Sunday, May 02, 2010

warm nests, dark flights...

"In life, change and forgetfulness may give the impression
that relationships are temporary and conditioned by the
events of time, but to the soul, remembrance and
eternal connectedness are more important."
-thomas moore

"The family and the family beyond family"
The family into which we were born leaves an indelible claim
upon us. The gravity of kinship carries and inevitable weight.
Asking the question, who are my brothers and sisters? opens
up the possibility of a family beyond the genealogical family.
A spiritual family, a universal family.
The mystical unity of humankind."

Those words above written by my beautiful friend
Ron Atkinson

"I never saw the morning 'til l stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until l stayed away too long
I never heard the melody, until l needed a song"
-tom waits

I remember my first friends, or rather that feeling of friendship.
That warmth and excitement of wanting to see someone.
Grade four, Port McNeil and we lived in a trailer down some
dusty logging road. They lived close by, two sisters, and l
remember them being tall, giants, they were like vikings.
We ran and played, it was like scenes from "the sound of
music", running through tall grass fields, if only we had sung.
We played games, re-enactments of "Gunsmoke" and once we
tried to smoke some hollow dried grass shoots, it didn't go so
well. I favoured one sister, the blond one, she had the longest
silkiest hair, and to me at that age, she was a goddess.

"Sing a song of sixpence, pocket full of rye
Hush-a bye my baby, no need to be crying.
You can burn the midnight oil with me as long as you will
Stare out at the moon upon the windowsill, and dream..."
-tom waits

I've spent many years talking, meeting people on the street,
but it took a long time before l learned of "the family"
on the street.

I met these three one night, down a alley, behind a building,
two men, one boy, one dog, one cat.

Luminosa Obscura, they were sitting, resting, talking,
laughing, smoking, drinking, huddled together around a
invisible fire, the dog at the hearth, the cat nestled into the
boy's tummy. It was a family, it was a sense of belonging.
I came away feeling the glow and warmth of their shared fire.

At the risk of sounding like l'm still in grade seven. Well,
Mike is my best friend. I've known him since college, over
twenty years now. Mike and l spent alot of time together over
the years. He was a year ahead of me in college, and every
friday we would go to the pub up on 16th ave in calgary, drink
beer with jimmy and some of the instructors, play pool, darts.
After college l convinced Mike to move to the island with me.
We raced to the island, him in his red rx7 and me in my yellow
Volkswagen bug. He didn't stay long that first time, but l
convinced him again years later to come back, l got him a
part time job where l worked and when l was fired, he ended
up taking my place. He was so much better at it. We did
alot of bike rides, most of vancouver island and then one
summer spent 13 days riding to calgary, well high river
actually, did you know there are four mountain ranges in
between vancouver and calgary.
The good, the bad, and the ugly, l could tell mike any of it
and he would never judge, never scorn, it was his presence,
his friendship, his love.
He was there helping my old friend mike labrie when he died,
and he sat with huey when he died.
He sat with his mom this year when she died.

I hope that when l am dieing, Mike will come and sit with me...


Jasmine said...

An inspiring post. I love Tom Waits, he is a personal favourite of mine. The quote is wonderful. I really like the textile piece below it too. have a great bank holiday.

all ways 11 o'clock said...


So glad you are back and here. I have been wanting to see you.

Your creations bring me such great joy, plus a sense of learning.

The question of family has been on my mind lately as I have moved to Ontario. More later on that. But the extended family of the street is something I am familiar. I know you get this. I have seen it in your beautiful photographs you have taken. These people touch you as you them>

Take care my friend,


Caio Fernandes said...

nice to meet Mike !

very touching post .
thank you for this . made me .....think .

Gerry Boyd said...

Great post about what's really important.

Manon Doyle said...

Hey Ken,
Wow! This post really hit home with me. I've been in the States for a long time and see my family mostly when they visit me. I did, however, just come back from a small class reunion in Ottawa. I've realized how much I've really missed my family and friends. Those are the people that have shaped my life. I lost the connection for too many years and now I'm happy to regain it.
Love your work!!

Shayna Prentice said...

All of your really exquisite words, the deep feelings that shine though them, your beautiful images, Tom Waits ... all of everything you said and showed in this post ... are important to me in many different ways - I want to Thank You very much.

Woman in a Window said...

That last sentence rests as sure as death itself.

How lucky you are. And I suspect, he.


ALeks said...

Pure and warm,I hope you will "come"and sit with me when I am at the end of this Earthly journey,at least write a piece about me!! What a tribute to a friend,to friendship!!
Beautiful as always Ken,you never disappoint your fellow bloggers,thank you for this! Have a great sunday evening! Love,light,peace and loads of smiling smiles! Aleksandra!

Poetic Artist said...

This is such a wonderful post.

kenflett said...

Thank you Jasmine. I appreciate you coming out of the woods and visiting.

Robert, so nice what you wrote, it means alot. Ontario? l think maybe you floated there, perhaps a sea of love. :)
I just noticed your photos, l will go wander about your blogs.
take care.

Caio, always good to have you run in, your work inspires me.

Thank you Gerry and l think your right.

kenflett said...

Manon, thanks for the thoughful comment, your reunion must have been exciting.

Shayna, your words are so lovely and wonderful to hear, thank you.

Thank you Erin, it is nice to hear from you.

Sandra, your just a sweetheart, you really are. Thank you

Thanks so much Katelen.

Momo Luna said...

Today was a special family day for me, and it is so beautiful to end this day by reading your post.

Everytime i read your posts you touch so many strings in my heart and soul. I experience so many feelings. Your words, your art, the quotes you use, they show so much love for the human being, it warms my heart, makes me think and makes me a better person. It really does!

You amaze me every time, and i am always happy after i find your treasures. :-)

kenflett said...

Such kind words Momo, thank you so much.

CathM said...

Ah... friendships... your post brought to mind the memory of a childhood friend, Emma Bayerl. We met in the 2nd or 3rd grade at the Anglican School in Jerusalem... and, by the 4th or 5th grade we formed a girlie club called, The Cabezons... we had meetings and T-shirts (pink) and all. Then, there was my other best friend at grade school, Steven Finnie. I made contact with Emma some years back in adulthood but lost touch again as she'd forgotten most of her English - she was Dutch, you see. And, Steven, well - I've never found him again. Friendships are a funny thing... whether for a time, for a season, or a lifetime... they often add something to our journeys and growth as human beings. Ken, I've missed your posts. Glad to have you back!

kenflett said...

So nice to hear from you Cath and thanks for your lovely story and comment.

layers said...

Tom Waits-- my 27 year old son who lives in NYC and is a very talented artist/painter- when he comes home to visit he plays Tom Waits ALL the time- your post brings back all the happy memories of his visits.

kenflett said...

Thanks Donna. I hope he is there for you on mother's day.:)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

A bittersweet and thoughtful meander. Your memory pieces gather together to create the wonderful organic shape of life. -J

ALeks said...

Hi Ken,
just a greeting! :O)

all ways 11 o'clock said...

ken Flett!!
You surfaced!!
Glad you are back.

kenflett said...

Thanks Robert :)
almost there

Momo Luna said...

Hi there Ken,
just a sweet greet for you. I miss your wonderful posts.... :-)

SKIZO said...

thank you for sharing

Aleksandra said...

year ago....time does fly away like your child is growing and I could not help myself asking myself would you post again any day soon??
Anyhoo,warmest regards and hugs from me! Ciao! :O)