Bloggers Note: The post below was originally written back in October of last year. As I will explain in my next post, my absence from the blog, though not infrequent, at least this time has an explanation attached.
How do you honor the death of an idol?
I received some particularly sad news this week, Gord Downie, passed away Tuesday. For those of you who are regular readers of my words, you will recall that I penned two entries on the band The Tragically Hip a few posts ago. I don’t want to make this another love letter to the band; you can go back and re-read those posts, if you like. I’d like to write about (talk about) how I’d like to live my life going forward, inspired by Gord Downie.
I was traveling for work last week so I was in Texas when I learned the news. I had a rather busy week, and really didn’t have a chance to feel much of anything about Gord’s passing, or the band. As luck would have it, a couple of my teammates live in Canada. Neither of them are fans of the band, or of Gord. I chatted about the band with one of them for a moment, but again, all he could tell me is how he wasn’t a fan. We had to get back to the training we were there for, and I had to put this aside.
I finally had a chance in the early evening to listen to some of their songs. I was steeling myself for the emotions I thought I would feel. Oddly, to me, I didn’t. It was comforting to hear the music. No great outpouring of anything. I flew home on Thursday, and got re-acquainted with my routine. Friday afternoon, I was browsing twitter, and came across a posting from a hockey broadcaster I am familiar with. You can read it here: http://www.tsn.ca/gord-s-gift-1.889234
The anecdote he related about Gord’s reply to his email really got to me. It more or less opened the floodgates. Later last night with some friends we listened to the last Hip record Man Machine Poem. I lost it. I broke down, more or less.
Gord Downie spent the last years of his life advocating for things that he believed in, and trying to make his country a better place. I’m not going to bore you with all of the stories; you can search out Gord online and see for yourself. What it did do is force me to take a very serious look at my life. What the hell, exactly, am I doing?
I would love to be able to write something that impacts someone as much as Gord and the rest of the band’s songs have affected me. I would like to do something Grand as well. Grand does not necessarily mean great. Grand; Important; Impactful. A legacy of some form perhaps. Leaving the world a better place than when I came into it. Those are all amorphous goals or ideals certainly. But they are setting me on a path. My chosen means of doing those things at the moment is with my words, my voice, This blog and the other writing that I am doing, which I guess I should explain here. I am covering the local minor league hockey team, the Orlando Solar Bears for a SBN Media blog about the Toronto Maple Leafs, our parent NHL team. I took that on to have a regular writing gig. It’s been fun so far. My thought at the time I took this on is to treat this as a season long internship, and to try to write as much as I can.
Another result from the soul searching I did was that I really can’t hide this blog any longer. I need to own that this is my blog, my words, and try to make something of it. As of today, I am letting the world know this is here, I am Paul, and these are my words. I still hold to how I started this that this isn’t going to be just the story of Paul. But what is important to me. As I search for the answer to my lofty aspirations above, you should expect to see me write about these things that are important, and about how I am trying to have an impact in these areas. Topics to expect to see me expound on are Global Climate Change, and more specifically a cause that is dear to me, Polar Bears International. I have been supporting them for a couple of years, and it’s about time I put some action where I have been sending checks. Social inequality and Social Justice are also things that I have worked on in the past. I may go there. Hockey, of course, see above. Me, of course, as I try to make sense of me, and the path I am now taking. Music should also be there too as it has been, and continues to be of particular importance to me. I’ll be making some changes to this site, making it easier to reach me, should you care to do so.