Still Haven’t

January 27, 2010

I’ve only written one word in my not so new journal and that word is now. Should have been later, I guess. I laid it down yesterday, sat back to behold, then went, Oh/ew…. through clenched teeth. I’m waiting for the perfect setting (hahaha yah right, good luck with that one, Kim) as the sunshine streams through my window and my head’s as clear and cloud-free as the bluest, blue sky. I mean it’s not like that has never happened. But I have a feeling, even with those sunny circumstances, I’d still come up with some kind of an excuse.

One side of my brain constantly grabs me by the shoulders urging me to seize the day while the other… It flicks its wrist and says, you’ve got all the time in the world.

I know better than that.

1) Listing

January 26, 2010

So many interesting ideas, photos, bits of news, and yarns weaving their way around the internet that I can find it difficult to think straight. At the same time, I’ve never found so many sources of inspiration. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of sites I’ve clicked on that do absolutely nothing for me (not knocking ’em, just sayin’ they ain’t my bag) but I’ve also clicked on many that have sent me spinning – in a good way. Wee….

My latest twirl comes from Jeanine Caron’s blog post (once again/ credit where credit’s due) where I read she, after being inspired by someone else’s blog (you see how it works?), has decided to create one list a week, for the rest of the year. Thump… thump… thump… That’s the sound of my heart beating. I love keeping lists. And they’re not always to do lists, reminding me of all the things I want/need/hope/keep threatening to get done but haven’t accomplished yet. As a matter of fact, I have so many lists on the go at any given time, it’s not unusual (hm… sounds very Tom Jones-y) to see a shower of scribbled-on-bits of paper raining down from my latest read. So, I’ve decided to join ranks with the listing. Like Jeanine, I’m going to attempt to include one list a week for the rest of the year. But we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’ll let this particular strand of yarn unravel they way it needs to. I can think of so many reasons why this could be a good thing to do. Stay tuned… I just might share them with you.

Wreck It

January 24, 2010

If you read some of my entries from the summer, you’ll remember I decided go through the tomes of my past I’ve collected since elementary school, and tear them into a million pieces. For the record, I hit the wall with that one, but I haven’t completely abandoned my decision to expunge. My attention got diverted by other tasks requiring my attention and also… I found the process to be a tad boring. Sure there’s some interesting stuff on those pages but the whining writing tends to be a bit on the repetitive side. I kept catching myself rolling my eyes and after awhile started wondering why I bothered journaling in the first place? But maybe the question I need to ask isn’t why I write in these little notebooks, (I’ve unglued myself from many a sticky situation this way. And, it actually feels like an urge or craving that pulls be toward the blank page.) but rather, why I keep them. And when I say write I mean this in the old fashioned sense. Pulling a notebook out of my purse or knapsack and whipping out my favourite pen. I often envision myself sitting in some warm and cozy café somewhere staring out the steamed up window, attempting to lasso all the words or images roaming around inside of my head. After awhile I lean in and watch the stories or little drawings spill onto the page in a steady stream of creativity. But what I imagine flowing and what ends up actually crashing out can be two completely different tales. See, I have a problem with my handwriting, some days are good and some not so great, and this bugs me, it interferes. Also, I can’t draw worth shit, making cute the little doodles end up looking more like doo-doo. And I’m impatient at times. I want to reproduce that image in my head NOW, DAMN IT – the-way-I-picture-it and I give up before I get started because I feel as if I’m just going to end up making a mess. It’s like wanting to play the guitar (which I can a teeny little bit) but hoping to sound like Joni Mitchell – without ever practicing or giving myself the time required to make it happen. Uh Hell-oooo-oh… To be honest with you, I find that lack of effort on my own behalf a bit disrespectful. But, I’ll get to that another day.

Some time ago (I swear it must be close to a year) I found myself at the cash register at Midoco (great store. dangerous.) with this pretty little book in my hand. All these pages, either blank or graphed (I only use graph paper if I can help it) waiting to be filled. After all this time has passed, I’ll occasionally pick the book up and tuck it into my bag thinking, this will be the day to crack her open, then at the end of the day put it back, unopened, on my shelf for fear of sullying the pages.

Last weekend while dipping into a few galleries at 401 Richmond, I found myself in Swipe (great store. dangerous.) staring at this and felt my world get all wobbly. Once I steadied myself, (I think I actually batted my eyes) I picked up the book and put it down again maybe five or six times thinking – there is no way I can buy this with that beautiful blank journal waiting at home for me to destroy. Not that her book wasn’t wonderful and, by the way, I think it would make a perfect gift. As soon as I got in, I went straight to Keri Smith’s blog (I love it) wish jar and clicked on her ideas, located just above her archives, which is jammed with inspiring ways for me to get down to business and let the demolishing party for one begin. Because if there’s someone who needs to grab a pen (or whatever) and get messy… it’s me.

Maybe today will be the day. Yikes.

Nourishment

January 21, 2010

Art for me is a form of nourishment… I need the land. I need it. I want to understand that state and that energy I have in me, that I also feel in the plants and in the land.Andy Goldsworthy

This is the narration that open the documentary I saw last night, Rivers and Tides, about the awe-inspiring artist Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy sculpts pieces of art from objects he gathers in nature; leaves, lambs wool, stone, flowers, flower petals… He takes these things, forming them into the most breathtakingly beautiful works of art and watching him at work inspires me.

I completely understand what he means about art being a form of nourishment. I feel the same way although I get most of my sustenance from visiting the galleries, watching films, listening to music, reading… I don’t nourish myself enough and I think that’s because I’m afraid of failing. Not wanting to sullying the page I leave it blank. But, I’m working on that. Imagine the various works of art we might have missed out on if the artists had been too afraid to give it a go. And really, what’s the worst that could happen?

Here is a mini clip of Goldsworthy’s work to give you a taste. If you want a real meal try to find a copy of the DVD.

Mmmm….


The Wave

January 20, 2010

Every once in a while a particualr feeling washes over me like one of those waves at the beach when your back’s turned. Despite the daily living ups-and-downs (so much sad news these days), or maybe because of them, I’ve been feeling a creative swirl threatening to pull me under. I say threatening (the word has a hostile quality about it) because when you’re me (and I am) this vibe can be overwhelming. What happens is; the multitude of dormant whims, desires, projects put on hold and dreams waiting for the perfect day to unfold, etc. start stirring. All of them. At the same time. Next thing you know, they all start doing the eye rub and back stretch, after all this time in a numbish slumber, and hunker down to take their position to start jockeying toward the sunshine, that place they all feel they rightfully deserve.

And they do deserve it. The problem is, when they all start slapping me upside the head at once, I get dizzy. Then I’m the one who wants to take a nap. I try to fight that strong current (why is it working against me?) attempting to pull me back under, while I struggle to stay focused on the one (or two) task(s) at hand. (BTW, I chose the one but I’m not telling- just yet.) Like when that wave catches you off guard and you start panicking to keep your head above it all. It’s better to stay calm and focus on breathing instead of flaying in a million different directions. I haven’t quite mastered that stay-calm-and-focus thing when it comes to the various ideas churning away inside of me. But, I have to admit, as frenzied as it may feel, it’s nice to know they’re still alive.

January 19, 2010

What’s my motivation?

Taking the beautiful jumble inside my head and allowing each piece to go (grow) where it needs to.

If you only knew how long it took me to spit that one out.

Patience… Patience…

It’s A Put On

January 16, 2010

The other day on Facebook one of my friends asked the question, what makes you happy? I liked that one. A very simple query that made me stop and think for a moment what had the ability to make me change my gray skies to blue and put on a happy face. I’m happy to report (I guess that’s one of them) that I have quite a few. And let me tell you it’s a very good thing because lately life has been reminding me what it’s all about. Ups and downs. Good news as well as bad. Those aspects of daily living that make you want to throw your arms open to the world and scream, YAY!!! As well as the daily reminders that leave you wanting to simply scream, then shudder and lie down.

I remember quite vividly, several years ago, while going through an incredibly difficult time (my fathers declining health), I was feeling very melancholy. I was lying on my back, on the floor of my apartment, with my headphones on. Joni Mitchell was playing. I listen to her music a lot (another thing that makes me happy) and the song she was singing (Refuge Of The Road) I’d heard a million times. But at this particular moment, as I wondered how I could possibly manage the situation, these words jumped out so clearly:

“Heart and humour and humility”, he said, “Will lighten up your heavy load”

And I thought, yeah….

I mean it’s not like I got up and started doing cartwheels. Or that I never wanted, after that, to drop down, bawling, at any given time, curled into the fetal position and start rocking back and forth. But the words helped me keep my head from flying off through some very heavy moments and I continue to sing them to myself from time to time.

Anyway, my friend posed the what makes you happy? question which I responded to like this:

Lots of stuff. To pick one… walking, or running, or driving along wherever and having a milli-second connection with a stranger, with a quick hello or head nod, coupled with a particular way the eyes meets. It doesn’t happen every time and it’s all about the energy. Brings a smile to my face every time.

And it’s true. I love that. But the best part about the question is I keep thinking about it. And at various times since that happy little seed got planted I’ve kept a mental note when the corners of my mouth turn up. For example, yesterday on the subway home while reading Granta. I love Granta. If you haven’t stumbled on it you can usually find it in the magazine section. It was the spring issue, Number 105 and the piece by Don Paterson called, If With His Shirt… that made me laugh out loud. It’s so tightly written, sharp and funny that I had to stop myself from wanting to tap the person beside me on the shoulder to start reading particularly hilarious lines to them. And I’m not the type of person who wants to strike up a conversation with a stranger on the subway – at rush hour – or, for that matter, at any time. And, to be honest with you, I wasn’t really having a very good day.

So, I’m thankful for those moments when I’m able to bare my teeth in a toothy grin, even when it feels like I’m being kicked in them.

My Two Cents (or more…)

January 14, 2010

I wasn’t going to post today. Even though I’ve got a ton of stuff I need to take care of, I found myself doing what seems to come so easily and with the least amount of effort – being distracted by other people’s blogs. After checking out one in particular (via Dooce) I felt inspired to put in my two cents on a weighing matter.

I’ve been reading about the situation in Haiti. My heart breaks for the people and the land and my deep, deep hope is that after such an incredible disaster, they will get the help they need – as quickly as possible. There is so much shit going on out there and by there I mean globally. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless by it all. How can I, this minute dot on the planet, make an iota of a difference, in the face of such a colossal mess? Well, many dots together form a mass, don’t they? And the thicker the accumulation (and healthier for that matter, in intention and vibe) the more strength it will acquire. But, what to do?

At Chris Sacca’s site, here, (which Dooce mentions) he includes some ways in which one can lend a hand. You can also check out this article in the Globe and Mail, here, for other options. It’s always wise to make sure you’re donating to a safe, reliable cause, and it is up to you to do a bit of research. These two sites have done a lot of the leg work for you. Offering aid to this extremely worthy cause (or any worthy cause for that matter), regardless of how few or many dollars one may have to give (remember, strength in numbers), can go a long way.

If all you’re able to send is a healing dose of energy to those in need, or positive thoughts of rebirth, health and safety – so be it. It’s my firm belief  that we’re all in this together. When we’re able help each other, however we can, I think the universal vibe shifts in a way, for the better, because it feels good to help someone. Everyday we hear more and more news of suffering and turmoil that some of us have become numb to it all. And sometimes, it takes a real hard shake to wake us.

Six Word Memoir

January 13, 2010

The other day I stumbled on Entertainment Weekly’s blog. This is not a site I normally peruse but my random clicking can lead me to many the unusual (for me) location. It must have been the words Six Word Memoir that caught my eye. The blog asked, if you only had a choice of six words which would you choose as your mini memoir? After a bit of thought, I have to say, this would be mine:

The best is yet to come.

It’s not incredibly original but I’m going to grab and hold on to it since it seems to fit my story well.

How about you? What would yours be?

Drideas

January 12, 2010

Just checked out my year-end horoscope prediction in Now Magazine (a free weekly in Toronto. Look here to check out yours.) to see what the stars have in store for me this coming year. For the record, I do not consult my horoscope on a regular basis, but the last one of the year can be fun. Now, is it January 12th already? I’ve meant to do this since the 1st, so I gather putting an end to my procrastinator’s streak hasn’t wedged it’s way onto the list of sparkling insights – but maybe it’s too soon to tell?

Read on (from the December 31 – January 6th issue):

Cancer Jun 21 | Jul 22 I think everyone should always have an improbable quest playing at the edges of their imagination – you know, some heroic task that provokes deep thoughts and rouses noble passions even if it also incites smouldering torment. I’m talking about an extravagant dream that’s perhaps a bit farfetched but not entirely insane; a goal that constantly rouses you to stretch your possibilities and open your mind further; a wild hope whose pursuit makes you smarter and stronger even if you never fully accomplish it. The coming year would be an excellent time to keep such an adventure at the forefront of your awareness.

Perfect. That is so Me with a capital M. But, since I have so many ideas and dreams swirling in my head, my challenge will be to round-up them up, drideas I call them (dreams + ideas), except for one (The One), and push them further back from the “forefront of my awareness”. It can get quite overwhelmed and congested in there, blocking any freedom to flow – the exact type of movement a dridea requires. With these up and coming drideas hovering in the back of my mind, in their imaginary queue of realization, I can better concentrate  on the “heroic task” at hand. Nothing like a line up of wannabe’s nipping at your heels to get things in motion. And anyway, I work best under pressure.