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. []