Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vancouver Island inspiration

If I hadn't learned to sing, I might never have aspired to improve my ability to express myself in writing.

When I was a young teenager, you couldn't get me to sing at any of our big family gatherings, not even carols at Christmas time. People tried, especially my dad, but I didn't want to be embarrassed. I couldn't hold a tune if my life depended on it and I knew my "embarrassment" would kill me.

Over some years I learned to play guitar and to sing along. Now I play and sing for friends, family and strangers whenever I get a chance, and they tell me I'm pretty good!

It came to me later in life that a person has to sing to learn to sing. And I'm glad I did because singing makes me feel good! By living in the moment, by being brave and exploring my relationship with the world through music and song, I get satisfaction..."if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need".

I always thought of myself as being 'a pretty good writer', although I suspect I may have occasionally misinterpreted my enjoyment of writing as evidence of being "good" at it. My girlfriend's overwhelming ambivalence to my early poetic indulgences spoke volumes. My guess is that, as with singing, creative writing improves over time, and the rewards from engaging in the process are intensely personal.

As a teenager I wrote poetry... all very philosophical and painfully romantic. Later, I wrote mostly about academic, technical and corporate matters... creative, but definitely not romantic.

Whenever I write, I choose my words carefully and strangely enjoy editing and revising the written word. It is a creative process wherein the more engaged I am, the more satisfaction and enjoyment I experience. This is the same as with singing, so I know what I have to do.

digital painting by Ron Greenaway
Landing In Paradise
digital painting by Ron Greenaway

I write about my experience of where I live. They are brave literary attempts to capture impressionistic moments in time. Short vignettes that are fun to write, and take risks. Although, to be sure, I am not as easily embarrassed as I once was.

The Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is picturesque at every turn of the road, and a safe and beautiful place to wander year round. The Valley has the greatest concentration of people who describe themselves as being "artists" in all of Canada and the local arts community plays a big part in my life. It is, on average, the warmest place in all of Canada. It didn't snow here in Duncan last winter and for a guy from Winnipeg that's like a miracle.

I live in one of the best places in the world. It is an island paradise.

Ron Greenaway

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