Hard At It
Idle hands are the devil's playthings.
It's been a wild and wooly few months. The summer days have flown by like doves, heading for the last rays of dusk. Music festivals, outdoor sports and oodles of writing have filled my plate.
It's interesting how sometimes in life, the thing you want more than anything at the current moment is exactly what you can't have. But when you give up on it, and let that desire die out with a real pain and visceral anguish, that thing re-arrives in a different form.
For so long, I wanted work
. I struggled to make ends meet and I sat in front of a glowing monitor - tweaking and re-tweaking my resume and sending applications to the ends of the earth to find a writing job. I wanted work but work did not want me.
Other areas of my life proved difficult, too, and didn't add any lightness to the already heavy-gage load on my back.
But when that time passed and a different season came, I found myself at a standstill and I opened my arms to the heavens and basically gave up. I realized that even without work, in the end, I would be alright.
On a solo road trip to Halifax and PEI, I pondered a lot of things. I pondered my own existence, my capacity for love, my artistic desires and my life ideals. I pounded the rough northern Quebec and smooth Atlantic pavement with the rubber of my CRV tires and saw new light.
When I came back from my time in the oceanic wilderness, the work met me on my Ottawa doorstep. I've been doing some freelance arts & culture writing for a few publications and although it may not last, it's helping me to get from point A to point B. I have a schedule. I have a routine. I have articles to craft and interesting people to interview.
I truly can't complain.
I'm trying to look forward to things. Making beer with an old, great, best friend. Trips to a Big Rideau area cottage to see an old friend. Family dinners. Dumb movie nights with fellow laughers. Softball and ultimate with new faces and in wide open spaces.
Sometimes, you need to grapple with the things you fear most in order to move ahead. The rest is gravy.
The lion waits. He sees me through the reeds. He lurks but he lets me walk by.
We often run full throttle for the thing that we think we want, but when we get there, we can't quite remember why we were running in the first place.
This life is nonsensical. It's like the plotline of a thickly layered, madcap, children's fairy tale.
Good people go, bad people stay, and all the while, we all decay.
What separates you from a primate? What is that higher sense that allows you to glean at something just beyond your vantage point?
What the fuck is this hope that we hold on to?
Sometimes, we can all get lost. We wander down pathways that are darkly lit - far away from the sunny fields of raspberry patches and brambles that we once knew.
I remember vinyl table cloths on picnic tables and the first rain of spring.
I remember deep summer - under a tree with a sky full of stars and a belly full of stinging promise.
But those days are long gone. These days, I stray far from the past and I try to blow up the clock of the future and I swim in the ocean of now.
I remember kissing someone and looking to see if their eyes were open. The smell of hair. Soft skin.
I remember belonging to something meaningful.
But then again - it's always meaningful all the time...isn't it?
We just need to accept it, catalogue and move on to the next expedition.
Lions are waiting to be captured.
Turn The Corner
For many nights, you have to suffer. You have to push through the cobwebs and the nervousness and the inability to relax and the insufficiency to let yourself feel good about yourself.
You have to fight your inhibitions with the gloves off and let your stream of constant worries begin to quiet to more of a calming brook that flows by the banks of your life.
But then, a new day comes.
And the rose-coloured glasses are dawned over your tired eyes.
I'm lucky to have all that I have. A loving family, friends who actually care and ask the important questions and really listen, fellow adventurers who are ready to sail into the wake at any moment, music that inspires me to write volumes of terse prose, and enough money to pay the bills.
Beyond that - it's hard to really pine for anything else.
Summer is here and I am beginning to let the sun soak into my calloused skin.
I joined a few sports teams and I have to say - the thrill of exerting yourself to a fully tired point with some new and varied people is a great experience. You feel like you've been through something together - you feel like you've struggled and emerged from a mini-battle with a new horizon vision.
It's going to be alright. You just have to allow yourself to believe that deep and solace-heavy truth.