Posts by Alex Blanes

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All Roads Lead to Schumacher

All Roads Lead to Schumacher

On the afternoon of December 21st, 2006, I was cut down by a tree .

Spines of hoarfrost glimmered in the pale light, and despite my fleece-lined GoreTex, I was shivering. This part of western Canada was considered a temperate rainforest; it didn’t usually get this cold. I had turned seventeen in April, and like most teens, I was confused, lonely, and had a poor relationship with the future.

But more than anything, I was afraid. Mostly of my own faults and lack of experience, but further terrified of my ambitions. I wanted to become a writer, an educator,

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When you were small
you were offered
this private joy:
to know, and
be known
by words.

feeling then
as you do now
the curved
of each

thirsting then
as you do now
for the presence
of each

homesick now
as never then
for a warmth
that was only

remember, listener:
your lovers
in the rags
of a tailored

time now
to forget loneliness
to open your ears
to the knocking
of the Guest.

continue to build
your lodgings along
the pilgrim’s road;
host the

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Allow who you wish to be
to dance
with who are.

Let fantasy
and reality
in a way
that dazzles anyone
and everyone
who attempts
to find
the crease.

Let the choreographer
in you
fall in love
with her audience,

Let the elm tree
—fearful, unmoving
be windswept
at last,

Let the child in you
greet the daybreak
with a kiss
so crowded with longing
it could shatter even
the fugitive shame
of a yet

A poem for a friend
on his birthday.

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Homo Digitalis

Homo Digitalis

During the morning of February 17th, 2008, a young animation student called Daniel Floyd uploaded his art history assignment to YouTube.

Titled Videogames and Storytelling, the ten-minute presentation was an engaging thesis on the current issues and future potential of narrative-driven interactive media. What made it special was not simply Floyd's obvious zeal for video games, but the critical integrity that shone through, and animated his passion.

"Simply put, the majority of games are poorly written. There are exceptions... but even games lauded for being literary usually have subpar writing compared to any other medium" (2:43).


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That Journeys Are Good

If a fir tree had a foot or two like a turtle, or a wing,
Do you think it would just wait for the saw to enter?

You know the sun journeys all night under the earth;
If it didn't, how could it throw up its flood of light in the east?

And salt water climbs with such marvelous swiftness to the sky.
If it didn't, how would the cabbages be fed with the rain?

Have you thought of Joseph lately? Didn't he leave his father in tears, going?
Didn't he then learn how to understand dreams, and give away

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Fir Sapling

Fir Sapling

In the dim light of winter solstice, 2006, I was asked by my mother to bring a small hatchet and venture into the forest behind our house to cut down a Christmas tree.

Seventeen and spiritually broke, terrified of that hallmark phrase, “the real world,” I didn't want to admit that I was depressed, uncertain about what to do after graduating, and craving something deeper.

Shamanism, or what is typically referred to as such, had contained a visceral kind of magic that I instinctively connected with. Raised in an alternative school on a little island off the Canadian coast

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