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Muthadi & Me

A few weeks ago, I went to the Muthadi Drum Festival. The last time I went was 7 years ago.

When I was there in June 2001, it was at a crossroads in my life. A simple metaphor to explain it is this: I was trying to decide if I was Mt. Pleasant & Eglinton or Queen Street West. I chose Mt. Pleasant & Eglinton. But since then, I have, at times, longed for Queen Street West, and the life I didn’t choose.

Mt. Pleasant & Eglinton is a little more right wing, Queen Street West leans a little left.

Mt.P & Eg is LaCoste, Queen West is Betsy Johnson.

Mt. P & Eg is patisserie’s, Queen West is bohemian outdoor cafes.

Mt. P & Eg is straight lines, Queen West is curvy.

To me, that life is so much more free. Free of a lot of the useless stresses and concerns I carry with me every day. The people are more relaxed. There is so much more art and music and culture and intelligent conversation.

But there is also insecurity, and instability, and it’s that part of Queen West that I could never get my head around. It’s not always like that, but it was with the crowd I saw. So I turned away, went corporate, and only looked longingly over my shoulder occasionally.

Until just recently. I was invited to go with someone who is very Queen Street West back to the Muthadi Drum Festival after a 7 year absence. And I loved it. I loved the crowd. I loved the freedom. I loved the music and the art. I can’t believe I stayed away for so long.

It has made me start to think again about the choices made, and stuck with, over the past several years. It’s not that I regret them, but I wonder if it could be different going forward. If I can be different. I wonder if I could be Queen West after all. Or, if I could have one foot in both worlds, and live them both.

So much has been going on, and it’s a lot to process. But one thing for sure – I won’t miss Muthadi again.

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