dimanche, novembre 28, 2004


new shoes. again. what was I thinking????

but they are so beautiful

this addiction has to be stopped.

senseless kindness

I am full of pasta and scallops and spininch (highly reccomended on cold damp nights) and ben harper is playing from the kitchen. And someone else is doing the dishes. This is a moment to perfect to let go without notice.

As was opening the door in the middle of a term paper to a choice of swiss chocolate or cigarette.

Or perfectly timed tea and croissants.

Lately, though my life has been insane with school, I've found myself having the best of times with my friends. So much laughter.

Maybe it is because the semester is almost over and I can relax a little and breathe. And sleep. I think life is evening out.

Stuff that's been on my mind:
-next year: what to do, where to go... India, Neasa? Africa?
-the utility of introducing a bass player into the newly found equilibrium
-topic for my seminar paper
-how quiet the house will be at christmas without Timothy. How much I am going to miss him
-how glad I am that Timothy is getting out of Kelowna
-how much I love "petoncles"
-new pillows.
-red wine

mardi, novembre 23, 2004


I wore my hiking boots today. It wasn't snowing or anything, I just decided that they needed a trial run so that my feet get used to them before I have to wear them every day. When I opened the cupboard to take them out, I caught a glimpse of my other boots-my old ones.

I got the old boots the summer I was 13 because I was hiking the West Coast Trail with my mum and some of her friends. The shop that we bought them from isn't open anymore, but it was on the main street in downtown Kelowna, and the process of finding the right fit was close to buying pointe shoes: take an hour or two, try on everything in your size in stock, make about 50 'practice walks' around the store, finally, once your brain is numbed to the differences between pairs, choose something that you think makes your feet look cool. My boots were grey with purple accents (this was 1995!) and they cost about $250, which I thought was astronomical, and was suprised when my normally budget-conscious father didn't get annoyed when paying for them. He said they were a good investment.

I hiked the West Coast Trail and canoed the interior of BC with those boots. They were staples of my wardrobe during several summers of camp counsellor employment, and I wore them every day for eight weeks working on a landscaping crew the summer I was 16. They also were the boots I wore while riding on the back of my dad's motercycle all over New Zealand, and on a grade nine trip to Europe. In between adventures, I wore them to and from highschool, the movies, dance class...When I moved to Wales, the boots went too, and then to Lebanon, accross the Middle East and now Montreal.

I only had blisters the first hike; somewhere there is a snapshot of me sitting on driftwood at a campsite near Tsusiat Falls cradling a moleskin covered foot, the boots discarded in front of me.

The purple is indistinguishable now, they are a fairly uniform shade of grey, and there are holes where the stitching has disintegrated. There are cracks in the leather by the joints of my big toe and little toe where the boots bent with every step I took in them. The treads are completely worn down, and when they stand on their own the boots look like my feet are still in them. The laces are ratty, with at least two knots for mending purposes. There is a white line of dried salt around them from the roads in Montreal in the winter-looks a bit like a high water mark... These are not sexy boots.

Last December I left them on top of the radiator over night, trying to dry them off. The rubber soles, having had enough of my abuse, separated from the bottom of the rest of the boot and only stayed attached at the heel. I didn't even try to superglue them back together, somehow I just knew they were finished.

My parents bought me the new boots for Christmas last year. They are really nice-they make my feet look dainty, and they are a tasteful brown. They don't fit right though. Like rebounding from a relationship, I jumped on the "new boots" bandwagon, willfully disregarding the small pinching of my toes and the blisters growing on my heels.
"You just need time to break them in," I told myself, "You haven't had new boots in so long, you don't know what to expect. Give them a chance."

I spent the rest of the winter with pinched toes and bloody heels.

The new boots are better now. I have broken them in as much as possible. Nine years down the line, they may have history too. They just won't have the same history...my teenage years are in those boots, quietly sitting in the cupboard under the stairs, waiting for me to figure out how to deal with them.

mercredi, novembre 17, 2004

whirling dervish

It's been two weeks since I saw them, the dervishes, and only now are they coming to mind...delayed...cognitive...analysis...

When I hear the word "dervish" I think of the cloud that surrounds the road runner in cartoons when he is speeding down the road, narrowly missing cacti. Helter Skelter and vaguely out of control. But they are not like that at all.

The music begins and they start swaying gently side to side with their arms crossed over their chests. As they are swaying side to side, they are also making a small figure of eight movement with their shoulders. Because of their long and wide skirts, their legs are obscured, so the swaying dervish-men have the appearance of seeming to grow out of the ground. A dervish-assistant walks through the group of dervish-tree-men with an incense burner wafting clouds and clouds of smoke around the already otherworldly swaying beings. Then, suddenly, with no apparent queue, all the dervishes start to spin. They turn to the left and gradually get faster and faster, but at no point do they seem out of control or haphazard. At first, I was looking very intently to try to figure out the movements of the feet, and the arms and if they were spotting or not, but after a while I gave in to the spinning and stopped analysing and just watched.

The dervishes spun with intense speed and perfectly co-ordinated arm movements, yet I felt like there was a core part of each of them that wasn't spinning, that was still and bemusedly apart.

It seemed to go on forever. As though the spinning was eternal, had been started eons ago and would continue long after we left the theatre. And suddenly. They stopped. All at once. Finished. Standing still, arms back crossed over their chests, heads bowed. Perfect balance.

Lately, I feel like a dervish in training. Spinning for all I am worth, starting to detatch.

jeudi, novembre 11, 2004

midnight cleaning

I've often wondered about "new age" music. Somehow the glint in a Yani fan's eyes frightens me. As though she is recieving messages from outerspace via his haunting pan-pipes played at the Acropolis...

Right now I am proof of my own theory:

I stopped writing my African History term paper at 1am on the basis that I was tired and would do better to finish the sucker off tomorrow morning. In need of a bit of relaxation, (and sick of the majority of my CD collection) I put an Enya compilation in... within the time it took the kettle to boil-for my herbal chamomile tea (ha ha ha)-I was overwhelmed with the urge to clean my bathroom, tile scrubbing and all... As my bathroom is pretty small scrubbing the whole thing didn't take too long, so I moved on to sweeping my living room and hallway, and some light dusting. I contemplated mopping too, but somewhere in a part of my brain NOT being directed by the ghosts of Enya and Martha Stewart I realized that I was going a bit far...

dimanche, novembre 07, 2004

Self indulgence

Interesting days.

The silence of my flat drowns out the residual soundtrack of the week which lingers in my ears. Telephone rings, polite inquiries, alarm clocks, cacaphonic voices, laughter... It is so necessary to just sit here in the semi-darkness and the quiet, letting pent up everything drain away.

I have new artwork: a cast of breasts. My breasts. It was "dyke days" this week at school, and Nina and I, after teasing Nisha all week about her duty to the woman's studies department to attend, decided to go and plaster our breasts for posterity. Realistically, mine will probably never look so good again, and Nina-Brazillian to the core- wants to be able to remember at age 50 what hers looked like before plastic surgery took over! There were about 10 women, of which we were the only two not to have ex-girlfriends, but no questions were asked and maybe we were ambiguous enough to pass. The whole experience was quite fantastic. Because Nina and I were "doing" each other, there was no sexual vibe between us-but afterwards we both felt completely relaxed and mellow. The wine probably helped...

And then later last night, Nisha and Waleed finally caved in and told each other that they were hopelessly in love-something that most of us around them have known for months. Good to see Nish so happy. And Waleed was more relaxed than I have ever seen him...I cannot imagine how he has existed since the spring so deeply in love with her and not said anything. I would have exploded. It's so new right now that I don't even know what to think about it; I am excited for them and terrified at the same time. Neither of them are wont to dive headfirst into something that isn't serious, so this may be the beginning of something longterm.

I've been thinking about timing lately. How right now when I feel like I am marking time before moving away again, others around me are settling in or beginning something new. I find it difficult not to compare where I am, in my life, with where any other random person is. I think I need to value my life experiences and learnings a little more, but I just assume everyone around me has similar-or better-stuff going on. Because all I know is my life, it seems normal and unexciting, and I have no reliable way of figuring out how I am doing relative to the rest of humanity. ...Well Claire, does it really matter how you measure up?... ha ha ha-really, on a lifetime scale, of course not. But right now, while I am in flux, it creeps in. "Comparisons are odious." Yes, they are... and I need to work on exorcising some odious voices in my skull.

I think I need to work on being present. Which sounds lame and airyfairy in a lemongrass tea and deep breathing kind of way. But really what I mean is to concentrate on the place I am in right now and not to waste energy on past or future. Because, really, stuff will work itself out.

Blah blah blah... self indulgent crap.
except that I tend to forget about taking care of myself. So self indulgence can be excused. Once or twice.

lundi, novembre 01, 2004


Soothing: It has been raining on and off all day. I know this, not because I have been outside getting rained upon, but because the window has been open and I've been pounding out analysis of the Congo Crisis to the soundtrack of rain.

Touching: Jeff brought me "des petits gateaux" to feed my brain. Apparently vanishing from the human race for a few days can have benefits. Such beautiful little tarts, and a box with a bow. The hardened cynic in me wonders what he is up to, but the rest of me just ate the damn tarts and will ponder the deeper meaning later.

The weekend: mostly blah, but I did manage to catch up on some sleep. However, I am not sure how good an idea sleeping was... I can go for weeks on adrenaline and caffiene and 4 hours a night, but as soon as I relax and let my guard down I get sick. Right now is not the time to get sick. I am eating oranges by the pound and drinking so much water that I am sure I no longer walk: I float.