Circular Motion

A few millennia ago, back when I was a first year undergrad at university, one of my housemates (he remains one of my very best peeps) and I shared a tradition on Saturday nights.  Before we headed out for whatever fun and trouble that might find us, we started things off- just the two of us, generally- with a little time spent with a beer or two and some of our favourite music.

We called it Celtic Hour.

Okay- it wasn’t actually a tradition originating in Antiquity.  But I have been feeling the weight of the years a little of late, so thinking back on old times involves more taxing of the brain than once was the case.  First year uni seems like a longlonglong time ago.

The ‘all grown up’ tasks at hand seem to be multiplying exponentially and that To-Do list is stubbornly refusing to get any shorter.  New stuff keeps adding itself to the bottom before the top-most items have come close to being completed.  I’m sure that there’s some sort of reasonable explanation for this, but I have really started to feel like it’s a function of the perversity of the universe right about now.

Add to that the fact that the temperatures refuse to rise and the sun is playing shy… there’s been a real dearth of energy in my general vicinity.

It’s hard, even with best intentions, to stay motivated when loose ends that need tying apparently multiply by the hour.

Anyhoo…

Celtic Hour.

Fletcher and I would pop on some tunes by those Scottish and Irish troubadours we so love, and have a wee sing-along.  Although the songs varied week-to-week, the one that kicked it off always remained the same.

As the first notes of the traditional folk song- She Moved Through the Fair– led into Jim’s beloved voice, we would take our seats and raise our glasses to the week past and the one ahead.  The lyric’s of Belfast Child evoke a terrible period in Ireland’s long history, while still offering up hope for return and rebuilding (and the flip-side of the single was Mandela Day– another great song that has seen a resurgence in the past while.  Talk about an incredible double bill.  How freakin great are Simple Minds?!).

Sure the arrest (and subsequent release) of Gerry Adams last week brings up its own share of unpleasant reminders and debates that continue to rage in certain circles (I’m not touching any of that, so don’t even go there please), but the real reason I was casting my mind back to the song- and its Celtic Hour memories- is because there’s this one line

‘Life goes on…’

It won’t stop popping into my head.

Seriously.

Jim seems to be permanently in situ dans my tête (how’s that for a random mixing of languages?  And please forgive the unintended allusion to a Céline tune.  Snuck in there, it did.).

Generally, at least as it’s heard in my skull, the repetition offers both reassurance and admonition.  Although the critical reproof has been on the ascendent as the myriad tasks aren’t completed as quickly as I’d like.  I’ve been very focused on them- but said focus has also had something of an overall debilitating effect as well.

I’m not sure I’ve been coping all that well, to be honest.  I’ve been putting up a pretty good front, but despite some overwhelmingly positive things happening in my life I’m still reeling and trying to find my footing in the Dad-less world.

Meaning has been a little bit harder to find, and exhaustion- mental and physical- is almost ever-present.

Then… on Sunday while sorting through things at Dad’s, amongst some other extremely cool things we had never seen before (like a circa 1895 stereoscope with lots of neato pictures- who knows where THAT came from), I found some of Dad’s business envelopes- from wayway back when he worked downtown, before the company headquarters moved outside of the city’s core.

I remember visiting Dad at work as a small child- on days off from school and such- and I knew that his building was in the same general vicinity in which I am spending my 9-5 hours these days.

But the address on the envelopes?  The VERY building.  Where I work now.

Yep.

Same building.

Do you have any idea how many office towers there are in this town?  I don’t.  Not exactly.  But there are a lot.

I’ve written before about synchronicity and connections.  I believe in these things as manifestations of the reality that we all go together– as human beings who share a planet and biological origin.

But that kind of blew me away.

I have to admit, odd moments of grief aside, that I’ve been riding something of a pretty substantial high at my new employment gig.  I honestly love going there in the morning.  As I’ve been getting to know the people I work with, I grow ever more impressed with their commitment and professionalism and sense of community- and fun.  This is a group of people- and a company- that is affecting positive change every single day.  I’m loving it.  Did I mention that?

It’s a place that Dad, with his incredible and developed sense of social justice and drive for equality and equity of opportunity, would have felt at home.  Turns out he would have been right comfortable in the building itself.  Seeing as he spent a whole lot of time there 30+ years ago.

Since Sunday, I’ve been feeling him close to me more than ever.  I have one of the envelopes on my work desk, now- as a kind of tangible manifestation of that feeling.

It’s like something has circled round again.  Two of us in the same place- if removed by a couple of decades.

There’s this other song…

(Speaking of Scottish music/musicians)…

You know I love Donovan.

Not only is the song about happiness- and how it runs in a circular motion– it is a round.  A form of music featuring at least two voices singing the same melody but beginning at different times- and fitting together in harmony.

Brilliant.

Since the sun actually deigned to make an appearance today, I took a long stroll home, through the park, after work, thinking about the counterpoints- those independent yet harmonious lines- that make up our lives.

There were people out and about- riding bikes and skateboards, walking dogs and children- enjoying the sunshine.  I saw a woman stretched on the grass on her stomach feeding a pigeon Sun Chips from her hand.  A young man sat on a picnic table playing his guitar.

I thought about my new place of employment and the opportunities it affords- which now include a connection to Dad- and the fact that one of my other housemates from first year uni works in the building across the street.  We’ve had a couple of quick lunchtime encounters to try to catch up on more years than I care to count, and there will be a better opportunity on a patio sometime soon.

When I got home and checked email there was a message from that wonderful Being who spoke so beautifully at Dad’s memorial.

I woke up this morning and was very much aware of your presence. So…. this is me following up. I trust that you are OK and that all is well with your new job. I also trust and hope that you are finding your way thru this grief process.”

I’ve been feeling Dad’s presence all week.  It seems that someone was also feeling mine.  Someone who has recently circled back into my life.

Life goes on.

In a circular motion.

And it can be pretty damn beautiful.

P.S- There’s one more song that kept running through my head as I finished this post:

The great Harry Chapin.  It’s a song from my camp days, and it’s the tune that is ending my evening.

“It seems like I’ve been here before, I can’t remember when
But I got this funny feelin’ that I’ll be back once again
There’s no straight lines make up my life and all my roads have bends
There’s no clear-cut beginnings and so far no dead-ends…”

Sleep well, WordPressWorld.

‘Looking for Satellite(s) of Love’

Getting back to writing after a hiatus- brief though it may have been- should be easy.  Ideas and things to write about just keep popping into my head (sometimes they pop out again pretty quickly- a function of sleep deprivation, but these things happen) so there is SO much to draw from.  I have even more just-started drafts in the dashboard than I did a few weeks ago, and I’m feeling a little bit like I’ve come down with a case of the distractions.

Which isn’t good.

Not on the eve of NaNoWriMo (I’m going to attempt to divide my focus and get some work done on the fiction, in addition to keeping up with my peeps here at the WordPress.  Might be overly-ambitious, but never know ’til you try and all that) and not when I have a newly-minted-and-purchased novel by one of my fave mystery authors (Elizabeth George, if you’re curious) which is just perfectly timed for curling up away from the Autumn chill with a cup of tea and just getting lost with Lynley and Barbara for a bit.

So.  Where to start?

Amid all the chaos of the move, it was a FABULOUS period of music/reminiscing, this week just past.  There was the reunion with Simple Minds last Tuesday, and then on Saturday one of my best buds took me to see David Bowie Is at the AGO.  Phenomenal.

In the way that everything seems to be connected (that synchronicity thing again), after wandering through the wonder-and-constant-innovation-that-is-Bowie all afternoon Saturday, I caught Iggy Pop on the radio (I rarely listen to the radio these days- too much commercial crap IMHO) not once, but twice.

While taking a breather from the packing/unpacking I started a post lauding all that Mr. Jones has contributed to the world- ripples (and sometimes tsunamis) of influence that have shaped our (popular) culture as we know it.  The characters, the costumes, the bending and breaking of rules of identity/gender/art… the beautifully curated exhibit really brought home just how important the Thin White Duke remains.

And man, can the guy write songs.

Once upon a time a veryveryvery long time ago, I wrote a stream of consciousness piece called ‘Talking to Ziggy’, about a protagonist who is in constant contact with the spirit of Ziggy Stardust.  It was about what happens to a fictional character who becomes fully realized and then left to fade as newer characters take priority.  Might have to try to find that…  In any case, Bowie has been an everywhere influence in my life.  It was wonderful to reconnect with him in my hometown art gallery.

But my loving chat about Bowie- and the characters that have become parts of our contemporary mythology- will have to wait for another time, because Sunday night another one of those connections showed up, and this one broke my heart a little…

Lou Reed.

Two days later, I’m still kind of at a loss for words.  He’s always been part of the fabric of the background soundtrack of my life.  Not necessarily the song that opens the film or plays as the credits are rolling on a particular period of my life, but a voice that is continually popping up here and there when the action is about angst, or disillusionment, or visiting NYC… and his underlying influence reaches even further into the music that constantly surrounds me.

Simple Minds did a cover version of Street Hassle (Waltzing Matilda/Slipaway) on Sparkle in the Rain.

Emily Haines, from our local wonder of a band, Metric, had some incredible things to say about the man and his influence on her own music.

He contributed his distinctive voice to Little Stevie’s movement against apartheid in South Africa.

He was a poet/novelist all his life- his writing was set to music rather than bound up as ink and paper.  His words remain at once timeless in way that is seldom seen any longer and pictures of specific periods in history that inform about experiences and mores and the evolving technologies that changed the way we perceive and appreciate art and music.

Lou Reed and David Bowie overlap so often it’s almost ridiculous.  Andy Warhol.  All the co-productions/cross-productions/collaborations over the years.  Bowie was London to Lou’s NYC.  They were all about experimentation and pushing the boundaries of discourse.

The three dudes in the pic up there ^^^ have always been interconnected in my brain (admittedly, in part, because of Velvet Goldmine, but I digress…)

Iggy’s Lust for Life (written and produced by Bowie) is like Lou’s Walk on the Wild Side.  Story songs about people- living on the edge and doing the best they can while dealing with demons and changes and societal conflicts.

Bowie’s Looking for Satellites (from Earthling– his first self-produced album since Diamond Dogs in 1974) is like Satellite of Lovefrom Lou’s Transformer album.  Bowie produced and provided the background vocals.

Neil Gaiman, with his wonderful way with words sums things up in a way that completely resonates with my own feelings (as is so often the case):

“His songs were the soundtrack to my life: a quavering New York voice with little range singing songs of alienation and despair, with flashes of impossible hope and of those tiny, perfect days and nights we want to last for ever, important because they are so finite and so few; songs filled with people, some named, some anonymous, who strut and stagger and flit and shimmy and hitch-hike into the limelight and out again.

It was all about stories. The songs implied more than they told: they made me want to know more, to imagine, to tell those stories myself. Some of the stories were impossible to unpack, others, like The Gift, were classically constructed short stories. Each of the albums had a personality. Each of the stories had a narrative voice: often detached, numb, without judgment.”

If there were ever two exemplars of the point that I am constantly trying to make here at colemining about the importance of story and the many ways it impacts all aspects of our lives, as human beings with card-carrying memberships in communities, David Bowie and Lou Reed are the winners and still champions.

In the fog/fugue state of packing, I squirrelled away all my CD sets into storage- including Bowie’s Sound + Vision, and my boxed set retrospective of pretty much everything Lou Reed has ever done.  Right now I’m wishing I’d labelled the boxes better so I’d have some kind of idea where they might have ended up.  Will have to settle for the YouTube and those songs in the iTunes library/on the Shuffle Daemon to take me through this newest period of reflection and remembrance.

Travel safe, Mr. Reed.  Somehow I thought you’d always be here.

I’m out of words right now, and ‘thank you’ seems overwhelmingly inadequate, but I’ll say it anyway.

Oh, it’s such a perfect day

I’m glad I spent it with you

Oh, such a perfect day

You just keep me hanging on.

Celebrating

Well.  I’m not sure if it’s the residual exhaustion from the not-yet-completed move, or the fact that it’s turned cold here all of a sudden (I HATE the cold and tend toward hibernation mode when the temperatures drop), but I’ve had a hell of time trying to get my brain functioning well enough to offer up a reflection on the other night that might be in any way worthy.

Still, here goes…

Wow.

In a word.

We started with dinner at Mr. Greenjeans in the Eaton Centre.  Since one of our crew is a born-and-bred 905-er, it seemed appropriate to let him have the entirety of the suburbanite-coming-into-the-big-town experience.  Mr. Greenjeans used to be THE go-to place for birthday parties in (junior) high school (they have a giant, share-with-the-whole-table, sundae called ‘Hats off to the Party’- it comes in a clear plastic top hat), complete with Emporium off to the side in which you could buy all kinds of crazy crap.  Artie was pleased with the nod to his youth, and the evening was off to a great start. 

(Despite its position as a fixture in the mall- 34 years!- the place has done a good job of keeping up with current food trends.  I had a great seared tuna sandwich- with a side of their buffalo chips, and a GIANT freakin’ beer.  I’ll go back if in the neighbourhood and jonesin’ for some homey food- even if the Emporium is long gone).

Then it was across the street to the Grande Dame that is Massey Hall.  Fletch and Mar took their seats on the floor, and Artie and I made the looooooong climb up to the second balcony, but we were more than happy with the great view of the stage as the place quickly filled.  One of the nice things about MH is its feeling of intimacy.  For all that it holds 2500+ people, the lines of sight allowed me to pick out and wave to friends who were scattered around the joint before the lights went down.

And when they did…

The Boys from Glasgow opened the show with Broken Glass Park, one of two new songs off their multidisc offering Celebrate: The Greatest Hits+.  A strong song, and one that will bear a further listen or two in days to come.

Then came the instantly recognizable opening notes of an oldie-and-oh-so-goodie, and the excitement level around us skyrocketed.

Jim was not only in fantastic voice, his ambitious stage moves (and singular dance style- I say ‘singular’, but as Artie pointed out, more than once, ‘Jim dances like Fletch’) suggest that he has spent at least part of the ten+ years since the band last toured North America in a yoga studio.  Pretty flexible for an older dude.  Gotta say.  I was impressed.

As many friends commented, it was refreshing to see a performance that was completely without airs or pretension or attitude.  The whole band was there to put on a great show and hang with a welcoming crowd.  They seemed happy to be back in TO- as evidenced even the day before their return to MH- in a shining article in the Toronto Star.  They certainly didn’t disappoint their loyal fan base.

After a packed first set- which included great songs from the vault- they ended with New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) before taking a break.  Artie was beyond thrilled with the instrumental version of Speed Your Love to Me that started off set two- one of his favourites, and not one he thought to hear performed live.  Charlie (who has retained a REMARKABLE amount of hair) and Mel (who has not) led the band through the loops and whorls of an engaging arrangement of the tune and got the energy level back up and running after the trip to the bar and the merch table (and, in our case, the walk back up all those flights of stairs).

Then Jim retook the stage for I Travel, and Someone Somewhere in Summertime, one of my personal faves (referenced before here).  Other incredibly solid offerings followed, until one tune blew all the wonder that had come before completely out of the water.

Love the manpurse in that video, Jim.

I think I came close to tears a couple of times as they played their Glaswegian hearts out and held the crowd in the palms of their hands for a those minutes.

See the Lights was followed by ‘that song’ (Don’t You (Forget About Me), which, although it may be their most enduringly popular hit- and the only one to really make it big in the US market, isn’t really a Simple Minds song.  I don’t have the same level of hate-on for it that some purists do- it’s a solid and now-iconic tune which evokes John Hughes-80s goodness- but it isn’t top of my list, for sure) which brought the entirety of the crowd to its collective feet.  Which was fantastic since the follow up song, that ended the second set, was Promised You a Miracle.  Artie and I re-enacted Guid’s now-patented charades move in an act of sincere homage.  Miss you, Guid.

Fletch was most impressed by their first encore- Theme for Great Cities– which never received a whole lot of airplay over here but is one of the songs that started his enduring love affair with the band.  Next up:

Never one of my go-to SM tunes, but I think Tuesday’s performance might have changed that a little.

They ended a stellar night with, appropriately,

They sure are.  They are back, in a big way.  And Toronto still loves them (despite some murmurings about the crowd being somewhat ‘lame’- we were all about the high energy groove up in the second balc).

It has been a week (and more) of dealing with the mundane- the job/job search, the packing, the moving, the unpacking, the commuting, the packing, the cleaning, the trips to the storage space…  Having something so out of the ordinary- something extraordinary in every way- happen in the midst of the chaos was a breath of fresh air that was most definitely needed.  I think I might actually manage to make it through the rest of the move now.

SO many thanks to Fletch, the founder of the fun, for getting the tickets, and to Artie and Mar (and everyone else who made it out to the show- even if we only managed a wave in passing) for contributing to a fantastic night.

And to the band… well.  Welcome back boys.  I didn’t realize just how much I’d missed you.  Thanks for showing us one HELL of a great time.  You.  Were.  Magical.  In that way that old friends keep on bringing the magic into life.

Happy weekend, my friends.  Old and new.

Promised you a Miracle

So.  Been away for a bit.  Got most of the place packed up and moved over the weekend (note I say most) despite a badly sprained ankle, largely because of our AMAZING helpers, who lifted and organized and- perhaps most importantly- kept my optimism and sanity at reasonable levels.  Good friends are wicked awesome.  To an heroic degree sometimes.

This was one of those times.

The  new place is shaping up and feeling like home, and there’s really only one more medium-sized load of stuff to get to storage, and I still have 9 days until the end of the month, so I’m taking a bit of a break and resting the ankle (and other assorted muscle aches and bruises.  I am waaaaaay too old for this moving stuff.  There WILL be professional movers next time.  I think my hair actually hurts) and rebuilding the energy levels somewhat.

What better way to chill out and relax and recoup than to go, with some old friends, to visit with some old friends at that grand old barn we call Massey Hall.

Simple Minds are here tonight.

Simple.  Minds.

I saw them at Massey Hall in 1984.  Sparkle in the Rain Tour.  Then Maple Leaf Gardens in 1985.

And now they’re back.  On a ‘greatest hits’ tour.  Playing relatively small venues- hence the Massey Hall location again- that old timey concert hall, one of the most comfortable venues in town (as in, it feel like you’re in your living room- if it was a living room that hold 2500 people), and the starting place and storehouse of some of my most memorable concert-going experiences.

SO. VERY. EXCITED.

Since they are keeping this tour small- and since the promoters obviously underestimated the strength of Toronto fandom when it comes to a band like Simple Minds- what few tickets remain are selling for exorbitant prices.  Not quite the secret-Arcade-Fire-in-Brooklyn-show prices (apparently someone was selling tickets to those shows for $5000– THAT’S insanity), but steep nonetheless.

I’m going because one of those amazing friends I was just mentioning got me a ticket as a birthday present months ago.  With the craziness of the move and all I had sort of forgotten about it.  Not that it was happening- too psyched for that- but the when of it sort of left the conscious part of my brain.

It’s back.  I’m getting no work done today- just eagerly anticipating hanging with Jim and Charlie and the boys- and those of my peeps who managed to score tickets to the show.

I have promised another not-so-lucky bud that I will provide a full review post-show, so I will keep this one brief and less-gushy than it might otherwise have been.

But…

Promised You a Miracle.

Miracles are an interesting phenomenon.  Ascribable to the supernatural, they are events that are filled with wonder and most religions see them as divine intervention in the lives of us human-type people.  The mythological systems of the religions of the world have many examples of stories of the miraculous: communications with the deity (burning bushes and the like), revelations through human vessels, icons weeping blood, the taming of wild beasts… Myriad are the tales and the means through which the divine deigns to speak with and guide his/her/their creation.

My favourite biblical story of the miraculous?  Hard to choose, but I think the story of Balaam and the talking donkey in Numbers is right up there among the crazy amazing tales of the supernatural interfering in the real world.

MY main memory of Promised You a Miracle dates back a number of decades, and isn’t really about the song itself.  We were on a camp out- a whole crowd of us.  And, as part of the silliness of the day, we were playing a somewhat manic game of charades.  Guido (nicknamed for the killer pimp in Risky Business, despite the fact that he looked disturbingly like Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver) was up, and furiously acting his great heart out- trying SO hard to MAKE us guess the clue.

Song.

4 Words.

But really, all he kept doing was making the sign of the cross and looking heavenward.  Over and over again.  As the clock was about to run out someone finally yelled out the correct answer.  Not coincidentally the person who got it is also my benefactor for the show tonight.  And one of the other peeps from that particular camp out will also be joining us at the concert.

We laughed for a long time about the repetitive nature of the clue.  Guid made us laugh a whole lot- on that cookout and so many other times over the years.  He was my first sailing teacher- he taught me to love the sport for itself and for the lessons that controlling a small boat on a big lake can teach you.  Lessons I spoke about here.

He died, in a freak skiing accident, the following winter.  But I still picture him, looking all Haskell-esque while emphatically gazing skyward (when he wasn’t glaring at us for our obvious idiocy), whenever I hear that song.  Which I will tonight.  Surrounded by friends and memories of concerts past.  And with one missing friend who yet remains in the forefront of my mind at certain specific times.  When certain specific songs are played.

I’d like to think he’s with us, somehow.

‘Belief is a beauty thing.’

Have a great evening.

I’ll get back to you when I recover from celebrating with the Boys in the Band.

Cottage on the Bay

What’s up with the weather gods in TO?

Seriously.

Tuesday and Wednesday we were dealing with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees (that’s about 100 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re still using that quaint means of measuring) when the humidity was factored in.

Today?  Chilly north wind.  Tomorrow?  CHILLIER north wind.

And I’m going to be on a rock in the middle of the Bay.  About 2 degrees Celsius overnight.  TWO DEGREES.

I’m not ready for summer to end, so, despite the less-than-ideal temperature, I will do the true Canadian thing and head north this afternoon for an annual pilgrimage with some of my best peeps.

We try to do this every year.  A couple of nights away, sans spouses/significant others, to just hang out and catch up a little.

We have known each other for decades (as I both date myself and make myself feel old) and have been hanging out through thick and thin- camp, school, higher education, marriages, divorces, kids, houses, jobs, great gains and huge losses and, generally, life.  As friends, roommates, brothers, sisters, confidant(e)s…

We’re family.

We are privileged to have access to a family cottage/compound on Georgian Bay that SCREAMS Canada.

A September Gale by Arthur Lismer
We will likely experience a gale or two over the next couple of days

Georgian Bay is filled with landscapes that are quintessentially Canadian.  It was a popular subject of the Group of Seven, and such images are, internationally and here at home, as Canadian as toques and two-fours, poutine and politesse.  There will be certainly be two-fours this weekend, and toques might be advisable- given the forecast.  Poutine isn’t as likely, but the politesse is ingrained and therefore a given.

Of a sort, anyway.  Good manners and polite discourse are relative when you’re on an island and there is beer and barbeque involved.

And then there’s the Bay Cup.  That annual Risk Tournament that I mentioned here.  As I said, I will not participate due to a past traumatic Risk-related occurrence- except to occasionally pop my head in to goad or slander or critique the strategy of one of the combatants.  Unfortunately the defender of the Championship Title (and current Keeper of the Cup) is not able to join us this year, so it remains to be seen whether or not the battle can legitimately be waged.  It will be up to the Rules Committee.

Whatever.

I have my cottage book lined up (sadly, not Ray Davies’ new one- but only because it isn’t yet available).  Jian Ghomeshi’s 1982 is solid CanCon and highly appropriate for a real Canadian cottage weekend.  Plus I passed him on the street the other day as he was on his way into the CBC studio.  Reminded me that I’ve been meaning to read the book.

There will be food and games and talking and general shenanigans.

And there will be music.

The cottage weekend has to be finely mediated in the musical department.  No one person gets to control the selection for more than 5 songs at a time (this is veryvery necessary.  No one needs to hear 48 straight hours of Phish.  No one).  This keeps the peace- which is certainly required after the full contact Risk Tourney.

Early on there is all kinds of variety as we all offer up some of the newer stuff we’ve been listening to recently.  A lot of attempting to persuade those of, shall we say, established tastes to just listen to this song- give it a chance.  We start off with choices that are generally chill and part of the background to whatever else is going on.

As the stars come out (and there is NOTHING like a clear night under the stars at the Bay) music is the focus, and the selections become more nostalgic- and predictable.  The comfort in the predictability is palpable.  Years fall away as the selections are chosen.

The fire will be stoked (‘Stoke the fire again’, a quote from Commander Worf, will be heard ad nauseum) and the singalong will begin.

These are some of the songs of the Bay.

Donovan.  I have only ever met a handful of people who have actually heard this song.  Everyone knows Mellow Yellow and Hurdy Gurdy Man, but you can really tell a lot about a person by what they think about Atlantis.  If you don’t like it, I’m really not sure we can be friends anymore.

Harsh, but there it is.

(I’ve actually used this song in classes in which we were discussing myths of Atlantis.  The reactions of undergraduate students to hearing it for the first time is always illuminating- and pretty accurate in gauging how ultimately invested in the course they would be.  It’s a pretty solid litmus test.)

Futurama used a version of the song- sung by Donovan himself- about the sinking of Atlanta.  Hilarious episode.  I’m going to miss that show. Again.

History, life and love under the waves.

Ultimate cottage song.

Kenny.

This song is mainly included as a source of remembered silliness.  Short version of connected back story: it involved someone wearing a woven basket-like plant holder as a hat.  There might have been alcohol involved.

It IS filled with good advice though.  SO important to ‘know when to walk away and know when to run.’  Great inspiration when one is feeling like one is ‘out of aces’.

Simple Minds’ 1982 tune is connected with this year’s reading material and recalls summers past while reminding us of the wonderful things yet to come.  Like their show at Massey Hall in October.  Looking back and forward all in one song.

I’ve already referenced this song this month, so I won’t talk about it again.  But it will be heard.  More than once.

The Last Resort, also previously discussed and best played as the sun is setting, is especially resonant when appreciated in the beauty and quiet and peace of the Lake.  Its cautionary message- ‘You call someplace paradise kiss it goodbye’– makes my heart hurt thinking that THAT particular paradise could ever be lost.

This one generally ends the night(s).

Appropriate since it’s the song that never ends.  Don’t get me wrong.  I can appreciate Phish and all, but this song is sooooo very long.

(I will totally understand if you don’t actually watch that one all the way through.)

And, if we let them, there are those among us who will try to play back-to-back various live versions of the song as their 5 selections.  Not on my watch.

It will be a weekend of relaxation and shoring up of resources- something I very much need right now- with people I love and respect- and who never cease to make me laugh and think about things differently than is my day-to-day wont.

A weekend to remind myself just how fortunate we are.  How fortunate I am.  To live in Canada and to have the friends and family I have.

Hope your weekend is as restful and restorative as mine is sure to be.