Master where art thou? Fall ramblings

October 17, 2011


Oh Fall, fall, fall


Here you undeniably are. The leaves have turned their backs and colors.  They now swirl down and they will, except for the few that are picked and carefully inserted between the pages of a thick, heavy, rarely consulted volume, compost themselves back into the earth whence they came.



I have found a beautiful red scarf, a thick wooly affair that measures at least 8 ft long and 20 inches wide and a black wool cap. The baseboards have started their long dry, hot, slow exhalation of manufactured heat that will go on for months.

The light.   Ottawa`s light is the redeeming feature in the unavoidable gloom following the death of summer. My friend Francoise had mentioned it to me a few months ago, she was right. There is something utterly soothing and uplifting in the local light’s golden hue.  As soon as the sun dares just showing a slight glow, its golden velvet envelops everything in warmth and the dramatic sunsets bring mystery to this government workers town.


Last week I took Beowulf to Gatineau Park to see the colors of fall, we were already a bit late for the brightest reds but it was amazing nonetheless. We went by Mackenzie King’s domain. Holy money. We often forget in Canada how much money politicians make….



Politics have been on my mind lately.  The Occupy… movement is something that I wholeheartedly support. I love the horizontality of it, this leaderless movement powered by a real concern, a true expression of the power of the people, the need for change in how we are governed and in who’s interest the laws of this country and this world are designed.  It is fascinating to me to see the the governing elite`s reaction to this.  They do not know how to address it.  The predictability is broken.  The rules are being changed.  My feeling is that the ones who will emerge, will be the ones who pay attention to this.


For my part, my head is full of questions. I`ve been trying to focus on getting some sort of music activities going around here. It’s like starting from the bottom of a pit with walls lined with red clay. In that perspective last night I went over to Hull to participate in the “brasseurs de tounes” showcase-open microphone. It’s a beautiful venue, a historic building made of stones, a mill dating back a couple hundred years.


I found myself nervous. To sing my songs to French speaking people always feels like a test. I left Quebec 22 years ago, I became someone else somewhere else, to be here brings this otherness up front and center, yet I feel the love.  I am always moved when I sing my French songs and feel the connection as people get the words, the heart of them.  The room is beautiful, the sound system really nice, good microphones and people listen. I`m grateful

Job : songwriter. All you got are these silly songs. Fragile clotheslines of words rhythms, tones, articulations, melodies painstakingly put together with love and passion. They flail in the winds of the audience`s opinion.   Little windows on your soul, your life, of the world. Some days I wish I could just be a guitar slinger, a pro musician who just steps up on any stage, does the job and go home after the show and not have to be so damn fragile each time I open my mouth and play.


My life, this amalgam of sinuous lines of passions carved deep into the stone of this world. The horses, the guitar, the art, my loves, the motorcycle, the road…. Their abstract design has not yet a clear, recognizable face.


Position the chisel. Hit with the hammer. Repeat.  That is all I can do right now.


The Master is gone. I try to remember his words. I try to recall what matters.  He was always insisting on the main lines, to respect them religiously so that the final piece would have this arc through it, a start and a end, a declaration without waver, an undeniable communication.

So I must re-position the chisel, aim, hit again and again, over and over.  As long as I respect the directing lines alive, I should arrive somewhere.

Time goes by as the body slowly betrays the soul, as the seasons flow like an excited brook that brings on the years faster and faster, I hesitate.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, you better face Reality!  A voice said.  But what is real in the end?


Dance with life others say.  And I feel clumsy, not elegant.  Unsightly.


Rain falls on Ottawa.   I know there is, will be answers, maybe now it must be the repetitive, seemingly pointless thousands of  strikes of the chisel on the granite of life on planet earth.

4 Responses to “Master where art thou? Fall ramblings”

  1. Danielle Liard Says:

    oh lovely poet, do not doubt your beauty, it shines through as soon as you open your mouth or strum your guitar

  2. bobskoot Says:


    you seem lost . . . like you are stranded on an Island waiting to be rescued. We feel helpless to help as you are so far away . . .

    Riding the Wet Coast

    • Bob, I believe I have to find my way out of this island by myself… no rescue this time.

      Yes, so far away that is for sure, somehow at some point I’ll see the logic in this side step. It is for me to find, but it’s not all bad. I will see California again..

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