hunter-gather

Fall is my season. Especially after this summer. I’m not sure there was a day in there where I was not profusely perspiring. It was bloody hot. Hello climate change.

The world seems a bit less frantic in fall. Spring, everybody is hopeful and full of energy. Summer everyone is running around trying to get everything done while the sun shines. Winter and everyone gets tired of the dark and the snow and the rain. But fall is just a vibrant little season merging out of the fast lane, full of comfort foods and plans for cozy hibernations, and that is why I enjoy it so much.

I like being inside watching the sun’s light fade, hearing the rain fall, making some curry for dinner and curling up with my book(s), or a movie(s), or making some music. In the past 2 weeks, I’ve already started making a dent on my music, literary and film libraries, watched a few sunsets, made a grown up blanket fort, and have broken out the canned goods, soups and teas!

Listening to Bruce Cockburn’s album, Nothing but a Burning light, I had a vision of home on Malaview. Mom and Dad, my sister and brother, the two dogs, all of us home at the end of the day after work and school and soccer practice. It was dark and raining outside, Mom had made fajitas, the lights were soft, music playing from the stereo in the living room. We were hungry, happy and in that satisfying state of being just wet and dirty enough to know the outdoors have been throughly enjoyed and explored! And just coming together as a family for dinner. The atmosphere is one of absolute comfort, the food smells (and tastes) amazing. It popped into my head like a little movie and definitely made me smile.

>The last few days, it’s like I’ve been breathing in clouds of smoke and now in being provided with real oxygen, can actually breathe easy again. I need to find ways to get myself some more oxygen.

Looking forward to an honest to goodness holiday which begins in a few days. Really hoping to do quite a lot of eating, sleeping, visiting, exploring and enjoying of everything. Mom and I are off to Japan! Eeek!!

That’s the latest and greatest,

Hugs.

–Sam

 

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more miles to the road (7)

Humanity is the spice of life! But honestly, guys! Where did all the genuine human beans get to? I’d like to meet a few, carry on a real conversation, have some fun, be in the same room, for more than 20 minutes every few months.

~

I mean, all of this wonderful, terrible and everything-inbetween stuff happens all the time, and I have almost nobody to share it with. Everyone seems too busy, or too tired, or just not interested in stuff I find captivating: dogs, books, food, people watching, movies/music, housing, voting, common sense/life-skills, exploration/adventure, mindfulness, mental health, science/climate change, current events, community & friendship.

>Had a great conversation with a friend about life in general, books, movies and food last week. (And also a movie and sushi with Forrest and Rube 🙂 ❤ )

>I went to the Passport Office recently and was anxious enough that I got nauseaous and gave myself a real, live, headache. I wanted to cry and disappear, but instead I problem-solved, tried my hardest to be grown up and sensible and spent a good 3 hours recharging at the library. (Fill out the application, drop it off, it’s that simple; well, it is and it isn’t! I did it, but it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns).

>The fire alarm went off at 4am on Monday, and boy was that an adrenaline rush! Was not impressed with the collective response, though I thought I was decently prepared myself: dressed at least, all the essentials, timely evacuation and communication with others. Recharged by star-gazing and eating peanut butter toast, watching Beasts of the Southern Wild, followed by a very early breakfast at the Waffle House and off to work by 9am.

>Listening to an elderly couple ordering breakfast was hilarious:

wife: “I’ll have the Special, and he will have the same thing but without the bacon. No bacon.”
husband: “I’ll have the one with the bacon.”
wife: (muttering)
husband: (adjusts hearing aid) “What?! No bacon? I want the one with the bacon!”

>Ironically, that evening, I conversed with a fellow transit traveler for a good 30 minutes about the neighbourhood and conversations with strangers, emergency response observations and shared experiences around vanishing shared spaces and meaningful connections. It was wonderful! 🙂

>Usually, it turns out that people I meet out in the world turn a blind eye, or are really excellent at making me really uncomfortable so that I end things and go home. Right now, there’s a highly intoxicated, talkative, possibly homeless, mentally ill person muttering and wandering the library, who everyone including me is pretending is invisible. They aren’t hurting anyone, but they are disruptive and nobody has any good ideas. This library has a security person, and he did just now engage with the individual appropriately and ask them to lower their voice, which is better than nothing. But what other options are there? People are people, not hot potatoes to be passed from place to place and resource to resource without ever finding the right supports.

So often I want very much to trade stories of the day with friends/family, get so that each of us feels connected and supported. But so often I feel so far removed. Sometimes I write it down instead (today) and sometimes I engage and use the space and speak with people in person or via phone. However, the library vibe is no longer conducive to writing at the present moment and I’ve come to the end of my retelling, so I am packing it in.

Looking back, it’s been a bumpy week, but overall a good one — though it is only Tuesday!

Make time for the people you love. Take care of yourself. Be well. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

–Sam

Good things (9)

agriculture animal black and white bull
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
  • fixed my work computer
    made a dent in the work faxes
    got work kudos
    ate good food
    played cello for hours
    slept for hours
    self-care IRL
    talked with mom
    saw the new lion king movie!!!
    sunday+monday = unremarkable + remarkably good
    feeling once more like a human being in the land of the living
    teamwork with people who understand what that means = YES!!! ❤

>AND, trying to reframe my busy mind from looking at things with a mechanical metaphoric lens (cars, roads, streets, cogs) to one of teamwork (herds, flocks, ecosystem) instead. I think this should help me take some of the pressure off, all around.

MOO!

 

 

Day 4

This morning I had the luxury of a sleep-in, made breakfast, dressed, did a bit of yoga and headed out the door. Work was a hive of activity. I came to the library afterwards to grab a few DVDs and just enjoy the space. Plans for the weekend include a handful of tasks around communications, and lots of self-care.

Some stuff still on my mind, but my head doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall off, so it’s been a good day 😀

 

Pages turned (2)

I woke feeling blissful and not quite awake, grabbed a piece of pb toast, read my book and fell back asleep for a few more hours. 

I’ve finally found a story to inhabit again. I read Because of Winn Dixie in one afternoon and watched it brought to life on screen in the evening. The Tiger’s Wife seems full of promise.

Lunch I suppose was oatmeal and fruit salad. Dinner I’ve accomplished already… imagine that, not even 5pm and the kitchen’s seen more activity and from-scratch concocting today than all of last week combined.

I spent the day under the radar: cleaned up, talked with Mom, which made me happy — and read some more. 

Rewinding in 2019:

I came home from the library with an armful of entertainment recently, consisting of the following films: The Great Gatsby, Wonder, The Godfather, Roman J Israel, Esq., and The Jungle Book.

Wonder made me cry. Gatsby was captivating, Denzel as Roman J Israel, Esq., was unrecognizable and thoroughly compelling — I would have watched it over again, but had to return it promptly or risk losing more money from my ‘laundry’ jar to the library for overdue loans. The Godfather I grabbed out of curiosity and to prepare myself for the next time Ruby tosses a choice quote into the conversation — it’s a work in progress. I had tried watching The Jungle Book several times since it’s release and could not manage to enjoy it; I wanted to try again. This time, I ran with the pack 🙂

In all, the time I spent as an audience member was a wonderful hiatus from reality, with much popcorn and many blankets ❤

–Sam

From before (2)

Listen: Today is your day: eat, sleep and be well.

I haven’t done anything today, really. I’ve been alone in the best, day-in-the-life way, and not getting wrapped up in it, but just listening and following through at my own pace. I was up at 830am, had breakfast and did a few dishes, let the sunshine in, folded some laundry. Washed, cleaned my teeth and tidied my hair and nails and dressed in clothes for moving in; I hate clothes that feel like you’re drowning in a box at the bottom of the sea. I like clothes that make me believe I can do anything. Pants you can get on and off without a fight to the death, tops you can pull out when you’re tearing off, without worrying about how many directions you can’t go in.

I had a crappy sleep last night, but a decent nap this afternoon. I’ve eaten my way through a bowl of porridge with 1 whole banana, flax seed and coconut milk, topped with peanut butter. Tea and toast and an orange. Dinner will be a tie between stir fry and something with potatoes and beans.

I’m feeling sane today, if unsettled. I love my bedroom. I’ve finished re-reading the chronicles of Narnia and have to admit I have no memory of such a finale as is found on the last page. As season four of Outlander is airing in the universe of restricted access, I’ve gone old school and am rereading book 4 which is the best kind of guilty pleasure and has all the riveting and mundane pieces that make up everyday life in company with Jamie and Claire, which anyone might bristle at when artists of adaptations find they must leave out, or alter them in the interests of budget or time or the fact that the artists themselves are not omniscient and all-powerful enough to bring fully to life the story everyone plays in their heads. I have to find a new page-turner — with pages unturned — sourced from my newly beloved bookshelf.

Diwali

I feel so incredibly privileged today and every day to get to work with some wonderful humans. Today, November 7th, Diwali was celebrated, and I felt warm all over 🙂

I also have to say that my recent relocation and reduction in technical temptations has done me a world of good so far. The light is welcomed in, not shut out and I am sleeping and eating and feeling so much better than I have been in months. I get to walk to work again, which has so far been 100% enjoyable and stress and tumble free!

Despite being away sick for 3 consecutive days last week — and I would have given almost anything to be well enough to work instead of feeling like I got crushed under 5 pianos — I was able to play some cello, drink a ton of tea, read 3 books, including The original Wizard of Oz, (which I don’t think I’d actually read before and really enjoyed). I made popcorn at all hours, had some good belly-laughs and shed a decent amount of tears watching ‘Up’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Secretariat’. I also caught up with a few friends and family, helped Rube with a bit of her homework and got a few more housekeeping items done! Even though the energy got sucked out of me every 20 minutes, requiring another 2 hour napping period, I did not get discouraged.

Returning to work on Monday, our fearless leader, who was also taken out by a similar illness and away for the same 3 days, welcomed me heartily back to the land of the living 🙂

I’m at the library now and I think they have the air-conditioning on? It’s freezing, even with a sweater and I think I’ll have to head home now, get dinner and warm up my toes!

Change is good, talking dogs are golden, and light is more than the absence of darkness and lessening of heavy loads.

Thanks for listening,

–Sam

Cut-throat

photo of white umbrella with blue smoke illustration
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

From sometime back in September…

This week was soul-sucking, spirit-crushing wicked fast rollercoaster.

I called my sister and cried on the phone yesterday, walked the streets in the dark, taking a trip out to view a suite in what some would term the middle of nowhere.

But at the time, it was kinda of perfect… Surrounded by apparently sane people, on the flat, with groceries just around the corner (open until midnight) and a library — as I found out today, that could have been the hormones talking. Still, that is one very big reason to bring someone along with you house-hunting –two heads are better than one. Because right then, my heart-strings were being pulled. I took that as a good sign I’m not dead inside yet.

I got up the next morning, heard 10 seconds of a story on the radio and started crying again. In my line of work, you always are reminded of the importance of mental health and positive self-talk, so I stared myself down in the mirror and said with wonderful conviction: It will be ok. Everything will be ok.

On the upside, I have a new rain-jacket that works great. Next on the list is waterproof footwear. Tacofino, with Forrest and Rube, was also delicious. And later spilling my guts to my brother who was awake, present and supportive was highly restorative 🙂 And I really, truly would like to visit France.

DailyLines from Diana Gabaldon was great way to start this morning, catching glimpses of book 9, Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone. And popcorn and Netflix is a great way to end it.

Recently, my mom said to me: “I would like to help but not sure how…Life is not so simple today” which means so much for me to hear.

–Sam

lumos

I’m really tired, but feel like today should get credit for being a decent one. I had a Kit-Kat and a hot cup of tea for a treat at work, stayed cozy and had a really good stir fry for dinner.

I’m moving again on the weekend and really looking forward to having my own place again, and enjoying some new sights and features (Balcony!!! Elevator!!!). I don’t feel at all prepared to relocate my things. Thank goodness, I think I have even less of them than even after the original ‘downsizing’ episode. So taking what’s here to the new place shouldn’t be that scary, but still.

I’m glad I can be me, and be human. And I’m glad I can share that with others and that I’m not afraid to be alone with myself. I’m glad curiosity is not extinct and that I can recharge when and how I need to.

Thank you for the great moments today. They are appreciated.

I can hardly wait to set up shop, sleep in my own bed, get lost in books and movies and tunes and let the light shine in! Also, pancakes and level ground! Clambering out from a cupboard under the stairs up to freedom on the top floor, good things are ahead (not sure I’ll be able to avoid the 3rd floor corridor though — good thing I’m dog person, haha 🙂 ).