December 31, 2009

see ya later, crock-a-gator

one more for some random numbered year!

other blogs i read seem to think they should have a special entry for their last 2009 post. my reaction: "huh?" i still think it's october AND i don't care. i'll be leaving the gnomal environs soon, back to the doghouse, to read and drink warm irish drinks. this, to me, is a regular weekend.

i got the greatest hug ever today, from a will-be shaman. just thought i'd mention. then i had a nap with my buddy c-light. it's interesting how differently physical contact feels when one is not in a physically intimate relationship. it's all "whoa. are you really touching part of my shoulder near my armpit? that feels really awesome." i find relationships often leave me feeling physically drained. i'm not going to analyze that statement, as tempting as it is.

i visited my sweet kitten today. she smells awesome, and looks adorable, and still loves me. can you hear the small church boy calling from the steeple tower? "allll's we-ellllll!" in my world, anyway.

i am thinking about trauma, and trauma in the lives of others. do we help just because we can? i always helped, my ability to do so being the only prerequisite. then i added "they are already, in some way, helping themselves" to that list of necessary conditions. now, having just finished another short story, i wonder. maybe there should not be a list of defining occasions in which i shall help others. maybe i should just leave it up to the decision of the moment.

i think the moment is, in a way, the only time and place we can actually make a decision. so why steal that choice from myself, by enforcing a set of behaviours? i hate the dogma of others. why create my own?

one might say "well, this isn't dogma, it's my values." indeed. and what is the difference? values are guidelines, open to interpretation, whereas dogma is concrete and unbending, an extreme and rigid application of values. there is a difference. still, i now see values as a gateway drug. i think they can get in the way of being honest about what we need in the moment. i think people use 'values' as an excuse to be self-effacing, and to give themselves nightmarish realities.

most people i know don't err on the side of 'not enough values'. maybe not enough understanding of others, but mostly, not enough listening to themselves. there. one last judgment for 2009. listen!!!

December 25, 2009

dinner, in lieu of gaol time

perspective frames this entry. i've been working on making it a less stressful holiday season, and i think it worked. i mean, i cried quietly for the hour it took to get to the family's, but that was more fear and memory working. also, that "helpful" voice in my head telling me how terribly everything will go. it will be worse than your childhood! this voice assured me. but it wasn't.

it's surprising how much power over the stress actually is in my hands. and i listened to that annoying voice and then shared with it another example of how things could go: a mellow example. and i got the fearful voice to admit that neither of those things were happening at the time; reminded it of the peaceful car i was in, with friends of the family whose company i enjoy.

we arrived. i hadn't brought the usual potluck offering; i apologized. my mom just hugged me and the day went on. i guess the traumas that i'm working through from my past are actually that - the past. that's reassuring. maybe i'll remember it when the next trauma comes along: someday, all this will be past.

a friend of mine shared for a moment earlier today how difficult of a time of year it can be for people. this is a depressing time of year, i think he said. i wanted to disagree, but i think he's right. no one warns us that the biggest events are also the biggest pits of danger (or maybe that's what they were saying when i was ignoring them). graduating? welcome to confusion about self-worth! having a kid? test your relationship AND who your friends are, all at the same time! whoo!

i think we don't expect the frequency with which our needs change, and how much stronger our needs are at these epic type of "positive" events. we think they're easy sailing or big celebrations. but we're always losing something, every time we gain or are gifted. the reverse is also true, cloaked in a terrible truism about god trespassing, then breaking in.

odd how life can be extreme (loss, gain, joy, grief) at the same time it is balanced (loss with gain, joy with grief). i think these simultaneously existing opposing truths are preparing me for physics.

December 22, 2009

eenteresting, she says (cue stroking of beard)

it was a crappy yesterday morning, but the afternoon rallied and this morning felt entirely livable. i was having some issues with how little i trust, due to a childhood of being let down by parents who couldn't move past their own traumas to a place where they could teach me how to be vulnerable, how to be intimate, how to take care of each other.

i have realized something (with the help of my awesome, purple-wearing, myth-quoting therapist) about how i relate to my family, or at least, the family i have left. i am still trying to change things. i mean, things sucked, so it's understandable. but it has to stop. i can't spend the rest of my life trying to make my family healthier, trying to reverse my childhood.

it's amusing, in a way, because i have, a million times, thought i was done with the family shit. yet... it manages to filter back into my life, like the cat who came back, and every time, it unravels yet another future i am striding toward.

this time, i don't try and fix things. things stay broken? not my problem. i finally see why my sister left. she was trying to protect herself.

this time, i am here for myself. what this changes is everything. stop trying to talk to people so that they'll 'learn'. start only saying what i feel i need to say to help myself.

leave the family by the water. they'll drink if they feel like it. and if they never thirst, that changes nothing about me. i thirst. and i give myself water.

December 20, 2009

winter solstice poetry

holy. just holy. not even spiritual or ritualized. well, maybe ritualized, in the way you toast yourself while drinking alone.

round and round, every day, year, lifetime; we wonder, forget, fall and catch ourselves (and each other). the pain hurts like pain has never hurt before. our own minds and bodies confuse each other (and ourselves). the new thing changing our entire lifetime with one breath. and again, but different this time, we swear.

rolling through the moods: embarrassed, grieving, shocked, bored, joyful.

losing, finding, never knowing, only thinking and being 'sure of ourselves'. the fallacy of memory, of pride, of infatuation and obsession. knowing we will 'never forget this'.

again and again. when we think we're done, we laugh at the end. and i don't mean at the end we laugh.

who's to say this isn't the best? not i. it is for i to forget again.

December 18, 2009

flickering firelight

december! already half past, and i'm not even terribly stressed out. excellent.

working on being present with my sorrow. all the old sorrows especially; the ones that have been buried because they weren't good enough to justify grieving, and i was supposed to have a stiff upper lip. as my friend c-light says, "they were buried, but they're still in the house." can't really compost into a beautiful garden that way, can they? so we dig out the old sorrows - ah, who am i kidding, no need to dig: they're right here, fucking up my present.

every day for the last three days, i sit with my sorrows. sometimes that looks like just sitting, other times it is playing music and talking to myself. having baths, soft encouragement; the kinds of things i always want to do, but end up doing the dishes instead. no more!

other than that, eating gluten-free pizza and yummy deer meat, working at the bookstore (quite happily) and noticing. noticing, noticing, noticing. am off to the gnomes' and the parents' for the holydays, and the precious widdle dogs are visiting one of their aunties.

also! have roommate come january! which means i can go out after work like other people! this is exciting. i have been alone in this house for almost two months; i think i am ready to take on a roommate without being all "this person, why are they here, cramping my style?" hopefully i will be able to relax. this is a challenge of mine - even being able to relax in the same house as someone else, without playing off all possible imaginary expectations they might be trying to thrust upon me. however, this person, friend of a friend, nickname pending, seems quite mellow.

anyway, more time to visit my cat and pubs with the bookstore crowd. simple gatherings, with beings that don't expect me to do anything other than talk about books. how lovely. and visit my wife! ah, wifie. i miss you. the phone calls are wonderful, but they ain't the same as being in your buzz. she's got such a great buzz, people.

wrote a short story recently. it was surprisingly lovely. and it helped me get through something, helped me see a bit more about my self. maybe someday i will share it out here.

December 12, 2009

Buffet of Metaphors at Vitamin B's! Free Drinks!

wondering what lifts me, what hit me,
what it means, what's drifting
or floating toward
me, grinning and sinning,
ripe to be born

poetry, poetry; that part of my mindbody that opts in and out of linear timelines, scoffing gently at the 'not allowed' signs of social context.

what an interesting few days! says this mindbody:
breakup, epic gnome visit (oh the laughter. oh the tears. oh the size of the bottle), loss of wallet (hopefully left on a bus and returned to lost&found, but probably lying in a school field, buried in a lot of snow), visit with sincerely pregnant friend (Seeking still has an innie, but it's more like a tight wink) and a saturday morning bookstore shift.

yeah, i tried to slide the breakup in there, like it was 'just another crazy day'. but it wasn't crazy.

thoughts of vulnerability float, unhinged to any relationship, on the river of mindbody. previous breakups have had an aspect of 'broken', but this, this sparks a different light. this just didn't fit me right now. notwithstanding the incredible comfort i feel when he touches me, notwithstanding the volumes of common language we share or the deep chimes in my heart that sing for this man. i feel sad for letting something go that is so beautiful. but if the dress doesn't fit, the quality of it is irrelevant.

how it doesn't fit, i think: i want to travel, emotionally. i want to explore the vistas of personality, the garden of people, the variety of sentience. this tends to result in long absences, emotionally, from 'home'. the Home within me (slowly being inhabited more and more, as i see how easily it travels) is a different matter, but the external emotional home, the people and relationships i keep... it's asking a lot from a partner; that relationship is heavy in time and energy. to be emotionally gone, for weeks at a time... it's not how most people work, and it's not how Special Friend works. and it's not something i see changing about myself anytime soon.

that said, i know i use emotional roadtrips to 'get out of homework free'. it's important that i maintain intimacy and vulnerability in my life, that i'm not just present for the good times, that my relationships are based in both joy and suffering; in the sharing of what is, and what isn't.

so i speak the mantra, and turn the page.

December 7, 2009

travelling where i am

sitting at the dining room table, eating an amazing curry i made myself after discovering okra at the nearby grocery store. i have been shopping for food in my old neighbourhood, figuring that my desire for local, possibly organic, gluten-free food has left me a 'special case' that can only be tended in the snotty stores. but lest we forget! my town started community leagues in canada (says my bus driver, who is awesome). the power of the community translates to large chain grocery stores featuring unique foods, neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

and to think, they all looked the same to me, that is, normal. clearly this is an area i've gone all judgy on, considering this mega-chain has my favourite brand of organic yogourt and organic edamamé. not to mention the okra!!! okra and onion curry - sabzi bindhi piyaz, hello! terriblbly unpracticed version aside, it's incredibly yummy.

other than that, since it's -25 (that's celsius), i have been staying in. the first cold snap is always rife with cancelled plans. up in the north, we know that. board meetings come through; 'lunch' does not. fuck lunch. fuck lunch until it feels appropriate to step out into the cold, with warm wool mittens, and still have numb fingers after ten minutes. since that is not today, lunch is fucked.

besides, i have okra. what else do i need, really? i walked the dogs, they were happy to come home. we are all in agreement. we now listen to neko case, and feel dissatisfied.

November 29, 2009

transient wow of now

spent some time on the internet before i got here, now feeling a bit drained from the unusual screen glow. still, it was lovely to update the self on favourite comics and blogs. blogging intermittently leaves me trying to place activities in time, wondering when i started or finished that last book. what was i reading last time? have i raved or ranted about this one yet?

tried to make plans with several of my favourite people today; all plans were lost to the sea of indecision and other distracting states. eventually i walked A and B and made it over to the gnomic center to visit my kitty and pay for previous bills and cat visitation rights. of course, while i was there, other people dropped by. witty conversation and wine wound their ways around the room.

old habit; regarding the phone balefully whenever it buzzes, preferably from far away; down the hall. some days it just interrupts! life is more than what's playing on reality channels. working on the state of being where nothing ever happens again; every bus ride is unique, every work day unpredictable. remember when - no, don't bother. let's try this instead:

November 24, 2009

brief interlude

the place i am house-sitting doesn't have internet. also; i have felt rushed. thus, the longest lapse in time from one entry to the next since i started the blog.

as is usually the case in long absences, i am not sure what to say. so much has passed and already become insignificant that i am left with no news. living outside the city core is strange. 78% peaceful, 22% creepy. such a strange action has freed me from many expectations i had about myself. if she does this, who knows what she might do next?

i still work at a used bookstore, so my days involve smelly old books (those are the ones we turn down, not the ones we put on the shelves), endearingly eclectic customers, late hours and spoiled, perfect cats.

i am making a visitation to the gnomes, and hilarity ensues. there is more life in the world than on the page; surprising! but here is an amazing book i have recently chewed through. since i have no internet and no instant neighbours, i spend a lot of time reading and cooking. the cooking is helpful in saving money i don't have. "when there is money, buy books. if there is any money left, buy food." i don't remember who said it or if i've quoted it correctly. but i've remembered it for years.

November 6, 2009

occasional smiting is healthy

i'm finding in myself right now a readiness to be angry.

there are so many reasons i do not let myself show anger. i think it is a weakness to allow rage to be displayed. it rarely gets me what i want from someone. i do not appreciate other people's anger, so why would i let mine spew everywhere? control is a virtue, i tell myself. it is a sign of my intelligence and discipline that i can control my anger. i remember a zen book by charlotte joko beck which discussed anger. in my poor paraphrasing, a student asked "what about that kind of anger that is like a clean sheet, sweeping over everything, burning away the old and broken?" and charlotte responded something to the effect of "how often do you see that anger? i see only the kind that burns carefully built connections, that wrecks days and relationships."

all in all, the votes cast anger out into the realm of 'bad emotions', or maybe just 'good to know you have 'em, bad to share'. but in the delirium of being ill, my temper was shorter, and i let anger, no, that is not how it went, i do not feel like i 'let' anything... and anger slipped through the cracks of my veneer of control. and it felt wonderful. now i know some kinds of 'good' feelings are dangerous; addictive, seductive, implying more power-over. but i have been reconsidering my ruthless abolition of anger.

for one, anger is generally regarded as a step up from depression. not an ideal state to stay in, but a wonderfully effective stepping stone. stepping to where? if you follow david hawkins (i don't, but i like his chart), on to pride and then courage. if you follow elise lebeau (whom i quite like, despite or perhaps because her ways are so simple), on to boredom, doubt, frustration and impatience. i'm more annoyed at lebeau's path, which suggests something there for me to learn. frustration is not my favourite emotion. i would rather strike it with lightning and move on.

both hawkins and lebeau stress that the emotion you are feeling is less important to your mental health than the direction you are heading in. so i am choosing to see the anger as a healthier step in my development. also, i am trying (and it is quite easy) to let off short bursts of anger rather than smiting someone in a fiery pit of foreverness. and for two, if you value our social interactions as learning, it's important to show people when they have overstepped their bounds. i don't have to scream about their mother, but letting my annoyance show is valuable feedback, and feedback most people will remember.

on a lovely side note, the people closest to me are the least annoying. SF is incredibly warm and loving with increasing notes of attractive vulnerability, and the wife i am moving out on is impeccable in her support. i do not wish to smite these lovelies. rather, i wish to strike with divine lightning people who drive too fast and kill the cats on my street, people who assume i wish to see them when they show up unannounced, people who sneer at the homeless or flaunt their newfound knowledge of beat poetry (okay, maybe the poetry thing i can swallow).

my internal grandma insists that i respect the power of anger: what is done cannot be undone, and apologies certainly mean less to me the more i am hurt. a new toy is fun, says grandma, but what if you hurt people? how will you feel then? however, there is another part of me which suggests that to deny my anger when it is a reasonable reaction is to disrespect myself and my intuitive response. so when is it reasonable? grandma raises a valuable point when she wonders whether i will use anger when i shouldn't: when i am having a 'bad day', when i do not wish to accept that i am wrong, when expressing that i am hurt would be more of an honest reponse. damn, grandma is wise. i absorb this wisdom, hopefully.

watch me flex the sword of anger with care. watch me grow.

November 1, 2009

show your cards

sometimes events are larger than they seem. thus i sum up my experience with swine flu. i'm usually not one to jump on the paranoia train: i find downtrodden neighbourhoods feel safe to me; i meet the eye of the scary person and they seem as trustworthy as anyone; i hear the news and roll my eyes. so when i caught the swine flu, i thought "oh well, at least i don't have to defend not getting the vaccine." i did not leap weakly into the air and write my last will and testament.

it was an interesting experience. still is, actually. that is one potent beast: one doth not leave the swine behind overnight. its severity ended up affecting me significantly enough to effect some changes. (there is a word nerd cheering inside me right now, do you know why?) it took off another layer of "do do do", encouraging me to lay my tools down and rest awhile. there are groups of people who know me as calm and measured, but i have a frantic train going, and it's taking me a long time to bring its speed down. this provocative illness has helped.

also, as every significant illness can do, it has strengthened my mind-body connection. i find the experience of monitoring my body from a resting place while it undergoes severe stress to be educational and awe-inspiring. i felt my heart racing and then slowing down again. i felt the significance of blockages. i learned where to put coolness and where to bring warmth. most importantly, i am learning to call a truce between my mind and body. what kind of fucker set a war between these two? don't they know it will last forever? the mind and body are yin and yang. any war would be perpetual and unforgiving. and that would be sad, considering the asses they can easily kick by working together. yay team me!

so not that i wish the swine of the apocalypse on anyone, i won't miss it. but i like what it's leaving me: a unified system and a cleaner slate of priorities. i do what i want, regardless of how unimportant it may seem. that's my unified mind-body, thanks, i won it back from the devil/teacher.

October 27, 2009

care, cats and traction

i find being ill interesting. for one, i pay more attention to my body, and it responds. for example, not being able to breathe through my nose, and working to find out which sinuses require pressure to relieve the situation, even temporarily. i treat myself with more care, and remember things like gentleness. rubbing my neck while waiting for soup to heat up, i learn how to let my neck rest without the weight of my head applying nasty pressure on misaligned vertebrae. this is a solution i do not remember from previous experiences. i hope i remember it when i rejoin the ranks of the quote-unquote healthy.

it's not just about learning, though. illnesses are fun. if i sound crazy, it's because i visually hallucinated over a stool in my bathroom today (the stepping kind, not the toilet kind). also, copious amounts of cayenne - fun and effective!

another surprise was falling down (only three) stairs yesterday. that point goes to the illness. i experienced shock and fear, of course, but i think i processed it right away; the release of trauma seemed manageable in one sitting (i was sitting alright - on the landing). have i finally learned about traction on hardwood? probably not.

as i gingerly continued down the stairs, the cat shot me a concerned look. yes really. i can tell her looks. they encompass (though are certainly not limited to) satiated, frantic, 'i'll pretend i didn't see that', irritated, affectionate/doe-eyed, affectionate/cold, trusting, don't-fuck-with-me and hungry/uncertain.

speaking of cats, i realize i am of that ilk. for many people this probably comes off as ridiculously obvious, but while i have always loved cats, i now see the cat in me.

October 16, 2009

tragic-land and back again

tings is lively. i appreciate this, as i live with more attention in lively times. of course, despite the liveliness and actual activities, you will hear about the books i've been reading.

finally finished the gaia book i first mentioned here. reading a zillion other books and about to start three more. in moods like this one, the most interesting point is what i am not reading. these include the yoga book (which i finished but keep around to look up asanas and sequences. haven't touched it in weeks) and david suzuki goes to japan, which seems too lovely for me right now. i need lengthy blah blah blahs, not concise and hopeful accounts of adventures somewhere fascinating i too, could visit, if i only got up off my ass.

was journaling last night about an odd lack of purpose and meaning in my life right now. since i was fourteen, my purpose existed, whatever it was and however it changed. self-improvement, empowerment, the practice of liberation, the cosmic wave of being, learning my environment, resolving past traumas... what now? all of these seem to be mixing together. none of them could ever be a finished project. the idea of purpose quickly becomes illusive, a creation of my own mind. yet i move on.

i wonder how my motivation works. i think i could benefit more from nurturing my emotional state toward one of achievement. the whiny 'that's dumb' voice is educating itself. its manipulation to convince me of the uselessness in nurturing myself can be hindered. most easily by simply picking up and doing the opposite: encouraging myself.

it's like there is a battle between superheroes going on, inside my brain, all the time. like my four-year-old friend, the names of the heroes change all the time but the storyline is ancient. what would happen if good and bad were to finally agree? the big bang would turn out to have been a mild mis-communication between archetypes. the world as we know it would end (and, douglas adams posits, be replaced by something even more inexplicable and bizarre).

October 4, 2009

books and tea, books and tea

been reading a lot. alias grace, by margaret atwood. it's good to have an atwood or a munro on the go, i find. but i've been meaning to actually dig deeper into canadian. the genre exists. but i like those two authors specifically because they're smart and they don't try to be pretty. the bleakness earns my trust.

as well, an exploration into early sci-fi (and by early, they mean second century early), a series of cheap mysteries set in japan and jeanette winterson's art objects. it's interesting to explore visual art with someone who identifies so strongly with words. i feel relieved.

i guess time has passed, i don't feel much a part of it. i noticed today that the plants were all limp and the flowers looked drowsy. so i watered everyone. it helps. i guess i should do the things happy people enjoy doing. it occurred to me the other day that happiness is quite likely something one practices. i think i secretly have a vague concept revolving around smiles and sunshine and general agreeableness. so i've been practicing that: doing things in a way that gives me a happy feeling. it's hard. i often forget three minutes later and return to general survival numbness. but those three minutes are sunshine, not the light of the fire on the cave wall.

the happy feeling is part feeling cared for by myself, part wind on the face and part something indescribably wild, but calm at the moment.

September 23, 2009

too much coffee puts emphasis everywhere

busy times. new job; returned to a bookstore and am immensely happy about it. can't wait to organize the entire second floor. classic sci-fi; wow (in all the wrong ways). no really though, there's a sense of peace, i can't explain.

meeting a person to talk writing, too. AND was called about an art show i curated last year. they've started planning for this/next year. that callback happens tomorrow, as does the call back to the houseowner for whom i am dog-sitting over the winter, needing renters for another house they own. i love how i somehow became the informal rent-realtor in my community. i really do fill that role and i really do love it.

exhausted; spent last night dancing. we were a small troupe descending upon the dancefloor. we smote the music. today is official "fuggedabout verb tenses" day. don't wish youda known; acted now!

SF has been a frequent visitor of late. he and i came home from the club early to discover batman (my roommate who has recently moved beyond toddler and into kid) had woken up, so we watched movies and read books and talked the amazing stuff deep kids think about. remember when dreams and reality weren't so clearly divided? i barely remember but batman reminds me.

i think there was an actual reason i was posting, but maybe these notes are all there is. off to mixed media sources i go. oh, and this comic. for optimum pleasure regarding social anxieties and social interaction in general, fun with labels and beautiful sarcasm, start at the beginning. i've been clicking for days, and i'm up to 2006. zing!

September 15, 2009

another buddha in the un-making

regardless of how much or how little i am accomplishing, there is always the list, just off in the distance. the list is unfinished, filled with tasks i haven't yet seen to, and capable most days of making me feel resistance, depression, and low self-esteem. the list defeats all sense of personal achievement, saying to me "you can't relax yet, you haven't --- ".

Special Friend mentioned reading about the dichotomy between thinking of oneself as a generally accomplished/good enough person, and the activities i set myself to either keeps me up or reduces my worth (ie, i'm a good person but i did a bad thing, oops) OR, opposingly, seeing oneself as not good enough, and the activities i do might help make me 'better' (sounds suspiciously like some forms of religion, just sayin').

i know, for a truth, that i spend a lot of my time trying to erase my nameless guilt (apparently, humans feel guilt when something bad happens to us, even if it's an accident or a natural disaster. damn, those religions have easy feeding). i feel tired, anxious, like i need to keep up with my sins. then i rebel, which looks like doing nothing. then i feel useless, which makes sense given my foundational argument of activity increases worth. repeat cycle endlessly or until severe breakdown occurs.

even my attempt to 'solve' this problem is not outside the parameters of the problems itself: i ask myself "what can i do?" doing. is that the only answer i can come up with?

damn meditators probably have it right. of course, times i would benefit from stillness the most are the times i can least achieve it. still, even ten minutes of focused nothing-doing (the difference between my rebellion and this is definitely the focus) probably helps provide the beginning of an alternate route to the ruts of yesterday.

September 9, 2009

absurdity and its freedoms

coming out of a depression is a wobbly affair. fresh legs are uncertain, new skin untested, the ways of the world feel unfamiliar. i try and take it easy; don't stay late at work, keep a steady pace, drink tea. build towers out of the play-blocks in our living room.

pet the cat. eat salad. breathe.

occasionally, i feel pulled to one side or the other (i'm worthless, there's nothing here for me. no, i'm priceless! i should be a star! and i'm not, oh, it must be my fault. *and so on*) of the equilibrium. i've noticed another interesting thing about the state of depression: its insistence on absolutes. that's a big part of how it gets me, i think. not that things suck, but that this is exactly how they sucked last time, and they'll keep on sucking, and there's nothing i can do about it. cue doom music, except don't bother, because the awful silence following such a 'realization' is worse.

a big part of feeling better is remembering that "this too, will pass."

it's kind of amusing that that expression seems to bring happy people down. oh well. the same folks probably don't understand why i find existentialism so refreshing.

despair, angst and a meaningless world: it's all we have. sweet relief pours through me (really? no tests? just this? wow).

note: this all ties in with self-forgiveness. it's okay that i'm not a star, i'm still awesome in my own tiny ways, and besides, people are mean sometimes, it's alright that i don't want to parade myself in front of them. reasonable, even. yes, so i am forgiven. time for my current favourite tea.

do it. dooooo it. the forgiveness, i mean. not the tea. (unless you like it. i'm not usually a fan of fruity tea, but this one somehow doesn't taste gross.)

September 6, 2009

cloaking, uncloaking

finally, i feel rested. after staying up all night: hours working on the computer, closet, basement storage and crate of thirty-odd journals all re-organized, clothes given away, dishes washed, 6am random conversation with roommate had...

of course, now i'm drinking jasmine tea as the sun rises, so who knows if i'll make it to bed. in a way, things are just getting good now.

although i haven't made it to work for almost a week and feel guilty and broke, and even though i've been restless, feeling gross and losing sleep, in a way i've really enjoyed the last week or so. i've started some new things, done some great healing with my body through yoga and trager, let go of a lot of old crap (literally and figuratively), finished several books and mostly, just enjoyed the unfolding that feels impossible when i'm at a job regularly. something about speeding up for other people... maybe to get away from them...

in being by myself, i've gained some incredible perspective. i had forgotten why my life is difficult sometimes. it's because i don't like what's going on around me, which is something i respect myself for. not that i'm unhappy, hell no. but that i want more fairness, more consciousness, more honour. and i'm working for it. and working for it doesn't always have to look like facing the world. (i can moon the world too.)

as well, gifts of silver spray paint make being a renegade more fun.

and as a renegade/warrior/emotional ninja, i probably don't need to worry about sticking out, being uncomfortable, rubbing people the wrong way or feeling frustrated. it's par for the course.

wanna stay home? do it. wanna go out dressed in lacy black or bright orange or fairy wings and talk with strangers? do it. wanna walk away in the middle of a conversation? do it. (ohmygod really? what if their feelings are hurt?) at the end of the day, i'm the one who cries in bed because i feel so crushed and frustrated under the weight of other people's unconscious desires & aversions, hidden requests and unknowing manipulations. i would very much rather drop their bullshit and work on shedding my own. so that i can sleep at night.

August 31, 2009

the step back part

i've been writing, but in other places. cataloging my desires, aversions; realizing my motivations for the sophisticated actions i undertake are the same base desires i've always had - security, acceptance, feeling heard.

friend nearly died in a car accident. one of those incredibly important friends who lives far away so i don't get to love her as much as i want to. that was a wake-up call. as usual, even though her life is in chaos, she manages to shed light on mine. in a way i really respond to, because she just quotes me back to myself. can't really argue with that, can i?

finding myself in one of those looking-back-and-hating-it-all times. why i measure my own evolution by progress away from my past is beyond me. i see why it would be natural to do so (different is better, right?) but i would hope that my sense of personal evolution would be a bit more, well, evolved. sigh. to respond to one's environment, to cooperate within it for a more harmonious existence, following the ancient paths of using what each of us does best for the well-being of all, since the well-being of all is crucial to the survival of any of us... how does this translate into yelling at oneself for not doing the things i decided to do? this all sounded so much wiser in a letter to a pregnant friend. i think because i was more willing to accept the mystery of being human and having a brain and a past to mull over. now i'm back to wishing it was a puzzle i could solve and then walk away from.

feeling ruffled, out of place, angsty. argh, i thought angst was done when we hit our thirties. nothing is ever done. replay the past in our heads, knowing even less of it than when it happened.

so, do the things i know are helpful to my own self; a bit of yoga, some cleaning and clearing out in the house, participating in the backyard fire, cuddles with a friend. stop apologizing for being myself, especially when it's unplanned and messy. if i'm going to go overboard, do it with style and energy. and a fucking lifejacket.

August 24, 2009

tourist in my own right

new music! finally named that track i heard at a club last year and loved instantly. swingy & dancy. exciting new music inspires me to listen to more music, so i wandered through the hallways of nightmares on wax, thievery corporation and quannum projects, and in a complete about-face, cemented the weekend with some old country. especially, listened to songs on the road to where gospel and country eventually meet. which is in the sweet hereafter, i guess.

ditching out on large social events is such a gift to myself. not like it leaves me alone. the drift of people that come through our yard anyway - sewing deviants, tribal bellydancers, sweethearted soul-questing djs, lady-loving long-boarding yogis, curious forest-dwellers, recovering misanthropes, sexy special friends - and meet me when i go for groceries - punk psychologists and their unknowingly hip daughters - repel any feelings of true solitude. i thought about it briefly this afternoon; the last time i lived anywhere there weren't people pretty much regularly dropping by was five years ago, right after i moved back from the coast to the city i call home for here and now. except now that i think of it, we had an influx of couch-surfers in that tiny basement apartment anyway. so, barring occasional periods of less than four months, i've lived in social milieus since the last time i lived on my own - twelve years ago.

it's interesting to notice aspects of one's life that have been a long time running. a friend who came for tea was noting the process by which we grieve the long-term past. that even if we don't want it back, we think about our old experiences often. our mind negotiates this for us on an unconscious level - bargaining, measuring against, playing the if-then game (if i do this, then maybe...). when i think familiarity, i think about habits, patterns, addiction. but then, there's the whole argument that stability breeds, i don't know, good things. growing long-term gardens, etc. or something. right?

clearly we see where my experiences have led me. same thing again = ruts, bad. immediately swerve.

so, slow change seems to be healthier for the most part. dynamic homeostasis slowly evolving and the like. where was i going with this? oh, the conversation we had over tea this evening. big changes in lifestyle habits, the sustainability of doing it at ones own pace, the inane distractions the ego comes up with when a momentary moratorium on chaos actually occurs. the ego is the giant corporation in each of us. are there any rules/guides it will follow, or is there simply unhinged sociopathy behind it all? so hard to all get along in here...

got distracted again. whatever. one thing i wanted to mention to my friend, but the conversation didn't go that way, is the risk of looking at a lesson as a huge energy-intensive experience. like, oh, i need to learn how to keep my own boundaries so that i won't let this happen again and tell all the people who regularly cross the line with me to fuck right off, and change my job and - no you don't. you can just learn the lesson.

have the light bulb go off and take it from there.

August 21, 2009

fuck the old days

i had a small meltdown today and slept through some volunteering (set-up for a dance show). after sleeping, there was sitting in the backyard and drinking things that aren't water. instead of bicycling to work, i bought rechargeable batteries and dug out the walkman. took the bus and listened to a seduction tape a friend of mine made for me years ago. it helped. (i was looking for a better song from the mix somewhere online. i couldn't find any; most of the songs are too good to be found freely in this over-commercialized melting pool. i randomly tripped over this though. we were chatting about these guys the other day. ahhh, grade five.)

dizziness and disorientation after receiving a shoulder-rub capped it all off. the feverish theme of the day was realizing nearly all my activities occur because someone asked me to accomplish them.

on the asked-to-do side:
most of my jobs
organization of art & music shows
board of directors
published writings

on the own-volition side:
private writing and letters, zines
sitting in cafés
playlist compilations

volunteering at festivals is about half and half. we see the issue here that my self-esteem is quietly screaming about: left to my own devices, i don't seem to have a lot of drive. i've been noticing this lately. after thirty years of feeling under the gun to play the game, i'm wondering: if i choose to do something big and crazy, would i feel less pressured? if i define myself by some big-ass vastness of lifeworkyness, maybe people will lay off with all the requests that i accept because hell, i'm not doing anything more than sitting in my room with the latest little project that rarely makes it out of my room anyway. (journals, scrapbooks, etc etc)

and i seem not to like parties anyway, so i might as well be working.

still, i can't resign myself to it. it seems like defeat. if i'm not drawn to something, i'm not. but surely i am? drawn to something... at least one thing?

maybe if i say no to the requests, i will notice what it is.

i find this figure-out-inner-goal shit trite and boring. but i don't want to stop here. so how else do i decide how to move forward? hence the accept every offer attitude. but that's driving me crazy, and exhausting me as well. must... find... some way... to discriminate... discern *gasp* what's ... appropriate... to.. me..

August 16, 2009

cue jazz hands

i've just seen a theatrical performance of the rocky horror picture show. it was my first time. i liked the first time being live theatre instead of a movie; it worked for hedwig. i also liked how queer-friendly the show is. highly recommended, in spite of (or along with) the sound-carrying ineptitude in that particular presentation. the frank n. furter character was passionate. janet's legs were interplanetary.

a friend brought me, springing the idea upon me this afternoon at the third annual free sale. i feel glad we went out; the two of us used to be roommates and hadn't connected one-on-one in a while. we sat off to the side and in a slightly surreal turn of events, were interviewd by a south korean video publication of some sort. it took me by surprise. i'm sure the resulting idiocy was translated; embarassment can cross cultures instantly. i think i actually blinked like an owl. for some reason video cameras make me freeze. please let me speak into a microphone or a sound-recorder - this moving camera shit makes my soul chafe.

our conversations after the show took us through the carefully tended provincial government grounds (where we found and ate some edible decorative kale) and over the bridge, where we paused and studied the lights reflecting off the river. discussing politics, human behaviour trends and queer community, we built and altered our own and each other's ideas. i love the community of people around me.

the free sale attracted the usual non-believers (free?!? i don't buy it!! you can't trick me! ... um ...), strange old men and exuberant deal-seekers with small dogs. also, children. i like how many kids i've interacted with since moving here. today i was gently devoured by a compost-monster. i can only cheerfully submit.

the play revived my gender-queer ways of presenting myself. i've been engaging in new and interesting yangish activities, but i've been doing so from a decidedly feminine point of experience. how long has it been since i've wrapped my breasts and dressed to pass as a man, or at least seriously cast doubt? how long since i have, in my physical, non-verbal statements, actively revolted against the boring gender dichotomy? i find the one harsh line separating two distinct genders, polarizing us against each other, to be far too simple to ever accurately reflect our shared reality. i mean, come on, two? two? all this, and only two? this isn't just sex equipment, it's identity. we can be creative.

i am creative. my gender is vast. vaster after having seen this particular presentation of the rocky horror picture show.

August 15, 2009

try and get past the italics, to the italics at the end

what is it about routine that immediately incenses me? i look at the laundry ready to put away, the in-box that's never been empty, the innocent plants that need watering, and i feel angry. angry at plants? they don't even complain.

it's the needing. in the last year, it's been a youth program that didn't have enough emotional support (guess who noticed?), organizing and curating a first-ever youth art show for a victim/crime awareness project, and helping a small business first moving into having employees and running their business according to government rules, which meant a lot of scary first steps and risks to take. eventually the scariness mellowed out, at which point i becamse bored and gave my notice. so there's something to be said about what i seek. let's come back to that.

i took this really easy job for the summer so that i could be responsibility-free (the board doesn't meet in the summer, which seemed promising as well), only to become a key-holder within three weeks. currently, my boss is on vacation and i'm 'running the place'. it's not a high-tech global centre of wealth or anything, but the pattern is uncanny. i attract positions of responsibility. and now and again (and again and again), they need things from me.

my spoils: coming back to my own attractions, i admit that i get off on feeling needed. it was the role i played in the family drama, after i outgrew the baby post. i problem-solve, collect emotional outpourings, smooth out ruffled feelings, head off imminent conflict and generally put people at ease (when i'm comfortable in my own zone, of course).

and when it's stimulating as opposed to grating, i find value in this. or do i?

maybe it's just feeling valued that i value (whew). well, it's helping me meet a need, seems harmless. unless i'm using others to build my self-esteem from the outside instead of from my own experiences. hmm. is there another way i'd like to meet that need (belonging/social security) that seems more centred in myself?

what else do i do that i think is needed by society as a whole?


also, and here's an interesting point. is it in my best interest and path to undertake every responsibility that i see or that is offered to me? i pretty rarely say no, although i do turn down projects. occasionally.

other than meeting a need for feeling valued by others, do i learn anything from playing this role?

maybe it isn't even a matter of changing how i meet the need. maybe it's a matter of letting myself realize how much i am already valued. i have such a fear of being left out - still. after all these years and all these social accomplishments. can i nourish the plant of self-confidence in my own garden, instead of buying it from the appreciation of others? can i barf after that terrible analogy? ewww. the power of one's own blog: ruthlessly publishing phrases better burned.

August 12, 2009

carpe that shit, man

peacing out, as hippies say. called in sick to work with a mysterious fat lip i woke up with this morning (them be some powerful dreams) and now enjoying myself as only i know how.

we're having our yearly free sale sometime soon, as the theatre festival takes over our neighbourhood, which means pillaging my room for all the ancient artifacts merely decorating the space, not serving it. i love this liberation.

super fucking cranky on the way to work yesterday, then realized that even on a shitty day, my life rocks. that was compelling. plus it meant i was still allowed to have a shitty day.

of course, being cranky and broke, i tend to notice other cranky broke people. it's helpful to see what works and what doesn't. going crazy and making shit up doesn't seem very effective. accepting offers of short-term employment and making more of your own food helps. urban foraging, good one. staying stuck or buying into the idea that you're fucked and will stay that way indefinitely; bad idea. blaming it all on the meteor shower; amusing. not that i rule out astral influences. i'm no nay-sayer. just that i end up back where i started; broke and cranky. i guess it's a nicer path than blaming oneself to the point of paralysis; it's nice to have an out that is so massive and far away that i can't possibly be held responsible. but seriously?

i don't need a scapegoat to pin the obligations on to. and it isn't what i actually want if i have to force myself to do it. fuck the series of strenuous activities that i "absolutely need to do" to stay myself. i'm on track, evolving like the brilliant motherlover that i am. who cares if the track isn't straightforward? neither are most of the things i like about my life.

bow to the impulse. bow to the overwhelming voice of shrugging it off. grab on to the internal yippee of delight that is always somewhere, always relishing an experience. new mantra:

i am a pirate dressed like a normal woman. no one knows yet. but they will.

August 9, 2009

what kind of faery tale is this?

Special Friend and i were talking the other day about how amazing it is we even found each other. we had a few people in common that only one of us might see anything close to regularly. if we hadn't each cruised the internet looking for good times, we might never have met. more importantly i think, because we met through a dating site, we were checking each other out romantically from the initial meeting: we both knew why we were there.

and i was so new to the whole thing. i had one date with one person before i met SF. and i have not made an e-date since our first. my jaw would have dropped years ago if i were told i'd hook up with someone through a dating site. i have so many sexy, smart and stunning friends, surely i'd have no trouble hooking up? and i don't. but no one does me like SF does me. knows me better than most, and pays more attention to the bits that matter. knows which bits matter. i'm getting all vague here, but that's part of the value in the skill i'm discussing; it's difficult to even describe the arena in which SF operates as he practices his soothing magic upon me.

the cuddles and space when i need it are great (and the space SF takes as needed, and how often our need for space coincides). that either of us found what we were looking for: wow. both in our thirties, pretty sure we'd be alone because we were just too weird, we wanted soemthing too specific; a healthy person that knows how to take care of themselves and does so consciously while still having fun, who wants to explore their whole lives while resting plenty, who likes the subtleties of people-watching (though it was amusing to throw the hipster label around the festival this weekend), who works at being the best selves we feel like being, and at the end of the day, writes it all down. both of us resigned to others not wanting or getting the same out of life. i mean, we weren't hugely isolated or upset about it. we both have friends and love them, but. we were alone.

and then...

full-filling moments

learning more about my own changing perspective. who drops a night of live music by great artists followed by a free party with cheap alcohol and those same great artists jamming with each other and the other volunteers for a night with someone they see regularly? we came home for a nap and never left. now, later, my special friend has departed and i feel happy and fulfilled with my evening's activity choice. painting toenails a spacey aquamarine sparkle and drinking cocoa. i'm surprised how i now care so little about the parties i used to love. i am still happily involved with social activities that differ from my sweetie's (independent activities feels healthy and important for one's sense of selfhood), i'm just not feeling the drive to be up late and carousing around.

found the empathy a bit overwhelming at the festival. i've been stretching my limits in past weeks with the fabulous site crew: meeting and working hard for hours with new people every day, i've been struck with the social dynamics of a community that has been building and flexing for thirty years. these dynamics really do feel like they hit me; in waves, every day, deepening and thickening as i learn more about the people involved through their body language, habits and communication pathways. one of my favourite of elise lebeau's exercises is a great visualization for bringing the spaciousness and equanimity back to one's awareness. it's really lovely for crowds, and i can tell much about my mood simply by whether or not i can even focus on the visualization.

it's nice to be at home, listening to fridge. feeling tired, knowing my bed is right there with clean sheets on it. cat nearby. feeling loved for who i am when i'm not even unconsciously trying to be any of the parts of myself i consider 'better' or more appropriate for public interaction. such enriching harmony, this feeling of acceptance. making it easier to bring all the disparate parts of myself together at one internal fire. getting to know each other, these widely variant versions of self. ah, the yes feeling.

August 4, 2009

groping is for teenagers

new day, at least for some of us. for others it's the same old day. i stop for a moment to consider what my life would be like if i was forbidden to wear pants. it's difficult to imagine why someone would go so far. an indecent act? sure, if your conventional social mores include pretending there isn't anything between my legs. OHMYGOD, SHE IMPLIES VAGINA. SOUND THE ALARMS.

watching comedians last night; fascinating how different comedians use different skills to attract the crowds. some aim to be listened to by everyone (usually helped by volume) and some forego that immediately and craft their set around serving the people in the masses they connect with. i like both kinds.

had trouble grounding yesterday. on my way home from volunteering and feeling totally fractured. this continued through the evening, though mellowed out as i spent more time doing my own thing, in my fabulous home with friends who would check in on my wine and sugar level. the cat also did her part. sigh.

these are the moments when i stop to remember my own emotions and reassure myself with the promise of two solid weeks filled with reading and yoga sometime in february. i miss the solitude and slowness, even as i'm growing exponentially from the experience of august. and really, it's not that far away. the nights are already getting cooler. once again, we pack a sweater. welcome to the first whispers of autumn, fifty-three degrees north. i consider the shortness of summer and its effect on our style of celebration; my city has a festival for every single day from may to september, and desperately happy citizens flock out, spend days awake, cram experiences and sunstroke into every minute of it. i suppose desperate citizens are everywhere, but i still think we show signs of seasonal affective behaviour. i'm not going to classify it as a disorder, that's just silly. one definition of normal and hundreds of definitions for how we 'deviate' from this narrowly defined normalcy? might as well use the law to restrict perfectly acceptable clothing choices. oh wait.

July 31, 2009

notes will suffice

i really enjoyed this post from poetry of flesh. she's been adventuring into what sex means for her, and pulling apart some hefty strings that pull her from the inside, but here she stops to fully lambast the critics of sexual freedom for women. i love how she can bear her naked heart in one post, fully showing all of her vulnerability, and the next moment, bring forth the conscious commentary on sex & gender hypocrisy. i have no doubt she gets painted into one corner or another by people who can't handle her being both ends of the tender/logical spectrum. fantastic.

i, myself, am far too busy to make any indepth posts about love, relationships, sexuality or even politics (politics generally don,t take indepth posts to make points, but they do still require more than just skimming all the info sources in the five minutes available to me each day before i head off on my train of activity). volunteering at this awesome festival and trying vainly to work more hours at work as well as learning the assistant job is creating a schedule requiring serious discipline. since i generally am not the "cram self full of activities" type, this is interesting. also, first time i've bicycled in a couple of years, i decide to bicycle for hours every day. wow.

trying to remember to eat well and drink water, and get sleep. these are the moments self-care is vital. next week, as i'm enjoying iron & wine, i'll remember and be thankful.

July 26, 2009

giving in to a sense of self-importance

i'm sure random prattling is the best thing ever about blogs, so here's some of mine.

living two blocks off a major highway of iniquity, i am used to being entertained by incredible amounts of useless noise. nonetheless, the ridiculously close airplane (i think it almost hit a powerline) ten minutes ago had my heart pounding and the cat running in flat-out terror across the yard (away from the plane? not really, sweetie. nice try though). so i actually had a first, and called the city to register a noise complaint. i was told that they had a 'noise waiver' for whatever stupid commodity-laden festival currently going on across the river. awesome. a noise waiver. can i have one? we want to get really drunk tonight.

i wonder what one has to do in order to secure this get out of jail free card. justify your noise as fulfilling a deep need of city-dwellers? (we keep the riots at a minimum, your honour, through driving our bullshit, gas-eating, cool-looking bird-machines over your neighbourhoods.) maybe you get a noise waiver the old-fashioned way (tax-free donation to the rule-makers) or even as a throwback to tradition (this stupid gathering of noisiness has been occuring for sixty years! shit, maybe we should bring back beating our wives too, since we're so in love with tradition! mind you, we'd have to actually punish spousal abuse before we could let it become retro. otherwise, that's just tacky). anyway, i don't understand the concept of bylaws if you can get waivers for stupid reasons, even though i certainly justify regular jaywalking with the argument that crosswalks and traffic lights are for idiots and small children, not smart people like me.

ah, what a great self-masturbation session. i feel like i got rid of a bunch of otherwise useless spunk. excellent receptacle, the internet. no, i don't actually find my attitude comparable to sexism, why do you ask?

i'm whiling away the day dreaming of what i would do if i stopped whiling away the days dreaming of things to do. a book i finally finished reading told me to give myself an unquestionable pardon. for a brief moment, it was wonderful. like i'd been handed my own life at this point (here, she's thirty. see what you can do) and there were no expectations or holes to dig myself out of. now of course, the feeling has faded, and i've found some useless things to feel guilty about (not having sewn some summer pants even though it's almost august is a clear indication of how i will fail at everything for the rest of my life) instead of risking failure at things that matter more (such a sacrifice i make for my insecurities. hear that, insecurities? LOOK WHAT I GIVE YOU! ungrateful little mental offspring).

i am having fun feeding myself, and occasionally Special Friend (SF), with whom i had a fantastic, romantic time last night. i love how we own our time together, laughing occasionally about all the treacherous and dangerous paths of dishonesty laying around for less experienced lovers than we to trip upon, and agreeing that we are so much happier telling each other the truth, even when it's uncomfortable. of course, thus far, all the uncomfortable things have been relatively romantic. we aren't confessing that we fantasize about being blessedly alone for a day because we're still fantasizing about jetsetting with each other. won't it be fun to see how our honesty fares when the subjects become less shakespearean and more fawlty towers-esque. (secretly, i am actually looking forward to being boring with SF, since i think even this will be exciting. what's wrong with me?)

oh right, food. yeah, so i've been baking up apples with cheese and morning eggs, and dreaming up ways to fulfill my latest dietary/nutrition craze, which is to cut the processing steps in half. no more this-was-food-once-before-the-machines-got-to-it products. which means more chopping of vegetables. i think i'm up for it.

crazy labels
also, i am now officially a cat-lady. i dream of them, take care of them, and register noise complaints on their behalf. fortunately, SF sees some kind of nurturing side in this, and neither gets jealous nor makes fun of me. he even tries, albeit warily, to befriend my cat, who has of course recognized her nemesis (for attention) in him. she is willing to be bribed though, like most cats. somehow they don't let being bribed affect their sense of honour. must research.

July 24, 2009

goes fishing, brings back a change of underwear

i just used the i ching for the first time in a while. the thoughts that came to me throughout the thirty minute process were quite helpful. the reading itself was less clear. i was wondering how best to proceed in the coming months, feeling like i am at a crossroads of sorts and need to get into gear. my intuition gave me a bulleted list (okay, my intuition gave me whatever, and my mind summed it up in a neatly bulleted list).
  • prophetic help from the universe
  • reasonable expectations
  • taking care of oneself
  • relaxation
  • practicing fears and responses
  • keeping a clear mind
  • focusing
the reading implied that the foundation i have built for myself is less sturdy than i imagine it to be, and that i should get some advice from an elder about how best to make amends for my sloppy carpentry. it then goes on to cheerfully (if the i ching can be said to be cheerful, which isn't in the top 100 adjectives most often used to describe it) state that the harmony between my superior and inferior selves can be reinstated through giving the situation all the effort and imagination i can, as long as that effort and imagination is based in virtue and goodness. also; think small and court balance.

great. we'll be putting away the party tools right about now. steel-toed resolve, anyone?
i have a fear of becoming a boring person. let's test that fear! let's be all granola and even keel, and see if we succeed in freezing our brains off with boredom! or, even worse, failing to be boring and just being lame!

yeah. um ... bring it on. gee, i've been craving this. (actually, i probably have.)

July 18, 2009

open the arms wide


savaging the wilds of late nights and early mornings. working. volunteering. dates. friendships. healing from an illness. walking. dancing. live comedy. reading. playing with children. everything but sleep.

it's been lovely. but so is sleep.

when i started this entry, it was storming. when the lightning really started coming down, i unplugged the computer because i've heard that power surges are bad and can fry your laptop (possibly an urban myth designed to fool luddites like myself). then the power went out, and i was glad i had done so.

i love how the line was immediately drawn for me; what one can do with power, what one does when there is no power. it was peaceful. it simplified my life enormously. read, play your own damn music instead of someone else's, create art, interact with your immediate surroundings, go to bed. (of course, given my state of mind, after connecting with neighbours and supplying children with flashlights, i went to bed. incidental cheer for headlamp inserted here.)

i feel out of sorts. my priorities are rearranging themselves, my activities are changing. what i do when i have twenty extra minutes is different now. i have different routines, desires, i've engaged in so much newness in the past two months, my sense of control is blasted wide open. who knows what this is like when i've stopped comparing it to anything? i love the sense of freedom from the past, but i sort of miss the rumination.

at work yesterday, someone decribed the edge of my energy field as they felt it. they said mine is larger than most, and demonstrated being just outside it, then inserting their arm. and i did feel differently as this happened, though who knows why. since i was aware he was doing this, it could have been a personal reaction to him, or following the idea that i want to think i have an energy field so large and so sensitive.

it's fun, but a bit absurdist to test one's reality now that we're even slightly aware of the power of the human mind to imagine things. i was chatting with Special Friend about dreams, and we got onto the things in dreams that don't come through. we can't read. digital clocks are screwy. what does this tell us about our unconscious? that our unconscious doesn't care about these, or doesn't speak the languages? that these are very much outside of us, and only influence us when we're awake? it's not numbers that are being ignored, i think. or even time. it's the system of communication. why write it down when our unconscious can just create the experience directly?

sure does make everything suspect though. "pinch me, am i dreaming?"

we're really not sure.

July 12, 2009

precious lost time

enjoying the weekend sincerely, even as i battle a chestcold. me and my army of garlic are on the prowl. (my army of garlic includes lemon, ginger, cayenne, and nin jiom, which is available at your local chinese herbalist's as well as the corporate whore megastore further down the road of sin.)

it's my current belief that if i drag myself out to a few activities, i can then feel healthy about hiding away in my princess cubbyhole for the rest of the weekend. the market was a bit hellish, truthfully, but the pro-wrestling show was far more fun than i had been expecting. who wouldn't love a bunch of men acting out play-fights? this is better than sports! cooler costumes, plotlines, more rule-breaking... and just as many crazy fans. plus i have new respect for people who work the spotlight at a show. it requires concentration to point the big arrow everywhere. that's a lot of influence.

i've spent the rest of the weekend crafting out a double-cd for a special friend (yes, the same special friend. it seems i'm developing a steady special friend. what can i say except "wow, i don't know what to say"). it's based off one mood playlist (i thought of tender, but then i'd have nothing for later, right? so i chose 'yearning') and one theme playlist (the nature of time).

in the previous paragraph, the amount of words in parentheses is almost double the amount of words outside parentheses. brought to you by Things Probably Only Three Other People in the World Care About.

i don't know if i've yaddered about the themes and moods in my inner playlist land. mood playlists are about pouring an emotion/energetic state out through musical choices. themes are more of a mindgame; trying to weave coherence through a random collection of songs whose titles or content refer to a particular concept or object (from answering machines and children to minimalism and sound).

all in all, sunday not over yet, the verdict is one of the more fulfilling weekends in a while. odd how there isn't ever a recipe, the same ingredients cook up different every time. well, that's love (thank you ms winterson - the quote i refer to isn't at the end of this link, but there are other lovelies to whisper and ponder and stumble upon).

July 10, 2009

the prize isn't about winning

listening to roots manuva. "nobody's dancing the way they used to dance," he sings. it reminds me of dj shadow's proclamation about why hip hop sucked in the '90s: "it's the MONEY!"

watching community evolve, reach a critical point. where the strings that connect us are so plentiful that they eclipse the individuals. i can't see you past all of our common points of contact. and the events we gather together at have become so complex, spinning forth so many satellite desires (let's have a this-pod! a that-pod! a pod for when i get up in the middle of the night and have to pee and don't want to go back to bed), and the work required to do them is inversely proportional to the number of people who aren't burnt out and are willing and able to build, lead, follow, work together.

talking with an old friend, how we've seen this evolution three times now over the last six years in the group we gather with. however it manifests this time, i am potentially interested in seeing if anything sustainable for a longer-term community has emerged through all these reinventions.

two things to note: one, that people are seriously pro-creating, so anything we want to build longer-term would stand a much better chance if it was amenable to small children. shoot, i forgot what the second thing was. probably about how we need to remember things so we don't have to reinvent the wheel. oh yeah! it was that we have been successful: we have helped nurture the community skills of so many. i've watched people's mental health stabilize because they feel supported enough to make that journey back through the darkest parts of themselves. i've watched couples break up and both people stay involved and feel welcome in the community (maybe not each individual moment, but in the long haul). i've watched people approach the precipice of drug addiction and move back, shaken, into the arms of people they love. i've seen some grasp an awareness of their skills, bring them to the larger group and grow in strength and confidence.

we aren't home-free in the land of ease, but then, we don't want that. what we do want is more difficult to predict. i would rather let the group speak for itself in a chorus of disagreement and challenge, and see what happens.

July 6, 2009

re-visiting old haunts

i was gifted a link to an awesomely juicy and freedom-affirming blog of a woman who engages willingly and intelligently in casual sex. her mind and attitude resonate for me on a level of curiosity and openness. it seems like the reader can watch her sense of discernment grow, but not into a strict dichotomy of good and bad; the wealth of her experiences teach her about herself and her preferences as well as the interpersonal smorgasbord of 'what's out there'.

i've also checked back in with non-violent communication's sets of needs and emotions (scroll down), because i was having trouble figuring out what need i was meeting with a certain action. i start with an emotion, and then trace it back to a need usually, but this time one set of needs stuck out for me (the autonomy set, this time more specifically freedom, space and spontaneity). when i checked out the emotions that accompanied an experience of my needs being met, i identified with rejuvenated and renewed, as well as, to a lesser degree, empowered.

the reason i wanted to trace the action back to see what need it was meeting is that it's a potentially volatile action, and these types can often be sourced in a paranoia or delusion as opposed to honest expression of needs. and really, i'm sure there's a mix in there. i think i am also acting in this way to maintain space between myself and another person specifically. a person with whom i also actively try and spend time with. because being human isn't interesting enough, apparently now i must be human while falling in love. great. bring out the clowns.

in connection with all this, i've tried to lend this book to a special friend, only to discover mine's been out on the road for some time and requires tracking down. i could do with a re-read myself. experience has drawbacks in that one tends to think knowledge defies the likeliness of mistakes. over here in shared-experience land, experts fuck up just like the rest of us.

come forth with humility. know what preciousness we are risking with all this activity. act slowly and with integrity. factor in the unexpected (i love actually trying to do this).

stay to see the results.

June 30, 2009

the art of buffets

i sometimes find myself creating habits or patterns out of decisions i have made or things i've enjoyed doing, to the detriment of my more current, changing desires. for example, i get excited in the spring about being outside and doing things, so i book up two or three months of activities. when summer hits, i am over-extended and grumpy, so i cancel everything. by mid-august i'm bored. and so on.

extremes are amusing initially (can i survive a week straight of doing this new, fun, possibly immoral act?), but i think balance requires more skill. especially if the ideal is a fine-tuned balance. i suppose life is like that; the conditions under which life sustainably operates seem rather delicate. mind you, since i've read some older and interesting stuff about gaia theory, my definition of life seems to be evolving. but anyway. i guess i can keep in mind that just because i like ice cream a lot doesn't mean i like a lot of ice cream.

balance. that's some esoteric shit. uh huh.

June 27, 2009

long live endless days

all awash in celebration, stopping to catch my breath.

summer has the upper hand, and no one minds. camping, festivals and fresh liaisons, staying up far too late dancing; taking chances unheard of in the damp and cautious solitude of winter. the season is plenty and full.

emotionally, this leaves me limp. the flaming lips' song comes to mind; feeling yourself disintegrate. i'm not even sure how i could begin to take stock of the sweeping tide of heart-opening... guests, as rumi calls them: honoured guests. and i a guest-house, each day host to different sensations, observations and reactions.

now entertaining new possibilities, now treading water patiently. here examining wants, needs and leanings. here listening and acting with a motivation and joy not seen in some time. here feeling safe enough to explore new ways of doing things.

June 17, 2009

that dangerous fire, hope

i've fallen in with a new comrade. new people can feel intoxicating; all the stories can be retold, which seems such a comfort. also, somewhat paradoxically, there is the chance to be someone 'new and different'. comfort and mystery. no wonder we fail so wonderfully at sexual monogamy (as a species; some individuals still seem able). the garden will always have something to offer, as siddhartha found out in hesse's version of the story.

elise lebeau suggests the "i only feel my own emotions" exercise for those in coupledom. i like that one, and have been practicing it occasionally anyway. but i am also going to be away from said fresh new blood for a long weekend, which will give me an opportunity to sort through my internal world and make sure all of the emotions there are, in fact, mine. if emotions can be 'in fact'. which sounds silly. perhaps 'in authenticity' would be a more accurate choice.

it's exhilarating to meet someone who embodies qualities i had pretty much given up on finding. and it's not just the adjectives, it's how they play together: smart AND kind. funny AND quiet. tender WHILE passionate.

of course, there's all the usual fears floating by. loss, tragedy, heart-crushing. bitterness, slow suffocation, love gone sour or stale ... i read through the catalogue, but decided not to order any self-fulfilling prophecies yet. there's always later.

in the meantime, succumb slowly, gracefully to the here and now, to love. succumbing is an excellent dance move.

June 14, 2009

aimless is the way to go

listening to ugly casanova's album and thoroughly enjoying the experience. today in general has been pretty marvelous. woke up. drank coffee, played with other people's children (i especially like the shy ones). napped, then picked up a fellow gnome on the way to a plant sale. two deities we know grow plants in their backyard, amidst their eden. they're fundraising for upcoming nuptials. in fact, that's where i picked up ugly casanova, among other bands. the sweet roommate nabbed a number of electronica discs at the secondhand store recently, so we're awash in tunage. i brought home an amazing tomato plant, too. it gives zebra-ish tomatoes. mmm, stripes taste better. i tried to go downstairs to see what the striped tomato is actually called, but ended up sitting on the lawn with the wifey, eating a cold snack plate.

i have a sincere desire to go get ice cream and potato chips and watch old episodes of m*a*s*h. i think i shall do that. i participated in a meditation class and brief practice yesterday, and noticed a major distraction was the false need to be 'productive'. fortunately, i'm effortlessly racking up the nap points as well. but just to be on the safe side, a night of eighties tv is now scheduled.

hot summer days, love embodied, empty mind. i feel fortunate, yes.

June 9, 2009

moon the reaper

focusing on the fear, i notice that i fear being overwhelmed. especially physically. every time i move toward that kind of experience (through dance, drugs or sex, for example) i am met with the terrified possibility of anything happening, and happening before i can even notice or assess the situation. my inherent mistrust of my environment is seen clearly. "if the world really knew me, if i couldn't hide myself behind this capable mask, then..."

then what? the primordial boogie monsters? the sudden shock spreading through the masses (omg, she poos; call the press)... or the simple "let us eat the human for breakfast"? okay, more truthfully: that i wouldn't be able to find my way back. that i would find my way back and feel imprisoned in my body.

well, it's either worth the risk or it isn't. the whole 'letting go' aspect can also be exciting.

me < universe = balance

June 6, 2009

potential is always there, never here.

listening to the curious wanderings of dj shadow, kept up by coffee (so worth it). entranced in playlists, moving through itunes like it's a series of funneled webs, no wait - treehouse platforms. and i'm hopping, swinging from artist-vines, dropping gems for friends, moods and themes. riding the genre train, skipping over to new tracks, back to old favourites, mixing, matching.

it's a simpler world to live in than my own. putting aside large projects, i'm left with even larger ones. i feel myself trying to dig my head into the sand (re-reading the dune series is a great distraction. i like how i rationalize my distractions as educational. well yes, but they still aren't the activities you internally committed yourself to, are they?) and nothing changes except it gets later. and my shoulders get tighter.

action can be difficult. i guess facing the fear is the thing to do. the fear is ... (drum roll please) wrecking the canvas? i still fear there is a wrong way to live my life. i don't understand this fear, because i also go out of my way to live life by my own rules and values. so what is there left to fear? somewhere in me, have i not faced the particular face of authority that seriously terrifies me? hmmm.

the world is teasing me with loveliness. i'm not sure if the loveliness is distracting me or enticing me further onto the path i have chosen and now resist. this is where my ambivalence is sourced, i think. i can feel the pull, but i'm not sure how to negotiate it. sometimes these pulls suck a person right out into the middle of the ocean. other times, they draw one forth on a river adventure. should i be swimming, i wonder? did i leave the camp stove on? i tread water nervously.

June 4, 2009

and there it goes again

i blended all the newest additions to my itunes library into one playlist and put it on shuffle. chunks of hip hop whirling past classical and folk. menage à trois, thou art contentious.

the amateur guru recommends pouring all the expression out until fresher stuff can see enough to flow its way to the surface. great. finish creative things and then put/give them away. that goal/vision board is kind of grating on me. although apparently my imagination is a very valuable asset. i'm imagining floating above this right now.

today was an adventure
came out differently than expected
floated out
took a lazy turn at mercury

still an adventure
changing again
an elusive sculpture

briefly, buttons dance
tease me with futures
creating dreams with their
shiny hold

- restless hold
slight and cold -

then onward drift
up rivers i can't see in
front of me

May 31, 2009

heart as tent

instead of feeling fearful, noticing what it's like to have fear coursing through me. this entails being larger than the emotion, providing a vehicle for the fear (pumping heart, racing blood) but not letting that vehicle direct the course. the feeling happens through me, not to me.

brain will get thrown off, because brain will tend to want to be in charge (by brain, i'm pretty sure i mean ego). heart is this inestimable wealth of calmness, belying its depth with a hundred mona lisa smiles. sheltering emotion, culling wisdom from it.

May 30, 2009

a dry martini on a windy night

i thought i was just being lazy, then i noticed i had a fever (when a thermometer seems like a fun way to pass the time, wonder). 101.

so i took me back to bed with my roommate's herbal fever blend, and found a playlist on youtube of all the different versions of "fever". the cramps' version wins out. wow. cool. special mentions go to ann margret for most amusing dancy version, ray charles for hottest, and a live version of elvis singing and meeping for most improvement. i think i've run across elvis the way many people first run across the grateful dead: studio-recorded songs are less impressive, seek out the live albums.

or maybe it was the fever?

today i feel host to a sore throat. ahead of me, lying in wait, is the weekly farmers' market trip for household groceries and a major event to be very active ('thon-style active) and supervisory at. i have to admit, i wish i was happily anticipating more of it. i would likely feel that way if the day held only one or two of those things. i have nothing to say to the sore throat i'm not already saying in herbal format.

each of the wild moments and adventures of the past three weeks floats back through my active memory: training a new person at work to prepare for my leaving, taking a solo journey on the train, hiking up a mountain and letting go of a relationship i've held central to my life for more than half of it, roadtripping to a wedding and acting as maiden of honour, engaging in exploration i'd been fearfully ignoring for a few years, leaving my job... and curating an art show before all of that... i see why my immune system might need to reset. better now than at the wedding.

what does love look like? slowing down. focusing. touching the heart of the matter. in this case, my own heart. slowly, with focus, touching my own heart.

May 24, 2009

insert cheesy sci-fi novel name here

feeling the crash. 

knew i would, after letting go of so much. tried to gear down nearing arrival so as to soften the landing, but i'm still new at being gentle with myself. so many of the old habits are still kicking around, 'willing to help'. and now i'm in the grey and blurry here: not sure what i'm drawn to because i'm so focused on resistance. waters of the hopeful future muddied with one moment of doubt. a or b? ohshitohshitohshitAorB??

the ennui of maintenance combined with the weight of all previous efforts (which don't exist anywhere other than my list of failed attempts) is a heavy blanket to the slim flame of 'for fuck's sake, i'm smarter than this, i feel loved and i can build my way to the horizon i want to see'. 

new direction falters. but i'm already far enough away from the old shore and still have the new mantra tucked into my head. plus i'm stubborn. that works both ways, oh gaoler.  

the new moon's muted call. i speculate at the window of my tiny inflatable life raft, mixing metaphors in my wake. 

May 23, 2009

turning the corner

i've been sleeping unashamedly. last night the roommates were all out having a fire and i was crashed out in my sweet bed, dreaming of office supplies and men.

i'm letting go of my job, and jobs in general. after a long time out of school and making fun of educational "institutions" (read: businesses), i feel drawn enough to a path that i will be investing thousands into their piece of paper that says i am legitimately organic. oh, the investments we make. because i flaunted my not-for-school attitude for so long, i now have to start at the bottom of the tree. trunks are fun, oh yes. just get me up the damn thing so i can play in the branches. hunker down time.

my roommate and i are also talking of moving our prairie butts back to the mountains, where we had met. but a smaller town this time. she's tired of the snow, and i'm tired of the grey monolith of an environment. since i'm taking distance learning for the first few years, i'm open, but i am already wondering where to take my masters. it's lovely that after a roadtrip, when i'm wondering if i really want to stay here, my 'wife' is also querying the wisdom of this city for our home and family. it's gratifying to feel once again our synergy on such matters.

have checked in with my own sense of naiveté again. it's the thing about me that i have little influence over. the unending trust i supply to strangers who smile at me is kind of incredible, and if it wasn't coupled with a sense of intuition, i'm not sure how long i'd survive in this life. being on the road, meeting people out of my own context of friends and achievements has been interesting. my enthusiasm gets mistaken for something else. my tenderness can be held against me. i was let down that some folks weren't more willing to participate in co-creation. i certainly came back with more appreciation for my friend group. at first, i was disappointed that i didn't peg people's personalities right off the bat, but now i have moved to a place of just learning from it. i'm not psychic, after all. that's a different skill base. the disappointment was not my fault. take that, mean little self-blaming ego.

habits are strong, but my desire to grow is stronger yet. as i edge into the unknown, i am reminded of how tiny i am. tiny spark in the waves, nourish thy self.

May 18, 2009


happily exhausted, home from the two-legged road journey. mountains, prairies, then further into the mountains. some of the time solo, some of the time with longtime friends. meeting new people, including myself, all along the way. soul journey, celebration of love, natural wild. very, very beautifying.

renewal and bliss experienced: deer, music, silence, shared moments, expansion, lakes, smiles and laughter. adventure. hiking, driving, train-rides, gondolas, ferries.

best kind.

May 10, 2009

singing my future

sitting in a hostel, thinking about my past. what has shaped me to be the way i am: my decision-making, my behaviour under pressure, my goals, dreams and what i expect myself to achieve and bear witness to.

i am the kind of person that walks for an hour in the moonlight back up the road to the hostel at three in the morning. i am shyer than i thought i was, and i want other people to try harder to get to know me before i spill myself to anyone. i care enough to ask questions and pay attention to the answers, but i care selectively.

i hate doing the hard thing but i do it anyway, because i know it's easier than thinking about it forever (i continue to take a long time to do some things, which reinforces this truth; ten days of not cleaning the bathroom and half an hour is how long it takes). i decide to do something and then forget about why, and forget that others don't feel the same way (seriously? people think it's too expensive to eat organic but they buy a car? what kind of logic is that??).

i bail on myself on a regular basis, shortchanging myself in favour of whoever has more power than i do. i question my ability to actually care for myself, and deny my body the ability to feel well on a regular basis. what am i punishing myself for?

i live more in my daydreams than this shared reality.

i consider the factors that shaped me: the time and space i was born and raised in, my parents and schooling, my choices as i grew older about friends and lifestyles.

i think about my dad's life and death, and i sing the song i sang at his funeral: who am i?

May 7, 2009


what does love look like today? an overtired mother of three, struggling along, forgetting to have fun with as well as take care of her children. a stressed-out teenager, not knowing he has nothing to worry about. a song by fridge, mellow yet insistently present. the promise of mountains. the thought of connections, even if not the connection itself.

friends. inescapably one of life's most wondrous aspects. at times i feel as though i have none, at other times many, and the best times, like now, where i have two or three golden souls nearby, humming while they create.

it all fuses together and separates upon cooling. shapes emerge that were lost in the heat, the compression factor, space getting sucked into time. i stroll by, drooling.

May 3, 2009

that roadsign doesn't apply to me

wondering, wondering.

i feel fiercely again, but what of it? the massive emotion train, as lively as it is, can simply take me in circles. dropping me off, exhausted, at square one. where i collapse and stay in a cheap, smelly hostel.

yet the scent of something new is tempting, sexy. and i somehow feel more a part of life when i get excited about change. like i'm renewing my membership to the evolving spiral.

but yeah, i feel a distinctive nervousness: what if i fuck it up? anxiety is ever near, threatening to grab the bullhorn. too tense to calm down, of course. when else would i need to calm down... and down from where? from the high jump of spring. please god, let me land on the mat. i'll be a good kid, i promise.

May 1, 2009


finally, a large deadline passes. the relief; i understand the word palpable now. i actually felt the release inside and outside of my body. inside my body it felt like endorphins. outside my body it felt like a hard bright light shining and then fading into a soft sunset.

this too shall pass.

i am changing. again. still.

jobs come and go but the elephant in the room stands quietly. "hello? will you please acknowledge me? i am your purpose. sorry, don't mean to put you in any kind of box, this is just the perfect thing for you to do. no worries, if you'd rather do something less enjoyable and less fulfilling for a while, that's cool with us here at Fate Central."

and next week crests in front of me. i can see it sparkle.

April 20, 2009


some self-exploration struck me last night: started reading this great gaia book i received from a mystery book-sharer, finally paid attention to the meyers-briggs personality test and found this crazy site devoted to my type (the empathic one. gee, who'da thunk it?) and finally delved into process-oriented psychology, coined by these fine folks.

they're really lovely. who else puts sesame street videos (scroll down) on their site to help explain things?

the website, on the other hand, is a bit goofy. but goofy is handy too. apparently, we INFJs take ourselves too seriously.

in the light of day, i note how dark and deep my perspective can become. and i am grateful to have persevered at self-development enough to be around some wonderfully smart people i know.

April 18, 2009

perspective and choice, yet again

today' s gratitude: hmm, for slipping off my intended healing path? or for the awareness that i've done so.

what was the intention behind these less than harmonious choices? well... they were made quickly in moments when i became aware of a need that had not been met and was now "overdue". so if i endeavour to meet every need on time, i can avoid the stressful situations where i make do with a fast, less effective and sometimes harmful choice.

and these needs, they aren't a surprise. eating, sleeping, moving and touching. when i do not listen to the yearning for shelter or nourishment, i do so because i have prioritized doing something else. i have placed more importance (sometimes temporary but sometimes permanent) on an external project or mode (a physical goal or an emotional habit) than on my own well-being.

sometimes i also get tired of taking care of myself. bleah. more raw food and exercise. yum. but this is an opinion. it could just as easily be "bleah. more candy and sitting around on the computer."

April 14, 2009


i feel a light that i didn't feel before. lighter. lightening the dark weighty particles, lighting up into waves of sweet allowance, swaying and brightening the space.

the sun shines, warming columns of energy through my spine, following the lines of my body, flowing and flowering. lowering the resistance of winter, allowing rich, loamy soil to seep into my throat, my skin, my scalp. i agree with my breath, just for today.

i sing to my seeds as i play.

April 7, 2009

rock the boat, get wet

a friend of mine posted this link to a beautiful music video of imogen heap. it inspired me. other aspects of recent life that have inspired me include walks across bridges, noticing that the big-ass puddles are becoming the exception to the rule, obtaining a venue for a show i was starting to sweat about, and making an appointment to go see a naturopath.

i like how spring brings me to a place where i will try new things. i am so tired of hiding away from winter. i want to expand again. i think i want to go back to school. it's interesting, because it wasn't until i realised that if i were to look back on my life and not have developed my counselling skills it would feel like i was avoiding them, that i really wanted to go back. somehow that thought convinced me it wasn't a waste of time.

still on the mellow detox lifetsyle; finally did some yoga today after falling into an avoidance pattern for over a week. enjoying the lemon water every morning. my body feels heavy, but a softer heavy than before. drained, but not at war. still, noticing the influence the shame has on me. the only reason i can think of that convinces me to avoid something as sweet and freeing as yoga is the feeling that i don't deserve to feel this happy, this healthy. that i'm going to get in trouble for wasting my time. i feel as though i'm looking for the tool to crack that lie. and in the mean time, doing as many things as i feel i can that are healthy and kind to myself.