April, 2010

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Feeling everything and nothing at once.

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


Love Letter (Clouds)

by Sarah Manguso

Sarah Manguso

I didn’t fall in love. I fell through it:
Came out the other side moments later, hands full of matter, waking up from the dream of a bullet tearing through the middle of my body.
I no longer understand anything for longer than a long moment, or the time it takes to receive the shot.
This kind of gravity is like falling through a cloud, forgetting it all, and then being told about it later. On the day you fell through a cloud . . .
It must be true. If it were not, then when did these strands of silver netting attach to my hair?
The problem was finding that you were real and not just a dream of clouds.
If you weren’t real, I would address this letter to one of two entities: myself, or everyone else. The effect would be equivalent.
The act of falling happens in time. That is, it takes long enough for the falling to shear away from the moments before and the moments after, long enough for one to have thought I am falling. I have been falling. I continue to fall.
Falling through a ring, in this case, would not mean falling through the center of the annulus—a planet floats there. Falling through the ring means falling through the spaces between the objects that together make the ring.
On the way through, clasp your fists around the universe:
Nothing but ice-gravel.
But open your hands when you reach the other side. Quickly, before it melts.
What did I leave you?

The $12.61 Aposiopesis

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I received a letter from my school board today.

They owe me $12.61–it was shorted from the pay I receive tonight at midnight–and the true crime in all of this is that had they not told me, they probably could have kept it and I would have never been the wiser.

I have two options: I can wait until my next pay period and let the situation resolve itself OR I can call a 1-888 number provided and make a case for getting it sooner.

I think I’ll wait until it makes its way to me naturally.

(I have to say, though, I’m tempted to see what the getting-it-early process is like AND to see how successful I could be in my navigation.)

But really, let’s be frank.  Why would I care about having a clear vision for that $12.61 when I couldn’t have a less in-focus view of Spring, Summer, or beyond?

Hopefully when it arrives, everything is settled down and there’s a super obvious place for it to be spent or saved!

That’s my $13 wish. …well, $12.61 wish.

I did not want to be a tree, a flower, or a wave…

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
–Martha Graham

…just a note to self really.

And, finally… five for the decade.

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

A while back, I gave myself some blogging homework.

One of my favourite parts of having a blog is looking back in time to see what’s changed.  Any given month, I’ll go back and see what was going on in that month in days past.  …those of you that journal, are probably saying/thinking “duh!” but this project, really, is quite a new one for me.

The goal musings are particularly enjoyable because I either smile and think, “Wow, I was way off!” or I smile and think, “Wow, I was pretty bang on!”.  Either way, you see, I’m smiling.

So.  Five things I’d like if they happened in the next decade.

  1. I’m reserving “spot one” for a moment I could NEVER have seen coming.  I want one of those.  I want a moment that my most keenly exercised calculating brain-side, could have never imagined.  i.e. Walking down the streets of Sydney, his new surroundings, with dvb for an entire evening (night, and then morning) was something my Edmonton self could have never seen coming.
  2. I want to go from being knee deep in research and academics to waste deep.  I want a story; I want to perfect a based-in-research narrative.  I want to lecture.  I want a topic that swallows me.  …and if I get to type anything here, to be honest, I want to be phoned up by the CBC Radio One “As it Happens” crew and asked more about it.  I want to be in another convention book with a topic I can’t not present on.
  3. I want to be a Bondi Beach half-of-a-duo.  Let me explain.  Last week at Bondi Beach, I saw a couple that looked were so happy!  It’s not that I don’t see countless couples everyday, but there was something about this one that captivated me–I was also able to see some ‘me’-ness there.  I know I was seeing these two at their best when they’ve also probably had their worst, but I want the best and worst of/with someone.  I type this and think–who doesn’t?  BUT.  This is something pulling at me.
  4. Paris and Copenhagen in the right time, with the right resources, with the right preparations.  2008 my French was at its best.  I want to top that French and explore the city that does it best.  Copenhagen, for different reasons, remains on my list… a trip where I can see 1/4th of my dark-haired roots.  These two are pushpin flags in my Europe [and world] to be seen.
  5. A party.  A milestone, a celebration, a send-off?  I want some kind of event that wrangles in multiple aspects of my circle.  Within the decade I want a bigger communal experience with too much food, and too much beverage, and an inevitable clean-up that has to be put out of mind to properly enjoy the event.

If the waterfall and indoor tramponline occur, all the better!

Phew, homework complete.

“What does [the Southern Hemisphere] sound like? What games does [it] love best? [Do they] collect butterflies?”

Monday, April 12th, 2010


I saw a shooting star meteor just outside Auckland, New Zealand.  …in a hot tub.  The following night, as a group, we saw a handful more.  I made a wish.  Then, unsure of the protocol with the extras, just wished harder on the first wish rather than diversifying my assets.

Fire.  (Water.)

The hot tub wasn’t my only exposure to water the trip–in fact, of the elements fire, water, earth, and air–that activity had more of a [camp]fire feel to it than maybe any other.  I maybe, though, want to put the hot tubs with fire because water is the category that overflows, while the others have less.


Water was where we found ourselves falling down slides (at Waiwera), bouncing on jet skis and being pulled behind them.  Water was ocean trip number one with ice cream and discussions over New Zealanders obsession with twenty-first birthdays despite that no longer being the age of majority. Water was ocean trip number two where I knew I wasn’t passing up an opportunity to swim on a vacant beach under crazy round green hills and islands.  Water was ocean trip number three with ‘the boys’ and ocean trip number four where my excitement was shared by hundreds of others at Bondi Beach.  It was the geothermal pools, the brief rains, and the unpreventable good-bye at AKL.  It was each day’s shower scheduling and the calculating if showers were necessary, or the day ahead was too active to warrant it.  Time and time again I gave thanks for my ability to swim, and tread, and dive under and just enjoy it–my years out at our hometown outdoor pool paid dividends!


Air was the shooting star.  It was the bungee jump that was unexpected yet all that made sense in the moment.  It was the anticipation on the plane-ride there and the reflection on the plane-ride back.  Air was the luge-ing and the tumbling down hills in giant translucent plastic bubbles.  Air was the music of Wicked.  It was the hellos to familiar faces, new ones, and those only seen in photos.  Air was the girl seizing the moment for free excitement.  It was the view from the boys’ rooftop.


Fire was the bar-b-que and meeting New Zealand.  It was the many other meals.  …the $10 ribs, I just know I haven’t experienced for the only time in my life.  It was the laughter. …the street party.  It was the red wine (and the white).  Fire was my mystery evening waltz with Auckland–its pizza, its lights, its reverse bungee, its feel, its past, its harbour, its underlit terrace coffee finds.  It was Sydney’s many dancefloors where I wondered what would translate unnecessarily, most did.  It was my toe, ripped in half.


Earth was the caves.  (although, again, some is lent there from water as it was all through spring water, too).  Earth was the mountains, the walking, the parks, and the gardens.  It was the photo-shoots and the towers, and the opera houses.  Earth was the familiarity everything had–and the constant comparissons to the only places I’d ever been: Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Dominican.  Earth was the total newness of everything.  It was the school with no need for a gymnasium with an ambiently temperature-ed outside playspace.  Earth was the green.  It was the hills, and the sulfur smell, and the new unseen animals (and crazy plants).  Earth was the spiders, and the three heads, and the staircases, and the subway.


Irrespective of all things fire, water, earth, air… I’m not typing out my meteor wish.  I’m also not typing how or why I think this trip changed me, and see the world differently, nor how it will probably be a very, very long time until everything I experienced on the trip gets fully processed, understood, and realized.

Regardless of the elements or setting certain truths remain: communal experiences with amazing people are good for the heart.  Laughter feels like nothing else, especially so when it has been a good long while with certain folks far away.  Resolutions get followed through on.  Or they don’t.  Wishes are realized.  Or not.  Over time I will probably exaggerate everything that took place these two weeks.  I’ll forget certain parts.  Or I won’t.

I felt very alive.  …and that was the point.  I feel very grateful to many.  …which only makes me glad to be able to jump up and down while waving my arms over here, until others come over and I can attempt to return the favours.

I’m so glad I won’t have to look at planes so longingly now.  This trip has left me fulfilled, and content, and happy… I know it will last for a good long while, especially as things unthaw.

I can’t tell you how good it was to (re)connect like that.



(A total education.  …of the heart.)