“I am completing a Master’s in Educational Policy Studies, focusing on digital technology and storytelling with youth at risk.”
When I am dying, and I look up a the hospital ceiling or the canopy of trees or into the gun muzzle of that Russian dude whose nose I broke in a rugby game…I will think about what I feel lucky for. Right now, not dying, I feel lucky to be surrounded by very artistic friends.
Auralia Brooke is one of those people. One part nerd, one part geek, one part teacher and one part student. All the parts accumulate into someone who lives with a drive and purpose. She works hard, thinks hard and loves even harder. Her mother is a testament to this…a catalyst maybe…and they spin off each other like dervishes. I was lucky to spend Christmas with them last year. It was a very enjoyable thing.
I asked Aura to do this Interview Project over a month ago but her shyness got in the way. I’m not calling her out mind you, more of making a note. Even the strongest people in our lives have a limit…a governor…and Aura’s is her humility. I say this with the uttermost respect for her, after all, she is the one who introduced me to Doctor Who.
Here is another example. She sent this along with her answers. It is an excerpt of a longer read…a letter to her mom for her birthday. I cut right to the meaty parts (it is meant to be read aloud and I recommend it):
“I will become greater of heart and spirit. I will inhale cumulonimbus and hiccup cirrocumulous and mares’ tails. I will play marbles at the heart of the storm, in a boat the size of a tea kettle I will be the laughter and the fierce joy of passage through the unthinkable, into breaking light. My eyes will be the depths and the scattered sun stripes that I watched break across the waves between ocean and sky.
These stories, the ones I make with my back and my hands, these are the stories that will teach my children how to be good. Not your obedient dime-store moralization, but a braver long dark night of pain ended by angels and songs and whatever other classical themes of beauty they could picture to see them through the worst of days in the best of ways with no wind at their backs but the hope and my stories to teach them how to weave a blanket that lets them ride it out until dawn. ”
These words stir up rarely felt emotions inside my person. They make me want to lead an army into battle. They make me want to harness the sun and give it a cute pet name. They make me want to steal a horse, ride out into desert, build a city from scratch, fill it full of evil doers, and then burn it to the ground.
I like it when things make me feel like this.
If you would give yourself a nickname what would it be?
If you could switch one body part with anyone else in the world living or dead, who and what would it be?
Jason Statham’s cologne. That’s part of his body, right?
In five words, describe your most uncomfortable dream.
That lotion belonged to me.
What is your favourite word?
What does that word smell like?
Fresh snow. Firsts of things.
What is your spirit animal?
The ghost of Charles Dickens.
If ghosts existed, would you want to meet one? If so, what would you ask it?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, IF?
On a more serious note, I feel as though people I love are still with me. Are they ghosts? There’s this sense that they’re perched in the dark just beyond the campfire, and if I could invite them in, I’d ask silly things like, “did you like peanut butter?”, “do you think the world could get a little brighter if I do things right?” and “do you know how much I love you?”
If you could share a bottle of alcohol with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be and what would you drink?
Shaun Tan. Something that tastes like iron and soda pop.
What would you rather have as a pet: A dragon, a unicorn Pegasus or Ezra Levant?
I already have a dragon. His name’s Hafnarfjordur, and he’s Icelandic. In his spare time, he polishes snowflakes and sprinkles them on bike paths.
Totally Ezra. I would feed him to ‘narf.
Finally, if you could live your life over again with guaranteed success, what would you do?
Learn to fly horizontally through the air without the use of aircraft or propulsion system. Ask even more questions.