question or maybe i had a thousand questions ... but i did want to share something ... i wanted to tell them how i felt ... i didn’t ...

... what i might have said was their collective epic work about Métis history, struggle, identity, reclamation, exile and recognition Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show was a wonderful theatrical spectacle, carefully crafted and an exceptionally acted Wild West show ... i wanted to thank them and honour all their courage and vision ... i also wanted to tell them i was trembling ...

... trembling ... well because ... well that night i would have put it in words like i was full of tension ... one of the actors ... think it was cast member Gabriel Gosselin who played Louis Riel used the word "authentic"...  i would have added that i thank them for moments that certainly i felt moved by authenticity ... there were cries of the voice & songs that stirred the heart & i listened to poetic words  and heard the praire wind and the power of the land as you gaze down on the Saskatchewan River while standing at Batoche ...  & i trembled ...

... i trembled because right from the moment i entered ... playing on an on-stage screen was archival documentary film footage of Buffalo Bill's Wild West ... i was suddenly placed in the grandstand of a large outdoor exhibition ... i had no choice but to recognize myself as the white irish/scottish/italian settler gaping wide-eyed at this circus like event ... only it wasn't the late eighteen hundreds but early 21st century ... my gaze was still that of the colonizer ... i was curious ... i trembled ...

... i trembled most just before intermission ... a dancer in an incredibly designed colourful regalia danced wildly, breathtakingly seemingly at the edge of existence ... i didn't know whether to applaud, as so many did, at the immense display of virtuosity ... or to look away ... why did i feel shamefully voyeristic ... was this touristic appropriation ... i had seen and learnt a little about fancy dance, jingle dance & the meaning of the regalia but now i was trapped in the gaze of the colonizer entertained by the exotic other ... i stuggled to find context ... i trembled in tension ...

... then i reconciled ... wasn't that the goal of theatre ... the use of spectalcle & pageantry, silliness & cabaret, poetry & satire, history & pop culture all plunging into the gut to stir up  ... wasn't that what theatre was all about ... to provoke ... & then to leave me questioning ...

... so thank you creative team - authors, director and intepreters ...

still ... if i had a question for the group that was seated in front of me it would have been do they feel a tension? ... or better what tension do they feel? ... i wonder how they would have answered ...

... i mean i heard six languages ... not understanding most but the sound reverberated/resonated ... i read in the program:
"That's the gamble the collective took: to write this epic ... to revive the language and cadences of peoples who roamed this untamed land long before Canadian Confederation. May their words, swept away by the Praire wind, come back to haunt us!" - Jean Marc Dalpé, Alexis Martin & Yvette Nolan. 
... yes  it was a haunting ... i have lived in Saskatchewan for about fifty years ... there exists this memory of place ... a memorial landscape written into the body & my experience of the land ... now a couple of days reflecting on that evening performance what remains ... an eerie disquiet of something uncanny at the core of the remembering body ...  i remember hauntology ...  "the situation of temporal, historical and ontological disjunction ... paradoxes found in postmodernity, particularly comtemporary culture's persistent recycling of retro aesthetics and incapacity to escape old social forms."...  ahh ... escape is that the challenge ... to rethink memory and place ...

... i trembled due to my paranoia sitting in the theatre being visited on by potential schizoaesthetics ... i needed to ... i desired ...  new social forms ...  a  moving beyond authentic knowing or even authentic not knowing ... Tanya Tagaq improvised Retribution ... a space beyond resistence, revolution, revision, reconciliation ...

... retribution is the act of uprooting yourself from social organization and traditions in order to conduct physical exoduses from the idelogical terrritories that harboured them through much of your previous life ... tuning heightened degress of empathy and perception ... to focus your gaze on something & tease out the intangible  - the intangible that transforms to deterritoialise oneself from the commidification of all facets of life ...

... no distinction between metaphor and metamorphosis ... in opposition to traditionalism retribution opens up spaces to re-code flows of desire/knowldege in new ways ...to push through the limits ... breakthrough ...

... i return to the wild dance ... apply retribution ... dance the conditions to imagine a vigorous emerging potent force & energy ... i tremble with anticipation ...

::Note:: ... i intended to see the performance again the next night ... instead i chose to be with my five month old grandson Gabriel ... his father born in Cairo & mother born in Edmonton ... they met in Rome while his mother (my daughter) was pursuing her opera career and performing in Europe ... they deliberately chose to return to Saskatoon for his birth ... they wanted him to be "Canadian" ... as i held him close i thought what will shape his encounter with this land ...


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Talk


Asian Centre UBC
... sitting in a room for ten hours listening to a series of lectures in a language i don't understand nor speak & unable to communicate with half of the participants is a powerful experience ... AeRan delievered a two day seminar at the Asian Centre @ UBC ...  an absoulutely beautiful setting ... i knew her material well being the topic of her Phd. thesis which has occupied the past six years & ... i have followed her many conference presentations ...  in fact, we were returning to the site of one of her first presentations ...

... it was a truly remarkable performance ... the electricity of her presence as she delievered was at times overwhelming ... the scope and range were both vast and distinctly detailed ... the conversation elicited was "wild" (the term she used) ... the eager attention whether youthful scholars in the midst of their training or those seasoned academics from visiting scholars to professors and experts from various disciplines was palpable ... her words washed over them - bouncing, absorbing, soaking and challenging ... i witnessed the ebb & flow of non-verbal discourse ...


... Professor Hur was a most distinguished host ... a skillful moderator he deftly organized all aspects of our stay from accomodation to dinners to transportation and comfort with an almost invisible hand ... we felt honoured and appreciated ... UBC seems to be a pillar for Korean Studies in Canada ... amazing to encounter a thriving department ...

... there was a moment i was filled with emotion ... here in the academic world was a study/reflection on the practices of a performance company ... their training, their rehearsals, the day to day “work” that leads to creation was being examined ... the practice of the artist was being studied and taken seriously ... this felt important ... the attention moved me ... we weren’t watching or listening to the artist’s work ... for a moment in time we were with the artist ...

... precisely the first moment of acknowledgement was while watching a video clip of Song Myong-Hwa  ... she was warming her voice by repeating scales with the piano ... a pedantic, almost monotonous exercise and yet when much later we saw another clip of her singing "Arirang" accapella the space was transformed ... her focus and concentration entered a territory which demanded silence ... a silence to give space ... all of us were in rapt awe ... i have throughout the years only begun to understand what this song means to Koreans and  in this seminar room at UBC she was inviting us deep into a space of communal imagination ...

Performing music, particularly in any sort of ensemble, large or small, exercises the muscles of empathy like no other. But even just listening to it should give empathy a boost, one would think. Name another art form that so regularly launches even its most historically, culturally, and ethnologically distant artifacts into newly immediate vitality, again and again. - Matthew Guerrieri

 ... another moment occurred with a gasp ... a gasp inhaled during the video clip viewing the dancers in their rehearsal studio doing the bundle of exercises established by Ch'oe Sung-hui  ... the athleticism of the dancers was breathtaking ... though much more was how a question floated in the air ... a wondering of what drives the artist to such physical limits & virtuosity ... we found ourselves and knew we were visibly and concretely responding and opening to those who had disciplined themselves to venture into the terrain of incarnating imagination ... at that moment, under the intense gaze of the scholars i had the impression that they were aware of the muscle of imagination ... imagination is a muscle ... the muscle had been activated ... together we were exercising those muscles and we gasped as our imaginations, as a people, were stirred ... writing now other memory moments of the lectures connect or fire or flow ... associations/impulses quiver unable to settle on a specific point ... i fly home to Saskatchewan ... if we hadn't dreamt of flight would I be flying now?

 ... oh the audacity of speaking on behalf of others ... chaos ... tell me why i shouldn't ... i write and the telling has been witnessed in the ceremony of the lecture ... i move towards some grey hope ... compass needle pointing to lessons on the path of those who choose to work/play, to see with their eye heart, sing their stories with their throat moving through the tissue of muscle, nerves & bones ... bring beauty to the tongue ... carry on ... to a foreign land ... no map to follow ... pulled by forbidden inspiration ... dipping, soaring ... to reclaim ... share what i don't know ... endless (re)search ... to wander, to wonder, to listen ... to hungrily learn ...


 ::Note::  ... it was a joy to visit the  Museum of Anthropology  on our last day ... the artifacts release a depth of story narrating beyond ... the visit undoubtly influenced the above  ... hope to visit again & again & again ...



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gimpo


... entering the gym doors of Gimpo South Korean Boys Schoo we found ourselves backstage ... Yura greeted us warmly ... she had the aura of focused calm yet excited pre-show anxiousness ... a contained nervous energy ... she smiled & exclaimed as i embraced her, “Enjoy the show!” ...

... i remembered long ago waiting with Henry & Susan, esteemed veterans of the stage ... Henry turned to me commenting - “only those who have been backstage can know this feeling” ... I recognized in Yura the apprehension, the vulnerability, the joy & the breath of time waiting backstage ...

... Yura for the first time was dipping her toes into the way of the actor ...

... we (her father, aunt & uncle) made our way to the designated audience seats ... we had been placed ob the gym stage ... the light & sound crew just behind us ... an impressive scrim, a line of facing white chairs and four towering lighting trees created  a formidable performance thrust space ...

... Odysseus the one searching a path was projected bon what looked like the mast of a ship ... it was the matinee performance ... the premiere had been in the morning & the director was giving last minute instructions to individual actors ... the actors disappeared & moments later a hundred or so middle year boys, with their teachers, restless and rambunctious flooded in ...

... what followed was a powerful renderings the Homer epic ... the soundscape, the projections, the masks & props ... the singing & dancing wove a clever moving lyrical narrative ... here was an ensemble fully & deeply committed to the sharing of their story .,.

::Note:: ... have much more to write ... just a reminder ... "as is often the case in periods where modern theatrical practice is changing, productions of Greek tragedies were used as a means to experiment with emerging proto-expressionist ideas" (Monaghan p. 44) ...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

missing


... it had never happened ... it could have happened in any one of the other times over the past thirty-three years ... a simple exercise ... face your partner ... one closes their eyes, raises arms & the other gently grabs hold of the wrists ... gently guide your partner ... backwards, forwards, around ... always demonstrated with a volunteer so others could observe ... had taken the class outside to the open field behind the education building just a hop & a skip away from the river ... it was a spring morning & I loved being outside ... we had finished the direction meditation followed by the blind running ... now the partner guide ...

... a large framed male volunteered ... after guiding him we switched ... he took hold of my wrists ... after a few seconds I was spinning around out of control ... could barely hang on ... asked him to slow down and he started to push me backward faster and faster ... I fell head slamming to the ground ... heard the whole class shout a huge "OH" then vaguely remember looking up with him standing over me questioning whether I was alright ... "Sure," I replied jumping up ...

... that was my last memory for the next thirty minutes or so ... next remember sitting in the stone canoe at the Sculpture park sharing the story of the way of the actor ... class dismissed ... a student came and handed me my keys and iphone ... didn't remember how we got to the sculpture park ...

... drove to my next teaching station all the while struggled to recollect what had happened ... taught two classes the rest of the afternoon with a slight headache ...

... grappled the entire evening to recall how the class had continued ... the next morning before class there was a student alone waiting in the hallway ... he comes early ... inquired what he remembered about the class after my fall ... he described the exercises ... class had gone as planned ... good - others could observe and bare witness to my missing memory ...

... it seems I had continued class with body memory taking over ... that half hour is gone ... no memory & I can't let it go ... in fact I obsessively look into that missing hole of time ... there is something exciting about that black hole ... I had obviously continued without consciousness ...

... the missing memory is like a tiny sliver ... it irritates ... it's there under the skin ... I can't see it ... no matter how much I dig it doesn't come out ... with a sliver I can wait it out & eventually, it emerges sometimes after a lot of squeezing ...

... things are real & not real ... they exist & they do not exist ... they can be remade in my mind with every new thought, every remembered detail & each time they are slightly different ... sometimes things are camouflage or disguises ... sometimes they are more truthful ... living in a kind of continuous dream till awakening because of some pinprick event that disturbs the edges of what is taken as reality ...

 ::Note:: ...  nothing to note ... just moments after posting found this: "they told him to write his way through the problem" ...

Saturday, May 06, 2017

make way


... the past two months have seen me watching opera on two continents ... both far from the source of their original cultural origin ... Wagner's Götterdämmerung performed by the Canadian Opera Company at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto & La Traviata performed by the Korean-Russia Opera at the Sejong Center in Seoul  ...

... not really an innocent bystander ... daughter played Gutrune/Third Norn in Götterdämmerung & wife co-directed La Traviata ...

... I have been waiting to share the experience of watching Ileana ... Act III, Gutrune awaits Seigfried's return ... the stage is bare, only a dim twilight glow in the distant background ... a solitary figure, Gutrune, stands downstage right ... the epic music has stilled to a whisper ... into the hush, Ileana reaches out delicately ... she takes hold of the entire space sending us into that unforgettable place ... waiting for a lover ... a longing in all its forms ... a dull lingering ache in the soul fraught with added complexities of heavy guilt, suffering, injustice and persecution ... the tragic, existential exhaustion of extreme emotion in solitude ... holding my breath I stepped out of the moment to look around ... I witnessed thousands spellbound ... Ileana had us all in her grasp ... amazing ... the toddler who sat on my knee listening to Magic Flute was now on stage illuminating the depths of the human condition ... I marveled at her creative act ...


... on the Korean stage, it was wild to watch a chorus of forty with a dance company and singers faithfully presenting the19th-century operatic warhorse ... AeRan had been conscripted to co-direct ... she had only a month before returned to Seoul after a study sojourn ... a performance studies Masters Degree at NYU under Richard Schechner, the American founder of the discipline, through to a Phd. in Ethnoscology obtained in Paris under founder of the discipline Jean-Marie Pradier and his successor  ... all the time engaging as a performer with Eugenio Barba and workshops with Thomas Richards, Maud Robert and others at the cutting edge of performance ... now she was directing a cast of Korean singers ... she had skillfully created a performance full of vigor & delight with truly beautiful accents ... how could she so easily move from academic treatises to such conventional exacting craftsmanship with such virtuosity ...

... both performances were a joy to watch ... I find opera takes a lot of "assistance" ... there have been times in my life where I have joined many in calling out much of this art form a museum piece and dead ... yet somehow these two events folded into performed imaginaries - the way imagination structures reality ...

... on the plane traveling to the Korean peninsula, I read Peter Brook by Michael Kustow ... finished it (a long flight) & made a total of 10 highlights ... re-reading each highlight none quite caught the essence of what I felt during the performances ... except perhaps the final sentence of the book ... "'We must learn to believe without believing. Otherwise, belief is poison.' Making theatre has helped Peter Brook to be free, and we respond to his freedom." ...

... I was reminded of the 2017 World theatre message by Isabelle Huppert ...

Theatre is for me represents the other it is dialogue, and it is the absence of hatred. 'Friendship between peoples' - now, I do not know too much about what this means, but I believe in community, in friendship between spectators and actors in the lasting union between all the peoples theatre brings together - translators, educators, costume designers, stage artists, academics, practitioners and audiences. Theatre protects us; it shelters us ... I believe that theatre loves us ... as much as we love it ... I remember an old-fashioned stage director I worked for, who, before the nightly raising of the curtain would yell with full-throated firmness 'Make way for theatre!' - and these shall be my last words tonight.
 ::Note:: ...  Yes simply put ... Make way for theatre ... It helps us be free ...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Response to Retribution


No words can prepare one for the event. I sit in the Broadway Theater in Saskatoon and Tanya Tagaq gently guides us into her performance by inviting us into an improvisation. She motions to and introduces Jean Martin and Jesse Zubot as long time fellow collaborators about to dialog together. 


Days afterward, I struggle to articulate the experience ... not to name and grasp but to activate and research ... Retribution. 

Somehow bracketed by the ever present notions of truth and reconciliation I experienced Retribution as a way of "schizo-analysis" - a pragmatic, disciplined, playful, experimental and collective process. Tagaq sources her ancestral throat-singing to follow an extreme vocal imaginative analysis induced by the colonial capitalist neurosis systems that pillage ourselves and the earth. Her deeply rooted presence enforces her acts of incarnated cultural reality of Cambridge Bay in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut, as a way of maintaining normality while engaging in an act of micro/macro political subversion. "Retribution will be swift" ... notice not a revolution but retribution.

Talking to Erroll Kinistino, an original actor in Tomson Highway's play Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, during a session where we vision remounting the play with a renewed group of Rez brothers, I mention going to see Tanya ... he nods, "Oh she is a medicine ..." 
There it is ... Retribution is medicine.

I am haunted by the quote from Lyle Longclaws that opens Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing


 " ... before the healing can take place, the poison must first be exposed ..."

During the act of Retribution, there is this sense that Tagaq inhabits the place of poison. She stakes out the territories and zones in on the nerve sphere ... there are moments of what could be described as complete physical abandon ... journeying with her becomes a delirious movement towards exile then paradoxically, in the end, you occupy a space beyond poison ... Retribution is not an exorcism ... it is an emblem, a great medicinal gift ... Retribution is healing ...


album cover for Dementia
I am reminded of my awakening in 2006 encountering Jesse Zubot's album Dementia ... the vibrational sound was a dream visioning my years beside my now ninety-two-year-old mother slipping into dementia ... it is no accident that Zubot & Tagaq collaborate ... they play in the Dreamtime ...  dream with the Indigenous meaning "ways of knowing" ... dream "that can be seen as having the dual function to envision and prepare for possible trials and difficulties and to find creative and peaceful solutions" ... dream is " 'actual' experience of the self in some ways more meaningful than experiences in the waking life" ... dream is an "important vehicle by which we communicate with the larger community and spirit world" ... dream "to share the responsibility of our problems working collectively with others towards solutions" ...

I know Tagaq has said

"I hate pretense, all that garbage, all that head-stuff is really boring. As soon as music gets paved over with ideas of what you’re supposed to be, what you’re supposed to look like, what you’re supposed to sound like, that’s when I lose interest. My eyes start to glaze over.”

What I need to say is thank you and I just want to celebrate. Thank you and I surrender to the act of retribution. So I write/wrote:
... Absolutely stunning Retribution improvisation ... the power of the trio ... the dynamic shifts ... the rhythms ... the sounds of the animal, plant, human & other worlds plea for Retribution ... no demand Retribution ... it is a wild & loving prayer/call song from the belly of the universe ... the heart is mouth ... the vibration is soul
 ::Note:: ... all of what is written about dreams is from "And What Are You Dreaming About?”: An Analysis of Tomson Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing - Lindsay Diehl ... & please listen to Retribution commentary on Spotify ... Tagaq is so lucid expressing how & what she does ...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Top ten

There's a meme going around, list the top ten albums you listened to as a teen, only one album per group.

My Dad was a physicist and had a workshop in the basement ... a fixit master. I believe he wanted me to learn this way. When I said I needed a record player in my room, that the family player in the living room wasn't for me he replied by purchasing a Heathkit turntable. I had to put it all together soldering the transistors and wiring the speakers ... I hated it but wanted desperately to buy records & listen with some sense of privacy. In the end I loved my Heathkit system.

Anyway here's the list. This is the stuff I really listened to as a teen.

Not only my top ten albums as a teen but as close to order of purchase as memory serves (teen years '66 - '72)

Absolutely Free - Mothers of Invention
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
Beggars Banquet - Rolling Stones
John Wesley Harding - Bob Dylan
Songs to a Seagull - Joni Mitchell
Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. - Simon & Garfunkel
Johnny Winter - Johnny Winter
Wheels of Fire - Cream
Cheap Thrills - Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin)
Woodstock

:: Note :: ... had to laugh as my son wrote he saw all that vinyl ...

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Twelve thoughts


... have lived for 20 years in what could be considered a pretty nondescript community ... others call it rough ...

... true it is on the "wrong" side of the river ... the west side ... on the edge of "downtown" ... across the railroad tracks ... at the bottom of "C" hill ... should there be any more stereotypes ... one more ... heard "once you turn the corner ya know you're in the hood" ...

... i feel safe ... even though have survived one break in resulting in all electronics stolen, a number of house windows broken, car vandalized, tires slashed, driver window shattered, ignition switch destroyed, even a second car torched by a fire ... house side graffitied a couple of times ... oh ya ... two homicides less than 100 meters from the yard (2014) ... still feel relatively safe ... 

... yet when opened the backdoor this morning saw a knife on top of the fence post ... it was a bit unsettling ...

... perhaps I should explain the lone fence post ... at one time there was a wooden fence surrounding the property ... always being scratched or damaged ... dismantled it ... destroying a wooden fence can be a truly cathartic act ... that bullshit about good fences make good neighbors ... now neighborhood dogs have full access to the beautiful huge tree trunks & there is a well worn short cut path ... it's a corner lot and using the sidewalk means an extra, i don't know, ten steps ... i'm a good neighbor without a fence ... back to the fence post ... left one standing for winter extension cord purposes ... winter is an eight month proposition ... temperatures dip to -40 C ... car needs plugging in ... extension cord needs tying down ... hence lone fence post standing ...

... well the knife was a butcher's knife ... first thought ... what's the message ... yet if it were a message ... like straight out of Coppola's The Godfather it should have been a horse head ... don't mean to suggest this is an Italian neighborhood ... i'm Italian heritage ... the rest of the neighborhood is hugely mixed ... primarily low income edging ever so slowly to hipster ... second thought maybe someone had dropped it ... another had found it ... being considerate had politely placed the knife nice and high and visible on the fence post ... 

... thought for a moment ... just leave it there for the owner to find it again ... fourth thought ... no way ... took it inside and laid it down in the entrance way ... locked the door behind me ... rushed off because I was a few minutes off schedule being delayed by the knife action ... had to get past the railway tracks before the morning train came ... hated waiting in the resulting halted traffic jam so always timed drive early enough to avoid the train ... sped over the tracks and was well on my way to work ...

... waiting at a red light thought asked ... keep the knife ... hadn't really had time to inspect it ... looked expensive ... first glance ... seemed in good condition ... sharp ... but what can you determine by just looking at a knife ... sixth thought ... didn't need a knife ... knew if I kept it ... every time I looked or used it ... would remember this strange incident ... seven ... could keep it and hide it ... what would be the use of that ...

eight ... throw it away ...not in my trash though and no one near here ... people regularly went through the trash searching for anything ... didn't want them finding a good butchers knife ... remember that time you were helping that eight year old fix his bike ... he pulled out this kitchen knife from his backpack ... asked him why he had the knife ... "Just like to carry a knife" he replied ... "Do your parents know you have a knife?" I asked ... "No" he stated eyeing me ... "Maybe you should tell them." I suggested ... "Sure!" he lied ...  

nine ... been two days ... knife lays waiting for a decision ... a baseball bat at the front ... a butcher knife at the back ... told you I felt safe ... so why the bat & knife ... don't even know where the bat came from ... 

ten ... can never be too careful ... always be prepared ... had been a Boy Scout ... 

eleven ... replace the knife ... take a picture ... put it back inside ... write about it ... post on blog ... seems logical ... 

twelve ...

::Note:: ... still waiting for the 12th thought ... "good knives make good neighbours" - jc FB comment ...