Ah, nostalgia, a distraction and nearly impossible to avoid as one gets older. I posted this photo yesterday and my friend Tracy said I looked defiant, an interesting take. I thought I looked pensive but indeed I was defiant, had to be. I don’t idealize my childhood. It was rough, but, it was childhood. According to George Eliot, “We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.” The kingdom of childhood and as dominated as I was by parents, peers and school, I was its ruler. I ran wild in the woods every spare moment, neighbourhood kids foolishly following me up trees, onto rafts, into tunnels and whatever sort of mischief we could dig up. As a teenager I rebelled. Or, fought back. Mom and Dad began drinking in earnest and an already harrowing home life became necessary to dodge. I cared about nothing but my friends and getting high, though loved to argue, vehemently, in bars and kitchens, railing against sexism and injustice. Somehow I managed to complete high school and several years of post-secondary education before running off to join the punk rock circus. I don’t dwell on regrets and I’m not certain my defiance has delivered me, but it got me out of Cloverdale.