Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Journal 2

A Saturday afternoon, usually my favourite time.

As I continue to battle a long, lingering cold (flu?) I feel thwarted by my holidays

being coldly invaded by it, and going back to work yesterday did nothing to

revive me.

Taking solace in books is all I seem to want to do right now.

Finished reading "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen, an excellent novel, researched, I

imagine, exhaustively, by its author. A family of individuals struggling to appreciate each

other. Not an 'unhappy' family, but a familiar one.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sweet Dreams

On a lighter note I bring you the link to the OneMinuteWriter.


It's playing as I write this. Oddly, on my ipod as I tune in and look at the One Minute Writer Daily Writing Prompt.

It said to pick a theme song (not write one oh god no) that would go with your profession. I already have one, I picked it up after seeing an episode of "The City" (no relation) and it is Sweet Dreams, by that ubiquitously a-sexual Annie Lennox, whom, as my friend A once summed up as "a woman who has spent some dark nights alone with several martinis".

My theme song doesn't literally relate to my job as a kitchen designer. Unless you count angst-ridden renovation nightmares. It relates more to a certain sense I get when I experience those twinge-worthy moments of professional epiphany, of pride, or a great new idea, or a sense of connection to those I am working for, and in some cases, against.
Let me give you the premise of how the song was used in The City, a guilty pleasure of mine that I enjoy watching, truly, for the fashions, but also for the peek inside the almost-homicidal-level of office politics that colours the office staff of the employees and management of a little fashion magazine known as Elle.
In one telling scene, Erin has a break-through at work where she backs down from a truly evil co-worker, and lets karma deal with this little troublemaker. It's for a cover of the magazine, and out of a focus group, her idea, which was pooh-poohed by her colleagues, ends up the chosen cover for the spring issue.
At the end of the episode, the cover is revealed in a board meeting with the entire creative team, Bitch-Girl and Erin and their blind-to-it-all boss Joe Zee.
The opening bars of this 80s hit swell up behind the scene as the meeting ends, and the team gets up from the boardroom table to leave the meeting.
Not Erin. She doesn't move as the song begins to reach crescendo;
"oooooooooohh hhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaooohhhhhoooohhhhhhhhhahhahahah....." and Annie Lennox's voice becomes the instrument.
The music pounds at the end, and Erin remains motionless, I presume to enjoy her professional orgasm.
Because whose kidding who--watching a karmic backlash in motion is, bar none, one of the
sweetest moments in life.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I have a memory like an elephant. Especially when it comes to the audible in life, the spoken word, or the books and articles I read, the written word. Visual cues come and go, but I remember things people said more than they way they looked, and what I have read defines periods in my life more than a photograph ever could.

So when friends say things, I often remember them long after.

It was a couple of years ago. I was going through a trying, lonely time, feeling sorry for myself, and my friend L. was on the phone with me, trying vainly to cheer me up in her unique way. She probably felt some twinges of frustration at me, being that my crying was interrupting her flow of speech. Then she said something that struck a chord in me; "You have alot of good karma coming your way, because of what you've done for those two children".

I paused. I listened. I heard her. Then, somewhere inside myself I filed that phrase away.

Those two children are my niece and nephew, and the 'good karma' she speaks of may have something to do with the relationship I've cultivated with each of them since they were born.

After my sister's divorce, which was a surprise for her, and for all of us, those two children became, if possible, even more special to me. They'd already been through so much upheaval in their young little lives, I was determined to help make their childhood something special, with lots of fun times to remember, and to make sure that this event, their parents split, did not make them grow up too fast.

Karma, as they say, can be a bitch. What I've realized is that it's not really a 'thing' so to speak, so much as a universal 'thought'. We attach meaning to it based on our fear that if we do something unsavory to another, be it dishonesty, heartbreak, deceit, or cruelty, that we will be punished for it. Alternately, when we behave in a positive, kind, or loving way, we will be rewarded. Not really a sane basis to live by, but it does have a kind of soothing effect when you imagine that all those in life who seem to get by doing the most shockingly insensitive things will, at some point or another 'get their just desserts'.

It doesn't always work this way.

Despite my friend's optimistic outlook for my karmic future, the years following had surprises in store, some very unpleasant. But last year, something in me (finally) clicked. I could try to take those hard times in life and evolve them--into a learning experience, a transformation, a new skill, anything that didn't involve me feeling self-pity. So I did. It was not easy, and in no way do I sit here, writing away, looking back, and think that it was. It was brutal, it was difficult, and no, I don't want to glorify that time. It is what it is, and now it is behind me.

So what of my good karma? Well, when I move the words around in my friend's unforgettable statement, I see it this way: Those two children, and what they have done for me are where the good karma comes in. I'm not a parent myself. But now, to them, I am a role model. And that's important, more important than my own selfish existence. They have a big future ahead, a space on this planet, deserving of love and happiness, for the same reason we all deserve it--simply because we are alive, and we live, and we feel, and we (in my belief) have a soul, and there is that feeling of bliss, as my love M. says, of being a good person.

This weekend is Valentine weekend, my first with M, and oddly, we don't really have anything romantic planned, as we are taking care of my niece and nephew from Saturday to Sunday, as my sister is going on a well-deserved vacation. I'm elated that M finds this a great way to spend a weekend, and that he is enamoured as I am with my niece and nephew.

He will leave in a few short weeks to go back to his home in the States, another chapter in our new relationship.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sub-Conscious-Wake up and Enjoy Life

I'm swimming through the days lately. They pile on top of one another and I look back at them and puzzle as to where they went.
And when I say "swimming" through the days I in no way mean that things are going along swimmingly. Although, in many respects, they are. In other, more serious respects, they are not.

Winter represses. It pushes. Down. The days are short, and daylight, so rare and precious, seems dark too. Sleep is one antidote. But then, even in sleep, your dreams will find you, your heartbeat will find you, roaring in your ears, a loud lion, jaws open, determined to be heard.

4am has once again found me, awake, worried, and praying, and curled up in sheets and blankets, trying to keep the fear out.

I get up, it's easier than staying in bed at this point.

I have work to do.