As Hard As We Try
What a month. People are dying all around me, and somehow, in the dregs and treachery of muddy and complicated life, I find a way to keep sojourning onwards towards the magical whiff of the tradewinds.
What a gasp this life is.
We try to identify the key factors to the pathos of the script, and the major players who could venture inside the minds of the characters we require, but in the end - we wing it. We fart it out - and the script escapes us.
It's all too sad to think about sometimes - how fast we go. We are here to gaze at the sun, if only for moments, and then, like the harsh winter season, we are all but forgotten in pastures of promising bluebells, spring smiles and sundresses of the future.
We are a whiff of something lasting - but we are a momentary gas in the ether. Poof.
My friend lost his father yesterday. Yesterday. In a span of a 24 hour block, his mentor and moral rock is fucking gone. Cancer. Disappeared. And we are left here, sorting through the pieces of this faded, musty and jumbled life puzzle.
The annals of time click on towards whatever they click to - Freedom? An exploded clock. A release.
The other night, the Ottawa Senators were playing Philly. The Sens pulled out a deep-seated victory but in the game, my old friend's brother Kent Huskins was playing defense for Philly. I saw him on the screen of my living room tv, and he was a pixelated version of a childhood memory. I used to play hours of backyard basketball with Kent's older brother Brad. Brad was a great friend. Kent would sometimes show up in their Almonte pitch, and leave Brad and myself with a few wacky laughs.
And here I was, watching my old pal's brother on my television set - wondering if I could somehow get back to that backyard basketball innocence.
But I can't. I'm stuck in the cruel, cold light of day where the age lines crack in the faces of everyone I know.
I see now why it was so appealing for Lou Reed to skip the life completely. Skip it. The angel may ride with hunchbacked children, but we still hold out hope for that angel to grace the freeways of our misty, gray existence.
Skip the heartbreak and the hurt and the constant mountains of fucking up.
As hard as we try. we kick against the goads.
We are goats - headbutting the fences of our own mortality.
But like the figure in the photo, we venture onward. We long for the moment where the scales fall from our eyes on the road to Damascus.
And amidst the shit and the fight and the rain, I feel your breath. You are still here. And so am I.
We thought we lost you.
Getting Back To The Heart Of You
The distant cries of our childhood songs fade behind our dirt-crusted footsteps, as we trudge through the long, dark day of responsibility.
The calls for daddy and mommy seem to be another language, now - and we walk onward.
But in many ways, who we were then is who we are now. No one can seem to interpret the echoes in the canyons of your mind - they are imperceptible and beyond the worlds of light and sound.
But those echoes are pieces of us - careening of the high, rock walls of our past and reminding us in a far-away, weepy tone of the people we once were.
The lands between the worlds of dreaming and waking seem to be drawing closer. We sleep more than we used to. We can't run as long as we once could. We weather and we wilt.
But after the long, entangling and often overwhelming cosmic joke of this life, we will get it right. We will watch the movies of our memory fly by like billboards on a southbound greyhound bus. The dim light of day, fading all around us, into a grapefruity reflection of the sun - the sun of our youth.
As it sets into an orange technicolour sky, we wave it goodbye and watch it fall.
If we went back, could we change the mistakes? Or are the mistakes all part of the many autumn colours of this wild ride through the seasons?
Our childhood is a passageway of past continents - forever broken and placed differently on to the map of our adulthood. We float on icebergs of morality and consciousness, but all the while, we have no direction. No anchor. No roots.
We remember the poem, but we, much like the author, continue to write our Ode To A Grecian Urn.
We will be who we are
Some nights, in the dying crevasses of the dusty-lit day, my mind wanders. It wanders to a place between dreams and sleep where I think about everything and all in between the ruts and the ditches of this long drawn-out life.
We used to get excited for summers. The excitement was palpable, and that deep sting in our guts let us know that the days were getting longer and that our time of scholastic slavery was at an end for a season.
We dream of getting back to the past - to the time where life seemed to make sense. Time was a figment of our spaced-out minds, and it was buried somewhere in the blackholes of distant galaxies.
Now, time is a runner, and we watch the trails of dirt that seem to burn around us that much faster with every waking second.
I've been traveling.
I'm a journeyman along the roads of this long, weary life. I don't like to stay in one place for too long. If I do, the bottoms of my feet get itchy and my dry soul feels like it needs an unearthed water.
Recently, I did some video for a band.
That band lost one of its guitarists only 4 days after I parted ways with them.
And I'm stuck here in the interim - in the purgatory of my thoughts - and I don't quite know how to reconcile what happened with the reality of 'moving on' and 'making it through'.
What are we making it through to? When the day ends, where does the light escape to?
What gets us to such a fucked up point in the non-linear graph of our lives?
Oddly enough, I only had one conversation with Jay. It was during the neon-overkill of the Indie Awards in Toronto. He was at the bar and we traded pleasantries. He looked like Johnny Cash if Johnny Cash had spent his adolescence playing punk rock. His eyes seemed to look upward when we talked. We mentioned Dave Marsh - Joel Plaskett's drummer - and how Marsh seems to send the oddest texts at the oddest times. We compared a few on each other's phones and shared a chuckle. Oh, that Marsh.
Jay also asked me if I had filmed the latest Plaskett videos from the Horseshoe tavern in December. I said yeah, and he went on to tell me that he had just returned from a tour and watched all of them and really enjoyed them. What a nice compliment.
I don't know what happened to that nice man who chunked his Gibson with an electrical current of feeling like no one else. Maybe he couldn't take it. Maybe there were other things at play. I recently listened to most of his solo album, and it's seriously fucking good.
It's so sad when someone gets to a point of no return. I myself have had some darkened days of deep contemplation and inner suffering, but above it all, I have this feeling of wanting to see how it all plays out.
If Jesus comes back, I want to see it. If it's all a sham, I want to find out how.
The roadsides and byways of this life scream with disappointment and sadness. We cannot, for one moment, pretend to be shiny happy people with all of the answers. When that happens, we are at a place of sickness. But in the same vein, we must find the tether that pulls us - the string that pulls out of the ether and back to the mothership.
I'm so sad for what happened. I'm also sad for a long time friend who is going through some awful shit. What's worse is that I don't know how to help. I nod my head, and try to listen - but I am answerless.
I guess we must remember everything - all of it. The family. The brothers. The enemies. The shit. The good. The pain. The sex. The frustration. The embarrassment.
This is the unavoidable horror of realizing that we will ultimately be who we are - and sometimes, just by being who we are, we fuck everything up.