From The Heart: Honey-Bee

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Dearest Honey-Bee,

Things have been less than ideal the last couple of years.

If I had been aware of the consequences, I would have done things differently. I feel alone, lost, and sometimes even scared. Not scared for what could and is happening to me, more fear of what might happen to you. I have the worst remorse over leaving you; I’ve never felt so separated.

I remember when we first met like it was yesterday: you were the brash, thin-as-a-stick, gal across the hall and you annoyed the living daylights out of me. In some ways, you’ve carried that tradition on to this very day. You were loud, judgemental, and opinionated. You hated me, because I’d picked up a twang during my recent trip down South. I’d have sooner drowned you than spent 5 minutes with you those first couple of days. Funny how does feelings can still resurface, right? Little did either of us know, a real adventure was brewing…

I tried to date your sister
You came to work for me
You pushed my buttons
I pushed yours right back

We hugged
We kissed
We fought
We loved

Even during the most heated, terrible times, our lives continued to intertwine. 

We fought so hard one night, you pulled a knife on me. You threatened me with violence; I threatened you with leaving. There would be other close calls and we survived them all. Whatever forces had brought us together, they wanted to make sure that we could never truly be split apart. Beyond anger, apart from romance, we were always friends first; the very best no matter what anyone else would attempt to say.

It’s never been easy.

Over these last two years, you’ve been so distant. Not just physically, that part of the equation is too obvious. It’s been a struggle staying in touch. We don’t communicate like we used to. You’re never available and fail to hold your promises. You’ve held me at far more than arm’s length, emotionally. More like the span of an albatross’ wings, which suits our scenario even better since, I feel that is what my loneliness has become: my burden of penance for moving away.

In an imperfect world though, our friendship will never be out of place.

Classic case of round hole, square peg. Countless people told us it was futile, but we kept plugging away until, somehow, we wore down the edges enough to fit. We both took our turns at inopportune times to be more, to fulfill the role of companion, each crashing and burning in different ways. I guess there was always something more intended over that rainbow for us.

Friends eternal.

Pooh and Piglet.

I’ll never love anybody in the same manner. They broke the mould when they made you, and I am the luckiest boy in the solar system to have shared the kind of memories we’ve made together. Right now they feel far away, but I know there will be many more on the horizon.

I love you to Pluto and back. (yep, even if it’s no longer a planet, it’s worth the trip.)

-DFP-

Wandering

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People taking
Pictures
Of people
Taking pictures of
People

♠♠♠

I walk by a lot of restaurants on my way home from work. Patio season is in full swing with the beautiful weather we’ve been having. I don’t usually take notice of the diners; I’m too focused on dodging the waves of tourists who walk four-abreast down the sidewalk. They caught my eye today, though. No less than 3 out of 4 people were busy snapping pictures. In a lot of instances, it seemed like they were taking a picture of their friend/S.O. who was also busy doing the same. It must be a nifty balancing act: maintaining physical rapport with someone, while also creating an interesting online snapshot of your life.

♥♥♥

June 16th is the day Native American tribal leader Geronimo was born.

Others people of note to celebrate a June 16th birthday are: Gustaf V of Sweden, former English Secretary of Health; Enoch Powell, Russian painter Natalia Goncharova, and American photographer Irving Penn.

Of historical significance, it was on this date in 1963, that the Vostok 6 Mission was launched. This would mark cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, as the first woman in space.

It’s really interesting to look at the Space Race. The Soviets rushed out to a quick start. They launched the first successful artificial satellite, were responsible for the first animal to orbit earth, as well as the first human in space (as well as to orbit earth). Of course, the Americans would ultimately catch up, and “beat” the Russians, when they put the first man on the moon.

Tereshkova stands out to me. The 60′s were not a particularly solid era for Women’s Rights. Things had certainly started to slowly improve post-WWII, but the Glass Ceiling was definitely in full effect. The idea that a female, Soviet, civilian, would end up in space voluntarily is a bit surprising. I guess we’ll never know Korolev’s true reasons behind deciding to put a woman in space, though it certainly  could serve as a defining moment of constant “one-upmanship” of the era.

♣♣♣

Speaking of inspirational women…

I had some really sad thoughts over dinner today. I was imagining how I would handle the day, when my parents pass. Assuming Dad dies first, I think that thought breaks my heart the most. Not because I’m particularly close to him. In fact, I’m not even particularly close to my Mum. I would say it’s about even, though I definitely resonate more with Mum.

Dad comes from a long line of hard-headed, strong-willed, tradesman. While he has a definite artistic side, he hid it well while I grew up. Mum was born in Scotland. Something about that means more to me than Dad’s Canadian roots. She was artistic; tasked with the arts and crafts side of raising my sister and I. Dad was the sports and music. Dad blended in with the extended family; partially because it was his siblings and parents. Mum isn’t from here, she’s not French, and definitely not a labourer, so she stuck out a little bit. I’ve always felt like I was the Black Sheep of the family, and so I identified a bit closer with her as a result. I’ll definitely cry for days when she passes. The thought alone is welling up tears as I type. If I had to choose though, I hope she goes first.

Dad is strong, he’s tough, he’s stubborn.

Mum’s tough and stubborn too, she’s a Scotswoman after all.

They both hide their sadness very effectively.

Why would hate to see what my Dad’s death would do to my Mum, above all else? He’s her best friend, her rock, the one constant in her 30+ years since leaving Scotland. While my Dad would certainly be devastated, as she certainly means as much to him as he does to her, I don’t think it would compare.

When Dad had his cardiac episode years ago, it was impossible to understand her words over the phone. This was despite knowing that he would be ok. I don’t ever want my Mum to be alone. It breaks my heart that much more, to know that I couldn’t be the one to offer her respite from solitude. Seeing the tears, the loneliness, the anguish in my poor beautiful mother’s eyes, would rip me to shreds.

It’s ripping me to shreds right now.

For both their sakes, I hope they go together. It’s cheesy and corny, but that’s the type of ending they both deserve. Their love is the most beautiful thing I have, or ever will witness.

♦♦♦

My brain’s been wandering today.

I’m just one more shift away from a 10 day break. My best friend is coming to town, and we are going to get up to all kinds of no good. Hopefully by then, the sad morbid thoughts will have given light to some positive energy. I’m going to need it…

Busy roads on the horizon.

-DFP-

Stuck In Transit

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Creatively speaking, I’m at my peak when I’m depressed.

I’m not sure where it stems from; I became conscious of the fact in high school. I had begun writing fiction at the age of 12. By the time I got to high school I would regularly fill notebook after notebook with musings, doodles, and vague attempts at poetry and lyrics. This was even before I even found Creative Writing class. While my early subject matter revolved around general teenage angst and malaise, naive socio-political commentary, drug and alcohol abuse, and even the odd attempt at something cheerier, Creative Writing served as a tool to focus my energies. Ms. Riddell would nurture my love of characters, helping me with my ability to conjure up hauntingly real personas on paper.

I believe the gravitas in good writing, lies within it’s cast of characters.

One of my favourite things to do, is people watch. Strangers incite curiosity in me. At the airport, since I am eternally early for my flights, is invent background stories for the people bustling between terminals. Sometimes the people are simple busy-bodies, going nowhere important, to do something equally blasé. Other times, they are multi-layered to such an extreme, that even I start to lose track of their complex history.

Somewhere down the line, I stopped putting my ideas on paper. I fell into the trap of letting my routine go, when I left high school. It was easy to sit down and write, when it was expected of me. It became quite a different ballgame, when that expectations was gone. It seems silly in hindsight; 90% of what I wrote as part of routine was never submitted for peer review. The ideas never stopped, they just never got written down. A lot of them are still floating around, though much like oral folklore, they are probably far different than their original conception.

I’d love to find the culprit for my lack of motivation.

I used to thoroughly enjoy writing, even though I never thought too highly of my own work. It was relaxing and an escape to worlds I could not visit. I could blame it on the brain injuries. I could also easily blame it on technology. Perhaps even a combination of both? It’s easy to get distracted in this day and age. I hate to use that as an excuse, though.

The last few weeks, I’ve made a concentrated effort to try and dive back into writing. I wrote in a post awhile back, about re-connecting. One of the things I wanted to re-connect was pen to paper. Part of re-establishing that has involved a few steps:

-Setting up a workspace
I’m also going back to school in September, so it has a dual purpose. I surrounded my desk area with my favourite prints and collectibles, cleared plenty of space for writing, and am in the process of acquiring utensils to better hone my craft.

-Books
I need to rebuild my book collection, so I have started anew…again. I’ve moved a lot over the course of the last 10 years (4 times cross-country and 8 different abodes). Sadly, books are not the easiest thing to transport across the country, and many good reads have been left behind for others to love. I’m trying my best to make new friends, that is to say branch out into writings I have never owned. It’s difficult though. I miss the familiarity of certain book-jackets. I recently acquired a slew of history books, which is convenient since that is what I’ll be taking in school. It’s going to be a long and expensive foray.

-Notebooks
I got some shiny new notebooks. Part of the plan is to always have a destination for thoughts handy at all times. One in my bag, one at home. The trick will be to not censor myself.

The ideas are bubbling again. The last 8 months have been emotionally exhausting, so it’s no wonder the creativity is bursting. The key will be to catch as much of it as possible as it starts to spill over. I have a big project in mind; highly character driven. I hope dearly I can commit to it. Once the pen starts flying, it’s usually fairly hard to stop.

Wish me luck.

-DFP-

Mensonges

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Je te aime
Je t’aime
J’ t’aime
Jt’aime
Et pourtant ça ce peut
Que ces mensonges
Ne vaut plus la peine

C’est magnifique
Le façon que
Tu pirouette
Avec mon coeur
J’ai maintenant le temps
Pour déménagez mes sentiments

On pourrait peut-être 
Loué une cabine
Ou même l’espace 
Où on devrait retrouvez
Votre fierté

 

-DFP-

HBD

June 27 Zentangle Ann Flemming
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Boy, I sure don’t come around these parts very much anymore. In case anyone out there is wondering, I spend most of my time on WordPress here.

It is now officially July 4th on the West Coast.

Living in Canada, I always feel envious of Independence Day. There’s a lot richer, substantive history tied to it versus Canada Day (a patriot to my homeland I am not). This obviously doesn’t win me too many allies here at home, but a pox on them. There’s something more magical about July 4th to me, and I reckon that will never change.

A little over two years ago, this date got a little more special to me.

I came to Vancouver to try and figure out a career path. I’ve always had a passion for communication, art, and advertising, so graphic design seemed like a logical approach. It didn’t exactly pan out. School didn’t end being a total loss however, as right from Day 1, the trip our West started to show some gains.

Ok, I’m not going to lie: When the only seat left in your first college class is right beside a cute blonde girl, you can’t help but do a discrete fist pump. Granted, I was there for higher learning, not to worry about girls. Regardless, the next 12 weeks were made a lot easier sitting next to her; particularly since this carried over into 2 other classes that term as well.

It’s really interesting to look back on how a friendship grows. This is especially true in a scholastic environment, where in the case of workstation partners, you get a real close look at the other’s work. I got to see my newfound friend progress from simple Egyptian inspired communication design, to an ambitious Rococo poster, and finally the early beginnings of solid corporate branding.

In between all this, we’d talk about how Kiwis were simply better than Aussies. We’d make plans to see the Vancouver Art Gallery (accomplished a full year later), and generally vent about life and school. Seeing as how I was only a part time student, I would see her advance on to bigger and better things, getting a glimpse at was down the road for myself. It’s really heartwarming watching as someone’s skills, talent, and passions grow; even more so when they are a friend.

Eventually, the day would come for her graduation and portfolio show. Seeing all her hard work come to fruition was something that made me feel really prideful.

“That’s my friend, look how talented she is! She’s going to do big things!”

Of course, it didn’t take too long for her to find work within the industry. While it brought her to a new city and a new province, I couldn’t be more happy for her. It’s really easy to take for granted these opportunities to live and work in a new place, and I know she’s fully embracing it. Plus, it has given her a chance to experience my home town. Which I think is really cool when two people come from totally different places; it connects you just a little bit closer to that person.

So we may not be the best at staying in regular contact. Some of our best laid plans took a long while to come to fruition, if at all. At the end of the day though, if the most I got out of my failed time at design school was this really great friend of mine, I think I’ve come out ahead.

Today is your birthday Chloe. I miss you bunches, and hope that you at least come back to visit before you go on your next adventure. I guess I’ve never really shared a lot of this out loud, mostly because it’s not exactly the type of thing you pull out of nowhere. I hope you know you’ll always be one of my favourite people I’ll ever meet in Vancouver, and I love you to pieces.

Have a stupendous birthday (a Friday!! Woohoo!) and I’m sorry for broadcasting this over the blogosphere, I just really couldn’t help it.

You’re one in a billion.

Happy Birthday :)

-DFP-

In Between Dreams

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Sleep.

Yesterday I slept for 14 hours. My monthly “crash” if you will. I used to track my sleep using an app on my phone. I realized pretty quick that it was less a helpful tool, than it was a symbol of how bad my insomnia has grown over the years.

In high school, I wager I got about 6-8 hours of sleep every night

In my binge drinking days, closer to 5-7.

If you believe the last app readings, which were back in November: 4.5 hours/night.

Of course, the app isn’t wholly accurate. It only starts calculating from when you start the timer. It doesn’t factor in how long it takes you to doze off after activating it. It also doesn’t account for waking up frequently throughout the night. Let’s not forget, this is also an average measurement. As previously stated, I usually have a crash once or twice a month, where I binge sleep. My body just can’t handle the fatigue anymore. You could probably safely assume I indeed only sleep on average 3-3.5 hours every night.

My mind doesn’t have an off switch. It’s not that I lead an overly exciting life; the thoughts buzzing are certainly not screenplay worthy. Frets and worries of a near 30 year old are pretty bland, truthfully. I have school registration in roughly 12 hours to contend with, currently. I also have a ticket to a concert tonight that I’m pretty jazzed about. It’ll be the first concert I’ve gone to alone in, pretty well ever. Earlier in the evening, I was challenged to list 5 “Nice Things”. My brain doesn’t typically  lean towards positive things, particularly lately. Since I can’t seem to find sleep though, let’s give it a whirl. Who knows? It may just clear some clutter…

  1. West coast rain on my face. Especially in the morning when it’s still cold and I’m barely awake.
  2. The fact that as the years go by, my handwriting is slowly looking more and more like my Gramma’s everyday.
  3. The hum of a tattoo gun; the bite it delivers into the skin.
  4. Beers that wash over your entire palette.
  5. The unmistakeable sound of a home run.
  6. The perfect snap a baseball mitt makes on a beautifully thrown 2-seam fastball.
  7. A book so good, you have to re-read it immediately since you can’t leave the characters behind…because they are not characters, they’re friends.
  8. Sour-cherry cheesecake.
  9. A seamlessly conceived playlist.
  10. Rhubarb rock candy.
  11. The first cookie from a freshly baked batch.
  12. The first autumn wind.
  13. Cherry cola.
  14. The fizz that tickles your nose, from a freshly poured soda-fountain drink.
  15. The cold-side of the pillow.
  16. Coming home from camp and not being able to wash the campfire smell off your skin.
  17. Not being able to sleep the day before a big trip, while still being able to get up early to get your butt to where you need to go.
  18. Plaid
  19. Being the first to toe the rubber on a freshly groomed baseball diamond
  20. Ocean spray, on a summer day at the beach.

(…so I got a little carried away)

-DFP-

Triggers

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A whole new day
Begins with
Commotion
I never woke
Katy
She cried
It’s just
Common sense

Static’s on the
Radio
All night long
I never made
It home
I ran out of
Steam
Two feet from
The doorstep

Nobody’s putting
A foot to
The peddle
I’m tired
Of writing things
That make sense 

I didn’t say
I wanted to kill myself
Just that
I wanted to
Die
It’s just
Common sense
Katy
She kept on
Crying

————♦————

“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.”

I wish I could be, an emotional-history revisionist.

They say that the victors of war, are the ones who write history. In love, are there really any winners if it ends in heartbreak? I suppose it’s those who do the leaving. While they may come away scarred, ultimately they get the privilege of causing the most damage.

They get to make the clean break.
They get to hold the answers, withholding them if they see fit.
They get to dictate future interaction, or lack thereof.

Of course, they also don’t have to live with the same sentimentality day to day. When you make the decision to break off a relationship, it immediately dulls any nostalgia that can be traced back to certain things. Your time is over with that particular connection, therefore severing the need for emotional attachment to places or objects. Those who choose to end things, don’t have to live with: seeing the lamp-post you were leaning against, when I first saw your beautiful smile; or passing by restaurant we had our first dinner date.

Nor do they still struggle with rushing for the Richmond-Brighouse train vs. The YVR Airport one. Not that it has ever made a difference to my commute home; it just always felt cozier in my heart to take YOUR train.

Those triggers are just the ones trained on me daily; they open up much deeper wounds. Thoughts upon thoughts that never seem to cease. Scars that re-open every time I think of:

Our first hug (vice grip tight – I still feel it to this day)
How you were almost always quicker to text first after a date (unless I cheated)
The way you hissed your S’s for emphasis (aww yisss)
Our first kiss on the train platform (one on the nose)
The first time I saw you dance (so beautiful and carefree)
How even though you hate asparagus, you still ate it when I made it
How my hand fit so beautifully into the crook of your back (and how safe it felt)
How a popsicle would please you more than a fancy dinner (Rockets of course)
How Batman will forever be tied to you (Bane voices on the bus)
How I’ll never be able to watch Game of Thrones, no matter how hard I try (I’ll just hear your voice mocking: “Khaleesi” and “Not without my Dragons”)
The way your eyes lit up when discussing your Master’s Thesis

I could go on.

I carry these thoughts day after day after day. I didn’t get to decide I stopped loving you. I didn’t even get to hear when and why you stopped loving me. Armed with that hurt, I could re-write you to all my friends, as a cold, uncaring, horrible wench. The problem with that is, I’ve never been a very good fiction writer.

I didn’t get to make the clean break you did. There is only one way I could have that kind of ending.

Let it be known to history that:

I will always remember you as sweet and kind. Patient to a fault with my weird idiosyncrasies. Beautiful in every way. From your sparkling eyes, bright joyful smile, the sweet slow cadence of your voice, crazy hair, loving heart, and giving soul. In our short time together, I feel like I have enough memories to fill a lifetime…so even though I still lie awake, sleepless almost every single night, I’ll always have nothing but tender thoughts and love for you in my heart.

-DFP-