it was this time last year that I was in the deepest funk since returning from Windsor. It had a negative effect on my classes, relationships, and success rate. I call it the Cruelest Month as an homage to a book I read at the time as part of my coursework. This book followed a detective around a small Quebec town, and was definitely not my kind of book. Turns out it wasn't the professors either as i had neglected to check the addition to the syllabus that included a list of which books were to be used. "Book by Canadian Author" apparently means "Book by Canadian Author that focuses on the struggles of small town minorities integrating into an increasingly urban society". I probably wouldn't have like the Joy Luck Club either - but that was what would have lead to success.
This month followed the death of my Grandfather Leo Gratton, a lifelong member of the francophone community in Welland. During this time I made it a priority to seek out satisfaction, and in the process failed to accomplish the things that I used to enjoy. This was the fail train of ultimate failure. Fail to attend, fail to respond, fail to apply, fail to comprehend, fail to compute, fail until I failed to fail.
The last failure came in March of 2008 when I failed in the BUSU elections, but realized that my non-chalant and satisfaction oriented approach to life made a community form around me. Multiple communities looking for more from life, with a willingness to work on small projects to accomplish one large goal.
Welland students focused on transportation, Anime club members developed a stronger voice on campus, Computer Science students realized that their success was not quantifiable by people that don't understand their work - which developed an interest in pure research. It was like a renaissance for my mind to see these people being more productive and strong.
The Fail Train Stops Here - this became my motto at that time. Since then I have become more knowledgeable about my community, my actual interests, my body and my people. My people are artists, and even if their canvas is an LCD monitor or a vegetable garden they will produce something human. Sights, Sounds, Smells, and anything else that requires the user to interact and become involved instead of just watching and listening. What I couldn't determine was what I made as an artist.
I spent the summer of 2008 planning what was supposed to happen next. This meant riding Faster and Faster(my bicycle, yes it is named) daily to eliminate the years of excess on my body. It included creating a 100 things list to eliminate the years of excess in my living space. Finally cleaning up my technological footprint, going from using 430Gb for everything down to 11Gb - for EVERYTHING. All of my family photos, videos, essays from as far back as high school only add up to less than 11 gigabytes. My music is an additional eight, which may as well remain separate and has been shaved down to fit on a four gigabyte solid state device. Movies are gone, and Alie has been pleased since this means more trips to the Theatre.
My art is destruction, or more eloquently minimalism. I hope to cultivate a more human experience through convergence. The application of these principles on my life is the best proof of concept that I can think of for now.
The month of November will be the anniversary of my deconstruction.