Monday, September 28, 2009

Rags No.1

Dear Rags, thank you for attending and photographing the best date I have experienced in a very long time. It will not be soon forgotten. You are good, very good.

M Doc.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Casa Madge.

This weekend, handfulls of tears spent quietly from my position on the lone yellow towel spread evenly in the middle of a field dotted with hippy mamas and their hippy babies and hula hoops and babe baby-daddies went unnoticed underneath the incredibly giant brim of my straw hat. A father-daughter gospel band was playing on stage at the edge of the field where it dipped conveniently and I sat listening, and weeping. I was homeless and alone and sad with said disposition and my lack of joy. I found such joy over summer, over the course of two contracts completed, over the journeys there and back, there and then back home again and all joy was lost in translation/transition. (Joy was never lost, it was merely misplaced I think).

The father-daughter team kept singing and eventually I stopped crying and just sat and enjoyed it quietly. As the evening progressed, I felt more myself as the dark crept in and Sula and I strung stars in the most beautiful tree in the field. The Celestial Tree. We spread a blanket and tossed pillows, set out food and wine, hung a lamp from the branches and waited for the people. The people came. We had people from the festival come from far and wide. I am not sure if it was the twinkling stars or Rich and Sam's bass and tenor voices stringing lines of old songs together or the general lure of Melissa Trainor hula hooping (my god what a beauty), but the people came. Sula read their cards and I sat and poured wine and sliced cheese (I will always be the wine and cheese lady at parties I suppose, never the tarot card lady; but I am okay with this) for the masses. When it became quiet and the singing died down, Sula handed me the cards and I shuffled and fanned them out and drew a single card: Sharing. Sharing? What? I scoffed and she said "wait" with her eyes and then gave me another look that said "you are about to be told by the Universe" and I was. I was told by the Universe.

Five days passed since I was told underneath the Celestial Tree and then I received a letter from Sula presenting me with an opportunity that will surely mark my twenty third year. A chance. A decision. A whim. A home. Sula presented me with the opportunity to have a home. An idea so unattainable and unfamiliar that I hardly knew what to say or do other than to cry. I think I have found a home. It is beautiful and warm and the windows are majestic and the ceilings are forever high and I am five minutes from the studio and the best part is that there is enough room to ride my bike around in a loopy figure eight. I have my winter's work cut out for me and that work is exactly what the card read: sharing.

Home at last.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yellow face.


This is how cool all of my babies will dress even if they are ugly as sin. Good style overrules ugly faces, right? I hope so. Anyway, this jewel of a gem girl buoyed my miserable state. Kim's bangin' perogies also helped a shit tonne. Thanks ma, thanks Garance D.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Traveling band.

Last night I slept in a t shirt that smelled like summer. There was a fire in a firepit and lemon ginger martinis and beet borscht with sour cream. There was lots of laughter, a pair of ridiculous glasses, and many familiar faces. Pretty good combination in my books. I woke up this morning in Rebecca's bed (sans Rabbi) with my arms outstretched, searching, searching, searching. But then it registered why and where I was and my arms recoiled softly back into my chest. I miss K, I miss Liza. Deeply ache miss. Miffed, I got out of bed and pet Sophie who was sitting like a queen beside the bed.

Today Sula and I are driving in very big hats to the Harvest Moon Festival (stay tuned for photos). We have cheese and wine and crackers and prom dresses and loud floral prints and obnoxious sunhats. We are a traveling band. I have never been before and am going with no expectations and ten rolls of film. Should be interesting.

I am still sans job.
I am still sans home.
I am still okay with this.

My shirt still smells like the bush and fire and summer. Indian summers are the new black. Thanks for letting me sleep in your bed Rebecca. You are the best in the west.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Home alone with.

Cat Power in the basement.
The National in the basement.
The Beatles in the living room.

Fleet Foxes in the kitchen.
Grizzly Bear in the laundry.
Joanna Newsom in the dark.

My Brightest Diamond in the hall.
DM Stith in the office.
Iron & Wine in the garage.

Andrew Bird in the basement.
Jana Hunter/Devendra Banhart in all the spaces in between.
Neutral Milk Hotel in the stairwell.

Bon Iver in bed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pollution solution Pt.2.

I really like the look of pollution. This is a series of photos taken of the disgusting mill in Dryden, Ontario. Enjoy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cupped hands of abeyance.

There’s a dream that I see, I pray it can be
Look cross the land, shake this land
A wish or a command
I Dream that I see, don’t kill it, it’s free
You’re just a man, you get what you can

We won’t have a thing
So we’ve got nothing to lose
We can all be free
Maybe not with words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind

You’ve got to choose a wish or command
At the turn of the tide, is withering thee
Remember one thing, the dream you can see
Pray to be, shake this land

We all do what we can
So we can do just one more thing
We won’t have a thing
So we’ve got nothing to lose
We can all be free
Maybe not with words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind

But with your mind

But with your mind. With Cat Power in mind, filling my mind. Cat Power is a very reassuring lady. If we were friends I think I would be a little scared of her, but would admire the hell out of her demeanor. I wish I was more like her sometimes. Just now I caught a fleeting smell of roasted potatoes browning in the oven and as quick as it came, the wind changed on a dime outside of the window screens and took it. But I know the smell of roasted potatoes as sure as I know the smell of my closet, of a new baby, of my mother. My disposition leaves a little to be desired today. It is a good thing I spent the day in complete silence in the house I grew up in doing quiet things. I didn't even have the energy to write or to ride my Surly or to clean it the way it deserves. I just sat, sad. Very sad today.

I read Beth's blog and cried because I understood completely when she spelled out the words d-e-a-r-a-c-h-e that the rest of us were too timid to write. It is okay to dearly ache sometimes. I am dearly aching as I write, right now, rightfully so. It is okay. Thank you Liza for acknowledging this, for writing it at least and warranting my own heavy heart by doing so. I dearly ache for you and have been for months now. Hi, I miss you. I am dearly aching for Mel's kitchen filled with the faces of the women that I love savagely, wine glasses in hands, open mouthed laughter, hands skittering around steaming plates. I dearly ache for JJ's kitchen filled with things that I wished I had the insight to decorate with, with Richard's presence (what a man), his crossed legs at a mint green table, JJ running around with an apron (girl after my own heart) and a fresh mountain of french crepes. I dearly ache for the yellow light filling an ageless beauty trailer that was my home for a flash in time, for give up pants and candy and so much laughter coming from the most beautiful mouth I have ever seen, for the pure and clean joy that came from watching someone doing nothing at all or doing something important, or while cooking or working, simply living in front of my eyes. I dearly ache for that joy.

Now I am quite pathetic (my mum will read this and tell me not to use that word) in my sister's childhood bedroom tucked in between the two single beds that take up majority of the square footage of the room as blue as the Indian ocean. It feels so weird to be home again (and yet not home at all in a home that was once my home). I guess this goes to show that my community is real and quite important, and quite a ways away from here. In a few weeks, the stone of the fiscal year will be in motion and rolled away from this dark cave of limbo and the strings of my life will begin being plucked at and pulled like a harp. Forward motion music, just from living and doing again. Limbo is an interesting place. I dearly ache for a normal lifestyle again.

I am scared that I will not find a job that I like. I am scared that I will not find a home that feels right. Change thrills and terrifies, simultaneously. I am in midair. The only thing I know is that we are having roasted potatoes for dinner, beyond that there is nothing certain.

Which is okay, if not good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Call of Duty.

Thursday morning, hi. I am in a mussed bed with Bon Iver in the longest hotel room in the history of hotel rooms. Coffee was sipped an hour ago and after feigning interest and struggling through the Dryden Chronicle (terrible journalism, worse than that of the Cadrillion), I crept back to my room home to not one, but two terrible wallpaper patterns that cling to the walls with desperation behind the gaudy wingback chairs and the strange selection of lamps, to write. We are treating ourselves by staying in this place called the Riverview Lodge on the edge of town (where the only view is that of the looming and quite disgusting mill) in Dryden, Ontario now that Spray has finally ended and we are out of the bush and fliffing cash into the wind like careless teens.

I had a bath last night.

A bath. It has been months since I have had the pleasure of a hot bath (and Lord knows how I love the bath). Sounds of killing and bloody murder came from around the corner where Call of Duty was being played passionately on PS3 in the longest living room in the world, but I happily blocked out the calls of death and sunk deeper into the water until my ears were filled and then my eyes were under and I was gone, away, lost in the silence of the scalding bath water.

Yesterday morning I woke up to orange light pouring into the trailer back at the Nursery in Dryden and marveled at the fact that it was nine and I was still horizontal in bed and not dragging my body over forever long logs and taking branches to the cheekbones and poison to the eyes and getting hung up in the middle of a ten foot thorn bush loaded with daggers under the stifling weight of the pack. FML Spray. I am happy it is over. But, with that said I will miss desperately the quiet of the land and the way the earth would send up pockets of hot air like deep breaths on warm days depending where one steps. I will miss eating Roundup berries and the smells of pink sphagnum in the swamp (swamps smell amazing sometimes), and I will miss catching Konan's eye whenever we would witness something amazing at the same time and I will really miss Birdman's insane sense of humor and Lindsay's Spray Olympic running commentary. Poison makes people crazy. I would have these moments of sheer insanity while working some days and other days I would be completely thoughtless and long faced while the four of us: Birdman, Lindsay, Konan and myself would sweep in the land in a four person swath.

I saw some amazing land, some grandparent trees as old as the hills, but the best part was feeling my eyes come back to me, my sight weaving back into my system through my hands holding my camera after a long time apart. I have not been seeing for a long time. I was blind, but now I see. To feel these eyes begin to look at things in a way that I have not recognized beauty in a long while was quite something. I shot rolls and rolls of faces, of people I fell in love with sitting beside me in these giant, outlandish work vehicles, in the reflection of mirrors, of trees shutting down and turning color (everyday a little more yellow, orange, coral, red red red) before my very eyes, of fires at night, of the land that I feel the most myself on in heavy boots [in the literal sense due to steel toes], of one impressive fish fry, of Brad's face so close to my lens (what a beauty of a man), of Birdman standing on top of the cab of the truck looking at the land in a way I have never seen anyone look at land before. I shot and I shot and I shot and I shot. My Call of Duty, my camera, my weapon, myself, my land, my friends, my twenty third summer. Point, focus, click, shoot. The spray contract, as shitty as it was, was brilliant. I fell in love with photography again and now I know this is what I need to do, always.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jonesing for Vogue.

It is official. I am jonesing for British Vogue. Fuck, for any Vogue. Bush league living has its perks, but baby I would kill for a fresh Vogue and a lipstick stained espresso. KILL.

Sioux Narrows poach.

It is magic hour in Sioux Narrows, Ontario. Already today we tore down one camp in the middle of the bush leaving nothing but some footprints sunk deep, deep into the mud near where the open air shower stood and a few cigarette butts (them, not me); ran errands in civilization like chickens with our heads cut off (I still amaze easily these days, even in the terribly lit Walmart native to Kenora); shrieked into the phone line attaching me to my mother and to my best other, Rabbi (what women, they restored me completely); blew a tire on the highway (terrifying) and managed to limp our giant truck (Turbo) to the parking lot of our new home away from home: Cedar Creek motel, home to yellowing bathroom fixtures, bearded regulars from the Tavern down the way rocking Hi Vis vests and camouflage ball caps. Eventful day. The light is sinking fast but surprisingly so in perfect harmony with the incessant dog barking coming from the direction of said Tavern. Even the dogs are drunks here. Fading light and barking dogs in my new neighborhood. On top of that, there is some funk song on repeat coming from room 3 on the bottom level, and the constant tinny sound of dropping beer bottle caps. Quaint digs.

Actually it is quite beautiful if one can brush aside the towering and plentiful poorly painted totem poles, the haggard fences and townspeople's faces. The barking is ongoing and echoing far into the backdrop of bush that surrounds my current perch on the side staircase of Cedar Creek. I am poaching internet like it is going out of style and thanking my lucky stars for having the insight to bring my white laptop into the bush despite of the obvious stupidity of such a move. Thank you, thank you, thank you fast internet. We have been living in two bush camps for the past two weeks and I love it. I love waking up and stepping into a low lying cloud of mist at five thirty in the morning, just the fires hiss and the sound of my feet; there is no other sound. Mornings are usually rushed but also joyful while making the daily quota of PB and H's and packing this and that to sustain my body during quick pack up breaks during spray. The drive to work is quick or forever long, there is no happy medium here. This or that. Tit for tat. Maybe I am simply not easily satisfied. Either way, three crew trucks wind deep into the bowels of some Northern Ontario jungle and wind and wind and wind until I am forced to lean forward and inhale sharply in disbelief because we are so far from the rest of the world. But I like it. And then we spray, forever. For hours, forever. And then we spray some more. And then a bit more until the sun sinks and we walk out of the land looking like haggard space age soldiers, our backs sagging under the weight of these weird poison backpacks. It is all very strange. And then we drive home, winding and winding back out and up and over until the gravel roads are familiar again. Supper is cooked in the dark, which I also love. Brad and Lindsay and myself, chopping and mincing with one hand and drinking wine with the other. Hot Chip, Chromeo, Justice, Karen Dalton and Bob Dylan sing to us and we cook and sway and make miracles happen in that teensy cook trailer (10' x 14') and I love that part too. Now I know why Mel continues to go back as a planting camp cook, why people volunteer to cook at summer camps, why I want to keep cooking. Making miracles and feeding hungry, dirty people brings me joy.

I am still in the stairwell thinking of Andrew starting school, of Rabbi lying on a couch being attacked by cheap makeup wielding tripping teens and coming out alive looking like a (babe) tart on north Main, of Rags sitting on her back porch drinking tea pensively in the morning sun (hi, I miss you), of baby Maiya learning to walk while I am here missing it all unfold, of my mum and sister around the table, of Yosh in the house in the middle of the sea of birches making very beautiful music, of Liza at a Farmers Market (I wish I could walk beside you and take pictures and laugh through our lenses), of Tante Daryl in a clean classroom taking names and narrowing down the shit list to a dull roar (I miss you too), of Kitty at a new school in a new province in a new bed in a new hood (good luck lady), of Jage and Loco rolling jazz and drinking wine before the last karaoke night before school turns into a beast of burden. All of these things, these faces, thoughts, faint tinkling laughter are in my head on this staircase and the light has long gone. The sky is purple.

Last night, Batman and I canoed around on a lake made of the smoothest glass. It was a full moon and when we reached the middle of the black lake I slipped my feet into the water and had to fight every urge to strip and jump in. Our paddles were silent, awkward butter knives slicing through water and I kept craning my neck and whispering 'wow' and he kept laughing at me. Nanananana, Batman! What a man.

It feels good to be here, on these green stairs, hands flying, hair insane with curls, dirty clothes, bare feet, camera to the left, tea to the right. Cedar Creek motel is home (today at least).