Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thanks For A Long Delayed Link


There is a mysterious difficulty with my e-mail not being allowed through...that I hope to get straightened out with my e-mail provider soon. When you use a computer and are connected to the internet...it's as if...just when you're settling in to enjoy the
magic of it all...you are sent a "not so fast" to deal with. You are forcibly reminded
that there's so much you don't know...about the wondrous machine...connected to many
more wonders out there...somewhere...that you use every day. It's also a reminder...
even though I say so myself...of how far I've come in my journey into modern
technology. I grew up on a river in the countryside of Guyana...South America...in a
house with a thatched roof...no electricity...no record player...no radio...no television...and...of course...computers then...were nowhere on the horizon. I broke
through my avoidance of "new fangled machines"...brought with me from those river days
to buy my first computer...in 2002...and to painfully start using it...teaching myself...with a little help from a friend...to send and receive e-mail...make digital paintings...then cd covers...do research on various subjects...and more recently...to make videos...and upload them to YouTube ...not bad for someone...high on creativity..but very low on the "geek" index. Anyway...whenever I reach an impasse in trying to get something done on my computer...I get that "babe in the woods" feeling...the opposite of the feeling of flying through a creation...using my computer. However...every new function I figure out how to do...on my sleek white machine...is like a reward for enduring through the frustrations of computerdom. Once in a while...there are surprise rewards...this morning I went to my YouTube site...to find that my Blog address...languishing on my channel page...in black text...had suddenly decided to turn blue...ready to be clicked and entered. A special welcome...to all who clicked it...to see if it really works...like I did...and find themselves reading this. Welcome......Quester.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sweetness Yes...Pomposity No


[Photo: Detail from a painting on the side of a grocery store on Commercial Drive Vancouver]. I am not a lover of pomposity. "Affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn,
or self-important"...is the internet's definition of the adjective "pompous". It seems
recently...I've been exposed to too much of this unlikeable trait some human beings
manifest. I've seen and heard it coming...from two mc's at a multi-cultural gathering
...a poet at a literary arts festival...a tv anchor person...[actually more than one of those]...and on several other occasions. Why do some people choose to be pompous?...is it to make up for a great insecurity?...is it from a blindness to how people on the receiving end of it...are irritated by it?. Just caught myself...maybe not all at the receiving end of it think it's silly...maybe some people are impressed by it...who knows?. Anyway...one reason why I like the Dalai Lama...is he is the opposite of pompous...with his ever present chuckle...as if he sees through the silly side of being in such a lofty position. It is the sweet and gentle people of the world who impress me...people who just let the sweetness inside of themselves...just flow out into the world...without any need to try to magnify their own importance. Long live the sweet people of the world................Quester.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Riding A Rainy Day


There are rain tears on my window...the branches of the tree in front of it...it's
leaves tattered by summer...sad dance in the wind...and my mountains have disappeared
in a low grey cloud. I have to reach for a thought to counter all this greyness...two
for a start...present themselves...from so much recent sunshine...the lush green of
west coast grass...has had a scorched look about it lately...and really needs the rain. I can remember many days like this in the past...that I harnessed...went for a ride beyond the grey...and came back with a song or poem...case in point...my song: "Little Victories"..."The tears fall from the skies...while mine remain unshed...for that's how warriors are...at least that's what they say...I'll reach for one more song...before this day is gone...to keep on keepin'on...just like I always do". Amen.
..................Quester.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Weekend Random Notes


Today...I'm beginning to process the sights...sounds...thoughts etc...of a jam packed
weekend. When wanting...if possible...to avoid plodding through a litany of descriptions...I often resort...to doing "random notes"...so here we go:...singing
"The Banana Blues"...at a children's stage...at a literary festival...and understanding why I've sung in a lot of elementary schools in my time...but why I always avoided taking on the "children's entertainer persona"...this day I just sang a few songs...and didn't worry too much about that...and...also...wondered if I'd sing at this kind of venue...in the future. Having a few chats...with some people I know and like...helped me to push past the "literary" trappings of the event. At the Caribbean festival...watching at first...a few people moving to the music...coming from the stage...with the vast majority of people sitting...and watching the band play...something that would never likely happen...in the Caribbean...with people present at an event like this...rising en masse...to groove to the music. Fortunately
a fine man and woman couple...did rise up...and on the parched grass...let loose a
sinuous and torrid "pas de deux"...then there were a bunch of joyful children...
following the lead of a woman in a winged carnival costume...bringing life to the
occasion...and giving all the "watchers"...something to consider...may these children
keep rising up...always. Then there were the Grenada May Pole Dancers...bringing
rythm...earthiness...and organic movement back to the May Pole Dance...and inspiring
me to make a video...of their most welcome appearance...now on YouTube. There's
much more to process...and more to write...but I'll sign off now..........Quester.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An Abundance Of Video Material


Just returned from North Vancouver's Caribbean Festival...likely...more about that later. It's been a hectic weekend...with many sights...sounds...conversations...and
experiences to process. Also...a large amount of video material to edit. Given...so far ...I haven't done any "talking head" videos...the events that suit my video making out in the world...are ones with movement and dance...and human beings sharing something in a vital way. Yesterday's festival...a literary one...for all its merits...was not a feast for video making...of the kind of video I just described. Today's festival...provided much food for a video maker...or should I say...this one. I am...of course...not writing here about the videos I make at home base...where reflection...triste...thought that can find images to go with it...life affirmation and other aspects of being human...can hopefully...be represented. I'm
talking here about the kind of event or happening...out in the world...that gives you
motivation enough...to attend...with your cameras in tow. As they used to say on the
river I grew up on in Guyana..."I can't complain"...this summer has brought me an
abundance of video material...a lot of which...I am yet to turn to finished videos.
Wish me happy editing!................Quester.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Evening At Football


Just returned from Stanley Park...where I sang at a festival...may write about it later. Last night...I went with my nephew...his nephew...and the father of his nephew
...to a BC Lions football game. I'm not a rabid fan of the team...but it was the
sharing the evening with people I know well that I specially appreciated. It turned out
to be an exciting game...with many ebbs and flows...with the home team...which we were
rooting for...winning with a field goal with seconds to go. I took a lot of still pictures...of my companions mainly...and a few of some rabid fans who were up and dancing and shouting encouragement. I had to put my hands over my ears a few times...
when the crowd roar became too deafening. It turned out to be a warm and excellent
shared experience....................Quester.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bird At My Window


[On a recent gloomy morning...I took this picture of a lingering pigeon at my window].
I share the city I live in with many other creatures. Birds are the most visible...of
my co-citizens...or should I say fellow denizens. Living near a finger of the ocean as I do...gulls...can be seen perching on nearby roofs...or sometimes circling and
celebrating an especially fine day. Despite it's somewhat haunting cry...I wouldn't say I get mysterious vibes from a gull. Also despite the largeness of the species of gull I see most often...I wouldn't say the gull is what you might call a "power bird". Once the soft murmurings of pigeons...found their way into some of my songs...but attributed to "doves" instead...had some "romantic appeal" for me. Come to think of it ...the pigeon is an energetically romantic bird...the male...I think it is...often doing its strut and circle "dance of love"...around the object of its momentary affections...it seems...whatever the weather or season may be. Pigeons
lost their "romantic" appeal...some years ago...after they colonized my apartment balcony...and refused to budge. Of the three birds I see most of...for me...the crow
is the most intriguing one. Their "up to no good walk"...often catches my attention
...and I think...reflects their opportunistic agenda...always on the look out...to
acquire food by hook or by crook. Crows...of course...have been known to do some very
intelligent things...including some excellent problem solving. Of the three birds
mentioned...the crow...for me...is the most interesting...but if they all disappeared from my surroundings...I know I would miss them all........................Quester.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fireworks Night

video
Last night it didn't rain and I did make it down to English Bay. Instead of getting
down there four hours ahead of fireworks starting time to find a good spot...which I
know in the past has been the recommended thing...I decided to take a chance and leave
my home much later than that...and not let myself be disappointed if I didn't find a decent spot. With about twenty minutes to go...I did find a spot...with nothing between me and the water. I was struck by the peacefulness of the crowd on the shore...just enjoying a summer night by the water...as we waited for things to start. Part way through the fireworks...I could hear just behind me some newly arrived neanderthal voices...breaking the peace...and continuing to do so...until the fireworks were over.
I didn't let this addition to the evening spoil it for me...but I was wondering how
people who talk incessantly...can possibly take in what it is they are looking at...
then again...perhaps that's not why they came there. All in all...the fireworks were excellent...and I was glad I made the effort to get down to the bay...and be rewarded
with video of the event...from start to finish..............Quester.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

See What The Day Brings


[Photo: Detail from mural on Victoria Drive Vancouver].
This morning is grey and very overcast...suggesting that rain is in the offing. On the
other hand...it may just be the first phase of a West Coast pattern that happens at
some points in the year...gloomy morning...morphing into sunny afternoon. I was telling a relative last night...that I might consider tonight...taking on the safari of going down to English Bay...and taking video of the fireworks that are scheduled to take place there. I haven't been to the fireworks in recent summers...because the shores next to it get terribly over crowded [As Yogi Berra might say: "No one goes there anymore because it's always so crowded"]...not to mention knifings and brawls that happen sometimes...as you head home. My reason for thinking of going tonight...is that I've never really tested my camcorder out...taking night video...and...of course...fireworks would be an ideal subject for doing that. I also told my relative...I'd have to see how I feel on the day...given what I usually do is what I call "stress free video making". However today/tonight unfolds...i think I'll be
staying with my approach. If it rains...there's so much else to do..............
.................Quester.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Artist's Territory


As a creative artist over many years...I've looked upon the territory from which my
creations come...as being wide and deep...and especially...not limited to one area of
being human. The furthest thing from my approach...would be...to regurgitate popaganda
on one narrow aspect of our human journey...on and on. I know that by doing so...I would confine myself to the role of propagandist...and I know how that would bore me as time wore on. From time to time...in between all the messages of encouragement I get for my work...there are some responses...that seem to indicate...that the message sender knows best...about what an artist should create around...or even what he should think. Such people...are of course...entitled to their opinions...but they...of course
...will never convince me...to stop investigating...the width and depth of being human
...from the silly...to the very serious...in my work. I wish them all...peace...in whatever they've chosen to do...or think...in their lives..............Quester.
P.S. Today's photo is of a picture on a hoarding...on Hastings Street...Vancouver.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Graceful Man


Some years ago...the father of a partner of mine...passed on. For weeks after...I found myself wanting to find one word that best described this man that I'd learnt to respect and appreciate...in the time I'd known him. Finally...one day...I told my partner..."I've finally got it...your father was a graceful man". Leading up to this realization and after...I reflected on what some of the qualities are...that are part of a man or woman living a graceful life. Some of what came to me...is as follows:.....Whether at work or otherwise...conducting yourself in a dignified way...in a world where the pursuit of wealth and status...seems to propel some to do a lot of undignified things. Being sincere...instead of insincerity too long practised...becoming your stock in trade. Knowing when to speak or encourage others...and also knowing when to refrain from saying anything...the "I told you so" sayers of the world...for instance would benefit from learning this. These are only
some of the qualities found in a graceful person's life...but I think they give an
indication...of how in a world where "gracelessness" can sometimes rule...how some
individuals...not only from being born with a sweet disposition...but also from the
practise of certain disciplines in their lives...flow on and on through life...with
a grace...that offers the rest of us...an inspiring model...of how to live this life.
....................Quester.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spam...Spam...Dirty Spam


[Photo: Detail from the front door of a school in my neighbourhood].
Was looking through the archives of this Blog last night...at entries made when there
was no mechanism in place to prevent spam. Just about every entry had comments...the
only trouble was...many of them were of the..."Great blog...now check my site" variety. If people only knew of my distaste for transparent attempts at spamming...replete with insincere compliment...then a revealing of the spammer's real agenda. I reluctantly put a mechanism in place...I think it's called..."comment moderation". Sometimes I think it might be too effective...blocking spam...but possibly being a tad difficult for those who might be nudged to post genuine comments. I like to live in peace...and not live my life taking offence at almost everything that comes my way...in a world where too many seem to be saying..."I'm offended by this...I'm offended by that". Despite that...I confess to feeling aggravated sometimes...at the spam that comes my way...every day of my life. It appears like
vermin...in my mail box...in insincere voices on my telephone...and more recently via
YouTube where I have many videos...the only fly in the ointment...for what has been a
tremendously positive experience. How it works...is that some of the people who ask
to be your online friend...once you agree...you tecnically open the way for them to
send you "friendly spam"...some inundating you daily with notices about videos you
can't possibly have time to view. It seems these people...and so far they are not
many...are totally oblivious...that their frequent and many notices...have become
nothing more than spam to the receiver. Not the best way to "grow friendship"...with
someone who opened the door to you in a friendly way. Here's wishing that spam of all
kinds...disappears from the face of this Earth...and failing that...I learn to fully
accept one of the most disagreeable aspects of modern life...along with the good in it...............Quester.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

On Being Internally Referenced


Sometimes I think...the central reason why I survived through the bludgeonings that
come with choosing to live the life of a free lance artist...is that somewhere along the way...I became an internally referenced person...rather than someone who defined
himself based on things outside of himself. I think my parents teaching us children that we were spiritual beings...and not to be caught up too much in worldly things...
was the building block for my internal referencing. In one of my songs..."Who I am"
there are the lines..."For what is valued in this world doesn't mean too much to me...
for I've watched the fools its made of men who were no longer free"...is not as far fetched as it may sound first time round. I've observed over the years...people striving to "be somebody"...not realizing they were somebody from the moment the Cosmos sent them down to this Earth. That was one of the insights that came years ago...that kept me from engaging in an undignified chasing after material or status prizes...seeing that "being a somebody" was only a cultural way of saying what a citizen should be...not allowing for our human identity...beyond the limitations of culture. My take on being internally referenced...is that you ongoingly work on what's
inside of you...until...hopefully...you become an "inner athlete"...not having to
be dependent...on external factors...like your status and your wealth...to define
who you are. Approaching life this way...although you may stumble on your way...enables you to keep on...when the external aspects of your life crumble...or are
not delivered on...important in the feast or famine life...of a free lance artist...
..............Quester.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cheeky Songs Travel


A day or two ago...I uploaded to YouTube...a video called "Guyana School Yard Songs".
It was of one of the three segments of a program I delivered recently...at a large
multi-cultural gathering. The first part was the song "Pretty Brown"...already posted
to this Blog. The third was a serious song about the journey North of an immigrant to
Canada from Guyana. Singing the school yard songs in the middle...was an idea that came to me late on...I'd never done these songs in public before...but I thought it might offer some relief from the seriousness of the song I wanted to close with. I also thought...it might offer some common ground...between myself and my audiences...the majority of whom were Guyanese or Caribbean people. It turned out the way I thought it would...with the audience joining in the singing of the last song...without my asking them to...but simply because they knew it too...from their younger years in Guyana. I was wondering after I made the video...why 3 of the 4 songs sung...were in Guyana dialect...and why the fourth one was in English with no sign of a dialect. This
morning I got the answer to the question in my mind...in a comment from someone in the
U.S.A...who said her father used to sing this song to her when she was little...
indicating that this song didn't likely originate in Guyana...but instead...came from
somewhere north of there. Just illustrates once again...that children have a nose...
or should I say a mouth...for cheeky songs...wherever they may come from...songs
have a way of travelling far...and there's something to be learnt every day........
................Quester.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Fruiting Time


Spring is my favourite season. Over the last few...I've tracked its unfolding...with my camera...among other things...taking pictures of the different flowers as they come in. This spring...I found it more difficult to do that...perhaps because it was a spring cooler than usual. At the top of my list this year...when it came to flowers...was to get video of the cherry blossoms at their peak...and as their petals began to fall...for a video I had in mind. Over weeks I kept checking out a certain place full of cherry trees...then I didn't check for 8 or 9 days...and when I returned...the falling of the petals had come and gone. One thing I really appreciate about the cherry trees here...is that they become thick with an abundance of flowers...then comes what I call "The Time Of Petals"...when their beautiful fresh petals...come slowly sifting down...or doing a joyful dance...depending on the wind or lack of it. I am thankful I don't see their pink petals...browning on the tree. The browning of flowers while they are still on the tree or bush...is one of my least favourite sights...as spring recedes. There are different kinds of flowers coming out as the summer unfolds...but when I try to take pictures of them...some sign of "the browning" has a way of creeping into the picture. Today's picture is about a time in the summer...when hope rises again..."the fruiting time". I know seeing the fruit on the vine or the tree...from since I was a child...has always given me hope. Cool spring or not...the fruit have returned
......................Quester.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Conscious Journeyer


"Conscious Journeyer"...is a term I've used...when I'm asked for profile information...as with this Blog...or YouTube etc. In bios...especially short ones...you want to say things that are important to you...whether they would be for anyone else or not. I wish I could remember where I first heard the term..."conscious journeyer"...but I can't. I've been using it for quite some time now. I can only state here...what this term means to me...rather than what it might mean to others. Let me see what comes to mind right now...about conscious journeying. For me...it involves thinking freely...and being open to new information or insights about living life...in a way that makes the most sense to me. It involves taking time to process what happens in your life...and being able to move past...blind or knee jerk responses to your experiences...to understanding your own contribution to dissonant happenings in your life...and moving away from blaming others for them. Engaging in this process...is so that...over time ...you can grow...and move to health and wholeness...rather than be mired forever...in your own blindness and backwardness. There's likely much more that
could be said about conscious journeying...but I've found in my years of engaging in
it...that making comprehensive statements about life...tends to usually end up being incomplete...life being as complicated as it is. I would like to close with this thought...however. in your conscious journey...you may find fine guidelines to live
by...but therein lies the rub...as someone once said...seeing what you should be doing...is one thing...but delivering on it...is quite the other.........Quester.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pretty Brown

video
Last weekend...I sang at a large "Multi-Cultural Origins Of British Columbia" event.
It was celebrating British Columbia's 150th birthday. There were three parts to the
program I delivered. I started with the song in today's video..."Pretty Brown". This
has been a central song in my life as a songwriter and singer...and over thirty years...has been my most requested song. Many...primarily Native People...but not only
...have told me stories about how this song has affected their lives for the better.
I've already had two other versions of "Pretty Brown" on YouTube...so when I was able
to get this one done...I thought...it's time to put this song on Blogger. This has been a most bountiful time for me...getting video material...and I've been in the throes of
editing this material. At least three other videos have come out of the multi-
cultural night...and there may be more. So...thanks to Glenda...who on short
notice shot this video...and bon voyage to "Pretty Brown" as she heads out...on one more...of her many journeys........................Quester.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Creativity In A Human Circle


For about four years...except in the summer...I led a weekly human circle...called "Creative Voices"...it was a deep experience...that ran its natural course...until I
returned to "just being an artist". Some thoughts about it from my journal then:
"Why is creativity at the core of our human circle working out so well?. Focusing on
creativity...engages an authentic human power...rather than a consumeristic idea...like drinking beer together...although that too could have its social benefits. Taking part in an endeavour around creativity...can exercise our inner muscle...if we enter strongly into it. If we were meeting...and singing cover songs...or people were reading poems they hadn't created...it might be pleasant...but it wouldn't likely engage deeper powers...available in the participants. If we were sharing in a censored way...our power would also be interfered with...pushing us towards the bland...rather than the real or raw as it is now. The working through of life issues...in the material that some of those attending create...is part and parcel of "Creative Voices"...and would not likely be happening if those doing so...were regurgitating material they hadn't created. The aspect of human beings creating or recreating themselves...by exercising their inner powers as they create...would not likely be happening in the authentic way it is...if we were only meeting in a superficial way...and not digging deep as we do...in our creations"........................Quester.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Splendid Multi-cultural Night


Last night I performed at a multi-cultural gathering...put on by the Guyana Association in these parts. I am still processing all the fine moments that transpired...meeting people I've met before...and new ones...with whom I had many warm exchanges. I had to wait to go on stage a lot later than I had anticipated...but got into my "acceptance of what pertains" mode. Over the years I've learnt that when you set out to do an engagement...you can never really anticipate what you'll have to overcome...so the thing is to not fight and fuss...about what "is"...see peacefully if things can be changed to something that might work better...but if nothing can be changed..."go with the flow". There were some powerful performances from...a Nisga traditional singing and dancing group...lion dancers...bhangra dancers...a bag piper...offering a fine cross section...of cultures in this part of the world. My songs and talk portion of the evening...was well received. What is more...a friend took video of it with my camera ...and I took video of the other performers...so...it looks like there will also be more videos generated by this night. Today's picture...is of yours truly...flanked by two distinguished men...originally from Guyana...and now with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police...all in all it was a good situation in which to find yourself...flanked by the R.C.M.P...........................Quester.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Book Of Love-English Bay

video
Today's video post is a first. An edited song video uploaded to my Blog. Haven't done
that before. Usually...my song videos are set aside...for posting to YouTube. There is
an indoor recorded version of "Book of Love"...earmarked for upload there. This video
...was of one of the songs I sang some days ago...at a weekly summer event...that happens on the shores of English Bay. I have so far...completed this and two other
videos from that evening...having been given an unexpected abundance of videos. For me
it is an interesting exercise...having two videos of the same song...uploaded...or soon
to be...to sites online. I have noticed that they are different in feel. The indoor
version...was shot in a controlled situation. This version is not...note the people
walking by just behind me. Fortunately...they weren't doing that in front of me...one
of the reasons I have never busked...which is the event of events...that illustrates
the speediness of attention deficit disorder. Of course the people walking by here...
were more actually into...obliviousness...it looks like. Forunately...in this case...
there was an audience in front of me...and I couldn't see the ones behind...so it worked out. At the last moment...I plunked my camera into the hands of a friend...
sitting next to me. I think she did a good job...and I thank her for it. Finally...a
verse from the song in question..."While writing in the Book of Love...a tear may fall
a sigh may come...A dancer in the ancient dance...must pay the piper when he's done"...
......................Quester.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Expectations


Going through one of my journals from a few years back I just came upon this...
"I have felt for years...that you shouldn't get carried away with your expectations of
others...lest you set yourself up for being let down. Once...in one of my harder edged
moments...I even wrote down a formula about expectations..."No Expectations = No
Disappointments + A Few Pleasant Surprises". Expectations of another human being...
require that the other person deliver on what you see to be fit at the time. This
doesn't allow for the other person's uniqueness...where he or she is at in his or her
journey...priorities...interests...and a host of other individual factors. Perhaps in
tribal societies...expectations that come out of the group's interdependence and
survival...are to be expected...but in a society made up of individuals...each one
fending for him or herself...there are more factors at play...that may influence your
expectations of others...not being delivered on"..............Quester.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something About Sundown

video
Watching the sun rise or set is one of the huge privileges of living in this Creation.
A sunset can stir much deep inside of ourselves...coming out of our sensibilities and
our life experiences. Here's a verse and chorus from a song of mine triggered by a sunset: "When the evening sun is sinking...and you begin to rise...like the moon over
me in the dark night/...Wish I could stop my mind from thinking...of days that are
long gone...and your face like a light in the night/...And there's something about
sundown...makes me see only your face...though I should just leave the past now in its
place...like a fallen leaf...when summer's gone"..................Quester.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Putting My Best Face Forward


"Laugh and the world laughs with you...weep and you weep alone"...the British poet
Rudyard Kipling once said. This is one of the observations on life...learnt as a school boy...I have always remembered...perhaps because it rings true. Perhaps...if the truth be known...most people may be only short steps away from tears...as they face the inevitable difficulties we all face in life...not to mention...the shadow of a lurking mortality. Perhaps...because of this...we may carry in us a tendency...to avoid the tears of others...lest they nudge us towards shedding our own. Perhaps...putting a "pleasant face forward"...is simply one of the teachings...from a how best to survive manual...we each carry in us. If that is so...it also may account for the artificial smiles we see all around us...recommended as a central way to oil the wheels of commerce...taken from the survival over authenticity section of that manual. Whatever may lie under Rudyard's recommendation...I remember it once again this morning...so long after he said it...and for one more day...keep my troubles to
myself...and put my "best face forward".............Quester.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Step Ahead Of Prisons


There is a picture somewhere...of three fresh faced young men...with straw hats on their heads...taken a long time ago...to publicize our newly formed Caribbeanesque trio. Yes...I confess to briefly taking part in a stereotype...of what three musical
Caribbean persons should look like. Fortunately...it didn't take me long to see the
prison I was helping to create for myself...and I left that carricature...to battle on
in the folk music jungle. In all of my long musical life...I have somehow been able to
identify the particular prison I was in...at the time...and break out of it. There have been many such prison breaks which I won't list here. Last night I returned to the scene of my last one...an outdoor summer singing venue...with much to recommend it...i.e. being outdoors in the warm weather...and making music. For me...however...
having done it over a few summers...I began to see...that it might become a prison too...as time went by...the hamster on the wheel thing. So...I left it behind a summer
or two ago. Last night...for the first time in a long time...I returned to this music
night...to say hello to some of the people I know there. I was asked to sing...and sang three songs. Things went well...and it was good to see some people again...I've known for a while. This morning...I am seeing that it was good for me to have gone back...as it helped me to see...that although I may drop by this venue from time to time...there is no need in me to return to this place ...trapped in a habit I can't shake...i.e. singing in a known place week after week every summer...on and on. I wish my friends there well...but as with my straw hat and flowered shirt...I know that this phase in my life is over...as I engage in...and look forward to...new endeavours...and my measure of freedom in this life......Quester.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Glimpse Of My River


The river I grew up on in Guyana...left a deep mark on my being. Since I left it...and
life in the countryside...to go to high school in the capital city Georgetown...I have
not returned there. However...over the many years physically away from it...it has grown in my mind...and in a way...become a reference point in my life. I've created
many pieces of work...that have flowed...from the "river in me". When you are only relying on the memory of a place...after a long piece of time has passed...who knows
how accurate the picture your creative memory makes of it...can become. I have a
suspicion though...that "accurate recollection"...may not be the paramount thing...in this kind of situation. For me...of more importance...likely...is the effect living in a place like that had on your child mind...and i know this river certainly..."writ large" on me. Anyway...fast forward to a recent night...when I noticed...that on the
page for one of my videos on YouTube...there was listed...a video title...with the
name of the river I grew up on...the Pomeroon!. I am still processing the deep feelings stirred in me...as for the first time in a long time...I saw a short video
of this river...central to my life...for so long. Who knows how this sighting...will
end up changing the picture of it I've carried in my memory?. Living now in this
global village...the cyber age has brought us to...where someone like myself... with a click here...and a click there...can have visual access to places...once only carried
in memory...how will the mythic places we carry inside ourselves be affected...and
how will that affect our lives?. My jury is still out...about the effect being
visually reintroduced...to a place I carried for so long...only in my mind...will have on me. Something tells me my childhood memory of it...is likely to keep on informing my creativity and my life...................Quester.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Squandered Sunday?


I'm playing catch up tonight...this will be short. I spent the first part of this day...looking at...the men's singles tennis final...at Wimbledon...[a name North
American announcers or commentators seem to have a lot of difficulty with...morphing
it into a wide range of mis-nomers...from Wimble-ton to Wimple-ton...almost as bad
as with the people who make me squirm when they call a certain country in the news...
Aye-raq...when will they ever learn?. Anyway...getting back to my squandered Sunday...
it was an exceptional final...justifying the long stretched out period...following it
on tv...and probably breaking my longest tv watching session record. The person I
wanted to win...won...which helps in my justifying the time I spent as a "watcher"
earlier today.......................Quester.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

An Uplifting Meeting


Was invited to join a nephew of mine and his partner last night. We went to a fine
Malaysian restaurant...and had a wonderful feast...of many courses. What i enjoyed best was our conversation...ranging wide and sometimes deep...and most importantly...each of us taking turns talking and then listening. I was struck by the quality of the listening...all round...reminding me of what an important...but too often neglected aspect of human interaction this is. Although I should hasten to add that the female member of our trio...as always...out-listened the other two of us...who sometimes can chase after ideas...on and on. There was laughter too...and talk of family...and its worth...but also the difficulties that can come with it. It was great to meet once again...with these two good people I've known for a long time...and to resume the conversation I've had with my nephew...since he was a teenager. It is nights like this that can fan the flame of hope...that human beings can meet in a graceful way...and in so doing...lift each other...to a place of good feelings all round......Quester.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fugitive From Expectations


Mentioned earlier today...in a conversation with a relative...who talked about lowering the expectations of others about what you should do...that I'd once written a song called..."Fugitive From Expectations"...about shying away from what others expect of you...on the one hand...but on the other...questioning yourself for doing so. As I look at this queation of expectations of others of you...now...what do I see?. What is beginning to emerge...is that there may be times in life...when considering the expectations of others...for you...might make sense. However...the "freedom lover" in me...I still hear saying...but what about your...or my authentic self...and its needs?. I have often felt sadness...when I reflected on the lives of others...that seemed to have been sucked dry by the needs of others...while they turned away from a calling from their authentic selves...to do and live something very different from what they ended up with. Like so much else in life...I guess...it's about each of us
deciding how we are going to live out our lives...based on our notions of what really
matters to us. Sometimes...this is likely to bow to the expectations of others...
sometimes not. To each his own...different strokes...que sera sera...I still see that
there may be times in life...when the call is...simply to be...a "Fugitive From Expectations".......................Quester.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Slow Replies


In recent times...I've received many online messages. I must confess to having fallen
behind in my replies to them. This is one of the swamps in life you can find yourself in...with the best of intentions. I should know by now...that the best approach to
incoming messages...is to reply to them right away. I find that if I let a day or two
go by...that is when replying can become more and more difficult...and next thing you
know...the days can easily turn to weeks. One of the reasons for not replying right
away...could be simply that you want to reply as comprehensively as possible...to the
points made in the message received...and so you delay...hoping to find a better time
and better focus up ahead to do so. I think the lesson here...is never mind trying to
be comprehensive...it's not likely you can be anyway...just get some kind of reply back to the message sender. There are many reasons you can come up with for not dealing with your correspondence right away. I suspect a lot of them could...on close
inspection...be revealed to be...just excuses. Hope up ahead...I can clear up my
back log...and the dear people at the other end of the message transactions...can cut
me some slack. Who knows?...some of them may have even experienced the "falling
behind with your replies" thing...and as a result have some understanding of this
bind people can get into. Got to sign off now...I've got to go and reply to someone..
...................Quester.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Carver On The Grey


It's been hot now for several days in a row. With the heat...for all the liberation from the shackles of the long...cool...or cold times...can come a bit of an addling of
the brain. At least that's an excuse...that's available with the heat...for not creating much of anything...not to mention...letting your Blog go for a bit. So...I've
been sitting in front of my keyboard...looking at pieces of past writing...in note books and journals close by...for some kind of trigger...to get me going. Finally...I
rediscovered my song..."Carver On The Grey"...and decided it might be a good idea to
repeat its first verse and chorus here......."No more time to watch the clouds/ Send the morning sun away/ At last I see I must become a carver on the grey/ Let the shadows slip away/ While my chisel comforts me/ And maybe they'll get weary soon/ And fly away from me/...For I know these days are precious/ And the nights are full of flowers/ And I must find a way to dance/ My way through these sweet hours"........Quester.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Canada Day-Granville Island-2008


Spent the early afternoon...of this Canada Day...with friends...at the Granville Island celebrations. Being with friends...was at the core of a wonderful warm experience. A day of thousands of people coming together...with their good feelings to the fore...singing...dancing...a marching carnival band...with people following...stilt dancers...[I was amazed at how well they did the samba...lifted so high from the ground]...children laughing and playing...face painting...and the red maple leaf...in people's hair...or being waved freely...everywhere. Warm conversation...and laughter with friends...rounded out a wonderful human experience. What is more...I hurried home with the video I'd taken of events...and by mid-evening...this Canada Day...my video of this wonderful experience...or slivers of it...was uploaded to YouTube... where it can be found by typing into youTube Search: Canada Day Granville Island David Campbell I'll remember this Canada Day...for a long time..........Quester.