August 25, 2008

attention; dance.

when everything changes, how do we find what's familiar again? or what feels normal, if we don't want familiarity (or if it feels out of reach)?

i move in a month. the house i move out of loses two roommates, and only gains one. people are coming over to look at my room.

my job is looking unsuitable and possibly unstable. i need to work on my résumé again.

i'm single, and trying to figure out how to grieve and what i'm grieving for. what we had been building toward definitely ended yet we both still care for each other and wonder how best to express that. so i grieve a loss of structure and growing intimacy, but not an end to the string between us. my personal safety got rattled, and i'm not sure if i am 'doing best' by myself to hope for a future. there is no certainty of ever being safe with anyone, and while that tends not to worry me, i don't want to put myself in a path of known danger. to keep an open mind while maintaining some caution. hmm. sounds like an i ching paradox.

so i do little, inconspicuous projects i've been meaning to do for a while, and i fiddle around with my dream board, and i journal... somewhere in there i'm sure i'm mustering up the courage to think about my résumé. and the future. and what i want from myself in it.

somehow, in the random extra moments, given an environment of general awareness and loving attention, things actually seem to sort themselves out. a sloppy, hands-on approach usually isn't required, but the situation(s) still requires my energy and my attention. pay attention and don't fuck it up. if there were a theme, that would be it. oh, and dance.

August 21, 2008

high-jumping the fence

not sure how to sum it all up, especially when i'd rather move on. which i guess i am doing; moving on to another home. which is exciting, even as it is sad.

there seem to be many things going on, and while i wish to think with a clear head, the processing feels like it might take a while. so when am i detached enough to make a decision? usually long past the time i need to make one. alternatively i could act now and review later. it's a trend.

ha. asking myself what i would like to do, i find that i wish i had predicted this and avoided it. aversion, here you are again. so much stronger than desire. but in terms of dragging me around, exactly the same. i must have asked for a lesson in 'grin and bear it', because i am really avoiding that. on the other hand, maybe it's the 'stand up for your rights in quiet, unexciting ways' lesson i'm getting. so many to choose from.

uh, gee. i guess i'll just look to the gentlest part of me to take care of. and get on that.

August 20, 2008

and yet...

i read once, i think it was in an orson scott card book, that history is comprised of long periods of little activity interspersed with short periods in which nearly everything happens. sometimes it seems like life follows that principle way too vehemently. like most people, i sleep (and complain) through the periods of very litle activity, then act surprised when life goes nuts. again.

i've been trying to figure out what to do about the 'bad stress' in my life. i've been aiming to mitigate it, and while that is somewhat successful, i'm noticing stress is being barfed repeatedly into my life (maybe i'm barfing it, not ruling anything out). i think part of mitigating the stress is choosing less stressful situations. to live in, to work in, to love in.

so i've been looking at the aspects of my life that i find 'too stressful' on a regular basis and trying on the idea of changing them. it's weird, because in the past, i've changed these (job, home, lover) far too often. i need to make sure that i am not going to end up with 'different but the same', and be faced with the same things not working later.

it's tough to live in a large household with diverse needs. i've found it difficult to keep track of my needs when faced with the, apparently conflicting, needs of others. i know that i have a very specific plan for what my life is (though i admit i refuse to sum it up, often pretending, even to myself, that i don't know). what i stand for. and while there are things i really don't like about my life currently, that doesn't mean that those things (petty bickering, social slights, stubborn people) go against my values.

i value the self, the 'individual' separate from a larger whole in some way (even if that way is illusive). i value consciousness, that aspect of being present that is simply present, without a plan. i value expression. i value communication, the attempt to express outward and be understood.

these are my values.

August 19, 2008

credit due

i'm still so much healthier than i used to be, even when i'm feeling tired, sore, damaged.
it's like the evolution of my version of the healthy diet. it used to include funky pickle pizza, with the argument of vegetables. now that gets ruled out for wheat, not to mention flagged for cheese from sad, sick cows. my fast food is usually rice-based, largely vegetarian and trying to happen less often. organice produce gets delivered to our household. sometimes i use it.

my mental health is quite lovely. i like spending time with myself. i've sought out the company of folks of aspiring consciousness and emotional development. i've found work that's somewhat meaningful, though occasionally chaotic. i'm learning even more how to work for myself, let stuff go, keep in touch. when i recently had my trust broken, i went to a friend and got help feeling safe. i communicated what i needed. i am taking care of myself.


this post is from August 18th, i simply didn't have access to the blog until now:

traumatizing as it is, i scrub away the layers of conditioning that have been painted over my behaviour like cheap paint covering up hardwood. the phrase "why does this always happen to me?" is terrifying in this context. it 'always' happens, it repeats itself, i make the same choices i made before, it happens again.

drifting through the same old. i keep to the paths; so many old friends. but i'm not happy here. i am here to fix the problems and then get out, get out.

i insist upon a happy childhood, am determined to 'do what it takes' to have one. ummm, too late. sorry. as a friend of mine said to me the other day, "you did everything right and it didn't matter."


perhaps if i try, try again? every axiom in the book, sure. something's gotta work. it's like willow, refusing to accept tara's death was an accident, it was natural and, in short, because it was a part of the 'regular' world, it couldn't be fucked with. mmm, nope. does not compute. how bout this way? how much? everything has a price, right?

what makes a peaceful, nurturing upbringing so great anyway? who's to say it's what i would order from a bigger picture perspective? am i so hard off? as i told someone else today, there's a lot of worthy stuff going on in here. i just need to work with it, to help me get better.

August 17, 2008

myriad thoughts lead to future!

scattered. didn't really have a plan for the day; it came out full. 

urban foraging turned up an apple tree, but not the infamous pear tree. 
my free bicycle (soo cute!) cost $100 in accessories. but i'm safe, the bike is safe, and the basket comes off for convenient shopping. which i used tonight to get ice cream. sj came over, the household sat down for dinner. 

spent afternoon with m&m at the fringe. brunch was nice, but there are too many people in that throng to make easy my passage. i picked up a skirt from elvery, the pockets are big enough to fit a paperback!

artzd n craftzd tonight. interrupted by a drunken messenger bearing bad news. of the hopeless variety. tried damage control, but eventually compassion became pulling the plug. hopefully the messenger will sleep it off. i would really like to hear that again. to make sure. because it sounded like a terminal diagnosis. 

still not sure what to do. decided to eat chocolate and read magazines. read an interesting piece about street art here

now this. what next?

August 15, 2008

domestic affairs

household learning, different curves for everyone. 

living with six other adults (and there's a difference between recently-moved-out 19-year-olds who think milk crates are the coolest and adults, notwithstanding that i think milk crates are pretty damn cool) can be a bit stressful when it comes to communication. we've got a big whiteboard, but of course not everything gets put up there. and seven people don't always agree on what 'enough notice' is, let alone when to have a house meeting. 

i think there's just way too many variables to make it easy, unless all roommates are really similar in culture (or maybe that general accord just makes it all the more difficult when disagreements arise). the more we live together, the more differences we realize we have. 

currently, we're feeling the pain of disparity in regards to household projects. some people care a lot about having a certain thing done, and others do not. i think the pain arises when there is no distinguishing between "yeah, that's a cool idea" and "yeah, i'll help with that". i know that personally, i sometimes want to contribute toward a project but end up feeling disenfranchised by character leaders (consciously or not) taking over the process. other times i never intended to help, as i don't really care. and then there are the times i wish someone would tell me what to do. rare, but they do happen. 

i tend to err on the side of finding smaller things to do on my own or contributing minimally to larger projects as a peon. when i put on my peon hat, i don't care what anything ends up looking like, i just put in an hour of labour and wander off.

how do we live? how do we live together?

August 11, 2008

heatstroke is like drugs

folk fest this weekend. such a kickback to childhood. 22 years since my first, and i still revisit all of them. some are better than others. imagination market, three dead trolls in a baggie, back when the tarps at the bottom of the hill were still isolated from the tents of rowdies at the top... bill bourne with dark hair, rolling down gallagher hill, sliding in the mud. negotiating seeing my mom while in a teenage social milieu, volunteering in the beer tent, sneaking in (only one year, swear to the folk gods). different moments float up to conscious memory, recall feeling good or crappy, and the experience was a bit of a 'coaster. this weekend i also definitely felt the sheer number of people present. zow. mostly in the present, a few in the past, and maybe one or two in the future. 

it's funny, but i have no sequential memory (only a few isolated events pop up, and that's how it's been ever since i remember checking) previous to being seven. is it a coincidence that was the year everything changed? parents divorce, and a lifestyle shift inevitably comes along. who could bother to remember when i was learning everything anew?

and i liked that change. most of the interesting things from that vicious cycle of naivety crashing around a room full of mirrors came about because the circumstances were deviant: poverty, latchkey kid, isolated parents, frequent moves... ya know: new neighbours, interesting neighbours, free (unsupervised) time, more responsibility. 

i listen to bela fleck and jim white, i think about dancing to the carolina chocolate drops and broken social scene and the release that comes with all music (even while i savour an emotion, somehow it's already going gone), especially outdoor music. i try and come back to the intense sensations and minor epiphanies, but i am already in a wholly different place. all i can recall is the decision to try slowness again, but this time, without caution. it hadn't occurred to me to separate the two, and thus, self-directed life til now has tended to be either crazy or boring. 

imagine: a day-to-day life that's slowly and sincerely risky. kind of a thrilling feeling. 

cue the crescendo. at 80 bpm

August 8, 2008

secretly attentive

it seems the age-old debate about time rages on unabated. whatever i am doing with my time, whether it be working, volunteering or laying about, isn't what i would be doing (i tell myself) if i had just a bit more time. i would be creating, i think to myself. i would write music columns, sew funky clothes, make large pots of stew, pull back the carpet in my room and finish the hardwood underneath, build that little drainage canal in the front yard (because the sidewalk has a low spot, and changing it would require bringing out the jackhammer again).

it doesn't matter, how much time i have. it doesn't matter, but i mind. my stomach twists with anxiety. i feel myself giving in to the slide, the inevitable slide of personal affairs into the petty and pitiable state common to miserable people.

even as i worry, i do stop to giggle about how far out of the range of normal some of my behaviour is, and how i'm probably not in much danger of becoming a hollow reproduction of a free person. my houseplants have dreads in them. i create art. i dumpster-dive. i suppose dorking out isn't as rare as it once was, but i do like to wander around font websites, make endless themed playlists on itunes and mentally re-plan the city's transportation networks to be more pedestrian-friendly. in my spare time. which explains a bit about the time-scarcity: how much gets lost in the tunnels of my imagination?

but i think that the imagining is more than seems. i think i relax in that kind of a blank, 'mindless' space, and process the shit that happens to me. without having to analyse it, reason it out? maybe. or without needing a conscious point to all the pondering.

the worry, though. that's probably pretty useless. it might not be, if i could predict the future. but since i don't...

August 4, 2008

quietly masquerading as grace

sharing is weird. i love it, need it and caress, in my heart, the situations in which it happens. but sharing also has a strange and discomforting side to it. 

today i discussed breakfast plans with k, who then wandered off to water the garden (an honourable decision, i figured). i made coffee, then toast, which i ate while browsing the business section. when k came in with herbs and started frying up some food, i surprised myself with some guilt. i guess i'd figured our plans had been forgotten.

as i was served, i got myself a fork while forgetting to get one for k. in haste, i wiped off a section of the table, strewn all over by my saturday paper. eventually, k asked me how the food was. honestly, it was tasty, but i was still thinking about 'being a good guest'. quietly, k mentioned this had been the first cooking session in a while. 

ah, the things of import. and how i miss seeing them. and love being shown, when i can get over myself long enough to appreciate it. who gives a shit about forks? they aren't the gift. 

we're learning how to share, k and i. when we hang out a lot, i notice our behaviour cycling in patterns of teasing, mock defensiveness and 'haughty judgement', followed by more teasing. 
i think we use it as means to step back from the intense emotional sharing, a method that allows us to continue sharing physical space while breaking from the mad dance of love. 

mind you, maybe i'm not seeing the reason for the teasin'
an aspect to our play that's soul-pleasin'. 

August 3, 2008

uh oh, where'd my pretension go?

especially in the light of the square one post, i'm noticing the self-masturbatory aspect of blogging. i'm wondering how far i can take this story-telling and still avoid common pitfalls of wankery: My philosophy, The truth, Nobody understands me...

so much cyberspace, so little accountability. they aren't mutually exclusive, no. just rarely occurring together. why i love wikipedia. but that's another story. 

listening to coingutter (lovely, noise-y, like four tet but more raw) and occasionally glancing out to the clouds changing colour, feeling the pain in my lower back. this is today. the latent guilt trapped in the throat and unedited raw worry crammed into a tense jaw lying alongside a fierce desire for something different and the growing, joyous realisation that this is it and it's gorgeous.

these moments, when i notice them, they aren't frozen in time so much as brought to a halt and then revivified, and i feel it like a skipped heartbeat, like a hitch in my breath. i clear my throat, it's gone. 

'what was that? it felt weird.' sometimes i happily derail from the highway, but often, it seems like i actively ignore really interesting options. like i can't be bothered by the magic, i need to pay my bills right now. (uh, right, cuz they won't wait.) am i waiting for a moment where i feel like i've earned it, or am i scared to give up my drudgery? are the day-to-dayisms really drudgery, or have i just been led to believe that, in effort to make me more unhappy and insecure?

i keep trying to find the perfect temperature inside. covering and uncovering truths.

square one / we

the beginning of anything seems like a dubious place to start. 'i think it's the beginning' translates to 'i call it the beginning' because i just woke up to something: a concept, an experience, a realization. something scrubbed my perspective clean of all the mini-rules set up for optimum survival. 

i find square one a more appropriate moniker for that experience. square one doesn't assume the story starts here. square one is the first square, but not the first of everything. in light of a game of hopscotch, it's where i am when i can breathe most evenly. i feel calmness. equanimity. 
in no state of emergency, square one is a space from which i see clearly. so, being here, i look around. 

we is what i see, and of that, me is what sees. occasionally, i even remember that.