Blurty for a smile in her eyes and a sunflower in her hair.*.
|Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014|
When I was little I would
my parents' closet.
Feet in red pumps ten sizes too big,
a terrible excuse of a knotted tie around my neck,
a shirt that canopied my infant body like an endless ocean,
lipstick smeared up to my cheeks -
I was trying on Confidence.
I was slipping into Inspiration,
and in that moment I wore Strength and Admiration with a fervour
that I still remember.
That I can only remember.
You see, somewhere along the line, I found new clothes to try on.
In the mall with people mislabeled as friends
I found something between sizes medium and large -
Unfortunately, Disappointment was on a BOGO sale
and every learned shopped knows that if you can get two for the price of one,
why on earth would you ever settle?
So I walked home that day with Disappointment and Shame.
They nestled in my closet, and I swear they were hungrier than moths.
Day by day they ate away at all my old clothes, so that
when I tried something from my past on
instead of seeing Happiness and Self Worth,
all I could see was Death and Dying.
Those little holes, growing bigger
made more room for Disappointment and Shame's children.
Now hand in unlovable hand, I lurked around with Depression and Self-Loathing.
But the thing that pissed me off the most about my new wardrobe
was that nothing ever fit.
Calling Ego pre-shrunk was an understatement,
but for some reason Inferiority only came in plus sizes, that draped
over every curve and roll so that it drowned my body.
I remembered when I floated on the ocean of my father's shirts.
I tried to retrace my steps, look for trap doors in the closets
and the fitting rooms -
whatever made me settle for something less than what I am?
|Wednesday, January 8th, 2014|
I feel like all my life a purpose in life has been constructed for me and only recently have I tried to understand if that's what I really want.
I mean, I get it - do X and it will get you into Y, do Y and it will wield you great job opportunities, get that amazing job, get that moolah, buy that nice house, marry that great husband, have those amazing kids, rinse, repeat. It's honestly well-intentioned.
I think I've started to realise that over the years many of these constructs have been beaten out of my head. Many of these "there is only one way to achieve greatness" constructs. I also want to thank my best friend Sarah for being so endlessly patient with me throughout all these years. I never understood until now how obnoxious I must have been, and how you knew my previous ideals were never lined with malice (even though they might have been heavily misguided and could have easily fallen into malevolence).
I don't doubt that there will be more things that life will throw into my story. Like this absurdly cold winter, I will step outside into my life and realise "whoops, try again" and put on warmer clothing - or in this case, a new point of view. I think what made this one especially hard was because at my core I saw nothing wrong with it. I was achieving a dream, achieving a dream that I think I cultivated since early childhood, although I know that isn't true. I think it's because you hear everyone say "I've wanted this since I was six" and you adopt it too. But I'm pretty sure when I was six I wanted to be a dentist. And it was because I wasn't afraid of teeth like I had heard some people were.
Man, what if I wanted to become a lawyer on such simple and flawed logic like that? Well, I guess it happened sometime around late middle school, early high school, the law school thing. I knew I didn't want to financially torture my family (I'm just tying the noose around my own neck), and I wanted to make a difference in the world and the media kinda sorta showed me that lawyers do that.
* * *
Guys, I'm not blaming the media entirely on this one but like, how can you possibly want to be something you know literally nothing about? Like seriously, how on earth do you know what to put in those personal statements? How many of us are lucky enough to truly know what lawyers do? To know that this is what we want to do? When I was 17, I was still very much a child. My mom constantly whined for me to wear my slippers in the house to not mess up the freshly cleaned floors. I would take out the trash but forget the recycling. I had to be home at a certain time, and if I was going to be absent from school I needed my parent's permission. And then all of a sudden in one summer you're supposed to prepare for the rest of your life?
Like, don't get me wrong (Do get me wrong? Is there something else in here I have yet to learn?), but like, you study all these wonderful things in high school because you should have a taste for everything and know certain basics. Wonderful, I get that, we're not all the same. But none of these prepare you for the endless opportunities once you're out of school. They don't tell you what to do with it besides "apply to a good university". And then when you apply and get in, you don't really know what to take other than what you were good at. Well, maybe I'm oversimplifying and stereotyping. Maybe this is a me thing. If it is, I'm sorry I was seeking empathy rather than sympathy.
But like seriously guys, how are we supposed to know? So decisively? We (I) physically can't afford to change my mind half way through a degree because I decided I didn't like something. And I have to take degrees "which will ensure well-paid employment". And y'all have no idea how much it riles me up when people say that that means we must only study the sciences. Good lord almighty that's a post all on it's own.
Would I have been happier becoming a curator? I wonder what I would have specialised in, not that I really could have afforded my PhD. Or could I have? I know, I know, the whole "what if" slippery slope is worse than going down the acid trip of a rabbit hole.
Just, it's frustrating because I meant so well. I wanted to make my parents proud and myself proud. I cared about prestige and respect. I cared about showing you can overcome any adversity. I wanted to be that "came from the bottom" kids you read about.
I finished my degree, I got into a law school, and now I have no idea where life will take me. I don't know what kind of lawyer I want to be, if I even want to be a lawyer. Where my future will be - England? Canada? I'm so in flux that I honestly don't know where to look. I blame the continental changes when crossing the street and forgetting which way the cars come, but I honestly couldn't tell you even if all the cars drove in the exact same direction all the time everywhere you could think of. I am lost. So profoundly and infernally lost.
It's like someone cracked open my snowglobe and said "look, you're free from any chains you might have been trapped in". Gee, thanks mister, didn't know I was actually trapped. And once you realise you were, you don't know if anything you ever thought previously was genuine.
And there are days where you desperately want someone to hold you to make things better. To solve all your problems but you know that that's not how it works. This is a YOU thing. This is "I will overcome this and be stronger because of it". I just don't know how. I need guiding hands and friends, and am tired of people being afraid of baggage. We are all emotional baggage, it's physically impossible not to have it, and frankly, I'd be disappointed to meet someone without it - because they haven't realised that their perfection is baggage (or rather their lack of experience) is baggage they have yet to open.
I am irritated, blind, lost, cold and confused. I don't know who I want to be or where I need to go. I am supremely in school debt, and want to make the world a better place. I want good food and better friends, and to not be allergic to my cat. I know what to do in the hours in between living out my dream, but I don't know what my dream is.
How do I find that?
|Wednesday, April 24th, 2013|
It's been much too long since I've written something and it pains me.
There was once a time where I could chew on my thoughts with myself and turn them into poetry. There was once a time where I had the time to reflect on things that made me cry, laugh.
And now all I do is run. Because I've begun to fear the very thing I loved, and I want this to stop.
Dear God, let these next few months return to me the determination to write my soul. Let me retch it out like a Jackson Pollock painting and let it be as simple and powerful as Yves Klein Blue.
|Thursday, January 24th, 2013|
This is the third time I've thought of you since you left.
I keep thinking of our first goodbye. When you couldn't stop kissing me in the subway. I was shy of others watching but I couldn't stop. Wouldn't stop.
I really am falling for you, and it's hard to process.
It's hard to understand how a strong independent woman has grown so close to such a wonderful you. How, that night was so magical and cold and I didn't want it to stop.
You make winter my favourite season.
I miss you, I miss waking up next to you.
Come home soon.
|Thursday, October 4th, 2012|
I've never treated you as a diary, Blurty, but I feel that more recently these words are becoming less flowery and just more honest. Fewer forced rhymes, more heart break.
I am so sad.
I have "The Scientist" on repeat right now and just watched probably the saddest episode of Glee, ever. Four couples broke up and it really showed how the transition from high school to university is so tough. While high school certainly had hundreds upon hundreds of issues, it becomes home. High school never starts off as bad as university does. At least, it doesn't appear to. Because in university you are ultimately alone. Sure you may know people, but you may not necessarily have classes with all these people. You are just a figure in a blurringly large crowd. You are significant to a small network that doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things. And you try, and you try, and you become tired. Grades become impossibly difficult to achieve, you have no one to turn to, and the toaster always seems to burn anything that comes its way. Nothing is going right. But you power through, because that's what you must do. You have a cherished handful of people you can rely on and you hold onto them with a death grip.
But in my mind, as much as I love what I am studying, fourth year has been by far the most frightening. Maybe people have felt this way in their grade twelve year, I'm not quite sure. I know for sure that I didn't. I don't know where I'm going to be next year, and that scares me so much. I'm sure I'll get into Leicester University, but that's not where the dream was. But as I approach the reality of the dream, I'm not sure if it was my dream to begin with. Law school sounded nice, like I had an ambitious plan. Like I knew what I wanted to do. But International Relations fits too. But home fits too. I really don't want to leave home. And I've become such a secret homebody recently. My room is my favourite place in the world right now, and my cat is my favourite thing that's alive right now. I don't know where I'm supposed to go. I feel like I'm doing what I should do, and I'm hoping it turns out for the best. But I honestly have no fucking clue.
I recently lost my best friend. Well, one of the two, anyways. He was my everything and I love him possibly more than he'll ever know. I have been crying these past few months with such a sharp pain, I can barely breathe when I cry. I'm choking. I suppose a lot of it is my fault. You see, K was everything to me. I don't know how it happened but we just blossomed one night into this magical relationship. We never dated, and that's where the problem lied. We talked every night until 1 am, we went on crazy adventures, we were there in both hard times and good. We were always there for each other and we always understood one another. And even though times weren't always perfect, and I knew he loved me in a way differently than I loved him, I didn't want to let him go. Because he was the best thing that ever happened to me since S. I never really had friends growing up, and I thought that now that I had found him, I would hold on with a death grip.
I used to tell myself, I don't care if I ever get into a romantic relationship with anyone as long as I have K and S. And it's true, I still feel that way.
I should probably tell you I am in a relationship right now. Can you believe that, Blurty? After all these years of me whining I'm finally not single. But to be honest, it hasn't been easy for me. He's incredibly sweet and kind but I don't know. I just don't know. At first I thought he cares for me much more than I care for him because I'm so fucked up right now, and I bet that's part of the reason. But I'm not sure we're the same. I mean, I know we're not supposed to be exactly the same. But he's not K. Which makes it sound like I had feelings for K, and some times I wonder I did. But there were so many times where K could have kissed me and it repulsed me. And then I thought to myself for the longest time if maybe I'm the problem. If maybe I just can't handle relationships because I don't know what they mean. I don't know what sexuality is. It's just a motion for me. It's either all hormones or nothing. People say "kiss me like you mean it" and I don't. Aside from kissing certain family members on the cheek, I haven't really meant it. Not the way they want me to.
I thought maybe it's because I just haven't had enough experience. That I'm still learning and that eventually attachment will come. I hope it will.
The words "no direction" keep repeating themselves in my head. So many people around me feel the same way which makes it more overwhelming. Not only do I not know where I'll be next year, I have even less of an idea of what I will do with my life (though people will think otherwise the way I talk). I don't know who my friends will be next year, because clearly even the sure-things aren't sure even more. And I think that's really maimed me. I just feel very alone, like those who do understand me are either physically or emotionally far away from me. And those who are here either try and fail, or simply don't want to try at all.
I'm just very scared, and I want someone to hold me.
"Nobody said it would be easy, nobody ever said it would be this hard." Every time I hear that line it just makes me howl with salty tears.
What kind of world do we live in that fosters these feelings? I feel left behind, lost, and cold.
I push myself in my school work and career but honestly even that's got me freezing up. Things I thought I could control I clearly can't, and I'm just doing things to exhaust or distract myself. Nothing else seems to matter.
And I thought my childhood was rough.
I'm sorry, Blurty, to only come to you recently in times of utter desperation and sadness, but I don't know where else to turn. I don't have my shit together, and I can't appear to be strong all the time. I just can't. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.
|Tuesday, September 25th, 2012|
There is an image in my mind of what community is and I have been raised my whole life to seek this utopic image. It is almost as if every person that lived on my street was a friend. Not the kind where if I am out of the proverbial cup of sugar they will be there, but the kind where we are all members of the same unit. As if to say that after school I could walk into my house, or my next-door neighbour’s house, and there would be no difference except in furniture. I suppose what I am trying to describe is an extended version of a family. Where each person has a role, a responsibility. This is not to say that everything between a family is sunshine and daises, far from it. In fact, I would so far as say if that were the case it would be to my and the community’s detriment if we behaved that way. No, for me a community at its most common denominator espouses two things: a place to grow and a place to call home.
Too often I find today that we live in a self-centric world. People eat by themselves in a hurried rush, they tune people out with their headphones as they walk along the street. We do not invite others into our lives because we no longer have a role for them. The notion of community is an artificial one today weakly buttressed by social networks that only give us the appearance of community. But even there we are the main focus. It’s notifications on activities pertaining to us, or that might interest us. We don’t connect with people solely for connecting with them anymore. Unless there is a purpose, unless I can get something out of the transaction in some form, there’s no point. Perhaps it is because we have built, or I have built, such a utopic notion of a community. Perhaps our sense of humanity has been outpaced by our need to constantly advance ourselves technologically, personally. But I personally think we do it because of fear. I think our disjointed, more of an open market to exchange goods and services than community environment is the way it is because people are genuinely afraid of being vulnerable around one another. Of course no one likes being hurt, and being vulnerable leaves you open to the potential of being hurt, but I feel without that risk and placement in that environment we can’t grow. We seem to want all the frills and comforts of home without knowing that home is both sacrifice and love. More than just binaries of happiness and despair, cold and warmth, it is a place you know you will always belong. It is where you take care of yourself, you take care of others and others take care of you.
In the summer after my first year of university, I took a plane to a place I had never been before, to live four months with complete and utter strangers. I was placed in a small hamlet in northern Alberta where no more than 50 permanent residents resided throughout the year, the nearest town of 2000 a half hour away. In my first week there I went through training as a camp counsellor. Even with some prior experience in my back pocket I was not prepared for what I was to encounter. Even though I did not get along with everyone, and many times I was home sick, I was forced very quickly to learn to trust each and every one of my co-counsellors. I didn’t have to share my dessert with them, but I knew if I was climbing a mountain, I wouldn’t have to worry that they would let go of the rope. Because I would never let go of it for them, neither would they.
Though the climate may vary, sometimes a mountainous region, other times a quiet library, a community is a solid, stable entity that fosters the development of the human experience. And though it is difficult to completely sculpt my ideal vision of what a community is in the environment I live today, I strive to show others we have rights and responsibilities that we all have to fulfil in our lives. In my opinion, to be in a community is the only way to be whole.
|Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012|
I miss you. I'm not sure you can hear me, but these words need to live somewhere outside my head. I miss the way you used to take care of me. I find that as the days pass, I miss a different thing about you. Your smile, your food, your warmth, your knitting. But I miss the way you used to take care of me most. Truly, for a very long time you were all I ever needed.
And I think that's one of the main reasons why I grieve so much recently. I don't think I've met a single person who understands me like you did. I reach out to others, but they don't know my insides. I don't know if its because you were my constant companion since birth; from my diapers to my training wheels, from my bruises to my recitals, you knew me. You always knew when I needed to be held. And I miss that so much. Everytime I'm alone if I'm not distracting myself I'm crying. I worry that there are some parts of me only you know. I wish I were able to understand why, in moments where I'm alone all I do is cry. Sometimes I like to believe I'm letting myself grieve. But sometimes I worry that I can't find someone who can hold my heart like you.
And I know you taught me to be a strong girl. And Mica, I have. And I will keep on being an independent girl. I do my school work, I have a job, I save my money well. And then I wonder if I'm just feeling lonely, and jealous of others who have reliable partners to take care of them. I want to start my life, and I can't help but feeling day after day that something is missing.
I don't know if you can read this blog, or if you can understand English now, but a long time ago I wrote a very silly half-serious boyfriend application. And I think I can sum up what I want in a guy right now in less than a paragraph: Love. Love of and for children. Love of life. Love of knowledge, and a thirsty ambition. Kindess, humour, strength. I don't care what order they're in. But dear god, Mica, I just want to be loved some kind of powerful wonderful, keep me going kind of love. I have so much to be grateful for, and I want to share that with someone. A tendency in these blog posts is a line "i may not have been ready then for a man in my life, but I am now". I'm not sure how much that was true, not sure if it was just my being so desperate and lonely. But now, Mica, I really do. And there's this boy that's re-entered my life after a long time and I feel old feelings and mix them with new. I don't know him, so I can't say how I feel about him. And I thought maybe something might happen if I were to see him again. But if he were still like the boy I used to know, it could go nowhere. For while incredibly kind and sweet and smart he might be, he cannot take care of me, he cannot keep me going. And that sounds terribly selfish Mica. But I want to be. For once in my life I just want something, someone to love me as much as I do them since you.
You were my everything. You taught and showed me that life can be that amazing. And now, well, now I spend my days looking for even a fraction of that happiness that you showed me.
It's not about being happy, I can do that on my own. I want to feel full. Whole. With dashing hope and energy.
I want someone to hold my hand along the way.
|Tuesday, February 21st, 2012|
Sometimes I lose myself
falling into the thought of
Light. Dark. Light. dark.
I can't tell if we're passing by
too many shadows
or I'm blinking too much.
But all I need is a glimpse.
I just need an inch to run a mile.
And in my head I've already fallen
out of love with you.
And then there are nights where
I will blanket myself with every nice thing you've ever said
and fall asleep searching for the rise and fall of your breath.
Next to lonely lit lemon candles and folk music,
this is the only way I let myself love.
|Thursday, December 22nd, 2011|
As a child, you learn the nooks and crannies of your home. It is your ephemeral planet.
You know how many steps it takes to get from your sidwalk to your front door. How many roses are on each bush, and what time of the year the nest is made in the maple tree on your lawn. You know that you're not allowed to go barefoot on the tiled white floors because they'll leave footprints that mummy will have to clean after a long day's work. But you'll do it anyways because the cool feeling is foreign to you.
As a child, you learn your surroundings by living in them. You know them by experience, and you know them by heart. You know where things are in the room because you've used them, or seen others use them. The family room where the toys were hidden behind the la-z-boy because that's where you could crawl and play with them without disturbing Wheel Of Fortune.
There were always things that you couldn't touch. Couldn't go into. The Dining Room was for special occasions and guests. It was a part of the home, but not really. As was the Living Room, where everything was prim and proper - like the magazines that were laid on the coffee table in the Family Room.
And you become nosy, and peek and ponder about why you can't touch things, why mummy and daddy's room is off-limits, and why you can't play with the stove until you're 16.
And as an adolescent you learn that playing with electrical sockets was always a bad idea, and that the rule about no playing hide and seek in the laundry room was for safety. Through added experience, these nooks and crannies are more than just magical wonderlands, they become tangible, and emulations of the people that live in the house. You notice that your room reflects less of what your room was built to be, and more a depiction of yourself. Your grandmother's too.
But your parents room, which you had only seen glimpses of through ajar doors, was a mystery. They were your father's secrets, and your father's past. They were the rules and stern traditions you grew up in, not being allowed to run your slippery fingers through anything in the guest room.
And you learn, the house becomes the family that lives in it.
Your grandmother becomes a locket, a Galle vase. So that when you move into a new house, you bring your old family into a new house but they are now things that your new family will live in. But do they stay the stame? Can a house become a family?
|Saturday, October 8th, 2011|
84th and 6th.
29th and 43rd.
Thin strips of street,
they are our lattitude and
They define what corner we are next to,
if there's any decent bars nearby.
In cities that feel mightier than a country,
as powerful as the world itself,
there are street names that mimic
lines of geography.
I live today where the Six Nations Confederacy used to
hunt and gather their meals,
rest their heads upon infinite fields of grass.
Before my neighbourhood was named Britannia.
I've heard people pay no mind to history.
That it's just a side note in the broader spectrum of more important academic pursuits.
Only monuments show us what is worth remembering.
And to them I say, there is so much to remember
that your brain choses to forget, ignore.
Across my house people see an old school house,
the testament and reason for Britannia being named so.
I see, New France's small burst of success with the Catholic school across my street,
St. Francis Xavier would be proud.
I feel the Huron tribe's presence with the changing wind,
when light flickers on the Hurontario street sign.
And in our region, few know we are named after the famous Sir Robert Peel.
That we are still to this day so heavily molded to look like Britain.
Because these British names were the only way to show sovereignty
after a confused, hallowing
Seven Years War.
We give community centres and plaza names after the names of prominent trees that grew nearby.
Sandalwood, White Oaks,
as if this is our way to go back in time and truly focus on history older than time itself.
You know what future generations will say, will remember us by?
The garbage mounds we made which will soon become ski hills.
History is not what you make of it. It is not dates of a battle,
not winners or losers.
It is the earth upon which we walk that has lasted longer than us, and will outlive us.
It is how she survived despite all our faults and greed.
* * *
Said the boy to his father, knee deep in a marsh, "but Pop! This thing is yucky, and smelly. There's no life in here at all!"
Said the father to the boy, "I could never show you how wrong you are".
|Sunday, October 2nd, 2011|
There is an emptiness inside all of us that we shun. We bury it in the depth of our soul, cramming it between clogged arteries and slimy lungs. It is a part of us that leaves us confused; it does not appear necessary, yet to throw it away seems harsher than the feeling it creates within us.
We carry it begrudgingly between our guilts. And sometimes, it appears as if the emptiness is a cause of the guilt, or the summation of the feeling of guilt. We put this hole where we feel it belongs, not knowing that its very placement gives our loss the loudest voice. Boom, boom. The heart pulses and rings in our ears annoyingly that which we do not understand. As if the issue was that we could not hear our problems clearly enough.
But we go on. As if we've dealt with it the best way possible. We walk forward into the life we lead and only we will notice that our steps are heavier than before. We feel other eyes glance our way, hope they notice. And it is in this sick beauty that we begin to revel in the haunting beauty that is solitary lump inside of us.
We are not perfect. We have stayed silent where sound should scream from our dry lips. We have become what we want to be and forgotten who we are.
And it is this feeling inside of us that makes it real. We cannot go back, we do not know how. We search for forgiveness - through the holding of hands, through repentence, through exile. These are all words we have been taught over time to associate the alleviation of this sinking emotion that drags us from the person we might have been.
Sometimes, in the dark, when only the shadows can comfort me, I hold my hollowness in my hands. It is for me, and for those I had hoped better for. In its dripping state, I see the world more clearly. And as it stains my fingertips I know there are some things I can't change. That I wish I could tell you with all my heart things could be different, that you can take your guard down and be who you are. But if you saw me with my emptiness you would use it to tear me apart.
There is an emptiness in all of us that we shun. We sow it painfully into our skin so that it remains visible to us, but never washes off. Only we can see it, because no words could ever perfectly describe it to someone else. Not even someone else's hands could touch it the way we do.
But if only they could.
|Saturday, September 24th, 2011|
A fost o data ca nici o data. Tightly squeezed in my single bed, we snuggled next to one another for warmth, laughter, anything but sleep. To the rest of the household, you were putting me down for a nap, but for me, I knew it was story time. Whether you whispered poems or fairytales in my ears, they always started the same way: there was a time like no other.
You were born April 12, 1927. At least that’s what the paper says. When your father found out that you were a girl he went kicking and screaming out of town for the weekend and drank himself into an abyss because you were supposed to be a boy. Some say your actual birthday is April 13, others say it was the week before. You used to tell me, “Every day’s my birthday, so spoil me as often as you can.” Let it be known that there is not a single mistake or flaw in you. And for every day of the year, we celebrated something different that we loved about you.
I met you late in your life. But I’m glad that each and every step you took in your life created a path toward meeting me. Growing up you were a stunning student whose need to learn did not just live in the school house. Like a sponge you were determined to learn everything you could from everyone. I think one of the things that impresses me the most was that you never felt the need to flaunt your talents. You could have been a university professor, but instead, you wanted to be a seamstress who had the luxury to stay home, raise your daughter into the strong woman she is, and enjoy life. But that never meant that what you did was less than top notch. If it was breakfast, or a client’s dress, you made everything to sheer perfection because you would accept no less from yourself.
And because of this, you created an atmosphere of respect that tightly bound all those with whom you interacted. You taught my mother and me manners, not out of social obligation, but to show us another way to communicate the moral lessons we were learning. When I open a door for an elderly lady, or help someone who is lost, it is not because I may be in a similar situation in the future, but rather, that I genuinely care. Because if the act wasn’t done genuinely, then what was it for?
You loved Toma Caragiu, Abba, and Eminem. If that doesn’t spell eclectic, I’m not quite sure what does. Your timelessly modern footprints can be seen in everyone you knew. Every time mum picks out something zany in a store, like a skull necklace, I’ll never forget your determination to let people see that they can dare to be different. That there is nothing wrong in exploring what it means to be beautiful in this world. And though some will attest that your brilliance came from your love for academics, I believe that is merely one petal of the flower that makes who you are.
One of your most daring leaps was to leave everything you knew behind, to move to a country you knew nothing about - to raise me. I hadn’t been born yet; I could have been a demon child, you may have hated it here, and yet you came regardless as the superwoman you were in aid to my mother and father. And on October 29, 1991 the female tradition continued in our family as your daughter gave birth to me, and you entered the workforce of caretaker all over again.
Growing up with you, I got more than custom-made gourmet chef dinners, and personally tailored outfits. More than a live-in foot warmer, more than unnecessary commentary during my favourite TV programs begging for translation, I was bestowed with a fairy godmother.
I know I may still pretend to believe in Santa Claus for the fun of it, but to this day I firmly believe you had magic in you. I do not know of a single person who disliked you. Moreover, you did more than win the favours of others, you garnered genuine, hard-earned respect and admiration.
Thinking back, it was hard to imagine how a person who always farted when she laughed could do that, but as I matured, I saw your omnipresent grace. Every picture I have of you looks so dignified, almost regal. There is no pretention, no pomp and circumstance. You were not a Queen to those around you because of the price of your house, the clothes that you wore, or who you knew. You were a Queen because you never denied anyone integrity or love, even when they could not see it in themselves.
Though now I am left choking for breath, fighting back tears, and struggling to cope with the fact that there won’t be a light on in your bedroom in the middle of the night, and you won’t be skimming over old newspapers waiting to overcome the jetlag you seemed to be ailed with for what must have surely been a decade, I still hear your voice inside my heart, soothing my back and spitting on my forehead for God knows what reason. Inside of me there is still the thread of yarn that binds us together. It has not been cut, only lengthened. When I pull on it, it will take longer for you to feel the tug. When you pull on it, I won’t see it as it happens anymore, but only feel it randomly, still equally as strong, for the rest of my life.
In the nights when we were young, we made up reasons to see one another, to get out of trouble, and to always live each and every moment life gave us. Your thirst for knowledge, culture, and life never faded despite all the hardships you bore in your life.
While from what I have been taught, eulogies appear to be heavy-hearted and reluctant goodbyes, to me, as I can very well say for all those who knew you, it is instead, a way to say, “thank you.” Thank you, for smiling through every wrong note I played on the piano, it only made me want to play it more. Thank you, for always making me laugh even when you were incredibly upset with me and chased after me in the kitchen with a wooden spoon. Thank you, for helping to raise me into the person I have become. Daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, in your own way, you moulded each and every one of us into strong, kooky, graceful, people who never underestimated the two most powerful tools: love and laughter.
But now Mica, your suffering has come to an end. No longer is your soul at odds with your body. No longer are your hands clenched tightly to your chest. From up above, I know you are gleaming down upon us, smiling, and for the first time in two years, you recognise us for the family that we are.
One morning, I woke up to find myself not in the same room I had fallen asleep in. There was a mass of warmth that certainly was larger than my teddy bear.
I woke up in my grandmother’s room, because for the first time in my life I had fallen asleep the whole night through without waking up and sneaking into her arms. And she didn’t want it to fade away.
Maya Angelou perhaps said it best: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It is becoming harder with each day to remember all the poems and stories you once whispered into my ear, but I will never forget the feeling, never forget what you have done for this world. Now Mica, it is my turn to wish you the peace and silence you once wished upon me. Rest, my love, my most beloved, for you have earned your sleep.
You will always be here. I still feel your soft breath as I sleep. Liniste, Mica mea. My Favourite Flower.
|Sunday, September 18th, 2011|
It's been months, and I can't write a thing. In my mind I feel loss. I feel like no matter how I stretch my lips sound won't come out. I worry that it's because I no longer see a point to it.
In the years that I grew up too quickly, I always had somewhere to go and say how I felt. Word for word. Profanity and regret. Achievement and longing. There have been so many tears in this journal of mine that I've forgotten over time which emotion went where. But now, it all seems without direction.
I write the same things over and over but with different word counts. And sometimes it comes out pretty. And sometimes my wonderful friends who dote on me flatter me with kind words. I wish I had half the talent of my best friend, those whom I look up to. But I wonder, even if I did, at this point would I have anything to say?
Dear reader, I come to you plainly. I have been a big ball of emotions these past few days. I've been on the verge of tears, and its not PMS. I've been heaving dry nothingness where word vomit should be. Hell, I've stared at my bed sheets for a solid half hour trying to see if they could tell me something.
It happens every fall. The leaves change colour, I remember my childhood. My favourite month of the year comes. I remember you in your denim dress and silly visor. I miss being held. I play the same three notes hoping a different triad will play. Didn't Einstein or someone famous say that repetitive action in the hopes of a different outcome was the definition of insanity?
I want my words to be read. I've always posted here in a tiny far away corner that exists but not really. Like a diary, I only revealed it to those close to me. And real names didn't matter to strangers.
I want to speak with purpose. I want these feelings, these things inside me that have been festering and boiling to finally erupt out my throat instead of choke me. I want to be taken seriously, not just someoen who people have always seen me to be.
When I say I want to change the world, help the world, I mean it. It's not to make me feel better as I chuck a quarter in a donation box.
Maybe I'm just having a bad day.
|I will pave your cheek with misguided words, and you will sow them back onto my tongue. Pain, like breakfast, you once said, is how one prepares themself for the day.|
|Saturday, June 25th, 2011|
I breathe fire on dampened woods and ignite only heaving coughs.
Blazing smell billows and curls but never grows.
Smoke choking on its own breath, wishing Mother Earth could paint with another colour so that its wisps would only spark into a searing hot flame.
I have been taught that hot friction between kindling and sticks will burst into a fiery mess, I have been taught the ways of the world.
It has rained for days and I am in the depths of forest in each direction my I can see.
And they do not teach you in this world how to live, only what is correct.
|Friday, April 22nd, 2011|
where did you go?
i see faces.
with noses carved
sun spots on dirt.
they look like mine.
i hear names.
last names that bring us together,
that bond us before we are born.
We Belong Together, they say.
because your father and my father,
were once little boys together.
who once listened to the same mother
scold, preach, gossip.
i feel what i do not know
to be a family.
behind veiled smiles there are
eyes which won't speak the truth.
our family, whom we do not choose,
whom we are stuck with through thick and thin,
force us to make friends where friends might not be.
through struggle, endurance lives.
but am i better because of it?
because you do not call,
in the middle of the night
i remember semi-real memories
of children playing together.
I wonder if it meant anything to you.
We are grown,
and I do not know if you are in your time of need,
because our fathers
who lived in the same rules
by which we were raised
taught us only of salt seeping, stinging
into familial wounds.
we are family.
who send postcards at christmas
with plastered smiles,
and false invitations to narrow the distance between us.
in the first world, brimming with opportunities,
where is a family?
where is that thing you search for in your sleep
that makes you
want to do more?
|Monday, March 28th, 2011|
It’s that time of the year again. No, not the boyfriend searching one, you presumptuous fiend! No, it’s exam time for us lovely university students. While this does entail a lugubrious amount of studying, it also means a hell of a lot of procrastinating. When I procrastinate, I surf my trusty Facebook. And while stalking some of my friends, I came across Chelsea Hagan’s boyfriend application. So here’s my go at her amazing idea:
I’ve definitely finished that terrible phase that requires every teenage girl to only drool over celebrities and to compare these celebrities with real people. Fear not, future boyfriend: in my eyes, only extremely rarely will you be compared with the likes of Andrew Garfield or Prince Will (and I promise that I will try to keep these comparisons for the positive). I’ve gone on dates, broken hearts, fallen for the impossible, and have always been too afraid to settle. So, if I haven’t frightened you yet, future boyfriend, please continue reading and you too may enjoy a relationship filled with fishy faces, insecurities, books, and many other absurdities. Oh, and lots of spicy food too.
Inspiringly Smart: I need you to talk nerdy to me. I promise you I will be just as geeky. So, when I’m going off about baroque interior design or international relations theory, I need you to do more than barely keep your eyes open. I want you to challenge me, but not push me over the edge. Hence the “inspiring” part.
Ambitious: While it’s all well and good that you’re in pre-med, pre-law, or whatever else tickles your fancy, I need you to do something with that fancy education and those intellectual pretentions. I don’t care what it is you do, so long as you are always striving to improve yourself. But, while I understand that your career is important, so is mine. And more importantly, while I understand our careers are important, know that I will be just as important as your job, and you will be as important to me as my job. So, there will never be an excuse for you to forget our anniversary. Ever.
Somewhat Tall: This means that, while I have tried time and time again to reason that I could love a guy shorter than me, I just don’t think my shallowness would allow that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not very shallow, but we all have weak points, right? If it’s any consolation I’m 165 cm, and with heels I aim for 170. So, that shouldn’t be too hard. As long as I’m not taller than you in heels, we’ve got a deal.
Funny: This may be a deal maker. If you are not funny, I don’t think we can be together. I need you to naturally make me laugh ‘till I cry. I want your humour to be witty, occasionally dry, and always good-natured. Whether it be painting your face on Halloween, or wearing a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirt on Canada Day, you’ve got to make me bubble with giggles. I’ll try to do the same, though my humour is more a result of my occasional absent-mindedness. As in, I will push on pull doors. Always.
Confident: Everyone has their bad days, but I need you to always be confident in what you do. And it has to be legit confidence that oozes charm. Don’t be obnoxious, but always know what you’re doing. There will be a day where my faucet is leaky (no innuendo intended), and I will need you to fix it. When I watch scary movies, you have to be my beacon of strength. No shivering, yelps of fear or closing of the eyes allowed.
Thrilling Conversationalist: Yes, Chelsea, I took this one from you. But in all honesty, this relationship needs to be even on both sides. I do not want to drag words out from your mouth. I don’t mind us being quiet together, but we have to talk. About everything. I don’t care if you want to talk about the zit on your face, China’s democratic future, the meaning of life, or what shoes you’re going to wear today. I just need us to be able to talk. If you even think about closing yourself off from me, I will shut the door on you before I even get the chance to hear an explanation. I want us to enjoy our conversations, however silly or heated they can get. I want them to be so amazing that we’ll turn the TV down just to keep talking. Except when Antiques Roadshow is on. That’s a big no-no.
Well-Dressed: Please note that well dressed will never entail baggy jeans that sit below your bum, or any ripped articles of clothing. Or stains on clothing. I suppose this comes with confidence and ambition, but I believe clothing is an expression of who you are. I’m not asking you to dress like a Burberry model, but you have to be classy and sharp. And sure, you may not be perfectly dressed at first, but by this token, you must be totally open and willing to let me dress you, or at least educate you in the world of fashion.
Desirous of Children: Yet another stolen from Chelsea. I don’t do short-term relationships, if you haven’t gotten that note yet. So, if you aren’t interested at any point in being a father, (read: excellent, supportive father) please do not bother sending in an application. I don’t want children within the next 3 years or anything. But, after law school, after I’m married, and preferably before I’m 30, I’d like to pop one or two out. I want our children to be more than just tokens of our consummation or trophies. I want them to be deeply loved and cared for. And note that with children, comes diaper duty. And potty training.
Healthy: Call it social Darwinism, but I prefer that you not be morbidly obese. I also don’t want you to be a lanky toothpick either. I want you to be strong enough that when I have a nightmare, or see a centipede walk across the kitchen floor, your strong arms will quickly wrap around me. I need to feel protected. So when I say healthy, I ask that you be both physically and emotionally healthy. You don’t need to frequent the gym 5 times a week, but if we went cycling together, canoeing, or just any sort of physical activity about once a week I’d be a happy camper. If we’re in it together, and you’re my main investment, I’m going to work to make you as healthy as possible, and vice versa. Yes, that means not eating fast food often.
Spiritual: Read: this does not mean religious. I’m putting it out there that I am agnostic, and that I hail from Orthodox backgrounds. I am open to religion, whichever you may belong to, so long as we can loosely celebrate yours and mine, and never force anything upon anyone, especially our child(ren).
Chiavlrous: It ain’t dead boys, at least not for me. Now I don’t need you to come out on a white stallion and your finest armour. I need you though, to open doors for me. To give me your jacket when I get cold. To know your manners. Well. It’s something I want to teach our children, because I see etiquette and chivalry as signs of respect. If I’m going to treat you well, I sure as hell want to be treated like a Queen.
BONUS POINTS (THOUGH BY NO MEANS REQUIRED)
British Accents, Jewish ancestry, deep thirst for travel, insane love for thai food, sincere appreciation for history, literature and art, general love for British comedy.
“Well, there you have it. A brief list of the humble requirements for the future love of my life. It’s not much, trust me. I’m easygoing and open to change (except for the requirements).
And even if I weren’t, I am worth it. I am incredibly interesting, always right, unbelievably beautiful, and exceptionally hilarious. These few requests are mere motes of dust in comparison to the god-like pleasure of spending your time with me.”
I accept applications in the form of .doc, .docx, .pdf, .psd (yeah, be creative! Show you possess those requirements!), and .rtf . Anything else will not be tolerated because I don’t have a Mac, don’t really know or want to know how to use one. Remember, I am the techy for now, but I want you to be just a teensy bit techier than me. Not a lot. Not like I play video games 24/7 and all I want to do is rip apart computers for parts. Just a bit techier than me. Just a bit.
Best of luck!
Only those that are eligible for an interview will be contacted. I appreciate all your efforts.
|Saturday, March 19th, 2011|
A nice, short sentence that clearly slaps you in the face. Slams the door in front of you; it's none of your business.
What's wrong with being personal anyway?
More importantly, what's wrong with revealing that the world isn't perfect? Why must we perpetually portray something as more than what it is. They say "Fake it till you make it".
Recently, I've had an emotional roller coaster of a weekend. I played the role of executive, facilitator, friend, daughter, human, politician, citizen, future professional and child. And as I stared down the hallways of parliament, staring at MPPs working to make the truth as readily available to the public as possible so they can make the changes they so desire on our behalf, I wonder. I wonder that in a club that organises such an event there is more collusion, bitterness, cliques, and snide behaviour the spit out lies than there probably are in the mouths and minds of the actual people we are portraying.
What on earth does that say about us? I pray this is not a sign for the future.
Today, I read article after article, and watched numerous YouTube videos on the Trudeau family. I forced myself into a state of reassurance that there is genuine passion and positive change for a nation is easily possible. I also saw all the hate comments Justin and Pierre have gotten over the years.
I suppose, what frightens me the most is that, I poured my entire heart and soul into this club. I many times placed it above my schoolwork, was there even when I had bronchitis, and it was never, ever, for self-gain. It was always for the delegates, for the ability to provide education about parliament. To help Canada maintain that outstanding reputation it once had.
THIS IS NOT DONE.
|Monday, February 21st, 2011|
Have you ever wondered how you would write your own love story? Honestly. None of this "I'm going to bump into him walking down the street, his eyes will meet mine. And we'll be hooked ever since. He'll be handsome, disgustingly rich, and we'll live happily ever after." That's mumbo jumbo we know will most likely not happen.
It doesn't mean we don't wish love could be that easy, but as loving a parent, or a sibling might often tell you, love requires work, and an element of surprise.
Audrey used to tell me that she wondered about fate's role in this department. She had listed off to me everything from using a Ouija board, fortune cookies, dreams, even scribbling a name with your eyes closed on a piece of paper. "As a child, you play with cootie catchers, knowing and not knowing they're real", she said to me, "why would you treat love any differently?"
I won't deny I've done these things as a child. Hell, when I was little, I would play with the chain of my necklace, and gently let it fall onto my table and stare at the shape it made. I was so certain the shape it made was far from random. It had to be, it had to mean something. But throwing an eraser that on one said said "yes" and on the other said "no", seemed much less magical when it came to answering your future's question. Math class turned that into a game of statistics and probability.
You are one in six billion living souls. If the probability of life outside earth is so infinitismally small, chances are, finding someone who will think that you can't snap with your left hand endearing is as possible as you being able to stop time.
And yet people find love. How do they do that? I mean, sitting on a subway, walking down the street, people are holding hands everywhere! I'm not jealous, my fine reader, I promise you that. I'm just stating that it's there. Somewhere between busy schedules and self-journey, there is a binding glue that makes life worthwhile.
I've been told to love myself. To love platonically. The make best friends. To do good deeds. To love another species. Well, I've matured, made friends, joined clubs and have a cat. Now, what?
I'm not taking these things for granted, far from it. If anything, without these solid foundations I probably would have called it a day. Those things I mentioned above are love in its finest form, as of yet. Isn't that horrible? No matter what the human species achieves, it always wants more. Sufficiency is merely a word we decided to write in a dictionary in hopes that one day something we will find will be "just enough".
Here I am, happy as a clam, well, relatively anyhow, and yet my goals perpetually keep me looking forward, for something more. I'm not condemning the idea to dream, to want more. But in this case, I should be content with what I've got, no? In any other circumstance, had I not been raised on 80s family-oriented sitcoms and disney romances, I shouldn't be so infatuated with the idea that someone else could complete me, right?
Sometimes, I wonder if I'm just curious. And that, out of sheer curiosity I'd like to feel something I haven't felt before. I've never owned a car before, and I'd really like to drive. But somehow, when you compare love with driving, it appears as though I'm insulting the magnitude of joy with which love can provide me. But think of it this way: to a person who has experienced neither, both are outlandish and extraordinary. And for a moment, both can make you feel exhilirated. Both will make you work toward responsibility (hopefully), and eventually you will know what you're doing.
But there are car crashes, break downs, divorces, abusive relationships, etc. There are more than enough reasons to steer me in the direction opposite of finding out that which makes me so curious. Am I really just a kid who wants to stick their finger in an electrical socket?
I have absolutely no visual artistic abilities. I'm not kidding when I say I can't do a stick person justice. If I were to paint, I would have no idea how to express the excitement I'd like to feel mixed in with timidness on my subject's rosy cheek as she kissed her beau. Would she be kissing him in the portrait? Where would it be set? What would they be wearing?
You see, my fine reader, when I asked you if you had ever wondered how you would write your own love story, perhaps you did not understand to what extent I was asking that question. It wasn't merely "how will you meet your soulmate?" Because, in all honesty, I've tackled the feasibility whether you will find the be all end all of perfection (not that you should be looking for that, anyway). I'm asking you - would it have been the way you actually started? A nervous kiss during an 8th grade slow dance? Or would it be the first time you actually felt something in a relationship? Does love really start romantically? Can it start with a little girl and a grandmother? A boy and his pet?
I know, I know, it's the chicken and the egg analogy all over again. Fine, I'll simplify myself. What are the lessons you hope to learn from love? Will your love story find someone worth holding onto? Will it marry the wrong person, so long as you had experienced true love once?
Perhaps, to my advantage, I do not paint because I cannot paint. I do not have an eye for the intricacies in life. I do not know how to create the surprise with which life's adage "love comes to those who need it most and expect it least" so easily portrays.
In the back of my mind, I do wonder. Every day. Every face I meet I wonder about their love story. Maybe the boy I sit next to in class I will never see again, and it will mean nothing. Maybe ten years from now he'll publish a book and dedicate it to me, and I will have never known. Maybe next month I'll join a club and serendipitously fall in love with one of my colleagues.
I do not know how it will happen. But, the very least I can tell you, my patient reader, is that I would like there to be sincerity. With each and every step I want there to be an understanding that it was never done in vain. That honesty is not something you just read about, and that people can genuinely care. To feel protected, that you don't have to be alone.
I don't know how I fit into this puzzle of ours. My piece could be next to yours.
My piece, whose contours I've traced in my mind a hundred times, will hopefully teach me that a piece is as only good as the person you make the puzzle with.
Puzzle within a puzzle. Double-image. Stranger than Fiction.
Creative. Writing, Piece.
the whole bus ride, staring
out windows and seeing
cars, falling snow, people.
the world according to this one song.
it wasn't the sound of belching
i walked in the gently falling snow that night.
my foot steps, small.
slide, lift, press. slide, lift, step.
each one unsure, hopefully decided.
they walk next to another's.
who you were i do not know.
but later on,
if someone passes the way we did,
they might think we walked together.
the way my steps traced around yours.
woven, like the head upon my head,
circled with and without thought:
i ended up just walking side by side them.
i didn't want you to feel alone, i
didn't want to be
strange, and sad.
i feel closer to a pair of
size 9 bootprints,
listening to soft acoustic rhythms telling
me "they will see us waving from such great heights".
i feel closer,
than i might have been,
had you actually been there.
Blurty for a smile in her eyes and a sunflower in her hair.*.