Catalyst (1)

New collection of my thoughts, adventures and oddities.

Yesterday:

I have no wifi on this side of the library. But I can’t bring myself to pay the demands required to have a home wifi connection for 1 hour of connective content in a day.

Reading a curious composition right now, Good News for a Change, authors David Suzuki and Holly Dressel. It gives me some hope that we aren’t totally doomed to be hamsters running on wheels, or lemmings diving over cliffs… I’ve learned that the small farms produce the highest yields, that the methods used by indigenous peoples for millennia  and similar traditional, local, informed stewardship efforts have ample evidence to support their continued implementation. Being architects of our own destruction isn’t as inevitable as I thought. And sustainable practices are possible and do currently exist.

And yet, I must admit, there are so many pieces to consider it still makes my head hurt to think about it large scale.

I’m planning on perogies or stirfry for dinner.

I watched most of the Station 19 finale. Ten minutes left and it tells me my machine can’t process this content.

Im home now with my noise cancelling headphones on, listening to silence for dear life. I’ve decided in reality that there is no true impetus for me to leave my house — other than to jump in and jump out of the Kozak eatery for fresh bread and babka (still would like to try the chocolate sourdough). 

And work. Because, despite the struggles, I feel like it is a battle worth fighting.

I really miss listening to Anna Maria Tremonti host The Current on CBC. I was speechless last year when I heard she would be leaving. For more than half my life, I have heard this voice on the radio, and now I’m a little lost, haha. The radio is still a good friend of mine, however.

timed_troubles

Recently, someone on the radio, a nurse or doctor working in the hospital on the front lines during COVID-19 said that, “A day feels like a week, and a week feels like a year.” That is accurate.

I have actually seen the number of case-files for our team more than double overnight. In other news, I have successfully revived a severely depressed office plant.

I’m reading and journalling, walking and working. I’m kept busy perusing my home libraries of music and movies. I alternate between that, and the radio shows, and if stuff starts feeling repetitive, I just move from English to another language. Probably French is the one I can comprehend best, but it’s always entertaining to hear Harry Potter speak Spanish, or the weather forecast announced in Punjabi!

I’d like to indulge once humanity is on the other side of this, by having a good dinner with my family, and watching a decent movie or show with popcorn. To just be present and under no pressure, even for just a few hours. And hugs. Lots of hugs.

-Sam

thank you!

This week was short, just 4 days – I only did any Admin-ing on 3 of them. But it felt like forever! The long weekend was beautiful and full of good food and good friends. Tuesday was a mess, Wednesday was ridiculous, Thursday caught a glimpse of redemption, and Friday I spent making reckless decisions and trying to keep my eyes open long enough to survive training in first aid and the commute and crash into my bed.

I want to be inspired, but recently everyone including me seems to spend increasing amounts of time teetering between exhaustion and boredom. Today I feel halfway human. I’ve had a shower, a decent breakfast, walked to the library; and I have food in the house and enough brainpower to just maybe transform it into an actual meal. I needed a hug, but a free Saturday seems like a fair trade. I’m looking forward to a feast and a nap, and getting back on track.

green forest tree
Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

Good things (10)

New year, new leaf. Much gratitude.

  • Noteworthy reads: The Library Book, An Echo in the Bone, and Split Tooth
  • Work team at full capacity and I’ve reclaimed my regular hours
  • Jan 18: Jon & Roy concert on Bowen was fantastic — especially in combination with sibs, nachos, burgers, beer and apple pie à la mode 🙂
  • Jan 22: Happily ended work early, made some excellent stir-fry and polished it off with a heavenly bowl of popcorn and a movie
  • Babka on points today!

light-hearted

I have such gratitude for the past few weeks of slowing down and enjoying the rhythm of the days: Christmas eats, beach-walks, books and movies, to name just a few of my favourite things. I hope in 2020 I can be more clear-headed and light-hearted and continue to find paths of wellness and gratitude going forward 🙂

From the film The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King:

Home is behind
the world ahead
and there are many paths to tread
Through shadow
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight

Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall
Fade

Cheers to surviving the 2010’s and stepping with confidence and inspiration into 2020.

–Sam

 

Adrift (13)

October 18: By Air to YVR

By the time we got on the plane, I was an emotional mess. I wanted to hit something. Instead, I squeezed into my seat, threw my coat over my crutches to avoid any further scrutiny and their possible removal and tried to settle down enough to enjoy the 8.5 hours it would take to land back at YVR.

Dinner and breakfast on the plane was a stomach-turning affair, and I was glad of the supply of Japanese snacks squirrelled away in my pack. I did not sleep.

I watched the film “Tolkien” for the first time, and Heddy Honigmann’s documentary on service dogs and their partners, “Buddy”. Both improved my mood considerably, as did snippets of “The Fellowship of the Ring”, and “Just for Laughs Gags.”

trust/instinct

My brother Forrest came for a visit yesterday and we spent the day walking a large circle around New West with several stops including Renaissance Books, the River Market, and Steel and Oak brewery. It was a damp and cloudy affair but with a good amount of humour and enthusiasm 🙂 Returning home with eggnog and shortbread, and additional groceries in tow, we collaborated on a scrumptious tofu scramble and fell promptly to sleep.

Today, I am in the library, recording bits on my blog, thankful that the agitation and wariness I sometimes find myself sandwiched between has moved off for the moment.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been unable to find the time and energy to write in the moment. And complicated by furious activity on all fronts, a completely unfounded but entirely convincing sense that everyone in my immediate environment is sending me dirty looks.

Still, I think for the most part that I am a human well-rounded enough to be able to trust myself and my gut — maybe 9 times out of 10. That 1/10 for dismissal being like yesterday afternoon when having just walked out my front door I could not shake the insistent sense of dread that I had left the stovetop on and would come home to flames in the windows. Nothing had been left on, let alone caught fire in my absence.

Having survived numerous small hurdles since then, and having achieved what I set out to accomplish this morning, I am off home again to build myself a safe space to inhabit for the remainder of the day.

Hugs,

Sam

so far, so good

From Nov 16:

Woke up before 8 and had a big bowl of apple-cinnamon oatmeal. Hit the street and meandered through Renaissance books, the thrift shop, farmers market, Everyday Japan and am now parked at the library.

Days like this are the best ones, when I’m prepped for the rain and wind, out walking, painting my own lines of exploration through the park, side-streets, nooks and brilliant fall colours. The mud squishes comfortably, rain falling steadily, and that enchanting sound of trespassing on a blanket of autumn leaves.

The library is one of my favourite places. But this bookshop takes everything I love about reading to an entirely new level. Finding myself in such a cozy, happy place filled with books, I could not bring myself to simply turn and walk away empty-handed.

‘Very good choices,’ the human behind the counter said, with a warm smile. ‘Come back soon for more’ — I’m certain we will be seeing more of each other. Dangerous places, bookshops. I’m glad my backpack is a small one, and today is Saturday, otherwise, the temptation to gather volume after volume might get overwhelming and it’s possible someone would notice my having disappeared here for half the afternoon 😀

 

Adrift (8)

October 15: Train to Shibuya. It was honestly a thrill to be a part of the small sea of humanity in the station, –many thanks to the kindness of the station attendant we met escorting us from one end to the other and level to level until we reached our desired exit point– and the hum of the city, and to find ourselves within steps of the statue of Hachikō

Shibuya Crossing was another attraction where we found ourselves in the midst of a crowd, but we eventually made it the few blocks to the capsule hotel.

Very much enjoyed my brief conversation with our friend Yuki, before heading out to a dinner of delicious soba! Prior to our first meeting, Mom had said simply, “Yuki is like another Forrest, from Japan” which is funny and accurate as far as I can tell 😀

After dinner, we returned to the hotel to sleep. I had to use my Stix to get into bed and then spent several hours in spartan-like bliss: I had my tunes, book and journal to hand. And reading The Fellowship of the Ring, while listening to the accompanying brilliance of Howard Shore, tucked away in a pod with a comfy bed in the middle of the night in the heart of Shibuya, Japan is what I would qualify as a unique experience.