Tag Archives: mom

Mom: 3 Years Gone – “Tour de Ashes”

Hi Mom,

Well today is 3 years gone and wow, so much has happened since the worst phone call ever in Auroville.

I won’t get into all the details but do want to catch you up on all the geo-locations (and other memorials) your ashes are distributed… for the time being at least.

Overall, you’ll be happy to know we’ve added a few more stamps to your figurative passport and there are many places scattered around the world where you are especially remembered. 

We’ll start the world tour with the most obvious and familiar locations in Utah: 

First, the Celebration of Life Monument in SLC right by the (fabulous) library. This wall took some doing to make it all happen but worth the work and looks great.      

Your entire full name with all the middle names is engraved on the wall and allll spelled perfectly! 

Continue reading Mom: 3 Years Gone – “Tour de Ashes”

Artifacts: woggles / variety (scouting)

bucket of woggles (now is stewardship of young Lee Olson)

When my brothers and i were wee lads, our beloved Mom was out cub scout leader.

In Canadian (and international) scouting, the leaders of the cub pack are named after characters in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Mom was Akela, Mikki Gladstone was Bagheera, we also had a Baloo and others.

After Mom passed away and the brothers and I were sorting through items, Dan and I assembled a tub of “woggles” which are little sliders designed to hold the kerchief/scarf together around one’s neck.

Of course, there is plenty of creativity available for such a device – many are evidenced in this collection.

Continue reading Artifacts: woggles / variety (scouting)

Creepers and Chums Musician Link o’ Round-up

++ Creepers and Chums Musician Link o’ Round-up ++

Best thanks to the assortment of Global Free Radicals who contributed music via video for Creepers and Chums. This playlist contains all of them with the addition of “pre-roll” and “post-roll” artifacts collected from various place, simply to amuse and surprise without context.

Kindly consider reaching-out/following/fan-ing/liking any of the bands you particularly enjoyed via social channels of your choosing. They are all part of your life narrative too as they participated in this memorial for our departed loved ones. Continue reading Creepers and Chums Musician Link o’ Round-up

Mom’s Foreign Travel Treasures (Happy 75th Birthday)

Oh Mom, there are so many thing to tell you about this last year… the short is: for the first time in a loooong time, i have hope, optimism and a bit of peace.

Last year included a trip to Logan to deal with the rest of your items including the missing Agatha Christie books (still missing), green glass (duly distributed) and various bins of letters, treasures and papers. Long weeks at Anders’ place sorting it all as best as possible. Had hoped to scan, inventory etc everything but gave, as you’d say, “a lick and a promise”.

Assembled boxes for sons, brothers, and Lonnie Gee, Doug and Dan et al to spread memories around the world. Learned so many things about you! Flight attendant job applications, letters from Grandpa and Lorayne, records from your college days (so many colleges), oh made office supply kits for the Grandkids, and loaded up all your stationery/letterhead/letraset/postcards stash for me. And using it all too.

Also (almooooosssstttt) finished dealing with the conundrums with Service Canada (a true bureaucratic nightmare of nonsense) and your headstone should be arriving anyday from India (thans Uncle Bob) – i designed it and am so proud to do so. Also your ashes are well on their way around the world with stops in Pacifica, Logan, North Van, Pe ELL, Olympia, Nusa Ceningan, Sarpsborg and so on. Anders did a great job getting little vials filled up.

Big news: your wedding dress is getting altered and put into service for dear Ryoko (you’d love her) and, i ordered (finally!) my own kilt. Royal Stewart with Cape, formal sporran, Prince Charlie jacket and socks etc. April 20-21 will keep your ashes with me to feel your energy in some weird (totally not macabre way).

No doubt this week is tough every year as the anniversary of Dad’s death/funeral and your birthday all at once. So i write and make documentary art. So much more to tell you but must be careful of my energy and screen time.

So, in doing this all, i did photo-inventory many of your travel treasures. Sharing here to keep your story alive.

Speaking of “your story”, got your blog and Flickr and Ancestry all backed up. Learned a lot about impermanence of the internet. Frustrating as i want to be meticulous but also realize perfection is entirely overrated.

On to the treasures.

Fondly, davey

Continue reading Mom’s Foreign Travel Treasures (Happy 75th Birthday)

Crust of Pumpernickel

Crust of pumpernickel
Reminds me of Mom
Though the reason for this
Escapes my deserted mind

Was it the flood from teenage trips
Across the soon-sprawling suburbs
To a German delicatessen
With rare meats and names too long
For my young tongue?

However, noting
Tongue is available
By t
he pound or
Even an entire kilogram

 

74th Birthday Letter to Mom

Well Mom, it’s your birthday.

Of course, you’re on my mind today, but also every other day. Of course I miss many things about you but mostly just the ability to call and catch you up on my life and have you cheer me along on my challenges and adventures. Your sing- songy voice going “oh son, that sounds fantastic, such fun!” So here’s your update…

Still, I’m trucking away at challenges and having adventures. I get Blue sometimes/often for sure… Missing the “old me” – even though I know its useless thinking and there’s many things about that part of my life that were not sustainable and decisions I could’ve made that would’ve been slightly more sensible – but I miss having energy to get up and  face each day with optimism and enthusiasm. Instead I wake up confused, exhausted, anxious and in pain. However, whenever this happens, I remind myself that I’m off all medications, I’m still out here in the world, making friends and trying to make the lives of strangers a tiny bit better. Just like you taught me.

Continue reading 74th Birthday Letter to Mom

Hi Mom, One Year Gone…

mom-card-close

Nov. 27th 2017 Mountain Time – Nov. 28th 2017 in Galle, Sri Lanka

Hi Mom,

Well, the date came around today. Its a foggy number for me as I was so far elsewhere in the “tomorrow” time zone and also took the brothers a couple of days to track me down to deliver the news so I actually had to look at your obituary to know exactly which date was the day.

The date shouldn’t matter and I maybe should be “unattached” according to the Buddhists or doing the whole “she’s in a better place” crap which frankly I don’t believe in – maybe there is an after-life but we have no proof and only folktales augmented by the spectre of “faith” to go on – so to me, whether there is or isn’t makes no difference (also, who’s to say this isn’t the “after-life”). Oh and to the faith of my relations, I don’t want a whole planet to “manage” if it means I must supervise wars and disease and disasters, anyhow I digress… to me, the only salient aspect of memory I feel and care to share is simply “I miss you”. That’s all. And, I want to, aim to, and am keeping your memory alive in a very tangible way.

You have no marker, your body is still at University of Utah Medical Center, used by a little squadron of medical students and there’s maybe an engraving of your name on some associated memorial wall in SLC somewhere – we ordered it, filled out the form but don’t have evidence of actual existence.

mom-program

Of course, there’s your sons and friends and grandkids still roaming around but your stories will fade if someone doesn’t keep the tradition alive. With this in mind, I post photos of you and about you, on the Internet so folks can click a button of acknowledgement, drop a few words, etc. – but to me, this isn’t all of what’s needed. With your love of genealogy – or rather the research of the stories of ancestors as they are rather than just a list of data points to perform unrequested ceremonies upon – and your interest in findagrave and tending to headstones, I want to put a stone somewhere with your full name, birth place and date and same with death, just for the “Lauralees of the future” who have the same interest as you to dig into the stories of the past.

Continue reading Hi Mom, One Year Gone…

Time Traveller – A poem for Rod Howard Ash (as performed at Creepers and Chums by Mikael and Dave)

Time Traveller, a poem for Rod Howard Ash as performed (in a rather spontaneous manner) with Mikael Lewis at Creepers and Chums.

Inspired by finding a photo that seemed like Rod in another decade past.

++ Time Traveler (for Rod) ++

Cobbled busy streets
Never felt so lonely and brave
So far away from any lover
Even further from your grave

Remember you on blue highways
See you in crowded bars
Feel you at desert campfires
Where we sing you name to stars

Steady on Time Traveler
We’ll see you in a decade past
Same way we saw you in a silent film
Organ playing far too fast

See you in Paris in the twenties
Drinks with Zelda and Fitz
Or in the Cavern in sixty-two
Lounging with Pete Best

Hot water sizzles in kettles
With black and white electricity
We’ll keep an eye on your kin
As though pleasant and obligatory

We’ll bore them with the stories
Of us – young, invincible and fine
Occasionally beautiful and convinced
We’d live to at least hundred and nine

Driving with your laughs
Talking with your hands
Swerving up forgotten backroads
To a reunion with unknown friends

Meet some fine artists at Creepers and Chums

Scant days until we commune together beneath the granite peaks of Little Cottonwood Canyon for the Creepers and Chums tribute wake for Lauralee and Rod Ash.

As such, I am pleasantly happy to introduce you to some of my favourite artists, as well as share some of my recent writings and interesting hats, with you.

May I present a few snapshots with some of these lovely co-conspirators? Pardons for the self-indulgence, i’m more than a wee bit excited and hope/suspect you will find a new favourite artist or 3.

Meet: Matt Layzell, Geoff Petrie, Larry Harper, Trevor Erikson, Nikos Paraskevas, James Zepp, Ronit Bhujel, Marty Kendall and others in this non-annotated gallery of renegades.

Mikael Lewis (aka Butterfield) will “headline” the gig with his blues guitar meets singer-songwriter goodness

Continue reading Meet some fine artists at Creepers and Chums

Personal Archeology of Diligent Creative Endeavours

The things we make in the rapid pace of creativity, often fall judgement to our own perfectionism and subjectivity at the time,… But, one stashed away and preserved, they can become artefacts that show us how we became ourselves. Additionally, by preserving output made by our co-conspirators and collaborators, we can help fill in the gap’s of their stories.

In this case, videos made by my dear pals:

Brandon G Kiggins (Formerly of Utah, now of Brooklyn/NYU) “the environmentalist” (award-winning)

Eiji Masuda #RIP Japan who was my collaborator on the pioneering digital doc Hempen Road (20 years old this year) “Mistaking the shadow” #Experimental

A documentary about the Russian revolution “The beginning of our troubles” made by my Uncle Mark Bannatyne while at USU doing graduate studies

A film by my Mom Lauralee Elliott #RIP with significant assistance from the aforementioned Brandon Kiggins, while at #UVCC “Tattoo”, note: long before everyone had a tattoo :-)

A public TV show which broadcast clips from the previously mentioned Hempen Road on “Master Weed theater”

The one labelled “Giggling Piglet Co-op” features me and the Japanese girl on the island of Guam demonstrating flower sticks and talking about the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia who had recently died on a show called “Buenas”, and might… also contain a similar juggling stick performance from Tottori, Japan which appeared on the nationally broadcast morning show “Zoom in Asa”.

In some cases, these might be the only remaining evidence of these diligent creative endeavors. Eventually they will be digitized and shared an archived so the hours that one into them and the inspiration which comes out of them, can pass on to others.

What do you have in your closet or shoe box which Will surprise and inspire your friends and strangers?