When The Monsoon Came I Lay Down, Safe In Your Palm

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And no sweet whisper,
Or gentle sigh,
or finely crafted love note,
carefully composed ballad,
time-honoured tradition,
sacred vow,
could stop the roar of water
rushing through my ears.

In the leafy green shadow
cast by boughs overburdened,
hard droplets slap against the lichen-speckled wood
the wooden floor that warmed me from the souls of my feet
to the pads of my fingers.
Slapping, and smacking, and
rushing through my ears.

Bare shoulders to the moist warm air,
sturdy boots clumping through the gathering pools,
all emerald reflections dotted slowly with the coltish blue,
peeking coyly through the now relenting cloud-cover.

And you, everywhere…
In the steam rising from pavements;
in the tentative, retreating mist,
in the subterranean rivers of the city
coursing, racing, charging, pulsing,
rushing through my ears.

Happy Birthday, To Me.

La Minouche by Gord Hawkins

La Minouche by Gord Hawkins

This year, birthday weekend was a lot less lonely.

In fact, I was moved to tears several times throughout the day as the text messages, phone calls, emails, and Facebook posts poured in.

I know a lot of incredible people, and as a person who believes that the company we keep is a reflection of our character, I was humbled over and over.

I was kidnapped by my friends and lavished with love all weekend long. It was spectacular.

Each year, I am so very grateful to have made it to another birthday. I was amazed this year to consider how far I’ve come over the course of twelve months. I’m proud of my work, which I’m lucky to say that I love. I’m able to take care of myself, in all ways. Every day I’m learning more about who I am, and the things I want. I feel so very strong, even in the moments when I’m lonely. This feeling of inner quiet and strength would be impossible if I was unable to accept the love of the people who are nearest and dearest to me.

My goals in this coming year are at the forefront of my mind. What do I want? What do I really want? I’m beginning to wonder if the story I have told myself for so long is in fact what my heart really desires.

I’m falling in love with this woman. She is perfectly comfortable in the softly descending twylight settling over her attic apartment as she sits at an antique desk typing away. She can be alone, but realizes that she is never really alone. I love this woman, who is now my truest, most sincere friend. She knows always what is good for me, even though sometimes I choose to ignore her. When I look into her eyes, I can see that she is ancient and filled with wisdom I can only understand in fleeting moments. On my birthday, I pledged myself to her. I promised to heed her more often, and love her more attentively. She is the love I have sought for so long, and only through loving her, and wholly embracing her will I ever be complete.

I have all the love I need in the world.

Thank you to all of you who have added to the pile, and have helped to build this tower. Each day, I whisper your name in my heart.

Only Drowning Men Could See Him

Dandelion_Fluff

I can’t take credit for that one…it’s Leonard Cohen’s line, but I heard it this morning, while on the way to work¬† listening to Suzanne and it made me think…

I rather feel like drowning men can see me really well. I’m a little bit like a lighthouse that way. Or the Coast Guard. Of course, other people can see me well too. I think what I need to do is decide that I’m no longer a lifeguard.

All men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them.

Same song. This made me think about a recent post here. Men (or mankind) will continue to drown until they learn how to move with the sea.

Hmm…my intent was to post something a little less cryptic than the last post. The last one was a weird code that Technorati made me add so they could detect this blog. Finally today, a sweet friend piped up with “Ok, I’ve got to ask…what did your last post mean?”

I don’t think the above is any less cryptic, but perhaps I don’t give you enough credit?

Today was strange, and wonderful. Wonderful strange.¬† In fact, this entire week has felt as though I’ve been dreaming lucidly. My senses feel heightened, and the universe is pointing things out all over the place. Strange things like seeing the same man four times in various places around the city. A complete stranger, I might add, who paid no notice to the fact that our paths were continuously crossing. Strange things like a civil, lovely dog park visit with my ex-boyfriend who brought up the idea that perhaps one of us might leave the city soon and we’d need to work something out with Arthur. (I’ve had running away fantasies for the last month) Strange things like certain people calling, or texting, or emailing at precisely the exact moment I’ve thought about them, or spoken of them.

Today was wonderful strange.

I felt utterly exhausted when I woke, like I had not slept at all despite an early bed time. I couldn’t rouse myself. Once I finally rolled out of bed, I was late for work of course (there may have been another distraction or two keeping me from leaving on time). Then, once at work I had a most productive day, though I continued to feel exhausted. I ran on vapours until getting caught in a most profound TTC cluster fuck that had me in circles, but had this not happened, I would have missed a most extraordinary text message/phone call series that I’m still certain was a birthday prank. Or something. Then home, and Arthur, and a pre-rain walk. (At the time of this entry, the sky still has not opened up.) The beautiful strains of the handsome young doctor down the street sitting in a red wicker chair on his beautiful porch playing what I think was a mandolin, and smiling sweetly at me as Arthur and I passed. Then fetch, and friendly strangers, and home again to sweet neighbours in the garden and tonight there is music rehearsal. I will sing Suzanne myself, and find my own meaning in the lyrics.

Sweet red cardinal is singing me a song. The trees in the yard are full of ripe pears. It is the week of my birth, and the universe is laying flowers at my feet.

I should set some goals this week. Whisper some wishes into the wind. I feel like there is magik everywhere and something glowing and wonderful is reflected in the faces of the people I encounter.

Greater Independence
Deeper Understanding of Self
Increased Health and Strength
More Reading
More Music
Travel Opportunity
Greater Trust
More Writing
More Giving
More Family
More Art
More Cooking

There. Off you go then.

(My theory is that if I focus on all of these, that obvious, unspoken one will happen too.)


The Life Aquatic

ocean-temperature

There is an ocean inside you.
I can hear it between your words
as clearly as the yawning roar
from the pearly slit of the seashell at my ear.

You have held these tides at bay
and have quelled the undulation of the waves
with the steady power of your gaze,
but the fathoms are so strange and deep
that they wake you, feverish from your slumber.

Who will you become if you surrender?
If you abandon the exhausting tread
to sink slowly, and steadily
into the velvet green of unknowable fathoms,
will you be dangerously far from the all-illuminating glow of the sun?

Or will the ancient, secret levithan
fold you carefully to her scaly breast
and sift her golden treasures
from the silt and sediment that has settled
upon a trove so vast and bountiful
that the solar glare suddenly seems so garish and so strange.

medaw7cjyp

Infinite Possibility

Wait for Me by rosiehardy, flickr

Wait for Me by rosiehardy, flickr

Rosie Hardy is a seventeen year old girl who lives in England. She met her boyfriend, Aaron Space on Flickr, when they both participated in the 365 day contest. She lives in England, he in America. When I was seventeen, nothing about love seemed impossible.

This has been in my inbox for a while, and I’ve been debating whether or not to share this. It’s an excerpt from a letter written by my friend Richard Northwood, to a girl who added him on Facebook. I don’t believe he ever sent it to her, but he shared it with me after a discussion about online dating.

The Internet has changed everything about the way we socialize. Everything. I like to think I’m fairly savvy, and perceptive, but this letter still made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

I remain convinced that a person’s actions speak louder than any words they may utter, and that by perceiving people with more than your eyes and ears, you can get a fairly good read on them, if you allow yourself to hear what they are telling you.

Without further ado, Richard Northwood:

Oh hey remember this morning when you sent me that message via chat and I didn’t answer? Then you sent seven more in the next five or six minutes and I didn’t answer any of those either? I was actually sitting at my computer creeping your profile deciding how I should respond. It is kinda weird what you can find out about someone just by flipping through their profile for twenty minutes. I mean, sure the whole ‘found out his full name and added him on Facebook seven hours after he made me feel like shit in public’ thing is a bit stalker and clingy, but you should probably remove all that crap in your profile about looking for your one true love and being tired of players, and looking for your prince. Your list of favourite books and movies was priceless.

Just so you know, the next time you send me a chat message on here and ask me what I’m doing, I’m going to tell you that I am ‘super pumped because I finally found that rare SNL collection of Will Ferrell skits online’ and ‘I can’t wait to watch it’. You’re gonna say that rocks and then jokingly say ‘don’t watch it without me!’ and I’ll be like ‘what’re you doing tonite’. I mean, three of your favourite movies are Anchorman, Talledega Nights and Old School. Pretty obvious there babe. Then I’ll jokingly say something like ‘get your ass over here and watch with me then!’ and you’ll make up an excuse why you can’t and then I’ll say
its okay I don’t laugh on first dates anyhow. And you’ll type something like ‘LOL’ or if you’re as young as I think/hope you are you’ll type ‘roflmao’. That’s hot.

I’m actually gonna start the next chat with you and ask you if you know of any good books because I just finished reading (insert one of the books on your favourites list here) and you’ll flip out because that’s one of your favourite books. I figure you’ve forgotten that you even put that there two years ago when you joined FB, but even if you didn’t you already think I’m too much of an ass to bother creeping your profile, and I’m a bit out of your league and quite a bit older than you. Man if you only know the truth.

So anyhow, we’ll end up out for coffee and I’ll bring up my love of volleyball, camping, live bands, dogs and New York city (where I haven’t actually been yet, but after about thirty minutes on Google I’m feeling pretty comfortable describing as my second home). I’m only going to mention these things in passing, and then listen to you ramble on about them, which should fool you into thinking I’m a good listener. Based on what I saw in your photo albums that should work nicely, and help you to decide whether to go down on me at the end of the date, which actually might not be half bad since I don’t see anything about religion in your
profile.

Okay so after that I’m not going to call you for like five days and I don’t plan to return any of your texts. When I actually get a hold of you I’m going to pretend like I wasn’t ignoring you. I figure five days is just long enough to make you worry but not so long as to scare you away and have you put something about regret in one of your status updates. Its a bit of a risky proposition because you’ll complain about me to a couple of your friends (and I’d really like to fuck a couple of ’em) but I’m going to go down on you for a really long time so that should fix that.

Dude, its so weird that like 70% of your photo albums are titled ‘girls night out’ something or other. I mean how bad was your heart broken? Its all like girl power this and who needs boys tonight!, geez. Relax a little. This is just sex, or is going to be by the way. Its not even going to be very good I bet, you’re such a prude. I saw your halloween album, that wasn’t sexy it was embarrassing. And that didn’t even look like a whip. Maybe next time instead of running out to party packagers the day-of you can try having a sense of adventure and a modicum or originality?

You know what, just forget the whole thing. I’ve seen all I need to see of you from Facebook. The sex is going to be terrible, I feel like we’ve already had it. Man I’m glad I didn’t answer your chat forty five minutes ago, you’re exactly what I thought you were. Just forget this ever happened. And don’t go saying shit about me either, I never promised you anything. And it was like two dates, tops. You know I just got out of a relationship like two years ago. You were the one that came on too strong.

Next time I see you I expect you to thank me for saving you the heartache.

Yours truly and thusly,

RN

Wrathful and Peaceful Offerings

Yamantaka Ekavira, Solitary Hero

Yamantaka Ekavira, Solitary Hero

July 13, 11:15 pm

I’m whispering into your ear. Can you hear me?

Tonight I’m actually nodding off as I’m typing these words, but I wanted to let my fingers dance here, because I’m feeling very strange, and I’m hoping the exercise will help exorcise the real matter at hand.

Distance. I’m thinking about distance, and how it has saved me time and again in the last year. I put miles between myself and a horrible breakup by running away to Paris. I’ve kept so many people at arm’s length to avoid getting too close. I’ve locked myself away in a fortress of my own creation. I’ve been “too busy” on more occasions than I care to count. It is with certain clarity that I understand how easy it would be to just run away from this life and live like a gypsy for a while. Had I been presented with the opportunity, I would have run.

But instead, I literally built up my own life from a pile of debris. I watched things take shape slowly, and as I look around at all the repairs left to be made, and odd jobs left to be done, I realize there are some that I can do myself (the painting for example) but there are some that I’ve left deliberately for someone else.

My dog shifts on the sofa at my side and nestles his warm head into my thigh, sighing mightily in his slumber. I envy him so much sometimes.

Excitement is not coming to me easily these days. I am watching my life from afar, and it may be partially due to the cold meds. The rest of it is the strangest sense of detachment, and displacement.

Yep…going to have to sleep now. I’ll finish this one up in the morning…

July 14th, 9:45 pm

It’s not the morning…

Sleep went very well until about 4:00 am when my drunken neighbour came home and made a ruckus. Still, I feel a bit more alert this evening.

Alert, but still just a little off. I feel like I’m drifting through my days, and each one is melting into the next. I’m a helium balloon, with the finest string keeping me tethered, when all I really want to do is drift up, up, and away.

My spidey senses are tingling, too.

All of this to say that The Fortress feels like the best place for me to be right now, and Arthur is perfect company. I cannot surrender myself to anything but my profound need to hold myself very close, and very tight.

I never, ever, ever thought I would feel like this.

Progress?

All Request Wednesdays

IMG_0377

Hello world at large!

I’ve really come to love writing here, and I’m deeply touched that so many of you enjoy reading my ramblings.

In the interest of writing more frequently, I’m asking you to suggest topics that I might wax poetic about.

I’m very happy to keep this anonymous, you have my word on this, and if you’d like my humble advice on anything, I’m happy to offer that too!

Mail your suggestions, requests, and questions to schnooville@gmail.com

Your secrets are safe with me!

xoxo

Schnoo

Synchronicity?

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joy_of_sex_vulva_old

This evening, in my cold-medicated state Arthur and I padded over to the movie rental store to find the kind of entertainment that we could enjoy from the sofa.

I picked up the first disk of the series True Blood because everyone keeps telling me I’ll like it. I’m two episodes in, and it’s definitely sexy, but I find some of the writing a bit weak. I’m already attached to a couple of the characters though, so what the dialogue lacks is made up in development. I’ll keep watching. I’d forgotten that the show is an Alan Ball creation, who I love.

Completely and totally randomly, I picked up Towelhead. It was recommended by the movie store, and I always like their recommendations. I didn’t even read the synopsis. I just saw that Toni Collette was in it, and figured it must be good. I popped this into the DVD player after episode two of True Blood.

The story is about a thirteen year old girl with a white mom and Lebanese father. She gets shipped to her father’s home in the U.S. suburbs after a complicated scenario arises at her mother’s house. At first, this starts as a quirky coming-0f-age story.

As the tale unravels, my heart starts to break into a million little pieces. I can’t get into the nitty gritty details of why this affected me so without spoiling the plot, but this movie is such a raw take on the idea of female sexuality. It’s amazing that I randomly selected this, because this exact topic has been on my mind a lot lately.

There is a real disconnect between how women are expected to feel about sex, and how they themselves would like to feel about it. This mass confusion and hypocrisy affects both genders too. For all our feminist efforts, things really haven’t changed that much, and sometimes I feel like my attitude towards sexuality is what will always make certain aspects of my life challenging.

I don’t just mean the act of sex, either. I mean sexuality at large; maybe even sensuality is the word to use.

This particular entry is long overdue, and this movie really drove it home for me.

I began to ask questions about sex at about eight years of age, if I remember correctly. My questions were met by my mom, who very calmly gave me a book to read and then told me to ask any and all other questions I might have after reading it. I don’t remember the specifics here, but I know I felt comfortable, and fascinated, and not really embarrassed at all.

I also remember finding my dad’s Playboy collection, and being intrigued. When I got busted for that, I think I was only told that they were magazines for grown-ups and that they were private.

Then, my search led me to the original edition of The Joy of Sex. I still love men with beards and shaggy hair because of this. I hid that discovery for weeks under my bed, until my mom asked if perhaps I might know of its whereabouts. I fessed up, and as I recall, she told me she would prefer that I leave this book on the bookshelf, and ask any questions I might have about what I’d read there.

Several other discoveries were made, always through snooping through my parents’ bedroom, which proved to be something of a treasure trove. Each time, burning curiosity, and my mother’s open nature led me to confess my invasion of their privacy so I could ask the questions that were begging to be asked. Each time, I was gently admonished for my snooping, because private time and privacy were very important, and then I got a clear and honest answer.

I never, ever heard or walked in on my parents having sex, but at least once a week, after we were tucked in, the lock on their bedroom door would click, and the entire house would smell like lavender massage oil. It was easy for me to piece this mystery together.

I’d always taken this for granted, assuming that everyone I knew had learned about sex by finding interesting things in their own homes, and having at least one parent who was comfortable explaining what was going on.

The more people I talk to, the more I learn that this is not the case.

I was never, ever, ever ashamed of my sexuality. Any awkwardness or embarrassment growing up was a result of feeling like I didn’t fit in with the other kids, or feeling like they thought I was strange, and ugly.

Once puberty was full swing, and all of my girlfriends started getting it on at the tender age of fourteen, I knew I wasn’t ready, and really wasn’t interested. Everything I’d read sounded interesting and important, and the boys I knew at that time were mostly really awful. If it was going to happen, I wanted to be ready.

When that time came, I was almost eighteen. I’d switched from hanging out with gun-toting Jamaican drug dealers to really granola actors and musicians. I made my own appointment with my family doctor to discuss this matter, have my first pap, and go on the pill. I told my mother about this after the appointment. I bought condoms, and lube, and announced to my twenty four year old boyfriend (yikes, I know) that I was ready. I still think I deliberately chose this boyfriend as my first because I knew he’d know what he was doing.

My mother’s straightforward, open approach to sex gave me the confidence I needed to make clear decisions, and made me really curious and interested in understanding this aspect of my personality. I credit this for saving me from some pretty stupid decisions growing up. When I kept company with the aforementioned dealers, the pressure to drink and do drugs was constant at first, and I was interested in neither of those things. I quickly figured out that I could weld my virginity like some strange kind of trademark, and even went so far as to frequently wear white outfits. Soon, I was really novel in these circles, and some of the meanest mo-fo’s had my back (side). Nobody pressured me anymore, and in fact, they kind of found it endearing, I think. Every now and then I would throw them a bone and pretend that they had hot-boxed me, but I never got stoned with them. I later found out there was a pretty significant cash pool on who would take my virginity.

All this to say “thanks mom”. There’s so much more to learning about sex besides the basic biological function. They are still not allowed to teach sexual confidence, self-exploration, or the dynamics of sexual power in schools.

Towelhead made me realize, once again, how essential this really is.

I was so enthralled, and moved, that I Googled this movie after it ended, only to find that it was written and directed by Alan Ball.

Universe, I love your clever sense of humour.

Be advised, Towelhead is not for the faint of heart…it’s also based on the novel by Alicia Erian.

The Drugs Don’t Work

George, my cottage boyfriend

George, my cottage boyfriend

I have a summer cold, which might be in the top five of my list of things that instantly turn me into a whiny baby. This morning I took extra strength Tylenol cold, and they are absolutely not working.

This is of some concern, because soon the fortress will open it’s doors to a three year old and five year old little girl, who I am taking on to help a friend recover from surgery. I’m trying to keep this in perspective. A runny nose is not such a big deal.

But the underlying point of interest I think is that sometimes nothing can “fix it”. All the oil of oregano, Cold fx, Dristan, etc. won’t make it go away. I’m not feeling well, and I must be aware of this until it is time to feel better. This is forcing me to slow down, take it easy, and take care.

Summer colds are dreadful, but inevitable. Like loneliness. Like fear. If you can get a warm mug of miso, put on some comfortable clothing, and gently place one foot in front of the other until you come out again on the other side of icky, your system is ultimately stronger, I think. Sometimes nothing will make you feel better but time, and the ultimate awareness that a cold really only lasts for about a week.

There are things we cannot silence no mater how hard we try to distract ourselves. What are you yearning for?

Weekends at the cottage, and time with friends who are about to have babies has me thinking a lot about love. I know this is wildly predictable. I have such a clear idea of what I want, and have had many people through the course of my life tell me that visualization will make things happen. What if this isn’t true?

This last week has seen two monumental steps on my way to greater independence. I’m feeling really good about this. I’m feeling very loved by my friends and family, very excited about my work, and upcoming artistic projects. I’m feeling thrilled to have travel opportunities, and a lovely little terrace filled with flowers where I can sit, and write, and read.

I’m saying yes. Yes, yes, yes to the universe. Clear-minded, open-hearted, and ready. If slightly croaky, and more than a little sniffly.

Watcha got for me next universe?