Sunday, August 31, 2008

Poem: Take A Rest


Sometimes
I think
it might have been
a mistake
to train myself
not to blame
anyone else
for my dissonances...
Just for a moment
it would be nice
to say that
it was someone else
who got me feeling
jagged...
and take a rest
from looking to find
where it was
I blew it...
this time round...
..........Quester.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Little Victories


Once wrote a song with the line..."little victories keep me keepin' on". It is so true
...that for most of us...that the incoming phone call or the knock on the door...is not likely to produce...congratulations...for having just won the Nobel Prize...or 64 million dollars in the lottery. Our victories...such as they are...tend to be small...like learning to replace a blown fuse...or setting up the vcr to record a program when we are not at home. [Having just bravely said that...I still haven't figured that one out...although vcrs are on the verge of becoming extinct...
so...for me...that would actually be a giant win]. But now...we are in the computer/online age...being called upon to click our way...sometimes past illogical sounding instructions...on a merciless screen. For me...every time I'm called upon to do that...I have to gird myself...like a soldier about to enter ambush territory.
Last night...I got it up to do just that...feeling it was time I changed the appearance of this Blog. I did some tests on my test Blog first...having learnt that
with these online challenges...you need to have in place...some kind of backup...
and not wanting to click the wrong place and have my 900 plus entries vanish
forever. To conclude...my efforts at getting my text in italics...or writ bold...
didn't come off this time...and remain a challenge for another day...but as you
can see...today...my Blog has a spanking new look!. For this little victory...
I am thankful.....................Quester.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Off The Transcontinental


[Photo: Detail from wall painting at Slocan and Hastings in Vancouver].
In my time...I've been a lover of long train rides. This poem was written...along with
several others...on one such...across Canada.
"In the wee hours at Hornepayne...
I slip off the transcontinental
to fill my lungs
with the cool North Ontario air...
while my fellow travellers...
jump off the train and fumble for
forbidden cigarettes...
Long train rides have a way
of revealing people's addictions...
and the self righteousness...
of those who have theirs
well concealed........."
...............Quester.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Poem: My Mountain


"I am like my mountain...
Sometimes shrouded in grey mists...
separated from the sun...
as if it never was...
Sometimes clothed in spring green...
my beauty revealed under April shine...
But essence of mountain...
Essence of me...always standing...
though often hidden...
A flame
not doused
by circling clouds...
or sudden winds
out of the wide blue sky.........."
........................Quester.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grey Skies And The Big Picture


Outside my front window...the rain clouds bulge...and the tattered leaves of late
August...tremble in a cool wind. For the last two weeks at least...their have been
signs of autumn...writing on the landscape around me. Just a very short while ago...
it seems...I was taking pictures of the first fresh flowers of spring. It is no secret
that I am a lover of spring...and the coming of autumn...can get a bit "haunty" for me
...with the slow dying unfolding on the land...but as always...I have to turn my mind
...to what is good about this time I'm in. Autumn and winter...are optimum seasons...
for getting down to doing...and finishing projects...that have been hanging around for
a long time. The hockey season is not too far away from starting...although the way
my team has been performing...or non-performing...the last few years...I should be full of trepidation...instead of anticipation. Although I was born in...and shaped by...the tropics...where every day is a warm day...and a wholesale dying on the land doesn't happen...I must confess...to having become fond...of the changing of the seasons...and the variety and contrast in what each one brings. I also know...that spring for all its magic...wouldn't really exist...without the winter that preceeded it. Yes...these grey days of August...with November yet to come...push me to look at the Big Picture...of the seasons unfolding...just the way they do...........Quester.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pictures Of Another Time-12


This picture taken early on in my "musical" career...illustrates well...the disatisfaction I felt back in my bar singing era. Singing in places...where people who
were present...seemed to be more preoccupied with other..."missions for the night"...
rather than listening to music...and the smell of stale alcohol was ever present...reminding you...that you were not in a healthy situation. Fortunately...during those difficult times...I always knew...
that somehow...I would break out of that situation...rather than remain a bar singer
for the rest of my life. My first album...of songs I had written...made in Britain...
years after this picture was taken in Toronto...helped me to break free...from singing
in such places. This picture...reminds me of a time long ago...and a life that...I
somehow managed to escape. For that I am thankful..............Quester.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Winds Of Change


Someone I spoke to last night...said that she had a preference for real photographs she can hold in her hand...rather than those you see on your computer screen. I understood what she meant...and was reminded of how so many of us human beings seem to have a tendency...to hold on to what we've been accustomed to...in our past...and resist new waves of inevitable change that sweep down on us...especially in the area of new technology. Right now...I am experiencing this...as I continue to use my vcr to record news items etc. off television. I've noticed that in stores where vcrs were once plenty ...I can't seem to see any these days...and I've heard rumours that there has been a digital replacement for the vcr's function...for some time. I guess it does take time to turn away from what you've always known...and embrace the new stuff that replaces it. I'm not sure that being a new technology junkie...is the balanced approach in these matters. Perhaps an approach that makes sense here...is to actknowledge that change will happen...and at least some of it...is for the better...then be open to new possibilities...rather than turning into a lemming lining up overnight to purchase the newest gadget on the scene...or resisting forever something that is different from what you've previously known. The winds of change
will blow...whether we like it or not...looks like the thing to do is to move...
graceful as a willow tree...when they come upon you...........Quester.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

No To Gutter Sniping Online


Yesterday I viewed one of the "related videos"...YouTube puts next to the central video on one of their pages. The video itself...was in the Guyana dialect...which I understand...and it was funny in parts. So far so good. It was when I turned my attention...to the comments under it...that I ran into a syndrome I'd observed before...i.e. people slamming each other...and the video...in the most disrespectful
and nasty ways...they could come up with. I have been very fortunate...that in uploading 135 videos...so far...to YouTube...that I have received hundreds of affirmative comments about my videos...and only two I would classify as "nasty". These
two were inviting me into a trip down into the gutter...with their senders. My
response...instead of accepting their invitations...was to instantly delete them from
the two videos they were attached to. What the senders of the two rude messages didn't
seem to realize...in their reaching out for some attention...even if it involved
some "mud wrestling"...was that...that is not a game I usually play. I look upon
having a site on YouTube...on which to display some of my creative work...as a
privilege...which I want to exercise in a peaceful and life affirming way...if at all
possible. This approach...of course...doesn't involve people hurling abuse at each
other. This crude and negative approach to the gift that YouTube is...to humans
expressing themselves...may be regarded as the way to go in certain circles...and may
be representative of a larger decline in civility...in our world...but dinosaur from
a more civil time...though I may be...from where I stand...and connect with my
fellow Earthlings...has no place in our communication with each other......Quester.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pictures Of Another Time-11


Today's picture is of yours truly...singing at the Steyn Valley Festival. I'm trying
to recall exactly when it was...I think it was in the early nineties. It was a festival that happened once a year...for a few years...to benefit the protection of the Steyn Valley watershed...in British Columbia...from logging. Over the years...I took part in concerts benefiting many causes...including environmental ones. One of the things I am reminded of in this picture...is the tinyness of the solo performer...in comparison to the stage he's on...and the largeness of the audience. Some would say there is bravery involved...in walking out to face such a situation. Others would say...what ego...to think you could do that. The truth...for me...is that I did do...in my time...such concert appearances...but they seldom gave me as much satisfaction...as singing in small rooms...to much less people...than there would be at an outdoor festival concert. Perhaps that had to do...with feeling a palpable contact...with the people you're singing for...you could say feeling an intimacy...not always possible...when the nearest to you person in your audience...is a long distance away...as it often is...in big stage outdoor concerts. These days...I am not keen to repeat the big stage appearance...but I'm glad...that in "another time"...that was part of what I did...as a performing artist.................Quester.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Danger Of The Thorn


Words from my song "Danger Of The Thorn": "A red rose is a precious thing...under the
summer rain...As time goes by the petals fly...and only the sharp thorns remain,,,
And where does the fire of love vanish to...the promises made when its new?...
Where does forever go...when its tomorrow?...and yesterday's petals are gone?..."
...................Quester.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inertia Didn't Get Me


My mountains have disappeared under a grey blanket of cloud...the sidewalks are etched
with wetness...and even the roofs are carrying puddles...that weren't there yesterday.
It may be August...but it looks like November out there. Once wrote a song called
"Carver on the grey"...about how that's what an artist has to keep reaching to be...
regardless of the greyness inside or outside of him. Often...when I see a beautiful
painting...or hear a moving song...I think of how close it must have come...to not being created. That is one of the hardest things for an artist to do...i.e...wrench himself out of the greyness and inertia he faces...to start into the making of a poem or song or other creation. It's a moment that can easily be turned away from...especially with avoidance of the task at hand beckoning strongly. Today...there
may not be a thundering opus involved...in my moving away from being fixated by the
blank page before me...but I'm glad...that this effort marks...one more time...when
inertia hovered close...but didn't get me.....................Quester.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh Holy Holy Day


Words from my song..."Oh Holy Holy Day"...which has been well received as a video on
YouTube: "My eyes can see the new day...opening like a flower...Oh holy holy day...
I can hear the birds sing...and I can feel the power...Oh holy holy day...Petals
floating slowly on the wind...another blessing coming down on me...white birds in the
blue and friendly sky...making me so glad that I can see...Creation blooming...
Creation singing...Creation dancing...round you and me.............."
..................Quester.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"I'll Be Back"


I've been under the weather for a couple days...and took time off from things I
usually do. Today...feeling better...I knew it was my day to return to getting some
things done. Am happy to report...I just finished recording a song video...my editing
of it later...will reveal whether it really worked out. In recent years..."I'll be back" has become one of my mottos. It's about an agreement I have with myself...to do my artist's work...not striving to deliver on quotas...or keeping a daily skein going...for instance...of making videos...but knowing overall...what it is I want to do...not getting intense about it...but knowing when it would be better to take a day
off...rather than push on...regardless of how I'm feeling. I've done that in the past
...pushing my work regardless of how I felt...until I arrived at a revulsion for it
from over exposure. These days...my approach...is to pay heed to the signals
coming to me from all the planes of my being...and knowing when to take time off.
There is one other important component to this approach...it is...that I will be back
to resume my work...as soon as I'm in working shape again. This may sound obvious...
but in the past...I've stopped doing a certain part of my artist's work...and next
thing you know a long period of time had slipped away...for example...as much as
eight months. These days...it's my "I'll be back" agreement with myself...that's helped me...to take my breaks...but resume work...after not too much time has gone
by. Yes...there's something to be said for the "I'll be back" notion...that has
nothing to do with a promise of revenge...but to help in living a productive life...
................Quester.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Poem: Sit At Your Desk


"Sit at your desk...look at the mountains...feel their power...Put down on the pages
before you...whatever comes to you...Fight if you have to...for another telling image...another piercing phrase...Let the Inner Athlete run...until his muscles are
well worked...then accept whatever has come with the running...whether it be a singing
poem...or a song that takes wing...or only scattered shards...that come out of your
morning...like an ancient gatherer...roaming on a wide shore...by the deepest of
oceans...Release whatever outcome...the world may or may not bestow...on the harvest of
your dilligent gathering...The fruits from the invisible orchard of creation...of your
openness...your will...and your power...have already been found............."
..................Quester.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lovers Returning


[Photo: Detail from wall painting at Charles and Commercial...Vancouver].
Today's verse is from my song: "Lover's Returning":
"The race must last until tomorrow...we are all salmon in a stream...acting upon an
ancient promise...dancing inside an endless dream...and as we buy our way with roses...
and words born from a time worn need...we are all puppets on the string of time...not
knowing where the dream will lead.............."
..................Quester.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Benefits Of Being "Unknown"


We live in a world where celebrity worship is to the fore. If I remember correctly...
I once read of a survey of young people...where they were asked about what they would wish for themselves...and a surprising percentage responding that they would wish to be famous. More evidence of this wish can be seen...in such things as...the videos some young people make ...of a group...beating up on one person...snd uploading it to an online system...in an attempt to get some notoreity. For many...the world of stars...of one kind or another...is one...much looked up to...and wanted. This has spawned the paparazzi...in the crassest way...hunting after celebrity pictures...vapid television programs about stars etc. Today...I've been thinking...of the benefits of not being a "star"...not having to deal with the paparazzi...or too ardent fans...and most of all...living your life...undisturbed by having to deal with the ups and downs of fame...as William Wordsworth once said...just living your life...like "a violet by a mossy stone"........................Quester.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Those Who Have Known You Too Long


[Excerpt from poem: "Those who have known you too long"].
"Those who have known you for too long...sit across from you at lunch dates...that
have grown less and less frequent with the years...sucking at their caffeine...as you
talk about the weather...and the price of condos in Florida...as they maintain an old
stereotype of you...not about to be changed...by evidence to the contrary.......".
.................Quester.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Separately Ever After

video
The seemingly accidental...or even silly way...people first meet...some...to become
partners for life...or for a substantial time...is one of the mysteries of life.
Someone drops a book...[not always accidentally]...and the other party picks it up...
and they start talking...and next thing you know...the two are partners for life.
Someone should write a book listing the myriad inconsequential ways...couples have
first met. I think...a lot of it would fall into the category of..."It must have been
destiny...guess they were meant for each other". Then...there are countless others...
who were aware of each other's existence...but never "got it together". One of many
possible reasons could be fear of rejection. Today's very short poem on video explores
this subject...briefly....................Quester.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dreams Of A Clutter Free Place


From time to time...a picture comes to my mind...of my living in a place...with clean
lines...and clutterless...a "monk-like pad" you could say. Yes...I do carry in me a
wish to be free of clutter...in the place I call home. However...there's
a basic law at work it seems...if you keep adding objects...to a space...that for some
strange reason...never expands by a cubic inch...while its contents does...you are
actually delivering on a recipe for clutter. I've done several..."clutter clearing"
missions over my years in the same space. Sometimes...it involves...simply moving the
piles of clutter...out of sight...into any places that can be found...at the time.
Sometimes...it involves...a more resolute approach than that...moving objects out of
my home forevermore. Sometimes...this can take the form...of giveaways...to individuals or thrift stores...but most of the time...it is simply..."out you go"...regardless of destination. That's...of course...when you run into a universal
dilemma...what do you keep...and what do you designate as...throw-out-able. That is
often...the hardest part of the clearing clutter process. I remember once coming up
with a rule of thumb to solve this...if it's broken...out it goes...and if its been
packed away in a closet...never used...for the last five years...it's a serious
candidate...for going outward bound. These days...I'm in an ongoing...and slowly
unfolding process...of moving things...tiny or jumbo sized...out of my home. Perhaps
...some day up ahead...I'll finally find myself...in that place with clean lines...
and free of objects...that I keep stumbling over..............Quester.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Song And Guitar Videos


[Detail from wall painting at Charles and Commercial in Vancouver].
Hadn't recorded a song and guitar video for a while...so...this morning I decided I had to break the non-doing swamp...waiting to swallow me up. First I looked through my song files...through one song after the other...saying again and again to myself...not that one...not today. It's funny how arbitrary the song for video selection can be...a song turned away from today...can bloom into the song to be recorded tomorrow. I finally honed in on a song...written one August...quite a few years ago...and started to learn its words...and to find again...its chords on the guitar. Then there were several steps re computer and camera...not to mention...selecting a shirt for the occasion. [My big black hat is almost automatic...although one of these days...I may replace that with one of my funky caps recently bought]. Anyway...after delivering on the many steps required...I launched into my recording of the song. Today...was one of the tough slog days...until I finally arrived at a take I think will work...I'll know better after I get into editing it. Anyway...it was good to be doing song and guitar videos again...maybe the next one...soon...won't be as difficult...........Quester.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Organic Guitarist


[Photo: Detail from outside wall of school on Nanaimo Street...Vancouver].
From time to time...people on hearing me play guitar...ask me if I give guitar lessons. The question is always a bit of a surprise...and the answer is always "no"...although ...on the spot...I may share with a questioner...something I picked up along the way. Apart from a few chords taught to me by someone...and checking out a guitar chord book or two...early on...my guitar playing has been self taught...the way everything I do as an artist has been...which may account for the slight bafflement I feel...when I'm asked if I teach guitar. My intuitive approach to playing guitar...had a lot to do...with finding some sort of accompaniment...for the songs I would sing. The central early challenge being...to evolve beyond doing a strum with my right hand...as I sang. This became a fiercer challenge...when I embarked upon my journey...as a solo performer at concerts...where I knew strumming my way through a set of songs...would likely cause my audience...to "acheive glazehood"...as I call it...in no time at all. Telling little stories...some hopefully with a hint of humour about them...also helped me...to "stand alone". So...my guitar "grooming"...was not as a lead guitarist...but as something I did...to help the songs I sang along. Fast forward to my videos on YouTube era. When I started on it...about 16 months ago...I never dreamt that it would give me back...many pleasant surprises. One that I specially appreciate...because it was so unexpected...was...after uploading some voice and guitar videos...I got the nudge...to attempt a video of a guitar improvisation. I managed to complete the first one...without coming to a crashing halt...and uploaded it to YouTube. Other guitar improvisations on video...followed. I was surprised that they were well received...instead of people writing in to ask me..."what do you think you're doing?". Not bad...for some one who never trained as a lead guitarist...and never knew he could sustain a musical improvisation for minutes on end...without quickly falling into a demonstration...of "solo cacophony".............Quester.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Inescapable Beauty Of Butterflies


Ever since I started taking digital pictures...I've been wanting to get a picture of
a butterfly. A few days ago...as I was walking..I saw this butterfly alight...in a
short tree just ahead of me. I got my camera ready...while feeling...that at any
moment...my long awaited picture would fly away from me. I took one picture...feeling
...surely there is not going to be time for any others...but the subject involved...
kept hanging on where it was. It was a hot day and maybe it was simply resting.
Anyway...much to my surprise...I was able to take as many pictures of it...as I wanted. Today's photo...is one of them. As a song maker and poet...the butterfly...of course...has hip hopped its way into many of my creations...with lines like:..."Butterfly from off the midnight wind...fluttering close then flying away...How could you change so fast...so easily...warm then like a winter's day"...or..."Butterfly...wings made out of mist...was it you I kissed...like a song...too soon gone". There have been many before me...I'm sure...who have invoked the butterfly in their creations...as a representation of transformation...or impermanence...or fickleness...or more. It's quite amazing...how an entity...so wispy...so elusive...could have made such a mark on our consciousness...but then again...maybe those qualities...are part of the reason why it has...not to mention...the inescapable beauty of butterflies.....Quester.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Soldiers Of The Wind And Rain


[Photo: Detail from wall painting at Slocan and Hastings...Vancouver].
Words from my song: "Soldiers of the Wind and Rain": "We are each a riddle on this road of sameness and differences...With a common ground that stretches out...to the deepest stars...But each one a cosmic fingerprint...unlike any other known...And here's where we stand alone...but joined on to a necklace made of flames...And all of us we travel on ...with wounded hearts that won't confess...To what befell us on the road...that promised love and tenderness...And all of us are soldiers of the wind and rain and snow and storm...Who manage to hold on...between our little victories". As a song maker/poet...you're always reaching for words or phrases...to replace a commonly used word...if it fits the context of what you're creating. In this way..."humans"...become "soldiers of the wind and rain". Actually...for the chorus...I first wrote..."And most of us we travel on"...but even long after you've written the words of a song...you find yourself looking for addressing anything in the song...that causes you...unease. In this case...it was the word "most". I got to to thinking...that "all of us" would be better...given that we're all in the same mortal boat...and so the change was made. I also think...that "all" human beings...walk around...without giving voice in their conversations with others...to the wounds they have endured along the way...just living life...knowing that that is likely to help your survival...more than complaining about everything...you could complain about. Of course...it can be dangerous to speak for "all" human beings...given the very uniqueness of each of us...the song speaks about...but then again...in certain central ways...we are all indeed...in the same boat...and then again...what would a poet do...without poetic license...................Quester.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Parade Of Nations


[Photo: detail from wall painting at Charles and Commercial...Vancouver].Just finished watching the "Parade Of Nations"...marking the opening of the Olympics in China. I know too well how big nations take advantage of little ones...and the dark doings of some of the nations...whose youth...representing them...march proudly behind
their flags. I know there is a lot of politicking that goes on behind the scenes...
some of it...not very lofty...that goes into...all these nations having their representatives...coming together in one place. What wins out for me...despite the not
pleasant things that may lie behind the staging of the Olympics...is seeing young people from all over the world coming together...joyfully...with the barriers between nations ...put aside for a little while. I think it is important to have events... that achieve this...reminding us all of our oneness...behind the different flags we carry...reminding us...of our common ground...............Quester.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Forward


I was telling a relative of mine recently...that "forward" is the message I keep giving myself...in recent times. As a creative artist...I've always made sure...that I had periods of "slow time" in my life...knowing that you could have tremendous potential creatively...but if you lived your life always rushing around...your creativity was not likely to manifest itself. Like so much in life...there is another side to this. It is that living in "slow time"...might leave you specially vulnerable to the swamp of inertia creeping up on you. There are times in life...when you could easily come to a grinding halt...not doing the things that enliven your life...and keep your life from becoming a stagnant thing. This is where the reminder to yourself..."forward"...comes in. Those of us in danger of coming to a stop...need this
kind of reminder...at times...to keep our lives...flowing forward. Particularly...as
our years grow long...we are in need of such reminders...to keep on keepin' on......
..................Quester.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Blogging Time


[Photo: Detail from wall painting at Charles and Commercial...Vancouver].
Yesterday...I looked through part of the archives for this Blog...to see what videos I
had uploaded to it previously...and was struck by how thin my number of entries became
at one point. The period of time involved...happened to be...when I was making videos...and uploading some to my YouTube channel...and focussing on YouTube matters.
I salute anyone who may have checked my Blog during that time...and are still checking
it out. Thanks for hanging in...to this period of the last 10 t0 12 weeks...when I've
actually posted entries on a daily basis to my Blog. Of course...I'd like to continue
posting regularly...although I don't wish to become stressed out...striving to be
daily. This last blogging period...I've found a nice "groove" with my blogging...
which seems to come out of...my having found...the time in the day...which feels like
"Blogging Time"...and has nothing to do with keeping a daily skein of entries intact
...and bringing on layers of stress by doing so. "Blogging Time"...usually...now...
is in the morning after I do my e-mail. There's still a "crossing of a threshold"
involved...when you face a blank blog page...to start your entry...and you really need
to focus...but this last while...I've been able to cross it each time...and post something. "Creative distractions" have a way of pulling you away...from "grooves" like that...so you never know up ahead how things will unfold...but right now..."Blogging Time" for me...is a good time in my day.....
......................Quester.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Reminders Of Time Passing


Since I've had a web site...people I've known in past eras of my life...or who have known my music from a long time ago...have gotten in touch. This is one of the aspects of being on the web I enjoy the most. One of the first things that happens when contact is renewed...is to ask the person who is getting in touch...how it's been for them. After that...you find yourself asking after mutual acquaintances...in the past era... and about what has happened to them. The last few years...the story I've gotten back quite a few times...is sobering. It's that so and so passed on in 1996...or so and so...in 2001. This is...of course...a reminder that you are getting older...and also that this way we human beings have of assuming people we know are always going to be around...is one more illusion we tend to suffer from. When I reflect on that...it reminds me...to be appreciative of people...while they are still here. Of course...my record on that aspect of life is imperfect...but on days like today...I remind myself of it. Maybe...the tattering by summer of the leaves on the tree...outside my window...is another reminder...of how leaves on trees...come and go with the seasons...a bit like how it is...for us human beings...as our Earth Walk...unfolds.........Quester.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Drummers-Japanese Festival

video
Today's post is a fine example...of why...it's good to have at least two places online
...that you can upload video to. This Blog started out as a site for written material.
After a while...I started uploading photographs to it. I started over a year ago...
sending some of the videos I made...to YouTube. That became well established as my video place online. Then...I discovered I could upload videos to my Blog...and saw...
how that could complement my videos on YouTube. In the editing of the "Japanese Culture
Festival-Vancouver '08" video...now on YouTube...I chose to end with a clip of taiko
drummers...that at the end of it...had a pan across the audience applauding...that I
wanted to put the closing video titles over. The one I've uploaded to this Blog today
...was equally as good...but with no audience applauding at the end. These drummers
are so dynamic...I felt I couldn't leave this video clip...unshared...so here it is
today...highlighting a good reason for having videos...from time to time...that although some of them might be untitled...still need to be shared......Quester.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Powell Street Festival


Yesterday...I attended the Powell Street Festival...in the East end of Vancouver. It
was very much about...the grace...beauty...and power...of the Japanese culture. I can
only speculate on why it is called the Powell Street Festival...and not a title with
the word "Japanese" in it. I suspect it may well be because this street was one of the
first in Vancouver...to be settled by Japanese-Canadian people. It was good to see...
how this segment of Canada'a population...where multi-culturalism...and not total
assimilation...is to the fore...has thrived...and how much they have to offer this
country. I was struck by how much people who have kept their ancient traditions going
...enliven the modern overall culture they live in...taking it away from being engulfed by a uniform blandness. The many women...children...and men...in traditional Japanese dress...offered a feast for those like myself...wielding cameras...and many of us roamed around the festival site...on the look out...for more of these images...to take away with us. I certainly came away with enough photos and video
clips...to create a video from the event. It now resides on YouTube. It is called...
"Japanese Culture Festival Vancouver 'o8".....................Quester.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sorting Through My Songs And Poems


[Photo: Detail from above school door in Vancouver's East End].
Last night I was looking through the words of songs and poems of mine...after pulling
them out of a pile of loose pages containing different kinds of material. Having your
created material...of a given species...like songs...in one central place...has been
a kind of "holy grail" for me. I've attempted several times over the years...to make a
central song file...for instance...but the words on their pages...have a way of
separating themselves from each other...and hiding away in different piles of paper...
in my home. Yesterday...I bought two good looking boxes...which I hope this time round
...will each turn into...that one central place...I've always wanted to have...for my
song words...and my poems. Right now...separate piles of paper...are sitting on the floor...in front of my couch...awaiting further sorting out...and storage. I suspect
they'll stay there a bit longer...as I peck away at my sorting and storing. Anyway...
one of my rewards...for facing up to a paper jungle...was finding again...the
beginning words of a long poem...which I like...perhaps more than I like the rest of
the poem: "Into the cool waves...the colour of brandy...the black duck dives...by the
red buouy. The powder blue boat...forsakes the wind...shucks its limp white sail...
and chugs towards the cluttered shore. Rain clouds swell...over the dark mountains...
as the pretty woman...on the bare bench...pauses with her post cards...and puts on
her canary yellow jacket. I was writing this poem...when I met you"......Quester.

Friday, August 01, 2008

E-mail Time


It was great to finally solve the problem of my blocked e-mail yesterday. Not having
access to it for a day or two...was a reminder...of how it has become an integral part
of my life...for 6 years now. It's hard to imagine how I lived without it before that.
Meeting and talking person to person with people I know and like...is still my
prefered way to communicate with others...I am happy to report...but using e-mail...
has left use of my telephone far behind. Reasons for this that come to mind are...
e-mail time...is a time when you are ready to receive or transmit communications with
others...whereas answering the telephone...just because it rings...is a great way of
setting yourself up for an ambush...from telemarketers or any other people you're not
keen to hear from. Filling the phone with words...so that there are no awkward silences ...is also not prime territory...for giving youself time to consider what you are going to say. Using e-mail...gives you time to consider the words you are sending
out. That's why sometimes I call using a telephone... entering a "laceration
zone"...i.e. a place where stupid or ill considered things can be said. Of course...
hearing the voice of someone you like...beats reading words from them on a page...
but there's still a lot to be said for the benefits of e-mail time......Quester.