Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolate Brownies

The weight of everything in the world today has made me sad, the vampire diaries look at depression bought back all the memories of having to leave the city behind and move home with my parents. Stefan's locked little room in the basement reminded me of being in the back room, hidden and far away from the world I was trying to make it in. What if I hurt you, what if I hurt myself, what if I make a mess of the world around me?

At the same time in Atonement I reached the retreat of the allies in France when German airplanes were flying over the roads of people; civilians and army, killing them.

Living on my own and secluded from the rest of the world, which I have needed to be (until now I guess) is hurting as well, but it’s difficult to step out of the shadows after being so closed. There are so many questions, so many new paths.

And then I baked some chocolate brownies and read some other peoples blogs and watched the vlog brothers and found out they were writers too and (maybe this is the chocolate and sugar talking) I realized I had to keep going. Keep looking up, keep writing, keep moving my feet; stepping out in the world and take breaks when I need to. And if I’m craving chocolate that bad not to wait ‘till the evening to give into the cravings.

Listen to the Trees

I mentioned it yesterday. I said “So many people have just done it, just flipped their life around, they’ve seen an opening and just gone for it.” I haven’t bought a lottery ticket in a while. Maybe the government doesn’t own my destiny; maybe I can’t buy it for two dollars. Maybe I need to work for it and earn it. I need to listen to the trees and run into the wind. Maybe there is something out there that I can work for. I have the strength, I have the will, I have the power.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Whole World is Alive

I did more writing today. I put all ego aside and made myself write absolute crap. There was no flow, magic metaphors or great descriptions, I just wrote ideas that went in succession one idea after the other. Which, celebration, was better than what I started with. Without giving Mojo credit, I knew I had to write; I just had to do it. No it doesn’t suck, it has promise but it's defiantly a “shitty first draft.”

The thing was, today the writing wasn’t magical. When I’m messing around and getting great one liners, or fun little paragraphs, as I did Sunday, the whole world is alive. That’s when I realized that this style of life is defiantly what I want to work towards. I enjoy being at home one on one with the computer(with maybe the inclusion of more people or phone calls once the sun goes down.)

I have lots of folders full of brainstorms, but writing them out into stories has so far been a fluke. The time, the concentration, and the work is a little bit harder to achieve than just babbling on paper for twenty minutes and picking out a few words and ideas that I like.

Now if you’re counting, it took me 5 days to get to a place where I was confidant and committed enough to do it. And yes, I procrastinated with the best of them (was “Fame” not the most riveting movie to be released last year?) Sorry; I can’t even joke about that without apologizing, but I did watch the whole thing. And now that I’ve proven to myself that I can take the next step, turn a few pages of random ideas into an outline, I’m inspired all over again and ready to go at it tomorrow. (Even if I do have to work for 9 ½ hours.)

Monday, April 26, 2010


I’m reading Atonement by Ian McEwan right now. I wondered, if only for a moment, what war our generation was fighting. What was so encompassing that our entire world was being affected by it daily? We’re not fighting the Germans or the Russians; we’re in a fight to save the planet from ourselves and the way we’ve been living since the industrial revolution. This is our war. WW II took millions of lives… what kind of casualties has this fight taken and will take in the future?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I’m Just Learning …

I’ve been blog hopping, reading about other people’s lives, seeing how they write and what they write about. One post introduced me to Maureen Johnson. Maureen said that when you’re first learning to write you have to suck and it. It was very funny and very cute and I laughed and thought about posting it on Facebook. “I have permission to suck and do whatever I need to do to get better.”

That same afternoon I sent off a little script to my parents. And I sat and looked those 7 pages and thought do you really want to do this? Do you believe in it? Is that warm feeling of pride when you read it enough to send it to someone else? The words of Julia Cameron came back to me and I wondered if I was testing myself in some way giving my censors a reason to give up? Even if it is just saying these are some topics that I’m thinking about now? And those words of “you suck” echoed in my head. I have to suck; I’m starting from scratch all over again.

The ego part of me loves my writing even when it can (and can’t) see the mistakes and knows what it wants to do to make it better but is not sure how or to cope with making it a bigger idea. It loves all the ideas I have written down and it is scared at making them into full stories. Knowing that for a while they will need to “suck.”

Now don’t get me wrong: I am a firm believer in the “Shitty First Draft” and know that the more you work on things the better you become. I have heard lots of writers (in books and on TV) say that the best lessons you teach yourself about writing are in the writing you do yourself; you start writing something and when it’s not what you want you write it again and again until you get what you want. But I took the word suck very personally.

I sent an opening with this script that explained what I wanted to be able to do a little while down the road with the script but I was just happy at the little seven pages that I had. And then I revolted against the idea of sucking. It hurt that Maureen had told me that my work needed to suck. So I don’t suck. So there Maureen Johnson! My writing is the way it is because I'm still learning… I'm a work in progress. And sucking is just a state of mind that I can't handle.

PK Page

I just discovered PK Page. Included is a documentary about her, and although I can only find a handful of her poetry on the web, as most is copyright, I am now on the search to find out more about her.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Timid Mouse

It’s a status symbol, something that you make enough money to afford. The more you make the more channels you can have. You have the luxury of turning it on and slipping, away losing yourself after a busy day. Someone has spent and made millions to bring this into your life and your friends will talk about it all day tomorrow, it will bring them together, something they have shared despite being miles apart. Today, EASTLINK has turned off my TV and when I hit the power button nothing is there. I’m afraid, as it’s something I’ve never been without.

So instead, I searched the internet for the poems of Sylvia Plath Ted Hughes and Anne Sexton. Today, I also looked up the new pictures of the sun released by NASA, and wondered, if, in a world of blogging, camera phones, YouTube and Facebook; poems are even relevant anymore. Do you need to twist your words and images into stanzas and leave them up to the reader to decipher? You can write a blog about the emotions in full complete sentences and not leave anyone wondering if they understood it. Instead of reading a book of poetry, one can watch a movie; three acts of action turning into reaction easily spelled out so that anyone can understand.

Instead of writing a poem about a lady a shrew and a mouse at a museum, you can take a picture of it with your cell phone and put it on Facebook. You and your friends can share up to the moment emotions about it; say how it affects them, makes them think about the shortness of their life on earth, and whether they are living their lives to the fullest.

As I researched the ideas that these poems brought to life in me, I realized it’s another piece of the puzzle, in reading these I will be learning a new way to express myself and learning about people and places. I wouldn’t even be able to read these poems so easily without the internet. I have only been shown a few poems through school and was told that I was good at writing them, also in school. And now I realize I want to know them better. So like a timid mouse I enter the world of poetry admitting that I have a lot to learn…

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

delicate balance

I was thinking about Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.” How easy it is for the weather, climate and life to change. How simple it is for one little thing to change in life and we have to adapt to that change. How soon will the climate change in a way that we will not be able to adapt, to support the systems that feed cities? How easy is it for the world to throw us a curve ball? We’re seeing it now with the volcano in Iceland, stopping the planes and important deliveries, not only of people but goods and services are not getting to where they are supposed to. People are losing money and some shelves that host imported items, are bare. There’s such a delicate balance in life.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can't Blog Reading Poetry

Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

in my life

I have Sarah Kramer on my Facebook. She’s written two of the cookbooks I own. Usually, when I look for cookbooks they’re Vegan, that way there’s not any meat (I make my tuna, my salmon, and my eggs the same way all the time, so I don’t need a cookbook for that) So far, it’s been pretty easy to substitute g-free flour for regular, and I waste so much money on recipes that include dairy if I buy a vegetarian cookbook.

So Sarah Kramer is a vegan. I have never tried to be a vegan, I have tried to go a day without any animal products and by the night time I’m tired and weak and cranky and I usually end up downing a can of tuna or frying some over easy eggs and dip the solid white part into the runny yellow part. Yum.

Today I was looking at the people who commented on her status. It wasn’t anything earth shattering. It was just about IKEA furniture and I wondered: Do they feel the same tiredness and crankiness I do when I go a day without meat? Is that a sacrifice they are willing to make to not eat animals or animal products? What sacrifices have I made in my life that I don’t even know about?

It can be noted that Sarah Kramer never seems to be running out of energy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Goal 4 Summer

This summer I have a goal. There are very little goals in depression. I get up, get around, work and set up my free time to make sure I’m ready and focused enough to get to work. This summer I have a goal outside of work. I feel better, like depression has less of a hold on me and I want to write, really focus and shut out distractions. I want to prove that if I put my mind to it, I can have a few pieces that I want to share. I still want to include friends and random social situations, but I want to take this summer and really write as much and as often as I can.

The first thing I did was cancel my cable. Yep, TV is turned off until September 8th. That means 6 months of no TV. I use TV as a distraction, to sit down and let my brain escape. It was needed in the past, because my brain needed to escape a lot, and my body was only awake enough to sit and watch. I didn’t have any other way to be awake. But in the last couple months I’ve felt stronger and more confident in my reading ability and my Journal writing has been a good and effective way to clear my head.

I can download movies on my computer, so I can watch a good (or bad) movie on the computer while I eat, or early in the morning, depending on what these extended hours at work bring. I only like watching 2 or 3 shows anyway, and I don’t mind downloading the few episodes left before their season is over. I also have an acceptable collection of music that I can play as back ground noise. I’m also banking on this summer being a nice one and I want to be outside for walks in the parks or maybe even run down streets I’ve never been down before.

I called last week to cancel, and they turn it off this Friday. I shook when I called them, I kept thinking this is a bad idea, I’m going to fail. I’m going to need TV like before; I need to know it’s there for me when I need it.

The last 2 weeks I’ve kept the TV off all the time, this weekend I not only cleaned my entire apartment, I got groceries, pulled out three or four pieces of writing and felt really confident in the way they were shaping up. I felt completely at peace with myself, who I am and my choices. That has never really happened before. So I feel confident that I made the correct decision.

Then, I went out dancing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Puzzle Pieces

I got off my centre this week, I was caught up in what was going on around me at work and forgot about keeping me real and focused. A lot of things happened, one of them was we found out that we are getting extended hours at work, so there is an extra hour and a half in my day spent at work and not fiddling around the house. This means an hour and a half less to cook, to read, to drink tea and look out the window relax as cars drive past importantly; an hour less to write.

I sat down and read some of my writing, some things that were really important to me, and felt myself shift back into my body. And I said if I’m determined to make this a summer when I really pull things together then I’m going to do this no matter what:

In order to get a promotion at work, I need to know how to use Excel. As a suggestion I was told to do up a budget on the spreadsheet and that would get me one step closer to understanding the program. As I was plotting out the numbers I realized I was spending more than what I was making. Which isn’t too bad right now, I have a little saved up as a cushion. When I was doing extended hours at work my spending wasn’t a problem, but recently the nest has gotten smaller because as an e-mailer we are scheduled less hours. This week we move to 91/2 hour days.

I had decided last week that I would work overtime when needed, and if I was having a decent day. It was something I was going to ease into. I was afraid to do it before. I was afraid that if I agreed to stay and do overtime I was just inviting an auto fail (big fat zero on a “report card”) or my call time would go through the roof or I would be there and realize I should be home writing… or something. Last week though something hit me. I realized as I hit all my expected targets for another month, that it wasn’t a fluke that I was doing what was expected. That maybe I am good at what I do. I know how to handle a call, I know how to deliver the message, get and give the information that I need and move on. As they ask for extended shifts, I’m confident about my job, already willing to do some hours and I’ve arranged my home time to use as many hours as possible, and will work a little harder and using those hours wisely.

So I have two choices. I can be angry because everything didn’t go exactly as I wanted it to go. Or I can release that anger and accept that everything fell into place at the right time. That I appreciate the hours as something I was considering and I appreciate that fact that I can handle it, even in the delicate balance that I’ve created. The next step is to move forward without bringing on the monsters that I’ve written about so often in my journal.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Everyday Grace

This is just what I needed to hear (read) today...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

My third year of University I lived with three other girls who will forever be sisters to me. We were all looking to discover who we were and make our lives "happen" . At the time, I had no idea that you could find books that would help you spiritually and emotionally until they started handing me books I should read. I haven't read much lately but this writer was posted on my friends Facebook page yesterday and her writing was so passionate and strong that I cried at work and didn't care if I was late to return from my break, I had to finish reading it. Today I googled Marianne Williamson, and found this only hours after writing about how small I had felt and how I wanted to be little and unseen and unheard, and how a simple little event transported me back to feeling like I was in High School again. I guess I needed to read this...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beware the Parenthesis

I just told a friend that if she wants to lose weight, there were no tricks, just healthy eating, real food and lots of exercise: pills and tricks will not keep you healthy. So I kind of walked backwards when I bought a container of protein shake powder, but I didn’t know it at the time. It wasn’t to lose weight, but the girl who wrote my current favorite cookbook mentioned she had a Vega shake in the morning and I thought if it worked for her, I should try it.

The powder is vegan so no animal by products what so ever (no dairy) and there are big gluten free stickers all over the package. So I took it home and downed it for breakfast. With over 200 calories, most of the day’s protein and 100% of every vitamin and mineral you could ever want, I figured that I could plow through the taste. The first two days were great (except for maybe the fiber thing which is one of the main reasons I got it, but there were non-animal probiotics and it takes yogurt 14 days to work so why not this?)

By Tuesday things were different. I started the day sitting on the couch with no motivation. I didn’t even want to watch a movie (the trick I’m using to get me started and inspired in the morning) I tried to write and although there were things running through my head I couldn’t put them down in words (really not a regular problem). I curled up on the couch and told myself that this is what it’s like to have depression, and pushed on with my day.

At lunch time though my friends had to couch me with basic names: I had forgotten my bosses name, and I’ve worked with her in one form or another for the past three years (she was the one who caught me gasping “F*ck” into the phone while it was still recording the call.) I couldn’t remember if Gus was Gus or Russ and so on. I’m used to forgetting little things after I eat (especially after apples) but this I couldn’t shake.

Yesterday the same pattern happened. I poured a shake and sat on the couch and didn’t even want to eat (well drink) it. I love breakfast but I just sat on the couch. I was so down, what had happened to all the work I had done all the writing (even if I’m still working on it amounting to anything) in the morning all the running and the movies, I felt like I was losing a huge battle that I was so close to winning.

Then I put a banana chocolate chip muffin in the microwave, maybe it would give me a little bit of energy. Zap. I went on to have a real bowl of cereal another muffin (I had a few days to catch up on) some of those left over magic brownies and the regular frozen berries and soy milk.

The day was stressful, and a lot of things happened but I could handle what came up, well except for when my boss (I remembered her name) asked me why I wanted the new position I was interested in and I just stared at her, but that happens to the best of us does it not? I let myself eat whatever I wanted to as an apology to my body and putting it through so much stress. Of course, in the state of mind I was in and a CTV News Report about how people gain weight back after they lose it, I was sure I’d have to pull out the fat pants and have to start the diet and exercise all over again. No, I didn’t wake up a 14 this morning, but there’s a long run scheduled for tomorrow.

Today, I still pampered myself and didn’t push, but I’m back to rights. I know better really, I tried to take a multi-vitamin last summer and ended up on anti inflammatories as my jaw stopped working right (to be fair the Dr totally denied that vitamins could do this, but it never happened before, or since.) So now I know better again. But you have to try new things… don’t you?