My life is once again split in two directions. But this time it kinda feels okay.
I’ve long struggled with the notion that I have to choose. It’s something we’re given all the time. A choice. Which career, which city, which partner, which toast, which topping, which way? And we’re encourage to choose one.
I want it all. I want multigrain sourdough with almond butter and avocado. Any career that feels good. The piano and the guitar. The singer and the songwriter. The boy and the girl. The cute skirt and the tough boots. The mountains and the sea.
I don’t want to have to choose between the kootenays and the coast. I love both, I have the best of friends and family here and there. There are benefits to my physical health, my peace of mind, my wellspring of creativity. When I spend too much time in one or the other I start to become resentful, unfulfilled, incomplete. I don’t know how the solution never presented itself before. That my problem stemmed not from being unable to choose where I prefer, but feeling like I had to choose where I prefer.
So I’ve been experimenting. I’ve been bouncing back and forth over the last few weeks, festival there, some working here, part time, full time, overtime, sleepytime when I can get it. It doesn’t feel impossible. Of course there is the cost of the ferry to and from the island, the price of gas, maintenance of my truck as far as the cash flow issues go. Then there is the up-rooting of my dog friend (she’s habitating in the koots right now) and the concern that a happy home cannot be easily maintained from the driver’s seat of a truck packed with gear. Lucky am I to have sofas aplenty on the one side and downtime with mum on the other. Which might change within the week (fingers crossed the house is sold and we are then making moving preparations…it’s time.) and then I will be forced into a position of home base on one side or the other.
Which is totally okay. I don’t mind the notion of having a steady place in one zone, a place I can stock with wood and dishes and bake bread in, play piano in, invite friends for tea in. But then leave for a week, a weekend, a 10 day excursion to set up and tear down and function within that luscious transient place I know so well.
That place is the mountains. It’s where my dog friend is happiest, in her leashless element. Yes, there is some work to be done with regard to my ability to lead the pack we’re in and yes, it would be easier for us to do this if I would stay in one place long enough for that to happen. It’s also where I am happiest, most content in the day to day.
But I’m ecstatic to be enmeshed in the business we call show, at least to the extent that I am that girl in the bushes. The one you wonder about until the darkness gathers and suddenly the pathways are filled with light. Then that barefoot tutu clad zapstrap ponytailed hottie with pockets full of safety pins, electrical tape and various cutting devices seems like a goddamn light goddess…
And I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I love doing it and I’m damn good at it.
So what am I doing about it?
When I first moved to the koots, about 12 or 13 years ago now, I took a business course and learned some stuff about starting a business that I never started. I haven’t discounted the possibility of opening a repertory cinema/cafe/house of awesome a la the Rio Theatre styles, but until that happens, there’s no reason all that knowledge can’t go to some use.
So I’m planning to start a business. I already have a good leg up on it, I’m not starting cold. I have some of the lighting, fabric and other accoutrements needed for such a venture and I’m excited to look into a loan or grant to see about acquiring not only more of the same, but a couple of small generators to run the gear independently of the power requirements of big light and sound one usually finds at festivals and outdoor parties. There’s nothing like showing up and being able to create something magical without relying on there being extra circuits. And a power source, independent of the main stacks, away from the populated places where the unexpected benefit of the lit up night blooming garden path can really shine, is a necessity. But most of all, a van. A vehicle of good mileage and dependable motor, of spacious storage and roomy homeyness. Something to convey our wayward from north to south and island to mountain and all points inbetween.
I found one for sale in Vancouver that looks like this and has been converted into a coffee truck, complete with espresso maker, sink, stove top, etc.
Interior runs on propane. Exterior on gasoline. Which as we all know is not a friendly fuel for transport of a vehicle which would use a crazy amount because of it’s ability to stop wind from getting past it easily. Also, I bet finding parts might be a bitch.
But it’s so cute! If anyone wants a sweet gas powered van with an espresso machine inside for a pretty good deal, I totally know where there is one. But ideally, I’d like something that runs on diesel and by extension, biodiesel. With a cute little wind turbine hooked up to charge everything while I drive. And some solar panels so that I can light it up without using a generator at all, if necessary.
Why the hell not have it all?