Tag Archives: annotations

Annotations: Regarding Japanese-inspired Poetry

Consider the words
Write them once, only –
In a single inky sweep
On tactile paper
Then add a flower
Close the book
For now

&/or do none of the above

(from summer 2018 Moleskine accordion notebook “when everything changed”)

Poem: post office closed (again)

Poem: post office closed (again)

Post office closed
(again)
You’ll need another
day to know
you are loved
by a lost poet
without a watch

Ichiro: 1 Month / 23.7.2020 (shrine, grave and various annotations)

July 23, 2020 Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson hit the one month mark since birth.

For the record: born June 23, 2020 (Reiwa 2), 16:24, Sun Clinic, Okayama, Japan, 3064 grams. 

As is tradition in Japan, we visited a Shinto shrine – though due to various safety concerns, we did not go to the originally planned shrine (Kibitsu jinja – map – we visited back in January before he was born) or Munetada jinja (where we were married which was our back up plan) – instead just stayed in the neighbourhood and went to the big Torii gate of Tenshin jinja with the parents (but did not climb the endless stairs to the top). Then… Clap clap bow bow say a few words to the kami and (of course) snap a few snaps (10 of which are compiled below). 

Then, as was the tradition throughout the pregnancy, we visited grandpa Ichiro’s grave to give it a clean, light incense, and have a conversation to him including introducing his a little namesake. This providing the opportunity to see 4 generations of the family legacy all at once (in a manner of speaking). PS Grandma Tomiko will be interred her on Aug. 19th. 

To be thorough, Ichiro’s name comes from a combination of his grandpa, Ryoko’s best university sensei (Hongo-sensei), and the desire to have a name which is familiar to western minds and emulates the cross-cultural excellence of the noted baseball player.

Then, my best pal and the fellow who made all of this possible by introducing Ryoko and I, the goat farmer Mac Kobayashi came over for a big sushi dinner and then hang out in the barn studio to listen to records (Built to Spill, Mudhoney, “Father” John Misty, Dan Mangan, Chet Baker…) which is a whole other story.

Anyhow, what follows are a few general notes about our wonderful little dude, basically annotations and observations from his first month. Continue reading Ichiro: 1 Month / 23.7.2020 (shrine, grave and various annotations)

Happy Birthday Flashback for Dad, Lorne H. Olson, 2018

Happy Birthday Dad

Lorne Harold Olson AKA Dr. O

Dec. 1, 1941 (Winnipeg) ~ Feb. 11, 2014 (Surrey)

As seen at the (awkwardly inaccurately named) Old Indian Wishing Well of Capilano, circa 1976.

I am still,…

I am still, and here.

#wonder #grateful #healing #reinvention #quietish #freehugs

Anything I can do to make your life better?

So how are you doing? Anything I can do to make your life better?

#

Grateful, the world to see… #thanksgiving

May I continue? By the way, I don’t do the feasting part of Thanksgiving these days but I like being thankful for stuff.

I am thankful for art and the artists who create and inspire me and others by dedicating themselves honestly to elevating above craft into making things for the future

I’m grateful for music, especially played by diligent up-and-coming bands who often become friends (I love being your fan), especially all the people over the years who said “dude you got to have my cassette and/or CD) I’ve captured and collected your efforts in a shoebox.

I’m grateful for the trains that still exist in the World to slowly rolled me to elsewhere and that the idea of travelling open oceans is in a state room in a freighter still exists.

I’m thankful for the 100 or so practicum students from all over the world I had the privilege of mentoring through many jobs, to help launch their dreams, careers, travelling, creation etc.– you “young folk” </ Old man voice> catch too much crap from crusty old bastards but I am 100% in belief that you will change the world for the better.

I am thankful for the few other people in the world who still send postal mail with thank you letters with interesting and heartfelt stories.

I am thankful I wasn’t too much of a jerk throughout my life or this healing journey would be super lonely. Along with this, I’m thankful I did all of those talks (mostly for free) to all sorts of groups (not just bigshot gigs) as I met so many lovely people who still send me messages despite perhaps barely meeting me in real life.

I’m grateful and thankful I visited my beloved old Volkswagen bus (hot boxed of course… It’s a sauna) and thankful that I documented and organized and stored so many artefacts from my previous life as they colour who I am today. Noteworthy especially is that killer stash of records unearth of late. Also, I have every letter any of you ever wrote to me, organized, sorted and stored.

I’m thankful for having folks and friends scattered all over the world who make my life more diverse, colourful and interesting — you give me sparks and dreams of adventures — virtual and/or meat space.

i’m super wanna be over…

i’m super wanna be over with this disability in general, but especially done with the fucking paperwork that endlessly comes along.

##

PS I really hate it when I say anything about this publicly because I hate being a downer but, it’s truthfully not just the paperwork (of course) that’s just one other thing that piled on top of all the insomnia and muscle spasms and pain and confusion and brain fog.

Now that I’ve been prescription med free for over a year, I have more brain, but also more pain.

And in my somewhat bullshit “journey towards acceptance”, I’m trying not to be so coy and vague and take all this on myself. Truthfully it’s more than I can handle.

Just thanks to you each for listening and still caring about this broke down old dude.

I had a few super great days, the best I’ve had in sometime but then the inevitable crash happens and payback is a fucking bitch.

#Spoonies

Open all the doors (and see reflections)

The Santeria god/ess of doors, windows, pathways & corridors opens destinations & closes pitfalls as needed

Annotations About Dad, Dr. Lorne H. Olson

A wonderful day with Dad, perogies, cabbage rolls and a west end personal history walk.
A wonderful day with Dad, perogies, cabbage rolls and a west end personal history walk.

Here’s to my Dad, Dr. Lorne H. Olson.

Born Winnipeg, 1941, raised Regina with Air Cadet forays to Vancouver, earned Bachelors at BYU “just there for the ladies”, first job in Port Arthur, Ontario YMCA (now part of Thunder Bay), earned Masters and Doctorate degrees at Oregon, then onto professorships at Michigan State and then University British Columbia in 1974.

Was then when we settled on 154th St. in Surrey. It was a dirt road then with plenty of woods around, and I walked with my plaid lunchbox to Harold Bishop elementary where I met people I still know today.

Then, in the 80s he became a real estate “king” of growing Surrey. His humble, noble face on bus boards throughout Newton, Whalley, Guilford.

Only those of us who knew about the accident that almost killed him could notice and trace the scars from 40+ stitches in his face that went out of the windshield and back in.

Some of my brothers and I, by this time lived elsewhere, due to the vagaries of marriage and divorce and moving. Yet, twice a year we would load up on suitably unsafe vehicle to come up to bond and hang out with our dad. It’s not unusual for teenage boys and their dads to not understand each other well, but we tried.

My brothers made him proud by doing the tasks expected of his beliefs, but me, I just kept going and going and wound myself up in messes and circumstances and situations which seem to just confuse him rather than excite him. But I was living – and I was not in Surrey.

Dozens of countries later, sequestered in Olympia, Washington, my extensive life resume lacked a few key letters which were antagonizingly close after four colleges and well over a decade, Dad and dear bonus mom Myrna stepped up and help me finish off my hard won Bachelor of Arts degree in Inter-disciplinary studies. Really, I dream of earning a Master of Fine Arts and a doctorate one day so I can take over his Dr. O license plates (despite the fact that I no longer drive).

We were all caught by surprise, he ate healthy, hadn’t had a alcoholic drink in 60 years or 50 anyway, didn’t smoke, frequently jogged, made kale smoothies with hemp nut, took infrared saunas…

So many good things and then in six weeks of frustration, confusion, occasional tears, misgivings and even arguments, The end came. No fireworks no lights from above no singing angels or earnest disciples from eons past to carry him away.

Just me, at 3:23am noticing the space between breaths had become impossibly long.

The doctor – or rather the home care nurse – told me: I must wait for five minutes and then we must wait for an hour as civilians, before we call the funeral home.

The non-resuscitation agreement, the “die at home” agreement, the funeral home pickup agreement was arranged.

Dad, I moved you from your side “drainage position”, lay you on your back which was now skin bones and a tumour — wiped the brown vile bile toxins from your face and tried to close your mouth.

I called in my dear stepmom Myrna, brothers Dan, James and Andrew — into the room & we stood, quiet. We knew our lives would never be the same.

The service was put together quickly and filled the church to the overflow area. Me and three more brothers spoke, told stories that none of these people understood about this dear old man. His challenges his struggles, his adolescence, the stuff he liked to do when he was just being Lorne. We made an audience laugh but it was mostly for our own good.

Afterwords in a dizzying array of small sandwiches and cookies, I was inundated with faces I hadn’t seen for 30 years and people I’ve never met told how Dad had impacted their lives so much — I could barely stand up or breathe.

Then there was a gravesite. No one seemed in charge, James blessed the grave, we sang a song, the workers lower the box and tidied the dirt and I just held onto my brothers for dear dear life.

I see him every day, and most days I cry, and so many times I want to pick up the phone and say “Dad I’m having a hard time” — i’m grateful for the times we spent together in the months leading up to the terrible news.

He was the healthy one of us then and we rambled through west end neighbourhood to his old houses where he stayed with namesake Uncle Lorne during sunny Vancouver summers at English Bay, (Incidentally Uncle Lorne was the long time maître d’ at the noted venue The Cave and often took the stage to sing with the Ink Spots or Sammy Davis (Sr.) though he used his pseudonym of Lloyd Hamilton instead of Lorne Head so his cufflinks still matched), to the Ukrainian deli where we ate cabbage rolls the size of our forearms. His picture is in the window of the Mapleleaf Deli on Burrard if you’re curious.

He told me before he died he was proud of me — and for being the “Black sheep” — that’s alright for me.

Memories of Dr. O (on his birthday)

In Memory of Dr. O, though they cause me to tear up a wee bit, here are a few recent cherished memories.

Dad pulling us on bike in the Lynden Washington (Whatcom County) parade

1) Me, brother Bob & Dad at Uncle Lorne’s (Dad’s fave Uncle and a former Maitre’d at The Cave) at a cemetery somewhere in Burnaby. This photo captures one of my earliest childhood memories and my first experience with death.

2) The (almost magical) retro Lions jersey, numbered and signed by Willie Fleming (Dad’s fave all time player). He put it on most every time when we came over and never once complained about his ailments. Thanks to Brian W for the huge assist on this.

3) Several months before we learned he was ill, Dad and I did a West End walking tour to track down places he had stayed, lived etc. To our surprise, the house he lived in with Uncle, Aunt and Mom on Barclay Street had not been torn down as he’d heard, but is now the Barclay Bed & Breakfast (not Barclay House). We interrupted the none-to-pleased private event and then lurked around the back for some photos and memories.

Now living in the West End, i see the places of my Dad’s youth, spent at air cadet camp and staying on with Uncle Lorne & Aunt Jan … cooling out at English Bay, going to Lions games at Empire, and learning how to be a man as his Father died when Dad was just 11.

4) Parade pic – either in Lynden Washington with our Bachman cousins or in Sapperton where my Uncle Mark worked at Cap’s and we’d always roll out crazy bikes like belly floppers, penny farthings and so on for parades. Here my Dad is dressed as a French-Canadian Couers du Bois (huge points for uniqueness and nuance). {above}

5) Dad exited this world with me, dear Myrna & other my bada$$ brothers tending to him though he was a wee baby. I was just returning the favour seen in this pic with bro Bob.

My plan to remember Dad today: take a big swim from Dad as he loved to be in the warm ocean or a YMCA pool.

Badge Unlocked!

Badge Unlocked!

… And with that flu shot, I’ve gone over 10,000 needle pokes in one year.

#tougherthanyou