NWW Photo Prompt ~ The Disappointment of Being Canadian

It’s the August 15th, NWW Photo Prompt!

The New West Writers Photo Prompt is a twice-monthly challenge for writers of all genres. It’s easy to participate — and we encourage everyone to do so. Just spend a moment with the image below and write whatever comes to mind. A couple of lines, or a couple thousand words. Prose, non-fiction, poetry, even a six word story, if you like.

The Disappointment of Being Canadian
The Disappointment of Being Canadian

There are no winners (we’re all writers sharing our words) and no rules. Well, one — be respectful with your words.

You can announce your post with a link in a comment below, or if you link to this page from your post, we’ll publish the trackback link in the comment section of this page. Add an “nww photo prompt” tag to your post and we’ll also provide a link to your response in the next challenge. This post outlines these few simple steps.

To get you going, one of our writing group’s members will have the first go at the prompt. Base your post on theirs or go a completely different way.

The Disappointment of Being Canadian
by David Hutchison

Just like so many others within the Commonwealth, my father went to war under Canada’s version of the Union Jack. After the war we grew into an independent nation, and one day Canada had its own flag, seemingly the next, a constitution.

We were complete, we were a nation. However, since Mr. Harper’s arrival, there is more a sense of being American. We are giving away our morals as country and adopting another’s. And when examining the political landscape with its attack ads and lack of attention to policy, it gives cause to change.

I like being a Canadian, I like playing the role of the mouse living next to the elephant. It makes me hold our French Canadian brethren with greater reverence as they are a defining characteristic of this nation. And it makes me hold Multiculturalism closer to my heart.

All of that and more, makes me say no, to Stephen Harper.

His pontifications of dependability come from a man whose government has failed to balance the budget in seven, possible eight, we’ll know before we vote, tries.

His attempts to terrorize the country with stories of terrorism running rampant without him, poppycock, simply tails from a bully. The claim of bringing more Syrians here is just air, hot air. He hasn’t delivered on the first promise.

Change might allow us to return to who we are… Canadians.

Such a wonderful thought… isn’t it?

Goodbye Stephen.

Happy writing!

Grand Cayman - Queen Elizabeth Botanic Garden - Palm Fronds
Palm Fronds
Queen Elizabeth Botanic Garden
Grand Cayman

Here are the posts written in response to the August 1st NWW Photo Prompt: (If we missed yours, please let us know!)

Palm Fronds by Julian Worker

Riding a photon into infinity by Patrick Jennings

Dreaming of palm fronds by Jes

Ambience by aidyl93

Palm Fronds by Gifford MacShane

NWW Photo Prompt ~ I prefer the cello, but it is still theft.

This post is a response to the NWW Photo Prompt, Dimples.


You see, I like Beethoven. I like to hear the bow of the violin cut into the string. I like to follow the phrase of the violin as it goes on and on, like a deep-rooted orgasm squeezed out into a rope of sound. I like to go out at night in a cosmopolitan city and sit in a dark auditorium watching dancers fly into each other’s arms.
~ Wallace Shawn
  The Fever

It’s interesting that over the years I’ve transposed the violin in this passage from Wallace Shawn’s play, The Fever to the cello. You see, I prefer the cello.

I prefer the deeper tone, the way — especially when it’s amplified, in an arena — the vibration of the string moves through my chest. It’s like a low AUM resonating beneath my sternum when sung from the diaphragm. It connects me to something. Something very deep. Something exquisitely beautiful.

Though, not so much the Beethoven. I prefer my music more modern, more contemporary, some beautiful piece of music even Beethoven could never have dreamed of.

Still… None of this deflects from what Shawn is really getting at with this passage. Its context is privilege. And the question it asks is a complex one: how did I come to deserve to have such beauty in my life, when so many in the world — the vast majority of its 7 billion souls, in fact — live in a poverty so abject and profound, it is beyond my ability to comprehend? How dare I have all this beauty? How can I expect to attend any concert of my desire when so many toil in sweatshops to make the concert t-shirt I bought for just $26? (And complained about the exorbitant cost!) None of those workers could afford that price, let alone the admission to a concert.

I may prefer the cello. But simply knowing of its existence, having the ability to attend a live music event in a multi-million dollar facility with tens of thousands of others so privileged as I… I am humbled, and chastened.

“Property is theft,” the anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhoun infamously said with tart insight. Shawn observes in The Fever, so too beauty is theft.