The north end of Fort McMurray is still burning; in my neighbourhood, pop-up bake sales, drop-off centers on front yards, people who know loss too well coordinating delivery of strollers, car seats, clothes, toys. They remember—they feel lucky—they feel re-traumatized—they feel they need to be doing something, and so they do.
I feel not too much, am working quite hard to keep it academic, just-over-there, make a donation, spread the word, move on, don’t get too involved—suddenly, it becomes a little too personal, but he’ll be safe, we’ll help you, it’s what needs to be done, routine, & don’t think too much about the dislocated, politicians’ photo-ops…
Life goes on. Life goes on and other joys and other tragedies go on too—I’m so sorry about your loss—and you’re still making art—and you got your grant, but it’s not enough—don’t worry, that much, we can help you raise, give me five minutes and I will start knocking on doors, life has to go.
Then, self-indulgent moments. I wrap myself in them, cherish them, they are my life-preserver, are they not yours?
On Friday, if you were skulking about in my alley, you would have heard:
Jane: “Ender, for fuck’s sake child, I love you. I love you more than life itself, but if you do not give me a little bit of physical space right now, only one of us will live.”
Cinder: “I think Mom needs a hug.”
Jane: “Get. Away. From. Me. And. Stop. Touching. Me!”
But I laughed. And they all lived. Then, I took them into the woods to run, with you, her, your kids, and hers. They took one wrong turn and got lost for a while, an exciting adventure, yet utterly safe.
It was good.
On Tuesday, we ended up with a crèche of nine children, and then 10, how did that happen? I am not so good at math, but that seems two, three more than yours and mine combined…
…that’s a village, that is good.
In a few weeks, I will send you a postcard from Cuba about community—how I didn’t have it at all in Havana, how shocked and grateful I was when it rose around me in Boca—what I learned from it all. Shorthand: I am so grateful for you, her, him; I am never alone.
On Wednesday, Thursday, all I really want is to be alone, totally completely alone, can you all stop asking me to do shit for you?
Then I feel selfish.
Then, I embrace my self and take her into the places that fill her.
Do you know what that means?
On Saturday… I write.
PS: If you are in yyc, here are some things to keep an eye on:
- Calgary artist Amy Dryer’s new show, Algonquin, is on at the Masters Gallery May 12 to 21st. Go. 2115 4th St SW (Combine with a visit to Yann’s Patisserie, and bring me back one of those pistachio-cherry things, K?)
- On July 22 & 23, Calgary hosts the first ever Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (#canifff) (that’s three fff’s) (not two). I was fortunate enough to be at the media launch (on Thursday) and it is going to be uber-cool. Film submissions are still open AND they’re looking for volunteers: check it out: CANIFF.com
- Fairy Tales, Canada’s third largest queer film festival, runs May 20-28, with most of the action in my fabulous neighbourhood of Kensington / Sunnyside. In addition to the films, I think you need to check out the Calgary Men’s Choir Grease Sing Along—because, well, Grease Lightening! Also, the Queer Youth Media Gala is very much worth supporting.
Postcards From Cuba, at least partially fueled by rum and cigars, resume Monday.
Slideshow: Chasing Lung Cancer, Unedited Series
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