May 21, 2011

Well, it could be easy to just dwell on what did not work, does not work, isn’t what we wanted… I was just talking to a friend on the phone and I was suddenly marveling at the amount of love and help I have gotten over the last couple of months…

Receiving help is hard for me. I was raised to be self-reliant… I usually consider it a personal failure if I require help. I had arrived here with basically the shirt on my back, the bike and the guitar and not much else expecting to swiftly deal with the sculptures and get back to “my life” but Life (with a capital L) decided otherwise. Strangely, the need for sleep, food and warmth and showers and all that jazz became a daily quest. But through this whole adventure some people became my personal angels…

Here are some of the ones who have saved my butt in a major way since March.

Erika :
Hummingbird, sister girl, gilded soul. Thanks for the roof, the love, the laughter and for being you.

Erika in full bike regalia

Genius mechanic, heart of gold, giant of a man and… motorcyclist! Thanks for all you’ve done for me with the van, and for saving my butt at the last minute for Aircare!

Russ is the best. Period.

Barbara and tribe :
Goddess, giant hearted woman, warrior and believer! You gave me a roof, fed me, allowed me to meet your unbelievably awesome girls, your family. You opened horizons and doors and gave more than you’ll ever know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

bella Barbara

Fellow road warrior, you are one in a million, straight arrow, generous soul. Thanks for having been there in the past and for being there now and for being a true friend.

Norman and his steel steed

Ted and the Bear crew.
Family is what you always referred to when you talked about what Bear was about. Family is what I found when I landed. Thanks for your help, wisdom, support and for believing in my dream too.

Calm, cool and collected, efficient, the quiet force that keeps the wheels turning at Bear. Thank you for helping me with these recordings… keep the music flowing. That keeps me alive…

I probably looked like a frazzled wet cat when we saw each other after over a year and you opened your doors to me and gave me a place to land and even downloaded a whole season of 24 for me! Thank you.

The art warrior, the crusader for what is best, I’ve known you for years and you have always been at the heart of all things culture and art. Thank you for the peace and quiet of the 6th Avenue.

thanks for the meditation circle… and all it’s beautiful souls.

Karen and Pat
Thank you. For all that you have done since before I took the road last year and all that you have done since I have been here. Thank you for being so real. There is a kind of purity about you Karen. I love you very much.

Karen shining on

Thanks for your hospitality. For the booking. For the friendship.

Bruce carrying my guitar... and making faces, but it was hockey night so he can be forgiven

I feel I owe you right now. You are, have been so generous. Have a wonderful trip. You are gold.

thanks for the help with the sculptures, getting them in a safe place and supporting me with all that. Thanks for the friendship, thanks for fighting for your life. I love you very much.

David, Chela, Svetlana, hugs to you all

Chela, Svetlana, Kathy
Thank you for allowing me to store my sculptures at the studio temporarily. Thank you Chela for what you and David did. Thank you Svetlana for hosting one of my works. It is all priceless.

Thanks for being you. Thanks for the connection with the balloons. Be safe on that bike, I wish you sun for the rest of your journey.

such a smile...

For being so strong, beautiful and thoughtful. For being such a friend, for the meals…

Others?… Oh yeah…

There was this policeman, one fateful night… I was completely vainquished. The day had taken everything out of me. I had held on all day. Had not cried or lost my temper or mind… I was “dealing” with it. But this was hours later. In a cold deserted shopping mall parking lot, my facade, courage, bravado had utterly left me. The best way I can describe how I felt was “crushed” decimated … I had put on my helmet, straddled the bike when those big sobs started to shake me. I couldn’t stop. You know when they rake you from deep deep inside kind of like a little personal earthquake… and they would not stop.

I had nowhere to go. I was exhausted. Utterly conquered. At this hour I was supposed to be miles and miles down the road towards the sun and my new world but there I was, in a dismal, dead place, and my courage had left the premises.

Suddenly I heard :

“Are you OK?”

… Oh no. I can’t talk, don’t wanna talk… to anyone….

“I”m fine”

“Yeah, you look fine” he replied with a bit of sarcasm.

I could not see who it was. I didn’t even want to turn around and look. From the sound it came from slightly behind me. I did have the full face helmet on so my peripheral vision was already reduced.

“… I’m OK… …just had a rough day.”

“I’m the police”

Crap. That is all I need now, being arrested for public display of unacceptable behavior or something of the sort…
“I’m fine, I’m OK, had a rough day. I’ll be on my way…” all the while those big sobs kept pulsating in large unstoppable tremors.

“Well, can you tell me what happened?”

Silence. What the hell do I say? That all my dreams were crushed this afternoon? That I was pulled over like a freaking criminal at the Canadian border because I had a bike with US plates when they had let me through previously without a word? That I had nowhere to sleep tonight? That not only I had nowhere to sleep but I had no address and not much more than the clothes on my back this bike and a guitar? That I was a complete idiot. That I had failed myself utterly today? That it looked like rain so I could not really consider sleeping outside in a local park? That I really, really did not want to be here, now, in this place… that I really didn’t know what the hell to do from here on out… So I shut up.

He persevered for a while. He was now facing me, he’s a tall young guy in his late 20’s early 30’s. He asked about the bike.

“Nice bike”

in another place, but the "nice bike" loaded...

“Yeah” I thought how I almost lost that bike today… I put my hands on the shiny red tank in a kind of protective, loving gesture . It’s all I own in this world… I’m thinking I should say something and if I sound calmed enough he’s going to go away.

He said something to the effect that I was dressed for a serious ride. I told him about how this bike landed in my life, the other dead bike, the trip. He said he had that dream of going on a motorcycle trip. To go on the road.. He had grown up in rural Alberta, he used to ride dirt bikes but he went for the career with the RCMP. He’s on the canine unit. Trains his dogs, got one in his truck, do I want to see it?

I finally removed my helmet. Figured it would be better for him to see my face… I very likely looked like shit.

He kept asking, what was going on… He was the police but he wasn’t going to come after me… Finally I explained. How crushed I was. The reversal of everything I was going for. What I wanted more than anything… I don’t know if he can actually understand what I am talking about. Today was so intensely upsetting to me on so many levels… I said something about the border services wanting to seize the bike because they did not believe that someone gave it to me… He says “hmm hmm” but he still went ahead and checked the bike’s plate.

“… yeah, the plate number is…” he calls on the radio.


“OK thanks” he replies to the radio, Then he says to me :

“This plate belongs to a Harley Davidson”

“WHAT! No. No way! Not this, not now… this is not right… I DO have all the papers…” I started to frantically dig in my bag to retrieve the official papers…

“No, no, it’s OK, don’t worry, I’m not going to…”

“No way, this is wrong, I got the papers” I spitted back, riffling in my stupid black bag in the black night.

The radio came to life.

“Yeah, the number is…” he recitated the plate numbers again.
“OK.” then he tells me : ” We had the wrong number, an 8 instead of a 9″

Holy stress. How quickly things can go nuts. From one second to the next you are a law abiding citizen then a freaking criminal. All that without having to do a single thing.

We chatted for a while, he introduced the dog to me. A gorgeous black gigantic German shepherd. I calmed down some. He just about invited me to go out on his shift. I wasn’t really up to it and it was a bit weird. But the talk had helped. He gave me his number and wished me luck. He had to go, just received a call to go out to UBC with the dog. Duty.

He left. I sat there for a while longer. It’s just so quiet. The typical “wet air” look of a Vancouver night that makes a halo around the lights in this parking lot. An orangish halo. I called Erika. I didn’t want to at first because she had already been so generous to me. I didn’t want to be a burden… to ask for help… She immediately invited me over. I hung up. Took a deep breath. Started the bike and headed out of the parking lot unto the road. I got there quickly. 22:24 the clock says. It really is an hour later, my clock is still on the winter hours. It was cozy, warm, the lights were low, gentle. We talked for a while. She had all the right words. She had set up bedding on the couch for me. and the green velvety blanket seemed to have been put there with so much care. There was going to be much to face tomorrow but right now I was warm, in a loving place with a loving friend. I fell asleep.

So the cop? Dunno. I called to thank him, he never returned my call. I guess that is all right. Somehow I figure there is some sort of fateful thing with this meeting. I’m not sure what I would have opted for if he hadn’t showed up. Maybe I owe him more than I know.

I guess the big obvious thing is : I am not alone. We are never alone. There is all this love and support that pours out. Makes me wonder what the hell I did to deserve so much? I am so incredibly grateful for all my friends. For all the people who have gone way beyond the call of duty to make sure I was OK.



Thank you.


3 Responses to “Angels”

  1. Danielle, I truly thank God for you friends mentioned here in your entry. The story and message here is BEYOND HUMBLING!


  2. Charlotte Says:

    I had a day like that yesterday… I felt completely crushed, hopeless… my mood was dragging all day today, despite my friend listeining to all my problems… today I only felt happy again riding 70 mph through a freakin tornado at sunset with inadequate gear on… what the hell is wrong with us ??? ; ) ; ) : )

    • What is wrong? Nothing girl, nothing is wrong. Different than the norm, yeah, wrong : not.

      Life serves the lessons and the school you go to doesn’t have to be public school. As long as you learn that is all that matters.


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