Since I moved to Los Angeles over a decade ago, returning to Toronto is always a form of transmogrification, like a slow moulting of all the pretense and defense mechanisms and enterprising mindfulness that I adopt when out West.
It is just as painful, I would imagine, as a lobster shucking off its hard shell, and just as vulnerable in the aftermath. But that is precisely why I come back.
It isn’t anything about Toronto in particular, other than that it is where I am from and the friends I grew up with, literally, learned about the world and its sordid alleys, alongside, they are here to remind me of distant sentiments and exposures.
I saw Peter Devlin, the original guitarist for Blue Dog Pict -the kid who used to play Hendrix solos behind his head etc. Now it’s 17 years later and we are doing the same thing – drinking, being stupid, playing guitar. Damn, I didn’t think it could feel so good to just trade stories about this or that amazing or whack musician or musical experience we have encountered along the way. What a long way it has been.
Anyway, after a couple of days of catching up, Josh Joudrie, sound man for BDP and my co-producer on Spindly Light Und Wax Rocketines (Constant Change Music 1996) comes over and joins us, and we set up the laptop, the audio interface, the extra LCD monitor, the keyboard amp etc, out on the porch and spend the day tracking Pete’s guitar tracks out in the beautiful summer breeze under the sun, and in the shade of pine trees.
It isn’t so much about your plan, as it is knowing the precise moment when to hit record. That is all that matters. Getting to the moment and then capturing it. Pete headed back off to Owen sound to play a concert and I remain here, listening back to all these new moments, these new guitar moments, like polaroids, and wondering what the hell to do with them.
never fails. every time the moon waxes full, I feel like a thousand pins are navigating through my pores trying to find a way out. the adrenaline rush to which i have become addicted and wish i could find rehab for. two days later the whole thing is gone like a fever dream.
i wrote in True and Selfish Prophets, as Igwa, the protagonist searches for quiet: “How ironic that the glue of my sanity is lunatic.”
i can’t even create at times like these.
i read a book once called “how the moon affects you”. they recorded the highest number of crimes and psychological emergency calls during full moons. their thesis is that some people are more prone to this than others – that those who typically walk the line between this world and some other are akin to tightrope walkers, whereas those who have found a sturdier footing in terra firma rarely feel swayed by the moon’s influence.
well, i fall in the former category. i wish advil fixed it. the only thing that does is running, baying, and writing.
i usually get through the tricky moments by reminding myself that if Alice lost her cool in Wonderland she would literally have lost her head. but this propensity towards turning into a werewolf brings a whole new meaning to “follow the white rabbit…” roast it, eat it.
i think i’m gonna go meditate.