Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve, 2010

"I pray you will be filled with hope as long as you possibly can."

-Ruth Fisher

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm waiting at the airport.

How many times have we all waited at airports, either in the arrivals area, anxiously scanning the gate for our loved ones, or the departure area in tears from all the goodbyes, or waiting impatiently to board a plane that will take you to your lover whom, of course, lives far far away.

I love airports.

You'll never see so much sadness, pain, exhilaration and pure joy in one place. You'll never feel so connected to strangers, or so hopeful. Or so heartbroken. You'll never wish you could go back in time so badly, or force yourself into an unknown, but certainly happier future. There is, at times, as much grief in airports as there is at funerals, as much pain as in hospitals, as much uncertainty and fear and panic as there is in your own imagination.

Airports are places to transition. They are transformative. Whether we're shopping on ebay during that 3 hour delay, or running from one end of Pearson to the other to make our connection, there is nowhere to be in an airport but the present. A state of limbo, a place of unconditional acceptance. There is nothing to do in an airport but sit and wait with your own thoughts.

Ironically, my love is on his way to the very airport I am in. By the time he arrives, I will be on another plane, always one step ahead of him. I will see him at my final destination, an hour after I arrive, when time becomes fluid and inconsequential, as everything else is.

The airport in 6FU only ever features in the pilot. Yet it is essentially the beginning of several story lines that change several people's lives.

Everything is a near miss, hindsight, a what if or if only. Here I sit, waiting for my lover. Waiting to depart as he touches down.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let's Burn It. Let's Burn It All.

I feel antsy a lot.

It's been the reality of this term, being back at school and finding the stress of that incredibly torturous at times. It's the emotional drain and the feelings of insecurity as my confidence level yo-yos dramatically. My partner lives somewhere else and my closest friends have their own shit to deal with. My mum has empty nest syndrome. I have restless leg syndrome.

I am not comfortable in my own skin these days. I have endless wants. I feel irritated and unfulfilled. Time for a change.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is it okay to just post an entry after being on hiatus for the last three months?

Cause that's what I'm doing, yo.

Several things happened over the last few months that prevented me from blogging.

1. Full Time Employment

2. Cat Dying (RIP Ginny)

3. Partner In Saskatoon With Family Which Translated Into Multiple Board Game Nights and Weekend Camping Trips

4. Taught At Arts Camp (Where Many A Scandal Occurred)

5. Moved

6. Started School

7. Grew Increasingly Tired and Mildly Depressed Over Ridiculous Long Distance Relationship

8. Became Hooked On Friday Night Lights and Glee

And here we are. I hope you've had a delightful summer and fall. But let's get back to that show of ours where all our real friends are. I love these art school scenes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You Can't Stay Here

A friend sent me a poem recently:

Keeping Things Whole

In a field
I am the absence
of field
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

Mark Strand

I'm moving. Out of my Toronto apartment, leaving my stuff in storage at my cousin's and will be back here at the end of August to move into a new apartment I don't have yet. I'm a little anxious, less about the packing and more about the fact that I don't really have any idea how this year is going to go. My partner has to be in Vancouver for the year for work and I'll be back in school in Toronto. And there's the rest of this crazy summer to get through. Which has actually possibly been the best summer ever so far, but it's also filled with a lot of moving around.

Which I'm kind of getting used to. I'm enjoying this strange part of my adult life where I don't really have a 'home' exactly, and I now have stuff in storage in three different provinces. For years I was stuck in this emotional state where I was afraid to leave my city. Afraid that I would just feel isolated and alone and never be able to build the kind of close community I've had. What I didn't expect was to love the sense of coming and going, leaving and arriving.

Which is probably why I love this scene. This is so me two years ago:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do the Work, Stay Out of the Results

I just did a little review of my latest posts and I was amused to discover that almost every post begins with some version of 'I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted on this thing...'.

I am clearly never going to be the weekly blog poster (secretly I hope this is a reverse psychology method being used on myself right now), but I try, right? The main problem with being a poet (with being any genre specific artist, really) is that whenever you are doing something not directly related to the craft, you feel like you're wasting your time.

Isn't that slightly sick (and kind of melodramatic)?

In season 4, episode 2, Claire meets Edie. A spoken word artist who breaks Claire's eye open just a little bit. Who shows Claire not to be afraid of her own work. Not to worry about how it sounds/looks/is. And more importantly, not to be afraid of what others think about it. This is her first appearance on the show:

Honestly, I have always loved this. Not because I think it's necessarily that great of a piece of work (though I think it's kind of cool, and I have to admit I kind of get chills when I watch this scene, probably because I can see a spark returning in Claire), but because it holds a certain kind of fearlessness and honesty, and it refuses to apologize for what it is. Yeah, it's self-indulgent (which Edie admits to herself) and it's melodramatic and probably not for everyone, but she sums it up in a later conversation with Claire and Anita, when she remarks matter-of-factly, 'I say do the work, stay out of the results'. That might sound dismissive and not to say that I don't think revising is absolutely crucial, but I think we do interfere in our own work half the time. And the better we get at our craft (I find) the more likely it is that the pressure builds to produce something of a certain standard and value. Edie's casual response when Claire mentions that she hasn't picked up her camera in months because she was experiencing a rough time, is 'That's the best time to work. When your guts are all raw and you don't have to spend too much time thinking about it."

I feel a panic inside me every single day that I'm not writing poetry. Even if I don't want to write poetry. Ever. Again. And it's been coming to that. Like, obviously that'll never happen. Certainly sheer stubbornness pertaining to the idea that I Am A Poet will take over. Because, really, who am I without that identity? It's a scary thought. I find so much assurance and confidence wrapped up in that silly little title. I feel boring without it.

But honestly, these days I can't seem to write anything I like. I feel tired of it all. I was working on a fiction project for awhile, just to do something different, but even that has come grinding to a halt. I told a friend this morning that I had finished with the majority of my residency/grant applications and my second collection is back circling again and now I can relax and just write. I can work on the raw stuff. Isn't that great? To be free of such obligations like the 'business side of writing'.

It's not great. It's hard. It's upsetting. It's like pulling teeth. Every twenty minutes I'm on Facebook, praying that someone's written me a message so I can tell myself that I should really reply to that. Every hour I decide it's time for a washroom break. Every ten minutes I try to read even one line from one of the twelve books of poetry I brought along for inspiration. I can't even be bothered to read poetry. It's just so dense and condensed and I don't even know why I want to write in such a constricted form.

Part of the problem is that I just don't have any new ideas right now. That never stopped me before, I was always one to write my way into the poem, so to speak. Believe you me (if I could throw this phrase into every post, I would, I love it), I was damn prolific. But I've been making the realization that about half the poems I write never make it above ground. They never surface and find their way to the published page. Simply put, they just don't make the cut. And I find it painful to know that probably all of the poems I might write today will get scrapped in another six months or a year or two years. But you have to write those underdeveloped poems in order to get to the goods. That's the rule. I mean, it's not a hard and fast rule. Maybe some people can polish every poem they've ever written to be immediately worthy of publication, but I can't. I guess because I'm still evolving as a writer.

So, maybe I secretly (or not so secretly) hope I never evolve to the point where I write the perfect poem in one sitting. I don't even know how that could be possible.

At one point in their conversation about producing work, Edie says to Claire, 'What's the worst that can happen, some asshole will make fun of you?...There are probably a ton of people here making fun of me" I LOVE this. What IS the worst that can happen? There will always be someone who doesn't like, connect or respect your work. There will always be someone who said what you wanted to say better than you can. Or so you think. There will always be nasty critics, yourself being among the harshest. There will always be a reason NOT to work.

So what, besides ourselves, is truly stopping us?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Circling the Drain

I'm in Saskatoon now.

So much can happen in just a couple of weeks. Including coming home to Saskatoon for the summer. Including hearing six gunshots right outside my window, and watching as (within minutes) 15 police cars and dozens of cops flooded my block, crime scene tape is criss-crossed along the street, and my neighborhood turns into an episode of CSI Toronto.

Including spending five days completely sick and feeling VERY sorry for myself, so sorry in fact, that I decided to google all my ex's at once to see how much better their lives are without me.

Really, it's the best thing to do when you want to continue circling the drain.

I also re-watched both seasons of True Blood in preparation for season three's series premiere, which starts on June 13th. How am I going to get anything done this summer?

I'm meeting some wonderful friends for drinks tonight on a patio. Patios really are the best part of summer. I've been wanting to put this clip up for awhile, so here it is. Sometimes we cry for no reason, and sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves for it. And it usually feels strangely good.