The Edge of the World

March 13, 2018

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Standing on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the wind is hard and constant. On the horizon white crests of waves approach, they come crashing on the shore of golden sand. I am mesmerized. It shines, sparkles, the water. It growls and chews at the land, the water. It speaks to me, the water.

It was a surprise visit, my host was going to buy fish and took me to La Cotinière, on the West side of the Island. It’s another world altogether, the East side is a collaboration of man and sea, a long, long relationship, deep-seated roots of humans on this Island. You feel the partnership, the water is `human size’, the people work hard but the obstacles are surmountable with perseverance. The West side, speaks of the smallness of man in front of the magnitude of this life force that is the Ocean.  I imagine the brave souls who set out on wooden sail ships to find new worlds…

The air fills my very molecules with a shimmer, it’s hard to leave and it’s hard to stay. I am being told that in the summer here, it is resort town, beaches filled with vacationers, streets blocked with constant traffic of summer revellers, villas alive with their occupants. Now it’s not like this, now most of the homes are closed up. There are mostly the fishermen and the fishing business going on.

I am on the verge of leaving Oléron. My artist residence has run its time. This has been way beyond anything I imagined; the kindness of my hosts, the passion that rose while doing the work, the wonders of discovering this place daily, the kind hearts I met while here. Every day showed me different colors, winds, air, from rainbows to snow storm, I felt energized by the oxygen itself.

I am soon to hit the road. This journey is different from anything else I have done, I don`t have a vehicle, or tickets,  I left Istanbul because I could not afford to pay rent and the Workaway was a way to go out and experience life, help, learn and get to into the world knowing I would have a roof over my head, it seemed like a logical choice. But right now there is a feeling that all is completely open, completely possible.  By chance, I happen to have many friends on this very road I wish to take; people I met at Chillout while working in the hostel, people I met in Istanbul, people I knew from before. Serendipitously, they are all on this road I wish to take. I will hitchhike, walk, I want to be free, I don`t want to be waiting for bus schedules and line up in terminals to be herded into a seat and spend hours just waiting to exit. I want to be breathing the air, on the land, just there every second of it without worrying about nailing things down.  They will appear.  Below is my tentative road.  I have friends in the highlighted cities, lets see what actually takes place as I go.

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While doing my art residence here, I felt, saw, experienced profound inspiration. My mind filling with ideas, inspiration. I see that the well is full and that is very exciting. I was wondering what next?  I think that after this journey is done, I will look for a place to create : paint, sculpt, draw, take photos, write. When I lived in Richmond BC I had that. I had this studio and I did many things. There are so many things I want to develop, clay, plaster, drawings on big boards, I want to work with good people on projects like the dragon books; creative, challenging, mind expanding .  I have skills, abilities, I wish to team up, I do best that way I think.

Speaking of dragons, I wanted to share the work I did on the second book`s cover.  It will not be the actual cover, the team decided to go for something more in line with the first book for continuity`s sake but I wanted to share that… I am getting to figure out dragons.

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Being here in France also made me realize that I have gradually closed myself off more and more, struggling. I don`t know how the finances will change, but they will (they have to!) After a magnificent start in Istanbul,  I slowly started to shut up, shut up my musical voice, shut up my social life, shut off from the noise and pollution and too harsh environment.  The political marasm affecting everyone’s spirits affected me too.  It is hard to resist the tide of a people overwhelmed by hardships.
You start internalizing this  helplessness and slow depression that stagnates in the air around you. Slowly but surely any idea besides survival seem impossible. Here, I am amazed at how vibrant the creative spririt is, no matter the age, the people make associations, events, create, build, of course it`s not all easy but there is normality in such things and that is not the case in Turkey.

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But here I am … talking all these words… I don`t know what will happen. The way life goes these days, in 24 hours life could be turned inside out, or upside down, and I am open for it. What I am doing now is plunging blindfolded into possibilities. Into currents that I know not of. Hopefully I will be malleable enough to let them take me to a new shiny coast of life and discovery.

Much love.

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Oh life.

March 2, 2018

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Wind, wind and more win, the ocean is crashing itself on the shores in a green fury, the island just remains passive under the assault, there is this feeling that all is shifting at all times, as the tides ebb and flow giving and taking, sometimes leaving an immense wall of brown mud between itself and the land, sometimes licking its coast brazenly.  My mind feels like the moon has gotten into it, affecting my own waters, I can only surrender.

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Snow, snow and snow, I was surprised by the white flurries dancing in that wind, it is also cold, cold, cold my nose hurts, my lungs protest, but my Québécois soul knows all this and rises to the surface to welcome the elements that are so much an intrinsic part of it, while my French friends are not so willing to be out to dance along with the snow flakes.

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My continental divides, my two sides of the Atlantic, my East – West conundrum, my male-female shifts, my fears and desires, all restimulated every day, every moment while I travel and disengage with my habits so it makes me feel and see more of the life that rushed on this earth at every micro second.  Not only I am traveling physically, I am traveling via the words of  Pierre Loti right now,  I read Ayizade, so I travel to Istanbul, 130 years ago through his pages, I also travel between present and past with my genetic ancestors and what they have become, Samuel de Champlain, he dreamed of La Nouvelle France, created it, le Roi Soleil, Louis XIV who had this fortress built here on Oleron. I am visiting the land of my direct ancestors, they all come from the coasts of France, those ancestors who abandoned us to the cruel English who in turn tried to assimilate us.  What a tapestry.  Words, shapes, colors, the threads, maybe I am Penelope, weaving in the day, unraveling it at night the work, keeping my freedom in the undoing of it all.  Keeping the shackles of a too well coordinated life dictated by culture off from my limbs and mind.  Turn off your TV.

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No matter where I am, what I do, it seems that I still, I remain the electron. Remember the electron from the motorcycle days?

At times I wonder what it is I should aim for, this question a perennial for me. I went to school then realized it was a joke so I left. I rode horses then realized it was indeed a strange thing to do to such animals so I stopped. I played music and then saw that there was so much ego and insecurity and just plain lack of music that I stopped. I married and thought I loved but realized it was in the end just the upholding of the idea of marriage, not love, so it ended. I tried to be spiritual then, as it seemed the only true aim but I realized that there is a tremendous amount of pride into “bettering oneself” and that the idea of bettering yourself is a basic denial of what you are and to go that road is basically asserting that “yourself” is not good enough. So I lived without anything more than food and a roof and a shower, I had love and then it seemed nothing else was needed. But life comes and makes love something that you have to let go, as new paths appear and there is no choice but to walk on, and after tearful goodbyes, walk we do.

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So

I glide, on the air, like the seagull, like the electron. It is something quite special to allow yourself to glide, to be into it, to let the wind rage and batter you as you feel how the its forces and currents connect with your feathers, your pinions. Each day could change, can change, is changing, will change. Like the tides, the clouds, the winds, the seasons.

 

Sometimes it seems that I should have a space to create things, but maybe a higher purpose yet is not to have to create anything to hold on to, like the Buddhist’s sand mandala, painstakingly made, grain by grain to be then blown back to formlessness. Maybe deaming of having a place to work is like trying to pin yourself down, to behave in an acceptable manner to your fellow humans, so to settle into one static place, isn’t it like a butterfly with a pin in the heart. It looks good but it ain’t really living.

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These vectors, connections, missions, the whole vibrational field of energies of all the beings and of the whole universe, this endless consciousness in which we course on our own trajectories, meeting, missing, colliding, paralleling and all the directional terms in existence and in usage, all of that which is life, that which we understand and that which we do not, oh what an incommensurate is-ness.

Oh life.

I feel gratefulness, for all of the beauty.  I know that I don’t know anything truly. I am just another expression, a pigment of paint on the whole canvas.  I am but a speck containing the whole of the Universe, nothing and everything.

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My wish to be able to hear, tune in, feel the truth, as I don’t thing the truth can be known as science likes to think it knows, It’s all much more fluid than that, much more feminine and curvy and mysterious. Magical. Mythical. Sensed and guessed, grazed and roused, intimated and whispered. None of the big machines, bulldozers, explosive charges that flatten beauty, life.

Oh life.

 

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