The exhausted tale of how I would load up a side-satchel and hit the streets with an album I borrowed two thousand dollars to make has become a prevalent story in my mythology. The door-to-door hustle that lasted half a decade moved over ten thousand copies of the self-titled Blake Berglund & Kennedy Rodeo and remains a period I regularly reflect upon. Loose calculations would reveal an average of every other door being answered and about nine declines to every one sale making for some one hundred thousand odd conversations. Emphasis on odd.

Ones who would engage were rather intrigued and considering a natural tendency to help, I would receive consistent input from everyday Canadians as to what they felt I should be doing instead of selling records on their doorstep. Topping that list would be the suggestion that I audition for Canadian Idol. 

My initiative to move records in this fashion began in the mid-2000s in Medicine Hat, Alberta, so it was an understandable recommendation as the city was frenzied by the Idol phenomenon. A local bison rancher’s son had captivated a nation with a head of blond curls to be crowned the winner of season two, outside the city of sixty thousand a newly erected sign “Cypress Country, Home of Kalan Porter.”

As a DIY punk rocker pseudo-cowboy I was proud and quick to retort, educating the innocent as to how the industry was going to use him for everything they could then abandon his abilities for the next in line willing to taste a moment of fame. 

“Well what about third place contestant, that guy from Hedley, he used the show to his advantage, you could do that,” they would counter. I’d then enlighten them with the fact that he pissed all over the bathrooms following his performance at the Medicine Hat College. Needless to say, I had an answer to justify my decision to wear the soles out on my sneakers.   

The consistency of the suggestion wasn’t without its effects. A slew of performers flooded the Canadian market through the Idol franchise forcing me to ask myself if there was some way I too could manipulate the system to get a leg up through this avenue. A short-lived thought, I committed to my higher power that I would stayed the course and in return I would be granted a long slow burning career, always fearing flash in the pan advancement.

Rather dramatic, the negotiation took place where I had always felt the veil at its thinnest; off the back step of my parent’s ranch house under a jet black southeast Saskatchewan night sky. Whether there is merit to this ritualistic intent or not, I can’t help but revisit the moment as contractual and feel a breach when consumed by expectation. 

Intuition is to trust as expectation is to disappointment. It becomes murky and dangerous waters when this is misunderstood. Naturally, overwhelming gut instincts are undeniable and in the most strengthened situations we are compelled to move on them and quick to be proven correct. By chance, we choose a timeline, our outcome manifests within it, 

and a positive feedback cycle emerges where we find a confidence in the abilities to “foretell” and hence a trust is nurtured within. It becomes easier to move on instinct when it next presents itself. This is a false strength as the misstep took place in dictating when to receive the expected results, moreso, the knowing of the results we are to receive. 

I fall victim to this time and time again. A sense of sureness that would be a self-betrayal to deny but then robbing myself of re-enforcement by expecting the outcome and when it shall be delivered. Without embracing trust a negative cycle perpetuates connecting intuition to disappointment. I stumble backwards by self-sabotage and taking a direct hit to confidence. The hard lesson follows like clockwork; I refuse future intuition and am immediately faced with the realization that it is an unexplainable force of truth. I humble myself to its mystery and set forth once again in its cultivation. 

Maybe I was misheard in that cosmic deal. I said, long slow burning career…not long slow learning career. Then again, what’s the difference? 

A long slow learning career as long as I stay the course. When seen from that angle it becomes self-fulfilling. This also gives mercy to the concept of flash-in-the-pan advancement as some negative connotation – who am I to define any level of progress and its detriment based on a timeline? 

Such clarity is provided with the understanding that in that moment where I made a deal with the stars it was hinged on an inability to trust. To honour intuition and release expectation a process of achieving advancement is sped up granted one’s embodiment of a long slow learning career.