Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 21- finally a post was worth writing

dave lent me his orange tercell and shaun, paul, and robyn took the hour plus drive to victoria. i didn't tell them that i'd never driven in canada before, but we made it alright in kilometers per hour and i brought a video camera. we wandered around the downtown area, it kinda reminded me of a saltwatersmell-deprived san francisco, and through the various expensive little shops and cafes. we chilled in the sun on the large front lawn of the parliament building and played our songs with guitars, harmonicas, and djembe as tourists and families wandered around the grounds behind the viewfinders of their handicams and shutters.

later, as i was pulling the car into a parking space in the downtown area, a lady loudly warned her daughter to be careful of the car full of "fresh driver's licenses." this was absurd because i wasn't doing anything extreme- in fact i was being extra careful in a car i'd never driven inside a country i'd never driven. we were all a little salty over this. before getting out, i decided we were 'independent documentary film makers' and paul agreed to approach this woman to ask if we could ask her a couple questions on tape for a documentary we were working on. she agreed, i turned on the camera, and we asked her what she thought was the biggest problem with society as she knows it. i chuckle even now in reminiscing this completely random move.

she opened up, i think, and through thick glasses and tired wisps of blonde hair, the short women told us about society's lack of acceptance. i silently slipped into a moment that i hadn't really expected to draw me in and did my best to maintain eye contact with her while maintaining a steady camera. society and the ridiculousness of girl's budgets on proms and the contrasting of relationships between businessman and crack-addict bums flowed from her lips. i internally guessed that her own prom had to have been at least 10 years ago and wondered about how much information she relied on from her testimonial, especially the part about how the rich don't understand or seek to understand the plight of the drug addict and poor. little did i know that this very interaction, as obscurely presented as it was, would lead to much bigger things a few hours later..

we split up for lunch and paul and i were on our way back from subway to meet the other two at mcdonalds when we passed a tattered guy sitting with a cardboard sign. he asked for change. i had no change and half-heartedly offered my harmonica and continued to walk. a few steps later, a rush of something i still can't fully comprehend, let alone write down, pulled my feet and i stopped. i turned. the first couple chapters of shane claiborne's book ripped like a darting whitecap of a wave, a wave that was this moment and step and breath and conceiving of full-fledged potential, and i went back.

his name was oliver and i didn't give him any money, but we walked to mcdonalds to get him some food and he asked me if i was a christian. i looked at him, his sunburnt face surrounded two wild green eyes that darted like a parrot fleeing a burning nest, and he continued to surprise me with questions about myself- did i smoke weed? do i want to? do i drink? he ended this with another affirmation that i must be a christian because they would occasionally stop to buy him lunch and never gave him money for weed. i asked him his story. for the past three years he'd been traveling from quebec and had ended up here, apparently, and then he told me about the time he got one hundred dollars from someone and spent it on a wild acid trip. the rest of the conversation was a rush of weed 101 lectures, the exploration of his personal religious beliefs and salvation, and his doctrine concerning the mystical spiritual relationship between Jesus and buddah. we talked heaven and hell and, although he didn't believe that hell would exist for those who never heard the gospel, he gave the camera an intense monologue of other religious opinions. amidst mouthfulls of fries, his own fried mind gained weightless momentum that was only stopped by the dying of my camera's weary battery.

i wasn't sure where we had landed at this point, or if he was even back in this universe yet, so we talked a couple more sentence and i reaffirmed Jesus' love for him and made sure he was good to go with food and then continued on our wanderings.

we have tomorrow off as well and tonight the three of us guys skipped rocks on the ocean back at camp and discussed a documentary we plan to start tomorrow. this post has gone on long enough, and i'm not the kind of person that can talk too much about the future without having to go back to make changes with these projections, so we're going to meet now and figure out some questions to ask people we want to go interact with tomorrow in the big city.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 20

tonight has to be fast, but i've finished the video. i'm happy with it and it seems to be a success. tonight after dinner, shaun and i went to the barn to work out and were met on the way back by a black bear. he was just chillin in the middle of the path. i took a few steps forward and the fella backed up a bit, but we decided to take the beach back to camp in case momma bear was sittin around ahead ready to drop us. i felt like davey crocket.

tomorrow begins my weekend off and the new zealand guys and i and another chick are goin to victoria to see what we can find to do. after a quality jam session just now, we've decided to bring our guitars and harmonicas with so that we might play the songs we've been making if the opportunity presents itself.

also, the head video guy asked if i wanna be responsible for putting together the advanced crew video. this is really good new cause now i have a personal purpose for bringing a camera on any such pre-camp adventures we may have in order to get footage for the video. i'm bringing a cam tomorrow on our trip for sure. this could turn into another documentary perhaps. we'll see. should be good.

Day 19

success. i finally figured out a way to get the mini dv to capture with the audio. it took rigging up some half-broken equipment, but i've been able to start editing the great prank documentary. this is tremendous news and literally made my day.

this week has really flown by quickly as well and as i went off after dinner to read and drink coffee with a rocking chair, i couldn't remember any period in my life where time had gone by so fast while managing to remain so constantly good and whole. tonight after dinner, some of the camp's challenge course rides were opened for the staff so most of us took a ride on the massive vertical-drop swing. the adrenalin rush experience really didn't match the intensity of the overall hight and speed of the ride for some reason, but it was still a fun time.

since 'blue like jazz' has been finished and passed on, i had begun the re-read of 'searching for God knows what', miller's second main, yet not as wildly successful, output. however, this has been temporarily postponed by a book called 'the irresistible revolution' by shane claiborne. both authors share modernish ideologies and adhere to a similar style of the recantation of secularized, christianity-based stereotypes, but, as can be expected, do so in different manners of wordsmithship. claiborne, a perfect example of the worthlessness of judging a person by appearance (just look him up if you're curious why this would be at all relevant), offers adjective-conservative and edgy sentences that still seem to remain as relevant as miller's introspective, train-of-thought guided raconteur. this is simply a matter of alternative vs jazz genres- if music were applicable to books and writing. i'll let you know if any of this changes as the chapters develop.

finally, i appreciate the several contacts of approval i've had over the past few days concerning the contents of this little blog. thank you. hello london and everyone back home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 18

tragedy. the footage from yesterday isn't capturing on the computer via the firewire. i'm not sure how this is going to turn out; i've been working on it for several hours in between things today, but i'm going to be really salty if the lack of audio doesn't get balanced with the footage and then captured to the computer. we'll see.

today began as another work day, but the head photographer asked if i would be his assistant to help with some shots needed for a slideshow/video thing for a future presentation. i left the office for the afternoon and went with to the top of the mountain in the rain and then across the water on the ferry to operate the reflector circle, held under the models' faces, for the lighting of several portrait-style pictures. good times.

its gotten cold and blustery suddenly tonight and we've been too tired to jam, so we raided the kitchen for rice krispie treats and have chilled around the staff lounge and listened to music all night. it's awesome to get new stuff from new zealand and canada and the places in between.

finally, this mountain-top pose picture at the beginning of the post, taken by dave, is going to be used for part of a logo for the camp's summer leadership program. i was told today and, even though its kinda random, its kinda cool that a good thing came out of messing around with our cameras.

there's never really been a dull moment.

Day 17

today started as a work day, but a couple of the guys asked if i wanted to get in on a prank and, seeing how it is my responsibility to make videos of any important action, i left the office to do just that. sounds like a good reason, right? here's how it went down..

one friend, jen, had left her car, a teal caravan, at the ferry lot over the weekend when she went to the mainland to visit her rents. we left camp a few hours before she was to arrive back, bringing with a massive tube of saran rap and several cleverly-worded posters for the decorating of this otherwise bland vehicle.

i brought a full battery, a fresh tape, and the gl2 canon video camera along to 'document the important action' for future video use. this turned out to be an awesome experience in on-the-go, documentary directing that i'll begin to edit tomorrow morning.
after the forty-five minute drive, we found her van-tastic vehicle (that was one of the titled signs we prepared) and rapped the entire thing with heavy duty saran. surprised with our speed, we were forced to wait around the parking lot for an hour until the ship was to arrive.
documentation during this waiting period captured everything from the poster's lame word-plays to passerby's reactions to our van's artwork to our own reenactments of '"move that volkswagon rabbit!"- the car we drove in with, and finished with mocumentary, over-the-shoulder and blank-stare interviews among ourselves, the five villains. finally the vessel docked and we hid- i jumped into the bushes, of course, to get the reaction shots, while the others scattered around the parking lot. we waited. i'm going to stop explaining here because i'm not going to be able to do justice for the moments that followed.

i can't wait to go to my office in the morning to edit and produce this.

a couple guys that i hadn't gotten much time to chill yet went down to the dock after dinner and jumped in for a quick swim. freezing-cold water.
and apparently, there are several poetry-interested people here and they got excited by my idea to have some sort of weekly original poetry reading, complete with low lights and djembe accompaniment. we'll see how that goes.

also, tonight after group bible-study and swiping some left-over cookies from the kitchen, the two new zealand dudes and i went for another jam session. each experience has been jelling better and better and we're gettin some creative, malleable stuff, which is exciting for all of us. it'll be interesting to see where we might be able to take this..

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 16

i finished blue like jazz last night. i couldn't really sleep so i sat out in the hall and finished the last chapter as 2 am rolled around. the ideas and philosophies of this book were like a strong breeze that summoned deeply settled soul-waters to the surface of perception. a few days ago, tim, who's also reading the book, and i were talking about traveling and today in the office amidst editing and listening to various itunesU podcasts, i've considered the validity of this past conversation.

our eventual conclusion was that traveling, especially when used as an identity or intensified purpose for younger persons as ourselves, can be really overrated. seriously. not bad or really negative, but overall overrated. most of us here are an international generation of pilgrims, as it were, enjoy this blowing in the wind, yet i can't imagine why this is. there's a podcast lecture from seattle pacific university that i listened to after lunch and the speaker was talking about christian community and most of his points paralleled well with one of miller's last chapters on the same subject. i wonder where this horizon-staring style of life will lead us, especially in regards to the evolution of community and truly understanding when we've found what we've been looking for. the big picture of dimming international economies seem like quite an unfortunate harmony to the free sound of perception and exploration for the future.

on the other hand, the bit of purposed traveling i've experienced and especially the short amount of time i've had here on the island has opened my eyes to the importance of what you are and what you do rather than who you try to think or show yourself as. the ocean has been a positive influence in this, a natural analogy of its creator as a tangible mirror for a nameless-boundary less and expansive surface that entails uncontrollable power and detail and balance and life.

before getting to the miller chapter that surprisingly deepened my own splashing conception of the acceptance of love, i sat on the pier and considered the difficulty of the struggle to 'be' in certain situations, regardless of how good they've become, because there's an unsettling that exists beneath torpid skin. i've been considering the relevance and roles of the flashing of seemingly good and achievement-oriented opportunities in life and the purpose of their strong twinkle and then sometimes sudden, uncaptured fade. this furthered my understanding that what happens to you is not everything, because if opportunities arrive that allow you to move and to travel then how much better off are you if you hadn't heard of it or felt its energy or if you had just continued to build upon the same life as before, especially if only to bring you to the same conclusion that these modes and purposes of transportation can sometimes really be overrated if heavily relied upon as an ambiguous escape.

i can hear the waters continue to kiss the mountain's feet in the blue and still midnight. i'm finding a place in all this.

i could stand on top of this mountain
and not be free from sin

i could jump into the ocean
and not be clean of it

i could wait for you forever,
as tired as i was
until my eyes were opened
and i could finally accept your

nobody heard my calling
and though i barely heard myself

you came to rescue me
right before i fell

i could wait for you forever
as tired as i was
until my eyes were opened
and i could finally accept your

i don't understand desire
if only to fool this soul

who keeps the vindication
that every breath must know

i could wait for your forever
as tired as i was
of feeling dry until i remembered
to fall into your flood

i could wait for you forever
as tired as i was
until my eyes were opened
and i could finally accept your

Day 15

today was my day off and i slept until 1:15 in the afternoon. with sleep out of the way, i'll be good to go for however long i'm up for tonight and for the beginning of another work week tomorrow morning. after awakening and having one jam session with some peep and doin some good work in 'blue like jazz', i went for a short run to the fitness barn and lifted for a while before running back in time to shower and have dinner.

i found satisfying and incredible clarity and calmness as some of us drank hot tea and leaned against the rail overlooking the trees and water- the kind that comes after running and lifting and showering and eating meat and chillin. after dinner, the whole camp headed into town to dairy queen, but instead of going on the bus some of us took the orange tercell with the excuse we would be going to wal mart afterwards.

in wal mart, we managed to play hide and seek and accomplish some successful isle-sliding before splitting up again and hiding around. on the way back to camp, i took my empty mcdonald's iced coffee cup and, under the inspiration of dave, taped it to the top of his little orange car. the ride home was filled with hilarious expressions of other passengers at stoplights and such who desperately tried to gesture to our attention the presence of that little plastic cup that still managed to stay solid on the roof as we were driving down the road. it was silly, but it was a ton of fun.

then tonight, the two new zealanders shaun and paul and i went up for a jam session and ended up with some quality material and beats and sounds and ideas. i've been listening to our recording over and over since. this will be built upon and expanded over the summer. i've made prospective plans for next week to go to a music store where one of the staff chick's brother works so i might get a discount on harmonicas and one other potential purchase for the addition of our little band.

last side note, i've discovered this amazing international community offers access and shows availability from chill, usually art, outdoor, music, writer, or photographic-oriented student or teacher denizen who have an extra place to stay for pre-arranged, overnight travelers. the profiles also show levels of availability that range from offering a couch for the night to the willingness to meet prospective guests over coffee just to discuss common areas of interest and such. i have a three day weekend sat-sun-mon next week so me and a couple people might try this out sometime during that time.

i've still not made it out to the dock to spend the night. i want to quite badly but by the time we're done jammin or listening to music or chillin around, it's just too late for it to be worth it. like right now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 14

two weeks. found out i had to work today and kinda struggled to focus inside the dusty office while working on more video intros and such. this insideness could become a serious problem, but i've been finding some interesting new bands to listen to during the work day and that helps. after dinner tim and i walked down to crofton and i plotted the course to the little food store on my gps.

the deer here are really awesome and behave more like cows than skiddish and fearful creatures. i happened to see more than usual today for whatever reason. must be something about the island. i also heard don miller's voice for the first time on a podcast and it was one of those moments where the little narrator in my head died to this exposure.. i made some good progress on 'blue like jazz' tonight on the pier after getting back to the camp.

i don't have much to say today, really, so i'll end this here. tomorrow might be a roadtrip. we'll see.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 13

this week has gone by fast, both for myself and the other staff it seems. i've been continuing to collect and edit several activity videos in preparation for this summer's use. for the first time, however, i have grown slightly discouraged with the matter of my office.

it is one of the farther ones from the main area and is at the foot of a mountain, which is nice and good, but it is also built inside a large, white tent where all the summer rallies and such will be held, meaning there's really no fresh air to supplement the dormant scent of new wood or no way to coax anymore light through the single window of my loft.

after dinner tim and i climbed this mountain next to the office. we sat upon the peak and constructed a small rock alter at the toppermost of the poppermost and observed the distant mainland mountains and talked about camp and life and such. this was suddenly interrupted by subtle, yet defined and consistent, twig-snapping and leaf-crunching in the lower area where we had come up. the padded steps grew steady and we crouched down to see if we could spot whatever was moving slowly closer.

the sun was starting to fall behind the tree line under our peak's perch and a cool dusk rose from the water below. i imagined a cougar pouncing from the shadows and onto my back or suddenly latching to the side of my neck as we looked down into the darkening forest. we began our decent that would inevitably lead us past the source of the prowling. before getting too far we both paused and counted to three and then shouted. i blew some shrill notes in my harmonica for good measure. then we sprinted down the rest of mountain, stopping only a few short times to observe fresh paw prints in moist earth as (imaginary?) cougars stared with yellow eyes from every windblown bush below and creaking limb above.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 11

it was bound to happen, and now the dates are getting screwed up on the blog because i usually write after midnight. i'm writing this is for wednesday (and actually yesterday was written for tuesday, and the day before that for monday. oh well). most of wednesday was spent in the office brainstorming and working on side projects and such. more staff have been coming in as well from brazil, australia, and new zealand which is interesting and exciting. i was still tired today from yesterday's roadtrip and had planned on spending the night on the pier in my solo tent, but laid down to rest in my room for a little at 8:30. exactly twelve hours later i woke up, still in jeans and a hoodie.

check out the picture at the bottom of the page. i like it. it's me!

Day 12

it's hard to believe that this has only been the twelfth day of this summer in this new place. so much has happened- new friends, awesome adventures, hard work, and seeing God work through only one short family camp are only a few of the things i can think of at the moment.

today two new zealand guys, shaun and paul, arrived to join staff and tonight we all went into town to go to the super wal-mart, the only 'super centre' in western canada apparently. after the store and climbing some mountainous hills to watch the sun set, we went and jammed with guitars, harmonica, piano, and jimbay. very good. i missed sleeping out on the dock again tonight because i don't feel like walking all the way down there after midnight to pitch a tent in water-surrounded darkness, but it'll happen soon enough.

i've finished another small video today. there's more to do tomorrow and i'm really looking forward to the summer now because, even though it will turn into week after week of almost non-stop action and work, the ability to apply and thrive in the big picture will really have been dependent on this time to settle, prepare, and commune. this has been the twelfth day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 10

we were sitting around the rec office late last night when dave confirmed his full gas tank to our group's undecided journey. tim and i figured out the cost of splitting surf rental fees and jen made some calls to find the best surf shops in tofino. as we chilled after our day of work, we talked bout going to a nearby beach for either the night or early in the morning, but one thing led to another and ideas bounced around the room until we decided to leave at 5:30 am the next morning to make the 3 plus hour drive to surf. to prepare for our journey and to continue to fuel the excitement that had previously been conceived through earlier considerations of a spur-of-the-moment mountain camping trips and such, we watched 'into the wild.' morning came and thus began the great day-off surf trip.

five of us packed into dave's orange, two-door toyota tercell. our backpacks barely fit in the trunk and our knees were sacrificed to the already tight confines of the economy car, but we were all pumped to be heading through the woodland highway for the adventure that laid ahead. such experiences included stopping to take pictures of wild, rocky rapids and small rock-climbing excursions and pocket change coffee stops at tired looking gas stations. at one point, we pulled to the shoulder to get out of the car and i headed towards a black bear to get a quick picture of the two of us and then we all piled back in. no injuries. picture to come.

the coastal city destination invited us with a restaurant sign for $2 tacos. our group readily agreed to this but we ended up settling for breakfast at a waterfront place because tacos aren't served in the morning. shame. then we rented wet suits and added surfboards to the top of our already overloaded vehicle.

misty grey skies and temperatures somewhere in the american 60's greeted us at the mountain-bordered beach. six foot waves crashed rhythmically and powerfully to bring icy waters to our ankles. we stayed at the beach and surfed for several hours. i had a really good 3 seconds at one point on the board.

on the ride home, music and conversations were interrupted several times by three more black bear sightings and a couple stops to take pictures at more beaches and mountains and at a giant troll-dwarf thing. so much more happened but it's well past midnight and there are things we'll be doing around camp tomorrow morning. good day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 9

family camp ended and people have gone home with their copies of the weekend dvd. there were a ton of positive events that took place in the lives of the people, but it would take a very long time to write it out right now. still its a good feeling.

tonight some of us were stopped by a flat tire on our drive to see the new narnia movie. in turn, we watched 'into the wild' on my computer in the rec office and planned a surf trip to the west coast for tomorrow's day off amidst other deep conversation. talks with people like this make this place feel like a new home.

we've decided leave for the island's west coast in about 4 hrs so i probably won't sleep much tonight. however i'm am pumped beyond words and hope to have some good stories and pictures from tomorrow barring anymore unforeseen flat tires and such.

i've never been so alive.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 8

children ran around again today and we shot more video. that's about it in so many words. there were some quality things that came from it though.

right now, beatles are loud and i'm taking a break from editing today's sunday highlights video as i wait for the last tape to capture. this new mac book pro is doing really well and to be honest the shooting and editing flow is going better than i expected. its only the third day of doing video work and everything feels good and is definitely fun.

tonight there was a talent show for family camp. mostly it was kids who danced or shyly whispered phrases of a song into a choked microphone. one of my roommates who plays electric and the head of the music/video department agreed to throw something together for a closing act. he was on acoustic, the roommate on electric, and i had a keyboard and harmonicas on the neck for a stand of impromptu 12 bar blues for everyone. after that, we broke into piano man. people said they really enjoyed it and were thankful, but really i'm thankful for the chance to play music with people again. it was a blast. now, it's the beginning of a hard days night as me and the other video guys will be up late as i finish editing and then we burn, label, and package our weekend's production so that they'll be ready at noon for the end of family camp. here we go.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 7

the sun was out for the entire day for the first time in a while. the temperature hit 27ยบ today. i'm getting used to this celsius business. sort of.

there's a ton of action on the first full day of family camp. i've realized that i like doing video, however, because i get to see and be a part of almost everything without having to be stuck in one particular area with only one particular job to do in that one spot. most people show affinity to camera persons too which makes an even better job to have.

its only been a couple days of doing video work exclusively but this is probably the most i've ever liked any job i've had. this kind of feels like a big accomplishment in regard to the way i usually seem to judge the standards of life.

i'm so tired.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 6

it has begun. the three of us spent today getting ready for the mass of families and doing other random computer work. the campers are here now and we just got done shooting most of what we could before the darkness took over. it's really exciting to have a camera when people are reacting well.

one of the video guys is editing tonight's stuff, the other guy is editing tomorrow's material, and i'm editing sunday's shots. good workflow. i only had the small handicam tonight so i kept my slr camera bag on me just so that things seemed a little more official and not so much like a 'disneyland vacation' production. it worked well and i got to do some still shots too.

in the mid 1800's, thoreau once said that "men have become tools of their tools" and after spending almost all day working on computer and equipment issues around the office i can only wonder what form of truth revealed to him the nature of the incomparable future's validity of these words.

something is going wrong in the office with the cameras right now. i'm gonna check it out. this is where things get busy and run late. here we go.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 5

the mountain trip didn't happen today. tim was scheduled to kitchen duty and i got lost from early morning til right before dinner in books and music. i found a keyboard today too. nobody is really around up there and i just now got back again from the empty room of dark echoes.

since today was a day off, i went to my spot on the pier for a few hours with some books and made it to chapter eight in blue like jazz. i had bought a survival book the night before i left illinois. i regarded it as the best choice from the barnes and noble's offerings because of the seemingly quality range and validity of material that appeared as i flipped through the choices. after reading through most of it today, however, i've found that much of it is an outline of obvious information that's supplemented with solemn reminders that if such-and-such happens, you most likely die very soon. i put 'survive anything' down and fell asleep for a little at the top of this rocking pier and woke up to the consideration of thoreau's walden pond experience. this inspired me to work on some pre-conceived poetry such as the material seen under the blog site's title.

tonight after dinner we went into town and had some sort of bonding scavenger hunt where teams were made to use bananas to measure widths of outlined locations throughout a little shopping district. random stuff like that. kinda fun. sort of. the starbucks told me and another guy with our cameras that we could not take any pictures in the shop. corporations...

the first formal, yet not full-scale, camp begins tomorrow. family camp weekend. i won't have any kids to teach, but we'll begin video production mode. should be good.

also, i don't recommend the card game "killer bunnies." you don't even want to know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 4

i could feel the humid, deep, salty air growing cooler tonight as i sat atop the bobbing blob perch at the end of the long pier. the wholeness of oxygen made me want to open my chest somehow and breath with entire concentration. a faint fishy smell reminded me of sea world and i began re-reading don miller's 'blue like jazz' with a great zeal that had previously been strangely difficult to conjure. the soft glowing skies were matched with perfectly still waters. somewhere behind and out of sight, a trickling creek fell to the beach in a whispering crystal orchestra. an unspeakable load fell from my shoulders in the surreal stillness after considering that i as an individual, not humanity or corporations or society, was the cause of most of the problems i think i have. as miller's pages turned and the grey waters were punctuated with the heads of sea otters, the consistent tranquility was broken by a sound that made my very chest pull into itself. across the waters i heard a rolling

and i stared until i saw three orca whales emerge, spray, and then sink along the distant surface. they continued spraying and moving across the horizon and each exhale reached my ears just before the trio dipped beneath the glassy silver once again. i put the book down and began to play simple melodies on my pocket harmonica with a deep appreciation of the significance that beautiful simplicity can bring to a moment.

before all this, earlier today, i started my job training. i'm gonna be teaching and helping kids to shoot and edit their own mini videos of their week at camp while also working in the flow with the other two video guys to produce each week's documentary-ish recollection for the kids to take home of their camp experience. nick and ryan have just graduated from vancouver film school and are really passionate about their visual arts. i'll probably learn a great deal from them. most of the rest of my afternoon was spent watching past summer's productions and getting familiar with the cameras and computers. both went a long way in providing vision to the previously seemingly heavy duty.

there's also a couple of school groups that are renting the property for the likes of day trips and weekend retreats and, although they are almost completely on their own, we still wash their dishes and such. tonight's dinner was a totally organic creation of rice and pumice and other things that rabbits and hippies like to eat. it was quality, however.

finally, nalgene bottles cause cancer apparently. at least canada thinks so. i guess all the granolas will be faced with a huge decision- kill the environment with disposable, plastic bottles or kill themselves with toxic, environment-friendly containers. now would be a good time for someone to step up and make a new, organic water-bottle. just a thought.

tomorrow i will pack my canned salmon salad and trail mix granola bars and will climb the mountain. the forecast shows the brightest weather yet so tomorrow should be good.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 3

i used my red northface raincoat for the first time today. as indecisive and changing as the weather seems to be around here, i noticed how strange it was that the same overcast skies and lazy intermittent drizzle were consistent from the morning until the still-hidden sun faded behind still-grey clouds. then darkness.

today was a good day off. i slept in until lunch and caught a ride down the winding road to crofton where a guy named chris and i got coffee at a tiny shop near the water. the walk back confirmed a strong and growing attraction to the forestry and air of this place. after getting back, i wandered around and took pictures along the grey water and pier and misty forest. a new zealander named tim and i have planned to climb the mountain on thursday and we just got back from wal mart after buying some crackers and canned fish for the hike. i'm looking forward to it. i had a bacon cheeseburger at the mcdonalds inside the store also. three times. payed with a dollar-fifty american currency. three times. to the same girl who couldn't stop smiling about each purchase. three times. i was hungry.

i've developed a routine of listening to the beatles at night when i'm on the computer. right now. this is by no means a new trend, but over the past couple days i've heard more people singing, whistling, and playing beatles' songs than ever before in my life and it's been good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 2

this is my first whole day at camp qwanoes in crofton on vancouver island. the morning started at 8:30 with shower and breakfast and then i was scheduled for work around the camp. me and a few other new summer staff, two from canada and one from new zealand, worked all day cleaning some cabins and a rudimentary camper bathroom block and painting. i got to chop wood at the end of it all too- man-work you know- and the kind that leaves you sweating through a red flannel shirt and smelling like woodchips when you walk out from the thick and perfect pacific northwest forest. i could live here forever. the people are cool and either everyone's brand new and learning the ropes or they've been here so many years that they automatically make everything make sense. most everyone is canadian, australian, new zealand, or brazilian and is somewhere between 18 and 25 years old. even though its been one day, i sense a solid community.

tonight, after work and dinner, about 16 people, mostly canadian guys, went out to play floor hockey at a gym in the town. i was the only american, still, and had never really played before but it was good. and intense. my team won and i had two goals which was really fulfilling and surprising. and intense.

each staff member is a part of a grand schedule that includes either a work day, some sort of training, or a complete day-off. i had to work today and have the day off tomorrow, so i'm thinking about hiking up this maple mountain that's next to camp. there's a small town about 15 minutes away that has a wal-mart and i've already been there once with people from camp so there's other areas to explore. adventure, exploration, and communing are three of the big goals for the next month since all of us just work and chill together and prepare for our staff jobs for the summer camps that start in june and continue, nonstop, until the end of august. i'll be taking some more pics too soon, but i'm going to the campfire or bed or somewhere now, but i wrote something a couple weeks ago and its been on my mind all day- a thought that's finally being realized in a way that's many more times relevant than the moment i was inspired to write it out..

[to be free]

"bring to the shore the power of the ocean to forgive this mind of a selfish life
stand below the shadow of a mountain to be made small apart from my spiraling stride
bind these eyes with the silky stillness that only the stars of midnight give
shine through the wild with the deepest silence that man himself barely lets live

show me the beauty that's been rapped in a lie
let unravel her mystery, breathing warmth from the sky
lift up my vision higher than your blind society
give me the life, to be free, that few longer believe"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 1

i've left the midwest and all the people I know for the second consecutive summer. rockford drifted out of the rear-view mirror at 5 am on a rainy sunday morning and chicago left the ground a few hours after daylight had arrived. customs miraculously took a mere 10 minutes total and the day's entire travels were very smooth. chicago-seattle-vancouver, then a 2 hour ferry-ride across the georgia strait and another 45 minute truck ride through small towns along the waterfront made for a long day, but the stillness, the thick forests, the mountains, the water, and the fresh, deep air is here and mine for the next few months. i got here in time to have some left over pizza, check out my office where the video editing work will go down, and then crash in the dorm i share with 3 other canadian guys who work here now too. i'm the only american so far and got called foreigner, but the people are chill and cool and the camp looks solid so i'm more than happy to take it from here.