Connecting two Distant Points.

by Kevin

I’m pretty sure most people blog about things AS they happen, not months after the fact. The writing habits I was zealously trying to develop while in England seem to have fallen by the wayside, although there are no less than 11 drafts sitting in my WordPress account, just waiting for a flash of insight to propel them to completion. And looking over some of those old posts I can’t help but feel like this one is a bit stiff and strained, almost like I’m trying too hard to get the ideas out.

Still, we can’t rely on inspiration and motivation – I saw a quote not too long ago about the fallacy of motivation, and how results come from forcing new habits and just doing the work…a theme that seems to keep popping up. So with coffee in hand, we bulldoze onwards towards creating something that not merely “content”.

At the moment of writing this, I will be closing the circle and moving back to Toronto in four days, after having spent a considerable amount of time with my parents in my hometown. It’s been 4 ½ months since I moved back to Canada from my abortive apprenticeship in England – I don’t think I’ve ever written about that move or the decision apart from saying that it was happening, and some vague rationale as to the reasons. It was an emotional time, I was more than a little distraught about having to cut short something I thought I had committed to so fully – but the necessity of being closer to family was an unanticipated factor.

I appreciate all the messages from friends all over the world (social media is TRULY an amazing thing!) asking about my dad – he’s doing remarkably well for a man in his 70’s, and the health issues that scared me so badly this past winter have stabilized. Now that the good weather has arrived he’s more inclined to go outside for walks and exercise (who can blame him, right?), and additionally he and my mother are planning a trip to the Yukon and Alaska. “Spending my inheritance” is the joke when they do these trips – which is a non-issue for me, really. They’ve seen more of Canada in the last few years than I have my entire life, this trip will be the last province they haven’t seen, and because Alaska is right there, why not? I think it’s fantastic and will be waiting with bated breath for stories of the trip.

I was truly surprised at how affected I was at being away from friends and family when I went to England. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. I mean, I already knew that Dad wasn’t at his best – but I suppose I was caught up in the whole “adventure” of a new challenge to understand what that really meant. But the reality soon became clear – going to England was less about chasing something and more about running away from a whole lot of things. And eventually, we all have to face up to what keeps us from LIVING.

Realizing how important my friends and family are to me completely threw me for a loop. Loners revel in their own self-sufficiency and ability to amuse themselves, but I now wonder if for me, part of that is self-imposed…or has become a habit…or is just mismanaged anxiety. Spending a significant part of my life keeping the world at arm’s reach has made it difficult to embrace a lot of things – and to suddenly realize the OPTION to embrace them is just out of reach… it makes one very quickly reassess the chain of events leading to that point. Moving home was as much about the desire to do something about the idea of “holding the world at arm’s reach” as closing that physical gap…I have absolutely no idea how to go about that though, just that it needs to be done.

So for that reason, I don’t have any regrets about making the choices I did. I accept that the decision to come home has strained a few of my relationships within the metalworking community. I acknowledge that when it comes to the work, I’m now effectively on my own with regards to developing technique and understanding of the aesthetic. But on a personal level it was necessary, and perhaps my work will benefit from an active effort to connect myself with own existence.