Monthly Archives: April 2010

Next To You

Found footage, cap­tured with my small CCD cam­corder. It strug­gles in low light sit­u­a­tions, but when I brought up the lev­els in post, out came this amaz­ing grain that gives it such a wist­ful tex­ture.

When watch­ing this, my eyes tend to grav­i­tate to her hands; the way she moves them with a light, but firm touch, whether it’s get­ting Dolly to sit down, or brush­ing cat hair from her nose. They were artists hands. Not par­tic­u­lar­ly strik­ing, but filled with del­i­cate dex­ter­i­ty. Sometimes, I’d kiss the tip of each fin­ger, and she’d tease me by pulling her hand away before I could fin­ish.

It must have been one win­ter morn­ing, after a run out to Second Cup with their hol­i­day-themed paper cups, watch­ing The Blue Planet in the com­fort of a blan­ket with a cat by our side.

Only after find­ing this footage did I start to believe that my mem­o­ries were real, and not just imag­i­na­tions caught between the haze of desire and denial.

We existed. We existed.

Even if only for a few moments, as won­der­ful as they were fleet­ing, one of them cap­tured in 24 frames per sec­ond.

On The Path

I’ve been feel­ing serene late­ly.

Serenity has­n’t been some­thing that lasts for me. It comes and goes in cycles. Eventually, I fall off the path, because anger, impa­tience, love, over-ana­lyz­ing, are all habits of mine. Habits that resur­face when I let my guard down.

The goal now is to keep the seren­i­ty going. The hard­est part is the fact that I have to be con­scious in my attempt. It’s a con­stant work in progress, and some­thing I can’t stop work­ing on, lest I fall into the trap of my old self again. I’m hop­ing that even­tu­al­ly, I’ll be able to make this into a good habit, and this peace will come on its own.

So often, it’s hope that gets me through. But I have no need of hope, or clo­sure, or jus­tice any­more. None of that mat­ters. Life is what it is. I’m start­ing to let go of every­thing I used to hold dear.

29 5/12: The Uncarved

If, 5 years ago, you asked me where I’d be now, I could­n’t have even giv­en you a decent guess.

I nev­er imag­ined I’d be work­ing in graph­ic and web design at a den­tal lab. Or that my job would shift to more of a cor­po­rate lev­el, some­thing that hap­pened because I hap­pened to have the right set of skills at the right time.

Self portrait at 29 5/12


I nev­er imag­ined I’d meet peo­ple like Bronwen or Julie or Heather G, or Frédéric and Misun, or Jesse and Audra, or Shane and Krista.

I nev­er thought I’d dis­cov­er bands like Magneta Lane, The Knife, From Autumn to Ashes, and Muse.

I nev­er knew I’d start play­ing the ukulele. Or have an art gallery show. Or final­ly, final­ly, final­ly start learn­ing astron­o­my and own a tele­scope.

But I’m not sur­prised at where I’ve end­ed up. And who knows who I’ll meet, what I’ll do, or where I’ll be? Long ago, I decid­ed I’d stay in Ottawa until my Tai Chi teacher retired, and that’s soon com­ing. This city is com­fort­able, but it’s also just as small, and I’ve always dreamed of liv­ing in an alpha city like Hong Kong or New York or London.

It’s easy to fall into the belief that we’re in con­trol of our lives or our des­tinies. The real­i­ty is that we’re just trav­el­ing through life like leaves being car­ried by the cur­rent in a stream. There are so many things that can hap­pen along the way out of our con­trol. Connections you can’t pre­dict. Experiences you can’t even imag­ine.

I turn 30 in sev­en months, and I don’t know where I’ll be, in life, love, or home.

The Turning 30 Series

Gatineau Adventure Weekend

Thumbnail: Park map

From the vis­i­tor cen­tre we check the relief map for our trail. As I’m sign­ing in, Heather G notices my date of birth is in the 80s. I’m the only one, and they joke about how young I am — espe­cial­ly com­pared to Benoît, who’s a six­ties baby — but it nev­er feels like we’re far apart in heart and mind.

Thumbnail: Parking lot

We car­pool to the clos­est lot, and strap on our packs for the hike to the cab­in.

Thumbnail: Pathway there

The trail is fair­ly easy, and paved most of the way. It’s a very wel­come detail when you’re car­ry­ing sleep­ing gear, rain gear, extra clothes, eating/cooking imple­ments, cam­era equip­ment, sev­er­al days worth of food, enough water to keep you hydrat­ed on the way there, and your pack is over 25% of your body weight.

Continue read­ing “Gatineau Adventure Weekend”…