13/02/2011 § Leave a comment

“Give it ten minutes, let me know if you need anything.”

“Seriously? I just hang upside down with my arms to the floor for ten minutes?”

“Yes. It is get blood to your brain and re-establish your equilibrium.”


I tried it anyways.

For the past few days there has been a weight on people’s shoulders, an undue balance and pressure.

“Yeah, it’s been quite a week. A lot of people have been calling to unload, but I want to unload, too.”

“Go for it, girl,” I invited, as my feet tingled and my lower eye-lids folded over my eye-balls.

Naty decompressed.

Ten-minutes later, she swiveled me back to an upright position.

“How do you feel? Are your legs hot, yet? Here, be horizontal.”

And we hadn’t even gone to the grocery store to get out beer and empanadas.

Essentially, unable (not allowed) to move for a few moments, we caught up on more of this week’s worth of dilemmas while watching “The Transporter” in Spanish. I didn’t even notice until much later how much calmer I had felt. I could breathe.

As bipedal animals, we sometimes forget how to lay down, even when sleeping. We walk, we run, we jog, we sit, each time taking away a fraction of our necessary flat-ness. Being partial to naps whenever and sprawling wherever, I usually do not find a problem with this flow. Something in the air (pollution, perhaps) made it a particularly uncomfortable week.

After the session, we picked up the night’s desires at the store. We climbed to the rooftop and arranged the reclining chairs to watch the moon. Naty got a call from a friend. Someone needed to deflate.

So it was, I sat in solitude listening to the radio: “Where the Streets Have No Names” & “Under My Thumb” & “Sorrow”

The same stuff as home.

It’s rare to find a place so comfortable and elemental compared to Toronto. Sure, there is a lot of colonial architecture, but that is secondary to the energy of the place. People continuously discussing thoughts and ideas and a quietness one rarely finds in major cities.

Yet, there are some differences. When Naty returned, apologizing (“pardon”, not “sorry” which is interesting,) I told her “no, it’s nothing” and to sit down and watch the moon with me.

“Thank you for waiting, Bretana.”

“No, please.” (Not, “you’re welcome.”)

Over beers and beef-pockets we talked about life in general, synchronocity (a concept explored and developed by Carl Jung,) animals (mostly how Carlota, the adopted stray, bites your ankles,) world politics, music, all the while watching the moon disappear. Had it truly been that long?

I could tell Naty was tired and so I gave her an Argentine kiss-on-the-cheek and a tight Canadian hug. I walked myself to the bus stop — some people  just heading to the clubs at 3AM. I hailed the bus. I arrived at home. I got ready for bed. I read an issue of Rolling Stone. I lay horizontal and thought:

You can appreciate the sun only when it rises and falls, but you can admire the moon’s face across the sky all night.



19/12/2010 § Leave a comment

Timing is everything.

“Did you hear about the new iPhone app? You set the alarm and it will go off when the sensors detect movement up to a half-hour before the time you set. It’s supposed to be better to wake up that way because it works with your circadian cycle. Or something like that. It seems to be working, though!”

I felt like I needed to find a rhythm, a flow, a little consistency.

Last night, my friends looked worried.

“Dude, why are you leaving your keys here?”

“Because I don’t want to lose them. I am the only one opening the coffee shop at 6:15 in the morning. I can’t lose them.”

“Dude. You are not trusting yourself to be responsible by doing that.”

“You’re right,” and I smiled as I slipped them back into my pocket.

I walked in stealth to the Cloak and Dagger for its anniversary party. There, I would meet up with Tonja and Rebecca. There, I would learn about space and time as we sat at a high top with Sean, a regular with a pocket full of stories. He laid them out beside our coasters. Life, love, betrayal. Losing trust.

“You know, I just don’t think that marriage is for me.” I heard an echo.

“You know, you never know.”

“At my age…”

Struck blind by the broken hearted, the rosiness from the rich Guinness did not fade from my cheeks. Still, I wondered: Is this where we go?

“Wee b! You are a trooper. You have to wake up in 3 hours!”

“I guess we deal with the time that is given to us.”

The other night I sat up with my roommates watching one of this generation’s romantic epics (as we have many of every category). The 1899 bohemian slogan rang through my salty tears: Freedom, love, beauty and truth. This world can be how you make it.

I remember one friend asking me if I ever thought life sucked. I remember telling that friend, “no”. I remember thinking, for a moment, that it did. I also thought of my friend who told me, “if you’re living you’re winning.” It helped me think. All that is good is good and all that is bad is not bad but necessary. I remember telling that to someone. Once. How does one’s optimism fade? Perhaps it is because we stop dancing.

We grow up with ideas of our self and are told to never change. Then, we watch as our stream becomes a river or the other way around. We navigate what is given to us to the beat of a paddle.

Still, I trust that the water never changes until it reaches the salty sea and in that vast pool is where we discover that we are all dancers.

pre-sunday thought: creation

06/11/2010 § Leave a comment

Last night, I was talking with someone about creation. We talked about having the time to make the things that express who we are or how we feel. It’s important to do those things, but it’s also important to deal with each time accordingly. If you trust yourself, then you trust that your creations are real reflections of the self. They will always be there. As a wise friend once told me, “we are all artists”.

So it goes, right now, at this time, due to decisions I have made and promises that I intend to keep and time and love and hugs that I want to share, creation will be sporadic and disorganized.

Perhaps that’s the way it should be.

So it goes, a sporadic S(atur)unday thought:

What if time did not equal money did not equal power? Instead, time equals hugs equals love?

A new currency, perhaps.

Hippy talk. Real talks.




if time is money, then i’m a rich woman

31/10/2010 § 1 Comment

Break & breathe.

when night comes in hot body bath

25/10/2010 § Leave a comment

A sponge floats because it has holes.

When the pockets of air are finally filled with water, it sinks.

sunday thought: life as an experiment

17/10/2010 § 1 Comment

“Really, there is only one way to live and that is how you are.”

“No, nope. You can choose.”

“Yeah, choose to be you.”

I was worried where this person was coming from.

We had walked four blocks through the autumn torn streets, hair and opened jackets blown back. I could smell the nostalgia of wind swept skin. My heart curdled.

Earlier today,

“Sometimes, I am afraid of myself.”

“Don’t worry, girl. You will figure it out.”

Imagine a place where you could go but don’t know how to get there. You look back for reference or signs that say you are going in the right direction. They all point at you.

I was walking behind a group of three who expanded the sidewalk like geese. I tried to overtake their saunter but would stall at their arms flapping from gesticulations. One of the geese saw me from the corner of his eye and moved to the side.


“That’s o.k.”

He assumed I was apologizing and filled in the blanks. I do it all the time.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“I’m great, how are you?”

Fillers from distractions. (Those are some of the best moments in life.) The event inspired an experiment.

Growing up, we are constantly reminded to say the proper things as a part of our socialization. We learn to say “thank you” and “please” and “I’m sorry” before we know what they mean. My parents were a little different. They told me to interchange “could I” with “may I”, because of course I could, I could do anything, but I didn’t have the permission that “may” brought. I would always say I was sorry for the crap I put them through and my dad would turn to me and say, “If you were sorry, you wouldn’t do it.” Their aphorisms probably made me the over-analyzer that I am. They would not be sorry for that (because they wouldn’t have done it if they were), and I am thankful for it.

What if we started saying “thanks” instead of “sorry”?

Still, it’s important to surround yourself with people who let you say “thanks” instead of “sorry”.





sunday thought: the root

11/10/2010 § Leave a comment

Carrots, beets, potatoes and some tuber vegetable lay still and crossed on a roasting pan. They had been rinsed and scrubbed, leaving their bodies raw and vulnerable to heat. They were seasoned with salt and spiced with pepper, doused in oil and ready to ignite.

I cut their charred little bodies into pieces and added them to the mix of white turkey meat and white-bread stuffing, pouring slightly browned gravy on top. Something in the mashing of tastes makes sense to my palate.

Growing up on a farm, my family decided it would be reasonable to plant a vegetable garden. One spring, we bought an assortment of seeds for lettuce, carrots, and watermelons. We cut potatoes in two and stuck them in the earth. Come early summer, flowers bloomed from each plant. By mid-summer, some began to bear fruit.

Early one morning, I went into the garden to inspect our crop. The lettuce had been chewed to the nub. We assumed it was the gang of deer that hung around the lot. We put stakes into the ground and aluminum pie plates to crash in the wind, scaring away the opportunistic herbivores.

I inspected the watermelons, half expecting the tough skin to ward of wild nibblers. Still, there were holes in the baby balls of fruit, unripened flesh left exposed to fruit fly larvae. Our free range chickens used their sharp beaks to burrow into them.

Come fall, all we had left were the carrots and potatoes. Vvegetables from the earth. Some carrots had begun to mutate, doubled and conjoined beneath the soil. The potatoes had multiplied, a family of tubers, dirtied and calloused. Tasting them was sentimental, knowing that any nutrients had come from our soil, our land, the one we worked and lived upon. It gave us food for the day, provided us supper so that we could keep living for the next.

At a coffee shop, nostalgia started with Bruce Springsteen.

Driving along Highway 7 towards the Ottawa Valley with “I’m on fire” playing on the radio, and the morning show “Humble and Fred” driving my dad to K-Mart, and my Chinese grandfather who I don’t remember but manufactured memories of, and a touch of Native blood from my great-grandfather, and a British-born-Canadian-claimed father, and a mom who hung around the Italian and Jewish communities in Toronto because she wasn’t white and she wasn’t Chinese, and a sister that was my quiet rock, and 34 Ebby Avenue across the street from my best friend Michelle Baksh, and my uncle from Guayana telling me how they used to take the heads from fresh killed chickens and feed it to the dogs, and French Immersion, and punching my pony in the nose,  and late night 3-hour talks with 3-way calling, and a best friend who’s house always smelled of spicy tofu,  and a newfoundlove of Latin culture, and cheese and wine and pate and mashed potatoes and pork chops with soya sauce and meatloaf and grilled cheese with ketchup.

Where do I come from? You see, it’s more than when a man loves a woman.

Sometimes you have to figure out where you are coming from to know where you are going. Sometimes you need to remember these things before you douse yourself in doubt and set one’s image in flames.

Sometimes, it takes some time.

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