Archive for November, 2013

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The most rambly place I’ve been lately. Also, learning to be the good kind of selfish.

November 26, 2013

I’ve left behind any notion of “sanity”, at least in the way sanity is considered. I embrace all that is beautifulcrazysane and howl at the moon from the depths inside my head. I’ll walk the walk as long as I have to, because there is nowhere I’d rather be than right here, loopy as fuck. 

I’ll dance with abandon within fields of crabby grass and never be grumpy because I can feel what it is to be free. I don’t expect that anyone else would find joy in these mediations, I don’t care about that. I don’t even expect that anyone would have a need to understand what makes me tick, what makes me whirl, what makes me smile. Isn’t it enough that I do?
I used to think I was cut out for relationships, that somewhere there was a person, or at least a type or at very least a type of hat that would suit me. I could put it on and feel like I had accomplished something. I could walk hand in hand with whoever you are and feel like everything fits. 
I don’t think that anymore. 
I don’t think about hats, other than I like it when people wear them. I don’t think about types, except to be sad when I see people who seem desperate to be one. (Not everybody does and not everyone who is has any awareness that they are and honestly if you want to be a type, be it with all you have. Embrace it, be the physical embodiment of that thing all goddamn day and love it. Whatever works for you, I’m only talking about what I see, never forget that.). I don’t even really think so much about people I could be in an intimate relationship with because I don’t know how to do that really. I don’t dismiss lightly the possibility that my insistence of preferring the single life stems from a fear of falling in love and losing myself or ending up pregnant or broken-hearted or or or…something out of my control. But inevitably I do dismiss it. I’ll explain why soon. 

I used to think that I fell in love all the time. And to a degree, I do. Oh my goodness, if there was a way to inject colour into the wind every time I feel enamoured of someone, rainbow tornadoes. Entire paint departments worth of swatch sample hurricanes, the danger of colourful papercuts around every corner. Is it love? I fall desperately, madly, instantly for the back of your neck, the sweep of your arm, the way you climb out of a car, the laugh that’s in your eyes even when it’s not on your lips, your lips, oh fuck me now! your lips that I’d love to kiss until they are bluish because we’re so deep in it we forgot to breathe. Except for the panting. 
Is that love? Or is it lust? It feels very intense in the moment, it draws all of my attention, concentration, ability to form rational thought. Is it enough? It sure feels like it for the most part. But it goes. 

Sure, it could be argued, I’ve been in relationships, I’ve loved people, I do love people. But not for very long. I haven’t been involved in an intimate relationship that lasted longer than a couple of months in over 10 years. A dilettante in the ways of love, distracted by debaucherous dalliances with no real determination to delve deeper. And for the most part, totally comfortable in that role. 
Of course I get lonely, of course I have doubts as to if the path I’m on is healthy. But people who seek out relationship after relationship do too. There is no one right way. 

I watched the movie Shame recently. If one can not be embarrassed by full frontal nudity, skip over any hangups about people having what might be considered an unhealthy sexual addiction, you’re left with a character study of a man who lives a very solitary life. Again, skip over his inability to copulate with someone who seeks something more that just an exchange of cash money for services rendered. Move past his incessant porn surfing, masturbation, et al and you’re left with a human who has carved out a niche of solitude. There are certain clues that his upbringing, whatever it entailed has led him to a place where he has to be like this. But I didn’t see that. I saw a guy who had built a lovely fortress of solitude only to have the walls charged by his crazy, annoying, needy, helpless sister. Who insists that it’s healthy to need someone, to let people in. 
I call bullshit. Honestly, I could have cared less about all the sex, it was well done but very perfunctory and matter of fact. For me, the place that the story existed was this reality where he was content with the walls. But then it shifted to a place where he had convinced himself he was content with the walls, when really he just wanted someone to break through them. Is the suggestion that people who prefer isolation are wrong? Or broken? Or damaged and need fixing? 

I use crazy as a filter. It saves time. I don’t care if the first thing you think about me is what a wacky bitch. If that freaks you out, awesome. If that doesn’t freak you out and you get in the car anyway and your second thought is, how can she drive a standard while making those sandwiches? Actually those sandwiches look pretty tasty.. you can stay, for a time (to be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever made a sandwich while driving a standard.). I don’t mind if you are hard pressed to find any qualities in me worth sticking around for. If I am living my life to be judged by you, to hold myself up to your litmus test of sanity, there’s going to be trouble. I’m desperately trying to work out the gift of being happy and joyful and cozy in my skin and falling in bed at the end of the day satisfied with how I helped myself, my community, the world, content that what I’m doing is, if not the best thing I could be doing, at least on it’s way there.
I don’t have time to create a public persona to show the world how stable I could be if I tried. There are far more important things I could be doing. 
Of course I have moments of gosh, I hope this person likes me because that pretty cool tattoo they have is a minor indication of the possibility that we have things in common and will connect on a deeper level than just physical attraction.. <- see what I did there? I talked about connection. I never discount the possibility. Every single person I encounter might be someone who will change my world, for better or worse doesn’t matter (better can be more fun, worse can be more instructive and vice versa). I know that I’m open to that personal interaction, certainly on an emotional wavelength just as much as any other. I’m not scared of someone making it through the walls, in fact, if they do? They’re someone I will know and love for a good long time. Perhaps not on a level that is expected of a woman of childbearing age, but not everyone rocks out to the same beat. 

Yes I have walls. Yes I rock the crazy. (Telemarketers have hung up on me!) Yes these walls and that crazy are filters to keep out many, including the unhealthy meek, the overly judgemental, the people who need to be needed, excessively angry people who are all vitriol and no focus. All the character traits that scare the bejeezus out of me for what are to me at least, obvious reasons. But just in case they aren’t obvious, here’s what I consider obvious, from my perspective. Unhealthy meek will hand away their power and then wonder how they became so devastatingly tragic. Overly judgemental will consistently look outward for blame and never consider that their dismay is a reflection. People who need to be needed will be forever trying to fix everyone around them, without anything left over for themselves which will cause resentment and bitterness. Excessively angry people who are all vitriol and no focus are just boring after a while. Of course you’re angry the world is full of shittty things and people. But it will forever seem like that as long as your head is up your ass.
How can I presume to know such things? I have been every single one of these persons at one time (or more) or another. Those and many others and likely will be again at some point.
But every day is a perfect day for revolution. To rally against the habits that build the walls that don’t have windows. Yeah, I build walls, but then I plant honeysuckle and jasmine and passion flowers, because I understand how important growth is. And I’m working on putting windows in (with a window seat perfect for reading in the sunshine or having a nap on with a cat) because it’s just as important to look out, as in. 

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November leaves much to be desired.

November 20, 2013

November wears a cloak of hallowe’en’s leftover spiderweb tendrils
and the dying dreams of the leaves.
She darkens the sky with her icy breath to make the stars brilliant
and the lovers move closer to attempt a reprieve from the cold.
The thought of delicate fingered hands in gloves; 
a scarf, caressing the soft skin of a throat;
boots and coats zipped securely against her onslaught
make her smile.

She brings rain
She brings wind
She brings the misty eyed memory of summer to a close.
She brings back the mystery of what’s underneath
The delightful anticipation 
of something needing to be sought out,
unwrapped,
Tantalizing and slow.

Unlike the blatancy of summer
With it’s lack of surprise,
Lack of modesty,
Lack of discretion.
A smorgasbord of flavour and flash
WIthout any consideration
Of decorum,
November is a reminder
Of beauty neither inhibited, nor innocent
But reserved
Cautious
And certainly not scared of the dark. 

She understands well, the best things for a night
That is long and dark and cold.
November is a romantic, after all. 

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Night in my veins

November 19, 2013

Did I manifest you on that dark street
Your taste so delicious and aligned with everything I think sane
Or was it happenstance that happened to chance a meeting
That we would mutually benefit from.
Your hands in my hair like a line out of a pretenders song
All that was missing was the cadillac
Not that we would have noticed the make, or model
Or even the colour.
We were making our own
Hues and tones so rich and varied
Intoxication seemed secondary.
The moon played us a blue jazz number
Something so sultry the trees did their best to keep time.
That surreptitious smile you gave me in the backseat of a cab
The kiss in your eyes not yet on my lips
Fingers intertwined below the level of sight
A tactile whisper in the shadows.

It’s a familiar dance
That post-midnight mindset
A meandering garden path of earthly delight
Played at a tempo fast and slow at the same time
The perfect speed to make a metronome dizzy
But not the stars.
The magic of what could
Becomes what is
And what it is?
Is poetry.

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The lighter part of sad.

November 17, 2013

I rolled into the desert with you on my mind.
More space than my mountain sea raised perspective could account for
It seemed there was enough room to encompass everything all at once
And indeed there was.
And you were there, in the screams and the cacophony of delight
That surrounded me.
A song for you playing on the stereo as a small black truck rolled towards an entrance,
it perfectly complimented the juxaposition
The austerity of a desert
The madcap laughs of it’s denizens.
I anticipated seeing you at every turn
And you did not disappoint.

Because you never do.

I carried with me a talisman of my father
And the spirit of you into a temple so grand and beautiful
It urged a realization of connectivity and humility
unlike any I had known before.

It gave me such hope and sadness to commune with you there,
Closer than I ever expected.
As I sat in front of the small altar I had built to you and my dad
I sobbed, Tears flowing freely, ably, comfortably.
Unable to see, taste, smell or hear
The only coherent sense, the ability to feel
So deeply, more than I ever have before
As far as I know.
Someone came and kissed the top of my head
It could have easily been you
you were that close.

And you always will be.

Image

Image

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The darker part of sad.

November 17, 2013

As a friend I watched you fall,
knowing that I wouldn’t be able to pick you up
I could only stand by as the floor spun away
and left me,
the girl with the gift of prose,
bereft of what to say.

You don’t have to worry was in your smile
But your eyes spoke a different story
Reflecting the inevitable mortality we all face.

A good friend of ours made me cry today.
He played me a song that sounds like you
Mostly that part of you that I saw in your eyes that day
It’s so sad I would argue
and you would agree with me
Because I was right.

And some days, like this dark one in November,
the last of the leaves clinging to nearly bare trees
hoping perhaps, the way I did,
that any second there would be a reprieve
And you wouldn’t go.

I know that it’s a natural part of things
but honestly,
Saying goodbye is so fucking sad.

 

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I almost forgot. But then I didn’t.

November 16, 2013

The thing I miss most about kissing is what happens just before
the kiss
That point of light so infinitesimal that everything else is left behind
As though time itself was taking notes on what is about to happen so it
can plan it’s future accordingly.

You’re left alone in this space
This place of pre-fusion
With perhaps only the time to think,
eyes open or closed?
If in fact you can think at all
The heat being generated
By the anticipation of contact
Could light the fires of a thousand burned out stars
And inspire supernovas
to be better
to do more
The breath, held, can’t help but brazenly share itself
And when it realizes,
it likes this feeling
and wants more
Will pull as much as breath can pull
Just to have you there
Entwined
In such a way that intangibility
Desires to become tangible
And when it does
connect…
Oh, baby! Now that’s a kiss.
As my toes would say.
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I lied.

November 15, 2013

I had forgotten the way your hands feel when they listen to me.
I had left behind the memory of the sound you make when I smile at you,
in that way.
The sound you didn’t know was there
and I hesitate to tell you because until I do
It’s mine.
The way no other part of you is mine.
You belong only to yourself and I would have it no other way
I don’t need you to stay
I like it when you go
I like it when you come
back for more,
the knock on the door
as subtle as foreplay gets around here.
I vibrate at a frequency that is best heard in the tone of your voice
when it says my name.
With eyes closed I could easily identify
the way your back looks when you walk away
because you always do.
Mostly because you think I want you to. 


(I don’t. )

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Hope can be tricky.

November 12, 2013

My mom’s house is for sale. At this point, it’s as close to sold as it has been any other time. Which is a few.  At least 3-4 times an offer has been accepted, at least 3-4 times the buyer backed out. Every time it happens it’s kinda devastating.

Thinking I’m ready to let go of things and actually letting go of things are way different. Stuff is not a big deal (says the girl who still owns a multitude of books and records, regardless of the fact that she hasn’t had an actual address of her own since June of 2012) and I find myself getting much better at letting go of stuff (except perhaps books and records) as time goes on.
But what happens when we have to let go of a place? Do we lose something intrinsic to ourselves when that place is gone? Or does the person we became within it’s walls remain and carry the essence of it?

The house I grew up, at 721 Grousewood Place is dark. It’s a barn style roof, which means that one wall of the upstairs bedrooms is slanted and wooden. The carpets are red, orange and brown, the walls are cedar and fir, the beams are painted black. The house is completely surrounded by large trees – cedar, fir, arbutus which create a shadowy cocooned canopy.  There is a mountain on the back of the property that the sun disappears behind fairly early in the day.
For whatever reason, my dad loved that house and so we moved there. He’s gone now and any real attachment any of us feels to the house is more of an attachment to him than the property. I sweep the driveway or clear off the carport roof and I can hear him whistling. I miss him a lot and have moments where I’m scared that letting go of the house is a betrayal of sorts.

Just for the record, it’s not. He is seriously the last person who would have any misgivings about mum finally getting free of that house. Being that he’s no longer alive and inhabiting a corporeal form which does not require shelter, I don’t think he’s concerned about housing.

Here’s something funny. Just in case anyone thinks speaking of dead people and their lack of concern about generally anything that consumes us still alive people on a daily basis isn’t…
I recently looked at a property for sale. Sometimes you come across a place or thing that resonates and that should definitely be explored. Even if one doesn’t consider oneself in a position to actually buy anything like a house, the universe can be quirky and completely shutting down a notion because money is the deciding factor? That just seems silly.
At any rate, I looked at this place. I’d been scoping it online for quite a while and finally met the real estate agent and we looked at the house. A cute little place with a slanted roof on a small acreage completely socked in by trees with a mountain behind it that the sun disappears behind fairly early in the day.

What? Was I really so blind to the realization that I had fallen in love (on paper, at least) with a house that was so much like the house I had grown up in, a house that I was perhaps having a harder time letting go of than I thought? After viewing the house and liking it, but not loving it, being unable to picture my stuff in it, it was easier to walk away.
But it’s forced me to actually come to terms with the notion that I’m a little bit scared of who I’m going to be once my childhood home(since I was 3) has been sold to strangers who will likely gut it and fix it if they don’t tear it down altogether.

All this time I’ve been hoping against hope that mum’s house sells quickly and painlessly and I wonder now if that isn’t me wanting the band-aid ripped off clean as much as I want her to be free to start the next adventure unfettered by a house that she never really loved as much as she loved dad.
Because why else would such a determined and strong woman such as she compromise to live on a dark and sunless property, when she thrives so much better in the light?
Not that we lived in a cave! No, in the earlier times, before the deck gave way and the trees grew tall, there was much basking and brightness. Never really enough for a garden, unless you were bamboo or creeping juniper. And I loved it. The trees and a homemade swing satisfied my circus preparations, my isolationist preferences, my dream of being like pippi longstocking without the horse or monkey companion. For me it was bliss and I think for dad it was sanctuary. But I think the difference between sanctuary and a place to hide can get blurry and I think it might have a little bit for dad. It was his place to escape and ignore what he saw to be the frustrating aspects of the world, the everyday petty injustices.
Fortunately, mum sees the world differently. She sees the light and the love and the tolerance, which is why she does so much better in the light. And I’d really like for her to live there all the time. So I’d like the house sale to be finalized by this Saturday, that would really help. I’m hopeful. My mother taught me well.

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Patience

November 12, 2013

I’d let you in if I could remember where I left the door.
It seems the garden I planted to disguise the walls I built
Has grown beyond my control
And obscured anything resembling an entry
Or an exit.

I’m just as locked in here
As you are out there
And I’d like to invite you in
But it might take a little longer than I thought.

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Broken heart on a daily basis.

November 8, 2013

This is going to be a sad one. But that’s logical, given that I’m sitting here watching videos and reading updates from Japan that are making me cry.

I’ve been in love with the ocean since I was tiny. Little. The sound of the inhale, the exhale of the waves brings a peace that I’ve not found with anything else. I’ve been in awe in the mountains, took great delight in Paris, I loved well in Berlin, lived here, rested there, but I always find my way back home to the sea.
I decided at some point that I was going to be a marine biologist. I didn’t actually want to be a marine biologist, I wanted to be a mermaid. But school minded logic dictated I needed a career path that was more concrete than wanting to be a mermaid. So I wanted to be the mermaid version of Jacques Cousteau. I wanted to live in the ocean and swim with dolphins and whales and marvel at the worlds within worlds below the surface of the sea. I always thought Hans Christian Anderson’s little mermaid was an idiot, first trading her voice for legs that hurt to walk on and then, even after her sisters all gave their beautiful hair in exchange for a dagger to kill the guy she loved who had recently married someone else so she could get her tail back, she cast herself into the sea and turned into foam, rather than trade his life for the freedom below the waves.  Though I guess on one level, she became one with the sea, but on every other, I just thought she was crazy. Seagrass is greener in the other coral reef, I suppose.

When I think of the sea, I think of the most beautiful thing the earth has to offer. When I’m in the water, I don’t think about anything. Seriously, nothing. I have moments when I tango dance, hula hoop or play the piano; thoughts go away and the only thing I’m doing is that. Those moments are brief. The thoughts creep back in, laundry, time, food, work, sleep, distractions abound. In the water, it’s gone. It’s all totally gone. There’s nowhere else to be, there’s nothing else to know. It’s joyful. Pure, unadulterated joy.

But lately, the ocean is for me a place of heartbreak and sadness.  

I’ve known of the horror of the dolphin drives for some time. I knew about the Cove movie, I knew I would never be able to watch it without being plunged into a spiral of despair at the shortsighted compassionlessness of the human race. I did end up watching it one night, in a lonely hotel room in Northern Ontario during a blizzard. Curled up in a heap on the floor between the beds, all the bedding pulled down and cocooned in an attempt to shield my tortured and frayed emotional state from too much damage (there would not have been enough blankets in the world for that), trying to keep my eyes open to the horror, to bear witness to the courage of a few souls brave enough to risk persecution so that everyone would know, I determined I must be more proactive. I must do more. 

I talked about doing lots. I talked about joining the Sea Shepherds, I signed petitions, I started studying books on maintaining diesel engines to augment the knowledge I already had so I could help that way. I pored over the wish lists they posted, looking for things I could easily afford to contribute if I couldn’t be out there. Because I’m not. I used to get really upset with myself, angry that I’m so easily distracted and haven’t followed through on my plans to change the world. To fix it. To make them understand that what they(the dolphin hunters) are doing (at least in my eyes) is wrong and cruel and needs to stop. 
The reality is, at this point I’m kinda glad I’ve had distractions and life moving in unexpected directions that have kept me from leaving the land behind and sailing into a horizon where the sun sets on justice and like minded people working together to fix it(I have very romantic notions of every scenario that has ever been possible). I’m terrified that my heart wouldn’t be able to take it. Or that if I could, I’d be so hardened and fed up with humanity more than I already am, that my retreat from the world would be imminent. Not like I don’t want to live, just I don’t want to live with you. Any of you. I’d retire to the forest and have make friends with squirrels and wombats and have tea parties that don’t include people. 
Both very extreme scenarios. But entirely possible. I don’t know that there will ever be a moment when my heart won’t break at the thought of cruelty being visited on beings. All of them. Us. But I don’t know that I’ll stop eating meat any time soon. Is there much hypocrisy there? Of course the ideal is that animal from Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy that has been created to want to be consumed. That’s not happening any time soon. But there is no sense in the slaughter of dolphins and whales for meat. We have poisoned the oceans so much that it has been proven they are toxic to eat. 

I’m looking for that middle ground. I’m looking for the place where I feel like I’m doing something (is signing petitions and reposting on fb or twittering enough?) that helps. I watch, I bear witness, I share, I write letters to officials in Japan, I hope, I pray, I dream. 
The little girl who wanted nothing more than to trade her pale, awkward legs for the tail and ability to breathe below the surface is still around and terrified that when the distractions abate and she can go swimming, there won’t be anyone left to swim with. Or that the sea will be so polluted and wretched with toxins we won’t be able to swim in it any more. 

I’m trying to be reasonable, but my heart is filled to bursting with hate at moments. I don’t want to condemn an entire species for the actions of one small contingency. And it goes well beyond marine mammals. There are cruelties visited upon creatures the world over every day by all different people for all different reasons. But I’m speaking from the point of view of the little girl who just wants to be a mermaid and hang with the most delightful, intelligent creatures she’s ever encountered thus far. Which is not humans, not by a long shot. Though a close second to marine mammals? Definitely chimps. If I can’t work out how to grow a tail, I might just fuck off to Tanzania and go hang out in a tree with some chimpanzees and Jane Goodall. 

I don’t want to hate Japan for Taiji, I don’t want to hate anyone. But right this second, I’m having a hard time feeling compassion for people who don’t seem to know what that is. Maybe that’s the point of compassion. If so, I’ve got a hell of a long way to go. 

If you want to write letters, here is a page of addresses that might help. There’s even a sample letter on the page. I usually write one that’s filled with vitriol and many many swear words and then write another that gets mailed. The second much gentler, much more polite. I try to write a letter I imagine a dolphin would write, maybe with slightly fewer clicks. 

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