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Around 8 years of age, I made a sort of vow to myself, a commitment to never forget what it was like to be a kid. To this day, I feel like I’ve been pretty successful at keeping that commitment, although the end result of such has both changed me and been changed by me over the years.
Maybe it all lies in the subtle difference between “always remembering” and “never forgetting”.
Either way, I’ve been a little kid for a very long time. Sometimes that holds my adult self back. On the other hand, sometimes -oftentimes- a pervasive childlike wonder and emotional/creative openness has made for much beautiful and interesting life experience.
Part of the inception of this commitment has always been the feeling that the “grown ups” had all really lost touch with their child-selves, and parallel to my own adult experience has been the feeling that all too many of my contemporaries have done just that.
But, whoa, let me fast-forward to the now.
So many of the interpersonal conflicts I’ve witnessed in my life and in the lives of my peers over these last few “grown-up” years suddenly seem -to me, anyways- to come straight out of highschool. With that, the realization that the grown-ups, me included, haven’t really been growing up that much after all; that we’re each mainly still the kids we were, 15-20 years old, with all our adult fears and foibles rooted in highschool, forever.
Only in this last year or so have I -surprisingly- caught myself stepping away or aside from some of my self-imposed commitment. Maybe it’s been the ol’ “Adventure At Sea” syndrome, or just enough perspective on my past. Either way, I’m surprising myself with how I deal with those parts of my life that would previously had my highschool self on the ropes or out the door. Maybe.
Right now, it’s time to go clean my room. 😉

The world is starting to flame. The economy is in the tank. “Nothing will ever be the same”. Say it, think it, feel it, express it all or not at all; okay, I get it. But why the negativity?

I’m getting so tired of the same old piss and moan. It flirts around the edges of every coffee-shop conversation these days, or boldly proclaims, and in every form still feels to me like the worst self-fulfilling prophesy of recent memory.
Lately I’ve been given to reminding people that it’s not as if “they” took all the money out of the vaults by the wheelbarrow and burnt it in the streets, or dumped the global gold supply into the sea… Okay, okay, they DID dump most of the above into China somehow, but it’s not like all the money/energy in the world is actually gone.
As far as I understand it, economies are not built upon having money/energy, but are built upon moving it. But get this: far far far too much of the global economy has so far been built not upon the movement of money, but upon the movement of debt. Money may be a portable, transferable medium for human energy, but debt, if anything, is the inverse.
Now, finally, there seems to be more debt than energy in the system, and it should be completely unsurprising that the economy is going to shit. Hell, it went to shit a long time ago, on that long-past day when somebody started to equate credit with cash.

But the piss and moan! The fucking piss and moan! We all get it! Now stop whining, get out there, and produce some energy! Then move it! And in the meantime, try to remember:
When the rent money is tight, that you’re still alive, that air, water, and sunshine are free.
When you’re actually brewing your own coffee, that you’re not a kid in Starbucks-less African warzone.
When you’re walking down the street not actually being maimed/raped/shot at, that at very, very least you’re not floating in the middle of the ocean on a crippled boat wondering what the fuck just happened.

Oh, does that last one bias me a little? Maybe, but please forgive me. It’s been a rough year. This spring I’ve already lost everything I own, lost all my savings, lost the product of 4 years of labour, and, oh yeah, watched my last great impossible-yet-just-barely-within-my-grasp dream bobbing off and away, broken and behind me, into the sea.
Don’t coyly cough and smirk into your coffee, pretend at cynicism, and try to hide your fears for this unrecognizable economic future behind a stuttered parody of hope. C’mon folks; it’s every bit as bad as “they” say -probably worse-, and yet simultaneously not that bad. I call out fear as the flipside of hope; let us now take a lovely deep breath of free air and cast out both.
I know you’re afraid, but there’s fear and then there’s The Fear. How can you tell the difference? I wouldn’t have known the difference myself before this year.
All I can tell you now is that fear is what you feel when you’re afraid; The Fear is what crawls up your spine when you try to remember how you felt before, that time you should have been afraid, but weren’t.

And now? Economic implosion? Fear? The Fear? Nuh-uh; I’m still breathing free air and movin’ my energy…

It was fantastic outside yesterday, a total late-summer/early-fall day. I know this because I briefly twitched the curtains open for a peek outside sometime in the early afternoon, before settling lumplike into the couch for a day of Robert Redford movies and videogames.
Today is all high overcast, flat light, and a chance of rain. So much for my last gasp at a weekend outdoors… Sure, I’m out of bed by 8, chugging echinacea, thinking of breakfast, oh yes I’m an Active Modern Man; head buried deep in tomorrow’s workplace day, oh and soon I’ll be “out there”, laundry, groceries, wiping my ass with the best of intentions, wondering where the weekend went.

When I listen to the music, I don’t listen to the music. I hear the sound of the feeling from the song, from before…
David Grey is quiet moment stolen from the children, loosed off the boat for an afternoon in Ganges, Mike kicking back with a smile and a tea. Norah Jones is a summer afternoon in my mother’s home, Long Island Iced Tea being stirred up in the background. Bedouin Soundclash will always be the best few months of my life on Tortola; Gillian, Clive, Galit, and afternoons wasted, simply wasted at Smuggler’s. 311 is always heading down the freeway in the Civic with Kiffy, speakers just barely drowning out the new SuperTrapp, crashing at his friend’s in Abbotsford, commuting into town to look at every damn Honda and Volkswagen for sale in Vancouver, until finding that one, the black one on 2nd Ave. NOFX is singing Linoleum to myself over and over, walking into town from Pine Valley. Less Than Jake is always Scott’s house on S. 2nd past Boundary, Gary, Josh, and the boys, BMXing into Glendale. Bob Marley is on the tapedeck in the Jetta, a fresh driver’s licence on the way to and from Rose Lake. Dead Milkmen a time with Rob and Leigh, singing in Dana’s kitchen (Life Is Shit!) Ha! Lynn, Dana, and Karen singing Oh Canada in the next room… Metallica puts me right there in Shaun’s basement, a picture-perfect rememberance. Nirvana varies song to song… Smells Like Teen Spirit is the first moment I completely heard it, in Robin White’s Renault, driving out of the back parking lot at Columneetza, passing the windows of Mr. Allnut’s classroom (Doubleblock spare! Headed to the newly-opened Timmy Ho…). Heart Shaped Box is finding out that quiet Krista liked grunge too… and another with her, Lemonheads on an afternoon drive from Nelson to Ainsworth and back, always aware that the music was, in turn, taking her to somewhere else entire. Queen always plays loud and happy in Anna’s Western Ave. family house. Oh, and yes! Nine Inch Nails is a naked bike ride around the Bethel across the street, with a similarly naked Rob jogging behind. Operation Ivy… well shit, besides getting pumped up every trip to Timothy, it’s a certian moment with Take Warning at 11 in the Jenkin’s van heading to Prince George with Cory. Seal’s Crazy, fresh on radio, stuck stuck stuck in my head, walking too many miles from Crescent Valley to Bonnington on a sprained ankle to see Kyla. Another NOFX; coming back from Nelson in Todd’s van, August heat, unwashed bodies, singing at the top of our lungs, driving like fuckers, a load of confused hippie hitchhikers in the back. Moby has me back at The Templeton, along with any other song on their jukebox… The Rebel Spell… any song, anytime, anywhere, and I’m back in Todd’s kitchen off Commercial, listening to the pre-press tape, suddenly transitioning from liking them ’cause they’re my friends to liking them because they fucking rock! And oh shit, anything Troi plays and it’s Hectic Days at the Hectic House (why do good things have to end?). Fugazi is right in harmony with the tattoo machine at Brian’s shop. Macy Gray is my face against the Greyhound glass, earphones, and knowing I was heading south for a break-up. India Arie is heading north with fears confirmed. Did I mention that The Rebel Spell fucking rocks? I’m listening to that right now… Social Distortion are always on the tapedeck on the shelf above the water filter above the patchwork cement above the pit in the Jenkin’s garage; have I listened to them anywhere else? Bad Religion is a fast and nasty drive in Chad’s Suburban; oh yeah, you were there too! Great Big Sea is waking up too early, and in turn, waking up a whole troop of 15-yr old kids too early for day of working the ropes (but don’t forget the captain’s coffee!). Black Crowes is Hot To Handle in the old yellow HiFi Express van, delivering home stereos at excessive speed and volume. Burning Spear and I’m driving back from Chimney with Callie. Interpol and whew, it’s 8 meals in 10 days at DV8, not to mention a night or two falling asleep to it in Carrot Bay, wondering whatever really happened to that Jesse. Fiona Apple is a moment of dejection in Stacey’s bedroom. Jamiroquai is a silly hopeless stupic exstatic moment with her in mine. Breeders is a singular moment on South Lakeside Drive, the curve before the store, realizing that I could play that music too.System Of A Down plays from nowhere in my mind than from the speaker’s of Brian’s van, heading to Rose Lake. Scissor Sisters brings a flash of a forced and plastic downtown westend cocktail party, then a fuller broader rememberance of “The Lounge” with Colleen, Van, Bakes, and Sonja. Peter Tosh, the first CD I ever owned, catching a ride from a neighbor into school. Motley Crue, Whitesnake, shit any hairband, and I’m back in grade 9 on the morning schoolbus. Trooper, yes live Trooper, and I’m right back there at the prom in Fraser Lake… (you know your star is fading when you’re playing for a 40-student grad class in bumfuck nowhere). Speaking of which, Donovan (Mellow Yellow, anyone?) and it’s folding chairs in the old WLJS gym. Funny, out of all possible memories, hearing NSQ always ALWAYS takes me back to that Battle of the Bands, seeing Candice for the first time in ages, walking through the crowd (cardigan, long khaki skirt, a pair of square silver sequins in the eyeliner)(why/how do I remember this shit?). Yeah, where do the memories come from? What about all the other tossed thoughts that come only when the sounds are heard? Play me another song, and I’ll tell you what I see.
Scent would be a whole other discussion, more nebulous, more passionate, more intense and yet diffuse; could we relate at all? But we all hear the music, concrete rockin’ music, a pulse in the blood… we all hear the memories… or is it just me? What do you remember?

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