Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Back In The East Again
Heaven Is An Airport

It seems I just cannot get away from this place. I'm here in New
Brunswick for the week for a work engagement (something I thought
I would never do for this company...travel) and I promised on the
plane ride that as soon as I got my internet hooked up, I would
throw out a blog of some pressing thoughts and ideas. So here goes.

10:45 am on monday morning, I was in a limo, on my way to Pearson
YYZ listening to a 70 something driver named Frank talk about
his love for repairing Grandfather clocks. A pretty ornate and
specialized skill. I soaked in as much detail from him as I could.
He was a gold mine of random information. He said he moved to
St Catharines 47 years ago for his company and was only supposed
to live there for about a year...but then he met his wife and things
changed. I asked him why downtown St Catharines is the dirty armpit
that it has come to be and he said it has been slowly dillapidating
since 1968 and has never improved. Sad. He asked me what I
do and I told him I work in a call centre but that it's not my passion
or desire, occupation wise. I told him I want to go back to school
for Journalism someday soon but that it would put Sarah and I
into more debt. He said 'You really can't put a price on doing
something you love...you just can't'.

The GTA Pearson Airport - a massive cacaphonic machine of
mammoth sized rooms and light. I read somewhere that airports are
full of light due to depressional reasons. As I made my way past
the baggage check and into the 'safe' area en route to my flight
gate, there were some larger gates with angled ceilings, filled
with some splash modern art paint plastered up high, looking
somewhat kindergarten-ish but also very soothing.

Since I filmed my own little low-fi biography (on a VHS Handycam)
back in my Guelph days, I have always been somewhat obsessed
by airports. I remembered then, as I thought to myself on monday,
that I love to watch the expressions on the faces of people who pass
me by - bags in tow, phone usually to the ear, always definitely
going somewhere but still somehow...lost. There is a vaccum that
is felt in such a massive collection of people. Maybe it's due to
the vast amount of waiting that happens in airports, leading people
to think beyond their normal patterns and routines and ask big
existential questions. Maybe it's the horrible airline food.

As I get older and try to get a grip on my own anxiety, without the
aid of medication, certain cirumstances can still leave me puzzled
as to why I feel the way I do. The take off during flight was one
of these such instances - but then the ironic part of it is that I
realized 'hey, most people are a little tense during take off. relax'
and once that overly simplistic notion entered my head, I felt
a little more at ease. Another thing which eased my mind was a
ritual that I always undertake while on a plane, whether with
people or on my own, and that ritual is the ordering of a ginger ale.
I'm not sure why it's even a ritual - I just remember travelling on an
airplane as a young chap and being with my parents and brother
(probably flying to Colorado where my Grandparents lived
at one point) and watching my dad order a ginger ale - the
soothing smell of the bubbles and the light, golden colour.

Upon take off, those little air nozzles that shoot air at
you from above your head (which is air from WHO knows WHAT
mechanical fan on board) seemed to blow a waft of something
that smelt alot like gruyere cheese, so I opted out. Anyways,
I read 100 pages of JPod (Coupland) and relaxed a bit.

The landing was successful and ahead of schedule. I met my great
friends Julie and Nic and their amazingly beautiful and smart
2 year old Maddisyn in the airport and they've had me over
for dinner both nights so far. I think in all things we do, the
fellowshipping of friends and the breaking of bread is a
sanctimonious practice which must not be taken lightly.
It is also key to our existence. I'm not sure why, but I have
this sneaking suspicion that heaven is a lot like an airport, dangit.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The New Scene

No, I did not go through a mid life crisis. Although...I am 30...
I suppose I should go through one of those soon.

I feel that a lot of life is either looking ahead or looking
back without much inbetween. Whether you embrace that
fact or wrestle with it can really make a difference in how
well you sleep at night. Lately, I've been doing much looking
ahead which, I suppose, is a good thing. Maybe this means
I'm starting to understand that the past is gone, re-learning
to have zest and a passionate fire for what may come. The
next few months will prove to be task-oriented but also
relaxed. I have much planned but biggest among these
trees of ideas is the spruce of a winter tour - A small five or
six city tour, playing in some dingy rock pubs and 1 dollar
drink bars where the floors are sticky and the smoke is
still embedded in the dark coloured wallpaint and low
light fixtures.

This is something I've always wanted to do and well...
the time is now, really. I'm sure there are more responsible
and less time-consuming activities to undertake but
really, I could care less. Life is for the living and you
can sleep when you're dead. As Regis Philbin titled
his book "I'm Only One Man" but Regis, I'll be
damned if I don't try to be more than a man.

God appears to different people in different ways but
one thing that is universal, and that I think all cultures
and heritages would agree upon, is that the true God
does not stand for injustice. I want to be Johnny Cash.
I want to care for the sick. I want to be concerned
about the children dying on the dirt streets of Africa.
I want to pick up garbage on the streets of filthy
downtown St. Catharines. I want to give all my
possessions and bullshit away to the homeless. I want
to understand more about gay men and women.

At the base level, though, I just want to be a good
listener and spend time with the ones I love.

Fuck the rest.

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