Touchdown!

Today the sun opened up its glory to Montreal’s skies. I came home with the most perfect timing, my first Sunday in Montreal marked by the first truly gorgeous day at Tam Tams. I knew things were off to a good start when the guy who sat across from me on the bus was carrying two wooden swords. Everyone in Montreal was out, strutting their stuff, breathing the fine air, dappled in the shadows of leaves from a blazing cyclops of a sun. Glory days are here on the island and after the grey depths of winter by god is this city ready to bite into it!

I have never seen the base of Mont Royale more bustling. Ten or twenty thousand at least. Every time the traffic light on Parc changed at least two hundred bodies surged across the road. The thunder of the Tam Tam drums could be heard from a mile away or more. There were hippies. There were circus performers. There were medieval warriors. There was a Jimi Hendrix impersonator. There were hyperactive chihuahuas and surly boxers (the four legged kind). There was also a display of skin the likes of which is always uniquely dazzling after the bleak gusts of winter. Young, fresh, luminous, hungry for life and leaving no quarter for anything but the delight of being alive. Ah Montreal in summer, you spoil me.

This is what really made it hit me that I’m back. I also have already been behind the camera shooting footage for a friend’s circus application video. At first, lying in the sun with a happy wine and weed buzz just watching the people and the dogs go by I was annoyed. “Goddamit. I have to work?” but once we got started. I love the camera, distilling and mixing reality into parses of nostalgia and unimagined possibility. It became pretty clear. There’s no more time to delay or to fret. I need to get my gear together and start on this journey. No fussing over nickels and dimes. I may be broke the rest of my life, but be damned if I’ll go down without having toys and fun! And if I make it to where my toys pay for themselves, well then we shall have arrived!

So the camera. Within the next 10 days. Done and done.

I think the best way to go is to take employment insurance for a few months while I bust my butt on videography and photography and pick up whatever odd jobs I can that don’t screw up my EI benefits. I might even be able to find a small business program or a retraining program of some sort that would help me out. The key though is to do! I’m going to be shooting and shooting a lot. I’m also going to work on my other artistic projects and ideas. Canal lights, illuminated statues and the recycled art from keyboards I’ve been working on. Burning Man plans. I’m glad I’ve decided to come back to Montreal. I’m going to get a lot of things done and put myself in good stead for whatever comes after Burning Man.

I miss Kinetic Steam Works. I miss Stella. There are plenty of things that I wish I’d done in San Francisco but didn’t. I’ll definitely do them when I go back. And more! Even more! But for right now, Montreal is amazing and the city that I fell in love with so many years ago. First loves are always special, and now that the parks are green and the pants have been replaced by shorts, life is very good indeed!

Reflections

As I move into my final week in San Francisco (for this visit anyway) I start to look back and ask, “Just what exactly have I been doing?”

In many respects I haven’t been doing much. Sitting at home (Stella’s home) surfing the web, watching TV, cooking, laundry, dishes. That’s life as usual.

What has been different is wandering around a new city, working on steam engines, living in close proximity with a lover, going for hikes in new terrain, listening to lectures, seeing comedy shows and teaching myself Final Cut Pro. I’ve also been busy organizing a campout in Quebec from the other side of the continent.

A lot of what’s happened is too subtle to properly articulate, or just not relevant for a blog posting. I’m not even entirely sure of all that’s happened. All I know is that as I leave here I have more clarity and confidence about where I’m going and how to get there.

My focus is videography, photography and architectural light installation art. Some fabrication here and there Etsy style. I want to really put in the time and effort to make some short films and get my “brand” out there. I have great creative vision. I just haven’t been doing a great job of turning that vision into tangible results OR money. I’m going to push forward in fixing that.

Midnight Poutine, taBURNak! and the Drinking In Canada videos have begun to give me an idea of what I can do with a little more focus and help from my peers. I want to move on from these things into bigger, better and financially more tenable activities. I think I’m on my way.

I just realized that its Tuesday and not Wednesday. Thank goodness. An extra day in SF to play, sightsee, relax, prepare and finally pack.

Time to head off to a potluck. Ciao!