Kafka on the Shore

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

-Haruki Murakami

You’ve Been Found Guilty of Being Female in Public

Real things that have happened to me while minding my own business in public:

  1. The path curves as I repeat to myself, ‘you’re almost home, just keep this pace.’ Training has been going well and I’m feeling strong; strong but tired and it’s hot out. Cars zip past me on the nearby roadway. A slightly beaten up red VW of some kind slows, the windows roll down as the five, likely sweaty, 17 year olds crammed inside start to bark in my direction before driving off laughing.
  1. Leaving a bar in the Netherlands around 4 in the morning I stand in the narrow laneway waiting for my friends. It’s the kinda place that would be intimidating had this been Canada and not the norm in my home-away-from-home. It’s my last week and emotions are running high; I’ve been drinking for hours and standing seems like a lot of work. Laughing as my best friends come out of the bar, a man walks by and grabs my ass.

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She Stumbles.

I’ve been struggling to write lately.

It isn’t for a lack of time. I have made plenty of time to sit at my laptop with a browser open. I’ve watched the curser smugly flash on a blank document as if to say, ‘what? nothing? Come on, impress me.‘ Just to give in to the ease of distraction.

And it isn’t for a lack of topics, my head is constantly bubbling with things to write about. My head jumps from thought to thought and I ponder what I would say about it, how I could argue it, or why I feel so strongly.

And it isn’t because I don’t want to. For me, writing is cathartic and its therapeutic, it forces me to focus my energy, make a decision about something, and practice an art I want to be better at. Writing, makes me to decide what I think about things and why. I have to clear my mind of everything else and just ponder one idea.

So why the trouble?

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Snowboarding, Ego, and Unabashedly Being a Beginner

I went to Jasper last weekend to go snowboarding with some friends. Being from the south end of this province, I’d never been and was excited to ride a new hill.

Up until about a season and a half ago I’d been a skier. Sure I’d tried the old snowboarding gig on a junior high ski trip when it was the trendy thing to do but I got fed up with being so much slower than all my friends that I gave it up just as quickly as I started. I’d periodically tried again a few times on day trips but I just never really got into it. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t ski often so I may as well enjoy it when I do.’

I hung up the board and decided to keep my feet uncomfortably in rented ski boots with mis-matching poles. I have no complaints about being a skier though, I really like skiing, but I always had this nagging ambition to learn how to snowboard. I hated that I felt I would never be good at it. I needed to get over that. The trouble, though, was it meant spending days on the greens, the bunny hills, falling down, being awful at something, and not getting to go up the fun chairs with my friends to the powdery blue runs. Ugh.

Being a beginner is tough.

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