waiting on the front porch

she just stood there on the front porch waiting for her will to come and get her she was packed she had a suitcase full of noble intentions she had a map and a straight face hell bent on reinvention she was learning about please and huge humilities then one day she looked around her and everything up til then was showing and she wondered how did i get here without even knowing where i was going? ~ani difranco

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Location: montreal, quebec, Canada


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


i didn't go to either of my classes today. i meant to - i truly meant to - but i just felt like a bit of a train wreck. i put my energy towards renting a movie, making a collage, and thinking, both to myself and with a good friend.

right now i would characterize myself as very depressed; i think that's obvious. what's amazing me is how quickly i fell. i've known that i was out of balance for a while, but it settled around me tonight: i'm out of balance. once i knew that i could start thinking about how to fix it.

it dawned on me that i am putting a LOT of energy towards something that i have not been asked to give energy towards. (forgive me, i can't be more specific than that.) this energetic exchange is completely one-sided, and is draining the very essence out of me.

talk about having no boundaries...

the first boundary that goes up is separating myself from this, which is simple: understanding the role that's been asked of me.
once that's done, i should have a lot of energy left over; energy for school, my writing, my health, my life.

the second revelation i just thought of: met wants me to turn to him with my problems, not rely on him for finding a solution. in my head, as i've been getting more and more insecure, i think i've been expecting unrealistic things from him. i do need and want to take care of my own problems.

i feel like it's a bit easier to breathe now; the ice around my heart has cracked. i also have to give myself the patience to fall. to understand that everything is cyclical, and that i may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms from time to time. but it will be okay. i am making progress.

i'll celebrate halloween later

mount washington, by beth orton

Watching the sun coming up over Mount Washington
Forever testing your intention
Watching the sun going down over Mount Zion
And what you sing you never could say
It ain't because there's any question
do it to before it's done unto you

It ain't because there's any question you love out of frame
And nobody can keep you from the one you know you are
Nobody to steal away your sway the way you walk
Need there never be a time that you don't walk through
May there never be a time that you don't live through
Be a star, be an altar, and I will hang it on you

Watching the sun coming up over St Jude street
Forever testing your invention
Watching the sun going down over Mount Zion
And once awake you never sleep on
It ain't because there's any question
Do unto as you'd have done by you
It ain't because you ever question
Your love out of view

And nobody can keep you from the ones you love
Nobody to steal away your sway the way you walk
May there never be a time that you don't walk through
May there never be a time when you don't live through

Be a star, be an altar and I will hang it on you
You are, you are alone into the unknown
You are, you are alone into the unknown

May there never be a time that I don't love you
May there never be a time that you don't pull thru
Be a star, be an altar and they will hang it on you
Bring it on, bring it on
Bring it on...

down the rabbit hole

i have to apologize before i start this in case it becomes a oh, woe is me post. i'm scared. scared to own these feelings because i fear it will lose me every friend that i've ever met. i don't know how people think of me but i know that the woman i am in public is not the person i am here. here i am the real me. i don't know who the hell she is.

one of the things that banane and i talked about when she was here is that she (and a lot of my friends) feel that by dating my boyfriend, i have cut myself off from all my friends and become isolated. all i can say is, i followed my heart here. to him. all the depression and isolation that i feel i guess i've been adept at hiding. from everyone. including myself.

this is the biggest issue in my relationship right now. because of the thing i don't talk about here, i have shielded met from a lot of my depression. and now things are blowing up a little, because he shouldn't be expected to read my confused mind and i need to be able to trust him with everything. every little part of me.

but nobody's ever accepted the whole me before...and if he rejected me...

right now i'm achingly achingly sad. my soulmate is questioning our relationship because he's hurt that i've been hiding my feelings from him. i've been hiding my feelings from him because i wanted to protect him, not stress him out...good intentions, right? the very thing i thought i was preventing is happening. and i did it to myself.

we are are own worst enemy, after all.

i don't like who i am, a lot of the time. i don't like that i wake up sad. i don't like that i don't have a good reason to wake up sad. i don't like that i can never be happy with what i have.

i hear what people tell me. they tell me that i'm a good person, that i am generous and kind and funny. that i'm a talented writer, that i'm smart, that i'm stronger than i think. but it doesn't fit. it doesn't fit with the girl who doesn't see any of that about herself. she sees crooked. she sees weak. she sees not important enough not good enough. she sees alone, misunderstood no matter what she does or how honest she tries to be.

what am i supposed to do? met tells me i'm safe with him, but yet i can't be if he's questioning things. i. need. to. feel. safe. with. him.

i was right. the hole is too big. i can't fill it and nobody else can. nobody else should have to. it's just going to open and i might put up sandbags (therapy! pills! yoga! art!) but those are just going to be stopgaps. i'm going to fall in. and never stop. and it's only a matter of time.

why am i this sad? why don't i at least have a reason to be this way? i just want to stop crying, to stop hoping for the day when i will wake up and this will all be over, because it's not going to be.

to all the people who know me that might be reading this: yes i am a different person than i was. i am different than i was when i was dating the hobbit. but even then i was depressed. i remember sitting in our apartment in ottawa and staying so-still after a friend knocked on the door, because all i needed was to be left alone. i couldn't talk about it then. for months i withdrew, and only the hobbit saw. he would tell me that our friends loved me and that i should go outside, but i'd literally scream and sob and ask him not to make me. so he'd smile his sweet, sad loving smile and go downstairs and make excuses for me.

how long did this happen for? a long time? anybody who is reading this - ask yourself if a friend has suddenly dropped off the face of the planet. chances are, they're locked up tight in their apartment, crying, not having showered for days, just wondering how the hell they got there and why they are wasting their lives.

i've had many conversations with people who just....think that depression is something that you can steel yourself for, and get over. if you have ever been truly, truly depressed, you know what bullshit that is. it gets you where you least expect it, sometimes when you're feeling the strongest. i blog about my depression a lot, i realize. it's the thing i go to sleep with. i'm sorry that it's such a downer. there's a joke in there somewhere...

there is nothing i can do that is a lasting solution. i'm tired. tired of crying, of being a drain on my friends, on asking for too much.

i could go on writing and writing forever. i wish i was strong. i wish i could just be myself. who cares if people like me? i think it would be really nice if i could just let me out. whoever that is. but it feels like there is too much. too much me.

and my skin is too thin to hold it all.


Monday, October 30, 2006

let's just say i magically turned 28 and not talk of it again

writing this i feel so tired that it's a wonder my eyes are staying open.

my birthday didn't exactly turn out as i'd planned, or hoped...but i've got to trust in the fact that it was the one i needed to have. it was beautiful and harsh and healing and challenging and i learned a lot of lessons from it. namely, that i am so fucked up over trust and honesty issues in terms of relationships that i don't even know where to begin explaining it.

i've been crying for a full 24 hours, it feels like. i cried all morning yesterday when i woke up alone in my apartment. i cried until banane got back around 2. met didn't come over. banane and i talked a lot about how insanely, all-the-time insecure i am, and i had to deal with some fucking harsh truths about myself. we had some cake from the diner down the street. she gave me a massage with the arnica oil that she made.

woke up today with her spooning me and held the tears in until i dropped her off at the metro station. then they spilled again - i cried in the metro station, i cried in the bathroom of the cafe where the meeting i had to go to was being held, i cried in my prose workshop. i cried these huge wracking sobs all the way home. i went to sleep for a while. i woke up and had a conversation that still isn't resolved in which i found out exactly how bad i am at this whole relationship thing.

there is something going on in my life that i can't talk about here, because it doesn't concern me. it affects my life GREATLY but it doesn't concern me and out of respect for the people actually involved i leave a wide berth around it.
on a day to day basis i try to protect other people from the sadness and insecurity i feel. all the time. i try to cast it in a positive light, i try to project that "i'm a warrior and i'll fight this" attitude, but every day i wake up with that hole. for no good, this is the reason i feel this way reason.

it is extremely hard for me to bring it up to people if: a) i'm worried that it's becoming a constant thing, b) i don't think it's important enough to mention. i mean, if it was important enough, don't you think it would have a reason?

i've had a life that has been beautiful, in lots of ways, and harsh in lots of ways.

i have been sexually and physically abused several different times by the hands of people who said they loved me.
i found out that the 'weak side' i had growing up was actually c.p. when i was twenty-two. people who loved me kept that (i'd think) very important detail from me. not only that, but they told me to lie to people about my abilities if i felt uncomfortable about them.

i remember all these little instances of my life when i was flexing my little bee-wings and being my own true self and getting criticized for it. getting shut up for it. so it's fucking hard to be me.

it's hard to tell myself that all my emotions are important and worthy of mention to the people who care about me. it's hard to own them. it's hard to tell myself that i am worth it when it feels like, (sometimes) nobody else who has loved me has truly honoured me. i'm just continuing a pattern.

be patient with me as i build my broken heart again. i need the space and understanding.

Friday, October 27, 2006

it's a party

well, okay, not really - not until saturday, anyway, when my friend's hosting a halloween party. but BANANE IS COMING TO TOWN TONIGHT.

this will be the first time i've seen my wee sis since early JULY. that is waaaaay too long for the pee girls. like, way.

banane is, in lots of ways, the yin to my yang. we are super similar, (thus part of the same whole), but also extraordinarily different: i live in and love (surprisingly) a big city, she is an organic farmer; i've stumbled around university for almost a decade, she graduated years ago and just bought her own HOUSE; she's an artist and i'm a writer (much like these two goddesses); she's 5'10" and i'm much shorter.

that was terribly fun, and i could keep going forever, but the main thing is that she is my best friend in the entire world. of course we've had our differences, we're sisters - but ever since i was 3, she's been here. she's seen my warts, i've seen hers, and we continue to be as supportive and fun-loving as we can.

break out the red wine!!!!

ooh, i'm so excited i'm wriggling in my seat. it's way too early for wriggling. but hell. (whoops - i have to be at work in 25 minutes and i'm still in my bathrobe. gotta make this snappy.)

i'll be 28 on sunday. SUNDAY! i'm so excited. and then halloween's on tuesday. TUESDAY! ditto for the excitement. i had planned a wee birthday post for myself, but i was procrastinatory as always, so that'll be posted next week. if you don't hear from me for a few days, it's because i'm visiting/drinking/working/celebrating or all of the above.


what makes you laugh? laughter is, to me, one of the most healing things, if not THE most healing thing in the world. and when you feel like there's nothing in the world to laugh about - then that's the most important time to stop. and find something funny.
this is one of the many reasons why i am as CRAZY about met as i am. not only is he a writer, and smart, but we make each other laugh all the time - the oh-my-god-i-can't-breathe-stop kind. love him.

these are a few of the things that have given me BELLY LAUGHS over the past day or so.
  1. i discovered harvey birdman. do you guys know who he is? oh, god. find out. i'm a saturday morning cartoon freak with a huge dose of sarcastic humour, and he fits the bill.
  2. this woman's blog entry for today.
  3. getting emails from this woman and this woman.
  4. my cat, who i'd swear is felix from the odd couple sometimes, fussily coming into the living room last night and telling me it's time for bed. (he can't fall asleep with the lights on, or without me. he doesn't seem to understand the workload of a university student.)
  5. deciding on my halloween costume.

and with that, i have exactly 4 minutes to get out the door (goodbye, shower!) so i must away. have a wonderful weekend - tell me about what made you laugh.

and on sunday, because i'll have special in with the universe on that day (hey, that's when the universe decided to make me) i'll be pulsing out a lot of extra love.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

i'm selfish

"we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience." ~teilhard de chardin, french geologist and mystic

all the rain and cold weather that montreal's been experiencing lately has meant that my c.p's been acting up a little, for the first time in a few months. it's been nothing serious - but i've definitely noticed my muscles becoming more stiff and knotted. i've been working on it, though, by adding even more protein to my diet; taking longer, hotter showers; drinking more water; and getting myself to a yoga class last night.

being in the studio after a month of being too busy to go felt amazing. it was a nice, slow class, with lots of deep stretches involving the hips and abdominals. my body started speaking to me right after the first seated meditation: see? this is what i needed: to be re-aligned, and paid attention to. savasana was heaven. it was right after the class ended when the first spasm happened.

my left hand sometimes...jumps. it's very rare, and i think it has something to do with stress being released, but it feels like these helpless, little pops. i can't control them. it's happened maybe 5 times since last night, so not a lot, either, but it started me thinking.

i truly believe that each of us on this earth are given specific lessons that our souls are supposed to learn in our lifetime. if we don't learn them right away, these lessons are recycled, until we "get the point", understand the universal teaching, and move on.

"the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~anais nin

i have spoken MANY times about how hard it is for me to let go. this means let go in almost every sense: when met says "i'll call you tomorrow", there's a part of me that thinks he will change his mind, fall out of love, and cut all contact before then; i worry constantly about unforeseeable accidents that will separate me from my loved ones; i get writer's block constantly because of my internal editor who won't release me into the creative stream - these are just some of the 'issues' i have, where i find a part of me clenching tight, not wanting to trust, to open fully.

around the middle of june, i literally woke up one morning with stress hives absolutely COVERING both of my shoulders - i lost count at 50 on one side. for a good week or so, i remained absolutely disgusted and horrified - until i realized that my body was sending a rather strong message. i promptly went to my book shelf to find this amazing manual about chakras. (i 'bought' it from the library years ago because i just couldn't part with it.)

right after i became initiated as a reiki healer, i knew how to incorporate my love of crystals, and my interest in the chakras, and i began teaching myself about them, and trying to interweave the three.

in western medicine, the chakras are known as the endocrine glands; it seems that every culture has for centuries had an instinctive knowledge of these loci on the body, and had some understanding of their significance to the health of the body, if only in a physical sense.

what recurred throughout my research was the root chakra - the first chakra, the one that grounds everyone to the earth. 'damage' to this chakra can manifest in all the symptoms i had: insecurity, bouts with depression, not trusting the universal order, panic, the hole. (of course, there are many others.)

much more important, though, was that i resonated with what was listed as the spiritual causes for the imbalance - and could see how i had constantly run away from this lesson time and time again throughout my life.

i thought that by closing my fist tightly around something, it would keep it safe and close to me. i didn't realize i was crushing it to death.

"And remember, no matter where you go, there you are." ~Confucius

a few years ago, i wrote a 'zine, SEL*fish. i remember showing the hardcopy to people, with its big, sassy title front-and-centre, and hearing gasps of disapproval.

"but why, WHY would you call your 'zine that?" was something that often accompanied the gasps. it was funny, in a way, exactly how polarizing that word was.

my idea for the title came from my perception that being concerned with one's self was not necessarily a bad thing. i think that in today's day and age, we are all, to a certain extent, encouraged and rewarded for putting ourselves last - so a lot of us do. we juggle so many roles simultaneously: parent, spouse, career-person, student - and this might fulfill us, or it might leave us longing for that little bit of me-time - where we can just be ourselves, with ourselves.

the title can also mean self-ish, or self-like: in the sense of examining oneself, to gain understanding. i believe that through understanding ourselves, no matter how painful and unflattering the process, we can better understand and help the world.

i know one of the lessons that having c.p. has taught me. i was teased a lot, growing up, for being the shy girl with the gimp side who wore coke-bottle glasses and preferred reading over playing dodge ball.
my parents told me, over and over, that if someone commented on my limp and me feel too uncomfortable, that i could lie to them and just say i had sprained my ankle.
i remember how hurt, confused, and depressed i was just 5 years ago - how much i wanted, simply, to shed my own skin and disappear.

these experiences have taught me to look beyond first impressions, to extend the benefit of the doubt to people whom others have written off, to smile at strangers.

i still have a lot to learn. the other day, i wanted to change my profile picture, so i asked met to send me a digital photo of myself that i knew he had on file. it was a full-length picture, and i cringed the moment i opened it.

when i look at myself in photos, all i see are the crooked parts. in the one he sent, i am standing, looking at the camera, my left arm tucked behind my back, my left leg slightly behind my right. i can immediately see how much thinner my left leg is than my right, how my hand clenches involuntarily, how even my smile is lopsided. it is hard for me to look at, it is hard for me to think: is this how other people see me? because i don't see myself that way.

so, for my birthday, i am giving myself the beginnings of a gift. i am buying a full-length mirror (mirrors are scarce in my apartment to begin with) and i am embarking on a variation of the mirror meditation that liz thought up, all those months ago.

i want to love the crooked parts, because they are a part of me, and without them, i wouldn't be the woman i am. i want to hear the lessons and wisdom that they have to impart.

i want to embrace them for what they have to give, and finally let the shame go.

"we but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.” ~ralph waldo emerson

Monday, October 23, 2006

keeping my promises

i have spent a lot of time thinking this weekend, in large part to this woman's post; a post i just read, combined with what i've been thinking about, made a revelation just spill out of me.

i am not very good at keeping the promises i make to myself.

this is something that i have thought of a few times, but never with so much resonance; even though i have noticed the power of positive thinking, and felt first-hand how critical i can be, i never once thought that by breaking my own promises i was weakening my self-image.

now i remember all those times when i woke up in the morning, telling myself i was going to go for a run; or do the dishes; or research that paper; and i let myself "off the hook" for whatever reason. at the end of the day i always felt disturbed, and somewhat disappointed in myself.

granted, i am the person who creates 3-pages of to-do-lists each morning, thinking she can accomplish it all, and feels crushed when she can't. i have insanely high expectations for myself, and when they aren't fulfilled, i feel that i'm throwing the world out of balance, that i'm not doing my share.

this past weekend i've felt, a little, like i was running away from myself. i could feel the "space" (what i've since come to call "the hole") gnawing at me hungrily, even though i had company in the beings of two wondrous women; even though i was working and had homework and some socializing thrown in for good measure.

as an aside, do you know that somewhere in the world, i believe south america, someone thought up the alcoholic combination of red wine and coca-cola? and that it isn't half bad?

i tried to fill it each way i knew how. i made sure i had enough junk food to last me through my 'lockdown', a good movie, and some alone-time through the company. last night when i came home to my thunderously-empty house, i felt something give. it felt like the last strand of denial.

a few (short) years ago, i was coming out of an extended communal-living period. i had lived in various communes and couch-surfed for the better part of 6 years - and when i finally signed the lease for my own own place this july, it felt like i was fulfilling a sorely-needed dream, a place for just me.

it has been incredibly healing for me, and incredibly challenging as well. i never knew how deep silence could be, if there's no-one else to break it.

i love that i can buy whatever food i want to fill my fridge with, listen to the radio first thing, read until 3 am - but sometimes i forget, when i'm stretched out alone in my bed, that this is what i asked for.

it was in ottawa when i felt that need in me first cry out - this need to be alone. i remember exactly when, and where it was. i was living with the hobbit in our third-floor apartment downtown. i was working full-time as a cashier at an organic grocery store, going out most nights, and volunteering 30 hours a month on a crisis line.

part of my training as a crisis-line volunteer was to recognize signs of my own burnout. this has never been something that i have been good at, especially when it comes to helping people. i feel like i want to, and can, take on and on and on all the pain in the world, just to take it away from others. i felt a special protectiveness for women who had just been sexually assaulted - this instinctive knowing of how violating that is. i never wanted to sign off at the end of my shift; i just wanted to keep taking the next call, then the next, then the next.

one of the last calls i took was a 'regular'. i can't say much due to confidentiality, but this woman was schizophrenic and had obviously experienced some trauma in the past. she was so broken, and so lost, nothing i could say to her reached her. i broke from "the script", i ad-libbed, i tried to show her that i was a friend in some way and nothing worked. she got upset, said i was betraying her, and then she hung up.

i know now, as i think i knew then, that i couldn't save this woman, even though every part of me wanted to - but at that moment, i felt something in me give way. a voice in me said: stop. you can do no more. heal yourself.

it is that moment that i can pinpoint as realizing that i needed to change, that there was a part of me that was being buried alive by how i was living my life. it was the seed that, once sprouted, became the idea to start writing again, to make a portfolio, and send it to a university in montreal. i made a small promise to myself, one that i bent and circled around for months, but ultimately fulfilled - and that promise led me here. where, i can safely say, that no matter how challenging it is, i am living the life that i wanted for myself. me.

i won't say that i'm finished restricting myself with high expectations - that's too big to promise all at once. i can't say that i'm finished valuing other people's opinions above and before my own. but i can say that my voice is getting stronger, and i am trusting it more and more.

the more i do, the louder it gets. this is good. it feels wholesome.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

random thoughts from an uncaffeinated brain

i have a post in my head somewhere, i swear, but i've been drinking all weekend, i should be getting ready for work right now, and i can't make coffee because i would need to use the coffee grinder and there are two lovely women crashed out in my living room.

this is an interesting one, anyway. i stole it mercilessly from claire.

1. Who was your first love?
the first person that i considered myself in love with was this beautiful boy named chris. i was 16, he was maybe a year older, and he looked like anthony kiedis, i swear. he wore trench-coats and wrote poetry and was deeply brooding.

2. Who was your first kiss and when?
i was 13 when i did this summer exchange, and this quebecois boy kissed me outside of our school bus at the mont cascades water park. i didn't know what the hell i was doing, so he got his friend to "break up with me" an hour later.

3. Who was your first prom date?
it was my best friend heath, both times we went. we were both single, and we got smartly dressed up and just had a blast.

4. Who was your first room mate?
leona. she stayed on the phone a lot with her boyfriend back home. she was quiet and shy and had a little bit of a goth streak, as i remember.

5. What was your first job?
i was a front desk clerk at a hotel.

6. What was your first car?
my first hand-me-down was my parents' old mini-van. i drove its sorry butt for a few years and then crashed the hell out of it.

7.When did you go to your first funeral?
i think i was 10? it would have been my great-aunt ethel, the 90-pound woman with blued hair who always smelled like mothballs.

8. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?
hahaHA. 26.

9. Who was your first grade teacher?
glenda bowen. i don't really remember much about her, but i was 6.

10. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
i was 7, and my mom, sister and i were flying out to b.c. to visit family.

11. Where did you go for your first date and who was it with?
i was 11, it was with the boy i had had a crush on since the third grade (mike spence), and we went to see look who's talking. my parents and my sister were in the theatre, too - banane was sent down periodically to check that mike and i weren't making out.

12. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
i don't remember sneaking out, but i remember sneaking back in. just by myself.

13.Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?
a girl named emily. and no, but not for any particular reason, we were just young and drifted in different directions.

14. Who was the first person to send you flowers?
besides my parents, who i don't really count, nobody's ever sent me flowers.

15. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house?
in a dorm, with leona. the year after that i moved into something called a "garden home" with my boyfriend at the time, and my best friend at the time.

16. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
it's a toss-up between met, if i can, or my sister, depending on what kind of bad day i've been having.

17. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen?
my friend julie's. it was the only time i've been a bridesmaid.

18. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
usually, pee, then stumble towards the coffee maker all zombie-like.

now, i really, really must go.

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Friday, October 20, 2006


it always hurts when it happens in your backyard.

a wonderful night....a SHITEOUS day

first, the goodness that is miss j: she buzzed me at 10ish, and i opened my door so i could catch her as she came up the stairs, and i said, "hello?" tentatively, and she said, in her musical voice, "he-LLLLOOOOOOO!" and then i started to giggle, because, well, she was within a few feet of me, and she said, "oooh, how i missed that LAUGH!" and then she came into view, and then we just hugged for a while.

miss j is a fabulous hugger. she's tall and she smells good and she's just the sweetest thing. you know how some people just ooze goodness? she's one of them. and her room-mate, the other j, is pretty rad, herself.

we sat in my apartment and talked for a while, and the weather was cold and rainy anyway, and they had been travelling all afternoon, so we made the "joint" decision (ha ha) to stay in, order some pizza and watch some six feet under episodes on the dvd player that just got hooked up YESTERDAY. (!!!)

however, all that six feet under after such a long hiatus, meant that i got to bed at 2:30, which meant 7 came a TAD early today. especially since i woke up crying from a bad dream.

the bad dream meant i pressed the snooze button on my alarm clock a few too many times, and only woke up when "up where we belong" became too annoying to sleep through.
i stumbled to the kitchen, made coffee, and sat in front of my computer for so long that i left my house AT 9, instead of being at work for then.

thank god i only live a 5-minute sprint away.

i punched in the alarm code when i unlocked the door, but the alarm said "wrong code. try again". it did that not once, not twice, but three times, at which point the keypad locked and the alarms went off.

alarms are loud.

i had to go next door to use the phone to call my bosses ("good morning! i SUCK!") and get them to call the company before the police showed up.

all the kerfuffle meant i started opening a half hour late.

then i got a call from my doctor's office saying that i had to be there BY 3 in order to get the prescription i needed to get today (i ran out of my anti-depressants yesterday), tough shit that i worked until that time. so five minutes after i had last talked to my boss, i had to call her AGAIN and ask her if i could leave an hour early.

yeah. i was a pro-star.

when i finally left, i had 10 minutes in which to make it home, change my shoes, pack up something to eat, grab some homework, and leave again. i walked to the shuttle, and the funny thing was is that i DID NOT NOTICE THE DARK OMINOUS CLOUDS GATHERING IN THE SKY.

i got to the doctor's office late; i had to wait 2 hours to be seen. no biggie - i mean, yeah, it sucked, but i got a lot of reading done. i got my prescription, went to go fill it, and around then was when the rain happened.

montreal rain? is INSANE. it just pours and pours and pours for HOURS. and because it's october, it was a cold rain that at some point half-turned to SNOW. and there i was, walking around with no umbrella and slippy shoes, running some errands that i needed to have done by tomorrow.

i finally finished them and the bus was phenomenally late arriving and then i had to make the 20 minute walk back to my apartment, completely and utterly SOAKED.

it has felt like the longest, shittiest day in creation. i think i'm going to stay in tonight.

(and, apparently, the girls do too! so we can hang out together!)

that said, i suddenly want to mix myself a strong screwdriver and watch some maudlin tv. have a good night, y'all.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

friendly interruption! YAY!

my friend and her room-mate are coming from ottawa a day early (ie: today) and staying a day later (ie: until sunday) which is INCREDIBLY FABULOUS (except for the fact that i'm going to be working my cute hippie butt off at the grocery store) but...you know...might make it hard to update the blog. i'll be thinking about all of you, and wondering how you're doing...i hope you have a great weekend, and will be able to feel the love that i'll be pulsing out to you all.
if i can post, i will. i'm sure i'll have some funny stories to share come monday.
(big hugs)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

100 things i love

**thanks to susannah for this amazing idea.**

i've realized, again, exactly how affected i am by light.

yesterday it rained all day: i woke up and brewed coffee in the dark, wrote poetry as the storm pressed up against my window, and felt stressed, rushed, and restless the whole way through. for the most part, i was able to talk myself through it, but it still made me a little worried for winter.

in the past few weeks i have been extremely inspired by the works of masaru emoto. if you check out the link, you'll see the phenomenal work he's been doing with positive thinking and water. as the website says, "by producing different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and literally presenting it to the same water samples, the water appears to "change its expression"."

that just makes an innate sense to me. i felt it, too, when i wrote the letter to myself, and when i released so much through the ceremony. retraining my thought processes has been challenging and fulfilling, and taken a lot longer than just the past week.

i'm sure i have a lot more learning to do on this path, but i am ready.

i want to be open to beauty. i want to be open to wonder. i want to be open to life, in all its aching, gorgeous uncertainty.

i feel the need to reset a little bit, to remind myself of all the goodness in the world that i have surrounded myself with.

100 things i love
  1. freshly brewed coffee in the morning.
  2. unexpected emails, phone calls, or visits from loved ones.
  3. wandering around art galleries for hours, looking at the paintings.
  4. long, lingering hugs.
  5. books, and everything to do with them - the stores they come in, their smell, the writing of, the reading of.
  6. travelling. anywhere.
  7. red fruit - pomegranates, strawberries, watermelon, cranberries, red grapes, raspberries.
  8. inspirational quotes.
  9. going for long, rambling walks with my headphones on.
  10. diner breakfasts at any time of the day. (eggs sunnyside up, sausage, brown toast.)
  11. collaging. i love looking through magazines to find that weird, out of context photo, or phrase.
  12. dancing - to any kind of music.
  13. music - any kind! loudly played.
  14. deep stretching, going to yoga class.
  15. my extremely strange, but extremely adorable cat, bean.
  16. the smell of freshly washed sheets after they've been dried outside.
  17. ethiopian food.
  18. making people laugh.
  19. the feel of a clean apartment.
  20. tulips.
  21. the memory of watching saturday morning cartoons with our best friends two years ago. we lived within two blocks of each other and the hobbit and i would stumble over first thing, bringing breakfast.
  22. my tribe: the friends back home; the friends here; the friends i've made through the blog; the friends who have moved away but taken a bit of me with them, leaving bits of themselves with me; my sister.
  23. my amazing, beautiful, loving, witty, kind, thoughtful, passionate love. i can't believe there's only one of you, and i found you.
  24. pictures. if i had my way, my apartment would be filled with pictures of my loved ones. soon.
  25. the ocean.
  26. bubble baths.
  27. mosaics.
  28. stones.
  29. going garbage collecting.
  30. the occasional pedicure.
  31. martinis.
  32. red wine.
  33. cuddling.
  34. hot showers.
  35. waking up in the morning and just lying, luxuriously, in bed for a few minutes.
  36. waking up beside him.
  37. silver.
  38. glitter.
  39. my favourite, worked-in pair of jeans.
  40. bathrobes.
  41. gardening. digging in the earth. growing things that nourish people.
  42. my scars - some from barbed wire, some from an operation, some from a bad bike accident. i love how they tell stories of who i am and what i was doing.
  43. cooking and baking.
  44. menstrual fingerpainting*. (i DEFINITELY recommend this. my best friend and i, while we were living together, were cycling at the same time and had one of the most laughter-filled, cathartic experiences ever. think prompts: paint how you treated your parents as a teenager, add two pre-menstrual ferocious women, and watch the hilarity ensue.)
  45. candles.
  46. being romanced.
  47. giving my time to a worthy cause.
  48. wood fires.
  49. walking barefoot through summer grass.
  50. road trips.
  51. dark chocolate.
  52. having long conversations.
  53. green. orange. blue. purple. red. yellow.
  54. rings.
  55. the goddess figurine rachelle gave me to inspire creativity.
  56. poetry. right now, specifically anne sexton, mary oliver, and michael ondaatje.
  57. kissing.
  58. watching movies - weird, funny ones.
  59. singing.
  60. juice. really, any kind.
  61. getting letters in the mail.
  62. really incredible, all-night-long lovemaking.
  63. sassy flowers: sunflowers, marigolds, tiger lilies.
  64. trees.
  65. the feeling of clay between my fingers.
  66. silky, shimmery fabrics.
  67. typewriters.
  68. peacock feathers.
  69. the sound of loons across a lake.
  70. dreams.
  71. gossip - as long as it's not meanly intentioned.
  72. the smell of nutmeg.
  73. going to live shows.
  74. getting a massage.
  75. flying.
  76. native american culture.
  77. eating.
  78. feeling organized.
  79. meditating.
  80. biking along a straight road.
  81. swimming.
  82. earl grey tea.
  83. givenchy perfume.
  84. making my own cosmetics.
  85. watching my crazy friends do poi.
  86. monarch butterflies.
  87. signs from the universe.
  88. finding things i'd completely forgotten about in pockets.
  89. brushing my teeth.
  90. children.
  91. the changing of seasons.
  92. acting goofy.
  93. listening.
  94. blogging.
  95. staying up all night, every once in a while.
  96. hardwood floors.
  97. listening to the radio.
  98. real connections with people.
  99. feelings of stillness.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the past few days, i have been concentrating on feeding my soul.
on saturday, i went to a birthday party, which all of my best friends had come up for, from toronto and peterborough and ottawa.
we hadn't seen one another since i went home in july, and we're a huggy, kissy lot to begin with, so it was the debaucherous love fest you could expect.
there's just something about my friends that is completely and utterly magical - every single one of them. one of them is moving to india in a month; one of them showed me the new trick she's been teaching herself; there was singing, dancing to old salt-n-pepa tunes and so much laughter, i thought i would pass out.
on sunday i spent the afternoon with my boy - we had a rather successful study date, ate dinner, and cuddled a lot - and it was just beautiful, in the way that living life with your loved one is beautiful.
i've been walking around a lot in this gorgeous autumn that's happening - blue skies, warm sun, more of the leaves on the ground now than on the trees. kicking through them on the way home from school makes me feel like i'm six years old again, and i don't mind.
i'm making plans, too - to go to the art gallery tomorrow on my break from class, to start taking pictures again. i've realized that i can't just be bee-the-woman-who-goes-to-school-and-works-on-the-weekends anymore. i need to have a soul life; i need to be doing something that touches and soothes the inner core of my being. i need to make time for it, just like i need to make time to eat well and get enough sleep.
i need to keep remembering that i'm a human being, not just a human doing.
how are you being today?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

in a gentle way, you can shake the world. ~mohandas gandhi
my heart is so full, and i feel so light.
last night i did the ritual; although really it was me, crouched on the floor of my living room, surrounded by candles and incense, writing. i wrote and wrote and wrote - things i wanted to let go of, things i wanted to call to my life, things about this journey that i wanted to keep and remember.
i wrote until the page was full, and then i stopped, and looked at it - and put my forehead on the floor. i breathed, in and out, over and over, and i felt something in me disintegrate and fall away.
i rolled the paper up into a cylinder and took it into my bathroom. i stood in the bath tub and struck a match and held it up to the words i had written.
my words burned away, until all that was left were the silvery ashes floating around my feet.
i put the ashes in a small bowl, took the bowl to my balcony, and released it to the wind. (i'm sure the man who was letting his dog pee on the hedge by my building wondered what the hell i was doing).
i went to bed early, and slept well. i needed to give myself rest; i am taking seriously this vow to take care of myself first. that means following, a little, lynn's prescription and SERIOUSLY cutting back on my stress. it means eating well. it means living consciously, and with intention.
when i woke up this morning, i felt light. that is the only way i can describe it - the weight that's been living with me for how long now had been released. i put on the pot of coffee and made breakfast, and, as i almost always do, i checked my favourite blogs before i went to work.
and i received a gift that left me absolutely speechless.
i want to thank each and every one of you beautiful souls who took the time to read and support me yesterday - your words and good wishes meant the absolute world to me. i felt accepted, held up, and understood, and that was invaluable.
however, i must send my most heartfelt gratitude to one woman in particular; a woman who i have just begun to know but who is already an amazing inspiration to me. thank you, beautiful you (you know who you are) for knowing exactly what i needed and giving me that feeling that i've been searching for, for years. i don't know how, or why, but it was magical. it was such a humbling, awe-inspiring experience to read your words and feel them bathe me in your acceptance and wisdom.
thank you. all of you. knowing you has healed me, in more ways than i can describe. thank you, and much love to us all tonight.

Friday, October 13, 2006

wow, do i ever need to break out of my own head.

sometimes living here can be this comfortable blanket of emotion that i can just pick at and unravel for hours, days, weeks, months. years, even. the yarn is pretty, mind, but i never seem to find the source, and then all of a sudden i look up and so much time has passed and i'm sitting on the floor in a strait-jacket of my own making.

it's funny because when i was first emerging from my alcohol-soaked grief a few years ago, that was the advice that i was being given: to really examine my motives behind the partying, to turn and face my fears, name them, and send them away.

so that is what i tried to do. i had just turned 18 when my mother first got sick - a full 10 years ago now. i remember exactly where i was sitting when she told us, i remember being embarrassed by her tears. i think, up until that point, i had only ever seen my mother cry once before.

i was not a good daughter to her then. i was angry at the cancer, angry at her for getting it, and all i wanted to do was forget anything was happening and for life to go back to normal. i drank, smoked, and skipped school and generally got away with a hell of a lot because my principal knew about the situation and understood.

there were grace periods in all of this. in 3 years my mother had 3 different occurrences of cancer, which meant 2 remissions. we all got better at being supportive of one another: banane and i went to the radiotherapy lab with her once, she let us see her mastectomy scars in the bath. the last time she was sick i found her in her bedroom sobbing and i was able to hold her like a baby and tell her everything was going to be okay.

it is really hard to say goodbye; i still have to do it every day. there's a lot of me that is forgetting what it's like - to have a family, to have that closeness. my life today is a lot different than it was. there is also a smaller part, buried deeper, that is wistful and remembers. this is the part that reaches for the phone first thing in the morning, expecting her call. this is the part who misses all the goofy things she used to do for us, like how she sent me a card every day i was away at overnight camp, for two weeks straight. how she used to give us presents on her birthday. she knew me and what i needed better than anybody.

why is it that i think one hug from her, the one thing i can never have, would fix everything?

after she died i asked the universe to let me dream with her. to let us meet together when i fell asleep and just let us visit. maybe it's because i want it too much but it hasn't happened yet.

everybody that i talk to says that there is no tidy way to deal with grief, that it is circular and spirals around in unpredictable ways. they say to be patient, that i'm dealing with so many things, to be gentle and let it come.
it feels like i have been, and there's no end. i want to let it go. this is what i've been figuring out how to do, trying to teach myself. for a long time i held onto the grief, thinking that it was somehow dishonouring to her if i stopped. now i see how i was wrong - she would have wanted me to live. to suck the marrow out of life and laugh and be happy and stable with myself. with my self.
tonight, because it's friday the 13th and that's always been such a special day for me, i'm going to come home and write words on a piece of paper. write down everything i can think of that i need to say goodbye to. and then i'm going to burn the paper, and watch the ashes float away on the night air.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

to all the whoms it may concern,

thank you.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

dear roo,

i know that you don't think that i do, but this is just to tell you that i love you, very much. i know you are aching right now, and i want to tell you that it's okay; you don't need a reason to hurt. whatever you are feeling in the moment is what you are supposed to be feeling. you don't have to apologize to me, or to anyone.

trust yourself, and the journey that you are on. it may be long, and confusing, but know that you are making the right decisions. your big heart is leading you in the right direction; listen to the voice that is speaking inside of you. it may be quiet, but give it the space to let it grow.

i love how you spend more time on your appearance the worse you feel, usually trying to look like a kid. i love how you enjoy the performance, even though you know it's not necessary. i love you, sweetheart. i love how you give all of yourself to each moment. i love how you may wake up sad, but you get up and try to get on with it. i love how you love the people in your life. i love your passion, the way you touch and taste words, how you bring books to your nose to smell them coming off the page. i love how you laugh.

i love how you consistently try to be open. this is hard. i love how curious you are, how you try to learn new things, how you aren't scared to say "i don't know". i love how you understand that there are always new experiences to have. i love that you try and have a new one every day.

i love your ambition - that you want to do so many things with your life, and that you want to touch as many people as possible. you really don't see how, just by living the way you do, that you are an example - you are trying to be a good person.

i love how intelligent you are, i love your quirky sense of humour and how, when you get tired, you don't exactly make sense. i love your ability to adapt, and how you're willing to do anything to make sure that people are comfortable around you.

i love your body, and how special it is. i love that you have a 'lucky side'. you don't see it yet, but it has given you more compassion than you know. you will fight against injustice in your life, sweetie, you have already. i love your blue, blue eyes; nobody else has eyes like you. i love how warm and loving they are, how accepting, and how they show in an instant every moment you've lived. i love your hardworking hands, and how they touch people so softly.

i love how shy you are, how you only open fully to a few people. i love how you constantly think of new ways to express and nurture your creativity - how you have beads and sewing kits in your closet, more acrylic paint than you know what to do with, rolls of film. you know that your art takes more than one form, and you trust your creative instinct. that's a beautiful, wondrous thing.

remember, dearest one, that nobody is watching over your shoulder, grading your progress.

i love how you are just yourself, even when you are pretending not to be: how you love spicy food, and funny movies, and how you can get lost in a good story. i love how your feet get cold before any other part of you so you need to constantly wear slippers. i love how emotional you are; how easily moved to tears, to laughter, how easily moved. i love your scars and the bad jokes you make that you make other people laugh at, if only because you enjoy them so much.

sweetheart, be gentle with yourself today, and for the days after. it is okay to be sad. it is okay to not know why; you are working very hard and you might be worn out. give yourself the hugs that you need, and the kisses - why bother saving them for a later time, or waiting for another person to give them to you? try to take deep breaths. if you need to eat ice cream, eat some. draw yourself a bath and scent it with lavender. go for a walk at sunset and watch the sky change. and try to talk about it with the people you love - believe me, it will help. you might be surprised at the understanding you get. you aren't a burden, and the people who love you, love you for who you are, not for who you want to be. be good to yourself, and remember - if you need a friend, i'll be here.

love, me

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

sometimes it amazes me the breadth of feeling i can experience in a day, in one hour, in one minute. (i like that word, to describe emotion: breadth, it's full of fibre and nourishment.)

it's strange for me to try and communicate how i feel, considering it changes so constantly. i'm up, i'm down, i'm numb...i'm sassy, i'm shy, i'm funny, i'm broken-hearted. sometimes i'm content with my own arms wrapped around me. sometimes i ache for love to walk through the door and envelop me.

there is so much of my journey that i want to honour, and yet so much i don't want to own. i don't want to write here, and let people see, how raw it is - how raw it remains, for no apparent reason.

but i also want to. i want to unzip this skin i'm in, and let the light shine on my dark bits; maybe it will warm them up a little.

it is 2:38 am. i have been awake for 23 hours. i want to go to sleep. i've eaten too much junk food today, drunk way too many (expensive) coffees, and i want to disappear.

but i've had it with hiding my emotions. something in me is blocked, and i need to release it. if i edit myself here, then i'm not sure where the sludgy stuff is going to go.

the first thing i need to release, to admit to: sometimes i need a bit of extra love.

it makes me so ashamed to admit that, and it probably isn't that much of a surprise. it happens the most when i don't care for myself - obviously, perhaps - when i don't sleep, or eat well, or am stressed out.

i literally cannot remember the last time i ate a vegetable. do you know how weird and out of character that is for me?

i have received so much love, from so many corners, in just the past day, that i know i should be full. and i don't mean to say that i am not grateful - in fact, these lovely people (3, in fact) are proof to me that the universe bestows blessings in human form. i love them, i love them so.

but the beastie in me woke up after that, and wanted more and more and more. and i try to feed it, to tell it to stop asking, you've had enough - look! look at what you got! be happy! but it won't listen.

sometimes it won't accept anything but everything.

how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~annie dillard

i woke up this morning at 3:35, thanks to some ill-advised coffee drinking late last night. i lay in bed for over an hour, drifting in the luxury that is my mattress, listening to the cat purrpurrpurring away. (we have got into a neat little habit of spooning together; i'm so glad bean's outgrown his tantrum-filled 'adolescence', when i knew what a cuddly cat he'd be, but he was having none of it.)

i rose some time around 5, thinking that i could easily write the essay i have to, and made some more coffee. i ate some pie for breakfast. (in the past few days, i must say, i've been revelling in the fact that no-one lives with me to comment on what, or when i should eat what i want to. it's pure bliss.) i checked some blogs, and read some email, did some more research, and started my paper. it's nowhere near being done, but i'm satisfied that i'm actually working at it, instead of just sitting staring at a blank screen.

i'm more interested in taking care of myself lately than hurrying up to get things done.

i don't mean 'taking care of myself' in the sense of 'eat 5-10 servings of fruit per day; brush your teeth; sweep your floor'; although i try to do those things anyway - i'm the type of person who can make a 'rule' for myself and then watch helplessly as the 'rule' becomes stricter and stricter, choking me off. an example: okay, bee, your apartment is clean. you're going to do your dishes now after every meal and sweep the floor twice a day, until you die.

i mean, really.

so i'm finding that right now, taking care of myself means relaxing my 'standards' a little. it means giving gifts to that part of myself that feels a little neglected. suzie talks at length about this in her wonderful posts about indulgence and pleasure, as part of the true balance project; you can read her thoughts here and here.

i do a lot of chakra healing, mostly on myself, but with an eye to heal others in the future. i've combined what i know about reiki with crystal therapy, and have been 'teaching' (although this really means feeling out instinctively) myself how to project colour, in order to open chakra centres that may be out of balance. i still have so much to learn, but what i'm sloooooowly starting to get is that taking care of myself is so much more than 'healing' every couple of days. healing has to be lived.

i work at a job where i am literally sometimes asked to clean vegetable sludge out of floor drains. in the past month and a half, i have been elbow-deep in compost; i have burned my skin with bleach; i have lugged 50-pound bags of potatoes up and down flights of stairs; i have had accidents with a knife cutting up parsnips. i wear jeans and tie my hair back, and nobody notices if i wear the same thing 3 days running.

there's the country hippie girl part of me that loves this. this part of me loves the fact that her finger nails are nibbled down to the quick, that she has bruises on her legs and scratches on her arms. she loves coming home smelling like the earth, and finding bits of it clinging to her hair.

then there's the girly-girl part of me, the part i neglect often.

in my life, with my personality (daydreaming all day, running around last minute to get things done), being the country hippie girl is more practical - give her a shower and zip some jeans on her and she's good to go.

what about the part that likes wearing dresses, who wishes she could walk confidently in a pair of heels, and who likes smelling and looking 'pretty', whatever 'pretty' happens to be that day?

all this to say, i'm indulging myself today and getting myself a pedicure - i was trying to reason my way out of it, saying it wouldn't last for long, why would i spend the money - but there's this small voice in me that pipes up, insistently, but i want one, whenever i say no. i'm incredibly, incredibly excited for some reason.

it's funny. i'm in a creative writing program in university, and yet one of the thoughts that occurred to me recently is that i'm not being independently creative enough.

i think that might be a reason why i'm feeling a bit drained (well, that, and the fact that protein has essentially disappeared from my diet). there's too many times when i don't do something creative, choosing instead to be languid for a few hours.

i used to take pictures. all the time. i took my camera with me everywhere, and then it broke and i got another one, but it never was the same. then, all of a sudden the digital craze caught on, and i got a blog, and now all i want to do is get a digital camera, even though my computer's so old it doesn't have a usb port.

i've decided this is no longer the excuse i'm going to use.

at wish jar journal, a blog i am just starting to explore, keri has a list of things you can do if you're feeling lost for ideas. (okay, i just went to find what i was talking about and i can't find it anymore. i swear, i read on her site "draw a tree" but now i can't find it. so you're going to have to trust me, because i don't think i came up with this idea on my own.) when i saw her suggestion for drawing a tree (which now i can't find) i thought: perfect! i drew a tree on myself not long ago! and i haven't posted the picture, or told the story yet!
i've thought a lot about my reasons behind my tattooing since i started getting them (10 - jesus) years ago. i think, subconsciously, it started as me wanting to reclaim space in a body, in a skin, that often didn't do what i wanted it to. whatever the reason, i've always inked myself at symbolically-charged times in my life.

the story behind this one starts with my mother, and ends with toni morrison.

when my mother was sick from her chemo, she started getting insomnia, and once she shared with banane and me her favourite visualization for falling asleep. she would simply picture herself in a large field, with one tree in it, and slowly climb the tree, imagining herself suffused with warmth. she'd lie on a branch and let the tree cradle and rock her to sleep.

it was what i told her to do in the last moments of her life, when she was in so much pain and yet struggling so much to hold on.

after this, when i started getting insomnia, i borrowed this visualization from her. the funny thing was is that, in my mind's eye, i pictured a tree i had never seen before. call it the collective unconscious or whatever, but i found that tree four years later, standing in the main square of san jose, costa rica.

then last year i was taking a feminist literature class, and part of our syllabus was toni morrison's "beloved". i'd read it before; one of the parts of the novel that echoed within me when a pregnant sethe is whipped by the slave-owner. she escapes the plantation and falls ill, and is subsequently helped by another runaway. amy, the runaway, makes the comment that sethe's wounds look like a chokecherry tree.
that image buried itself inside of me as both symbolic of what havoc prejudice can wreak, and how healing can come in unexpected places.

these three events combined in me in a very powerful way, to create the image i etched on my skin, and the stories behind it.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

do you ever have one of those days where all you want to do is fill out a questionnaire? to the point where you hunt one down and steal it from a poor unsuspecting blog because you just can't write your poetry assignment? (picture this: take a "large social theme". add to it "something you can teach somebody to do, in a minimum of 3 steps". make it 20-28 lines long, with a 9-11 syllable count each line. now, go insane.)

oh, and i switched over to blogger beta. i'm sure you could tell. it's kind of freaking me out, but maybe it's just because i know i can't go back.

thanks, deb r.

TEN random things you might not know about me:
1. my ancestry's scottish, english, and welsh, with a bit of native american mixed in just for kicks.
2. i'm slightly allergic to tomatoes, strawberries, and wool. i love all three things, though, so i'm willing to put up with discomfort.
3. i hate wearing socks, and i hate wall-to-wall carpeting.
4. the only piece of jewellery i haven't really taken off ever is a claddagh ring my sister gave me for my 17th birthday. i didn't really even like it so much at the time, but now it's become part of the landscape of my hand.
5. i've flown in a two-seater plane before. it scared the crap out of me.
6. i used to eat about two heads of garlic a day, one in my lunch meal, one for supper. yes, i meant head.
7. when i was little, i rode a camel at the toronto zoo, but i was too scared to ride the elephant.
8. sometimes the only way i can go to sleep is to imagine someone spooning me.
9. nothing makes me gag more than the overuse of fragrances.
10. i daydream often about being a professional dancer.

NINE places I've visited:1. grenada, nicaragua
2. all through costa rica
3. san diego, california (lived there for 4 months)
4. london and shrewsbury, england
5. amsterdam and terschelling, holland
6. cardiff, wales
7. whitehorse and tagish, yukon
8. alaska
9. paris france

EIGHT ways to win my heart:
1. write me a love letter. tell me why you love me, specifically, and leave it somewhere where i'll find it after you go.
2. let me open up to you at my own pace.
3. really, really, listen to me.
4. being honest in any given situation, but being gentle in your honesty.
5. rubbing my head and playing with my hair.
6. being good with children and animals.
7. reading to me. it could even be the telephone book.
8. surprising me with a date.

SEVEN things I want to do before I die:
1. publish a few books, and be able to make a living off my writing.
2. learn how to speak spanish and japanese.
3. be able to honour every part of who i am, and understand my journey better.
4. become a ferocious wife and mother.
5. go to africa and india.
6. teach yoga to people with able-bodied issues.
7. grow old.

SIX things I'm afraid of:
1. unprotected heights. (make me dizzy.)
2. losing my loved ones suddenly.
3. not so hot with enclosed spaces, like stopped elevators.
4. being truly myself, with everyone and not just the people i trust.
5. cancer.
6. don't especially like walking alone at night, either.

FIVE things I don't like:
1. prejudice of any kind pretty much makes me vomit.
2. religious evangelists of any denomination.
3. dishonesty.
4. red jellybeans. i've never understood the appeal.
5. couscous. ditto.

FOUR ways to turn me off:
1. lie to me, (or betray me), and watch how fast i disappear.
2. laughing at, or ignoring, someone else's misfortune.
3. not brushing your teeth, or blowing your nose by blocking one of your nostrils.
4. telling me i don't actually feel one way when i just finished telling you i do.

THREE things I do every day:
1. eat. lots.
2. read.
3. snuggle with the bean.

TWO things that make me happy:
1. seeing met laugh.
2. a clean apartment.

ONE thing on my mind right now:
1. i'm plotting a christmas getaway, because the summer one didn't work. all i want is somewhere cheap, and warm, where we can escape for a little while. like a beach with a bar service, even though i'm not usually into that kind of thing.

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okay. take 2.

once again, i erased the post that i wrote yesterday, for the simple reason that as hard as it is sometimes, i want to remind myself of the good things that happen on a daily basis in my life.

it's not that i want to forget or dishonour my struggles - but i have had plenty of time to think about them and marinate in them. i'm sort of feeling finished with that phase of my life right now.

there has been a lot going on in my little corner of the world; much like there is lots going on in everybody's little corner of the world. and i've felt overworked and underslept, and sometimes ill-equipped to deal with everything the universe has thrown at me in the past few weeks. but that is life. i wake up, i try to accomplish a few things, i react, i go to bed. stress happens.

no matter what, i want to remind myself that i will be okay. i'll be better than okay, because i wake up every day and i take a deep breath and i brew my coffee and get on with it.
i have, quite literally, the most dazzling spirits helping me along, too.

today, now, this is what's good in my life:

  • i have got more work done already today than i have all week. it's all about the inertia, baby.
  • right now it's 1:16 pm. i am still in my bathrobe, and i don't need to get out of it if i don't want to. my balcony door is open, and it is warm and sunny and happy outside.
  • met just dropped off a gift for me: a freaking dvd player. (wtf???) i'm not letting myself set it up until AFTER my homework. this means i get to watch tv again. oh, i've missed it so.
  • i got to see him, period. i wasn't expecting to at all this weekend, so that kicked some ass.
  • i have money in my bank account, finally. FINALLY. this means i get to pay tuition this week, which is always good.
  • emails from good friends.

i am blessed in my life, there's no way around it. this is what i want to remember.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the writing that some people have been doing lately has completely inspired me to share parts of myself, here and now, that i don't normally.
it's not that i mean to edit myself; although i am the first to admit that if i write something a bit uncomfortable, the post is gone before i can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

i don't like that i've developed the habit of not trusting my own words, of not trusting the gentleness of the people who read them.

a lot of the blogs i'm addicted to belong to something called "the self portrait challenge", which i can't belong to because i don't own a digital camera (more on that later...). i have to say, though, that i have my thoughts and ideas for each 'theme' that they offer.

october's theme is imperfections, and oooh, boy, is that a hot-button topic already. i have been fascinated and thrilled to see how differently the women i read respond to it - such as michelle, who only wants to honour the parts of herself she has grown to love; or amy, who feels too tender to post anything; or liz, who acknowledges that she feels envious.

i tend to be somewhere in the middle. on the one hand, i feel like i need to acknowledge the parts of myself that are not perfect (because which, really, are?); i also want to cradle them gently, and love them as pieces of the gorgeous whole, because we all are gorgeous creatures, flaws and all. in fact, i think it's specifically our flaws that make us who we are. they individuate us.

here is one thing about myself that i am working to change: my impatience.

i find too often that i am planning for the next moment, instead of enjoying the one that the universe has given to me now.
i tell myself, next week, when i'm done this project, i'll be so much less stressed, or i'll feel better tomorrow, without understanding the opportunities that each moment presents. i'm always wishing - for more sleep, more energy, more time with my loved one - when i don't stop to look around.

let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~james thurber

here's a good example, and one i have to take a DEEP breath to admit to (and no, i'm not sure why). i would love, absolutely love, to spend more time with my boyfriend - as it is, right now we get a few hours a week. sometimes i feel like we're having a long-distance relationship, even though we live within fifteen minutes' walking distance of each other.

this is the way it is, for now. we're both busy students; we have lives that we're committed to. but every so often i find myself wishing, hoping, that something will change and we'll suddenly have the opportunity to have sleepovers again; to spend the day together, cooking food and going for walks and taking naps; to be able to go somewhere for the weekend, just the two of us.

i feel guilty for admitting that for so many reasons. i feel guilty because i know how lucky i am to have him at all; i feel guilty because i feel that's demanding of me; i feel guilty for all the people out there who are still searching for, or who have lost their loved ones, and who might be thinking right now, at least she has somebody. what is she complaining about? and it's true. i wouldn't trade him, or our relationship, for anything.

i feel guilty because in the meanwhile i am missing out on what the present is gifting me, and it is gifting me so much:

  • having iron & wine on my stereo (which is co-operating for once - the thing is almost as old as i am),
  • a large grey-and-white cat licking earl grey tea from his paw,
  • a belly full of apple pie and vanilla ice cream,
  • a clean apartment which is making me feel like i can breathe again, (and smells like lemon cleaning solution - is it weird that i love the smell of cleaning fluids?)
  • lots and lots of neruda poems

the moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~henry miller

that is more than enough for me: finding the extraordinary in ordinary moments. i wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

i'm feeling quiet today. it was foggy when i woke up and it still hasn't lifted; i'm hoping a shower and an extra cup of coffee will do the trick for me.

i've been given the 'tough' prescription to go easy on myself for the next little while - to take care of my primary needs: to sleep enough, to eat well, to be gentle with my heart.

ironically, or perhaps not, this can be hard for me to do. i have superhero boots for a reason - i like to think i can do anything, no matter what the workload; i can support anyone, no matter what the problem. i try to be a good friend.

one thing i need to learn is how to be a better friend to myself. i think, i know this means learning how to ask for help, and accept it, when i need it; to take deep breaths and let things go; to enjoy the moment and not worry so much; to love and cherish the person i am just as much in uncomfortable times as in good ones.

today i'm going to wear my gold lame tiger shirt - it'll make me feel ferocious and pretty, two things i haven't been feeling much of, of late. i'm going to schedule a hair cut. i'm going to take a long walk in this chilly autumn weather, make rice for dinner, and go to bed early. i'm going to do some yoga for the first time in a long time.
i'm going to be a friend to myself.
by Jennifer Edwards

But also
take comfort, healing, rest and love
Leave sorrow amongst the rocks and woods who most of the time
are far stronger
better able to handle such loads

Take courage
But also,
take honesty, courtesy, empathy and patience
Leave doubt
amidst the deep ocean waters
watch it sink there until you cannot cling to it any longer

Take faith
but leave with an open mind, an open hand, open arms
Take whatever you need to make it through
leave what keeps you from going on
Tears only go so far
Fear only holds so long
Though your feet may bleed and your hands, tremble
Take deep compassion for the suffering of another
and journey on

Monday, October 02, 2006

apparently, i'm getting the reputation of doing ANY and ALL memes as long as i'm properly tagged. ;)
and since i'm la procrastinateuse extraordinaire, i will oblige.

i'm not really comfortable sharing. sorry. but my real middle name is emily. and bee is one of my real nicknames.
i was named after a character in a book, who was the most beautiful girl in the world.
yesterday. pretty much all day. it was just a bad day, but it got better.
yes, i do. i changed it i think for the last time a few years ago. i get compliments on it.
i don't really do the lunch meat thing. i'm more a stinky cheese kind of girl.
i think so. it would be hard to be friends with me though, because right now i'm very shy and very home-bound.
not as much as i want to. i tend to use my diaries for my darkest thoughts, so i can get them out and nobody has to be subjected to it - but it's kind of exhausting. i'm sort of more enamoured with blogging right now.
i had three removed. my dentist left one in because it wasn't growing in. i'm looking forward to THAT (uninsured) visit, let me tell you.
i'm uneasy about heights as it is, i sure don't want to dive head first off a tall structure.
i love cereal but i never think to buy milk. yesterday, though, i found this nut granola that sticklings' makes, that i'm in LOVE with.
sometimes. not always.
i'm a very vulnerable person; i think for a long time i equated that with weakness. i'm strong enough, but i know not to wrestle with my black-belt-in-tae-kwon-do boyfriend.
i've been loving the ice cream lately - not eating any, but dreaming about it. the last orgasmic icecream experience i had was haagen-daaz strawberry cheesecake. holy god.
8, but my superhero boots are a size 8 1/2
a rich, sky blue.
right now, i wish i had more energy. i also wish i enjoyed being ALONE more.
i miss my sister, haven't seen her beautiful face since early july. i miss kris, a good friend who wanted me to visit this week, but i can't. i miss someone else, too, but i'm not telling.
i would love to read people's answers, but the tag stops with me.
i'm wearing the rattiest bathrobe EVER, and knitted slippers that are the softest things in the universe. i don't want to get dressed and go to school. bah. school.
leftover homemade organic lasagne (it actually tastes better on the second/third day), black coffee. mmmm, breakfast of champions.
a documentary about glaciers melting on the cbc. my morning seriously would not be complete without this radio station. my ornery cat cooing to himself as he crawled underneath the covers for just one more nap.
it's a toss-up between red and orange. i love orange.
um. (insert embarrassed grin) my boyfriend smells good. cinnamon. fresh coffee. pumpkin pie. baby powder. vanilla bean. lilac. the sharp scent of geranium leaves. lilies. sage. woodsmoke. the air off a lake.
met. last night.
physically? eyes. eyes and hands and the way they carry themselves. emotionally? usually they have a child-like quality.
yes. very much. i feel like i know her, although i don't.
if i could have ANY drink, i like a cosmopolitan martini, but that goes down too quickly. beer's good - like corona, or a meatier one like kilkenny. for non-alcoholic, i'm a juice freak - any kind except carrot, and earl grey tea.
yoga is totally a sport. and for me it's hatha yoga.
"insanely" blue, apparently.
no clue. i do have a HUGE head though. the clerks at le chateau always laugh at me.
the correct question is do i ever take them out. but yes, i do. i've been wearing glasses since i was eight, and i'm blind without some sort of device. i'm even sort of blind with.
ooooh. tough, because sometimes i have a sweet tooth, and sometimes i crave savoury. my sister and i were talking last month about my mother's yorkshire puddings. i think right now that's what i would eat over anything else. they were sinful.
happy. haaaaaaaaaaaaapppppppppppppppy. i tend to get jumpy at horror films, but i like weird movies the best.
my housecoat is this AWFUL blue thing with pink and purple flowers. it's a maternal hand-me-down.
summer. but i love spring and fall too.
i love my kisses with a strong side of hug, or a strong hug with a delicate sprinkling of kisses.
key lime or lemon meringue or mud pie, cocoa camino's mint chocolate, (dark, all the way, although a year or so ago i couldn't eat the stuff), coffee cake. carrot cake too, actually. i'm going stop now...
i'm avoiding my reading. i should be reading shakespeare's plays, salt fish girl by larissa lai (which is quite good), a psychology text, and life of pi (which i think i gave up on. not my thing.)
i don't have a mousepad. hee.
i don't have tv, but i'm plotting buying a dvd player. then, i will catch up on ALL THINGS 24.
laughter of my loved ones', nina simone and all jazz, saxophone, crickets at sunset, the sound of the ocean, morning birds, scottish accents (hamish macbeth, baby. it's been YEARS but i love that show.) i love sound, in general.
the beatles. they get more introspective, which i appreciate, although 'forty licks' was my album-on-constant-repeat a few years ago.
oooh. i was in nicaragua. that was far. holland was far, too. i think those would win. but i want to go to the EASTERN HEMISPHERE, dammit.
my first answer was WAAAAY too embarrassing to publicly admit to. i have good focus, when i need to.
ottawa, ontario.
i can't say. i'm sworn to secrecy, apparently.
trying to work a part-time job and go to school full-time. i'm being less than successful.
taking on more than i can chew.
met. he was having a bad week, if i recall. i bought him this really awful lime-coloured card i found in this dusty five and dime shop, wrote it standing at the counter, and stuck it in the mailbox by the front door.
i've been thinking about this. pretty much anywhere, as long as met came with me. and we'd disappear for a while. (japan? korea? thailand?)