Sunday, July 24, 2011

Way Back Playback

Every once in a while I happen across one of my old blogs. I read it out of curiosity and am never disappointed by what I find. The one that was in the one year span before I met Mike is a particularly good one. Things that I notice are all to a similar tune. I was so SO so SO self involved. Like, living in my own head to the extent that I could hardly even lift it to see the things around me. Half of the posts involve me complaining about having to get up before eleven. This should be tempered by the fact that I haven't slept in past eight thirty in two and a half years. Since it wasn't that long ago that I wrote the blog, I also remember writing some of the entries. I remember the way I skirted around some topics, leaving little signposts to jog my own memory, but no one elses. I would allude to the fact that I was tired, but not mention it was because I had been up all night arguing with my problematic boyfriend. I had that grace, at least.

I was also constantly trying to convince myself of my own happiness. "It's not always like this" I would write "my life is filled with light and colour and love." I don't think I really believed that, but in a way, writing things down always makes them feel true. Despite these lies, I was more honest back then, too. Something about being a mom tricked my reflex to self-improve that just wasn't there before. It didn't seem worth it. It didn't seem like something I would waste my time doing. I was who I was, and it made every moment with every person who was willing to take me as I was incredibly precious. I miss those connections now, as I try to become a picture of what a mother 'should' be, and avoid the judgement of others. While it may not be genuine, it is for the sake of my child who has no say in whether his mother is socially acceptable or not.

Of course, some things never change. I am still the romantic that I once was. I still watch movies and picture myself living la vie boheme again. Living in Paris, or New York, or L.A. or a cabin in the woods. I want all of these things, and none of them. I miss Montreal, and the person I once was that had time to think and dig deep within herself for Truth and Beauty and What Has Been Repressed. I despise her, too, and am glad to be rid of her, and the people that liked what she represented. But I don't regret anything, and I am so happy that the twisted road lead me to who and where I am today.

And so, I will leave you with a way-back playback of the good old days:

I'm at the doctor's office, trying to enact a retrospective-type perspective on the present. It's no easy task, because I don't know how time will make me look back on this moment. I may be just as jaded as I am now, decrying the bitchy secretary who I hung up on earlier in the day. Laughing at my vanity, as I sink further into the chair, wearing my toque in 20 plus degree air inside, just to hide the current condition of my skin. I may look back fondly, as the time when I had XYZ. But I don't know what I'll lose, or what will become more precious with time. I don't know if I'll miss the taste of jolly ranchers, or using my computer in public places stealing wireless internet, or the sidelong glance every man in the room gave me when I walked in. I may just be filled with regret, neither sad nor happy. A wish that I would have done something, or everything, a little differently.

So what can we ascertain from this, if we wish to live without regret (as I obviously do, and you do too if you know me and I've deemed you a decent human)?  Well, that we should respect what comes our way, firstly. That we should appreciate the fickle nature of our bodies and our surroundings. That we should look at one moment with a schizophrenic flurry of emotions, both happy and sad, positive and negative. We should realize that regret, like guilt, is pointless. Regret is guilt that has been left to ferment, rise, and become something even less fixeable. Guilt can be tossed aside with one decision, whereas years of regret are far more difficult to assuage with such resolution.
I don't think I regret much, and therefore I can deduce that this pointless little moment in time that I wont' remember save for this blog entry, will not be regretted either. More likely it will be missed. The hard angles will be softened by my nostalgia, and I'll tell someone; I used to live in Montreal...

It seems sad that Montreal must be added to the litany of cities and towns I've inhabited, but it must be done. I am a nomad, at heart.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The salty soil, they say, is at fault here for the tiny trees that are one hundred years old but never grow larger than saplings. The salty air makes wood rot and paint peel, and faces age before their time. The humidity in summer has a sting of salt, a taste around the mouth of tears, or sweat.

After we returned from our journey, Ender and I took a walk in this salty air. The humidity and the silence gave a sense of being inside an enormous hallway. My neighbours, forced out to the step, glistening with sweat and trying to keep cool, take furtive sips from a flask passed lightly from fingertip to fingertip. All floats in this heavy air. Strains of ukelele make their way down the street, saying "Sleep-sleep-sleep." Ender's head bobs and falls, taken over by the salt-magic, the pull of the ocean, of home. His tiny hands relax upon his lap, open, offering.

I pick him up from his stroller, his head falls heavily against me and I steady myself on the wooden shingles of our home. The new paint has begun to peel, as though the joy from this house had caused the shingles to burst and ripple.  I walk as smoothly as I can up the stairs, each step a tiny creak, "Sleep-sleep-sleep." Upstairs, my husband is napping, and I place our son in his bed alongside ours. Salt facilitates electric conduction. Between the two of them, there is an unconcious connection. They each roll to face one another, faces slack and arms outstretched.

I make my way downstairs, slow steps that feel like gliding. Each movement saying, "sleep-sleep-sleep".