Archive for May, 2013

To make maters worse there has been a series of deadly tornado’s touch down in Oklahoma to the north. The town of Moore has been devastated….an elementary school was an unfortunate victim. It isn’t every year that tornado’s touch down but this is shaping up to be a record breaking season…..E4’s and E5’s are highly unusual…these are storms where the winds are clocked at in excess of 200 mph and 300 mph. The damage that is left behind is indescribable by any stretch of the imagination…war zone doesn’t describe adequately…..in a war zone there are buildings left behind. In the case of an E5 ….. it looks as if a demolition crew has driven heavy equipment across the landscape and crushed everything in it’s path….leaving nothing but splinters. I am once again reminded of the fragility of life….we should step back and realize that every day is a blessing. Hug your kids if you have them.

 

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It’s hard not to love pinatas!

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I don’t know how many of you have lived through a tornado but….. it’s a hell of an experience. Video is being uploaded to our Bangkok Living & Travel site. Trish and I have been watching the storm for several hours…. there have been hundreds, if not thousands of lightning strikes, more than at any time I have been bombarded in the tropics during monsoon. This storm is of an entirely different measure.

Unfortuneatley there have been reports of multiple deaths where the tornado’s have touched down to the east and south of where we are in Dallas Texas. A subdivision in Granbury Texas has been raised with approx, 50 homes being flattened and hundreds of injuries reported. First responders from every adjacent county are rushing to the scene as I write… daylight will probably bring footage of the devastation to the world.

My red tile Spanish roof is leaking like a sieve.  From where I sit it actually sounds like a faucet has been left running in my bathroom where the water has come through the roof and is flooding into buckets and bowls that we have set up. I enjoy new and exciting travel trips…..many have been sublime…some not so much…this is straddling the fence between the two extremes. It’s very weird to know that people have been killed tonight in a storm that was supposedly just a tropical storm that was blowing in off the west coast of Mexico. Life is a fickle balance between the fantastic and the horror….enjoy what you have.

I wish you all the comforts of where you are. Pray for us in Texas tonight.

PS….now on the following morning it’s being confirmed that 6 people were killed and there are several missing. News footage has shown the complete destruction of homes, particularily in the town of Granbury. I have posted about this town in the past and it is a real shame that they have been affected to this extent. The FOX news affiliate is reporting that as many as ten tornado’s touched down … possibly more…they’re waiting for the National Weather Service to confirm the number.

 

We met a budding artist at a festival recently. She… Rebecca… had boldly come out and declared her hearts desire.  I think many of us live with yearnings for what we’d like to be when we grow up but then life gets in the way leaving us to live vicariously through our children.  Life is full of cruel ironies… yes indeed.

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Is it the opportunity to be free  that eludes some of us? Do we as adults need to learn how to set ourselves free  in order to allow our children to pursue their passion(s)? Of course I am being myopic, I live in a dream world where opportunity is ubiquitous. For most of the worlds population such fantasy is never going to blossom into reality….the free world is home to so few….so isn’t it wonderful to see someone like Rebecca being herself and to encourage some aspect of whimsy into our own lives?

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Let this be a lesson to all you budding artists out there, no matter if you’re ten or going on one hundred. Life is what you make it…..follow your path…..after all…you were born this way.

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Take life one step at a time.

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I love a bit of anthropology on the weekend . I discovered a new tribe today while trundling through yet another ethereal art festival, which are as common as the cottonwood fluff that floats on the summer breeze at this time of  year in the entirely entertaining and mysterious city of Dallas Texas. And what a beautiful day it was to discover something new, the weather has been dialed up to perfect, as if winters cold curtain has been ripped open by an excited stagehand who couldn’t wait for spring to entertain the actors que…..suddenly summer is OK with me. The Art and Music festival in the scenic small town of Richardson was held along side a wide creek lined with green banks and shady elm , solid oak with blooming cottonwood extant…..sublime when you consider you’re in the center of Dallas surrounded by freeways that connect and disconnect  the city like a giants mechano set with soaring concrete interchanges stacked five high  twisted like spaghetti.

We have been going to art and music festivals every weekend since the season began in March….. culture starved Canadians that we are.  In that time I started to notice many familiar faces in the booths and kiosks, food carts and T-shirt and trinket counters. Naturally, being the inquisitive type I had to inquire. I found out from several of the talkative participants that the art scene in the US is like a traveling carnival, where the entertainers and artists, food vendors and roadies sign up for what amounts to a roadshow tour and they travel to  various city and town fairs around the country…. I remember doing this a long time ago when I lived with a traveling carnival in my wayward teenage years and  went from town to town like a breath of homeless air. We appeared and disappeared in smoky trucks and pulled up our torn faded tents at odd hours, set up shaky rides and rigged gaming stands on grassy fairways, vacant lots and disused corners of mall parking lots to the delight of children and the horror of their parents.

What I found out today is that artists from all over the three countries, Canada, USA and Mexico are like the itinerant gypsies I knew as a child and enjoy a similar secret and insular lifestyle society. They know one another intimately, they take care of one another if one gets sick or is otherwise in need….becoming like an extended family to one another…. a tribe by any other name. The stories I heard today were about people who are  travelers and gypsies living in mobile homes and RV’s a majority of the year. These carvers, glass blowers, painters, sculptors, musicians, weavers, entertainers and photographers are a world apart from everyday life and exist unrecognized for who they are. They live in our hearts and minds by what they produce and yet we know so little about them. Who knew the life of an artist could be so tenuous and exciting? You do now.

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As far as holidays go this is a big one…..Mexico and Mexicans everywhere get all gushy over flags and tribal relations on their one big day a year.  I don’t always agree with displays of nationalism….it brings out the martial fanatics and xenophobe’s …..but as long as it’s politically benign it can be a positive event for the community. The Cinco de Mayo festivals spill over with unpretentious unplanned family and food and that’s a good thing.  Today I will attend a chili cook off and a pickled quail egg eating contest…..sounds yummy right? Viva Mexico….!!

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