Archive for January, 2015

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I might not be the person I think I am, if I ever was

January 30, 2015

I wrote this over a year ago.

I’ve started to wonder how many of the things I really want to do are actually things I really want to do.

I know that many things I think I would like to do will never move beyond the realm of “yeah, that looks kinda fun”(rock climbing?)and I know there are things that I have really no interest in ever trying(yogilates..is that actually a thing?). That’s okay too.

I’ve started to pick apart this idea of doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff. I have a list, a very long one, of things that I would like to do in no particular order of importance. If hard pressed, I might call it a bucket list, but it’s always felt more like a grouping of things I think are cool and would be really fun and/or delicious to have done/eaten at some point in my life. But it feels a bit like they take away from the stuff that I’m actually doing. They hold themselves aloft as items in a future perfect that are obviously more fun and amazing and highlight reel worthy than anything I’m doing right now.

For example.
One of the things is ‘sail until I can’t see land. Wait until dark. Go swimming.’ (another thing on the list, surprisingly quite a few items after this one is learn to sail)
I think I know why that specifically is there. It’s because I have a desire to challenge my fear of the unknown (night sharks!)and the notion that I’m completely insignificant in the vastness of reality. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it. But there’s an underlying exhilaration that goes with that. Now compare that with what I did today.

I went for an hour long walk in the forest. On the face of it, I think most adventurous souls might agree that the first experience is by far the more exciting. And that might be true. But does life need to be thrilling all the time? Plus, there’s also the fact that I consider the forest to be the best example of here and now, touch-it-and-be-filled-with-awe microcosm/macrocosm, it’s big, it’s small, it’s big again, it’s small again ad infinitum..
Ok, so the forest doesn’t have an abyss that goes however many feet (on average 14,000′..which is not far off the average height of skydiving at 12,500’…coincidence?) immediately below my swimming body, but there is so much I’m surrounded by that is unknown. When we walk, I tend to sing so as to keep from startling bears or I’ll have some kind of running dialogue rehashing whatever conversation I felt I could have handled better..from 1994..and I’m most certainly not expending any effort ensuring that my passage is stealthy on any level. Though I can be quiet in the forest when I need to, I’m all about letting everyone know that a big galumphing human animal and her squirrel harassing swamp fox friend are on the way. But I often wonder how close I am passing to cougars, bears and other predators. I would say that I am mindful of the unknown, rather than being abjectly afraid of it.

Then there’s the micro macro of it all to give one a sense of insignificance…a friend dog who comes on walks with us is quite small and finds walking in a sea of ferns daunting. I stride unapologetically through those ferns. Then I have to clamber over a fallen tree, which is smaller than the stronger big trees still standing, which are larger than and smaller than all the way beyond the limits of my imaginings with regard to the universe. The vastness of it all can be really intimidating.

But, perhaps only for the reason that it’s something I’ve never done, the idea of swimming in a black ocean, miles from shore makes it onto the list. Walk in the forest is not on there at all. I wonder what my list would look like if I lived on a sailboat. I wonder if “live somewhere I can walk in the forest every day and be in awe of life…”

There’s the crux of it I think. Be in awe of life.

Seeking adventures and escapes and vacations and making lists of things to do that might enliven and engage are likely just various ways to remind myself to be in awe of life. It’s easy to forget that.

But even with that perspective I still have moments where I’m not completely sure the life I want for myself is the life I want for myself. The other funny spot I’ve put myself in by starting to think again on this array of potential excitements is the what is referenced in the first half of the post it’s included in. It’s from march of 2013 and I am talking about school and how I use it as a place to go when I’m not sure what else to do, regardless of the fact that I never make it there and end up somewhere defiantly tangential in comparison. 2 years ago I was talking about going to VIU Nanaimo (that’s the same) for marine mechanical (much more specific than present day) and being torn between a need to have a practical skill I can do anywhere in the world (which makes sense as a good proportion of things I’d like to do involve me living in various elsewheres) and completely trusting that my habit of going with the flow would pan out.

In 2009 I was working on boats in Vancouver. Too much city. Moved to the koots, worked in a cafe/grocery store. Too little ocean. Moved back to the island and started working on boats again. Too much been here, done this. Started to think about school. Had an uncompromisingly beautiful festival summer. Last festival of the year? Aurora in Powell River. Came here, saw, moved here, Live. Now? Working in a cafe but thinking about boats. Or school. Or writing a rock opera.

The possibilities are limitless.
Maybe all of the above, and then some.

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She makes me remember a place I haven’t been to yet.

January 3, 2015

Every so often I am lucky enough to encounter a musician I feel like listening to whenever I feel like listening to music.

There are some artists that I absolutely adore but I’m not always in the mood to hear. They are right time, right place, right on musicians.
But then there are those that I love and if someone, including myself, plays them, I think, “Oh. Of course. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.” I call them good times, any time musicians. This list of peoples in this category is much smaller but those artists in it definitely occupy a place deep in my heart.

One of the peoples in this category is Hannah Epperson. I met her when she came to Ymir…was it the first Tiny Lights? A show at the schoolhouse? It really doesn’t matter.
From the moment she took the stage bare foot (in company with some great talents such as Isadora Duncan and Cesaria Evora, not to mention me..though I’m not in the same league of exemplary performers such as these ladies…yet) and began to play her violin, I was transfixed. Delighted. Enamoured, enchanted, uplifted, giddy. Countless other adjectives that describe feelings of happiness.

Her music reminds me that sanity exists. It’s just fucking lovely. If you get a chance to see her, do so. She is a lovely, hilarious and awesome human who creates gorgeous music.

Here is some for you. Because you deserve beauty in your life all the time.

Thanks Hannah.

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Face first into a new year.

January 2, 2015

There was nothing graceful about it. Unless you count, loud, inappropriate, filterless and stumbly falling downness as graceful and let’s be honest here, nobody does.

Yup, I was that girl. I think. It gets a bit fuzzy after I switched from brandy and benedictine to bourbon and then to champagne cocktails. Oops.
I’ve been reassured that for the majority of the fuzzy state, I was funny. Perhaps not terribly clever, coherent or combobulated but certainly there was a modicum of guffaw inducing moments. I’ll take it.

For a portion of the first day of the year, I wore it a bit. Not because I was hungover, I wasn’t. I didn’t smoke one cigarette (I think they’ve left for good this time, we’ll see. I set an intention on December 6 which felt really good, I’ll write about it another time. But it involved my Nana(who died when I was 13 – her birthday was the 6th), 14 french women (who also died when I was 13), the moon (which was really full), my bare feet and the desire to leave behind habits which are of no benefit whatsoever.), throw up on anyone’s shoes and I didn’t kiss anyone’s husband, or wife for that matter. Other than yell a lot, swear indiscriminately in front of children (I’m still working out how to not be scared of them when there are more than 3 in a room) and ramble about things or people that can suck it, I didn’t really do anything too horrible.

The only person who was really bummed about how I had acted was me.
I did that thing (I think it’s really common) where I carried a whole lot of expectations with me to midnight as to how the new year was going to look (sleek, clever, graceful, dignified, soberish?) and when it didn’t resemble anything like that (nonsensical, loud, crass, chaotic, fuzzy) it left me feeling totally bummed for the first half of the new year. Since there have only been 2 days of it, that is a completely accurate statement.

I wandered through the last half of december, idly thinking about whether or not to make resolutions. I don’t really feel that good about them. Every day is just as good a day to start something new as January first. I get the clean slate thing though. The blank canvas, the future hovering in front of us, the way that skateboard did in that movie that took place in the year we’ve just entered. (If time is something that acts in such a way that we can indeed enter the future as though we are on a moving sidewalk. The previous statement is not true. Time is a construct. More on that another time…)

It sometimes seems so strange to me that I still have such hope that magic exists and something like the opposite of Cinderella’s conundrum will occur, where at midnight, all the pumpkins become carriages, the mice become horses, the what became the footmen? Was it the dogs? I don’t remember. Whatever. Like there will be some cosmic bippity boppity boo moment and the shift will be so lovely and tangible that it will set a precedent for the whole year. Something to look forward to.
Except I was too drunk to notice. I destroyed a wooden spoon on a pan while screaming bloody murder in the magical face of the new year. Classy.

I’ve often wondered about the rationale behind buying a ticket to a show and then proceeding to get so drunk, there is only the most vague recollection of what actually happened. I know because I’ve done it. Not for some time now (not counting the other night), but there were moments for sure. And I remember being so bummed about missing something I had really been looking forward to. New years feels a bit the same. There is a specialness to it, a chance to let go of all the fear and bullshit and bad choices and sadness and brief rekindling of hammer pants as a thing (seriously, just don’t.) and start something fresh.
I know that many of last years problems are still there. People didn’t magically stop being douchebags, reality shows about nothing in particular didn’t magically stop being produced, that gopher from winnie the pooh hasn’t been hired to dig a tunnel from all the tanks holding captive sea creatures back to the oceans so they can easily go home. I bet the gopher from caddyshack would do it for beer. I haven’t even managed to use common sense when it comes to refraining from mixing fruit based alcohol with grain based alcohol.
I suppose face first is better than head in sand. Whatever happens, I’m hopeful.
And maybe this will be the year.

A year of realization.
That wild animals don’t belong in captivity.
That all creatures deserve respect, including humans.
That everyone deserves clean water, food, shelter and literacy.
That we don’t need to slaughter indiscriminately.
That we don’t need to send young people to kill each other so that old people can stay wealthy.
That we don’t need so much useless stuff.
That distractions are not entertainment.
That it’s possible to celebrate without being intoxicated.
That there are potentially less destructive alternatives to fossil fuels.
That life is too short and lovely to hold grudges and stay angry and foster hate.
That we are capable of magic. Every day.
Bippity.
Boppity.
Boo.
Happy new.

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