The Sun Is Shining

After no sleep all nightlong, I decided to take my tired puffy eyes on a hike!

It was soooo quiet….

The air was crisp and incredibly fresh!

The sun? Glorious.

The deer and their yearlings?! Still lounging peacefully in the woods! (3rd pic) You can spot them if you zoom in. They said to say good day to you.

My renewed, and renowned optimism?! I met with it right on that trail 👇! And it gave me a big hug!

Nostalgia

“It’s coming.

The Nostalgia.

In a matter of three days, the woman who says to others ‘don’t cry! Not worth it’, then usually bursts into laughter! Will be collecting little bits and pieces, in the corners of empty rooms…left behind…..All now, just objects….of all the missing. Remnants of all the warmth that was once there, and now?! The only things left behind! echos …coldness…silence and so much void!

She hates goodbyes! But who really ‘loves’ goodbyes?! When people have been living, running around and laughing, right there…all around in your heart, for days! How does it make any sense…to watch them…waving goodbye…then disappearing behind airports’ check-in lines?!

Some people, I guess, never leave your heart! Instead, they just seem to settle in and get more comfortable, every time they visit you again.”

I wrote this three days ago. I decided to ‘hide’ it. Why? Because it carries pain and sadness. But you know, sometimes, pain and sadness, need to be seen. I won’t deny my own full admiration, and even borderline obsession, with ‘grace’! And with ‘strength’. I will not tell you, I can easily withstand allowing others, to watch me….cry! I am not going to pretend, I have finally made, my peaceful treaty with vulnerability! Where I can let you see me break! I am simply incapable of admitting certain weaknesses I have. And I may never, ever, allow others, to glance at my Achilles heel! And trust me I do have one! Maybe more than one!

My foibles. My weak spots. My frailty. All of those, I usually hide and guard! Very carefully.

I also absolutely hate, to make you sad.

I want to make ‘your’ day better. Not worse. And that’s another big reason, why I hid that post three days ago.

Then it hit.

See! I have three people in this big gigantic world, that I am capable of actually missing! And one of those, was here over Christmas! That’s aaaaaall it took! And the missing?! When it started! Today?! Yes earlier today! Precisely, at 1:26 pm. You can imagine the…ferocity!

I tried distracting myself. I hate the mall. Yet I went straight to the mall, after the airport. I walked around…aimlessly. I did many u turns in and out of busy stores. In. I’d walk straight. People buzzing all around! Then, would turn around. Walk straight back again. And?! Out. It was nauseating. Lots and lots of teenagers too. At the mall! Happy, elated, lively… teenagers. Slurping their reddish sugary Starbucks…drinks! I just watched…

I even went to the flamboyant and exaggeratedly renovated, food court! And yes I did consume some foodcourt Greek food, and did some more people watching!

I was absolutely distracted!

It all worked for a couple hours! Until I decided if I was to spend one more minute, amidst that madness, I would forever declare myself…a mall rat! And I shall join hands, with all the mall rats there, befriend as many as I can on Facebook, and share Instagram mall selfies with them ALL! For eternity.

Thank Goodness I didn’t!

So there I was. Back at the now empty house!

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Looked the same!

The Christmas treats on the credenza, laying there in their now, messy… brown pleated little paper wrappings, looked…neglected! Reminding me of beautiful brown little graves, their coffins were robbed overnight, and turned neglectfully to the side! Sad, lonely, reflecting the greyish air…all around. No beauty or grace left.

The swing-arm lamp, with its longer neck lowered and to the side, looked, as if it was embarrassed of its sudden loneliness and..also very sad!

Everything looked, empty.

So…I cried. And the missing began.

The Breathless Brain

Her brain is tired of searching for something to lose herself into. Her brain, has been repeating all morning:

– please..please..tell your crazy thoughts to slow down! I’m having such a hard time keeping up! I am NOT that old young brain anymore! Maybe you need to pay a little attention to my health…

Her brain was now panting! She glanced at it. Its fingers gripping both knees..its poor torso, all bent down and forward…

At first, she felt bad for it! Then?! Couldn’t help herself, so she released her infamous devilish giggle….And immediately threw her hands up in the air apologizing!

Her brain is now dimly looking at her! A frown is definitely forming on its ‘already’ wrinkled face! So she can’t help but laugh some more!

– Now, what on earth are you laughing about?! What’s so suddenly incredibly funny! Because..’I’ sure don’t see it!!!

More laughter…

– I just …

– Just WHAT?!

Brain is now looking really upset!

– I just…never thought…

– Never thought?!…what!!!

– Never thought….you could possibly get more wrinkles than the ones you already have!

Hahahaha …She’s now laughing so hard..holding her stomach.

Brain is trying to stay in control and to not give in to her latest childish behaviour.

– Yah….laugh away.

It said rolling its eyes.

She on the other hand, is wiping out her laughing tears with her hands…

– Well…I’m really sorry! But I think it was incredibly funny watching you frown!

– Great!

– So…you were saying?!

Her eyes are now trying to look a little..serious! But a silly grin is still there..The brain is not buying it.

– I was PLEADING!

– For?!

– For your thoughts to slow down! What else???!

– What about my thoughts?! Please don’t be vacuous!!….Don’t you like it when I get you to…exercise those muscles of yours?!

– ….Um…YES! BUT…not to the point where I’m going 200 miles/hour! Since like I said: I am having a hard time keeping up! It’s disconcerting to me! To say the least! Obviously, not to you!

– Ok! I’ve only been thinking of a few things! ….But without any high drama or histrionics! At least give me that! I may’ve been..crooning at times even! While thinking…And ‘that’ my friend, shows…calm and…decorum….No?!

– UM NO!!!! NO!……..And I will NEITHER fall for your guile nor your artifice! Since 8:30 am, you’ve been thinking of:

Skating on that frozen lake, playing more music, playing table tennis in the basement, your latest Bon Iver & Novo Amor resemblances discussion, how SMART you felt that conversation was, missing Ozzy the horse, wondering what Ozzy the horse is up to today, is he happy?, your chocolate lab needing to run, the nonstop snacking over Christmas, your best friend separating from her spouse over Christmas, how sweet and wonderful your spouse has been over the past week, introversion issues, YOUR introversion issues, his extroversion issues, your neighbors and spending NewYear’s Eve with them tomorrow, how you think you’ve gained weight in the past ten days or so, worrying they’ll think this is your ‘usual’ waistline, but then focusing on that jumpsuit from that expensive store that you haven’t worn yet but how you really hope it will hide all those Christmas indulgences, catching yourself being shallow, wallowing over such trite thoughts with MORE trite thoughts, going back to that ubiquitous nostalgia at this time of year, about your old NewYear’s memories…

Brain was now looking, rather a little less wrinkled! Its confidence?! Cannot not be discernible…As it continued:

– Do I need to keep going!? Myyy Goodness! There’s a constant not-enoughness of thoughts about ANYTHING really, since you woke me up this morning! The expediency has been…exhausting!

– Fine!….I’ll go fetch you a ‘sophisticated’ glass of wine! To match your ‘sophisticated’ argument….Good job

…now….Relax…

She laughed as she disappeared around the corner

Run Wild Child

The moose watched her lock her red door, walk across the little bridge then start running!

Nostalgic blue rodeo melodies and tunes, filled her ears, and started competing with the speed and pounding sound, of her running steps! All now playing to the drumming echos, of her pounding heart!

They all held hands and ran together! Until they all formed a rhythmic mass, unaware of the forest, the trees, the snow on the ground, the squirrels yelling their protesting screech and then deciding to just run the opposite way, just incase, this running creature, might decide to run vertically, climb up trees, and take over their cozy nests!

‘Is she another imposter!? Is she another desperate soul, living in her head, while running the snowy trails, to feel…a little…alive?!’ The moose scratched his beard! He has seen so manny running, walking, fleeing, chasing.. creatures, throughout this snowy forest! And he’s sure he’s seen her before.

‘There’s so much out there…there’s so much to experience’…The moose finally tuned in, to her thoughts among the loud tunes, as he watched her run! Run away from her old skin. Her daily rituals, shackled to her ankles, running along with her! He lifted up one hoof, like an index finger…gesturing! He wanted to tell her ‘hey…I think, it’s best to leave all those shackles behind! And just run free for the next hour!’. But she’s not one known to listen! So the moose lowered his raised hoof back down! And sighed.

‘One day, she’ll either settle down! Or lose herself to the intoxicating freedom of this forest…and never come back! But at least, she’s always…smiling’

Older & Wiser

2018, you’ve taught me a lot! You’ve changed me a lot too!

You’ve been the year where I did a lot of growing up! Cut my hair (my shield all these years) shorter, added more hi lights, as you kept gifting me with more greys, and gained more wrinkles, but also more wisdom in the process.

I sure made mistakes while you were watching too! Yet you didn’t tell anyone! Thank you for keeping my secrets.

2018, you’ve woken me up everyday, got me out of bed, and tucked me in at night. Your eyes, followed me through, every single day! And now! You are ready to say goodbye. Ready to become history! My history! Everyone’s history!

2018, you were much kinder to me than some of your previous sisters! And I thank you for that!

You have taught me to laugh more, cry less, love more, forgive more, listen more and be more understanding. I can say, I am very grateful, to have become a better version of who I used to be, under your watch.

2018, it wasn’t all smooth sailing! But such is life, and that’s how it will always be!

I stand here, waving you goodbye! The countdown, has already begun! And I can’t help, but feel a deep gratitude for all the lessons, and all that I’ve learnt!

2018, you’ve helped me add more to this scary world! I am so lucky I was able to do that! And I truly hope, that I’ll continue to give light, hope and warmth to others in the upcoming year! And warm up my own heart walking beside them, when the road gets a little lonely for me; and learn from ‘their’ light.

Little Story

She used to pass by this cathedral on King Street West, Toronto! On her way to college and back! Everyday.

There were smiling lovers cuddling on benches around, while some would be shooting up in darker corners, and others laid inside their sleeping bags, on sheets of cardboard, wishing they were forever forgotten, so they didn’t have to feel anything, anymore!

The contradictions, where everywhere she looked! But she still passed by all of it, smiling, then not smiling, then smiling again. It was Toronto with all its warmth, chilly indifference, exuberance, misery, livelihood, destitution, grandeur and decay!

Today, 15 years later, she passed by that cathedral, then sat on one of its benches.

Her hands clutching a warm coffee! The vapour travelled up to her cold face, and spread its warmth! She felt the sweet tingle!

The cold air, smelled exactly the same 15 years ago! Nothing has changed, she thought to herself, until…

Until, she spotted him, sitting on another bench a few yards away! He had aged! His hair is more silver now! His thick handsome beard, doesn’t seem as lucky, and instead, although it does look wiser, the bluish grey is painted all over it now. She is surprised to feel she likes it even more than she used to!

He was still sitting there…engrossed in deep thoughts. ‘As usual’ she thought to herself! This time around, she decided to go sit beside him, and find out what they were!

She thought about her impulsive decision for a second! Would he think she’s crazy! Would he think she is intrusive! Would he stand up, look down at her in dismay, then leave?!

Can I Just Drink Coffee

Four years ago, that was me at this time of year. A small business owner. A cozy little corner in a building in the city, that hosted me everyday, for five years. This was where I spent hours and hours, behind the espresso bar. This was where, I used to come after hours, to roast some more coffee, feel the unusual quietness to the place, when it used to be just me, my Diedrich humming, and ‘Florence & The Machine’…

Lots of memories of a happier self.

In those days, I didn’t need hi-lights to hide any grey hair! And I needed way less…sleep to bounce back the following morning!

I can say, I’m still happy. I can say, I can still laugh a lot, even more these days! But my happiness, took on a different flavour.

I don’t believe in feeling sorry for myself! I know it helps nothing. So I try to create a new life, in this secluded snowy forest, away from the city. But…I do…miss the city!

I miss my old shop. I miss my customers! I miss the lineups. I miss how we did it ‘right’. I miss playing my favourite albums while working. I miss…creating smiles.

Nothing comes close to that flavour of happiness!

Today, I have so much to do, again. It’s a couple days before Christmas, and there’s a long list of things that need done!

I just…want to sit here…feeling the calm before the storm..enjoying the quietness of my house…the only sound is the dog yawning.

I want to make more coffee, think some more about life, forget about my bad diet lately, ignoring my running routine, my alcohol consumption yesterday, when I realized I had 2 Heineken and 2 glasses full of (awfully sweet and yuckie, eggnog and rum), followed by posting a silly picture of my happy legs in high heels that I hardly wear! Then later took down when I realized its inappropriateness, after I was done working and consuming that awful sweet creamy concoction! What was I thinking?!

The alcohol indulgence yesterday, was stretched over 5 hours, and it did help calm down my loneliness while working! So, I’m not going to practice any unnecessary self loathing. After all..it is Christmas.

Why is it so easy to blame ourselves?! I think…as I pour myself another cup of amazing delicious coffee that has zero gram of guilt added!

Why are we able to support others, be there for them, pour our energy into feeling their pain and then try lifting them up, but then…pick up a whip, and slash ourselves, for the slightest transgression?!

Empty words of ‘self love’ are everywhere…and they are just that…empty.

Let’s make our own ‘self love’ speeches and quotes.

Let’s try, even for just today, to say ‘no’, when we catch ourselves, hating our bodies, our waistlines, our hair (or lack of it ;), skin, noses, height, weird whatever, and all the labels we attach to ourselves and our self worth! Would we rather be beautiful people with perfect everything, but hollow inside, lacking wit and intelligence, greedy and narcissistic, and with nothing…to give to anyone?! I’d personally rather not! I’ll take a kind, smart, intelligent, confident in their abilities unattractive person, over a stunningly attractive but shallow and witless one, any day!

I need to more coffee..or I’ll have to start working.

Follow up on Stuck

I was embarrassed to mention more funny, hilarious and inconceivable details! Fearing boring everyone. But, this am, I kept thinking of the whole experience, and laughing!

– There was no cell coverage where I became stuck! Basically, I was driving on my way to do the Christmas delivery, then after a certain point, I noticed cell coverage just dropped!

Humans apparently, live in those big beautiful rustic homes, but I could imagine, they must also spend a significant amount of their time, wondering whether it’s good or bad, not belonging to…..civilization! And perhaps, performing the random cursing session, at cell-phone/internet companies for forgetting them!

– I had a light sweater on. No heavy jacket. Not mitts. No scarf etc. I had foolishly thought ‘it’ll only take half an hour to go there and back’. I was warm and happy in my little coffee roasting lab, before loading my car with red jolly coffee gift baskets I had just finished packaging; then jumping into that silly delicate car, and driving away without proper winter gear!

Lesson: Always be prepared when in the woods. The temperature fluctuates during the day! It could suddenly dip, or worse, you can hit the ditch driving, and if you get stuck! Good luck…….or continue listening to ‘The National’s ‘I Need My Girl’, while shedding your precious tears, hovering over your tires, hoping it’ll melt the snow around them, and magically free you from your agonizing, and possibly catastrophic situation!

So, as it usually happens in ‘the movies’, I had no way of contacting a tow truck by phone or text message!

Did I send a smoke signal?!

Did I scribble ‘HELP’ and strapped to the back of a deer, then sent him to alert other humans around to my emergency situation?!

What do you think?!


Image: Unsplash. Adriann Meyer (is he a neighbour?! One in grey tuke that drives a black hummer?! I could’ve sworn I know that driveway!’

Stuck

Here I was! Stuck at the end of a customer’s very long, up and down, and as if that’s not enough, full of twists and turns…driveway!

The weather has been surprisingly warm lately! Yes yes I know that’s good! But driveways in this neck of the woods at the foothills of the mountains, seem to lose their driveway minds every time it happens! And whenever it warms up around here, especially these days right before Christmas, they somehow, all decide to shout out with glee ‘IT’S WARM OUT’, and then they all turn into… shiny and glowing reindeer skating rings!

So there I was, backing up on that skating ring of a driveway, wearing my ‘red now from stress’ and very shiny coffee roaster nose!

My older little BMW, became hysterical when it sensed the icy driveway beneath its tires, as I was backing up to exit the narrow driveway! I had just made it all the way through the gate, even all the way to the top! And just finished dropping off 15 corporate coffee gift baskets!

Then?! At the end of the driveway, (technically it’s the front, but I’m backing up remember?!) My dopey sophomoric car, suddenly yelled ‘OH MY GOSH! NOW I AM REALLY SKIDDING!’ And it started panicking and speeding on its own, all while sliding backwards and downhill! I had to quickly swerve to miss the right wing of the gate! Then?! It..decided ‘well now I’m going to just hit the ditch and…STOP!’! And boom, it stoped!

Everything now went…quiet!

I tried going forward! The stubborn car refused to move even one inch!

I opened my driver door, stepped outside, my arms are now crossed, and I could’ve sworn, that I saw my subnormal car’s aristocratic lights (eyes), looking wide open and full of complete terror! The car was…in utter shock! I said ‘hey, don’t look at me! I didn’t do this! You did!’

As I stood there, looking at my stiff, awry, and completely frightened German car; my own feelings were, a jumble of frustration, disappointment and disbelief! A neighbour’s voice is echoing in my ear ‘stop being stubborn, and just get a real car’…

At one point, as I circled around the car, I contemplated kicking those winter tires that were sitting there, 2 of them on ice, hanging by their useless tire teeth! the other two! They just sat there, whimpering and crying for help! Drowning, in a foot of snow!

I wanted to yell ‘gaaaaaa’. Then have the echo of my voice, wake all the forest’s birds, make them all get up at once, and flee the wrath of my frustrated scream!

However, I thought of the rest of the wildlife in the forest surrounding me, then decided to opt out of tire kicking and screaming. I thought, what if they call out to some wise old deer or moose, to hurry and check out what’s going on, who may then start lecturing me about self control!

I decided, the last thing I needed, was a lecture from an old white tailed deer, or a greying slow moving moose today!

By now, my German car, was obviously experiencing an existential crisis:

‘I don’t belong to this climate! So what on earth am I doing here?! Get me out of here! And drive me somewhere warm, and leave me there! And don’t come back for me! EVER…’

I couldn’t believe my ears! Especially…when “The National” was still playing on the car stereo inside…and ironically, I heard this part of the song playing ‘I should live in salt..for leaving you behind’…

I am so leaving this car behind….very soon.

The Last Time We Were Kids

Do I have the luxury to write this morning, before the tides of busyness, drag me into their whooshing arms, toss me from side to side, then spit me out on shore at the end of the day, where I will lay, tattered and covered with salt, sand and seaweeds.

Coffee to get roasted. Then packaged. Then placed into attractive transparent cages. Pretty bows on top. I don’t mind that part!

Then later, I will watch myself getting pulled, by the subtle currents of domesticity! Where I’ll be putting my ‘I love baking Christmas cookies aaaaall day…alone’ apron on! While dreaming of someone who’d bake them with me and throw a fist of giggling floury dust in my direction! Then realizing how ‘disturbing’ that image was! How foreign it will feel!

I am used to doing things alone by now. Who am I trying to fool?! I know quite well, how I quickly turn into a territorial mammal, as soon as I enter my familiar kitchen enclosure. Where I may growl if you dare get into my way or Heaven forbids, touch any of my toys while I’m busy playing with them!

Nah…I’m not that scary. It just made for an amusing image.

I’ll just gently usher you out, hand you a glass of wine, and ask you to just…sit and talk to me while I work. I may even smile at you here and there.

So…let’s bake some warm aromatic ginger snaps. No stealing…unless, you need to practice some of your forgotten playful devilment and mischievous iniquity! In which case, I will laugh and encourage you to, then ask you ‘when was the last time, you allowed yourself to be a kid again?!’. You’ll take a sip of your wine, smile and respond ‘doesn’t matter’…and I will then ….double the recipe.

image: unsplash