A Day of Sandra

I first met Sandra in May in a meeting to discuss the Cuba documentary series.  Sandra is from Havana and has been living in Vancouver for four years.  Among other things, she is a film maker and a writer.

We met for breakfast at Caper’s on Robson Street, downtown.  She told me all about life in Cuba and I told her about my experiences in Bucharest.  After an hour of talking we decided to do some filming.

She hung out with me as we wandered about downtown Vancouver shooting in various locations for Urban Future.  After that, we had lunch at a place called ‘Havana’s’ on Commercial Drive.  It was a Cuban themed restaurant that had almost nothing Cuban about it, except for the writing on the walls.  The sun was beating us up at bit, so we decided to go to Wreck Beach.

Wreck Beach has a bit of a Vama Veche vibe to it, except it closes at night and there is very little commercial activity going on.  There was a women dancing on a large rock, dressed as an angel.  There was a naked man selling beer from a cooler he wore on his back.  We found a spot next to a large log, opened up a couple of Carlsbergs and just chilled out.  We decided to go as the sun began to drop out of the sky.

I still had the two free movie passes left over from my Jazzy/Daddy date so we went to see ’50 Dead Men Walking’ at 5th Ave Cinema.  A great fucking film!

It was a day full of serendipity.  There was no plan, we just kind of meandered from one perfect moment to the next.

Family Reunion

Every two months, for about a week, I get to pretend we’re a family again.

PJ and I have been apart for three years.  We’ve been divorced for nearly a year now.  We remain best friends, and in many ways we carry on, just as we had in our married years.  People see us together and they don’t understand why we aren’t a couple.  It’s hard to explain but we have both come to believe that life is short, and the world is great big.  There’s so much to experience, and feel, and do and inevitably, you just can’t do it all in one lifetime, and certainly not within one life style.  We did marriage for 10 years and then we both became interested in doing other things.  We loved each other enough to let go of each other, and now we’re both thriving.

Still, we’ll always be a part of each other’s lives, especially with Jazzy in the picture.  And whenever I come to visit, we all just naturally fall into our old family way of doing things.  There’s nothing dramatic about it, and there’s no sad longing when I leave.  There is only joy in having each other as a continuing part of our lives.

The vibe expanded even further this evening.  Mom, Dave, Grama, Papa Lee, Uncle Nick and Aunt Lucy drove into Vancouver.  PJ, Jazzy and I went to meet them for supper.  It hadn’t occurred to me that PJ hadn’t seen any of them for over two years.  Even so, she fit right in, just as she always had.  As it always seems to be with us, there was no gap, no distance emotionally between this time and the last time we all got together.  No drama.  It didn’t occur to me until later, on the drive home, that this had been such a significant occasion for exactly that reason.

I am beginning to understand the best moments in life are the ones that happen quietly, almost invisibly.  They slip in, and they slip out, and the best way to enjoy them, is in passing.

A Matter of Perspective

I am terrified of heights.  Some people express this phobia as a fear of falling, but it’s not like that for me.  If I’m already falling from a great height, I’d imagine there’s not much I could do once I’m in the air.  We can only worry about the things we can control.  And so it is with heights.  I do have control over what gets me to the edge of that great height.  If I were to trip and fall, that would be a pretty big fuck-up on my part, one that would be completely my fault.  Perhaps the best way to express my phobia, is a fear of tripping in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

These were the thoughts going through my head as I walked the span of The Lion’s Gate Bridge… twice.  I started shooting stills for the Urban Future teaser today.  I was happy with the footage, even if it meant putting myself in uncomfortable places.  Not only was the height a problem for me, but traffic was wizzing by, less than a metre from my position.  On the other side of me, bicyclists sped by with reckless abandon.  I was stuck between a rock and a hard place on a high wire.  I might be overstating the dangers a bit, but perspective is a matter of personal experience.

Jazz and I had a really great father daughter moment tonight as I rubbed her feet.  I would talk to her in a crazy accent and she would laugh.  She shut the door and PJ wasn’t allowed in.  We were hilarious together and we made a deal that this would be how we ended each day.