In his newest video for a poem called "Heaven, or Whatever," Vancouver poet Shane Koyczan reveals the confusing but loving relationship he shared with his grandfather.
"'You can't just do whatever.' The words stumbled out of you like a drunk leaving a bar looking for a fresh new last call. You were not a man of words but did your best to offer advice. You offered me, 'You can't just do whatever.' And I know what you meant. You meant that whatever I choose to do, I must not be aimless."
The poem is one we can all relate to when it comes to our grandparents, who for many of us grew up in different countries and at the very least hold onto different values and beliefs.
"The conversation came after you asked me about heaven, told me you thought heaven would be specific to each person and that each person would have their own version of it, and asked me what mine would be," Koyczan says in the video, posted Monday.
"I was so scared to tell you: I don't have one."
For Koyczan, "Heaven, or Whatever" speaks to the "measure of harmony" that he found with his grandpa despite their differences, he writes in the video's description.
Koyczan came into the international spotlight when he performed at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. His status rose when he released "To This Day," a heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting poem about his experience being bullied as a kid. He also worked with the Vancouver Opera on "Stickboy," a show based on his book of the same name.
Considering his success, it's safe to say that Koyczan found his version of heaven.
"If there is a heaven, mine would have a post office," he says to his grandpa. "And I could send letters to yours. The first letter would read: 'Hell's not so bad! They pretty much let you do whatever.'"
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