the thrill of hearing good new music has been with me since i first put on a 45 of the beach boys sloop john b, or maybe it was the lp of beatles for sale, i dunno, what i do know is that the rush is still there. when something new crosses my path, i've got to listen and if it's "good" it'll get played over and over
tinariwen are a group i've enjoyed since stumbling across their womad performance a few years ago. i couldn't believe my ears and eyes! pure rock roots completely and precisely melded into the bass-driven groove and chicken-pickin' guitar of malian trance with the kick-in-the-teeth edge that revolutionary lyrics always carry.
four albums since that time, tinariwen's edge is still sharp. their latest album entitled "tassili" will be released at the end of this month but if you'd like to hear the entire album streamed (courtesy of npr) please go here. to hear individual tracks and read the review by npr writer bob boilen go here.
i'm proud that in one way shape or form i have kept my commitment.
no matter what or why or who or when or even how i have been or am.
i have watched the digital soil in which i have carefully planted the seeds of my becoming self,
grow from wishing for readers and reposting current news on technology, art, and coolness in general, through my relationship with nature and its relationships with me, to its current place as a journal for writing that speaks as much of the nascent momentum of my wish to speak in a poetic tongue
as it does of my wish to express both the expressible and the inexpressible
with equal understanding.
the significance of this is that despite my very public and social work as a teacher, i am in fact very typically and cerebrally english in my need for a considerable amount of personal space in which to be able to take several steps back and observe the animal i live inside.
then again, perhaps that has no cultural context and is expressly a feature of the person i am.
no matter - the peculiarities of the digital realm afford me the sweet luxury of
expressing my experiencing of this state, with a delete button mere centimetres from my index finger.
i am grateful to all of you who arrive here each day and to those of you who respond in whatever manner to my thinking, my photographs, my riffs on old paintings, my poetry, my stories and especially to whatever it is that compels the sharing of my work which finds in part a place to locate itself in process right here.
i had been reading all that i could find of the writing of j.g. bennett who
had passed through the work of gurdjieff.
i was immersed.
in love with the ideas, but through applying my own habit of reading and learning
and then believing that "i knew",
i wasn't learning anything that i could truly apply to the details of my daily work.
one evening, i saw in the newspaper that "meetings with remarkable men" a film by peter brook depicting the early years of gurdjieff, would be showing at a small cinema on the west side of toronto.
i arrived in a state of great excitement and walking down the late summer streets i moved between the shadows of the buildings full in the hope that i would experience some sort of transformative experience.
surprisingly, there was a small crowd outside the theatre.
among them were sufis.
as i approached i was compelled to absorb their appearance.
and then their presence.
i must have been holding my gaze for some time,
for i became aware that one of the men was holding my eyes.
not in a harsh or judgemental manner.
rather, i felt compassion and encouragement.
afterwards i considered that this man
- much like i -
lived in a city.
he benefitted ffromood and shelter and love and warmth.
and was who and what and why and how and when he was.
today marks the end of my fifty-fourth transit around the sun.
by coincidence, friends who own a little cafe that i sometimes drop in on at the end of rides
put this sign out yesterday.
that sort of stuff can go to my head so
i dropped by later in the day and added at the bottom "i know the guy - he's a chump!"
i was born at 8:30 pm. it was a monday.
a holiday! (but not for my mum, who was in labour off-and-on with me for two days!)
thankyou for having me mum!
here are my mum and i just over a year ago
my mum dropped by yesterday with a tasty cake, beer, jam, pickled beets, and many other small wonders that mums somehow know to bring with them when they visit their children's homes!!!
i've enjoyed a lovely year filled with all the blessings and challenges of being a dad and a husband and a friend and a teacher and all the many things that i am and each of which i treasure for the gift that they are.
i'm most grateful for the continued opportunity to bring goodness into the world to whatever degree i am capable as that (in my view) makes up much of my purpose for being here.
this will be a busy day as i am preparing for one hot thrill lap of lake ontario on my bicycle (that leaves peterborough tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.) in the company of my ride for africycle friends. i still have to pack and finish preparing the maps of the route that will get us all around this great body of water - all eleven hundred kilometres of the way around - and then also find us locations with opportunities to stop for nice cups of coffee, devour pastries, eat lunch, and down beers at appropriate junctures in the course of each day.
thankyou bloggy friends for your many kindnesses. your comments, your own blogs, your insights, passions, acknowledgement of life passages, and celebrations that have contributed towards making this point in my journey so amazing!
the sun was slowly drifting to the horizon when i saw these fading lilies against the background of their flourishing brothers and sisters and i wondered if my age predisposes me to see them as perhaps more beautiful in the gentle convolutions and softened tones of their aging bodies than their