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Rick Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Rick Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Rick Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding West Island Gazette..

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 11.16.14

RICK BLUE

Revisiting your past for meaning

MONTREAL | Recently, I met a friend who was important to me years ago. We were part of a group who lived, played music, and hung out together. But, inevitably, the group broke up and we all went our separate ways.

We lost touch, and many years went by. But to see her again was to once again connect with that long-ago. It was nice.

"The past is a foreign country..." is a famous quotation from L.P. Hartley. And, indeed it is. History is rewritten constantly. Everyone has a different point of view about what happened.

So what is the past? Or should I say, what was the past?

We may never know. Even two people who actually witnessed the same event can have contradictory descriptions of it.

And there are so many conscious reasons to distort the past. We bring our biases from the way we interpret the present. We may also want to protect the memory of people who were in the past. Or, we might want to attack them. Settle scores.

We might even want to weave the past into some grand narrative that will explain the present and guide us into the future.

Most of us just get sentimental about the past because life seemed simpler then, when, in fact, it was we who were simpler then.

As my generation ages I see how our common interest in the past increases -- at least our past. There are Facebook pages, school and family reunions. Somehow we would like to contact the past one more time, hoping that it can throw some light on what has happened to us since. Or perhaps to give the dramatic arc of our lives some meaning.

I think that is what we want from the past. That is why it fascinates us. That is why it is important to us. We search for that meaning. But what can it really tell us? We only have what is left of our memories to go by.

And as the past fades into the distance it becomes fuzzier and more irrelevant, like a landscape disappearing behind us as we drive on down the road.

So I plan to get together with my friend and have some tea and catch up, as they say. But I hope we will mostly be talking about the days we shared and people we knew so long ago. Maybe I will learn something about someone that I already didn't know. Maybe a memory that I had never revisited will be evoked. Either way, such events become more significant as I get older.

To read Rick Blue's complete column on the West Island Gazette, click here Rick Blue in the West Island Gazette
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