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The Birthday Door

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GOOD GRIEF

There are artists of various kinds – painters, composers, writers – who find themselves at an impasse, a temporary roadblock where their muse is unable to coax the finishing touch… yet.

In writing the lyrics for a song this week, I’m struggling, not frustrated, because I know the answer is there, but also not rising to the surface. What this means is I’m presenting to you an incomplete composition… the unfinished lyric.

I’m not pleased nor disappointed … forward progress isn’t always a straight line, is it? Thank you, I can see you nodding your head!

I’ll revisit my words again soon and I know that with time and concentration, the inspiration will take me to the finish line. That muse rarely disappoints … she holds a mysterious but wondrous power.

Now, should you have a lyrical idea or brilliant snippet to share with me, I would be pleased to try it on for size… thanks!

Onto the song…

I passed another annual cake and ice cream event recently.

The thought occurred to me that a birthday was akin to opening a door and moving on to a new part of life’s journey… the passageway to reinvention and renewal. A Yellow Brick Road moment.

Each verse in this lyric reflects a stage along this discovery pathway.

The latter aspect of the “trip” is where I’ve stumbled, unable to make the flow and ideas work in a way in which I’m happy.

Just another verse or two is what I need to make this a completed work… completed aside from finding a musical avenue to bring it to real life… no easy task in its own way. What’s that? How does one eat an elephant? Right …

(And for those who are interested, my rhyme scheme is AAABB)

Thanks for reading… here goes…

THE DOOR

At first there was no door
One day he looked up from the floor
Absent words yet to explore
just mommy’s smile and a breast to suck
“blow out the candle, no don’t touch”

The next few doors so long ago
balloons and kids and baseballs to throw
hair coming in though not down below
I learned that the he was me
few lessons came easy or free

Teenage doors flung wide with fears
I stumbled on passions I cried hidden tears
loves gained then lost then reappeared
Soothing stars in a guitar late at night
more doors still to open then I do felt right

Little hands turn door handles up high
Daddy let me open the box for you can I?
I’ll play with that, little voice never shy
Twilight zone halls lived in a haze
Weeks months yes years that were days

…. ??? Verse or two about later life… ???

CHORUS
In front of this door
Wondering
How many will I pass through
along the way
give me cake give me candles
give me toothaches give me sandals
how many doors do you think I can handle
before I can’t find the key

8 Things That Probably Mean You’re Not Canadian … Sorry, Eh?

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Mountie moose

O CANADA our home and native land ….

Wait a minute… I can’t hear you singing!!

OK… perhaps you prefer O say can you see … or… Allons enfants de la Patrie, perhaps God save our gracious Queen … all are uplifting.

A few days before the Trump’ster blurts something bombastic and self-serving and frankly stupid in front of the Lincoln Memorial next Thursday … Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will stand before the citizens of the True North of North America and remind us with some eloquence of what makes a Canadian… well… Canadian.

Yes, Monday is Canada’s 152nd Birthday. A baby in global terms…

What Trudeau says won’t please every citizen of the land, because the nature of a diverse country shaped in a multicultural kaleidoscope of skin tones and religious and gender leanings, is that there will be disagreements and philosophical variations …

… but for the most part, Justin will speak in terms and pictures that will make most of us proud to carry the Maple Leaf passport.

Sure, there are things that annoy and anger me about my homeland. As a country we’ve committed our fair share of sins, just ask the Indigenous folks who have lived here for millennia …

And to be clear I’m not a raging fan of nationalistic pride… I am a greater fan of a global community where the goal is to achieve a more or less equivalency of living standard for all folks.

It’s kind of corny and in some ways naive, but I’d rather live a positive dream, than wall off others in fear of what I might lose by their prospering.

Nonetheless, I’m greatly fortunate and appreciative of the hand-up I was given at my birth to springboard out into a huge country of great wealth and freedom to shape my own destiny.

So, are you ready to find out if YOU are…

CANADIAN? YES or NO?

Trudeau.jpeg

Just to be clear, not everyone can be a Canadian.

But if you think YOU might be a Canadian, read through the following list of 8 for either confirmation or denial.

 

  1. If you haven’t said “sorry” at least 3-4 times in the past 24 hours, you’re definitely NOT a Canadian. Canadians apologize for talking, for walking, for breathing… we say “sorry” instead of prayers when we go to bed at night … it’s in our DNA … I’m sorry but that’s just the way it is.
  2. If you say “Aboot” instead of “Abowt”, you are NOT Canadian. I know this bucks the accepted norm that others outside of Canada believe. To be fair, the occasional stand-up Newfoundlander might be heard uttering ABOOT, but it gets lost in the mist of the Atlantic Ocean. To be clear, this pronunciation guide does not carry over to the word “route” which may be spoken as “ROOT” or “ROWT”, either can be accepted within the Canadian vernacular.
  3. If you popped a beautiful bouncing bundle of new life in recent memory and reluctantly went back to the salt mines to pay for your groceries after a mere 3 weeks or 3 months, you’re NOT Canadian. Canadian maternity leave is a year long for those who can manage it … Employment Insurance pays Mommies and Daddies to look after their little Sweeties (for a while anyways).
  4. If you can’t recognize a flag with a red maple leaf as its emblem, you’re NOT Canadian. Canada has the coolest, most recognizable flag… who the heck couldn’t know that a big red Maple Leaf represents Canada? OK, I’d have preferred blue bars (instead of red) on either side and a blue stripe across the top to represent the 3 oceans on our borders, but Canada is about compromise, I can happily live with all red.
  5. If you pay a monthly premium for health coverage with co-pays and deductibles, or struggle to buy expensive drug treatments, you’re NOT Canadian. It’s cliched, but as I listen to Democratic debates south of the border, I appreciate all the more that even without a perfect health care system in this country, there aren’t multitudes of bankruptcies and families destroyed by lack of adequate health care.
  6. If you reject the notion of helping the world’s desperate and downtrodden, you’re NOT Canadian. Canada accepted the most refugees of any country last year … The UNHCR’s annual global trends report shows that Canada took in 28,100 of the 92,400 refugees who were resettled in 25 countries during 2018. This is very meaningful to me in my role as a tutor to a young Syrian refugee brought to this country in 2016.
  7. If you detest the notion of same-sex marriage or the freedom of choice for women to decide what can or can’t be done to their own bodies, then perhaps you’re NOT Canadian. Yes, and even marijuana is legal now… the True North is strongly high and free…
  8. If you don’t like the taste of clam juice mixed with tomato juice and vodka, then you are likely NOT Canadian. We drink this strange mixture in abundance and think it tastes good, also… we put “u” in the middle of words for no good reason, we say “eh” all the time, pronounce “z” as “ZED” and lieutenant as “leftenant”, sometimes we wear shorts in the dead of winter, we don’t own handguns or assault weapons, we call our money “loonie” and “toonie”, we eat Kraft Dinner like it’s the National dish, and we pick up our morning coffee at “Timmies” like it’s a citizenship requirement.

So, did you qualify to be Canadian?

If not, I’m SORRY, but don’t fret.

And don’t give up.

Work hard and try again next year. Canadians believe in second chances, eh ? …

Happy Birthday Canada

birthday cake.jpg