Blessed. Cursed. Charmed. Fortunate. Fucked.
Life. Death. Rebirth. Regeneration.
We are all things mixed together in a stewpot of chaos and whimsy, but there is no denying the beautiful flavour of the end result.
Sometimes, I'm afraid of writing. I'm afraid that if I let the words out of me, bad things will happen. I think that by writing about my experiences and by chronicling the learning of my life, I will explode.
And so, at times, I coast through. I stay behind the rose-tinted view because it's easy to hide there. It's easier to stay plugged in and to just wilt, to play video games, and not think and be 'alright' with everything in a shruggy, drugged up way.
And we die a little more than we should.
But you and me, kid - we've done the things. We've sucked the marrow out of this life when we've needed to.
We gathered up our things, jumped in your big white car and we hit the coast. The four of us set out on a conquest to find another and another reality in PEI in the summer of 2001. We punched each other in the arms and slapped each other, but we made it there. We sure did. We gathered up red soil in a hardhat because it was all we had with us to scoop up the earth.
And even though it didn't work out, we risked it. We hung it out there - right into the salty waves of the Brackley Beach coastline.
But that was only a sliver of our existence. That was eons ago.
I know you like to pretend like you could go back - but we can't. None of us can. We are here now, and I am still your friend. You piss me off sometimes, but that's love. Love pisses us off and makes us mad because we want the absolute best for those we love. It might be dark right now, but you will be alright. Cloud cover only lasts for so long. The fear goes away.
Let's find the new fantastic times that await the chariots of our unlaunched experiences.
I'll be there with you.
Nostalgia and Nuts
There's something otherworldly about sunsets. It's almost as if the drape of this chaotic world is pulled away from the windows of our tiny existence and for a technicolour moment in time, we are shown a sliver of something beautiful - something beyond ourselves.
I'm feeling pretty basic today. Basic days can be good days. The artist's mind can be a messy closet at times and it's a splendid thing to get a few simple moments on a freshly sanded deck - overlooking the water of the day.
As I am part of a medical guinea pig study in Suburban Toronto, I am reminded that I am blessed. I have much to be thankful for and that good things truly do come to those who wait - and to those who go out into this angry sea of a world and take chances.
The waves ripple and I sip my evening coffee to the smooth sounds of Count Basie being accompanied by a world class harpist. A crooner lets a far away melody move her lips to the snare brushes and slight horns.
I'm not sure where anxiety comes from but lately, although I've experienced it here and there, I've been able to remove myself from it and to look at the sheer stupidity of it. It's almost like a rollercoaster is happening within me but there is no theme park to be found. And when you stop - and feel your feet on the pavement - you take a breath and realize that everything is going to work out.
But I'm realizing more and more that I am lucky to live anxious moments. For most of my life, I've been able to avoid stress as much as possible and to just be in the moment. I can only barely begin to imagine, then, what people must feel like when they experience stress all the time.
It's helpful to think of those who have gone before you - because to them - no matter how bright their stars shone, they are now burnt out. They do not have the luxury of being anxious.
More and more, in the defunct digital paradise that surrounds me, I crave connection. I want to look at someone in their eyes and to see pieces of their soul. And whether those pieces are askew or tightly woven together, I want to be involved in that moment.
Here's to you and here's to Toronto coffee shops on a Monday night, y'all.
On The Edge Of Tomorrow
We flow in and out of each other's lives like water and paper. We wash up on the shores of the existence of another for only a period of time, and then, we are gone in the tide.
Gone in the ebb of a wave.
A speck of sand in an angry sea.
I've recently used the phrase 'rebuilding my network' to explain the stage of life that I'm now entering. Although there is a hint of sadness to it, there is also a cold shock of optimism and a shivery tingle of newness about it.
The truth of the matter is, I really don't have any limits right now. As long as I find a way to keep paying my bills, I could go anywhere at any given moment.
I need to breathe it in and count every second of this time as gain - even though it can be fearful.
There's something about the ocean that has always magnetized a part of my soul. To stand on the edge of a rocky or loamy shore and look out into a seemingly unlimited galaxy of water is a strange and mighty feeling.
Maybe it gives me reassurance that we cannot be alone and that there must, in some recognizable shape or form, be a higher power to the unexplainable beauty of this life.
Let us hold fast in this time, and hang on to the shipmates that make the rough waters a little more bearable.
The longer light of March is beckoning.
The Winter Of My Friends
The waves. I remember their sound. Their lulling and soft, breathy crashing on August afternoons reminds me of entire cities and armfuls of friends that have gone by the wayside.
We come into each other's lives for an instant - for a brief, flitting flyspeck of time.
Some of us live lives of regret - wishing for something that we cannot grasp, or trying to steer something that we don't control.
And there is hurt. Sometimes, we find ourselves in spots that we know we should get out of - but it's so much easier and less energy-consuming to just stay. We exhale, we shrug...and we stay. But in a way, we die inside and we don't even realize it.
Others find themselves in prisons that they have formed out of their own errors and their own judgment upon themselves - and even though they have the keys to free themselves - they choose to stay locked up.
Some of us are lonely, and although there could be ways to be less lonely, we intentionally put up walls because it's easier to become a hardened shut-in than it is to adapt, learn and dive into the shifting tides of the world around us.
I don't pretend to have any cosmic answers - but I am starting to find some peace amidst the rolling thunder of the storm that surrounds us.
We can never, ever let regret be our motivator - regret is only based in the past.
We are enrolled in the class of the present tense, and that's all we need to immerse ourselves in at the moment. The mind can only take so much.
Let your loved ones know that you do, in fact, love them. Don't wait for that wistful tomorrow moment that never comes.
Make yourself smile. You'll be amazed at how much better your face feels afterwards.
Build your network. Know who they are. Don't wait for the storm until you start reaching for the oars of your boat.
And however that ends up looking, I'll be there beside you - cheering you on from the sidelines of your life.
I am your biggest fan.