The Story That Keeps Circling Back

I am going to be telling a story at a CBC DNTO with Sook-Yin Lee live show today at 7pm in Saskatoon. It is a story I have told in lesser detail before. It is a hard story for me to tell.

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It is a story about my sobriety, and I am going to tell it with a lot of humour, because there is a lot of humour to be found especially in the hard things. In order to find this humour, though, I've had to dig through this story over and over and over. I've had to pull it apart and put it back together repeatedly so I can grok it.

I used extreme zoom here, so forgive the painterly blur, but this cow and I had a thing, and I had to record our thing for posterity. (click image to enlarge)

I told a shorter version of it first in 2012 as part of my TEDx talk, and I've told it again in person in bits and pieces when people have asked about it. Over the last two years, I have let it lie still for the most part. I had to pull it out again, though, when this DNTO thing came up.

As a result, I spent over four hours driving a two-and-a-half trip from Regina to Saskatoon while I repeated the story out loud over and over and over in the car so it would be ready to say out loud on stage two days later. 

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Spinning and respinning this story, finding all of its pieces and throwing out its nagging detritus, turned out to be a pretty heavy deal, which is why this normally two-and-a-half hour trip became four. I had to stop to talk to cows. I yelled at a skunk. I ate a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I walked through a field. I pulled over so I could belt out some Angel Olsen with my eyes closed. I crouched down in tall prairie grasses and listened to the breeze pick it up and play it against each other. 

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I watched my shadow stretch out alone but also at one with what lay before us. I was isolated and at one and devastated by loneliness and filled with the love of storied connection.

Stories do this deep tearing and healing within me. All things become the paradox of simultaneous brokenness and wholeness.

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It's a mad feeling to hold both things in your heart and know them. It means we're okay. Freedom rests within us.

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I've been in Saskatoon for a day-and-a-half now, stealing bits of time to wander and tell and retell and tell again this story I puzzle through, that I seem bound to say out loud at publicly recorded events in front of hundreds and, by extension, thousands of people. It's my weirdest accidental habit.

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I repeat getting naked and coming clean, both literally and metaphorically in the story, and metaphorically on stage.

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What a strange, broadcast repetition. I am clean, I am clean, I am clean.

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And this evening, I will say it again. I was lost. I was naked. I was reborn. I am clean.

I'm Testing Out the 645 PRO Mk III iPhone Camera App

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I'm just testing out the 645 PRO Mk III iPhone camera app. The experience is as close to using a non-phone camera as I've found. This app has, among other things:

  • manual exposure control and automatic exposure with a choice of spot or matrix metering
  • semi-automatic shutter priority and ISO priority, both of which include ±3 exposure value compensation
  • automatic white balance, a selection of white balance presets, and the ability to create and save a custom white balance
  • manual focus override and focus-peaking
  • real-time exposure metering, ISO and shutter-speed readings, exposure values, GPS data, and a choice of histograms
  • shutter release button behaviour configuration
  • shoot unprocessed or in Film Mode, which are modes inspired by film stock from the 1960s to present day
  • 7 size formats
  • images can be saved as high-quality jpegs or as TIFFs

Here's what it looks like when you're shooting:

645 PRO Mk III interface

645 PRO Mk III interface

So far, with my limited experimentation, I'm liking it. Just click on the kitty photo to enlarge it and take a look at the clarity of Onion's ear hair! You never knew you'd want to marvel at the clarity of ear hair, but you do.

I think this is going to be my go-to camera for the next while so I can have a chance to play with more of its abilities. It's definitely worth the $4.59 price on it. Whee!


Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from, spreads gratitude through the social network, celebrates quality blogging with the, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

A Nest, Before and After Instagram

Here is a nest from my front yard, both before and after I manhandled it in Instagram:

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Granted, I went a little heavy on the saturation, and the light is blown out on the leaf in the upper left, but Whatevs! I thought. I like it anyway! And, despite its problems, it stands as an example of what you can do to liven up a drab, dusty, low-contrast photo with the application of a filter (in this case, Mayfair) and a few photo edits in Instagram.

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Good job, Instagram. You make nature look less crappy.