I turned thirty today. And I am happy about it. Too much not
Well, it's not being thirty so much. It's the things
that I have seen, the people I have known; the opportunities
and the beauties and the moments that have flashed in
front of me (so fast) since 1971.
And I want to thank them, share them, note them. Carve
them into this space. Forever. For me, to tell the truth.
This is for me and you don't need this like this don't
need you. And. I expect it will make no sense; and I
hope that is okay with you; my friends unknown. But.
There is no choice. Maybe. I'll just get on with it.
My mother is love. I see her walking slowly down Hurly
Road in Joggins, Nova Scotia, holding her mother's hand
and dreaming of the cliffs. I'm there too. In her eyes.
Like sunshine or something less transient. Something
My father is truth. And belief, and motivation, and
real heart. Because of him I have been able to live
the way I see fit. Still am. Because of him I (we) can
make this, and give it away. He is art unaware. Each
day I get to sit across from him and put my feet on
his red desk, and see him listen and care about me and
everyone else. I am awed.
My brother is a professor now. For real. But he has
been my teacher for as long as I can remember. He makes
me feel stupid. Though he doesn't intend to. Not always
anyway. He is aspiration and (sometimes brutal) truth.
Needed like air. Like water.
My sister so honest and ground-floor real. My sister
who, especially lately since I have become a man, shows
me I have so much to learn about being an adult, about
being a proper human being. Though she probably has
no idea, I can see it in her, even though I see her
so little. And mostly I am happy we are friends now
as well as siblings. I remember they
called me for advice while I lived in that blank dorm
and was sad, and I remember what that attention and
trust meant to me. Means to me. Love.
My partners include the best designer in the world,
the writer I most admire, the funniest person I know,
a Mexican guy who makes me want to be a better man,
like he is; my attorney and the other funeral boys who
have bled beside me, and are now bandaged and traveling
on, hiking up with packs heavy but properly adjusted
now (I think) like me. I miss him, and all of them,
every day. I carry them, as them me. As long as memory
still serves, even if it is hard. So hard sometimes.
Together, we're warriors, us all. You know. Boo-yah.
My lost friends (not just, or even mostly, mine but,
you know) make me understand the urgency of each moment
(though I forget all the time), and I am ever lucky
for having heard this one read his pain and gifts, and
climb and surf with him, and watch his frail body sway
madly at the mouth of a guitar imploring me; and that
one laugh and sing and skip east in the PEI night; making
me believe in every possibility, laying beside me on
that other shitty couch inhaling and wailing that perfect
laugh. I think of it almost more now, and fuck the echoes
and the costs. I am lucky to have been there and born
witness. All this is in memory of you. Two.
My comrades, the ones I have know for fully 20 years,
and those for far less. You make the time go so fast
now, and so perfect too. And I want to slow it down
and hear each one tell everything, and not wait to talk
but listen, and throw my heavy arms around you in dance,
as yours around me; and I remember all your faces, and
I care about you all. Though unnamed.
My soul, an honest love unending (geography and circumstance
be damned) that saved my life at least once, and all
I have would not be here if not for her. She is goodness
to me and no matter the road ahead, my shoulders will
remember the touch that bid them go on. And the soft
kiss that I took for granted (shit, almost spit in the
face of). I remember, and though am ashamed sometimes,
hope for a forgiveness in her light and trusting face.
And I am grateful beyond the capabilities of this modest
immobile expression. Or any other talk. And will love
My first time made the world open for me, and made
it easy, and taught me unintentional lessons. Still
learning. All is peace now. Hope for happiness, so rich
My days now: filled with animated smart discussions
of books and magazines, and type on page and screen
and making things more readable, not less. And I will
get better, and so will this. Like that little newspaper
staffed by geniuses, that made me proud and happy and
held me up straight when I had become used to bowing.
This country. Countrymen and women more I guess. We
will climb to that point where we all will feel a part
of this culture. This great red blanket I tuck under
my feet now. To keep warm and safe. Luck is my crutch
and it seems I have two now. Walking is even easier.
Finding my feet now and running a little (sometimes).
Forget. Yours. All of
you who take the time, and help and care and read and
write. No words to explain what it means. A gift
for me from you and back again (I hope).
This basement. This home. These hands racing madly
across this keyboard. So many choices of words. An endless
pile sitting less than a foot from me in a dictionary
I bought for half-off in Charlottetown at the Towers Mall. Yeah, there are
lots of them. These words.
But how come these ones keep banging with echoes that
reach from that 88 seat bar in Downtown, Prince Edward
Island to this suite — where my grandfather and I played
gin each night — in Coquitlam?
"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
It is not dark ahead you know. It's bright and brave-lit
by those possibilities, by those souls. Those souls
(you know them too) who are a gift not for one day,
this one or any other, but for life.
Ever forward, baby.
I'm a freight train, baby.