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.

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