ready for the oven. finally.

im literally starting to burn the last bits of banff life now. 45 hours, from some 5114 hours. 3.75hrs, my body will be hurled across the sky in a small tin can operated by westjet, then saturday at 2140@yyz local time, i will be literally at the end of the year, then from there, 184 hours till the next tin can ride over the big puddle. from that point, approx. 260 hours till the end of the epic year. (i did mention i do like to count things, if somewhat ocd-ish, sorry!)

i have this candle i bought couple weeks ago, complete splurge. a real lavender infused glass cup candle. and whenever ive been burning it, i was rather careful about not being frivolous (silly! the whole idea of scented candle in fully wired studio with more than enough lighting itself is already frivolous)... at times, i was able to smell the delicate scent wafting through the hallway, coming back from another studio from rehearsals and such, and instantaneously drop my shoulders and breath in deeper. and now, with really one more night to go (well really another hour as tomorrow evening will be run over by the concert and all the extra excitement), im burning it with no reservation. burn baby burn. let me inhale all the delicate particles of your summer glory- the beautiful, supple blue-purple lavenders of the field, harvested in the peak of the late summer, only to release yourself into the cold, icy air of banff mountain studio.

i took the pictures off the wall and it's bare. i took the monkey pictures off from my studio panel, as i am no longer accompanying anyone. as much as i complained about my position at times, i really do love it and i am not regretful but a bit blue to leave it. i returned most of the book back to the library. it's looking quite empty. very different from just last week- last week on thursday, i believe i was burning my brains in a second recording session by this point. papers everywhere, brain bits everywhere. completely lost and mad. now just 168 hours later, a calm after the mad storm. the only thing that is left is tomorrow's mozart kv. 448 for two pianos- me and the norwegian guru. it would be a whoot i bet.

who wouldve foreseen what would have happened this year? i know ive been ranting awful lot about how life goes and how grateful i am and so on, but i cant help but to think about these specific things as i am about to leave this epic year.

banff centre for arts with all its faults and shortcomings- whatever they may be, as it could never make everyone completely happy, have been nothing short of a great creative kitchen mixing bowl. add the basic ingredients- like water, butter, salt, flour, may be a bit of yeast and sugar, and then whatever you may find along the way- new people, new concepts, friends, adversities, difficulties, they all go into the bowl. during the time i am off, i am just like the dough resting and proofing, growing larger and larger by minutes. morphing. and as i am wrapping up here, i suppose i am leaving to enter the real world, the oven. and let see what kind of things the bowl have held, what kind of beautiful things everyone have brought into the mix, and see how much i have absorbed and how much i will grow further from now.

i cant express enough how sincerely happy i am that i had such a chance to be here this year. it's been anything but continuous roll of surprises, discoveries and generosity. each time i left, twice before, i knew i was coming back, so it was easy. but this residency, with most time and more centered self, along with great fellow residents, really have been the peak of the year i believe. i found inspiration, aspiration, compassion, affection, humour, trials and difficulties, all shades of greys and blues, and bursts of pure colours and magic. in music, in conversations, simple expression of gratitude.

i cant help but to already to think about the ways i would be back. what would i be doing? when and where? the foremost chance i would have would be the on way back from UK in march, perhaps flying directly to yyc and spend may be a week or so in banff, before returning to yyz for hopefully busy months of working. i could get some stuff ready to record, or start to put together some projects with some of my dear friends who will still be here in the spring. but really, if that doesnt work out, there will be plenty of chances. this is my home. some call it artistic home, but really, it is much larger than that. arts is only part of life in a sense- but a home is a continuation, a signature symbol of a living person. where do you live? who are you and where did you come from?

i may not have much luggages to put onboard on saturday. im a light traveller. it's a easy thing to do, especially if you know that there are so many riches you will be picking up and sharing all the time continuously, on and off the road. there's the real things, intangible, offered and not bought, found and appreciated, incorporated and permeated. like the candle scent that escapes sneakily through the big steel door and fill the hallway without any sign of letting me know!

my heart and head is more than full, there are things put on top of things, just make the ends meet, just make it so that i may be able to carry it all with me. but at the moment, i cant help it but to feel a slight blue tint, i love this place. i love what this place means to me. i love what i have found and who i came to love. call it an end of the year nostalgia or whatever. call it romantic. pansy. whatever. blame it on the carols. point fingers at the small white lights of the overly decorated christmas trees. the truth is that i am in love. with banff. with life. with my people. far and close. like the bread dough that has been waiting patiently, incorporating all strange and unexpected bits. breathing and growing slowly but surely.

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