Okay, I have a lot -A LOT- of art to make, noooo time, but I am tired of printing glorified press releases on here, I have stuff to say! It's funny, I was wondering lately exactly why I blogged, haven't I been trying to shun Narcissus since my old zining days (and zines really are not that different from blogs in a quaint way)...but I like writing, I like conveying, I like expressing, I like thinking, I like interacting with people. It's also a good way to keep folks in the loop. That said, I want to build my listening skills because people are interesting. Annnnd (total aside: oh man, I am listening to Max Webster now and it is giving me a total rush cuz I am listening to "Battle Scars" which is the song that they did with Rush) this blog helped to land me an office day job! Yes, they googled my name knowing that I must have a blog, they then read the blog and noticed that I am a real human being with a sense of humour. This job does not relate directly to creative expression or blogging at all, except in terms of getting along with and relating to others. As well, I found this out today: I never check the stats on here but someone from a blog that is listed in my sidebar says that a lot of people visit their blog through mine! NEAT! Well, all those blogs are worth checking out in their own ways so that's great! Keep engaged! I gotta get on this stats thing.
This month has been intense. It will take up a few blog posts to be sure. As well as landing a job and other surprises to be revealed forthcomingly, my brother Perry got married in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Ever been? No? Don't go. Okay, I am so glad I went to this wedding. I am so proud of him, he's a paramedic, she's a nurse, they save and help lives.
So before we get to the meaningful, let's start with the bad. Nipawin. If you have any ideals about small town living, Saskatchewan in particular, I would like to destroy them. My Mother has lived in many Saskatchewan small towns and she has always felt like the outsider. These towns are insular and xenophobic. Open mouths and closed minds. Nipawin was slightly different in that the mouths were closed as well, yet it truly embodied the worst qualities of small town Saskatchewan (Saskatoon and Regina are cities and are exempted as they are really great places in a lot of ways). I had many conversations with the people of Nipawin, the conversations mostly went just like this:
US (ie. ME): Hi. How are you?
They also put meat in their potato salad- and probably everything else! Foraging for food when one don't eat much in the world of meat was difficult. Oh, and they all drink booze, lots of it. So I was double weird to them. But I don't feel weird. They feel weird. And that makes me feel weird.
And they stared- alot! They'd sit together but not welcome others. This was one seriously creepy town.
While there I hit a thrift store and purchased a pristine Jimmy Smith Blue Note jazz Lp and an odd seven inch Joey by The Macklin Allouettes for a dime. Putting it on my turntable I noticed this Made In Saskatchewan single was from the perspective of a baby to its' mother. Nice. Then we get to the third verse:
Someday when we meet
On the far off shore
You will see this child
That you could have bore
And your earthly pleasures will all have passed by
And to God up in heaven
You cannot lie
When he says why you didn't
Let me tell you
Mother oh mother, how I love you
Yup. Xtian anti-Choice spiritual blackmail threats, a ballad that uses Jack T. Chick methods of guilt. Never before has such a soft song induced extreme waves of nausea. I will be spinning this at an inappropriate DJ night. One day I may even get an MP3 converter to post on here! (note: please send me an MP3 converter. Thank you.)
So going to the wedding was a touch difficult. And not just because of drunken uncles with rather Draconian immigration beliefs. Two weeks before, my girlfriend left to go to Vancouver for good, for reasons completely outside of my control. Before she left I brought up marriage. A measure for the women I love most? Marriage never seemed an option for me but it represents-when not used to keep someone in the country or as trade for cattle and property-a furthering of commitment and unity. She still had to go...for good. I've been around. And I can honestly say that I have never been in such honest and compatible love before. I struck gold with this one. And people say that it gets easier as one gets older, that one's heart hardens, and love mellows with age. (though I don't feel old- I feel younger than I did five years ago- but I have lived a little) This past month proves all of those maxims wrong. That's kind of a plus in a way, to know that one can fully love and be joyous at any age and, when things end, can feel things strongly as well (but who knows what the future holds anyways right? Is anything truly over? Especially when neither party wants it to end). I am so sad and feel so helpless. Single life, adrift....
But I was happy for my brother. He seems so in love. And I think that this is a good thing. I wasn't worried about him in the slightest. They get along very well. It was a celebration. He threatened a Shrek-themed wedding. I envisioned him painted green. Alas, this was not so but there was Shrek cake with the Shrek couple on it! I am not a Pixar person so have never seen Shrek but the cake made me smile. And it meant so much to be there for him.
This trip really deepened things for me in terms of family and friends. As well as the fragility of life. The important things. I was able to express to friends of the family, who have been there time and time again for us, just how important they are. The friends who sent fun packages to my dying father to cheer him up. The former youth minister who I found out had met us first as, to quote the min Minister at the time, a family in trauma, a sort-of project for him. Soon he became close to us and vice-versa. When my Dad (my real Dad not my birth dad) came into the picture, he conducted the wedding (my Dad gained a wife and four sons all at once). When my Dad died he conducted the funeral and helped us to remember the man our Dad was. And he was there to conduct my brother's wedding. He also gave me a sketchbook of drawings that I gave him when I was twelve. This was such a meaningful gesture. To see these drawings again years later, to see where I've been and how little I have changed core-wise. I still have trouble drawing feet. I will be posting those drawings soon, by the way!!!
I kept close to my mother, I worry about her.
I danced with my aunt.
I got a better understanding of one of my brothers which was needed. After the wedding festivities ended, we drove to our father's grave together. A cat was lingering around the tombstone. I felt like my Dad was drawing the cat to him. I didn't voice things aloud. A few mutterings. My mother's place was set. "I'll hold the door open for you." That is what my Dad told my Mom and that is what was on the tombstone. He was a good man. When I think of terms of positive impact, of affecting others, of making people less lonely, it is in terms of creative expression but my Dad was not creative or even that talkative. But he immediately transformed five lives (my Mother and brothers and me). I was fucking lucky, man! Reading Michael Moorcock's books on The Multiverse -besides teaching me about the spiritual elements of the vast, nearly unknowable cosmic fabric- helps me to see how things can go very differently at the drop of a hat. If my Mother had never divorced my birth father when I was three, I probably would have put a gun in my mouth when I got older. That man was not good. I was the youngest son, I had the least scars. So lucky that a great man stepped in to raise us, dinner conversations full of snot jokes and laughter.
My mother and I stopped into All Citizens, half an hour from my father's grave, an hour from Saskatoon, which is the neatest shop, a mecca in small town Saskatchewan with an espresso machine, Saskatchewan and international art and crafts, really pleasing decor and live shows. And, yes, they are up for touring acts and consignment. Check it here:
It made me think again of community, reaching others in a way that does not necessarily relate to the fame game, an honesty.
Nipawin made me think about the open interaction I have on a daily basis in the big city. The city doesn't even feel big, there's enough meaningful interaction to make it seem intimate and to combat the bullshit factor. Cities are said to be cold, any place can be, people are naturally lonely all over but if there are ways to make people feel less lonely it's a good thing.