When I pick up a pen to mark up a journal with teetering thoughts and dimly lit dreams, I always begin the same way…
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.
Lost in Espanola
(Polish subtitles available)