Dreams

Jan. 13th, 2017 09:59 am
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I had a very intense schoolweek, I guess it's been the second week of school. My classes are frontloaded into the week, there's mandatory home school stuff to get done in that period, and my intricate monthly schedule trying to see Josh and Tucker both in ways that are most convenient for them came apart, and I was exhausted (and still switching courses, since I didn't get my schedule till the first day of class due to "UBC is just like that").

Last night I made it to yoga. And then... I have every second Friday off. I woke at the normal time, then had breakfast and apparently caught up on some dreaming.

I dreamed I had a young/barely adolescent dingo I'd brought home, and I was trying to keep him in the room with the rabbits but he kept getting into the rabbits' enclosure, though he didn't hurt them, and also I was rooting around in the massive deep freeze trying to find meat scraps for him. I dreamed mom was making massive quantities of green and of purple grape jam from on-sale supermarket grapes (mom wouldn't do this). I dreamed dad (!) brought home a pair of rabbits (!) and put them in with my rabbits, and wouldn't tell me how old they were or whether they were neutered but they were mine now. I dreamed there was a family in the house that was going to an expensive student theatre production their kids were putting on, and they had so much money they just stank of it.

I know where a lot of these come from, and some have left me puzzled (hi dad?! Er).

In more outside-world news, the term-long capstone school project I was looking forward to because it had to do with the real world is... not the real world. They ganked data from a place (close to Josh's house) but our client is, unlike other years, entirely fictional. We will not be doing a field trip to the land, nor working with actual controllers of the land to give them a plan they could use. It is deflating, and changes the task considerably: our land is "private" and run by someone considerably like us who happened to inherit it; I've gotta learn about the rules for forestry on private land pretty quick, but we won't need to negotiate with a First Nation that's got actual human contradictions and needs.

One of the people on my five-person team is a gardener type, lives near Lumby with his fiancee, and they want to do market gardening in greenhouses. That's excellent. My chance of surviving this term with an sort of sense of self intact is suddenly so much higher. A tool I will use when I am about to spiral into awfulness is, "Nick, tell me X about your greenhouses/property" (they are currently rehabilitating a seabuckthorn orchard for the landowner).

I got some dog-snuggling time yesterday at school, and realise it would be really nice to have a dog. Still logistical difficulties, of course, but...

And now that I'm circling around to it: the relationship with Tucker is starting to mature, or rather, the NRE is slowly lapping out like a tide and is leaving... us. So we are starting to want to set our boundaries and enclosures with each other, starting to feel the work it takes to make it go, and basically develop sustainability in the thing. I haven't written about him much; you never got an intro post to him. Someday you will. But, he's very special to me and he's here in town and he's also otherwise partnered and so there are things to be figured out.

Probably the relationship is in the place it is because this will be a very demanding term. It requires a lot of physical presence, a lot of writing, and a lot of getting along with people. It is clearly my priority, unlike last term where I didn't much care. I want to get things done, so I will. But, that leaves limited time and energy for everything else, thus learning to set boundaries rather suddenly in the eddies of NRE and also the complications of a distance relationship.

In great news, I've moved into a connected-but-seperate suite in a house shared by my ?girlfriend and her partner. It's been a great decision, though it puts me half an hour further away from UBC: I sleep better here, I can wander around naked (so, so vital to my wellbeing apparently), I can have loud sex, and there are often snuggles and food upstairs in the livingroom if I'm feeling social. I feel more rested, more at peace with myself, and moe comfortable here.

I guess that's the most of it for now. Time for schoolwork. Be well.

Transitive

Oct. 8th, 2016 03:14 pm
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For the longest time there were two categories of people in the world: those I trusted and those I did not. You'll be shocked to know I took this to extremes both ways, and didn't know how to navigate the middle ground. It's been a long, slow process but I'm learning to put people in the middle now. I can place a little more trust in people I don't know personally; I can play around the edges of mildly risky interactions rather than keeping myself rolled up tight and safe. I can be close and open (oh, English, really?) with people and trust them so far, but maintain watchfulness and self-preservation. I feel like the whole process doesn't damage me anymore.

Now, in the kind of real, exciting news that drives the world forward: I am doing another cider buy, 5 carboys this fall near the end of the month, and I'm gaining confidence in my ability to write again after the accident. Cider is cider, the play will go over on my canning blog; writing is... like being whole again. Nearly being able to hold things in my head again. Interplay and structure of thought. Thank goodness. I hadn't realised the extent to which I was personally diminished by the absence until it came back enough to feel again. I imagine it'll come and go, but it's very good when it's here.

It's raining. Josh is here before he starts a new job which will offer a cycle of serious absence and then serious presence. I've been driving a lot and loving how it saves time and makes me not-sick on the bus (straight up time savings is one thing, but I'm really starting to notice the time saved by not having to lie down when I feel awful after the bus too). Finances are a little rough but I'm feeling confident about my ability to navigate them, at least subject to my talking to my bank.

Fall festival is coming up next weekend; I need some ritual in my life and I am so looking forward to it.

I've realised that after I graduate I'll still be in training (doing "school") for another two years anyhow, which somewhat reduces my drive to plough through as fast as possible. If I'm one course behind and need to do something by distance, well, I'll be doing that for awhile anyhow.

Nothing is perfect, but things are deeply okay and some are really very wonderful.
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Well. More love in my life, my ribcage stretching open like wings. Friends, sweethearts: I'm in the middle of a season of connection. I'm renewing old ties, and the age of those ties has meaning. I'm forming new ones.

I'm not spending an excess of time on school, and basically none that isn't in plain sight. That may hurt me long-term. Having written these words, between that last sentence and this, I was inspired to send off an overdue email or two. Writing is good accountability.

Another love post is ripening. My relationship landscape is shifting again and I haven't taken the time, yet, to feel out all the various ramifications. I'm noticing a new level of ...comfort? confidence? in my people now. I trust folks to stick around, not just in the manner best for them, but also in ways that are good for me. It's been a long road since my first couple of posts, since I couldn't believe I had anything to offer or that anyone would find me interesting over the long haul.

I like the long haul.

My car has become what my home used to be, the place I can sing aloud to myself and no one can see me, the place I can expand to fill the space. I am finding ways to exist in my home more-or-less happily. I am spending too much money. I am attending most classes. I am telling myself that I will take my bike to school, or do yoga, but I keep putting those off (yoga: see also: too much money). I am petting Mella the bare mimimum she will allow, but talking to the rabbits more.

I am daydreaming, a lot, about having my own home.

After such a hard winter followed by a numbingly difficult summer, I am back to feeling myself surrounded by love and warmth every day. I am interested in people. I am... human again. It is the paramount wonder of the world.
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I'm settling in here a little. A desk has been cleared for me, home to my sewing machine and my desktop computer. This means my music is accessible again, especially good because I left my cell phone on top of the land cruiser when I was taking lumber off before work and it fell off in the middle of a highway of logging trucks: no more cell phone. I have another on order but it'll be awhile to get here.

Went down to Vancouver to visit James last weekend. It was really good. That's settling into me more comfortably. I feel serious about it, and slightly overwhelmed by the logistics of that plus Josh plus career, but since nothing else is settled at all in my life right now it doesn't feel imminently overwhelming.

Starting to feel angry about Dave again, incidentally. It... feels good? Feels nice to be angry at someone who could be an hour late for a date and didn't care enough about relationship ground rules to notice when he broke them, let alone apologise. Being able to feel angry about it is liberating. I suspect the reason it's taking me so long to get past the anger part and into the 'we weren't good in a relationship' stage is that I haven't devoted any space to the anger yet. Either way, here it is.

The main garden is unrolling across the lawn like a carpet. Greenhouse is built, wired to ventilate at a high enough temperature, and planted. Raspberry bed is made, rose bed is dug and planted and has ornamental patterns of lettuces and tomatoes in it. This week we should plant fruit trees. I'm very happy.

Every day I want to go back to Fort in the summer more. It's difficult for logistics but it feels astonishingly like home. Even though this city lot in Williams Lake is also feeling a little homey and every garden I plant roots me somewhere, the city is not my home.

Revisiting thoughts of kids, but that's another post. Now I go help Josh with some experimental deep-dish pizza done with a really really high hydration dough.
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This is a busy weekend. I had plans for it, or rather, I have plans for it.

Today I'm meeting someone from okcupid; we were going to meet at the beach and bbq some food but it's raining.

I was going to go to a coworkers' and have a fire and do meat and wine around it tonight for Solstice I'm not sure if he knows it's for solstice), but it's raining.

It rained on us at work on Thursday for the last half of the day, and Friday all day, and that was comfortable and felt like home. It was the first time I've been in the bush and got rained on, and the folks I was out with seemed a little less comfortable with it than I was, so that was something. It felt good to be able to use one skill, at least, that I already have.

Incidentally, I'd made a shepherd's pie the night before and been suffused with the glow you get when you know you'll come in out of a long, cold, wet workday and get fed really well for minimal work, then got back to the office and there were hamburgers waiting for us. My fridge is getting very well-stocked.

I'm not sure what's going on with my plans today, though. They are all outdoor plans, and the outdoors doesn't seem super conducive right now. I guess we'll see what happens. What I really want is a hot tub to sit in, out in the rain, and listen to the sound of falling raindrops on the lake.

Other than that, Dave will be up here within a week, so that's awesome. Tomorrow is national aboriginal day as well as solstice, so there should be things going on around town; I believe there are fireworks.

The garden is still pouring out cucumbers, and it's about to start pouring out spinach and swiss chard too. That's pretty exciting. There's also a ton of raspberry leaves for tea, and likely strawberries as soon as the rain turns off and the sun turns back on.

I've been bidding on/buying a few vintage kimonos on ebay lately; they're beautiful, and although I can't indulge myself in many of them they are a nice thing to collect intermittently as long as I'm careful about only getting things that I both really love and that are below my entertainment budget threshold. I love the landscape-patterned ones, full of trees and bridges and people and boats and houses. There are some absolutely breathtaking ones that are ink-wash painted misty mountain- and sea-scapes, which I can't afford but can enjoy looking at, too.

Over the week a couple of my coworkers went up to camp; I dogsat for one of them, and got taken out for a walk by a very energetic terrier in the rain. It was nice. I'm certainly not ready for full dog ownership with my life the way it is, but I might try to see if there are any organizations that hook walkers up with seniors or other folks who keep a dog but can't quite manage the physicality of a walk. I know there are organizations like that in the UK.

...or maybe I shouldn't add anything else to my plate?

Registration at UBC starts on the 30th. I'm trying to get my work situation sorted by then, to figure out whether I'm staying for another (part-)term or whether I'll be back in school for September. I've gone through all the correct hoops at work, I'm just waiting on my supervisor to figure out how much work there will be. I guess I can always register and then drop courses, come to think of it.

I definitely always feel better the day after (or the same day that) I go outside for work. Right now I'm feeling comfy and cozy and lazy and enjoying being indoors while the rain is out there. It doesn't hurt that hanging out with folks today is on the horizon.

Hope all is as well with all y'all.
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Swing, swing, swing. My mood is all out of kilter lately. I'm going to blame total lack of physical contact. I think I may prioritize seeking out a snuggle/sex person up here over, say, making rosepetal jam or sewing; fewer (the correct number of) hours in a work-week mean I do have some time to decide with.

I guess I've found myself in a distance relationship. I haven't been in a proper one since way back, when I was seeing Jan. I dug up the album Jan gave me then, downloaded it and looked at it in the music player and felt the sharpest and most physical manifestation of pain and quickly put on a different song by a different musician. That was a couple of hours ago, while Dave was out on a date and I was about to shower after my weekly two hours' lawn-mowing. Just now, as I sat down to write, I put on one of those songs and everything feels familiar.

I was speaking with Graydon the other day about the persistence of self of lack thereof, about continuity of personality. The conversation was about death, but I was telling him that I don't/can't remember what it was like to be me ten or fifteen years ago. I can go read it in this journal, but I can't immerse myself in what it felt like.

I was wrong. This music and this situation can do it. I remember this feeling. I remember how many years it took me to decouple the experience of love and pain, to feel them separately and not as one singular emotion. I have not decoupled them. I have merely sought out the rare, rare circumstances where I don't feel them both at once and spent long enough there that one does not necessarily echo the other.

Necessarily.

I want to tell you something, but I'm not sure how to word it. I guess it's this: I know what I want out of my life. That thing changes, the knowing flickers brighter and dimmer, but the things which guide my knowing remain. I know what I like when I experience it. I know what's good for me. I want the things I like, the things that are good for me.

I also want to cast things which hurt away from me. Or, back up. There are two kinds of hurt: bruises and well-used muscles, adversity that feels good. And there's suffering that doesn't feel good and leaves lingering wounds, pain to no purpose, broken hopes and disappointment and self-imposed loneliness and capricious meanness. I want to cast that second kind out of my life; I go away from it automatically a lot of the time now. But it's not always clear which is which, and it's also not always clear when a little of the latter must be endured to get the things I like or need.

I'm circling my subject. I always do that. I tell stories, speak of the conversations which initiated my thoughts, wander through generalities, and eventually I even get to the point sometimes.

I'm in a long distance relationship with Dave. I initiated that by coming up here and not ending the relationship. But, this is my job, my career, it's what I'm doing. So. I need to have a conversation with him about what happens next. I also need to have a conversation with myself about what happens next. I've thought it might be nice to have seasonal relationships, six months away makes the next six months together so much sweeter, might fit my migratory tendencies pretty well and keep me from sealing my life too closely to someone else's and drowning them too. I need to play with these ideas. I need to maybe try them more fully.

I'm proceeding on my career front up here, but I feel like I'm waiting on my home and relationship front. I'm dawdling along, existing, not pushing anything, just waiting for things to happen to me. That's not my best position to be in.

I should do something about that.
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Hi there. It's been a bit longer than expected, hasn't it?

I've been up here a month now (I guess technically the fourth is tomorrow, but I've been here four and a half weeks. I've accumulated a ton of extra hours (over and above my expected ten hour days) and the person I was supposed to accompany into the bush today called in sick, so I was given a half-day. I came home and slept; I haven't slept well the last few nights and I really needed the rest. Now I'm prepping pizza dough for the next couple days, grilling a steak for dinner (to go with my korean potatoes and sprouts that I made last night and a nice greens'n'weeds salad), and listening to music in this space for the first time since my housemate is away for the evening.

http://r3.ca/4bLb Please escort me/To the end/ Of this tome/Please destroy me/And discard me...

I'm feeling bittersweet lonely, and I'm thinking about people I haven't talked to in awhile. Specifically I'm thinking about Michael -- this music always makes me think of him, as does any mention of Williams Lake -- and I'm feeling that sensation of the past being so out of reach, feeling so garbled and distant, like a movie watched when half-asleep in a foreign language. All those steps in my life to which I was so intimately tied led me here but in doing so they have altered me so those times are beyond my reach now.

I guess that's a long way of repackaging the cliche that you can never go back. You're always arriving as a different person, to a place that's changed.

Sometimes those places still love you like home. Sometimes they don't.

Maybe this music always makes me feel like this. http://r3.ca/1u22

I'm getting better moving through the bush. I'm feeling less useless at work. With this comes the crop of issues learning to get along in the company, to work with different personalities and positions. It's a little chaotic, there's not enough scheduling to make everything run really efficiently there. The people who work there have pretty diverse personalities. I think I made the right choice, both for career and for place to be this summer, but it's not entirely easy.

I'm homesick this week, last weekend I felt too far away from you to even write.

There are things I'm really enjoying. I changed supper plans and harvested the first cucumber from the greenhouse to make my salad. I have time to cook and I haven't eaten at a restaurant (except for a milkshake with Dave) since I got here. I saw the most beautiful landscape the other day at work, walked through it actually, all blueberries and Ribes and "balsam" and Lycopodium. I keep anticipating swimming in the lake, though I haven't gone yet since it's always cooled down by the time I get home. I love the curve of the mountains. Things keep blooming like crazy. People are so friendly. My housemate is wonderful.

I miss human touch. I miss sex. I miss my stuff. I miss yoga. I miss pho and sushi. I miss the ocean, and cedar trees, and trees of reasonable size. I miss green fields.

I miss my people.

I especially miss Dave.

I miss having a home.

But here I am, and it's not so bad. I'll just be settled in before I'm gone again.

Lots of love.
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Well, here I am in Fort St James.

It's my first weekend up here -- I got to Prince George via a 12-hour overnight bus last Saturday, got picked up on the Sunday, and got in to town Sunday evening. A pretty full work week started in which I tried to catch up on my sleep, so I did pretty much nothing ecept work, feed myself, and sleep.

That doesn't sound too different from my routine in town, but it's been much more relaxing than it would have been in Vancouver. To start, I'm not particularly mobile at the moment, and there aren't many places to eat out. This has meant a lot more cooking, and improvising from the same set of ingredients since I'm cooking from one again and it makes no sense to fully stock a kitchen for the summer. I'm staying at a house a little out of town, on the lake (or maybe the river that flows out of the lake) so there's lots of green and quiet and birdsong and flowing water around me. I'm going to bed between 8 and 9:30 most nights, with a little bit of reading before sleep.

I've been iterating on potatoes and eggs and cabbage and butter, and have just added bacon and flour to my available ingredients.

I have few demands on my time outside work.

I *am* going to look at a place in town I might stay, later today. In town would have benefits in terms of getting to the post office and going shopping, and being on the swimming beach and close to carpool rides to work. Where I am now has the benefit of having an amazing patio overlooking the water on which to eat breakfast, a very social homeowner who knows everyone in town, and room to do archery. There's less privacy here than there would be in town, though, and the bedroom situation isn't ideal.

I am content here right now. I miss Dave really a lot, not painfully but in the same way that you miss fireplaces when you move to a house with central heating; I guess it's the aliveness an the warmth of him. I've been calling him my partner, which is significant, and that doesn't feel like its gone away at all. We've been taking turns being a little jealous of each other; he is jealous of the excitement of my going away and having advenures, I'm jealous of the latitude he has to do interesting city things and also to take vacation time.

But, yes, content. I have time to think, and to listen. I have time to soak in my environment, and I can do that instead of constantly having to shut off a stream of unpleasant sensory input. When I look out the window there's water moving, and when the leaves come out there will be aspen leaves sparkling and tossing in the tiniest breeze (their petioles are designed to toss the leaves like this). It's quiet: clock ticking, birds, the sound of a very distant boat's motor but no traffic or people yelling or playing music.

We've been doing training for the last few days, the whole forestry office, and some of us went to the Northern Interior Cruising Convention on Wednesday and Thursday. That was the first time my work ever paid for a hotel for me. NICC was a great start to learning my job, but the training has been especially good. It's been a chance for me to get to know everyone at the office before I pair off for the summer for bush work. It's been a chance for me to brush up on things like ATV use. And... I like these people.

Part of training was setting up a fire pump in the corner of the lake. We were all in boots, and went in the lake a little, and... it was warm, maybe a degree or two warmer than the ocean right at the edge there. Apparently the ice has been off it for a bunch of weeks now. With the days we've been having, hot during the afternoon and cool at night, it's so inviting. I'm looking forward to making the lake's acquaintance, maybe practicing swimming some. I've always been a little nervous of lakes, so this is a place to start.

Air and water are both very different here. The city is supplied by a well, I don't believe it's treated. The house I'm at now has a water softener, which makes what I consider to be delicious water, though I like the local water either way. No one local likes the local water, and from what I've seen a big water cooler is a standard feature of most places. I suspect I will not have my electrolyte issues this summer. The air is much drier than at home, and honestly I've never experienced anything quite like it. Even after being nervous or active or even indoors for a day I don't feel sticky and coated in weirdness like I do in Vancouver. Water spilled will dry. Lotion will undoubtedly be pretty important as the summer progresses.

So. I'm sure you'll get more later, but that's about where I'm at right now.

Suitability

Jan. 6th, 2015 05:16 pm
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I'm halfway through training for a half marathon I mysteriously signed up for that'll take place in February. I didn't think I'd ever be a runner, mostly because mom is one, and I still don't think I *am* a runner... but this sort of exercise regime suits me down to the ground. In building physical capability the basic idea is to do low level stuff for awhile to build a "fitness base" or basic capability, then to add intensity for while (in my case, distance) in small increments. So I got through the part where I built a base by running and walking various proportions of 2-4 miles for awhile, now I'm maintaining the base by running 4 miles twice a week and adding distance by running a long run every weekend.

Every weekend I add 1 mile to the distance I ran last weekend. A half marathon is 13 miles. My previous longest distance run ever was just under 5 miles.

So right now, every weekend, I run further than I ever have before in my life.

This is amazing and motivating to me. I may try to keep running as a sometimes-hobby-thing, not at this level of intensity, but I don't really like running. I do like something where I top my personal best once a week in easy-to-understand numbers (5 miles! 6 miles! 7 miles!). It's great.

Semester has also started; I'm two days in today. I don't know how it's going to turn out, but a couple of my classes seem to be going better than expected from the weird start-up stuff around them. We had a lab today that was tromping around the botanical garden looking at plants and I don't think the instructor thought much of me (I didn't need to look at a hemlock, I can ID it at all scales from a distance) but before I could feel too antagonistic towards him he mentioned that he has ghost tree moments on campus -- moments when he'll be in the middle of a building, or a road, and be aware of how not too long ago there were huge silent forests there, maybe a tree on that very spot. I feel that all the time, and I haven't met anyone else with that awareness, so it's hard to be antagonistic now, isn't it?

I also have a class that's four or five people, mostly masters students I think, and we're going to sit around and talk about the politics of land tenure in forestry and its effect on the environment and especially on different groups and also about the history of it. How great is that?

So we will see. I'm definitely too busy, but my first-ever student loan is coming in to fix that (I think) and I'm starting to get a handle on how my time will flow this year. I'm applying for summer jobs far and away, and making bits of time here and there to be social, and that's about it right now.

It's not perfect, but it is pretty good.
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"Give me one good reason why I should never make a change"

That's pretty much the intelligible lyric in the long I've got on ultra repeat this week. Here's the thing: change feels less like change lately. The things I do don't penetrate so far under my skin. Circumstances might alter, but however much change there may be, it doesn't touch the core of me. I'm just.... myself, in a slightly different setting. That's not entirely new, but it's becoming dependable. S'kinda neat.

And there has been a lot of change.

I'm back at school (very challenging) and I'm probably going to accompany that with a big lifestyle change: instead of the stable home I've been working on making for the longest time, I'm giving serious thought to giving up my apartment and doing serious camp/bush work over the summer and then coming back to a much less expensive home experience in the meantime. Most of my stuff will probably end up in storage.

I'm piloting mindfully through a relationship, trying pretty hard to avoid coasting through something that's easy or that I like. I'm trying to avoid defaulting to partner status with someone who doesn't fit the things I need from a partner, and who isn't into committing in a similar way that I do.

I'm embracing that I'm a moving target. I think I'm gonna get myself a post office box and give up on changing my address every year or two. I love lots of people. I like lots of things, and need to be occupied with things that offer diversity.

And I think I'm pretty happy. I like change, and I like challenge. I like feeling dirt under my fingernails from scrabbling to hang on to edges.

That said, there are some things I don't like. Time really is at a premium, and money at the same time. That's why I'm thinking of getting rid of my place for something a) cheaper and b) that I don't have to pay for over the summer. School is a giant bureaucracy that generally doesn't give a fuck about anything -- my faculty is small and friendly but I was, for instance, refused service at the UBC clinic for not having my name changed on all my papers since citizenship, and there's stuff with room changes and mandatory courses only offered once a year that's pretty annoying. I don't know many folks at school, nor really feel any warmth towards them, and I haven't had time for my own friends.

But all-in-all, I'm enjoying my life, not sharply and intensely but quietly. I enjoy anticipation of things: I'll walk along the water and feel such a strong longing to be on a boat that completes itself in the glow of knowing I soon will be; I start gooseberry wine and have such an intense curiosity for how it will turn out; I look forward to the wilderness swallowing me up next summer and to the friends I'll make and to the sex I seldom have time for these days. Anticipation has always been one of my strongest emotions and it's pleasantly employed these days.

I'm enjoying my body, liking the feel of doing yoga again and also navigating the strange waters of dressing myself for days I don't need to wear a uniform and feeling myself as embodied in a large group of mostly very normal strangers.

I'm experimenting with kink and with various forms of intimacy and asking for what I need emotionally. I'm experimenting with where patience feels good and where it doesn't.

I'm reading on social justice when I have the wherewithal.

I'm practicing being mutually supportive adults, especially with Dave: I help him evaluate apartments and he helps me send off for my credit score. We take turns making dinner. We practice doing things we prefer to do alone some nights and things together others.

So, I'm doing alright at this point (except for my current massive ear infection, ugh). Hope it's as good for you.
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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.
from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner.html

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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Emotional pain is icicles to the chest, full speed. It's almost cold enough to be numb, not quite, and invasive in a way that doesn't quite allow the lungs to function. It's a dull but sudden pressure, the weight of everything in the world squeezing but with no sharp edges to bring even the relief of brightness to pain.

My pain tonight is not my own. It's carried, remembered, empathized, siphoned ritualistically from those around me who hurt as if by taking their pain on I could lessen the feeling of it.

I suppose it never has worked that way, has it? Thirty two years and I'm still learning. I'll give their pain back to them, then, and tell you about my joy and my trepidation, because that's where my own life is right now. Not borrowed, but real.

I keep doing yoga. I am not moving yet. I do yoga nearly every day, and while it's not as heavy labour as bike commuting or proper landscaping it helps me a great deal. Every time it's a deliberate interaction with my body. Every time I leave seated better within myself.

It's not a linear workout progression -- are bodies ever linear? -- but it affords opportunities for practice, for improvement, for small goals within big ones. It works well for me. It demands that I listen to my body. That, too, works well for me. I always need practice listening to myself, to know what I want, what I need, what I do not want, what I must hold firmly at arm's length.

I also keep brewing. Yoga is a ritual that focuses me on the here-and-now, on what I need and can do in the moment. Brewing reminds me of my pagan ritual experiences in exactly the opposite direction: it's a set of actions planned and executed with intention for the future. I brew crazily, artsily, a backbone of research occasionally making up for my intense lack of experience. I brew like I always imagined I would paint or sing if I did those things: to capture a thought or a feeling or a mood and carry it forward to share with people. I don't expect it to be received in such a way, but it comes from that same creative place. Really what I do is more about process than the result. It's too early yet to know how my results will be.

I've brewed an apple mead that's thick and sweet like sunlight at the end of August when it just starts to go gold. I've brewed a juniper apple wine that's resinous and clean like sitting on the rock slope of a mountain where the air starts to thin and looking far down and below to the ocean. And now I've brewed a barleywine that is thick and dark and bitter like strong coffee with a little sugar, like the days right after solstice where you have to go through the darkness again to get out but viburnum and witch hazel promise that spring will come.

I have rose petals for a mead (this one following a recipe, I have had it and it's truthfully like this) that's fragrant and warm and sweet like the sleepy press of a bedmate's skin in the morning, the sensation of intimacy before any pressure from the day forces motion and thought.

So as you can see, I'm enjoying this.

I am enjoying friends, a little distant from them as my life settles into its rhythms. No one, or very few people, match me: I wake up in the morning, I go to bed in the evening, I am not awake in the late evening or the night. If my schedule is an insurmountable obstacle for someone in my life, they drift out of my life for awhile.

I am enjoying my lovers, leaning especially deeply into my connection to Dave to explore it as greedily as my life and his will allow and gently letting time with Tenay unfold as it wants to. My body stays hungry for touch most of the time, definitely also for sex, but my appetite is picky and my time and energy are limited. I'm not sure I remember a time when physical affection has been so scarce on the ground for me. It's an interesting feeling, and not as bad as the complications that can arise when I try to banish it by any means necessary. I am, therefore, practicing patience.

And I'm practicing impatience in my career, exploring my intention towards school and enjoying the uncertainty and trepidation that come with it. It will be good to have a challenge again, I think. I'm always best when I have my teeth sunk into something.

For now I need to shower, still, after yoga, and to eat. Be well, lovelies. Less of the pain to you, and more of the joy.
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Tonight Andrew gets home, so I'll be living in my home again, full-time, hereafter.

I've been chipping away at it, and it's going faster than I expected; I guess I had forgotten what it was like for something to be done, then stay done (except, of course, the animals).

An incredible amount of garbage is coming out of this place. I wasn't doing much critical sorting in the last while, and so things that weren't immediately disgusting but were useless/broken built up. Things didn't get put away to the extent that I need to create places for them. And did I mention a lot of my plants died in that interlude where I wasn't coming home much?

It feels So. Good. to clean things. It feels amazing to see something wrong and just-- fix it. Immediately. It feels so good for my floors to be emerging. I do clearly need more shelves, I need to figure out how I'm going to force that into a budget. There is just not enough space for everything to go somewhere.

I continue to be careful about spreading around my attention; getting together with friends sometimes and lovers other, with any given person only once per week, making some solitude in there (which sure, I've been using to nap or clean house, but whatcha gonna do). I've also been enjoying time to chat online with folks; it really is a mode of interaction I appreciate. It feels like my native tongue.

I cannot wait to have people over to my place.

I love anticipating when I'm next gonna see someone now, instead of feeling anxious if they're not around for a bit. I quite enjoy that switch.

I discovered a program called Snapchat. It's a surprisingly intimate-feeling photo-messaging program, and I've been using it a fair bit. Somehow the impermanence, mutability, and control of my own image has felt really empowering. I'm learning to take pictures of myself that I think are pretty.

I have in no way figured out how to cope with my sex drive. Despite having maybe 5 people who could be considered lovers to some degree or another I am not getting laid a whole lot, and when I do it takes significant time because that's what happens when you see someone infrequently enough that you don't drop into routine. So I can't just up the frequency of those dates; I'd never get anything else done. I'm in pretty much my ideal sexual environment right now, so I need to come up with some strategies, or maybe it will settle over time.

The people around me continue to amaze me with their awesomeness, forthrightness, with the sheer fun or love or caring or interestingness of interactions with them.

My grief process peeks out around the edges once in awhile but is still pretty much in hiding. Not sure what it'll take for it to feel safe.
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My very dear friend Andrew went on a vacation and left me his keys, so I've been staying in a space with my own real bed and a locking door for the last few days. There's a kitchen where the dishes stay clean if I do them, and I can play music, and a bonus cat. It's close to my friends and work, so there's no commute to keep me from sleeping or break to my spontenaeity.

I've been cooking meals for myself: salad, meat, sides. I've been petting the cat for half an hour a day. I've been going to sleep at 10 or 11 and feeling human when I wake up.

It seems like Blake is out now, but he's left some stuff and doesn't want to talk about getting it back. I guess that means it's my job to pack it up and either store it or throw it out. He would no doubt be livid if I threw it out. He also still has the keys, but isn't yet ready to return them to me, so things are not as well as I'd like. I've been popping by to feed and water the animals; tonight is New West potluck so I'll be staying there and waking there and trying to feel out how to best start the massive cleanup job that space requires.

I wish I had a little more money to get some nice house things. That went on hold for two years, it was so irritating at the time (he never even got a dresser for his clothing, I would have had to pay for it) but now there's nothing to lose or divide on that front. I want another book-case (for my canning stuff) and a rug for the front of the fireplace.

I have my bike back, and went biking with a rainbow-haired poly dude I met at the masquerade. I love biking, and it was so, so nice to talk about poly to someone who is independently coming from a similar set of desires to me: not dyadic or heirarchical is particularly a thing to me right now. I do not want to get sucked back into that ill-fitting trap.

My brother is trying to convince me to buy a juiced-up electric scooter/"bike". It's pink and lovely. See: I wish I had money.

I sat down to write about my experience of kink originally; I'd had a discussion with a friend where he said something about a belief or experience that it was usually less intimate than sex. That was so far from my experience that it spun off a lot of thinking that wanted to lead to talking, but by that time there was nobody to talk with.

I'll have to write it later. For now, I should go get ready for work. Be well, folks.

Wow.

Apr. 26th, 2011 10:00 pm
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Well, here I am in the edifice of my life again. It's daunting and exciting.

I have no time. That is, I just booked up the 7th for a rat thing, which would have been my next day completely off. I'm supposed to be thinking about moving. It's scary. Going away didn't miraculously add time to have a third meal per day into my schedule either-- shocking, I know. My body's gonna have to get used to this all over again. I couldn't get myself to bike today.

On the other hand my people are amazing. I spent a surprising amount of time with Angus over the weekend given how busy we both were. I visited Michael today. I am blessed. I need to crowbar my schedule open wide for Paul again at some point, for Andi who I hadn't seen in forever and had managed to re-forget how awesome she is, etc, etc. And, while I don't regret living in Vancouver instead of Seattle, there are a couple people I'd like to see over there more often than twice a year.

I have more to write, but I don't think I can keep myself upright any longer. Today has felt long.

Be well.
greenstorm: (Default)
So I'm leaving for Spring Mysteries in a few minutes. I'm proud of the fact that I'm happy and still alive in the incredibly intense lead-up to this. I've taken one day off in the last dozen, otherwise it's all school and work. I slept 3 1/2 hours last night (about 5 each the two nights before that) and woke up next to my lover to work on my take-home exam (in bed! on my iphone!) before rocketing off to put things in order so my brother can ratsit here. I'm packed. I have homework to take with me. My right eye has stopped the ceaseless twitching it had taken up yesterday.

I'll have time to catch up on not doing anything this weekend, out of cell reception and on a beautiful coast full of mostly strangers who believe in touch, the earth and shared ritual (well, maybe someday I'll write more about that, it's not strictly true).

When I get back I've only a week before my home is back in my custody and I can make it nice.

My brother is more-or-less moving into the neighborhood and we had a good talk like we haven't in years last night. I'm looking forward to more of that, more biking on the seawall and talking like friends with nothing to hide from Paul, Burn Notice with Andrew, gymming with Mcbain, maybe even the conversational black holes Kynnin and I fall into... friends, who I'll lean on heavily so's not to crash like a needy sledgehammer on Michael's head when I'm alone nights, and so I can find the strength to stand mostly unbowed in the storm of this change with Angus. I'd like to not desert him to heal, but instead to shift gently to wherever we're going.

Plus, school friends jumping the school/life barrier, gardens lifting, new home visioning and the move that will inevitably come--

life has promise. I've been really swingy lately, this is an upswing, but in general things are solid. They're especially solid when I'm too tired for angst, to be honest, but that's a reminder to keep my energy invested in the upward climb to... wherever it is I'm going.

See you on the flipside.

Grown-Up

Apr. 13th, 2011 10:40 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
Going to bed alone.

It's less luxurious when you'll be woken at some random time after 1am by someone coming in in an indeterminate frame of mind, smelling like a stranger, and you need to get back to sleep again because you have a 9am meeting.

It's more luxurious when it's your own goddamn bed and you lock the door and you're the only one with the key, but hey.

There are tons of great places for rent. I'm... torn. I could start viewing in my copious free time (did I mention I don't have days off anymore?) but then if I liked something I'd likely have a month overlap and that's $$$, plus I'd be moving soon, which is a hassle I may not have time for.

Gah. What to do.

In other news, reaffirmed the you-don't-love-me-but-I-love-you status I have with Michael the other night. Just a warning, if you've dated me you should stop reading at this point, but:

why can I not meet someone who can make their own life so interesting that they give a fuck about it, can support themselves like a grown-up, and actually cares about me? I mean, seriously.

On the other hand I'm playing in a garden full of friends right now. Paul is in town, Michael is neat and soothing, Andrew is reliable (rarest of traits!), other people who I like and who are sweet to me stick their noses into my life to offer nice things from time to time. Kynnin didn't even wait six months before seeing if we could find time to connect this time! I may hang out with people from school outside of school!

Physical things are receding. My sex drive has almost completely shut down; my ability to playfully have sex certainly has. I don't have the money/time matrix to eat particularly well and tastily, and I hardly notice how my food tastes most of the time. I'm biking again, to and from school (it's about 20k per day, that's just about an hour of riding all told) which is lovely but probably the least physical exercise I can do. I am touched seldom enough that the instinct is burying itself and touching people feels a little foreign. I am never naked except in bed, mostly because I am never home except in bed.

This is an impoverished existence in many ways. So many of the things I value are absent. Independence burgeons, though, self-reliance and pleasure in my own companionship rise up. My shell is forming, smooth and seamless against the world. I think some people are entombed halfway through it, half in and half out, and I can go to the edge and visit them there, but no one is within it.

I am grown-up, single in the sense of one entity complete in itself. Don't think this means I'm not sometimes lonely, or tired, or needy: there's just no face in that void.

I don't know what else to tell you tonight. I want to write a lot more than I do, but I'm never in front of a keyboard with enough privacy, energy, and lack of school deadlines.

Pretty much every word in here is lonely in some way, said when I don't have a person to speak to, when there's no one who can just listen and understand. This is no different, typed at night in an empty house to avoid bed.

Oh, enough of this. Goodnight.
greenstorm: (Default)
Last night was rough. The day was good, but bleakness hit me aroundabout 11:30pm; it was a clear indication that I should sleep and, after a little flailing, I did.

In the morning I woke up and everything was fine. Good, in fact.

Yesterday I went foraging with a friend. We picked up chickweed, dandelions, nettles, and cress. Those are now soaking on my counter, ready for salad and for processing into soup and greens to freeze for future soups. I got some lovely new crop haigamai rice, which is milled to have the germ but not the hull layer to the seed. It's in the rice cooker right now, and I can't wait to try it just like I can't wait for my dandelion/chickweed/basalmic/olive oil/salt/tomato salad that I'll have with the onigiri I make from it. It is absolutely possible to eat well on very little money.

Crappy rice should be outlawed anyhow. Few people have any idea just how good this stuff can be through simple lack of exposure.

Anyhow. Today will be more foraging, doing some garden prep, some Latin (finally) and a few things like that. It'll be my last mostly-unstructured day in awhile. I may actually go in to work, depending on what the weather and my time does. I can sure use the money.

Yesterday they forecast rain and it was another marvellous stolen day of sunshine. Now it's the kind of high bright gloom that only happens in spring and summer: still light but the light is grey. My home feels like a bowl, the air within full of music and the smell of cooking rice.

I may worry more another time, but not right now. Not right now.

Freedom

Mar. 21st, 2011 08:04 am
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Yesterday I had class outdoors; we didn't start in the classroom, we met outside, we stayed outside. I biked to class with a friend of mine, biked home with her, and then biked across the city with another friend, had dinner, biked back, had another dinner with another friend, and then basically went to sleep.

That's over 2 hrs on my bike, nice easy riding (the way to school is disappointingly flat, if briefly terrifying where there's construction on an overpass) and I really had no desire to stop. That's just over 12 hours outdoors, most in a big long chunk, and it was the cold that drove me in. It was a good day, and a glorious way to start on the official spring.

I also harvested stinging nettles while at school, just a few small first ones, and tonight will be nettle soup.

I'm happy; I'm well. I feel cared-for.

I found two poems this morning. Here they are. Then I'll wrap myself in warm textiles and waterproof things and go to work with headphones on, surrounded in comfort in every way the opposite of yesterday and good because of it.

Enjoy.

Answer

If you were made of stone,
your kiss a fossil sealed up in your lips,
your eyes a sightless marble to my touch,
your grey hands pooling raindrops for the birds,
your long legs cold as rivers locked in ice,
if you were stone, if you were made of stone, yes, yes.

If you were made of fire,
your head a wild Medusa hissing flame,
your tongue a red-hot poker in your throat,
your heart a small coal glowing in your chest,
your fingers burning pungent brands on flesh,
if you were fire, if you were made of fire, yes, yes.

If you were made of water,
your voice a roaring, foaming waterfall,
your arms a whirlpool spinning me around,
your breast a deep, dark lake nursing the drowned,
your mouth an ocean, waves torn from your breath,
if you were water, if you were made of water, yes, yes.

If you were made of air,
your face empty and infinite as sky,
your words a wind with litter for its nouns,
your movements sudden gusts among the clouds,
your body only breeze against my dress,
if you were air, if you were made of air, yes, yes.

If you were made of air, if you were air,
if you were made of water, if you were water,
if you were made of fire, if you were fire,
if you were made of stone, if you were stone,
or if you were none of these, but really death,
the answer is yes, yes.

Carol Ann Duffy

Adulterated

Bella fica! (beautiful fig, fine sex) the whore said
in the back streets of Livorno, proudly slapping
her groin when the man tried to get the price down.
Braddock, the heavyweight champion of the world,
when Joe Louis was destroying him, blood spraying
and his manager between the rounds wanting to stop
the fight, said, I won the title in the ring,
I'm going to lose it in the ring. And, after more
damage, did. Therefore does the wind keep blowing
that holds this great Earth in the air.
For this the birds sing sometimes without purpose.
We value the soiled old theaters because of what
sometimes happens there. Berlin in the Thirties.
There were flowers all around Jesus in his agony
at Gethsemane. The Lord sees everything, and sees
that it is good despite everything. The manger
was filthy. The women at Dachau knew they were about
to be gassed when they pushed back the Nazi guard
who wanted to die with them, saying he must live.
And sang for a little while after the doors closed.

Jack Gilbert

Okay, one more...

Ghost Diary

Yesterday I saw the yellow skeleton of a leaf stuck to the sidewalk.

Where are you going, I ask. You say with irritation, To the store. For some bread. Already I’m seeing the tendency of things. Yes, there’s rebirth, but who cares? The new leaves have their own lives, and the old, known ones are gone.

I haven’t stopped expecting you. I hope to find you lying in stale sheets, reading a book on a weekend morning. Buying too many cheeses, watching Playtime, and complaining that your clothes don’t fit.

There was always more time. A superabundance, the warm hand of the world held out. In spring the leaves are only ideas, clenched tight as fists in the twigs of every tree.

Almost at once I began to expect you. You were the paper-slip leaves of the trees, emerging. I believed in you the way I believe in trees, in time, in what I didn’t know but was born prepared to lose.

Karen Munro
greenstorm: (Default)
Today I was tired-- maybe 5 hrs sleep last night, I think 3 the night before that I climbed the Eiffel tower on the climbing machine and I've been keeping up with my workouts. When I'm that tired I get surrounded in a silvery static of exhaustion; I'm isolated within my own head and it can go two ways. I can get stuck, claustophobic and knotted in my own dark and defeatist thoughts, or I can dive inwards like diving into a deep feather comforter and feel around in my head for awhile. I did the latter and so, while I felt fragile all day, I never slipped right over into feeling bad. It helps that I stole some time at the gym, did some cardio and climbed the Eiffel Tower again (working up to Mt Olympus, you betcha! Eiffel Tower's just shorthand for 300m) so when I got to the incredibly slow boring class at the end of the night I stayed awake. It helped that I prepped by bringing food and ate it during class, even if it wasn't great food for me. Calories count for a lot.

It helped that I've been well-loved by the triumverate of support in my life

Amd mpw I come home to a real dinner, more love, and some poems like the one by ee cummings that got me mostly through today, I think it's a new favourite:

as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
-long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame

as hatracks into peachtrees grow
or hopes dance best on bald men's hair
and every finger is a toe
and any courage is a fear
-long enough and just so long
will the impure think all things pure
and hornets wail by children stung

or as the seeing are the blind
and robins never welcome spring
nor flatfolk prove their world is round
nor dingsters die at break of dong
and common's rare and millstones float
-long enough and just so long
tomorrow will not be too late

worms are the words but joy's the voice
down shall go which and up come who
breasts will be breasts and thighs will be thighs
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do
-time is a tree (this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough

ee cummings

And this one makes me think of Kynnin. The time in my life where this would have been about him is gone, but sometimes there are echoes, and I do remember:

You Know, I Think More and More Often

You know, I think more and more often
that I should go back.
Maybe I'll meet you. And happiness?
Happiness is being sad together.

So I look through the moonlit window
and listen.
Nothing. A breeze stirs somewhere.
Alone among the leaves - the moon.

Like a golden wheel it rolls
above the windblown leaves.
Such moons, only paler,
shone over the Wisla.

Even the Big Dipper on its course
stops in a tree at midnight,
just like at home. But why here?
Truly, I don't know.

What's here? Longing and sleepless nights,
unknown streets and somebody's verse.
I live here as a nobody:
a Displaced Person.

I think of you. I know I must leave.
Perhaps we can return to our past,
but I know neither what youth will be like
nor where you are.

But I'm yours or no one's
forever. Listen,
listen, read this poem
if somewhere you are alive.

Tadeusz Borowski

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