Before I Fall Into Exhausted Sleep

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i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

e.e. cummings

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Frostbite and Sunburn

Basking in the Window's Light - Olivia Bee

Basking in the Window's Light - Olivia Bee

A long, long day today, with lots of thinking. Here’s what I came up with:

If you haven’t seen the movie ‘Once’, you should do so straight away. Here are the lyrics, in cast you’d like to follow along:

I don’t know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can’t react
And games that never amount
To more than they’re meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You’ll make it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can’t go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I’m painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You’ve made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I’ll sing along

This song is on an AMAZING double-disk compilation called ‘Dark Was the Night’. This is Sufjan Stevens. It’s a cover of a song originally recorded by The Castanets. The original is also really pretty, some awesome use of the sax in that particular version, way more chilled out. Dig for it, if you are so inclined. These are the lyrics:

You are the blood flowing through my fingers
all through the soil and up in those trees

You are electricity and you’re light
You are sound itself and you are flight

You are the blood flowing through my fingers
All through the soil and up in those trees
You are electricity and you’re light
You are sound itself and you are flight
You are the blood flowing through my fingers
All through the soil and up in those trees

You are the blood that I may see you
You are the blood in me

You are the earth on which I travel
You are the earth under my feet
That I may travel with you
you are the earth on which I write the circumstances
you say what you want from me
you are the solitude that goes against
you are the choir in which I dream
in which I sleep
in which I wander

The Massacre of the Innocence

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Is it ok to enjoy someones company if you have a nagging feeling that there is no potential for anything lasting, or substantial? If in your gut you feel like they are just not on the same page, or that their own personal “stuff” will prevent them from meeting you halfway? Is it ok to ignore these things for the sake of appreciating the now, and “seeing what happens”? No, it is not. I already know what’s going to happen.

What is ok, absolutely ok, is to feel exactly as I did yesterday afternoon, as of about two pm. Perfectly at ease, fascinated, open, engaged, safe, and ready. Amazing. I’m tapping at the pedal brakes to avoid my Leonine overwhelming enthusiasm, but whatever happens next might be less important than the realization that those feelings are what I need to feel. Nothing less.

I liken it to the first time my untrained voice realized how to use my breath to properly support the sounds I make. I was filled with more air than ever before, and could sustain the note, and the intensity of the note for as long as I needed to. I hung there, played there with my own sounds, and felt the power and control that I was capable of. Magic.

So, thank you for Saturday afternoon magic. For children pulled from ancient photographs covered in spaghetti sauce before my very eyes. For tiny birds coming in for a landing on my shoulder. For wooden rooms filled with wood. For slow grazing on greens. For bordello teepees. For that nape of the neck image that made my heart sing with how fragile and pure it was.

For remembering something I thought I’d lost a long, long time ago.

Lady Lazarus, at your service.

High Holy Days

Playground love - Olivia Bee

Playground love - Olivia Bee

It’s ten o’clock. I’ve just come home after an action-packed day at the office followed by a lucrative production meeting which only served to make me love my business partner that much more.

As I walked home from where the donated cab ride ended, I knew two things; I wanted to sit on my terrace, and I wanted to smoke a cigarette. The former I do frequently, the latter not so much.

I fetched my dog from the main floor of my almost two hundred year old house, dropped off my things and took a pee break in my stifling attic apartment (would that the bedroom window would open!) and headed to the 7 eleven to satisfy my nearly-never craving. (Please note, I do not advocate smoking, but I was feeling nostalgic for Paris).

With Arthur in tow, I encountered a gigantic party in my neighbour’s yard, with a tent and blue lights, and now as I am typing this the exuberant strains of Punjabi music are the soundtrack to my perfect evening at The Fortress.

I’m lit by the blue glow of my lap top and a single beeswax pillar. I’m wearing a Japanese style robe procured from some unmentionable vintage shop and a pair of lacy red shorts. I’m sipping Perrier with a splash of Cassis and I am thanking every Deity from every pantheon for my unbearable sense of freedom.

My neigbourhood is alive with gardens, bursting forth in a riot of spring-ripened blossoms. Every ten paces is a fully-blooming lilac bush, and Arthur and I stop and drink in their heady scent. Each and every morning my life is put into perspective as I stroll through this familiar neighbourhood, and I am so, so grateful.

I won’t be taking a vacation this year. I will be looking to make some extra cash on the side. The bottom line is, I will not give up this freedom for anything. Nothing in all of the world is as important as this feeling.

(Cassis and Perrier is not an ideal combination, in case you were wondering.)

I’m thinking of a few select people who have touched me deeply in this last year of my life. I’m thinking of any of you who have borne witness to my metamorphosis, and my growth. I’m thinking of my girlfriends who are equal parts relieved that I left a very bad relationship, and worried that I will never experience their wedded bliss or child-bearing joy. I thank you all for your love, in whatever capacity you were able to give it. It has been fuel to my fire, and although I know my path has been one of seeking independence, I recognize that you cannot be truly independent without knowing that you can accept love when you need to.

We all need to.

Long have I maintained that I lead with my heart. Some of us lead with our head. Some of us from the gut. Or the elbow. All of us need to know we are loved, I don’t care how smart you are, or how many credentials you have earned. To say you don’t need someone to soothe you, or hold you, or cheer you on is ridiculous.

Accept love. I dare you. It’s incredibly difficult, and I know. Accept that you are deserving of love, and that people want to give it to you, whether it be platonic or otherwise, because they see the noble nature of your soul.

I’m not ready yet, but I will be. Perhaps after a languid summer of freedom, filled with experiments in charcoal grilling and the perfect Sangria. Perhaps after cottage trips that grow blurry in their re-telling.  Soon I will be ready, I can smell it in the promise of summer that hangs in the breeze.

Will you be there when I am?

This Never Went to Press

Emily & Cody - Olivia Bee

Emily & Cody - Olivia Bee

I am forcing myself to write this, which makes me angry, because I feel like this shouldn’t require an effort.

I’m stretching myself too thin again, and its making me feel overwhelmed and uninspired, and I don’t even want to leave pieces of myself here, because it feels like too much to give away right now. But I feel guilty for not writing, and angry at myself because it isn’t coming to me naturally.

I’ve always enjoyed coming into a person’s home for the first time. I think it’s fascinating, the way people reveal their private world to you, and I think our homes say so much about us. The tiny artifacts we choose to display, the messes we hide, or clean, and the messes we feel are acceptable left in plain view, the state of our refrigerators, the art we select, the things on our fridge door, how many plants we can maintain, or not, the colours we choose – these all speak to our character, I think.

When someone comes into my home for the first time, I’m very at ease. I’ve become much more comfortable on my own turf than I am anywhere else. I like to make sure they have snacks, and then it’s usually carefully selected music, and good conversation, with a sleeping animal somewhere near by. I try to be very aware of how my apartment smells. I’m paranoid that it smells like cat. I hate the carpet leading up my stairs, I need to paint my landing and a couple of doors, and I need the help of a burly friend to clear some old planters and furniture off my patio. I need to hang a couple of pictures, and a mirror, and some curtains in my bedroom. A once over with the broom to clear the cobwebs from the overhead rafters would also be a good idea. I love my home though. It really, really feels like home to me.

I think it’s beautiful when you come into someone’s home who isn’t used to having company. Typically, these places are really fascinating. They are usually neatly organized, and filled with interesting bits of personality and history. Friends who are used to solitude, who invite me into their space typically want to reveal something of themselves to me, and I love this. Old photos, family keepsakes, favourite albums, travel stories, snippets from favourite movies. There are so many things we can give each other that are free, and so valuable.

This weekend, I was at the home of a new friend, a remarkable friend who I find endlessly fascinating. He pulled out the guitar he hadn’t touched in a while, and I noticed he’d grown his fingernails. I was really surprised that he wanted to play without me having to convince him. He strikes me as incredibly shy, so it suddenly was clear to me how deep and comfortable his relationship to music must be. He played beautifully, and I hope he’ll continue to play more frequently now. I wonder if he had any idea what such a gesture meant to me? I could listen for hours to someone with such effortless skill.

I haven’t had anyone here who I have played music for. I haven’t dragged out my box of old photos, or my scrapbook of my artistic history. I haven’t shared stories of old hankerchiefs, or let anyone feel the fabric of the costumes I’ve made. I haven’t let anyone really come into my space.

My home has been filled with friends, and food, and music, and this has all been lovely of course, but theres’ a box filled with newspaper clippings, faded letters, and sepia photos that continues to gather dust, and I can scarcely bring myself to look at it some days.

Some people believe that there is no such thing as fate. That the people who enter our lives do so merely by coincidence, and that these meetings are completely random. I believe that each person who touches us, who has impact on us, is there because they have something to teach us. I believe that we in turn have something to teach them too.

Am I open to the lessons that I ought to learn?

Should I consider home schooling?

Still, Centre, Quietly Turning

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I’ve neglected my writing, my ficus is dead, my dog is angry with me because I haven’t been home all week, and my job is hectic enough right now that my boss went out and purchased our own in-office Bozo the Clown inflatable punching bag.

Still, I must persevere, and share a morsel or two in the interest of communion.

A fascinating new work colleague was kind enough to take me to a dance show tonight, and I wasn’t really into the first act, I will confess. I was tired, and kept fantasizing about my dog, and my pyjamas. The second act however, consisted of two exquisite “dancers” and a multimedia artist accompanying them with a series of looping pedals and what looked like a mandolin. These “dancers” were in fact Dervishes, and one of them was a woman.

She began the piece, against the backdrop of grainy film footage of several male Dervishes, whirling in blurred soft focus. She was regal, and all in white, with mosaic-like shards of mirror sewn into the hem of her voluminous skirts. As she began to turn, she instilled in me an immediate sense of peace. I was transfixed; and my eyes didn’t leave her. The tension in my shoulders eased, the line between my brows softened.

Eventually, she was joined by a stately man in red and black who began to turn with her. Both were lost in their own mind-space, somewhere with God, but acutely aware of where each other had claimed their space. The were moving about the stage too, it wasn’t rooted to one spot. The music was layered over the sound of a record that had come to the end of its rotation, which only now strikes me as poignant, and it was a delicate compliment to their quiet contemplation.

The man and woman then moved closer to each other and began turning very closely with one another, while still maintaining their own perfect rotation. After spinning quite steadily for about fifteen minutes, this was indeed a feat. They were perfectly aligned, perfectly in tune to something greater than us all, and perfectly respectful of each other. It was so, so beautiful.

If we are in harmony with self, and in harmony with spirit, perhaps these moments of perfect union become more possible.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi