Posts tagged with "inspiration"

This is a picture I didn’t take

Of you, arms up and chest out, body crashing against the surf. Top pulled back into place with each wave, bottoms adjusted as needed. A splash of rain on a flower soon to burgeon.

In that instance I became aware of what was happening in myself. I could look at it clearly, and saw it as it was because it was already there, part of my experience in that moment, for better or for worse. I allowed myself to be exactly as I was without fear or shame. Detached yet present. Mindful to how I’ve longed to feel this for someone again, and how I’ve never fully surrendered myself to it until now. A reason for the lyrics in the awkward smiles, the molto crescendo in every incidental touch.

This is a picture I didn’t take of you, a memory from which I can’t seem to look away. A moment I carry with me to remind myself that I can love again.

a reason

In those moments between ourselves and the rest of the world, it’s hard to think of anything but how good you look with curls in your hair, and how you never worry about tearing your delicate dusty-rose dress when you think it’ll look suspicious if we’re gone for too long.

I need moments like this — like goodnight kisses and the things you tell your friends about me — all the little details so many take for granted. That’s why I haven’t been able to write. Not because I’ve been too occupied with life, but because I’ve become numb to everything else, and inspiration has always come from my capacity to feel.

So brush your hair behind your ear, take another walk with me, and give me a reason to speak to the world.

better living through chemistry

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I started to feel better, which is a very peculiar feeling in itself. There hasn’t been any event to which I can attribute the fact that I’m not so anxious about how scary the future is anymore, or how I’m not depressed about everything that’s happened. The only variable has been the medication, which means it’s working.

The side-effect that still affects me most is the insomnia. I sleep for two hours, do something mindless for two hours, then go back to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t feel rested until night, at which point I’m soon ready to sleep again. It’s wreaking havoc with my motivation — not to mention my colitis — which is why I haven’t started rebuilding my life yet. For now, I try to do one thing every day that will make me happy, so I can say it was a good day. Baby steps.

But I’ve also lost all inspiration, and I’m left wondering if this is another effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibition. When I walk the streets, it feels like a completely different world from what I knew.

I used to pick up my guitar throughout the day and noodle. I used to carry my camera with me everywhere in case something caught my eye. I used to write almost every day. Creativity was a driving force in my life, and a huge part of how I used to define myself. Now I never feel like creating. I used to be terrified of going on medication for this exact reason, but I’ve discovered that the medication makes it all okay. It’s like Cipralex is both the cause and the cure.

At least I can go outside now. I can face the world, and start fixing what needs to be fixed.

the other side

Lila‘s been my inspiration lately. Her photos are of such routine subjects, but every frame is more than that moment. There’s something about them that exudes glamour and intimacy, as if her entire life was filled with champagne and Channel.

I asked her what theory she follows, what equipment she uses, expecting to learn some basic technique I’ve somehow missed. Instead, she tells me she doesn’t do or use anything special. She doesn’t even know what she sets for exposure and tone, cause she always plays around and changes them for every photo she takes. A true Taoist when it comes to photography, and a true photographer after my heart.


“best birthday ever.”, “coolest guy on the block”, “he is the one”, “London, I love you”.

One of my favourite subjects is her perfectly-coifed, impeccably-dressed Norwegian boyfriend. Sometimes he’s just lying by the window, and with his shirt off you can make out the fabric creases that have marked his back, revealing that he’s recently turned over on the bed. It makes you wonder what’s happened, or what’s about to happen. These are the details she’s chosen to capture. These things were important enough for her to pick up her camera. There’s such affection under it all, and perhaps that’s why it’s so fascinating to see how the girl looks at the guy.

It’s the same with Aurora’s old entries:

Rolf is sitting a few feet away from me on a Sunday night and we’re about to play Settlers Of Catan online together. He’ll wake me with a kiss in the morning and we’ll drive to work together. I’m full of a tasty new supper that he introduced me to. We’ve just fucked on the floor.

Do I love him? Or do I love this? How big is the difference?

I’ve always wondered what a person would say if she ever wrote about me the way Aurora wrote about him. To see a lover learning and growing, figuring out their life and the world, and discovering what part I play in all of that.

New Hampshire: Day 3

Thumbnail: Corn chips

Thumbnail: Real tacos

I’m free again after my training, and Dave takes me to his favourite restaurant in Nashua to meet up with Sid and his girlfriend. It’s a small, family-owned Mexican joint with bright colours and an appropriately accented waitress.

Over dinner, we compare our regional differences. I ask them what it means when someone says “A quarter of one” (12:45), because they don’t say “a quarter to one”. I ask them if they take their shoes off when they get in the house (sometimes, depending on the host), because I noticed no one did when I was in a house1. I ask them if they have bubble tea (there’s one Vietnamese restaurant that serves it), because it’s all over Canada now. I tell them New York Fries serves poutine (What’s New York Fries?). I pull out some Canadian bills and show them the braille (Oooooooh). At one point, Sid calls me on my “eh”, contrasted from their “huh” used at the end of a sentence to emphasize a point.

Thumbnail: Downtown Manchester

Thumbnail: Cross button
Thumbnail: Kelly and Dave.
Thumbnail: Chelsey and Ed
Thumbnail: Greek donuts
Thumbnail: Dave's notes

Dave and I drive to downtown Manchester, the biggest city in New Hampshire, to a bar/café called Republic. Every month, Dave organizes the Collective, a group of creative people with a certain energy, and a void in their lives when it comes to someone with whom to discuss their endeavors on a practical, nonthreatening, philanthropic level.

I repeat a person’s name after being introduced to them, a trick I learned from the client specialist course I took in New Hampshire four years ago.

At one point, Ed asks us how we know each other, and Dave explains, along with a story:

When my sister and I were kids, we imagined what it would be like if we were more of us, so we needed an older sister and a younger brother to round out the sibling experience. As the oldest brother, I needed to know what having an older sister was like. And we also chose personalities to go with them. I think the older sister was a heavyset, strong girl with a determined, mothering tendency toward us. Her name was Daphne, and she was the type to play field hockey or lacrosse when she went to college had we known what that was back when we were kids. The younger brother would be a slender, artistic type that was a stylish and careful dresser; “metrosexual” was the term we’d have used, my sister commented recently, had we known the word. His name was Leland.

And when he met me yesterday, he thought, “That’s Leland!”. Now he’s wondering if he’s going to run into Daphne in the future.

After two hours of brilliant conversation and exchange of energy, we go our separate ways. These are my people, and I feel the need to start something similar in Ottawa.

Thumbnail: Me and Dave

I take a picture of us because I leave tomorrow, shortly after the end of the course, and won’t have a chance to see him again. I offer my house if he ever wants to get away and change up his frame of mind, and he returns the offer.

In 24 hours, I’ll be home sweet home again, but certainly wishing I had more time to talk, and relate, and feel as if there was another kindred soul in the world.

  1. Not even in my hotel room, which I found very strange. []