Posts Tagged ‘Jay Peachy’

I very much enjoyed the experience of presenting. I realize, after the fact, just how much my left brain dominates.  Although I have a good understanding of how the artistic, right-brained individuals function, I am less tolerant of their function than I would like to be when it comes to what I perceive to be  “professional” events and functions. I am not sure if that is something I learned or if it is innate.

I wanted to (and was) on time for the meeting for the presenters. Part of me knew it would be foolish to worry about being on time for an “artsy event”  but that’s who I am (remember the left-brain dominance). The meeting did not occur and the person who called it did not arrive until forty-five minutes later. In fact the level of organization was just not the tight, structured,  Japanese, haiku-like form that is PechaKucha. So as I waited and watched for the show to begin, safely inhaling oxygen at 4 litres per minute (one of the presenters wore a LOT of fragrance), I experienced some cognitive dissonance. I so firmly believe that the production should be organized, should start on time, should be coordinated  professionally – after all people are paying to see the show. On the other hand the audience is happy, largely unaware that the media is not present, the photographer and film crew are absent, the meeting did not take place – they are more than happy.

Dissonance…tells more about me than the situation… “dissonance is reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying”.  I realize I have done all three. So while other people turn inward with nervousness, do I look outward…settling upon justification for the situation by noting that all went well despite the disorganization which I perceived?  The arts community pitched in and did what was needed. The audience was inspired. The focus was on the positive. The networking was amazing….and the feedback I received was great.

It seems that people were, on the whole,  inspired and motivated.

And when I reread “What makes a good PechaKucha” (it means chitchat in Japanese…) from the originator’s website, I know this whole thought process is something I need to continually work through…

“Good PechaKucha presentation are the ones that uncover the unexpected, unexpected talent, unexpected ideas. Some PechaKuchas tell great stories about a project or a trip. Some are incredibly personal, some are incredibly funny, but all are very different making each PechaKucha Night like ‘a box of chocolates’.”

It was a box of chocolates – there was something for everyone at PKN Coquitlam.

I was excited to see the PECHA KUCHA format for presentations. My tenant, Jay Peachy, was the very first presenter on Coquitlam’s very first PK night. He was brilliant. The whole event was exciting, fast-paced, interesting. Reminiscent of TED talks, but with the feeling of community and an artsy edge, I was immediately drawn in… I should do this, I thought.
So with Pecha Kucha VOLUME 4 looking for presenters, I volunteered, knowing what I wanted to say but not recognizing fully the limitations of the format. I am a teacher, thought I. Timing, meeting objectives, recognizing diverse listening styles…no problem…
As I began to prepare, I realized that I had a lot to say. Will it fit into the 20 x 20 format? PECHA KUCHA, the Japanese term for chitchat, is a simple idea (so they say). The presenter has 20 images with 20 seconds to speak to each image. The pace is rapid. OKAY, this works for design but I want to educate, elucidate, leave a powerful message that has my audience ready to, at the minimum, understand some changes they might need to make. But even better, I would like them to leave feeling the need to themselves advocate for change. Can I do that in less than seven minutes – telling my whole story with the pace imposed by the twenty second slide change? This really is a challenge. I am taking this art form and challenging it as well as myself to deliver.

That written, time to stop procrastinating and work on that timing…

Jay Peachy

Sometimes you get the tenant you need and sometimes you get the tenant who needs you. Life is like that, full of give and take. I am grateful for both.

Jay came to me after a difficult time. My new suite had been vacated by me very dear tenant (who had been so helpful – he’s family now but that’s another story) when the developer of the adjacent lands cut off access to my property.

The most important criterion for becoming my tenant is being scent and chemical free. A long round of emails confirmed that Jay  was a good communicator, willing to completely give up the use of all scent and chemical products and delighted to find a space that would allow his dog. I agreed to meet him.

There were a number of applicants but something drew me to this man with no references, a strange affect, no job and clearly no money for the deposit …and our relationship began: landlord- tenant; advocate-client; employer-attendant; patron-artist; neighbour-neighbour; friend-friend. There were and are many more aspects to our relationship. I know that this was the place where he was meant to heal and evolve more fully into Jay Peachy, the artist. And clearly, although he is not the tenant I anticipated, one who could be the helper I needed for my physical challenges – do not get the idea it is a one way street.

Jay is an amazing attendant when I go to medical appointments and need someone to guard me against reactions to chemical exposure. He has twice administered the epipen and numerous times supplied oxygen when required. He’s amazing and was once asked in a medical setting if he was a nurse when he deftly saved my life.

But here in Anmore, “Nature’s Home” as Dr. Lynn Burton and I are determined to label this beautiful community, Jay has healed and blossomed. Yes, he still has bipolar disorder. But now he has safety nets in place, a home community, the courage to stand up and face the world fighting the stigma, LABEL clearly pasted on his forehead, and help others tirelessly through his artistic genius.

He has become a volunteer at Mossom Creek Hatchery just below our home, connected with salmon enhancement and conservation and swallowed that into his art and essence. He hosts a radio show, Sound Therapy Radio on CJSF and has now won awards for his efforts. His standup comedy is just another of his artistic endeavours.  Jay Peachy brought Art in the Garden to Anmore with a group of enthusiastic volunteers inviting the support and promotional assistance of the Tri-City Arts Connect Umbrella.

Twenty-four months ago, this young man could not get himself out of bed. He was defeated by a disease and a system. One hand up, a lot of nature and living with his faithful dog companion, Star, and he didn’t just come back, he’s bringing others with him and showing them the way.

My FACEBOOK PROFILE describes my interests  “I like peace…oh and trees and dogs.”

I am quite sure there are other interests, maybe even some passions but those three really sum me up quite nicely and this week, sadly, the eldest of our dogs took ill and died.  That’s the risk in loving dogs…in loving any living creature, really. They are mortal, and as such will not stay a living spirit here with us forever. This can make us ponder our own mortality. This time I had to watch my granddaughter encountering her first giant, personal grief. There is a desire to protect a child from such pain but it must come eventually. And eventually it is close and personal like it was with Naya. She became ill quite suddenly. She grew weak. With the aid of the kindest, smartest veterinarian I have ever met, a few tests were done to see if there was something we could to to improve her health but we took no heroic measures. She was so weak we did what is the only kind thing we could do – we didn’t let her suffer. Why is it that we let humans go on, suffer pain, starve in their own bodies? About ten years ago – another elderly dog, another sad time, the same wonderful wise veterinarian…and she said that Amy’s time had come. I thanked her saying I hoped she would do the same for me. I was at the worst ever in my physical health at that time. Melissa took my hand and told me, “Elaine, you know I would if I could.” The nicest words anyone has ever said to comfort me in time of grief.

And at this time of loss and memory my tenant has painted me the most beautiful tree, “Growth”.

GROWTH by Jay Peachy

Oh, and my dear friend Trudy had taken Calli, my granddaughter, and me on a little field trip in February – and we came back with a puppy – Maple Teddy is doing well despite the fact that he is full of mischief, the cycle of LOVE begins again. TREES, DOGS…now if we can only achieve a little PEACE in our community. PEACE takes work. I will work on it…