Memorial DAy Weekend 2021
Despite the usual murder and mayhem in Indianapolis, Memorial Day weekend was spectacular for me for two reasons. Buck and I shot most of this video together. Secondly, we ran into performers playing music wherever we went which made a for a great weekend of melodies and memories.
It has been five years to the month since Buck and I started skateboarding together. Just before he turned two, his mother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. That same week, Buck sat down on my board and away we went. Through our neighborhood and along many of the paths and streets around town, we rolled for miles trusting each other without words.
Mayhem Between Melodies and Memories
As Carmen struggled through six surgeries, chemotherapy, and proton radiation, Buck and I found an escape from the harsh reality of Carmen’s illness on the board. Together, we rolled along as if teleported away from all troubles where our only concern was paying attention to the path ahead while enjoying the ride.
I eventually came to call this experience our Miyazaki Moment. Like many of Hayao Miyazaki’s films, life was like a dream and a nightmare all at once. The film “Totoro” even has a sick mother character, Yasuko Kusakabe, who is presumably suffering from tuberculosis. While she spends much of her time in bed, her husband and two daughters often out exploring.
movin’ and groovn’
I had the experience of both the father and the mother in that film. Having had testicular cancer just two years prior to Carmen’s diagnosis there were many days I couldn’t do much of anything. Three rounds of three chemo drugs caused neuropathy in my feet leaving me feeling somewhat unstable and unbalanced. As the saying goes, I learned to “push through” as our skateboarding together intensified.
Yesterday, while exploring downtown together, I was feeling it hard. My awareness of just how fleeting this world is sunk in deep. Seeing my son go from sitting on the front of the board to actively participating in making a video with me stirred up familiar feelings of the past. While I miss our time riding the same board together, I embrace the current mode of exploration together whatever form it may take.
Songs on random cornors
Even before we got downtown, there was no shortage of song on the streets. From the corner of 82nd and Allisonville to the usual performance art corners in the Downtown Mile Square, we were treated to a variety of acts ranging from novice to long time regulars.
music and mindfulness at the mousetrap
After we got home, Buck went to bed, and I headed back out for some more musical entertainment at the Mousetrap Bar and Grill. D Roq and Bulletproof Band were performing, and I thought it would be a perfect time to practice some indoor shooting in low light with loud volume. The last five minutes of this video features part of the last song of their last set.
The words “Take this joy home and share it with your neighbor” rang out from the last PA system at the end of the night. The music ended. The lights came up, and I went home feeling a certain satisfaction with the day.
Whatever we do in this world we should experience joy. Whether riding around on a skateboard or a bike, no matter if performing on stage or a street median, we should engage with passion, mindfulness, heart and soul. The moment to embrace is now. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now. Know what is good about the current before it slips away unrealized until only darkness remains.
Godspeed my friends. May you make beautiful melodies and memories this Memorial Day weekend.