Upbeat Despite the Off Beat…

Day #33

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go right, but some inexplicable factor keeps you feeling just a little bit off balance? You can’t really put your finger on what it is, but something just kind of pokes at you. Maybe it makes you feel a little bit cold in the middle of summer, or it makes you remember a guilty moment from your life, or maybe, like for me today, it gives you just a little bit of an edge. It wasn’t anything unmanageable, it was just a nagging little tug at my self-conscious that put into certain situations made me somewhat irritable. The good thing about today was that I was aware that I was being nudged in this irritable direction, and was able to take steps to avoid showing it too obviously.

It was important for me to keep my head level and clear today because the arrival of another Sunday meant the start of another camp planning session. I don’t mean to sound negative about these weekly sessions, because they have to this point, produced extremely positive and necessary results. The ultimate product of ‘success’ however, does not change the fact that during these sessions, ideas and counter ideas fly around the room at an alarming pace. This leads to an air thick with ‘hedged’ comments and personally charged literary concepts. You could cut the collective tension with a handmade paddle! I perhaps deservedly have a reputation as a ‘take charge’ person in group situations, but I have learned over the past month that my role here in Fort Hope is not and will not take on a complexion of this nature. I approached this discussion armed with my best ideas, and my best compromising skills. I occasionally felt that little bit of an offbeat sneak up on me and break the 4/4 of my thoughts, but overall I think I managed to contribute rather effectively to the discussion.

I’ll just quickly backtrack and say that I had a great day overall. I woke up this morning, had a little breakfast, listened to a bit of ‘Q’ and read a considerable amount of my latest book ‘3 Day Road’. After that I made sure that I accomplished at least one thing for the day and headed out onto the gravel for a nice solid 13km run. I’m working my way up to running what I’ll officially title ‘The Fort Hope Half Marathon’ sometime this week or weekend. A half marathon is 20km, and I ran 17km and 13km twice this week, so I’m just about ready to stretch it out for the full 20km. I then returned to the house and did something created quite a stir in our kitchen. I dug into one of my recently received packages and withdrew a magical box of the world’s best boxed macaroni. Presidents Choice White Cheddar Macaroni is just about the best thing ever to grace a cardboard box. I got a couple of jealous stares as I mixed the wondrous concoction together, and even a frosty glare or two! I’m kidding of course…well kind of…I think white cheddar macaroni is capable of bringing out the worst in anyone!

After our planning meeting I finished off ‘3 Day Road’ and worked my way through a few more guitar chords. Please read ‘3 Day Road’. Stick with it through the first 125 pages and you won’t be sorry. It’s a thrilling look at WWI through the eyes of two Ojibway youth, Elijah and Xavier. It casts a completely different perspective on the war. The most intriguing sub-plot to this story is the focus the author places on the battle fought between soldier and morphine in the trenches. A major element of the story is the struggle the two soldiers face to avoid being taken over by it’s calming effects. It’s really quite an exciting read.

As for the guitar…I hate the ‘F’ chord. I have managed to memorize the chord positions of C, D, E, F, G, A and B now, and see that as significant progress. Up until today I had only really managed to get C down… It’s still going to be a long road to get to any level of basic proficiency, but I shall continue to battle on. I am planning to tackle the flat and sharp chords this week…

After eating dinner today I prepared a song lyric activity for camp tomorrow and then joined the girls over at the school to do some cleaning up of the classrooms. As we cleaned, the most intense sunset appeared from underneath the clouds that had covered Fort Hope for most of the day. It was hard not to be impressed by it! I just wish that I had had my camera with me…

I’m now back at home and talking with Bilal over facebook chat…

And by the way, despite the occasional ‘off beat’ I still find myself feeling rather ‘upbeat’.

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