Where do I start today?

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Image: Lorenzo Blangiardi at Flickr 

A wise suggestion from Andy Charrington when I explained that I didn’t know where to start with my writing right now:

“Start right where you really want to.”

Okay, I thought, well that’s a scary spot. A pretty strange and scary (though not entirely dark) spot…

It’s the place where I wonder how it would feel to run my fingers over her heavily-inked collar and breast bone.

It’s the chair in the corner of the tropical party that I showed up late to (wearing too much black), then left alone as each couple curled up together.

It’s the way a tendon in my left shoulder twitches sometimes, my body’s signal that I’m overwhelmed with anxiety and overdue for regular yoga and massage.

It’s the thing where I push myself out of the house regularly, mostly alone, often too late. Just yesterday pushing myself to a favourite cafe via slow bus, frozen toes..only to have it be too full.

It’s the way my being became seized with doubt after opening that piece of mail, after reading that particular message.

It’s the way I go out and come home alone, go out and come home alone, go out and come home alone…because I want to.

(But do I?)

*

I could start in these kinds of dark places—or I could start with the bright spots, of which there are many:

The band last week that made me feel like I was 16 again—sweaty bodies dancing joyously, strange and sometimes heavy music. Real music, real people, bodies dancing heavily in a drunken room.

The Time Traveller’s Wife, a sweet secret santa gift from an internet friend.

The way he concocted a super-special fresh mai tai cocktail the other day, icy cold and a bit bitter, complete with chunks of coconut, just for me. I was wearing a rainbow lei which was borrowed from Regretta the unicorn pinata.

It’s the way she bought me a coffee from the little outdoor sidewalk window, even though I barely knew her and had also kept her waiting for too long.

It’s the way we do Dollar Cinema, sitting up front and spiking our Pepsi (Nightcrawler, Boyhood).

It’s the way we served Sunday dinner messily last night, then laughed hard about how imperfect it was. Then we played guess the animal.

It’s being invited to work out with a friend and discovering that you actually like the gym that you’re in.

It’s listening to a best friend’s adventure stories on the other end of the phone.

It’s having a Sunday feel like a Sunday is supposed to feel.

2015: for Specificity & Clarity

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Well that was interesting.

2014 and 2013, I meant, were interesting. Each so different and strange and wonderful and hard in their own ways.

Even though I feel like I look like I’m about 80 years old these days, I feel good 2015.

It started out with a bang—a small house party where I felt I bonded with a new friend from here (I’d just published her article that day too) and an old friend from Vancouver. That feeling of closeness is such a relief. And it didn’t take too long to build, with these two. And there are more people to get to know, here and online and everywhere.

For that I am grateful.

I spent most of yesterday in bed, hungover but feeling socially refreshed, that feeling of possibility about like and love has returned. I have a good feeling about this year: it will be cleaner and clearer than the last.

For the first time ever I’m going to get to travel. By that I mean short visits and nowhere exotic, but now I can afford it: Toronto, Vancouver, maybe a short trip to Regina or the states.

I’m actually living the life I was dreaming about a year or two ago. I’m actually doing this.

And now that I think about it, hell yeah, I am kinda proud of myself. Saying that is not something I do easily…but fuck yeah, I’m kinda rocking this life!

elephant journal is doing well and my last review was positive. I think I’m past the hardest parts, with that and I’m finally feeling like I’m in my groove. I’m much more comfortable with the crew and working online by myself.

And this year’s promise to myself: be specific. Be detailed. Focus. Follow through. Communicate in clearer ways. Pay attention. Hone in. Be detailed, but don’t try to take on too much.

Tame all of the best ideas into manageable (do-able) pieces, and forget the rest.

Last night I had a vivid dream where I was hanging out with Johnny Depp (I fell asleep watching this movie) and a bunch of other people. We were camping or something—outdoors, just hanging out, mostly being quiet. I felt compelled to sort of talk to him but I was enjoying him just being there, too. I felt like we were somehow close. We were relaxed, just checking out board games to play.

I remember having the giddiness come up, like I was supposed to be excited because he is this big star. So it did, but then when let go of that hype and paid attention to how I really felt, I realized I just liked hanging out with him.

Then John and Kelly showed up. I remember Kelly said something to me that just cracked me up, and I was laughing so hard.

But, it was all just nice. Just a gentle, quiet presence.

And I am content about this past year, this new year…I’m genuinely excited, but without that giddiness. Without the highs.

Yeah.

sloping into autumn

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Last night was the first night in a long time that I really, really didn’t want to be alone. I’d had a glorious day: a massage, beach time with lovely friends, a bit of elephant journal work.

But I woke up around 130am feeling feverish and scared, but I didn’t know why. My legs couldn’t shake that too-close-to-the-edge feeling, that vertigo-style pain and weakness. I don’t know where that feeling came from. I’d even scanned back into my dreams to try to figure out if they’d been nightmares.

They’d been strange and kind of scary, but I didn’t remember feeling terrified enough while in them to warrant this kind of feeling.

It wasn’t one of those things where you think someone else is in the apartment, or breaking in. I looked around for signs of that but it wasn’t the case.

What the hell were you trying to tell me, body? What was so deeply frightening?

This morning that feeling hangs with me, and so I’m not myself.

I know that with the onset of autumn, it’s going to be a relatively fast drop from the apex that was my birthday month, July in all it’s (my) glorious sunshiny ego. July with all it’s playtime, the place that spring had sprung us towards.

It didn’t take much effort at all to get up there; it felt like we’d been sprung upwards and forwards, landing at the top, new, loved (loving), faces all aglow.

I can already feel the shorter days, smell the drying grass, spot the dried leaves.

I would rather enjoy the roll downhill than fall down it, but I might need a helping hand.

Which hand(s)? Where are you? Do you need to be steadied too?

These lyrics (the song) seem to resonate of late. Perhaps it’s all the ocean and beach imagery.

“And darlin’ we will be fine but what was yours and mine 
seems to me a sandcastle that the gibbering wave takes. 
But if it’s all just the same then will you say my name 
say my name in the morning, so that I know when the wave breaks?

I wasn’t born of a whistle or milked from a thistle at twilight
No I was all horns and thorns, sprung out fully-formed, 
knock-kneed and all bright. 
So enough of this terror, we deserve to know light, 
and grow evermore lighter and lighter
You would’ve seen me through but I could not undo that desire.”

~ Joanna Newsom (Sawdust & Diamonds)