Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

Reflections

The Ocean Of Wolves

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February 6th, 2016 Posted 11:37 pm

A few weeks ago as I was leaving the office I was stopped by a random guy who appeared to be waiting at the bottom of the stairs to our building. He asked me for directions to Thursday’s, a popular bar in downtown Montreal barely a minute’s walk away from where we were. The conversation that followed went like this:

“Yeah of course, I know Thursday’s. Just keep walking here along Crescent Street and it’s the second or third building on the other side of Maisonneuve, you can’t miss it”

“Merci beaucoup,” he exclaimed. “Hey I hear an accent there, are you from Britain?”

“No mate, I’m Australian.”

“Aaah Australian! Of course, I should have known. G’DAY MATE! How’s the kangaroos? Hey I love that sport you guys play in Australia, AFL?”

“Yep, Australian football, it’s pretty unique huh?”

“Yeah and I love how you guys do the Haka before each game!”

Before I had the chance to correct him on either the nationality or code of football, he bent over at the knees, punched his chest, grunted “Ka mate, ka mate!” and gave me his own personal interpretation of the famous Maori war cry right there on the Crescent Street sidewalk. I couldn’t believe how quickly our conversation had escalated!

He finished his Haka demonstration and went on to ask if I’d like to see a poem he wrote. He handed me a sheet of paper with a piece he’d penned called “The Ocean of Wolves”. And with that, he wished me a good night before heading off up the street – the total opposite direction to Thursday’s.

The Ocean Of Wolves

So, Alexandre B. A. Lebel of Montreal: if you ever happen to Google your own name and stumble upon this post, please know that I have your poem pinned up at my desk at work. It always makes me smile to glance over it and recall the brief but hilarious encounter we had on the street that evening. I hope you made it to Thursday’s eventually. Thanks for the laugh!

 

Posted in Reflections, Weird

Evicted

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July 18th, 2014 Posted 10:15 pm

Almost immediately after I scored my job in Toronto in October last year, I went straight onto Craigslist to look for a shared apartment to live in. Prior to that I surfed a handful of hostels and cheap hotels around various parts of the city for two weeks, waiting on that elusive moment where I secured a local income and could afford to pay rent. I was super keen on finding somewhere to live in this exciting new city and couldn’t wait to finally have my own private room, with access to a half decent kitchen!

And indeed I found somewhere. Surprisingly quickly. I responded to one ad, viewed the room that evening, and moved in the following day. Now, it wasn’t the nicest apartment in the world – I could tell from the outset that it was to be the overall dodgiest dwelling I’ve ever resided in. But I couldn’t fault its location on the outskirts of the beautiful Kensington Market, not to mention a bunch of awesome flatmates who quickly became good friends, and my comfortable little room which kept me hell warm during the frosty winter months. Aside from our shifty landlord and the feeble wifi network that was often unusable for weeks at a time, I couldn’t really complain.

Everything was going more or less ok at my pad on Dundas West & Augusta until Tuesday last week.

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Are you looking for crystals?

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December 23rd, 2013 Posted 3:47 pm

Earlier this afternoon I was standing on a street corner in Kensington, looking up directions on Google Maps to a cafe a friend had recommended to me.

I noticed two rather attractive ladies walking towards me, chatting with each other about the whereabouts of a crystal shop in the area. They too had a map open on their phone trying to find where it was. As it happened, I knew precisely where the crystal shop was, as I’d visited only a week ago to browse through their impressive shelves of gems & minerals and to sample a cup of their medicinal Chaga Mushroom tea. I asked the girls as they passed me, “Are you looking for crystals?”

They both stopped, gave me a quick once-over with a suspicious look in their eyes and stuttered “ahh… no, thank you” before they scooted off in a hurry.

Puzzled by their dismissal, I overheard one of the girls remark to the other a little further up the road, “Did he think we wanted crystal meth?”

It’s good to know I can pass for a local drug dealer!

House Of Energy, Kensington Market

House Of Energy, Kensington Market

Warra warra wai

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September 30th, 2012 Posted 10:18 pm

Warra warra wai‘ is written on the footpath, just south of the spot where Captain Cook first set foot on Aboriginal soil in 1770.

It means ‘Go away.’

How humbling to stand here 242 years later.

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Faith

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November 11th, 2011 Posted 10:56 pm

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always put my full faith into everything I’ve wanted to accomplish.

It’s strange to explain, but whenever a new goal or ambition enters my heart, I have this deep knowing that the universe will obligingly set everything in place to allow me to fulfil this dream, and that nobody and nothing will hinder me from reaching my destination.

I often notice little ‘synchronicities’ around me when I have one of these goals in focus.

They’re like perfect signs from an external force, greater than I could ever imagine. They encourage me to pursue this path I’m on.

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The day my heart melted

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October 26th, 2011 Posted 5:48 am

The day my heart melted
It was a Sunday
The sky was a perfect crystal blue
And my eyes caught your smile for the first time

We climbed
Hundreds of stairs we climbed to the top
It’s only from the top that you can fall
And boy, did I fall

Time and distance have this strange way of augmenting reality
I didn’t understand what reality entailed
Until this day

I realised I had only one chance
One single chance in my whole entire life
To ask you the question:

“Is it ok for me to have faith and hold onto this dream, or is it best to let it go and move on?”

I didn’t need to ask to find the answer

As I sit alone in this cold room, all hope of ever feeling those three words has drained from me

Wherever life takes you, please just know there’s somebody out there who does.

x

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Posted in Blog, Reflections

Firecrackers

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June 1st, 2011 Posted 9:53 pm

In the distance I hear firecrackers.

Ever so faintly. Above the low-frequency hum of the nighttime metropolis. Above the fresh winter breeze forced to filter through two buildings. Above the occasional friction of rubber over road or air over aluminium. Above the gentle murmur emanating from a block or two away; the happy neighbourhood couple just about ready to exchange their daily ritual for a few short hours of rest.

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Posted in Blog, Reflections

Have you ever read someone elses mail and discovered something interesting?

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December 29th, 2010 Posted 8:45 pm

For the past 12 months that we’ve been living in our apartment we’ve been getting regular mail addressed to some guy called Dr Macdonald.

Initially we did the noble thing by crossing out our address and returning them back to the sender, but the letters have just kept on coming and coming, at least once a week without fail. Today my housemate told me he’s gotten sick of returning them so he now makes a point of opening & reading them all before throwing them out!


This reminded me of a similar thing that happened when I lived in London last year…

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Heartbreak Science

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December 26th, 2010 Posted 10:26 am

I feel so excited after watching the documentary Heartbreak Science on SBS. For so long I’ve felt within me that the heart is so much more than what it’s made out to be. For example, I’ve always felt that in addition to the brain, it possesses and processes emotional intelligence, and that it acts as one of the many links between the human body and what we know as the “soul.”  Finally, it looks as though the scientific community are beginning to realise this as well.

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Plants have emotions too: my personal feelings regarding organics and the FSA report

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August 1st, 2009 Posted 9:14 pm

Those of you in the UK, especially those who I work with, would have heard of the recent report commissioned by the Food Standards Agency, claiming that “there are no important differences in the nutrition content, or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food.”

Of course, the media backlash has very validly pointed out that the report was limited only to comparing the nutritional content of the food, completely ignoring any comparison in pesticide levels and also ignoring the environmental benefits and sustainability that organic farming epitomises. I mean, really… if you had two apples in front of you, one of which was grown on an organic farm the way nature intended, and the other one of which was (and I quote) “sprayed up to 16 times with 30 different chemicals” and grown on land with residual pesticides immersed within the soil, it doesn’t take a fool to work out which one would be better for you! I’m not criticising the methods of conventional farming (as I understand there is still need for it at this stage of the world’s evolution); I’m merely pointing out that the organic method is unquestionably more wholesome to the Earth and to your body.

But we all know that, and that’s not really what I came here to talk about…

I feel really strongly about this issue for another reason, and it’s not one I’ve talked about much yet, as it’s more of a personal / intuitive / spiritual logic that I live by, with little scientific substantiation to back me up. But I do feel the need to talk about it now and share my beliefs, especially following the FSA report.

As some of you are probably aware, over the past few years I have developed a keen interest and belief in the yin-yang, the chi, the karmic cycle, the life force, the universal energy, the process of creation – whatever you would like to call it. I try to apply these beliefs to my own life, sometimes successfully, other times not so much, but the gist of it is that if I think positively and emanate positive energy, then I will reap the benefits with a positive life, whereas if I think negatively and emanate negative energy, then life becomes a living hell. And I’ve had enough experiences matching up with this approach to know that it is a true belief for me. I guess there are a lot of people who live by these ideals too, however for me it’s definitely more of a spiritual thing as opposed to a psychological Dr. Phil kinda thing.

But what has this got to do with organic food? Well, similarly to my own life, I also apply these beliefs to food, both in animal form and plant form.

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