Sunday, May 16, 2010

... maple magic ... and music ...

... even though I periodically take a break from caffeine by giving up coffee for months at a time I count myself among those addicted to the brown brew ... medium-strong with a little honey for sweetener is how I take it ... no milk, mochas or macchiato to alter the experience for me ... then the unthinkable happened ... I tried a Canadian grind called Muskoka Maple which hails from Huntsville, Ontario ... there's something about maple sweetness that warms those of us who have spent significant time in this cold country on the edge of the habitable world ...

... the maple leaf imprimateur was everywhere when I got off the plane in Vancouver ... a cultural identifier amplified by the Winter Olympics roadshow which just blew through town ... my American-Airlines itinerary routed me through Miami and Dallas so it felt pleasantly drama-free to meet a receptive Canadian welcome and a freestanding, bar-code reading dalek machine that accepted my declarations at face-value ... admitting me readily to the country of my citizenship ...














... the Swiss-effect passport and experiences like that civil re-entry are big deals to people from other countries and those who have travelled to other countries ... call me naive but I believe that's most of us ... then ... give a thought to the folks who have yet to travel beyond their own borders ... their relationships with home soil are naturally ... colloidal ... where prejudice, pride and protectiveness may feature but ... make no mistake ... the national identity of contemporary Canada is maple-sweetened and strikingly nuanced with complex diversity at the same time ...

... I was here in Hollywood North on business ... usually more than enough reason to do my thing without pausing to smell the cherry blossoms or to regard the grander signs sent to ease the preoccupied mind ... but as fate would have it ... I was about to be treated to some maple magic without actively seeking it out ...













... "so you're an actor ... what restaurant do you work at?..." goes the joke which came to mind when I was approached backstage by Mark Burgess (Dr. Jeremy Franklin on Stargate Universe) ... we worked together in a restaurant a lifetime ago ... it had been many moons since we last saw each other and ... coincidentally ... our former co-worker Jowi Taylor was also in town ...

... Uganda-born Jowi (a Luo name meaning "buffalo") shared mix-tapes with me back in the day before we went in different directions ... I persist as an actor and he has become an alchemist of sorts ... a manufacturer of sacred relics ... a Canadian consciousness-raiser-on-a-mission ... an honorary Buffalo Soldier fighting the good fight with his media-art ... he's most famous perhaps for a guitar made up of sixty-plus pieces of Canadiana which has come to symbolize the national DNA to the extent that it tirelessly tours the country to be experienced, posed with and played by many ... the Canadian Mint even honored the effort with a commemorative coin shaped like a guitar pick ...









... nuff respec' Jowi ... only the passion of a person inspired by the sometimes ill-defined chromosomal weave of Canada could have conceptualised such disparate components into a whole greater than the sum of its parts ... the six string nation guitar ...

... a canoe paddle belonging to Pierre Trudeau ... the only piece ever taken from the three hundred year old Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii ... Great Bear Lake rock, whale bone, antlers, iconic hockey keepsakes ... pieces of a prairie grain-elevator and the Newfoundland lighthouse that recieved the Titanic distress signal ... black cowboy John Ware, Metis rebel Louis Riel and author Lucy Maud Montgomery are represented, as are Acadian, Doukhobor, Africville artifacts, Montreal club memorabilia and plenty more ... comprising this tangible living history ... I felt compelled to imbue this comprehensive statement with my energy ... and get something intangible in return ...













... Gordon Lightfoot, Colin James, Steven Fearing ... the list of talented players making music on this labour-of-love is long ... I like to think each one finds extra inspiration in the instrument and leaves a bit of soul in the hallowed hollow of Voyageur ... as the six-string-nation guitar is now known ...

... maybe the next strummer will vibe the noodling two-string Jamaica Farewell/Linstead Market melody I plucked out of it ...













... as if the reassuring emotional comfort in making Jamaican sounds on this Canadian guitar, with renewed friendships, over a pint at a popular spot on a spring day in Vancouver wasn't enough ... I could also rest assured in the knowledge that friends in Ontario had sent me a large bag of Muskoka Maple coffee ... effectively bridging the width of this expansive country ... magic! ...

... big up y'self Canada!

2 comments :

  1. Keep telling that history:

    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, "RaPR", where Buffalo Bill Cody meets a Buffalo Soldier. A great story of black military history...the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.

    How do you keep a people down? ‘Never' let them 'know' their history.

    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial...and visit the website http://www.rescueatpineridge.com

    I hope you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn't like telling our stories...its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman, James Whitmore Jr. and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see imdb.com at; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0925633/

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; http://www.alphawolfprods.com and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890's, “spread the word”.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ... hot associations with your project #9 ... sending positivity your way ... flip this link to Hill, our paths crossed awhile back ... One Love

    ReplyDelete

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