Posts in Category: Digging Roots
When Raven and ShoShona, of Digging Roots, approached me to work with them on a music video for their song, “I’ve Got It Bad” … I was both terrified and honoured. Yet, as it goes with many things in my life, I decided to abandon fear and dive in. It began with Shoshona and I writing the concept. ShoShona wanted to experiment with the idea of not taking themselves too seriously so I presented her with a series of tongue-in-cheek treatment ideas and we hashed out many different concepts and story-lines. As is often the case, our original concept was a much longer story. But, as also is often the the case, we didn’t have endless funds at our disposal so we reigned shots in to utilize who and what we had to work with. Which, from a professional prospective; was a stunning well of creative professionals of which to draw from anyways.
From there, Raven, Doug (the D.O.P, co-director, editor and my husband), Sarain Carson-Fox, Shona and I just went for it. We decided on a storyline of, learning to love yourself. How do you tell such a story without being cheesy? Comedic relief. Over five days, we shot tons of footage in Longboat Key, Florida. Even when Shona was stung by a stingray on the third day, she kept going!
This video is truly a labour of love. Our children, ranging in age from 2 to 18, all helped. My mom and Shona’s mom helped and together we were able to have fun, work hard and put together a really charming and FUNNY video. Our actress Sarain was a dream. Such a great sport with fantastic comic timing and to top it off … she’s gorgeous! Her character tells the story of how a woman who thinks she’s in love, finds what she was looking for in herself instead. In her darkest moment, she sees herself and saves herself from her own heartache. She is, in essence, her own prince charming.
To be honest, those five days of production helped me forget how much pain I was in from the Lyme Disease that was infecting and attacking my body. That’s when you know you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing.
Thanks to Digging Roots for having faith and thanks to Doug for spending so much time on this project.
This morning I am woken with an extreme feeling of gratitude, on this my 37th birthday. Oohhh, it’s creeping in and I am reminded today, as many of us are on a birthday – the importance of caring for this vessel I that holds my brain and my heart, into middle and old age. The importance of our youth, the 8th fire rising.
I am reminded of the strong support system of friends and family that surround me, lift me up, care for me, dote on me and inspire me. Yesterday and today I’ve felt especially doted on and inspired. Today is going to be a good day and I want to leave you with the work of some of my favourite people in this world, big influences and loves in my life. This work that they are doing, makes all of the day to day madness worth it. Wake up and RISE.
End of the summer. That time where you do one last special thing. One last big adventure, BBQ, beach or camping trip.
For us it was our 2nd annual neighbourhood block party. When we moved to this suburban neighbourhood a couple of years ago, we had no idea how lucky we’d be. In fact this city mouse (me), was rather snobbish about it all in thinking that I probably wouldn’t make many friends or have all that much in common with my new neighbours. To be clear, it’s not that I thought (or think), that I was/am too cool for the suburbs. What I speak of is this idea that I have in my brain; that I’m too weird for most people. The damaged one. I’m usually pretty straight up about where I come from and my experiences in my life that have made me who I am today. I have opinions and express myself differently than a lot of the women I meet.
I don’t usually identify or bond with people unless they’ve been through similar experiences to my own. I suppose that much is true for most. There’s just more oddballs in big cities. We gravitate toward the erratic pulse, the ebb and flow of a big city that can swallow us whole; a nomad with no ties – if we so desire it to. I became a city girl myself on the run many years ago and I always considered it home, always found my way back to where no one knew me, only those who I chose to let in gained admittance. We all know living in a small suburb in Northern Canada is the exact opposite of all of that. Sure you can hide a lot behind closed doors, but I’m not much for that. I let my ‘freak flag’ fly as is.
I was right for the most part. If it weren’t my beautiful friends who already lived here, (one of the main reasons we chose this small city), I’d be like so many other lonely mothers who live out in the boonies with partners/husbands who travel a lot for work. Which, as it turns out – isn’t going to be an issue for us anymore.
As some of you may know, the close friends whom I speak of are in fact like family to us. They also happen to be the co-leaders (a husband and wife team), of the band Digging Roots that Trevor plays in. Make that past tense.
A big shock for many of you who know us or who are regulars here. It still feels a little surreal. Trev played bass with them for nearly six years and that working relationship is a big part of what bonded our families so tightly together. There were many reasons for Trevor’s decision, some personal and not a part of my story to share here and some based on hard realities.
Ones that we couldn’t have for-seen coming. You know, the usual stuff that causes stress for new(ish) parents; finances, job security, wanting benefits, etc. So there’s all that grown-up stuff. There’s also the reality of how much time we were spending apart as a family during these fleeting early years of parenting. It hasn’t been easy and we thought and dreamt of all sorts of ways we could make it work before we were actually doing it. Touring together, combining creative forces on big projects together, sharing a nanny, all sorts of things.
Some of that stuff, as wonderful as it sounds, doesn’t work with babies and toddlers in tow. Or with other careers and deadlines and bills and juggling to keep it all going. How many people with young children do you know with two full-on careers on the go? Music isn’t the only thing Trev has going for him. He’s had his own web development company for years and has worked full time, or more than full-time ever since I’ve known him doing that alone. Imagine touring with a band and trying to record an album and band practices and being a part of the creative/business aspect of being in a career band on top of that? Triple that with the responsibilities (and natural desire to be a present, patient and loving dad), of fatherhood and home? And those are just the reasons I feel comfortable is sharing here. There was/is more to it.
No matter how much he wanted to do both, something just had to change. So hard decisions have been made because two of the biggest reasons are the two little kids who were missing their dad an awful lot, much of the time.
Will this affect our friendship? No. Although making the decision and knowing how much work would be involved for our dear friends in getting a bass player – that was hard. They’ve been so patient, kind and inspiring to Trev’s journey as a bassist. A big commitment from them too. So there is heartbreak on both sides. We’ll have to find new ways to be together and nurture one another as we move forward into this new stage of our relationships. We still live down the street from each-other after all. Rave and Sho are still sponsors to our children and I love theirs like they were my own nephews. Our kids are tight, theirs being quite a bit older than ours. They are role models to Wyndham and Abby. Sho’s son Skye is one of Abby’s sponsors. She calls him, ‘my Kye.’ They and we know each-other deep down; all the grand and dark bits like not many friends or even family do. (Or can.) ShoShona and I have built a sister-hood. <<< If you watch that video and happen to be a softie in a badass shell like me then you might tear up a bit. I myself just watched it and am ugly crying, so. Our extended families have become close, I’m now a sponsor to ShoShona’s niece and developing awesome friendships with her sisters. Sho’s mom is a guiding light in my life; as an elder, a survivor, and an honest, kick-my-ass-when-I-need-it-mentor.
Trev not being in the band isn’t going to wash all of that away. We plan on laughing about all of the beautiful and crazy times we’ve had when we’re grey and curmudgeonly. What does this all really mean? It means that Trev has decided to begin the search to take a senior position with a big firm in the big city. In mourning his departure from music for a while he cut off all of his beautiful hair and shaved his beard. (Almost. I had a few ways to convince him from going completely straight. Sheesh.) It means that if he can’t work from home and has to commute everyday, we may (MAY) decide to avoid that by downsizing and moving back to the city. Of course, we really want to avoid that because look at all we’ve built here! Our own little community. We’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, we wrapped up the summer together with some other friends, family and our neighbours. All pictures courtesy the exquisitely talented Ratul Debnath of Image Pros (Photography).
Lady, you’ve been there for the birth of both of my children. You’ve sat by my side many a night while we laughed and we wept and shared all of the stories.
Even the ones I had never shared with anyone before.
You accept me as I am, knowing it all – seeing it all. You counsel, you drop everything, you are genuine.
You love my children like they were you own. You take care of my man as your own brother.
For these and so many more reasons – we are sisters. Bonded by that which we have in common. Us the broken, the mended, the loving and the fierce.
Oh what a beautiful and blessed day it was. The day you were born.
Look! It’s that bearded bass player dude from the band Digging Roots! This is how I remember him from how we met…when he was strumming his guitar, a stranger sitting across from me singing songs with lyrics to make you melt or laugh in earnest at their dark and ballsy ways. (Which, as you will note, dark and ballsy this song is not). Many thanks to our friend David Sheffield for shooting the video!
The mister left for Norway (yes, with the band – Digging Roots – he plays bass in) on Tuesday. It was a crazy haul, (36 hours of travel just to get there, yikes!). Of which resulted in his luggage arriving but not his 6 string bass. Lost in Europe somewhere. Why do airlines suck so bad, semeingly specializing in loosing/damaging musician’s instruments? Please, lovely readers – send our fella all the good vibes and prayers you’ve got; in having his electric baby blue safely returned to him. Preferably in time for the gig.
Nick Sherman. He’s a fine cross of Ray LaMontagne meets John Mayer, except he’s Anishinaabe – so way better.
Or do I?
I was introduced to him at ANDPVA’s last Red Revue at The Sister in Toronto. It was also on this night that I was introduced to the greatness that is Dr. James Luna. If you don’t know about this award winning, Pooyukitchum (Luiseño) and Mexican-American performance artist and multimedia installation artist – you should.
I was lucky enough to have had the Digging Roots time-warp encapsulate him on his way back home from a big tour, wherein he played all night at our neighbourhood block party. Along with DRoots. (Video after the jump!)
The BSM is away on tour. This video of their Tom Foolery during a Robson Valley mudslide has some to do with their musical talent but all sorts to do with their plain awesomeness.
Over the weekend, our elder came to visit. This woman, this goddess, this Midewin Healer, has brought so much cohesion, knowledge, love, ceremony, healing and understanding into our family. I am grateful everyday for the relationships that have transpired because of you and me, songbird. Songbird is one of my best girl’s and our elder is her mama.
The Naming Ceremony
This particular visit was to ‘officially’ offer her sema (tobacco, one of the four sacred medicines) to seek a name for our new growing baby, still on the inside, so that she may begin the task of prayer and fasting. For those of you who don’t know, this is part of the process called, The Naming Ceremony, a First Nations Cultural ceremony.
It is where one receives their spirit name, which tells you something about that person, their personality, their mission in this life. Parents may choose to use the spirit name given by their elder as a first or second name.
When a name is decided upon, the naming ceremony begins. Most of the time, the one who presents the name is the one to whom the sema was given, but this is not always the case. The name is presented to the grandfather spirits in the four directions, and everyone who is in the ceremony has to say that traditional name is presented. The family usually prepares a feast and does a giveaway.
There was feasting and ceremony and treasure hunts and skype visits and flying chickadees, but above all glee. Glee to be gathered, but missing our beautiful kwe’s. They have been flying reindeer, making music and a documentary with Adjagas, (courtesy Big Soul Productions and a whack of other talented film peeps), some fabulous Sammi musicians of Norway. However, we were grateful for the miracles of the interwebs, in that Skype allowed them to be a part of our ceremony of re-birth and giving thanks.
I crafted and baked our gifts to wee ones, except for the chocolates for the hunt. Really now.
I cooked all day with some (missing a couple), of my coven and an exceptional young man home from B.C. Thank-you Nicholyn Farms phone in grocery order capabilities and local Barrie Farmers Market drop-off to pick up. That’s some 100 mile love right there.