Wednesday, November 9, 2016

let us insist

today, and this time last year, and this time the year before that, i've posted the same essay on facebook. an essay on the dis-ease of being busy. and each year, it seems to come at the most perfect time. i'm not sure whether november the 9th is a particularly tough day for me, or just falls during a time of the year during which i tend to beat myself up more than other times. either way, this essay comes to me like a gift. a reminder. a nudge.
In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal? What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence. Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.
there's something about this. something that lodges a brick in my throat - the part of my throat that gets all stuffed up when watching sports and sad movies, or my best friends enjoy happiness. something that my mind needs consistently. 
something that i need to 'help me remember that i too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.'

Saturday, October 22, 2016

spending time

i spent some time this week. trying to find things i had lost. trying to find interest in things i had loved for so long, and felt like i had lost touch with.
due to the persistency of a friend, i ended up a photographer for her and her family. and holding the camera, with purpose, for the first time in a long time, felt good. there were some failures, and some self-criticism. and yet, there's a sort of love and kindness to oneself, that comes when doing what one loves - a forgiveness, in the moment. that while this was something that was important to my friend, and the perfectionist that lives within me was devastated with blurry faces, and overexposed lighting, there was still something about looking at a friend and her family's faces, through a camera lens.
something that reminds me to focus on things like this more often. to work at passion projects. to spend time - the time i often spend on others - on the things i love.

to life. to getting back to creating, and artistic creation. to working at loving myself, and an internal peace.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

i think i missed the boat on this one, when it went floating around the internet... but nevertheless, it still rang loud for me upon reading it. 
written by kent nerburn, as part of a book on essays called, 'make me an instrument of your peace'
you can read the whole piece in a multitude of places, originally posted here (and i encourage you to), as well as some beautifully articulate thoughts on people's reflections and the human nature, from the author here
"'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse. 'Nothing,' I said. 'You have to make a living,' she answered. 'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. 

 I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. 
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one."

holding your hands with opal

a little sufjan to end my work week - as i take off for a vacation to be with warm hearts and great minds. and, of course, eat all of the great food that england, belgium and amsterdam have to offer (aka. all of the fried potatoes).
"season of hope (after the flood). valentine, spurn my sorrow. head on the floorboards (covered in blood). drunk as a horsefly. climb on the mattress pad. twist my arm"

Thursday, August 4, 2016


this city does things to me. it shapes a piece of my heart everytime I'm here. not a longing or a draw to be here forever. not a missing piece of me that can't be fulfilled. a memory that can't be shaken. a small twinge of happiness and fulfillment. the memories of things I can't relive. we never think it will ever be the last time. and yet, when I run this seawall, I am reminded of all the times before. the 'last times'. a reflection of the city, the wild, and how my heart is reflected in both those places.
I don't miss it. I don't miss what it meant for me. but I do miss some parts of what existed when my heart was fed by the parks and the mountains and the people who shared that. 

Friday, July 1, 2016


sometimes I spend hours searching for his name on Google. trying to find my traces of his existence. photos I have yet to discover. quotes in articles he never told me about. stories of his full heart that were left like keepsakes for us to find. I comb through each of his Instagram photos, re-reading his jokes and looking at the world through his eyes. and then I look up, and I'm in the world again. and I remember words like 'suicide' and 'loss' and that I have to continue to exist in that world. and everything seems a bit numb after that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

and then we begin again

so this really interesting thing happened. 
i moved home. ended a relationship. moved back in with my parents. started a crazy (and wonderful) new job.... and all of a sudden it was a year later. most literally.
something brought me back here. some force in the universe knew i needed to be back where i could write. whether it was a spiritual force, or my own internal workings, knowing truly what is best.
either way, i'm here. and that's exactly where i need to be.
my manager recently told me that i need to learn to forgive myself. i need to learn to let myself feel, and i need to learn to let myself take a punch - not to brace for it, and then pretend it never happened... but instead to absorb the hit, cry a bit, nurse my wounds, and then get back up with a scar that reminds me how tough i am (he didn't tell me so elaborately - i took some liberties there).
so turns out scars are like little flags we get to wave once we conquer the battle. and each little mountain we come across, we can dig that flag into the ground, fight the good fight, and pick our flag up and move on.
but listen. those battles hurt. they get dirty, and people don't fight fair, and things happen when you least expect it. they leave you crying, and doubting, and shameful and hurt. and at the end of the day, you wince everytime someone says 'remember that everything happens for a reason'. because we all know. and we all know in the end 'it will be ok' without needing a reminder from an optimistic commentator. BUT (and here's the 'but' that i was told for years to replace with 'and') that doesn't make the hurt, or the anger, or the frustration, or the shame, or the complete and wretched sadness stop in that moment. it gives a glimmer of light on the other end of the bridge, but you still have to cross that bridge. you don't get to miraculously fly across it.
(excuse my overindulgence in allegorical language). 
and now, we're here. we're all here, in this one day, together. we all took different paths to get here, and there were many monsters, and gems along the way. and i'll start from that.
to a new beginning... with the rigidity and understanding of the scars from the journey.

Monday, March 23, 2015

otherwise known as 'winter in southwestern ontario'

(it sounds so delightfully glamourous, no?). this is currently the one thing getting me through the tail end of winter.

(tips and illustration by yumi sakugawa)

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