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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Day 10 – Another style, even if it’s kind of my own

February 15, 2015

So day 10 is a little weird because I’m supposed to write in the style of someone I don’t know. Which in itself isn’t strange. But I have an awkward sticky feeling in my chest and I wish I knew why. There are two people who have offered up this writing challenge thing I’ve been doing lately. And on this, the 10th day (I think I’m like a week behind everyone else, I really don’t care) The prompt is to write a poem in the style of one of the people who has created this syllabus. “Write an entire poem the way I (Tyler) write them in which you are not allowed to edit a single line once it’s down.”
The funny thing about this is that for years, I held to the discipline that if Jack Kerouac never edited his work, I wouldn’t either. I was so in love with his rambling shambling free flow prose style and I think tried to emulate it a lot. So I spent years never editing, ever. EVER. For me, stepping outside the comfort zone would be going back and tweaking something I’ve written. Because I always wanted it to have a sense of effortless inspiration.
Strangely enough, when I allowed someone to read some of my stuff when I was 18, at the height of my Kerouac-emulation years, he insisted that I was riffing way too much of Henry Miller’s voice in my words. I never read anything by Henry Miller until my early 30s. When I finally did, it freaked me out how much he sounded like me. That guy.

But speaking of guys, I don’t know the guy who writes the poems that he never edits, Tyler. And for some reason I feel slightly rebellious towards his desire that I write like him. But, given that the spirit of the exercise is to do stuff even though it’s slightly uncomfortable, I wrote a poem that I didn’t edit. The way I would. But it sure does feel like the Henry Miller conundrum all over again. How can I be writing a poem in the style of Tyler, when it seems like Tyler’s style is mine. The temptation to internet search him and find out if he is younger than me involves such a feeling of petty “HA! YOU NEED TO REWORD YOUR DAMN SYLLABUS YOUNGSTER! NYAH!” that I’ll just stop there because..seriously, why do my issues always involve such screechy melodrama?

Anyway, here’s a poem. I wasn’t totally inspired because I obviously have hangups about (what?) something…and have some resistance, but I did it because that’s the fucking point. Scared? Do it anyway. Do it like Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Tyler, whoever. It doesn’t matter whose style it is, it’s my damn voice and my damn words. Damnit. Though, now that I read it, I think I actually wrote four poems. Or one very disjointed and mildly distracted one. Though I really like the bit about the trickster gods. That feels as close to an autobiography as I’ve ever written.

I am alive with creativity.
I feel it flowing through me like liquid,
a mercurial intention
with constant emphasis
on surface tension.
It wants to inhabit the places it hasn’t been yet
Like a child drawing pictures with a puddle,
I create streams,
patterns,
opening new synaptic pathways.
I break the boundaries
and let it flow free.

I’ve always found a kinship
With trickster gods
Their love of a good guffaw
Or a belly laugh
Belies what might seem like
malicious intent.
There are veils upon veils, my dear
They would whisper
in my ever attentive ear
And who is to say the thing that is uncovered
Is any truer
Than the thing that hides.
I don’t doubt their whimsy
I don’t fault their lies
I can’t help but admire
How the stars shine brighter
From their trickster god eyes.
They taught the cheshire cat to smile
They taught the hatter to pour tea
They’ll serve you files inside of chocolate cake
And help to set you free.

The pathways weave through a forest dark with splendor
There is treasure buried under every single tree
There are dances with names no one can remember
There is so much happening that I will never see
I don’t feel any heartbreak about this
On the contrary
It enlivens me to know that there was a before
There will be an after to come
And this song
I sing
will be intrinsically interwoven in.

For dinner I made myself a bowl full of yellow and green.
With a little bit of white thrown in, for contrast.
Since white has all the colours, it contains all the contrasts too
I wondered how it would make me feel to only consume one colour at a time.
The idea made me nervous
So I expanded it to two.
Would monochromatic meals create monophilistic tendencies?
Would these dinner for one excursions
grow dimmer in their expansions
Have I become too accustomed to soligistic thinking?
Have I become complacent in my company?
I have no expectations of myself
and sometimes I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

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Day 9 – Beatific Bitchitude and Exponential Gratitude

February 14, 2015

Today’s experiment is kind of bittersweet. Not that I’m in any way sad to do it, but because it’s necessary if I actually want to write something, it would seem.
Clarity? Yes. Always, please and thank you.

I’ve been writing every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, which is great and amazing and yay. Today, I finished work, I wandered to the spot where the muses hang out and WHABOOM! I got an idea for a story that was just so completely ideal I can’t understand how it’s taken me so long to consider such a thing. And she’s lovely, the protagonist. I really like her. I’m looking forward to describing the world she inhabits. So I made some notes, thanked and bid the muses a good evening, climbed the hill, wandered through the near darkness of the secret path back to my driveway and turned on the computer.

And stared at a blinking cursor. And made some notes. And looked up classic film starlets for hair style inspiration. Wondered if I should go back to being red. Made some dinner. Taught myself the ukulele anthem. Made a list of things I’d like to write before March 15. Made puking noises looking at all the valentines day gush all over the internet. Wondered if that’s because I’m single and devastatingly alone. Decided it’s not. Wondered if I’m lying to myself about that. Decided that even if I am, who cares, really? Spent some time wondering if there is a way to tie a resurgence of Lupercalia festivities (where women are flogged with goatskins called februars to ensure fertility..it’s true) with all the silliness around the movie that has just come out and is causing a furor, but surprisingly, not because of it’s mediocre content. I hope that become a thing. I hope that one day people just start rioting, demanding an end to mediocrity..hmm..that feels a little judgey. Ok, getting on with it.  4 hours were encompassed in this one paragraph. Including 20 minutes where I looked for, found and removed 2 ticks from Gala. She appreciates. 4 hours! And no story..not even an outline. But determined to write something, if only to keep the flow going, I turn to TODAY’S WRITING CHALLENGE! I think it’s day 9. Yes. Ok. I have to write a letter and complain about everything I can think of. Then I have to write a letter where I express gratitude for whatever…technically, I was supposed to do this yesterday. But I was too busy writing an erotic short story that has no sex or names in it and I’m pretty sure it’s still better than…whatever. Anyhow…

Dear Sir and/or Madam
Please stop killing non-human animals unnecessarily, brutally, cruelly. I’m looking at you, Japan, in particular. No one wants your goddamn mercury ridden dolphin meat and the fact that you tout tradition as being the reason when the whole fucking world knows that you’re picking a couple and selling them to dolphinariums for large cash and slaughtering the rest as a fuck you to the westerners who give enough of a fuck to stand there and watch you do it makes me fucking crazy. I want to wish you ill, you incredibly tiny majority of humanity who represents in my mind a country filled with people who aren’t assholes that I will never go visit because I do not in any way want to condone your barbaric and backwards ways, but I can’t because that would mean I am as petty and misguided as you. And don’t think that because I didn’t mention you, Faroe Islands or you, Iceland that you’re any better than them. You slaughter unnecessarily too. Acquiring food is not an issue anymore. There are so many. Bullfighters, factory farmers, the wankers in Nepal, fucking Nepal!!!! You’re supposed to be awesome and yet you slaughter animals by the thousands because it’s “ritual sacrifice?” Fuck off. Dogfight organzing douchebags, trophy hunters…oh my fucking god trophy hunters, there is a special corner of hell reserved for you. I won’t spoil the surprise but..dismemberment? mmmm, yummy. Shark finners, turtle poachers, rhino horn thieves, bushmeat hunters, all the way down to fuckers who ditch their dogs at the top of a mountain pass and keep driving. Yes, this is me complaining about you. What would I like to do to you? I would like to shift your perspective so diametrically that it feels as though both your head and your underwear are on backwards. I would like you to understand the pain you cause without any reason but your own twisted belief that you have the right and work to remedy that hurt for the rest of your life, if you can live with the suffering you have inflicted on creatures who never ever deserved it. Ever. There is nothing you can say to convince me otherwise. No! Seriously, shut up now. You don’t get to talk because unless ‘holy fuck, I’m so sorry’ is what is coming out of your mouth, nobody here has time for your shit.
To the rest of the world, I would appreciate it if you would get your collective heads out of your collective asses and stop finding joy in mediocre anything. I wish you could understand that perpetuating drivel is causing the median intelligence level to drop further every moment it is celebrated. There is no purpose in celebrating that which accomplishes nothing that engages or enlivens and I have such frustration about this that I’m on the verge of being incoherent. Reality television accomplishes nothing except turning us into a society of voyeurs, opting out of participating in the hope of watching something dramatic happen for real, when it’s well known there is nothing real about it. We buy stuff for the sake of having stuff and we don’t know what to do with the stuff that we don’t use anymore. I loathe that we are so damnably insular and do not encourage mindfulness as an everyday exercise. I hate that we have traded sanity for safety and have such apathy towards the powers that be. We are so easily distracted. We get mad but then we get shiny things and so we forget about being mad. We would do something but what can we do?
The thing that I am hating most right now, is how futile it feels to complain. Seriously, I’m working myself up into a frenzy over here, trying to think of things I can complain about and while they are legion, there’s just so little point. Climate change, zoos and prisons overflowing, education system failing, kids getting killed in wars that have nothing to do with anyone actually involved in the war, women being treated horrifically for merely existing, religious people insisting that their skycake tastes the best to the exclusion of all the other sky desserts, food being turned into something that doesn’t resemble food, an emphasis on money and stuff, an external validation of societal approval encouraging self-worth rather than an internal acceptance determining more healthy social interaction…it’s endless. And sad. I’m skipping to the next one.

Dear world, I appreciate you. I appreciate the trees that create air that I can breathe. I appreciate breathing because I had that bout with asthma when i was younger and not breathing sucks. I love where I live and that I get to go for long walks through the forest where I only see squirrels, birds, beavers, bears, and tiny elf doors. Maybe gnomes, not sure. I love it when it’s muddy and I love it when it’s dry and I love it when it rains twice in the forest. I’m super stoked on science making it possible for my thumb to be reattached that time I accidentally pulled it off so I can pick things up and play the piano, even though I can only ever give anything a 1.5 thumbs up because that joke is funny every single bloody time. I love that I have a sense of humour that is boundless and broad and dark and goofy and clever sometimes too. I love that I have a laugh that has been referred to as a cackle, sinister, madcap, hilarious, contagious, lovely and filled with mirth. I really like that I got to hang out with auberon, he saved my life and gala is teaching me how to sit still, which is ironic because that dog covers more ground than migrating whales. I love whales. I love that marine mammals exist and that they are so completely fucking huge the only place there is room is the ocean and they are the most graceful of creatures and they sing. I love music, playing it, hearing it, having so many friends who are so talented that I get to listen to. Even the friends I haven’t formally met yet, like Amanda Palmer. I love that there is music everywhere, even in math. I love math. I love prime numbers and fractals and fibonacci and tesseracts and tetrahedrons and moebius strips and comic strips and calvin and hobbes. Oh! I love pi. And pie. And I love that even though food has been hijacked to the point where everyone is developing allergies to it, people are just as innovative at developing alternatives to those foods so that we can all eat cake. I appreciate the way the sky looks all the time. It’s a beautiful day, every day, I don’t even need to look outside to know that. I like getting letters. I like writing letters. I like writing. I like stories and poems and songs even when I didn’t come up with them. I love storytellers like Neil Gaiman and Roald Dahl and Douglas Adams and Neal Stephenson and Alan Moore and Steven Erikson and Clive Barker and Patricia Highsmith and Anais Nin and Henry MIller and Richard Morgan and Shakespeare and all of them, all of the storytellers, including me. I love this brain I have, that can be goofy and clever and witty and insightful and batshit fucking crazy and swears in front of kids before I know what she’s doing but someone’s got to. I appreciate that I live in a time when I could make a conscious decision about whether or not I wanted kids but still get to hang out with kids created by people who are smart and funny and compassionate and sane. I love that I know so many sane people. I don’t understand why so many people are so scared, or even what they are scared of but I really hope they work it out because there’s a very small percentage who are making difficult moments for a large group of others. I appreciate the people who are trying to make it easier for others, who are mindful and considerate and know that it can be better and want to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. I appreciate having been born to parents who raised us to be reasonable human beings, who never closed off sections of reality to us, who allowed us to explore and understand from our own perspectives. I appreciate having a sister who is compassionate and patient and has bailed me out of countless jams and asked for nothing in return. I appreciate my uncle taking a chance and the happy discovery both of us had when we learned I’m good at stuff. I love being good at fixing stuff, from engines to the mixer at work today. I love having a mind that works in tandem with this healthy body that supports me and takes me places and hula hoops and jumps around and plays the ukulele and piano and guitar and sometimes sings. And sometimes sings like a whale, though I do a better dolphin impression. I love the ocean. I love the way it feels, whether I’m in it or next to it or below it. I love to swim in it, I love to surf on it, I love to dive beneath it and pretend I’m a mermaid or a selkie. I love the way it sounds, the way it calls and answers itself even if there’s no one else there. I love the way light looks through it and on it. I love light and colour and sometimes having a job where I get to combine those things and create something whole and beautiful. I am so appreciative of living somewhere that has no light at nighttime, unless I turn one on. I rarely do. Because I have the best laser light show in my yard. I have the entire milky way galaxy and so much more putting on a show for me every night. I love how much there is. I love how vast and far beyond me the existence of everything is and I love how intrinsic I am to that dance because I wouldn’t exist if I wasn’t. I love that too. Oh. And dancing. I so love dancing. Especially tango.

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Day 8 – Stream of conciousness experiment

February 12, 2015

I skipped day 7. I don’t feel bad about that because really, the point is to write every day. And I felt like this was more where I was at today. I did two 15 minute stream of consciousness ramblings. The first one horrified me so much that I wanted to do it again. I’ve included both, with a caveat because it seemed only right. And it helps a bit to know that as crazy and dark as the first one felt, I’m not that person all the time. No one is, I don’t think, but it’s hard to remember that sometimes. Perhaps this will help me in the future, when I’m spiralling into the dark crazy, to take a breath, have a cup of tea, get barefoot and take a moment to appreciate, rather than just react.

To ensure that this is a controlled experiment, I must allow for certain details to be known, including the fact that I am typing this after I wrote what is below.
I have just finished work on my day off. I’m reeling from the news that a beautiful community has lost some of it’s brightest stars and there is no way I’ve been drinking enough water. Also, since I wasn’t planning to go to work, I forgot to eat and ended up eating a piece of pizza, which has wheat, cheese and meat, all of which I’ve been avoiding for a while now. Plus, I forgot to take off my bra when I got home from work and I’m wearing terribly uncomfortable underpants. And socks. There’s your caveat.

Take 1.

I’m surrounded by decay, nothing ever dies here. There is no winter, there is no cold, nothing can die. I don’t ever have a chance to fully let go of anything, it just lies under a layer of rot and if I’m lucky gets mixed in and benefits the whole but I think it more just layers upon layers of brown and slimy and mush and dead leaves and dirty ground and how does that help. How does that effect positive change if there’s never a chance for anything to die and be reborn? And then there’s all that death and sadness on a lonely icy highway east of here. A whole contingency of genius and promise and people who are actually fucking doing something rather than hiding away from the world and hoping the world somehow discovers how special they are so they don’t actually have to leave the house. They’re out there and they’re doing it and they’re pushing creativity and love and broadening themselves and everyone who comes into contact with them and now they’re gone. They’re dead and I’m still shut away in this tiny house at the end of the road waiting for inspiration to drive down my little bat cave driveway and knock on the door and say, ‘this is how you use that talent you’ve got. This is how you do it. Here are some diagrams. Because you’ve got it and right now the only thing you’re doing with it is masturbating like some kind of furious porn addict. Every single day you’re wanking all over the page, except you aren’t even using a page, you’re using a keyboard, a screen. Because you’ve become addicted to the reaction. How many hits? How many looked? How many liked? VALIDATION!!! It might be better if you were masturbating because at this point you’re only a porn star. You need them to watch. You’re like gloria fucking swanson hiding away on sunset boulevard except you lack the charisma to convince mr demille to come anywhere near you. There is nothing unique about what you’ve got to say. What the fuck are you doing with yourself? There are people out there who are amazing and doing things and now they’re dead and what are you doing? Ever? You dropped out of school, you quit doing lighting, you quit being a mechanic, you failed the audition, you keep quitting and for what? For some dream you have that you’re an artist?’
And inspiration would get back into it’s shiny car and drive away disgusted. And I would slam the door and sulk because goddamn it that hurt. What the fuck does inspiration know anyway? And I’m only 7 minutes into this and I’ve still got 8 minutes to go and I’m so scared I’m so scared I’m so scared that inspiration was right. And so I have to stop sulking and get off my ass and do what? Just keep going? Going where? Keep writing and hope that I’m skimming off all the shite. If I just keep writing, I’ll skim off the excess, the words that have no use. Which is sad, I want all the words to have a use. I want the words to mean something and I’m not even sure who I want them to mean something to. Why have I reached this point where I can only do this if someone is watching, oh my god I am like a porn star except I don’t know that there is anything titillating about this. To be fair, I’m not sure there is much that is titillating about porn. From what I’ve seen it’s so pedestrian. I imagine them having sex and then saying cut and switching sides and goddamn I don’t ever want anyone looking that closely at my butt. I can’t imagine how that feels to be no more, no less than a body part. An ass, some boobs, a cock. How many times a day I could say, oh god that’s right..how long before I would just start needing to be clever and spicing up the dialog. “oh lord you are so huge, we’re all really impressed down here, i can tell you” and then make noises like an elephant seal and try not to think about my long lost dream to be a figure skater and not have an asshole the size of a canyon? Would I get fired? How depressing is that to consider that I wouldn’t even make a good porn star. I can’t even get fucked on camera for a living without messing it up. This is not where I expected this stream of consciousness exercise to go. Not at all. It makes sense though because I’ve just found out a scholar I admire is a secret romance novelist and shades of grey is super popular even though the dialogue is terrible and it just makes me sad and that lady saying that it’s allowing women to have spicy sex lives without feeling guilty just makes me angry because that’s on par with sex and the city suggesting that rampant consumerism and the need to have an identity that revolves around stuff and landing a guy and twilight saying landing a guy, even if he’s a vampire is a step forward. What is this fucking drive to have happy ending synonymous with landing a guy? Fuck you fairy tales, you lying pieces of shit. I’m tired of stories that aren’t true. I’m tired of glossy, of airbrushed, of perfect, of unions and breeders and clothes off the rack that fit well. They don’t! Besides, the character in the grey books is a virgin, what the fuck does she know about handing over control to someone? At least in the story of O, she was an emancipated woman who made a conscious decision to submit to her lover and all that went with that. Plus it was written by a woman, proving to me that women can write however they want! It’s not all fucking hearts and flowers and fuzzy handcuffs. Perhaps I’m just jealous because I never got to lose my virginity to an aloof and slightly douchey millionaire. Also, that guy who said the story of o was horrifying? Shut up. I suppose you thought belle du jour was sickening and jeanne dielman, 46 rue st whatever that movie was called was boring. You want sex in a lingerie box all vanilla scented women who have orgasms in less that 40 seconds by someone gently blowing on her clitoris?? Goddamn! This is just disintegrating into ranty drivel. And I still have 4 minutes are you kidding? I don’t have anything left. My mind is worn out. How does this help? How does my not doing anything help? I want so much to help and yet I never do anything. I come home and I might play piano or I might write or I might read. Or I might spend 18 goddamn hours on the internet looking at pictures of cats. When did cats get interesting? I can’t say that it’s because I’m at work because what do I do with my days off? Yeah. Why can’t I just be okay with living my life and enjoying my job and enjoying my days off? Why do I have to be traveling the world playing oompah songs for the benefit of the people? Aren’t there enough artists? What I think I’m the next magpie? or Sheri? Or James? Or Hannah? I don’t even play the fiddle! Or guitar that well! Do I have to speak to have a voice? Do I want a voice? What if the world did look over here? What do I have to show them? What comes natural? What is natural? Why do I have such a hard time being okay with art being something I have to work at rather than just something I’m good at? I’m torn between wanting to do all the things because I’m terrified I have a brain tumor because nosebleeds and dizzy all the time and pain behind my eyes and what if I just die alone in this cabin so removed from everything and poor gala has to eat me and what the fuck have I got to show for all my years of silliness. What is the point of making people happy if all you’re remembered for is that you were eaten by your dog? I should probably leave her dog door open all the time just in case. Just in case? What kind of a horrible reality mindset is that? There is no way I can publish this, I am so completely destroyed by the woe is me bullshit perspective of this exercise. But seriously, if a group of amazing people can suddenly be snuffed out on a lonely highway in Saskatchewan and left behind a legacy of incredible and touched an massive amount of people, I just feel like I should and could be doing more because you just never know. Also, fuck you inspiration. Shove your shiny car and your overbearing judgmental attitude up your ass. I bet you sound like an elephant seal when you fuck. Maybe I wasn’t watching porn, maybe it was the nature of things or something, that actually makes more sense. At least from the elephant seal angle..oh my god it’s finally been 15 minutes. Ack. Wow, I wrote 1500 words in 15 minutes. Also I think I might be insane.
It is more than 2 hours later, I am wearing a cozy sweater, fuzzy pants and no socks. I ate some sane food and had a cup of ginger tea. I played the piano for almost an hour.

Take 2.

There is beauty in the distraction, that’s what I tell myself. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, anywhere. I don’t have to act any particular way or worry that I’m not doing enough because I’m too busy being enough. That’s the thing I struggle with. I don’t need to do something to show people how capable, how good, how deserving of happiness I am. I need to be okay with my deserving of happiness regardless of what I’m doing. Why is that so hard? My concern that I should work hard and be a better musician, circus freek, hula hooper, ukulele player, tea drinker, whatever..it’s me holding myself up to some ideal that I spy in someone else. I see this person play and I want to create music like that. I want to make someone feel the way they made me feel. Which is like there is light inside me. I hear this person speak and I want to move someone the way that person moved me. To speak and have someone nod and say ‘you understand in such a beautiful and eloquent way!’ I see a dancer, an artist, someone on stilts and I think, I could do that! And somehow that instantly translates into I should do that. Can you imagine if everyone immediately did the thing they thought they should be doing because someone else did it well and inspired them? It’s not even that I want to do that! I think if I actually did it, I might find some of it boring. It would have no appeal other than how it made me feel to see someone else do it. Not the trapeze, the trapeze would always have appeal..says the girl who has yet to discover how to challenge herself enough to do a fucking pushup, there’s another thing..that’s very passive aggressive but it’s become commonplace to make fun of my inability to do a pushup which does not inspire me to get down on the damn floor and start practicing because then what would I make fun of…so mean, all the time.
I like the thing. It’s the work. The work I find so hard. I sit down at the piano and I have the sheet music and I start to learn a song and at first it’s amazing because it sounds (albeit stilted, disjointed and slow) like the song I want to learn and I’m excited because I’m learning it! And I’ll learn the first page. I practice the left hand, I practice the right hand. I put them together. It’s slow going but eventually it gets there and it feels amazing..I hope that something better comes along!! I sound just like rowlf the dog right now…and then I get to the bridge, the bridge is different, I haven’t learned the bridge yet. I’ll start to play it. It sounds like the song I know but maybe I’ll just play the first part, the part I know really well again because it feels so good to know it already and to learn the rest..well that’s work and maybe I should make myself a snack instead. Or perhaps I’ll write something and so I’ll sit down and come up with something that seems promising but now again, the work is going to start, I’m going to have to pull it from somewhere and what if it’s not good, it has to be good right off the bat (when did I become such a perfectionist?) so maybe I’ll just make a snack or read this book…and on and on…I feel like..what’s his name..that muppet who had the bust of beethoven on his piano and he would start to play but then he would lose his shit and smash his face on the keys and scream ‘oh i just can’t do it~!!!’ and one of the zen muppets, ernie or rowlf or kermit would come along and be all, dude, take a breath. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that I always loved ernie and rowlf the best but always identified with animal and gonzo and fozzie the most. I want to be zen and find joy in something as simple as taking a bath or be great at the piano but having this lovely humility of dogness. Instead I’m a manic weirdo who really wants you to like her and tells jokes that are funny some of the time and just terrible other times…I read this quote by jim henson where he said that he just always knew he would be good at whatever he decided to do and it just happened that what he decided to do was be a puppeteer and I’ve often thought that I’m pretty good at almost everything I try but I don’t want to be great at any one thing. How sad is it that when I think, yeah I understand that I’m pretty good at almost anything I try, it feels arrogant, but when he said it, it just seems true and valid. Is it because he worked really hard? They also say he never said anything unkind about anyone, and appreciated everything. I’d like to be more like that. But instead of saying I’d like to be a better person, like Jim Henson, I’ll say, I’d like to be a better person, like Trish. Wow, it’s already 15 minutes. Ok.

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Day 6 – The divinity of forgiveness

February 11, 2015

To err is human, to forgive divine.
To forgive oneself? Really really hard.

There are likely a crazy amount of things that I’m carrying around inside me that have no business being there. No, I’m not speaking of parasites, though…yeah…not going there…

I’m talking about all of the hurts and missed chances and failed comebacks (it’s not called a go away and comeback for a reason, let it go..) that I carry around with me in the hope that I’ll be able to reconcile myself with the outcome in a satisfactory future perfect.

I think the only way that’s happening most of the time is if I can just learn to be ok with what happened and move on from that. And forgive myself for not acting rationally/sensibly/compassionately/cleverly however. I think I also put way too much emphasis on being clever, instead of just being true. But I’m working on that too.

But today’s writing thing was to write about something I haven’t been able to forgive myself for, to explain why I haven’t been able to let it go and how it’s affecting me. I really didn’t expect it to end on the positive note that it did and I sure didn’t expect to sob like I was watching jim hensons’ memorial (have you ever watched it? I swear to everything that is holy, when it gets to the part where big bird sings it’s not easy being green, you will lose your shit, unless you are the grinch pre-heart stretching exercises or something).

So there’s your trigger warning. I wrote a thing that made me cry. And then made me forgive myself and there is something lovely about both of those things.

I found out you were sick and I ran.
I ran across the country as if being separated
by time zones could slow the progress
of what was happening to you.
As though my being in the future
could somehow help me to find
3 hours sooner
the thing that would cure you.
I told myself there was time.
I would work and I would wait and I would return
And you wouldn’t have wasted away.
You wouldn’t have suffered in pain,
Being slowly emptied out from the inside
Until there was nothing left to hold together.
I walked away
Rather than watch you die.

I know it was your preference too,
To stay my indomitable papa,
forever smiling, or whistling
or taking the time to dance with me,
the only one in our family with a summertime birthday
and the most celebrated man in canada.
I was 6 before I understood that canada day had started
before you were born and that giant cake was
not for you directly,
though I always suspected the fireworks were.

I could have stayed
Sat at the bottom of the stairs
trying to time my piano playing with the commercials
So you wouldn’t miss too much of your show
Although you would always mute it when I started to play
Even if it was something you really wanted to watch.

Why didn’t I stay?
Why didn’t I hug you all the time
Or call you every day?
And know
Why didn’t I understand
that it wasn’t for much longer
and it wouldn’t be alright
That you were fucking dying
And I was so scared and
just didn’t want it
to be
true.

So I ran.

And when I told you on the phone
‘everything good about me is your fault’
You forgave me for running.
You told me you loved me
And it was the last time I heard your voice.

I know it would break your heart to think
That I haven’t forgiven myself
For running.
And so I’ll try to do this one last thing for you.
I’ll make you proud, papa.

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Day Five – Last orders please…

February 10, 2015

Ok, so I’ve been away from the writing thing a couple of days. Day 4 challenge was a hard one for me. In fact, I had so much resistance to doing it that I got drunker than I have been in a really long time and went to a very dark place. I think. It’s very fuzzy. After a certain point, I just actually have no idea what I did. There may have been some mooning, I honestly can’t say. But it made for a horrible next day and a reaffirmation that I’m just not the drinking kind anymore. Not like I used to be.

I’ve railed against the idea of taking a vacation for a long time, because I want my travels to be a part of my life, not to be some way to step outside of my reality. I’m starting to look at alcohol as being kind of the same thing. I’m really working hard on facing those aspects of my character that make me uncomfortable, to reconcile my whole self with the parts. All of the parts. And drinking just provides me not only a reason to not face things, it doesn’t take me somewhere light and comfortable. Is it my present state of mind that dictates this? Coupled with the conviction that alcohol abuse may have contributed to my dad dying of liver cancer? Even if it didn’t, it definitely contributed to the frequency of his bringing home cold kentucky fried chicken for dinner approximately 4 hours after we’d gone to bed…

But while I’m filled with self judgement and recrimination as to my behaviour while as close to black out drunk as I’ve honestly ever been in my life (my curse/blessing has always been that I remember pretty much everything I do when I am drunk. Perhaps that’s another reason I don’t have as much fun with it as others might.), which is such a rarity that it terrifies me when it happens, I’m kind of elated at the same time.

If I am so scared that I will nearly poison myself with alcohol to keep from writing, then I am definitely headed in the right direction. And so I did day 4 and it was hard and it was personal and no, I’m not going to share it here. But day 5..

Day five’s writing thing is about last lines. If you only had one week to live, what would you write? At first I thought, oh damn, this is going to be hard. But then it wasn’t. And here it is.

Day 5 –
There’s a last time for everything. It seems as though this is mine. I think even now, I’m doubting the reality of this moment. As though I expect there will be a last minute reprieve and I’ll discover that I am the anomaly I always suspected I might be.
I don’t want my last thoughts to be puzzling over the title of that book I read, the one about a duck and a guy who was immortal. Until he died. Those were his last words, ‘well, I was immortal until I died’. I feel exactly the same way. Except I still can’t wrap my head around the possibility that it’s actually over. Or what the title of that book is.
Dang it! I want my last words to be something clever, something witty and timeless and the perfect representation of the life I lived. Which, to be fair, wasn’t always clever or witty or, it would seem, timeless. However it might feel that way now.
The days that felt like they lasted forever and the years that went by in a flash..I was lucky, so lucky. Where I was born, who my parents were, how they raised me, with laughter and reason. Even when it was darkest, my da taught me that there was humour to be found, even then. Especially then. I could read before I could talk, I could swim before I could walk. And I remembered everything that ever happened. Everything I ever saw..well, almost everything…what was that book called? He was immortal because he drank moonshine…and there was a duck…
I think of all the final scenes for the great characters. Rutger Hauer in Bladerunner..’all those moments lost, like tears in rain…time to die..’ or Voltaire, when asked if he would renounce satan, responded, ‘now now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies..’. And all those who never got a chance to understand what or how or why this might be happening. How lucky am I to get to see it, eyes open, heart open, mind full of…

It seems funny to me, now that I’m here, I’m having a hard time remembering the not-so-awesome parts. It makes me wonder how I never noticed their irrelevance before. How I spent so much time on the minute details of my existence, rehashing conversations, confrontations and interactions like an obsessive. As though sifting through them over and over in my head however many years later would alter them into something I could walk away from with a smile on my face, rather than disgruntledness in my heart.
How unimportant, how insignificant they are when compared to all the sunsets, all the full moon beach parties, the ocean on my toes, the wind in my hair, the grass tickling barefeet. When I compare them to that kiss I got in the desert. The moment of moist lips and a mindful heart opening itself to his at the feel of his fingers on my dusty skin. My face in his hands, my mind nowhere but right there, those are the times I have best.
All of these moments I gathered and carried, experiences of joy and giddy and now. Right now. That’s what I have to take with me and to leave behind. Is it enough?
It’ll have to be.

OH!!! The book is called Fup!!! I don’t remember who wrote it though. Ask me next time….

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Day 3- wordless definition vs definitionless words

February 5, 2015

The writing prompt for day 3, which I’m doing in an extraordinarily half-assed manner for reasons I’ll explain in a sec, is to come up with a new word, define it and then insert it into my vocabulary and everyday use. Here is my reasoning for the half-assed manner.

I hate this one.

That’s an exaggeration. I don’t hate it, but I’m not a fan. There are so many words that already exist that are beautiful and underused and underappreciated that I already don’t know the definition for and I’m supposed to ignore them and come up with something new? I make up words often. Just a few posts ago I used the non-existent word uncomfortability. I’m likely not the first, nor the last to do so. I don’t need to come up with a definition, it seems fairly apparent to me what the word means (the ability to be uncomfortable?) and I used it in a moderately coherent sentence so the point I was trying to make, ideally happened. More or less, barring that whole perspective being subjective thing.

Now, this is not to suggest that no one else should do this challenge. In fact, I was reading some of the words the other challengees (<-there’s another one!) were coming up with and there are some really clever and inventive people out there. Would I use some of the words they created? Probably. Just as soon as I get to the point where I can remember the difference between vicissitude(variation in fortune, not always for the better) and verisimilitude(having the appearance of truth). Or mellifluous(pleasing to the ear) and munificent (extremely generous), obdurate(stubbornly persistent in wrong-doing; an obdurate prime minister?) and obfuscate(make obscure or unclear), sanguine(optimistic in a difficult situation), salient(most noticeable) and sedulous(showing dedication, diligence)… these are all worthy words and I don’t use them enough. Now you want me to come up with more? Ok, fine.

How about effluschism? A division caused by bullshit. Now I have to use it in a sentence.
‘No one could remember why the capulets and the montagues hated each other so much. So much time had passed since the original insult that we had long since chalked it up to a typical effluschism.’

Yeah. It just feels silly.

Words are such beautiful living things. They adapt and shift with time and language, they are used to cause pain, to heal broken hearts, they deserve to be celebrated. It makes me so sad when I see the short hand, the 733t speak, whatever it’s called. I’m torn between thinking it’s horrifically ugly and wondering if it’s just one more evolution. Though, even if it is, I’ll stay a dinosaur and get taken out by a word comet. If you get an email or a text message from me, it’s going to be addressed to you, not u. If I don’t have the time to type two more letters, there had better be a real goddamn dinosaur chasing me. Because no one is in that much of a hurry.

Does that make me a language snob? Maybe. If so, I don’t really care. I’m really sorry that my oh-you-refuse-to-write-actual-words-filter is keeping us from being the best of friends but I’m sure you’ll get over it.
That said, I’m not the spelling and grammar police. I know that not everyone has an easy time with language. Expecting that everyone will have the same skill set with regards to spelling and grammar (especially in english where the rules are sooo wonky most of the time) is akin to expecting that every single person is amazing at math. Or cartwheels. Or making friends with lemurs. It just doesn’t happen. Even if every human on earth was raised in exactly the same learning environment, there would still be some good at spelling, some good at math, some good at baking, some good at driving, some good at time management..etc.
My desire to have a life filled with an expressive vocabulary and a variety of language is not dependent on friends and loved ones knowing how to spell. I understand Shakespeare (which some would say is written in an archaic fashion) just as readily as I understand a shorthand text message. I grasp the intent the symbols intend to communicate. I just won’t enjoy reading the text message as much as the Shakespeare. And for me, that’s what it comes down to.
Is it enough to merely communicate? In some instances, yes. If I’m meeting you at three around back of the hall, that might not be the time for a dissertation on the merits of community halls having a consistent layout so there is no confusion about which is the back. I’ll walk around the damn building until I find you. And then we can talk about whatever you want. If I use a word you don’t understand, ask me what it means. Don’t think to yourself, ‘she’s a haughty minx’ I’m going to look that up when I get home and then pretend I knew what it meant later but secretly resent her for it. That’s a true story, but I don’t know that he would have used the word haughty. Or the word minx, for that matter.

If we were only meant to communicate in a most basic fashion, I don’t know that our languages would have progressed to the point they have. And I love words, in most languages. I say that because there are some languages I haven’t heard yet. No one has talked to me in Basque…hmm..I’m actually hard pressed to think of another language I haven’t heard before. I’m sure there are some tribes of humans who live somewhere I haven’t visited who speak a language I’ve never heard, but I don’t know who they are yet since I haven’t visited them. And there are likely some languages that when I hear them, I think, I’m pretty sure I know the region that comes from but I’m not completely sure as to exactly which language that is. I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels that way. But it’s a fact, many of the nordic languages have a similarity to me. I’ll have to spend more time visiting everywhere so that my ears become more attuned to the subtleties. Or in some cases, the obviouses (<-I did it again!!!)

This doesn’t even touch on the eloquence of non-verbal communication but that’s a post for another time.

Hilarious. I just wrote over 1000 words about how I am refusing to do this challenge. It seems a little profligate (recklessly wasteful) of me to be so verbose (containing too many words) with regards to something I hadn’t planned to do. In the future I shall strive to be closer to pithy (concise and full of meaning).
Though I can’t promise I will always be either concise or full of meaning at the same time, there’s every possibility I’ll end up somewhere in between.

Balance, darlings. It’s a beautiful thing.

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Day 2, let’s get autobiographical! Also, soundwave for the win.

February 5, 2015

I did it wrong. It’s supposed to a a narrative from a day (which day will win??) in my current life. Which looks like this.

I wake up and immediately think, dang I slept in again! Tonight I’m totally going to bed before 2 am. (I won’t). I let Gala outside and she almost immediately comes back in because there is weather. I make tea and she curls up in a chair. I sit at the desk and go make breakfast. I eat breakfast while learning french or italian on my phone. (Mangio colazione. Non scrivo nulla. E troppo presto per il vino? Yes it is too early for wine.) I sit at the desk and go play the piano. Gala comes and shoves her nose under my arm. I begrudgingly put on pants and we go for a walk. After 20 minutes I start to feel better about having left the house.
While walking I wonder about this pushme-pullyou relationship I have with writing. When I’m away from my desk, all I can think about is getting back to it. When I’m there, I conjure a million things that need doing right this second. And it’s not just the desk, it’s anywhere I write. I can be sitting on the bed, at the kitchen table, the front seat of the van. As soon as I start writing, I think of something else I should be doing. It’s almost as though writing is a guilty pleasure I can’t convince myself I’m allowed to indulge in. But it’s a guilty pleasure that gives such a heart wrenching satisfaction. Totally the opposite of chocolate.
And there it is. My day in the life narrative kept getting sidetracked by my ever wandering tangential asides. I suppose that’s an honest representation of a current day in my life, but it was taking up a lot of space on the page. I could have documented a day that I go to work, that would at least be somewhat regimented. But instead I chose one of my favourite days of all time.
The day we packed the trucks for soundwave, every year. It made me really happy not only to write it, but to relive it. It’s closer to being a few years, rolled into one description but it’s close enough to accurate for me.

Le sigh.

I wake up to festival season. There is a spark in the air of summertime, a need to be outdoors and celebrate. To dance under the moon and stars and rejoice in a giddy feeling of being alive. It’s my job to help facilitate this. I love my job.

I jump out of bed and get dressed, practical shorts and a tanktop. No shoes. All the weeks of planning have been leading up to today. I’ve been watching the message boards online, feeling the collective excitement gaining momentum. The posts are coming more frequently, the countdown closer to finished. For me it is. For the partygoers, there is still 4 more days. It doesn’t seem possible to pull off the magic in 4 days, but that’s what we do.

No one sees the work. The trick only works if the audience can’t see the wires.

We wake up and speak of strategy over breakfast. There is time but not a lot.
All the trucks have been to the garage and checked over. We’ve prepped the gear, is it enough? There will invariably be requests for more to come along as the day progresses.

We have assembled all the meals in advance that we can. We will feed a whole bunch of hard working people every day for the next week. We worry it’s not enough but it’s almost always too much. Grocery lists, menus, meal plans made and rewritten.

The drive to the shop is punctuated by coffee stops and random errands. Contact is maintained as we weave through the city (I’ll get the dry ice and groceries while you’re getting the scaffolding. Do you need me to swing to the other place for extra bolts? It’s kind of on my way..) in a moderately organized fashion, checking off a multitude of lists and collecting receipts into envelopes that quickly become overstuffed and disorganized. I’m not wearing any shoes.

At last there is a convergence at the shop. A warehouse, filled to the brim with sound and lighting gear, tools, widgets and memories. Voices are bright, animated, excited. We’re getting closer to go time. The sound of a chain being pulled opens the bay door, bright sun flooding a cold space. A five and some one-ton trucks are maneuvered into place, ramps attached.

A moment of quiet assessment, looking over the gear we’ve spent the last few weeks working on, to be sure it’s ready for all that’s expected of it. And then some. First on means last off and we pack accordingly. Speaker bins and subs are heavy, amp racks and distro panels are delicate. We pack accordingly. We’ve been doing this together a long time, every year is like coming home again. A chance to do better than last summer. To give harder, to work smarter, to outfit ourselves better. We pack accordingly.
Tarps and tents and chairs and comforters and generators, a fridge or two, even the kitchen sink. All the jokes about roughing it from last year, and some new ones. While we load trucks, phones ring, requests are made, lists are checked. Sleeping bags and pillows are used to fill gaps. Everything has to go somewhere. As a truck is filled, it is moved to the side. The truck I’m driving is one of these, the desire to jump in and go is strong but the caravan isn’t ready.
We work steadily, the cool of the shop making the heat of the day bearable. My barefeet move quickly whenever I have to cross the black pavement. I outfit each of the trucks with bottles of water, packs of cigarettes, premade bags of snacks for the drive.
Running upstairs I almost collide with someone running down. There is laughter in abundance today. Pulling together platters of cheese, meat, crackers and drinks, we carry them downstairs, calling out for everyone to stop working and eat. To take a moment and relax. Because we won’t have too many of these over the next few days.

These are the times I will think back to the most. The eye in the hurricane that is festival season. Sitting on the ramp of a fully loaded truck, legs curled up under me, barefeet that perfect shade of dirty summertime brown. Watching people I love eat food I helped prepare so they can recharge, the better to get it done. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes, knowing that we’re creating something delightful, something magic.

Break over, we spend the time it takes to finish loading. It’s always later than we’d like. The inevitable argument of leave tonight vs leave in the morning ensues, some wanting to continue on and finish the day onsite, others believing it better to be fully rested before driving. Reason usually wins over exuberance, that’s the key to the long haul. But if it’s early enough, most of us will go. Two drivers per truck is ideal. But one driver and company is often enough too.
As before, we maintain contact the whole way. The drive is interspersed with coffee breaks and brief stops to stretch and check in, ensuring that everyone is still functional. Though it can be difficult, we drive through the night, a preferred time to travel as it keeps the trucks running cool and traffic to a minimum. We move from the brightly lit expansive freeway to a windier, secondary highway where the only illumination are headlights, taillights and the moon. We sing, we laugh, we smoke, we tell stories to pass the time. Eventually we lose cell reception and finally we leave even the pavement behind.

A dirt road, frequented by logging trucks, hardy campers and, once a year, us, reignites the excitement and I want to drive faster, to get there. But the terrain and the dust compound to make this an unrealistic prospect. We settle into the rhythm of slow going, avoiding pot holes when we can, being as gentle as possible when we can’t. Trying to keep the dust at a minimum so as not to obscure the view of the truck behind. Come next monday, there will be broken cars in various places along this road, where exuberance got the better of reason.

We smell the sea before we hear it, that tangible bite in the air as we shift from inland to shore. The hairs on my skin prickle in anticipation and I can’t help but smile. We rumble onsite, past familiar trucks which rolled out before us, still and quiet. We try not to disturb those already in residence as much as a convoy of large vehicles can. As soon as possible, we park and shut down. Engines tick in response to the sudden temperature change. While the others speak in hushed tones about sleeping arrangements, I jump from a drivers’ seat, landing on soft earth, cool and welcoming to my bare feet that have grown accustomed to concrete and asphalt.

The only light now is the moon, heavy and round, hanging over the water. I walk towards it, bare feet sliding in cold sand that scrapes those parts of my feet not calloused and toughened. I step into the ocean as the water moves up the beach and I breath deep, smiling wide. I’m barely capable of thought, exhausted by the hard work, the long drive and the prospect of the days ahead.

There is nowhere I would rather be.

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Challenge accepted..Day one.

February 5, 2015

I’ve been finding writing to be really difficult for quite a while. I’m coming up with ideas all the time. I carry a notebook while wandering in the forest or record them on to my phone. Inspired and excited!

Until I sit down. I sit down in front of the computer, or with a book, a pad of paper, post it notes, whatever.. and immediately get up to make myself a snack. Or walk the dog. Or clean the kitchen. Or tidy my desk, make the bed, organize my sock drawer, make vegan creme brulee, take a bath, plan my one woman stage show, hula hoop, learn the rocky horror picture show soundtrack on the piano…the list goes on and on. Anything I can do to keep from writing. Now, some of the stuff on the list is pretty good. A insanely happy side effect of trying to avoid actual writing is that I am playing the piano every day. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, it’s great. I love that. But the not writing thing started to get really frustrating. Then I found this writing challenge online that was starting soon, january 29, and signed up because, why not? It’s so much easier to do something when I’m accountable to someone else. If Gala wasn’t here and giving me the are-you-seriously-going-to-spend-the-entire-day-reading-that-book-instead-of-taking-me-for-a-walk look..well, yes. I would spend the entire day reading that book.
So my hope was that it would be kind of the same thing with this. Sometimes a push helps.

It’s a 30 day -write every single day- thing, there being a prompt each day to help you along. I don’t think you have to do the prompt, I don’t know if that’s the point. I’m fairly certain the point is to write, every single goddamn day, whether you feel like it or not in the hope that at the end of the month, it won’t be a writing challenge anymore, it will be a writing…whatever the opposite of challenge is…cakewalk? I do like cake so that will suffice. But like I said, the push helps.

At any rate, day one dawns and I am excited. I open the pdf file I’ve downloaded and the first challenge is to write a letter to yourself 10 years ago. Mine was horrible. The first five words of it are “I am paralyzed with fear” it continues on and it just made me feel horrible. It was not a letter I would want to get from anyone, ever, much less myself and so I felt totally justified in taking gala for a walk instead of writing.
But when I came back, I sat down and wrote a letter to a friend, which I actually mailed (!!) a synopsis of a story and started a post that I haven’t published yet about . So that felt like an improvement. Ha! I don’t need your challenge to be a writer!!
Then day two came along but I was still holding onto the fear of having to explain myself to 28 year old me. And day two’s challenge was to write a narrative about a day in my life. My kitchen has never been so clean as it became that day.
I did write another letter to a friend, which I haven’t mailed and started 3 other letters (I secretly want to be the girl who sends people actual letters every now and again..putting it in brackets means I’m whispering and it’s still a secret), all the time reassuring myself that it doesn’t matter what I write, as long as I am. But that doesn’t make the thing I’m afraid of go away.

The last post I wrote was started at the beginning of day three but not finished until yesterday. It took me three (four?) days to write it, there were many many instances of walking away, adding to, editing, re-editing, lamenting, whole sections deleted. It was amongst the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. And I had to write it. I think I’ve been carrying it around for quite some time and perhaps needed the specific challenge of day one to work it out. Looking back is tough, but looking back and holding myself accountable for every decision I’ve ever made, trying to explain those decisions to my younger self? The word cathartic comes to mind.

Feeling much lighter,  I went back and re-wrote the letter to my younger self. This time the first line looked like this,

‘I have something very important to tell you. You are good enough.’

Sometimes we just need a bit of a push.

Dear me,

I have something very important to tell you. You are good enough. This notion that you have of people asking you to work for them because they can’t find anyone better is exactly true but not in the way you think. I wish there was some way I could smooth those crippling feelings of self doubt, because the pendulum swing from most amazing to worst person ever does not help. It will only damage a really beautiful friendship and cause you to over-extend yourself way too often, leading to personal injury. When that voice in the back of your head says, ‘I don’t think I should climb on that table to run this last cable because I’m really tired and have been working since 8 am and it’s midnight’. please please please listen to it. Because it turned out to be not the last cable anyhow. There’s always more to do. And how can you do it with broken bones?

On the up side, you’re going to Paris soon. You will beat out the Marianne Faithfull song and make it there before 37. It’s going to be everything you imagined it would be and a whole bunch you didn’t. I know there is no way I can sway you, convince you to wait and save more money but I can tell you, you’ll learn a valuable lesson about going on someone else’s dime. You’ll find a great friend where you didn’t expect it and he will likely save your life, at least your sanity. The only piece of advice I can give you that might help in this time? Speak. Sing. Don’t be afraid. You have a voice and you need to use it. You are good enough. Don’t stand outside, waiting for the courage. No one is going to open that door for you. When you are invited to sing, do it. They are not asking so they can make fun of you when you fail. These are people who love you, who want to see you succeed. You will regret things you didn’t do. Trust me.

When you leave Paris, it will feel like failure but you will stumble into a career path that will enliven you like nothing before. And a relationship with a relative that you never expected. It will be so good for you. The pendulums’ path will lessen more and more. You’ll acquire skills, don’t ever stop doing that. Level up. Earn them in real time though. Taking an online course for marine archaeology is very interesting but it has little practical application. Besides, turn off the damn computer, leave the house, engage with life. When you get here, you’ll wish you had gone tango dancing every single week you lived in Vancouver. It’s so easy to stay in, but I promise you if you keep doing what’s easy you’ll spend way too much time worrying that you haven’t done, aren’t doing enough with your life.
Once you determine that eating soy is interfering with your underactive thyroid (get your thyroid checked, btw), your health will be better than ever before. You have no excuses. BECAUSE YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. I wish you could figure that out sooner. I know you won’t. There is music in your future (we joined a punk rock choir!) and more Paris (and 8 other countries) and brief bouts of love, some that will break your heart, some that won’t.

A little bit of heavy. There is a time when you will have your thumb pulled off in an accident. I’m not going to warn you when or where because, as crazy as this sounds, it needs to happen. Perspectives need to be shifted now and again and sometimes it takes something like a thumb getting ripped off to shift them. Besides they reattach the thumb quite well and that fearful moment you have in the hospital about never playing the piano again? It stays. I play all the time. I even sing along. I know that fact will blow your mind. Yes, we learn to sing at the same time as playing, it’s awesome. Also, let that be the first thing you say in the hospital. ‘I’m really good at video games’ doesn’t inspire them to try and save the thumb as quickly as ‘I play the piano’.

There is so much more to say but you’ll get there. And while I like where we’ve ended up, I would suggest take more time to just sit still and consider what you actually want. This habit of perpetual movement to keep from having to make a decision on that gets tired and while there are moments that shine, most experiences blur and become intangible. There are moments when conventional has grand appeal, because the feast and famine thing gets old too. Start saving money now. Please! I know it seems difficult because there isn’t a lot right now, but there will be and your spending habits are really terrible. Keep writing, keep dancing, keep playing music, start singing. Say yes. Go outside. Make friends with people somewhere other than a bar stool.

And hug dad. Every single chance you get. Because you won’t get as many more as you’d like. The next time you see him, give him my love too.

Take care,

me

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It’s not easy being seen.

February 3, 2015

I think I live in perpetual fear of it.

I’ll put on the outfit, the persona, the act, the mask, the loopy force of nature spinning brightly from tangent to tangent in an effort to deflect from what’s actually happening, from who is really under all those tutus and legwarmers and madcap laughter. Because there are times when I’m not sure who that is.

Some days I believe I understand how it felt to be Peter Sellers. There is a film called the life and death of Peter Sellers, starring Geoffrey Rush. It’s not necessarily a comfortable watch, but it is good. He is so convincing in the role, that there were numerous times I forgot it was Geoffrey Rush playing him and not Peter Sellers playing himself.
I did have a moment when I thought ‘how brilliant of a coup it would be to find out that it is him, he didn’t die after filming Being There (which was directed by Hal Ashby who also did Harold and Maude – one of the “will never be moved from my top five movies of all time…) and was just waiting all this time and has now starred in a movie about him played by Geoffrey Rush played by Peter Sellers. It’s a bit like the plot for Victor Victoria (in my top 10) with a few less songs. But no.

At any rate, the focal point of the story is that Peter Sellers was incredible at being anyone (3 roles in Dr Strangelove alone..his phone conversation with the Premier of Russia is not only brilliant, it’s one sided. He didn’t need anyone to prompt him, he’s just that good.) but terrible at being himself. There’s  evidence that he wasn’t a very good husband (his second wife called him a monster) or father, perhaps because they were supporting roles in a production he had little control over. I don’t know, it really doesn’t matter much to me. I’m talking about the need to wear hats that disguise the wearer to such an extent that it’s impossible to tell where the character stops and the person begins. Or if there is a person under there at all.

When I was young, I was constantly someone else. I changed my name in grade 4 to Josephine. Insisted that everyone in my class call me that. I think that was right around the time I read little women(the only character I identified with was Jo), the facts of life was probably on tv (again..best character was Jo, a tomboy) and I’m pretty sure it was right around then that I first encountered the larger than life quality of Josephine Baker. I remember seeing the picture of her wearing only a banana skirt and..just so damn sassy. For whatever reason.
Then I wanted to be called Terri. Genevieve. Delilah. Star. There were others…I can’t remember them all. I tried on different names and nicknames like they were hats that would change me into someone different. I incorporated the details of other people’s stories into my own history, attempting to weave an identity that was worldly and interesting, regardless of the fact that it was tight fitting and uncomfortable. Part of it was an endeavor to appear as though I had earned the right to not be fucked with. It must have worked because not many people fucked with me. Or maybe I was just lucky. But however it worked, I had created a ghost who got through some dark spots relatively unscathed.

I used hitchhiking to perfect it.
I read on the road when I was 12 and decided I wanted to do that. Mum reminded me that it’s not 1952 anymore and I might not find the world as open road open heart as Kerouac made it seem. I started when I was 14, hitchhiking to the corner store and back. That’s it. Then to the bus exchange, to catch a bus downtown. Then all the way into town. Then to Vancouver. Then..then..then…I’ve hitched in 9 countries, only 3 that I could speak the language in. (Canada, US and France..the others are Denmark, Holland, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria if you’re wondering) and I’ve never had a problem that wasn’t fairly easily dealt with. Some girls do that first hitching trip to the corner store and are never seen again. I know exactly how lucky I am and I know exactly how dangerous it is every time I put out my thumb. But every friend I have started out a stranger. Open heart, open mind, open road. So far so good.
Every car I stepped into was another opportunity to create a new facade, or work on an existing one. Sometime I had a scottish accent, Irish, French. I even tried Welsh, south African, British (that one usually fell flat when someone asked me what part of the UK I was from). Some people called me on it and I’m sure that so many knew I was full of shit and just indulged my whimsical notions of wanting to seem international and exotic. There were relatively few I ever told my real name to, and even fewer who knew anything factual about me. I was a wordsmith, a storyteller, sometimes a mendacious mendicant. And I was collecting stories to add to my own. I remember sitting and telling someone an amazing story of something that had happened in Toronto, only to have them respond, ‘isn’t that interesting. I had exactly the same thing happen to me. Remember when I told you about it 6 months ago?’ Oops.

I also discovered, having spent a good portion of my life dressed in a way that might make certain members of the public treat me with disdain, that if I spoke with even the softest hint of an accent, the merest inflection to suggest that I wasn’t from here, the possibility of a civil interaction increased immeasurably. Best foot forward for visitors still applies for a lot of people, even when that visitor looks like someone they might not extend a luncheon invitation to.
I still do it sometimes, especially when asking for something such as directions. Except now, when people ask about an accent, I usually say, ‘oh, it’s not an accent. It’s an affectation.’
I so worry sometimes that someone somewhere will think I’m making fun, but ideally I hope they realize it falls into the imitation-flattery category.

So after all this time, after years of wearing an identity that wasn’t mine, amalgamating experiences I never had, carrying stories of love and pain and life that have blurred to become pieces of a dishonest whole, how do I possibly know who is actually realistically me?
I understand that all memory, or should I say most, is subjective. If I remember a story clearly, definitively, as though it happened to me, does that suggest there’s a realm somewhere that it has? Is that the definition of a storyteller? Does it matter if the story is true? Does it matter if the story is mine? Isn’t the story being carried the most important part? Ironically, I have almost none of my own poetry memorized, which has only recently changed at the encouragement of someone I consider wise in such matters.

So that brings me around to the original statement. It’s not easy being seen. Not only do I have trouble determining that which I might be showing you is authentic, I’m not sure I want anyone to be able to see me that clearly. It opens one up to a level of scrutiny that is just terrifying because, what if I don’t measure up to some perceived yard stick of awesome? A more important question might be, do I need to?
There is a bravery in being famous.
Some certainly seem like constructs, a persona on a stage that has handlers and shields and “people” to keep actual people from ever coming into contact with them, from ever knowing them. There are glimpses via photo spreads of who they are, opulent homes, shiny children, exercise regimes but none of that suggests a whole. None of that allows for fear and doubt and burned dinner and blotchy faced tissue mountain sickness and a chance to identify with another human. Not seen, merely looked at. Perhaps admired, reviled or every point between, but no connection to their humanity. For me, anyway.
If anyone ever reads this and thinks, ‘you’re wrong! Those cameras are giving us an honest insight into the rich and varied lives of the real housewives of who gives a fuck’..um….it’s a lie. Anytime something is filmed and aired, even if it is touted as “news” it’s completely fabricated.

For example,
When I was 17 I was kinda homeless. As in, I didn’t live with my parents and I wasn’t paying rent anywhere and I spent a lot of time bumming around on the streets of various cities. I’d been doing this for a couple of years already. I didn’t leave home because my parents were ogres I was fleeing, quite the opposite. I was a precocious creature who, at 15 and uproariously bored with a school that catered to mediocrity, had determined that she had learned all she needed from the system and was perfectly ready to set out into the world and make her way (just for the record, I totally wasn’t. I was too young and way stupider than I thought and definitely should have stayed home at least 2 more years..ahh, the pigheaded arrogance of youth..).
A picture of me showed up in a magazine with the caption “the street is home to too many young people”. I remember the day that picture was taken. A photographer had asked the two people I was sitting next to if he could take their picture. They said yes. Not wanting to be in the picture, I leaned away from them. I guess he liked the look of my picture (the one I didn’t know he took) better. The funny thing is, I don’t look at all like a “street person” in that picture. And must admit, I kind of like it. I’m wearing a long hippy looking shirt that used to be my dad’s, my first pair of docs (12 hole oxblood) and smiling, which if I had known what was happening, seems unlikely.
The picture ended up in a magazine. My mum saw it and wrote a beautifully eloquent letter about how it feels to be a parent of a “good” kid who runs away. She put it better than I ever could. “sometimes they aren’t running from something, they’re running to it…” I had no knowledge this had happened.

Why didn’t they have the cops bring me home? They trusted me. That went leaps and bounds towards my getting my head out of my arrogant teenager ass and working out how to be better. To have someone who loves you enough to trust that you are capable of not completely fucking up your life beyond all repair and lets you make your own mistakes helps a lot.

As a result of that photo and then her letter, a woman got in touch with my mom. Somehow, both a news show and a magazine wanted to do a story on kids who opt to leave home, me being the poster child for the phenomenon. They said, we can’t pay you. I said, I won’t do it unless you do. So they did. And I did. Do I wish I hadn’t? Some days. But what a learning experience. And sadly, it kind of eclipses a lot of my memories of that time of my life. Ironically, when they approached me, I wasn’t homeless anymore. But that didn’t matter much to the story I guess.
Now, I don’t want to suggest that it is easy to shift from a life on the streets to being a (moderately) productive member of society (whatever the fuck that is). A lot of it was pure blind luck I’m sure. Good people looking out for me in moments when I should have been dead. I have friends that are gone, whether to death or drugs or predators or the demons of their own they were never able to quite get the better of. Demons often not of their own making but, in many instances, scenarios that were something necessary to run from. I never had the uphill battle to get level. So I cannot, ever, in any way suggest that my experience with living on the streets and then transitioning away from it is in any way typical. Sometimes when I heard about someone who had died, this might sound horrible, but all I could feel was relief for them. Not because they didn’t deserve to live, in fact completely the opposite, but because me, coming from a place that lacked pain and suffering to any extent, couldn’t understand how they could keep going. It’s a painful dark world out there for some kids and that’s just about the most fucked up thing I can think of.

So anyway, this news show and this magazine decided they wanted to document the plight of a middle classish white girl who is oppressed by nothing but seeks a life free of that which a typical (what is typical?) teenager in her position might find enjoyable. They never quite let me in on what that was though..
At 16, I was mighty pissed that I was oppressed by nothing. What right did I have to be angry and yet there I was, stubbornly filled with angst because of my perception that everything was really really really messed up and needed to change. Somehow. I couldn’t think of anything practical that might help, so I think I tried to step outside of it. If I had a bunch of awards to put in the microwave and start a pirate radio station like in pump up the volume, I totally would have. (Sometimes I think writing this is like being a dj on the radio. I have no idea if anyone is listening, but I’ll keep talking and playing tunes just in case..)
So the “news” show paid me 250 bucks, which I spent on food and drink and friends and it was lovely.   Then they followed me for a week, being invasive, trying to talk to my friends who had no interest in talking to them and creating “scenes.” That part is hilarious. Have you ever watched news people create scenes? They film you walking, then they film the same walk from 3 or 4 other angles. And every time they ask you to go back to the spot where you started. If you had your hand in your pocket, they need that hand to be in your pocket. There is nothing real about it. It’s one thing to intrinsically know that, it’s another to see it in action. They left a microphone attached to me, even when I was nowhere near them so they could get candid soundbytes of my talking to other people and lay them overtop of totally unrelated scenes.
When they did the interview they wanted to film it in an alley that was filled with garbage and stank like piss and had ugly looking tags all over it, regardless of the fact that there are many beautiful spray bombed murals all over the city. I asked them, ‘do you honestly think I would hang out here? What do you think this is? Hobo chic?’ Zoolander wouldn’t come out for another 6 or so years, but this is the point where I would have told them to ‘derelict my balls” had I already seen it. (That might be the best part of that movie. Except for David Bowie. He’s the best part of any movie. Even the ones he’s not in.)

I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining about the experience, though there were multiple times during it I wished I’d said no. But mostly it was hilarious. It was trite and vapid and nowhere near anything resembling real journalism, not that I know what that looks like. I haven’t seen the show since it happened, I couldn’t give a fuck about it. I still have the article, every so often I pull it out and read it for a laugh. Because I don’t recognize the girl that it’s written about. At the time, it was so sad to me that they missed the point completely. Though, to be honest, I have no idea what I hoped the point would be. I was a kid, trying something out. I didn’t consider the consequence and had no real desire to be on television talking about the choices I had made, the life I was living. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. Hell, I didn’t even know what I was thinking most of the time. I’m still working on that.

There was a bit of fallout, mostly from strangers, deciding this or that about me from the limited perspective they had been granted, passing moral judgement on my character, my choices, my words. It was a good lesson for me when considering the lives of others, but it also compounded my feeling that there needed to be a division of self, a personality wall of sorts, to keep the real human underneath from being hurt. To protect oneself from the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune‘ as it were. In fact, I took heed from Hamlet’s antics, discovering early on that if people think you are unable to tell a hawk from a handsaw, they are much more likely to leave you alone.

Since this experience, I have had no desire whatsoever to be “famous” in the sense that people get to look at you all the time, rock star style. Perhaps it’s a fear of the responsibility of being true in a slice of reality that thrives on speculation, airbrushing and drama. I’d rather be a half truth in a honest world, reflecting those parts of myself I’ve cultivated and polished. I know that it might seem to be another side of a similar coin, only letting people see the side I’m comfortable with (which includes a dark side, if there’s any curiosity about that) but I’ve always considered it to be ok, since the ripple effect of my stone will only affect a very small pond.

I’m not sure that’s true anymore. I’m don’t think I give the ripples enough credit and have developed a stronger fear for the message carried forward being dishonest, than heard at all. Does that make sense?
I was afraid the message would be heard so I neglected to speak and tried to keep the echoes close. As I get older, I’m discovering a voice that has qualities I didn’t expect and would rather it come from a place that is entirely honest, even if it runs the risk of putting myself in a position of vulnerability.

I think about Amanda Palmer and how she is unabashedly honest about who she is and what she’s doing. She might argue against this, we all have days, but I feel like she is very much her self, whoever that might be (I think we’re all engaged in that masterwork to some extent). I admire the humanity that is not (as far as I can tell) in many ways separate from the celebrity. It’s rare. There have been moments when the media tried to abscond with parts of her (she’s a this! she’s a that!) and she very politely has said..’oh yes, there’s this and that, but you’ve forgotten these. Here, have it all.’ She reminds me of the guy sitting in his room gazing out the window and a thief shows up but there’s nothing to steal. So he says, ‘here, take my clothes. I wouldn’t want you to go away empty handed since you made the effort to come.’ and after the thief leaves looks back out the window and says, “I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon.”

To live an honest unapologetic life seems ideal to me. Not that I wouldn’t say, “I’m sorry”, if I stepped on your foot. Or being Canadian say “I’m sorry”, if you stepped on mine. Not that kind of unapologetic. I’m thinking of a life that is lived without concern for living within the boundaries of someone else’s perspective of what is moral or consistent or true. A take me as I am, but know that what you think of me is none of my business kind of attitude.
Like if someone said(this is also a true story), ‘hey, I found a picture of your boobs on the internet.’ one response might be to write to the owners of the website and ask that they be removed, filled with self-recrimination and loathing and a vow to never go on another 8 month long drinking binge after an emotionally and physically painful experience. Though it was a fun silly time.
Another response might be..’huh. boobs on the internet. there’s a surprise.’ I must admit that my first reaction was a little bit “Aah! What?” But seriously, if you’ve known me for longer than 20 minutes, you’ve probably seen my boobs. You know why? They’re just boobs. It’s really not a big deal.

Also, the argument that if I advocate for self-government and living one’s life according to the dictates of what they consider pleasing, does that mean I’m arguing in favour of people who have the urge to do harm to others to be allowed to follow their bliss, as it were?

Seriously?

If you have the urge to do harm to others..yes well, who doesn’t? The guy who cut you off, the woman at the front of the long line who has never seen or used a debit machine before and has decided that today is the day, the people who capture for zoos and aquariums, trophy hunters, certain members of whatever parliament..the list is probably endless. At some point, most people have a desire to do harm. But to actually act on it? I don’t know that there is any sanity in causing any creature intentional pain. And damages both parties involved. Also, the argument that non human animals don’t feel pain in the same way is totally whackadoodle to my way of thinking.

I am not advocating do what thou wilt when I speak of self-government, I think act with mindfulness and reason comes closer. Actually, I think my point is that I’m not advocating anything for anyone except myself. My truth is broad and crazy and beautiful and overlaps many other truths. But it’s mine. I can’t speak for anyone else. Ever. Except in the instance of some freaky friday consciousness switch happening, there is no way I will be someone else than me, whether I know who she is or not. Regardless of what name I’m using, whose story I’m telling or what tutu I’m wearing.

There is a scene in a movie where a character gives another 5 minutes of uninterrupted eye contact as a reward for whatever. It’s really awkward.  I think there’s a collective uncomfortability (is that a word?) with letting people see beyond the facade. Because that’s when judgements and opposing moralities and condescension come in.
Is it because when someone is brave enough to show themselves, vulnerabilities and all, it scares people to bits and they do that thing where they try to kill it? Because…I just searched an antonym for logic and all I got was unreasonableness. Which is exactly apt. Because of rampant unreasonableness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to be afraid to let anyone see me. To recognize the humanity in me. However it looks.
The bad choices, the good hair days, the terrible impulse control after a certain amount of alcohol (yes, there are likely pictures of my butt on the internet too…sorry mum), the way I fall for someone too soon, too completely and then run screaming from commitment if that doesn’t scare them off, my awesome driving skills, my ability to be a humour ninja (you didn’t see the laugh coming until the milk was already flowing from your nose!!!), my inability to do a chinup, my aspiration to become strong enough to do a chinup.

All of it.

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