WHERE AM I FROM?
I am not from where my friend Jack is. He is from New Jersey. I am not from where my other friend, Jan is. He is from Europe. Where I am from? From a lot of places. If we are talking about childhood it was a different place, another continent, if we are talking about teenage and University, it was a different place, also another continent, if we are talking about working, raising our children and living in my middle age, again it was a different place also, another continent. So, you see, I have lived in many continents, so how can I say, where I am from? I now live and write in a different continent, here we go again. So, there is no one single area, where I am from. For people who live in one area, this distinction might not be important, because I am not from there. Now what about before birth. That’s a different conversation. A Higher Conversation, I would say, wouldn’t you? People everywhere like people who live in one area are easier to connect. We joke about accents in US & Canada but they are a more heated topic than we will admit. When we discuss them, we discover that we are essentially still the same people, we were two centuries ago, locked proudly into the culture and tradition of our birth area, seldom leaving it. So, we are all from someplace but not the exact place we now live in……. The world we now live in, is slowly moving out of a locked in frame of past culture and past traditions and forming a new way. Another way to live.
EARLY IDEAS OF A BAND
I was wrong about Aerosmith when I was 17 and briefly thought they were the most terrible band ever, but I was much more wrong about them in my mid to late 20s when I joined in with friends who claimed that many others were better, Like Bon Jovi and U2, Aerosmith went on to become the best-selling American hard rock band of all time with more than 150 million records worldwide, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were included among Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists of all time. The band’s principal songwriters Tyler and Perry were inducted into the songwriters Hall of Fame and the band received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 2019. Aerosmith had lots of hit songs like “What It Takes” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. They have at least ten brilliant songs* and I thought they were terrible, when you realize the brilliance of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water or Pink Floyd’s The Wall or Led Zeppelin. I’m not even sure I do any longer want to separate. If you judge and ban people from being who they are and what they want to be, we become another person and what we become is not our reality, just an illusion. I no longer create any judgements – I simply say this is different, let it pass and move on…….
I know many people who may never read my book, the gap between people who think my book is not relevant and people who think is relevant could be large. I walk along the edge of this huge gap every time I go online. I enjoy the creative process more: the feedback I am getting from beta readers has more layers, is a more fulfilling connection, more moving. The feedback I can get from some of the universe is more and more confusing. But I think a lot of us are experiencing the same process, to a greater or lesser extent. It’s a symptom of the Internet in general, not just for creative people, but for people full stop. Social media’s very nature, the very way it encourages a reaction, its ability for commerce and money and the way it fuels negativity, tends to tell us what we do not know. I for one, consider myself as non-judgemental and non-contradictory. There is always somebody out there who without knowing who you really are is willing to label you, classify you. Doing more of what you do and being more of who you are does not change that, because it does not change the fact that a few select people take pride in being judgemental. It happens because we have given internet the judge, jury, and execution powers. if you work in a creative field, be thankful to some people who read your book out of free will. For this I remain eternally grateful.
A brief break in what has felt like six or seven years of rain. The city is still buzzing, despite the rain. A walk to the University Of Toronto: a place where a brave future that has always happened still looks so architecturally thrilling you start to believe in it all over again. A place where concrete is a solid, redoubtable promise, where you just want to get inside the concrete and lose yourself in learning forever and forget the rest. Hungover students milling about in kitchens, striving to locate cheddar, coffee and paracetamol. During rain, water cascades efficiently down the gutter or what we call in Canada eavestrough. This happens in every home, creating a mini waterfall. The word gutter derives from Latin gutta meaning a droplet. Some of them poke out of the homes like strange objects. I, never properly noticed the gutter pipes “I never realised it at the time, but it really hits home a lot more, now that I’m living in a house with very ordinary and unimaginative gutters, that during my student times were really amazing. All of this will not matter in year 2045, a time period, where my new Sci-Fi book begins. At that time, a home is a wonderful new concept beyond imagination and rainwater gutter will certainly not exist – what could exist is only an energy field. I sometimes am amazed at my own imagination, conjuring up life in 2045.
PADDLE- THE CAT
I remember, when my friend Jack and his wife collected their cat Paddle, who was then just a kitten, from her original home. I also remember Jack’s wife Jane whispering to my wife – look at the mother cat, hope the baby cat does not grow up to become like that fat mother cat. I sometimes find myself thinking about that now, when Paddle walks into my house, looking like her mother. I do not know where Paddle’s mum is now. Jack’s wife and my wife keep telling Jack and me – Honey, we told you so. Paddle does not even bother to ask or purr.
Memory is a function of our mind, its ability to store information, relevant and recall it when needed. One day, I fear, I will misplace my smart phone, my keys and my wallet and not remember to text any friends back at all, but recall what happened in 1970, Beatles and Luther King’s powerful speech “ I have a Dream”, We tend to remember what we want to not what we need to. We are beings that are obsessed with material success, instant gratification and extremely high ego and so short-term memory is not our friend because everything good happened in our long-term memory. It’s almost like we lost our soul and believed in our body only. Like a broken conversation, like a broken relationship.
OLD AND IT HURTS.
As one gets older, your body hurts a bit more, but you are more used to it hurting. This is true. What people do not tell you about as often is the limitations that old age places on mobility. People have children to look after, mortgages and stupidly high rents to pay and health problems to manage; they’re tired from working too hard, they are starting to wonder if it was the right decision after all to adopt pets. I have loads of friends, I can arrange to meet for a coffee or a beer or a film or a walk, in a fortnight’s time but nobody who is ready to talk about the year 2045 and wonderful new ways to live, which is a situation I constantly think about, but also implicitly understand. Our filter is still very thick and new ways to live is hard to pass through this thick filter. But one day it will. Our filter will get thinner in time, I am convinced that it will. Then everyone will huddle up and talk. Till then …..