So much strange & crazy

One journalist's musings about the beautiful, bizarre world in which we live

It all glitters, darkly.

Dog wearing yellow sunglasses that look like handcuffs.

This is one hip pup.

Picture this.

It’s a rainy, sunny day. Twenty-four kilometres away from Venice, next to a horse farm and a power station, sitting in a little blue Sunfire (which has an “I ♥ Alberta Beef” sticker on the back), there I am — a most-of-the-time vegetarian eating the best god-damned chicken shawarma of my life.

It’s the perfect mix of spice, heat and the garlicky goodness that will keep people at least five metres away for the next little while. Good.

Just as the space I’m in is a juxtapositional jumble, it’s a beautiful-ugly world for me today.

I’ve just come from the 100th anniversary celebration of the Lebanese community’s arrival in Lac La Biche (for those who don’t know, Lac La Biche is a town/county/”hamlet” I cover northeast of Edmonton). It was exciting. It was glittering. There were sparkling dancers covered in gold and red fabrics, bottled art made of coloured sand. Delicious scents, tastes, sounds and sights.

Now I’m heading back to Athabasca, where I’m working on a series of interviews with a man who lived in a residential school for ten years. He tells me of the terror seen by his childlike eyes, of the evil within each human being. He was tortured both inside and outside of  the school’s walls. His words make me cry myself to sleep — not because of the stories themselves, but because of the fact that people can do so much hurt to others with no regret, no pain. Nothing but smug righteousness.

So here I am. Working on a story about community that struggled to find a new home, while another was pulled out of theirs. I work on an article about the Jade Buddha’s world tour for universal peace, while one man struggles — almost impossibly — to find peace with himself, with others.

It’s too much for me to deal with right now. Just let me eat my shawarma. In peace. Please.


5 comments on “It all glitters, darkly.

  1. sonographic
    July 6, 2010

    well said.

  2. Tony Brunjes
    July 6, 2010

    You have the duty to relay these things you see and hear to the people, to the individuals who a can relate and who have had similar experiences, even though it may take your emotions to places you still need to learn to cope with. This is how the people find a way to come together and the collective can find peace in each other’s histories.

    You will never be alone in what you do or say. You care and it shows in everything you write, everything you share with the world around you. There will always be people hanging on to the last word you write. People will dutifully find time to share your adventures, your griefs, your joy. I know. I’m one of them. And I know so many others that do the same thing.

    You have a following. And I am so very proud to know you.


  3. Bill Brunjes
    July 7, 2010

    It’s been said that doctors and reporters must remain emotionally detached, but I have found this tenet to make for bad doctors and uninteresting reporting. We’ve always enjoyed your writing, as we have with your cousin Chris, because we can feel the tears that are causing the keyboard to be sticky.
    We are also proud to be related and keep on carrying on.
    Unca Bill & Auntie Shar

  4. Bill Brunjes
    July 7, 2010

    Is the dog’s name Elton by any chance?

    • allendria
      July 7, 2010

      Ha, no… That’s Stitch “Meathead” Bellows.

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This entry was posted on July 6, 2010 by in Journalist Diary and tagged , , , , .


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