Lost in Espanola. Day 2.

I’m not going to lie; the minute the heaviness of the hotel room lock sank shut at the end of the day, I laid on the bed chilled on the outside by the negative degrees and warmed on the inside by pretty much everything else, and fell asleep. So this is a post day 3 rant as I read through my scribbled reflections on what was another wholesome day in the great white north.

Be warned of a spitting 2am mind:

I was in heaven because it was basketball day for the sports clinics. I don’t realize entirely how completely soaked into the basketball culture I am until moments like these. Kudos to the incredible team who ran the clinics. Like one of the community members said, “I’ve never seen the kids so excited to do burpees!”

On the bus ride to the reserve, I keyed the following into my phone: I’m listening to the piano line from piano man as the sun pushes through the trees like he’s a restless four year old who won’t take no for an answer. I’m fighting my eyes as they ask me kindly for more closing time because I don’t want to miss anything that rolls by my window. And then I think of Mom who would laugh because she says I’ve been like this since I was four. I didn’t want to go to bed, I didn’t want to be anywhere but in the moment. In the action. I didn’t want to miss a thing. She sat frustrated with a smile because I sat happy.

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When you remember something a child tells you the day before that you just met and ask them about it the next day, it makes them happy. I hope it makes them feel special.

Most of the people that I interviewed, I knew. I have fallen in love with trying to break into someone. I do believe that they need to feel that they can trust you. Tell you their secrets. When you see the wall fall it’s a bit of a high. I also like those moments when the camera turns off. They ask me if they did okay and I say they were wonderful and then they tend to crack into the hidden song story. One of the incredible chefs from our team said post script that one thing that stood out to him was that no one was picky. At home everyone requests no onions or dressing on the side and here he didn’t hear one person complain. One kid complain. He said it wasn’t fancy eating, it was fueling, but everything up to the apples and bananas were gone. And thanks. So, so much thanks. For one exercise they brought foods that the kids had never tried. They were spitting out avocado and making sour faces at the mango and coconut. It’s so close to home yet so far out.

The drum circle was a favourite moment of mine because it brought us into the traditions of the first nation people. I sat beside a friend and she read the following to me from her research:
In a circle no one is higher than anyone else. Everyone is equal. The drum is the first sound we remember. Our mother’s heartbeat mocks this. It’s comforting.
She then told me to think about meetings at work and other everyday moments. How do you sit? And how do you feel? … … …

I will now close my eyes to the sirens instead of surreal silence. Spitting complete. -k

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Lost in Espanola. Day 1.

It’s more of an emotional exhaustion. That’s never necessarily a terrible thing.
Day one.
During one of the interviews I did today, I asked the little lady what she’s feeling right now in her tummy. She said excitement. I asked her why the craft she made represented her and teamwork and she stated that it was strong. I asked her why she thinks teamwork is important and she said because you don’t feel alone. And that she never wants to feel alone.
Day one.
As one fish in a sea of such a big story this weekend, you don’t get to absorb everything. You jump at the feast when it gets tossed in the fishbowl but sometimes the good stuff is caught by the pretty finned patience waiting in the corner for the leftovers.
At dinner we shared those missed moments.
Like when a young boy told one of the dignitaries that he didn’t know if he wanted to stay in highschool. And after a wholesome chat, for the next little while the dignitary introduced him with, “This is my friend and he has three more years of highschool.”
And when the team couldn’t find Wendel Clark to start his coaching session and he had snuck over to the bench on his own to help the little lads tie their skates.
And just Jaxon. Who had this ongoing double dope handshake with me all day everytime we crossed paths.
It’s just day one.
I also had some time just driving around the island with the crew, digesting their artistic visions while I breathed in ‘that’ smell of the great white north and snapped behind the scenes shots of the behind the scenes dream team. It’s just so simple up here.
Insert my famous ‘small town girl at heart with big city dreams’ standard bio line right now. It’s rare that both worlds cross but sometimes they wildly do.
Just soaking in ‘them moments’. They’re kinda sorta maybe really beautiful. -k

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Lost in Espanola.

When I pick up a pen to mark up a journal with teetering thoughts and dimly lit dreams, I always begin the same way…
Date.
Time.
Location.
How I feel.
And I get an itty bitty buzz when I can ink a new place of purging into my journals skin.
I’m in Espanola. Population 5000.
As I sit in my pinewood lined hotel room, I try to place the dejavu feeling into the correct feature film. Charlize Theron? Eva Mendes? I’m the leading lady wrapped in plaid with a wild mind fueling nerves into her delicate veins. And it’s so damn awesome but that awesome that you can’t explain unless you get me because you’ve felt the same thing, ya know? I briefly peaked out of the ground floor window into a deserted parking lot of puddles. The Right To Play truck comforted my itch with it’s hood of the car slogan; “Look after yourself. Look after one another.” And scene.
Why am I here? Because on a monday morning I opened my email with my famous ‘one eye open’ glare and I was asked if I’d be available for a voiceover. Okay. It was something new which always blinks the word challenge as I debate the task at hand staring at me across the room. Oh, I see you. I hadn’t read the script before I laid my blonde roast and mug of water on the table in front of the mic; my hair in a ponytail, hoodie, kicks, only pinked up lips hiding the Mondays. Monday morning, ya know? But the minute I watched the footage I was attached. I was vulnerable. It was simple. So was my next thought: I had to go.
I’m happy to be up north. The minute the highway shoulder turned from gravel to sand I promised myself that I would spend more time this summer where the blacktop ends. The hours flew on the road trip up as I counted the number of inuksuk made by hands who hold stories that I’ll never get to hear. There were deer. Five. And trees wrapped in dried up flowers covering what you assume to be unfortunate scenes. Those happened here near Espanola too. And that is why I wanted to be part of the unbelievable team from the MLSE Foundation and Right To Play Canada that are giving their every beat of energy to keeping those flowers alive. To keeping life growing, ya know?
I’m excited to meet the people that I watched in those videos. The people whose names I spoke without shaking their hands first. I’m excited to meet the vulnerable children. I’m excited to do intense arts and crafts and watch people forget about the unfortunate for a moment or remarkable mile. The people that surrounded me on the bus and in the meeting and at dinner are incredible. I’m lucky to be amidst their energy.
It’s go time.
-k

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Lost in Espanola
(Polish subtitles available)

She’s a Mess of Gorgeous Chaos.

 

So, I lay my head on my pillow and as I stared at the ceiling, tired as anything from the days emotions and twisted reality, I realized that I wasn’t creatively finished with the day. So I poured myself a glass of wine, turned on my laptop and let other peoples words guide me. I added a beautiful camera to my creative family this week. It’s my eye candy right now, sleeping on the table in front of me, making me restless about future dates. Pinterest is my escape between work tales and daily endeavours. So here are other peoples words that I’ve pinterest’ed recently because I relate. And then my pillow will get me back. -k

Tomboy Chic.

That moment when someone looks you up and down and sees you smile and raise your brows at them on the way up because you noticed.

Insert the fancy question: how would you describe your style? I was looking at some old pictures and laughing because at that moment in my dad’s old polos and Mom’s vintage fur coat; damn I looked good.

Tomboy chic. This is my current phase. A skirt topped off with a toque, ripped jeans and sky-high heels or my favourite hoodie and a damn bold lip. Add a bit of 1940 elegance here and there because I am era obsessed and honestly believe I jitterbugged with the boys in a smokey new york speakeasy when everything was black, white and simple.

Every time I visit 5 inch and up I pretty much sigh outloud. She’s the tomboy chicest of the tomboy chic.

Just look… -k

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Deuces.

Peace is a wonderful feeling. Peace of self, the unpredictable… peace of mind, spirit, the people who surround you, your confidence and the discovery of the individual you were meant to expose to the millions of people who swirl by you without notice. As the rain showed up unexpectedly today and someone I haven’t spoken with in a while text me unexpectedly today, I started thinking about the people who come into your life for a beautiful moment, leave a mark and then vanish without a wave goodbye. Sometimes you don’t even realize they have left until an epiphany swims through your mind in an everyday moment and you realize that you learned this lesson from them. Like the one I loved for a quick moment and enforced that I was good enough without a distressed mask, taking it with him when he left. And the one that taught me to laugh and dance again because this is my happy place and disappeared mid twirl. And the one that kicked my ass when I was crawling because I’m a fighter and have never turned down a challenge in life. The wind closed these doors when I wasn’t watching. And I am thankful for the late nights and endless conversations and spontaneous masterpieces and unasked for guidance. Now adding it to my book of life. -k

Now Boarding; Direct Flight to What You Want.

I’m a reader. I’m a writer. I search for inspiration and motivation because it keeps me on a direct flight to what I want.

I’m a reader. You know that moment when you find a book that holds onto you with urgency and guidance? I’ve had so many moments in novels where I’ve said “Yes, I know exactly how you/that feels <insert characters name here>” outloud and I get really on edge and just want to tell someone about the coincidence but they wouldn’t understand because they most likely have not been within that moment themselves. So it ends up quoted in my journal and remains a beautiful little secret between the pages and me.

I’m a writer. I had a sleepless night and it reminded me of these words I wrote on a similar eve.

dancin’ like a dandelion.
something sour in my milky way.
i’ve never seen my street corner so still.

the only piece of sky i see between the towers grabs my face and tilts my chin.
my god the stars are so bright for competing with city lights.

you told me that you don’t sleep between two and four.
i said my cave allows me to disappear and ignore.
and here i am eyes wide awake.
unsettled. 

I search for inspiration and motivation. You know how hard it is to go with your heart? To let those words of “Do you think this is wise? It’s more likely you’ll fail than succeed in this business. This path has no money…” go in one ear and out the other. Especially during those sensitive first steps. I do. Because I’ve been there. I’ve lost people in my life because of these choices. I’ve gained people in my life because of these choices. And I’m thankful for the ones that supported my vision and smile because I’m smiling.

I always tell people that you can do what makes you happy. And you need to figure out how. The pieces come together. Now to zip back to the reference about a character in a book that you can relate to… it’s like they’re speaking your words and thinking your thoughts. I watched the documentary Being Elmo last night and the featured man, Kevin Clash, was speaking my words and thinking my thoughts. He knew what he wanted and never let anyone crush his dreams. And because he believed and had goals and put forth his whole being into getting what he wanted; it happened. Naturally. I don’t like the word coincidence. When two roads cross out of the blue it’s just timing. It was supposed to happen. And the right thing takes time. That’s exactly what happened in his life. I had a humbling moment of something similar this week. It’s nothing more than realizing you’re in the right place. I highly recommend this documentary. He’s selfless, ambitious and his story is remarkable. Maybe because I get it but I think you might too. -k

If everybody else your age is doing something very different than what you’re doing, there’s always going to be someone saying to you you might not succeed with it, you might not make any money with that… there’s always going to be some type of obstacle in the way. All of those things will go away if you really focus on what makes you happy. -Kevin Clash

Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.

I like these no track of time and no reason for it type of days. The world around you keeps dancing in circles but your world slows right down. Let’s you think. Pretty much makes you think. In my social media world I know alot of people through text and type and tweets but have never stood in their physical space. I ran into one of those people recently when I was leaning on the bar in my long weekend state of mind. Bartender passed me my vodka water and pointed down the bar saying that he’s got your drink. A facebook friend chance meeting. Ah, the way the world has changed. I admire your hustle is the saying that’s sticky in my mind from our conversation.

So what happens when someone or something knocks at your hustle? Makes you second guess your mapped out motives? You can call life a game with goals and penalities in matters of the mind, career, relationships, self identity and status. You can win or lose.

Failure is one of my biggest fears. Regret? I don’t believe that this word has a place in my life anymore. Because you have to take risks to find your forever. I’d rather try and fail then regret not trying at all.

I had a moment this week when ‘shit got hard’. When you need to let go but you can’t because in that hopeful corner of your heart you’re still waiting for the impossible to happen. When you’re between somewhere and nowhere but never standing still. When ‘it’ shows up, comes without a phone call, spins you in circles and then continues along. From highs to lows. When it’s all cupcakes and lollipops until someone pukes.

I’m a big 11:11 advocate as my social media amigos know. So when the clock struck those delicious digits and I was setting in on wishful thinking I realized that these wishes tell you where your heart is. And what you want. And what you should not let anyone knock at.

And then a person I know through text and type and tweets but have never stood in their physical space sent me this fortune cookie find from his lunch time escape.

“Things may come to those who wait but only things left by those who hustle.”
And the smart mind behind these words? Abraham Lincoln.

So with that tickling of motivation the game goes on. Cause if I didn’t face my fears I wouldn’t be where I’m at. Simple as that. -k


The only thing standing between greatness and me is… me. -Woody Allen

I honestly think it’s better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate. -George Burns

Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you’ll be criticized anyway. -Eleanor Roosevelt

If people don’t occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads,
you’re doing something wrong. -John Gierach