Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

snow globe

I decorated another family's Christmas tree
while said family members were putting out garbage,
cleaning the fridge, doing dishes, brushing teeth for bed etc
I rooted through boxes of ornaments
representing a collection of years
kids, frenzy, fury, gut laughter, loss, gain.
So like a voyeur
I inspected these small personal reserves:
painted play dough star, "Christmas 2001",
little green and red train,
styrofoam dove,
red snowflake made out of popsicle sticks and yarn,
felt Christmas cowboy boot,
tiny wooden record player,
glass icicle,
fancy rocking horse with missing leg.
The typical nostalgia came
funny the way the mind rewinds,
and suddenly I'm eight stringing popcorn and cranberries
on a string,
playing trivial pursuit listening to Oscar Peterson,
drinking gingerale punch stealing handfuls of ritz crackers,
wondering what the adults are laughing so hard at,
sneaking a sip of sherry
wearing my over sized Oilers jersey
to my knees no.99
over 2 sweaters nan knit me
skating circles on circles,
on circles
on the backyard rink
till I couldn't feel my face -
not caring one
Someone said to me yesterday
to my eyes
dead on:
"I hate Christmas".
 I saw the soreness
that takes over,
and in my own way
i get it...
 You can't run around your whole life
with your mittens all encrusted with ice.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So What?

The perfect song with which to embrace the entrance of winter in Ottawa town.

Jazz geekery installment:
In this piece of staggering footage - enter three gigantic legends of jazz: Miles Davis on trumpet, John fucking Coltrane (sorry - couldn't help it) on tenor and Paul Chambers on bass!?! Holy Crap. I feel I should be bowing down to the gods of modern technology for giving me the opportunity to see this video. The song is the first track From Miles Davis epic masterpiece: Kind of Blue. If you haven't already, dear reader, look into it.
I love how this music excites me and calms me down simultaneously.

 "Aesthetic facts, in jazz as in all the arts, are proof of an old saying from the 1960s: 'Feelings are facts'." -Stanley Crouch

Until next time, cats.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


This word has been bouncing around in my head over the past few weeks or so. I first heard of it while walking the Camino. It comes from "the ancient Galacian language", originally from the Latin word "ultra". I was walking mainly through the province of Galacia which is why I must have heard it spoken a few times.

A couple of days after returning home I discovered what this word meant and how it was used. It was a common greeting used by medieval pilgrims walking the Camino that means essentially, "walk further", "walk higher", "move forward", or "onward". So basically, the people walking the path were encouraging each other to 'keep going' in their standard greeting to each other as they passed along the way. I can see, after having walked it, how appropriate and great this is...considering the substantial amount of discomfort one can be in after hours and hours of walking a day, and how easy it can be in certain moments to want to give up completely. Even just a simple encouragement from a stranger can mean a lot in a situation like that.

As I so often do, I started concocting cheesy life metaphors with this word. After returning from Spain, the basic theme of my life seems to be "Move forward...Ultreia". I do feel like tatooing this word somewhere on my body where I can always see it, to serve as a constant reminder that this is now, and shall ever be, what my life is about. Yes this may seem somewhat juvenile or naive or what-have-you. But ironically at a time when, by all logical standards I should be feeling the most disillusioned, bitter, and hardened against life I actually feel the opposite - for the most part. Like he universe has given me a second chance. To do this thing right. To try not to be hankered too much by the past.

I also feel like a closet zealot, because I have the urge quite often lately to grab random people by the shoulders, look them squarely in the eye and say something along these lines: "Don't you get it? This is all you've got, this is your one shot: your one tiny blip of time on this spinning planet. So run like all hell towards your ultimate desire and hope. Chase it. Because its actually true that today could be all you have. A few hours, days, weeks or years, and you'll be gone. A memory. And so will all of the glory and brevity of  this: your life."

Of course, I'm not that crazy. So don't worry - I've never actually done this.

On the total flip side and another at a coffee shop the guy at the counter asked me how my day was going, and when I gave him the standard response ("pretty good, thanks") he told me that he thought I looked 'somewhat sad and angry'?!?! This caught me completely off guard because I didn't think I was feeling this way at all. Does my face totally betray me? Wowsers. Anyway, after thinking about it a little, I realized that under the surface, some core part of me does feel a little like this. Because that's life. Sadness and anger make up a big part of it at times. The daily coping, and struggling, and...just living. It's the dark side of the glory. And I'm okay with it. Always have been.

There you have it.