Thursday, October 29, 2009


This is the tunnel I sometimes took from the Metro station to work. Miraculously it led to a beautiful museum. Loved the curves of this capture/experience.

When Rain Turns to Snow

One chilly fall day, it got a little too cold. But not cold enough to bring out my camera in the park near my house. What colours.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This weekend I had the pleasure to see the yoga movie Enlighten Up! and the ballet Romeo et Juliette. It's given me a lot to think about and I thought I would share some thoughts.

Enlighten Up! is a documentary that features a documentarian who follows a newbie for 6 months as he explores the world of yoga and tries to make sense of it all. The subject, Nick Rosen, is as pragmatic as they come and we follow him from New York to LA to India as he quests to figure out why people do yoga. I enjoyed the movie although it was flawed (it was basically the journey that the documentarian wanted to take, and Nick was trying to go from zero to yogi in 6 months). It seems silly to flit from one teacher to another and sample yoga as if you are in a candy shop trying all the flavours.

The journey that the easy-on-the-eyes Nick takes mirrors a journey that I have been taking, trying to find answers, trying to find the perfect style, trying to find the perfect guru. I've come to discover that there are different styles, there are different ways of approaching the same problem. If there is one point in space, there are an infinite number of ways of getting there. Ultimately it isn’t about finding anything external at all, but discovering your self and your style. The filmic journey provided moments of humour, instances of captivating imagery and an interesting main character (interesting more for his pragmatism more so than his looks). But it really posed a very deep and confusing question: what is yoga really? And I have come to realize that it is an awareness and a point of view on the world, about that whole world inside you and all the invisible clutter that needs recognition and overturning. And while the film didn't quite get there, I didn't really expect it to in retrospect, but it certainly did crisscross the path that I have been treading myself.

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens recounted the very familiar yet always tragic tale of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Restaging Jean-Christophe Maillot's version of the story set to Prokofiev's music, the rendition I saw last night was full of passion, danced on a simple set with some stunning costumes. I am always in awe of what dancers can convey without the use of words - pure communication, emotion at its raw-est. Even the conveyance of love - such an abstract emotion - was rendered with a gesture of hands uniting and moving in vertical wave motion, in unison. And the gesture first 'spoken' by Romeo and Juliet came up again and again, re-enacted in a puppet show, reminisced by the lovers and rendered tragic in the final moments of the show. When Tybalt died, Lady Capulet (Aline Shurger) took my breath away, dancing with such grief, with swooping movements, her hair bursting out of her tight bun, the black and grey billows of her dress, the violent loss of her cape.

Throughout the performance I had chills, Prokofiev's thundering and dramatic Dance of the Knights penetrated right into me. The cast featured many talented dancers from the GBC's company, especially Mercutio (Andre Silva) who danced with personality and extra athleticism. It's amazing when moments in a ballet can make you laugh out loud. Or remain stunned, as the case was at the end of the evening last night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enlighten Up

This Friday, Enlighten Up, comes to Cinema du Parc in Montreal. I have long awaited this film's arrival in Montreal (since last August to be exact) and I am trying not to get my hopes up too much. If nothing else, it will be an interesting venture into the world of yoga and the possibilities that exist within it.

Check out the trailer!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Enlightenment

We all have our rituals, those things that we do to better ourselves, our practices of spirituality, devotion, or what have you. I know that I try to do yoga every morning while others may pray before bed every night. But what for? Where are we getting? Am I hoping for something? Am I hoping to gain some sort of enlightenment?

I've been reading Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and it has uncovered some wonderful ideas for me that I would like to share. While I seek enlightenment or happiness or success or strength or what have you, it is when I don't want it, when I don't search for it, that it comes to me. It is when I allow and when I let go that things happen.

I, like many, have searched for the perfect yoga routine, or the best schools in hopes that it will lead down the perfect road. I seek scaffolding and structure that will set up the path to happiness, to God, to ... But this easy path, this written scripture, this holy way, doesn't exist.

Really, there is no path to seek. I am already on my own path, the path that I should be taking. No teachings, as they are written, will give me the answers. I will have to deal with myself, accepting my strengths and weaknesses, accepting my triumphs and my struggles. I need to experience and live teachings for myself - allow for my own rhythm and my own interpretation. Like baking bread, following the recipe will only get me so far; I've got to tweak it for my environment, for my tastes, for my oven, for my ingredients...

And is it about searching and effort and struggle? No, it isn't. As the adage goes, it is only when you are not looking that you will find it. Love plops in my lap when I'm preoccupied with other things. Friends pop up when I'm not waiting for them. Water boils when I'm not watching. It's when I give up the struggle and the search and embrace things as they are - good, bad, mediocre, whatever - that life delivers its blessings.

I'll find what I'm looking for when I stop searching...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

That New York Feeling

Around Lincoln Center, Broadway and Columbus cross and two streets create three, but somehow traffic flows and it works. Driving with my dad to load up the car, turning onto Broadway from 65th, he seemed to sum up why New York works best: you just do it.

In my last day in New York, I had felt that confidence, that unthinking, that living in the moment. In stores, I'd chitchat with the salespeople. In restaurant, I did not hesitate to ask for things when I normally would. For a reason I couldn't immediately place, I felt more confident in New York City. It seemed that in the populated and complex metropolis I could live up to my motto of the moment nothing to lose.

The city's size, and seemingly endless population, along with its energy and everchanging nature makes a person root into themselves. I can do my own thing, meet up with friends, go to a few art galleries. There is no need to do everything, there is no need to feel overwhelmed. In motion - on a bus, on a subway, walking - is when I work best, words bubble to mind, I feel like I am mirroring my life's motion. And it was in the constant motion of the city that I found confidence.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Writing In The Dark

Writing words in the pitch black, letting free an idea shaped in those moments when the mind quiets onto your pillow, they have no shape. The words have no line, formless, joining the blackness. From your hands motion, they are released. All you have is the point of your pencil, all you have is the grasp of your hand, all you have is the words fresh in your mind, gasping. What would it mean to not write words in the dark, but to instead draw out feelings?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Urgency of the Weekend

Every time the week comes to a close and Friday night looms along with the freedom and promise of Saturday, I've got this sense of anxiety, urgency, anticipation that bubbles up. Every time.

I'm not really sure what it is, this feeling. There's this inner expectation that I need to go out, I need to party, I need to meet wild new people. It's a bit silly when I sit down to write about it. After all, Friday and Saturday are just other days, just other nights, and all those people who are out and about are just normal people. So why the expectation?

Perhaps it stems from this need for fun, this need for something exterior... I keep coming back to the realization that celebrating the moment, the people you are with, the moments you have is just the best thing to do.

So when the anxiety and urgency bubbles up, I just have to breathe, decide what would make me happy, plan the things I can, and enjoy the rest...