My Precious

Lately I’ve been working on this little nugget of a dream and it’s germinating and I’m so excited and it’s precious to me.

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I’m looking.

I’m looking for a word that describes the peace and joy of being in nature.

I’m looking for a word that encompasses the cozy feeling of being wrapped in a warm blanket and drinking hot cocoa with a cold nose and fingers from being outdoors.

I’m looking for a word that encapsulates the energetic feeling of being inspired and motivated to create because of being in a new situation.

I’m looking for a word that identifies the yearning to go out into the world to explore and learn.

I’m looking for a word that communicates the sensation of fingers running over perfectly textured paper.

I’m looking for a way to describe the complicity between people and their surroundings and the plants and the animals.

On this day:

In 2013 – sweaty teenage years
In 2006 – injury
In 2005 – photos of childbirth. I don’t even know why I posted this.


art smart part fart

It is finally happening. It’s finally the week ending with a trip to the dream cabin with Terri.

I’m planning on bringing all my wood carving stuff, water colour painting stuff and at least two paper journals.

I’m planning on communing with nature, communing with myself and communing with my good friend. I love where our conversations go when we aren’t distracted by other people, or events or tasks.

I love art but I don’t feel like an artist. Maybe I’m more of an art facilitator? I model for artists anyhow.

My art is me. I guess I am performance art. My focus is to make myself happier and wiser and with a rich soul. The medium is my interaction with myself vs my interaction with others. I’ll know I’m done working on this piece of art when it’s no longer a performance or an exercise and is just IS.

Art is expression. Art is communicating thoughts and emotion. Art is visceral and honest.

On this day:

In 2009 – a guest post!


I’m totally floating right now.

I’ve written before about posing for life drawing workshops and how much I got out of it. It helped me with body confidence and with communication and really helped me to grow in ways other pastimes haven’t. But lately, I just haven’t been into it. I’ve worked for pretty much all the groups (that I can, some run at times that don’t work for me) and I feel like I’ve accomplished all that I can, or all that I care to, on that track.

The last few times I worked for groups, I was mostly just going through the motions. I didn’t feel like I was excelling, or growing or anything like that. I was just doing. I was bored. I think I’m done with it.

Last night, a local artist whose work I totally love came over and took some photos of me to use as reference. THAT was fun. It was pretty simple and it really just amounted to sitting in a chair in my room and giving lots of shots and angles. I think what I liked about it was that I got pretty much continuous verbal feedback. Lots of “your hair is so awesome!” and “your face has lots of good lines” and some “your hand looks so weird like that” and I really dug it. I mean, it feels good when someone tells me I’m good looking. What an ego boost! But I compare this to drawing groups, they are very silent and if they talk, it’s to each other and it’s kind of lonely for me. I mean, obviously I have to hold still and can’t really be chatting, so it’s just the nature of what it is.

I know that I am not an artist, but I love being involved in art and this was so great and I want to find more ways to be involved.

On this day:

In 2007 – homophobia in the Ottawa music scene
In 2006 – epic
In 2005 – happy about an internet quiz – life’s little victories


DDD

Last Sunday, I hosted a nice event at my house. It was part pot-luck supper, part art instruction, part figure drawing workshop and part board-game party. I had a really lovely time. I love hosting things and not knowing what mix of people will arrive. I love the moment when a group of people who don’t typically spend time together, find their groove.

I made a big pot of vegetable biryani and people brought dips and veggies and chips and cookies and all manner of delights to share. We had a beautiful, nearly full-term pregnant model come with her mother and her partner. Before and after drawing, small groups played a variety of games together.

I tried drawing, on coloured paper with seppia and chalk, for the first time and really like the results.  The other one is my favorite one that Shawn did that evening.

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It was so great that I’ve already planned another one for the beginning of July. If you’re in the area and want to join us, let me know and I’ll send you the full details.

On this day:

In 2008 – I don’t remember what this was about
In 2005 – the bachelorette


be still

For a while, I was really into swimming at lunch multiple times a week. The frequency took a big nosedive around the time of my abortion and tubal ligation and now I just don’t do it. I’ve been thinking about it lately. It’s one of those things that I want to WANT to do, but the desire is no longer there. “But why?” I ask myself.

Back when I was all into swimming, I was really fucking stressed out. My marriage was ending, I was moving, I had an unexpected pregnancy and an upcoming surgery. I needed a space where nothing was happening except that my body was working to get me from point A to point B without drowning.

It was meditation.

It was escape.

It was solitude.

It was communing with my soul.

I’m not in need of that now. With that time, there are other things that I would rather do to enrich my life.

___

I feel I’ve been very physical and in my body since Friday.

I had left my car with my sister for the weekend so after work I walked Chinatown with Shawn. I got to check out High Jinx finally. I had been wanting to for some time but every time I passed by I was either busy doing something else with the kids, or it was closed. We ate at The Daily Grind and they have such a neat concept of a space. I won’t spoil it for you. Go there. Go upstairs. Explore it. They put out drawing materials on all the tables so I drew an owl and Shawn and I collaborated on a drawing in which he is some kind of hunchback and I whip him while he carried boxes of books. Art is life is art. Then we explored the local shops for training chop sticks for Bobby and Molly. All the shops that had them were closed.

Saturday was the Great Glebe Garage Sale. I had left my double stroller Chez Ma Soeur. We went to get it on the way to GGGS and when assembling it, realized I had left one of the 3 wheels at home and that it wouldn’t really be useful to us. MERDE! We strode out with a backpack and two grocery bags each. Once we were fully burdened, we brought our loot back to our base and went out again. We came back with one more load and obtained hundreds of books. It was a lot of work. Originally, I had hoped to go to Art in the Park AND Art in the Alley after the GGGS but my feet were way too sore. We went to the Elgin Street Diner and enjoyed watching the racers zip past the window.

On Sunday, I modelled for a new (to me) group out in Nepean, then I met up with Shawn at Ravenswing. I was feeling very upset. My body was tired and I had quite the hard time getting from Nepean to Minto Park and I cried in the park and it took me a good while before I could just enjoy myself instead of feel. What? Almost anxious. I guess release the stress and anxiety that I had during my commute. I bid on 4 items in the Silent Art Auction but didn’t heed Shawn’s warning of bidding lower than I did.

Then we went to Laura’s t get her and my car. We all went to the Glebe to check out Octopus Books, Dragon Tail books, and get some groceries. Once we got back to Laura’s to drop her off I got a phone call.  It turned out I ‘won’ 3 of the 4 items but I didn’t expect to and couldn’t afford them all. Back to Ravenswing we went and I chose my favorite and the other two went to the next highest bidders.

At this point we drove to my house where I immediately set to planting some straberries, tomatoes and peppers. Then Jeff came over and we stayed up late playing cards.

Yesterday OUF I was tired! I had to run around on my lunch break to Orleans and back and then after work to Westboro to pick up a lovely book donation from Jacob and his partner. Laura and I explored Hintonburg and then I went to Shawn and basically camped out on his bed until I had to get up for work this morning.

All this to say – my body is tired. I have been doing doing doing and this evening I plan to rest. I plan to work on the things that go on in my mind and in my heart and to find that calm spot I got from swimming, by letting my body be still for a change.

___

I’ve spent a number of years stuck. I was stuck in a place where both my body and my mind were still for stretches that were far too long. I’m exploring to find my natural pace. Where is the balance I need? I’m not sure there is an answer. I think I need to be mindful every day and take care to provide myself with opportunity for rest and stimulation in response to my changing needs.
On this day:

In 2012 – What a perfect post to complement this one!
In 2010 – “juice is crap” – healthy ice pops
In 2009 – food stuffs
In 2007 – sexist or funny?
In 2006 – some interesting answers


“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.”

Last night, my sister and I sloshed into The Manx and sat in that little hallway next to the bar – where people get served through a window. We were at the second table from the end. There was a hetero couple at the end table and a lone man on our other side.

They were engaging. At first I thought they were just quite friendly. But it seemed a bit off. They were always ‘on’.  They were always talking about things that people have Strong Feelings about. They were always talking in voices loud enough for us to pay attention to, no matter the subject. There were never quiet moments. They were always making attention-getting gestures with their bodies.

A timeline of how things went:

We arrived – soaking wet – from the rain.
They commented about the rain, we engaged in weathery chit chat.
Laura and I were conversing.
We talk to the bartender about ciders. Man tries to get in on it but is kind of unsuccessful.
They started having a dicsussion about how she is deeply troubled/offended/bothered by/done with, his sister. *I was actually having a good time talking with my sister, I wasn’t listening to their entire conversation – but this is when I started to feel something was up. They were speaking in Public Voices about private things. The way they were speaking is a way  generally associate with improv perfomances. I could sense that they were regularly gauging our reactions.*
She went to the washroom. As she left, I thought to myself “He’s going to engage us in an interaction”.
We continued chatting.
He was looking at us, making attention getting sighs, coughs etc until he interrupted with “Excuse me, if a few minutes, our friends are joining us for a drink so it might get a bit crouded at this end”. We offered to move to the next table, as the single man had left, but he assured us the friends were only there for a quick drink and would then leave.
Laura commented on his shirt that said BACON.
He said he loves bacon but his partner is vegetarian and he sometimes cooks it at their home but she doesn’t like it.
She returns. I tell her he is totally right and he is totally wrong. Bacon smell gets in everything etc etc. After a few minutes Laura and I switch back to our duo conversation.
Our food arrives.
Man intterrupts with something like “You said you used to be vegetarian – What’s the story there?” Group conversation ensues for about 5 minutes then Laura and I return to our duo conversation.
Their conversation moves onto homosexuality and people being in the closet.
I go to the washroom to send this text message to Shawn:

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A few minutes later, when I’m back at the table, he calls me to ask what is going on. I respond that I can not really say at the moment, because I don’t want to give away my suspicions. I want to see where this will go. He asks me if I am safe and happy. I affirm that I am and we end the call.
Their friends arrive. Another hetero couple. Introductions are made and it seems like only the men know each other. Despite this, the four speak to each other with consistent intensity and energy. People who apparently didn’t know each other, talk about things they did together. No one ever gets interrupted. The conversation never stalls. They never split into two groups of conversation. They ask each other questions that make the speaker explain things in a way an audience wants to hear it (example – the initial woman asked questions about the initial man’s family, that she would know the answers to, so that we could have more context)
Topics they covered:
Drinking and driving.
Policing stuff.
Gross McDonalds food stories.
Mommy Wars stuff.
*There is no natural way for ALL of these topics to flow from one to the other*
As the time passed they got more fervent and raucous. As we were leaving, original man was telling an incredulous story about  some lewd sex and they had uproarious laughter. Laura and I both noticed many people giving us special attention (looking directly into our eyes, not in the discrete “oh someone is passing by” kind of way that people usually do) as we left the space. Right out front, we went over the events and corroborated what I had suspected. Then, two men who had been a few feet away walked into the place, both pausing to give us direct eye contact as well.

I suggested we go back in ‘to use the bathroom’. Laura said no. I tried peeking in the windows but she kind of dragged me away. I wanted to go back in, but I also had the kernel of doubt that it was all in my head.

But COME ON! That was totally not. It totally was an improv thing these four people were doing. Other people may or may not have been in on it. Either they were in on it or they just overheard those (somewhat incendiary) conversations and were paying some attention.

On this day:

In 2006 – voting with money