Ode to a surreal day

Every day in this town has been strange and dark and wonderful.

I couldn’t believe this one in particular, the way that one person reached out to me after years. I didn’t understand why.

We weren’t just “close” once—we were in love goddammit. Or at least I was. We lived together for a year.

Don’t you remember that?

I can’t believe that you offered me a boat ride,

I couldn’t believe how angry you were, how I saw that side of you when you didn’t know I was there, how I felt compelled to leave during your date because even if I was there, I may have been invited in and that is not something I want anymore.

I can’t listen to it and I don’t want to be around it because it’s so far from me right now. It would have been so natural a while ago, and now it’s so foreign.

I can’t anymore, with you, a person that I felt so safe with once.

That scares me—not that you were angry, but that that part of me is missing.

I can’t believe that more than one of my free-floating wandering souls are in town at the same time as me, that I may actually get to see you both in the space of the same short time span.

I’m one of you now.

I can’t believe that I saw you tonight, that you braved the traffic to pick me up and treated me to all of that beautiful dinner. And I forgot to take the selfie…I never really initiate that. I want it so much, but I’m so shy at the same time. But it meant a ton, spending time together this night.

I can’t believe how much my throat hurts and my eyelids are heavy and I want to run away from my escape already but not for good…just a few days. Just a few days to recuperate but then there might not be any more days left at all so I’m torn between now and never.

I can’t believe how damn tired I am, how the writing doesn’t come and I fly and I train and I walk and I dream and I rest and don’t push myself but still feel so so so drained.

How will I ever shake it to find my focus again?

June: 9 months in.

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Today’s weather is Vancouver-like. Last week’s was sunny and lovely. I spent a few hours here and there wandering and lounging in the sun.

I miss some people terribly right now. I’m craving a life thick with passion and experiences. I miss that thing. I miss a certain closeness. I have friends here and it’s getting easier with summer coming on but still struggle with how to find it/make it happen here.

I’ve been reconsidering how my time is spent.

I want to connect but I know that the present “here and now” (for me and anyone) is more important. I can’t keep grasping at those things and people that aren’t a part of my presence.

It should be that way and besides, I don’t know what to say.

How to connect without grasping? How to collectively relate?

Last weekend I had the best massage ever and started back at yoga after a brief hiatus. It’s hard.

Three days out this weekend: a queer dance party night thing Friday where I was happy and didn’t drink much. It felt good to get out, B. there w/his roommate. We didn’t go crazy but it was just nice. And the cover went to a good cause.

Sat eve was Jeff’s 50th-also nice to see some folks and be there with him.

Sunday w/Jac at NDQ, Karaoke. That was a blast. I smiled a lot and chatted with new folks. I felt honoured to be invited into her circle a little. We walked through the city at 2am and everywhere I turned there were new things to see.

Still, I drank too much and stayed up too late and ended up feeling strange and disappointed.

My new place is cute enough and…well, dirty. Finally connected with my roommate over there. She’d just moved in and we had a beer and set up the couch and laughed at the state of it all. There is so much work to do and I don’t have any furniture and I’m just not sure how it will all work out.

I’m sad/happy about the camper van. Mom sent me a photo of my best friends buying it from them and it made my heart pang. I haven’t heard from them.

I will head to Toronto at the end of the month and then to Boulder, Austin in July. I need to keep travelling like this to stay sane.

Last week had some days where I was eating pretty clean and not drinking. The sun was out and I felt engaged, energized, clear, empowered and more deeply into focus with work.

So there’s the focus now, to not let my mind wander.

One of my favourite edits of late describes the necessary sacrifice(s) well and reminded me really of what needs to be worked on:

8 Ways Women can Create Space for Creativity.

What the Threat of Death can Teach us.

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Yesterday I thought a lot about death.

It began with with the news that Brittany Maynard had chosen two days before as her own death. I’d only just learned (and edited and shared this piece) about her plight for the right to a dignified death on the same evening I’d published and shared.

The post was popular, the conversations vibrant.

The opportunity to dig deep into that piece (on behalf of the writer, Molly Ruby) really shook me awake. It made me remember how a close friend had told me about her experience with death, once, and how I have vowed since to do everything in my power to make sure that people have an opportunity to just be comfortable when the time comes.

To just be at peace.

I don’t think that peace should be too much to ask for in life or in death, but somehow it is for so many.

Later that morning I found myself with windstung cheeks and open, wondering eyes, walking through a maze of leaf-littered paths in what could be one of the most morbid of places: a cemetery.

Moving through that restful and sad place somehow woke me up; while I was respectful and solemn of the context of the place, it’s beauty fairly stunned me.

There was a certain gentleness about breathing it all in, of the grace and oldness of the beautiful statues that stand as gravestones.

Sadly the bigger the statues, the more money the deceased (families) probably had (have), which means their graves will rule over the rest for a longer period of time.

But the statues give life to the place, a community of sorts. I imagined all of the ghosts (not just the rich ones) dancing together in this peaceful park on the side of the mountain, some maybe escaping to haunt earthly places that they love or could not let go of.

I’m not even a superstitious person; many close friends have experienced ghosts (and I believe their experiences) and I have not. But I’d like to believe that death is not the end. Just the choice that we have to use our imaginations in that way is a thing that can keep us light.

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So I was transfixed by the way the stillness of the statues was highlighted by patches of sunlight and contrasted by whirlwinds of leaves and distant city sounds.

I wrote recently about breathing out to balance all of the inwardness. And this is part of finding a reflection in the dark goddess 

The reflecting made me think about the little deaths, the way that we die to each moment, that we have to leave the past behind every day.

It made me think of the reasons we are so scared to morph out of the things we are defined by: I am (we are) not that ‘person’ anymore.

I want to leave a lot of it behind but I loved it, for real. And don’t quite know what is filling the space anymore.

Change happens anyway—we can’t stop it. Big changes, loss that seems out of our control is the biggest. So I want to change now and move into a new way of being but the patterns that I’ve held onto for so long define me, too.

My skin feels cool and papery, now, suddenly waxy and wan. I don’t feel young anymore. This feeling has been sneaking up on me for a while, I guess but it’s finally hitting me: I’m aging. I no longer feel the warm fullness of youth in my face-skin but a fallen, cooler feel, like a blue-grey filtered photograph that not so long ago was warmly tinted, immune to gravity and time.

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Or maybe I just thought that.

And that’s not really important.

What is important is that we see beauty in death, in the fight for a meaningful legacy.

But we can also surrender to forces beyond our control.

Maybe the beauty in Brittany’s fight was about surrender, how she was not fighting death per se, but resigning to it (as we all have to, really) in the way that was most peaceful for her.

In this, she will stand the test of time gracefully, like the statue-gravestones that I so love. They seem to say Surrender. Peace. We are still here, still valid, still marking the space and place and lives of us and our loved ones…but maybe, just maybe, the acceptance of loss means it’s not an ending.

Maybe marking the reality of (the threat of) an earthly death is exactly what keeps us going.

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