Runaway Future

21.3.2013

Spring and All

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 0:32

so much depends

upon

a red wheel

barrow

glazed with rain

water

beside the white

chickens.

That’s a poem called Spring and All by William Carlos Williams. It’s more commonly known as The Red Wheelbarrow.

I was first introduced to it in Grade 7, when the Industrial Arts (shop class) teacher popped his head into our English class and quoted this poem, saying it was his favorite.

It mystified me at the time, because it was the thought of “that’s a poem?!?” and really opened my eyes to the flexibility of poetry.

I just came across it again and one of my first thoughts was “Wait a second, Mr. Henneberry told me that poem?!?!” and then I sat for a second, impressed that I got a poetry lesson from the shop class teacher.

11.3.2013

City for Conquest

Filed under: Sundays at Seven — forbes @ 0:52

Starting in September of 2011, I’ve been fortunate enough to regularly view classic films with a neighbour of mine.  I’m going to attempt to chronicle those sessions in a new section that I’m calling “Sundays at Seven”.

I haven’t been keeping up to date with my Sundays at Seven postings at all, but I’ve got a list of the films we’ve watched and we’ve definitely watched some really great stuff over the past year and a half.

Tonight, we watched a movie called City for Conquest. It starred James Cagney in it, who I’ve never been a huge fan of, but the theme of the movie really hit me.

The film follows a group of children who grow up in a rough end of New York as they grow up and chase after a better existence. There’s Peggy, a girl who loves to dance and Danny, a boy who loves Peggy and fights at the drop of the hat. Danny’s brother is Eddy, who has a love for music and they have a friend Googi, who is the poorest of them all and has to steal in order to get food to eat.

We then jump forward to the group as adults. Danny and his best friend Scotty are truck drivers, Eddy is trying to put himself through music school, Peggy is trying to put herself through dance classes and Googi has already been in and out of jail. They all wait success, they all want to reach a level of conquest, to rise above.

But that success doesn’t come easy and it comes with some brutal sacrifice. Peggy has to sacrifice her love for Danny in order to reach success as a dancer. Danny needs to sacrifice his body and become a boxer in order to get money together for Eddy to finish school. Eddy then needs to sacrifice his love for the art and play popular music in order to get the attention he requires. And Googi makes the ultimate sacrifice, dying in a gangster shootout on the dockyards.

Inevitably, the individual sacrifices pay off, but perhaps not in the happy ending the characters hope for. Googi’s death redeems himself, standing up for what is right one last time. Eddy reaches a level of success that then enables him to make the music he wants. Peggy’s dance career falls apart, but she reunites with Eddy, who despite being broken and blinded, is happy because they’re together.

I guess that concept of sacrifice resonated with me, because it’s the feeling I was trying to capture when talking about failure. To get a little, you have to give a little. If you want to get a lot, you have to be prepared to give up a lot, perhaps more than you’d normally be willing to give up. That’s the cost.

4.3.2013

Woke up, fell out of bed,

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 19:32

Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.

So today was a humourous misadventure.

It all started this morning, when I got a phone call about an apartment I was going to check out in the afternoon:

Person on phone: Well Steven…
Me: It’s Kevin
Person: Oh, I have Steven written down…um…are you sure?
Me: Yes.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I know my name. At least that’s the name on the inside of my underwear. Despite it being on every piece of information I’ve sent to them over the past week, this woman didn’t know it. Ominous.

In any case, I jump on the bus to head downtown. On the bus, I don’t realize that my foot is leaning against the foot of the guy sitting beside me. Until he moves his foot. Somewhat ashamed, I look up at him and very smoothly, he winks at me. I burst out laughing and soon get off the bus. Hooray for new friends.

I make it to the apartment building and look at the apartment. When I start asking questions, the woman is very evasive. Turns out the apartment I’m looking at isn’t technically “available”. In fact, no apartments are presently available. So what am I doing, wandering through a stranger’s apartment? I’m not entirely sure. But now my name is on a list in case something opens up. At least, I think it’s my name. It might be Steven’s.

To cap it all off, on my walk home from work, I find myself standing beside two young girls as I wait for a traffic light to change. They suddenly look at each other:

‘Ready? 1…2…3!’ and commence screaming like crazy.

So there I am, in the semi-dark rain, standing on a street corner bearded and with my hood up, beside two screaming children.

An older couple comes running up to ask the kids if they’re okay, while looking at me suspiciously.

Kids are jerks.

People are jerks.

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