100/50

This is the 100th post on this strange blog, and we recently welcomed the 50th follower.
Seems odd no?
I still don’t really have a clue what I am hoping to do here, and yet here we are all together. Feels kind of disturbing and special, thanks guys.
I’m far too superstitious not to celebrate these perfectly round numbers, so here is a little get to know you game. I’ve asked myself 100 questions, of which 50 are answered truthfully. Maybe if you can pick out 10 of the lies there will be prizes? Maybe the prize will be I finally finish some of the pieces I’ve been working on during this holy sabbatical thing to share with you, or finally update the web layout so it’s easier to navigate, or like fun personalized postcards?? Who knows, hard to say really.

  1. What is the trait you most deplore about yourself? Psycho slut and vapid millennial.
  2. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Unadventurous taste.
  3. What brings you down the most often? My over active imagination and under stimulated mind.
  4. Which living person do you most admire? A man in uniform.
  5. Which living person do you most despise? The person who stole my fairy wings.
  6. What is your idea of perfect happiness? enough riches to buy a boat and travel the world to never return.
  7. What is your greatest fear? That I am alternately too much or not enough.
  8. Where would you most like to live? Climax, Saskatchewan.
  9. What is your most treasured possession? My notebooks.
  10. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as your dinner guest? Searle Sneer.
  11. Would you like to be famous, and in what way? I would like to be known well enough to work abroad, but still obscure enough not to be bothered in the street. Critical acclaim without mass hysteria.
  12. Before making a telephone call do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? No, never, I just stare at the keypad longingly imagining the whole conversation in my head.
  13. What would constitute a perfect day for you? Waking up languidly with the sun to write and yawn, followed by yoga and meditation, tea and toast, intensive work creating in the studio until two or three in the afternoon, a late lunch and a stroll through the park with a thoughtful friend, a long nap perhaps with a good book, dinner with lots of laughter and music perhaps some wine, a quiet moment when the city is silent before bed to reflect and take note.
  14. What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery? the mind that is aware of it’s own limitations and flaws but too afraid or lazy to make a go of self discovery anyways.
  15. What is your favourite occupation? Prophet.
  16. What is your most marked characteristic? A knack for making people feel at ease.
  17. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? I make up songs compulsively while puttering around my house. I try to be merciful with other’s ears.
  18. What did you learn yesterday? How to love with out feeling broken.
  19. What is your greatest extravagance? Emotional excess.
  20. What is your current state of mind? Restless reflective.
  21. What do you consider the most over rated virtue? Punctuality and ‘busyness’.
  22. On what occasion do you lie? I never lie.
  23. What is your preferred drink? Straight scotch on the rocks.
  24. What do you most dislike about your appearance? All of it.
  25. What do you most like about your appearance? All of it.
  26. Are you good at keeping secrets? Like a steal trap.
  27. What is the last message that you sent? The more I think that I shouldn’t feel this sad the more sad I feel.
  28. Do you have any weird party tricks? Meet ya in the bathroom to find out.
  29. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? The community of internet (and now irl) women, that have started sticking up and showing up for each other in a bad ass way. Solidarity, friendship, witchcraft.
  30. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?  Where is the buried treasure at?
  31. Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you? Dreams have a funny way of creating and satisfying desire in the same instant, my whole life is one long cycle of dreaming and procuring.
  32. What is your most treasured memory? climbing inside of my own womb to say listen to my unborn child.
  33. What is your most terrible memory? pretending to be fine.
  34. What role does love and affection play in your life? usually the harbinger of bad news.
  35. Have you made any recent acts of kindness? I gave a cigarette to a stranger.
  36. What is the quality you most like in a man? not afraid of his feminine side.
  37. What is the quality you most like in a woman? not afraid of her masculine side.
  38. Which words or phrases do you most over use? Relateable, I’m sorry, where is trouble at, I’m running late, I fucked up.
  39. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My broken heart.
  40. When did you last cry in public? This morning.
  41. How close and warm is your family? Spread around the globe, still in touch.
  42. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? We speak regularly, share a lot, and she can drink straight whiskey better than I can.
  43. If you could change anything about the way you were raised what would it be? I would have liked to be raised on a remote island among the stars.
  44. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? My fragile ego.
  45. What do you like on pizza? Everything has it’s time and place, but the dough is the most important part.
  46. Have you ever had a dream come true? I did, and then it turned out to be a nightmare.
  47. How often do you change your underwear? I don’t wear underwear.
  48. What do you know by heart? A bit of shakespeare, some poetry, a few rap lyrics, and a lot of nonsense.
  49. When and where were you happiest? Riding the bus for hours deep into the night by myself.
  50. Which talent would you most like to have? Exceptional cunning linguist.
  51. If you could change one thing about yourself? I would like to be a quiet sensitive type.
  52. How often do you say ‘I love you’ and mean it? Often and Always.
  53. Is there anything or anyone that you would die for? My cat.
  54. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A double bubble comic strip.
  55. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about how you are living now? It hardly seems sudden if I have a year’s advance notice, but if I knew it most certainly I would retreat into the woods far away from society to die alone.
  56. Of all the people in your family whose death would you find the most disturbing? Why? My oldest sister because I haven’t had much of a chance to know her yet.
  57. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? Probably in a great deal of pain, possibly delusional.
  58. Do you believe in a higher power? I am the highest power.
  59. How many times a day do you think of death? 3 – 4 times
  60. How many times a day do you think of sex? 3 – 4 times
  61. Do you put others needs before yourself? I am working on being less self effacing in altruistic impulses.
  62. What are three things you would need to survive solitary confinement? A great deal of Shakespeare, Rumi, Cohen, and Vincent memorized, sun salutations or other modified physical routines, an unanswered question.
  63.  How are the things arranged in your room? Haphazardly.
  64. How would you describe your personal aesthetic?  Manic depressive Gemini with a dramatic flare.
  65. What is the most luxurious thing you have ever bought for yourself? Either a trip to South America or my vibrator.
  66. What are your most visited websites right now? Facebook, Twitter, Slutever, Free Will Astrology, Seeking Arrangement, Dominos online delivery, WordPress, Spotify, Youtube.
  67. What are your most played albums right now? Aesop Rock – Impossible Kid, Anna Wise – The Feminine: Act 1, Astronautalis – Cut the Body Loose, Factor – Factoria, Braids – Deep in the Iris, Mitski – Lush, Kitten Forever – Pressure.
  68. What do you value most in your friends? Honesty.
  69. What do you value most in a lover? Patience.
  70. What are your favorite names? Theodore, Eleanor, Esther.
  71. What are your your favourite smells? Lilacs in the rain, my own body odour, fresh coffee.
  72. Who are your favourite writers? Herman Hesse, Sylvia Plath, Joey Comeau, Tom Robbinson, Judith Thompson.
  73. What are your favourite films? The Lobster, Ghost World, Frida, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pi.
  74. Who do you want to see collaborate on a project? Julie Taymor, Tanya Tagaq, and Grimes create a piece split between Nunavut and Nevada.
  75. Who is your hero of fiction? Lyra Belacqua.
  76. Who are your heroes in real life? Lia Pas, Nina Simone, Isadora Duncan, Lily Baldwin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Frida Kahlo.
  77. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Joan of Arc.
  78. How would your friends describe you? Your drive and vision inspire me to grapple with my own unfulfilled creative designs and your progressive nature forces me to question my own simplest assumptions.
  79. What makes life easier? spread sheets, automatic bill payments, do not disturb features, wifi on my phone, cloud sharing and streaming, no voicemail.
  80. What stresses you out? having to say no to good opportunities that aren’t the right opportunities, getting paid what I’m worth, small talk, unfinished business, false intimacy.
  81. What turns you on? whispered secrets, fierce kisses, gentle reminders, strong arms, wet surprises, rigorous desire.
  82. What motivates you? Insatiable curiosity, sense of competition, a lot of self torment.
  83. What is the first thing you think of in the morning? My dreams.
  84. What is the last thing you think of at night? My love.
  85. What is one thing you can’t live without? Champagne.
  86. Do you serve your money or does your money serve you? I sleep on it like a dragon.
  87. How have you changed in the last five years? I’ve become more grounded, less urgent, more charming, less charmed, more fickle, less fearful.
  88. Where do you want to be in 5 years? On the other side of the world, alone unto myself, growing my wisdom.
  89. Where do you want to be in 10 years? In bed, of a room of my own, with a young lover, and no consumer obligations.
  90. What would you tell your younger self? Spend less time trying to fix cracks, and more time breaking expectations.
  91.  Do you take people’s advice? Only what is given from the heart.
  92. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I am still here trying to make something of it.
  93. Where do you find peace? In the quiet moments between the pages or between the sheets.
  94. What is it that you most dislike? Being told to calm down.
  95. What lessons in life did you learn the hard way? Never give your pin to a drug addict.
  96. What is your greatest regret? Not learning more about my great grandmother while my granddad was alive.
  97. How would you like to die? Without much fan fare.
  98. How would you like to be remembered? A drop in the sea, the sea in a drop.
  99. What is your motto? My intensity brings me great joy.
  100. Thinking of the last question is just too much pressure for me, if you aren’t utterly sick of hearing me talk about myself by now you are free to ask the last question in the comments, or offer some of your own answers, I don’t know why I agreed to do this anymore, I’m going to go make pizza and cry in bed now (jk?) bye.
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Jubilee

Ritual is very important to me. I was not raised religiously which is perhaps why learning about other customs was so fascinating. Unified words, actions in order, shaped over time, generation to generation. There is something significant that there is a world wide tradition in observing repetition even if the specifics change. It’s meaningful to me.

When I was a girl I dreamed of taking a twelve day silent retreat away from the world to go deep inside of myself and discover the secrets lying there. In my vision I would meditate in silence for twelve days with only my writing and nature to keep me company culminating in a all night vigil surrounded by my nearest and dearest dancing my way into my golden year. It didn’t happen like that of course. I didn’t have the control over my space or my schedule enough to create that kind of solemnity of festivities, but it’s an image I’ve held on to. A dream of a dream of a dream.

This year is my diamond year. A sparkling reminder of what might be discovered in the dark depths. A glimmer concealed in the pressures of shifting tectonic plates. Minerals crystallize. Sharp. Bright. Strong. I now have a room of my own where I am sole master o’er my domain, and very little responsibility to those outside of it.
The time is ripe to revisit that dream.

Twenty-five days & twenty-five nights.
I am taking a vow to come unto myself in solemn reverie.

What would it be like to live my life only for me?

Lovely seclusion.
Consecrated purpose.
A devoted practice of self.

The thought feels intoxicatingly delicious!

Is this a vow of silence? Kind of.
Is this a vow of stillness? Closer.
This is a vow of oneness.

To inhabit myself fully and accept perfect completeness found there.

This is not an exercise in austerity or virtue. Although I will be giving certain things up, and ritualizing others. The intention is never to curb or manipulate the will of self to serve other purpose. There is no alternate agenda or inspired syllabus, no prepared program to guide my steps. I do not need to arrive “better” out the other side of this journey.
I am my best already.

Pure indulgence.
Private glory.
The gift to myself of time & energy just to be.

A diamond in the rough.

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A vow

There are kids yelling outside my window. It looks pitch black now that the tree in front of my house has sprouted full green leaves blocking out the city lights. I think it is an elm. The window is open hoping to catch a breeze after a muggy afternoon. I am tired but I can’t sleep. My mind is turning over everything I know about myself and my life looking for the faults and areas of improvement. It passes the time. I’m not really worried because objectively I know I am in a good place. Maybe not a great place, but I face no immediate calamity, no urgent unrest. Things could be better but for what they are they are largely out of my control. Best to forget about it. But what do I fill my mind with then? I’ve read two or three chapters out of two or three books, listened to one album start to finish twice, and played with my cat. My mind still reels looking for that hook to sink it’s teeth into. Insert applicable Elizabeth Gilbert quote here. I’m bored in plainest terms, and although there are many fertile moments born of such lulls there are also many anxiously depressive ones. This is something I am hoping to address over the next several days. I say address even though I keep promising myself this isn’t another self improvement project. I’m planning on taking a twenty-five day & twenty-five night vow unto myself, to live my life fully for me without distraction, and to devote all of my free time & energy to just being. It sounds alternately like a noble, selfish, or ridiculous goal depending what alternating minute it is. The kicker is I have no more a clue what any of that means than you do really, some vague notion and pretty language, but I’ve decided that there is only one way to find out. I’m commiting, tomorrow, after work, if I don’t get cold feet. I said that I hoped to address my oscillating anxiety and depression that particularly overtakes me when I am alone and unoccupied. I hope to also finally put to rest all these fears that I’m afraid to be on my own which is why I fall in love too easily. I would also just like to do it because it sounds fun. A little extreme, a little dramatic, with a touch of mystical. Just my style. When I feel like it I relate the impulse of this concept back to two seperate very vivid memories I have from pre-pubesence when I want to weave this into my origin story and make it part of my personal narrative. Today I don’t have the patience for that. I’m obsessed with what I am actually going to do for the next twenty-five days and if it’s enough or too much. I don’t know who is holding the yard stick on that one maybe that is something I will discover too. I wrote earlier that I don’t want this to be an exercise in austerity or virtue, I may make lifestyle changes to support my vow, but never out of a desire to curb or bolster the natural impulse of self. That’s a warning to myself so when I start imagining my life as an inspiration porno, where I get up at 5 each day to greet the sun with yoga and vegan smoothies and quit drinking and abstain from sex, I can check myself and say no this isn’t what this is about. I’m not looking renovate just to enjoy the existing character no matter how quirky or delapitated. On the other hand I am guilty of shrinking myself to fit in. I’m naturally an intense, big, bold person. I might be super into getting up at 5 everyday, so I shouldn’t shy away from it because it seems kind of pretentious or out there. The main principle I’ve already come to accept about this dedicated practice of self is not to try and predict it. I can only be present with me as I am now, so no sense prescribing certain steps or curriculum ahead of time. I trust my own ability to provide for myself as needed. I guess this whole writing exercise was a trick to get me to say that to myself and ease my busy body mind. I also wanted to let you know I won’t be writing here as much/at all during this period. Probably part out of a sense of duty and part ego. I’m not sure which part is which or if it matters. I’m sure I will talk about my experience after, but I need to cut out needless distractions meanwhile. I said to a friend earlier this year “funny how doing less means I actually have to do less.” I’m not sure exactly what that looks like yet though, another question. Lots of questions, largely unimportant if there are answers. Hopefully this period will open some new ones too. I’ll end with a question for you that I will be asking myself in dreams tonight.

What would you do if you had twenty-five days & nights to be entirely yourself?

*********

P.S. I wrote and scheduled  a much different version of this post earlier today. I was originally going to trash it in favour of giving you the more conversational approach, but I’m going to leave both for amusement sake so you can see better how full of (beautiful, poetic) shit I am.

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Dreaming of home 

In my dream our bodies bled together like watercolours, merging hues, new distinct patterns, skin on skin or skin under skin. A light that is indistinguishable. Each exhalation new release. Each inhalation new friend. All one movement. Time is still. There is a soft glow radiating outwards as I pull you into me. This time we come together. As one expression of the same thought. A perfect whole. Then we’re scattered again. As far as the eye can see. Maybe you never came to me at all. Maybe I only went through the act of searching you out to give my heart something to ache about. I am at home in my sadness like a cozy sweater. It scratches me in all the right places. Like I know you could too if I would stop inventing reasons to bury the hatchet. Pet cementary of insatiable desires. I am a magnet at the centre of the earth. I am a sleepwalker trapped in memories of myself. I am a note taker diligent in my observations of the half remembered. I am you, the pieces of me I’ve forgotten how to love. I am home the place I’ve been running away from. I am lover passionate mistress over my desires. I am dreamer the holy one that is reborn each morning.

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5x flourish

Verb
1) no object, (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of favorable environment.
2) with object, (of a person) wave (something) around to attract the attention of others.
Noun
1) a bold or extravagant gesture or action, made especially to attract the attention of others
2) an ornate musical passage

I really love this word. Actors will be familiar with verbing, which tbh I hate as a creative practice but am not afraid to utilize with relish in my personal life. This is a word I wrote on my bathroom mirror. This is a word I doodle in the margins with flowers and butterflies. This is a word that motivates me to get up in the morning. It is indulgent, it is healthy, it is ornate, it is bold, it is joyful, it is vigorous, it develops, and it attracts. There is something delicious & lush about it. This will be my last 5x list in a while, I’m taking a break to go flourish. These are a few links of things I’ve been considering lately, I hope that they enrich and go to seed in your mind too.

Enjoy

    1. Chai Chats: Episode 6 – Essentail Self Part 2 there is so much here that I am in love with these women are full of truth bombs and vibrating on another frequency. Also worth listening to Part 1 but not necessary to dive in with Part 2.
    2. For Women ‘Who Are Difficult To Love’ via Everyday Feminism
    3. Doomsquad picked out some Canadian gems of emerging female electronic talent via Clash
    4. Interview with Evie Ruddy via Kindred Cities
    5. We Need to Talk: Sexual Harassment in the Art World via AKA Artist Run Centre – this is a really touching collection of first hand accounts (not in a explicit way) of what it’s like to navigate that grey space of sexual harassment when your work place might also be your social place. I really dig this quote from Xenia Benivolski “Sometimes it feels like if I said nothing, I could just be like them, with all their liberties, but that’s false.”
    6. Bonus round, I’m obsessed with the new Anna Wise EP The Feminine: Act 1
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Dreaming of my cat

Dream cat told me what I suspected to be true so matter of factly and innocuously I had to question where it came from. You told me that it sounds like he is repeating your advice, and I have to stop and look at you different. Is that true? Do I let you speak to me that way? Yes I encourage it. Because I believe first and foremost that love is something I have to work for. I am not perfect but I can try to be for love. I am a good worker. Meticulous. Through. Enthusiastic. He will see. He will be impressed. Why aren’t you impressed? Because I don’t trust people who think I am enough. Don’t they see how broken I am? What is wrong with them that their expectations are so low? Is he trying to fool me? Must be so because I’m busy running away from him, out the backdoor into the arms of the one who will hurt me and leave me. This would never work anyways I assure myself. And surely it doesn’t because I won’t let it. When I am heart broken and love sick again I come to you over pints, and you reassure me by telling me all the things I could do better next time. I’m just too intense. I can’t present myself that way or I will be hurt. I shouldn’t text back first. I should just try harder to seem like I’m not trying so hard. I shouldn’t ask for so much right away. I should convince them to commit to me first. I shouldn’t talk about my feelings. Don’t share so much online. I tip my hand too early. I go all in without looking. I should wait to have sex. I shouldn’t have sex at all. Don’t say I love you until they say it back. I need to build mystery. I should talk less. I’m not really that interesting people just like me for my body. The sad part is that these are the things I want to hear because it’s what I’ve come to believe is true.

. . .

After my dream cat told me these things he morphed into Nathalie off of Be Here Nowish and seduced me until I realized she just wanted me to stay home more so she could have me all to herself. Driving home the point or making light of it I’m not sure.

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