Bleeding Maple Syrup

We are a 143 yrs young… only a few wrinkles are starting to show.
Nothing that a little botox can’t fix.
Technically, we are still in our twilight years, fighting over Team Edward or Team Jacob, fawning at the sight of our favorite vampire movie actors, taking pride in our young accomplishments while still figuring out who we are on the global scene.
Yes. We are Canada.
And I am damn proud to be from this beautiful country.
We are not perfect.
We are made fun of often by our neighbours and southern counterparts but I stand proud, as many do, for WE.ARE.CANADIAN.
And I will always bleed maple syrup while entertaining the masses with my ‘eh,’ politeness and socialized medicines, while wondering at what point do I start checking off the ‘are you a visible minority‘ as Canada becomes more and more a pluralistic/rainbow society.
So I say on this long weekend of beer drinking, lake side chilling, BBQs and grilling while oooooooh’ing and aaaawwwh’ing at the local township fireworks display…
Be proud of the land we call home.
We might be young.
We have and might still do foolish things.
We truly are unique.
But we are pretty damn amazing…
The world thinks highly of us, even if they know every little about who or what we are all about.
Many want to be us, or pretend to be Canadian while abroad.
More and more become us, every day.
We have a rich but short history, a strong sense of self while showing a willingness to help and grow as a young country.
The world has noticed.
But most importantly, we noticed.
And we are still proud.

So, Happy 143rd birthday Canada! Happy long weekend Canadians!

We Are More by Shane Koyczan
When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building or biggest lake
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that
we’ve got a few Barenaked Ladies
or that we made these crazy things
like zippers
electric cars
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world’s anthem
has been “been there done that”
and maybe that’s where we used to be at
it’s true we’ve done
and we’ve been we’ve seen
all the great themes
get swallowed up
by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don’t forget to mention
that we have set sparks
we are not just fishing stories
about the one that got away
we do more than sit around
and say “eh?”
and yes we are the home of the Rocket
and the Great One
who inspired little number nines
and little number ninety-nines
but we’re more than just hockey
and fishing lines
off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes
and some say what defines us
is something as simple as please
and thank you
and as for you’re welcome
well we say that too
but we are more than genteel or civilized
we are an idea
in the process of being realized
we are young
we are cultures strung together
then woven into a tapestry
and the design is what makes us more
than the sum total of our history
we are an experiment going right for a change
with influences that range from a to zed
and yes we say zed instead of zee
we are the colours of Chinatown
and the coffee of Little Italy
we dream so big that there are those
who would call our ambition an industry
because we are more than
sticky maple syrup and clean snow
we do more than grow wheat and brew beer
we are vineyards of good year after good year
we reforest what we clear
because we believe in generations beyond our own
knowing now that so many of us have
grown past what used to be
we can stand here today
filled with all the hope people have when they
say things like “someday”
someday we’ll be great
someday we’ll be this or that
someday we’ll be at a point when someday was yesterday
and all of our aspirations will pay the way
for those who on that day
look towards tomorrow and still they say
we will reach the goals we set
and we will get interest on our inspiration
because we are more than a
nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks
more than backpacks and hiking trails
we are hammers and nails
building bridges towards those
who are willing to walk across
we are the lost-and-found for all
those who might find themselves at a loss
we are not the see-through gloss or glamour
of those who clamour for the failings
of others we are fathers brothers sisters
and mothers uncles
and nephews aunts and nieces
we are cousins
we are found missing puzzle pieces
we are families with room at the table for newcomers
we are more than summers and winters
more than on and off seasons
we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay
because we are more than what we say or do
we live to get past what we go through
and learn who we are
we are students
students who study
the studiousness of studying
so we know what as well as why
we don’t have all the answers but we try
and the effort is what makes us more
we don’t all know what it is in life we’re looking for
so keep exploring
go far and wide or go inside
but go deep go deep
as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss
and suddenly there was this location scout
trying to figure some way out to get inside you
because you’ve been through hell and high water a
nd you went deep keep exploring
because we are more than a laundry list of things
to do and places to see
we are more than hills to ski or countryside ponds to skate
we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can’t wait
we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes
a country that is all the ways you choose to live
a land that can give you variety
because we are choices
we are millions upon millions of voices shouting
“keep exploring… we are more”
we are the surprise the world has in store for you
it’s true Canada is the “what” in “what’s new?”
so don’t say “been there done that”
unless you’ve sat on the sidewalk
while chalk artists draw still lifes
on the concrete of a kid in the street beatboxing
to Neil Young for fun
don’t say you’ve been there done that
unless you’ve been here doing it
let this country be your first-aid kit
for all the times you get sick
of the same old same old
let us be the story told to your friends
and when that story ends
leave chapters for the next time you’ll come back
next time pack for all the things you didn’t pack for the first time
but don’t let your luggage define your travels
each life unravels differently
and experiences are what make up the colours of our tapestry
we are the true north strong and free
and what’s more
is that we didn’t just say it
we made it be.

~ Shane Koyczan


About ~KC~
Strong but open minded, opinionated, sensitive, vivacious, outgoing, caring, compassionate, spiritual, habitual, mutable, at times controversial, sometimes superficial, perceived as egotistical and knowledgeable but mostly loveable... all things Sagittarius.

15 Responses to Bleeding Maple Syrup

  1. Cdn_Relic says:

    and Detroit Mich USA puts on the greatest fireworks display for Canada ever, thank you neighbour!

  2. ~KC~ says:

    That they do!!

  3. Andy says:

    “Many want to be us, or pretend to be Canadian while abroad.”

    Who in the Hell does that? Seriously.

    Happy Canada Day!

    • ~KC~ says:

      Many an American backpacker.
      It’s a well known fact… you will find many an American passport holders wearing Canadian flags while abroad and telling people they are Canadian.
      Still happens

  4. Old Iron says:

    Happy Canada Day KC. Hope that the fact that you are now now longer personal-transportation deprived enhanced the celebrations!

  5. Buck says:

    Dang but Mr. Shane Koyczan DOES go on! (I had to google him to find out if the androgynously named person was a he or a she). That said, Happy Canada Day, KC. I was on the road all day yesterday and am just now catching up.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Shane speaks it beautifully and seamlessly… which of course is a please to hear. But I wanted people to READ the words… rather than just hear them. They are a true reflection of Canada.

  6. Gordon says:

    You are more than welcome to keep Buffy Sainte-Marie. Old Iron would admire her ability to drink, but not her obnoxious drunken personality, I think.

    And the Barenaked Ladies are coming to town for the Basilica Block Party. And I have to go to Virginia, MN next week, so I’ll be really, really close to Canada.

    But in all my times abroad, I never pretended to be Canadian. I did meet Canadians who insisted that many Americans did, and who insisted that Canadians were better treated by the Eurofolk. Perhaps they were right.

  7. Old Iron says:

    In all honesty throughout my travels I have seen Americans default to the “nope, I’m Canadian” statement, but I have NEVER done so and enjoy the look of polite shock when it is discovered that I am not only from the States, but (GASP!) Alabama as well.

    I have actually gotten not one but TWO separate “chocking on the drink” occurrences from that statement.

    -And loved it.

  8. Gordon says:

    Bruce Bawer, a New York City-born author who lives in Oslo, had an interesting perspective. He knows gay men in Norway who have been assaulted on the street (invariably by Muslims) in Oslo, and yet Norwegian gays are afraid to travel to the southeastern US out of fear. He admits to being verbally assaulted (FAGGOTS!) in the south, but has never felt in physical danger.

    Of course, most Europeans have amazingly distorted views of life in the US. Most Euros believe that almost no Americans have any health insurance at all.

    The “Americans pretend to be Canadian” thing goes back at least to the early 1970s; I met a Canuck gal in Europe in 1973 who swore that Americans traveled Europe wearing maple leaf pins.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Very interesting article – I actually learned a lot in this one! Perhaps some people ought to take a look at Canada instead of calling us names… they might learn a thing or two!

  9. Gordon says:

    Well, I’m sure you’re very interesting to look at. Iron thinks so, and I’ll take his word for it pending other opportunities.

    And anyone who calls you a gravy-swilling beer-besotted well-intentioned minion of the House of Mountbatten-Windsor has a beef with me. I know, because you wrote about it, that you prefer hard liquor to beer.

    It’s hard to imagine that Canada would have better opportunities for starting a business than the US, but it was hard to imagine that people would vote for a guy whose sole successful experience was writing two autobiographies. Not that it’s all his fault.

    • ~KC~ says:

      Well, I’m sure you’re very interesting to look at. Iron thinks so, and I’ll take his word for it pending other opportunities.

      HA… hahahaha… sorry that just made me giggle, in a good way. Thanks – who knows, with your enticement of BBQ’d pork – and me with good Canadian beer and whiskey – heck, we just might have to create an opportunity to meet up!

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