Monday, March 18, 2019

re: touring and gigs,

Hi friends, fans, foe and lovers,

this is the first post of 2019 and proof i'm still alive! sorry it's been awhile, i ran for city council here in Kamloops last fall and i ran a short 6 week campaign with an awesome team of my sister Sandra, Cassie was finance and sign roadie along with Mike on camera and social media roadie. We got 3304 votes, which is half i needed to win a seat on city council.

it was whirlwind, with an average 2 events a day, 5 days a week, which i used transit and biked to each one, it was kind of exhausting. would i do it again? yes. this council is getting closer to representing people, but i think all of them except 2 are business people, which is ok, but it doesn't represent the diverse spectrum of people in this city. indigenous people still aren't represented and i'd like to help change that by at least inspiring others to run AND or winning next time.

it's an interesting time of change these days, after something like 15 years of liberals in power who really only seemed to care about corporations and breaks for the rich, we now have the NDP in the province and suddenly we're getting affordable housing, investing in education and people, it's almost like they care and want to make this province for the people again instead of the rich and powerful. and corrupt.

i've also done a few more gigs, mainly poetry readings in vancouver and here at home, which has been fun and exciting again. i took a long, long break from the road because i was so exhausted and burnt out from endless touring that i nearly died and lost it all. fast forward a couple years or so and i'm feeling much, much better. it took a long time to get the road out of my body, always traveling, always moving to a different city, different venue, festival, stage and whatever. it was what i had to do to survive. i didn't have an escape plan or safety plan. hence the burn out.

i can now relax and do nothing, read, watch tv, play guitar, spend time with the kids and exercise to keep my body fit, instead of fat, haha, life on the road with endless buffets, beer and a sedentary lifestyle catch up to you. i no longer get ansty around 7 or 8 at night, when i'd usually be storming onto a stage getting people up and amped and more importantly i just don't miss the lifestyle.

my creativity isn't back a 100% but i'm not worried, after spending the better part of a decade constantly hustling and coming up with murals, art exhibitions, projects, books, films, riffs, songs and whatever it took to keep making that almighty dollar i can't expect the tank to be full, but it'll get there.

to my friends still on the road, i don't envy you and i hope you have learned to take of yourself, still have fun and have an escape plan/safety plan because you need one. know when to get off the road. know when to take a break and know when to rest and let your body and mind heal itself because it ain't easy the work you're out there doing.

speaking of which, i'm going to take my kids to the park and enjoy the beautiful day outside. get some sunshine and a little fun and exercise on the playground. peace out y'all! i also have a new book coming out this year, we'll talk more about that later.

take care,

CB.
2010 in kelowna at the alternator centre
for contemporary art.

last fall at the kamloops writers festival
fat and bloated, still recuperating
i've lost some weight since then
and work out regularly now. 

me and my daughters and my son 
in the art in the background. 
sometime about 6 years ago.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

re: alone/lonely, two different worlds. sort of.

Hello friends, fans, foe and lovers,

here is a new short piece on "alone/lonely" have a got at it, hope you enjoy something in it,

until next time,


CB.



Alone/Lonely:
My last article or short essay was about parenting and how I sometimes struggle doing it on my own without a lot of support from an extended family network. I spend a lot of time alone, not just because I’m an artist, writer or creative type, but because I choose to spend my time without being surrounded all the time by people. I like being alone, I like the silence, I enjoy being able to do what I want when I want on my own terms. This is different from being lonely. Being lonely is when you feel cut off or isolated from the world around you and it indeed does weird shit to you; I’ve been on both sides of this subject. Being lonely can make you feel isolated, depressed, and crazy and a bit like a loser. Being alone can be empowering, awesome, creative and cool. When I have been lonely it’s because I want or crave intimacy or to be part of a clique or a group. It’s usually at the tail end of a long period of time when I have been alone by choice.


                 

I’ve spent a great amount of time alone in my life, I’m not sure why, I can be gregarious when I want, but at the end of the day, I always have enjoyed coming home to a quiet place and relaxing. I’ll read, play guitar, do some art or watch something online or the TV. Now that I have kids, I enjoy my time with them, they have filled that void of silence when I have them with me, when they’re back at their mum’s I miss them, but I’m used to being alone. It’s not the same as lonely. Trust me. I don’t have to answer to anyone, pick up after anyone, well, except the kids, and I don’t have to adjust my lifestyle to suit someone else’s needs. I’m happy this way and really dig it.

                 

So, when I take time away from the rat race and spend time working on something new and creative, it’s really fun at first and if I’m having successes, then it’s exciting and empowering. If I’m hit with obstacles and problems, then it feels like I’m struggling to reach goals or express myself creatively and successfully. I begin to doubt myself, my goals and indeed my own existence. You can reach a low place very quickly if you’re struggling, especially with deadlines and other things. It’s because I can cobble together some money from projects, save up and get away from it all I feel sort of successful, but it never lasts because there’s never enough money.

                 


The struggle is real. What it does is buy me time, that is I get to have time away from people and society. If I do this for a while as in don’t leave my place because I have food, rent and bills paid up, I can get lonely and it can suck. Reintegrating back into society and social situations can be challenging and awkward, because I haven’t talked to anyone in awhile, or left my place for a week or more. I get anxiety and have to basically force myself to go out in public, catch the bus, get a coffee, and go to the bookstore and other “normal” things. There have been times when I haven’t spoken out loud for so long my own voice startles me, haha, which is sad and funny. So I think when you’re alone, it’s by choice and when you start to feel lonely it’s because you’ve been alone too long and have a hard time reaching out and getting back into the loop with friends, family and even society. Take care of yourself, time alone is good, but becoming lonely can be not so great and you need to learn to tell the difference! 

until next time,

Chris Bose.

                        





Wednesday, July 11, 2018

re: self-care and health-care!!!

Hello friends, fans, foe and lovers,


Recently I had a “cardiac event” as they call it, which means I woke up one morning with my heart going about 200 bpm, for metal heads, the song “Blackened,” by Metallica is about 210 bpm, so it was going fast, way too fast. I couldn’t sit still, I didn’t know what was going on so my little brother and I caught a cab to the hospital, which sucked because we jumped in the cab and the cabby reeked of nicotine, perfume and a hangover. I was already having shallow breathing, so it was another challenge, down came the window and I tried gulping in fresh air as we zipped down the hill towards the hospital.



It’s excruciatingly slow at the emergency, despite the fact I was the only person in the waiting room. The staff was busy finishing with a couple other people, but when you’re freaking out, it feels like you’re going to die. The nurse or person who admitted me was also very sloth-like, which added to my frustration, and looked a lot like Steve Carrel, which was weird and added a surreal moment to what was going on. But once he checked my pulse, things sped up a bit, and I was admitted, then sent off to a little room where I was hooked up to a machine that determined, yes, indeed, my heart was fucking pounding out of my chest. I wasn’t faking it.



Then I was sent to another room, much bigger, with another patient in it, on the other side of a wall, or sort of wall that divided the room. Hooked up to more machines, then oxygen because my breathing was so shallow my oxygen was dropping. They hooked me up to a defibrillator and a doctor came in and explained what was happening in my heart. It was in arrhythmia, something that happens a lot and commonly they treat it several times a day. I was astounded, but if you don’t experience something, you just don’t know what’s going on in the shadows around you.



After a few minutes an anesthesiologist came in, the doctor said “we’re going to sort of put you under, before the procedure, it’ll hurt less,” or something like that and in those minutes waiting I made my peace. I thought about a lot that had gone on in my life and people and the thing that made me sad and mad the most was not seeing my kids grow up and I was an idiot that needed to grow up and make changes in my life. As things faded to black I accepted it and wasn’t scared, then all of a sudden ZAP!!!! I sat up as the electricity hit me and it felt like a kick from a mule or something. My heart dropped down to 120 bmp and I gasped and lay back down and instantly started to feel calmer and relaxed. It was probably the drugs in the anesthesia, haha.



Since then it’s been tests and more tests, I’ve seen a cardiologist, who explained carefully what likely happened and the changes I need to make to extend my life a lot longer. Believe me, when you have a Doctor, Anesthesiologist, Nurses and machines strapped up to you, you get your wake up call. I quit drinking, quit coffee, salt, butter and all the wonderful things I enjoyed in life. I thought I had a pretty good diet, but when you actually start taking notes on what you eat, nah, it’s kind of shitty. Haha. I’m getting my steps in everyday and I’m taking weight loss seriously and my health even more seriously. This past year I had been making baby steps in my health, trying to get my steps in, trying to watch what I eat, trying to work out and get outside more. Now, it’s my mission and longevity is my goal with my health because I want to be there for my kids and watch them grow up and do my best to be a good dad.



So, if you’re packing around an extra 10 or 20 pounds or more, have diabetes, high blood pressure, smoke and have a history of heart conditions in your family, go get a check up. No matter what age you are, I knew I was overweight, but I didn’t know I had high blood pressure, which is partially caused by the weight I’m carrying. Once I drop the weight, my blood pressure should lower as well. Diet. Exercise. Self-care. I’ve had a couple friends die in the past couple years because of heart attacks and this is my message to you, it’s preventable, get in, get help and take care of yourself, because once you’re gone, that’s it. You’re just a memory and your friends and family might not say it, but they’ll miss you when you’re gone. Take care of yourself!


Each sunrise and sunset is amazing. Stay real yo!

Monday, July 09, 2018

re: parenting.....wtf?!?!

Hello friends, fans, foe and lovers,

i continue my non-fiction, essay, rant, style of new material in my blog and kind of inspiring me again to keep writing and start having more fun in it. please enjoy!?

CB




Parenting:

Ahhh parenting. It’s an incredible challenge and incredibly rewarding, that thing called “parenting” and it’s rougher when you’ve never really had a parent. Not to say my mum didn’t try, it’s just that she didn’t know how. 11 years in a residential school will do that to you. Just over half a life sentence basically, except she went in at age 5 and got out when she was 16 and pregnant with me (we’ll talk about that another time!). There are times when I feel like I am doing a good job being a parent, and other times where I feel like I am sucking at it. I try to do the opposite of how I grew up. My kids have way more than I ever did. Better food. Better living conditions. Stability. 


Ava'r and Seth'r many moons ago. 
Their mom got mad at me for giving our son
a shirt from the band "Devildriver" 
it's a medieval print of a demon eating people. 
lol. my humour doesn't always reach others.

I’ve been in the same apartment for over 8 years now. I’ll talk more on that later, haha, it’s actually the longest I’ve ever been one place in my entire life. But there are times I realize I don’t have the best coping mechanics, under stress, financially or emotionally. I struggle, as does everyone I reckon, but I do my best and seem to be wrapping my head around it more successfully than previous years. I’m currently parenting without a roadmap to life, meaning, I’m raising daughters and a teenage son pretty much without a lot of help. My mum, who didn’t really know how to be a mum, well, doesn’t really know how to be a grandparent. My dad was never really in the picture and he’s in rough shape from living a rough life and the kids have no interest in meeting him and I don’t have much interest in getting to know him.


So, my support network is limited, and though I try to expand it, this isn’t easy in an increasingly diverted, introverted; anti-social, social media frenzy culture. I find I am exhausted at the end of the day, mentally, emotionally and even physically when I have my kids. I nap a couple times a day when I have them because my brain needs it. My body needs it. As they get older, it gets a little easier, because the constant barrage of questions and demands for attention begins to wane and it’s nice a little sad at the same time.

Tater and her yeah yah, just before Yeah yah (grandma) passed into the spirit world
this photo and those lights sort of represent that. i remember my spah-puh-lah
(grandpa) telling me he was going to the spirit world soon and when he did
my brother would be born, because that's how it worked, one left and one arrived.
so now i'm always worried about births. haha. it's an omen someone will pass on. 

When I first moved to my current location, it was all 4 of us going to the playground or for hikes. Then it was 3 of us as my son turned 12 and started wanting to stay home because he was outgrowing playground time. Then it was 2 of us as my daughter turned 10 and outpacing her brother in maturity also sought time alone to watch youtube room tours and lip balm tours. So now it’s my youngest daughter and I going to the park and playground to play, and to be honest it’s a little sad. They’re growing up so fast and it’s hard to keep pace with their interests, wants and needs.
Seth'r in a studio i had back in 2009

I do the best I can with what I have and know, then I ask others questions about stuff my kids are doing and then if all else fails I check the interwebs and see what’s what. It helps but I can’t help but feel a little envious at the more “normal” families I see with grandparents and siblings interested in spending time with one another, helping with errands or food or this or that, the little things in life that help make the journey a little more enjoyable. 


Seth'r and Ava'r 
many moons ago. 

Watching other families that seem on the outside, to be doing better as a family unit makes me feel a little sad inside and alone/lonely. My family as a whole has been through so much pain and suffering because of the residential school system, everyone is a little crazy and messed up. The world my kids has grown up has been way, way less affected from that than I experienced and hopefully they won’t have kids because the world is a mess. I stopped the madness I grew up in and I feel good about it. Not to say their lives are perfect, life is what it is, sometimes amazing, simple, go with the flow, and sometimes it's a challenge. That's life. But if my kids do decide to have kids, I hope their kids’ experience in life moving forward and better and we just keep moving on through space, time and living.





Tater and I a long time ago, i could tell parents
around us at the water park were like WTF? how does this big indian
have a pale kid? lol. 


Ava'r and Tater a few years ago. 

Tater a few years ago.

Friday, June 29, 2018

re: blogging........can be a pain in the ass these days........no one does it?!?!

hello friends, fans, foe and family,

a new rant/non-fiction/story for your consideration, expect more while i am still above the ground!

hugs and love,


CB


-->
Blogging:
It’s a pain in the ass. Why do I do it? I’m not sure. In 2008 I started this blog and keep it going, I guess it’s because it’s a sort of tangible record of my time here and what has happened in the past ten years. Looking back I remember starting my blog at a coffee shop downtown T’kemlups called “Zacks Tea and Coffee.” I was lost and how no idea to get to where I am now. I had had a book deal with an aboriginal publisher that had folded and lost my final edited version of my manuscript in the chaos and shuffle of going under. My editor, famous aboriginal author Richard Van Camp didn’t have one either and it all really sucked. He had helped me get the book deal in the first place, which I am thankful for, because he plucked me out of obscurity and got me gigs and published in literary magazines and was a fine mentor. Then he separated from his wife, sadly, and then moved to the big city and I was on my own after that, which really sucked as well.

Never underestimate the power, no the value of a mentor. Someone who has been there, done it, seen it all and lived to tell about it. We don’t have nearly enough mentors in NDN country. Nor enough father role models either. I believe it’s because of the damn residential school system. For over a century it divided families, killed languages and nearly destroyed an entire nation of Aboriginal people. I grew up in a wildly different world than my kids. It was violent. Chaotic and I saw my mother get abused many, many times. Both her and my father went to residential school, the same one in fact, St. George’s in Lytton, BC. Right near the heart of Nlaka’pamux territory, across from the Stein Valley, our centre of the universe. Richard was a good mentor, a fine one who helped me navigate the complicated world of contracts, deals and publishing. This is something I hope to do one day as well with an author. To never forget my roots and beginnings in this crazy creative world I live in and now watch my kids following in my steps.

In many ways, my relationship with my parents is complicated. I feel sad for them. Angry. Frustrated. And for many years, I was lost. I had no direction, no guidance from them, because they were lost in their pain and suffering as well. My mother entered residential school at 5 or 6 and didn’t leave until she was 16 when she was pregnant with me. Haha, and I laugh now because I think I was conceived at a residential school. Years later, I met a famous blackfoot aboriginal artist named Adrian and he too was conceived at a residential school and we laughed about it. The irony of it all right? Now as a parent, with children becoming little entities or rather tall entities on their own paths, I do my best to help them. I never really had parents. I said it. I’m sure if my mother reads this it will hurt, but it’s true.

She was taken to residential school, forcibly, so young and had so little contact with her own parents, my grandparents, that when she had me, she wasn’t ready or equipped for it. She was angry. For a decade in that hellish nightmare of physical pain and sexual abuse called St. George’s residential school she lost her language and family. She had older siblings at the school, but children were forbidden to talk to one another, as well as speak their own language. The few times she saw my grandparents was during the one or two times a year they were allowed to visit and it was in the gymnasium, surrounded by hundreds of other parents and weeping children who just wanted to go home. Fuck you Canada. That’s what you did.




So now I am a parent, and I am adrift in a world and not sure where I am going or what I am doing for a living. I guess I tell stories for a living. I make films and art that tell a story as well. I also write songs too, that are very cinematic and instrumental. The unifying them I would say is sadness and anger. Even as I near fifty years old, one half of a century, the fire burns bright and with fury. Sometimes I let alcohol dull the blade and flame, because it drives me mad, and it tempers the rage. Other times I stoke the flames and let it out creatively. Either way, I have to keep going and try to be a good dad, reclaim my language and culture and try to find time to mentor others on their path as well. Only now am I figuring things out, time, pressure and experience has forged the path I am on now and I hope I never lose it.