Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spectacular End to 2010 Winter Olympics

The entire nation was glued to the TV today for a heart pounding Men's Hockey Game against the USA which Canada won in a sudden death shoot out 3-2. Congrats to the amazing American Team who took Silver. People quickly began posting video of the spontaneous burst of celebration that erupted everywhere from sea to shining sea. The noise was deafening. Hockey definitely unites a very multi-cultural bi-lingual diverse nation.

The men's curling team also won Gold and so did the Women's Hockey Team.

14 GOLDS by a host nation is one for the record books and will go down in history.

I drove around Sechelt, here on the Sunshine Coast, BC and it was like a ghost town. Everyone was at home watching the hockey game. When I drove about after the men's hockey win, people were honking their horns and some standing on the streets waving flags to motorists. It's not about how many medals you win its how you play the game and I think the whole Olympic event was a terrific success uniting people from every corner of the planet in Peace! Well done!

The Closing Ceremonies were a spectacular production with some tongue in cheek Canadian humour and cheesy shtick thrown in for good measure. At one point it looked like a Vegas or Broadway tribute to the iconic stereotype of all things Canada, from Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Moose, Beavers, dancing Maple Leafs and more... Some big stars performed including Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morisette, Simple Plan, Hedley, Michael Buble, Neil Young, William Shatner, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short and Michael J. Fox. It is nice to see that Canadians have actually for the first time actually proudly and loudly celebrated their country.

I just want to thank the Olympians and athletes for inspiring me and helping me to keep on keeping on through some serious struggles I am facing in my own life.

Peace out to the World! Duane

Friday, February 26, 2010

Historic Gold Medal TEN

Canada won an unbelievable tenth Gold Medal today as the nation was glued to a heart-attach inducing 3rd period hockey game between Canada and Slovakia who nearly stole the game. Canada held their 3-2 lead. ▌♥ ▌GO CANADA ▌♥ ▌ This puts Canada in the Gold Medal lead against Germany and the USA. Not bad for such a small country as ours. Canada mania has attracted over 100,000 people to the downtown core to celebrate and officials are bracing for that to double or triple over the weekend. REMEMBER its how you play the game and doing your personal best that matters the most. Oh My! How Canadian of me to say that. LOL

I have to also thank Oprah, The Colbert Report and the USA and International Media for all their kind coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic games. Much appreciated!

The big controversy of the Olympics at the moment is the Canadian Women's Hockey Team who toasted their fabulous Gold medal win with some beer, champagne and cigars after the public left the ice arena. The IOC is not amused. The average person is like whatever and a few are strongly offended.

I blogged about the drinking laws here in BC a couple days ago. I think that drinking laws need to be relaxed and they send a worse message to youth then what the ladies hockey game did. It drives people underground with their alcohol. If the International Olympic Committee is so worried about the bad example the sports team is showing to youth, why is it they are plagued with controversy around corruption and would allow sponsors like McDonald's and Coke to push their crap on young people.

Was hilarious and a great last laugh to see the Oprah Winfrey show today interviewing charismatic Gold Medal Canadian Skeleton athlete Jon Montgomery then finish up with a toast and cheers with two glasses of beer in true Canadian style while in a public skating rink in Robson Square, especially after all the controversy about the woman's hockey team.

It was nice today to get an email that Rock the Vote added the rap parody "I'm On A Break" that I star in spoofing the PM of Canada proroguing parliament to the front page of their popular political youth web page. Rock the Nation engages young people from Canada and USA to create positive social, environmental and political change. They advocate taking action on the issue of global warming and saving the planet.
WOOT WOOT That's Ill, man!

Rock the Vote www.RocktheVote.CA Rock the Nation

Try to keep this short today so I don't ramble on. Feeling like I might have got through the crushing pressure from my dog passing away and loosing my job. I am noticing two distinct currents of transformation, the sadness and depression, versus the the joy of being. HUGS Duane

Come and visit us on the Sunshine Coast, BC anytime. We are a stunning 40 min ferry cruise from Vancouver, Canada. Gibsons, the gateway to the Sunshine Coast was named this year's best town in the world by by the International Awards for Liveable Communities which has the endorsement of the United Nations.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

With Glowing Hearts

I think this Winter Olympics will go down in the history of Canada for so many historic gold firsts for our athletes, and the games aren't over yet.

When I first tweeted, facebooked and blogged the first Gold Medal for Canada I had no idea that 8 golds later it has almost become work. LOL Not that I mind or I am complaining. Actually very proud to say the least.

I am thrilled for the Canadian Women's Hockey Team who took Gold in an exciting 2-0 match with the USA today.

I have not been blogging about bronze or silver medals but tonight I just have to send HUGS and Love to Joannie Rochette who won Bronze in Figure Skating tonight in courageous memory of her mother who passed away at the Olympics. What a heart-wrenching and inspiring story. Made me cry.

▌♥ ▌ GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

I had no plans to make this blog about the Olympics but it is as it is. I have to admit, the inspiring Canadian athletes are actually helping me through my personal grief, sadness and lack of direction and sense of loss here at my personal "unemployment" centre. Thanks for that.

Being a photographer, photojournalist in the news media and social networking on facebook and twitter I have seen both sides of the debate on the costs of the Winter Olympics and where we as a civilized people spend our Earth's resources.

Apparently Vancouver 2010 Games are tallying up a price tag of $6 billion. Many people have complained that this money should go towards social programs and helping the world. While other say the Olympics will attract business to British Columbia and the spin-offs will benefit the poor and homeless.

My two cents on this is that a third additional pillar to the sports and culture aspects of the Olympic games would be to also include $1 billion or more towards social programs in the host country as a part of the games legacy.

NOW wouldn't that be awesome. I believe.

Here are two photo albums showing the differing views of the Olympic experience on the Sunshine Coast:

1) Sunshine Coast Torch Relay PHOTOS from Sechelt, Roberts Creek and Langdale
2) Poverty Olympic Walk PHOTOS protesting the games through downtown Sechelt

As I work my way through loosing my dear soul mate Tundra, a stunningly beautiful and gorgeously spirited Siberian Husky (hehehehe am I sounding like too proud a Daddy?) many people in the community have shared with me their heartbreaking personal stories.

Several people have told me there dogs suffered terrible illness near the end or they had to have the veterinarian euthanize their loved pet. They are devastated. I send all of you healing HUGS. That has to be one of the hardest choices to have to make. Thank you for sharing your HUGS, tears and your kind donations to Tundra's drinking fountain fund in honour of your own loved ones and our shared grieving.

Do they go together?
I find it interesting to witness myself and where I am at emotionally when I am watching a Gold medal celebration and I am cheering one the one hand and crying with grief and depression on the other. What a mix to have both at the same time. It's probably the lack of rest from my sleep disorder which makes me sensitive.

In celebration of all the historic Gold Medal Wins for Canada I made a Canadian Flag with a GOLD maple leaf in the middle (click here) for everyone to share on their facebooks and twitters. Many people are making it their facebook profile photo and tagging with their name so it appears on their profile tooe. You can also just save the image on my blog.

Yesterday I blogged about the tragic death by an Orca. I noticed the mainstream media have now changed their coverage from the horrible drowning death by the Killer Whale at Sea World from last night to how animal rights groups are saying these magnificent creatures belong in the wild not in amusement parks. Amen!

Cheers. Wishing you GOLD in your own hearts!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Women's Wednesday!

A 1-2 PUNCH!
Canada WINS GOLD and SILVER in Women's bobsled. Congrats Ladies!

In Winter Olympic Hockey Canada scores 7 against Russia's 3 >> A great game by both teams!!!! Canada advances to the next round!

▌♥ ▌ GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

An interesting fact about the Canadian Olympic Team, the women have brought in a resounding majority of all the medals in the last two Winter Olympics.

My sincerest condolences to the trainer drowned by a Killer Whale at Sea World today. Horribly I found myself agreeing with the whale. These giant creatures and spirits of the animal world do not belong in captivity. Wouldn't you go mad confined to a small pen all your life? I don't like the whales at the Stanley Park Aquarium either! Why not put the money it costs to care for these amazing creatures towards taking the kids out on field trips to see real animal behavior in the wild rather then stupid lame tricks. Or build a giant Canadian invented IMAX screen to show wildlife on. A much more education experience I would think and less cruel...

Yesterday I mentioned how "horrible" my health is lately. Perhaps that is a little dramatic. I am frustrated and I thought I should explain. I am trying to cope with severe sleep apnea and fibromyalgia which makes me feel like I have been run over by a fleet of logging trucks every day. Morning are brutal and it has exasperated feelings of depression. I was told by BC Ferries and their doctors when they booted me off disability insurance saying basically in my mind that lack of breathing and oxygen was no reason I couldn't go back to work on the ferries! I have to thank universe for the photography gig with The Local, that and Tundra, is all that has kept me going these past years, oh and helping the community.

I have found solace in being on purpose and of service to the community. Taking photos for the local newspaper and helping the community kept my mind off things, but when I got fired, er "let go" it opened up a lot of time on my hands. Then as you know, on top of that, my soul mate, Tundra, a Siberian Husky passed away. Then, maybe it's my poor me victim voice, but I don't feel much support from the businesses, real estate and local tourism types for my photography, which attracts people to spend their big bucks here on the coast in the first place. I realize that my mental health probably contributes to my lack of business savvy on the flip side. People here call me the Sunshine Coast's Number One ambassador so it does confuse me a lot. I guess its all part of transformation and new beginnings. I have pretty much figured it is best to get out of the photography world altogether as you read in my previous blog.

I am following some great blogspots which you can see over on the blog links section. A world famous ice painting artist, a friend who is blogging about her cancer, another friend who is bi-polar and has made a highly successful and acclaimed stage play out of it, a wonderful artist in Vancouver and I am adding more all the time.

You can also join me, Duane Burnett on facebook, twitter, youtube, myspace and flickr. On my facebook profile I am giving away prizes and blogging coast events, on my fan page, I am uploading Sunshine Coast photos. Photos are also on my flickr site. My youtube channel has lots of videos of the Sunshine Coast and a few of me acting, hosting television shows and such... Thanks for checking out my blog! Duane

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ski Cross, Watersheds and Hollywood North! OH my!

Congratulations to B.C.'s Ashleigh McIvor from Whistler who won a GOLD medal in Ladies Ski Cross... A proud moment for the home town! This is the first time that Ski Cross has been in any Winter Olympics. How kewl it was won by a Canadian. Same thing happened with Ross Rebagliati's Gold win for the first ever snowboarding Olympic event which made him an international star when he nearly lost the medal for having marijuana pot smoke in his blood! That's why they call it BC Gold no doubt! heheheheh

▌ ♥ ▌ GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

I have been busy tonight going through archives of photos trying to transfer them for back up. Thousands and thousands of Sunshine Coast smiles from over the years. Nice to see. I have emailed the Royal BC Museum in Victoria to see if they would be interested in storing the archives for future generations. I am not really sure what to do with them otherwise. The Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives said it is just too large a collection for them and their wonderful volunteers. I also don't exactly make huge bucks from them either.

Maybe a couple times a year people want to buy the photos and usually they want them for free in exchange for exposure and a photo credit. This is probably cause I am so busy helping others that I haven't gotten the business end of things together. I had planned for the past five years to have an inspirational photo book out for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics but one of our esteemed and terrific local publishers basically laughed and said you photographers are all alike but don't get me wrong your photos are fabulous Duane. Sigh....

I kept hoping maybe someone some day would come forward with the cash and know how to finance and publish a coffee table book with me. During a walk around Kinnikinnick park today I thought to myself that I have the right passion for photography and community but perhaps the wrong timing for making a career out of it or sustaining a living as everyone has a camera, a computer and an instant social network so the value of photos has changed a lot over the years. Hence I am thinking seriously and am making moves to stop taking photos altogether now. Transformation time. Sure sucks though that I have been unemployed since October and my health has been horrid. It's all good, right. It's always a good day on the Sunshine Coast!

Yesterday I talked about my campaign to get on The Ellen DeGeneres TV Show and movie actor Zac Efron in my blog. Zac Efron was in Gibsons, BC, (which recently won the Best Town in the World award,) filming his movie The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud (see photos) It was huge Hollywood North excitement for our rural town, and stars Ray Liota, Kim Basinger, Amanda Crew, Dave Franco, Donal Logue, and Charlie Tahan. Hundreds of fans showed up to get a glimpse or photo with Zac.. and of course I was right there to capture all the excitement for the community and my own fascination for behind the scenes making of movies and television.

I even got a chance to be a professional background performer ( extra ) in two scenes with Zac Efron. Since a kid I have always been thrilled with movie magic and all the behind the scenes lights, camera, special effects! Check out my acting profile on the Hollywood North casting website. Hopefully I don't end up on the cutting room floor. All of us are looking forward to our 1/4 second of big screen fame! ha ha!

In today's blog photo, I am interviewed by a film crew documenting the making of the movie. The interviewer asked me what Gibsons thought of the movie being filmed on the Sunshine Coast and I told them everyone was thrilled to see Zac, their favourite bad guy Ray Liota, and were disappointed that Kim Basinger didn't come to town during filming. They said it might be used for the DVD extra outtakes and added bonus features section.

On March 10, 2010, our local St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary is having their annual "Girls Night Out" at the Gibsons Legion. Last year I was auctioned off and we caught all the action of the evening in tons of great PHOTOS of all the lovely volunteer ladies! ( SEE PHOTOS )

This YEAR I have donated a $350. framed matted archival print of the Chapman Creek Watershed mist for the fund raising auction that I had made up for an Art Show back in November 2008. I thought there was no point in it sitting around collecting dust if no one will buy it so why not help this tremendous group who do so much for our local hospital. SEE PRINT

I had the great privilege of meeting talented Sunshine Coast singer Allison Barkley and she gave me her kind permission to make a youtube music video slide show of Chapman Creek using my photos and her gorgeous song "Waterfall". Check it out.. warning you may need to have kleenex tissues on hand.. its a powerful emotional heartfelt song. Chapman Creek Watershed by Duane Burnett and Allison Barkley

Enjoy! Thanks for checking and reading my blog! All the best, Yours for the Planet, Duane

Monday, February 22, 2010

Figure Skating Terrifies Me! But NOT Ice Gate Dancers or Ellen DeGeneres!


Was watching the Gold Medal skate by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in Ice Dance figure skating. Ice Dance has been dominated by the fabulous Russian skaters for years and years now so this is another historic event for Canada as its another Gold on the host country's turf plus the youngest pair ever to win Gold and the first for North America in this category!

▌♥ ▌ GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

Congrats to both Tessa and Scott. It was a stunning performance! I have to confess that watching figure skating terrifies me though. I almost walked away from the TV while these two skated as I couldn't handle the thought of them falling down and getting hurt, especially during the crazy ass stunts, throws and twirls. You would think I was the one going to hit the ice! I completely tense up, grit my teeth, hold my breath and feel it in my own body if they crash or the elation if they do well. Is anyone else like this?

While this is not an Olympic sport I would like to give a GOLD MEDAL to ice artist Gordon Halloran and his stunning Paintings Below Zero art exhibit at the Richmond O Zone near the Olympic speed skating track Gordon is a local Sunshine Coast, BC resident who lives in Roberts Creek.

For the last couple months dozens of wonderful dedicated dancers and choreographers called the Ice Gate Performance who also deserve a Gold Medal have been practicing and rehearsing to do a "flash mob" at the grand opening of the ice art installation. I have been taking photos and documenting a fair chunk of the rehearsal and created a gallery on flickr you can check out.(see PHOTOS)

We all had a ton of fun together when we taped this 3 minute youtube video together (watch video) about the Ice Gate Project and dance rehearsals as part of a campaign to lobby The Ellen DeGeneres Show to pick me to be their 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Correspondent for the show (See my ELLEN Campaign). Many thanks to my friend Jeannine Williams who video taped and took photos!

I think there were over 200 plus emails sent to the show on my behalf. Many people told me they wrote Ellen and the show faithfully every week! Never did hear from them though. I think the reason is because her day time talk show has been preempted in the US television market by Olympic broadcaster NBC and by CTV in Canada. Thank you every one who wrote the show for me. I am so grateful.

I love Ellen and thank her for helping me to find laughter and joy through some extremely depressed times. People have told me that I am the Ellen, the Oprah, and the Zac Efron of the Sunshine Coast. Very very kind comments for them to make. I am humbled to even be remotely compared to two such fantabulous ladies and a very popular actor indeed. Now if I can only get my own TV show and Movie! The wonderful crew at Coast TV have been kind enough to give me the opportunity to host several shows for them so that's a tremendously appreciated start!

I do try my very best to give everything I can to help people and the community through my passion and the best of my ablities: I have contest give-a-ways on my facebook page, and share photos, news, and events with everyone about all the wonderful people, events and places I go on the Sunshine Coast... I upload my photos to flickr for now and recently to my facebook fan page.

I take so many photos and attend so many events I had to split the photos from my other profile on facebook where I post event news. And that has gotten to be so enormous that I now put a lot of my info on my Twitter tweet page for people who like a simpler quick listing and overview of what's going on. And now because I needed an outlet to share the real Duane, what I am really feeling and what's going on I created this blogspot you are looking at now. Thanks for that!

Well I was right about yesterday's Canada vs USA hockey game. The largest sports viewing television audience in Canadian history with over 10 million plus people. I wonder how many beer they drank? hehehehe

Well should call it over and out for another night. Thanks for reading this and to everyone who has been so caring and loving and supportive! HUGS

Peace, Love & Joy in every moment! Yours for the planet! Duane

P.S. ▌♥ ▌ GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Hockey Canada Mania Reaches Fevered Pitch!

Olympic fever and Canadian mania is still sweeping the streets and nation. Now add to that Hockey! I am sure at least 1/2 of Canada was watching the Olympics hockey game against the USA who won 5 to 3 tonight. The game was amazing and exciting, both teams were awesome. I have to confess that international hockey tournaments like this, are my fave's in the hockey franchise. It's nice how hockey unites Canadians of all cultures, backgrounds and heritages.

Seeing the massive Olympics crowds on CTV News congregating on the streets of downtown Vancouver its too bad to hear that many of them find themselves stranded in the wee hours of the night/morning by the closing down of transportation services by BC Transit and sky train

The Police have also ordered all liquor stores in the downtown area closed at 7pm and fine people for drinking in public. Pouring their drinks out on the street. Let's get with the rest of the world people! There will always be 1% who ruin things but that shouldn't mean the other 99% are punished. Let's allow public drinking like many other countries around the world. During Expo 86, then Premier of BC Bill Vander Zalm made Sunday drinking legal so we wouldn't be perceived as backwards to the international community. Ha ha!

Yesterday's blogging about Canadian Musicians and Jane Siberry inspired me to ask Jane if I could use her silly song "Everything Reminds Me of My Dog" for a youtube tribute for Tundra to raise awareness for his charity fund raiser. She said "Yes". I nearly fell over! How Awesome! I have been going through the last year of my photo archives, literally thousands and thousands of photos of the Sunshine Coast, looking for photos of Tundra to put into their own album and make a slideshow. In the process I see just how many events and people and things and places I attend in a year! WOW... unbelievable. Decided to upload a select few of them that are single shots and stand alone photos to my facebook profile for everyone to enjoy.

Went for a stroll along the Trail Bay waterfront in Sechelt, BC. A gorgeous sunny day, tons of people out for a walk, but interestingly, the village business area was dead. Not so much immediate Olympic economic spin-off there. I couldn't get very far along the pathway without people saying hello and talking about Tundra.

I did intuit this might happen but thought it wouldn't, that I could some how be invisible and avoid everyone. So much for Plan A... Thank you everyone for your kind comments and well wishes and condolences. I apologize for being stand offish right now, and not my cheery self.

I think I am in withdrawal mode. Avoiding the topic. Too sensitive still. And then I get a little frustrated when people ask me if I miss Tundra? Am I going to get another dog? That one really throws me for a loop as I don't like to be replacing a spiritual sentient being like furniture or thinking about getting another one while I am grieving.

To me Tundra is my child, my soul mate, and I know people would be choked if I asked them if they are planning to replace their recently deceased spouse. I am just really super sensitive with all the things going on my life and trying to learn and practice that this is a reminder to be present, in the now, out of my head, and that it's all good! Maybe if I say it to myself enough times. LOL

In my heart I know I have to face this and go out in public again and perhaps that's why I tested the waters today to help get through my grieving and have a bit of human contact. This weekend I think is the first time I didn't attend ANY community functions or events and take photos even though there was tons going on. I think its part of a transition and transformation out of the photography field for good.

I did take the beautiful weather today as an opportunity to go buy some gorgeous flowers and plant them around Tundra's grave. Nice bright yellows, oranges, whites, purples...

Oh and a HUGE thank you CANADA for 4,000 views of the rap video parody comedy I star in as the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper proroguing parliament! 1,000 Views the first day! 200 members in the I'm On A Break facebook Fan page! People say it's "Brilliant! Disgusting! AWESOME! This is Shit... get a job!" LOL It was made with a bit of back yard Canadian humour in the spirit of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and the Royal Canadian Air Farce etc. It has received rave reviews and a few nasty pissed off ones too! WARNING this video is the "Uncensored" I'M ON A BREAK version and has strong rap language!

▌♥ ▌ GO CANADA GO! ▌♥ ▌

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Canada eh!

Watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics celebrations and all the Canada mania in the streets sure is nice to see. I remember being a fanatic Canadian back in the 1980's when it was kinda lame to show any pride in your country and people were extremely reserved about showing patriotism.

Not me, I waived the Canadian flag every chance I had. I listened almost exclusively to Canadian artists like Bryan Adams, Corey Hart, Bruce Cockburn, Luba, Parachute Club, KD Laing, Glass Tiger, Jan Arden, Kim Mitchell, Gowan and so many more I just adored.

I was walking through Smugglers Cover provincial park today out near Halfmoon Bay, BC and thought about the brilliant Jane Siberry and her song/album No Borders Here.

I just love Jane she is one of a kind. Saw her live years ago at the Cultch I think it is called, the East Vancouver Cultural Centre.

That's what I especially love about many unique Canadian artists too. There songs are intelligent with a message, and not just songs about bubble gum and boy meets girl gets laid lame for the masses, mass produced pop.

All this nationalism and Canadian pride reminded me of an aha moment I had when I realized that boundaries, including ones between countries exist in the minds of people only. There are no borders here as one Jane's songs/albums say. One of my many faves of Jane's is "You Don't Need" where she sings "I stumble to the tundra and the tundra is my lover" It is an amazing haunting song and you guessed it I named my soul mate who recently passed away Tundra!

Oh wow, I found an old 80's version of Jane's song on youtube check it out... the symbolism of nature and spirit is very profound to me and has been my entire life.

Tundra was abandoned, thrown out of a car at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver by a bunch of kids who drove off and left this tiny wee puppy to the coyotes. There loss and my gain. And we both have abandonment issues! LOL

My friends called me to say they had the most adorable new puppy for my transfer and move with BC Ferries from Tsawwassen Terminal to Langdale. My first question was: Is he gorgeous? YES! Does he shed? NO! 1 out of 2 ain't bad. LOL...

What a blessing for both of us to be leaving the big smoke Vancouver to the beautiful beaches, forests, creeks, mountains, parks and ocean of the Sunshine Coast! A dogs paradise and Disney Land! Check my youtube video tribute to the Sunshine Coast. I see its almost got 15,000 views now.

So this tiny white glacial eyed show stopper, literally, I couldn't move down the streets without stopping every few feet for admirers of this wee little angel. I wanted a name that captured his proud Northern heritage, that resonated a beautiful energy when spoken and conjured up a majestic image of the vast expanse of Canada and incidentally brought attention to the plight of wildlife and First Nations in the melting North. Yes, I did put a lot of thought into just the right name for Tundra. And I deeply love our planet Earth and O Canada, the OLD CBC version of the True North Strong and Free.

Speaking of Canada.... here is an American explanation of Canada by Tom Brokaw which is an amazingly good synopsis for the US television market.

so I ate a star from the far back, black sky and it floated up behind one eye and wavered there...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Crisis Line... Please hold! LOL

What a mix of emotions today. Forced myself to go for a walk out to Francis Point Peninsula Provincial Park and took some new photos of the arbutus spirit tree with a face in it featured in my art show back in 2008. SEE IMAGE

I am out in a very isolated and beautiful area of Pender Harbour trying to walk off how sad I am feeling since I lost my job with The Local on October 2nd ( and remain unemployed ) and then the loss of my soul mate Tundra. I notice I am doing lots of avoidance behaviour lately but even here out in the middle of no where people say a warm "HI Duane."

I laughed later with the wonderful staff of the Daily Roast coffee shop in Sechelt, BC how hard a time I am having just being miserable and depressed on the Sunshine Coast as every where I go people are so kind and loving to me, buying me coffees, appetizers at restaurants, expressing there condolences about Tundra and telling me how much they really appreciate everything I do for the community and how they love the idea of wheel chair accessible drinking fountains for people and a separate fountain level for pets in parks and water front walks up and down the entire Sunshine Coast.

I go for an afternoon walk and walk past the place where I found someone tore down a poster in Kinnickinick Park I had put up for Tundra's fund and it reminds me that another person tore down a home made cross I made from twigs to put atop his grave. I am trying to tell myself that the person who took down the poster really really wants to do some major fund raising for this worthwhile project and really needed that poster, and that a super strong wind blew the cross away, and neither are personal, the Universe is not to be taken personally. Both good lessons to be steadfast in Spirit and not let these physical things steer your emotions too much, to watch them and be aware of them so you can breath love, light, joy, peace, compassion, healing.

Lately I come home to phone messages, emails and tons of correspondence from my Twitter and Facebook friends.

There is a request to help at "Girls Night Out", a fund raiser for the fabulous St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary ( I was auctioned off last year )
CLICK HERE for Girls Night Out 2009 PHOTOS

A young man in a television course at Elphinstone Secondary has asked if I will kindly interview our Member of Parliament John Weston for his school project.

The Coast Reporter Editor has graciously sent me the PDF of an article they did about Tundra's drinking fountain campaign in their Feb 12, 2010 community newspaper which I posted to his photo album on flickr and his fan page on facebook.

A couple of young people planning to embark on a cross Canada hitchhiking tour who are going to blog the places they go invited me to their facebook fan page and have asked if they can interview me and sit down with me as part of their epic journey from sea to shining sea. See there Fan Page here >> Cameron Smith & Kendall Rose Off On Another Adventure!

One of the parents from Davis Bay Elementary School has sent a cell phone message to my facebook telling me her kid and his grade 6 and 7 class have been given a project to do for school on "What would Duane do?" if he was to put an add in the local newspapers for the Olympics.

Then I have been asked to be a guest star in a local theatre production which I have to remain top secret about! hehehehhe And behind the scenes a group of us are trying to revive the Christmas Pantomime tradition on the Sunshine Coast

Meanwhile on the other side of the coin I am canceling appointments, workshops, photo shoots, not taking calls etc left right and centre! Very confusing.

I was stewing away today, well trying not to ruminate and to stay in Spirit as best I can and breath, which has been hard as I have this chronic pain in my chest, apparently, according to google, anxiety related... what a run on sentence!

I have been upset and wasn't sure if I should be this open and candid about this next topic but here goes..

I finally got up the nerve to call Mental Health in Sechelt, ( OMG I just wasted ten minutes trying to find you the link for people in need of help to no avail )) LOL.

I have been dragging my feet for several years now after my last therapist there discontinued our meetings abruptly. As I am adopted, ( I know boo hoo whatever ) I think this triggered some huge abandonment issues so I have been wandering around with untreated depression relying on the grace of reading spiritual books by Wayne Dyer, Pema Chodren, Eckart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra every day to get me through.

So since loosing my job as a community photographer, the only thing that kept me in service and in purpose and my mind off the crushing depression, it has pushed me way over the deep end so my close family have been strongly encouraging me to make an appointment to go back to mental health in Sechelt. This was even before Tundra passed away.

So I finally called their office and the lady at reception gave me nothing but grief and the run around. It made me feel so shitty and frustrated that I even called in the first place! All I wanted in the ideal world was a clean simple no fuss no muss yes Mr. Burnett lets get you in right away for an appointment rather then a big spiel on the phone. She put me on HOLD! So I panicked and hung up. Never called them back.

I have been waiting a couple weeks now, and even though they have all my contact information, full name, phone number, everything, they never ever called back to see that I was ok. I can only imagine what other people must be put through when they are depressed, mentally ill, and suicidal. Which is why I mention this publicly now. "Crisis line.. please hold!" To be fair, I have had some good experiences with the staff at the facilities when I have taking yoga and mindfulness training and NIA, but that has been cut due to lack of funds I believe so I don't have any mental health grounding at all in my life these days. Well I was doing 45 min body scan meditations but I am so freaked out I can't seem to calm down enough to get to them these days. They certainly have helped to keep me somewhat together through everything.

I sure wish I knew why creative intuitive spirited community minded planetary conscious earth lovers like myself are border line insane! Drives me nuts! Sorry for the bad pun. I am sure I am bi-polar but the folks at mental health say I am not. I was hoping that might account for the crazy ass mood swings I am a witness too in myself. Can you say "ass" on blogspot? hmmm

So that is my rant of the day. I am walking around super depressed and the community is fabulous. Super kind to me. THANK YOU! Its a real twist of cross over emotions to say the least.

Oh! and Go Canada Go at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics! As I post this Jon Montgomery wins GOLD for Canada in Skeleton! WOOT WOOT!!!!

Thanks and Peace Love and Joy in every moment. Yours for the Planet!!!! Duane Burnett

Thursday, February 18, 2010

RIP Tundra "Love Ya! Miss Ya!"

Most paramount on my mind these days is my dearest angel and long time side kick and companion Tundra, a stunningly gorgeous white Siberian Wolf with spectacular glacial ice eyes who's journey has moved on into the stars.

His last night on the earthly plain was at a huge bonfire drum circle and a ride home in the car with his tongue hanging out enjoying the beautiful fresh mountain and ocean air. I kinda feel that the flames, smoke and beat of the drums helped to carry him on a gentler journey that night and I am so grateful for that.

His passing has been met with some good old denial and now its been gripping me with a mix of grief and tears one moment with a lovely side of crushing depression thrown in for good measure and sprinkled with a shear lump of gratefulness and awe at how blessed I am to have such an amazing spirit in my life in the first place.

I created a fund raising fan page in his honour on facebook for wheelchair accessible drinking fountains along our beautiful Sunshine Coast water front parks and both the community newspaper have been just so wonderful to run stories and memorial tributes to Tundra over the past several weeks. I am terrified to go to the Sunshine Coast Credit Union to see if anyone even made a donation to his living memorial.

But you know, I am really just crushed inside and realized I am over compensating on facebook perhaps with helping the community, trying perhaps to distract myself by being of service and purpose, which has met with some nasty harsh complaints that I am blogging the Sunshine Coast too much! I admit hubbing and blogging the community is a new learning curve and I appreciate the feedback but it sure has left me unsure of myself as this is after all just done with love and I don't make any money from it and live unemployed since I lost my job back in October.

Yesterday I went up and sat next to the site where my family graciously created a grave for Tundra in the woods overlooking stunning Trail Bay in Sechelt. I am so thankful for this, as I couldn't stand the thought of tossing him in a big pile like trash, but I also don't believe in mourning over a site, and that death has to be a celebration.

I am walking and walking and walking and walking, the other day, in just one day, four times around some of our larger parks, just to keep myself grounded in the now, to be in spirit and nature, and to process everything that's been coming my way these days and going through my head and heart.

I am trying to remain on the side of knowing that Tundra's death is a celebration and he will always be one with me forever in this beautiful universe. I often yell out "I Love You Tundra!" every where I go; into the waterfalls and forests and up into the sky to the tree tops and feel his spirit in my heart.

Tundra's Accessible Dog & People Friendly Drinking Fountain

duane burnett starts a blog

Well, thought I would give this a try and join the blogging world! Hello everyone! HUGS Duane
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