Fear.


It’s officially All Hallows’ Eve. The night before All Saints’ Day, better known as Hallowe’en. This has got me thinking about fear. I love spooky things. I love the adrenaline rush of a Haunted House. I love thrillers and creepy movies. I love books that can make a shiver creepy up my spine. These are pretend fears. They’re fun, exciting, and hold no real danger. So, it’s not fear. Fear is:

“an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

We love faux danger. We pretend that we’re in danger to get that superficial rush of adrenaline. But what is it that humanity is really afraid of? Of course, the first thing is always Death. We are afraid to parish, to expire, to end. But after Death, what is it that makes us so vulnerable that we react badly, stupidly, panic and do regretful things? It’s pain. It’s not the kind of pain we suffer from injury. No, physical pain is something that’s dealt with on a constant basis, and while we actively avoid it, it doesn’t cause us to commit regretful acts or cause panic.

It’s emotional pain that is the greatest fear of humanity. People don’t want to be hurt. The heart, no matter how hard we believe it to be, is a fragile metaphor for our even more fragile psyches. We act stupidly, rashly, and frantically when we believe our emotions are compromised, when we are in danger of experiencing that terrible torn-up feeling inside. That emotional pain that causes your lungs to tighten in your chest and your pulse to race. We avoid human connection when there is danger of getting hurt.

This is what humanity fears most. Not everyone will agree, that’s fine. But consider how many people are so afraid to make a connection. Consider the amount of anxiety when a new relationship (in any capacity) is forming. We free that if we put ourselves on the line, out there and vulnerable, with a new person that we will be crushed.

I am guilty of this very thing and a lot more recently than I’d like to admit.

Fear is only restrictive. It may be an evolutionary tool that has kept the species alive because the one that feared the big scary beast with fangs hid and survived. In a modern society it only cripples us, stops us from connecting with other people.

It’s a very ponderous Hallowe’en. Cheers Friends. 

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The Very Terrible Old Days


Have you ever gone back and looked at your old writing?

I just spent the better part of an hour going through my old ideas and writing. There are no words, mostly because I brutally murdered them all in my teens! Wow, just wow. It was terrible. Granted, some of my longer story ideas weren’t worth burning, but the angsty poetry was just plain awful. Holy crap, how did I manage to put words together so terribly?

Anything you’re just plain embarrassed about that you’ve written?

The Countess on Marriage


“I realized that you’ve always avoided all but the most rudimentary involvements with men, and, I might add, you’ve been wise. Heterosexual relationships seem to lead only to marriage, and for most poor dumb brainwashed women marriage is the climactic experience. For men, marriage is a matter of efficient logistics: the male gets his good, bed, laundry, TV, pussy, offspring and creature comforts all under one roof, where he doesn’t have to dissipate his psychic energy thinking about them too much – then he is free to go out and fight the battles of life, which is what existence is all about. But for a woman, marriage is surrender. Marriage is when a girl gives up the fight, walks off the battlefield and from then on leaves the truly interesting and significant action to her husband, who has bargained to ‘take care of her.’ What a sad dumb deal. Women live longer than men because they really haven’t been living. Better blue-in-the-face dead of a heart attack at fifty than a healthy seventy-year-old widow who hasn’t had a piece of life’s action since girlhood.”

The Countless – Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins

I have not yet finished reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, but I absolutely love it so far. I think Robbins is now on my favourite authors list. This quote is sensational. While I have no beef with marriage in general, I share a few of the views in this quote. Now, lets put it in context, this is said by a sixty-something homosexual man to a young woman hitchhiker in the mid 70’s. So yes, this view is a little archaic and marriage is a partnership now-a-days. But being a child of divorce myself and seeing 80% of the marriages of my childhood crumble to messy pieces, I can sympathize with this argument. Now, don’t get me wrong (I say that a lot don’t I?) I still believe that some marriages work. Hell, my best friend is married and happier than a clam with tap shoes. But, it’s just not for me.

The real point of this however, is that Tom Robbins is an excellent, humorous, clever, and intellectual writer all at once. I collect quotes such as this one from every book I read. If something hits me and I love it I write it down in my quote notebook. I’ve already taken several from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and have barely transversed the half-way mark. It’s safe to say that when I’m finished Robbins is getting a stellar review… even though this book was published in 1976. But hey, a good review, however late, is always good, right?

Also, I just discovered that they made a movie out of this lovely book in 1993. Who’s going to watch it after finishing the book? Why, me of course!

This Empty Room


This empty room is filled with things.

There are stacks and stacks of papers and files. There are mountains of forgotten toys and dress-up clothes. There are old shoes, some unused, other’s with soles worn through to the floor in all sizes. There’s a wardrobe full of wigs and a rolling clothes rack filed with wings. There’s a vanity mirror in the corner draped with jewelry, crowns, and cluttered with make-up. On the wall behind the vanity mirror there is a collage of masks in every shape and form making the wall invisible. There’s a velvet chair in front of the wall with a stack of dresses pilled to the ceiling. There’s a pair of roller skates, a skateboard, a pair of skies, a parachute, a surfboard, a bicycle, and a scub-suit piled next to the chair. There’s a corner filled with swords, daggers, shields, arrows, bows, armour, knives, axes, hatchets, harpoons, ray guns, light-sabers, and laser beams. There’s a chest sitting open spilling out every kind of tea imaginable. Next to the chest is a nest made of the most comfortable blankets and pillows ever to have grazed bare skin. There’s a mass collection of unlit candles all combined into a certain solid fragrance. There’s a record player with milk-crates bursting with records old and new surrounding it. Everything is covered in dust, except the very centre of the room. There is a circle on the floor where someone has been sitting. The mind is troubled by the emptiness. The circle, if filled, would be facing one wall. And this wall is completely covered, floor to ceiling, left to right with stories.

They are stacked and piled and forced together brimming over the space they’re allotted. Some have been so compressed that they have been pushed together, melding one story with the next. More and more are added to the pile and none of them can escape. None are allowed out or viewed or payed any attention to. The stories are restless and tired of their cramped home. They want to live outside the room, outside this clutter. Each individual needs to breath and yet, they’re forced back into the claustrophobic stack.

The room is shut up by Responsibility, by Expectation, and by Obligation. The three of them sit guarding the door, pushing up against it so nothing can escape. They guard the room with the hopes they all their needs will be met before that door can be opened. But their greed is excessive and they will never want the door to open. Don’t let them out, don’t let them in. The three keepers hold everything, letting nothing seep out over the brim. 

A Little Something…


DSC00008It’s been a crazy few weeks. It’s midterm season and while I have already braved a midterm exam, I have two midterm projects due next week. But then, there’s work. Two jobs… why do I do these things to myself? Factor all that in plus as active social life, an attempt at reviving a long dormant romantic life, and what do you get? You get over worked, exhausted, and a re-injured knee that sends the past year’s progress back to square four, because it’s not as bad as square one, but it’s still pretty rough. Again, why do I do these things to myself?

I’ve been frustrated with my injury and my crazy life. But, as I didn’t get called in to work my second shift tonight I decided to go for a walk. It’s Fall and my favourite time of year. I love the way the leaves turn and crunch underfoot, I love the way the air is crisp and fresh, and I love the way the frost hangs on the grass in the morning only to turn into tiny dew drops by the time the sun peaks over the horizon.

DSC00009

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am that I live in such a beautiful place. I’ve got nature literally at my front door. Although I’m technically in a suburb, every way I turn I see mountains. Every morning I drive down this hill and as I first descend I have the most beautiful view of the mountains and when the fog has rolled in over the city it’s one of the most serene sights.

So, I strolled around my neighbourhood and went through our little park. I turned into the forest and felt the leaves under the soles of my shoes. I took in deep breaths of chilled air and wandered around to the local elementary school. There was a young girl’s soccer team practicing on the field and the sight caused a ting of sadness in my chest. I miss my team and the game. Alas, I can barely run with my knee in its current state, let alone kick a  ball and take a tackle.

DSC00017As I turned around to walk back towards my little home, I started to think about writing. Yes, I know I think about this a lot. But, what am I actually writing about? What are any of us actually writing about? What does any artist actually try to convey? It’s all a little something called Life. It’s not like I stumbled on to some great epiphany, I assure you, I did not. But, when I really think about it, all art is trying to do is convey life, in any way possible. We’re all just trying to explain what it is that this crazy consciousness means or is or can be. No one really has the words or the flash or the brush strokes to be able to convey enough of it to reveal any semblance of understanding. But, we try.

Despite all my silly life issues, I forget to remember that everything is just Life. No one person’s happiness or pain is more important than another’s. We’re all in this crazy mixed up world together. Since Humanity could first lift their heads and look up at the sky, we’ve been trying to survive, to understand, to explain. This is it ladies and gentlemen, this is it.DSC00012

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(During my walk I was listening to the album The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place by Explosions in the Sky. So very perfect.)