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


Thursday, November 30, 2006

poetry thursday

i didn't follow the prompt for poetry thursday, because i've had neruda on the brain. i lent my collection of neruda poetry to my cuban friend one year and forgot to get it back from him when i moved. neruda's voice is one of the ones that flutters around in my head a lot. his rhythms ground me.

this is one of my favourites. when banane moved to ecuador for 8 months, i kept a journal for her for every day she was gone, and i sent this poem to her right before she came back. i found it torn out of its original letter and taped to her current journal - it's just one of those poems that changes lives.

Keeping Quiet
by Pablo Neruda. (trans. Alastair Reid.)
And now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth
let's not speak in any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about,
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve,
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


i have been voraciously attracted to green things for the past couple years; i'm not sure when it started. mossy tree trunks, wet grass, maple leaves, radishes, cucumbers, acrylic paint. i stare at whatever it is, mesmerized, and feel calmed, energized, healed, nurtured, and held up to the light, all by one striking note of colour.

green heals me. it reminds me of the earth; of regeneration; of stopping still; of being.

i'm feeling off-balance today, for the simple reason that i haven't been taking care of myself for a few days. not taking care of myself means: not having bought healthy food a few days ago when i should have; not meditating; not doing yoga yesterday; not sleeping well. not taking
care of myself. i mean this more as a gentle reminder that the steps i have taken worked in stabilizing me, and i should continue to do them.

i feel like a need a hug, is all. lately, i've felt strong enough to wrap my arms around myself and hang on. right now, not so much.


Don't consider yourself a failure just because you might be stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. You may not be able to move freely enough to create the changes you desire. You are positioned better than you realize, but in order to make the most of it, you must open your mind wider than ever before. Then, hang on tight, for something big is about to happen. ~my horoscope for today

guys, it's 5 am. i got up about 40 minutes ago, after having to crash once i got home from my workshop. i'm drinking a HUUUUUGE cup of black coffee and trying to ignore the fact that my body's not fitting right - you know when your skin itchs and your head hurts and all you can do is look at your amazing wonderful bed that's not even 10 feet away from you?

i'm a ritualist in the sense that i like things a "certain way" before i start writing. for instance, my internet wouldn't boot up just now - so i had to call the company to check my connection, because i MUST have internet access when i'm on the computer. it's harder for me to write in the winter because i usually like to leave my feet bare, which can be cold in november. normally, i must have a clean desk (and by clean, i apparently mean covered in non-related school books - since when does anybody have time to read for PLEASURE? bwa ha ha ha; a hair dryer; hand lotion; cds; necklaces; incense; and my figurines).

i'm writing a story that i think is going to be waaaaaaaay bigger than it should be, and i'm ALREADY having editing anxiety, and it isn't even written yet. i think i have an exam today - but i'm not sure. i think i'll just show up to class and check. i'm hoping it wasn't on monday.

and in case you were wondering, this is all i think about right now: school (i have just today to get through, then an exam tomorrow, then a paper on monday); all the relationships i am neglecting to do school; work; my non-existant yoga practice; and oh - have i showered yet? (i just take one whenever i remember to, which has been every day so far. yippie!)

i wonder...what is my life going to BE like in a week when i don't have to do this anymore?
i can already answer that! it's going to be REPAINTING MY APARTMENT!
postus scriptumus, 8:05 pm.

(picture bee, clinging to her computer desk) folks, i am getting OLD. appreciably. i can remember a time when i pulled all-nighters and the like 6 times in a row (okay...so i'm exaggerating) and laughed at sleep. SLEEP, I LAUGHED AT YOU. and now i am 28, and i am sad.
you know why? because i was RIGHT. my shakespeare exam WAS at 1 pm. today, which meant that i was sitting at my desk at 1 pm. (my friend actually laughed when i showed up, i haven't been in so long). and seriously? i hope i passed. i'm not joking. there was identify-passages, which sucked, because - have i read the plays? even if i had - and i swear, i read most of them - could i tell you who had actually spoke (spake?) them, or what the speeches meant to the play? then on to the second part - the essay questions - and i haven't been to the class in a few weeks (totally missed the review) so i didn't know exactly what plays we were being tested on...and, oh god. hear that whistling noise far off? that is the bee-bomb about to go off.
then i went directly to the computer lab to finish WRITING and photocopying the story, and promptly forgot my computer disk there. so i was late to class, and it just so happens and i shit you not, we were CRITIQUING A STORY ABOUT LESBIAN PROSTITUTES WITH FABRIC NAMES (IE: GIN CUT COTTON) HAVING SEX WITH POTATOES AND BEING FED TO ALLIGATORS which was, actually, as wince-inducing as it sounds (and i hate to admit that. i really really do - i want to give props where props are due. but jesus god).

then my professor drove me home. the professor who i've almost decided to ask to adopt me. i think he might say yes. and it was lovely and there was nothing odd about that but i did have this twinge where, i wondered, "is this cool?" not that i think he would EVER do anything untoward...but still. i get jumpy.

then i spent an absurd. ABSURD. amount of money to nourish myself for the coming week. and now i'm too tired to make any of said nourishment and, oooooh looky, i've got 300 pages of psych to read. BY TOMORROW. AT 10 AM.

bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

this tree makes me want to climb up it and go to sleep for 100 years, leaving a "do not disturb" sign for that pesky prince charming.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

note to myself

when school quiets down, i need to touch base with the following people:


-deb r




**this is just to let you know that i am fully aware that i owe you all emails, and that i love you to death and can't wait to touch base - except that i am swamped.**

meme...because i'm sleepy and sort of stressed out

thank god, i was tagged by jessie. because quite honestly, i wanted to write something, but i have SO MUCH to do before...oooh, tomorrow? and it keeps going until thursday morning. i have a short story due tomorrow, plus a midterm in shakespeare that i need to read some plays for (and king lear? i have to slog through. that bitch is DENSE.) then i have a final exam in psych on thursday morning...which i need to read 6 chapters for. SIGH. basically, i'm not getting out of my pajamas until the last minute possible.

if you would like to do this, consider yourself tagged.

One word. No explanation.
1. Yourself: silly
2. Your partner: incredible
3. Your hair: bedhead
4. Your mother: loving
5. Your father: delusional
6. Your favorite item: mala
7. Your dream last night: pedophile
8. Your favorite drink: coffee
9. Your dream car: anything
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: punk
12. Your fear: waste
13. What you want to be in 10 years: mother
14. Who you hung out with last night: bean
15. What you're not: conservative
16. Muffins: yes
17: One of your wish list items: blanket
18: Time: elastic
19. The last thing you did: blogsurf
20. What you are wearing: bathrobe
21. Your favorite weather: sunny
22. Your favorite book: all
23. The last thing you ate: yam
24. Your life: wonderful
25. Your mood: hungry
26. Your best friend: stressed
27. What you're thinking about right now: story
28. Your car: anything
29. What you are doing at the moment: smiling
30. Your summer: blur
31. Your relationship status: wonderful
32. What is on your TV: cloth
33. What is the weather like: metallic
34. When was the last time you laughed: earlier

Monday, November 27, 2006

you wouldn't believe me if i told you; i'll try anyway.

i'm sitting here, in my bathrobe, with my tiny cup of coffee by my right hand, my desk covered with books and zines and driftwood and its statues of ganesh and buddha and the goddess and my pills and my incense holder that's actually a piece of termite-eaten driftwood that i picked up off the beach in tofino this summer...the only sound i can hear is the hum of my old computer. my eyes keep getting drawn to the huge copy of living artfully that i want to roll around in.

basically, it's like i've never left, but oh-so-much-has happened in the four days that i have been away. i basically haven't stopped moving or drinking wine or hiking or talking or hugging or writing or cooking or singing since. now comes the part where i try and tell you all the story of my weekend.

it starts when i turned off the computer from blogging my last entry. i knew i was going to be late to the bus station, and would probably miss my connection through to peterborough once i got to ottawa. i packed up my homework and stuffed a sweater and some underwear in a shoulder bag and went to the metro. i got to the bus station and climbed in a huge greyhound and it took me to ottawa.

where i realized that the earliest i was going to leave for peterborough was at 12:30 am, so i decided to spend the night at my friend c's house.

i didn't call or anything beforehand, i wanted it to be a complete surprise. so i walked the half-an-hour from the bus station to her house, all through little italy and down one of my favourite streets in ottawa - and finally stood on her doorstep and rang the bell.

she opened the door, squealing with delight (which is always nice) and i noticed that she was wearing a knapsack on her back.

"where are you going?" i asked her, and she said, "to the pool. i was going to take a hot-tub. do you want to go?"

and i said, "sure."

so she lent me one of her bathing suits and got me an extra towel and we walked the block up to the pool and swam some laps, then sat in the hot tub for a while and then steamed the stress out of our bodies in the steam room, chatchatchatting all the way.

she was on her way to my other best friends' house to babysit her son while they all went out to celebrate my friend angell's birthday. so i went along with her, and the door opened and my friend k., who had surgery earlier this month, started crying and said, "i've been calling you and calling you. what took you so long?"

(calling in the sense where she's been asking the universe to send me to her.) so that was nice, too. i hugged her back and told her i got there as soon as i could. c left with the baby, and k and i were sitting out on the picnic table in front of her house and she was smoking a cigarette and telling me the (horrific) details of her surgery when a car pulled up.

and who should get out of it but our friend charlie, who is apparently not living in thailand forever and ever but is back on this continent for a few weeks.

so amid the screams and welcome-home hugs and looking at all our physical differences (my hair cut, his lost weight, new tattoo and shaved head) it was a very heady welcome home indeed.
george and i drove to pick up angell from her work and she screamed when she saw me, too. (apparently, i have to go back home more than once every 4 months.) and we brought her back to t's house and there was much wine and beer drinking, and a birthday cake in the shape of a pirate - and then we called two cabs and went to a west-end bar where there was karaoke...
where there was MORE beer-drinking and bellowing of the "rainbow connection" and i ran into my best friend from high school (of all the bars in all the world i had to walk into hers) who had apparently written into a gameshow once, trying to find me.

we went home and i put myself to bed shortly thereafter. and woke up the next morning already having missed the first two buses to peterborough, and with a pounding headache that no amount of coffee would make better. george and i took his dog moe for a looooong walk in the beautiful november sunshine the half-an-hour back to the bus station and i tied my greasy hair up in my goddess scarf and got back on the bus for another 3 1/2 hours.

*poof* out of ottawa.

the ride to peterborough was uneventful, except that i realized that i had misplaced the directions to banane's new house somewhere in my foggy-headedness of that morning. so i read homework and listened to the only cd i had thought to bring with me, over and over until i got there. of course when i got there it was getting dark. and so thank god i remembered the first few directions on how to get there (up to go across the pedestrian foot bridge) and was hoping that someone would find me when....

banane did. i crossed the foot bridge which brought me to this dog park, and there was banane, magically standing on the other side of it at a completely random moment, to take me home. with her wonderful puppy. so we walked home and i got to see her brand new house (her first-ever OWNED one) which is the cutest wee bungalow painted in earth tones and has a lot of reggae-influenced art and milk-crate furniture and a root cellar full of pickles and preserves...and had my bf in it. my bf from last week who is now living with and good friends with my sister. which is fabulous (and no doubt confusing to people who know them only by initials and nicknames).

they were having a meeting for their "hunger gala" (a night staged to bring attention to peterborough's poverty and food crisis...if you'll be in the area, it's on tuesday at market hall) so i helped a bit and wrote a piece for their zine and curled up and did some more homework and then drank some wine...i think we went to bed somewhat early, but i can't be too sure.

the next day we woke up slowly again and had some coffee and then banane and i went to the farmer's market, too late to buy anything. and then we drove up to her farm property where she showed me what grew where during the summer months and we went on this long hike with her puppy to the watering hole where she and her boy and her dog swam all summer, and the hike took us through this forest that was incredibly, incredibly magical.

it was all grown over with coniferous trees and there were needles on the ground and these huge stone caves overgrown with moss - porcupines live in the caves and we saw some dead ones, and i picked some of the porcupine quills to make a necklace for someone (the quills are good for asthma, apparently) and then we went home to get ready for her birthday dinner.

she and her boy went into their backyard to build a bonfire pit and i opened the crate of dumpster-dived white wine she found to make a cauldron full of sangria (i am always called on to make the sangria at any party i go to. add wine - cheap juice - fruit. mix.) and then bf roasted some squash and made chocolate cake and rice, and there was fresh roasted venison, and then people started arriving and we drank sangria and beer and ate cake and sat at a bonfire and...i went to bed around 2 am, after realizing that king lear was very hard to read after a party like that.

i woke up yesterday morning by 11:30 and by 12:30 banane's boy and i were at a diner, eating sausage and eggs and drinking mucho coffee and water and then we got back in the car and he drove us to his parents' house where we made an impromptu showing at his family's birthday dinner - i drank more wine and more beer and ate lasagne and more cake and then boy drove me to the bus station, where i bought a student priced ticket for montreal and boarded the bus.

*poof out of peterborough and ottawa*

i got home at 9:30, called met so that he could use his keys to let me in, we talked for 3 minutes (or so) and i walked into my bedroom and passed OUT.

i woke up today a full 12 hours after i went to sleep. i got up, took a shower, and made coffee. i have a lot of work to do.
i realized a few things this weekend, though. i was thinking, once i made it to peterborough and realized that banane didn't have a computer and the town hasn't quite made it to the concept of "internet cafes", that of course my resolution to blog every day in november, much less my participation in nanoblopomo, was down the crapper.

i was a bit upset, and then i realized that there was nothing i could have done to change the situation. what was i supposed to have done - missed my sister's birthday in order to stick close to the internet? no.

and being away from it showed me how healing it is to take breaks every once in a while. breaks even from healing resolutions to journal every day. to be flexible with yourself even when you think you're engaging with yourself flexibly. to allow healing to come through in different forms - like the half-an-hour wordless cuddle that banane and i shared on her couch. to let go of attachment to things - to events and outcomes and notions of oneself - and to just, plainly and finally,


Thursday, November 23, 2006


i am just incredibly grateful to the world today.
thank you, everybody who commented and read yesterday's post, for your words. i am literally astounded at how wonderful your support was and i really appreciated it. i wish i could hug you all individually and tell you exactly what was so special about each individual comment - but that will have to wait for email. i appreciate it so much. (HUG)

i finished my psych assignment. (!!!!) which means that i'm so. very. close. to the end of the semester, which means a month off for bee, and some SERIOUS re-organization and 'winter-cleaning', which i'm looking forward to in a strange way. (i have told everyone i'm addicted to the smell of cleaner, right? and currently i'm living with fruit flies. which i hate.)
one of the last things i have to do is WRITE A STORY. which will be AWESOME. i'm looking forward to it.

i'm grateful that my partner is writing the play that he's writing. it sounds fantastic, and i'm super-proud of him for going in a direction he has never gone before, touching on certain subjects and issues that are close to him. i love watching people's creativity flare, and their trust in their own genius.

i'm grateful for the jaw-droppingly wonderful, goddess-gifted package i got in the mail today from one of the most special people i've ever met. thank you, jessica michelle. i love you.

i'm so thankful for my sister, who turns freaking 25 years old today. happy birthday, sweetpea! i LOOOOOOOOOVE you. i'm coming! i swear! i'm just late as usual! (she is currently carving her own stag for her dinner right now and never uses the internet anyway, so i'm not sure why i'm making excuses.)
the beautiful day. it's all blue skies and warm sun and melty montreal goodness. i was just tripping around the light fantastic and thinking to myself how MUCH i love this city, today. and i'm so lucky to truly be living my dreams here.

going to the country...going to eat a lot of peaches. so, i'm heading to peterborough today. or, at least, i hope i am. i gots to get moving if i want to go. and i still have to pack. erg. i didn't have much time to visit (if any. did i visit today? crap on a stick, i don't think so. i'm SORRRRRYYYY!!!) because it's the banane's birthday, and you know, we stick together. and i'm looking forward to the weekend 'off', as it were, in the country, drinking my sister's hippie brews and playing with her dog. and seeing her very-own-first house for the first time. and...probably drinking red wine. and getting lost in some cornfields. whee.

i hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving.
and p.s. check out my new favourite picture in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. isn't she just the cutest thing in the entire world? i laughed MY ASS OFF when i saw that.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

learning how to be grateful for humiliation

last night i went to my yoga class, knowing that i was stiff and in a little pain. i can expect that when it's cold like this and i haven't done any deep stretching in a week. normally i love my tuesday classes because jodie's my teacher - she's so sweet and gentle that i liked and got along with her right away.

she had the stomach flu yesterday so a different teacher subbed for her - a man. i've taken a lot of studio yoga classes in my day and i'm not sure what it is (i mean no disrespect) but i've never liked or felt comfortable around any male instructors.

...but that has a lot to do with my herstory. i've found as well, through my informal polling, that male instructors like to touch and manipulate their students' bodies more - which is, in general, a no-no in my book.

so i took a deep breath once i figured this all out and told myself to stay open to the experience - that maybe i was wrong, and that there was a reason why i was supposed to take that class. i changed and unrolled my mat and got ready.

right away my "worries" were confirmed. in yoga i love doing flexibility postures (where the emphasis is placed on warming up and opening up the joints) because my joints stiffen so quickly and close in on themselves. i hate doing balance postures, because - well, i'm out of balance. one half of my body is literally shorter and lighter than the other half which means i can barely stand on one foot, much less tuck the leg i'm not using into the fold of my hip.

yesterday was a balance-postures class. i felt my heart sink right away as soon as i figured that out, because not only does my heart rate speed up (in the anxious, oh no i can't do this he's going to constantly correct and draw attention to me way), but it means i simply can't physically do a lot of the postures. so i'm left cooling my heels when all my body wanted and needed was a good 90 minute stretching out.

of course the teacher, never having read my file (which says under 'health concerns': born with cerebral palsy - i know because i wrote it down) constantly did what i was afraid he was going to do. in the leg lunges, which were fairly simple, the students were supposed to keep their knee straight and above their ankle.

(if you tried that right now, it's fairly simple. drop to the floor, extend one leg behind you, and keep your forward leg bent in a 90 degree angle. no matter how low you can sink into the posture, keeping the knee in front of the ankle is fairly easy - except for me. my left knee has never been able to do that properly - because of the spasticity of my tendons, my knee angles in, towards my other leg, and it hurts and is extremely uncomfortable when i try to reposition it. i'm working on opening up that area, but it takes time.)

so of course the teacher said to me, "no. the knee over the ankle. the knee over the ankle. see? like this." and i'm trying to maintain the posture and trying not to burst into tears (because this is a shy person's nightmare) and trying not to yell at him, "you think i don't know what you're talking about? i just can't do it, you jerk!"

this continued, with him commenting on the position of my arm in the warrior pose (ironic, no?) and then, at the end of the class when we're all rolling up our mats, he came up to me and said, in a loud voice,

"so, what happened to you? were you in an accident or something? is it your leg or your arm? i was trying to figure that out all class." and i said, quietly,
"no, i was born with cerebral palsy."

and he sort of stopped and looked and me and said, "oh? i don't know much about that. so...the yoga's helping?"

i told him, yes, it was, and that's why i did so much of it.

on the way to class afterwards i had to walk quickly so that i didn't start crying.

i know, for me, that my 'disability' is where a lot of my insecurity comes from. i guess i thought i was dealing with it better. i wish it didn't; i don't think that any disability should affect people's 'soul cores'.

for me, a lot of my confusion and insecurity comes from the fact that i can 'almost pass' for an able-bodied person. that's what my parents wanted me to do - that's why neither of them told me that what i had was actually c.p. - they didn't want me to grow up under a label which would help me determine my own limitations.

i remember lying on my mother's bed for so much of my childhood as she helped me do my physiotherapy exercises, watching the two of us in her mirrored closet.

"your left side is just weaker than your right side. if somebody asks you about it and you don't feel comfortable, just tell them you got in a football accident."

i remember going to kiddie kobbler to buy shoes for my first day in grade school and my face burning with embarrassment as my mother told the salesclerk, "see...one foot is about a size larger than the other. can you mismatch two pairs?"

i remember stroking the fingers of my left hand, imagining i could feel new nerves growing, telling myself that if i just kept it up, i wouldn't be this way anymore.

i remember sitting on the window sills of the library, because nobody picked me for recess dodgeball, and i'd close my eyes and in my head i would be the most graceful ballet dancer in the world. i would be light and beautiful and strong.

throughout my life i've had people tell me that i wouldn't be able to do things. like climbing trees (well, maybe they were right about that), or playing sports well enough to make a school team (so i didn't try), or building campfires ("watch out! you'll burn yourself! let me do it!"). and even though now i know that there's absolutely nothing wrong with me, and that it doesn't have to define me in any way that i don't want it to, and that i can do anything i set my mind to, there is a lot of rewiring that i need to do. a lot of sensitive spots that i'm trying to teach myself to let go of.

like it or not, people are often going to remark on my body, and i want to stop the internal cringe that happens when they do. the internal cringe happens because of a sense of shame that i have, i know that. i want to be gentle with myself and let it go. i want to understand myself better.

i want to be grateful to the opportunities and gifts that this life has given me, even the ones that come in lopsided and sometimes painful packages. and i am, most of the time.
i just wish that my first reaction towards such an integral part of myself - what makes me me, wasn't shame.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


happy happy, baby.

in such a short time you've completely changed my life. thank you for supporting me in becoming a truer version of myself, for being my best friend, and for loving me so well.

there are so many things i admire about you as a person - your steadfastness, creativity, kindness, your loyalty. i love your sense of honour. your sense of humour, too.

i love how we are, so completely, two sides of the sane coin - sharing so many things, but complementing on so many others.

i love that i get to share my life with you.

Monday, November 20, 2006


the negatives

it's late and i'm feeling shivery and having one of those petulant moments where no, i don't want to make myself anything for dinner i just want to eat those three figs that i have left in my knapsack and drink yerba mate which probably means that i'm low on protein. and sleep. i used to be such an avid partier that it somewhat embarrasses me that i can't drink somewhat heavily more than one night in a row and not feel the effects.

  • i have been HIGHLY premenstrual this month (so bad, in fact, that my boyfriend looked at me on thursday which was four days ago and asked me if i was more bloated than usual) and one of the posts that i had in mind for today was how i have been aware of that, so have been flipping my naturally sensitive mind frame for this time of the month and gotten super positive instead. all hail the moon cycle, etc., etc. but, as is usual for the end of the term (it finally hit) my body is starting to refuse to do any work.
  • after the few days off that i gave it, ("are you crazy?" my school friends asked me), i'm sitting in front of my computer knowing that i have a gajillion things to do for tomorrow (2 poetry assignments, a psych essay, editing 3 submissions) and yet - i want to read blogs and just generally fart around for the next few hours, until i get tired and fall asleep.
  • the not-wanting-to-do-any-work is making me a bit grumpy.
  • at this point, everyone i talk to is describing feelings of burn-out. i'm one of the luckier ones in that my breakdown has taught me to value my health above getting that essay in on time, but for the most part, everybody is intensely stressed, frustrated, and exhausted.
  • i spent about an hour talking to my boyfriend yesterday as he was valiantly trying to apply the finishing touches to 4 plays. he was tired and overwrought and nothing i said seemed to help the situation. it bothers me when i think i should know how to do something, and yet i can't. for the life of me.
  • my father wrote one of his airy, insensitive asshole emails to his 'family' today which said: Just in case you write and don't get a reply for a while, I will be in Peru from today to 11 December, with uncertain access to the internet.
    Sigh ... I can hardly wait to get back to the comfort of my home. But, if someone doesn't visit Peru, who will support the economy?
    this from a man who has always said that if he had his life to live over again he would never have had kids; who is living the life of whoever in costa rica and taking jaunty trips to other continents just because while his daughters are ekeing out existences on the poverty line. it makes me so mad i shake a little every time i think about it.
  • i've also scheduled a trip out of town this weekend to see banane for her birthday. i love her, and i love where she lives, but at this point i'm asking myself, are you absolutely nuts? you have a story due next week, for god's sake. which is one more thing that i'm not thinking i want to write, but that i need to get through in order to get to my vacation.
  • my body also hurt today for the first time in a long time. my hip was achy and my back's starting to tense up. but that just means i need to go to yoga again.
then i found this woman's blog tonight and her post sort of stopped me in my tracks. so i need, once again, to rewire my thinking a bit. because i truly think that she is right, but that just means it's probably going to be the most difficult thing to actually do.

the positives

i bought some lovely photos from a photo exhibit in the main building of my university. i like supporting student art and the pictures are lovely. one's of a forest, and one is of a girl in a negligee using a blowdryer in a bathroom. they both spoke to me in different ways.

i had my prose workshop tonight, which always puts me in a good mood. i love my teacher.

after this assignment that's due tomorrow, i don't have anything more for another week.

  • i got a package waiting for me at a post office i've never been to, so i have to go on an adventure to pick it up.
  • i'm going to make myself a kick-ass, mini "date" dinner. and listen to my favourite talk-radio station, and maybe dance around my kitchen a bit because no-one can see me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

a weekend of light

yesterday i had this really interesting "encounter" with this woman i'd never met before. she came into the store to make a delivery and as i took the box from her our eyes locked.
all of a sudden she was telling me about how she got sepsis in october and almost died, then how she started meditating. i told her about how i'd had health issues of my own in the past and had recently begun to meditate again, myself.
then she started telling me about this 'break-through' she'd had during one of her sessions where she'd realized how to break down the ego - her solution was to beam out love energy - egoless, healing, all-encompassing love.
i'd been thinking much the same thing lately, and so excitedly contributed to the discussion whenever i could. we touched a lot on meditation, how organic food is one of our ways to self-heal, talismans, auras - the whole shebang.
our conversation continued after she left. she called me to read me this piece she'd written about the breakthrough, and then sent the piece to me by email. then she said something that stopped me in my tracks.
"you know, i don't normally say any of this to people i just meet. did you notice that i took a step back and scanned you once you said that you had health issues, as well?"
i was serving another customer and sort of distracted at this point so i replied,
"no, not really."
"well, i assessed whether you had - and what i saw was that you had significant health problems, but that you were on a path of joy. there are only certain people who are open to what i have to say."
these are things that she said she tried to do with her meditation: become "one with the light", and to project healing to the entire world. this is a woman who meditates for four hours a day - two in the morning and two before she goes to sleep.
i thought that was a beautiful thing, because she can't be the only one. she cannot be the only person who is striving with such focus to become part of positive energy, and she can't be the only person who projects egoless love onto all humanity.
something that my body hasn't quite accepted yet is that this continues to happen on 'bad days' as well. it can be hard for me to feel anything good on those days - but yet, someone is still out there, going to a place of peace and praying for me within it.
last night, i got home from work and meditated for a while, and just as i was blowing out the candle, my door buzzed and best friend had arrived. we flopped on the couch and i said, "you know, if you hadn't showed up just now i would have made myself a drink and turned on the family guy." she replied, "oh, could we?" so we snacked a bit and drank some nice drinks and watched cartoons, until mom and dad showed up. then we decided to get up and make food - quinoa with mushrooms, roasted squash - and we ate, then we went out to get popcorn and a few movies. we drank a lot - when mom and dad showed up they brought beer and wine with them - and i think it was around 10 when i wandered into my bedroom, saw my bed, and literally went, "ooh, that looks good!" and promptly passed out in my clothes with all the lights on.
bf came in a while later to see what had happened to me, saw me curled up, and turned off the lights to curl up beside me - so it was really the most chill, early night ever. and i got to wake up to being spooned by a woman who knows me very well and loves me better.
this morning was beautiful - because it revived a tradition that i didn't realize i missed so much: bf, mom, dad, and i all having 'morning coffee' together as the sun was rising. when we lived in the commune we would always meet up to watch the dawson's creek reruns on tbs - and there would be a few hours of quiet companionship and caffeination. i hugged my friends goodbye and then i headed to work, and when i headed to work - i had this feeling.
it took me a while to figure out what it was, exactly. i knew the 'blissful' part right away, but there was something else.
i love very easily - and i'm finally okay with that. for a long time i was told that 'love' was something special and should only be reserved for a few people, to keep its specialness - and i tried to rein in my heart, even though it hurt and trying to stop loving a lot of people went contrary to my nature.
lately, as i've been out of balance, i'd 'watched' my love more - keeping track of it, a little - "okay, i've shown this person this much of me - now i should wait to see what's going to happen before i reveal more." and quite frankly, i didn't like doing that, because it felt weird to me, too - i always understood it as a sign that i was imbalanced.
but on the way to work this morning - i felt love just surging out of me, to everyone i thought of - and it was completely unfettered. there were no more checks and balances, there wasn't a drought, there was enough to give to the whole world.
i hope that, even if you didn't feel it today, that you will let yourself know that i was sending you some.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

mini commune reunion

around 3 years ago, i found myself living in a house in the east end of ottawa with 6 other people. one was the hobbit, my ex-partner, one was my best friend rachelle, and two others were my friends chris and brenda, a couple in their own right whose nicknames in the household were, affectionately, "mom and dad".

well, rachelle came to town yesterday. we drank A LOT of wine and then went to a show in the plateau to meet up with some friends. the show was incredible - we missed the first part but got to see rae spoon (pictured above) who had one of those voices...that makes you believe in god again. you know? where he opened his mouth and the whole bar fell silent to listen.
mom and dad, celebrating their six-year anniversary, are coming to town today. and tonight we're making sushi and drinking (more) wine and generally getting silly in my apartment.
i have a "rag tag" family, one that looks funny from the outside, but the bonds of love on the inside are so rare.
i want to write so much more, but once again, i'm going to be late for work if i don't get my ass in gear. i love you all! if you don't see me today it's because of a fault in time-management but i'm thinking about you and sending you SNUGGLES.

Friday, November 17, 2006

waking myself up, meme style

sitting at my desk, thinking why, god, is it pitch black and only 5:30? why? and desperately needing a cup of coffee before i can even think about writing that story that i should be writing - and i saw that not only vesper, but now susannah has done versions of the coolest meme around. so i had to. super fun. and deb, this one's for you. ;)
i borrowed this from susannah.

[RED ]

1. Closest red thing to you? my winter boots, which i am now wearing when it rains.
2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship? yes. he never admitted it, but i knew anyway. so did all of our friends.
3. Last thing to make you angry? when i forgot to take my anti-depressant two days running. it didn't really take much.
4. Are you a fan of romance? YES. i love being romanced.
5. Have you ever been in love? yes. most definitely.
6. Do you have a temper? incredibly so. it doesn't come out to play very often, but when it comes out, it's a scorcher.


1. Closest green thing to you? a bottle of fructis sleek&shine anti-frizz.
2. Do you care about the environment? very very much so.
3. Are you jealous of anyone right now? i am jealous periodically. i have a tendency to it, which i hate, so i try to keep tabs on it.
4. Are you a lucky person? i used to think so, then i changed my mind, now i'm changing it again.
5. Do you always want what you can't have? yes, but it takes me a while to realize that.
6. Are you Irish? oh, probably. everything's in me somewhere.

1. Last purple thing you saw? my bedspread. i bought it for it's purplocity.
2. Like being treated to expensive things? no. i buy expensive things for myself, so i don't feel guilty about them. i like getting letters and sweet things that i know someone put at least a bit of thought into.
3. Do you like mysterious things? depends. usually mystery drives me nuts.
4. Favourite type of chocolate? dark.
5. Ever met any royalty? yes. i sang for the queen and prince charles once and then i sang for princess diana once.
6. Are you creative? yes.
7. Are you lonely? sometimes. i shouldn't be, but you know, i want what i can't have.

[ BLUE ]
1. Closest blue thing to you? a book about chakras.
2. Are you good at calming people down? i think so.
3. Do you like the ocean? yes. a LOT.
4. What was the last thing that made you cry? yesterday, when i thought about not having a family. it makes holidays kind of weird.
5. Are you a logical thinker? logic's overrated. :)
6. Can you sleep easily? usually.
7. Do you prefer the beach or the woods? i'll have to go with vesper on this one - there can be combinations of both, and that's what i'd pick.

1. Closest yellow thing to you? the buffalo drawing on a buffalo brand eraser.
2. The happiest time(s) of your life? i think it's coming up.
3. Favourite holiday? going to europe with banane.
4. Are you a coward? sometimes i don't speak up when i want to.
5. Do you burn or tan? i burn first. tan once the burn peels off.
6. Do you want children? yes. i also want to get married.
7. What makes you happy? everything can make me happy if i give it a chance to.

[ PINK ]
1. Closest pink thing to you? a sharpie highlighter.
2. Do you like sweet things? yes. dark chocolate-y sweet things.
3. Like play-fighting? yes, with a lover. i'm a biter.
4. Are you sensitive? waaay too much sometimes.
5. Do you like punk music? i don't own any, but it's okay when i'm in the mood.
6. What is your favourite flower? lilies and tulips.
7. Does someone have a crush on you? no - unless the boyfriend counts. but i don't think that's what we're talking about.

1. Closest orange thing to you? a silk scarf.
2. Do you like to burn things? a few things. like incense, and wishes, and candles.
3. Dress up for Halloween? i was going to this year, but halloween got rained out.
4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person? i'd like to think so.
5. Do you prefer the single life or the security of a relationship? i'd like the security of a relationship while still maintaining my own life.
6. What would your super power be? the ability to heal people.

1. Closest white thing to you? a note that says "surprise" from one of my birthday presents.
2. Would you say you're innocent? no. i can still be naive, but i'm not innocent.
3. Always try to keep the peace? no, i can shit-disturb with the best of them.
4. How do you imagine your wedding? i try not to think about it, because then i get impatient.
5. Do you like to play in the snow? if i'm warmly dressed, yes.
6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist? i'm tired of both. every time i go to one, i leave with five extra appointments. no thank you!

1. Closest black thing to you? a book called "quiet rumours". it's a collection of anarcho-feminist essays.
2. Ever enjoy hurting people? yes. but i like being hurt in return. :)
3. Are you sophisticated or silly? i'd say i'm waaaaaay more silly than sophisticated.
4. Do you have a lot of secrets? a few.
5. What is your favourite colour(s)? pomegranate red, grass green, royal purple, sky blue.
6. Does the colour you wear affect your mood? my mood affects the colour, like susannah said.

thank you....zzzZZZZZzzzzzz

guess what i did all yesterday?
i'll give you four guesses.
a) did yoga
b) did homework
c) went for a run
d) slept 15 + hours
if you picked d), you'd be CORRECT! you win a million dollah!
thank you to everybody who answered my post about the links, i'm getting back to you, because as you can see - i was waylaid yesterday. i never fully woke up, i think. i dragged myself through cleaning my apartment, and then dragged my bed into the livingroom, because met wanted to watch cartoons in bed, which i thought was a fabulous idea.
he came over, i finished eating some hippie lunch, and i fell onto the bed beside him where he was reading a comic book and said, "nap?"
so we curled up together and snoozed for two hours or so. then we sloooowly woke up, managed to fit in an episode of cartoons before he went home to work on a play, at which point i thought i was going to write, too. i have a story that's about ready to come out.
you know, maybe catch up on some of those emails that i've been too busy to respond to.
but no. i no sooner sat at my desk than i could feel the magnets on my eyelids pulling them down. i looked at the clock and was like, "7:30??? come on, girl, where is your bad self?"
my bad self made it to 7:40. i slept almost a full 12 hours.
so that is where i have been - sleeping in my living room, and making bean have a heart attack because oh my god, things are different. are we moving again? and now, i have not very much time before i have to be at work, so i should go and get dressed. and...you know...make sure i smell okay.
we really need to work on this teleportation deal, people. seriously. that would be right up my alley.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

what are YOUR orange shoes like?

well, i finished the essay at around 3:30 this morning, and i was so hopped up on caffeine that i probably didn't drift off until some time around 4. my alarm, of course, was set for 6:30, because i figured it would take me an hour to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and head to the shuttle for 8.

i'm glad i had that foresight, as it took me an hour to do anything other than press the snooze button.

sometimes i can function of very little sleep, other times it feels like i have to remind myself to breathe. today was one of those second times. maybe it was because in the few hours that i napped, it had rained again and i woke up to a soft grey sky; maybe it was that i literally had just enough time to throw on the clothes that i had dropped at the foot of my bed, grab my computer disk and head out the door; but whatever it was i just couldn't shake myself awake.

i must have looked like the funniest sight: wild (and red-) eyed and wild-haired bee, stumbling towards the bus with her briefcase full of school books in her purple fall jacket and her orange shoes.

i bought my orange shoes to wear to a maceo parker concert back in july. they have bows on the top and thin rubber soles. i love them first of all because they're orange, second because they're slip-ons, and third because even though they're shoes, i can still feel the earth under my feet when i wear them.

i sucked at meditating the first couple times i tried doing it.

i don't know if it comes across in my writing style here, but i can be a pretty excitable person. people have described me as 'child-like', 'bouncy', and 'full of energy' my entire life, and i remember my mother once exasperatedly telling me to go to my room and try to just sit for a while.

i couldn't. there was this force that seemed to propel me off the ground, in the same way i couldn't handle silence, or being on my own.

but the idea appealed to me - meditation - the idea of sitting still, and allowing calm to enter and flood my being. i just wasn't ready for it yet.

when i was in my early 20's, i met a good friend who introduced me to buddhism. i had dabbled a bit already, but with his influence i started to seriously read the dhammapada, and books by thich nhat hanh. i was really struck by the idea that every action could be a meditation, if one stayed in the present moment and remained mindful. with that awareness, washing dishes could be a meditation, or reading a book, or soothing a child after a fall. anything.

i liked how that idea felt under my skin, and i started trying to remain more inside the moment. which was very hard for me to do.
i can be a squirmy bee, for sure. i plan lots, dream big dreams, and can be the 'what's next?' girl if i'm not careful.

this summer i travelled by myself across the country to b.c. for 6 weeks. i had a lot of friends and family out there, but in essence i was alone. this was meant to be a sort of self-test. the last time i had travelled alone anywhere was to california in 2003, and i crashed and burned on that particular venture, so i needed to know that i could take care of myself for an extended period of time.

this year, in fact, has been about me learning to take care of myself, by myself, with no safety net.

i didn't just go to b.c. to test myself, though, i went to heal in a lot of ways, too. most of my family i hadn't seen in at least 10 years, if not double that. both sides of my family, since my parents' divorce, had just gotten progressively more and more pissed off at each other. living that far away from the drama, it just looked to banane and i like some gigantic, immature game of telephone.

i spent the first 10 days of my trip in vancouver, with the aunt that i hadn't seen in 17 years. and while i was there, i found out a WHOLE lot of family skeletons that i was uncomfortable - to say the least - with. like ginormous, racist ones. i felt myself biting my tongue the entire time.

at the end of the week and a half, i escaped to victoria for 3 days, and for those 3 days i did approximately the following, in varying amounts:
  • talked to met on the phone
  • slept
  • ate
  • drank wine
  • biked around
  • lay on the beach

oh, and i also watched the quarter-finals of american idol. but i digress. on the second day, i found myself on gonzales beach, which is the beach in the picture.

to be honest, i love the ocean, and i love the beach by the ocean, but gonzales was a bit too crowded for me. so i started to walk. away. away from everybody and everything.

before i knew it, i had reached this stillness, both exterior and interior, that i had never felt. i could feel my blood pumping in my wrists. i could feel the sunlight splitting over my head. i was aware of each muscle in my foot bending and squeezing its way across the sand.

that was my first true experience with mindful walking, and good lord, i got addicted. for a walker, there really is nothing better - to just concentrate on the movement. each tiny, impossibly infinite movement.

i realized early on that my snazzy orange shoes were going to fit the bill for the fall months when it got too cold to barefoot my meditation around montreal.

and so when i stumbled out of bed this morning, and had to go back to my bedroom five separate times because i was so tired i kept forgetting things, and i couldn't make coffee, i decided to put them on. so i could feel the pavement beneath my soles, the soft fall grass, and try to pierce through my space cadet uniform.

it was hard. at first i kept noticing things and thinking about how much i wanted to blog, or take pictures of. ooh, look at the contrast of those red berries on the yellowing leaves of that hedge! that line from that sexton poem - i could use that in what i'm working on. i have that story due for next wednesday. etc., etc. so i started trying to incorporate my five senses.

the air smelled like nothing but cold. all of the fall colours (tree, and leaf, and burning bush, and house) stood out at once soft and incredibly vibrant after the rain. i listened to some girls speaking spanish together at the bus stop. i felt the soft cloth covers of the poetry books i've been carrying around to read at any small moment. and i felt myself sigh, just a little bit, and realize again, just how lucky i actually am.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

a small, weenie p.s.

i give up.

since i moved to "waiting from the front porch" from "the language of eyes and tongues" i have not been able to figure out how to do my f***ing links. and this bothers me, because i read a lot of fabulous people and fabulous people should be discovering the other fabulous people that are out there.
plus, i want to honour the fabulous work that people are doing, out in blogland.

if you can help me, a girl who knows NOTHING about computers, to figure out how to get a f***ing links list on my page, i will literally send you the best chocolate bar in the entire world. it's even VEGAN, for you vegans out there.

if you'd like to get back to the regularly scheduled program, it's down below.


my original post for today went something like: i'm in essay-land, which is blahblahblah boring, to those of you who are not in university. suffice it to say, i'm in the throes of creating a 12-page paper which is worth 75% of my grade, which was already due two days ago...yammer yammer. i'll do it. i sort of have to, and i might not even get marks taken off, but that's sort of what's on the forefront of my mind.
that and my eating habits.

i do take an anti-depressant every day, but i'm also convinced that "you are what you eat" is one of the basic truths in the world. i try to eat pro-actively - by that i mean staying away from the things that i know will aggravate my health.

met (whose nickname, by the way, stems from the word metrosexual, because lord, when this boy goes out? his keychain lanyard has to match his OUTFIT) constantly tells me how much of a hippie i am, and i can't really refute it.

my mother, coming into my teenaged bedroom which was covered in jim morrison posters and stank like patchouli, used to tell me i was born in the wrong decade. i took that as a compliment.

i work at an organic food store for a reason - i'm into health food. i keep my nails short, because, on the one hand they split once they grow a millimetre, but also - long nails just get in the way. i don't dye my hair anymore. last spring i started shaving again after not doing so for 3 years. i want to live in the country eventually. i buy recycled everything, i pick garbage off the street to make art with (plus people around here throw away beautiful things because they suddenly go out of fashion), and i love wearing my overalls.

one of the things we heard most from people when we started telling people that we were together was, "really? but you're so different." sure we are, i guess, on the surface. for starters, there's the whole he's black/i'm white thing. then (oh my god!) there's the fact that we have different clothing styles. he likes reading plays and manga, and hates actual fiction, but he knows that he has to read mine. we write different genres. (he's the playwright, obviously. i'm the poet/short story girl.)

but underneath we are so similar, it's comforting. we love to talk about everything. we share the same fierce loyalty to our loved ones. we have the same weird, sarcastic sense of humour. we love to tease.

and the one thing he loves to tease me about the most is my hippie-ness. a couple months ago i realized how bad my anemia was getting. it was getting that bad because i never really cooked meat for myself, was not on a tofu kick, and i had stopped eating nuts out of loyalty to him. (would you keep something around your house that your loved one was fatally allergic to?)

so that situation had to be fixed in a hurry.

protein is also extra-specially good for me because of my c.p.

the more protein i eat, the less my muscles hurt, because the less they're eating themselves - so it's fun all around. so i started stocking up on different proteins.

then we got this book in the store. coconut oil is the next miracle food in the organics industry. mind that all i'm about to say is !!my opinion only!! but damn, does it promise a lot of good stuff. a lot of the fat that we eat (the scary fat, the one that we're warned about) is, more technically, a long-chained fatty acid. (don't know what that is? me neither.) coconut oil, on the other hand, is a medium-chain fatty acid - it helps break down a lot of the toxins in the body.
apparently, it can also: build up your immune system, slow down the effects of alzheimers', speed up your metabolism (therefore enabling you to lose weight), strengthen the connective tissues in your body, help brain function.

sounds wonderful? there's a catch, of course. the oil that you're supposed to take is highly stable - meaning it's thick. and waxy. and it's expensive (in canadian dollars i paid $26.95 for a 473 ml. bottle). and you have to take 4 tsps. a day.

so this morning it all sort of synthesized for me. here i was, making my oatmeal with extra quinoa and sunflower seed butter for protein (met calls that butter "whipped shit", if i recall, and REFUSES to try it) - and sweetening it with agave syrup and rice milk, and then i had my supplements all lined up - my effexor, sure, but my vitamin b12 (for my depression), and my coconut oil too. and i had this moment where i stood back and LAUGHED at myself.

because the transition is complete. i am now, officially, the mega hippie.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

stop. look around. eat a strawberry.

i've been having these long discussions lately with a good friend, about how we both feel this compulsion to DEVOUR all aspects of life.

we want to be engaged every moment that we're awake - eat sumptuous meals three times a day, have interesting conversations about music and books, and paint on huge canvases. we want to fulfill our dreams of graduating school but still have time and space for that essential inner life.

if we did everything we wanted to, we would have very little time for sleep. (which i also love to do, voraciously.)

then yesterday i was in the shower, (which is, if i may admit, where a lot of my 'eureka' moments come to me) and it dawned on me, again, why i can feel that way - because sometimes it's a wonderful thing, to feel passion for every small thing, and to want to fill up the day with activity, and other times it can be stressful, and exhausting. right before my 'eureka' moment in the shower yesterday, i had asked myself the question, so why, again, are you doing five courses and working 20 hours a week?

to answer that i have to give a bit of family herstory. i have one of those histories that literally make hospitals want to do case studies on me. my mother, as i've mentioned before, died of breast cancer at the age of 51 in 1999; she was sick for 3 years. but that's not all.

my aunt died of breast cancer that had metastasized to her lungs at the age of 56 in 2001. she had been sick for only a few months, but she had had cancer once before in the mid 1970's.

my other aunt died of breast cancer at the age of 31 in 1974.

my grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of 44 in 1956.

my great-grandmother died of breast cancer in her mid-forties' somewhere in the 1930's.

and, i believe, my great great grandmother as well, but the dates are REALLY vague once you go that far back.

these women are all on my mother's side, and of course, i've known about this as part of my herstory since i was born. but i won't lie - once the numbers started adding up, and i figured out the ages of the women (see how no-one made 60?) i kind of got scared.

add that to a severe bout of depression that in essence, immobilized me for a lot of my mid-twenties' (dropped out of school, never left the hometown, stopped writing, etc.) that sort of put me on a negative thinking track for a while that what life i did have i was squandering.

so once i vaulted myself out of my depression enough to get to montreal and enroll in school - i think i subconsciously was thinking i had to make up for lost time. i should have graduated by now! my friends are all doing their masters'! this girl i knew in high school just got a book of poems published - where's my manuscript? why aren't i married with kids? etc., etc. so that explains the workload that i voluntarily take on that threatens to crush me by the second month.

another good friend i have has been coming to terms with his own depression, and he confided in me that he didn't know how to love himself. i gave him some advice that i swear, i cribbed from deepak chopra: let your heart make your decisions, from what time you get up in the morning, to what kind of coffee you order at starbucks, to what you write in your journal. not forever, but just long enough to let the sprouts of love and self-knowledge bloom.

your heart, i told him, will squiggle a little if you make a decision that feels uncomfortable.

that is, i think, what i've been doing these past few weeks - trying to give myself room to grow, to make decisions that will make me feel good, that will speed along my healing process so that i am once again able to love and cherish the people in my life the way i want to.

there are things i'd love to do right now, to feed my inner life, that i just don't have time for - at the moment. but i'm keeping track of them, so i can get started on them in a few weeks. these include: emails to a few people who i've been sorely neglecting, some snail mail, beading a necklace, a gigantic painting, and the longest poem i have ever attempted writing. i feel all this creative energy bubbling up, this creative energy that i in part want to use to honour the people i love in my life, and it's sort of killing me that it has to be subverted into essay-writing and shakespeare reading. but there you have it - a long-term goal of my soul that i committed to achieving a long time ago.

what i am doing, which i think is creating that inner life, is slowing down. taking time, each day, just for me, and realizing my actual potential - whether it's meditating for five minutes, watching half an hour of a movie while i eat leftover soup, or going to yoga. or reading eat pray love while i should be reading my coursework instead. once i gave myself that little bit of extra room, it allowed my heart to grow a little bit - and i am able to see what i can and cannot do without jeopardizing my health.

because, you know, i am going to die, someday. there is nothing in life that's certain except for death and taxes, after all. but rather than dwell on it, or have my actions be propelled into hyper-speed by some unconscious motivation to pack it all in before some mysterious number shows up - i'd rather just stop. look around. eat a strawberry. breathe, take it all in, and savour my life. every moment of it - whether peaceful, passionate, sad, or thoughtful - because each moment is unique and will only happen once.

just like the way it's happening now.

these are the signs of my sumptuous slow-living life that are making me smile:

  • pomegranate stains on my keyboard from when i was typing all juicy yesterday.
  • words for dr y by anne sexton (for the looooong poem).
  • a postcard that i got in the mail from this sumptuous goddess today (thank you, susannah!!).
  • mango nectar.
  • the last 1/2 hour of the pledge. quite honestly, i've never understood the de niro thing, but i've ALWAYS understood the jack thing.
  • hugs.
  • starting to find christmas presents in the unlikeliest places.
  • planning two.trips. for the new year!! (one just for me, and one for met and i...) thank god i travel cheap.

i am aware of the blessings in my life, that come to me in sweet, small packages and that are wrapped up in the hearts of dear people. i want to thank and honour each one of you for being one of them.

thank you for spending a moment with me.

the image of the painting i borrowed from here.


Monday, November 13, 2006

the post where bee uses some sanskrit

this poster hangs by the changing rooms in my yoga studio. it is something i try and look at and meditate on every time i go there - but like everything else i pay attention to, it only registers on my consciousness every so often.

yoga, translated from the sanskrit, means unity - unity with the divine source of love that is god, and the universe. according to patanjali's yoga sutras, (which is basically one of the philosophical texts of yoga, if you're into that sort of thing) there are 5 'colourings of thought' that stand between you and that source of divinity.

the mind is a powerful thing, and god knows why it would want to keep you separate from the union, but there you have it.

i've spoken a lot in this blog about my need to let go - how i think it is one of the things that i am the worst at, and therefore have the most to learn from. when i get all bent out of shape i find it very hard to trust the universe - to understand, as i do when i feel grounded, that there is a reason for all of what is happening in my life, and that on this journey i am where i am supposed to be.

for some reason, when i look at the kleshas, i see how much they stand between me and acceptance, how much they stand between me and actual peace.

1) Avidya, spiritual forgetting, ignorance, veiling:
Vidya is with knowledge: Vidya means knowledge, specifically the knowledge of Truth. It is not a mere mental knowledge, but the spiritual realization that is beyond the mind. When the "A" is put in front of Vidya (to make it Avidya), the "A" means without.
Avidya is without knowledge: Thus, Avidya means without Truth or without knowledge. It is the first form of forgetting the spiritual Reality. It is not just a thought pattern in the conventional sense of a thought pattern. Rather, it is the very ground of losing touch with the Reality of being the ocean of Oneness, of pure Consciousness.

i believe that we are all connected. i think, in a lot of ways, that's why i resonate so much with this community of bloggers. it is the idea of participating in something with my whole, true self, and being acknowledged and identified with for that. it's a constant reminder that yes, other people feel the same way i do, or yes, they can relate. we are so much more similar than we are different.
but yet - there are times when i falter.
i had a very cool dream the other night.
the tree that i can see from my bedroom window has finally lost all its golden leaves, and for some reason as i drifted off i thought it looked like a hand. that image followed me into the dreamworld where the tree (or the universe in disguise) and i were playing a game of trust.
you know, that game where you stand with your back to someone, close your eyes, and fall backwards, trusting that the other person will catch you? that one.
in my dream, i was hesitating, until this unearthly voice came out of nowhere and said, chidingly, "what? you're not going to trust the universe?" at which point i realized how silly i was being, and fell backwards. and was, of course, caught.
we are all part of this universe, all contributing to its energy and forward motion.

2) Asmita, associated with I-ness:
Nature of I-ness: Asmita is the finest form
of individuality. It is not I-am-ness, as when we say, "I am a man or woman," or "I am a person from this or that country". Rather, it is I-ness that has not taken on any of those identities.

i take this to mean when we get involved too much in our own lives, our own small dramas. and man, do i ever. when i start feeling sorry for myself because my body feels sore, or when i think about how long i've been figuring out my depression, or when people tell me how their parents bought them toilet paper and groceries to last a week and i think to myself, "but...i don't have parents like that. i wish i did..."
i feel, although this is simply my interpretation, that asmita and avidya are closely linked.

3) Raga, attraction or drawing to:
Once there is the primary forgetting called Avidya, and the rising of individuality called Asmita, there is now the potential for attachment, or Raga.

oh, lord. can i get a hell yeah?? snippets from my thoughts over the past few months: i don't want to drop one of my five courses, because then i'll have to admit to myself that i'm not a super woman! or i can't write this story - it will never turn out the way i want it to. or i'm worried about my relationship. i know he said he loved me, but that was yesterday. or countless other times when i have not wanted to relinquish control over a situation. which is funny, because i never had control in the first place.

4) Dvesha, aversion or pushing away:
Aversion is actually another form of attachment. It is what we are trying to mentally push away, but that pushing away is also a form of connection, just as much as attachment is a way of pulling towards us.

how many times have i given myself a hard time about feeling a certain way, because i think i shouldn't be? how i tried to dress my pessimistic thoughts in optimistic clothing because i was scared that other people would reject me for them? when i wasn't being honest about where and who i was because....because of some reason. i think that this klesha is here to remind me that the only way i can harm myself, and others, is by not being honest about who i am.
it doesn't mean bashing someone over the head with my version of honesty...but you know what i'm saying.

5) Abhinivesha, resistance to loss, fear:
Once the balance has been attained between the many attractions and aversions, along with having the foundation I-ness and spiritual ignorance, there comes an innate desire to keep things just the way they are.

...um. yeah. i have been known to throw a tantrum or two if things change too quickly.

these are things i'm currently working on, in my meditation practice. watching thoughts come up, and labelling them. seeing what will happen as i label them - whether their impact on me will dissolve somewhat, or not.

...i just got an email from my psych prof. turns out that i have to 1) write a 10-12 page essay and 2) read all the chapters i missed for psych, all by 9 tomorrow. so if i'm quiet for a bit, i'm just drowning in work.

information about the kleshas found here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


i feel better now. i was able to talk to met for an hour or so - and he was able to help me put it into perspective -
"you've been through a lot, this weekend. sometimes you don't heal on a timetable....maybe why you're so angry is that you still need to allow yourself to feel."
so i did. and he was with me, the whole way through - hearing each tear, then by the end of it, making me laugh.

thank god.

i also read for a little bit, am going to sit and meditate for a while, then i'm going to kick this essay's ass.

...i'm not too impressed with the quality of today's posts...but my commitment wasn't exactly to quality, but to an honest reflection of where i am in the healing process. but i do apologize for those of who are reading this tripe.

you might just want to skip this one

i think the post that i was trying to create is going to have to wait.

i'm so angry right now i don't know what to do with myself. i'm kind of happy i'm angry, rather than depressed, but it still is such a foreign emotion to me. i just got in from some time spent at the library, researching the essay that's due tomorrow - (and worth 75% of my grade) and sitting down, trying to pull together a post before i eat some soup and start writing - just wasn't working. first of all, the mouse for my computer isn't working properly, so it's literally as though i have to sum up all my energy to get the cursor around where i want it on the screen.

maybe it's just that i woke up at 9:33 this morning, when i wanted to go to a yoga class that started at 10 and i live about 20 minutes walking distance from the studio. i hate not having my 'adjustment period' in the morning and throwing myself out of bed, getting dressed, deciding i don't need to brush my teeth and grabbing my stuff for studying in 7 minutes definitely doesn't qualify.

maybe it's that once i got to yoga, my body decided to continue the further humiliation it started on friday when i took my second-ever anusara class. (i would link to what anusara is, but i think my head would literally explode.) on friday, my body seemed to throw back in my face all the optimism that i'd engendered from tuesday - oh, so you think you might be able to teach yoga? bwa ha ha ha ha. do this little, itty-bitty posture, and see how long it takes before you fall out of it. today, as i sat on my mat (late), and closed my eyes for the small meditation that takes place at each class, i couldn't do what jodie was asking us to do - with each inhalation, draw in the positive, with each exhalation let go of the negative - my mind was not having any of that. it was throwing up all sorts of resistance - you missed your psych midterm on monday - what are you going to do if the prof doesn't let you re-take it? ... i wonder what met's up to?...trust you to have left such a huge essay for the day before, bee...and then my body was stiff and sore and it was like, bam! i've had no training at all and all my flexibility has gone south along with the geese for the winter.

so frustrating.

so yes, if you followed my crazy stream-of-consciousness up there - i'm angry with myself for being so caught up in recovery that i missed a midterm, which means one of two things - either the prof lets me make it up, somehow, or i have to drop the class so it won't affect my g.p.a. i'm also pissed that i have a 12-page paper due tomorrow, that i need to basically start now. and it's worth 75% of my fucking grade.

i wrote "i'm angry with my body" but that's not true. i'm angry that i'm still dealing with the health issue that i mentioned a few posts ago. i hate it that every so often i have to relive that moment. i hate it that no matter how much i want to i can't let it go - that my body won't let me. what the hell is the lesson i'm supposed to learn from this? i'm ready to learn!

i'm angry at my ex. there's a part of me that wants to be able to forgive him, so that i can release the pain and hurt that he inflicted on me, and that i inflicted on myself as a result, but i just can't. there is also a part of me that wants to see him suffer. that wants make sure he feels as much pain as he caused. and how useful is that? i want to grind his face underneath the heel of a very spiky stiletto.

i'm angry because a customer i hoped to never see again, due to the inappropriateness of his behaviour towards me, came into the store not once, but twice yesterday and forced me to relive the first time i met him.

i'm angry at married people and people who are able to walk hand-in-hand with their partners down the street, or wait for the metros all snuggled up together. i know this is a silly and petty thing and normally i'm so happy for people who have found true happiness with their loved one -but goddamn, i've found my soulmate and we never see each other. right now we're in the middle of this ridiculous game of phone tag that is just...i just want him to walk through my door and grab me and let me release. but of course he can't - he's got so much shit on his plate right now, he's lucky if he has any energy left to sleep. i'm serious.

in the book that i'm reading, eat pray love, there's this part near the end of the india section where gilbert says (something like) it is the mind's last defense, to throw up resistance in the form of negative thought, as it doesn't want to let in the divinity of god's love.
i've often thought along those lines, but good lord...

this helped a little. at least now i'm not spitting and tearing my hair out and crying and pacing back and forth. as i was quite literally doing about half an hour ago.

i'm sorry. i needed to vent. keeping this rage inside of me was poisonous.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

3 poems for a saturday

for the real post for today, you can skip one down...but i realized i haven't posted any of my poetry in a while. it seems strange, considering that i a) belong to poetry thursday (oh? what? i'm a member? whoops!) and that b) writing's all i've ever done with my life, to the extent that i've enrolled myself in a university program to learn more about it.

the answer is truly simple...this is a place for me to figure shit out, to think about the big questions, or remind myself of beauty...my other 'work' feels so separate, somehow.
...interesting thoughts...i want to go read...

To Kate

Kate and I spend our grocery money on pedicures,
sitting in the maroon chairs at the Island Sun Spa,
pretending we are celebrities drinking coffee out of paper cups.

In the windows are dyed orchids in vases; framed
pictures of women in sunglasses, their bleached hair upswept;
piles of fashion magazines, wilting in the sun.

Kate sits, poised as porcelain, her fingers folded in her lap,
as the esthetician, a fat woman wearing pastel,
rubs her feet with the pumice stone.

We don’t talk; this is a sacred occasion,
one incensed with apple-scented fly paper,
framed by the ticking ceiling fan.

Kate dresses her toes in mango sorbet, I choose
vintage rosee; and we have our nails filed, our cuticles tucked
to a discreet distance, and then dried under lamps

and then we pay, and leave, passing Loblaws
on the way down Meadowlands, and open beers
to celebrate, sitting in our first backyard.

Later, I will wake at midnight to find Kate
eating three crackers in the dark, her arms
gleaming like the scales of whitefish on the counter.

Failed Love Affair

When we met, it was a Tuesday, and I was twenty-three,
sitting demurely on the bar stool at Darcy McGees.
There was a mean rain outside the window.

We went back to your apartment off Somerset.
You told me that from your front window, you watched
a prostitute being beaten by a policeman, how her head
sounded like fruit, hitting the hood of the car.
You poured rum and cokes for us, and we drank
side by side on your love seat,
listening to Perry Como,
until my head hurt from the sugar.

You were the first man I kissed who bit my lower lip,
who pushed me against a wall and held my wrists
as your mouth went to the freckles on my shoulder.
You whispered “you’re such a doll” into my neck,
until I felt strangled, until I felt the mask slide up,
with its clicking eyes, its rambutan eyelashes.

In the morning you made eggs with salsa for breakfast,
I set the table neatly, fussing over the placemats.
We ate quietly, alone with our earl-grey tea and hangovers,
until you said, “You know I’m never going to leave my girlfriend.

I just felt tired. My head hurt, I wanted black coffee,

I wanted to go home.

A Seizure They Call Petit Mal

I find out by falling out of bed:
the carpet on the ceiling, my tongue tripped,
hanging loosely in my throat.

My arms and legs, slackened like gunny sacks
full of soft mud, thump,
useless metronomes against the wood floor, my bed frame,
my eyes, which suddenly have blinkered minds of their own.

Then Dad rushes in, leans over me
so I can smell his sour dream breath, he calls my name
his voice slow as syrup in my ears
and I lean forward, commanded,
into his palm.

The hall light undulates around me like
an eel, a moray, some order of anguilleformes
sliding, surreptitious, clean-cut as a knife.
I perform the dance it wants, stepping with feet
gone mad with rubber,

as Dad holds my back,
and Mom, on the kitchen phone,
screams for a doctor.

I walk like this for hours, a drunken marionette,
until the room
becomes once again the clear space
with white walls,
book shelves,
a piano
standing muted in the corner.


i sat for a few minutes this morning, and wondered how to start this entry. i wrote: the feeling of quiet is still persisting, which is true, and breathe in, breathe out, which is what i have been trying to do.

yesterday in my yoga class, the instructor kept talking about being in the present moment. she said that's why she was asking us to do so many difficult and strenuous postures - because by being in "slight pain", we wouldn't be able to lose mindfulness, and therefore would just stay in the moment.
that philosophy was of great help to me. yesterday i tried to stay aware of my feelings, but not let them overwhelm me. i walked a lot - from my apartment to the studio and back, to work and back, and each step i took i literally told myself, it's okay to feel what you are feeling. give yourself space. breathe. what happened during and after this was just...an understanding of my feelings as part of the bigger picture, not the picture. which was comforting in itself.

another thing i tried to do yesterday was receive the beauty that the universe was trying to show me. it came in a number of different ways: having a long talk about meditation, food, and yoga with my boss; being told that i had really helped a customer by recommending a certain herb for a blood cleanse; helping another customer navigate her total terror at being diagnosed with celiac disease; walking home in the evening under one of those night skies where you can still see all the clouds.

i came home and talked with banane for a while, then did some dishes and took my crock pot out of the cupboard. making soup is one of the most soothing, nourishing activities for me. it's incredibly simple: i chopped garlic and some onions, added the chicken bones and broccoli stems from last night's dinner, diced up two beets, mixed in a quarter of a yam, put in three tomatoes, added a fistful of rice and then filled up the pot with water. i spiced it the way i felt like in the moment (cumin, coriander, pepper, lemon, salt, dill, oregano, and bay), turned it on low, and then when i woke up this morning, i had soup.

after i made the soup i poured myself a drink and curled up on the couch to watch the first hour of the libertine, because really? who can't be cheered up by watching johnny depp play a nymphomanic?
and then i went to bed, in gloriously clean sheets, and spooned with a cat who is more and more reminding me of 'nana' from peter pan. and i woke up this morning and...well, it's still there, to be honest - that little pit of sad - but i understand it more. i know that if i just let it tell me what it needs to tell me, we will both be healed by it.

i learned a lot about this healing process from yesterday: that i am making progress, but that there will be set-backs. that it is all part of one continuum, and as long as i try to keep my heart open, even if it feels shut, i will be learning something.

continuum. that was the word that spun around in my head as i fell asleep last night. i mean it in the sense of a tapestry, which is how i tend to think of people's individual lives. the universe (or god, or whatever you would like to call what you believe in) picks souls and gives each the pattern that it is supposed to weave during its lifetime. sometimes you might run out of wool, or somebody will bump into you and spill coffee on the right hand corner - and at first you might feel sad - that all of a sudden, in mid-stitch, you had to switch from orange to purple wool,
or that you will never be able to get the smell of overboiled decaf out of it. but that's what makes your tapestry your own - those mistakes, the events that you were not able to control, and your responses to them, become reminders of the way you lived.

i'm living a pretty good one.

i found the picture of the second-hottest man in the universe here. *ahem* enjoy. i know i did.
the image of the tapestry i found here.