Category Archives: inspirational

Where Can We Go To Mend?

When the fireworks sound like bombs dropping on this land and the shouts are like the screaming of our red skinned brethren being torn away from home, when 13,000 years get swept under the red and white carpet, we are banging on drums and linking up arms to say don’t forget we were here and we still exist. You can’t bandage these ancestral wounds. What you are doing to the others that came here from afar, we still carry that scar. They all have a place to seek refuge in our home and Native land, but where can we go to mend?

Who will protect us from our government? It’s a true testament of the Aboriginal spirit that this heart knows it’s own truth no matter how deep you try to bury it.

 

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The Resurrection

I need time, time to know you, because time is sacred, sacred as the sun which shines behind you through the window, lighting up your dark eyes, so that the retina of all my need is fulfilled through your smile. I study the release of hormones, in the endocrine system, to their receptor sites, and think of how the grey matter of a spinal section from the thoracolumbar region, causes my heart to race, my pupils to dilate, my breath to quicken through the synapse of cholinergic to adrenergic cells, and how this release is then tempered parasympathetically, a collaboration of body systems combine, to bring me a sense of attraction, a chemical stimulation, and then the sudden release of oxytocin, when you say you wish to hold me, say you wish to hold me, though you may not say these words so precisely, and a calm sense of the world being right, for the first time in forever, makes me believe that hope is not wasted, on two uncaged birds, who have all the sky as their own, to fly wing to wing, then tell me this silence was nothing, it was only a small abyss, meant to be crossed, on our way to each other, and I will take the ache of past hurts, past trauma, and make the music a bird longs to sing, deep within myself, my own crushed cadence will be synchronous with beauty, with laughter, and the forgetting of pain. In a place so rare and mystical, an innocent space, where we meet, reaching joy and discovery, timeless and eternal, like a magnolia tree, or my desire to make you blossom, incarnate, reincarnate, bud, bud off, spindle fiber, leaf, vein, cyclic season, protein chain, long, complex, regeneration, cell death, recovery, nourishment, deep and enduring, oblivious of clock and counter, moon rise, sun set, encounter with God, a new religion, a ritual in time of repetition, a broken pattern, a bad habit dying, a new cycle being born. Goddess and Gaia, wolf and messiah, blood, blood orange, the way she drank slowly in the midday heat, and when I spoke her mind was far away, so far away, a grove of new oranges grew in place of the empty cup she held, and when that colourful bird peered from it’s nest, I remarked, how exotic it was, no place on earth should be worthy of a bird with such colour! The green, aquamarine, crystalline water, was as clear and lucid as the dream as it lay dying, while we walked together through emptiness, footprints in sand, lateral was my hand to hers, I should have seen, it was not your hand, your smile, your dimple of elation in the bleakest moments of longing, that made me want to die and come back to life again, a new person, a free person, without the anchor of the Aegean. Cycle, rhythm, zodiac, cyclic, Cycladic, but her heart was Ionian, deep and cold, as the coldest sea in the world, and when Neruda said he wanted to do with you what the spring did to the cherry blossoms, it was my thought he echoed, decades ago, when you were being born for the first time, in an immortal country, where loneliness ate through hunger, and I as a small child, walked along the Pacific coast, contemplating regrowth, through the arms of starfish.

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Feeling less alone, (on the nature of depression and butterflies)

Today I learned that the deep depression on the inner center of a human skull resembles a butterfly. Peering within, it’s as though at some time, this transitory beauty was meant to forever imprint upon us the delicate nature of a fleeting journey. Only if the skull is cremated or destroyed, does the memory of that gentle flower-seeker disappear. Within the hemisphere, the pituitary signaler of hormones, transmits chemicals to her butterfly mate, who lives innate in our throats, where the ability to speak, from time maternal, depends upon the migration of the one butterfly, straying south, and the other staying north, for without their separation, the vital energy it takes to live would cease. Such sacrificial love in nature creates brilliancy, but what’s more, it is the lack of electrical current that defines depression, as inhibitory. If this myopic view excludes further truth, it may one day be discovered that the real origin of our cranial pain, and mental suffering are related to this separation, to this lack of excitation within the neuronal center. It’s not the fact that there is a lack of stimulation, it is instead a lack of attention, a lack of response. “Soak me in serotonin, and watch me cry,” sings the butterfly. “No,” cries the other butterfly, “you are mistaken, I am that shadow, existing within the grey area, where the cloud formation never dissipates, do not think I can dissolve into elation. I journeyed once, more than a day, which in my time was forever, and I knew feeling and taste as vividly as each step one takes. Although I live in the echo from phonemes breaking, my real truth lies in the upper regions, where words form in synaptic response to thought, dark, enduring thought, which keeps my soul from dying, much like your heart beat keeps your body from flying. Through resonance and dissonance I am cocooned inside of you, always.”

The nurse sits with the patient as they discuss the power of non-verbal communication, ie; touch. “When you hold my hand,” she tells her, “I know you are there, it’s like a flower growing in my spine, I can feel it, I can sense it growing there, and though I know it will die once you let go, it helps me to feel less alone, it’s like a thousand astrocytes lighting up the dark sky inside of me.”

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Filed under Borderline, Butterfly, Conversation, creative, Death, Depression, Distance, Drowning, Identity, inspirational, Loneliness, Longing, Loss, Love, Medical, Memory, Message, Mortality, Nostalgia, Pain, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Science, Self, Shadow, Sorrow, Soul, travel, Uncategorized, writing

On reading the diary of Virginia Woolf

A small bird flies into the pupil of her eyes, from where it begins to rise, as her tears fall. The wooded path, down which she travels, on her late night rambles, where the colour of the deer match the brambles. It rises there in green light,flooding through thick curtain, collapsing, wingspent on the forest floor, where it comes to rest in the thicket evermore.

Yesterday she was gold plated, gold is not meant to crack in thin line, where falsity falls from fingers, grasping at quill, until this sentence takes flight, by a height of such altitude, paving way for a depth of demise. The bird in her eyes does not rise any more, will not gather in tangled domesticity, will not show signs of sanity, i.e, does not behave obediently.

She shines the silver carefully, and minds the manner of her tongue, lest it be kindling for flame, as smoky sentences rise from pages, where she leaves behind traces of truth, until the waves open the sea, swallowing her heavily under. Outwards and inwards, with no warning of the incoherent tide within her mind.

New dress replaces old, she says she inhabits it for 10 and 11p, at the table forlornly, she scribbles down her reality, what to me can only be a memory, preceding an emotional Holocaust, as the gas chamber glare of her vacant stare, goes unbroken for a century.

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Filed under Feminist, inspirational, Journey, Lesbian, Life, Love, Memory, Poem, poetry, Suicide, travel, Virginia Woolf, writing

Women of the waters that are never still

The missing and murdered indigenous women all gathered together at the lost city of Atlantis.

“No one believes we are real,” said one to the other, “they will never try to find us here.”

“If they never believe then we are free. If they start to remember is when we have to worry.” Said another.

“Yes the great spirit has made an ocean of oblivion and in all their crossings they forget..

They think their cities are real and ours is a myth.”

“Yes.” spoke the chief.
“We are safe here.”

They are distracted by the stars. The stars that died centuries ago.
The apocalypse has happened already. They just don’t know it yet.

They are all dancing together in a Matrix of dreams.

They wake up with new scars and wonder how those wounds ever healed.

“Sometimes they forget to hurt when we touch them,” spoke the child of agile deer, “and they mistake this pain for pleasure.”

The turtle will rise once more. When the time is right.

“The time is close,” spoke the hungry hawk girl. I see rust over the towers of progress, it stains their rivers and kills their fish. The white men in their polished houses laugh louder now. They laugh with terrorist eyes. And all the world is quiet in disbelief.

We are safe for now, but it won’t last. This time when they come dressed as brothers we will know the truth in that horse’s eyes.

We won’t drink the fire.

We won’t accept their dirty blankets.

We know how to keep warm. We are the keepers of the fire. We must never forget who we are, even if they have. They have all fallen asleep. When the sun rises it will be too late.

“It has already come to be,” spoke the ominous owl. It has already been written. They will burn the treaties. There is no honour in sickly pacts. They are a lost tribe.

“We have already been found what is there to search for now?” The sad squaw pleaded.

We must find ourselves here. We must honour our mother and father and give our respects to our grandfathers. One day all our relations will come together and they will lose their blindness.

Only when they have regained this vision can we be one again.

“One tribe under one sky” spoke the eager eagle.

So it is has been spoken.

They passed the peace pipe from hand to hand as they gathered around the roaring fire and danced.

You could hear the echo of their drums in the lost world where the rhythm of life was mute, their voices carried in the cries of the wild.

The forgotten ones were there and they remembered. Some of them had wolf eyes that lit a path through the dark.

You could never go hungry if you followed them.

But the eyes of the others were a deep abyss surrounding an ancient island, where they held a sacred vigil in honour of our fallen sisters

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Lost

I awake to my breath in a ghostly cloud above my head.
This white clarity blinds the city.
Unable to rest, unable to dream.
He said our people, the Anishinaabe were possibly the lost citizens of Atlantis, true Atlanteans crossing the Atlantic. Thousands of years ago the Mediterranean was more like a lake and less like an ocean. The land mass of Atlantis formed a bridge from North America to Athens Greece. My kin, the Algonquins migrated to the ancient city and throughout parts of Europe, including Britain and the East. Is it possible the whites were decendants of us? Is it possible an old seed buried deep split open and released a very ancient desire to reclaim itself? He speaks of Sakimay as a place where our people originated. This was the land of my ancestors. He speaks of the seven fires prophecy and the crystal energy our people harnessed, which led to their own downfall, the sinking of our island, the melting of the glaciers, the light that flooded in like razors on our skin and stained us with the red ink of Indians. The turtle island that sank and swam down again, lost in the reaches of time. Oh Turtle, teach us of the truth sewn in hand with the ilk of our ancient medicine, until then we are lost like a city under the sea.

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Aurora

Look what I hold here Mr. R, a very bright star. Deeply buried under a very old scar. “Wait!” he said I can find it, dig it out of you, blow gently on it, make it shine again.

I hold a limited amount of possible suns and moons but I hold them here for you.

And then the sky turned black, the glass under my skin, pushed out from my veins, creating a sharp glass blade, which sliced across his jugular.

He was dead in half an hour.

But the light was spectacular, so lucid was my vision then, that the whole sky bled in technicolour, they called it the Aurora, but I knew better.

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Filed under Adventure, Arctic, Beauty, Bleed, Control, creative, Illusion, inspirational, Longing, Love, Poem, poetry, travel, writing

Sunset

See the future, through a suture of time, stitching minutes through wounds.
We bleed out hours cochlea swell,
barely audible in the mute hope of this stethoscope, where no drum sounds,
no savagery of heart amplifying fire.
no pulse of temple, no Goddess in hips.
no pitch to this rhythmless routine.
take me underground,
bury my body, mourn what I was,
leave flowers in place of,
vacate where I am now,
yearning to flourish,
into the crepuscular,
muscular flex of
this sensual sunset.

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Filed under Future, inspirational, Longing, Poem, poetry, Sun, Sunset, Time, writing

Kōna (Snow)

kanakēs- For a brief moment
kaskēyimēw-she is lonesome for her
kaskina- break it off like a twig,
kācikēwin- something hidden.
kām¯wātan-It is quiet,
kāsēcihcē-wash your hands
kehcināho- make certain; be sure,
kinwēs- for a long time
kisin-it is cold.

The cold, brief certainty of silence.
rapidly flowing down stream, within.
The dim solitude of a broken boat.

Orphan child, at the edge of a forest, butterfly spirit, my hands fold inward to my heart, origami bird, snow star love, the great withholding of a dam, (state of vulnerablity,) before we make fire we must conquer the cold. Hidden in the dark, you grow lonesome for the light. Lonesome for her, you pine, lost in a forest of hurt. You wash your hands of her and the quiet kona falls heavy, river caller of the long snows moon, under ice in the woods of a perpetual winter…

love in a frozen state of longing,
crystal cure for obsidian heart.

We depart this way her and I, North and South in opposite directions, the wolf medicine stings at my heels, where the untouchable wound breaks open, all the world thunders in my heart.

bursting open

I cry
I cry

Eons back in time,
when the long snows moon
was new,
before the ice age,
when firebird was risen,
in her orange deception,
I loved her volcano hot
raining white ash
over
dissolving
continents.

We are ice people,
people of the falling snow,
white clay people
people of the clouds,
river people who hear and see,
fierce people with cold hands
and burned out hearts.

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July 16, 2015 · 4:50 am

Ebb & Flow

My blood origin is water but thicker than any oil. We were the people of the rapids, always following the tides in and out, as far as they could carry us in our birch bark boats. My grandfather the great Eagle spirit, who could be called on the wind at will, would carry the message of love across the rivers. My father the feathered dancer, always ran with the shadows, ran with the quick horses, wild across the prairie sky, far on towards the high hills, westward to the mountains. He caught the rapids in his veins, the eagle song rushed through him too fast, and I lost his tracks on the wind, it beat quick through his heart like that rabbit on the rails who cried from the weight of the train cutting across his leg. Love is mercurial this is what I chased. I danced with strangers who I hoped could show me deeper into what I felt behind my eyes, spirits passing by like clouds, dark over my head, deer child in storms, under cover of night, crying to the pleiades, snared beneath a thousand shooting stars, willing forward. This is who we are, these are my kin, wild on the hunt, with a scent in us that says love is of this, caught between these river rocks, these feathers, this sky. We follow that scent towards eachother like wild animals marking their journey home again, we will meet at the shore one day. My father visits me in dreams, speaks through the others, offers symbols to guide me closer to the turtle of truth who rises up towards the light. He told me of the 7 teachings, the sacred ways we follow, a path of shells. The beaver works hard to build up these twig towers of hydro electric power that allow us to connect. But the buffalo speaks of respect, tells me “we all have a gift, don’t waste yours, for if beaver did, he would grow long in the tooth and die,” and then we would have a great loss of life, a loss of light to lead us through these dark times.

image

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Invisible

Thank you for not loving me.
This is only my hand, hold on to it and it becomes no hand, no star, no worldly offering or other thing of meaning, such as a limb that is suspended near my body and lays meaningless without the desire to heal or mend this heart that gushes quietly and violently within…

I can get by on lesser organs than the sun, so vital to one’s existence.

One never knows what she misses, my mouth you press into wishes that blow off like pinwheels from branches and hit the earth spinning

Your leg twisted on air, as a dancer’s thigh gets by on physics alone, no chemistry can be found between the earth and sky.

There is no her.
No I.

An eye peers deep and dissecting into my soul.

What is there remains
invisible.

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Filed under creative, Gravity, Identity, Infatuation, inspirational, Longing, Loss, Love, poetry

The man holding a swan

He arrives at dawn when the others are gone, soaked in their debauchery, seen as a stain on the city, red speckled sea on the horizon , something we avoid on the morning walk to where we have to be, not where we want to be.

If I had my way I’d marry music, swan songs and oblong stories of our less than genteel history. Here in the North we are sorry, that’s our story, forced manners , like blisters on the fingers of the erhu player, but his country has communism, a cracked schism in the pavement, where I step to behold his wordless poems.

You cry out in the morning, no memory of the night before, no purpose, when your legs are sore from running against the current, can’t keep your head above the water long enough to see the shore.

Each morning you stumble down Portage on your way to nowhere, because that’s all we’ve got sister, that and the man with the blister, whose music makes us forget the pain, makes the suffering more tolerable, but what have we to compete with that?

A man holding a swan, caressing it’s long neck of eternity, you and I are lucky if we last ’til tomorrow but that beautiful sorrow can be heard like an ancient cry to the soul, and his case is full of potential coins for the demon that eats loons and moons from our past dreams. They float up merrily and coo at his fingers, see how he wraps them there, wings soft as straw, another corner conquered by something other than a drunken squaw.

What started as awe quickly turns to indifference and downright bitterness for birds. You start cawing and spitting venomous vitriol at anything that jingles. Where did they put my moon eh? Where’s that crescent thing they promised my people, no one remembers the buffalo, they killed him with the red skins, somewhere near wounded knee, but we got this Eastern melody flooding our streets with beauty.

I’m too ugly and my spirit is a deaf traveler. I’ll strangle that white-necked whore! Be nice to the hand that feeds you, it’s the hand that holds you down. They talk like indigenous means religious, it’s not a political stance, it’s birds in the hands of a dying democracy.

I’m the white and you’re the black on the chess board. They are counting on you poor pawn, they are singing for you sweet swan, together we can make a symphony that rises up towards the parliament in full plumed brilliance and lands on Harper’s lawn. Tell him to quit selling what doesn’t belong to him. Take off that Isis mask borrowed from the president and fuck terrorism when we’ve got heroism in our own hands..

dawn over oil spilled feathers, washing these sorrows pure again.

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Chaos Theory

A voice never to be heard. (things absurd.) The giving up of moments into memories, the sacrifice of self into nothingness, like the self was nothing to begin with, and it wasn’t, it is and it is not dependent on mood. But a mood can create & destroy. What was that they told us? First the thought, then the mood, then the action. But what if I was without thought or feeling? What if I was all id, seething along on impulse, impervious to the outcome, recklessly burning the night alive like a dying star? What if that’s all we are? These cellular beams of nothing, creating self from thought & illusion. The play of existence is transitory, so we can opt to live or die, or merge into another self at random, according to our own will, that gets governed by the heart and guided by the soul, which is immortal. Then this body is a choice and so is yours but are we really free or is that also illusory?  We carry our prisons like luggage or occupations, from one destination to the next, deep in our inner cores, where we fear to tread. Freedom is a state of mind they say, so I can be locked away and still fly, or I can roam forever and never feel alive. It doesn’t matter either way. I dreamt we had a long conversation. I dreamt I heard your voice. I dreamt you meant to tell me something. We had met for the first time in the flesh, and there was nothing to be said that couldn’t be expressed by our bodies, so you said hello with a long and fatal kiss and in that same breath I said goodbye to life and death, I was born in you, anew. Because real love makes us lose our vision and real love makes us see things as they are, in a way we were blind to before. All that pollutes us from the past transmutes into a white light of undying purity in which we create each other, rhythmically like planets, aligned to a divine order, that appears to us as chaos.

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My true colours

I’m reminded of the opacity of the river at night, under moonlight.
The silver glow of the undertow and the mystery of what lies below.
I would skate out far, under the brightest stars and never reach beyond the depth and darkness.

Skating in circles, with sudden leaps into the air, then falling effortlessly down on solid water. “We skate around the truth of who we are,” out here in the dark, but more will be revealed they tell us.

I hadn’t yet known you, couldn’t conceive of things a world away, blinded by the glare of those serrated tips, carving dreams out of ice, sculpting our future one gliding moment at a time, cutting through layer upon layer of falsity to the divine mystery of who you are.

Visions of self reflected on the sparkling surface, emerging complete, defined, loved into the translucency of truth and beauty.

Your army green eyes camouflage our inner war, never to lose each other in love’s battle. I am your gypsy child forgiving the gaps and the distance, forging our world anew each day.

You are my grand spy master, averting me from disaster, reshaping my love for you always.

You must be a chameleon, the one that so fascinated me in science books as a child, able to blend into the scene at will, emerging with hand outstretched, ready to take in my true colours.

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Filed under Beauty, Colours, creative, Displacement, Ice, inspirational, Intimacy, introspective, Love, Moon, Poem, poetry, writing

Red Ochre

Her hair is stained by the 56th nucleon of an Orion constellation, surrounding a planet that rains pure silver.

Curled into long locks by the graceful fingers of a Jupiterian Queen.

Her eyes are green, like emeralds plucked from the Nile in Egypt.

Her body was formed on an ancient land under the sea, somewhere long ago and far away from me.

image

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Filed under creative, dreams, Infatuation, inspirational, Longing, Love, Mermaid, Moon, Poem, poetry, Soul, Stars

Gravity

Can you catch death from an owl, or freedom from a butterfly?

Wisdom & transcendence.

I have walked along the palace walls and witnessed the loneliness of the queen; the things she has seen and been above, and the absence of true love in all the stars we wish upon. Saw princes turn into demons and princesses hide away in dark places, praying to false saviours in the sky.

I have rode trains near ancient remains and felt the sorrow of the broken stone goddesses, who are a testament to the war we wage against all that is different.

I sat with you one winter night and you held my arm tight, trying to catch my pulse. It froze like a piece of glass and lodged into my heart.

Midnight arrives and I skate down the river, to the edge of the city. I stare up at the lights in the sky and wonder if it matters that there’s life on other planets if it’s all the same as this.

When I was twenty I drank a bottle of vodka and disappeared. The truth appeared to be nothing but a blur on the horizon. When I woke up I was sober and nearing forty. I found I had missed nothing. Being awake or asleep, life still carries on in the same way with or without us. We have gravity to blame.

I decided to become an astronaut and float above the world, alone. Out here in the dark no one sees me. I hear the desperate pleas of the lost ones back on earth, crying for something, anything to take it all away. Some pray for little  things; like jobs, children, and marriage. Some pray for bigger things; like freedom, truth and love. Not one of them sees how futile their efforts are. Not one of them cares for the things beyond.

In space you are weightless and mute. You can’t hear the sound of bombs going off in the name of love, because bombs don’t even matter and love is only a word. Nothing can touch you when you are free, not even gravity.

image

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Filed under Astronaut, creative, Death, Displacement, dreams, Earth, Eternity, Freedom, Gravity, inspirational, introspective, Life, Longing, Loss, Love, Moon, Mortality, poetry, Sorrow, Soul, Space, Stars, Time, Tragedy, travel

Vacant

Tracing circles in a backward motion, creating spirals between the darkness and light. Erasing the lines that connect our hearts, those same lines that separate our bodies. I should have known in the first breath so that I would not need to stifle the last. Your plane is always bound for foreign places, tickets and stopovers, none of which include me in their destination. I was a slave to the clock and I would have worked until my heart stopped beating as long as it brought me to your door. I lay here with an open window on the night, wind blows into an empty room allowing enough air so that I can breathe a breath that belongs to me and me alone. I grieve a million stars. I swallow an entire continent and digest it slow, it comes up in my throat and lingers there, provoking earthquakes, body tremors. I think I’ll lay here swallowing clouds and oceans, I think my veins are the Great lakes that twist into the Atlantic far on the other side and my arms are the great divide between here and there, between this and nothing, I am bleeding currents, I am flooding cities, this is Venice, or the lost Atlantis we will never recover, this is the death of a lover. The meals we won’t share on the terrace overlooking the Acropolis, the amazing sun setting over the island that has forgotten our silhouettes under the tall palms. The ancient pulse of stone and the emergence of night blossoms will never welcome us together anymore. What I am remains on the tracks where the train carried us home, it never finds its way again, it never inhabits the same perfume of our two souls. One is a breeze passing through a station where the other does not exist to feel it. We are light posts on separate streets in different worlds. Sometimes the same girl wanders in our shadow as if she remembers something and then she keeps walking until she forgets to care whether it is dark or light or if the moon even shines anymore, because none of it matters, none of it ever mattered. I once dreamt I bought a ticket and boarded a plane and when I arrived the sign hanging over the city read “Vacant but for our dreams. Empty but for our memories. ” This is life, this is the welcome we all receive at the beginning and end of our journey and this is also what we carry inside us, everywhere we go and with everyone we meet. The same sad urgency of our departure and the unexpected joy of our arrival.

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July 12, 2014 · 7:17 pm

The ancient quest to capture time

careen

When I first set foot on the landscape of Greece, something became more apparent to me than anything I had experienced prior to that time, that something was a profound inner awareness of myself in relation to time, in relation to the past, in particular, that ancient, elusive past of our ancestors. I felt this connection to a spirit of the past, in such a way that was akin to an out of body experience, but instead of being out of my body, in a metaphysical sense, I felt that I had entered my body for the first time. It is difficult to describe, except to say that my sense of awareness became lucid and more keen than I had ever experienced before.I was immediately whisked away to an ethereal world beyond the capaciousness of my mind’s view. I could not have anticipated this level of awareness, which was exceptionally expansive and all-encompassing to me. I had travelled for twenty hours across the world, lost in another realm of consciousness, more commonly known as jet-lag, when I arrived at the home of my Greek friend, immediately she embraced me, and I felt a warmth and loving magnitude, which flowed into me as a limitless stream of love and inspiration. She closed the bedroom door, to leave me in solitude, and I drifted off to sleep, then hours later, as night was descending on the city of Athens, she woke me and invited me to take a walk in the neighborhood of Galatsi. It was nearing the end of April, the air was fresh with the vigour and vitality of spring and a cool breeze blew over us as we walked down the narrow, cobble-stone sidewalk. The scent of jasmine flowers, whose petals open to the vibrations of the moon, and permeate the air with an ambience of melliferous and soft beauty, lay among our path. The lights of the city could be seen below us, a long, steep stretch of wonder, lit up the mountain side, and people were everywhere, promenading on the streets. “Everything here is covered by an imaginary aura, it has its own temperature, it lives in an endless dream, it is flooded by an imperceptible music…”I felt a sudden sense of infatuation, my pupils dilated, the pace of my heart quickened, all of my senses were deeply attuned to my surroundings. There were marble structures and a rustic, earthiness seemed to be etched into the landscape, covering everything with a dark veil of romanticism, but at certain points as the moon shone over us, the veil was lifted, and I saw the world in a way that was mystical, as though an arcane whisper from the past echoed through my soul.

“..so it is the Country of the moon; I mean, lit by a dead sun.”wrote Virginia Woolf of Greece.

The Greeks haunted Woolf. Her essay “On Not Knowing Greek” stresses both their aloofness and unfamiliarity and our ignorance of how their minds worked, of how and why their literature was written: as a woman, she found them more primitive, puzzling, and alluring than their legitimate male heirs in Cambridge and Bloomsbury could imagine. Woolf’s essay also conveys a profound sense of intimacy and recognition. Greek worked its way into her imagination, elusive but persistent: “how Greek sticks, darts, eels in & out!” A solid “grounding” gave way to shifting and unbidden moments of insight: “A strange thing-when you come to think of it-this love of Greek, flourishing in such obscurity, distorted, discouraged, yet leaping out, all of a sudden.”

time

“Times change, years pass
the river of the world clouds over
but I go out on the balcony of a dream..”
~Nikos Gatsos

The Greek concept of time and space is unique.
material value is not afforded to time as much as it is here, it has it’s own essence.

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

This statement by Virginia, on how our minds perceive time, how we process time, space, thought and emotion, is such an accurate depiction. I believe it is particularly true of those who have been through trauma; there is a contrast between one’s experience and one’s interpretation of the experience, a way in which our memory processes the information we receive from our environment and from the events which leap out before us. Take for example, a play; consider the varying aspects from which those involved in the play, conceive it. The director, the actors and the audience are each bound to have similar yet varying concepts of it. The director takes the plot and interprets her own understanding of it, which she conveys to the actors, imprinting her ideas on them. The actors then fit into the roles and embody the characters, while appealing to the audience’s own inference and reaction. There are multiple methods of portrayal and a skilled director knows how to draw on this, with the use of space, time, metaphor, props, stage design, etc. The director and the actors aspire to perfect their technique and talent, in order to capture and convey the pathos of the play in such a way that it becomes a catharsis, this varies depending on the style of direction. The playwright Sarah Kane once wrote that she was attracted to the stage because “theatre has no memory, which makes it the most existential of the arts…I keep coming back in the hope that someone in a darkened room somewhere will show me an image that burns itself into my mind.” The style likened to Kane was known as “in-yer-face” theatre, a method of shocking the audience into reacting, a way of “invading one’s personal space,” thereby delivering a visceral kick to the stomach. Victims of trauma and those with depression experience a numbing of emotions. They become disassociated and desensitized, and it is not unusual for them to seek what can be deemed as “peak” experiences in order to confirm their existence, because in essence life is about feeling and when one ceases feeling, it is as though a terrible shadow covers everything, a fragmented consciousness, a sort of “perpetual equinox,” where time stands still, days, weeks, months, even seasons, no longer retain their significance. Life becomes a series of flashes, a seeking after something which will “burn into our minds,” “theatre has no memory,” and this is a reprieve to one seeking an escape from their memories. When we view life with the sense that all is fleeting and ephemeral, and that our feelings are frozen in time, “the environing subsoil of our embodiment, the bedrock of our being-in-the-world,” gives way to a feeling of displacement (…)

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Pareidolia

Plaster on the wall- where someone botched their attempt at perfection, that was all I could see, some crooked agency trying to cut corners, but in truth, the further I contemplated it, the more it began to make sense. The lady who was the caretaker of this building was Greek, a woman from Greece, whose family came here in search of a better life when she was just a girl, long before she lost her spirit. In ancient times her ancestors were masters of such creation, their strong but graceful Hellenic hands, carved many a masterpiece from simple white stone, into works of marvellous beauty, but somewhere along the way, hope gets drowned. It took a day like today for me to be able to have seen through her eyes, and to realize the mistake was not a mistake at all. In her frenzy to repair the spot on the wall, and to ready the apartment for new tenants, she had not consciously known what she was creating, for how could she? I have recently returned from my first trip to Greece. I spent two months in her homeland, and she would have loved to have heard all about it. She would have loved to try the many treats I brought back, and to have seen the souvenirs- a rare rock shaped like a tiny temple, found on an island, off the Aegean sea, and honey coloured like amber, with golden remnants of the sun sinking in it; but nature swallowed her under, because somewhere along the way, we all drown, and lately I have been contemplating such a fate. These days had passed with me trying to resurface. I had eaten only the most simple remnants of what could be found in this empty place, and I had not had a cigarette in days, and when I am without a cigarette, my nerves are like wires that get singed from lack of power, lack of fire, lack of vitality. I stared at the spot on the wall in a state of despondency and weakness. It’s interesting how our own suffering can put us in touch with that of the world. I can’t imagine what it must be like for people who never lack anything, but especially those who always have somewhere peaceful to sleep, and something to fill the void inside of them. I have always known lack, but it had been some time since we were acquainted. As I stared at this blotchy mess of plaster, this spot on the wall; an image stood out, an image of a frail woman, holding out her hands, the woman has her head down and her hands out, in a humble gesture, perhaps she is walking in alignment with the spirit, as opposed to the multitude of others here on earth, who are so deeply disconnected. What strikes me most is that she reminds me of a woman I love, a woman I traveled so many miles across the world to be with, and who I am now so distant from, she is frail like her, and her profile is strikingly similar, and isn’t it strange that such beauty can arise out of such a mess, as a careless spot on the wall, and that most people would view it as a mistake, and never see the real beauty in it? It takes suffering to elicit empathy and a keen vision of the world, but it also takes suffering to wake us up to the true depths of beauty, which we are all drowning in.

LADYONWALL

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Fragmentation

(~Cento~)

Bring me to where my blood moves
Limpid treacherous swimmer
This is the fluid in which we meet each other 
In visions of the dark night
In my dream, drilling into the marrow of my entire bone 
In the wave-strike over unquiet stones
Have patience, O my sorrow, and be still.

Wanda Coleman
Stéphane Mallarmé
Sylvia Plath
Edgar Allen Poe
Anne Sexton
Pablo Neruda
Charles Baudelaire

This is my first attempt at a poetic collage, and I’m moved by how these words convey the emotions that were swelling in me when I pieced them together. I like the interplay between movement and stillness. The word limpid in the context of this poem is best defined as; “completely calm; without distress or worry: a limpid, emotionless existence.” At times one’s emotions may reach a peak of ecstasy or joy, only to be followed by a crash, akin to the “wave-strike,” on an otherwise calm shore, then one’s thoughts can be compared to the “unquiet stones,” that get disrupted by the flood of sorrow, these profoundly fragmented breaks in our hearts, likened to chasms. It is during these moments; when the blood rushes deep and overwhelms us, that we most long for stillness. I am also reminded of the writing of Virginia Woolf, when she speaks of these “chasms in the continuity of our ways.” It’s as though we are going through the mundane motion of our prosaic days when something tears us from our perennial roots, (like a reed on the bed of the sea, that can no longer grasp the earth,) and flings us skyward, leaving us to die or adapt. We are like emotional shape-shifters, who travel from the depths to the heights, from the calm to the storm, and all that empty space in between is the limpidity in the grey interim of our existence. It’s like a parasite that gets in our minds and gnaws away at our complacent attachment to life, until part of us detaches from that particular mode of consciousness, and is abruptly awakened to another, unexpected one. Not being able to make this adaptation is tragic. We can be so inculcated by these static roles of existence, that we are like stubborn reeds that refuse to let go; the harder we cling, the more volatile is the force against us. Softness and acceptance, a fluidity, and a willingness to surrender to the shifting seasons, are what give us the most potential to grow. Emotions are like waves, and waves are an accumulation of transitory energy that flows through our thriving souls. “This is the fluid in which we meet eachother,” in the currents of life, that uproot us, this is where we are born anew, in the intermingling of two souls on a journey of the heart, fresh with feeling and hope.

*”Bring me to where my blood moves,” or take me to the heart of my emotions.

 

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