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Saturday, August 28, 2004


on the bank of the Ottawa river

...you have to walk over a hundred feet out over small sharp stones before your knees get wet. This is about the most aggressive feature of the area my folks have just moved to. If I complain about anything this week, I'd better have a good reason for it.


Read a Doug Saunders article in the Globe and Mail about the globalized world of 300AD -- about how we experienced a historical blip in the last two centuries when nation-states formed and isolated themselves from other newly-shaped states. This was, according to the new research Saunders quotes, a departure from the norm of a generally borderless (or at least, poorly-defined borders) world in which migrants and merchandise move about the globe constantly, as a matter of course. We are now returning to that situation. Globalization is, apparently, the norm.

You'd think these guys were funded by the Fraser Institute, but no, they're real historians.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


another attempt to kick-start something

It's Wednesday. I'm working on a bunch of things: TD'ing pppeeeaaacccee (finding rental lights, working out how many helpers I'll need, booking them), dreaming dreams of shows with Bea, writing / editing Black Widow (the slowly growing show-in-a-web I'm designing and co-writing with Keira Loughran), writing / researching stuff for the Medieval Travelogue, a novel I've been sitting on for a decade, toying with ideas for the set and light design of Keira's Little Dragon... and now I've started putting pictures on the web and am tinkering with a blog. Thinking that this public display of private thought is another way to commit myself to actually doing something proactive to kick me towards the kind of work that I want to engage in. Meaning, as usual with these sorts of things, work that doesn't involve straining backs and joints in manual labour.

Current things in the mind of another pleeb struggling to acheive a sustainable creative life:

-- the creation of a word -- or better yet, a discreet verb tense -- that describes the act of looking at something that is in the past. For instance: when we look out over astronomical distances we see things as they were four to fourteen billion years ago. We literally see the past. We can't rightly say that we see that particular galaxy, for that galaxy has moved on, perhaps flickered out, or spun a new set of stars in the time that it took for its light to reach us. We see its light, yes. We "back-see" (?-- I don't think that's quite the right term) the thing itself. Anyway, I'm still looking for the term I want here. It's got to reach a little into poetry, because if this word or grammatical tense can flow well, it will re-enter our language with a fresh perception of life embedded into it.

-- "The Aesthetics of Failure" -- from a Flickr group I recently found. I love this idea: that it is our mistakes that fuel evolutionary processes, that deviation is the source of progress. In photography, this translates as finding beauty in oddly framed / focused / exposed / or processed images... in any new technology, fresh opportunities for mistakes arise, allowing us to stumble into discoveries that our "training," "discipline," or "professionalism" would otherwise censor before we even see them. Would prevent us from seeing.

-- a play about two people drinking at a table to resolve their problems. more to come.

-- a play about looking for mutants, for profit

-- how to rig a 15'x15' scrim / mirror from the ceiling that can be turned to any direction


It's a gorgeous sunny day outside in Toronto -- an early afternoon in late August. The kind of afternoon that characters in distopic SF novels dream about. Time to get out, get a few things done, maybe take a few pictures. You should too.

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