Phoenix Riting! – November 23rd, 2023


Many years ago, at the end of the fabled 80s, a man who has long since left the island told me, “When I moved here from Toronto I thought I was moving from life in the fast lane to life in the slow lane. Little did I know it’s really life in the oncoming lane!” So many things—I am missing a lot of them and still I’m having a hard time keeping track of it all.


I missed the Studio tour! I was so disappointed. I love the studio tours; I normally try to write a column about it. Our island artists and their studios are so varied, original, talented and eclectic, there’s always much to be said. This time it landed on a Sunday, my overcommitted day of the week. I have four regular scheduled commitments, including two radio shows, on Sundays. Yet, so many things are scheduled on Sundays. I understand that Sundays are free days for most people, and of course, you can’t do all the things. There’s only one of me (repeat into the mirror until I believe it).  My life has often been a pendulum swing between stretching myself thin trying to do all the things and crashing on the couch doing none of them.


I’ve gotten better at managing my energies (except on Sundays) and at letting go of the things that are too much. One of these days I’ll master this life gig.


I did go to the second Economic Development Strategy Community Engagement workshop facilitated by Wellesley Consulting last week. This session was different in feel and tone from the first, which had been very engaged, inspiring and connected. Frictions and discomfort were revealed. The question period at the beginning generated a lot of discussion, much of it emotional, about who the workshops were for, what the purpose was, why? I held my tongue, but such concerns seemed out of place at that moment. We were attending a workshop. This seemed like showing up to play baseball then questioning the rules, delaying the game.


The questions were patiently answered as best they could, though perhaps not to the satisfaction of the questioners. At last, all that needed saying was said, and we got to do what we were there to do. And then, I found myself questioning the process and purpose. The ideas purportedly generated in previous workshops and sessions were listed each under their category headings. Those of us at the meeting were to choose the ones most important to us by placing coloured stickers next to them. I noticed that some of the important points we had agreed on as a large group in September had been dropped. I added back what I could remember in the blanks we were invited to fill in. True, someone has to pare down the myriad ideas generated in these sessions. But what filter is used to prioritize? What’s falling through those cracks?


There were still many wonderful and important ideas on the list, and I do hope it will serve us going forward in some way. I have no idea what will be done with this information or whose priorities will be applied to outcomes, if any, of these ‘economic development’ workshops. HICEEC says that this project, although sponsored by them, is not intended for HICEEC, but for ‘the community’. But… who exactly is that? We are assured these workshops are not merely to generate ideas but action plans. But the acting entity, or entities, are not defined.


We’ll see where it all goes. I remain optimistic, with pessimistic overtones. I’m not sorry I went.


On the much-more-fun side, David Gogo at the Hall Saturday night was an absolute blast. Someone said to me, when I asked if they were going to the show, “To see David Ego? Are you kidding? No way!” I laughed and laughed. It’s true that the man has a massive ego. I’m not sure how that is a criticism of his performance, though. You have to have a big, strong ego to do what he does, and he has the talent, skill and power to back it up. The setting was perfect: himself, a drummer and bassist. Plenty of room for his ego on that stage, which in my opinion took second place to the brilliant music. It was excellent. I managed to stay to the very end of this one; I danced and danced and lost my little mind doing so. Wonderful. Thank you, Mr. David Ego!


The other fun thing I did this week was Barbie the Movie at the Hall. I hadn’t seen the film yet, which was silly yet weirdly deep, my favourite. Cotton candy with a shot of herbal tincture. The best part, aside from the film itself, was the fun others had dressing up. I don’t own pink, so I stayed in my usual colours (the rest of them, basically), but some people went all out and it was amazing.


Christmas is coming. That has the ominous overtones of the Game of Thrones’ ‘Winter is Coming.’ I have an original Christmas song ready to finish in the studio tomorrow and I hope to get it released in time for the jingle season. I’ll keep you all posted!


That’s what I think. What do you think? Email me at