3 days in the life

May 29, 2012


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.



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





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.


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.




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.


6 Responses to “3 days in the life”

  1. David Walker Says:

    In our phone conversation last week you spoke of those who might offer shelter Danielle given your circumstances. Can you go to them now?

    • I am in a good place until the 6th, then I go to the meditation retreat, then back to Ottawa, with no certainty on where I’ll be but I have the information now. So it’s good.

  2. Lévis Says:

    I hear you! I call them emotionnal tornadoes! May the Force be with you! xoxoxo

    • Merci Lévis, la Force y est, je crois que de belles choses vont venir, le pire c’est le coeur en miettes et pour ça y’a pas de recettes. Je t’embrasse bien fort, merci d’être là.

  3. circleblue Says:

    Life can take its own sweet time finding us when we feel lost. It can be as if it is waiting for us to discover when we think we’re lost, we are really free.

    I hope things “free” up and Life finds you smiling back at it very soon.

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