Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

TEDx Fort McMurray: Shift in Thought - When You Have No House Build a Home - Dave Martin

Act One of of TEDx Fort McMurray, held on June 8 at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, was focused on the arts. The opening presentation from visual artist Lucie Bause set the tone for the first act, and the next presenter was someone I have met but did not yet know well. I can now say I know Dave Martin a bit better, and I am honoured to do so.

Dave is a local educator, although he came here some years ago from England. When he came he brought with him his memories of that country, but he also brought his musical talents and his skill for finding the beauty in any situation - because that is what Dave seems to be able to do.

I had had the pleasure of hearing Dave perform before at some local events, but had not heard the stories behind the songs he crafts. And it is a craft, songwriting, an art that combines the soul of a writer with the ear of a musician, finding a way to tell a story with song. Dave does it well, and in a way that I find deeply touching, enough so that when I first heard one of the songs he shared during his presentation I found myself fighting back tears because it spoke about home, and about how home is what we feel, not what makes up the four walls that surround us.

Dave Martin is, in a word, remarkable. He and I chatted briefly after the long day at TEDx and we discussed his involvement in a group designed to put musical instruments in the hands of youth who otherwise would not have access to them. This is beyond exciting to me, because I think one of the purest forms of expression is music, and I think art of any sort allows us to explore not only our creativity but our hearts.

One of the things Dave does during his presentation is ask us to think of what our song is. What is the word or phrase that best describes us, our approach to life, our view of the world? Is our song a dirge or a hymn, a pop rhythm or a salsa beat? What is your song? Watch Dave Martin's presentation and then scroll down to see my song, the song I have been singing for a few years now, and the song that has changed my life.

Dave's TEDx presentation challenged me to think about my song, and about how I am singing it. It was, in fact, exactly what I needed as my song was what I needed to get through my own TEDx presentation later that day, and the song I need to wake up to every day to conquer the world and slay all the dragons. Watch Dave and when he asks, be ready. What is your song?

This is my song.
A year ago when I was doing 
a photo shoot the photographer asked me 
to pick up a piece of chalk
and write the very first word 
that came to my mind.
Unhesitatingly I wrote one word:
Passion for writing,
passion for people,
passion for community -
passion for life.
My song is a song of passion.
What is your song?
Isn't it about time you figured it out?
And then start to sing it,
or sing it louder than ever before?
This is your life.
Sing your song.


  1. sometimes passion can lead people down the wrong path...

    1. If that is what you believe, anonymous, then I don't think you truly understand the kind of passion I refer to. It is unfortunate but not everyone can or will embrace living life, in all its complexities, with passion. What I know is that our time on this earth is finite, and if we are to live at all we may as well do so with passion for all we do.