Saturday, December 31, 2011

I have never been to tomorrow and don't know what to expect


I wait in anticipation of the new year. There are days coming at me that I haven’t experienced yet, jokes I haven’t heard and stories that are yet to have been told. This year is already promising greater creativity and health. There will be love of friends and who knows maybe this is the year for romance. There are new lessons to learn about my personality and about my feelings. There will be adventures and zumba. I am in the right place in my life and things are moving forward.

PS I wrote this a few days ago inspired by a line from Julia Child : “I had never been to Europe before and didn’t know what to expect.” I thought that after I wrote that that I would be rushed with good emotions. Instead the world showed my all the negative pieces of me I needed to heal before I could achieve goals like moving forward and finding new stories and strengthening friendships. 2012 is going to bring a lot of work as well.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Resolve


The duncan tree complete with cookie recipe...

So I guess for the past two years I’ve filled up a binder full of hopes and fears and dreams now last year it was close to the end of January when I felt the need to fill it, but as I looked over it I realize I’ve come leaps and bounds from last year and the year before. So here are a few new years resolutions…

Make it feel like the place I am in my life right now is a success

Cook new dishes

Write new stories and take every writing class I can

Keep going to and learning from the story tellers

Be here, be present

Set aside an hour every night-- there aren’t plans-- to read and write.

Keep learning photography

Enjoy the crushes I have on boys and not be all wrapped up in where the friendship is going

Keep watering the friendships that are around me so they keep growing.

This year I learned what drew me to theatre was the friendships, the energy we created, the meditation, finding myself, games and movement to the music, I didn’t really like performing on stage. I need to focus and have a chance to focus on these things (and writing) this year and I intend to dig deeper.

Instead of waiting for someone else to call me beautiful I will call other people beautiful, but not in a creepy or annoying way

ONE DREAM that I would love to have come true is to own cats

ONE FEAR that I would like to overcome is: “I have a fear that I have no need for a husband and children and that I’m missing out on something special.”

Ok two fears; I’m afraid of being fat…


Year In Review


Hear is last years resolution list and what I've accomplished according to the list.

I want to do stuff with the photo club.
Joined the photoclub for a full year and entered competitions and won an honorable mention and a best new member trophy.

I will keep running, writing, singing and reading.
I stopped running and started zumba still write and read but not singing.

want to take one day at a time and see what it brings, not be limited by a schedule or routines.
There aren't as many fantasies and started to focus on why I am a success as I am.

Learn how to shop for groceries more efficiently
Took 20-40 dollars off my grocery list

I want to learn how to put a little bit of money away
I know have a savings account.

I will keep looking for a place that will allow cats.
Almost moved to a place where I could have a rat but it fell through.

I will keep assessing my future and how to make it more creative and more stable.
Wow that's a pretty big one, work has taken out a ten year lease on the building and seems to be making big commitments that it wants the call centre to work.

I want to make a collection of poetry/stories/ pictures that I can give to my family as Christmas presents in December.
Collection is made and "bound" but I was given some really good criticism in November so the giving part was put on hold

I want to go see live performances.
I went to story tellers circles and told stories. We went to see Cirque do Soliel

I want to see old friends who live "far" away.
Still pretty bound in B’town

I want to join up with writers in B’town.
Joined story tellers who write their own stories and tell them

I want to keep up with blogging and reading blogs.
Not as much as I did the first year

I want to keep growing and keep dreaming.
I’ve had some amazing dreams that have helped my work things out

I want as many things to come at me and surprise me and challenge me as I go after.
I started challenging myself with writing reading and photgraphy

I’m going to be ok with who I am, even if I’m “still single” I will not consider it a failure. (It angers me that I think like that sometimes.)
I’m going to have crushes on guys even if I know I can’t date them

I want to continue to partner up with people who have passions like me, who understand why I do things and push me to be better.
People who work with our energy, zumba and story tellers

I want to strengthen the relationships I have now.
My friendships and family relationships grew stronger this year

I don’t want a person or a job to make me cry as much as I did this year. Even though I believe I had a few years of crying to catch up on.
No tears this year

As per KM Weiland I will write the end on some of the short stories I’ve started this year
I wrote the end put them in a “book” and shared them with people

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Moment to be Me


Photo by mama duncan and me

I’ve always been in a rush, a rush to get to university, a rush to get out of university, a rush to accomplish a great piece of writing, be part of a production that would get me regular jobs doing what I studied. A rush to get well, when I moved home, a rush to get a job so I could live on my own, a rush to get out of the call centre and back to the city and what happens if the call centre closes, call centres are always closing and moving to India.

I had a dream two nights ago that I walked down to the neighbours house, who has hundreds of Christmas lights and invited me to a dinner, as I was sitting there, surrounded by lights and I got a rush over me that said just be yourself, just take your time, be who you really are, don’t be afraid of what other people think about what you’ve done with life, don’t worry about controlling the future or worry about what will happen on a date. Just take one moment at a time.

I was sitting at a gathering with sister Duncan and her bestest and they’ve had years that I can’t compete with, they have their own history and their own stories and their own “language.” I listened, didn’t worry about being as funny as they were or having my own stories or try to break into the enigma of who they were, and at the end as I was leaving I started to talk about what was important to me. About needing to sit on the couch and look out the window and work on my journal. About people rushing around me, because they get bored when they just sit, that’s who I am, my world takes a moment, let my life take a moment, be here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Am a Success


Today’s mantra is “I am a Success.”

This morning in my journal I was inspired by a meditation I did over the weekend and said go deeper-- write about more than how good breakfast is (and breakfast was good).

I usually feel like a failure, people will point it out for me to think positive #1 said “My best friend is not ugly you take that back.” A new friend said “Don’t say you ‘just’ take photos and curl your nose up like that.” And friends that I went to university with are doing great things, getting projects mentioned by Hilary Clinton, arguing with Bruce Willis traveling around the country and the world. I always feel a little down when I say I work at a call centre.

I felt a little better when the temporary site manager said the QA’s should be proud of the quality of the calls that the company is achieving, that made me feel a little better. I feel like a failure when I look at couples and wonder what I don’t have, what I’m missing. A co worker said he was thinking about asking me to help with a show (that’s right he never really did, just thought about it) and I was going to say, I don’t think I’m that good any more… How is this sucking my energy? As I was writing all this down this morning I was shocked that I thought of myself as a failure, on such a scale.

Before the meditation on Saturday my friend said “I am Love.” “Of course you are” I said… but it was hard for her to believe it. I wondered what was hard for me to believe. The girls and I went out to see “New Years Eve” this weekend and the only good part of the movie is when Josh Duhamel stands up and says “What would you do tomorrow if you knew you wouldn’t fail? Now do it.” If I went out and did what I wanted I would be a success. I am a success.

I’m not comfortable with “I’m good enough,” because I always want to be learning and changing. But “I am a success” opens me up and lets in the light.

It makes me feel presumptuous that I could say that to the world. I am a success as I am. I can spend the day being a success and succeeding at the things I try. This is fun. Say it loud “I am a success.”


Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Cheers






So the week of the 26 was a full week, on Friday night we went to Zumba for 8:00. Saturday morning I did my laundry early so I could go to Zumba for 11:00. I went to get party food (I walk) cleaned my apartment and had #1 over before we went to the staff Christmas party.

Sunday morning I had to go get groceries and then # 1.5 and

I were in the Christmas parade. I worked a 10 hour day Monday. Tuesday we knew we were going to make sample size and Wednesday we were sent home early. But I’d been trying for 2 days to put my story together for story tellers on December 15 so I downed a Starbucks instant coffee, that stuff will wake the dead and wrote from 2-5 and have a story which I’m working on memorizing.

On Thursday I was told I needed a veg day and I agreed. I did Zumba on Friday night, again did laundry in the morning, but I slept in till 9:00 so I was cutting it close. 1.5 wanted to know if I wanted a drive or if I was going to walk, but November has been gorgeous so I said walk. At 10:30 the buzzer rang and I was completely confused.

“Are you going somewhere?” asked Mama Duncan.

“Zumba” and I began to panic Zumba is now my happy fix, in only a month I feel so much better and love it.

“Oh I should go,” said mama Duncan “but I don’t have any cloths.” Since I had done my laundry there was clean Zumba cloths and we went to Zumba and went Christmas shopping afterwards. No veg day.

The line up in Zellars was 20 minutes long and we each picked a separate line up and both of them had newbees at them, one didn’t know how to accept payment with a check and that stopped the line, Mama Duncan motioned that she would pay for my stuff, gum and a gingerbread train for festivus- my Christmas shopping is done. So I pissed off a lot of people by climbing a metal barrier and giving her my stuff.

The person ahead of her bought 200 dollars worth of toys, but didn’t get their free gloves rang in right. The manager was called and it was decided that everything needed to be deleted from the system and re-rung. Mama Duncan’s eyes turned into sauces and she told the girl she needed to be rung through or she would leave. Let’s just say I have a train for festivus.

So yesterday I turned my alarm clocks off and slept in curled up on the coach and let the week swarm in my head. I read a bit of Freeman Patterson’s “Photography and the Art of Seeing.” Which made me want to read my perceptions and sensations book. Which led my dig out my crayons and a sketch book. And I coloured. I don’t draw, but the picture of the mermaid makes me so happy and that’s all that matters right? I feel very good right now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Uncrushed


I’m sitting in the empty Timmies area, and eating the Laughing Giraffe’s “coconut pineapple chocolate macadamia nut balls” (that’s a handful and a mouthful). It’s the second weekend I’ve chosen to sit in this spot and do some writing. I have an empty/closed “coffee shop” to myself.

I gave my work to the writer in residence and #1 asked if I was ready and I said “yes.” It was time. There was one story and five poems. I was expecting an hour of cutting and pasting and talking about what was good and what needed work. She said my work was too abstract not concrete enough too conflicting and my story although good, it was in the wrong tense and she had corrected each example of the tense. It was about 20 minutes and she said I needed to read more poetry. And she listed a bunch of poets I had never read, well I read one and I didn’t like this poet very much. Then she asked what I studied in university and I said “theatre…”

I left completely confused I had no idea how to process this. I went to the new second hand bookstore but couldn’t find my type of books amongst the grocery store books and was cornered by a lady who said my story telling last night was really good. I was so confused.

I’ve learned from getting ready to move to a new apartment that it was OK to ask for help. I wrote to S____ who was my roommate for two years and is now a theatre professor, a High School English/Drama teacher and the girls from “the house” who I studied theatre with.

The roommate was the first to write back and get me to breathe and reason it out, get me to admit that things were told to me that I could learn from. She said Why not focus on your positive response: what did people like about your story? What are your strong points as a writer or storyteller?” The girls were next telling me she’s one person and then my teacher saying that the ego takes a beating when we put our work out there. She told me her experience and I could relate.

I looked over The Pig and the Puppy, one of the poems I submitted there was a note on the work that the ending was good. There are two lines that I wrote, one says “The freedom in her face, Began to tell stories” the other one says “For a moment the stranger, Is honored to hear the stories.” She wrote “what are these stories?” I was taken back to a conversation I just had about telling people you have a story and actually telling a story. I was telling “my readers” there were great stories but wasn’t doing the work of telling what those stories are.

I also had to look in the mirror and admit I didn’t study poetry in university I studied theatre, film, and history and short stories, which is maybe why I was successful of telling a WW2 short story to a group of people; even if there were a lot of holes to the story. I’m not a poet, I write down ideas and images, but I’m a disconnected theatre girl, who had to move home to get well. There’s not a lot of theatre here so I thought I’d make my ideas into poems.

I took the Pig and the Puppy and started to sort out what “those stories” are. There will still be a lot of ego crushing to come in the future, but I need to get crushed in my medium. I wasn't ready to do that before, I'm ready now...


PS I've signed up for her poetry class and will still be attempting poetry...

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Little Things

I told my story last night it felt like the years of university and morning pages led to something I loved to do and something I was good at. It gave me confidence and sparked my passion to do what is me. I was so doubtful everyday I worried that it would come out all wrong. After I told it I realized I had done it. Now I need to "find" a Christmas story. I'm thinking trumpets and mice, and of course Johann's Gift to Christmas as Papa Duncan is a big silent night fan...

This week I was reading some stories about when people do work with their insides, their energy and their self esteem how the world seems to open up for them, they find their soul mate get their dream job and write their novel on the side. I thought, why doesn't that happen to me? And then I realized that I was getting these beautiful little gifts that I was blinded to because I was waiting for the big ones. I thought the big ones were the only important ones. In the past week I've let the little blessings in, allowing myself to be called "Dear Friend" invitations to tell stories and food suggestions and Zumba.

Oh and I have a meeting with the Writer in Residence at the library today I'm excited.

Have a good one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

VICTORY



On a Saturday in 1940, my mother sat us down around the wooden dining table in the kitchen. I watched her tap her fingers on the table, I watched her fingers roll across the table cloth. She said dad was leaving for the war. I felt a tension knit across my shoulders. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want my brothers to laugh at me. So I looked down at the scar I got last week on my finger.

I said “When Kristi’s father left for war, the family gathered in the living room to pray.”

My mother looked at me and said “Sweet heart, we don’t pray.”

The house seemed smaller than it already was, it was simple, one story, the boys slept in one room. I had my own, but had to share it when Aunt Faye came to visit. I looked out the window at the big yard to the barn full of old tools and hay from another time. I like to hide out there when things get crazy, I longed to be there now. There were kittens out in the barn, the mother was wild, but I could get close to the babies when she wasn’t around. I could pet them and be at peace.

My mom was quiet and distant the next few days, but she had no patience and when someone stepped out of line they were sent to their rooms. No one skipped out on a meal, no one had to go to school, all the time was spent with the family. When dad took his duffel bag and turned down the end of the drive way my mother collapsed at the kitchen table. She cried and cried. When I asked her what was wrong she said.

“He may never come back.”

I held her hand and she told me to go play outdoors for a while.

I went to see what the boys were doing; they were playing in the back yard, sticks no thicker than twigs as guns and picked up rocks to fire like shells from imaginary tanks. They pointed at each other reenacting the last newscast they heard on the radio. They vowed the good guys would win. At that point, we could only hope we would win.

I asked the boys if I could play, but they told me to get lost. I went out in the barn and quietly opened the door, the light trickled in, there was dust everywhere. I looked all over the barn, they were just starting to move around a little bit. Mama cat had moved her kittens on a bed of hay under the old tractor. Mama must have ran when she heard me come into the barn, but I knew she was watching me, I could feel it.

My mom said I could have one when they were old enough to live inside with us, I wanted the black and white one. I hadn’t picked out a name yet, when I was younger, I asked my mom how she came up with our names. She said when she was naming us she didn’t have anything planned ahead of time, when she got to know us better a name came. So I will wait until a name comes to me.

In December of 1940 the enemy blitzed Main Street; the boys and I went to see what the town looked like. Everything was crumbled the roads were covered in brick and people were crying. There were soldiers in the streets trying to clean and rebuild. I asked my brother if one was my dad, but they said these men were too young. This was my town, there weren’t supposed to be soldiers in my town. We saw shrapnel and twisted metal on the ground. I picked up a piece of shrapnel, later asked my grandfather to make a necklace out of it for me. I said it reminded me of my dad, so he did.

The next night they bombed the steelworks, which we learned later was their original target.

We could hear air raid sirens. My mother got us out of bed and led us down to the living room where all the curtains where closed. She wrapped us in a blanket. She told us to sit close together. I remember crying because it was so dark so mom said she would light one single candle.

As I was falling asleep in the living room, I told my mom the kittens name would be Victory.

“Shush,” she said, “Not a word.” I asked if they could hear us from the plane if we talked and she shushed me again. So I said nothing.

I woke up covered in dust, I don’t remember hearing anything. I couldn’t hear what my mother was saying as she shook me awake. I was surrounded by broken glass and dust the house seemed to sway as if all the nails where blown out of place. She made sure my brothers were all right and noticed that there was blood coming down my face.

I watched my mother walk over to the kitchen counter, kneel down so that her skirt brushed the floor. She began to mutter something. I realized that probably for the first time in her life she was praying.

Mr Arnold, the neighbor, showed up in his pajama’s and war helmet right on time, usually he knocks on the kitchen window saying “everything is OK.” Tonight he leaned in and asked “Is everything OK?”

Mother started to shake her head. Mr Arnold continued. “You folks is some lucky, those enemy planes took out your barn, now who takes out a barn? That candle wasn’t on was it? You wasn’t the only one hit, they’ve opened up the school as a shelter, you folks make your way down there now, and be safe.”

We walked down the road to the school. People seemed to gather with us as we went along. It wasn’t until a little girl carrying her stuffed toy kitten came past us that I realized that if the barn was bombed, the cat and the kittens were probably sleeping there. I started to cry, my mother said there were other things to worry about now.

For two weeks we stayed at the shelter and my grandfathers worked all that time to put the house back together. Churchill had refused to consider defeat, and mom lived in his words and put her faith and trust in him. Every evening she asked the lady who took care of the shelter and night for paper and wrote to our father.

A few weeks after we moved back into the house there was a knock at the door. Mom looked at me and said go answer it. When I opened the door, I saw my father standing with his arms out stretched. In his hands was a small kitten. White with tabby spots. No bigger than the ones in barn, he said, “Mom says you want to call her Victory, she’s a lot of work, I’ve been feeding her with a syringe and she needs constant attention, but she’s all yours”

I was caught not knowing if I was more excited about my dad being home, or having my own kitten. I hugged my father and went searching for a basket and some old blankets I could use to line bottom.

“Hello Victory” I said, “Welcome to the family.”

c.c.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vacation


Wow after I wrote that I was just sitting at home waiting for time to go to bed, I did something about it. Last year I started with photoclub and this year the story tellers took off, but that’s only a few nights a month, so on Monday night I dressed up in my sweats and went to zumba, for the last week every night has involved an activity. Nights were set aside to do writing, but I needed a change, I feel alive and full of energy and excited for the next day. I feel good. This week is vacation and I’m planning some fun stuff to do, right now just chillin with mama and papa Duncan.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the Walk


I was asked how a gorgeous friend could have such low body image and not realize how beautiful she was. Thinking about it made me realize that last year, when I had lost a tone of weight, I still thought I fat. Maybe that’s why it went back on so easily because I didn’t see my success, to me I was still fat and it didn’t matter if I kept working on it or not, I hadn’t seen what I had done. #1 actually said she was glad I had gained a little weight because she thought I would have blown over in the wind, and I couldn’t see it.

Every year I go to the library book sale. 5 dollars for a box of books and I usually spent 10- 15 dollars. I look at the author, the title, and picture on the front, and if I get the least bit of a pull towards it, I grab it. I picked up one that said “Mid Century Poetry 1940-1960.” I want to dream poetry so I got tossed it in the box. Last night I pulled it out of the pile and all the authors were listed on the bottom of the front cover. I knew some of them. I turned the book over and it said. “Canadian Anthology.” I was so excited that I had chosen to put this book in my 5 dollar box and I would know even more about Canadian Poetry. Then I fell asleep. But the book (along with a few others) are sitting on my coffee table.

Last night I continued with Debbie Ford and looking at all the darkness inside me. The Gaelic Wife said my poem was sad, there’s been a lot of sadness to who I am, but I’ve never given up, and I’ve put it in a place where I’ve still been able to live, and now I’m healthy enough to process it. In the last 3-4 weeks that I’ve been reading the book I found it’s too personal to put in a blog, and the last post was the closet I could get. I’ve also noticed me really enjoying my own company and other peoples company more than I have in a long time, since starting the book.

I started reading Gloria Steinem’s “Revolution from Within.” I’ve only gotten through the introduction, I was always afraid that reading her would say something about myself. I'm not afraid anymore and I already love her power and her insight. She talks about the revolutions in Europe connecting them to the populations self esteem. She said when she wrote the book she totally realized hers self esteem was low even while the world believed she was beaming with it. I remember people like Boris Yeltsin and the falling of the Berlin wall but never thought about it as a growing of self esteem within a population.

And I thought about myself. When I graduated from high school (big breath) I felt I was the epitome of independence, in every play that I did or studied, in every film that I did, I approached it like I knew everything there was to know, maybe this made me sad, made me hate the work, maybe I needed to allow myself to make mistakes and enjoy learning from those around me.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Working on the inside this week


There’s no welcome sign

On the front door

A small apartment

A mattress on the floor

I was afraid of missing the bus

Afraid I wouldn’t get to school

That mattress is by the bus stop

As an adult its stopping is cruel

No late night secrets

No dinner dates

There’s nothing till bedtime

I sit and I wait

There’s a couple in the rain

Button each other’s coats

I lace my own shoes

Paddle my own boat

And now there are whispers

Permission is given

To hold on to these values

And let the hate go to heaven

I understood those people

Wouldn’t like me at all

So I pushed them away

Made them the ones to fall

The comedian says she’s ugly

The boring fat wife

And I pray to lose weight

Cut away fat with a knife

I save myself

But there’s a lot of darkness

Inside this heart

Inside this mind

But I’ve made it this far

And I laughed with a new friend

Put myself out there

Say I’m not that bad.

There are two levels

The part that you know

Says you’re beautiful

And there’s another part

That takes more work to believe it

But I’m getting there…


Monday, October 24, 2011

For the Young Who Want To



MargePiercy


Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.



I'm looking through a book called "PoetSpeak" a selection by Paul B. Janeczko, the whole idea is that the poets comment on "their favorite work." The first poem I read (not this one) gave this beautiful explanation after the poem about him as a child and what the poem meant and why the images were so great. I felt that that should have been part of the poem. I want to create pieces where the beauty is intact.

This poem I connected with so I wanted to share it. I feel like this some times. I like that she doesn't need an explanation she's pretty clear in what she writes, or else I connect to it and understand. Oh and I called the Library today and made an appointment with the writer in residence to look at my work, I'm scared because I feel like I'm not good enough, like I should be able to work this out on my own, and every book I've ever read tells me to go beyond that feeling. And I'm excited to talk to a person about what to do next.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Told a Story



When I graduated university in 2000 I had limited my theatre courses to only the amount I would need if I came back to do my honours instead I took as many History and English courses as I could. I couldn’t make theatre and film work, it took a lot out of me emotionally, and finally didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Writing was the only thing I didn't let go of.

So tonight was a big deal.

I told a story at the local library with our story tellers group. I found a story about an elevator operator at a hotel and switched it to a room service girl and made most of the plot from things I had learned during my years working at a hotel. I was a little scared at first, it has been forever since I did something like that, so my body wasn’t sure what to tap into to tell a story to a bunch of really talented women.

“Don’t look at the floor, look at us" I was told. I took a deep breath and told my story. I came home and danced around the living room, tonight I did something that I was in love with as a child and connected to a piece of myself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I just didn’t know

I woke up this morning, kind of, and thought "I just don’t know what to do." I didn't have the answers. I didn't know why I felt like crap. I didn't know why I wanted to keep sleeping. I didn't know what was going to happen at work. I didn't know what I'd say to friends. I couldn't predict or plan anything, I just didn't know or didn't "Think" I knew. I didn't know more than anyone else, different yes, more no.

I guess that’s Ok, I guess that’s the new phase of my life, not to have all the answers not to be right, or believe I’m right all the time. Marianne Williamson speaks of falling to your knees and asking for help. I haven't reached out for help but I said "I don't know.  I've started asking questions about I should have a while ago. Things about people about situations. I can't to get angry and frustrated because I didn’t get it my own way.

This is hard. The epiphany didn't come with a flash of light and energy, but a darkness that seemed to take hold of me, I have no idea what will happen tomorrow morning.

I can admit I don't know something and ask for all the help I need. I can participate, I can play, even if I don't win first place, I can invite the world in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

little rooms


I worked through a lot of emotional stuff yesterday. I got down and dug in some deep dirt. I learned how spending so much time by myself especially during the school years , has affected how I react to people as an adult. Doing so many things on my own and expecting such a high standard has also brought me down, not lifted me up 100%. It’s who I am, and it’s gotten me this far, but for me it’s time to be aware of how doing it this way affects the myself and the people around me.

Yesterday I expected that I would go to work and want to reach out to people. I expected to give off great energy and feel open and ready to accept people in a new way. I was on such a high yesterday. There’s such an exhilaration when I uncover a piece of myself… I expected the high to continue. Instead I felt as dreary and heavy as the clouds and rain that was falling.

Throughout the day I felt immense pressure in doing my work better, and was bombarded with ideas and questions all day.

My work will be changed by this. Today I used journal techniques to work out monitors. I couldn’t disappear and do whatever I felt and say whatever I felt.  I had to monitor myself to make sure I didn’t fall in the same pattern I had in the past. It’s easy to say you’re going to be a better person when you’re sitting on your coach reading about the little rooms in you have been cut off from. That’s what the exercise was to find the pieces of you that you’ve closed off. That’s what Debbie Ford told me in her book. That we are born with a full castle and as time goes on we learn to close off rooms in our castle and as adults we need to find those rooms again. At first I thought “I live life pretty much the way I want to so there’s no rooms I need that are shut off.” And then reality called me a B*itch and I started to list all the ways I cut myself off from people. It was a real eye opener.

I no longer need to criticize myself as harshly as I do and impose the structure I put on my own life onto others.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grown Up


I think I’m a grown up. I think the self work I did today made me realize that. People often think I’m in my late 20’s (including a friend whose son I went to school with) when I was 30 someone thought I was 19. I’ve never thought of it as a compliment, I’ve always thought of it that I wasn’t acting my age. Today I looked at a friend’s picture on Facebook and said “wait she’s all grown up.” I looked at Oedipus and said this is a gown up play and I can read it. The picture I posted makes me feel grown up. I wish I had a picture of me from the picnic today. I would like to see my eyes and my soul on the page.

Today I feel grown up. It’s not a bad thing. I feel strong and weak at the same time.

what has brought them to you




Mother:

My children
You carry the name of duncan
Hidden behind the name of my husband
You have fallen before me
You have stated you no longer love me
Your mother
You demand to remain only with your father

You are not yet old enough
To carry your own perfume
Your own weight is carried
In apple juice and child’s potions
While older children experiment with flowers
And then musk’s
You have chocolate chips melted
On your fingers
And ask me to pour the milk
With your cookies

 To the father
Come forward if you want to
Take your children now
And leave
Go far away from your wife
For there has been something
That has turned them so hastily
From me

I feel my heart falling to mu feet
And my tears are cupped
By the roses of my cheeks

Father:
Great wife
Love of my life
See how the children come to you
They don’t yet understand
That what has brought them to you was love
For if it was pure hate they would run away
And we would see them
Never again

They cling to your words
Even with wishes of being far away
They can barely live alone
Yet we have created strong minded
Independent children

My weight is in my age
I chose you when I was very young
I had young women lined up
From neighboring towns and countries
Line up at my side
And asked me to own them
To tell them what to do
And you walked in with your sister
Wanting only to be there for her
And I began to wonder
How to build a castle
That you would love
The doors that welcome you
The linens from other worlds
That would feel soft
Against your skin

There were murderous scenes 
When I chose you
There were tears in the village
But you have stood by me
And fear not for we have instilled that
In our children

There were children
That didn’t survive
Children from mothers we reign over
Children have died in your arms
Surrounded by our blood
This is our family now
And we must choose
At this moment
How to make the family
Survive

We are turning to you
Even though we say
We do not love you
You and I and the children
Are strong enough
To build this family up again
We are kings and queens
And princes and princesses

You have brought us
Love and fortune in the past
Come to us again
With flowers and stars

Love over us
Not in the pieces of death
That has caused the castle wall
To crumble
But in the power
To build the castle strong

Mother:
Poor children
Poor husband
As I can only hear
The anguish you have felt to come here
I know your feelings
Are eating you inside
You have become melancholy
In my care
And now knowing this is how you feel
I am filled with the emotions
Of the three of you
Combined

Each of you suffers
Within yourself
And since you are all part of me
Your suffering
Aches my soul
With the power of
Three
My soul growls and aches
And demands that all of this changes
Demands our family be one again




Inspired by first page of oedipus rex by sophocles

Friday, October 7, 2011

gaze


I want to sit in the park
there's one picnic table there
The moon, full

The day turned dark
the sky cleared of clouds
I will gaze into my dreams

On a warm night
when you can count the miles
to the farthest star


Friday, September 30, 2011

Moonstruck



I heard a really great interview with Olympia Dukakis over the summer on Q. She said she didn’t like doing movies until she did Moonstruck with Norman Jewison. She said she “got it” on that shoot (I’m sure the Oscar helped a bit). I’ve always approached things that if they were meant to be that I would enjoy them. Writing and music and theatre are things that I love even if I only am so so at doing them. I couldn’t figure in university, if this was who I was meant to be, why I wasn’t enjoying it. I was reading books that said you bring your own happiness to the moment, but I couldn’t do it.

This year after five years of being in a culture less town, some of it my choice to keep culture at bay, I joined up with some story tellers. I said I would like to tell stories and we agreed that I would listen to the first couple. Last storytellers night when we drove into the parking lot of the coffee shop I felt my skin tingle I wanted to tell a story so bad.

“Next time, we said on the way home, was ghost stories.” I was sad, I didn’t know any ghost stories.

That Saturday D_______ and I went to the library book sale, that’s where you can get a big box of books for 5 bucks, I came out with two boxes-- after promising my friends there would be no more books until I read some that I have.

A note on the book sale, never have you seen two grown women so happy, we would hold up a book and yell across the room, “Look what I found.” Or “Are you interested in this?”

There was an Anthology of Ghost stories. So I picked it up. When I got home that afternoon the first story I opened was about a lift operator in a hotel. I used to work at a hotel. So I read it and within an hour I turned the lift operator into the room service girl and I had my story.

At our meeting I told the story tellers I had a story. “So tell it.” They said. And I felt alive again, like I had gotten hold of something that was missing. All this time I haven’t hated the arts, I've been searching for my own Moonstruck.

A time to get what I love and love what I get.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Naked Emotions




There is a call to board
Flight 712
People
Move around me
Talk around me
They are all different
From me

I want to board
But I am lost
Overwhelmed

Can you tell what I’m thinking
By the look on my face
Can you read my thoughts
They are so simple now
I hate you
I love you

There’s no one here
Who "just knows" what I need

There’s a blankness
To this moment
It’s safe near the wall
The brush strokes
Hold comfort

I sit in a corner
And watch what others do
See how they react to things
That way I’ll know

I only do what I have to
To survive
One less step
And I wouldn’t be a person

My emotions are naked
Simple
I follow the couple in front of me
When I hear him whisper to his wife
“I’m boarding 712 as well.”


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Looking out the Window.


On a warm, rainy September evening a girl sits in front of her fan reading Ingenious Pain. The fan is in her bedroom and she sits on the chocolate sheets looking out the window. This is the alternative to going to the stinky tavern on a Saturday night. Two men cross the parking lot in front of her window. They are laughing and stumbling over their feet, a beer in one hand and a joint passing between them.

One is walking about a foot in front of the other, leading the way between the puddles and the shiny pavement. The leader is weaving in and out, stopping and starting and the second one is following and doing the exact same only a few seconds behind. They are both in black jeans and leather jackets. When they pass under the street light she can see they are in their early twenties. Their pale faces show they are from the university housing complex, their complexions reek of a macaroni and cheese diet.

On the other side of the parking lot are the trees that lead into the forest and there is a young woman just standing out of the way of the street lamp. She has red curly hair and a bottle of J&B. When she holds up her hands to them I can see her fingers are covered in blood. As she moves forward I figure she must have rubbed her hands on her face, as there are smudges across her rosy cheeks.

The leader pulls the twigs away from the path the red haired girl came out of the trees. They entered the forest behind my parking lot. They march into the forest for about ½ a mile they seems to sober up as they go along even though they are still drinking. They come to patch of forest beaten down by deer and other wild animals and the occasional Friday night fire.

There is a sweet smell to the area and the air is colder than out in the parking lot or between the trees. In this place we know that the season is no longer summer. In the centre is a body, in jeans and a leather jacket a joint still burning in his hand a beer spilled by his side.

This is s writing exercise I like to do, I took the opening of Ingenious Pain and made it my own, using Andrew Miller's words as a guide.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

As I Walk to the Post Office Awaiting a Letter


Cold rain shower
The water, refreshing
My body drank it in
Through the pours
The sun shone

It was one of those days
The rain had no idea where
It was coming from
The whole world seemed to be
Hallucinating

We ran from rainbow to rainbow
Laughing with leprechauns
Dreaming for gold

I long for the letter
But it is not there

I long
For a unicorn to come out from the trees
Just for a moment
Because there are so many reasons
To believe in magic today

Then the thunder and lightening
Roll the clouds quickly and swiftly
And for a moment a white horse
With a golden horn
Comes galloping towards me
I blink and the rain falls again

At home
There is a letter at my door


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

moving forward and standing still


A year ago I said I’d give the new position at work a year,see if I want to stay.

I said I wasn’t going to move unless I went back to the city. In July I had an offer for a great apartment, surrounded by trees, a place for flowers, little back yard, back deck open concept I put on offer in and got it right away, I was exactly what they were looking for.

When I was accepted I thought, ‘well I guess I’m staying in B’town for a while.’

In the past couple weeks I’ve taken my friends and my job more seriously there’s a bunch of us who are ok with staying here when before we wanted to move.

We’re moving forward and standing still at the same time.

So I’m packing my stuff, you can collect a lot of stuff in five years. When I lived in the city I only kept what you could toss in the back of a truck and go from one bachelor apartment to another. But I’ve moved in here, I have stuff that makes me feel like home.

If I knew I had that much stuff that needed to be packed I might have thought twice, but I’m glad I didn’t because every fiber in my being says this is the right thing to do. I wanted a sign, and things are starting to fall into place and feel right.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Distance



The place where I used to live is far away, 5 years ago I moved back home to be distant of who I was and be someone healthy. I now begin the search for closeness and am darkened by the distance.

I’ve spent so many years running for something better, trying to be someone my body just couldn’t support. I didn’t connect to a place, because it wasn’t good enough. I am learning to ground myself in the present even if it’s not perfect.

I keep myself distant from everyone except a selected few, my soul doesn’t make contact. I can’t always keep up with the stories that others tell, I write them down and keep them filed in a big box thinking someday they will be important and mean something. Someday is today.

I try to comprehend what to do around people, what I would ever do if I got lonely; a friend on a day that I just want to be myself would mean sitting in a corner and wishing I was distant.

There are dreams and there are passages built to get you there. All you need is a chance to get a push off, I thought dreams were all fluffy clouds, there’s a lot of down time and work and tears that creates distance.

The girl far on the other side of the room her tells a story, a gin and tonic in her hand sometimes the ice flies out of the cup and by some miracle it lands back in the liquid. Her voice takes away the distance and I need to explore it with a pen.

“This made her sad this made her happy how does she deal with this?” she asks her friends. I am envious because I can’t, won’t and don’t do that. I don’t want people to know what goes on inside my head, unless it is well edited and my version of right.

It wouldn’t be so difficult if I could drive, walk through the busy streets but it’s all so far away. Where theatre happens every night; magical lights and fantastic music choices that move your heart and make you believe in make believe. A place you can control actions and say something about your life.

But it is here that I am learning to bridge the distance.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Recognizable Parts



My depression means I don’t see myself as having a personality as having recognizable parts. I know I’m different but see myself as empty. Yesterday, at work, I took my kitty cat travel mug and made a mid morning lemon and ginger tea.

My boss walked by and asked “Oh Frosty, are you making me a tea?”

“I can.”

“A chocolate tea please,” and then she paused and said, “You probably have chocolate tea.”

Yes, at my desk I have chocolate tea.

Later, I was thanked for leaving a chocolate tea on her desk.

I sat back at my desk and thought ‘she knew something about me, a little quark that makes me a person.’


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Walk to Work Poetry

The rose

After the rain storm

When the clouds

Dissipate

Has only

One petal left

And she

Stands up tall

And tries

To be as pretty

As she once was

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Morning Message from "The Queen"


This morning I received and email with the queen beside 11 us presidents. The caption on the email read "long live the queen."

This morning I realized that people do things on calls I would never do, and it's ok, I set huge standards for myself. Would I work at that standard if I went back on the phone, yes, it served me well, but there's room to breathe, explore.

This morning on my walk to work these two ideas mixed and realized that I have a long life ahead of me and the past evolves into the future (that doesn't happen with depression there is no evolving just struggle after struggle to make it through the day.)

Long live Frosty Duncan!!! But still know what good comes from striving for the best; I can see the evolution.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

the convertable



Hey Mr. Keys in the ignition
Open air and gas on the street
Dreams of the world on fire
By the touch of skin in the heat

I glance at your face, time and shadows
There’s a gleam in your eyes
From glint that the sun
Hitting the chrome, it sighs

We pour like reaction down the road
Drawing tear drops from laughing clowns
The moment you gave me the control
And let me drive your convertible around

I heard you say you were scared
As the accident took shape
But I want to remain the victim here
And still wear the victor’s cape

I shouldn’t have drove
Like I knew this road
There should have been a map
And truth should have been told

We were both lonely
Looking to impress
We will both turn around
And hurt a little less

With the smell of new car I fight to be allowed to be alone
If love is only for the lucky and the strong
Am I the one with broken yellow bones

Friday, July 8, 2011

Universal vs Personal


SACHAL VASANDANI mentions the searching for the universal truth vs his personal truth. As a child I didn’t fit in. I am a consumer of self help books and this universal truth. I always thought this would draw people to me, they would think “she’s doing it, she understands, this is what we’re all going for.”

I also scoff at fitting in so I shouldn’t sell myself short, I have a lot of personal truth, but I’m frightened of it, afraid that if I’m different I’ll be wrong. I’ll regret it. I worry I’ll get to a place and realize, everyone said to do this and I went my own way, now look at the mess I'm in.

This week, I made some decisions that were my own, I was the one who had to make them, I talked to my friends, but in the end it was my decision. I realized my truth about relationships and what I do on my own time are a personal truth. I have to look within me, not a pop song or a romance movie.

Monday, July 4, 2011

True Colours


Today was a pajama day. Yesterday I took two walks and sat at my writing spot by the river for an hour. I could accomplish anything. I started a poem in a manner that I’ve never started a poem, in fact I’ve never thought about a poem like this, I hung out with the best friend and in the evening I watched the rainbow form on the man-made water fountain at the center of the town river.

Today I ate yogurt and read. Today I swear I will never step out of my apartment again. All I want to do it curl up on my couch, which I’ve covered in a brown blanket to hide the disintegrating cushions, and read poetry and books about poetry and wonder if in the next five minutes I’ll finally be moved to take a shower and get some fresh air. Fresh air? I’ve had the window open all day; does that count?

Today makes me want to be one of those people who can stay up into the night and read exotic books, who can debate the great authors and write poetry with great meanings. And then, I tell myself I’ve spent 14 years dealing with emotions and depression and mental illness and that will be the place in which I get ideas for random poetry that might not come as often as those people who stay up late into the night.

Yesterday I realized I will not feel as pumped and alive as I did all day. Today I realize I will not feel as laid back as I do today, every day. Realizing that, yesterday, I did not make plans for today, I waited until I woke up to see how I felt. Today I am not upset that I didn’t go for a run or that I didn’t go to the store to pick up carrots for the curry. Today I am happy to live as my soul moved me. I like this summer vacation thing.

I can do curry tomorrow.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dreams


A jumble of unedited words inspired by a dream I had last night


I’m walking through the old school
All the children have failed
And the teachers are crying
The teachers are crying

All the children are feeding homeless cats
Warm milk and rich creams
Crying “I’ve got nothing”
“I’ve got nothing”

And the cats are getting fat
While the children fade away
All they want is better than this
They want better than this

She’s melting butter over her vegetables
Dipping brownies into whipping cream
Humming this is all you need
This is all you need

And all the children
Follow the strong mother
And words start to fall onto the page
And laughter is wrapped around eyes and ears

And the women are strong


Every time I wake up from a nightmare about school I promise myself I never have to go back, I don’t have to sit through the confusion and the boredom and the many things I didn’t understand. What if the dreams want me to go back? What If I yearn to have that much in common with people again being fed constant information, What if the dreams are a yearning to learn more and want more… if this is the case how do I feed that hunger on my own terms?