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Major statement…

January 23, 2011

Sauna is probably the only truly democratic place on earth…

Everybody is equal as they get undressed and enter the steam room…

— Mika Hotakainen, director of The Steam of Life

On Friday,

I walked downtown,

and back again,

at a canter…

On my way home,

at East Pender and Main,

a school bus stopped before the intersection…

I always instinctively search,

the windows of school buses,

for my people…

All the rows were empty,

until my eyes got to the back seat,

and found the light streaming out of the window,

in all directions…

A teenage boy with Down’s Syndrome smiled at me,

I smiled back,

he smiled some more,

and then blew a kiss…

I returned a kiss,

on the wind,

right into his happiness,

and I could feel the ribbon of joy connecting both of us,

for the rest of my walk home…

While I watched the Steam of Life that evening,

in a full house,

at the Kay Meek Theatre in West Vancouver,

I saw that the directors,

had chosen to include a conversation,

between two men with Down’s Syndrome,

enjoying a sauna,

in their film…

These men spoke of honesty,

and how they saw themselves,

as best friends…

I am a best friend,

said one to another,

and I am honest…

This made me think about,

how we situate ourselves in the world,

what guides us,

and that when one person,

honours another,

with a listening ear,

regardless of skin,

or I.Q.,

the planet could tip upside down,

and it wouldn’t matter…

The anchor of who we really are,

and want to be,


is more than enough to hold us in place,

in a desert storm…

See the freight train with its one fierce eye... (photo: Starshine)

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