April 17, 2012

Um, hello.  It has been a while.

I'd like to say that I was off doing too many fabulous things to sit down and blog about, but that wouldn't really be the truth.  (Though, I *have* done some pretty incredible things lately, they just weren't really the kinds of things to keep me away from blogging).  Part of me justified my silence by saying that I needed some more quiet in my life, time to be present to my world off-line rather than blather about my goings on here in this space.  But that would just be a cop out; in fact, I consume WAY more internet per day than I would care to admit.  That part is easy.

I think closer to the truth is the fact that I feel like I have lost my voice.  I have been trying to revive this space for a while now, but can never seem to find a way into a story.  A feeling not too different from what happens to all of us, perhaps with a friend,or a loved one.  You know, the one you are scared to call after something awkward happened one day, even when you know you should.  In the battle between cowardice and picking up the phone, cowardice wins.   As each day passes, you fight this battle "should I call?" but the more time you feed cowardice the stronger it grows.  "Nah, its too hard."  Before you know it, years have gone by, and shit...it feels just too darn awkward to pick up the phone now.  How would I even begin?

How do I begin?

I have asked myself this question SO MANY TIMES.  How do I begin?  What the hell should I blog about that will be honest and not flippant in the least (after being noticeably absent for years now).  I tried to start a gratitude project, but that kind of flopped.  I tried to write some stories, but they just seemed out of place.  Then I thought maybe I needed something new, a blank slate, a fresh palate.  I tried to break up with my blog in a post I never published:

This space...this space?  Sigh.  I am sure you have noticed (you, being all 5 of you who read my blog) that things have dropped off in the past few years.  This blog has been limping along for a while.

And yes, I'm having a David Byrne moment here, guys.  This is not my beautiful house horrible blog.  It feels weird to leave it just hanging in the air; I mean, for a while I think I had a good thing going.  But DAMN!  One day you just wake up and realize that the thing just doesn't fit anymore and no measure of tweaking or pulling or prodding is going to change that fact.  I think its time to move on from this.
It is funny to think how much time I have spent agonizing over whether to leave this space or not.  There are so many stories and photos stored here that remind me of a very real and raw period of my life, one that no longer exists for me yet has woven the fabric of who I am now.  I am not so sure moving on is the answer; perhaps I just needed an entry point back in.

I started Lifewaza almost 5 years ago, just as I was about to plunge over the precipice of a new life.  Lifewaza, in a way, was the rope that tied me safely back to the firm ground of my home, my family, so that I couldn't fall to fast or too far.  I wanted people back home to know what I was doing and how I was feeling and understand that even though I was leaving them that I wasn't really gone...just more complicated to talk to on the phone at 8 in the morning.  I wanted them to remain a part of my life.

Sometimes the ropes we tie for ourselves, though, aren't strong enough.

These past five years I have struggled to navigate two completely new homes and cultures, a new language, a serious identity crisis, a long distance relationship that was on (and off and on and off and now on and fabulous), the processing of a previous relationship, heartbreak, soul-crushing, more identity crisis, living illegally in Canada, separation anxiety, a TON of moves, at least four new jobs, and much, much more (did I mention identity crisis?).   These past five years have been like a sucker punch roller coaster crash landing, being birthed into a whole new life (where I was both the laboring mother AND the disoriented child) and it was one of the most difficult and certainly the most liberating thing I have ever done. Full stop.  And, at times, I felt the need to leave this space and crawl into my own hole of privateness and dispair and could just never find my way back in to my poor, neglected little blog.

So this is me, telling you I am having trouble finding my way back in, as a way back in.  How is that for meta?

October 13, 2011

Day 2

Today I am thankful for:

1.  My little monster Miles is home from the vet!  One canine tooth less, 5 stitches more, and possible face cancer (lets keep our fingers crossed, my friends!)  Here he is, five minutes after coming home (you should have heard the SCREAMING at the vet...I was like "Is that MY kitty?")  God, I love that little tail wag thing he does everytime I say his name:

2. Speaking of the "Big C,"  I happen to NOT have cancer.  Yay me!

3.  Roasted chicken from Jean Talon Market, bought on a whim on my way home, just as they were closing shop for the evening.  Warm bag in my hands as I crunch home through the leaves. 

4.  Film cameras

5.  A randomly gifted book from a lovely soul at the yoga studio.

6.  The Norwegian poutine at Cafe Ellefssen.  With an impeccable dinner date (:

7.  Seeing some progress in my Urdhva Danurasana (Wheel pose).  Finally!  This shit is hard!

8.  Hot water bottles on sore bits.  Especially these bottles.

9.  Getting compliments on my new favorite hairstyle.

10. A big, poufy, comfy bed with a good book.

October 11, 2011

A year of Gratitude: Day 1

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Picnics in the park with my man on this Indian Summer Canadian-Thanksgiving weekend.  Turkey sandwich on fresh baguette, mango slices, potato chips and pickles.  Sparkling water, cuddling and ants.  Perfectly lovely in every way.

2. Crunchy leaves underfoot.

3. The spice of fall tickling my nose.

4. Buckwheat porridge with nectarine, sesame seeds, cashews, maple syrup and milk.  Best if eaten on the balcony in your PJs.  Just saying.

5.   Meditation helper

6.  Fidelity Jeans (bought on discount!).  Seriously the most comfortable pair of pants I have ever owned.  I want to sleep in them, even.

7.  Nutmeg and Honey Ice cream via Seven Spoons.  The best ice cream I have made, to-date.

8.  Mad Men

9.  Foaming milk using my immersion blender.

10.  My grandma is doing awesome after her knee surgery!  

August 2, 2010

Five Things

I wrote one of these posts a while back, and I thought that if I say organized enough, these lists can make a regular appearance here and maybe I can try to do one every week (though lets just start slowly, dear, and not bury ourselves in expectations, shall we?). I am all for adding more gratitude into my life. So, with that in mind, here are the five things that rocked my world this week:

1. My daily bike ride over the mountain. It takes me twice as long to get to work this way, but it doesn't matter. This is the part of my day I look forward to most. Lately I have been trying to use this as an awareness training, a way to stay in the present moment and ditch the over-analyzing for a while. Every day last week I was focused on sound...what do I hear when I am riding? My heartbeat. The birds. The cicadas. People talking. Dog tags tinkling. The crunch of tire on dirt. The wind across my ears and my breath filling the spaces. So noisy and beautiful...

2. Making pickles with Teri on a Saturday afternoon after munching on eggs and toast and salt potatoes. Gotta love friends who love food as much as I do.

3. Watching Repercussion Theater's rendition of Romeo and Juliet in Mount Royal Cemetery on a large blanket with a bunch of friends, a tourte provencale, baguette, great cheese, Cheskie's and some red wine. I didn't even mind the mosquito bites on my hands.

4. Seeing friends that I have not seen for ages and having that great feeling that we can just pick up right where we left off.

5. Inception. I really dug it.

How is life treating you lately?

July 9, 2010

Thoughts about Isaac

Issac was handsome, rock-climber, outdoorsy-type boy who went to my High School. He had a red Volvo and a labret piercing and a big, kind heart. Isaac was a Taurus.

Issac and I started hanging out in my second year of college, just after my first awkward (and messy) college relationship and my brief flirtation with mind-altering substances. I felt a little bit lost then, trying to figure out who the girl was that I wanted to be, and Issac gently worked his way into my life, helping me feel more like myself than I had in a long time. He taught me how to rock climb and cuddled with me on the couch; He showed up to my house some evenings just to say hello, without expectation or warning. Isaac made me feel safe, comfortable and taken care of, and he was handsome.

Slowly Issac and I fell into some sort of domestic routine. He worked at Mogul Mouse by day, selling snowboards and goggles and wax while I went to school, hovering over petri dishes and test tubes and big, heavy books. Each evening, exhausted, I would make my way home to start my homework and figure out something to eat. Sometime around 6 or 7 p.m. he would show up at my house, again unannounced, and I would feed him dinner if he hadn't eaten, trade stories from the day with him while we cuddled on the couch, only to fall asleep shortly thereafter. This happened every single day for a month or two, he would work and I would go to class and we would re converge later in the evening. I never asked him to come over or even stay, he just decided to on his own. I felt blessed to have him in my life.

One evening, without warning, I found myself alone; Issac had not showed up. He was never obligated to come to my place, but I had been so used to our routine that I started to worry. I figured a simple phone call would clarify and I could go about my evening in peace, but when I called he did not answer. I waited for a while, and still no call and no Isaac. I wrestled with my own conscious; do I call him again or just wait for him to return mine? Was everything ok? Why do I feel so horrible?! My young heart felt worried and rejected and confused. I called again. Still no answer. A few minutes later, I called again. And then again. And again. I felt frustrated that I was acting needy, that I was being "that girl" that calls a million times because she needs to know right now what is going on. But I *did* need to know, and so I kept calling.

At some point around 1 in the morning, Issac must have turned his phone off, because my calls started going straight to voicemail. I felt horrible, not only because I did not know why he suddenly disappeared without a trace, but also for allowing myself to obsessively call him like a complete psycho. Older me would have just given him some space, knowing that we would catch up when he was ready, but younger me hadn't learned that lesson yet. I went to bed and cried hot, angry tears. Needless to say I didn't sleep much that night.

I struggled through my classes the next day. I had hoped to hear from Isaac in the morning, explaining that he had lost his phone or that he got caught up with family or something. Instead, there was nothing. No explanatory phone call, no email, no note, no Isaac. My heart sank. I waited until late in the evening to try phoning again, the dread in my stomach creeping up into my throat as I punched in the numbers. To my surprise, he answered on the second ring.

I asked him what had happened, trying (and failing) to conceal the hurt and anger in my voice.
He told me that he had been hanging out with friends.
I asked why he couldn't simply pick up the phone to tell me he wasn't going to be there.
He told me he didn't think it was a problem.
I told him I had been worried and hurt that he didn't call.
He told me that he shouldn't have to call me every time he chose to do something different.
I told him I felt disrespected.
He told me that that was my problem.

"Then don't bother calling me until you decide to have a REAL relationship," I screamed, slamming down the phone. It was the only time I have ever hung up on anyone. It certainly didn't make me feel any better. Looking back now I realize how young, emotional and inexperienced at relationships I was; I was just a kid who was needy for love. I really wish I had handled things differently.

I didn't really see or hear from Isaac again after that, save the random sighting around town once or twice. I always wondered what happened, if I had said or done something wrong and the crazy calling was just the final act that pushed him over the edge. He was literally in my life one day and out the next and the abrupt manner of it all was maddening. I had always hoped that I would meet Isaac again as an adult so that we could have the closure conversation and perhaps salvage a friendship from the whole wreck. In my mind I pictured us awkwardly bumping into one another at some function, forced into small talk for a while before sheepishly admitting how silly the whole thing was. We would end up getting a beer and appreciating each other as having grown from this whole experience. In my head, that was how it was supposed to go. It won't ever turn out that way, though.

Isaac is dead now.

I only found out about it a year after the fact. I had been home on vacation, catching up with some mutual friends of ours. I asked them about him, about how he was doing. The stunned looks and awkward silence that blanketed the space between us told me everything. They were shocked that no one had called me.

Isaac had gone into the Air Force about a year after I slammed the phone down on him. I guess he was riding his motorcycle to the base one morning, really early, around 5 a.m. He had been speeding, and when the police tried to pull him over, he sped up instead of stopping. No one knows why he was being evasive, but somehow he lost control of his bike, hit a ditch and crashed head first into a tree. He died instantly.

I was sad to hear that Isaac was gone, and it was difficult for me to comprehend. It was my first experience losing someone with whom I had shared a piece of my life and it was strange for me that the thread of our interactions would cease. I would never have closure. I would never know what he had been thinking or feeling that day. I would never get the chance to apologize for being psycho calling girl. Issac was gone.

I am bringing this up only now because he has been on my mind lately. I do not mean to trivialize his death; I was obviously a small, barely significant blip in the grand scheme of his life, and there are others like his family and close friends that I am sure miss him dearly. I have just been thinking about what this whole experience has meant to me and needed to express it somehow. I know know why it is so important to treat others with kindness and understanding and to mend fences when broken; the person might not be around tomorrow. It has also taught me, though, that I will constantly have room to grow and that I must forgive myself for doing or saying things that I am not proud of. Sometimes we will never get closure, and we just need to accept that fact.

I hope Isaac was in a good place when he died. He loved working with his hands, and I like to think it brought him joy working with planes every day. I hope his family has found peace after loosing one of their own; something that is never easy. And I am thankful for the short but rich time that we spent together; he will forever hold a place in my heart.

June 14, 2010

Give Thanks and Show Gratitude.

In the Kitty Sunshine

"You should never be trapped by the idea that you have problems, that you are a person of deep karma or that you are one of little value. This is insulting not only to yourself but to others as well. All people share the same divine origin. There is only one thing that is wrong or useless. That is the stubborn insistence that you are an individual, separate from others. Give thanks and show gratitude. Work for paradise on this earth. In this way, your true nature will continually unfold."

-Morihei Ueshiba

June 11, 2010

Welcome back.

See those feet down there, a little bit beyond the end of this post? You know, the ones that are slightly dirty and shot from a funny angle; my silly, beautiful, hard-working feet? Why, of course you have seen them--they have been there for for nearly a year now. ONE YEAR! You must have tired of looking at them, even if they ARE pretty feet. I know that I did, secretly hoping every time I dropped by for a peek that I would see something, ANYTHING but those toes stolidly standing their ground. But my dear, that would actually require you to POST something, wouldn't it?

My, where did the time go?

If there were more than five of you who actually read my blog, an apology would be in order; I did not intend to keep silent for such a long time (and I know you were all just distraught, clinging to the edge of your seat for the next installment of my life saga)*. Really, I am sorry I didn't tell you about my trip to Prince Edward Island (sunny, sandy, quaint and beautiful), my new job (perfect for now, even if it IS a science job), or my new home (cozy, warm, full of love). I'm sorry I didn't show you pictures of summer adventures, fall colors, the first snowfall of the year (though you can see some of that stuff on my Flickr page). Spring was pretty awesome, even if my first trip out of North America started kind of late; and summer? I am rocking it already. But, this is MY blog, and nobody really reads it anyway so I am not going to apologize. Deal with it.

That being said, I am sure many of you know (or have guessed) by now, that all of this silence business I am dancing around wasn't because I rocked out for a week on an island with no internet or because I shimmied back into the world of pipettes and PCR machines. My tongue wasn't tied because I was busy creating delicious treats in my new kitchen, or because I was having a beer on the terrasse . To tell you the truth, I was silent because, well, TWO THOUSAND NINE FUCKING SUCKED. True story, in the totally kicked-down, dragged-out sense. Broken. Beaten. Struggling for air. I will not regale you with the details, but suffice it to say I was feeling less than chatty. I was feeling ANTI-chatty actually. No offense, but who wants to air that on their blog?**

Thats done now, though. Thank god.


So with that, I thought I would start slow, and post one of my favorite pictures from my trip to France. I really had the best time. I rode bikes around Paris, ate macarons from Pierre Herme while sipping Perrier on a terrasse. I stayed with lovely friends who took care of me in every way, showing me prehistoric cave paintings, crazy castle citadels, and the most beautiful little villages I have ever seen. I ate the most sublime meals and drank a ton of wine and met some of the kindest people in the world. I came away feeling truly blessed (okay, and a little bit bloated). I can't wait to go back.

So, hi. Hopefully I will be back more often, though don't blame me if I am not. Sometimes I find it better to life my life in the real world rather than reenact it here for you. But I do my best. Life is a practice, after all.

*That would be sarcasm, for any of you dry, narrow or German friends of mine.

**Even if there really ARE only 5 people reading.

July 28, 2009

They work hard for me.

They work hard for me.

My feet work hard. As an Aikidoka and a woman without a car, these babies put up with a lot. Sometimes I forget how thankful I am to have a good, healthy body.

But it is not my feet that are working hard these days. My heart, my mind and my spirit have been putting in overtime, it seems. Explosive growth, yes. I am expanding to fill the spaces of the woman that I have always dreamed of being, and in fact, know that I am. She is there, unfurling new tendrils, little by little, stretching toward the light. I can feel it. It is there, just on the horizon...