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Thursday, March 31, 2005

some like it hot

My happiness runs hot and cold. I live through these periods of high and low knowing that the next always lurks close behind.

Outside there is a bright spring sunshine. I soak it up in mini excursions to get things done, running from one place to the next. It's beauty overwhelms me and I feel small in comparison. Aware that I have nowhere to hide in it's spotlight.

I just went through a period of extreme glee. Happiness was me. Then I started racking my brain for all the reasons I should be stressed out. The sleeplessness began along with a strange insecurity. How is it that I can run from being a cocky big headed female to someone that only wants to duck their head down and keep to themselves?

There's a nervousness to my speech. Its because I'm trying to keep a fluent conversation while my brain dances.

I roll around in bed and cough up the occasional tear. My body and mind are overwhelmed.

I find myself through art and writing; it eases the pressure. I want to go to art school, but I'm so afraid I don't have what it takes, or will never make enough money to be independent. I need to express myself; live in beauty. I fear that journalism can't offer this to me.

I call home in a restless, sleepless state and speak to my brother. Garbage rolls off my tongue. Afterwards I only feel worse, because all I had to offer was empty words while my heart sat in a basin jar.

What am I so afraid of? Sometimes even emotion seems taboo.

Maybe I just need some sleep.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

today, beauty was born

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
--e.e cummings

To the woman who brought me into this world, and danced on her bed when she was told she'd have a daughter.
et maman
You have been everything to me, since I dragged my feet behind you through foreign cities, my legs half the size of yours.
You are impulsive and yet thoughtful. Artistic and yet logical. A reflection of myself and of everything I love. A dancer and a sinner. My everything.

Happy birthday beauty. I love you as always.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

he tastes like beer; i crave liquor

A couple of times this week I found myself intoxicated on a dance floor, pressed into other sweating bodies, alcohol oozing out of every pore. The smell of cologne and beer weave through the air as bodies pump with the sound system.

The men all smile with liquid confidence as they attempt to find a bed partner.

Some stare at me with big eyes as I order another shot of Jack Daniels. I'm as aggressive as they are, only I get bored more easily. I pull one in, make him dance with me, then walk away as soon as things get too comfortable.

I dance alone and move away as another hungry face moves in.

I start to think I have relationship issues until I find myself cozy in the arms of a stranger. It could have been that he was going back to America in under two days, or maybe it was the liquor, but for the moment he fit. When he called the next night moaning about not seeing me before he left, I yawned and said I needed to sleep.

I have relationship ADD. I'm never interested unless things are confusing and beyond my control. It drives me up the wall, knowing that I may never be happy with someone. Baby, I just can't get no satisfaction.

My mind sits in between seriousness and deliriousness these days. I float, I smile, and I stare down willing victims.

I dream nomadic dreams, and plan on packing lightly. This goes for emotional baggage as well. Many knots from my past have been untangling themselves lately, and everyday I feel more free.

I have no idea where I'm going in the long run, but it's a big open road from here, and I'm not taking any passengers.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

the art of living

It should be so easy. Listen to your deepest desires and the rest works itself out.

I don't want to live mathematically: calculating, in black and white, with one right answer and too many wrong answers. I want to live artfully: listening to my body and dedicating my life to what feels good.

I'm inspired by the Impressionists who made beauty of everything ordinary with colour. By artists gone mad, presumably because they felt too much, loved too strongly, and wanted in too many ways to express themselves. If I go mad like this, then fluff my pillows in the white room with barred windows, and make my straight jacket look haute couture, I'm moving in.

I don't ever want to feel chained down by obligation.

There is no rule that says I must stay in one country for so many years. No rule that says I've got to think in numbers, understand politics, and believe in a higher power. I want beauty. I want foreign landscapes, latin lovers, several careers, and a bottle of wine in my suitcase.

I want happiness, in whatever currency it's available.

I want emotion, at every inappropriate heart wrenching moment.

I want to listen to my body and follow my feet.

I want to wear fine fabrics that make me feel beautiful.

To love what I love passionately and embrace my own world. To feel pain, and become stronger. To see people underneath their tough exteriors.

I want to stop making excuses. I want the world.

I want to make an art of living, and be able to scrawl my name proudly at the bottom.

green eyes

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

spring cleaning's got me gleaming

Material things have the ability to make like temporarily easier. In a world of iPods; vitamins; diet pills; digital cameras; cellulite cream and other magical wonders, there seems to be a cure for everything.

My personal favorite: clothing. The right outfit is uplifting, the right style flattering, the right sweat pants comforting. Clothing goes hand in hand with accessories, make-up, and all the other costume pieces that help me face another day.

But if the material clutter becomes a burden, it's time to be released.

Little by little I donate some of my things to a charity drop-off.

I don't want to keep something that's of no use to me or only brings back bad memories. I can hold onto something that makes me feel ugly, but even if I do wear it again, how is this a good thing? I'm regretful if it's a gift, but it sits lonely in my drawer and has the ability to make someone else much happier.

Little by little I am released from the weight of material things. Keep it simple I tell myself. In choosing a nomadic lifestyle, packing lightly is key.

My body has followed and my period begun. I'm sorry guys, close your eyes and move on to a testosterone filled site if this subject bothers you. I am bloated, cramping, and slightly grossed out with what my body is capable of...but I'm cleansing.

I'm cleaning out my closet; my body; my life. I'm up early to see the sun rise and I'm respecting my life choices.

The air is warmer, but so is my approach to the day.


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Sunday, March 20, 2005

if you think of me

Then hold onto that thought. Embellish it. Let me embody every beauty and desire your body knows.

Forget the time you saw me cry. The time I turned away from you and refused to listen. When I refused to say goodbye. When I shrugged away from your warmth and walked out on my own.

Remember the time I made an effort just to see you smile. When I left you a letter to say sorry because my mouth didn't know how.

Think of me laughing; dancing; singing. Lustful and in love, with a man or with life.

Forget the days when I sulked uncomfortably in my skin. When every time I gazed at my reflection I winced and found another imperfection.

Remember the day I walked in on cloud nine. When my shoes suddenly fit right, and my bruised ego sat so beautifully in my skin.

Forget the day you told me I was too thin. When I told you I felt too ugly.

I confess: I'm not perfect and I want to be. I never will be and am probably better off because of it. I just hope I can outshine my own dark sides.

If you think of me, tell me how.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

waves on the pacific

In Vancouver it's a minutes walk to the vastness of the ocean. To a moment of sanity and serenity, where all madness can be tamed.

I've walked around with a stick up my ass for so long, claiming I don't miss Vancouver. And I haven't really. But as I've been physically weak, I realize there is still a part of my body that craves it's comfort.

The comfort of my kithen. Of my family preparing meals; allowing me to experiment in the kitchen as spices fly through the air. My brother walking the sea wall with me and forcing me to make sense and speak more eloquently. Grocery shopping with my mom; having the opportunity to be naive and not obsess over produce prices. The ocean.

I've told more to the ocean than any breathing being. It doesn't judge me. It is the only permanence I know.

The city isn't kind to the sick, sad, or lonely. It is obtrusive, and the cement streets scream back. Men always feel the need to ask me why I'm not smiling. "Because I have thoughts in my head, okay?"

I still love it. But when my health feels fragile, so do I. And my heart began to ache when I remembered all of this:

oh vancouver
mom and dad

Hawaiin Feast at Bev's, originally uploaded by Barbara Y.

shadow walking

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

even st.patrick can't save me

The past couple of days I have been off, so off.

I don't sleep or I can't stop sleeping. I can't eat or I can't stop eating. I do both at odd hours. My mind and body are confused.

I walk around light headed. Look at people nervously, bump into strangers, don't know who's talking to me.

I don't know if it's my mind or my health I need to worry about.

Called the health clinic, they're booked. Called a health service number; the nurse told me to go get myself checked up. But I'm too tired to walk down to the hospital. I don't feel a doctor or drugs are what I need right now. So I cry. I cry because I have no voice to how I feel.

I create my own remedy: an old comedy on DVD and a few bowls of cereal. I feel much better. I feel I might possibly be insane, but at least I feel better.

I have an art history essay due tomorrow. I left a confused message on my teachers voice mail. I will attempt to write the essay tonight, and go to class tomorrow. But if I lose late marks rather than my mind, that is okay.

I need a break from school and am glad I have planned Paris as a temporary escape. School has never been a strength of mine. I have very poor concentration and the hydrogen lights of classrooms make my head spin. I've spent many years trying to heal my bruised self-esteem that was damaged in elementary school. I was never as quick as other students. Always lost in class. Always lacking common knowledge. Always near tears in math class. Hiding tears in gym class.

University is different, but at times I still struggle. At least now I know I have a brain.

At the moment I just need to find my head.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

pastries in paris

It looks like I have myself a job as an Au Pair.

I am realistic: it will not be perfect and the kids may torture me.

But I keep in mind that I will be living in Paris, with easy access to freshly baked croissants everywhere.

When I have a good croissant I can go on about it for months.

This summer we went to a jazz festival in France and stayed in an old hotel. It was practically empty. It had a huge unused ballroom with boxes piled up in it. The deco was retro; the rooms smelt of disinfectant. In the morning I would sneak down early to the bar where breakfast was served. Dark brown tables. Dark brown shelves lined with liquor. The old man who ran the place would come out of the back kitchen and bring me two croissants, jam, and a cup of tea. One morning they were warm, so fresh they melted in my mouth. I had come at just the right time. I savored them slowly. The man told me they had come from the bakery across the street. I thanked him and went back up to bed, satisfied enough to sleep a little longer.

In Seattle there's a small French bakery down by the market. As you walk down the hill towards the water the aromas make their way into the morning air. The smell of fresh bread baking, a warm sweetness in the oven. I went inside with my mother and ordered an Americano with two shots of espresso and an almond croissant. The almond croissant was moist, warm; slightly crispy on the outside. When the outside is flakey and yet the inside is moist, you know they have made your croissant properly. Made with real butter, the outside brushed with egg yolk before being baked. The inside of my croissant was laced with almond and marzipan that made my tongue sing. Made my taste buds come alive. Served in a small basket those croissants encompass every reason I have to live.

If all else fails, I'll always have my croissants.

Paris, je reviens.

(it's been in me since I was young)

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Friday, March 11, 2005

the woman has no soul!

Lock me up and sign me into the Freak Show. I just want to be me.

Tonight over dinner-I cooked up chicken in wine sauce with rice, salad, and cooked cinnamon pears-we talked about not feeling. Not missing people. Moments where you wonder where your heart is.

In a state of confusion I once I wrote in a poem 'Sometimes I feel robotic/The woman without a soul'. Finding myself relating only too well with Albert Camus' The Outsider. The man lives a normal life, has friends, dates beautiful women, and all the while has no real emotion.

It's funny, considering I am an emotional person. I write poetry for fucks sake. But sometimes I have a hard time caring about the things I believe I should.

I worry when I don't miss people enough. When creature comforts hold no comfort at all. When I seek the warmth in companionship only to find myself getting chills.

Is it wrong to find so much in your friendship with yourself? It's just I'm still getting to know me. And when I'm on my own and boundary free I feel so incredibly alive. There is no box to put me in. There is no expectations. But slowly these boundaries are becoming invisible even around others.

The world is too big to put up a fence and stay in your back yard.

I don't ever want to limit myself. Worry what people think of me. Every year I grow older I realize how little it matters.

In the morning I'm expecting a phone call from a prospective family in Paris that I will nanny for. They are very French, and I am going to try to represent myself as honestly as possible while grasping for French words so early in the day.

Let me leave you with this:
EASIER.' -Mary Sarton

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

c'est moi qui chante

The boys in 'Les Choristes' give voice to the angels of a Renaissance painting. I sat in a nearly empty theatre, by myself, squirming in my seat with sheer delight. It was my first time seeing a movie on my own...something I've been meaning to do for a long time.

I took a long European day to myself. Went to the market to buy fresh ingredients, stopped for coffee, walked the streets, and saw a French film for dessert.

I am soon going to intoxicate myself with this rich European flavor.

And a summer in France won't do.

After looking at apartments in Toronto joylessly, and neglecting the newspaper stand that looms on the first floor of my residence, I called home. I hesitantly told my mother that I had to go to Paris. I'd been spying ads for jobs as an Au Pair and available apartments on the internet, and my heart started to scream. I cannot forget Paris. A dream is a dream, and I've been brought up to know they should be lived.

Settling down has never looked good on me.

And so I'm searching. I'm emailing with families and keeping my hopes up for a job as an Au Pair. This consists of being a live in nanny, and dealing with, gasp, les enfants. I think I can handle it. In fact, even though they may make me pull my hair out, I know I can. A big stubborn head can take you far.

I walked home from the movie with the choir singing in my head. I love Toronto, but a year off will help me plant my feet more solidly in it's soil. I move too restlessly right now.

The snow fell slowly over my hooded head and I basked in my solitude. My feet walk well alone, and I know they can take me as far as I want them to. For now, Paris will do.

a winter's night

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

french cuisine for thought

My confession: I am a born again French woman.

I've spent many of my waking hours in the last two days indulging in Mireille Guiliano's French Women Don't Get Fat. Not because I want to go down a pant size, but because I want to remind myself of the pleasure of eating. Because I want to re-immerse myself in my favorite culture. Remember the sweet delicacies life has to offer; strive for quality not quantity.

When my eating patterns are off so am I. When I find myself eating mechanically, not tasting my food, and over indulging in something I'm not even enjoying...I forget who I am. I forget food should be tasted.

Guiliano's book talks about using only the freshest ingredients, and whatever is in season. About tradition and three course meals. About going to the market rather than the supermarket. Knowing your food, enjoying your food, and taking time for your food.

I feel as if I'm walking into a French patisserie and inhaling freshly baked bread. Taking a bite of a walnut tart, where the taste of walnut is more prominent than its subtle sweetness. Breaking the top layer of a creme brulee and tasting it's warm insides. Rubbing my steak around in peppercorn sauce and chewing it slowly.

The French let me forgive myself for not using my gym pass, being obsessed with clothing, and being an absolute lush when it comes to good food.

It is worth devoting time to the planning and preparation of food. How did this ever become unimportant in our busy lives? It brings us together, bonds us together, and tastes amazing.

I think of a certain Mme in France who sits outside her front steps every night on a pull out chair and slowly eats her ice cream. This woman has not aged or gained half a pound in the lifetime that I've known her. She is a traditional femme Francaise who chooses to bike down to her garden every day rather than give into old age.

This book takes me back to this wonderful way of life. A life of knowing your limits while tasting every fruit life has to offer.

C'est la vie. I may not be a French woman, but how delicious to live like one.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

here we are now, entertain us

If the world is a stage, then you know what, let me dance on it.

There's something enigmatic about entertainers. They have this ability to switch on and off their charm as quickly as you change the channel to find someone more interesting.

We love them, hate them, laugh with them; even laugh at them.

And yet an entertainer can lighten up a room with nothing but a few words. I can't help but envy this. They can seduce a crowd so well; project themselves so easily.

Tonight a few of us journalism women went to be part of the live audience for Rick Mercer's Monday Report, a parody on politics, not unlike The Daily Show, that airs Mondays on CBC. It makes the news much more interesting by adding a twist of humor. Politics is the bread of some people's lives, but I like my bread with butter and jam. Humor adds flavor and makes it easier to digest.

It was a pleasure to sit in the audience. I'm attracted to the entertainment industry right now. It's a scene I'd like to be in, if only to try it out. I want to put myself up on a pedestal and see what happens.

There's something about the power and influence the industry gives you; the status; the name.

Maybe I'm just another young journalist, hungry for fame. But I like the hunger of wanting to taste dreams, feel desire, and push my determination. And I only lose my appetite if I question myself.

rick mercer and us girls
(this is a photo of a photo and came out a little warped..)
the ladies

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

thirsty for wisdom

wise words

I want to live my dreams.

But right now my dreams are shady; lets just say I toss and turn all night.

I practically have a new dream everyday. I was convinced I needed to become a dancer until I attempted lessons. I decided I was to be a TV personality until I had a camera shoved in front of my face for MuchMusic and CTV. I realized it made me fidgety and uncomfortable. I thought I should work in fashion until I started working in the business part time.

Today I want to write a novel. A groundbreaking novel. Me in a novel.

Or maybe start some kind of social revolution.

I want to somehow make people happier, more honest, less afraid of taboos; proud of their imperfections.

I want to make pornography more acceptable and less of a shady business. The word 'sensual' not 'dodgy' should come to mind. Kids should be left out with rape theme videos.

I'd like to help the media take down their guards and tell the truth about what's going. Instead of spitting out a story in generic code, I wish we could write it as it is.

I wish I was stronger. I want to leave this world knowing I actually lived.

My mind is spinning and I've made myself dizzy.

I'm afraid if I don't dream big I'll die small.