“Digging loads of John Prine recently… he’s a funny as fck and exceptional songwriter / here’s him singing for his hero Gordon Lightfoot. The banter and songs are both top-level” and shared:
and a few minutes later, learned he’d passed from the “this g0dless plague”
so i wrote:
Now ole postman John gonna drink a vodka and ginger-ale, smoke a cigarette 9 miles long, find mom and dad & good ole brother Doug and cousin Jackie…, and momma’s sister cause that’s where the love starts… take this wristwatch off my arm whatcha gonna do with time when ya… bought. the. farm.
and later added a lyric along with our peach tree growing in the backyard while we wait for our lil human to arrive, ergo:
Throw away the paper Move to the country Build yourself at home Eat a lot of peaches Etc.￼
For dear old John Prine with admiration, respect and fondness
Changing topics from Nagasaki to Olympics to… Dad. Well he’s gone 6 years today.
On my mind so much as now i am bound to be a Dad in June.
His last weeks are hard to reflect upon. Not just the heart hurting but all the toll it took just living through the process on someone dying. The physical and emotional strain was well… a lot. Cancer, ugh. Have we not raised enough money, enough research, enough science yet? Learned on Christmas Day, was gone before Valentine’s Day.
Here’s a snap of us January 26, 2014. He looks rough but so positive and strong during the stretch run – He was fun and kind. So much respect. Thanks to all of you who supported us with kind words during that time. (Also, a thumbs-down to those who decided his funeral was a good time to give me grief, you are lame).
Peace to you and your kin. Good health for all. Boo cancer, yeah fun times.
++ My brother James adds:
My brother Dave Olson expresses so many sentiments on the anniversary of my dad’s passing (6 years+1 day) so well that I figured that I would just share what he said and add a thought …
A THOUGHT: As his ever-wise fourth son, it was easy to find “flaws” in my dad, as it was to pick out things he was really great at as a dad and good human. As a dad now, not repeating some of those flaws is actually pretty easy but replicating the great stuff is actually really hard.
I am a way grouchier presence in the house than he was (ask my poor kids!); his optimism pertaining to people and things was most often beyond commendable (he saw good and potential way more clearly than I can); he didn’t always need people to rush, rush, rush (“Hurry up!” seems to be my favourite refrain); and the list goes on.
I take solace in knowing that he evolved into many of those qualities and ways of being and I have some time.
My pals from Hootsuite – which obv was a such a big part of my life and something i never go to “say goodbye” to – made the most remarkably kind dispatch.
The intrepid Cameron Uganec nonchalantly dropped a note that he and Ryan Holmes had a wrangled a little something and sent me this link which features the sweetest words a fellow ever deserves to hear from colleagues > friends > family spread around the world.
This is rather personal to say the least and my first instinct is to keep it this way but i also know that many other people will truly be edified by watching/hearing this outpouring of agape. As such, no holding back.
PS I would do that thing where you tag all appropriate people but lots of “cool kids” aren’t hanging out here and this is a bit too sensitive to the schoolyard fo Twitter and def not Snapchattable so just going to send it out as-is, with all the hugs.
I will however include a reply to the participants who extended such a gracious effort to this drifting poet who is no longer drifting, ergo:
I am so wonderfully filled with all the emotions and so incredibly grateful to each of you for your words and vibes. I explained to Ryoko (who loved seeing all of you and was answering back to your charming Japanese) who each of you are, and how we came into each other’s world, and also how i never go to say “goodbye” … i didn’t want to leave, one day my body/life/world changed and was never able to return – this was *so* hard and as i collapsed and drifted for so long. So many times, just when i needed it most, one of you wonderful beings would appear with a helping hand, a kind word, a check in, a rescue I’ve forgotten a lot of things but not those #realtalk.
Now this wonderful video creates something far better than “closure”, rather helps me open this wonderful new reinvention of life. Truly thrilled and so completely surprised to see face after beautiful face (my goodness you are all so fabulously good looking!) – hearing your sincere words is something i will treasure this week and forever. This goes in the vault and in my heart.
Please accept my fondest thanks for letting me part of your lives and i hope to be a worthy friend until we are all olden and grey. Oh also, was so cool to see everyone spread all over the world on various career (is that what you call them?) and adventures. Of course, please make sure i have current postal address so i can send you random cards and treats and make sure i introduce myself to your kiddos (where applicable).
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.
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.
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: global musicians→