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Something bright traveling fast
May you remain untethered for as long as possible.

May you never know shame.

May you outlive your parents and release them with as much grace as possible.

May you and your first love part amicably.

Please don't try to re-shape your self to make anyone else love you.

You will get hurt. When that happens, try not to calcify.

I love you. When I am gone, know that I only love you more.


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it drags onCollapse )

For the next 2 hours I was glued to my chair by the fire and the company of one Aaron Aardvark McMinn. (The Aardvark is there to emphasize that Aaron is pronounced the same way, "arr-in".) He's a healer and an empath, and he presented a convincing argument on how he felt he'd done his best activism "from the inside" while living and working in Fort MacMurray. His presence is so warm and welcoming, I became my best self. Wine will trip you up, however. I went to pee and fell through a pile of branches. He began to make a bit less sense- I told him that I'd been doing this complicated shoplifting-type manoeuver at Superstore, and he stated that it didn't bother him when someone stole from a corporation. I started to justify that I was still paying for food, just not the same kind of food, and he turned around and said that it's always wrong to steal from a person, even if the person is a pedophile thief (?). To be fair, I went back to the same spot that'd tried to kill me, to get some wood for the fire. Turned out there was a pile of wood waiting to be burned on the other side of the fire.

A couple of times while interacting with Scott I felt as though he was flirting with me, which made me uncomfortable because issues. He might just be flirtatious, though, and he let me wear his cowboy hat. The next day I would rue the part of the party that was derogatory to first nations people, but the theme wasn't heavily emphasized. Mostly the owners of the home wanted to show off their place while showering Hornby with wine and potato salad.

THE FAKE HUNGARIAN: at one point I heard a fellow ask another: "habla espanol?" Response: "oui, je habla espanol." That frenish-speaker later smoked a whole bunch of his weed with the rest of the fire crew, and knew that Emese is a Hungarian name. He then proceeded to fill the next half hour of my life (or eternity) with Hungarian that he'd learned from an ex. He was speaking agonizingly slowly and his accent was awful, but I had to give him credit for remembering so many words correctly. I'm assuming they were right, because he strung them into sentences that might have been questions. I tried to get him to return to speaking English a couple of times, but he'd have none of that.

Danced to David Bowie and discovered that, inside, there was FOOD and ate a bunch of it. I wasn't entirely sure, leaving, if I was headed the right way down Cowie or if I was just part of a herd, so I asked if the street ahead was in fact Carmichael. An eavesdropper aggressively wanted to know where I needed to go and gave me drunk directions. Accurate, but insensate to the fact that I knew where the farm was (a right and then a left). Let's be so friendly it's not friendly anymore!

I'm like that too, sometimes.

I wondered if this night would be my first time hearing other people (S&B) having sex, but didn't. Slept.

*hitchhiking on gulf islands isn't even real hitchhiking. You talk to people in stores, politely ask if they're headed your way, and a lot of the time they are. Strangers are pretty much friends you haven't met yet, except for mountain lions.

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+ got a modeling gig, for a figure class.

+ the news editor of the Argus invited me to the staff meetings and told me that a staff member just quit, if I'm interested.

- this chem lab is so boring. I've spent 2 hours with it in front of me but doing other things, like watching

Oh embedding has been disabled by request, has it??? For those of you at work or too jaded to click link & watch: the way she sings reminds me of Siobhan. I could have her hair if I grew mine out. She has a cleft chin and is FROM CANADA in the 80s. Leather jacket and trashcan bonfire.

Oh and obviously it's the theme song from The Raccoons.

Inverts lab tomorrow. I dread these because there are always some 30 specimens to look at through a microscope and I can't even get through half. The guy who sits next to me, Warren, takes pictures with his phone and sends them to the rest of us in the front row but it is so stressful! I just want to be able to focus the scanning lens and then the 10x lens and then the high power (dry) 40x lens and then THE OIL IMMERSION LENS looms behind every microvictory I achieve. Because the lens is touching the slide you can't move the stand, so if you didn't focus RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE on 40x you have to wipe off the lens and the slide with oil cleaner and start all over.

Might have had two ff mugs of coffee today. Might have had two naps at school so that I could be vaguely useful in the kitchen at work. Where are my priorities?

No seriously I have to quit this job. It's taking away from my time doing useless stuff, like the internet and chem labs and petting my dog. By useless I mean "not directly linked to increased income."

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Current Music: Lisa Lougheed: Run With Us

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-went over to ELISABETH'S house last night. We went to the bell at Hillcrest and looked at the lights and the full moon. She wants to have a black truffle orchard.

-My dog is very bossy and I am not the alpha. I will have to learn how to assert dominance to the appropriate degree at some point.

-Jam with Dan and Zac: first non flaming trolley flute jam! I don't think I'll ever be very good at guitar.* "There are some things we're good at, and some things we do for joy." -Elisabeth.

-Lady Gaga is celibate and I am, too! We are awesome friends except she forgot to come to my slumber party (where nobody had intercourse). I started to feel romantically lonely just now and then I remembered that I have all the elements of a romantic relationship (except for sex) present in the dynamics of my close friendships. I got lonely because I interacted with the most adorable septagenarian couple I've ever seen in Safeway. The male wanted to pick up my receipt that I'd dropped and hand it to me. Maybe I should have let him? The female coughed and the male rubbed her back. I have Kevin to rub my back!

-Damn, do I ever need a bike helmet so that I can zoom around and feel alive, wild and free on wheels. Also so I can go to William's Bog when no one can drive me because it is in a very strange place. A spot so strange that, try as we might, Jayal, Michelle and I could not find it.

-I will probably never hitchhike alone again and therefore I am really going to learn to drive For real this time. I just have to write these two midterms on Wednesday and


* I have this condition where, if I have been criticized even once about anything creative I never want to do that thing again. I don't think you could even call what Martin said a criticism: "I think the idea of practice is bullshit, honestly. You should play to your strengths." He didn't even say it to me.
I have another problem where sometimes, when the thing is said, I am too paralyzed by self-loathing to respond. Consequently I remember it forever. Even if I do respond I will remember it forever if it was particularly clichéd or irrational or oppressive.

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If you're against hitchhiking, maybe you don't actually want to read these entries?

the part where I"m hitchhikingCollapse )

Roy is lanky, tan, and has shoulder-length blonde hair. He regales me with tales of 60-lb salmon he'd caught on the west coast, wails about the small fry he's catching here (between mainland Vancouver Island and gulf islands). I read from his book about whales and he smokes at least 3 large marijuana cigarettes during the 90-minute journey. He tells me that he's 43, which he only tells chicks he's not going to hit on. I'm relieved. I steer his boat and hope he doesn't catch anything. He does and there's blood and he throws the injured fish into a cooler. I don't ask why he does not immediately kill it.

When we land at Ford's Cove I hop 3 boats to the dock and run as fast as my 50-lb pack will allow to the bathroom. When I come out, I engage the bearded human who'd directed me to the bathroom in conversation. His name is Scott and he is about to become one of my best friends. I ask him where I should camp. The campground, "if I want to be totally legit," is $30/night. I can stake a spot in the woods along Little Trib, but some people have bad attitudes and houses among the trees. If I want to be totally respectful, and if his girlfriend thinks it's a good idea, I can sleep on the farm they live on.

Sold. We get into his van and drive to Little Trib: a clothing-optional beach that's not overrun with tourists/families. We find Bailey and they share the mangosteen I'd given Scott while I enter the ocean for the second time this year and that day. I ask Bailey to show me how she's tied her sarong, and cover my body with the deep blue sarong I'd borrowed from Dan Moroz at ArtsWells. The three of us agree that Elaine will ultimately decide whether or not she is comfortable with me staying for a few days.

Up the hill, a whirlwind tour featuring the recycling depot and free store, the market site, the (internet) access center. Scott and Bailey tell me which streets we turn onto and which directions I'll be taking in days to come, but today has been full of stimulus and it's lost on me. Elaine is in her garden working. Scott and Bailey ask if their friend can stay for a few nights, and she says "of course! It's nice to know faces, though." I tell her it has taken me 26 years to get here and I'm sorry I hadn't come sooner. She radiates love and acceptance, tells S&B that she likes the way I talk. If I had wanted to stay longer I would have had to commit to six (6) hours a week in the garden as rent.

My new friends show me the kitchen shack and the outhouses. On the other side of the fence bordering Elaine's garden, house, and several residents' camper vans and houses is Scott's van and Bailey's car. They illustrate their plans to build a small house using the frame of a large trailer and I erect my tent on the far side of the fence, 15 feet from Scott's van. Please note the dichotomy between the fenced living and work areas of Elaine's farm versus the stretch of grass we reside on. There's a ditch between my tent and a vast forest. Bailey warns me that when she slept under the stars she was awakened by cattle about to casually trample her. Peeing happens outside, often in the ditch, but every time I need a toilet I will open a gate and enter the farm proper.

In short, inside the fence are some 8-10 people who live on the farm. Outside the fence are free range dairy cows and Scott & Bailey's camp, and now me.

This being the weekend of meteor showers, everyone on the farm is going to Grassy Point for a bonfire tonight. Scott and I manufacture sandwiches of smoked tofu from the general store at Ford's Cove and we pile into vehicles. The beach isn't far; Hornby's a small island but bikes and vehicles give us more time for meteor showers. The fire's going when the three of us arrive and I meet Emma, Nikki, Cole and Sebastian. We're all in our 20s. I learn by listening what issues come with living in paradise. Everyone has at least two jobs, keeping their heads above water, and we are all finding ourselves. Bioluminescence is only exciting enough for my friends to throw rocks into the water, but I take off my tights and wade, watching my legs light up. At the fire I'm awkward and insecure, too tired to be outgoing. We lay on our backs in a row and watch those arcs of light in the sky.

Back at the farm, Bailey loans me a thick piece of carpet and a real sleeping bag. I embrace her and we sleep.

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ramblyCollapse )

In my vision, I waited until Denman Island to plunge into the ocean. I couldn't hold out, now that it was in front of me. Got on my pseudo swim suit and slowly, savouring the acclimation, walked in & dove under.
I was whole,
I was clean,
I wept. I bled gratitude into her. Reveled in the weightlessness, the sound and taste of surf, of being buoyant.

"Ambient guitar" was on the board by the small amphitheatre. Parksville's sandcastle festival was on. Sit on a log, wrapped in a sarong, listen. Shared food with a gull and fell completely in love with this white jacketed, barefoot blond being playing with his eyes closed. He had a serene smile and he was, or his music was, the ocean & the sky. Every note was carefully chosen and reverberated through my being. This person, Peter Jack Rainbird, turned my aural faculties kaleidoscopic. As the music progressed the lights behind my eyelids changed colour, and it had to be a dream.

We were the same person, but I got lost in trying to figure out how to not come off as overly idolatrous. We were the same person, it wasn't a dream, I'd made it to the ocean. As he wrapped cables I asked him what kind of pedals he used.

"Let's start with hello, shall we?"
"Okay. Yes. Hi. Hi. I'm Emese."

His smile knocked me backwards. I struggled to maintain my composure. I was shivering and had no a towel. He had never had any training, so might not be helpful to me regarding guitar advice. He explained that the fellow in the shop would try to sell me a pedal that did everything, made me breakfast and called my mother. Start with the basics. Get the simplest thing and-

"Yeah, it seems like you would make a sound and respond to it, try to find another to follow it and approached it intuitively."

Do I play? No, well, I've been trying since January.

The important thing, he said, is not to listen to those I love and admire.

"I love Kate Bush."

"Without Kate Bush we wouldn't have Bjork, or Florence and the Machine. But Kate Bush might say, without Wuthering Heights we wouldn't have Kate Bush. Love and admire Kate Bush. But don't listen to her. Get to a point where Kate Bush listens to you."

I asked him about the Old vs New highways, and he thought I'd do better on the Old one. The Original highway, as he called it, would be much more traversable for me. But what I was really asking was for a ride out of Dodge, wasn't it? I nodded, embarassed that I'd lost my ability to speak directly in the presence of the vessel of the divine. He offered to carry a bag, I refused, we got into the van.

"Do you like mulberries?"
"MULBERRIES? Live for 'em!" I gave him what I had left and he told me he'd picked up a young man named Oliver who had also been hoping to get to Denman. His father owned the chocolate factory there, and PJR had experienced the hitchhiker as a cross between Oliver Twist and Willy Wonka. Chocolate is the holy grail in England. I asked if that was related to the rumour about bad teeth. Asked if they also have dental hygenists going to children's classrooms twice a year, telling them to brush. Twice a year? Twice a day they came! He enjoys brushing his teeth for long stretches while driving, absent mindedly, no toothpaste. He lives on Quadra Island and explained:

"If Salt Spring Island has embraced progress and technology, while Lasqueti is firmly resistant, Quadra is in the middle. Lasqueti doesn't want any of that, they want to stay rustic and tucked away, while Salt Spring's gone very commercial. We've got one foot planted in chicken shit and one in technology, the future. We still want our free range eggs and awesome gardens, and we want whatever's next."

We passed through Qualicum Beach, apparently occupied by an 'older demographic' with 'a high concentration of golf courses'. We agreed that I would do well by a small blue bridge over a creek. I thanked him and he said he'd see me on my next adventure.

I ate blackberries and felt, for the first time in months, like I wasn't alone in the universe. I had thought so highly of him, and he had done the same, been kind and curious and respectful. It had taken the tramping through bushes, the resultant bleeding, it had taken every unpleasant step to get to this state of consciousness.

Thank you, Peter Jack Rainbird.

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Didn't do psychedelics but still lost mind. Am quite a bit happier and so so over this one friendship that includes some intimacies but is lacking in the conversation, so much.

Was that even coherent? I just want to feel heard if a friendship (with or without cuddles, etc) is going to continue. Like, when you tell me that you have a type of woman you're attracted to for the millionth time & I tell you that it gives me the heebie-jeebies, maybe express curiosity as to why? Or just ignore it, that's a really good approach too. (That was sarcasm, the last sentence.)

If you're wondering, I think it's creepy to have a type because when I fit someone's "type" I feel fetishized, rather than appreciated for my actual self. Anyway, LIST:

-Watching Belle Star, I suspected I might have begun to menstruate (I picked & brewed yarrow a few times, out there). I informed Siobhan of my suspicion and told her that it would be too tragic if I went to the portapotty to check and found I wasn't, and had missed any of the concert for naught. She said "so that would be worse than bleeding on your skirt?" I pointed out that the skirt was red and she offered to cover me with a blanket while I checked. Still no blood.

-Yesterday I had a 17 minute nap next to Kevin on a sleeping bag with a tarp loosely blocking the sun above us. I woke up laughing because my subconscious had told me the funniest joke ever: instead of apologizing by saying you're sorry or that you apologize, simply let loose a string of words. The first word is always 'hungry', like "Hungry. Lightning. Barnyard. Battleship. Warren."

- I ran into Boeseya, who I know from elementary school. She's been working with Dan for the last few months, archaeology outside T Bay, and is best friends with the woman Dan is seeing. She was able to confirm that the woman is a good person, which was so heartwarming to hear. I'm a bit shy to ask Dan about her, yet, but I'm glad that he's dating someone wonderful. ON THAT NOTE

-Adam is from Minnesota. I can't tell you how I knew we were flirting, as neither of us is very good at it, but he followed me into the outhouse by accident. We'd been walking for a few minutes, in the dark, talking, and I hadn't said "and here is the outhouse I am going to use" so he just came in with me. I turned and said "I think I would like to go to the outhouse by myself" and he apologized and waited outside. When I came out, he apologized (in the traditional sense, not the new kind) some more and I told him it was fine and we looked at the stars.

-Yesterday, being the last day, I left a message with the neighbours, Tommy and Juanita (who had brought a 2-day old baby to FF): if Adam comes by, tell him he can wake me up to flirt with me. They delivered the message and reported that it had made him turn red. I caught him yesterday as he was packing up and we are exchanging fb messages. Ah, brief romances.

-I remembered what it feels like to have lots of energy, and what it's like to enjoy a concert without worrying about how I appear to other humans. This is optimal.

-My all-time favourite response to learning that a) I'm hard of hearing and b) that though you might have known me for 10 years, I only got hearing aids three years ago:
"OHHH. I thought you were slow!"

-baby rabies from camping with all the babies. Somewhat cancelled by the reality of parenting as witnessed, but like holy crap. Loved hanging with Kara and Aya, Aya being just over a year old and the most social little human I've ever seen. I gave her a piece of my apple, which she ate, and a second one, which she trotted over to offer to another baby. It was all I could do to keep my insides inside.

-No poison ivy. Wow!

-Devotchka, being gypsy punk, enabled me to do Hungarian folk dancing for the first time in ages. ♥

I'm hungry. Very, very hungry. Hungry like the wolf.

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I'm tired of the automatic insertion of my ego into every fucking thing. I just started watching this terrific Kimbra video, for Settle Down, & was struck at the depth of her voice. My looming inner critic immediately reminded me that my voice is weak & I shouldn't bother singing, ever, because it offends people with sensitive hearing/good taste.

I am so tired of cutting myself down before I do any creative thing! I LIKE singing & it makes me happy, damn it! I'm watching crows looping and circling outside my window and loving animals, always, for not questioning that they ought to do what their bodies tell them to. As humans we produce sound (terrible sounds, sometimes) before we can lift our heads. We come into this world projecting our person vocally, shaking the air around us with song. When I sing, especially in a group, my heart is lifted and I become a vessel of the divine.

Birds in captivity will display Zugunruhe, an expression of the migratory instinct. When the time to move draws near, they will begin putting on fat and will become anxious. They don't let the man get them down! They know it's time to fly & make the necessary preparations, even when external circumstances prevent actual migration.

I embrace art, particularly music, for its ability to normalize the way emotions rule every aspect of my life. I love curling up inside a song and letting its tension extend my psyche, letting the movement from the root outward and back again take me with it. Music urges me to choose life, forces my hand & affirms that yes, strapping myself into the ride continues to be my best move. Fighting the good fight, as it were, is dangerous and hurts and I can't hide for long.

Fuck you, ego. I'll slide out from under your grasp, serpentine, as often as required. I'll leave you behind. I will never find that secret chord but I'll die trying. I'll be brought to my knees over & over, let myself be awed, surrender to failing sometimes in the search for the good, true and beautiful.

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this week's column

Someone wrote him telling him that they are attracted to children and desperately wish they weren't, and what can they do to get help without getting in trouble? They've never abused a child and don't look at child porn... Anyway, Dan's response is stellar and I love how quickly he can go from caustically cussing out someone who effed his chances at getting another threesome (last week) to being compassionate and offering practical advice to a pedophile. My favourite part is when he points out that no one chooses to be attracted to children, and that to not act on such desires deserves support and credit.

Sauna with Kevin today was so good & then, half an hour later, back up here in anxietyville. My search for a shitty job has not proven fruitful thus far; the only places I am not applying are McDonald's and On Deck. McDonald's because the smell makes me nauseous and On Deck because WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY FUCKING NACHOS? I ORDERED NACHOS TWO HOURS AGO. & by 'ordered', you mean 'put money on a table that my nephew was sitting at', apparently.

This song, written in 1918 by Canadian composer Ernest Seitz, brought joy to the hearts of postwar north americans. There are at least 100 renditions, some with the lyrics written by Gene Lockhart, also Canadian. I'm having trouble finding the Duke Ellington version. Please help, internet detectives!


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kindly sod off.


There are some concrete things, which are sort of manageable, and then there are dreams and images from my tumultous adolescence. Me calling Teako (my first love!) drunk (it was my second time drinking) to reveal "secrets of the universe" and her hanging up on me, laughing, because I was very repetitive. Sitting on a fire escape wanting out of my body. Post-bread shame spiral, listening to anime soundtracks and Tori Amos.

November is a barren icy field of academic pressure, social estrangement, anxiety transitioning seamlessly into depression. Desperate belief in a higher power not because the world is so cleverly designed (& sometimes that does inspire faith in me) but because I feel so frail, my hold on reality so tenuous, that there must be something other than me keeping my systems functioning, my heart beating. It seems too fortunate that I continue to wake up every morning, too risky not to believe.

There is an acid feeling in this bone cage, the organ I sometimes picture as the muscle they tell me it is is presently a bird. A hot, hurt, frightened bird throwing itself against the bars and roiling up an acid storm. I cannot speak without choosing my words very, very carefully lest I release this tangible/ephemeral mood, this veritable orchestra of clashing metal, the staticky white noise that follows the thud of an adult human body hitting the ground. I become obsessed with objects I can't find and events I can't remember. Presently it's my passport and the time I fainted in yoga (this was before hot yoga, too!) and later drew a picture for my mother of my body from above.

To lighten the mood: my favourite concept lately is that of ecological release. When a species moves from one habitat to very different one (e.g. from Europe to North America) it is not constrained by the same competitors/predators/parasites. Also called "enemy release", the species undergoes a period of exponential growth and expansions, winning at life in its new home.

I cannot tell Dan some things because he will try to process them in a way where it ends up okay. I know it will end up okay, I just want to revel in pain now- I misunderstood my degree, I thought I was getting a bachelor of science followed by a bachelor of education (after teacher's college) and would therefore be able to just kind of switch over, go home, hang with babies. Pickle beets and learn sign language with my dad. My degrees are integrated, and anyway the U of M wants me to have a b.ed before they will teach me how to teach deaf kids. When I have my b. ed the CAEDHH-certifying program will be halfway done. I wish I had thought more carefully before I got so excited.

Also, Dan's going to stay in Thunder Bay forever and there are no teaching jobs in Thunder Bay.

Those are some relatively concrete things and they are bumming me out. It would be funny if they sold champagne in the cafeteria soda machine.

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