Machine Gun Anthem

I saw a sav­ior
A sav­ior come my way
I thought I’d see it
In the cold light of day
But now I real­ize that I’m
Only for me

If only I could see
Return myself to me
And rec­og­nize the poi­son
In my heart

There is no other place
No one else I face
The rem­edy to agree
With how I feel

This beat, it moves you. It dri­ves a spike into your heart, ham­mer­ing impa­tiently — BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM — like 1,000,000 volts surg­ing through your chest to sixteenth-notes in a bar, and you’re left twitch­ing, won­der­ing how you’ll ever start your day with­out this again. It hits your ears like a wall of sound, with the synth ris­ing up, fill­ing your soul, and lead­ing your life.

This machine gun is an anthem.

The Ways We Grow Up

I remem­ber Christie once telling me that she always wanted to bring presents to someone’s house at Christmas. We were wait­ing at the train sta­tion to Toronto, our exams fin­ished, doing exactly that. Carrying bags with a fon­due set, maybe a can­dle holder, and other assorted mis­cel­lany for my par­ents who already had everything.

As a seventeen-year-old with an adorable baby-face, she was rarely taken seri­ously as a mature and respon­si­ble per­son. I could tell that hav­ing this hol­i­day tra­di­tion was her way of feel­ing like an adult. Not the gro­cery shop­ping we would do, not the lin­gerie she would wear for me, or even the act of love itself, but a fam­ily to go to, gifts to give, a house to stay in, a lit­tle piece of matu­rity.

Honda Civic 2008 exterior

Honda Civic 2008 dashboard

Honda Civic 2008 exterior

For me, it’s this car.

Not the bills. Not the house. Not the mortgage.

It’s being able to get any­where. It’s feel­ing these keys in my pocket and know­ing that they’re mine. It’s dri­ving home after class when it’s dark out, blast­ing a night mix on the stereo. It’s even look­ing for a park­ing spot down­town on a Monday after­noon, or get­ting stuck in traffic.

It’s hav­ing all these things that I’ve never had before.

The Choice

I’m in a bad way

My sleep­ing sched­ule is upside down. I’m lovesick. I’m heart­bro­ken. I can’t eat any­thing with­out shit­ting blood. My lips are chapped. My teeth keep graz­ing my canker sore. I’m break­ing out. I’m dread­ing another day of work.

These are the times I truly feel alone. I’ve never been very good at tak­ing care of myself.

But I’d still rather be alone, than be with you.

Sarah and Louise

Sarah and Louise kiss

There’s a tremen­dous bond between mother and daugh­ter, some­thing unmatched by fathers and sons, or even mixed-sex parental rela­tion­ships. You can see it just from the way they interact.

As a male, I’ll prob­a­bly never be able to fully under­stand, but being able to rec­og­nize it and know­ing that such a won­der­ful thing still exists is enough to make me feel as if the world is in the right place.

A cou­ple more pic­tures behind the cut.

Continue read­ing “Sarah and Louise”…

Tai Chi Progress

My under­stand­ing of Tai Chi seems to come in the form of a sine wave: the more I learn, the more I real­ize I don’t know, and as I adjust for more and more details, other details get lost.

For the last few months, I felt like I was get­ting nowhere. The con­cepts made sense in my brain, but not in my body. My teacher has said that Tai Chi is already too intel­lec­tu­al­ized, and as a per­son who’s never been very phys­i­cally co-ordinated and tries to com­pen­sate in SHEER MENTAL POWA!, this holds true espe­cially for me. Until I’ve mas­tered telekine­sis, how­ever, I’ll be reliant on more tra­di­tional means of movement.

In the last cou­ple weeks I feel like I’ve reached another level of under­stand­ing, as rudi­men­tary as it may be.

One thing that helped a lot is when a senior stu­dent showed me what ward-off (peng) felt like. As he stood with struc­ture in his body, I tried to push him1, but ended up push­ing myself off him and falling over. In order to move him, I was forced to use the proper tech­nique (since he’s con­sid­er­ably big­ger than me), and expand with my entire body — legs, waist, arms, chest, lungs — instead of sim­ply try­ing to move through him.

Then we reversed roles and he pushed me until I could chan­nel his energy through my feet. It was the first time I ever felt grounded, instead of sim­ply under­stand­ing the idea. I still don’t really under­stand it, inso­faras I couldn’t explain it to some­one else.

Adapting this all to the form is some­thing else. I try to focus on one thing at time2 but it falls apart in other places. At this point, I’m just try­ing to get all the gross mechan­ics to be nat­ural with­out hav­ing to think about it, hop­ing that I’ll even­tu­ally be able to fine tune every­thing else.

  1. It reminded me of the feel­ing of squeez­ing a rub­ber stop­per, some­thing with give but not much, that becomes expo­nen­tially dif­fi­cult to com­press. []
  2. Such as stay­ing at one level with­out being rigid (con­sid­ered “breath­ing”), relax­ing my lower back, think­ing of my body being anchored through my legs, and keep­ing struc­ture and intent in my palms. []