Last day of May 2012

May 31, 2012

Today was the day to pack my thing at my former home.

The light in the room is beautiful, it’s cool, I could almost be home. I could almost take a nap on the bed, on those sheets I helped pick. I could almost just relax and do some of the work I need to do on the computer.  I could almost pretend.

I got too much stuff. Got too confident. I have 3 guitars staring back at me, and I might have to sell one or sell all of them. I hope not.

“So what is next?” he asks.

I drink all I can of his face, his eyes, his body, his stance, his being.  I’m trying to just be there, just answer, I am very much wanting to not falter.
How do you tell your heart to stop feeling?

How do you stop the knowing of that love?

How do you abandon all claims on the sanctuary that was yours?
I wish I could promise myself that I will never, ever again fall for anyone. Stay whole, grow wise, on my own. In Peace.  But this last experience told me that the heart is a wild stallion with no intentions of being corralled, directed, saddled up, neutralized. It just does as it wills and it is scary to think I could slide down that path again.  It is too devastating, debilitating.

Before him I had found a great area of comfort and ease in my solitude and in the great open spaces.  I was experiencing great “human experiences” with friends and acquaintances.  I was free.   I didn’t know anymore what it was to be loved that way and to love that way myself so I couldn’t miss it, I couldn’t need it, heck I didn’t know the meaning of the word “needs”.

Not anymore.

The reminders are everywhere, the memories jump out from behind the bushes to scare me when I don’t expect it.  This city is him.

But there is much to be thankful for.

My friends have been unbelievable.  So supportive.  I am loved by them, there is no doubt about that.  Their voices are soothing, giving me strength and helping me breathe.  The family I am staying with have been so generous.  So genuine.  I love them deeply.

Arkadash is more and more becoming “my” ride. We’re starting to be one. The freedom it gives me is priceless.  The feel of the wind, the sense that I am not stuck to the concrete of the city.  I am thankful for  K for helping me get it, I could not have done it all by myself.

The people at the employment help center of the YMCA have been outstanding.  They threw a life jacket at me, gave me a sense of hope and curiosity.  Lisa you are a true angel.  As an example, there was a job fair yesterday and Lisa, the employment counselor I’ve been meeting brought me one of her own sweaters for me to wear as I don’t have more than my worn clothes.  It gave me confidence.

Many ask me what my plans are, how I am planning to move forward…I got a call back from one of the job fair employers for an interview for a school bus driving job.  Then there is the TESOL program, go overseas to teach English or French.  Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China… there is all sorts of things I could do but…

The real question is not HOW, it is WHAT.

What do I want.   What would make my heart sing.  What is the call I should heed next?  I can’t answer right now.  I am bolting at anything and everything like an overstimulated skittish horse.

One step at a time.  One breath at a time.  Gotta make them deeper, gentler and listen, listen to the call, the voice that will entice me to the next chapter.

Thank you all of you who think of me.  Your thoughts, your love reaches me.  I am aiming to do the best I can to find my truth.  You are with me always.

 

 

 

 

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3 days in the life

May 29, 2012

FRIDAY

The wind blows outside these windows, storm warning for Ottawa. There is still lots of sun but the trees are being lashed at by the wind and organic debris along with plastic wrappers, dust and leaves lift in vortexes to then go scatter themselves around.

At this very moment, I am one of those leaves.

Love is like one of those storms, it comes and goes, it takes you in a whirlwind where all is possible. Where all is one. Where the Universe itself looses its center as you take possession of one another. It is gloriously beautiful, it is fleeting.

I packed a change of clothes, my papers, toothbrush and shampoo, rain gear and loaded it up on the bike. Then I went to the post office because I had promised a friend to send promo CDs, it felt strange to do such an ordinary task as my whole little world has just crashed down around me with incredible velocity. The lady was so nice to me. Thank you post-office lady. You don’t know how you were such a balm.

I’m sitting at my regular spot at my regular cafe getting my regular drink as my heart pumps tennis balls instead of blood through my veins, they bounce against my skin from the inside and can barely make it through the aorta.

I am homeless and love is gone.

Outside the sun has gone, the promises of a storm coming true,  it’s a bonified deluge.  Massive amounts of rain just pounding the city, people run around, their summer shirts darkening from the rain and sticking to their bodies.  Hairdos are collapsing.  Some are prepared, rubber boots and umbrellas, others wearing thin clothing, sandals run around getting soaked.  A few cross the threshold of the cafe door shaking their heads in disbelief.

I have no clue right at this instant as to what should be next.

I have no clue and no desire to know. These last few months have been an uphill battle and I just lost the war.  I, like a soldier on his knees on the battlefield, filthy, covered in caked blood, sweat, dirt and remnants of fear and purpose, am now drained of any and all convictions. Beaten.

I can’t help but wonder how I could so fully totally fuck everything up so thoroughly.

I remember hearing Steve’s story of a divorce where he headed for the mountains and went hiking for days.

I’m trying to keep the sum of the part of me under control.

 

SATURDAY

The night was long.

After hours at the coffee shop I headed out to the art studio. I am safe there. It’s around 9 PM. I go upstairs, unlock the door no one is here.

My steps are heavy. My boots seem like cement blocks and each step reverberates noisyly in the empty loft floor.  Clang, Clang…  I proceed to open all windows available to be open. Then go to my little space. I look at the stool, can’t sit there… Look right, look left, put my back against the wall and slowly slide to the floor. I can’t move, can’t formulate anything for quite a while, I can’t even cry. I won’t cry. My mind is strangely blank after all this incessant noise.  I just feel waves of emotions crashing along my sides, in my mind, at my solar plexus, slowly, heavily.

The wall is cool against my back.

After a long time in this position, pictures appear slowly. Ideas, maybe a plan. I get my notebook, Leo stares at me from the bag.

Phone calls

banking

calendar

possibilities

People.

Then I get myself to the stool and start working on the clay horse.

At around 1AM I am burned out.  I need to sleep but there is nowhere to lay a tired body in this space.  I end up on the floor.  But my mind now races again and i wonder what would happen if someone walked in early morning and found me sleeping in here.  Could mean trouble and I have enough of that already.  I keep waking up, 2AM, 2:20 AM, 3, 4AM.  At five I decide to leave.  The day is coming alive, the birds singing their morning praise.  Pink skies.  the air is cool.  I get on the road and softly roll down the hill.  I headed to the Elgin Diner.  I ride past what is now “not my home anymore” and a shock wave goes through me.  It’s so early.  Elgin Street is deserted.  Only a lone taxi driver and a sparse number of early morning exercisers, workers going to the job and city workers putting up signs for today’s special event.  I’m the only customer.  I order breakfast on my last $20, I have not eaten in the last 15 hours.  I eat slowly, looking outside.

Time passes slowly.  I have a job interview at 9 AM.  The interview goes fairly well.  I managed to look normal and that was quite the feat.

I am in a bit of a battle with fatigue, fear starts to seep in my mind, the heartache sends me blasts of pain and the reality of my position is acutely obvious.  I will need to reach out, communicate.  Around mid-day Starbucks is there for me to use their WiFi for the cost of a drink so I do.  And soon some amazing things start to happen.  Support, help, even money arrives, which was truly a lifesaver as I had only a bit of change left.

The wonder and magic of friends, even thousands of miles away…

Around 8 PM I figured I could check my emails and went once more to a cafe. I didn’t know yet where or if  I was going to sleep  I was going to spend some time with my mind, papers and the internet.

As I walked to the cashier this guy said : “where are you traveling from your bike loaded like this?” I realized that I looked like a traveler, bike packed up and all…  I could have just said anything but I didn’t have the heart to lie and make faces to save face.
“Oh it’s not what it looks like, I’m actually homeless.”  I regretted my frankness immediately as the guy could only utter “Oh!..”

He came and sat next to me.

“What could I do to help?”

“Oh nothing, something will figure itself out, it always does.”

“But there must be something…. I have a station wagon.. you could sleep in it..”

I smiled. It has been a while since I’ve been at ground level with the world. Not just someone living in an apartment and rushing back and forth away or towards it.   He kept trying to find a way to help.

“If my roommate did not have his kids this week end… you could have the sofa…”
I said :

“Don’t worry, I really truly appreciate your efforts, I’ll find a way, go from place to place, I’ll get to Monday and things will be easier from then on.”

We chatted a little, he rides a motorcycle and there again was a testimony to the goodness of motorcycle people.

His phone rang, he had to run, he got up, hesitated… Grabbed in his pocket pulled out his wallet.
“I have to give you something, $10, $15… a tank of gas… as a fellow biker, I must help…”

He handed me $20… I could not believe it… a perfect stranger… I hadn’t cried so far today but tears came up.

“Thank you” I said all choked up. “Thank you so much…”

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Tom”

I sat there after he left.   Tom came back about 30 minutes later.

He said :

“I have this back room, a fold out cot, you can come and sleep there, take a shower, relax…” I told my room mate you’re an old friend from Montreal.

“Well…  Ok.” I said

And so the adventure takes off.

 

 

SUNDAY

I woke up earlier than I wanted to.  Dreams, sadness, where am I?

There is a gigantic aura of surreality.  It feels like the Matrix.  One moment I’m in this life, among a set of characters, familiar surroundings, things and activities.  The next moment EVERYTHING has gone and changed, everything but me. Oh the burning hole in my chest.  Loss.  Grief.  Oh My God… how that hurts.  Breathing is hard.  Denial, reality, a tug back and forth… trying to feel the earth, trying to leave it.

Later in the day a friend turns into an angel and offers their home, hospitality.  A roof.  Friendly, loving souls around me.   I am so very grateful.  I am so lost.  We have dinner.  I decided to drink Raki, the drunkenness is a balm.  I can kind of surf over everything, am a philosopher, ride the wave of pain as if the sharks weren’t right under my board.  Just be cool.   It works for that little while.

So here is how life finds me again, as if I can only truly exist as that leaf in the wind.  I wonder if I am doomed.  I daydream of a flight right off a cliff, pretending that I have wings for a few seconds then let gravity do the work.  I imagine heading South.  I imagine my album coming out.  I imagine inhaling CO2 until Peace could finally come.

I remember him…  my gift from the Gods, my everything…   I hear his voice…  Canim..  Canim,    My Love, my soul…   The depth of your embrace, your passion, the sanctity, the refuge :  canim, canim, canim…   I die a thousand times again and over again and again.  

I keep waking up.  That I could fall in a deep, deep sleep and disappear.

There is a bit of a plan.  each day is tremendous with challenge, I’ll have a roof for a bit.  there are 10 days until the meditation retreat.  I just have to hang on and keep, one step after another, moving forward.

Melanie

May 25, 2012

My sweet sister.

Melanie, my soul sister

I remember very clearly the day you declared that we were sisters. That I was your sister. It was so right. I felt impossibly lucky to have you say this. I loved you so much. I love you now. I will love you forever through time, space and dimensions unknown yet.

 

I met you on that fateful morning on the LA mountains, it was the day I had arrived in California for the second time on my journey. Looking at the map, I had picked the road with most zig zags and it took me to  one of the most fateful mornings of my life.

 

There suddenly was a massive amount of sport bikes all gathered in one spot.   I pulled over and approached a couple standing close to the road : “What is going on here?” I asked.   These two were Steve and Sunny. Those who have followed this blog know plenty about Steve and Sunny. Steve then introduced me to Melanie as a fellow motorcycle adventuress.  She had just finished herself a trip around the american continent on a Triumph named Bruce.

 

I loved you immediately.  You radiated a sort of peace, poise, all this wrapped in gentleness. We chatted, and then at one point she said with a noticeable emphasis : “If you ever need ANYTHING, call me.”  Here is the photo of that day, the moment of us meeting. She stands there, so strong, so calm, mythic.

the day we met on the mountain

A number a weeks later, my Suzuki gave up the ghost, I was near Joshua Tree on my way back from Death Valley and Las Vegas.  I remembered her words and I called her.   I got a ride back to Los Angeles courtesy of my ever dependable AAA membership riding a flat bed truck, me in the cab, the bike tied solidly onto the back of the truck along with two other cars. He dropped us off in a dark alley somewhere in LA at the location where the mechanic’s shop was supposed to be, it was too dark to tell.

I was filthy exhausted, kind of heart broken over the dead bike. I walked back to the main road and waited for Melanie.   I was standing under a street light wearing leathers, filthy, bikeless, covered in road grime, bike grease and flattened bugs and two days of camping grime when they pulled up, it could have been the picture of utter defeat, when Melanie and her husband Ozzy pulled up to the curb.

I was standing there holding my saddle bags and gear. They drove a beautiful black car with white interior. I was embarrassed to sit on the pristine leather of the back seat. They were both smiling, warm, they greeted me with such humanity. They gave me a bed and a roof, it was going to be until the bike was repaired….

Oh Melanie, to see you shine. So creative, always exploring new ideas, new worlds, you were a wonder to behold.   With me are all those conversations over gorgeous food, generous servings of laughter, talks of motorcycles, life, red necks, Gothic worlds and everything in between.

I admire the care you took to live every second of life to its fullest. To be so in the moment. I admire your creative mind, you are a master artist at art and at life.  Like the gusto with which you manifested your book among other things.

I loved walking with you, watching you cook, wathcing you catch the thread of an inspiration as you plunged into books and magazines hungry for beautiful, inspiring things. I love to see your mind taking off at full gallop.

I remember the trip to Arizona for the bead show, I remember celebrations after the Klatch performances with Forrest. I remember your indestructible support for my music. I remember the care packages you sent to Nashville, they had been put together with such attention, love… I remember your calligraphy, the care you took to chose the perfect card, then chose the words then write those words… I remember laughing at Isabel that one night, how much we laughed. Thank you for giving me some of the very best days of my life.

the gang of bead masters in Tuscon

We made a “to do” list of cool things we had to see together. I found it a little while ago, still hoping I could get some of those done with you…   But my hopes floundered. Then I floundered. And I never managed to get back to San Dimas in time to catch you and I didn’t even manage to say goodbye or thank you for all the goodness, love, acceptance you brought into my life.

My sister, my dear soul sister… I hear you left us in a peaceful way. Now the Gods get to wear the most luscious jewels of beads of gold, bones, feathers and the most impossibly intricate designs ever seen.   I love you. Love you forever. And ever. And ever.

 

things of beauty and wonder

Hey all of you,

well, I won`t get into the details but the last 2, 3 weeks have been very intense.  Personal stuff stirred up and much uncertainty engulfed me in a sort of personal madness.  It`s much calmer now and that is a good thing.  Very good thing.

Sometimes it seems everything hits you in the face and you wonder why the world is so tough… then you realize that what you are being dished is exactly what you’ve been brewing, cultivating, imagining in your own mind, your decisions, judgments, fears materializing into your  “today”.

It’s a humbling shock. I always think I’m so damn smart, that I will be seeing it all coming… Then the train comes without warning and you’re splattered like a Pollok’s painting.  Beautifully undone.

The realization came in a big, fat, red neon sign, blinking madly between my ears : You are running.  You have been running for the last year.  You have to stop running or you will disintegrate your engine.  Oil on the track and everyone will end up in the decor.

Since Vancouver last April I’ve been running, racing, floundering and since then I kept running.

With the “not knowing where I’ll sleep”,  the friend’s couches, the no money, the cold, the rain, the last minute saves from my angels,  the marathon crossing of the continent, the second failed attempt at crossing the border, the album never materializing, the constant wondering, pondering, questioning, accepting then not accepting. Constantly fighting with what is and what cannot be changed, with here or there? With the fact that I seem to find no way to belong here…
With the winter, the bike was stored but my mind kept sprinting.

For the first time in my life I felt old.  I felt used up.  My body betraying me with all sorts of ailments.  I felt my mind drifting out of reach.  I could not count on me anymore.  I felt exhausted, empty.   For the first time I felt like the times had passed me, left me behind.

So this last crisis was the culmination of all this.  There I am, at the very bottom of the ladder, physically, economically, mentally.

My friend Forrest said to me : You are a Warrior, but you are also human.  We had a massive communication.  And he helped me “see”.  Forrest is wise.  Impossibly generous.

The thing about running is that you actually accomplish nothing other than motion.  There is no creation, no expression, no living other than experiencing velocity.  You can kind of look good doing it…  but the oil degrades, the metal whines, wears, and things come to a halt.

Last Saturday I managed to make a decision.  I decided to stop for a while and that felt like the correct estimation of what should be done.

Just about immediately on the heels of that decision a voice kind of said  :  ” you need a work space, a studio.”  Two days later I had one.  I looked online and found 2 ads.  Monday I got a call.

” So are you still looking for a studio space?”

“Yes I am.”

The girl explained what it was, where it was, how much it was.  I said :

“Can I see it?”

Tuesday morning I saw it and decided to take it.  I wrote a cheque (didn’t have all the money in the bank account but I figured it was right so things would work out and they did.)  I had no art supplies, no more paints, brushes, no tools…  but I figured it would work out and it did. The girl left a table and 2 shelves which was the bare minimum needed to get started.

Today some unexpected money showed up, so I went to the bank and covered the missing $20, then I bought a few brushes at the art store, they happened to have a 50% discount on them, I also picked about 10 small paint jars, some gesso and tomorrow I will stop at the hardware store to get a few pieces of wood to use as boards and I have a tiny bit of polymer clay to start on the first horse.

the loft

Now I’m wishing for a stool or chair, a lamp or two, and I really do need to get an eye exam and get proper glasses so I can see what I’m doing…

My little spot with a just washed floor.

I know this is right.  I will stay put for a little while, get stronger, calm down, find peace, get creative.  It will heal me.

 

The other thing I need really badly is to find some work… I’ve  applied to probably 50 ads online these last few days… no positive answer yet.  But I know the right thing will come along.

The music you ask?  Well I got my license to play at the Market, I will start Saturday with Samantha, it will help break the ice to not be alone.

Today as I was going around town, I felt good.  I was on my bike, not a touring bike but a run around bike, (I could not help but think about Beowulf and why my fate was to lose that perfect travel bike and it being replaced by this new bike which is definitely not a long distance touring machine…)  I felt the air, I felt free, I went fast, I could move around, get things done like going to my little studio space tonight, with my new 10 colors, new brushes, some paper and pencils.   I looked around, it was perfect.  I can settle here for a while.  Imagine new things.  Find life or let it find me since I’m not going so fast now.