It has been exactly six weeks since I officially left the federal government and took the first steps towards whatever 2018 (and beyond) will bring. Truth be told, it feels much longer than six weeks. Yes, I’ve been busy with family and all the usual holiday season goings on. I’ve also been working on my documentary film/multimedia installation project about the Saskatchewan Doukhobors. But I’ve also been spending time reflecting on a lot of things. Unstructured reflection to be sure, but trying to take advantage of this rare deceleration period and get into a bit of a different headspace.

As I was digging into my “deep archives”, so to speak, I came across a quote that I first stumbled upon at an art gallery in Nashville almost 10 years ago by Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas. It struck a real chord with me then (during what was a similar “in-between” period in my life), and it did again reading it today:

“We must let down our buckets into our own souls where joy and pain, mirth and sadness, still flows swift and deep and free, and drink until we are drunk as with an overpowering desire for expression”

I also coincidentally came across an old XKCD comic which seemed equally resonate:

Finally, this gem of a song from Macklemore (featuring – to my honest surprise – Kesha) came up on my Spotify playlist. This really hit home for me:

“Never thought we’d get old, maybe we’re still young
May we always look back and think it was better than it was
Maybe these are the moments
Maybe I’ve been missing what it’s about
Been scared of the future, thinking about the past
While missing out on now
We’ve come so far, I guess I’m proud
And I ain’t worried about the wrinkles around my smile
I’ve got some scars, I’ve been around
I’ve thrown some pain, I’ve seen some things, but I’m here now
Those good old days”
Good Old Days by Macklemore (feat. Kesha)

As 2017 comes to a close, I wish you all my very best as you pursue your dreams and aspirations for the year to come!


Asking for 5 minutes of your time in the next 2 days…

If you regularly read this blog you will know that for the past 18 months I have been working on a project to capture the spiritual traditions of my ancestors, a group of religious refugees called the Doukhobors, that immigrated to Canada from Russia almost 120 years ago. We are planning to produce both a documentary film and multimedia installation exhibit as part of this project, and have already recorded the vast majority of the video and audio that we will need (over 80 hours of footage to date).

None of this comes for free though, and the project to date has been crowdfunded through the generous donations of over 100 supporters from across Canada, the United States, and Europe, as well as financial support from a number of Canadian Doukhobor organizations and a research partnership with the University of Saskatchewan. So far we have raised just over $20,000, which means we have now covered all of our production expenses to date. However, we are doing one more final fundraising push as we move into the holiday season to ensure that we have some much needed funds in the bank to cover the thousands of dollars of specialized post-production work that will start in the New Year.

That’s where you come in. By this Friday (December 15th) I’m asking if you will:

– Take 4 minutes to watch the first promo video for our project:

– Take 1 minute to make a donation to support our work to bring this project to life (any amount helps!) via our crowdfunding page: 

…and, if you are feeling particularly inspired…

– Take 1 more minute and share the link to the promo video or the crowdfunding page (or both!) with your social networks or by email to family or friends who may be interested.

That’s it. 5 minutes to help us preserve a unique part of our Canadian community and history.

As always, thank you for your support along this journey – I couldn’t do it without you!