Friday, January 29, 2010

Guitared and Feathered

The one thing that can be counted on in life is the unexpected. A sudden re-direction or unseen option becomes a clear front runner for the new now that was not part of the plan. This is one particular reason why I don't like plans too much. I do believe they offer some value to certain individuals like say ...Wayne Gretzky who was born with his skates on (not sure how his mom handled that?). In such a situation you would want to get off to a fast start and keep your stick on the ice... in this case a plan gets you where you want to go, knowing the destination, the journey unfolds.

I must say that during inspired moments I too know such a certainty within myself. And yet it has a newness that is uniquely mine. Sure, my life path is influenced by many others who have blazed a trail for my emergence, and yet I find myself constantly redefining what it means to be me, and to offer this expression to the world. It always comes back to a drive for authenticity, and the compass for that is an internal knowing that each of us possess, as we feel our way through life and how open we have been with our experience of it. When it feels good and empowered, exciting and clean, it means you got it right.

So when we found ourselves in the space between the worlds, sitting on the group W bench in the customs office at the US border last week, I quietly payed attention to my non-attachment to any particular outcome. Yes we had packed a whole lot of crap into the van and had just moved out of our house and opted for temporary storage instead, not to mention the 5:30am wake-up and subsequent millisecond miss of the ferry to the mainland... But hey this was the next thing and I was fine with it. So we waited in the lounge as our young US escort went through our things.

Shortly thereafter he came back into the office and slowly lifted his black gloved hand above the counter... "Do you know what this is?" holding up the dried and lacquered head of a poppy that my friend had just given me as part of my eclectic instrument collection.
I replied easily "It's a shaker".
He giggled but was less amused... "In the eyes of the US government?" he added.

Well suffice to say we are not on America's most wanted list, but I'm a little pissed I lost that little gem. He did however add "I can see what you are up to there, and it does have a smooth sound".

Hilarious. At any rate he had let us through except for some CD's that I always have with me, which he suggested I take to the broker and have them do some of their special paperwork to make them legit to carry in. Turns out that we just needed to spend some time talking with a wider range of border patrol and really get a feel for the community...
Our option was to just drive back into Canada and mail them home. So we did, and then started all over again. Not quite what I was hoping for, but interesting none the less. Unfortunately there was a shift change while we were out, and this round was serviced by the men with serious faces.

So we waited again, and waited, this time for over an hour, until he called us over as he held up Missy's macaw feather wand. Unbeknownst to us, macaws are on the endangered list and apparently bringing feathers back into the US that we had originally received there was cause enough to bring in the expert from the department of fish and wildlife. Man I was starting to feel like a star with all this special attention! Anyway he made us fill out an import form for the feathers and also an abalone shell we have for smudging (also from the US). Then we assumed alright shows over and time to get on with our journey.

Well not so fast. "Yes", our fine officer friend said, "we will let you in, but without your work related items". We of course said "well what items?"
"Related to this!" As he again did the black glove thing, up from under the counter. (they must practice that move?) And held up one of my business cards. "No guitars and feathers".

I must say he did a fine job and had due cause for concern. Irony is that we were not even working this trip. So we decided to head home to re-group and reassess after such a 180 degree turn. On the way back into Canada it hit me, we were just guitared and feathered! Just like ancient times, just a little less permanent.

Little gold nuggets everywhere, even in such a shit storm. Thing is that all is perfect at all times, it just takes a bit of perspective widening to get it in some situations. This turn gave us a chance to examine some of our shadows around being stationary right now and to put energy in some of the things we were neglecting. The best gem though, is to know that wherever we are is exactly where we need to be.

I've started to plan a special CD release show in Nanaimo at the Church @the Old Quarter. This has been a dream of mine for a few years and I realized that the time is NOW. I'm working on the cover for "Welcome to the Main Event" and my "plan" : ) is to have the show around my birthday in early May or late April. Plus more Move Freely, Live Deeply which has quite the buzz around it these days! This year is the launch after all!

Love and Blessings
Chief ME
(in charge of being myself)

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