(I’m whispering a text message because it’s so early in the morning… These little bird darlings have been singing their hearts out, both in chorus and in sequence, since about 4:30 break o’ dawn. My own heart has been reaching out like rainbow light to every song branch their sweet little feet curl upon … and every magical nest their bright ancient minds have woven, pieced together, patched together with mud and grass and twiney findings. Honey, I love the birds so much. The way their songs go in all the different ways of soul feelings and body sounds, and the way they reach my stretching, rejoicing ear… sometimes echoing off of hardwoods, hollow and full at the same time…)
Abstract: The link is in how they can both serve to establish the difference between remembering and reminding.
So, you know how with list-making, it’s like you can write down anything you need to remember to get or do just write it right on down on that list
and then you can know that you will remember that thing
say, toilet paper, for example, and whatever else is on that list.
Now you just have to remember one thing instead of however many things are on the list: Remember to look at the list.
So, lists can simplify. Once it’s on the list, you can release your mind from the task of reminding you to remember toilet paper. Of course, this is complicated by the acknowledgement of the curious fact that sometimes we don’t even need to actually look at the list again, even if we thought we would. But my main point is that writing something like ‘toilet paper’ lets us not have to think of toilet paper over and over again for the rest of the day. That is a very good deed to do for the mind… a relief, a release, and a liberation.
Well, I find that journalling is like that, too – with thoughts and feelings. [Yes, I believe writing is a creative process, and is wonderful medium for exploration, but that’s not my focus here. My focus is that:] It’s as if making that journal-record helps us move along by letting us not have to remind ourselves of something important.
It makes me wonder how much of rumination, or repeating thoughts, is simply an impulse to remember something.
And I should emphasize: I’m not sitting here, typing away, to promote forgetting. I’m only interested in easy activities that might free the mind from needing to re-mind itself of a thought that may be important.. but as a stepping stone to an even more interesting thought. We don’t forget the path, but we do (or I do) like to move along it.
At any rate, also with the disclaimer that I do realize that really big emotional material may best be processed with support, I just wanted to share my vote that I believe journalling does wonders for helping ourselves work through and let go of lots.
A poplar leaf –
proceeding in its verity well beyond the autumnal transitions of its peers,
and bearing the sign of a maple leaf with which it obviously lay [resting on the forest floor undisturbed by wind, the passing of foot, paw, and rake] by gravity and/or some other mysterious attraction, bound.
Like a living heart, carrying the influence of a lover gone for some reason or by some circumstance. This graphic narrative of happenstance; a stain of a tattoo; the imprint of this natural photography; the visible history of togatherness and then, separation. And in the face of that, continuation.
Light beyond light: A story surrounding a story, downstream from its own past.
For some time now, I’ve really, deeply, sincerely believed that we should change the spelling of the word “together” to “togather”.
The shape, form, and roots of a word evoke their meaning. The implication of the word currently spelled “together” is to collect, and to form a collective, to gather. Why not spell it like it is and go with “togather”, instead?
A Perfect Pause, In Spandex
Early in the business day,
late in the summer,
the bike couriers are perched atop big heavy glossy marble blocks.
They’re quietly waiting to be called upon.
They’re in great shape.
They’re still clean and fresh from their showers.
They’re enjoying the shade.
Notes on the footpath from Cox Lake to Cold.
Rocky landing on the Cox Lake side.
20 or 30 meter incline, roots and rocks.
Otherwise, fairly flat trail. Not many tight turns, some little ups and downs.
Old still forest for the first half into grassy, mossy, rocky stuff. Downhill to a muddy start onto Cold. Autumn visits: be expecting so much mud! Not an issue, I’m sure, in the spring & early summer, though.
September 2nd 2000 and eleven.
Woke up at 9am. It’s Friday of Labour Day weekend and do I have things to do. Like shower. And cut tonnes of glass for Ang and Matt’s candle holders. And arrange something with Cait so Chris and I can have all that meat. And clean the house up nice for honeyskins. And pack and leave for Esprit. The rest of this weekend is going to be no messing around. 3 days of diving into rapids is what I’m expecting, terrified of, and ready for.
This bar, at the rafting company, is made to look and feel like a country bar. Red and white gingham tablecloths. Pool table. Wood everywhere. New country on the stereo. Old country from the band that’s taking a nice long break.
“Kokamo Mambo, Kokamo Jumbo”
I drove 6.5 hours and waited my whole life for this particular moment, this pint, and to hear this particular white haired man play his guitar and sing his song in his Hawaiian shirt, “Kokamo Mambo …” His French accent is making it all possible. The next tune is called “Reefer”. He wrote that, too. The songs aren’t that great, but I’m beginning to wonder if this is Leonard Cohen in disguise. White pants. Now we’re on to “A Man and A Woman” and I just don’t know what’s up anymore. This guy has hijacked the bar. With music. His music. Now he’s taking a break and he drinks tequila. There are so few of us, we’re all in the moment. I just found out it’s actually called “Kokamo Mambo Jumbo” and NOBODY else plays it. It’s his song, okay? The album, which is pending, will be called Kokamo Mambo Jumbo, Back To the Jungle. Keep your eyes peeled.
Just look right at it,
There’s no use in pretending it’s not there.
Look at it,
don’t let it make you turn away.
Here to arrive
in golden light.
And the shadiness you deal in –
I can’t shine in that kind of darkness.
Fish sandwich store, waiting on a fish sandwich
Waiting on a shift in the weather
Waiting on the passing of time
Waiting on the passing of a feeling
Waiting on your next love shower coming my way
Imagining what you’re up to, where, and who with
Wondering what you’re eating, what you’re saying, whether you’re smoking
Whether you told me everything you have to say
Whether there are thoughts in your mind that you won’t say, even if prodded
Waiting on the future.
How sustainable is this?
When does it stop? Where will it stop? How will it stop? I haven’t made plans for this and, consequently, am obsessed with death. Not that I’m not enjoying this part. I am very much. Do I feel unprepared? Do I feel ill-equipped? Are there things I’m forgetting to do? To think about?
I have no idea where I got this, or if I made it up, but I like it
“Mr. Hudson, you are a thief.”
“What have I taken?”
“It’s not so much a question of what you have taken, but rather, what you have failed to give back.”
They’ve been waiting
and waiting for the day when the people who are prisoners to their own broken hearts see that they hold the dice in their hands –
dice that have been waiting
and waiting to be rolled again.
Not that it’s a question of luck, either.
Just a willingness to participate
and open ourselves up
to the possibility
that we don’t already know everything.
And a broken heart doesn’t just come from losing love. It comes from the feeling of losing anything precious. Anything we relied upon. Anything we’ve been unable to replace. Anything that, once we’ve lost it, we can’t turn around and bestow upon someone else. Anything we can’t give back.
Dying young of old age.
Such a tragedy.
[Song] You Wanted a Wedding, I Wanted a Marriage
Chorus: You wanted a wedding, I wanted a marriage
But this marriage was a mirage, an illusion, a delusion,
And now I can see, this is our only conclusion
Coming to the alter was just another one of your one night stands
A fleeting glance, a last dance
With a whole lot of pomp, and circumstance
It was going to be a great night
It was going to be a long life
It was going to be everyone we knew
Thick or thin, we’d see it through
Any weather would be a blessing
I’d be working for us, and by your side I’d be resting
Before all our friends we’d confide
But when you were done with your white dress you were done being my bride.
I didn’t see this coming,
I thought we’d talked it through
Was this the idea, all along?
Again, I play the fool.
Is it really true that we won’t be here forever?
Put me to work.
Put me to love.
Put me on the edge.
Put me in touch with the part of the reality of the mystery that knows what it is.
Then spin me around,
and put me in touch with the part of the reality of the mystery that does not know what it is
and put a mirror in my hands,
a mirror facing outwards.
This Time Of Year
Green fields turning brown look like gold because they’re in the sun, which is also diminishing. And how we love things that are on their way out.
My mother has always been beautiful,
but I see it more and more.
Her gaze seems to be growing longer. And softer.
People From High School, Why Do I Never See You?
Do we keep just barely missing each other?
Or are we really that spread out?
Keep me seeing that graffiti heart smiling, eyes wide open. It finds my good mood.
Keep me seeing you walk in from all the afternoons I’ve waited for you here and there, knowing you’ll be here soon and remembering that you’ve waited for me on several occasions as well. As far as I know, we’ve always shown up for each other.
Boring But True
I keep always forgetting that it’s two thousand and eleven.
Thank goodness it’s a short year, because it’s quite annoying to not know which year it is.
I keep thinking 2010.
Both those years sound better to me. Less of a mouthful.
I look forward to the future, and to knowing the year again.
Owen walks slowly at all times –
in all weathers,
on all grades of ascent and descent.
He likes it that way,
Or at least that’s what he says,
And one can only assume that he’s telling the truth.
There’s so much space in this world.
It’s a wonder that we make any connections at all.
October Night Alone
These moments, they pass through me
Time and time again.
The wind breathes, ceaselessly.
All happens all around me.
The subway: Quiet in its eventlessness.
Mothering: Everywhere passing.
Fullness and Emptiness: Everywhere all through the city, full and quiet.
When the morning temperatures rise above 10C in Canada’s cities, you can actually sit back and appreciate the light.
Having let go of a good portion of the struggle that every nor-folk engages/wages (but not all bear it alike) – the easiness is all the more remarkable.
It may be that, without the contrast with the harder, harsher, tooth-clenched, salt-stained winter months – metal shrieking, footsteps squeaking – it wouldn’t be remarkable at all. After all, people get used to “easy” pretty fast.
But who knows. That will only ever be a hypothesis and the egg-yolk light on the walls is really something.
April 29, 2015, AM
Union Station, Toronto
Train to Whit to maple syrup and Kingston/Montreal
Hung over and out
Begins with the hangover
and requires some company.
And a sense of accomplishment, or completeness.
The sense of smell has returned, but slowly
The weird pyjamas, the smeared mascara (often, but not always)
The sweaty palms, the dry boogers, the dirty finger nails
These grossities snuck in somehow, surely gradually, uninvited but not unexpected.
The slow movements, the sensitive rocketing pulse, the slosh-bucket stomach.
The desire for fresh air, the aversion to direct sunlight, the slow dawn of memories coming together like puzzle pieces to reform the night – making it real again.
A good friend is an ally, a catalyst, and a witness. And to really see it through, it’s good (if not required) that they be there for the coffee.
From Moose Mountain, May 6th, 2015.
Veins of softwood tracing their way through the faint minty blush of hardwood mid-spring
Training the gaze to behold the landscape
Which, with the going of the snow, has become so much more complicated in its entirety.
It feels like it wants to be met.
It feels like it is here for the sky.
I feel like a bit of a spy.
My gaze is out of practice.
The snow was here for so long
Was so deep
For so long
And the forest supported it
Became winter, as it does
But when the snow finally left
And if finally did leave
Spring was already five paces out and racing
The deadwood: dry
The moss: sprouting, proudly
The buds: opening.
Last year’s blanket of dry fallen leaves couldn’t hold it down
New growth poking these holes, these perforated leaves.
The bugs must’ve known what they were doing when they ate the feast that six months later would let the light through to make this happen…
The forest floor: lifting.
People: Anyone who is in love this time of year is blessed like an angel in heaven on earth.
It’s going to take me. I was going to say it’s going to take me a long time – and it will
But meanwhile, it’s just going to take me.
And I give it, willingly.
New Algonquin Region
Closest town: South River
I can’t tell if you letting go of me was/is you shutting down and actively closing off, or if it’s you breaking open and releasing. I can’t tell if you’re giving to yourself first, or to me first. I can’t quite tell the nature/shape/loyalty of your generosity. I wish I could.
It’s weird when you kindof have to stop seeing the future in something. Like your home.
“Happily, but not ever after.”
Your skin will continue to smell like honey,
even without me to sense it.
Such a sweet, sweet man.
Leaving the Cottage
I gave three good wolf howls as I peeled away from the island, in our boat, at top speed early this morning. One for our cottage and the McClennans. One for our other cottage and Cathy and Bill. And one just in general, as I was crossing the channel. – Howling to the blue water, howling to the blue sky. Howling to the serenity I knew I was cutting through. Howling to every fish and bird. Howling to whoever might hear and wonder why. Howling to whoever might hear and understand. Howling to the past, so full.
The present, so wild.
The future, so ready.
Howling to you, and with you – you taught me this.
Letting it out, hearing it. Letting it address, letting it be known: We are here! We are brave! We are happy. We are happy to feel. We are happy to release. We are of the water. We zip. We are not afraid. We embrace this. We love this. We are alive.
Thin skin, thick soul.
Jumping out of the emergency exit and skydiving down the roads of Moncton would not be the right thing to do right now. Of course it’s a bad idea, I’ve never skydiven in my entire life. My aim would be most likely be terrible. But it is an idea and seeing the space I know for certain you’re in right now – my living eyes building hot joyful saltwater among their backgrounds – has me toying with it. What are the chances I could land it like a cat on the hood of your truck?
Sunday, I arrive. Fresh and uptight, all in white.
(Many things happened that I won’t write here.)
I can’t take it all in. I’m trying. I don’t know what to do other than kiss you over and over and over again.
Interesting idea: A movie called “People Who Are In The Way” and there’s interesting stuff, even a story line, happening in the background, but there’s always someone in the foreground, in the way, blocking it. And those people who are in the way are the ones in focus.
You are a queen and I’m-a-gonna give you something worth reigning.
I’m walking around like I’m staring.
But it’s more the feeling of being over-exposed in a full moon spotlight.
Suspended in an 8-day-long thought.
It’s a beautiful lovely hot steamy thing pushing a lid.
June 3rd, 2015.
How did I love you before?
I can’t remember.
I can’t imagine.
This is the only way that makes sense.
June 10th, 2015.
I wrote “Time To Go” for Chris and I.
June 17, 2015. Peculiar Heat.
I look up at the stars and of course I think of you. It was my face in the lake. I think of its beauty (that’s okay) and turn back onto the beach and wash my face in the lake again. I think of your beauty and I simply stand still.., thinking of your beauty. I am standing on a beach by a gorgeous boreal starry lake, my spirit swimming in you. I wake along a tall grass path, through the trees, noticing my breath visible, even though it’s warm out. My body is generating a peculiar heat.
Aug. 20 built for barefeet
When we separate, I am dominated by this manic need to remain so intensely connected. To fuel it, to feed it. My brain churns an electric al burn. I feel a need to cool it. I know it will be fed by relaxing. But it takes me so long to relax. To cool it. And now that I’m feeling that hannep [weird word. I forget exactly what I meant, but I can imagine and so can you. Life is sometimes too crazy.], a week and a half later (after seeing you last), and feeling it good. I want cool rich, wet earth for these seeds. I want a pad of moss that grows and creeps and nurtures. Built for bare feet. I’ve been focused on trees blooming, blossoming, fruiting. Now I’m focusing on the earth that we’re planting these seeds in. Even before the seeds go in. soil. dark. rich. calm. ready. a stillness. content. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth. earth.
There is a possibility I’ve lost your love book. I sincerely hope not, it was so full of words that I’d hoped would make you smile… help you understand how wonderful you are to me. I hope it’s in my little sac of other books, back at my apartment. If not, I suppose it’ll be okay… because they’re all true words
and, in a way,
they’re just signposts for the sun.
When you’re walking when you’re standing when you’re talking when you’re driving when you’re watching when you’re showering when you’re drinking when you’re waking when you’re dreaming when you’re scheming –
your poetry is good.
You are on the hill.
You show the way – glow of a beacon.
My magic works up all around you.
My shoulder drives towards a stone for you.
My sunset, my short night, my dark morning, this cotton candy sky, these Pennsylvania clouds. Drive me through,
lay me in the beauty,
the field of which you think
The leaves are swaying, hanging, drooping off their branches. Throwing shadows, throwing sunlight. Thrown by the late-afternoon breeze. Summer was in full effect.
Like a ghost town. 39C with humidity looks like 39 below. Everybody indoors.