Insomnia in the lobby

V&A_MAR6_2016Vain + Alone in North Bay, ON.

The only strange looks you have to worry about in a hotel lobby in Northern Ontario in the wee hours of the morning are those of the lone desk clerk.  You can handle it.


With my Father hovering between worlds, I am firmly vain but not quite alone

dadVain + Alone in Peterborough, ON.  December 25, 2015.

These were days infused with a kind of poetry that crushed us,
days burdened by an unbearable beauty…
that broke the heart a thousand times and reassembled it a thousand and one.
These were days when I was not much of a father to my children,
not much of a lover to my wife, not much of a friend to the few friends I have.
Only a son in service to his father.
In return, he told me with scathing honesty what he saw in me,
and located that nurturing part of me I’d thought long dead.

Continue reading

The walk in a snowy field shot

2015-11-21 17.00.36
Vain + Alone in Avening, ON.

In the small community of Avening, there is a small community centre and a small intrepid group of people who present concerts there.  I came to watch some friends perform.  It was a great night.

The thing about the W.I.A.S.F. shot is that you really only have one chance to get it right because your footprints are a big part of the shot: nothing says “I am utterly alone here” like a perfect single set of footprints in virgin snow.

You can see I fucked it up.


The alone in a crowd shot

IMAG0573_1Vain + Alone in a school Auditorium Full of Parents.

I think I might be addicted to this V&A thing– I have no idea when it’s NOT ok to do this. The place is literally crammed with people, yet I’ve managed to look like a shadow cast on a lonely cloud.

Somebody tell me I’ve gone too far.


The Action Shot!

2015-11-05 21.06.09Vain + Alone with 1000 cc’s beneath me.

This took waaay too long and it ruined a perfectly nice ride…the last one of the year.  Also, leaving the phone on the side of the road and making pass after pass, u-turn after u-turn, off and on the bike repeatedly…was less than safe.

Nice people stopped fairly frequently to see if I was OK.  I’d give them a thumbs up, reset the phone, and try to remember why, at 51, I was doing what I was doing.


Vanity in the Woods

IMAG0552_1_1Vain + Alone in T’Sou-ke Nation.

Vanity can be a nice distraction on a sad day when you find yourself alone in the forest.  It takes a particular kind of vanity to do this under the gaze of a tree that will outlive me and all those I love.  I hope it had a sense of humour–it would have busted a gut watching me trying to balance the phone in the branches of a sapling.


The alone at the top of the world shot

IMAG0541_1_1Vain + Alone on top of WQENNELEL (Sencoten for “looking up”)

Two pounds of silver ’round my waist,
All my angels and demons chased,
Breathless here around my feet,
Enjoying the truce.

The walk up this mountain (known today as Mt.Finlayson…not even remotely as attractive a name as its’ First Nations counterpart) was not really thought out.  It was meant to be a short walk in the woods before a gig.  I was wearing the clothes I’d perform in and those boots (caught so nicely here) are what I call “city boots” and have no right to be hiking up and down a mountain.   The two pounds of silver refers to a belt a friend had given me that is made with 10 large silver conches.  And those are skinny jeans I’m wearing: all these are things no Mountain Equipment Co-Op would suggest for a hike. Continue reading

The I.P: Invisible Paparazzo

IMAG0515_1Vain + Alone on the street in Seattle, WA.

…and too cheap to spring for a hotel when the car would do perfectly fine.

Waking up every half hour to warm it up also had the fringe benefit of the occasional security check here in the downtown core where you’d think Hertz would have a parking lot but, no, they don’t.  

I wondered if this was a good V&A shot, but then I thought, yeah…this is exactly the kind of shot my Invisible Paparazzo would take.  Plus I was bored.  And cold.