YES, I’M STILL IN EDMONTON

As a lot of you might already know, I’m Southern Alberta born and raised. I grew up in a little town an hour south of Calgary. We had to drive an hour, both ways, to go see a movie, and if you wanted to buy a new pair of jeans it involved a well-planned trip into the city on a Saturday morning. The only time to get to Costco or Ikea were, heaven forbid, the middle of the day on a weekend. I moved to Calgary to go to university and ended up calling it home for about eight years before I made the move to Edmonton just under a year and a half ago.

If you know Alberta, you know there is a hotly contested battle between the province’s capital and its largest city. I’ll admit as a former Calgarian and Southern Alberta kid there was little worse than the idea of Edmonton. Edmonchuck. Edmondump. Deadmonton. Before I moved to Edmonton, I had been here a total of 3 times. Once in elementary school to visit the legislature building and twice as a 20 something year old to visit my brother who also calls this city home. This, of course, is not enough to judge a city’s character, but boy, did we ever.

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Wedding Bells are Ringing, Bouquets are Flying.

Well ladies and gentlemen, its spring in this fine country we call home. Amongst other things it means longer days, warmer nights, the perpetual hunt for an open patio spot, oh, and weddings. So many weddings. “It’s wedding season” you’ll start to utter as your weekends quickly become occupied with each impending nuptial that your close friends and family invite you to. Don’t get me wrong, I love a wedding. If you don’t love weddings you’re going to the wrong weddings, because they ones I’m going to are awesome.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. I’m here to defend my long-standing title as winner of the bouquet toss. As you may or may not know, I am the proud, seven-time-champion of the single ladies showdown.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, a bouquet toss isn’t something to be too competitive about and I should just sit back down. Well, you might not be entirely wrong, but if you’re going to parade me onto the dance floor with the fellow finely dressed, unmarried women at your party with the promise of matrimony, I’m going to give it my all. There is the potential of a wedding of my own on the line, and lifelong happiness. Don’t forget the lifelong happiness. And really ladies, there’s nothing sadder than an apathetic bouquet toss.

Continue reading “Wedding Bells are Ringing, Bouquets are Flying.”

Love and War.

It’s all real.


Heroine

I find myself addicted
To the smile in your eye.
To the laughter on your lips.
I find myself addicted
To the wit that whips your tongue.
To the way you walk away.

I find myself addicted
To the way you make me want.
To the crushing of my heart.
I find myself addicted
To the weakness and the pain.
To the way you walk away.

I find myself addicted.
To the heroine in my veins.


And then she knew

It washed over me all at once. It was such a funny thing, such a simple moment when I suddenly knew. And I knew as if I’d always known. It was knowing that the sky was blue, but finally noticing it for the first time. A flashbulb burst, illuminating everything I’d never understood.

It wasn’t even a special moment. You weren’t even there. It was a Monday. I was dropping off my dry cleaning.

And there it was.

Simple. Obvious. Subtle. It wasn’t passionate, lust filled, jealous. I just knew I could trust you and you could trust me.

It was warmth and ease. It was trust and space.

It was love.


NEVER GIVE ALL THE HEART

By W.B.Yeats

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.


John Keats Love Letter to Fanny Brawne – 13 October, 1819

You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often “to reason against the reasons of my Love.” I can do that no more – the pain would be too great – My Love is selfish – I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever
John Keats

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?

Continue reading “She Stumbles.”

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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When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be

by John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
   Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
   Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
   Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
   That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
   Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

A practice in prose.

Today’s the day

Today’s the day.

I thought yesterday was the day, but it wasn’t. I was wrong. It’s today.

Today’s the day.

Yesterday I was scared. Mom says that’s ok though. She says, even she gets scared sometimes. I don’t know what she has to be scared about. She’s a grown up.

But not me, not today. Today I’m going to be brave. Mom says its important to be brave.

“If we aren’t brave we never learn new things” Mom always says.

“and Samantha,” she says “you can be brave.”

Continue reading “A practice in prose.”

“HOPE” IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS

By Emily Dickinson
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.