wish i was here

•September 28, 2009 • 3 Comments

credit: secretfragileskies.com

i’ve been quiet because life has been….

well. i thought my life had been insane before, but it really didn’t have anything on this period of my life. in the past month, it feels like i haven’t stopped, probably because i haven’t. i spent a few weeks hustling to re-home the puppies. i spent a lot of time going back and forth between toronto and montreal, both  to visit the magician and look for a place to live. (and wow, did i ever score on that front).
there was a memorial to plan, and commute to. a burial to attend. oh, and my job, the hours of which have been close to 40 a week.

i move out of the beehive today: the plan is to put most of my stuff into storage and then return to montreal for about a month.

the place is still psychotic-looking, because on the days off i’ve had this month, i’ve been out of town on various (afore-mentioned) hunts. i’ve been working the rest of those days, so my sleep has been proportionately dwindling as i try to a) cope with the exhaustion and b) pack.
i’d take pictures of what i still have to do before my buddy comes with the u-haul, (when? i don’t know. i talked to him yesterday at noon and he was drinking pitchers at that point, kept calling him in the evening but his phone was off and his mailbox was full. however. can’t think about that) but honestly? i don’t really want photographic evidence.

speaking of, i should get to it…but the aching to write, well, ANYTHING, has been making my fingers tingle, and here at least i can commemorate this insanely ALIVE time in my life.
i’ve been too long in chaos. too long in mama-to-9-accidental-puppies mode. too long in transition. i haven’t had time to sit down and make the routine i wanted to after i graduated. that will come.

in other news:
the magician and i have become official. well, this happened a month ago, give or take. i tried to hold off because long-distance relationships usually cosmically suck for me, but it became pointless to be anything else. i am simply more in love, more myself, more fulfilled with him than i have ever been in my entire life. we look back over 6 years of friendship and see the markers of how we started and how long our connection has been building, and it is….a beautiful, unique, strong story. i’m not sure if i’ll tell it here, (it’ll have to be another day, anyway, due to time constraints), but i want to, just the same.

3 weeks left. here. i’m so excited to turn over a new leaf. to shed my skin. to have the GIGANTIC party it appears i am having (a sort of, “this is your life, montreal version” party) on a friday and take off the saturday, side by side with him. driving into the sunset. towards my closest heart-friends, my sister, a writing community i can feel connection with already.
life was a bit too hard here, for me. i stuck it out, and it was good for me, but life really doesn’t have to be that hard. nor should it be. and the universe is helping me, nudging me, lullabying me towards toronto. showing me through magic that it’s where i’m supposed to be.

it’s not a value judgement. montreal and i…we love each other, but our energies just didn’t match up.

credit: timharner.com

credit: timharner.com

oh, toronto, toronto. i miss you and i don’t even know you yet.


something hitting the fan (you know it)

•August 20, 2009 • 2 Comments


thinking about swimming.

thinking about swimming.

i am sitting at my desk with a really, really good cup of coffee in my hand (in my favourite red mug. maybe that has something to do with it), in damp clothes (how, exactly, do the puppies get INSIDE their water bowl? ~which is actually a pot, but never mind~), feeling the fatigue that never quite goes away anymore scratch up the bridge of my nose.

today is my day off and i’ve soon got to get moving, as i have a lot of house-cleaning to do before i go for my first elf-sitting (a two-year-old elf who just might be the most womb-throbbingly cute child i’ve ever seen), but i needed some time here, in my journal, even just to intimate at what’s going on.

shit’s hit the fan.

nobody should ever try and raise 9 (large-breed) dogs in a 2 bedroom APARTMENT in (specifically) montreal. montreal is not a dog-lover’s city, for one. for two, i had NO IDEA how much they would eat (8 kgs every two days! OMG) and therefore shit. how much holding they need. bathing. how much screaming they do.

i’m a fairly poor little bee right now and i need to work full-time in order to make ends meet. there are hours of the day when the puppies just have their mama to look after them, and daisy has been feeling a little – swarmed? shall we say? – so she has been weaning and taking her space.

the house smells, even though (i swear to you) every day before work, i muck it out. i scrape and sweep and mop and rub the walls down with bleach, and put fresh paper on the floor. it lasts for about….a minute….before the shit starts again. then after work, i do it again.
i’m trying, i really am, but it is a bit of a nightmare. i’m burned out. even after my (incredible. lifechanging) holiday.

i took that holiday, i NEEDED that holiday, but it made certain things come to a head.

my neighbours, specifically, don’t like dogs. right now, i’m not their favourite person. like, at all. i try to respect that and minimize the time that daisy’s around the main door (i whisk her away to the park. or run her back up the stairs and inside). i try to keep the puppies quiet.

but talking to my landlord yesterday, i found out what they’ve been telling him, which are out and out lies. some of them. some of them, i can’t blame them for. apparently, there was 4 separate complaints yesterday alone about the noise, and the smell. the fact that i hadn’t taken out the garbage on monday. (i’d been gone for the entire week and had forgotten to check the back porch for bags when i got home at what was technically tuesday morning at 3 am). and, my sitters were fucking pro-stars, but nobody cleans an apartment like the person who has to share with 11 animals.
so. my landlord was very sweet and diplomatic, saying that he understood my predicament, but that he couldn’t handle listening to his other tenants’ complaints about me.
i offered to move out for october 1st. he accepted.HPIM0441

which makes things incredibly interesting. it automatically pushed up the dates for puppy adoption. the first one went home yesterday. they’re 6 weeks old, which is less than ideal, but they’re monsters and they’re getting to the point where individualized attention is what they need more than a besieged, emaciated and indifferent mama-dog, and a guardian who has way too many things on her plate to give them the love they need. as it is, they scream for me starting around 6 am until i’ve picked them up and cradled all of them.
one is getting picked up tomorrow morning. another saturday night.

daisy is going back to ottawa today with a friend of mine. just this past holiday, he told me that he really appreciated my friendship over the 20 years that we’ve known each other, and how he appreciates that i stuck by him when others didn’t, and if there was ever anything he could do…..i called him yesterday at 5 am when my stomach was clenched tight in anxiety, told him, “i didn’t think i’d need to play this card so soon, but….” she’ll stay with him for a few months, until i get a place to live and a job in my new city.

bean will come with me in the middle of september when i escape again to find the healer, and will stay with the healer at his place until…ditto.

there is the possibility/chance/likelihood that i will stay in montreal for another month after my lease ends here. a friend offered her couch and that means i could keep my job for another month, save some more, and not feel as pressured about this transition as i have over the past few days.
it’s funny….i wanted to make the change/was paving the way for it/ then the universe took it out of my hands and told me i was ready.

so, i’m a mixed bag of bee right now. i’m sad that my neighbours really dislike me, and that my best efforts don’t show them how much i’m working to live well. i just want to tell them “it was an accident! i’m so! sorry!” but…instead i think i’ll just clean and avoid them. sad, too, how the chaos that seems to surround me can sometimes turn so sour.

yesterday i actually did a cord-cutting ceremony regarding the chaos. i felt around my body energetically for what linked me to it, and felt these huge, thick ropes binding me to it. i sawed through them and immediately felt lighter. it took forever, though, and i think i’ll need to do it again.

so. yes. busy times at the hive, as it tears down to rebuild somewhere else. now i should go, find the rest of my coffee, and get cleaning.

the quarry outside of ottawa

the quarry outside of ottawa

Protected: postcard from the beehive.

•August 11, 2009 • Enter your password to view comments.

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life is beautiful.

•August 2, 2009 • 7 Comments

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
— Dr. Seuss

to set the mood:

this is one of my top-5 songs for the summer of 2009. (i don’t know if anyone else does anything like that). i don’t even really LIKE ben harper all that much. (no offense to him, he has a great voice and a compelling aspect to his talent, but it’s just not my regular bag of music). but this song made it onto the iPod at work after my boss FINALLY updated the songlist a few weeks ago, and the first time i heard it, i froze and everything in me went cold and listened. i can’t give you a reason why i love it so much, but it’s definitely a part of my soundtrack.

this past week….so much has changed. i wanted to write here so much, to talk about it, and yet what was happening was so fragile and new and weird and gorgeous that i couldn’t. i needed to give it silence and space, to let it find a place in my world to root itself.


the days are bleeding into each other. it’s a cliche to say that, but at the same time i understand now why it’s said so often: each day has elements of the day before: they are full of friends and love and work and things to do and puppies and the constant CONSTANT cleaning.

i am full of this irrepressible joy. THAT has not changed. i cannot believe how happy i am to be occupying this space right now. my life is good. good in the sense that it is nourishing: i’m reading the most amazing things; working on an article about something that is so challenging and inspiring to me that words can’t express it; i take care of 9 babies that run towards the sound of my voice when i say, “good morning, babies!” and just want to be held once they stumble across my toes.
my spirit, or my mojo is back. it’s reminding me that i really like who i am. lord knows i’m human and i make my share of mistakes (PLENTY)…but i’m having fun with me.

it’s been such a long time since i could say that, or since i’ve felt that.garden photo

so. now i try and talk about what’s happening.

first of all, i’m moving. leaving montreal. i felt like it was necessary, after the break-up. plus, i’ve lived here long enough for school and i have this gypsying heart. i want to live in a lot of places and travel lots of places and there’s something that feels somewhat stultifying about overstaying my welcome. not that i’m not completely besotted with montreal right now. because i am. montreal in the summer is just completely, take-off-your-pants charming and my friends are just LOVELY and work is fine…and there is a part of me that wonders if i’ll be missing out by leaving, but then i think, “what will i be missing if i don’t?”

so. obviously, with 9 puppies and a debt, i can’t leave right away. but the puppies will take care of the debt, and hopefully i’ll be able to start saving madly for my escape, so countdown begins in another month. i have an idea, obviously, of where i’m going to end up for the next year. i’m only planning on staying where i’ll be moving to for a year, give or take, because the eventual goal is to “go west, young bee”, so the city i’ll be joining is full of friends and family that we (by that i mean my dog, my cat, and myself) can room with, in order to save up cash.

my heart just twinged a bit. i love the puppies. i love my bee-hive… but everything changes. and i’m also excited.

there is something else. i’m choosing, for now, to not talk too much about my love life, as there isn’t much of one beyond the occasional sexy flirtation with old friends and new ones. it feels good to be a bit more confident in my attractiveness, as i was very very insecure about that when i got out of my relationship. (also, the stress of the ending of that relationship wrote itself on my face and in my demeanour; lately, i’ve been mistaken for being in my early 20’s rather than in my early 30’s, and i tend to chalk that up to how light and relaxed i am now that i’m on my own).
i’m also pretty sure that i need to be on my own for a while. i’m not saying silly things like, “i’ll be celibate for a year” like my friend rachel wants me to do, as i want to stay open to each moment, but when i realized exactly how much of myself i lost, or forgot about, or ignored, in the past 3 years, and how much i like who i am, i want to ground in that. i want to make sure i won’t lose me again. i want to be comfortable with being myself so that i don’t just up and drift away when a cute boy looks my way.

there is someone very special, who i’ve known and called my one of my best friend/soulmates for many years, and our relationship is changing. i was COMPLETELY surprised and taken aback when it initially happened, but it also completely makes sense to my heart. i’m trying to resist the “well, we’ve known each other for 5 years” pull of wanting to follow my intuition pell-mell into whatever it wants, and to give this HUGE thing time to grow and develop in a soft space, so that it has a chance of being healthy, but it’s so hard when it’s exciting to me.
let me just say that i’ve known i’ve loved him for a long time, and i’m starting to realize in what ways.

life is so beautiful. i’m letting it take me rather than telling it what i want…and it’s so beautiful. much better for me this way. HPIM0314

how are you??

puppy love.

•July 25, 2009 • 4 Comments

kisses I feel it all I feel it all
I feel it all I feel it all
The wings are wide the wings are wide
Wild card inside wild card inside […]

I know more than I knew before
I know more than I knew before
I didn’t rest I didn’t stop
Did we fight or did we talk

Oh I’ll be the one who’ll break my heart
I’ll be the one to hold the gun

~leslie feist

they are now 2 and a half weeks old.

in that time, they have at least tripled in size and weight. their eyes have opened and they’ve started to (not only walk, but) run. they are interested in puppy kibble. they have had 2 “puppy showers” (replete with beer and a few gifties). they have had visitors every day while i’ve been at work. they have been held by hundreds of people.

they have all found homes.

it’s been a crazy few weeks of: friends upon friends upon friends. laughter. spooning. lots of alcohol. lots of cuddling.

i get up; i have coffee. i pet the puppies and rearrange them so they can nurse. i clean. i go to work. i go out. i am thinking about the stories i am writing, but right now there is just too much life going on for me to write them.

there is waaaaay too much life going on, and that is literally. and my heart is full of it, is embracing it, wants more.

my heart is joyous.

i think it’s the puppies. i think it’s a combination of things. but in the long run, does it really matter?

i think symbolically. by that i mean, i’m constantly, consciously looking for signs from the universe: am i going in the right direction? what should i do next? where should i go? what should i be?

i’ve been told i shouldn’t do that. but my heart yearns for signs. i think i’ve conflated the idea of signs with the universe looking out for me…with my mother saying hello.

coming up fast, (september 8, to be exact), will be the 10th anniversary of her death. with so much transition and commemoration and birth going on around me lately, i’ve been thinking a lot about her. i can’t believe it’s been 10 years since i was giving her manicures in the hospital. or buying her blankets from ikea. or she was walking me to work: she loved me in that awful tim horton’s uniform. (blech).
i miss her so much lately. it’s this ache deep in the marrow of my bones that sometimes threatens to turn me inside out.

and i thought i’d gotten used to it. i thought i’d come to terms with my identity as a woman with no parents. it’s a weird and lonely thing to say, especially when it comes with the addendum that i’ve been this way (stateless; homeless) for 11 years.

i’ve been meeting lots of new people lately, new special people, and they have all been asking me about my family.

i hear her laugh. i see the mole on her shoulder, right above her small pox vaccination scar. i almost remember her smell.

the last time i visited her gravesite, i told her all about him. how much we loved each other, how good of a man he was, how much she’d like him.
lots of things have changed. obviously. i wonder what she’d think of him now. i ask her for advice, to visit me in dreams, and the first dream i have in a while is about him.

i’m angry. i want to be mature about this, about the break-up, but to myself, i’m petty and juvenile. i think back to the series of emails we broke up through, and see what i was thinking, what i was feeling, and i’m angry he wouldn’t give me a chance to explain why i acted the way i did. why i’d reached my breaking point. why my love was stretched so thin that it snapped. he flat out refused.
and it’s not that i wanted him back in my life. wow, were we ever horrible for each other then. i just wanted a chance for proper, healthy closure.

granted, i’m a talker and he isn’t. i like closure. tying the wound off so it can be cauterized. he doesn’t.

this year, rather than spending the anniversary with him, i’m going camping with my best friend. banane and i are also organizing a (huge) memorial in ottawa. that will be the week that the puppies go to their new homes.

awwwwwwwwit’s going to be a doozy. i can feel it already. 10 years is a long time. a milestone, and my heart feels it.

i don’t often let myself feel how much i still need her. because why bother? i can’t get her back. it’s just this black hole of wanting and yearning that has no end. the yearning to crawl into her lap and rest my head on her shoulder. of being understood immediately by the person who grew me in her belly and has known me since my first swimming moments. i would love to show her montreal, that i can cook now, and pay my own bills, and graduate school.

when i left him, or we left each other, i knew right away that it was the right decision. the universe gave me 9 bundles of unconditional love and peace…chaotic ones, to be sure, but love just the same. it gave me so much support, in the form of people wanting to stop by and check on daisy, financial help, a vet popping up out of nowhere to offer services. it gave me so much inspiration and love and…

my heart is full. full of the magic of puppies. which is the magic of life…of the world…the secret. these little creatures, which i was dreading the advent of (being as i’m broke as shit, and i didn’t want to be further tied down to the debt cycle) taught me how to relax and appreciate every bloody full-pitched moment of life. i am living hard. loving hard. i am here, in the moment, in this city and job and life, and it is so good.

so good. because it has all the nuances.

it makes me think about the cycles. of everything. who i’ve lost, who i’m gaining, how life is a constant transition.

thank you, universe, for these puppies. i always said i wanted a family by the time i was 30…wink

staying open.

•July 15, 2009 • 10 Comments

bee dunktanki usually hate pictures of myself, it’s rare that i find one, or see one, that i connect with.

however, i’m kind of in love with this one right now.

scene: i’m at my friend sacha’s memorial, during possibly the second-most emotionally tumultuous weekends of my life.
all of my friends are there. friends who i consider my family.

it’s a joyous, yet heartbreaking day, filled with the things sacha loved best: his loved ones; good food; bonfires; live music; sunshine; enough alcohol to pickle all of us three times over; silly human pranks.

his sister, a woman who has been one of my best friends for almost a decade now, was able to rent a dunktank. we were all instructed to bring our bathing suits.

my friend jeremy snapped this pic through the mesh surrounding the tank. the sun was setting, and it was cold, but i needed to get in there for sacha. as his “little sister”, i couldn’t NOT.

for me, this picture symbolizes everything good about life. how, in the midst of great sadness, there are always people there who love you and who can give you exactly what you need, as long as you stay open. how you should celebrate your life the way you want.


following your heart.

and how, sometimes, when you’re at the end of your rope, you should tie a knot and hang on.

containing multitudes

•July 12, 2009 • 4 Comments

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul. […]
Welcome is every organ and attribute of me, and of any man hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.
-walt whitman, “song of myself”.

HPIM0227 at around 10 pm, wednesday july 8, i got home from work to find my couch destroyed.

i’d taken the cover off and shoved it underneath the desk before i’d left earlier, just as i’d shut my bedroom door, just in case daisy went into labour while i was gone. i didn’t want afterbirth all over my things. i didn’t anticipate that she would slit the canvas covering, pull out the foam, and scatter it everywhere in the attempts to make a birthing nest.

i stood in the front door, my mouth agape, and said to her, “um…what the fuck did you do?” then i noticed the expression on her face. she looked terrified, and stood, braced, on the blankets i’d set up for her like she had no idea what was happening. i went over to her and put my hands on her (huge) belly and felt a powerful contraction shimmer through her.

i told her to hang on, that i needed beer for this, and ran to the depanneur on the corner. by the time i’d grabbed and paid for a couple grolsch, and ran back, she’d dropped the first puppy.

HPIM0217over the next 3 and a half hours, she had 8 more.

so the room formerly known as my “t.v. room” has been turned into puppy central.
just like any newborns, they’re not doing much yet beyond sleeping and eating. they’re so new that they’re not even peeing yet. they murmur a lot in their sleep, or “sing”, and twitch. their eyes won’t open for another week or so, (give or take), so right now i’m enjoying the fact that my house isn’t over-run with (9) four-legged creatures.

i’m reminded of that saying, “a house isn’t a home until it’s witnessed a birth”, and i must say, there is something incredibly healing and peaceful about this time. i wasn’t necessary at the birth, but now i’m needed a lot: to make sure all of them get their chance to suckle (not just the strongest ones); to let daisy outside multiple times a night to pee (she, like any breast-feeding mama, is eating about 4x her weight right now, and that translates to a lot of midnight visits to our neighbourhood block); to rearrange the puppies and get them used to human voices and hands.

i had booked 4 days off work, intending on being at a music festival, but as it turns out i get to share this very special time with my own “family”. it’s good. it takes my mind off of other things.

i wonder if break-ups are always messy. i think that’s why i hate them. if it was up to me, they wouldn’t be: i’m friends with all but (now two) of my exes. yes, it took time, and yes, it took effort, but all of them i can consider friends, people i can call when i’m in their cities for beer and a visit, a hug, a place to stay.
i’m very lucky that way.

this latest isn’t going like that AT ALL, and i’m resigned to it. i doubted, from the very beginning of our relationship, that if we truly broke up, field wouldn’t have it – i think that’s why i tried to smooth over every single conflict we had (selling myself out in the process). the few times we spoke about former partners, i learned that his strategy was complete avoidance, and that frightened me. i didn’t like thinking that i would be one of the women whose neighbourhoods he simply would not go to, out of fear that he’d run into me.
but here we are.

and it’s fine, for the most part. i really feel that things started disintegrating for us when i started a) listening to that little voice inside me and b) sticking up for it. becoming more myself, asking him to please treat me this way or not to treat me that, caused a huge divide; arguments; and this unfathomable, uncrossable distance. i still look at certain things i did towards the end, gestures meant to placate his temper, and cringe, wonder how i could possibly be so untrue to myself.
so on the one hand, i feel good that he’s gone. if i was trying to respect myself more and he couldn’t deal with that, then it’s good.
on the other, i really miss my best friend.

but the best friend i miss has been gone for a long time…that’s another thing i realized. when he went away, last fall, that was the last time i truly remember seeing him. he started moving away emotionally almost immediately – and it definitely picked up speed after the winter. i could sense that, tried to talk to him about it, made myself crazy and exhausted over it, and he never quite saw what i meant, until the very last weekend.

by then i didn’t know who he was, and he didn’t know who i was, either. my best friend had become this stranger – someone who used to know exactly what to do to comfort me, couldn’t. and that hurt.
probably more than anything else.

and of course, opinions come out of the woodwork after a break-up. you finally get to hear everything everybody’s been dying to say to you for however long you’ve been a couple.
it’s been hard to hear.
most people are glad.

which makes me feel even more insecure in my judgement of character.

because there is this one issue left between us. a big one, one that will ensure that there is no closure between us until it gets resolved. i’ve tried to communicate with him about it, and have gotten no response. i’d love to keep his friendship, sure, but if he wants to go he “completely separate lives” route than we need to hammer out some details and move on from there.
and his silence makes me wonder if i was wrong about him, if the last 3 years were essentially false and dishonest.

oh god, i hope i’m wrong.

but…and this sounds silly, maybe, but daisy and her puppies remind me of what’s important. she, and they, are these endless wellsprings of love that i am so happy and privileged to midwive. i’m excited to throw them a “puppy shower”, and find them good, loving, stable homes. to help them grow into healthy, chubby, buddha puppies.

i am containing multitudes right now. my heart is bruised, a little, but there is so much peace and life, as well. it’s a crazy conjunction.

here is a song that i’ve been listening to a lot of lately.

in a weird way, it’s becoming the song that is the touchstone for who we used to be. who, i guess, i used to be. even though the wilderness is the last place you’d find him, it reminds me of him.
into the wild really affected me when i saw it.
you can learn more about chris mccandless here.
Have no fear
For when I’m alone
I’ll be better off than I was before

I’ve got this light
I’ll be around to grow
Who I was before
I cannot recall

Long nights allow me to feel…
I’m falling…I am falling
The lights go out
Let me feel
I’m falling
I am falling safely to the ground

I’ll take this soul that’s inside me now
Like a brand new friend
I’ll forever know

I’ve got this light
And the will to show
I will always be better than before

Long nights allow me to feel…
I’m falling…I am falling
The lights go out
Let me feel
I’m falling
I am falling safely to the ground