On a Lighter Note: Caravan Palace and Spry Bry

On Friday, July 26th, I had the most incredible evening I’ve had in ages. It was drenched in sweat and euphoria and dancing, and it was wonderful. Here’s a couple samplers of what I was treated to:

Spry Bry. This guy. He plays violin amidst electro-swing backing tracks that he’s simultaneously mixing. So good.

 

And then , le piece de resistance, Caravan Palace. They were perfect. They did this routine, live, in front of my eyes, with the perfect mic pass-off and everything. I was unable to breathe at points, not because I wore a corset, but because they were so perfect. Just, perfect.

Please become hardcore fans so that we can gush together. Thank you.

Also, I found this artist, Laurent Chehere, who did a series of photographs called “Les maisons volantes”. Now, je ne parlais pas francais, but they’re beautiful flying houses. Just beautiful. Click on the flying circus tent to ogle more of his stuff (and peruse that whole website as well, there’s some crazy cool stuff there).

Laurant Chehere

Laurent Chehere

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Carving a Space: Life Update

It might be better to crawl under my desk and wait for the next two days to pass. It’s Tuesday today, and I have a final exam tomorrow morning. Also two revised papers due. It’ll be fine. But I really can’t wait until Thursday, because I’m leaving! Packing up and leaving the suburbs and the city and trekking up to Wells, BC for the ArtsWells music festival.

I’m really, really excited to take part in the workshops at ArtsWells, and meet other volunteers at the merch table, and spend some quality time with myself and my forever friend Robin. It’ll be nice to be in a place where the only main worries I’ll have is a) getting to see all the acts I want to see and b) keeping the beer cold. I’m really looking forward to it.

Haven’t packed yet. I’m saving that for tomorrow evening. Laundry first, people.

I guess I’m hoping that a weekend away will put some distance between me and all the heavy emotional shit that I’ve been wading through, and also that it’ll inject some creativity back into my life. If a weekend among artists won’t do it, what will? I’m hoping that August will be a really creative, cathartic month for me. Gotta get some quality time with my canvas and paints in before school starts, right? Though I have applied to take an upper division creative writing course next semester, so hopefully that’ll keep me writing.

There’s a lot of things to look forward to, and I’m going to keep remembering that. Thanks to everyone in the WordPress community for being wonderful, witty, creative human beings, and to my friends, family, and partner for being so supportive and there for me throughout the past year. I’m looking forward to spending August with you.

Prairie Rituals

There was a funeral. It was exhausting. But over ritual 6AM coffee at my grandpa’s favourite (and only) coffee haunt the morning we drove back, it settled into my bones that I knew I would come back. I knew it surrounded by his friends, where nothing needs to be said but a comment here and there on the baseball game the night before, and the latest happenings in “the big town”.

His favourite waitress came to the funeral. As everyone filed past, shaking hands and speaking words, she introduced herself.  “I know,” I said. I did. Every morning, my grandpa would walk through the restaurant doors and call out “‘Morning, Norma,” before settling into the same seat he had settled into for years. She’d bring him a cup of coffee, and ask him how he was doing. “Oh,” he’d say, “Same as always”. At the funeral, I pulled her into a hug. Shakily, she said ” I’m going to miss him,” as tears welled up. “I know,” I said, “Me too”.

When I walked through the restaurant doors at 6:00 in the morning, I saw her, heavy-handed with coffee carafes.

“‘Morning, Norma,” I said.

She looked up and smiled, a thin, wan smile, but a smile.

I will go back. And they’ll all be there, before daybreak, coffee in one hand, and newspapers in the other.

photo credit: kootation.com

–photo credit: kootation.com–

When The Feathers Fall

It’s the height of summer and there’s nothing but warmth and sunlight and trees thick with green blowing in the soft breeze, here on the west coast of Canada. Everything is green. Everything is alive, and it feels like a lie.

We’ve lost so much, and still we stand. Not strong, but together. Somewhere outside the howling madness the reasons nudge their way in, explaining away the ragged holes in our family. It was for the best, they say. He didn’t want to live.

I know he didn’t want to live.

I knew when he looked at me across the kitchen table and said, broken-eyed, “I don’t want to go on, Emmy. I don’t want to go on anymore,” while his wife’s ashes took up a whole room of sorrow for themselves.

Hope is the thing with feathers, right?

What happens when the feathers fall, melting, too close to the sun? A small splash in an arcing, cosmic web of cyclical life and death. But when standing next to that splash, it’s easy to be soaked. Stand next to many, and the water soaks into your bones.

I’m aching with my mind and my heart.

I’m done with death.