Monthly Archives: October 2007

Hurts So Good

I’m exhaust­ed. It’s late. I should be going to bed, but I want to write. Here I am.

Vanilla chai, this time. I nev­er drink this tea, so it seemed some­what appro­pri­ate.

My limbs are sore. I’ve been prac­tic­ing my Tai Chi on a reg­u­lar basis, and my under­stand­ing has sur­passed my phys­i­cal abil­i­ty. I’m start­ing to over-exert myself. I’ve also been using my arms instead of my whole body when advanc­ing in sin­gle push hands, caus­ing my arms to work more than they should. Tonight, it got to the point where they were com­plete­ly weak. I sus­pect Elizabeth could feel this, and she switched arms before I had the good sense to do it myself.

It’s get­ting cold in the house1. The ther­mo­stat says 20, but it feels more like 18. I stood in the show­er for a good 15 min­utes, let­ting my skin burn under the hot water, to the point where I stepped out of the show­er into the cold air and start­ed to sweat.

No edit­ing. No back­track­ing. Just type, and pub­lish.

I hap­pened to come across a video today by the Grass Roots.

When I think of all the wor­ries peo­ple seem to find
And how they’re in a hur­ry to com­pli­cate their minds
By chas­ing after mon­ey and dreams that can’t come true
I’m glad that we are dif­fer­ent, we’ve bet­ter things to do
The oth­ers plan their future, I’m busy lov­ing you

One, two, three, four
Sha-la-la-la-la-la live for today.
Sha-la-la-la-la-la live for today.

And don’t wor­ry ’bout tomor­row, hey hey hey hey.

Maybe I’m just read­ing into it, like a born-again, but the lyrics struck me as very Taoist, and the idea of detach­ment in par­tic­u­lar2. Darren jokes that I’ll start preach­ing to him the next time I vis­it him because our con­ver­sa­tions always stray to Taoism.

I’ve been feel­ing decid­ed­ly dark, decid­ed­ly yin, late­ly. Not sad or upset, but in an ener­getic way. I’m boun­cy. Maybe this is the way my brain adjusts to my pre­vi­ous­ly cheer­ful upswing. The fun­ny thing is that I’m no less cheer­ful, just in a dif­fer­ent way. I feel more bal­anced. It’s as if the mind aches from some unknown force, expressed through an emo­tion­al state, yet rel­ish­es and wal­lows in this.

And I’m lov­ing every minute of it.

  1. I’m try­ing to wait as long as pos­si­ble before turn­ing the heat on []
  2. Something I’ve only recent­ly been able to achieve to any rel­a­tive degree of suc­cess. []

Moments of Unexpected Kindness

Yesterday was gro­cery day.

I looked out the win­dow, and it was rain­ing. “You can’t wait for the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty for­ev­er”, I told myself, so I grabbed my toque, my hood­ie, my jack­et, and stepped out­side.

The rain was­n’t heavy, but enough to soak through in a cou­ple min­utes.

On my way to the store, I thought of putting an ad in the clas­si­fieds.


Looking for cheer­ful mod­el to dance in rain for pho­to project.

Should be slim build. Light-brunette to blond hair, no longer than shoul­ders. Bring own clothes, short-sleeved with no logo pre­ferred.

Will offer dig­i­tal neg­a­tives for port­fo­lio as com­pen­sa­tion.

It was a short walk.

At the deli counter was the reg­u­lar bunch of hooli­gans, a group of unmo­ti­vat­ed, lack­adaisi­cal guys with whom I’ve dealt many times before.

I was about to say some­thing to get their atten­tion when anoth­er young man (whom I ini­tial­ly assumed was part of this group, with the same facial hair and the same mug), walked up to greet me.

Barbecue chick­en?”, he asked.


I stood there wait­ing for less than a moment before he came around the counter with some­thing in his hand.

Wipe your glass­es off with this shit”, he told me, and see­ing the beads of rain­wa­ter on my glass­es, hand­ed me a wad of paper tow­el. The uncouth man­ner in which he pre­sent­ed the paper tow­el made his ges­ture all the more warm.

Handing me my din­ner, he said “Take it easy, bro”, and touched his fin­gers to his fore­head in a mini salute.

The rain stopped before I stepped out­side again.

And I haven’t cleaned my glass­es, or stopped smil­ing since.

Thanksgiving Weekend '07

Ah yes. My first trip “home“1 in about a year and a half, since my par­ents got divorced.

The entire­ty of my trip was in the com­pa­ny of Andrew and Alex, who host­ed me for the week­end. Pictures tell the sto­ry.

Drinks at the Madison

Thumbnail: Wide-angle Madison
Thumbnail: Jason and Kerry
Thumbnail: Alex and Emily
Thumbnail: Anne
Thumbnail: Rob and Sampson
Thumbnail: Alex and Kerry

On Friday night, we went to The Madison to catch up with their old drag­onboat team­mates. The Madison is a mas­sive pub, made from two or three amal­ga­mat­ed hous­es in the down­town dis­trict. A very pop­u­lar spot, which was appar­ent from the amount of peo­ple in it as the night went on.

I had­n’t been out drink­ing in…two years? Something like that.

Continue read­ing “Thanksgiving Weekend ‘07”…

  1. I’ve decid­ed that from now on, the quot­ed “home” will refer to Toronto, and the unquot­ed home will refer to Ottawa []

The God Ritual

I saw her there again, wear­ing the same clothes, with her life in two new gro­cery bags. On the same night of anoth­er face­less week, except the tem­per­a­ture dropped, and I was stand­ing out­side in my bomber jack­et, look­ing in. This time, she was sit­ting upright and silent, unmov­ing, hat draped over her eyes.

Crashing inside, I thought.

Her hands were cracked and dark from expo­sure. How I want­ed to reach out, and straight­en the tan­gled skein of her black hair. But what could I do?

God isn’t here any­more.

Grey And Undecided

It was grey today.

Grey from morn­ing to night. Grey inside and out.

I strolled home from work amid the rain­fall, with Sara Melson and her sac­cha­rine lyrics in my ear­phones. Words sung unre­strained, clichéd almost, like any oth­er love song, but with an expe­ri­enced matu­ri­ty nonethe­less.

Now my hands are worn, my clothes are torn
A few of my dreams have been met with scorn
And I don’t have too much time left to bor­row
But still I’m gonna love you like I’ve nev­er been hurt before

Drawn to her voice more than her face, sug­ary sweet mixed with a hint of strength. Guilty plea­sure? Maybe. Not that I mind any­more.

But it was still grey today, and I was still unde­cid­ed.