Category Archives: a random thought

these giant, white titans.

today:

brewed fresh coffee.
listened to james taylor.
looked at the little, green blossoms on my evergreen.
watched some of ellen with my housemate rory. got up and said, “i’m going to have a shower”. he said, “good. you smell.” i said, “blah wah, you suck”. had a shower. got a text from rory, “i can still smell you.”
looked for cheap flights.
hugged my housemate brionie. she has a breaking heart. 
re-read chapter one of rob bell’s ‘sexgod’.
went to the grocery store. bought pillsbury read-to-bake cookies.

went for a walk in our neighborhood, which was probably the best part. 

because living in the mountains is something entirely of its own.  these giant, white titans loom over you and from out of them come all the big, green trees. thick and towering and at attention.
i was making my way along the road, breathing in air straight from the branches, slowly realizing how lucky i am to live here. even for just a short time, i get to
live
in whistler. 
in between all the log cabins and giant evergreens and white peaks, here i am.

 the muted light of late afternoon reached its arms through the cold trees and found my happy, little face.

up high in the sky.

table mountain. may, 2009.

“Once you have that climactic scene in mind, you’ll know the scenes it takes to get there.” – donald miller.

the hundreds of little scenes that will take me to that climactic scene include:
clocking in for extra shifts at the longhorn,
depositing paychecks,
clicking through a bunch of travel websites, comparing prices and booking a plane ticket,
disciplining myself to study my grammar texts and read the mandela bio and study south african history (most likely in the whistler library),
getting reacquainted with an SLR camera…

and when i’m up late at night studying or reading, or moaning about that seventh shift in as many days, i’ll remember

the why.

because there will come a day in may when i hike up through the ridges of table mountain with the top looming over my head. i’ll have a camera slung around my neck bouncing on my tie-dye shirt, and in a side sack i’ll have a beer and a cupcake.
yup,  a cupcake.
and when my hand hits the dusty ledge and i drag myself up, when i feel my feet on its summit and look out at the city i adore, i’ll probably cry. actually, i undoubtedly will. 

because it took so much to get there.
to get to africa five times by 25.
to go to the first ever world cup held in africa.
to, once again, be back in south africa.

i’ll sit in the grass way up high in the sky and eat that cupcake and drink that beer. and as the wind blows, the simpleness of the whole thing will feel so suddenly profound.

and that’s it. that’s my climactic scene.

squatting on scene one.

blame it on all the moving hullabaloo, but i never sat down with 2009 at the backdoor and 2010 at the frontdoor and stopped.

i usually stop. 

i didn’t say goodbye to all the things that 2009 was, didn’t reflect. and i haven’t been able to greet 2010 properly, give it its proper welcome and itinerary. maybe that’s why i feel so strange about it. it feels uncharacteristic. really, really uncharacteristic.

and i didn’t even realize i hadn’t stopped until i went to get breakfast yesterday, pulled out my wad of paper i bought when i first moved to van and started flipping through. i was reminded of the world of goals i scribbled out in october, some of which brought me to be in whistler in the first place.

things like,
getting out of debt.
owning a guitar.
go to the world cup.
make cards.
give to good causes.
be well-read.
write, everyday.
buy a typewriter.

i sat moving my potatoes in lakes of ketchup and felt accomplished because a lot of those things are in the bag,
but hold the phone.
here’s what i realized:
in an ambitious stint in october, fueled mostly by donald miller, i had written out the things i wanted, i had documented them. pressed pen into paper.
then i pushed walls and moved rocks and tried to maneuver my life in such a way as to get to where i wanted to be.
then there was the labored choice to move my life to whistler to, also, get to where i wanted to be.

and then, after all that, all the stress, all the tears, all the choice anguish,  i kinda forgot the story. the plot became blurry. i even forgot that i was in a story. 
i was just sipping coffee in la brasserie thinking,

“man. this is a lot of change. i know no one. i’m broke-ass. this came so fast…”

i wasn’t even connecting the dots to the ultimate reward, i was just moaning. that’s when i read, as part of a typewritten letter i wrote on december 11, this:

“here’s the truth about telling good stories with your life. it’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it. and then  when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. it’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life. people love to have lived a good story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. but joy costs pain.” – donald miller.

as soon as i read it, it felt instantly biographical. i want to tell a good story. whistler sounded like a great idea. i was/am excited about it. but as of january 2, i’ve graduated into the work part of the story. the part i don’t like, the part nobody likes.

and it’s sort of ridiculous that i wasn’t putting two and two together and seeing my sudden lack of motivation as being related to the start of the work portion of the game plan. go figure.

so now that i’m freshly aware of why i planted myself here, i need to draw up that moment (or as miller puts it “envision a climactic scene”) so all the bits of this story make sense. so that all the scenes that play out over the next four months are all working together for a purpose.

i’ll put it on the drawing board and publish that puppy tomorrow.

(there are a bunch of people who check this blog (thank God that you do), so there are just as many stories playing out their scenes…can anyone relate with anything i’m talking about? or am i the only one who was squatting on scene 1 with a thick head…)

xo.

in our purses till we’re 90.

the bunk beds were sold on friday so we’ve been sleeping on the floor.
our shelves are gone, the bookshelf sold, patio set bought.
our suitcases have to be packed with everything we can manage within the 50 pound/bag allowance. a couple friends have even taken a bag on our behalf just so we can get it all back home.

we’re moving.

and in a lot of ways, due only to all the decision-making stress, i feel ready. but in most ways, i feel like i just started reading this chapter and already the final paragraph sits before me. 
it always knew it was going to be this short, but i didn’t.

i don’t want to say goodbye to walking to arbutus for coffee and seeing my sister behind the counter. she’d come over to my table and we’d exchange stories about the idiotic customers i served the night before and the idiotic customers she served just a minute ago.
i don’t want to say goodbye to 4th avenue. to mintage and zulu records and noodle box and videomatica and maple market. our neighborhood haunts.
i don’t want to say goodbye to late nights spent in dim lighting listening to noah and the whale, fleet foxes and bon iver. i’d huff my way home and when i unlocked the door i always knew we had that.
i don’t want to say goodbye to the teddy jar that has all our receipts in it, or our indian bells hanging in the window, or our paper snowmen taped to our kitchen window.
i don’t want to say goodbye to catching up on all the time with my sister i missed out on while i lived in africa and she lived in australia. oceans apart.

someone is telling me to warm up to the next chapter and all i can think to say while i grip this page is, “well, no, wait…this was going to be…just..hold on, just a second…”

and if life worked that way, if life listened, it would stop. we’d all get to live in a still picture.
but it doesn’t. it’s moving and going and the waves keep coming and the merry-go-round never tires of spinning.

so if we can’t stop it, we’ll soak up all the details and carry them in our purses till we’re 90. 

tomorrow we’ll do just that. stay tuned…

xo.

this city.

sometimes i feel like being in this city was nothing but a boxing match. one i didn’t sign up for but had to fight anyways.
and i’ll fly home on wednesday with nothing but a limp and depleted level of optimism.

it doesn’t always feel this way, but tonight…tonight it does.

oof goes the heaviness.

my bum-flap christmas wish. granted.

i’m pretty sure i’m the only one who is going to find this to be the greatest thing. ever.

janis and i were at mintage yesterday rifling through vintage finds. i was in the back looking at the old boots when i saw a peek of waffle material hanging behind a pair of jean overalls. 
i can’t tell you how fast i snatched those overalls off to see in full view what i thought was hiding behind them.

one-piece, waffle-imprinted pajamas.

i gasped and yelled for janis, who, i think, thought i was throwing out sarcastic excitement.
i immediately tried them on and popped out donning them. a little old lady even came over to see them, wondering what all the commotion was about.

they even have a bum flap. a bum flap with a button.

i have wished for one-piece, waffle-imprinted pajamas with a bum flap for, well, for forever. i was starting to think they were a wardrobe myth.

who wants to watch “how the grinch stole christmas” in bum-flap pajamas while the snow blusters and blows against the chimney on christmas eve? 

i do.

my sea. my pining.

english bay, vancouver. yesterday.

i stood by the edge of the sea yesterday. i felt like i was in an old nautical painting.

like i was an ancient sailor pining for the blue depths and grizzly pirates. waiting to once again sit below deck chasing rum and cackling about one-eyed pete’s fishing tales. the exaggerated ones he tells right before he falls off his stool. 

the rain dripped off the front of my black hood as the barges in english bay bobbed in the water as if in a bathtub. their little lights barely peaking through the fog, whispering for company. it was really cold. and the whole world felt alone.

i’ve never really considered myself a daydreamer. but maybe i am.
or maybe the sea just makes me pine,

desperately pine.

just sit down.

if you don’t do the things you love, i’m convinced happiness will start leaking out your ears, escaping.

yesterday, mel, my dearest friend from surrey, sky trained it in and we walked in the bone-jarring cold over to arbutus coffee.
this coffee place has become a sort of second home, being that emily works there and all. they’ve just put up their christmas decorations and it feels like a living room. this i love.

these guys from australia, chris and tom, were playing some instruments at 3. so with our tea pots in hand, we listened to the strumming and singing and discussed life and our recent histories. we felt the warmth of a good sunday afternoon.

these things i need. i feel so productivity-orientated so much of the time that if i don’t just sit down and listen to dudes on guitars often, i might just lose the plot. 
not even kidding.

tonight, poetry slam and a beer on the drive.

that’s exactly how i feel about that.

kelowna, british columbia. september 2008.

this is why we need other people in our lives:

thursday.
i was opening up the restaurant and talking to jason, our manager. he’s always a pretty interesting cat to talk to. as i was filling the candles with oil one by one, i mentioned something about regular life doing a number on me. how schedules and routine start agitating my innards…and how i never know what to do about that. i just, blugh, i don’t know.

he asked, “what’s your sign?” (we work at the libra room…it comes up in conversation)
i said, “gemini.” (though that’s the extent to which i know anything about signs. for me, horoscopes fall under the same umbrella as tarot cards and tabloids and lady gaga: all straight bullshit)
but then he yells out from the liquor closet, “ah, you’re conflicted.”

conflicted.

i laughed under my breathe and said, “dude. you have no idea. you have no idea.”
i googled it. first sentence of the gemini description?

“Gemini, the sign of the twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory.” 

my cradle was loaded with heavy company before i even knew where my elbows were. great.

i still don’t get the fuss about horoscopes, and i’m not about to subscribe, but it was an interesting little bit of conversation. nobody had ever so accurately described me as such, as conflicted. conflicted. conflicted…wow, conflicted.

friday.
talking on the phone with my friend jenna. i was walking through how i was feeling about a week ago, about life and swapping it and ideas and moving and changing…and all this stuff. i must have paused, in need of the right word to fit all these thoughts into, when she so matter-of-factly said,

“claustraphobic.
you feel claustraphobic.”

God is handing out notes behind my back to anyone i talk to. 
because i said back to her, “ya dude…shit, ya. that’s exactly how i felt.” 

and i did. i felt similar to someone who had a fat man sitting on their chest, shortening their breathe, or somebody watching the water rise on their overturned dingy. claustrophobic. 
and the thing is, when i look around and no one else is panicking or jumping ship or looking at you with the same wide-eyed expression, i feel alone. i feel really, really alone.

and it’s as though i have a monopoly on conflict. 

it’s me, sitting on a street corner, trying to drink a cup of coffee, but unable to because my hands are wrestling with this stupid conflict beast that forgot the stupid rules to stupid musical chairs.
F. 
that’s exactly how i feel about that. 

but it’s not all bad. ha, that’s the thing. conflict is a continual license to suss it out. to examine your life and look for truth and sift the falsities. i wouldn’t give that up for anything. i would never want to be one of those dolts who walks around shaking hands all shallow and numb.

but man, to not feel alone. to not feel like i’m the only one who is conflicted and gets claustraphobic and …

it’s a weird thing to be so grateful for how God made you, but at the same time wonder if you’ll ever stop flicking post-it notes up to heaven with the word “WHY?” on them. 

it’s the black lineup that i miss.

ubud, bali. march 2009.

i really, really miss this.

whipping down a busy bali street, feeling the engine shift down as i pull up curbside in front of the cafe.
fitting myself between the lines of motorbikes everyone else is tearing around on. 
getting coffee and doing whatever it is i’d be doing. reading, thinking, sitting.
then getting up, picking the keys from out of my helmet, shoving the kickstand out of place, turning the key and blazing off into the heat…