I took this picture today on my walk. How it brought back an intense memory.
The fading light through the trees was soft owing to the smoke issuing from the line of lake-side cabins and adding to the vigorous smell of cooked pickerel. Sunday suppertime on Sturgeon Lake in North Western Alberta, 1973. My dad and I readied his red and white 1968 Chevrolet truck and headed home. It was Sunday and he had to get home (an hour West in Grande Prairie) to get ready for the week’s work.
My dad, by then 61, bone thin, just starting to stoop; yet, still towering over me. How after the truck was packed he’d take a moment, remove his cap, scratch his balding pate, then get in and off we’d go. Perhaps he was going over a mental checklist to ensure the cabin was locked up for the week.
It was always a quiet ride home, excepting for the radio. He wasn’t a conversationalist and thus, perhaps, is why I have an over-active imagination in having to keep myself occupied.
First stop, always, the garbage dump.
We are approaching the turn-off and suddenly it was like we were dive-bombed by a flying… something. Like an explosion of crazy in front of me. My heart was in my throat as it was on my side, by the tall steel radio antenna.
Dad laughed, “it’s a bat, caught on the aerial.”
My eyes were like saucers! A bat, mere feet from my head! Just waiting to get its chance to taste my blood!
We pulled into the dump and dad got out, gabbed a blanket from behind the truck seat, went around to my side, threw the blanket on the gyrating bat, pulled it up and off the antenna and snapped the blanket, like he was flicking off dust, and the bat, though hard to see in the twilight, screamed and flew off.
Dad folded up the blanket and put it behind the chair. He then threw out the garbage and again, we were on our way.
“The thing you should remember, never panic. Remember, early in the summer and that bear was in the dump? Keep your distance, yell and shout and he’ll go on his way. Never panic, you can’t think straight when you panic.”
He’d always give these, gems of wisdom to me. His favourite, “experience is the best teacher.” Loved that one.
Well, the excitement over, on the way again. We’d just turned off the dusty, noisy gravel and onto the soothing highway as it began to rain. Not much at first, but quickly grew into a monsoon with lightening and thunder.
“We’ll have to pull over, it’s too hard to see.” So we pulled off to the side of the highway.
That musty smell created by hard rain after a few, dusty, and hot days. I’ve never forgotten it; always cherish it as it instantly transports me to my youth.
Then more lightening, “one-thousand and one, one-thousand and…” boom!
That was close. Then. Oh but then.
This, imbued on my memory. I was looking out my window at the thick forest of birch and pine at the side of the road. A jagged bolt of pure white flashed in my vision. Like nothing I’d seen, but just like a kid drew a lightening bolt: sharp angles to a point. It seemed to linger there, a few feet above the ground; and then, it seemed like an eternity after the image, this, voice-of-god-like crash physically shook the truck.
I jumped over the side and grabbed dad. He laughed, “just lightening, we’ll be okay, we have rubber tires, we’re isolated from it.”
Immediately the rain subsided and we were off again. It was a few miles before I was back on my side of the truck.
Never forgot that moment and, I never looked at that blanket the same way again.
to speak of her, in this time
salts my eyes, with pride
sea to mountain, her
nature, her strength
her diverse peoples too
yet we must face vile truths
darkness of humanity
those who first walked
this magnificent land
First People’s tormented by:
John A Macdonald’s “extinguishing”
stripping their sacred land
their languages outlawed
sent to brutal, residential schools
my eyes salted more to see
finally, finally, finally
reconciliation, not yet perfect
bringing people’s together to
say this, all of our Canada
our home, on native land
It’s been a while since I’ve been on a film set. And longer since I’ve been behind the camera, directing, editing. Oh, those were great times, watching the actors bring characters to life, the crew working hard to get the project done, oh to be working in film again. ‘sigh’ You can see some of my work at my You Tube channel.
Ah, but life took over and had bills to pay. Looking back, clearly my passion wasn’t strong enough to carry me forward, but the flame still exists. I am writing and posting scripts on Ink Tip and am fleshing out two series ideas.
Meanwhile, I have been following Vancouver filmmakers and their great work. One in particular, Michelle Muldoon, is looking for funds for her project Last Stand to Nowhere. While I’ve not had time to get out there and help physically, I decided to donate and help them out. Please, stop by their indiegogo site and help them get it made! Thanks!
So in Eagle Ridge Emergency, fell off my bike, may be my ribs, not my point.
So went through the routine: check in, blood pressure check, answer questions, etc. Anyway, busy, no chairs, so I found a place to stand. The staff are patient and kind and everyone is also waiting patiently.
But then I found myself within earshot of this older man, clearly in pain, swearing loudly and complaining about having to wait so long to his clearly, if not overly patient wife.
I tried to ignore for a while, but started to get angry at his rude comments about the staff. I felt like saying: ‘you whinny little…’ but thought better of it.
He then started to complain about the Canadian health system. I heard myself, somewhat audiably, say, ‘it’s free asshole.’
Thankfully he didn’t hear, but the wife did, I wanted to glare back but could only feel compassion for her.
Yeah, we got lineups, but really I’d take our system not bankrupting me just for a sliver any day.
of ice clinging to
winging dust, fleeting in
duration, immense in breadth
gaze gravitates upward
each eye deduces its own
horse, spider, swimmer
according to each state
mine own mind alights
upon memories of ancient
cave paintings of people’s
perhaps, they too
saw in the sky
their own joy
Music has been in my life for a long time. I picked up a guitar when I was 13 and love to still pick it up. In college I took music, but found it just wasn’t my thing, I just didn’t have it. It was hard but I had to let it go, it still stings, to tell the truth. But, anyway, I love to play around with the track mix on Garage Band and here is one I came up with today.
it’s been, always, there
an aspiration to fly, above
till azure, turns inky, till
am able to palm the spheroid, till
this ache, fear, isolation are but
remote notions of those
hell we’ve fashioned after
clawing at one another’s eyes
being better at being better than
the other, the other we’ve
A shock of course, I was deeply invested in the position. It was a position of leadership and working not only with a staff, but also for a community. Quite a fulfilling job. No ill will finds my heart and while the loss left me emotional fragile, I will bootstrap and move on. As I’ve done in the past and will do again in the future.
The greatest heartbreak has been to leave behind the great people I worked with, we were a family, the loss of which is causing me deep grief.
It’s amazing how connected the self-esteem is to a job. Feelings of inadequacy, mixed with fear of not finding another position finds me often. But again, keep moving forward, keep shoving aside those dark notions and stay in the light, keep at it!
dark night of the soul
loss, termination, dissolution
gathers cynic’s row
to bestow their venom
break the spirit
dice, shred esteem
leaving one to reap
fragments of self
a patchwork of
anima + animus
bleeding ego and id
truth to self