I’m an American.
I’ve never, at least as far I can remember, ever vandalized a wall or a door or a car or subway or any other kind of object not my own. That confession of course does not rid me of my rowdier drinking days and nights, as I crossed the North American continent from Halifax to Montreal to Toronto to Winnipeg to Vancouver. Though loud, belligerent, obstreperous, repeatedly offensive and, on two occasions, an obstacle to the general peace and peace-loving lives of the citizens and tourists in Halifax and Whistler, B.C., I swear to never having scrawled on any foreign object with a garishly fat, felt tip marking pen.
For a college graduate of the Sixties, that might appear a most scandalous dereliction of generational duty.
My recent experiences with Ottawa Life Magazine, however, feel rather like an exciting taste of American Graffiti on a noble Canadian edifice of 15 years.
The singularly impressive sound of Ot-ta-wa alone evokes a thrilling blend of First Nations Pride and Parliamentarian Protocol.
The most repeatedly impressive thing about Ottawa Life Magazine is its style. I particularly look forward to the fashion section. What I overlooked in my Manhattan days and the fashion deliriums of Women’s Wear Daily, I am making up for with Ottawa Life Magazine’s fashion section. It features couture from all of Canada’s major fashion haunts, from Vancouver to Montreal.
That I’ve been fortunate enough to, as some might already know, scrawl my American Graffiti across a page or two of the Ottawa Life Magazine web edition and on a fairly regular basis… well… because of that, I’ve never felt more welcome in this nation than now.
Oh, I’ve had, as many might know, my ups and downs during my 15-year experience with Canada. The highest point, until now, however, was when the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra performed mySymphony for Strings. I blush with pride to say it shared the stage with Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait! The evening was the opposite of American Graffiti. With the additional opportunity I had of sharing the life and words of Abraham Lincoln with a Calgary audience, the honor bestowed upon me by Canadian musicians engraves upon my soul not only eternal gratitude but the unforgettable ecstasy of hearing my creation offered up by an exquisitely large and flawlessly expert ensemble of violini, violi, celli and soul-rumbling bassi.
Listening and gazing down from the perch of an upper side-box seat, the realization of my music on such a massively impressive scale left me deliriously stunned. Nothing in my performing life, including my Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy Awards, could inspire within me such bliss.
Canada, with her deceptively kind and gentle toughness, has not only endured the excesses of my “mid-life crises” but offered, with her frequent forgiveness, her continent-wide meetings within Alcoholics Anonymous.
Yes, I am now eight years sober!
Thanks to Canada!!
Dan Donovan and his editors at Ottawa Life Magazine have been very kind to call my columns Moriarty’s Musings.
Not American Graffiti!
Perhaps we will come to an acceptable and hopefully addictive happy medium between Graffiti and Musings. As a devoted idolator of James Joyce, my musings will, I assume, cover a wide range of human voyages and vanities, many of them my own.
My life, I must say, has been one of the most extraordinary that I have ever known, read about or even seen on the silver screen!
To have the divine privilege of seeing my life’s culmination enacted in Canada!
We all know what has been happening to what once was the greatest nation in the world: the United States of America. This “transformation” was not an overnight event. From the beginning of my fame, in 1973, the United States has been falling into deeper self-delusion and debt.
Stephen Harper’s increasingly sane Canada is more than a refuge.
It has become for me a sacred sanctuary.
May I “Muse” here till the Holy Trinity sees fit to test my allegiance?
Till St. Peter asks of me, “Which do you prefer? Heaven or Canada?”
It will not be an easy question to answer!