Friday, September 28, 2007

My Edge Of The West Home


It is 6 a.m. on the last Friday in September. The tops of the North Shore mountains are black outlines against a dark grey sky. Below...the golden lights of houses of people not yet awake...shine through the darkness. This...is a scene...from the West Coast of Canada...that I'm looking out upon...my home...for over two decades now. I am thankful that in my many years of rambling...with my guitar never far from me...that I found this part of the world...the second place in my life that feels like home...the first being the river in Guyana...where I spent the first twelve and a half years of my life. In my northern travels...I sang in many places...and lived in several...until I arrived at "the Edge of the West"...the place where "old ramblers run no more"...as one of my songs says. For me...however...it's not just about having run out of territory to run across...and arriving at a final destination you accept with weariness and resignation...but the final finding of a place that warms my heart and feeds my spirit...a place I can unequivocally call...Home...even on a morning when all I can see...is the dark outline of mountains...and the rain...is not very far away...........Quester.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Poet Reading-1: A Song For A Vacuuming

video
Ever since I first heard Dylan Thomas reading his poems on cassette tape...I have known
that my prefered mode for receiving poetry...is "straight from the horse's mouth"...
rather than from off the written page. I suspect that there are others in my world with
this same preference. Today's video is the first in a "Poet Reading" series...that I
anticipate will appear from time to time...exclusively on this blog...with other kinds of postings in the intervals...between each episode of this series. Today's poem..."A Song for a Vacuuming"...is the one poem I read on the night I received a World Poetry Life Time Achievement Award...in 2004...coming out of my "Murphy's Law"...that the more creative you are...the less tidy you tend to be...at least...speaking for myself.
In order to "perform" a poem on video...or anywhere else...it has to be memorized...
which effectively limits the number that can be "performed". Good old fashioned reading
...bypasses all that...making much more written material...available for usage on videos. Starting this series today...is one way of my celebrating my 800th posting...
on this blog...and the fact that recently posting videos to Blogger...has become an
additional gift to the bloggers of the world. Stay tuned for other videos in this series...and likely...others...................Quester.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Gift Of Two Video Outlets


Recently I discovered that videos can now be uploaded to Blogger. I remember what a
lift it was...when I first learnt how to upload photos to my blog. Since then it's been an integral part of my posts. I already have 46 videos uploaded to YouTube...but my production of videos over the summer to now...has surprised me. I now have a large number of videos awaiting upload. So...since I learnt about videos on Blogger...I've
been wondering how...I could have video uploads to Blogger and YouTube that complemented each other. After running some video tests on Blogger...I think I now see
an approach to utilising this new gift from Blogger. One aspect of it...is usually having videos on Blogger that are not already on YouTube. Another aspect I see possible...is that my videos on YouTube...have evolved into usually being song videos...and that has worked well. I see a chance now...to make videos involving my writing...both poetry and prose...available on Blogger. More facets of the harmonic
use of both Blogger and YouTube...for having some of my creative work over the years
available on video...are likely to evolve...but very shortly...I think there is going to be the start of a poetry reading series...on Blogger. Stay tuned........Quester.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Days Of Unending Gloom


Today is another of those days that happens on the West Coast...or even maybe all of
Canada. Gloom ruling from the beginning to the end of the day...sometimes...as today...accompanied by a slow unfolding drizzle. On another day like this recently...I was trying to remember...if this kind of day ever happened in my country of origin...Guyana. What came to me was that there were days there...when the sky became very overcast...sometimes even building up to black clouds. Usually...however...this build up wouldn't take too long...and often...this would be followed by what they called down there..."bucket-a-drop" rain...i.e. extra large rain drops that pummelled you and left you soaked in seconds. Sometimes...after this...the sun would return. Yes...it does seem that these days of unending gloom...tend to happen...more in northern places than they do in the tropics. Always looking to harness negatives in affirmative ways...I recognised years ago...that these gloomy days...are great for digging into projects that have been lagging...so now is a good time for me to sign off...and get into project mode...and hope the sun returns one of these days.........Quester.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Human To Human Gathering


My talking to and singing for a group of seniors yesterday wsnt very well. I think that it did because my focus was on the people I was relating with...and not on trying to sell cd's...or some other such commercial goal. Being interested...talking to people...in a human to human way...not patronizing them...usually works out well. With appearing before audiences of children...that approach usually works also. I spoke to them about the benefits of daily journalling...how each of them would have overcome all kinds of challenges in their lives...and had all kinds of experiences...that each of their lives was important and deserved to be told about...and keeping a daily journal was one place where that could be done. There was much more on the subject of journalling that I touched on...then I sang three songs for them..."Pretty Brown"..."Than an Oolican Can"...and "Blackberry Time"...during which they did some berry picking movements. We had fun with that one and there was laughter and good participation in picking those berries. After...a few of them came up and we chatted. One lady in her eighties...told me of how her father used to keep a diary...and showing much appreciation that he had left her some accounts of life in his time...mentioned how one of the things he told about in his diaries...was how it used to get to 60 below...in Northern Ontario...and what they would do to protect themselves from the cold. I think it was her way of agreeing...that journalling was a valuable thing. It turned out to be a warm experience...and I was glad I took part in it.....................Quester.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Confidence From Experience


In a little while I'll be heading out to sing for...and talk to...a group of seniors...
at a neighbourhood house in Vancouver. Was just thinking...how in previous years...on
the day of a singing engagement...it would have been unheard of...for me to be doing
something like writing a piece...for anything. My focus on "the packet I had to deliver" that day...was strong...from the moment I awoke...and "distractions" from that
...as I recall...weren't too welcome. Perhaps...the fact that I'm doing this post today
...is a measure of my having become more relaxed about going to appear in public...
perhaps that comes from the confidence acquired over the years...from doing this thing... many times over...and knowing it will all work out well. Haven't thought yet...about what I will say or sing today...perhaps that too...is part of "the confidence that comes from experience". We'll see how it all unfolds........Quester.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Law Of How Things Accrue


As I close in on having done 800 postings to my blog...I am reminded of what might be
called..."The Law of How Things Accrue". Not my most flowing title as I attempt to
name things I've experienced or observed...but it will suffice for now. That "law" is
about how repeated effort...in a given area of your life...over time...will end up
producing a "sum of your efforts"...whether you worry about that sum being achieved...or not. It is about one of the secrets of life...that some have grasped well...the equivalent of what hockey coaches call...the "one game at a time" approach...i.e. one piece of the job at hand...at a time...without jumping ahead to where it will all lead in the end. One of the tricks about working on a project...with an outcome...that cannot be achieved in a day's work...is a turning your mind away from the largeness of the task at hand...and just focussing and acting upon the little piece of it you can get done today...then...as in the case of a book...looking up one day...to see that enough pages have accrued...to make for the first draft of a book. Back to my blog...making a book from it was not my intention when I started out posting to it...although` you never know what'll come up as things unfold. What can be said...is that nearly 800 postings have come since I started...about a variety of things...that likely...would not have been written about...had I not had a blog to channel them towards. So...here's to "things accruing"...as they do...if you keep pecking away....................Quester.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

People In My Life-1

video
I made this video...mainly with stills...given I didn't have much video footage of
people I would have liked to have been in it...and never uploaded it to YouTube...
because it was crying out for some accompanying written material...and there didn't
seem to be much room there...for that. The people who appear in this video...are
obviously ones who I have pictures for. They are in no "order of importance"...they are
all important...just being the unique beings they each are. They are of different
categories...however...some I have seen very recently...some not for many years. Some
are family...some friends. There are some I have lost contact with...and do not know if
they still walk this Earth. They are all important beings I've been privileged to cross
paths with...at one time or another...and this...in a way...is a little tribute to them. The sound track is by yours truly...and having that capacity available to me...
opens up the way...for other editions of "People In My Life"...up ahead. Perhaps...with
the posting of this video to my blog...I have started one of the categories of video that is likely to appear here...i.e. ones that call for written words to be added to them. As I always say...not wanting to build prisons for myself..."we'll see".
..............Quester.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Creature Of Momentum


Hard to believe it's two weeks since I posted. Let's see...what are the excuses...well...two sets of visitors...from distant places...along with video making...did distract me. There was a time...not too long ago...when I kept up "the post a day" pace for quite a while...somehow resisting distractions. Perhaps...once more...it is being underlined that I'm a "creature of momentum"...and when I have it...I can travel a long time...riding on its wings. However...when I lose it there can be a large slippage in my productivity...in the area involved. Having said that...my video making productivity has been sky high...so it's not as if I've been in "slacker' mode. Anyway...I'm hoping that any day now...I'll be returning to at least some of my recent blogger productivity. I'm also mulling over...what role...if any...being now able to upload video to Blogger will have on my blog...now that I have a "forest of videos" on YouTube. We'll see how it all unfolds......................Quester.