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Living in the whirlwind. Here's the change, the chaos, in which I ride like a cork. Even corks get sucked under, you know, but we pop up pretty quick when we're released.

I trust myself to pop up pretty quick when released. I'm still learning, but becoming better, at knowing what triggers that release. Funny how it's the same litany it always was: creation, intimacy of mind and body, assurance, love, home, connecting with my own body and with nature and with my thoughts.

So many things are forefront in my mind that they're getting lost. I don't want to start writing things down yet -- more paper, more to manage -- but shortly I'll have to.

Househunting is taking a tremendous amount of my motive power: either to do, or to procrastinate on, it takes the same energy. I build dream castles in the sky that come crashing down, I second-guess myself, it's not necessarily the prettiest scene but it's started rolling some. I need to go to the well pretty often to keep up with it.

Tenay is the well right now. She listens, she shares back in kind, she is snuggles and sex and approval in ways that leave me totally unconflicted about my interactions with her. It's pretty great.

It's important for me not to draw too hard on any one of my relationships to support any others. I don't like the idea of being in a relationship that's dependent on any of the other ones remaining the same; what happens then when things change? Does everything collapse? It has in the past.

So I'm thinking a lot about my relationship with Dave. I'm thinking a lot about this often-supportive, occasionally blindingly thoughtless, no-promises, somewhat ashamed of me, encouraging, sweet, sometimes surprisingly responsive, insightful, kind, steady and rather unruddered person I'm starting to have old relationship feelings about. I'm wondering whether it's a net drain or a net benefit. I poke at it a lot, and yes, I've initiated some self-examination on his part, trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. What are we offering each other? Is it worth it? Short term? Long term? Should I be spending all this time and energy I use thinking about it on something else? Should I stomp out the fire and go searching for more appropriate tinder? I don't know. As Tenay reminded me, I'm acting on incomplete information right now. I'm looking forward to getting that information and going on with my life, whatever that looks like.

I'm also looking forward to getting through the waiting list for counseling and seeing if maybe I can find a good fit to talk about this stuff with. My boundary issues finally identified as issues, I'm eager to fix them up.

UBC, the giant machine into which I'm trying to cast myself, is also taking some time to get back to me. At least I can backburner that without worrying too much.

Yoga is fabulous but the difficulty of it is wearing off as my body adapts. Infuriatingly this doesn't mean I can do it better, it just means I get less exercise high and my butt is disappearing. I'm pretty much halfway through the 75-day commitment I made and it's starting to take more willpower to get there, what with less endorphin payoff and my desire to, you know, do things with folks sometimes. Still, I'll make it to the end, it's helping keep me engaged in my body, and by the time I'm done I'll be moved and onto my bike.

I've been ultra flirty lately, and strongly desirous of a new lover/playmate/more spark in my life. I have a couple flirtations that can't go anywhere, so I figure it's time to go out and start seeking folks. Seeking nonmonogamous kinky compatible folks, taking a pass on anyone who isn't actively involved in a compatible flavour of poly already. There are a couple avenues for this I suppose I should explore, but I am somewhat disincentivized by the work involved. So much work. Who knows if the payoff will be worth it? That said, I'm definitely nosing around and should do so in a more organized way to get what I want.

Valentine's day brought a ton of relationship articles from the woodwork. I am meditating on this passage
This person cannot handle sacrifice or compromise. She believes her needs and desires and opinions are simply more important than her partner’s, and she needs to get her way in almost any big decision. In the end, she doesn’t want a legitimate partnership, she wants to keep her single life and have someone there to keep her company.

This person inevitably ends up with at best a super easy-going person, and at worst, a pushover with a self-esteem issue, and sacrifices a chance to be part of a team of equals, almost certainly limiting the potential quality of her marriage.

Is this me? Is this a problem? I guess I still have trouble fighting off all that internalized polyphobia. I know poly is something I need. All evidence suggests it. But it's hard to remember that I'm legitimately allowed that need and allowed to choose relationships that fit it, instead of thinking that I should just compromise on it and then everything would be fine. It would not be fine. I would be, have been, and am a shitty monogamous mate over the long term.

To complicate everything a little further, my brother is staying with me. I ultra love him, it'll be good to spend time with him and have conversations with him, but... I need to wear clothes in my house, and not use loud vibrators or have loud sex, and I have to use roommate skills like self-checking frequently and knowing when and how to ask for alone time etc.

Plus, the friends group is drifting away a little bit, yoga is getting in the way of some socializing, there's no core of souls to hook my own onto. That's not awful or traumatic but it is different. I can see into a future where I leave Vancouver as gently as a dandelion seed in a slight breeze, nothing holding me here anymore.

Who ever knew, ten or twenty years ago, that all this could be? I never would have guessed. On the whole I'm happy with it, with myself and how I navigate my choices.

Enough of this update. Be well.
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Impossible to capture the perfect day, but they do happen. Each has a different face.

Waking to snuggles and the inimitable touch and interaction of a loved one and sunrise at the foot of the bed. Breakfast: s'mores and scrambled eggs and bacon, cooked for me, but in my very own cherished home. Lazing and every kind of touch until my body is near brimming with it, then bottling my first successful batch of lovely-tasting graff. Magicking together a full-on thanksgiving meal with turkey, roast veggies, miso-maple squash, orange-cashew quinoa, mashed potatoes, perfect gravy, and my whole dear family in 2.5 hours then relaxing while someone else does the dishes. A house full of love, the perfect playlist on my computer. Turkey stock with frozen hoarded celery leaves already boiling as the door shuts for the last time, leaving me so tired and a little lonely with clothes to fold off my bed but--

I am so lucky. My life is so full of love. I'd never hoped for any of this. I had never known how good it could be, when I was waiting to see which brother would kill himself, with mom depressed and stressed and busy, trying to figure out what was important in my own life and struggling to know what I wanted. My week has been a parade of people I care about and am close to and enjoy and who in turn care about me. My weekend has been a closer, deeper nesting into people I am learning to be vulnerable to. Next week will be more folks I love, more folks who love me, all so bewilderingly and fascinatingly and dazzlingly different each from each until the tapestry of my life might as well be woven from the sun itself, too bright to encompass with these senses I am given.

The loneliness is itself part of the perfection of tonight, this reaching outwards from the base of my sternum and the way my ribcage cranks open as if it could fir the world in there.

Now, bedtime and another day.

I am blessed indeed.
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These are the moments I wish I could hold onto forever, when I feel perfectly happy, perfectly at peace, perfectly fitted into the world around me, perfectly overflowed with an abundance of love nearly unixed with pain or loss of any sort. I try to etch them into my memory, but of course they're soon gone.

This was a thanksgiving, tonight my brothers and my mom came over. I cooked for them, it was sort of last-minutey, the food was perfect, they were all here and relatively happy, we talked for three hours, they went home with basically all the leftovers, we have an American thanksgiving plotted in the future.

I will never, have never got used to such an abundance of people, such an abundance of love. I have family who love me, who are fascinating people, who I love back. I have a network of people, a constellation with stars near and far, tied to me with industrial cables or with strands of gossamer. I am a kite, a child on a swing, a climber in a cliffside hammock. I may look down, but I am borne up.

I am plotting a gathering in my home, of my loved friend-folks, in December. I'm pretty excited.
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There's a particular feel to rainy winter mornings when you wake up long before the sun. It's almost magical: a special appreciation for the warmth of your bed, tea that tastes extra perfect, the sound of rain on the windows and the smell of predawn waiting for you. I love mornings in general and these are no exception.

I went to sleep early last night. I crashed at maybe 8 at the latest after dinner with mom and an absolutely gruelling day-- which itself followed only 4 hours sleep and a couple days that each took me to my limits. I woke in the middle of the night-- happens when I go to sleep so early, often --for some loneliness before I woke Angus up. Then there was more sleep and now it's dark out and the bedroom light is a tangible warm yellow thing protecting me for these last few minutes before I slip outside.

In the week since Sickle, 3 out of the 5 days have been too much for me, have ended in my being in pieces and not functional at all. Keep in mind one of those 5 days was a holiday. I'm getting good at putting myself together. I'm also getting worried about damage from this. I know that in the past, when I pushed myself to my emotional limits time after time, I was building up scar tissue. Now those scars are being slowly unpicked and healed, but I don't want to lay down new ones in spaces that are still relatively whole.

I also asked mom for some help with school tuition last night. I'm going to be about $800 short-- a silly tiny amount, all things considered, and not really an amount I want to take out a student loan for. She can't help me though-- she has no money, being under legal obligation to continue paying for two of my brothers' schooling (they are 22 and 25, the latter in his 6th year of paid-for school and paid-for accomodation) and choosing to pay for my brother in Japan's tuition and living expenses with what she has left.

I understand that she doesn't have the money and she'd do it if she could. Still, bitter. So I get to take a day off work this week if my bosses will let me (putting it at more like $900 I'll be short) to run around talking to people about student loans.

Oh well.

Time to eat breakfast and head back out.

Waking Up

Jun. 1st, 2010 04:54 pm
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Came home, stared at the wall for awhile, went to sleep. Woke up to Angus coming home with cookie ingredients; not I'm up, have licked off the beaters, and am prepping to go to 'SOUL Chickens' with [ profile] dark_sphere. I am unbelievably glad that I came home when I did; I know I was making mistakes, and that's saying something because I'm good at that work. The weather is being kind to me; in the rain my body is more able to rest, and also my work is lighter.

I've been thinking about asking mom to stop letting me know about what's going on. She doesn't tell me much, and generally not a lot of details, but it's pretty painful. On the other hand I really want to know-- my brothers do, and they're involved, but maybe I should wait and hear it from them? I so cannot be here for mom in this. I so would be here for my brothers if they chose to talk to me about it, which they don't much. There was one magical night when they were all over and no one else was here-- I should recreate that, actually.

Sleep definitely cut the panic. I can handle myself at this point. I could not this morning.

I keep wondering-- there's definitely the possibility that this journal or anything else of mine on the internet could be found and used in this battle. I hope it isn't, but I refuse to keep off the internet just in case.

Enough of that. Here's with the not thinking about it. I need to do more one-on-one social stuff, snuggly and comfy, and also knock things off my to-do list. That makes me feel productive, with nothing hanging over me, and loved, with neat and interesting people to distract and fulfill me in their various ways.

Also, gotta limit the sugar and refined stuff, and zero my caffeine. I've been lazy about it in the last couple of months and is it ever showing.

Bike loaner coming from Walker, makes me happy. I'll get my own wheels next paycheck or two.

I think I can pack dinner to eat during the presentation this evening. I've been having trouble eating food in my own house or made by my own hands-- always a sign of stress for me --and it's led to too much on-the-fly eating out and then not eating at all sometimes.

Time to get back on track. Luxuriating in dysfunction is over.


May. 31st, 2010 11:52 pm
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Oh mom, I love you so much. You're not perfect by any means, but it is so not fair that you need to go through this. I realise your children are the strongest hooks that could be sunk into you, and the combination of having your children and your money taken is not something you can just turn your back on, or ignore, but I don't know how you do it. I am shredded into emotional ribbons just knowing what's going on, and when I can I just don't think about it. It's much more present in your life and much more inescapable. I know you're hurting. I can't do a damn fucking thing for you to make it better. I can't even bend enough to be a shoulder for you to cry on really; I can listen, but I can't take that emotional weight. I just flail helplessly on the sidelines.

Dealing with this situation-- with dad and the boys and the ongoing stuff, even more than the situation growing up --is the hardest thing in my life by orders of magnitude. Breakups, joblessness, money things, death, depression, isolation, social alienation, environmental brutality, smashed optimism, overturned ideals, those are all hard to take but they're my life and I have some power there. Here I am helpless; I look away as I can but I can't close my heart to you and the boys however much I try to distance myself.

And I love you all so much, and it is terrible when someone you love hurts. And some days it seems like everyone I know is hurting terribly.

I don't know what to say to this. I remember the one phone message years ago that dad left, I remember listening to it and out of desperation letting Kyle listen to it because there was no one else in that huge echoing house with me and we all know how that went. I want to tell people about it but no one understands that I am not trying to communicate that I want sympathy or understanding -- I never can nor would have that from anyone on this, no one should understand that people can do this to each other because people shouldn't do this to each other. I want to tell people about it because I want them to know why I believe in evil. This is as evil as the complete desecration of any other beautiful thing and until your own beautiful thing has been willfully desecrated it's hard to believe that it could happen and hard to see it in anything else-- we see misplaced intentions, we see all sorts of things, we make excuses, and we don't look.

Then our own beautiful thing is gone.

I'm just sorry. I really hope the end to this comes soon. I will pray for it; I always have prayed, never sure who to.

I need to go to bed and stop writing. I love you.
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Read more... )

Mmm. Morning before a non-work day. Time for writing. It'll be a tight month but I'm getting my life back.

Have I mentioned I'm moving again? My roommates decided the rats weren't for them. I'll be moving in with Angus. I am very much looking forward to that. It's funny, I had about a two-second thought: man, housing would be easier if I wasn't essentially supporting a dependent (food + room) in the form of the rats. The thought left as soon as it came. I'm happy to be doing it, and I'd miss them a whole lot. Seems I'm still deeply committed to this negative-income hobby of mine. :) I do wonder if getting a business license would allow me to write off food & bedding & cage purchases, or if that only works against the income of the business in question. It's something to think about.

So we're looking for a two bedroom, big one-bedroom-plus-den, or anything bigger. There are a bunch of options- a yard or balcony is pretty mandatory though there's one two-bedroom by Juggler's place where I bet I could just trade him yardwork for a veggie patch. We're looking both in the Yaletown-box-with-gym-in-the-building category and in the east-van-on-bike-routes-with-yard category, so it'll be pretty interesting to see what shakes out. You'd think it would be an awful time to be moving but people do seem to be looking, not just for Olympics short-terms stays but for actual tenants. Who knew? If you know of a place, let us know. We're looking between 1000 - 1500/month, but there may be some flex there for the right place.

I am so looking forward to buying someday.

There seems to be a lot of mental illness going around these days. This sounds weird to say, and I'm not sure how to approach the thing in my head. In the last month my brother and a friend of mine have been having issues, my co-worker is always kind of iffy, and there are a couple more people in the wings that are going that way. I mean, you know what to do if someone is physically sick, but even having been through bad depression myself doesn't help me know what to do when someone's in that, or in something else. I'm so very glad Angus is through his recent bit. His body is still hitting him hard physically, but he's a tough cookie. Also I love him like crazy, have I mentioned that lately?

My mom is sick with, likely, h1n1 right now. I need to make her some soup today-- she's really terrible with self-care. Come to think of it, I should offer her my bedroom to stay in. I'm not using it at the moment. Don't want to infect roommates though. Hm.

Chucken-garlic-ginger-orange peel congee, I think.

Discovered a really lovely all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant three blocks away from Angus' place. Tamaya, I think it's called, on Seymour by Robson. It's perfect staggering distance from here, their selection is fantastic, their prep and cooking is good, and they both offer wild salmon for an additional charge and have enough other options that it's not missed. Also, raw oysters are part of the all-you-can-eat menu, and their miso is properly bonito'd. I think I have replaced Tanpopo as long as they can remain consistent for a couple of visits.


Sep. 27th, 2009 07:03 pm
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One of my brothers is in bad trouble. In London. In a psychiatric ward.

I got to the bookstore at 5:01 to pick up my reserved books, they had closed at 5.

I work tomorrow, it won't rain much.

I have some kickass brothers.

My mom's garden, which I helped her plan some, looks kickass, especially my evergreen purple kale hedge (now 2 1/2' tall) seperating the "ornamental" part from the "veggie" part. I was obviously a little ahead of the design curve cause this fall nurseries are selling the exact same kale at maybe a foot and a half high for six or seven dollars each, as ornamentals. Go Greenie edible landscaping powers!

There may be rat babies soon.

I bought a bunch of pots for Angus' deck today at the nursery. I spent a bunch of hours there, wandering and compaaring, and this is gonna look really good. Resume quality. Looking forward to getting them home and planting them up. I love fall nursery sales. LOVE.

Angus feels nice and smells nice. I mean, he generally does, but I've been noticing it a lot lately. Snuggly.

I am quite happy with my garden.

I love my rats lots.

Lady Luck, the traumatically-produced baby of Corn Pops' difficult litter, won best in show marked kitten.

I am almost out of good books to read, but have a bunch under my belt.
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Everything's swirling around me right now. Today was pretty intense, just on its own: woke up at Piotr's after his Christmas dinner; hung out with Christina, my high school friend who lives in Uzbekistan, and talked about marriage and relationships and life directions; and hugged Drew goodbye: he's off to New Zealand to study wine now, possibly not to come back for years.

Life is like feathers, or maybe bubbles: beautiful to watch it swirling, oh so hard to catch and hold pieces. I'm not working right now (I need work, and if the snow doesn't clear up real soon now I'll need to find something in the interim) and I'm not biking regularly (nor bussing, just not going anywhere other people aren't going too generally) and people and events just sort of float through.

I wasn't expecting to start crying when I said goodbye to Drew. He's happy now; he's met his girl, they're hooked into each other effortlessly; he's chasing something he'll love to do, something that involves working with the soil and growing things and making things. It's been a long time coming for him. I'm glad it happened. Am I a stopping point for broken people? Then they take their lives into their hands and go sailing off and I'm standing here in my own life watching them fade into the distance. I can never be terribly unhappy about it, or even too very sad, because here are people stepping into themselves and their lives, flexing fascinating people and enthusiasm and strength that has suddenly become their skin, that has become a part of themselves.

Maybe I only put effort into people I know will go.

I don't know what I'm talking about tonight. I'm ...sad? ...wistful? ...nostalgic? ...there are threads spinning out of somewhere in the centre of my chest that reach far off into the distance, and from that distance I can feel rustlings and faint tuggings and remembered snatches of life. My own life is in winter, it's in waiting, it's feeding a little life with dried tubers. This is less worrisome than it normally is, if it's normally worrisome: it'll go fast when it picks up, and I know where it will go for the next little while (barring sudden surprises, of course). Still, winter is the time to mourn our losses, and it's the time to retreat into ourselves.

I've lost more rats this season than I even owned for the first couple of years I kept rats. Winter is dying time.

On the other hand, there is a lot of richness coming in right now. I have family on all sides: Angus' family is melting into my life on one side, cousins from my father's side on another, and my own family is close to me right now. My brothers and I were sitting around after Christmas dinner, after everyone else including mom had gone home, and we talked about my step-dad (our dad). We talked about mom, and growing up, and about how we approach money and stuff ownership (none of us like the feeling of owning stuff). It's the first time that ever happened.

Swirling, swirling, swirling.

I'm still my own rock at the centre of the universe. Or maybe that's me, the little green figure at the centre of the globe, attached firmly to the weighted base, and everything is swirling around me.
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Years later they find themselves talking
about chances, moments when their lives
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.
What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?
Read more... )And in the morning
I also knew it was you, but I just
answered the phone
the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,
not thinking you have a choice.

Lawrence Raab

There's something I haven't been telling you. I've been busy this week -- it's been a lovely, lovely week and I've worked hard so my body's remuscled all over. I've biked to the rubber-leg point (I've never been there before-- felt like my thighs are sheathed in fire, felt bowling balls in my calves, or weak, but never before like my bones bent ever-so-gently like stiff rubber with each pedal push. My commute home is a half-hour of uphill) and loved it. I've carried one or two cubic yards of soil up a very steep slope in buckets, dodging old shrubs and keeping my balance. I've helped disassemble, move, and rebuild two lock-block retaining walls (I've never used lock blocks before, they're easy enough that a retarded kindergardener could put them together).

I've ditched my bus pass, and may buy some more bus tickets, but not right now. So, all my commuting will be more-or-less on the bike. I want it to snow so I have an excuse to get snow tires for my baby. She's in the shop right now after a gear-shift exploded; when she comes home I'm going to take my auxillary bike apart down to the frame and put it back together to learn how. Whee!

I've been snowed on. I've watched Angus start to grow into himself, to begin to feel the personal power that we all have over ourselves and our actions but never seem to know about for the longest time. He's just beginning to be confident in his own decisions, to challenge the world around him when he knows he should, and it's beautiful. I've been looking forward to this since I hooked up with him. Perhaps because of the exercise I've felt re-empowered myself. I've discovered all sorts of cousins, bought a gift that would have had me shaking in my shoes to contemplate two years ago, and begun to win a fight with bronchitis.

I've learned that my dad is dead.

Realise I haven't seen my dad since I was two or something. My rediscovered family includes a relatively eccentric bunch of people ('colourful characters' was a term invented for us). I'm breaking down into incoherency now because I have no idea how to say this, or what to say. My cousin told me the news, and it hurt like crazy for about two seconds, and now I don't know what I feel. I usually take my griefs and drag them away from the incident into the safe space of the future where I can mourn them and lick any wounds they inflict. I don't know if I'm sad or if I'm just... I don't know. I have to tell mom, but she's sick right now and I want to tell her face to face. I don't know if she'll care or not. I don't, you see, know anything.

My dad has always been a black hole. There have been a couple stories from mom, now a couple contradictory stories from my newly discovered and quite eccentric uncle, and a few stories from my cousin from when she was small. I have a couple of pictures of him (I could get a picture of him from when he was older, one that's not twenty-seven years old!) and a necklace that used to be his and I saw the weddign ring that was his and mom's once but I think it's lost (I wanted to keep it so badly when I discovered it, and now who knows where it is?). Now there's no way of knowing what he was like. My family wants me to like them, they want to justify themselves to themselves -- on both sides -- and so the stories will come out the way all of our experiences come out, slanted as to other people's thoughts and feelings and even behaviours. I'll never know my dad, never see when he smiles or what his eyes look like when he does or when he particularly doesn't. I'll never know what kind of a hugger he is.

Apparently nudism runs in my family.

I think so does fear of abandonment. And so does abandonment. And so does abuse.

I have no regrets whatsoever about being raised by my mom. I may have some regrets about my step-dad, but more for my brothers' sake than for my own; I think I can heal from any wounds I received. Hell, I talk to Angus about financial stuff easily now -- the first time I talked to Chris about money I could barely speak I was crying so hard, it felt so shameful -- and I've tromped my abandonment stuff down to a couple of days per month.

I do have regrets about the information black-hole I have, about never being able to meet my father, about never having told him I loved him.



Dec. 6th, 2008 04:00 pm
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I have a huge pot of chicken noodle soup on. I was off work sick yesterday and slept nearly all day, except for a grocery run my mom drove me on which totally exhausted me. I've more-or-less stopped coughing, picked a fight with Angus this morning, and avoided the call from my newly-discovered cousin (well, who wants to talk to someone for the first time on the phone while fighting with the boyfriend anyhow). I am so exhausted. I'm not sure why. Is it the light? Is it my stressful events index (new job starts this week: 2, family discovered: 6 cousins, illness: 2, financial issues: yes, routine disruption: high)? Am I sicker than I thought? I'm sure ovulation is involved, and possibly less sex than normal. But seriously, what's going on?

When my brain gets like this I can't even tell if my issues are legitimate or not. Things I looked forward to last week will fill me with dread this week. Are the things that are bothering me -actually- bothering me, or just excuses? Am I just regressing to sixteen years old because the spectre of my father is pulled out of the closet? My cousin writes, "I think all of the ladies that had to deal with the men in our family viewed each other as kindred spirits ... I do have to say that they always have a way of pushing away the women that they love (my brother and dad included)"

I had a very good year. Now I'm pulling out and polishing up all my bullshit again, feeling thoroughly abandoned-so-I'll-run-away-pre-emptively. That's in no way cool, but it's so dark, and I get so lonely, and so tired, sometimes. My favourite bike's rear gears exploded and so I'm not as effortlessly mobile as I was. I feel pinned down by my own weight.

You know, it's been awhile since I felt so heavy, so powerless, and so isolated. I'd been taking my rare alone-interludes as snatches of something precious. I hadn't had a lot of alone time, though. I'm supposed to be thinking about rat breeding for the Vancouver show in February, I could clean up my place more and make it more like my home, but... I don't know. I guess everyone needs a day like this once in awhile. I was super high-functioning all week, bombing around on the bike at 6am, shovelling gravel for a couple of hours in the morning, spacing and organizing plants according to the designer's plans, arranging meals and hot drinks for myself with just extra-long nights to compensate for the sick. Now? Super low-functioning.

It can be just a day, not a prediction of this winter. I'll get climbing again-- with so many people I love going, what could keep me from it? I'll find new people to eat with, or revive some of my old commensals. And this fire in me -- the thing that Angus keeps flared bright, that occasionally shifts and burns back at me when the wind turns -- will twist around the way it should be soon.

It's funny, there's that same old time-use issue that pokes up: Angus works at the bar Friday and Saturday, evening till early (or not so early) morning, and soon he'll be gone Sundays again. We don't live together, though we sleep almost every night together, and so there's that whole dance where we try to keep our own lives intact while uprooting and living in someone else's space half the time. I'm in bed early and up early. He's... erratic. He's sick a lot. I spend a week to two weeks chained to the bad side of my cycle every month. We have had so much joy together, but here we're falling into the harder parts where it takes work. Or maybe this is just me, tonight.

I want to go lie on the bare earth under the brightest sun we have right now, that low pale yellow thing, and smell the way cold soil is wet and sweet when it sleeps.
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...a cousin from my dad's side of the family found me on facebook. She mentioned something about my older half-brother, who I know exists. She's co-authored several Christian books, apparently.

That blows away everything I was going to say about Ellen's wedding, about my new job(s) being awesome, and about being sick lately (and about Angus' brutal last couple of weeks of illness).


This is awesome, but what's it going to be like?


Dec. 12th, 2007 01:33 pm
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Mom's taking the family to go see Delhi 2 Dublin tomorrow evening, I'm excited. She went to the vancouver symphony orchestra and was totally bored, so she's looking forward to something more lively.

Our family, for Christmas, basically just does something all together-- no presents or anything, just something interesting. Sometimes it's a dinner or a gathering, sometimes snowboarding or something. This may be our Christmas.

My mom is awesome.


Jul. 7th, 2007 07:00 am
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We rolled home in the sunset, cool soft air pouring in through the windows, and I got the shivers and butterflies in my stomach when I saw my ecozone again. In Iowa the soil is so so deep and black, being stripmined by corn, and there's no wild in it. Across the Dakotas it rises up, gets drier, rolls rocky through Montana, and then crisps through the near-desert heart of Washington, leaving only brown and irrigated fields in stark dots. We came through the rockies, a mere pile of variably-sized gravel with trees poking through, and finally into real mountains that created the platonic-ideal crags and cones which live in my mind. Here you're cradled by stone and tree, the air is gentled by the ocean, and everything grows like gangbusters.

At the border they didn't ask to see ID, they just knew we were supposed to be here, and through we went. Gone eleven days, no shopping.

From US border to US border we travelled 6500 km, from Blaine, Washington to Lytton, Washington via Twin Lakes, Iowa. We went across on the I90, and back on the I94 and then the I90-- I recommend the latter troute, it's green and lovely as god's own garden in North Dakota, and there is a line in my trip log that labels part of that ride right before the edge of Montana as the most beautiful place on Earth. I could live there. The hills are low and rolling, things are green and rich, and startling shapes of hill and rock ride up - I would say, as Kim Stanley Robinson does of Mars, that the feng shui is strong.

We did all the driving in five days. That's a lot of driving per day. On the way back, the time zone change helped us. At the border we suddenly became giddy, on the way back, laughing and laughing, because the weight of being somewhere else was off us, and we were home.

Here we call it 'The US'. There it's 'America'. My family is there. I am here.

At one point, Justin was pretty drunk, and we were talking, and he says plaintively, "I don't speak Canadian, can you translate that into Iowa?"

It's morning now, and I've come back to sticky bits, confusion and chaos and pain that I knew would be waiting when I left. I need to put my house in order. The weight of obligation, of being a part of things and thus of both giving and recieving, of moderating and of pushing, is back on my shoulders. It was good to set it down for a bit and be a child again.

It is good to be back.

See you soon.


Jul. 1st, 2007 09:21 am
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So here I am in Iowa. Yesterday was the big family reunion, eight of ten of my mom's siblings were here (Uncle Dave had his flight cancelled, rescheduled, and then cancelled again at the last moment, so he couldn't make it and we're all a bit pissed off) as well as a bunch of cousins, maybe twenty of the thirty of us, and a few people from the older generation, plus assorted siblings' spouses.

That makes for a really full house.

It feels the same way family reunions always feel, which is intensely reassuring. My life's changed a lot on the ten-something years since I've been to one, and I am a different person here, but the cradle or the roots are still there if I look hard enough. It took me a day or two of looking to find them, of course. It's a bit of a gear switch. It's on the same lake it always is, at Rita's house, though she's in a different house this year. I had expected everyone to look much older, but they don't. I guess my eyes have grown as I have.

My mom and my aunt Rita are close, and Rita's kids are the only cousins I've kept up with regularly. It's been really good to see them again. The youngest is about three feet taller than when I saw him last, and he has brown hair instead of blonde now. Everyone else has filled out into these massive, tall boys built like sides of beef. It's such a beautiful thing to be connected to people in this way. I remember my older cousin Justin being sort of godlike in his abilities, and so old and world-wise. Now the little cousins can't tell him from an uncle, even though he's only five years my senior, and he's great with the kids. He did a ton of driving the boat around pulling a tube on the lake, and we talked well into first light one night. He'd worried about me, apparently, last time I came out-- he'd worried I'd go home and kill myself. These are the kind of people who think about you afterwards. I remember he drove me from one place to another in Iowa once, he put on cruise control and crossed his legs in the driver's seat and I was in absolute awe. We wrapped up some loose ends from the last time we'd seen each other.

The little wavelets on the lake are sparkling in the morning sun. There are fireflies in the evenings. It's magic.

My other cousin, Joe, is my age (I'm just about a year older, but not quite). He's so well placed,so suited to his environment, it's a joy to watch him. He has little mannerisms that I remember adoring when I was fourteen, like chewing on the edge of his drinking glass, and yet he's so changed and grown that recognising them is ... oh, I don't know what I'm trying to say. I see my brother, too, grown up with muscles from Ken-do. holding on to the back of a tube and dressing eccentrically, and they're all grown up, all young men. It makes me so happy to see, because this sort of flourishing growth and wellness and coming into oneself is part of the same cycle that death and decay and birth are. I have less experience with it in other people, though. It reminds me that summer also comes.

Anyhow, Joe and I traded memories (I remember when I came to Vancouver and went to /Dangerous Lies/ with your friends, I think because your mom made you take me; I remember when I came out to Iowa and you smeared fireflies and showed me how they left a glow). He brought me a dead firefly, that was still glowing, and was careful to say he had found it and not killed it. He brought me a live firefly.

This is the place I came when I was fourteen and sixteen, or something like that, when things were very bad at home, right before the divorce and maybe afterwards at some point. I definitely think of that as my coming-of-age summer, or maybe all the trips blur into one. Because my home life was so bad then, my family was so numb and incapable of giving much and my friends were too distant to adopt their parents and sort of graft myself on like that, I'd never really been in a place where everyone was freely and generously loving. I came here and they were, it was just here, I didn't have to be anything or do anything or project anything right, they just liked me and loved me because. Just because.

It probably was one of the most significant things in my life. Looking back, I realise that it's what made me think people might be worth giving a try. I learned there might be something special between people after all. I think it's also been a model I've imitated throughout the rest of my life, once I sorted myself out: love people fearlessly and freely, because it's okay. And you know, it's a good model. Love is okay.

It's a lesson I should keep. And it's a lesson I should expand: ten years of seperation doesn't diminish, it changes. I saw that this weekend. Changing is not a problem, it's often an enrichment to the people involved. That's good.

And I think this is the well my love comes from. The soil is deep, here, and it supports that sort of generosity. I feel replenished. I know I was feeling stretched, before, losing sight of what precisely love meant, and what it meant to give it-- I was getting the details confused with the thing, as so many of us do. I was going through rote actions in the hopes that the ritual would bring the feeling, but no, it's the other way around.

So I think I am going back home, when I do, a little bit soothed, a little bit reborn, and a little bit sad from missing these people. I'm trying to get Joe to come visit, maybe it will happen. Certainly I'll need to see them again before another ten years are up.

That's all I have to say.
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I should likely be tracking the weather as well as my mood, come to think of it. Sunny today, functional, worked, feel okay despite the big lumps in my head (sinus infection, second respiratory issue since the drywalling started, but I haven't been seriously sick for quite awhile before this-- coincidence?)

Some packing to do today for the move this weekend.

Pretty happy, pretty busy-- had to write an affadavit for the ongoing saga of my parents' divorce (this is year twelve since the seperation, some things are too good to die). While procrastinating on that (because I hate dealing with the whole lawyer/family thing) I got a bunch of other emails done that I needed to do, though it didn't quite get me over my taxes. Oh well. By the way, this is my dad. It's good to remember that my issues with authority come from somewhere, that they're not totally unfounded, and that my childhood as full of batshit-crazy people who are not a representative sample of the actual people in the world. They do not, for instance, bear ten-year grudges for perfectly normal things that happen to people (thus a lot of my paranoia is really unneccesary around anyone except my dad, who I don't speak to anyhow for possibly obvious reasons). Normal people also don't humiliate people in public, blow minor incidents up to extreme proportions, are relatively predictable and at least mostly honest about feedback, and are more-or-less trustworthy.

I need to remember that it seems to be possible to turn people into an image of my dad, so that they will behave in that way at least a little, if I don't keep this stuff all firmly in mind. People are how you respond to them.

Went to Seedy Saturday, and it was wonderful, as always. Anyone know anything about Kelowna's climate? I bought a whole bunch of hot weather stuff, but totally forgot watermelons. I bet you can grow watermelons there. Mmmmrrrr. Heat in the summer, who knew?

I'm trying to slowly claw myself back into climbing, but I keep getting sick. Need to go consistently. So hard to leave the house to do it once I'm here for the night, but at the same time it sucks so bad to carry the stuff around with all the plant supplies I need all day. Oh well.

Without consistent climbing, and with moving stress and time stress from being sick, all relationships feel a liitle weird. Ahwell, what do you expect?

Sunday hate hate hates Rizzo, who's the rat we were trying to breed her with. Even when she's in heat she tries to kill him. Plan of attack 2 is to breed her when I breed Silver again, during the March show. *sigh* I thought Bandita was the cow of that pair of sisters, but apparently not exclusively. No rat babies for me for awhile, and they may be born in Kelowna (there *is* a decent vet up there, apparently). I do get my Gaia from Mount Lehman Rattery in not-too-long, though.

I wish I could get outdoors to enjoy the sunshine more, but it's frustratingly cold out there. I suppose part of that is just what happens to me when I'm sick-- I'm always cold then.

March 24 is apparently the Ultimate Weekend Of Everything, because I'm getting my ratspacnw judge certification then in Seattle, I've been invited to a wedding that I'd really like to attend, and some other stuff is going down that I haven't bothered to remember because of those first two things. I wish there were two of me, or alternatively that people planned for things on different weekends. Oh well.

Figures that if you don't book some time three months in advance you can't be sure of my time.


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