Getting Better all the time

There’s a fine line between stability and happiness. Sometimes they overlap, but when that balance is shaken it can often look like this travel map:

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Two years of travel has landed me back in the East after trying out Alberta again; check out the spots I’ve stumbled into on this search for happiness (and finding it) in all sorts of friends and places!

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A nasty woman’s rant clinging to optimism and honesty 

​Sometimes I challenge myself to believe we silently elected Trump the same ways Harper remained in power for 10 years, by not speaking out, by accepting our cultural bias blindly even after becoming globally aware. Our maps are the story of this awareness shift. That our resistance must tell the story and allow it to evolve.

This challenge has been embodied by the nature of our culture within this geography. 

Our fear of self-care, of narcissism, of true honest love is what keeps us rebelling against our mother (earth, in this context). 

I understand narcissism, much of my anxiety is rooted is in attempt of being humbly mindful of all the insecurities that prevent acceptance of yourself within the world around you. 

I understand healing from the pain of awareness – ignorance is no longer bliss when the shield is ‘woke’. 

This past year I’ve been inspired by a call to action, sourcedby the generations evolution which has got us to this point. To experience creationism (if only a delusion, say some) is to allow a collective reason for hope. Surrounded by such a glorious world of rugged terrain and magnificent forms of life, I’d declare God too. 

But for the transformation of that obsessive attachment to that story to have magnified our ignorance to the power of our energy bill.. means North America needs an attitude adjustment, maybe elect a president who would make Sublime – What I Got as the first dance song, with a follow-up from Uptown Funk. Or something. America, I thought you were cool! Oh right, as a quick filter into the lens of racism we’ve realized there’s still something very tragic happening within our consumption culture that has elected a corrupt businessman to take away the freedoms within which he was raised to take for granted, and  somehow is getting away with it. 

As a relatively well-adjusted ‘woke’ Canadian also living within these freedoms only a border away, yes, I am concerned about the effect. I am concerned about the current state of environmental protection requiring improvements, not further pipeline risks and pollution at the cost of our dignity as a species. If there’s a god, she’s probably not too pleased about you not cleaning up your room regardless of how you pray in words of thanks between requests. 

And so, this idea of women’s inferiority told through generations of institutions has been magnified to pussygrabbing and abortion rights decided upon by men. If 2015 was Justin Trudeau electing a 50/50 cabinet, but Trump/Pence 2017 is blantently mysogenist and ignorant.. how can that dichotomy exists between neighbours, we wonder in silence. Afraid to ask America about another black eye or second ‘stay normal’ triple-triple in their hand (after we explain this is Tim’s slang for coffee, eh). 

That’s where I’m at with this, how can our altered perspectives exist simultaneously..? But, both that confusion and the question itself, are important to how this earth operates.

And so, we ask them. We MUST continue asking them. Why did you think you could get away with that? When have you checked your privelege next to those seemly worse-off? How did that feel, do you even understand what you are saying?? Yes, I’m a nasty woman. I bleed and can ‘by pure accident’ become pregnant yet forced to raise a child, but you say that’s my fault, that you or any other slimeball can grab my precious pussy because you’re a star, or a man, or assertive enough.

I’m a nasty queer, how do you like that? That, maybe you don’t do it for me. That I too, have trouble controlling my own sexuality at times but that does NOT mean it is okay. It means there is a lesson to learn. Consent, triggers, moral code, ethics, decency… I could go on, but I best stay focused. 

I have some other things to be afraid of, thanks for environmentally aggravated GMO/pesticide/processed exacerbated analphylactic relationships with food. So, my day to day consists of reading food labels, asking ingredient questions, and being hyper aware of what’s around me. ‘did he just walk by with a peanut butter sandwich?’ ‘those muffins looks great! There’s eggs in them, right?’ ‘cool, trail mix! Hey, is that a peanut?’ Whoops.

One hospital trip to stabilize anaphylaxis without healthcare and supportive family would have been an expensive local vacation. And, I can’t imagine if I wasn’t near my epi-pen.. but Canadian healthcare literally saved my life without a bill attached.

So, I appreciate that Obamacare has been revolutionary to the USA for the past 8 years. And for Pres.Drumpf to now be burning those documents without even catching a whiff of the wax seal melting, is -as our new demagogue puts it -‘Sad!’

It all infuriates my anger reconciling with those more dominant world events happening in real time. (Mind you, I’m still weeping over the loss of the Alexandria Library 2 millenia later..) 

To be able to also live within a community that has Race to the Bottom & Whistleblower as a soundtrack..reinforces that dichotomy of ignorance surrounding islands of awareness in our collective headspace. thoughts of ‘what do we do with this now?’ dominate.

To retreat into the safety of melancholic depression, I find peace in the concept of these imaginary islands I’ve been creating. Representative topography. Emotional geography. Visualization of headspace. Favourite places refined to an ideal. Safe workshops of hope recycled from despair.

And that’s where I go when reality is too much to process. That anxiety I mentioned? It’s the gravity that keeps the water suspended next to land, that which creates flotation and peace. 

In each cyclical transition of my life, as they’ve come around again and again with deeper resonance, there’s a persistence in healing energy to be offered next to the pain. One blessing I’m grateful to be aware of. And so it goes. 

One year ago I visited Halifax in search of peace from the particular emotional storm I created this time. It was an extension of my definition of running away – a flight over Canada. And again, this weekend I was in Halifax, an afternoon drive from home this time. Perfectly timed gathering with the one who encouraged me to stay during that first visit. Those synchronicities have been dominant lately, fueled by accepting positive opportunity regardless of whatever negative must be endured. 

Apart from global events, I am optimistic about 2017. School has been a welcome change, and will offer great possibility for personal progress beyond past regrets. The mantra ‘i wanna get better’ echoes next to other anthems of enlightenment ca. 2014/15. (See: music journal.) 2016 being the death of so many inspired souls was a more dreary playlist, but hopeful + steadfast towards love just the same.

I’ve asked a lot of questions in 26 years, I think it’s time to start writing some answers:

Favourite Song: So Much for Everyone – Dan Mangan or Salem – Marin Patenaude (and the Follow Through, Revenge of the Trees – Into the Night II is also rad as fuck.

Favorite Cover song: Hang with Me – Dan Mangan (cover of Robyn), or Jolene – White Stripes (even though that one time I said I didn’t like it better than Dolly’s, sorry Pete)

Best road trip playlists/podcasts: well, ch-ch-changes 2016 Spotify one lately, both ‘Fo Twenny’ and 3:56 are neat random assortments based on length of songs (equal distribution in a playlist is somewhat strangely neat); podcasts – DTFH, Joe Rogan Experience, Alan Cross, CBC radio 3 interview series’, vinyl cafe..

Favourite Place to see a Show: this might be the hardest question for me, formerly the Artery ( ❤  rip) though Aviary is just as rad. Honestly, house concerts rule too. Riverhouse Cafe weekend jam sessions gave many lovely memories. But for, ever, no matter the band? Nancy Appleby Theatre in Athabasca, AB. (home)

When did you laugh the hardest: probably at a Cake Monday dancing to Uptown Funk on the counters wearing a banana costume. Or smashing a gingerbread house with my grandma. but also laughed out coffee on my computer monitor yesterday, sooo…

Patronus (formerly spirit animal): ‘flying buffalo’ aka moose (according to the highway signs in northern Albrrta)

productive nostalgia

archetypes are our fears

given voices, given chances

to bring us to tears

without speaking to years left behind

are you prepared to unwind

the cables of string theory

linking this life with continuous rewinds

a year in the past

keeps denying fears

from becoming regrets

a day in the life

stands stronger among the rest

pushing towards the best


keeping idols on pedestals is no way to look them in the eye

dreams become our benchmarks for understanding

ways to become truly free

through words, paralyzed by possibility

comparing the best moments

without ever having sight of the hurdles

to be overcome

dare we risk

reaching our goals




at the beginning of the end

I can't imagine who else to be

but in love with being on the mend




'he who does not weep does not see'

spoken by the miserable ones

to declare their desperation for clarity;

though pain can be overcome

we do not know

what benefit we can offer

to the greater good found in

 living, while in our time,

many use the energy they contain

demanding a breakthrough.




falling deeper into the gravity of assurance

keeps the strength I've summoned to be a greater

force than foresight can predict

the brevity of our experience cannot explain

how our desiring

can breathe new life

through eyes of enlightenment

through eager encouragement




healing hurts

and we are not told often enough

because it aches to consider

in moments of anguish

how things could possibly get worse




yet, many days of our life are spent knowing

we've got it pretty good

and no amount of gratitude can bring that happiness to light

once it has been erased.




kitsch-y desperation for understanding

leads us to hunt value in discount bins

and lonely breakdowns;

exasperated from false passion

learning  to make the best of leftovers

culture informs our lessons,

relearning importance in lost generations

always

questioning

why, why, why




Do you ever truly know what you've got til it's gone?

have you ever known a greater delight

than standing in the light

of a sun-soaked moon

reflecting wisdom into the night

determined to make everything right




capsizing the halos on our dreams

emboldening our life with changing seasons

finding ways to live, ending our failure by

remembering how to give

more than is asked




With that in mind, do we ever truly know home?

except as reflections in nighttime windows

and fleeting glimpses of memory

when we are weak, caught in a loop

idealizing the past

clinging with a fierce grasp more tightly

on the confusing past

rather than receiving an open future




with circumstances of our belief

we understand motive to be meek

yet pride haunts this daily churn,

always finding ways to spend what we earn




it may cost more than what you are paid,

we're told to do it anyways.

Keep doing it until the end of days.




Get used to goodbyes

they are evidence of ways we try.




better still, get used to quiet

it will always return

each time with more wisdom

and greater defeat




with hazards of helplessness our obstacles during

soulless fantasy

do you ever really know what was meant to be

or is that the greatest game we like to play?

Unmaking Fear, Remaking Happiness

Music is the key to happiness, as my life’s research continues to inform such a hypothesis, it continues to be more and more true. Live music as an audience or performer continues to bring community together in delightful ways. As a hobby musician I have always greatly enjoyed being present while others explore musical topographies of placemaking. This quest has taken me through hills and valleys of emotion, road trips, and friendships. I am so very grateful for all of it. In early years, this was led by live folk concerts in Athabasca, AB; in recent years it has been the independent music production of friends and/or well-known musicians across Canada as I continue to seek out joy in each place I visit. (Thanks to parents for keeping the Alberta-Maritime duality alive!)

For over two years, the 17th of each month has been a day of synthesis, of surprises, and of inspiring moments which have continued to merge into each other. This month, June 2016, has been no less than the same kind of surprising wonderful.

While in Montreal recently I bought a book entitled DIY Magic, and while flipping through the short chapters, I stopped at chapter 17, curious about what it held. Mystically perfect, it was about bringing this kind of serendipity into our lives by welcoming patterns and supporting the factors which help contribute to increased collaboration. I chuckled, at this very synthesis reinforcing itself.

In mentioning this to fellow enthusiasts of living while in Montreal, they supported my wondering: what would take place on this 17th?

The answer was indeed a beautiful surprise, and a synthesis of many of the unravelings I have experienced since February 2014. Another neat form of influence on this reality, and because I’ve been opened and broken to see beautiful patterns, I smiled and savoured that perhaps the 17th is not just important to my own psychology, but important on the cosmic level.

Cosmic patterns notwithstanding, I am quite pleased with Dan Mangan’s ‘surprise’ release Unmake EP as a reminder and distillation of the wisdom of Club Meds.

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It is a self proclaimed artistic compilation of gratuitous play, as Dan wrote and refined his most recent full length album songs like Whistleblower came to be but didn’t have a place among the other songs. The internet seems to agree this EP release is a fine home for such gentle works.

I wholly enjoy the title ‘Unmake’ as it refers to the dissolution of what has been for 5+ years as his band formed around him and informed each new sound development. Loel (of Wintersleep) takes over on drums as Kenton Loewen focuses on more solo endeavours, though Gord Grdina remains as +Blacksmith is notably not a part of this new product. A stripped down solo structure for these songs is a continuation of the mini-tour Dan constructed in Fall 2015 through BC and Alberta. Hearing songs like ‘Vessel’ without the band or studio effects (or animated cartoons from the psychadelia-inspired video) was my first introduction to what this new sound might be like, patiently waiting for the next release.

Unmake also speaks to the subject matter of the poetry in Race to the Bottom – where the idea of destabilizing normal could actually be seen as progress in the eyes of individuals not benefitting from the corporate model of happiness. From his initial philosophy which helped get a Polaris Prize nod in 2010 “spent half my life in the customer service line” (Robots, NNVN) this angst and anxiety about the state of the world has only grown to be a deeper creative metaphor.

These songs can be understood as a snapshot of the realities of being a North American in 2016. We have an idealization of our lives dominating how we understand and interact with the world. The point of Kitsch, Forgetery (with Tegan), and these new additions ‘Whistleblower’ ‘Race to the Bottom’ + ‘Hang With Me’ (Robyn cover), are about embracing the alertness of vulnerability in daily interactions. To remember moments are both important and fleeting specks in time helps adjust our nostalgic tendencies.

During the performance with Nova Scotia Symphony in January 2016 Dan explained Kitsch to have a double meaning: both as the rustic style of craft and/or vintage home décor being ‘kitschy’ considered to be in poor taste but in an ironic or knowing way; but also the idealization of successful people to be heroes without seeing the human qualities of their living.

I am grateful for these opportunities I have seized to be witness to Dan’s live performances if only for these moments of wisdom. For, of all people to have kitschy idolation over, I have most commonly turned to Dan Mangan for his soothing tenor and conscious undoing of this mess of culture we’re in.

This EP has been received with mixed reviews, but those who get it are wholly appreciative. I had the opportunity to share ‘Race to the Bottom’ with my high school social studies teacher (a vegetarian social justice advocate, a guerrilla geographer and former soldier, presently taking great joy in retirement life in Northern Alberta forest and farms). He properly used the ‘sad face’ emoticon on Facebook to express how true this commentary is to the state of the world. It doesn’t offer many solutions but the perspective of the pale blue dot image for scale of our problems does capture the heart and purpose of living. It may not be a cheerful song, but a catchy hook with meaningful lyrics enables enjoyable reflection on these larger than life issues.

In the indie88 Facebook Live interview on the morning of June 17th, Dan reflects how they may not be happy songs but he is generally feeling pretty decent – these are not meant to be depressing. Merely reflective and encouragingly insightful. I hope to continue to use this music and other clever songwriting to enable conversation about interesting problems in the world. This is the ultimate way to find a solution, silence will never solve anything.

Regarding Robots – Dan is bringing it back to live shows without the expectation of making it bigger and better each time, but instead “playing it in the present rather than fulfill nostalgia.” It is a song of happy repetition, and of course one of his most famous works, but as mentioned in an interview in December 2015 “you go crazy doing the same kind of show over and over again.” I can only imagine.

In this vein, regarding both Redux-es, these ‘cover songs’ from Club Meds, a fascinating approach of: ‘can they survive a different treatment?’ is applied, and hearing Forgetery with Tegan Quin is a beautiful reminder of many possibilities within the same formula of music and lyrics. It was also key in this new project to engagingly empower strong women in the pop realm, which is a new trajectory from +Blacksmith being all males.

The way I understand it, fear is a crippling monster which will tell us not to say/think/do/believe something in the world but it will also limit our opportunity for joy. I have come to settle on this understanding in some part thanks to Dan’s own progression of life informing lyrics informing our audience’s reception. His song ‘Jude’ offers a meditation on maturation – ‘so much for fear’ being a focus of the lullaby to his son. It is also used as a score for Hector and the Search For Happiness, underscoring the importance to fight for a better world. We should not be afraid of our past, nor the uncertainties of the future. Race to the Bottom is a reminder of the trauma of daily life in the present which can be unsettling but we gain nothing by being afraid. We may not always be happy, but we are working to preserve the good in the world. This preservation of good maintains the memory of happiness, and ensures it is possible in the future, for prolonged generations to come.

A line from the film is inset into the cadence of lyrics in Race to the Bottom “nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.” Upon rewatching the film I take great pleasure in seeing this crossover – clearly an artistic choice on Dan’s part, having been so involved in the production but also personally aligning with the sentimentality of the message of searching happiness in his work.

One lesson I take from a few days’ reflection is to Unmake the pillars of nostalgia in our memory banks, but keep the strength and joy and lessons. We are aware the colonial legacy of our ancestors is something which is now quite outdated. The world deserves our creativity to do the work of goodness.

This recurrence of serendipity will continue to guide my way through the world, but I have no way of knowing what it is I will discover as the 17th rolls around again. A philosophy which I began to be a peace with thanks to Dan’s assurance: serendipity is life.

In the wisdom of Hector’s journey seeking and studying happiness, we must learn (through whatever means necessary) to ‘take comfort in the rich, random patterns of life’ to reconcile our desire for happiness in the routine of the everyday.  Once we do, fear and sadness (under the code names anxiety and depression) continue to distance themselves from our daily reality.

 

Happy National Poetry Month! // 6Q (+ a few more) with Shane Koyczan

Shane Koyczan’s name to our generation inspires a familiar comfort; his story is worn like a heart carefully stitched on his baggy t-shirt sleeve. Growing up awkward in a unique family bred social troubles; his stories about empowering this vulnerability has become a trademark strength.

I almost didn’t buy a ticket to see Shane this past Saturday, but I’m glad I did. Though, yes I did see last year’s Edmonton performance for April’s National Poetry Month, this year in Halifax was an entirely new context. Like last year, I laughed, cried, and grinned with heartwarmed connection with each stanza of his spoken word art guiding the room of similarly secret broken souls through group therapy. This year, I was with friends new and old in a beautiful Maritime United Church; last year I independently ensured I wouldn’t miss an opportunity for a live performance at the Royal Alberta Museum. Each time, Shane’s words resonated with depth and sincerity, however this time the context of my own appreciation had shifted. I was also surrounded by a support system, we shared in the vulnerable experience. (for the United Church creed to truly take hold, one mustn’t feel alone.)

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For the audience in the pews of St. Matthew’s magnificently colonial church building in downtown Halifax, our discomfort was met with an opening joke from the stage when Shane explained he was still coming to terms with his “ecclesiaphobia”, or, a fear of churches. Though, it was a fascinating combination. The modern religion is self-awareness and mental health activism. United churches are about social justice and providing community. This building was a meeting place, our preacher was an uncomfortable poet who enveloped us under his poetic wing and cared for our fears with soothing, and often accidental, comedic cadences. Some accidental ‘ecclesia-profanities’ were met with an embarrassed hung head and anticipatory glance up at the wooden rafters (expecting a lightning strike). It was a key way to break the tension and just settle in for a mildly hedonistic evening of honesty.

Between particularly emotional stanzas, or in moments following applause, he was regaining composure to be able to approach another similar but separate emotional memory location. Memories being particularly precious following a cycling accident which he references for context to explain the tablet attached to the microphone stand. Memory is a tricky thing, we have a selective database to choose from, and a picky one at the best of times. It is innately the most personal possession we have, for many memories have never been shared. This poetry is one way to communicate what is otherwise challenging to give voice.

This attitude is why each word of poetry has been warmly received – it is our composite experience of which we can be most proud; standing up to bullies, or standing up against them 20 years later, it is mostly important to ensure we come to terms with our ability and not their judgement. Any day we resolve this dilemma within ourselves is a positive day to look towards being the person we’ve always wanted to be. That is what is at the core of this movement. To resolve these feelings within ourselves first, and all the rest is what comes from a changed perspective.

Shane’s answers to the same six questions I have asked numerous times are characteristic of the person we know from the stage. He has curated a public persona very close to the heart which persists into his approach to the realities of living. Our group in attendance at the Saturday evening church venue was swept away by his sincerity with story, wisdom, and acceptance of what cannot be changed. He has graciously accepted his past as inspiration, not something to be ashamed or apologetic over.

Q1: what is a favourite piece (of your own)?

SK: It’s always changing. A lot of the time the newest piece will take the first position, but there are always some pieces that are always hovering in the top five. Turn On A Light is one of those pieces… I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what the others might be.
 JK: My particular favourites are More Often Than Sometimes, and Move Pen Move (in collaboration with Dan Mangan) being the first piece I heard; both having significant emotional weight of nostalgia and importance.

Q2: what is a ‘cover poem’ you particularly like to perform and/or hear?

SK: Geoff Kagan Trenchard has a fantastic piece called Jason that I love to cover. I think it really captures a lot about growing up awkward and the strength it takes to be who you are. The small victories are often hard won.

Q3: while touring, is there a road trip go-to album/artist/podcast/etc?

SK: Not really. I listen to a lot of different stuff. There’s usually som Ani Difranco on deck, but then there’s also bands like We Are The City. Lots of classical music too.

Q4: what has been an outstanding place to play a show (venue and/or location)?

SK: They all have their own flavor (something that makes the special), but I was really happy to have just played The Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto. Beautiful venue and it was a fantastic show.

(+ where would you like to go that you have not yet been? )

SK: I suppose I’d like to see more of Asia. I’ve hit a few places there but it’s a huge continent and I feel like I haven’t seen enough of it.

Q5: what is a spirit animal you identify with in your performance, life?

SK: Octopus. No question. Any animal that generates its own ink is destined to be some kind of writer or artist

Q6:  when in recent memory, or ever, have you laughed the hardest?

SK: I laugh best when I travel with my band, The Short Story Long. Just a great group of folks and we love making each other laugh. 


JK: On your career, success, vulnerable storytelling, and connection to many:
– how does working with musical accompianment change your performance?

SK: Music makes it easier to get back to an emotional space… it’s not always easy to do in a solo performance.

JK: Your gracious presence is called heroic by many, SuperShane being a popular graphic to accompany the popular To This Day poem.. “For the bullied and the beautiful” sums up the audience you’ve built. How has this changed perspective affected how you relive each poem  motivated by memory?

SK: I’m not sure it has. I certainly don’t feel heroic… these are just the challenges I’ve faced… I know people who have faced and are facing much more. 

JK: What do you envision/hope for Poetry’s future?

SK: The future of poetry is always going to depend on people. Poets and lovers of poetry… as long as we have those two ingredients the world will supply enough love and turmoil to bake up fresh poetry. 

JK: Did you get a Halifax donair?

SK: Still picking chunks of it out of my beard.

Shane’s performed words dance lightly among some of the hardest subjects. They have become definitions our human experience of pain, rejection, bullying, shame, and romantic desire.  As an audience we continue to use these moments to reflect on our own identifications and come to understand the rooted human nature in the experience. It is not just our problem, but a cultural one. Perhaps it’s not a problem at all, it’s just life. For actions which are problematic – bullying attitudes, fearful rejection of each other, and dismissive anger, these words are our tools to fight against the anger which boils up in us.

These words he has curated for personal release has been met with ongoing support and resonates deeply with other artists. One amazing production is the graphic novel “Silence is a Song I Know All the Words To”, filled with beautiful illustrations by Gareth Gaudin of some choice favourites of Shane Koyczan’s profound work.

Thanks to Shane, and all poets among us for inspiring active words of healing. Release is often the most valuable form of growing past our problems, yet is one of the hardest things to do. Spoken work brings a visceral appreciation because one must be present to hear each word, not allow your eyes to dart across the page as one often does through reading, which is why myself and others familiar with ADHD often appreciates this live performance’s intensity.

This National Poetry Month, I have been inspired to keep the octopus appeased – let’s produce useful ink!

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A mural in Dartmouth, NS supporting tentacle spirited battles

Collections of Stardust, part 1 of Yesterday’s Tale

2 years ago, give or take a wrinkle in space time, she met a pale blue dot of galactic gravity.

He helped her find mirrors to shine sunlight into the deepest part of her caves. with eyes that shone like diamonds and a track record of defeat, he knew he may be more than she could handle. still he offered two diamonds shaped by a hard world, polishing her as reciprocity for being tough enough to shape complicated carbon into mantles of trust and collaboration.  Neither had any plans for living next to despair forever, wondering how long this game could last. Pompeii had no time for rest or vests, Vesuvius claimed active history; our humanity swept away by more forceful dust.

She used bars as litmus tests of emotion. Radio at a high frequency promised highly metamorphic metaphors sustaining sympathetic cymbals on well timed existence. We hardly know our selves, we’ve always learned through others. Jesus can’t help you find the mental health you lost. Mocking you from the dismantling foundation of certainty in hospitality you’ve always celebrated. Stumbling into another’s shared third place; another Monday for the books. The first day of creation, Gregorian decided. The first step on collaborative connection with this environment. Culturally shared geographical spaces become places. How many of our shared stories have taken place similarly? There is earthly consistency for destruction bringing new life.

This undercover spiritual scientist had other intentions in mind, not just our collective best. Challenging this, our upbringing, against understanding synechdotal synchronicity. We mustn’t put up a fuss for the end to arrive just in time for grief. It’s all been a dream, one that plays out in patterns and smiles. We keep using words like good and bad, pretenses for emotional evacuation posing for sympathy. Forging our own ways through habits of forgetery.

It’s hard to believe this is more than a dream. A hard world, a heavy bag, the weight of how it all seemed. Next to happiness and enjoyment. Falling through cracks and finding a rabbithole of generosity and communal city.

Released from fibres of a familiar weave, this freedom from winter’s sleeves challenges everything I knew about creating seams in time’s fabric. No longer tethered to expectations of next. No longer disappointed by a withering eternal ‘yet’.

SAVOUR IT. The love, the feeling of peace. Compliments + congratulations. Beastial pedestals of ceremonial competitive complacency.

SAVOUR the moments of simplicity as record of potential, of patterned culture. Even on days when every movie seems like yesterday’s script; you hardly had time to memorize the lines before fame’s curtain closed. They say try again tomorrow, with less enthusiastic repose. Yesterday’s script inspires today’s always. And never. We know we can always be better.

One such movie, The Giver, narrates this well: “it is the memory which keeps me going.” “Life. The More I Experienced, the more I wanted.”

Triggering self statements of actualizing truth:

I treat those around me like dirt, thinking I am the greatest seed. But I tend to myself, and plan to leave after sharing pollen with other flowering seeds among common weeds.

Unhealthy avoidance of these truths and fears bleed us out, organically faltering, continually altering, each thing we pretend to consider.

Narcissus waited for the Echo to guide him home. Familiar moments of faith, lust, diminished fifths, and captive in reflection.

When you fall out of line

keep apologies and gratitude
on the bedside of your anxiety
sleep next to failure
to hear whispers of surrender
possibilities of positivity
swirling around depression’s emptiness

let’s talk ambivalence
to Other’s greed because
our own is shameful and overwhelming

let’s talk acceptable regret
of our own inhabitance
inhabitants in anxious echoes
trapped when the door closed

celebration ceremony
altruistic matrimony
when will it be ours? When.
not if or should.
my dust is happy living alone.
baskets of forgetery strewn around the house, homes for the mouse.

you scream out loneliness like a beacon
a bat signal for others shaken
ticking timeline until we waken.
When.

islands melt into the ocean
no matter our tourists agenda
but
we’d rather dive into malls
for things we can’t afford
than budget time and love
for Maldives sinking shores.

When.
Humanity asks but cannot understand.

synergy of the sol

When you arrived, it was with a breath of goodness and a hug of love.
Now with a reminder of our love in recent memory (you stepped out this morning)
I’m smiling with your grace and joy, it’s a part of me again
Active progression of thought and rhythm keep this life enthused
Daily breaths of life kept taught (inform the confused)
Keep apologies next to gratitude
On the bedside of your anxiety
Distribute as needed, generosity of spirit can live quietly.
In hearts of bitter experience, allowing sublimation
Cleansing, resting, refined joy in captive times
Moments of honest love, touching toes
As toughness grows ever gentle the sensation
Soulful rhymes overwhelm the boy
With the problems of the nation
Sneaking requests into beauty you hadn’t known yet
getting misty at mangan’s phrasings
finding new sound always, individual grazings
Requests for change, demanding an honest stage

Where’s freedom to live when captive strange holds tight
Where’s struggle to remain if competition is no longer the game.
In remeeting ourselves in these fresh eyes
(swirls of entropic destiny aligning lottery’s prize)
You speak of distant loves with reasons to be by their side
And many more meetings left waiting for a ride
An energetic resilience will save us from our failure
Not our addictions or our saviour
Obsession dissection is overthinking our true forte
Of gentle love and brightened song
With great desire to sing song along
Pretend until you get it
Break it til you fix it
Of all the deranged masses’ screaming insanity
Freak meetings of synergy are all too often met with hostility
Until serene reminders joining anxious and peace
As mirrors of the same, well brought up poor and alone
Are you an echo of a grief living deep?
Is all this life just waiting to be buried by sleep?

Let’s get to it then, move on move up move out.
Find the ‘worth it’ in every sigh.
Grip tightly what keeps you “I”
Introspection is often too nearsighted, distance meaning fear
Extrapolate these meanings, go forth without tears

When you find softest tears from your pupils
Wrinkled pages keeping score
These are the moments of true brilliance,
This is the forgetery of poor
Stains of our so(u)l(e) making statements among the ink
Showing off emotion without closing off or out
Applying devotion as travellers’ idea grout
Is love just pity in a pretty box of sugar?
Do we know how to taste it, finding truth in disgust
Understanding beyond our meditation, instead medication
Insulin of apologizing can’t fix rooted indigestion
Turgor required for movement
Stalled in periphery and genuine limits of capacity
Each moment of change brings us closer to home
The one we’ve never known
The hope we’ve never shown