It was Grand!

IMG_4462Dear ones,

Well, I did it! I got myself a job at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario. For their production of ‘Silence’ (a world premier! written by Trina Davies, Jan.19-Feb.3, 2018), I set up my ‘this is a post office’ installation inside the balcony lounge. The play tells the story of Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell’s relationship – first person from Mabel’s perspective. Mabel herself was deaf, and so the layers of story we were exposed to in this production (directed by Peter Hinton), including human invention, communication, and connection, involved a sensory component, making ‘Silence’ something you experienced. Many of the letters written between characters in this story (spanning the years 1876-1922) are highlighted in the play, and so through the ‘this is a post office’ display, we enabled the audience to participate in part of the communication they were seeing on stage.

For 17 performances, I offered postcards (pictured below), pens, clip boards, inspiration when needed, and a mailbox. Audience members wrote messages to whomever’s address they knew, or could look up. The Grand Theatre provided the postcards, and all of the postage for this project. I told patrons, ‘It’ll all make sense after you see the first act…I’ll be here at intermission if you want to come find me.’ And come find me they did.

365 postcards were written and mailed throughout the run of the show. Postcards will arrive in 12 different countries, and 120 Canadian cities, in 8 provinces, 17 American states, and in 6 languages (7 if you include drawing as language, which I do!).

Only but a single-handed few didn’t mention the Grand, or recall a memory of being at the theatre together, or insert a beaming adjective of ‘Silence’ and it’s production, or write of love, or give their own interpretation of ‘Silence’ and what they would take away from it, or recommended this play and the story of Mabel and Alex, as a beacon. A heartening few took note of their own shifting perspective on disability, hearing, deafness, correspondence, penmanship, and the ways in which we communicate with one another.

My overall take away from this experience, is one of community, and accomplishment, creativity, and profound hope. From that first email back from the Grand asking for more information, to the way they supported and added such intentional details to the installation itself, to what I learned listening to ‘Silence’ night after night, to the people I found there…and then for me to show up every night, as myself, to do the work I feel called to do – it was all so Grand!!

I am excited for everyone receiving their postcards (messages of ‘thanks’ have already started coming in!). The implications of this project are far reaching and lasting, both for the participants, and for me too, on a personal level – there are legs growing on this little idea of mine, and I can’t tell you what that feels like. There is a glimmer of truth coming from that old adage, that if you work to follow your heart, the universe will conspire to help you.

I know this is a long letter, but I didn’t have the time to write you a short one. I hope I didn’t bore you. And I hope you will either write me back, or come find me the next time I set up shop, to continue this work I am being called to do.

Until then, much love,

Smudge

 

 

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In Transit: Route 15/21 (Westmount/Huron Heights)

In Transit

Route: 15/21 Westmount/Huron Heights

Time: 6:02pm

Starting Point: Dundas & Richmond

Song: Everlasting Light by The Black Keys

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Aug.21

Today is the solar eclipse. I have my homemade shoebox viewer packed in my bag. I carried it around all day today, periodically checking the state of things. Today I am full of the energy of the sun and the moon, the same energy that runs through me. I am ready for change, it is already upon me. I am here, on this bus, doing this again. Keeping going. Trying again. I read over the past trips and want to try something different. To write slower and with more purpose. What do I want to write. What do I want to say. I took this bus because it gets me as far away, as a city bus can get me, from where I started. It gives me the greatest sense of travel I can get. The greatest sense of being, going somewhere else. (A child just switched spots with me so I could have my most comfortable seat in the very back. To be fair I didn’t take it from the child. She vacated it and I asked if she didn’t mind if I went and sat there). I want to ask the bus driver’s name. For personal records. These guys are letting me do my work, they are driving the bus that is taking me places, and I am thankful to them. I also took this bus because it goes to passes through Wortley Village. There is energy there I want to be in touch with today. Do you have dreams? Do you have dreams that you’re not sure can become real? Dreams that nevertheless

keep telling you to hang on, to keep believing? Do you have those dreams? I do. I have dreams. I have dreams. Where I can see my life. I have dreams that include me. Personal dreams. Intimate dreams. I have dreams. It is no coincidence these pages are called In Transit. That is where I am, in my life. In transit. These dreams are not like ones I’ve had before. My role in these dreams is different than it’s ever been before. My dreams are ‘in transit’, from in my head, to right before me. Dreams are making their way int onto my to-do list in my day planner. One item. A lone item will appear. And that item has never been there before. Even when I imagined that thing…and then there it is. In ink. On the page. In my handwriting. In transit. Some of my dreams even have faces and names. These dreams aren’t abstract. These dreams have needs, they demand attention and work. These dreams. I can call them by name. …but not to you. Sorry. They are precious still. They need time. I am in transit. I don’t even know where we are right now, exactly. We’re somewhere. …Huron Rd. There. Here. There. In between. In transit. From there to here. From there to here to there. In transit. Where are you going? Where are you coming from? Where are you right now? What are your dreams? This subdivision…this area. I think it’s where Aunt Joanne & Uncle Len, Aunt Dolores & Uncle Fred, and Great Uncle Lloyd live. …I think I recognize it. The style of homes. The feeling of the city. What do I

want to say. What do I want to write. What do you want to read? Bubble gum. Balloons. Battlestar galactica. Encyclopedia britannica. Eclipse. Enshrine. Devise. Divine. Snail. Mail. Market place. Werthers! Yes I have Werther’s in my purse. I bought them for the trip. Travel candy. You know, something to suck on. Yum. Delicious. The silicon bubble wrap sent straight to Sunshine Studios was toxic. Ha. I’m just writing words now. Is this how stories begin, by writing whatever comes? Like how a nude torso, a mystical bird, or a distorted face come from what begins as a doodle. My worst fear is that you will find me boring, typical, disposable. What I write, who I am. My worst fear is that I will find my own life as boring, typical, disposable. Who I am, and what I do. Stay strong my friend. Stay true. It can never happen. You are too beautiful. You are too gifted. You are too unique. You are too bright. I have to fill pages upon pages, day after day, with thoughts like these. If only to believe them. You are beautiful. You are magical. You are deserving. To believe them, and to act accordingly. I like that phrase. Act accordingly. This guy is a real fuck head. A real energy sucker sitting beside me. Fuck. I just want to write… There is my studio! Good Sport! We’re heading to Wortley now. …I am happy at Good Sport. I feel supported. I feel part of the community. I feel capable and responsible. I am full of the energy of the sun and the moon and all the universe. I am one with you. I am one with all. Turtle.

and Tree. Water. Wind. Sky. Earth. Bird. Hawk. Eagle. Raven. Mountain Lion. I’m so glad I’ve decided not to waste any more time. I have used today. To get ahead. To ask for what I want. To take action. I’m on this bus ain’t I? This bus and other things too. Every day there are things to do. Inside, and outside too. Naps. Naps have been making a stronger appear presence on my list of needs. Naps. I’m doing some pretty tough emotional work these days, naps are necessary. Ha. No joking. Physical needs are coming of this emotional work. My body, like my mind and soul, is demanding better. Quality. Not more, but better. Better. Quality. This bus ride. I haven’t told you too much of the changing landscape in the seats, or out the window. …When I take my time, when writing, I dream in between the lines, and forget about the details. I’m the only one on the bus now. It’s just me and the driver. I’ll yell at him and ask his name if I get the chance. Life is in the details. No time. Here they come again. People. Welcome, on the bus. I think I have one page left in this journey. It’s 7:30pm. My goodness. That was the quickest 87 minutes! Time flew. And now we’re already here. We’re already here. You and I. Here we are. We got here. My goodness. These dreams. They are coming into my life. They are coming into my life. Bit by bit. Where are you? Where are you in this dream? I’m going to keep going. I’m going to write faster. I’m going to notice the details. And dream big. I’m going to keep

doing the work. I’m going to keep dreaming those dreams. I’m going to go back and remember who I am. I will remember what I want, what I’ve always wanted. I am not the girl I once was, and you are not the boy I once knew. I am going to keep going. I’m going to keep riding these buses. I’m going to keep thinking about you. I’m going. To keep reading, and writing, and drawing. And dreaming. I’m going to keep feeling and creating and asking for what I want. Will you kiss me? Asking for what I want. May I please live in a loving home? Asking for what I want. Can you please communicate with me in a way I understand? In a way I understand. Can you teach me success consciousness? May I please enter into partnership? Asking for what I want. Can you give me water and trees? Can you give me community? I ask for all of these things. I will give all that I am in return. I will do the work required to keep and maintain and honour these things. These dreams. 7:53pm. We’re almost there. This trip is almost over. Thank you. Thank YOU. Thank you bus driver, passengers. The sun, the moon and all the universe. I love you. You are beautiful. 7:56pm

 

 

*Author’s notes:

  • A touch of editing was done to both spelling and grammar (ie capitalizing the beginning of sentences), during the typing process. Did you even notice?
  • The bus driver’s name was Robert.

In Transit: Route 16 (Adelaide)

 

In Transit

Bus Route 16: Adelaide (Northbound)

Time: 8:24pm

Starting Location: Adelaide at Dundas

Song: Ohio – Neil Young

Bus Rt.16 Pic4

Bus Rt.16

Aug. 8

This is it. I’m on this damn bus. I did it. I’m doing it. I can do this. this is happening. I am happening. it’s all happening. life. you know. you know. Going up Adelaide. just passed Ryan Machan sitting on his front porch. I looked up just in time. I know that house. I’ve been there before. Oxford. the bus just filled up. The bus driver didn’t understand. he gave me a bit of a hard time. he doesn’t understand. this is a good thing. nothing but good can come of this. a woman going after her dreams. documenting her life. nothing but good. that’s what this is. I’m on the bus. the guys sitting in front of me keep looking over, looking at my page. I catch them. that’s ok. look away. no. I mean don’t look away. I want you to see what is happening too. I want you to know you are witnessing art in the process. it’s all around you. even on the bus, going home at the end of your day. this is a longer bus ride I think. I can cool it on the writing. 2 hours is a long time to write, six pages is a lot of words to read. I get it. I know. I’m right here. I know. this is the first trip people are looking at me and smiling. another passenger just did it before he got off. the look back smile. hi there. hi. ha. 8:37pm. I’m pretty proud of myself for writing this legibly on the

back of a moving bus. you get it. do you understand the creative energy. the force of creation. do you understand the way the world works. respect. I have to take some pics before the sun goes down…my battery is low. this trip is very impromptu. meaning, I know I wanted to do this do all day today, but when I looked at the time, once all those day things got done, I had 10 minutes to catch the bus. a child just got on the bus. 4, maybe. he’s sitting by himself beside me…his mother is two seats up — a little independence — Ah! ha. good. I like the energy of children. they don’t give a shit. and neither do I. we’re just doing our thing. I am not a child. I am not a child. they are other than me. they are other than me. there may be many children coming into my life. many and just one. I hope so. we’re sitting at Masonville Mall. it’s been a few minutes now. 8:48pm. I wonder if the wr rhythm of my writing changes when we begin to move. oh fuck. ha. just turned the bus off. what. not sure what is happening. it’s running again. anywho. sing it Neil. Tin soldiers. this summer I hear the drum. this summer I hear the drum. please let me keep writing. let me always remember the page is where I can come to feel safe. I will never betray myself here. I will never betray myself here. here we go again. the bus is moving. the child is back with his mother. attachment is strong. this is what I’m looking at. this is what I look like. are the words confusing. If I don’t keep my head down and writing the words get away from me. the more

Bus Rt.16 Pic2

you do, the easier it is to do. the bus is filling back up. Wendy’s take out. french fries. I am on this bus. I am sitting in the back. pen in hand. book out. writing. a weird sight to be sure these days. I never wanted to be like everyone else. though. I know I am not the only one doing this th exact thing, in the world. someone, many others, are out there. I hope to be around more of them someday. someplace else. on another bus, or train, or tram, in someother city, country, land. I hope so. I call that into my life right now. In Transit. take me places. so I don’t feel so stuck. when I do feel stuck. take me places. the sky is a dark electric blue now. the light is dimming. I am on this bus. I am doing it. right now. my life is happening right now. this is how I choose to spend it. I chose to get on this bus on this Tuesday night. there is no need. there is no one asking me to. I choose. and I can stay right here, in this seat, writing, until I get back off right where I got on. a changed woman. more powerful. each time I do this. everyone that heard me talking to the bus driver is off the bus, we’re back to being ignored. ha. so be it. Adelaide & Grosvenor (Southbound). What is the point of anything, if not what we do with it. I look at signs along the road. words, font, type. it gets me. I get it. weirdo. so be it. this bus ride is enjoyable. and we’re back to Dundas & Adelaide, opposite side of the street now, Southbound. Starting the latter loop on this journey. and the bus empties, and fills back

up with…only 8 of us now. this will be a quieter loop I imagine. but really, I have no idea, and I don’t care. it doesn’t affect me, only something to be perceived. I am loopy. it has been a long day. but you did good. skunk. you did good today. got some work done. creative work. went to the park. packed a picnic, put a blanket and all my books in my bag. spent the afternoon. and now I’m writing again. if I write everyday, all day, with my surroundings changing throughout, I’d be happy. I am happy. this is my work. this is what makes me happy. this is where I feel at peace. even when it’s hard. even when the words are hard (I write hard words to write sometimes). I know they can’t betray me here. I know what is just practice, what is truth, what to forget, what too is faith and desire. I know what I want. I know what I desire. I know how to get it. I know how to keep going. I know how to forgive. I know when to listen. what the sound of my own voice sounds like. I know. should I try french braids in my hair sometime? hmm. maybe. I’ll try it. try it. try it. I want to try it. all of it. every option. no. that’s not true. I only want to try the things that will keep me growing. but I want to try all of those things. *smiley face*. try all the things. I am fun. I am funny. I am a great pal. adventurer. as long as I have a good home to come home to, I can venture pretty far. that’s always been the case. we are passing highbury, on commissioners now. 9:25pm. I’m writing lots. but it feels good. it feels right. keep going. keep writing. keep riding. then go home. go home and relax.

I think we’re in Pondmills now. a subdivision. I am going to keep writing. I am going to see what comes of it. what comes out. have I written anything of substance. I doubt it. but right now I don’t care. there must be something there for it to feel this good. some truth. some truth. some truth. I am the only one on the bus now. oh wait! I didn’t see him. hey there. we are on this bus together. how do you know about my website? how do you know to come here to read these? I hope these pages take me somewhere. let me experience more of the world. more of my own land. let me go, and see, and experience. and write about it all. I am beautiful. and loving and smart and creative and sexy and imaginative and strong and courageous. I am. I’ve been through my fair share in this life. my fair share. I’m living it right now. my fair share. the ink stain on my left pinky is huge, and my hand is cramping. I write on. I’ll take a picture of my hand but I need the bus to stop moving. my phone is going to be full of bus pictures and videos soon, replacing all the pictures of paper that are usually on here. ha. paper and cards. we’re coming back along commissioners now. 9:40pm. I can do this. I hope you can do this. I hope you’re still reading. did you get here. all the way don down here. I’m here. this is where I am. loving, goofy, me. trying. writing. letting go. loving. calling. making shit happen. allow it all to happen.

every last thing. every single dream. I see you. I’m gonna let you take shape. take up space. move in. move into my life. into my house. into my head. my heart. my bed. I call you to me. you’ll find me working. loving. laughing. writing. sleeping. and dreaming. maybe tending the garden or at the stove. we’re almost done this trip. thank you bus driver. thank you LTC. thank you fellow passengers. thank you Creative Spirit. thank you Neil Young. thank you iphone. I need a picture of the bus sign. a bus stop sign. yeah we have a bit more to go. it’s dark now. I’m afraid of missing my stop and getting kicked off by the driver. it won’t happen. I know where I am. I’m right here. I’m right here. and I’m thankful for you. thank you for reading this. thank you for taking this journey with me. thank you for paying attention as I am ‘in transit’. from here to here to here. thank you. I love you. you are beautiful. you are magical. you are generous. you are courageous. you are loving. you are capable. you are free. just coming up to Horton. almost there. almost home. almost free. keep going. do what you have to do. it must be done. you can do. you are doing it right now. be this person. be the person you want to be. create the life, ask for the life you want to live. more children just entered. sitting right beside me now. ha. welcome. I’m getting off soon. my hand is tired and I am done. this was good. this was a good session. over the bridge. almost home. my goodness. I love you. you are beautiful. keep going. this is it. you’re doing it. ♥ 9:57pm

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