Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Archive for the month “May, 2010”

An old scrap from two years ago

I used to be able to sit and think for long periods of time.  This was before my constant sips of Crown Royal slowly pooled together into what most other people call an “alcohol problem” (I prefer to think of it as the fine aging process).   Back then, though, I used to work out entire books and plays that I could never remember when I was close enough to a pen and paper to transcribe.  All my attempts to recapture that brilliance, that cathartic release fell suddenly came out trite, workmanlike.  Eventually I stopped trying.   My imagination became less elaborate; in short order it was consigned to replaying old memories and scenes from TV shows I had watched in the past few days.

I don’t remember what made me leave Omaha.  It was sudden…in not even 72 hours I had gone from working at a call center taking abuse from the mentally and socially incompetent to sitting on a Greyhound bound for the southwest.

My eyes hurt, there’s a few dried up puke bits in my mouth, I’ve got the Marseillaise playing on loop in my head and I’m on the ground.  Again.  I don’t remember what town I’m in.


The Ocean

I went to Cape Breton last summer for my friends’ wedding; the day after the ceremony, the bride, groom, myself and another friend of the couple went to the beach at Kennington Cove near Louisbourg.  It was a hot August afternoon and it couldn’t have been a better day to get some pictures; this was right after I got my DSLR and a perfect opportunity to get some of that picturesque Cape Breton scenery.

I’ve always loved going out near the water and I always want to take pictures whenever I am out there.  One of the good things about being in Atlantic Canada is that you’re never too far from the ocean; there are so many potential photographic opportunities I haven’t taken advantage of yet.  I’d also love to go out west to get some shots of the Pacific someday.

It’s Another World Here

I’m back on the Toronto pictures.  This one was taken in the Canon Theatre foyer.  I remember one time going to a theatre in Winnipeg back when I was a kid and for some reason this reminded me of this.  Not quite as ornate though. The inside of the theatre is even more spectacular; I respect the rules forbidding photography in the actual theatre, but I don’t think a simple photograph can even come close to capture what it’s like in there.  I like the crowds of people milling about here.

We ended up going twice on Sunday: the matinee and the evening show.  It was the last day they were there and my sisters had planned on going for a while.  Personally I would have been fine just going one time but we were in different seats for each show: we sat really far up for the matinee and a little closer to the stage for the evening show.  It was interesting to get two different perspectives on the show and see the different performances.

Really interesting mural there too.

Down in the Flood

This is another picture from that night I went out to the river around sundown.   Before the causeway gates were opened that area where the guy was standing was underwater.   I actually have a picture of where there was some flooding last October when it was still considered a lake.  I don’t have a picture from the same angle but I do have a shot of roughly the same area the guy is standing in, although the water was a little higher than normal that night.

You can see the difference.  I kind of like it better now; there’s more movement in the water.  It’s as it should be.

Find a City

I prefer living in the city.  I’ve always liked cities since I was young, since they had more going on and more of a life to the towns my family was usually stuck in: to be fair a lot of the places we lived were either dying east-coast towns or bedroom communities for people who want to be close enough to their jobs without dealing with some of the more “vibrant” aspects of city life.  As I grow older, city life makes more sense to me from an employment standpoint, but I really haven’t lost my fascination with the other aspects of urban living.  There’s more to cater to my tastes in a city: sometimes I think the city I’m in may not have enough, but sometimes I don’t think I really stray far enough out of my comfort zone to really take advantage of all it offers.


Giving way for the fourteenth time.  It’s giving way.  My hands have this weight to them lately where I can only type when I think about it.  It doesn’t come like a machine anyways, it never did.  It was too deliberate and too hesitant.  But now, I guess the whole goal of this is to just remove the disconnect between brain and typed output.  I don’t know.  The city with no record store; I guess in the age of the internet it doesn’t matter but it still strikes me as fundamentally wrong for the only physical place where people can buy music to be a Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart of 1997 actually stocked a better selection than the HMV of today.  Music industry is dying.  I don’t know how I feel about this.

Five times.  I keep having these fragments in my head with numbers and so forth; possibly to be said in this wistful tone.  The randomness of life is very insane.  Scratch that.  I’m trying to think of connection and the spark of life; these are qualities I wish to articulate somehow.  What is really worth articulating?  What do I need to say and where do you fit in?  Sun drenched highway somewhere in Manitoba with a few bike riding life enthusiasts; the sun setting and the picture has that hazy film-like quality to it.  I see a lot of quick cuts in time to music; “Finding and Believing” by Pat Metheny maybe…it has this sort of epicness and alienness to it.   That third part when the piano comes in and the falsetto chanting cuts across it.  Not particularly triumphal or anything, maybe a good epilogue soundtrack or something.  I really wish I could describe music better but it’s impossible to distill the essence of a song into words.  The best I could do would be all this technical jargony shit that you need a background in music to understand.


Betty said she prayed today – for the sky to blow away. Or maybe stay. She wasn’t sure.

Sunday was a very warm, humid day, one of those days you normally would expect to turn up in June or July, rather than early May.  I felt like I hadn’t really been taking advantage of the evening when I brought my camera out; the last few photo runs had been somewhat cold days where I was leaving and coming back in the middle of the day, usually carrying a backpack with a few notebooks to bring out in case the inspiration strikes (side question: what do you usually use to capture those fleeting moments of inspiration?) .  By the time I finally headed out to the river the breezes were mitigating the mugginess and it made it all the more worth it.  I had laundry to do and a few other things to get on top of, but I just lingered down by the water for a while with my camera as the sun set.  I just stood, listened and watched, thinking of other places I wouldn’t mind standing, listening, and watching.

This is what used to be “Lake Petitcodiac”, a headpond on the other side of causeway gates that cut off and choked the Petitcodiac River.  The river began flowing free again a few weeks ago, to the cheers of many and the jeers of a loud few property owners disguising their self-interest as an environmental movement; their main concern was the polluted river water destroying the “ecosystem” and the loss of the recreational uses of the “lake”.  When someone wrote into the paper suggesting they build another causeway upriver, the movement lost what little credibility they had.  I wonder if any of those people would give two shits about the “lake” if someone bought them all nice lakefront homes on a real lake.

The Dead

I remember someone telling me that they couldn’t hear “The Last Post” without visualizing a happy man dancing.   I’ve been trying to suppress inappropriate laughter on Rememberance Day ever since.

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