Archive for February, 2015

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Day 18 or something..love story?

February 26, 2015

I’m just not in the mood
I could care less about this daily exercise
To make me better
I don’t feel better
I feel like the coat from that scene in that movie
The one where she pulled it from the hook
And he reached for it
Then she threw it on the ground
And trampled it.
A lot.
While he sighed, resigned to the indignity of the moment.
I’m so beaten I can’t even recall the movie.

It might have been Katherine Hepburn or Shirley MacLaine.
Which suggests Cary Grant or Jack Lemmon.
But I really don’t know.
This is a miserable excuse of a poem.
It doesn’t even rhyme.
Ever.

So I decided that I would do today’s prompt but that might have been a bad idea. We had to do a love story in a paragraph. Beginning, middle, end encompassed by five or six lines. I used eight and many run on sentences. Brevity is not my strong suit. And it felt really good at first. Because it’s a true love story. But how I feel now is wrung out and sad. Here is the story.

Once a week, around 1 am the doorbell would ring and he would ask to come in, golden brown eyes shiny with liquid courage, the same refrain on his lips, “its the only time I’m brave enough because I like you so much, it scares me.” I wanted him so much in the beginning, before the excuses became the norm, before I started to wonder how many apartments all over the city this scene was enacted once or twice a week. I wanted to tell him how it hurt when he showed up like this, how it hurt more when he didn’t. Instead, I didn’t argue or even speak, just pulled off my tanktop as he walked through the door and beckoned him forward, and he came, shedding clothes along the way. The sex was a perfectly exquisite blend of passion, violence, anger, unapologetic desire. Later, smiling contentedly, he lit a cigarette and whispered, “I’m so glad you finally understand that we’re just so good together, we found each other for a reason.’ I whispered back, “yeah, so I could learn about self-respect and what it takes to love myself. Now get the fuck out.”

This is true. This happened. Honestly, it’s one of my favourite stories. I really really liked him, but he only liked me when he felt like it. I wish there was some way to spell how that felt. I think it would be a very onomatopoeic word. Like ugh or pah or wharbagarbl. But none of those. It’s the kind of anguish your heart feels when it understands that it’s given itself away far too easily to someone who isn’t worthy of it, but how can that be when it started so promisingly? There was so much that was good, the heart was willing to put up with the hurt when it wasn’t good. But in time, the definition of good tends to shift a bit. And he kept coming back, and I kept letting him in. And he said he would call when he was sober and I smiled and said, great. And he never did. Never. And then late at night, the buzzer would ring. And I would lie there in the dark, hands balled up, telling myself I wasn’t going to let him in this time. I would tell myself that on the way to the door. I would tell him when I opened the door. His smile, all slightly drunk swimmy and filled with chagrin, his head ducked slightly, like a little boy that’s been bad but knows that beyond a few stern words he’ll end up getting his way again.
My brain tried to talk to him, tried to rationalize the act when he wasn’t there, went over and over in my head as to what I could do to be enough that he would show up when he said he would, sober. And my heart became more and more fragile.

Finally, I understood that there was no logic to it. I couldn’t reason my way around it because it was completely unreasonable. Then comes the self-loathing, the how could you have been so foolish? Not seen this coming? It’s a terrible cycle.
Damn, I liked him. I liked that he found me attractive instantly. I liked that he was intelligent and had comparable taste in films, music, books as me. I liked his height, the way I fit just under his shoulder, that I could sit on the kitchen counter and be nose to nose with him. I liked how much we laughed and I started to think about what this might look like in 3 months, 6 months, a year. I hadn’t thought that way ever. Ever. He was my first kinda grown up relationship. Except he was like a petulant child. Goddamn.

I pride myself on how good my memory is. He told me his last name and I honestly can’t remember it. Which is great, because it means I can’t look him up on the internet. Though I’ve tried. Even tonight, after I wrote the story, just because. I don’t know what I would want to see though. Would it be better if he were alone, thus validating my opinion that he sucks at relationships? Or if he found someone who made him want to show up when he was clear and aware. Would that make me happy? Does my happiness depend on other people working out their shit and being better people? The compassionate part of me thinks it’s not a matter of dependence, but when you like someone, you like them even when they’re an idiot and you hope they find whatever it is that gives them joy.

Sometimes I hate that I think about his eyes and smile. But I kinda love it too. Some things just never leave. But he finally did, when I told him to. He never came back. I wanted him to so badly but I’m grateful he didn’t. Did it make me stronger? I didn’t feel very strong in the moment, I felt wretched. I felt like I was making a terrible mistake because for all of his faults, did I really deserve so much better than him?

Yes. I do.
The end.

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Authenticity suggests to me, all of the yes.

February 25, 2015

What is an authentic life? I see it so much, “I want to live an authentic life.” and honestly, it just seems so ephemeral a statement. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it. It just means I’m never sure that I am. Because I’m not sure what it is.

According to my Webster’s 9th new collegiate dictionary, which is the closest to me right this second, authentic is defined as ‘authoritative, worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to fact or reality, trustworthy, not imaginary or imitation’..it comes from the Greek authentikos which means ‘master, perpetrator’ which may be akin to the Greek anyein; ‘to accomplish’ or the Sanskrit sanoti; ‘he gains’.

(Just to be fair, my concise oxford dictionary went with reliable, trustworthy, of undisputed origin, genuine..I want to live a life of undisputed origin sounds somehow less poetic to my ears, like a paternity test is involved somehow…but I digress)

To live an accomplished life, filled with gains, that is as close to true as can be in a subjective reality.

I like that the first definition is authoritative. It suggests, whether one believes in destiny or not, that I am an intrinsic part of writing this existence. I’m the leading authority on the Mr. Toad’s wild ride of my own life. I’m the captain of this sailboat with the circus striped sails (seriously, how come there aren’t more sails that are stripey and awesome?) with the oompah band that plays nightly on the poop deck. If that’s the case, then I can’t help but be living an authentic life. Answerable to no one but the voices in the quiet corners of my heart and mind. Who give me hell when I decide to spend the first hour of my day off in my pyjamas reading mystery novels or surfing the internet. I try to argue, those pictures of cats aren’t going to look at themselves!! But then they bring up that quote, (I think it’s Henry Rollins, it typically accompanies his picture) “No such thing as free time, spare time, down time..only lifetime.” So I’m supposed to be spurred on by that to jump up and live my authentic life filled with gains and accomplishments.

No thanks.

It’s really okay that I want to spend an hour laying in bed reading, or write silly songs on the ukulele trying to rhyme as many words with moon as I can. I do not share the push. I’m really struggling to be okay with that but it is okay.

We’re only given a certain amount of time. We have no idea how long that is. Am I going to spend it living a life that I think is expected of me? I should want to strive and achieve and push and demand of myself and be super fit and uber strong and a human to the nth degree a human can be?
There are so many people who are good at getting up early, being parents, leaders, drivers, filmmakers, chefs, organizers, rock stars, mountain climbers. There are many gains to be had, many accomplishments to author. My story is my own.
I’m struggling with the notion that people from the outside, seeing the life you’re living because of personal interaction, social media fame or other exposure, have envy because they believe your life to be more authentic than the one they live. I’m really harping on the external validation lately, but it’s part of the ‘I don’t need you to tell me I’m good (or bad) to feel that way about myself” trip. I need you to find those truths and joys that give you the giddy and live them. If we share those truths and those joys, holy wow! this is going to be so fun for however long we spend together sharing like this. We might be the best of friends and grow apart, Friendships are no different than romantic bondings. You grow together, you grow apart. You might find common ground again in the future, but if you don’t, it’s really okay. IT’S REALLY OKAY. I don’t have to be friends with everyone I’ve ever been friends with. Things change. The truths we shared, the joy we connected on will always be there. We are stronger, better, more evolved because of every interaction we have, ideally. From a smile with a stranger to the late night wine drinking laughter until the sun came up tears in my fucking eyes stomach hurting stop making me laugh because I’m living a goddamn john cougar mellancamp song over here, it hurts so good. Just because we don’t maintain the relationship at exactly the same frequency as before doesn’t make it any less important to the narrative we’re living.

When I think about what I want to do with my writing, what I want to accomplish with this blog, with these words that sometimes fall, sometimes spew, sometimes need to be wrenched from me, I have moments when I think about the shiny dream.
The bestseller list, the sailboat with the stripey sails and personal oompah band, the house with the fruit tree garden, rope swings and perfect no wetsuit needed surf break right out front. The book signings, the sea of faces all wanting to tell me that I have said the thing they thought only the voice in the secret corners of their hearts and minds knew, finding myself a contemporary of Patricia Highsmith, Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, Arthur Conan Doyle..it really does give me a thrill.

So if that version is what I think I want, where is the work? Why would I give myself permission to lie in bed and read or play ukulele? Why do I spend more time writing here about my feelings than creating? It could be argued this action is an intrinsic part of the process.

How will I become the person I’ve always wanted to be if I can’t understand I’m already her?

I may have blown my own mind a little bit with that one. The craziest part? It’s not that profound! But it’s a level of self-acceptance that makes me terribly uncomfortable. When did that happen? When did insecurity become a thing? Were people insecure way back when? Was someone churning out some butter and thinking, ‘old widow magoo churns her butter way better than me. I’ll never make a better butter batter than her, that old bitch.’ Or ‘franklin always makes anubis statues so much more jackal-y than mine. I wish I was as good at carving obelisks of obsidian as he was.’

What I just wrote there is so silly because this incessant habit of comparing myself to others is exactly that, regardless of how true it feels when I do it. It feels authentic in the moment, but it has no basis in reality. What a weird dichotomy to live with. The things I think are created by my brain, which argues, “you don’t think that’s true? It’s your word against mine and since I’m your brain, technically they’re both your words..why would I lie to you?”  Fuck you brain, you silly twit.

I feel as though I’m on the verge of going around in circles on this one so that obviously means it’s time to go for a walk. An idea which Gala agrees is brilliant. I have my moments. Would I feel better about myself if my moments of brilliance were all gathered together in one fell swoop? I don’t think so. If something is brilliant all the time, that suggests a faster burn out. I’m in it for the long haul.

The long, beautiful, clumsy, absurd, compassionate, coherent, artful, weird, swears too much, tree climbing, supermoon beachfire, intangible, sexyfine, tasty, piano songs, familiar, lustful, hilarious, picnic in a field of gilly flowers, ukulele musical, laughing until dawn, delicious, sunshine while it’s raining, love flavoured, fanciful, epic makeout sessions, strange, standing up and falling down, factual, tea drinking, fictional, yummy, singing, dancing, hurts so good, sensualists’ rock opera dream of an authentic haul.

All of the yes.

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The wrong way to write a haiku

February 24, 2015

Fell asleep in my clothes
again
Brain powered down faster than a replicant at the end of it’s time span
And I was unable to stop it
I think I should see someone about it
How do I have nothing left at the end of the day
To the extent
That I have literally nothing left.This does not bode well for mechanics
If I’m this tired after a day of lifting coffeepots
How will I feel after a day
Of lifting engine components that can hold enough coffee
For most of the province.

Perhaps it’s more of an emotional burden I carry,
That I struggle with,
Am ecstatic to put down
At 5 o’clock.
Talking to people all day long,
Even the ones I like to speak with
Leaves me with nothing to say
And my communication robot demands
A shift into standby.
If this is the case,
The solution feels very much like mechanics.
Conversing with robots is only taxing
When they don’t do what one wants them to do.
But that is nearly always user error.
As long as one speaks their language
Robots always do as they’re told.
It’s kind of their thing.
Their most appreciable quality, to be sure.

But perhaps it’s my health.
This blood, sluggish and tired
Can only move through a system at a speed
Dictated by the nutrients I’ve fed it with
How many nutrients in a cookie?
Even one with extra chocolate chips?
Why is is so difficult to take the time to make sure I’m fed
Why am I so hesitant to take care of myself
When by the descriptors of my right now job
I’m in a position to enable vitality, energy, yum?
In all but myself, it would seem.
It’s not easy being a delacto, deglutei, unsoy’d vegeprefarian
In a landscape permeated by the dust of wheat flour,
a myriad of ways to spell dairy ingredients,
the insidious presence of soy in everything
(In tea? Earl grey tea? Seriously Lipton? What the hell?)
And the consumption of creature flesh of so culturally accepted
It is nearly blasphemic to turn down bacon.

But however the sleepy after work in the tight bindings of the clothes I wore all day has manifested
Waking suddenly and writing the first thing that comes out
Likely makes for some odd poetry,
Even if it’s far removed
From a proper haiku.

Although..

Perhaps something else,
It’s been a while since I checked
My thyroid status.

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Day? Which day? Are we really still doing this?

February 23, 2015

Yes. Damnit. We are still doing this.

Even if it’s only this much. We are still doing it.

I wrote a poem about the ouch.

The moon eyes me through the trees
-these bare branches hide nothing
and she sees my ragged soul.
Inhabited by half-truths,
I don’t know the way back anymore
I only know the delusion.
Broken bone china white lies,
delicate with spidery cracks
just enough truth seeps in to keep me from becoming
completely lost under the burden
of these stories mistold.
She never blinks.
I feel the pressure of that gaze,
it lays upon me like a hot iron.
One second longer and I’ll blister for sure.
I don’t remember what it’s like to feel the heat
of a look that yields to passion.
Only the uncompromising
opaque blind stare
of that far away moon.
.

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Day All of them – The art of living well

February 22, 2015

I’m way behind on the writing things. I was helping at the Patricia theatre (I love that place)for the film festival and it didn’t leave much time for the focus on the exercises. The group that’s doing the thing is on day 24 or something and I’ve not made it past 16 yet. I try not to be bothered about it but there’s still a sense that I’m being left behind, even though it’s not up to anyone else what I do or where I’m at.
I haven’t written anything in 3 days and there’s this strange feeling that accompanies that. Like when I step into a river that, on the surface, doesn’t seem as though it’s moving very swiftly but then pulls and pulls so much I feel like I’ll lose my footing. Like my blood has this undertow in it and the temptation to stop is overwhelming. Some days the writing is the river and all I need to do is jump in and it’s bliss. But in this instance, the river is closer to old habits that want me to stop resisting. I’ve missed three days, what’s one more?

One more day is a habit in the wrong direction. It’s really amazing the fences my mind erects in face of my determination to do something that is mildly uncomfortable. The writing prompts aren’t that interesting, you’re already so far behind everyone that there is no point in continuing, you aren’t doing the exercises properly, others are writing poems and pertinent utterances while you just ramble about your feelings. Aren’t you sick of being so self-indulgent and consistently talking about yourself? Like you’re soooo interesting.
And then the subtle self-maligning habits start popping up again.
When I have low self-esteem, I don’t brush my teeth every day. I haven’t brushed my teeth in three days. I spend more time looking at things on the internet than reading actual books. The piano doesn’t get turned on, the ukulele sits untended. My eating habits start to slip…’if I eat this piece of (glutinous, actual cheese covered) pizza, sure it’s chockablock full of wheat and cheese but one piece won’t be so bad..’

Yes. It will.
Sometimes I think that cutting things out altogether isn’t a good idea because I have become much more sensitive to when I do eat it, but perhaps I always was but was so accustomed to having low energy and a general bloaty feeling of malaise that I took it for granted that’s how I feel. I have a friend who discovered that he has very pronounced sciatica. The doctor who noticed said, ‘aren’t you in pain all the time?’ He had lived with it getting slowly worse for such a long time that he never considered there might be a more comfortable alternative. There’s this mindset that this is how it is. It’s not really terrible, so what right do I have to complain? If I complain, does that mean I have a lack of gratitude? This is a balance I’m really struggling with.
Here’s a funny one that I’ve been feeling lately. I feel guilty for not wanting to eat meat in front of people who eat meat. As though my decision to alter my diet is somehow an imposition. I don’t mind if they eat meat, of course I would prefer that they eat animals that have had happy lives and humane (?) deaths because I think there is a lot of power in consuming the flesh of another. If one is ingesting the sadness and fear of a tortured creature, I’m not sure that’s a healthy diet even if it’s creating a balance of protein and vitamins. For me, it’s getting harder and harder to eat meat. Every time I do, I almost cry. This is really new for me. I’ve always been kind of sensitive to the plight of non-human animals but I keep thinking, is this early onset menopause or something? Like, why the hell am I almost crying when I eat a piece of flesh? And it’s become so pervasive I can’t ignore it anymore, the discomfort I feel when eating it has become stronger than the benefit I have from it being in my belly. It means I have to restructure my perspective when I go grocery shopping and work a little harder at having a balanced diet (gluten free, fake cheese pizza everyday isn’t balanced..awesome, but not balanced) and that tiny voice of resistance is sure that my laziness will override my integrity and we’ll be back to bison burgers in short order. Even now, where the thought of bison burgers would have once made my mouth water (with avocado and bacon and fried onions and sweet potato fries) I find the idea of it repulsive, there’s a bad taste in the back of my mouth. But though I feel compelled to this course of action, I still have a sense of apologetic caution, as though my opinion of what tastes good is slanted because I’m leaning towards a vegetarian preference. That is so weird.
But when considering the perspective of ‘do I have the right to complain or be picky about what I eat when there are so many with so much less?’ it makes a certain amount of sense. It could be that it’s a privileged middle class white girl north american guilt trip I’m loading on myself but I feel like it’s not even as broad as that. I feel like it’s my misguided sense of how good I’m allowed to feel attempting to erode life decisions that might make me feel good about the things I choose to do. It has nothing to do with social guilt and everything to do with personal esteem. It’s not us, it’s me.
Some days I really don’t understand how I still struggle with feelings of self-worth vs self-loathing. I question where this shite comes from. On paper, I’m really not that bad, there’s no rational reason for me to put myself in the proverbial corner wearing a dunce cap of shame because of some perceived lack of talent/skill/eye colour/height/carbon footprint/humourous and pertinent songwriting skills/ambition/focus/drive/passion/boyfriend/girlfriend/tango partner/burningman ticket/book deal/better laser selection/ocean view cottage/nicaraguan surf hostel ownership /parisian apartment in le marais/natural red hair (not to suggest that my self-esteem is dependent on my acquiring stuff, such as a Nicaraguan surf hostel, an apartment in Paris or more lasers, though I would not be opposed to having such accoutrements..).
I wish that I could take more notice of the creeping onslaught of self-meh from a scientific point of view because I know that would allow me to more easily combat it, but I’m typically a couple of days in before I’ve noticed that it’s happened.
Suddenly I realize, it’s been 2 days since I brushed my teeth. There are more clothes than usual on the floor instead of put away or in the laundry basket. The dishes have started piling up and there is food I had planned to do amazing things with (chocolate zucchini bread! roasted peppers! kale chips!) that I’m going to end up composting in the swamp if I don’t use them soon.
I am getting better at turning it around because I’m working really hard to recognize these moments (It’s been 2 days? Better do it right now, regardless of it not being a typical tooth brushing time slot…won’t take long to pick up these clothes…or do these dishes..might not make bread but I bet if you sautee that zucchini it would go really good on the pizza you’re going to make yourself later and it’ll keep for the one you’re going to eat tomorrow too! And the kale might have been a bit yellow but I’m sure if you hadn’t forgotten it at Karen’s house, you would have made it into kale chips because you’re not as much of a fuck up as you’d like to think you are, for whatever reason).
Because that’s the habit. Having an awareness of what’s happening, how it feels and whether it’s helping the narrative move forward or not. Whether it’s writing every day, making sure I’m eating food that is going to agree with my physicality as much as my morality, keeping the house tidy because it tends to reflect how ordered my brain feels daily, making sure that I leave the house and be social often enough to maintain a perspective that is broad and inclusive rather than narrow and insular, it all leads to the same end game. That of providing me with a steady and level foundation to build up from.

I think a good experiment would be incorporating my writing every day with my awareness of my diet because I think there are times when I am not very mindful of what I’m eating because I’ve left it so long, I just need to eat something (anything!) to get back to an even keel. But I don’t think it works like that anymore. While it might settle my blood sugar and help me to focus or be less bitchy in the moment, I think it has a more nefarious effect on my general well-being. If I was keeping track of exactly how many tootsie rolls I snarfled (sorry Ann..)from the basket of tiny chocolate bars (it takes 16 to make a whole one!) or tiny cupcakes I ate at the opening and then closing galas of the film fest (it takes 7 to make a whole one!) or every time I only had one (one won’t hurt me..)piece of glutinous pizza, cream cheese infused breakfast sandwich, chocolate chip cookie, butter tart, sugary drink…all those ‘I’ll just have the one..” start to add up. The scientist in me is delighted by the prospect of this experiment. The writer is enlivened because here’s another reason to do it everyday. The voice of ‘one won’t hurt me’ is shrieking with embarrassment of the expectation that I will likely be horrified by how little awareness I have of what I’m eating and drinking on a daily basis.

Mindfulness is a difficult habit to cultivate. But I’m working on it.

Mindfully.

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Day whatever..I fight the return of resistance by doing all the things.

February 17, 2015

Lately I’ve been finding the things I’m writing and posting kinda sucky. Like, I don’t really like them. I believe what I’m doing is what is called in some circles “phoning it in.” As in I’m writing the things but there’s no heart in the things I am writing. I’m doing it merely to do it. And my sneaky wannaquit because it’s just too haaard brain is suggesting “this is why we don’t write every day. If you do something every day, it becomes a habit sure, but would you rather have a mediocre habit? Or write something truly inspired every once in a while?” Damn, I hate that part of my brain.

It makes a good argument, yes, that’s it’s job. It just burns me up that anyone hired it, much less allows it access to logic.

To be frank, I’m not crazy about any of the prompts this week. They are,
-find a picture on a social media site and create a story around it,
-take a broken book and, using a sharpie, black out words until you’ve created a poem out of whats left, starting with one page and expanding to five
-write a new ending to your favourite book or movie

I think it hilarious that I included the words, I’m not crazy in that first sentence. This is why. My brain, my lovely, creative, magical brain is finding that I am not stopping this habit of writing every day. This goes against the tide of do something awesome for 2 days and then get distracted and quit. And so my loopy, whimsical, overflowing with giggles brain is determined (for whatever reason) to find a way to sidetrack this habit I’m trying to cultivate with disdain for the work. While I have never, ever thought ‘I could come up with better writing prompts than these,’ I seriously haven’t, I have almost consistently thought ‘I don’t like this one. I’ll come up with some alternative because it doesn’t matter what I write, only that I do.’

Honestly, it probably really doesn’t matter if I do the prompts or not. No one is keeping track other than me. No one is judging, other than me. I’m not even sure anyone is reading on a regular basis and it doesn’t matter (it does a little bit) <-no. it doesn’t. (it does.) OK! Fuck. It’s really nice when you do something and someone sees it and thinks YEAH! or says YES! or just nods and makes a m-hm noise under their breath. That’s what being an interconnected social creature is all about, after all. But my point is, I believe that by skipping over, or saying I don’t like, or finding whatever reason to not do the daily prompts, it’s just another way I’m letting myself off of a hook that I find uncomfortable. Which actually sounds uncomfortable. There must be a better way to say it or feel it. Because that’s what I do. I put myself on a hook, I have expectations of habits I’d like to cultivate or behaviour I’d like to change, shift, evolve, whatever. I hold myself accountable but underneath, I’m secretly convinced that it’s only a matter of time before I fail, slip back into old habits. It was a nice experiment, but it’s become uncomfortable and it’s just easier to not write every day. Why don’t you slide off that uncomfortable hook and pick up that novel you’ve been neglecting? Or the internet? You love the internet. All those cats doing all kinds of things that you find amusing? Hmm? You love the cats (I’m typing this in the voice of the junk lady from Labyrinth, you got that right?).
So what is better than putting myself on the hook? I know it’s only a turn of phrase but it just calls to mind a scene from the texas chainsaw massacre (which is awesome, I even found things in the remake to love) and while I’ve never literally been on a hook, it does look damnably uncomfortable.

I just realized I could have probably typed this in third person and called it day 11, because I’m pretty sure this is what ‘illustrating aliveness’ is. Especially the reflection part. Though sometimes I feel like that’s all I do, is gaze into the reflecting pool. Writing like this feels very egotistical. A lot of the time, I am pleased with the forward movement, that’s the point of all this introspection after all, but there are so many times when it just feels like wanking (that is Australian for masturbating, if you didn’t already know that).
I do this thing where I write about all the folderol in my head, or bafflegab if you prefer. I most often script it like I’m having a conversation, even to the detail of adding you to the conversation, in word if not in actuality. I do consider that there is a strong possibility that you is still me, it’s good to be remain objective when talking to one’s self. But even if it’s not, how is this representative of a helpful tete-a-tete? It’s only a tete.
This roundabout my mind is currently on is brought to you by the letter Why? The number infinity+1 and the theory that I could stand to work on my listening skills. The line from fight club that resonated most with me was “when people think you’re dying, they really really listen to what you have to say, instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.”

I don’t know if it would matter to me if I thought you were dying or not. Somewhere in my mind head, I still think what I have to say is wittier/funnier/more poignant than whatever you have to say. It is a level of arrogance that appalls me. I’m not as bad as I used to be, because of that line from that movie. Perhaps this blog is my way of holding on to that habit. Here, I’m the only one who speaks. I don’t have to worry that I’m being impolite. Here, I am the most clever person in the room. It doesn’t matter that I’m the only person in the room. Except for Gala..and she’s way more concerned with chewing a piece of wood to bits on my fancy red soft shag rug.

In a way, I’m happy to see the resistance is back. It suggests that I’m still doing the right thing. I’m still scared of what’s going to come of this experiment…seriously though, why? What’s the worst that could happen? I could use my writing skill to engage, enliven, encourage and other things that begin with en? Worse case scenario, I use these one sided conversations to help myself grow into a more sane, non-judgmental, compassionate (with herself as much as others) individual who listens as well as she speaks and finds a delicious balanced ability to live in the moment, while embracing the future and learning from the past. That doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.

Ok. Day 11. She discovered a delightful freedom when she stopped expecting perfection and just kept using the words to dance, because dancing felt good and that was the most important part.

Day 13. Every day he would walk the same route to work, past the shop on the corner with the large picture windows showcasing a variety of musical instruments. Shiny gold trumpets, sleek cat-like clarinets, all the brass and woodwind and percussion instruments one could imagine. But the centerpiece was the only thing he ever noticed. A brand new Steinway upright, all wood warmth mixed with a black and white austerity that belied the music hiding inside. His wife, with her perfect pitch and voice of an angel deserved to play an instrument such as this. It was difficult to imagine being able to save enough on his elevator repairman’s salary, but a man can, and indeed should, dream.   DSC_1013

Ok, cheated a bit on that one. I didn’t get a random pic from the internet, that’s actually my grandad. I never met him, but my nana did have perfect pitch and he was an elevator repairman, but I don’t know what kind of piano they had.

Day 14 – Again, I cheated a bit. I couldn’t bring myself to black marker out any words in any books I have around the house, so I flipped open the dictionary (webster’s 9th new collegiate, though I have others too) to random page (608) and used inarticulacy to incessantly to write this;
articulate without expression,
conforming inaudibly to a beginning,
an auspicious natural incandescence,
a glowing zeal
power to manifest,
actualize,
every important value
of divinity with humanity.
A passion aroused,
incentive to incite confidence
without interruption.

Day 15 – A different ending to my favourite book or movie. I can’t imagine Harvey ending any other way, I think they got it perfect. But I’ll see what I can do with harold and maude.

‘Harold drove faster, the tears running from his eyes unchecked as the jaguar hearse hybrid’s engine roared and leaped forward, as if distance from that hospital could erase the pain of losing Maude. Nothing else had worked, not prayer, not contrition, not begging, not anger. She had been thorough in her dosage, to ensure there would be no chance her time would be prolonged past her 80th birthday. The engine growled as he changed gears and twisted the wheel, causing dirt to spit angrily from beneath the tires. His mind flickered like a 16 mm projector recalling images of his all too brief relationship with the first person who took the time to see him. To recognize his pain and reflect it with compassion. Her smile, happy even when she was lost in sad memory shone forth brighter than a sunflower. Her words to him, gentle in contrast to the ambulance siren which screamed of panic and distress, the same panic in his broken, tear stained voice when he told her he loved her. “That’s beautiful Harold, now go and love some more.” He was beyond seeing now, imagining her the same way, his hands reflexive on the gear shift with little or no awareness that the cliff edge was coming closer. Oblivion beckoned and as his eyes closed in resignation. He inhaled. And felt his foot slip onto the clutch, moving into a lower gear, turning the wheel away from the trajectory that would lead him off the cliff and into the sea. The engine wound up as he let the clutch out and back down as the car slowed. He rolled to a gentle stop, popped the gearshift into neutral and exhaled. Opening his eyes, he saw that he was in a field of daisies, the same type of flower he had once wished himself to be, because “they’re all the same.” Even then, her wisdom has soothed the pain he felt at what he considered his anonymity within the grand scheme of things. “Oh but see, this one is tall, this one short. This one has many petals, this only a few, all kinds of observable differences. You see, Harold, I think a lot of the worlds’ sorrow comes from people who are this” pointing to an individual flower, “but allow themselves to be treated as that.” gesturing to the field.
Harold smiled remembering this, a genuine smile. He was becoming more accustomed to how it felt to actually do that. It felt pretty good. He would carry all the wisdom and love Maude had shown him and understood that things are incidental, not integral but still, there was no real reason to destroy such an awesome and well built jaguar hearse hybrid by driving it off a cliff. Harold turned and drove himself home, to go and love some more.

Honestly, I don’t know that is a better ending for Harold and Maude, because in my mind, it’s pretty much perfect, but it always made me sad that they killed the car. That’s about the only thing I could think of changing.

Ok, so all those days I skipped and/or was thinking about skipping done in one post.

HA! SUCK IT RESISTANCE!!!

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Day 11 – Fictionalized third person truth makes me angry and I create a manifesto without knowing what that is

February 17, 2015

I’m having a really hard time with this one.
Today I have to try to illustrate aliveness (she breathed!) through short story(once upon a time she breathed), poem (she inhaled breath like it gave her life for living) or reflection about myself (When I breathe on a mirror, I know I’m alive!). Describe myself in third person (which, sorry, but Trish finds that creepy) in my most optimal creative flow (what?) and deep connection (I’m touching it!) with the whole of life (I’m touching all of it!). Include sensory details (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing).

It’s lovely that someone came up with these, but what the fuck is my most optimal creative flow? As well, a deep connection with the whole of life? It sounds like hippy bullshit. Which just makes me think ehhhhh, I’m skipping to 12. But first, a disclaimer.

I do not suggest that all hippies are full of bullshit.
I do not suggest that I am never full of bullshit.
I do not suggest that there will be some people those statements resonate with and will be champions of this assignment.
I am not suggesting that the things people write in their most optimal creative flow and/or in connection with the whole of life wouldn’t be awesome and delightful and really quite good.
I just read those sentences and it made me confused and angry, hence all the swearing and running away. Dang. Do I have to face every challenge? I’m so tired. Yeah, tonight I’m running away.
Two pieces of advice, ‘never fight when you can run’ and ‘if you’re going to eat messy food, eat it over the sink’. Thanks Robert Heinlein.

So! Day 12..a manifesto! Which makes me think of communism and that chick who shot andy warhol and her scum manifesto. I’m sure there are other manifestos I could come up with if I really thought about it, but that doesn’t get me any closer to my own. To be honest, I have no idea what makes a manifesto “a manifesto”. I imagine it to be a code of sorts, a list of suggestions as to how to do something or live a particular way. All the way through this, I read the prompts and react to them, writing what comes to mind, rather than researching the origins of what I’m writing about. Which is likely why it seems I might be missing the plot completely on some of them. But some days I miss the plot and other days I know exactly what’s going to happen, without needing the music swelling crescendo to suggest it. I appreciate the balance in that. I wonder if one day the writing prompt will be say something without yammering on about many other things which are totally irrelevant to what you’re supposed to be talking about…that will be a challenge for sure.

Day 12 – Five point manifesto on why I write

-I write because it keeps me sane. When I don’t write, I get loopy. In the bad way. The need to write for other people to see is relatively new and I’m slightly uncomfortable with it. I don’t want to reach a point where I’m only writing for the external validation. Ultimately, this is for me, but I’m growing more comfortable in my own skin every day and so don’t have as many hangups about being judged, which does make sharing much easier.

-I write because I love words. I love how they can change the way someone feels instantly, how they can capture every single layer and have an experience I’ve never known make perfect sense.

-I write because I’m better with words than I think I am and love to consistently surprise myself. The amount of times I have written something, gone back, read it and been amazed that it came from me is countless. That my mind could conceive of something that feels so poignant and true and funny, oh my gosh, sometimes I find myself so funny, makes me never want to stop doing that. I find it frustrating when I can’t, but I know that I will again, because it’s love.

-I write because people I admire do so and I want to emulate them. I admire astronauts, scientists, cooks, people who aren’t scared of horses, skateboarders, rock climbers, drummers, free divers, bookkeepers (not just because of the three double letter action), filmmakers, cave explorers, et al. But while I admire many different people who do many different things, I have never really had a desire to do any of those things. Which is ok. There are lots of people already engaged in those activities.

-I write because I want to make people feel the way my favourite authors make me feel. Great musicians and film directors also give me joy nearly on the same level but I like that a book engages my imagination to such a degree that I can’t help but be involved.

-I write because it’s what I do. There is no not doing it. That’s it.

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