Monday, August 3, 2009

Okay Sappyfest...

I owe you an apology. Not that I didn't already give you several simultaneously with the irrational slagging, but I must say, you surprised me in some pretty pleasant ways in the handful of hours I managed to grab hold of.

Started with a contemporary dance show at the Old Sackville Music Hall.

Insufficient blogger apology time: I keep going to things at said space and going, "Dang, I didn't bring my camera. I will not be able to share the glory in a visual way with the pudding on my blog."

But the fact is that not bringing a camera is, I'm fairly certain, at least partially intentional on some level. See, the Music Hall is a majestic place. I'm a person who gets thrilled pretty easy sometimes; it's possible to say I'm thrillable to a fault. Like, the sketchy stall doors in the Ladies' Room at George's Roadhouse? Oddly exciting to me. Can't quite explain it, I just Adore Things to an Uncommon and therefore Somewhat Conspicuous extent. The Music Hall is one of the few places where I can count on always seeing others as bowled over as I am my the majesty of what they behold. That's precious.

I do not often take precious photographs. I never take majestic photographs. I don't know how to fit enough of the feeling of being in a place as wonderful as the Music Hall inside that puny viewfinder, and I'm always so disappointed by the results whenever I attempt to capture such a spot. If I come across suitable capturings by more talented hunters than myself, I'll let you know, but for the meantime, all I can say is you have to go there for yourself.

Anyhow. The contemporary dance show was quite splendid. I was tickled by how much of the dancing was done without any musical accompaniment at all. Not long after, on the street, I made friends with a recent graduate of kindergarten who asked me to dance with her to nothing in between songs.

Ah yes. The street. This is where I was really won over. For a while after I came out of the dance show, I hit another wave of discontentment, and floundered there for a while, sulking on the curb of the closed-off Bridge Street taking far too much notice of the differences between it (and its people) and the grassy farmland where so many of my long time friends were hippy-stomping their little hearts out this weekend.

At last, I happened to notice a poem somebody had written in chalk on the street. I liked it, and thought this was a trend of decoration I would very much like to participate in, if given the opportunity. So I looked about for a stray piece of chalk. I didn't find one, but I recalled that I had a whole barely-touched bucket of the stuff languishing on my bedroom floor in anticipation of just such an occasion, so I scurried home to fetch it. When I returned, I was pleased to find that placing such a bucket in the middle of the most chalkable part of the street served as an invitation to play for all the best kinds of people. I quickly made the acquaintance of two teenagers from the local area, an assortment of wee ones (and, to a lesser extent, their parents), and a dashing young maze-making fellow named Robin from Toronto who, as I gradually assessed is way too awesome.

As he was eager to experience maximum quantities of Sackville-style joy before trekking back to the city, I offered, in the lull between bands, to be his escort to another of Sackville's most objectively majestic sites: The Bridge That Isn't There.

The Bridge That Isn't There actually has a lot in common with the Music Hall, as it's a relic of the town's history, a moment that's been left suspended for the time being, something we can see and touch and imagine about, but not quite use in the usual sense. These are places that wake us up while reminding us of dreams that slipped through the cracks between the subconscious and the semi-conscious state with which we usually approach our more mundane surroundings. Standing in places like these, our dreams begin to bob up towards the surface, and our arms grow longer to snatch them up leaving us odd and grateful and confused that we have been going about without these right where we can see them all the time.

Back to the street, to behold the wondrous additions that had been made to the chalky spectacle in our absence. More people of varying heights, ambitions, and beardedness to frolic and converse with. I got sucked repeatedly into a game of tag -- which is an accomplishment that the children of Bridge Street are to be equally commended and admonished for. (Have I talked about how irrationally traumatised I was by simple childhood games? I really, really sucked at being a kid. I like to pretend it had something to do with being mildly physically disabled for a while, but honestly, I was just an awful, miserable child who did not deserve to live.) Strangely, I rather enjoyed it. Even the tag part.

There were moments I did not so much enjoy, like when a guy I didn't know at all spat at me in a very condescending fashion that I "should not take drugs," causing me to a) give him the finger, and b) spend another handful of moments sulking on the curb about the miseries of being joyful in a society which doesn't believe you can consciously engage with joy without altering your consciousness.

After a while talking to one of my new teenage friends about it, it occurred to me that it probably made more sense in this context to interpret the instance not so much as "societal" as, "one asshole."

Of course, there is a troubling societal context that precipitates such one-asshole situations, and I do think it's important to face that head on and throttle the pseudolife out of it whenever possible, but when the question of the moment is whether to dance or sulk for the rest of the evening, the one-asshole approach seems to more often lead to giving the right answer.

Sappyfest, you are not Blue Skies, but that doesn't mean I can't like you too. Thanks for those hours. They were much appreciated.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dear strangers who look like absent friends: you're probably nice, but go away.

So I'm supposed to be at Sappyfest this weekend.

I'm supposed to be writing blog entries with lots of shiny pictures of how great this thing is that happens here and saying that at home we have a great big beautiful music festival this weekend too, so it's great to be able to participate in something like this even when I'm far away from where I'm from.

So I'm sorry that I'm not doing that.

And I don't really have a good excuse, or any kind of basis, but I'm kind of just feeling like "fuck Sappyfest"...

Which is not a nice thing to say, and no doubt entirely undeserved.

Let's say I'm homesick.

Let's say I'm tired of people acting cool about the things they love.

Let's say I'm not jealous of them for being able to do that any more.

Let's say I still feel bad for being the giddiest fangirl most times I go to things.

Let's say if I was where I usually am this particular weekend in August, that wouldn't be true.

Let's say I just called my Mom to ask for an eggplant recipe and ended up in tears by the time I hung up.

Let's say Sackville is a lover I've been out of love with for a while.

Let's say I feel awful about this whole entry, but I'm still going to post it.

Let's say I still find this place so beautiful, charming, witty, and enigmatic -- but let's say I just can't be bothered to crack that enigma any more.

Let's say these things happen.

Let's say I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry.

Let's say this'll be pretty awkward, continuing to live together now that I've let this out, and why couldn't I wait until I was just about to leave.

Let's say this has no bearing on anybody but me.

Let's say I don't know where I'm going from here, and maybe that's why I'm getting so difficult about this right now.

Let's say it can be difficult to discern what awful thoughts should be lied about and which should be shared.

Let. Us. Say.

That I am very often afraid, although I think fear is a major problem inflicted on us from disingenuous sources.

Let us say that I have been too hesitant.

Say I shouldn't be here now.

Say I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather and music we are having this weekend.

I'm not so much, but that really has nothing to do with you.

Viva le fest de Sappy.

Just. You know. Without me.