Older thoughts

I wrote these two passages when I was just starting my love for writing. They are very innocent and ignorant, and I like to think I was a very different person six years ago.

Exploring the Self through Creative Writing

University of Ottawa Course (May 7-11, 2012)

A Different Side

She moved like a gazelle. Her gait was legato almost peaceful. Called by the name of Ruby, she let everyone in with a greeting smile. Not only was Ruby outgoing and seemingly friendly, she made homeless people feel at home. But something was wrong with Ruby. She would help others then disappear briefly. She was found once under a bench, shivering beside a box. Ruby explained that this particular box holds almost everything she loved. A picture of her mom, who had passed away 3 years ago, a green lollipop still wrapped up alongside other ancient-looking candy and another smaller box which Ruby didn’t want people to see. She said, “This box is empty. Nothing special. Just a box.” But her blood-shot eyes inquired differently. One thing we found out a little too late was that Ruby used to enlighten herself daily with drugs mixed with old candy. Before she died, she had spat out, “I hate everyone.”

Leave it to Heat

It’s remarkable how people can recall an experience from way back into their lives. An image that pops into my find is when I was seated fairly close to my neighbours and older sister while warming our extremely damp socks. It had been a cold day with icicles stuck to the streetlights but all of our eager little feet convinced us to never miss the chance to skate. The heater in front of us was barely long enough for two people but we squeezed together and grasped every watt of heat that we could. The red as blood lines of warmth on the heater have been engraved into my mind as a picture that started our friendships. We have been friends ever since.

It can be a lot.

As an introduction to this, please see this video.

It pains me to know that the life I have chosen (at such an ignorant age) deals with caution, appointments, deadlines. Because I want it. I want to be there, in the lights, no looking back, man I’m ready, let’s go. No more waiting for the stomach to tighten, no more loveless nights of tears, no more laughter that feel uncomfortable. Wait, what’s wrong with me that my laughter is uncomfortable? My smile is numb, my stomach is sick…

This makes no sense. I was destined. I had the world in the palm of my boney hand. Now the world is forcing weight on me that I didn’t even call for or plan for. This wasn’t the plan…

My rib cage has no space to contract in the oxygen I need. My lungs are inflamed. With hatred? No, more like wheat. Are they different?

Being a grown up doesn’t mean you’ve grown up. It actually means you’ve gotten through 20 f**king years of struggle and hardship. So, you’ve earned it. But it’s not even over yet. Life doesn’t magically become your to manoeuvre. EVER. So why is it so important that we rush past these years? Do we need to endure the slouching days of sighing and pencil crushing? is it required? Because I DIDN’T f**king SIGN UP FOR THIS. I didn’t fill out the form. I was too busy crying about the last bowl of cereal I ate in tears over the last bowl I ate in tears over the last bowl I ate in tears over the last bowl. I ate. Eating up all the nutrients to fail. And then I’m suppose to smile with comfortable teeth that aren’t filled with food. Great… well I missed that form too.

English has taught me to be cautious of my words. To be greatly invested in what you’re doing. To see past the black and white page. To know there isn’t always a happy ending. To feel blessed with the kindness of your own life. To be, to see, to know, to feel. All these humans things. And I still get to be young.

All my friends make the world less hellish. I guess?

Making me feel less hellish. I guess?

Wondering if they’ll ever be like me. And they can’t. They’re lucky and blessed with their beautiful lives. I have to suffer.

Will I reread my life when it’s over? Am I just a story? Are my actions and feelings turning black and white immediately as I pass through them? Am I passing through them? Or are they passing through me? Why are there no answers?

Liquid poetry.

The appropriate time to spill your drink is always.

sun’s and daughters own separate blood supplies to their parents.

glow through the black tea that darkness pours against you.

at times, there cannot be maple syrup.

dinner is served with your choice of side: tears, snot, or drool.

time to get myself a a Big Gulp.

is that the only vodka you brought to Putin’s funeral? Absolutely not.

as you go to the kitchen, make sure you stop by the water cooler and tell a joke.

lovely little latte you got there, miss.

as sane as I may look, the Red Bull I drank gave my brain cells permission to fly away.

a container of urine has the ability to save your life.

cup of soup for my old man, waiter.

of course he bought the lactose-free, soy-free, nut-free, water-free milk you wanted!

coffee.

Kaelin Isserlin.

The influences in my life that are humans are as follows (in no particular order):

Bo Burnham, Kaelin Isserlin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Linda Garneau, Evan Peters, Julie Andrews, Lady GaGa, and my grandmother.

I will attempt to explain my reasons for why these people have a greater influence on me than others. Hope it functions properly.

The majestic creature I have the fortune of calling my dear friend.

The first time I met this boy was on a tour of Ryerson University. Immediately, I was drawn to his energy. He was dressed in a white top with cut-outs in the shoulder area and as he bounced beside me, his fiery hair followed the same rhythm. I couldn’t help but introduce myself out of a desire to be a part of his life. I wanted to know who this person really was. Is that too intrusive?

We eventually realized we were in the same program and class, creating a relationship from there. I knew that I could be myself around him, even from the first moments of awkwardness. It was “Frosh” week at the time, so I ended up meeting him again at a club to find that his personality was even more contagious under the influence. I was hooked.

When I have conversations with him, whether they are 30 second catch-ups or hour-long deep convos, I feel completely invested in the way he thinks about life. He will discuss politics like it’s a joke, speak about death as if it were a living person, and laugh about ANYTHING. My sense of humour is very crude sometimes, but I never feel like I have to censor myself because if the joke doesn’t land, he will make a noise through his gorgeous mouth to lighten the mood. I am content with that. I’ll take any form of attention!

ANYways, when I decided to include Kaelin in my list of human influences, it felt perfectly okay to talk openly about him, even though he is a close friend. I don’t think others will understand how wonderful he is unless they have met him. He is such a new spirit in my life and I am constantly in awe of his greatness.

Enjoy a small interview I did with him via Facebook messenger (we live in the same city but still don’t have the time to meet up in person… life is crazy).

Let’s get serious. Life sucks. Where do YOU find a will to live? Asking for a friend…

KI: I find a lot of comfort in the fact that I don’t mean a lot in the eye of the universe or even earth. Its really freeing to know that my actions don’t mean much in the large scheme and I can do anything I want as a regular guy. I have a good understanding on what’s my own choice and what I can do to make things better in my little world. Even if I become a big deal in this social ladder, I am very confident in my sense of self, knowing it is not permanent and ever changing. I know I can make things and explore myself, my relationships and the natural world around me. People might be interested in that and it’s totally rad if they aren’t. Knowing that I am my main character and nothing is permanent makes me feel comfortable and in control. Also there is a Sam Harris guided meditation video on YouTube that really gets me going.

Having both a healthy body and a healthy mind is almost impossible with the crazy expectations set on us. How do you stay sane in this world?

KI: I feel like I’m super lucky with my genetics that I can put the whole healthy body thing on the back burner and just let it be. Healthy mind on the other hand, I work really hard on doing things that are going to make me happy. Making meals, washing myself, all that simple stupid things. Also meditation has been really helpful for me. I have a bad habit of forgetting to breathe, as dumb as that sounds, so reminding myself to do that is important.

Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie?

KI: Neither. If I ever meet both of them I’ll figure out but until then I hope they both r chill or whatever. (But also Angelina is a pretty lady and I don’t even remember what Brad looks like so so maybe Angie?)

When does toast become too burnt for you?

KI: I think the toast should be less than a third black and it’ll be fine. Anything more is the danger zone.

If the idea is that dancers and artists are supposed to censor their thoughts out of fear of offending someone, how are we supposed to push the envelope? Do you think art is at risk of dying because of censorship?

KI: In my personal life, I tend to lack censorship or patience when talking to people. Telling people how it is, sometimes not in the nicest ways, is the way I do it. If that’s right, I don’t know, but at least people know what I think. I think it’s important to be able to share your word in order to shape society. It’s kind of an artist’s job. Lack of transparency makes people cloudy and hard to understand and I think an artist should be able to say what they stand for. There will always be artists resisting censorship and ignoring the rules and I think that’s important. What I think is interesting is people who can play around the rules of censorship but warp them subtly to create change softly.

If you were to create a time capsule right at this very moment in time, what would you put in it? You would open it again in the year 2068.

KI: Oh maybe like a collection of love notes, a journal or something. Maybe my phone or some kind of usb full of photos. Also maybe a bottle of kombucha, see how it ferments over 50 years.

Personally, I think women will take over the world in the near future and wipe out the entire male species. Would you rather transform into a squirrel or a bird when this happens?

KI: I wanna be a bird but like one that talks and lives in someone’s house and can just listen to the shit going on.

Finally, if Fiona Apple and Feist fought in a fist fight, how many f’s would you give?

KI: As many F’s as I can. Hopefully it turns into a fun collab project and I get some new music out of it.

Today, he…

Today, he stayed put. His head resting with ease as his legs sprawled out everywhere. I found his energy to be calming and for him, this was a first. I could watch him in slow motion. My legs were under his head, and his book was over top of his gaze. He used it to shelter the gorgeous sunshine that covered the lake at my cottage. He read Stephen King. I read Uta Hagen. As the waves crashed against my favourite log, the boat swayed to the rhythm of our heartbeats. “You’re thinking.” he suddenly blurted out, making me realize I wasn’t even looking at my book anymore. “What of?” He didn’t sit up when he said this. I liked that. I told him coyly about the cheesey-ness of this moment. How this is always the happy place I go to when I’m feeling anxious. It was weird, I told him, that it wasn’t a dream. I could truly be happy. The cottage, my book, the sun, my boy. Peace at last and I didn’t want to leave it. He dropped his book like a tent over his nose and moaned his usual sounds. I started to tense up out of fear that I said too much. When he recovered out of the book, he said ten words that I won’t forget:

Remember to receive the love you always seem to give.

Immediately after, his book closed and he sat up to stretch his long limbs. With a kiss and a smile, he strolled back to the cottage, yelling out: “Gonna go eat those chips and salsa cause they were BEAUTIFUL.” The feeling of peace kept with me even still.

In the zone with my head in the game

Some people rely on their technical abilities and body mechanics for dancing worth of any merit. And I understand that your body has to move properly for smooth transitions to happen and entertaining material to be produced. However, for me, I make sure to remind myself that it’s about telling a story. Pretending to be in the situation. Narrating. Acting.

Just as a musician may feel more connected to a song if they sing and play an instrument at the same time, a dance performance can include multiple disciplines of art. There is a certain energy that is transported throughout the body called vibrato electronium when a person has reached this state of mind. I am making this completely up from my own messy brain, but it makes some sense to me because I lose my anxiety when this happens. I suddenly start to become the person I am always striving to be. Is this a superpower? Not to say that I am above others… it just feels supernatural…

I can’t always summon this superficial strength because I find when I over try to develop this energy, it fails to be created. Like a Santa Claus or a period cycle, if I am waiting for it, it won’t come. Dammit. Is there a wizardry school I can go to to practice controlling my skills?