Archive for March 23, 2012

I woke up this morning wanting to be more inspired. I’m past the stage where I seek any commercial or material benefit from my existential relationship with  the world. Learning any more practical skill sets or time at formal schooling is just…well….impractical. I want to exist as an impressionist painting, an image of raw emotion and none of the pretense .

Aging is like donning a mask , the world becomes a costume ball where you become unrecognizable  while your mask implies who you present yourself to be as opposed to who you really are. I’m kind of on my own at this juncture. I don’t usually listen or read while I’m creating. I wouldn’t want the accidental spillover of another artists imagery to be mingled with my own.

There’s never an excuse for plagiarism . Either you find your  muse or get out of the business. This morning , I needed something to get me started, coffee and cigarettes are  behind me. Hemingway used the limitations of a blinding hangover to write one perfect paragraph each morning . I keep an eccentric collection of objects and images on my writing desk. My kids work makes me happy, happiness is a good place to look for inspiration.

I turned to YouTube and dialed up a dead man, Johnny Cash. ‘Hurt’ is one of the best songs he ever wrote. The medium seemed to know what I needed  queued  ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, classic Bob Dylan.

I knew the words so well that I wasn’t listening to Bob’s tinny voice but rather floating in a miasma of memories and impressions of the times and context in which he he sang that song. I typed in Hallelujah’ when I anticipated the last refrain ‘ how does it feel, to be on your own, a complete unknown, like a rolling stone, and felt myself slide into Jeff Buckley’s mystical vision of Leonard Cohen s ethereal poetry when the track began and Jeff strummed that perfect chord that David played to amuse the Lord.

I was so far down the rabbit hole in my mind that only another of Leonard’s rambling secrets could show me the way forward. I tickled ‘Suzanne’ across my keyboard and let her ‘feed me tea and oranges that came all the way from China, while she touched my perfect body with her mind. I don’t mind admitting that I love Leonard Cohen deeply. At my age, embarrassment  is no longer a factor.

I started  the day seeking solace from myself in the hopes that my muse would take me on a flyer. The tricks I’d played on my mind were like slow and deliberate foreplay with a lover. The emotional river within  began to flow . YouTube faded from my consciousness as I raised my eyes to the rising sun. The room around me disappeared, I was left alone to fly with my muse. Let the days creative writing exercise begin.

On a recent trip to Europe I was impressed at how established the bicycle was in the everyday lives of people. So much so that these innocuous vehicles are often left by the side of the road in stacks unused as viable community conveyances. One of the things that stops people from using bicycles in Canada for many months a year is the inclement weather. I found that in Europe that this impediment is not universal. There are instances of people using bicycles in every weather, even in the snow. I remember an interview with Bob Dylan where he advised us to stop talking for a second and observe the street corner we were on, “Because we might never be here again”. Those words stuck with me and I try to remain observant of every detail in my daily life, taking nothing for granted. Life is a gift, don’t deny it.

Tempere Finland

the timeless streets of Paris

Tallinn Estonia

Helsinki Finland

Brussels Belgium

Amsterdam Netherlands

another ‘Bridge of Sighs’

Amsterdam

Amsterdam