What have I become and what have I done? The word "fuck" has rolled off my lips uncountable times, innumerously declaring the true curse of my existence aloud and perhaps, too loud in some ways, yesterday, in recovery. This, I have done to myself, and for what? To what ends? With bile, vitriol and perhaps words chosen too well, I have lashed at my friends and loved ones in the burn and agony that consumes me. Today is the Second of May. According to Jonathan Coulton, outdoor fucking started yesterday.
It has been 22 days since Amtrak carried me along the ancient and only barely-maintained tracks that connect Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, and then further north connect Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. Seven-hundred photos, fifty-thousand words published, one hundred and fifty-five individual posts to social networks, and the recreation of my blog after vandalism tore it away and deleted it from few for about a day; 420 Vancouver and Earth Day and Anzac Day and so many days spent in Vapour Lounges later, what has been done, what has been accomplished? What the hell am I doing here?
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell? Blue skies from pain? Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell?
Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air, for the cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? Did you exchange a walk-on part in a war, for a lead role in a cage? How I wish, how I wish you were here; we're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl, year after year. Running over the same old ground, what have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here.
-- Roger Waters, Wish You Were Here
A schedule, a pattern, a life of my own; is that what I sought in this grand act of love and passion and madness? One rarely leaves comfort without good reason, especially the comforts of a younger man or woman. Yet, in ways, I do this for her. I also do this for my benefactor in the grand and Greater Vancouver area, who I have given so many names in the course of this blog. I also do it for you, my own little Crazy Diamond. I know how much I am loved, not by one but by many; those afraid of themselves and lonely where the urban landscapes are but a fantasy and the trees and roots keep fibre-optic lines from carrying them somehow closer, in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Those fighting for all they believe in while hiding their passions beneath the veil of what is expected of them because they look a certain way, in Houston and here in Vancouver. Those who have seen everything beautiful in the universe, that they had thought was just a lie, like Santa Claus or God, told to them by their parents, and had it taken away, in Sacramento and Spokane and San Francisco.
But why do I write the way I write? At the end of this rainbow of colours both pastel and grunge, there is a story. I merely hope that you, the readers I adore so much, will sit and watch the story unfold with me. I'm sorry if I've misled you, or confused you; I'm sorry if my words convey an empathy you feel. I'll get it right, eventually.
We all start somewhere, though; it might be for the best that that somewhere is in the mess.
Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky. Shine on, you crazy diamond. You were caught in the crossfire of childhood and stardom; blown on the steel breeze. Come on, you target for faraway laughter, come on, you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, and cried for the Moon. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light; shine on, you crazy diamond. Well, you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze. Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!
-- Roger Waters, Shine On You Crazy Diamond