900 Things Week 12: Promises to Keep

… and then there was that week that I didn’t write anything.

Preparation for the new job got the better of me last week. My hat is off to anyone who can keep up a blog on a week-to-week or more level.

My old boss found the gift that I had hoped for but had thought long gone. One of the shows I was most proud of was Sweeney Todd. It was a long plan to build toward something that scale and I put every last trick and favour into making sure it was filled to the rafters. It is with a great deal of pride that I tell people that we filled 98% of the seats to that run.

TIMG_0785here is only one keepsake that I would want. One memento that would be just the thing. And they found it. I got one of the prop straight razors from the show. One of my former co-workers made a simple box for it and an engraved plate bears a line from my first show as Marketing Director, The Mystery of Edwin Drood – “More than what solution fits the crime, what I’ve learned is that life is bits of time.” You might remember that from the Grammy Award prop I showed you a few weeks ago. It is also on the farewell gifts for two other of my co-workers from that era. It just fits.

Promises are a funny thing.

I have a cat named Raziel whom I love very much. No, she isn’t named for the stupidest angel from Christopher Moore’s book, I encountered that novel almost a decade after Razzie came into my life. I was a religious studies student and a name that literally translates as “Wisdom of God” was more than a little fitting for the cat who helped me through some stressful years.

Razzie was really my girlfriend of the time’s cat, but I helped pick the name so I take that bit of ownership. That girlfriend and I went through grad school together and then moved to Montreal where I was to take a year off while she went on to a Phd. I couldn’t find work and ended up moving back to Calgary a few months later and a misunderstanding with the landlord meant the cat came with me.

My girlfriend would keep Razzie’s whiskers as they fell off as a sort of substitute for bronzed baby shoes. When I was leaving, she asked that I continue to save them for her and to return them when we were a family again.

IMG_0803That was not to be. That girlfriend now lives on the other side of the world and it has been 10 years since that fateful move back to Calgary. But I promised. And so here they are. Every time I happened to see a whisker it went into this old pill container. There was no thought they would ever be given to the woman who parted ways from us so long ago. But a promise is a promise.

It is a promise from which I free myself. One less attachment to the past.

If ever I am have to justify myself to a greater power, it will be this story I tell. It is who I am.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 

But I have promises to keep, 

And miles to go before I sleep, 

And miles to go before I sleep.

– Robert Frost



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