Reasons I Find It Hard To Wake Up

You should see the Chinatown I dreamed last night.
Rooftop dumpling and noodle cafe, looking over a courtyard bustling with humans and leafy shade trees, surrounded by crumbling brick buildings, held together by ancient layers of multicoloured, peeling paint in graphic shapes. Windows filmy with time and steam, tall windows framed by brick arches and packed with hanging plants, drummers practicing inside.  At street level grocery stores with avocados and yams as big as your head and tea counters full of all the artists, talking, crying, laughing, their exquisite shoes in various states of disrepair, and having to ask them to move to get to the precarious stacks of giant produce, everyone laughing boisterously when a pile rolled onto the creaky old wood floor.  Friends’ apartments in odd shapes at the peaks of buildings, with window seats and skinny steep stairs down from sitting rooms to kitchens to bedrooms.  Soft pinks and lacy curtains.  And kissing old friends met on cobblestone, music in their eyes and mouths, as we laughed about how hard it was to come down from trips to Calgary.  I wondered in my dream how I hadn’t known this Chinatown existed, after all my years of living here, and how I could live in one of those falling down places, draped in silk, home with my tribe.


What I Would Have Said To You If You Had Ever Been Born

saw a man and a baby, the man was jogging, pushing the baby in a stroller. The man looked like it hurt so much, to be jogging. I thought, that man is going to drop dead of a heart attack on the seawall, leaving that baby alone. Then a few minutes later the man did drop dead, and I saw him fall, and I was there. I called 911 and took that baby out of the stroller and held her on my knee while I talked to the 911 operator. Someone asked to the general crowd where the baby from the stroller was and I said I have her, and everyone could see she was happy there. 

"It's going to be okay, little baby," I said, "don't worry, don't worry."  We both looked at the mountains a while. Then I sighed, and said, "No, it's never going to be okay." That baby listened. She held eye contact and furrowed her brow and pursed her lips. 

"It will be with you all through your life, informing your choices and identity. You will search a long time, baby, for that missing piece of your heart. But this is your story, and it will make you interesting, and complex, and you will have to decide how to be all those things, use them. Let it happen, baby."

Then the fire department came and then the police, and finally an ambulance. Not very reassuring if you're waiting to be saved, but that man wasn't waiting, he was dead. There was activity and questions and then someone took that baby out of my arms and she started wailing. Some time her mother arrived, too, and started wailing, too, and they nearly harmonized. I noticed the resonance specifically. 


The Inevitable

I am nearly ready to get the laundry from the dryer.  Right after I bang on the wall a bit, to let the neighbours know the thumping bass is penetrating even the concrete between us. I bang on the gyp rock wall, not the concrete one, though, so as not to break my hand, and so there's a possibility of being heard.

I believe myself to be the crazy lady. Do you know what I mean? I talk to myself a lot in my home, and often wonder if anyone just stops in front of my apartment door and listens to me. I speak in voices, do scenes with myself, angrily rant about what's broken in the apartment, how cold and stupid it is, complain to myself about the dumbassness of people, cry sometimes, very occasionally wail, and, once, such protracted screaming that I was surprised no one came to check on me or called the police. Every once in a while in life, the only thing that works is a good, long, loud scream.

Are the gods wrathful or kind? Within me or without? It is hard to tell because even when things don't go my way I can never be sure if it is because of the gods, or in spite of the gods, or if it is the exact thing I need at that exact moment, and the gods know, so I ought to just accept it. "Enlightenment is cooperation with the inevitable." This is my favourite thing I have heard lately, and I'm really, really sorry, but I can't remember the man's name who wrote it in a book. If you look it up on the internet, using a search engine of your choosing, the whole sentence, you'll find the writer lickety split. I know, I've looked it up before, but forget now. "But, Riel", you may well be gearing up to ask, "you're using the internet right as you're writing this entry, so why wouldn't you just Goo(my hand pops out and clamps over your mouth, to stop you from using that damn word as a word and to use other words to convey your meaning so you do)I mean, why wouldn't you just look it up using a search engine of your choice right now right while you're already most of the way there?" Good question. Sigh. One sec.   

 Just hum a little while you wait, to pass the time. Hmmm, hmm, dum de dum, la la la, mmmm, hhhmmm,

Anthony de Mello is the fellow who wrote the quote in a book.

I came on here to talk about depression, and this is what happened instead. Ain't life a funny old bear?



Royal Oak Burial Park

Had a strangely beautiful afternoon with my dad at the Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria this past Sunday. We went to look at the green burial part of the cemetery, because he's started thinking about where to be interred. Or whether to be cremated. Or what. It was an easier and more beautiful conversation and walk than you might imagine. I personally think he's going to be around for quite a long while yet, but I'm glad he's not scared, and is willing to talk about what he wants. Our cycle is what it is, no matter how hard people try to stop aging and cheat death, and his making peace with the process is an inspiring thing. Probably this cemetery won't be his end game, too much highway noise plus a realization that maybe being cremated and having a little of himself scattered in all his favourite places in the world would be better. What's funny is how he is not afraid of dying, but he is worried about spending eternity in Victoria. I hear ya, dad.


I Dream In Not So Subtle Analogies

I woke so many times and each time felt fatigue flood my body, forcing me back to sleep, going back to the same dream, until it had concluded, like I was in an alternate reality that would not let me go until my task was completed.  I slept so late.

I dreamed fascism came to us.  It started in the schools, where else?  I saw it coming and tried to escape slowly and quietly, but was thwarted at every turn by doors that were locked, guards that appeared suddenly, first jovial and in costumes, under the guise of keeping the students safe.  A festival was named, there was food and a circus atmosphere, so that most did not feel the yoke tightening.  The more I tried to run the harder it was to move my feet, and the more I felt myself whispering instead of yelling.  Those whispers, though, they found their way to the ears of those who also recognized the signs.  We spoke falsehoods out loud to each other as a diversion, while writing the truth in notes.  We made borscht, giant pots of it, and from under the sound of the rhythmic chopping of the beets and onions - we chopped yams and carrots and sweet potatoes, too, but only as a distraction, they were never intended for our soup, just a pile of colours to dazzle scrutinizing eyes - from the rhythm of the chopping was born a plan.  More joined us, and we continued to make individual and easily detectable escape attempts, to be thrown back over and over.  But quietly we built strength, and with coded messages and well timed precision, one night we ran en masse and I was thrown far over the wall by the hands of many who sacrificed themselves for the cause, so I could run and run and spread the word, to free us from the isolation of silence.

Before this I also dreamed a talking horse would not let me out of buying it, for the steep price of seven apples.  So who am I that my dreams are to be trusted?