Return from Clutter & Disarray

Late last fall I decided I needed to take my life back — lose weight, embrace my work, accept my family for who they are, get healthy, become more organized and productive, start writing again and doing the things I truly enjoy. Throughout the year, I’ve been working toward this, somewhat sporadic by times, but still I haven’t given up completely, I continue to slog through.

It was like that when I quit smoking. I had at least a year of fits and starts before I finally got the hang of it and saw it through, made the life change. So, I think developing the rest of my life could happen like that too. That’s why I don’t get down on myself when I get away from exercising for awhile or I decide I’m going to pig out on chips and ice cream all weekend. I allow my slip-ups because I know it doesn’t kill the process.

I took a big step last week and moved my office from the general living room into the privacy of my own bedroom. My mother and I have been at odds about this for a long time now. She didn’t want me to do it . . . Though I’m not entirely certain why. Maybe she thought I really didn’t want to and she was just being supportive. Anyway, in order to facilitate this move and have it be functional, I had to reclaim that bedroom space as my own, which is something I haven’t done in awhile. There were a lot of papers to go through, junk to toss, books to organize, things to file . . . But finally, I got it all done and now everything is completely organised to the best of my ability.

I may be slow and somewhat sporadic but eventually I will win this race.

Mood: Determined

Listening to: Waiting for the Miracle, Leonard Cohen

Drinking: Black tea

Hair: fuzzy, badly damaged

Poetry Workshop

Hanging out at PJ Billingtons in the Wharf Inn after a day of poetry with Roger Moore. What have I learned?

. . . It’s easier to stay silent and receive criticism without having to defend or justify your work . . . You can open yourself up by freeing yourself from structure . . . One way to keep ideas flowing and generate new ones is through webbing . . . (I wonder if Mom has gone to the wrong hotel pick me up? Maybe she thought I said the Rodd?)

So, I wrote a poem today, then tweaked it while sitting at the restaurant. The inspiration we were given was “happiness”. And this is what I came up with:

Mid-morning

The train swaggers into the station like a super star

Rays of sunshine washing over its body

Popping like paparazzi flash bulbs

Leaves sigh in the trees

Squirrels chatter

The child breaks free of the exiting pack

Runs into his fathers outstretched arms

Lifts off the ground

Legs dangling

Swinging in a wide arc

Held in tight embrace

Welcome home

Mood: Creative

Drinking: The house wine, Red

Listening To: Top 40 radio

Hair: severely tied back in a tight ponytail

Too much sleep? Not enough?

Went to bed so early last night! Asleep by 9 pm, if not way before. Awake now for about a half-hour and it’s still not even 6 am. How crazy is that?! Nearly fell out of this little bed in the night. Rolled over into air but luckily caught myself and was able to cling to the side. These old beds are so high; I could’ve really hurt myself if I fell out. I love this place! What a great atmosphere! I feel like writing every second.

Had an odd sort of dream. A high school dream, except we were all grown up. The cafeteria was bigger and not actually a cafeteria anymore, but the floor of a stock market with a big index high on the wall clicking with changing stock prices.

I needed a job and Stacy advised me as we drove around in Mable with Bradley H. She apparently already had a good job or didn’t need one like I did. I had to ask Tommy Mc., Kevin D., or Vance V. for work because they were like the head honchos of these huge corporations. It’s starting to get pretty fuzzy in my head now.

I went to see Kevin D. first and he gave me a bunch of sweatshirts and other novelty type items like ball caps embroidered with his business crest. He brought this big garbage bag into the cafeteria/stock market and dumped it onto the floor, gave me whatever I wanted, but couldn’t give me a job.

So then I had to see Tommy Mc. He was in the dairy biz, like cows. I really impressed him when I told him that some sort of milk bacteria had been banned and his stock would drop as a result. When we looked at the big stock ticker on the wall, sure enough his stock was plummeting. But he couldn’t hire me either as a result of the ban and shareholders bailing.

So, that just left Vance V. I couldn’t even get an appointment with him. He was avoiding me like the plague. I literally had to chase him down the hallways of the school/office building. I caught him in the hallway just outside the physics/chemistry lab, pinned him against the wall. While Tommy and Kevin had altered their appearances to look like men of business, you know the suit, great shoes, nice haircut, etc. Vance was himself in faded jeans, T-shirt, denim jacket, worn out running shoes, etc.

I pinned his scrawny butt against the wall and he put up his hands to push me away started protesting saying how he was involved with someone and couldn’t have nothing to do with me, blah, blah, blah. I butt in and told him to get a hold of himself. I wasn’t trying to get with him; I just wanted a friggin’ job. He hemmed and hawed, tried to get away from me. I told him I was really smart that I could help his business a lot. Finally, he relented, gave me a job, but told me he could only afford to pay me $3,750/ month. I said that was fine I would make do . . .

And woke up giggling with ecstasy as I ran those figures over in my head. $3,750/ month!! I wish!

Mood: Dreamy

Drinking: Last night’s leftover flat Sprite

Hair: Bed-Head

Some places just feel like home

Sitting high on my old-fashioned bed with the paisley bedspread and brocade at the Marshland Inn in Sackville, I’m reminded of my grandparents’ homes when I was a kid. I can’t feel Callum here . . . I don’t think he’d be here. But I feel like I belong . . . that strange feeling of comfort I’ve felt sometimes meeting certain people for the first time. That’s how I feel in this town. Almost like I did the first time I saw the Toronto skyline from the 401 in the wee hours of the morning, except without the girlish butterflies of excitement. This feeling is subtle, peaceful. I recognise little from other trips through here . . . yet, it all seems so familiar, so embracing. Have I come home?

Mom is with me. I’m around the corner tucked under the eaves of this ancient house. She has the bigger bed. Mine is barely a single and pretty hard. She’s telling me about Grammie, her mother, and about how it was giving birth back in those days. Pregnancy was dangerous business and my grandmother had 12 children. Mom wonders whether there were any miscarriages and supposes there must have been. Women had to stay in bed for 10 days after having a baby. The 7th day was supposedly the most dangerous. I don’t know why. Neither does Mom. With being bedridden that long it was necessary for someone to come and stay at your house for a couple of weeks to look after things. Another woman, a relative or friend of the family. Mom remembers people coming to their house when she was a kid. This reminds me of a short story I read once . . . Alice Munroe maybe? Another woman came into the house because the wife was sick and ended up staying, becoming the husband’s mistress. I think the wife was ill though, not in childbirth. This is how Callum’s mother died — maybe even on the 7th day. Hmmm. The 7th day has biblical references as well, so that would fit in nicely.

Mom is remembering all kinds of things about old houses, her childhood, a time so cold there were icicles hanging over the beds — this place is effecting her too, taking her back, reminding her of home.

Mood: Content

Drinking: Water

Hair:
Light Auburn