A Year-End Excursion


Recently spent my twenty-sixth birthday in Los Angeles. I’d never been before. An old friend from film school was kind enough to offer me his couch for an entire week. In exchange, I did my best to keep the house supplied with beer, wine, food, and (hopefully) good company.

I liked LA more than I thought I would. I guess I don’t know what I expected. Did I honestly expect that everyone walking down the street would have some sort of tragic plastic surgery disaster for a face, that everyone would be sporting runway fashion and that I would stick out woefully with my boots and plaid and alienatingly Albertan sensibilities? Maybe? In any case, lo and behold most people in Los Angeles are human beings, the only difference being that instead of concerning themselves primarily with how to get oil out of the ground rapidly and sell it twice as rapidly, they are instead concerned with how many celebrities they can get out to their thing, or whether their director respects them or whether their screenplay will ever sell. Maybe this obsession with “entertainment” or “making it” gets exhausting after a while, but I found it refreshing. Exciting, even. To be in a coffee shop alive with the kind of work that I do.

It’s interesting to see the affect of geography – we forget about its power in this age of global interconnectedness. Imagine living in a place devoid of seasons. How much easier it must be for one to think of themselves as important or powerful when the presence of Nature is so rarely felt. Here we are constantly reminded of how little power we have in the face of the truly dynamic forces of our changing planet. This is a good thing, I think. To be kept humble. But it is also exhausting, and I think it’s dishonest not to say so. You can see why Nature is often so prevalent in Canadian art – it’s so prevalent in our lives, in a way that it simply isn’t in other places. This was painfully (or I suppose comfortably) obvious to me as I donned short sleeves on my December birthday for probably the first time in my life.

Then I spent a week in Vancouver, where it was expectedly cold and rainy. The weather kept me inside writing basically the whole time, which was exactly what I wanted/needed. I still have such weird triggers from film school whenever I step foot in that city. Reminders of being young and naive and feeling the highest of highs one day and the lowest of lows another. Such an emotionally tumultuous time. It’s difficult to go there. But boy is it ever beautiful. Returning to Edmonton after being in Vancouver always feels like traveling forty years into the past – the buildings are so different.

But I’m glad to be home. Ready to buckle down and get to work on a bunch of new projects in the new year. I spent so much of 2014 just trying to stay sane, it’s sort of amazing that anything got done at all. I have a feeling 2015 will be a little kinder.

Until next time.

Dylan – Edmonton, AB

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