Sunday, January 5, 2014


Good morning friends.  

First off, I would like you to listen to some epic flow that I came across last night.  Here is a link to the song Zen Approach by Japanese producer Hideaki Ishi, better known as DJ Krush.  I highly recommend checking out the whole album, it’s really really good.  

Also, I just want to add that I'm drinking coffee mixed with eggnogg and it is the BEST.

Two weeks ago Kingston had a massive fire that destroyed a student living complex that was under construction.  Living a block and a half east of the site, my house was close enough to be included in the evacuation zone.  I was at work down the same street, and could see the flames raging away half a kilometer up.  It was a very surreal moment when my girlfriend showed up at work with a bag of my belongings, things she had deemed important to me.  

It had been burning since 2:00pm that day, and wasn't brought under control until at least 8:00pm.  Power had been restored to our neighbourhood fairly quickly, and we were able to return by around 9:00pm.  The next morning, after a very difficult sleep, there was still smoke billowing from the crater that had recently been the construction site.  

This event made an impact on me in three ways:

1) When the lady walked into work with my ‘things’ I later realized this was a profound moment.  Here was someone’s interpretation of me.  It is one thing to ask what you would grab from a burning building, but quite another when it is someone other than yourself.  It really shows how well you know that person.  I later joked with her that I had staged the whole thing just to get an idea of how well she knew me.  If I had, she would have passed.

2) I have always held Kingston on a golden tower so to speak.  It was where I completed my undergrad, where I've been living the two subsequent years, and where my house was always been a safe place, my place.   When a large piece of it went up in flames just two weeks ago, all of the sudden I could not think of Kingston in the same way.  It wasn't that I didn't feel safe, just no longer invincible.  Upon reflection, it seemed to me that this was the last severing of the cords of youth invincibility, like finally pulling out a tooth that had been hanging by a blood vessel. I believe that this is a natural thing.  I was never reckless, but come to think about it, I feel more self aware of the risks around me.

3) The fire challenged my interpretation of permanence.  When you are faced with a situation where you could potentially lose everything you own, it begs the question, “how would you feel if it had?”  To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by my indifference towards losing all my belongings.  It wouldn't be a ‘nice’ experience to be sure, but I wouldn't be completely devastated by it.  Finding out how much I invest emotionally in objects was an exercise that I hadn't participated in before. I learned that I place very little emotional investment within objects, but a great deal of investment in that which is housing the objects. Now, in my mind,  the house no longer represented my stuff, but more importantly, the place where I could put my stuff.  This ties right back with my second point.  I was much more bewildered at the thought of not having a place rather than losing my stuff.  
Still, buying new work shirts would certainly be a total nuisance...

I leave you with these thoughts.  Were any of you affected by a catastrophe or something similar?  Please share your story in the comment section below.  Thank you for joining this morning and have a wonderful day.

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