| written on July 26th in Truro, NS
||[Aug. 8th, 2010|11:45 pm]
|[||Ooh I'm Feelin'
|[||I'm Jammin' To
|||||ISAAC & BLEWETT- Look Around||]|
Every time I step foot upon your soil my heart sings and soars. Every time I have to leave you my heart grows heavy and a beautiful melancholy sweeps over me. It gets stronger and stronger every time. It is beginning to get really hard to leave this place and I feel my heart torn between the provinces that touch the Atlantic and the one that touches the Pacific. The maritimes have always held a piece of my heart, but every year that piece seems to grow bigger and bigger.
As I stood in the shower today scrubbing out the red dirt and paint engraved into the cracks of my skin from a week of festival frolicking, I almost began to cry. I did not want to wash these clean, I wanted to keep them and proudly bare them for all the world to see. These were proof that I had been there, proof that I had come to play, love and laugh in the heartland of Canada’s Eastern provinces- I was proud to be marked by the weeks that had gone by. Every mosquito bite, every scratch and bruise, every splatter of paint and caked on mud held a story: tubing on the Nashwaak, performing at Folly Fest, drunken shenanigans and intoxicated games, building and painting the structures that would make Evolve, camping out in the backyard of friend’s and families who have opened their homes and their hearts to me... How could I wash these way?
Then I remembered that though the physical signs my fade over time, they will always mark the core of my being. They will always stick with me and be a part of me as I continue to travel down the Paths of Life. These shall stick with me forever and I can only continue to build upon them. I am lucky and I am blessed.
From the moment I stepped out of the “Sneetch Mobile” when I arrived in Fredericton, in the beginning of July I was greeted with smiles, hugs and a warmth that made me feel as though I never left. The people are so genuine, so loving and so much goddamn fun! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: maritimers are some of the best people you will ever find in the whole world! The friends I come back to see there and the new ones I meet every time I return only add to the growing appreciation I have for these places. In short: I love you all sincerely and immensely from the bottom of my heart. Leaving you always gets harder and harder.
I grew up in Ontario but, never felt like it was home. I never knew what “home” was until I first began traveling. I began to find places and people all around this beautiful country- and the world- that began to feel like they “fit” me. As I grow older I start thinking about the place (or places) where I would one day like to settle; buy a piece of land, build a home, and raise my children. I have been living in the beautiful province of British Columbia the past four years. Vancouver has been good to me, but the longer I live here the more I realize that this is likely not the place that I will stay. The housing market in my city is the most expensive in the country. Even the upper middle class of Vancouver cannot afford to buy a home and the homelessness issues seem to be getting worse before they get better. As I see low-income housing being cast away and being replaced by condos for the rich and corporate three-ringed circuses I begin to realize that this is not a city I can not put roots down in. I feel that for now I am suppose to stay in the West, but something keeps pulling my heart strings toward the East.
The maritimes have some of the better housing prices in all of Canada. I love the communities out there and how they all intertwine and mingle. Fredericton, Halifax, Saint John... so much talent and great music coming out of these places! There has always been a musical magic that just seems to seep out of the Eastern provinces and its only been building all the more these past few years. Something is growing out there and you can taste it- feel it in the air and in everything around you! The support and love musicians and artists receive out East is endearing and overwhelming. I love my West Coast musical community but, its getting harder and harder for us artists and performers to do our thing out here. Vancouver is shutting down more and more venues- why just yesterday I was informed that Little Mountain Gallery might be getting canned- while as my friend and fellow artist James Lamb said: “the city is packed with loud, culture-less, profit motivated drinking holes... It is with out doubt that the only benefit from these establishments favor the owners, the breweries, and the taxes collected on alcohol and permits.” In other words, the art comes second to everything else. I keep seeing amazing Vancouver musicians leaving the city or splitting their time between cities that are far more supportive to artists. I keep seeing many warm, heart-filled venues being shut down leaving bands, poets and other performers desperately searching for places to play. Meanwhile, I see cities like Halifax and Fredericton that are just thriving and continue to build upon the already incredible artistic culture and talent that is being harvested there. It makes me stop and wonder: what am I doing out West here?!
The support my band SNEETCH has received from our friends and fellow artists out East has been simply overwhelming and wonderful. The appreciation and love is like a soul food that leaves me full but never bloated! The amount of raw and amazing talent that I see being nurtured and growing out in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is simply mind blowing. The hard work and effort that is put into this growing community by people who are not artists themselves- but simply people who love and enjoy the scene is also incredible. Everyone out there really seems to understand the value of community and working together to build and support the lives we’ve chosen to live. This is not just present in the arts community, but in sustainable living, local farming and business. The rest of Canada needs to take a look at what’s going on in the East- they could learn a few things.
As the hours tick by counting down to when my plane leaves from Halifax to Vancouver I am already wondering when I can come back here again. I don’t want to leave. I know once I return to British Columbia I am going to be greeted by the wonderful faces of my friends and musical tribe and hugs from my amazing room mates and neighbours. I am also going to be traveling immediately to yet another music festival in Wells, BC as this crazy adventure of mine continues. I do love the West Coast and I love the amazing family I have made there, but I also love my East Coast family and the connections I have there. It’s getting hard sharing my heart between these two coasts. I just wanted to say thank you and that I love you, my Eastern Tribe. Thank you to every one of you who have brought me into your hearts and homes. Thank you to every one who has showed me a new treasure or magical places in your province... and thank you to the first person who ever brought me out East. You all give my heart wings and I soar when I think of the next time I get to see you all again and play in the lands that kiss the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I love you all with all my heart.
With Love, Light & Laughter