Where’s your paddle?

Floating up Shits Creek with the rest of it all.

Run Like Hell. I ran, it doesn’t work and I know that.

I’m not running away and I know I’m not running towards anything. This time I’ll just run because I want to. I like the motion. 
The Lost Kids; taking the world by storm and making threats but not following through on the promises we make to ourselves.
Failed communication, lost dreams, faded and patched hope. Internal wars that never cease their battles. It’s never quiet or easy or calm.

Smoking cigarettes to cure idle hands that need to hold on to something, but nothing is permanent. Nothing is solid or substantial enough to help us touch down.

Whiskey nights in a northern place where the season makes it so the sun never goes down. Perpetual day light with no darkness to hide from ourselves.

Opioid overdoses in mini vans at camp grounds. The lost drive to thrive and just an instinct to survive. Lost drive, broken power steering. Find the light in a place so saturated with sun that all you can see is the darkness. 

I sit in the emergency intake and try to explain why the narcan kit needs a refil. Why no one called 911. Why it’s ok, we just need more narcan. 

Broken hearts, broken dreams, broken bones, broken minds. All I can do is sit and wait and hope and help. Fight for my own part in all of this, fight for tomorrow and hold hands.

Try to understand the stories, the heart ache and trauma. Why it’s ok to cry or shake or just feel nothing. 

I need more but I don’t know what it is or how to look for it. Aimless and lost in the chaos of things and feelings.

I wonder if I’m missing something that was just never there to begin with. I wonder if my feelings are a result of some ideal or a learned belief that there is something more out there for all of us. A deeper meaning, a meaningful end game. I wonder how heart ache might be telling me lies and if I’m even believing them. Does it fucking matter anyway? I’m sick of missing people. Sick of feeling so much and so stuck with the dialogue in my own mind. But there’s no giving up or giving in. There is no choice but to keep fighting. Keep living, loving, looking.

I took a step back and called my brother. He didn’t have much to say, but he’s living right and I love him.


Emo night, no cover.

Sometimes I get hit by a wave of sadness so hard and fast that it feels like a sucker punch to the gut. Taking the wind right out of me and leaving me disoriented and in pain.

There’s so many people I’ve loved over the years, and now I’m sitting here in my room at 2:44 on a Friday morning wondering how so many friendships just faded or went on hiatus.
How so many people can fail each other. How much someone (me) can miss because shit went sour and then went even worse.
I’ve made mention to leaving, to change, to running away.
I was so fucking broken when I left that I didn’t know what else to do. I spent three years drunk as fuck and shit got bad. Sometimes it was better but worse than before. Other times it was just worse.

I came out of those years yet again wondering what the fuck happened. Again destroyed even further with hurt, pain, lies, abuse.
I came out of those years with a fucking drinking problem and a concussion.
Some more scars and chips to put of the list of shit I’ll never, ever fucking let happen again.

What ever friendships I had saved from before those years really struggled to survive them. I lost more friends because I was broken and becoming more broken. I was hurt and becoming more hurt. I was losing myself and for all I fucking cared I was about to drowned in the bottom of a 20 pack of Caribou green and set my self on fire with a pack of Canadian Classics. Preferably every night. Or die trying. Hopefully.

And now I’m sober. I’m trying to give up smoking.

I’m starting to see folks around that I haven’t seen in years. It looks like a lot of people are moving out this way. People I used to be closer to and miss dearly. I’m terrified to open back up again, I’m not sure if anything has actually changed. Some of them still hold parts of me. Some of them I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive. Most of them probably don’t give a fuck about me anyway.

I miss so many people so fucking much, but maybe it’s better off like this?
Maybe some of the bridges need to stay burnt.

Tonight is a night of sadness and loneliness.
Of remembering the ones that are lost to me, but not gone.
Tonight is for missing you and wishing I could erase the hurt.
Wishing you would come and hold my hand like you used to.

Tonight is for mourning parts of myself that are better dead.
For believing in my ability to find strength even in my darkest times.
Tonight is for honouring the feelings I have and respecting that I can miss people who hurt me deeply in the past.
It doesn’t make me a contradiction to have feelings, It makes me human.

The Art Of Impermanence. 

I think I found the point between working too much and meditation. I found the zen. It involves eating a lot of bananas and making jokes, swear words, installing 1 inch square tiles by hand, sanding hard wood flooring. It’s taking two hour lunch breaks to buy local artwork with your boss. A boss who happens to be your friend, who happens to be rough as all hell, gentle as fuck and who cares a lot about the people he lets in.

Talking about hard times, heart ache, broken dreams. Talking about crazy memories, beautiful people and hopes for the future.

Bruised knees and raw finger tips. Measure once, cut twice and caulk everything. If these houses burn down, the people who own them will know that their floors looked beautiful in their deaths.

These floors will die knowing the secrets of a job well done. The secrets of swearing too much and trying to find the most ridiculous thing to say.

Now that I’ve settled into finding the meditative rhythm of working every day, I wonder how I’ll re-adjust to going back to working two days a week in a kitchen I can’t stand anymore.

And then, soon, I won’t be working at all. I’d quit the kitchen, but I don’t have to, I’m getting laid off. I’ll be free from it all and off to adventure into the cold of winter with big dreams filling my mind and my heart. A freedom I’ve more than earned with dreams I don’t want to see dissipate and a heart I’ve stitched back together so many times. Misfit freedom and the perpetual search for a horizon. The art of impermanence.

Seriously though, right now I’m terrified I’ll die boring. I can’t let that happen. Not this year. 

100 days sober, another night of pals drinking in the living room. I’ll feel stronger soon. I am stronger every day. 

A Mantra.

Working for a living actually brings you closer to death.
I’ve been working every day, not fully living, crawling closer to death. Or, at least that’s what it seems like.

I’m wondering if I’m doing it to avoid how I feel, or if the reasons I’m telling myself I’m doing this are the whole truth: sometimes money buys dreams.

Maybe I’m doing it to cope? Maybe it’s because I don’t know what else to do with myself right now? I feel in limbo. I feel impatient. I feel aimless. I always feel scared.

Soon there won’t be any more work till spring.
I fucking quit (maybe?)
“Fuck work. Don’t work if you don’t want to.” -Keith (he pays me for shit). Smart.

If I work enough, then I can become working. It’ll destroy me.
Take apart my mind piece by piece and lose half of them.
Maybe I’ll find new places inside myself, like a walking meditation, like an introspective mushroom trip.
Maybe I’ll just find that dark space that sucks the life out of me through my rented hands.

And I wonder “is this better than drinking?”.
Don’t answer that, I could barely finish the thought.

The answer is yes, if it’s a choice between the two.
The answer is no, if it’s a question with more than two choices (because the other choices could be better than work or drink and there are a lot of them).
The answer is: I guess so. If it’s what I need to do right now to be safe. If it’s because I’m lacking the fight in me to do many other things. If it’s easier than choosing something different when I don’t have the mental stamina to choose. If so many things and stories and deaths and near deaths and sadnesses ride my mind. If sometimes all the heartache of life gets through and into my deepness. If it’s only temporary and I’m conscious of it. If it’s because sometimes surrendering myself to hard challange and fighting to make it through is a different way for me to feel real.

I need to feel real.
I don’t feel real.
I’ll feel real again soon.

Yeah, it’s better than drinking.

I wonder how I can live in such a mental duality so continuously for so long without tearing myself apart and becoming two people. I’m so strong and resilient. So sensitive and emotional. Today, I feel both hopeful and hopeless. I feel present and very far away and outside of myself.

My room mate and I have been having a continuous early morning conversation about how nothing really matters.
Nothing Matters: A Mantra.
In a world where everything is so subjective and fragile and momentary, what actually matters? Do your bills matter? Or what you had for lunch? That you had to work today? Does it really matter if you quit your job? Burn all your notebooks? Yell at the ocean? What about if you do the dishes? Clean your room? Run away?

How you feel matters.
How you feel about everything is really the only thing that matters.
Feelings matter.

But what if you can never totally tell how you feel? What if something happened to mess up how you understand your feelings? So, now you never know if your feelings are lies twisted around inside your mind, tying up your heart all fucked and knotted in your throat. So you try to be the best person you can be but never know if you’re actually letting yourself be true. Are you really trying?
Choking on your own heart beat, confused and at a loss for words. Wondering if anything matters, wondering how to feel real.

What if you don’t know how to feel things properly because some time in your past you were made to believe that your feelings are crazy, made up and wrong. You’ve spent so much time trying to untangle those lies that your fingers bleed from the rawness of undoing the knots. Blood has gotten on everything. It’s smeared across the panorama of your ideas on how to feel and it obscures the details. It makes you wonder if there’s more that’s been obscured, but you can’t quite tell. How many details do you miss? How many forgiving’s can you give before you find that walking away was a better idea? How late will you be to leave? How intensely you feel, but what do you name these feelings? What if you’re just trying to be good, but you’re actually being too kind? Too sensitive? Too insensitive?
Can you trust yourself anyway?
Should you trust yourself…?

So, if nothing really matters but your feelings, and you can’t trust your feelings, what the fuck can you trust? and if you can’t trust something, how can it matter? fuck.

I feel nauseous.

I feel tired. I feel avoidant. I feel dishonest with myself. I feel restless and over worked. I feel like it’s almost time to go. It’s almost time to do. It’s almost time to hurry up and wait.
I feel hopeful. I feel like I’m trying to believe in something big. I feel scared. I feel skeptical. I feel desire. I feel drive and growth and change. I feel.

For the memories

You’re all dead.
Your bodies rotting, scattered across stolen land.

All the great mysteries that held the parts of you together have once again become of the Great Unknown.
Tossed back out at the stars, the sky, the sea.
To be discovered by something new.

Voices I’ll never hear again.
Maybe the undone thoughts will come to me through new ideas, new ways to be.
And I try to accept and humble myself.
Energy is infinite and moves herself through the universe,
holding her own idea of the order of things.

I’ll miss you,
for the memories we’ll never have.
You’ll always be real to me.

Wake up if you want to

I’ve realized that I’m pretty afraid to go to my friend’s memorial on Sunday.
I’m afraid my ex partner will be there.
I’m afraid that I’ll feel too many feelings all at once and I won’t be able to keep myself together.
I haven’t been sleeping very well.
Parts of me aren’t doing so well.

I had a dream where you asked me to show you my life, who I am and from what I have become. My memories and what the places inside my mind look like.
That was the feeling of it anyway.

So I took your hand and started walking, leading you to where I begin.
Taking you through the edges of myself on the streets of a place with no name, the things that I share easily with people. It looked like the old archatecture of southern ontario. Century buildings mixed with more modern store fronts. Mixed residential. Weird side streets.

We climbed a retaining wall and the place turned into Owen Sound, Ontario. I know where we were. I knew exactly where we were.
We had slipped through and into the places inside me that aren’t so easy to get to. You held my hand tighter.
You wanted to hold me, I could tell, but I kept walking, determined and focused.

I’m not totally sure what happened next, but I became afraid and anxious. Some dream details can never be remembered.

I ended up in a confrontation with my ex partner. He was drunk and being dangerous, unpredictable and terrifying. (I wonder now, what depths of hurt is he capable of?)
In my dream he pulled a knife on me. He tried to stab me and was laughing about it. He was laughing at me for being there. He fumbled and dropped the knife. He laughed it off like he was just kidding. Laughing as though, even if he wasn’t kidding, i’d deserve it all anyway. Even if he hadn’t fumbled, he would of laughed the same.

You were angry and sad and hurting. You were worried and scared for me. I could feel what you were feeling. You didn’t want me to have to be inside this part of myself, but you can’t protect me from my past. You pulled me close to you and held me. You told me that I could wake up if I wanted to, that I didn’t need to be here. I could smell you and I could feel you.
I woke up.
You weren’t there any more but I could feel the memory of you next to me.
I was sad and angry and waking with those feelings helped me realized how some parts of me still feel that way. How some parts of me are just now learning how to be those things, how to be sad and angry, and that’s ok.
I woke up and I missed you and I hated my brain for crossing those two different parts of myself.
I’m healing.
I’m realizing that nothing is truly separate. If I’m processing my past and you are part of my present, these things are part of me right now and they have intersectionality.  I shouldn’t feel bad for that. It’s just a fact of how time works.
I wonder why I’ve had so many dreams with you in them. And I think about the different ways you’ve helped change me. When you were here, I got to a point where it felt like I was dreaming with you every night. Now you’re gone and I’m dreaming during the day.

Be still / Still be.

All I want is a secret spot to leave all the letters and bits and pieces and photos I have of you. A spot to put the memories I’ll forget if I don’t keep them safe. The dreams I’ve collected.

A quiet little place to keep parts of me safe while I’m in the world being alive.

Because I need to be out there, living. Because I’m here trying to do the same and things just aren’t right. Nothing feels quite right.

I can hear the chaos rumbling quietly off in the distance and the tide is drawing me in and out over the shoreline. Rearranging the view of things on her own accord. Pulling me out with her, sink or swim. I’m trying frantically to hold fast. Handfuls of sand slip so easily through finger spaces. And the space between everything seem so very small and so very large. Time, distance, ideas, feelings, dreams.

And I must be good at this game, because I’ve played so well for so long. Catch and release. Come and go. Here and now. Tomorrow, then what? And I’ve tried so many times in different ways, but the more still I keep my body the farther my mind goes. And I don’t need the stillness outside, I need it in.

Resolution through impatience causes solution, not satisfaction.