Bearing Down, Shedding Layers, Saying Goodbye.


One week from now I will have shed all of my stuff, left attachments behind and will have landed in Montreal.

Currently my emotions waver from love of this city, a few things, some key people.

The last week:  Bandida’s and sangria, mimosas in a nearby park,  white russians at the Big Lebowski.

A Joni Mitchell tribute night at a house nearby that has a covered balcony with couches, glowing lights, vines.

And he read me Bukowski and she braided my hair.

Then pie, a seawall walk, a film noir, a special dinner at Espana with my soul sister.

A going away party with mad libs, bow ties…open hearts.

The day after that lounging in bed with someone that I wish…no, I’m not wishing anymore.

A last write-night with a bottle of pinot and I felt light, ready.

I felt loved.

I know there are still things eating away at me – literally they eat away at my stomach lining. And I feel ill.

Getting rid of old things (I mean stuff/attachments, not beings!) is liberating…and scary.

The hour before the vet appointment was the longest hour in the world. I just wanted it done. And then in that room how she nuzzled into the crook of my arm.

I’ve been listening to old mixed tapes and wondering why I kept them so long. I suppose at some point in time we couldn’t just find any old music anywhere …so it was more special. More valuable.

I’m wondering whether sentimentality has a purpose; is it good or bad that I want most of my things gone like this? It feels crazy.

And there is just so much stuff. So much.

Even with relationships – we have access to more relationships at a time with travel, globalization. It’s a double-edged sword in that there is always something new – so possibility is around the corner – but then we maybe aren’t as motivated to hold onto the good things. Maybe we just don’t focus enough on quality.

Is there someone out there for me? A new best friend? A more suitable lover? Will I see my old lovers and have it not be wrong?

I’m confused, a little; and I still feel judged.

Frankly (feeling) love is exhausting these days. I’m spent with feeling so good one moment and then rotten the next. I am not giving it well enough either, for the most part. Not in the right directions.

For that I am sorry. I wish I’d loved you (you, you) better.

I will really miss my friend-family here…but I’m also spent. I take responsibility for participating in some of the dynamics that exhaust me (and them).

Mostly, these relationships lift me. But sometimes not.

I guess that is normal… but here things just run so deep. It’s beautiful and intense and I would not trade it for the world.

But I’m okay to go, maybe just for a while.

Is leaving really going to be better? Is it a relief, a healthy change, or a distraction? Will I really be okay…let alone better, like I envision? Or is it just false hope?

We may attribute meaning by choice, but I can’t just leave the feelings behind.

Or can I, in a positive way? I guess the question is: should I? Is it right to somehow want to feel less in some ways?

There are loved ones on the other side and that will be a whole new set of feelings, dynamics. Not always simple, I’m sure…but solid. So incredibly solid. And how lucky am I to have community in both places? 

So, we can relax or we can worry (this video helps me all the time): 


If A Butterfly Flaps it’s Wings in Vancouver…

It was broad daylight, a sunny day, and I was running some errands at lunch.  I was near one of the busiest intersections in town, a very urban area with a lot of trucks and buses running through.  Then suddenly, amongst the harsh, grey backdrop of the city (not even near or around any bushes), I noticed a large brown butterfly flitting around near the bus stop (something like the one in the photo but this was not actually it).  

This is pretty unusual in the middle of November in Vancouver.  I wondered where it came from, where it was going, if it were lost, how long it would live, if it was going on some sort of secret adventure, if it would ever find a mate, if it had a family, how many others saw it, this strange and gentle thing of beauty that seemed was so out of place in it’s surroundings.

Although I was feeling pretty good that day, I felt that I could relate to it.

As the days have become shorter and greyer, I find myself bittersweetly sinking (back) into single life.  There are a lot of good things about this, and no matter what I stay grateful for the health and love of my friends and family.  But my head still swirls as I fight the loneliness.  I sometimes find myself exhausted just wandering about, taking care of myself and trying, trying to work through/drop my woes and be good to others.  I’m not sure I’m always the best at it, but I try to look outside of myself.

It’s amazing what you notice when you walk with open eyes and an open heart.  About a month ago, in fact, I found George Stroumboulopoulos (someone I greatly admire, not only for his looks ;)) wondering around by himself, lost, at my little community college campus.  He wasn’t supposed to be there, and there was nothing going on that day, but he stopped me asked for directions, and I eventually helped him find his way to where he was going.  It was strange and so unexpected, since he lives in Toronto and spends the majority of his time there, not Vancouver.  I wondered what the heck he was he doing stepping into my little routine workworld, as I headed two 3 floors down to the cafeteria to get coffee, just like I do every day.  It wouldn’t be unusual for me to purposefully cross his path, but he crossed mine instead.  I mean, what are the chances?

The other day on the way to a party I noticed an owl while passing through a dark park with my best friend.  I looked up and there it was, silhouetted, perched on a low branch.  I thought at first that it was one of those fake ones they use to scare pigeons (I’ve been fooled by that before) until it turned it’s head, then slipped silently over to another branch.  I’d never seen an owl (in the wild) that close up and it was a special, fleeting glimpse.

This weekend I connected with two other beings that unexpectedly crossed my path.  I experienced these moments that were so intense.  I may never see them again, but I’m glad I said yes, because it reminds me that there are just so many people out there and – well – you never know.

I don’t know I believe in synchronicity per se, or if I’m just (naturally) observant and metaphorical, but these are some small moments of late that were big to me.  Despite a (sometimes dreary) 9-5 routine, and the slog of the wintery greyness, and the new found alone-ness, I’m remembering why it’s so important to notice and embrace the unexpected, to observe, assist, connect with, and experience the things and beings that cross your path.

These are the things that make life interesting, that spurn connections, that can change your own course, that inspire poetry and art.  These are the things that remind us life is fragile and fleeting.  These are the moments that make life life, and remind us of how small the world really is.