Archive for November, 2015

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Blood.

November 29, 2015

Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can’t give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They’re all blood, you see.
-The Player, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead by Tom Stoppard

If love is heart and rhetoric is head
Then blood is all soul.

It’s a thing intrinsic and precious and filled with substance
And I’m not only talking on a cellular level.
It’s a dance of life that ties us to time like nothing else can
A hereditary game of chance,
of habit and circumstance
passed on
Like a baton in a race
Of human
So paced as to barely be able to catch a breath
And now you’re done
And off to death
To sleep
Perchance to dream
Of substance over style
Of a place to stop and sit a while.

The head dictates that a poem should rhyme
Because the silly heart believes it sweet.
The heart sees nothing wrong with it at times
Because the head prefers iambic feet.

But without blood,
where is the passion and the substance
and the raw, rich
gore of a world ripped wide open
Its flesh flayed to reveal depth.
Its hair pulled and eyes red, sobbing for
the pulse of meaning.

So I’ve been doing some research into my genealogy lately and discovering a certain amount of pride I wasn’t really aware would exist. It’s not a place of ‘oh, I’m descended from a guy who..’ It’s actually simpler than that. It’s a matter of ‘I’m descended from a guy..’

That’s it. My delight comes from this knowledge (which I already had) that I am the descendent of humans. Yes, I always felt a connection to my grandmothers, I met them. And by extension my grandfathers though they both died well before I was born. But that’s kind of where it ends. I recently discovered that my dad’s mum, my Nana, had a younger sister named Isobel. I have much curiosity about her and hopefully will be in a position to write about her soon, but that’s not tonight.
Pretty much the only reason at this point that I even give a half a thought to the prospect of breeding, stems from the fact that everyone who came before me was successful at it for the benefit of me. As selfish as you wanna get, we can do this dance. Every single ancestor I have somehow managed to avoid childhood mortality, grow old enough to marry (or not) and procreate so that child could in turn do the same and on and on and on…..until me. Here I am, the product of thousands of years of fucking, about to go extinct. I don’t honestly believe that’s terrible. There are better genetic lines (and worse) I’m sure that will carry on (7 billion strong!) and I’m not fearful of the human race losing out on my genes because I have enough relatives (likely some I don’t know about) that are doing it. There are lots of Irish/Scottish/English/French people out there.

Fundamentally, we’re all from the same place. Our genetic makeup is similar enough, even if our brain chemistry differs radically in some instances. We’re tied by blood whether we like it or not. Is it arrogant of me to have a ‘the buck stops here’ attitude towards procreation? I really don’t think so. The responsibility of it used to bother me, but I think there’s more arrogance in that, than in my quietly taking a genetic bow and exiting stage left. Not chased by a bear.

 

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A bright light while traversing the long dark

November 12, 2015

I’ve been lazy,
I’ve been slipping deep
into hibernation mode
Regardless of the fact that my place of sanity is one of fire.
Let it drift, has been a mantra
Apathy disguised
As an attitude of laissez-faire
As if saying it in French makes a lack of motivation seem continental.
While rolling toward the long dark,
I settled for the long con
The notion that everything will work out,
Whether I work at it or not.
I cried meh
and let slip the dogs of whatever.
My long habitual disdain
Of anything resembling focus or endgame
The perfect stumbling block to trip me on my way forward.
Stay here, where it’s quiet
I don’t mind if you smoke,
I’ll turn my head, pretend not to see when you choke
On the dreams you’ll let go of in time.
Exercise every day? That seems crazy
A rest is what’s needed now and then
And then the rest days aren’t for recover but lazy.
And the habits ingrained
Are the ones that cause pain
And definitely not in the good way.

Wake up!
And don’t you dare go back to sleep.
There’s far too much fun to be had.

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Calling out the muses

November 8, 2015

I’m not very good at being dominant. I used to think I was, but I believe now that I had merely confused the definition of dominant with outspoken, obstreperous, loud when drunk, ballsy as fuck. I confuse things a lot. More accurately, I overcomplicate them. I don’t think that’s uncommon.

Overthinking, overanalyzing, overworking….ugh. I’m over it all.

I’ve started to think about what should become of the words. I’ve started to consider that perhaps they should be organized and categorized and catalogued and bound and cohesive and perhaps even sold. And the moment I start thinking things like that, I turn and run the other way. Which here means, stop writing.

The muses pack it in, say, nuh-uh honey..that’s not what we’re here for.

But why the fuck not? I understand the beauty of things that come unbidden. The gift that arrives without warning and has a beauty that enriches without expectation. The poem that floats in on the wind and feels as effortless to put down as climbing out of bed on an already warm air summer morning.
But what about the days I have to work to get out of bed? Those days have validity and worth, just as much as the other days. Even though they’re more difficult to feel inspired by. Isn’t it the same with the words? Seriously? Who is in charge here? Me? Or the muses?

Am I being dominated by an ethereal creative influence?
It’s bad enough that I’m constantly being beta’d by my dog, now I have to put up with it from inspiration?

When is it okay to make the muse my bitch? And is it ever okay? If I have to push that hard, is it worth it? I guess I won’t know the answer to that until I see the end result.

All I can do is try.

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November first…are you serious?

November 2, 2015

There is a calm to November that I don’t feel in any of the other autumn/winter months. The frenzy of consumerist December coupled with it’s bare treed things freeze mindset. The colour changing delirium of spooky dark sugar high that is October. The bleak beginning to a whole new chance to be the best year yet expectations of January. The how can something so short feel so long conundrum of oft frigid February.

November makes no promises. November is not here to fool you. November makes no bones about the fact that yeah, the year is almost over and what have you got to show for it? But it’s hopeful too. It’s as though this is a chance for you to look over that list of all the things you planned to do this year and have one last kick at the can before the chaos that is December comes around.
I’ve never been particularly good at making lists or goals or even plans really. I would say that I fly by the seat of my pants, but my sewing skills aren’t really up to the structural integrity required for such things and also, I prefer to not wear pants whenever possible. Every so often I think of things I’d like to do and I will sometimes make a more open hearted than half hearted attempt to realize or manifest whatever it is.
Note. The difference between open hearted and half-hearted attempts is this; a half-hearted attempt tends to be conducted without enthusiasm and can tend to result in failure. An open hearted attempt is not defined by enthusiasm but by a matter of fact sincerity that does not preclude failure, though there are no feelings of inadequacy that sometimes accompany being unsuccessful because there is an inherent understanding that it’s all just a grand fucking adventure, no matter where you end up. Not to suggest that I don’t have moments of frustration when things don’t pan out as I hoped, just that it’s easier to come around to a place where I’m okay with how it works out.

The last time I made any kind of list or resolution type intention thing was way back in 2005/06 and then, it was mostly just an ambiguous catalogue of all the things I’d like to do at some point. No focus or time limit, just stuff that might be fun. Ironically, I revisited the list in this post in 2013 and also talked about doing the marine mechanic course in Nanaimo, but then reasoned myself out of it, pointing out that I’ve thought about trying school before, half-heartedly, and inevitably failed to make it pan out.

Circles and circles. The ever present spiral of evolution. I come around to the same notions of sanity and forward movement. Education being a common theme in the game of self-betterment, how does that education manifest itself. Right time, right place and here I am, enrolled in a mechanics course in nanaimo, thinking about lists and projections that will enable forward motion.

I don’t often give much thought to which direction I’d like that motion to go, which seems silly at times. Forward only works as a direction if there is a horizon in mind. My way seems to be more shotgun evolution. Just keep walking and hope that the direction I’m facing is the right one? Who needs precision or goals when you don’t really care where you end up as long as it seems as though it’s better than where you were? I often find frustration in my seeming lack of focus, even while insisting it’s perfectly fine to live like this because I’ve been doing it this way for so long.

Because tradition is always a good thing?
Fuck no. My opinion on whaling will attest to how I feel about the continuation of a practice just because it’s tradition. Or foot-binding. Child brides. Female genital mutilation. Some pretty harsh comparisons to my lack of focus, but all actions have a ripple effect. Can we ever know how directly we affect those around us with our habits and words? No. The only thing I can do to ensure that my intentions, my actions contribute to the pond in a sane and beneficial way is to be mindful and focused with them.
Lackadaisical doesn’t cut it. There’s too much room for apathy.

When I started this year, I had hope for the future, but no real plan as to how I might fit into it. And at the time I was pretty much okay with that. I signed up for a 30 days writing challenge in early February to spur myself to write more because while I always have, I kind of wasn’t. It helped a lot. And I ended up with a group of friends that is tight and amazing as a result. But the writing didn’t become a habit because while I was given prompts every day, there was no real cohesion to the exercise. I could take or leave the prompts as I liked and as I well know, once I leave it, it becomes so easy to stay left.
But I was writing far more than I had been, becoming practiced, more confident. My styles broadened, my comfort zone expanded, I finally started to think of myself as a writer, rather than just someone who writes.

I just read the first post I made all those months ago and this was the part that made me a little sad.
I’m 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.

I’m still there, I know it’s common. I signed up for the course because I needed help and I finally got to the point where I wasn’t afraid to ask for it. It helped a lot, but because it was me doing the pushing with the help of prompts from outside, I gave myself a pass far too often. The reality is, when it comes to the writing, I’m kind of terrified.
Not that I don’t have any talent, but that I do. Which makes me accountable. I know it might sound kind of arrogant, but if I sucked it would be easier to walk away. And maybe I do, but until I really try, I won’t know. It could be that rambly blog girl is as good as it gets for me. But I don’t think it is. So I have to try, open hearted, rather than half, like I have been.
A teacher told me once, if you’re good at something, you have an obligation to share that gift with the world. It’s how we get better as a species. And so it’s not a matter of should I, but how should I?
How to best fight through the resistance, to stop using anything extraneous as an excuse not to. Yes, I’m in school to be a mechanic, but focus is beneficial regardless of what I’m doing and the two things don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

So I’m going to ask for help from someone who is going to push me, hold me accountable, not to the words I might write but to the promise I’m making to myself. Why does it take an outside influence to inspire focus and determination? If I work that out, I’ll let you know.
Am I serious?
Fuck yes.

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