Month Apart

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26 years ago, on this day, my life changed forever.

On the way to The Ottawa Civic Hospital, I begged and pleaded with my dad; he would have none of my 3 year-old politicking however.

I was anxious, but also nervous. I had known for months that this day was coming and I had no idea what to expect. Granted, I was 3 and was pretty short on life experiences. Up until this particular point, I had no memories of being in a hospital.

I had my favourite outfit on: a track suit; it was a big day after all. Yellow zip-up jacket, with Kelly green sleeves, and a moose patch on the left breast. The pants were matching green joggers.

My dad parked the car and we made our way to reception. As I mentioned, this day was a long time coming, so everyone was waiting for us. They told us which room to go to, and we started making our way.

My memory is hazy, but I remember walking into the room and seeing my mum there. Despite her exhausted expression, she had a big smile on her face. She told me to come over closer to her; she could tell I was nervous by my fidgeting.

They handed me a small bundle, my dad close by my side to help me keep it balanced. I tried with one final desperate plea to convince him:

“Are you SURE we can’t name her Oscar?!”

The bundle in my arms, was my new baby sister, Caroline. Born 3 years, 1 month (minus a day) after me.

Over the years, there’s probably been more bickering than cooperation. As the older brother, I was quick to try and establish my dominance over my younger sibling. Despite our quarrels, there have been many fun, beautiful, and precious memories, that I will cherish forever.

Some people have lots of siblings, and that’s great; having a full house can be very loving. I only have the one and for me, that’s perfect. There’s a closer bond I have with my sister, that I wouldn’t have gotten with others around. While we’ve certainly cursed each other’s existence at least a few times over the years, I hardly could imagine growing up without one of my best friends.

As has has been the case over the last dozen or so years, I won’t be there to celebrate with her. It gets harder with each passing milestone, to be so far away. Know, my dear sister, that I love you to the moon and back, and that I miss you terribly. I hope you have a wonderful birthday filled with many laughs, and lots of love.

Xoxo

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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-

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-

Moonlight Spy

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If this blog were a pet, it surely would have passed on from lack of feeding. I can’t seem to find my way back on here.

The ideas begin to bubble, before quickly cooling.

There has been so much on my mind the last few weeks; so little of it can I make sense enough to put into words. Someone told me not too long ago: “Keep at it” in regards to this blog. I haven’t done a very good job at that. I always imagined this would be a place of catharsis, or renewal. Instead, it creates more tangled knots in my head as I search for things to write.

So I’ll just dip into the vault…

 

♦♦♦

Bedtime visits
Remain my only solace
On these cold nights

Locked in your sanctuary
You wouldn’t dare
Show the world
Your face

You find it highly
Unprofessional
To allow outsiders
A glimpse
Of what you hide
Behind that mask

So I sneak up
To your room
Each night
A moonlight spy if you will
In hopes that
One day
I’ll be visible

For a single moment

-DFP-

Feet First

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“Life is all about doing things that excite you and scare the shit out of you.”

 

I’ve never lived life cautiously.

The laundry list of injuries, both sport and otherwise stand as evidence. I do things with reckless abandon; I leap, then look. That seems like a strange statement, coming from someone who is more apt to stay in with a movie, than live it up on the dance floor Friday nights.

My heart usually takes the brunt of the punishment.

They say slow and steady wins the race. There’s something about living in the fast lane, though. After all, life is a destination, not a race…right?

Big things are brewing.

It’s easy to tell myself, to not get too far ahead of things. It’s harder to act on that knowledge. One thing I’ve learnt over the years, is that if you aren’t going to be true to yourself, you’re not experiencing a genuine life. Fear is an excuse to let life pass you by. It can be absolutely crippling at times. Scary as the world can be, if you allow yourself to overanalyze due to fear, you end up missing out on a lot.

Big things are brewing…

Scary
Exciting
Edge of the seat
Up all hours of the night
Skin tingling
Heart racing
Word stealing
Things

Caution has never been a very close friend of mine. Despite all the bruises and scars, I’ve only ever known how to approach things one way…

Feet First.

-DFP-

Daisy Chains

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The year is quickly approaching its halfway mark.

I had big ambitions set in motion for 2014. It’s not to say that it’s too late to achieve them. It’s just that things got thrown on their side, leaving a less clear roadmap. There are still many days left on the calendar, most importantly: Summer Days.

I’m guilty of measuring the success of a year, by how much I enjoyed the summer. I think it stems from the expectations the weather builds. In the winter, you’re given a built in excuse to be a hermit. Most people won’t blame you for wanting to curl up indoors, with a nice book or cheesy movie. There are no excuses in the summer. How can you NOT want to go out and explore?

Last summer was, ok. I can’t really speak to any big events, big discoveries, or any exciting adventures. The closest was when Casey visited. He came in the Spring time however, so while it gave 2013 a decidedly sweet taste, it didn’t contribute to an awesome summer. Cue 2014.

Summer 2014 is all about re-connecting.

With nature:
I’ve been guilty of wasting opportunities to convene with the great outdoors. I live in a beautiful city that is surrounded by nature and wonder. School played an early part in this disconnection; excuses are so 2011 though. Hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, are all on the menu for this year. There’s also the promise of finally learning how to bike. (I may no longer have to be the only living boy in Vancouver, who can’t bike!)

With music:
I wouldn’t say I’ve detached from it. What would be more accurate, is that I’ve not immersed myself as wholly in it as in the past. Summer is great for music in Vancouver, and you can bet your boots I’ll be taking full advantage. There’s also Take #3 on a music blog. New blog, new vision, new collaborator. Someone who has the same creative excitement for this project as I do. Check it out if you fancy: Mellon Collie and The Infinite Playlist.

With writing:
Returning to this blog is hopefully the catalyst. I haven’t written consistently since high school. When I was battling the usual teenage angst and confusion, writing helped a lot. It’s soothing, relaxing, and can really help remove the clutter. This summer, even though I have no designs on being a published author, it’s time to re-connect pen to paper.

That leave the most important one for last:

People.

I don’t mean it in the literal sense of re-connecting old relationships. People come and go in your life, and while it’s hard to cope with at times, it’s just a part of being human. Re-connecting with people this summer means re-learning to make connections. This last year I’ve been a bit more reclusive; I’ve been far more closed-off to others. There are a number of reasons why, and it’s left my soul hungry for close human bonds. It can be very difficult to become transparent with others; I’m not usually one to show vulnerabilities. The thing is, when you are constantly surrounded with such amazing, loving, beautiful people, it becomes really difficult to keep your guard up. Why should I in any case? When you’re blessed enough to have great people in your life, you should only want to let them in.

One by one, I’ll find myself back in love with the things and people that fill my heart. One link at a time, until there’s a perfect crown of chains fit for a prince.

2014 is all about re-connecting.

It’s all about…

Grand things.

-DFP-