30 April, 2015

dead birds

i had a sort of epiphany some years ago - so many birds, so many many birds in the world and no dead ones, no bodies, no carcasses, no wings, to mark their passing. it puzzled me that with all the birds around, there was nothing of significance left behind.

since that time, i have begun noticing wings, rib cages, bits and pieces of dead birds along the streets and sidewalks of my daily commute.

part of me (the rational part, let's agree) thinks that this is simply a different way of perceiving - having once noted something, its manifestations become obvious: a new word, recently learned, pops up repeatedly in conversations, media, etc.

part of me (fantastical, mad, imaginative and hopeful that there is something more than mere grey rationality) thinks that the powers that be, those who lay out the daily scenography of our lives, were suddenly made aware of a failure on their part, and, as a direct result of my noticing the lack of dead birds, reevaluated their set design and decided to incorporate more dead birds. to stop the suspicion, see?

what do YOU think?

28 April, 2015


friday night i chatted with my parents about the details: pick up good face sunscreen; make sure we have sock liners; should my mom bring her old gore-tex jacket or try to get a cheap but decent knock-off there. we signed off and i went my merry way, visiting with crusty juggler and d in calgary - all tinkling glasses of prosecco and vinho verde, banter, laughter: the usual, then off to bed.

satuday morning, i was woken too early by the phone. my dad's voice was serious when he told me our trip to nepal (13th of may…coming right up) would not take place. i assumed immediately that my grandma's declining health was the reason. no, my dad told me, kathmandu has been levelled by a huge earthquake; base camp was flattened by an avalanche. still groggy, my first assumption was that this was a joke. i actually laughed. took me a while to filter the fact that my dad isn't the type to call me early in the morning to play a prank, prankster though he may be. he told me to check the news, and as d got up to make coffee, we opened up his laptop and saw the headlines.

my continued reluctance to go made the news feel like my fault in some bizarre way - no, of course, in my mind i know i had nothing to do with it, but there was (and remains) a tiny part of me that feels to blame for this, like i didn't want to go so very much that the strength of my will caused the very earth to quake. i know, megalomaniacal AND silly. but still.

disasters tend to feel painful in a perfunctory and vaguely theoretical way. we're not wired* to truly care for all of humanity; if we were, we would surely implode from the sheer pain of empathy. still, my typical reaction is rarely as visceral as i would wish it to be. this, however, hit me hard, because two weeks from now i would have been there and as such, the place was more real to me than some random cataclysmically afflicted corner of our globe. nepal, by virtue of the ticket i had purchased, the pile of clothes awaiting packing, the prescriptions for anti-altitude sickness pills i had obtained, had gained a reality that made this one hurt.

my dad and my cousin have already been there several times, each time falling in love anew with the warmth of the people as much as the beauty of the landscape. who knows if they will go again…and if they do (and if i do), the monuments that have stood for many long years are standing there no more. at any rate, it's a country of great beauty, but also great poverty. this won't be easy on them, and with the monsoon season a month away, they're racing against time to make sure people have shelter.

medecins sans frontieres, oxfam, red cross - these and others are doing their best to help. please donate.

*reading a book right now, "sapiens," that is opening my eyes to a whole lot of interesting about our species. simply written for the non-entirely-scientifically minded, but not at all simplistic. broad strokes of what sometimes could or should be obvious, but is often forgotten. highly recommended.

03 April, 2015

hairs and friends

hanging out with crusty juggler and d on a late friday night chez nous:

moi: it's strange - i got my haircut and now it's totally darker.

crusty juggler: no, it' not!

moi: you haven't seen me in a while!

d: i'm literally looking at you RIGHT NOW.

moi: fuckers.

dear diary

dear diary,

for the last several weeks i have wanted to stab my eye out with a plastic fork on a fairly and disturbingly regular basis. the desire became noticeably stronger last week, for which i blame my blessed lady hormones working in tandem with work stress. right now i am vacillating between ennui black as tar, sticky self-hatred, and deep visceral disappointment with the world in general and myself in particular. 

i have fantasies in which i am a texas housewife, riding high on wine fumes and designer antidepressants, or a goat farmer in a quiet corner of vancouver island. doesn't matter, really. i just want to be able to take deep breaths in (and the corresponding deep breaths out) on a regular basis, and not feel like i suck, because it gets really tiring fighting off the feeling that you suck, when you know damn well you can't suck as badly as you half suspect you suck. i know i am neither as good, nor as bad as i sometimes think i am. i'm likely somewhere in the middle, but still, the perception of suck lingers. 

of late, i have also started eating my stress, dear diary, and as much as i have heard that expression used before, i have never before felt the sweet sweet reality of melted cheese soothing emotional pain, or the delightful wonder of french fries plugging the rips and tears in one's soul. deeply disturbing, dear diary, ain't gonna lie.

i am tired of whining to friends and family. i am tired of whining to myself. i am tired of listening to myself whine to friends and family and myself. but it seems to have taken on a life of its own, this thing. of course, as anything that has a life of its own, it is likely to end, and i just hope it ends in the foreseeable future. and so, dear diary, i turn to your pages for solace and understanding.