Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wrocking and Wrenching

The band is doing it's only regular gig tomorrow. I'm referring of course to the glorious B ikeology festival. A fine celebration of all things bicycle and a fun musical time.l We're the only electrified, rawk band in the line up, there's nothing like hearing slapback echo off of downtown office buildings after an hour or two of string quartets and singer/songwriter strumming.

For those of you who are a little soft in the cranium, we're going to be auctioning off E levators memorabilia, proceeds going to the P eople's Pedal. Sure this is a little conflict of interest-esque as the I'm the only paid employee of said not-for-profit, but we only expect to raise around $7.00 total for the broken pick, drum stick, string and used ear plugs each mounted on a handsome plague and signed by a band member.

I'm also going to be doing free bike checks and maintenance after we play. Had to point out to the organizers that I can't wrench first in a venue with no running water. Bike folk, lovely people but not always the most practical.

Anyway, the vast majority of hits I get here (all 3 a day) are from elsewhere in the world, so I'll dedicate our version of Love Will Keep Us Together to you few blog readers and turn my amp to 11 for the solo, if the winds are right you just might hear it....

*That's me in the bucket hat with the sound guy extraordinaire M ike T ully, drummer E with her dog D igger at last year's event.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The little things

Enough with the whining already, time for something positive:

Hmmm, er, well.... I did run out a pen this week. This is the first time that I've used a pen from purchase to empty without losing it or having it fail in some way. I don't understand why that makes me so happy, but it makes me smile every time I think about it.

I'm planning on making the corpse into a bike mojo for my fixed gear. There's got to be some kinda good luck in such an object, oui?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

150 proof pity*

I turned 40 not so very long ago. I don't look it, well, most of the time anyway. If you catch me in the wrong mood and in a certain light I'm sure that my years show. Something around the eyes, a weariness, a brittleness that tells. Or maybe I'm reading too much into photos in which I know for damn sure I felt my age and more when they were taken.

I'll never be a front man, I don't have the knack. The "Lookit me, lookit me!" gene never expressed. But there is a desire. A desire to scream at the world in a voice that can't be ignored. To make others feel how I do, even if it's only a pale copy. I wish this were an act of joy on my part. But it's not. Joy is fleeting round these parts and it startles easily. Look at it too long and it's gone with nary a hoof print left behind. Pain, doubt, anger those are the things I know best.

Why do I want to share that? I have no desire to make anyone feel bad. So why? Is it because shared joy is increased and shared pain is lessened? That's part of it, I think. But even more it's because I don't know what it's like to feel normal. Or at least I don't think I do.

Deep down I hope that someone would hear something that I've written and say "You poor dear." I hope that they will be appalled and sympathetic in equal measure, not because I crave pity. No, I crave the certainly that how I feel is not normal. Because if this is as good as it gets, I'm not sure I could bear it.

Hope. Such a small word. So over-used and under-defined as to be a mere wisp of fogged breath on a cold and blustery winters day. But there it is, hope. Lying in wait in the overgrown corn maze of my mind. The sudden surprise of a horizon glimpsed after hours lost in green and narrow passages. Hope. At once both as unfamiliar as a rusting tool from the age of horses and as deeply rooted as the seventh generation working the land.

Playing in the band sucks, it takes a lot of time and is a constant reminder of my lack of drive. What have I done to be successful? Little and less. But it's also a real world manifestation of the hope that I refuse to consciously acknowledge: that how I am now is not permanent and that someday I'll be....I'll be.....Better? Happy? Peaceful? Normal? Damned if I know what exactly, but something other than how I am now.

*Cause this is a distillation of how I feel. Take my normal angst, boil it for a few days, feed it through the condenser of a very late night and voila! Angst deluxe, suitable only for aesthetic or perhaps stripping paint.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The stars? They're still there.

Last night I was working the bikeshare job, setting up some new bikes and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. With visions of West Nile virus dancing in my head I got two done and took them out to the stations. I rolled down the little hill to the High Level bridge, two bikes in tow, just as the sun slipped below the horizon. As sunsets go, it wasn't much, just a smudge of brown and orange right on the horizon. Not enough dust in the air I guess, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I love to look up here. They talk about the "big sky" of the prairies and, well, the phrase doesn't really cut it. Perspective is everything and as I watched the sky darken through every iteration of blue there were times where I felt like I could stretch my arm and get fingerprints on the dome of the heavens. Somehow that made it seem even bigger.

As I coasted to a stop the Moon was up and Venus was the only other pinhole to be seen. By the time I got my helmet off there were two other stars (planets perhaps) peeking out. I'd look away and when I looked back there'd be a couple more stars, invisible the instant before. I haven't felt so peaceful in ages.

I also love skygazing here because for so much of the year it's cold, painfully cold, even dangerously cold at times. In that weather you don't stop peddling unless you have to. You don't look anywhere but where you're going, that focus is vital to keeping warm and safe.

The band practiced last night for the first time in a month. We sucked. I'm so out of practice that my calluses are thin. But it was good too; it was a reminder that I have to once again raise my head musically. I need to see beyond my current anxiety and lack of motivation because there's a universe out there waiting to come out one tiny bit at a time. All I have to do is look up.