at TEDxHalifax: creativity, bereavement, and parallel solitudes

photo by Alison Scarpulla, used with permission.

photo by Alison Scarpulla, used with permission.

I spoke at the TEDxHalifax event in March of this year. After some technical difficulties with the footage, it's up, which is nice, because I wasn't sure what I said or if it ever happened. Seeing it all summed up like that—my worst and my best and all the threads that connect the two—is a teary-eyed, wonderful thing for me.

Plus there's the still frame they've got right there before you hit play. ERRP. That's what my face looks like after a haul off a one-thirds-full bottle of wine that's been left open on the counter for five days so it's pretty much balsamic but I drink it anyway, after I finish making that face, because waste not want not.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the Halifax event such a great day. It was an honour to be a part of it and I only swore once or a few times but it was the same word all the times so I count that as once.

I called it parallelism: the phenomenon of communities of alone-ness that spring up around traumatic, aspirational, or creative epics. The existence of them is an old story, as far as the internet goes. What interests me is how similar they all are—no matter what their nature—in their effect. Do you have one? Tell me about it, even if you've graduated, so to speak. What did it leave with you?