Rudy & The Bird

The hollowness in the heart!

Why does it suddenly appear!!?

And when it appears, why does it linger?!!!

She asked me!

The acoustic in the house is amazing! So the sound system was echoing brightly this morning throughout the quiet house. When she called.

I was busy sketching…a…bird! While laughing inside over the irony between my peaceful sketch of a little innocent bird, and the tone of disturbance in the song I was listening to! A song about no other than_at the time mayor_Rudy Jiuliani’s famous bust of a group of squatters in NY city in 1995. “Blue Rodeo/It Can Happen To You”!

I was thinking to myself: Hey bird, you’re a squatter too! Rudy would’ve also sent the army to evict you out of your previously vacant, now artistically occupied.. nest! That you took over and intricately made your own, with gorgeous twigs and twisted weathered leaves!

____

She said to me: I was just asking myself, who could help us chase the dark shadows away?! You can!_said my logic_ which is great! I just wish, that voice, belonged to an actual person! Then I can talk to it, discuss things, argue my point or points! Then, due to the illusory nature of my delusional thought, I decided to phone you!

I could tell she was smiling amusingly while saying the last part.

Humans have always had the tendency to exhaust her. She can be the light of the party, without doing a whole lot of talking! No one would guess how apprehensive she feels, towards talking whenever it’s only one person sitting in front of her! The probing. The questioning. The need to fill in the awkward silence with spoken words. Half the time, they come out wrong anyway! They don’t sound like her. Instead, they leap out of her mouth wearing strange outfits and funny makeup smeared all over their faces! Looking more like impostors, than her own authentic ones!

How do (I) know that?! Her and I have talked and talked about this before. We share that fear of being trapped talking to just ‘one’ person. The apprehensiveness of having to converse to lessen the sense of heaviness all around.

Her and I are bound to one another in a deep long friendship! As if we had an actual ceremonial mingling of blood, that declared us blood sisters forever.

– I only like talking to you!

Laughter.

_____

I laughed along with her, then responded:

– Don’t you think, this begs the question, why do you wish logic was a person sitting in front of you?! Considering I’m ‘the only person’ you like talking to?!

– May be, just may be, Logic will be this amazingly intelligent and remarkably understanding…person…man. She laughed!

She’s definitely sounding amused now, and not… sad anymore!

I asked her: What is going on?!

– (laughter again)_She always laughs to cover her nervousness!_ I don’t know! Do you?!

– How am I supposed to know?!

Silence…then more…laughter.

– Don’t worry honey_she loves to call me these silly frivolous names: honey, pumpkin etc etc! I shamefully admit, I do the same too!

– I wouldn’t say I’m worried! You just…sound ..really odd!

Now I’m laughing nervously

____

My best friend, is a woman capable of feeling and expressing joy, more than anyone I know.

Then why are we having this conversation?! I kept thinking to myself as I talked to her some more!

I decided to tell her about Rudy & the bird. My bird. We both laughed at the irony. At least our laughter was no longer tinged with nervousness, and rather genuine and forthright. She suggested naming the bird Rudy! I responded: Never!!

And the shadows of beautiful vibrant cities full of injustice, greed and cruelty..filled my head!

___

The shadows, they appear!

They will always do! But, when they do, why do they linger?!

if only Logic was a person, that I…can talk to.

It’s Not A Disaster

“I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.”
-Elizabeth Bishop
____
It’s not …a disaster
Every now and then, I find myself coming back to this poem. I don’t particularly read a whole lot of poetry! And I am not one to recite ‘anything’! Yet this poem, in its potent sense of reality, never leaves me! I think, it illustrates how I think, a lot of time.
As I sit here, in this room which works as my art studio/writing/reflecting zone/staring at the trees and the snow…space, I am thinking of why my writing needed to stop lately!
What happened?!
I love to write! But then, the issue of ‘responsibility’ hit me!
See, I entered this wordosphere, a few months ago, intending to decorate it to my taste, hang pictures and art that I like, move furniture around when I feel like it, turn the space upside down with heavy emotions that need out, clean it all up and write uplifting ‘stuff’ about hope and laughter, write nonsense stories, imaginary ones, real ones…get sad and cry and fill it with tears, laugh at myself in the end and clean up the tears and water my dying basil plant with them, so they don’t go to a waste (I’m quite practical), run around, sit around, jump around, talk to ghosts, invite imaginary people over for coffee…and so many other things that I wanted to fill this place with, like I said!
But then, I soon realized, the responsibility to write.
When others are reading, I cannot be completely free.
If I am in a mood. If I am questioning the logic of sensitive issues we all deal with. If I have an opinion that might easily change, right the next day. How does it make any sense, to give myself, the right, to barge into ‘your’ day and flood it with ‘temporary’ feelings and opinions?!
So it’s not a surprise, that I started thinking of the impact on whoever is_or is it whomever_going to read what I write, before I’m able to hit the publish button.
My mission in this life, is to bring light.
I know my path.
I realize what I am here for.
Finding the balance between my overly realistic, semi clinical at times, then passionate and overly dreamy about certain issues at others…thoughts and opinions, and all that could fit in between (trust me there’s lots), is one of the challenges I’m facing when I sit down to write.
Another issue, that poked its head at me, was the issue of ‘why’ am I writing?!
I am a goal oriented person. I find it hard to sketch for example, unless I have a goal that one day, I will become really good at my art, and feel confident enough, to share it with the outside world…somewhere, somehow.
I went on a French Macaron baking frenzy last year, and baked and baked, for nearly five months, maybe more. I did nothing, but bake, sad, deformed, lopsided French Macarons, then tossing them, then starting all over again!
How does that make sense?! When actually ‘good’ bakers, would raise their brows, way high up at me, I’d nearly want to jump and snatch those poor brows..as they’re now flying higher and higher, and stick them back on top of those bakers’ disapproving, widely open..eyes, when they’d hear me say I am a self taught French Macaron baker!
I was told by many, ‘Baking French Macrons, is a baker’s worst nightmare’! They’re incredibly hard to master. Yet mastering I did! And I am known to fail at baking a good moist banana bread! Why?! I’ll tell you why: There’s no challenge there. I apologize to those who love baking banana bread and are frowning at me! Hands down to you! I can’t do it! Let’s have a banana bread/French Mac fight! Trust me, you WILL win. My macs will crumble into tiny teeny little smithereens while your solid banana bread will proudly raise its victory flag! With its solid banana bread foot, over the throat of my fragile French Mac, who will be begging for mercy! So please do laugh at my unjustified arrogance.
Pssst.. I do love a good banana bread. With coffee?! Heaven
My goal, was to concur something not only incredibly hard to bake, but soooo beautiful, elegant, vibrant, colourful and ever so versatile in possibilities of colour and flavour!
I remember at one point being asked ‘what’s next?! What else are you going to bake?!’
My answer was: ‘nothing’.
I only wanted to bake French Macarons.
I was extremely focused, and still am in that regard.
Then why?! Why does my focus, fly away, tantalizing me…when it comes to writing and art?!
I am yet to find out…
Good day to you. Don’t fret over my challenges! It’s not...a disaster! 🙂

Stay At A Haunted House

She stood at the window. Thinking of her crazy life! And contemplating on ‘the ghost’ that visited her the night before.

See, she knows the level of her own bizarre contradictions! She is aware, of how the world keeps insisting on seeing ‘just’ her outside! And no we are not talking about looks!

She knows, her ‘kindness’ is there for all to see! Her ‘sweetness’, as most seem to be fond of the way it sounds when they vocalize it to describe her! Their eyes, conveying a dreamy look…They just simply don’t know the rest.

And the rest is dark.

It’s dark, not for actions she had done, but rather seen!

At her little coffeeshop, she had strangers tell her secrets. Some she was able to handle. And some, she simply couldn’t!

So many stories.

Her own therapist, advised she needed to stop. He said: you need to stop listening. But more importantly, you need to work on not letting it affect you! It’s getting to you! People are drawn to you. They tell you deep secrets they are unable to tell their families or even best friends. She remembers responding ‘just like they tell their hairdresser or their ‘trained’ therapist?! Except I’m not?! ;)’

The therapist knew she was clever. He knew he was not to bother answering! And she appreciated him not insulting her intelligence any further. After all, he was the fifth she had tried, and was able to actually come back to visit after the initial assessment! ‘Her’ assessment. Of?! Her therapist!

Yes. That’s who she is. Untrusting.

At the same time, she knew she needed to escape for a little while. So right there on her phone, while sitting in her car after leaving her therapy session, she found her destination in less than fifteen minutes. And booked it.

What she did not know?! It was a beautiful old….haunted house.

Stay At A Haunted House Part II

Flashbacks from the night before began to visit her awakening memory.

She remembered waking up over and over, while tossing and turning in her foreign bed, with its flat-sheet tightly tucked underneath the mattress. But it was more than the sense of constraint from the fabric, webbing itself tightly around her like a spider’s net, the unfamiliarity of the mattress underneath, or the rigidity of the pillows, that kept her stirring and thrashing in her agonizing sleep! She remembers suddenly waking at one point, to the room feeling unusually warm! And to the smell of a burning candle!

She remembers now, that she in fact, couldn’t help, but sit up, quickly turning on the old white antique lamp on the nightstand next to her bed. After her fingers frantically kept looking for a button to press, then accidentally stumbling upon a metal string that she finally pulled.

She recalls looking around the room! Her face covered in sweat! Her heart pounding fast in her chest!

She also remembers, how alert she suddenly was! Unable to find the source of the waxy burning scent that was definitely filling the room, she tried turning the light off and going back to sleep, while thinking to herself ‘it must’ve been from the room adjacent to mine! There’s nothing to worry about!’ But then how could it be this strong as if it was right there?!

It’s nearing 9 am now.

She finally peeled off the web of fabrics still wrapped around her, placed her bare feet on the shiny wooden floor, which immediately squeaked and squealed, moaning in protest!

‘Such an old place’ she thought to herself! The thought, echoed a sense of sudden joy and deep appreciation. She loves old history in so many things! Objects, books, tools, as well as, building structures and even old wooden squeaky floors.

She smiled at the thought, then stood up and walked towards the window! Opened the old glass panel! But not before yet again _just like the lamp on the night table_ struggling to figure out how to open the sash lock! She even chuckled over the thought, of perhaps discovering a hanging metal string, just like the string on the old lamp. At least it’s daytime and she can actually see what she’s doing or looking for.

She finally placed her hands in the middle of the window, pressed upward with her palms, freeing the bottom panel! The fresh morning breeze, rushed into the room, carrying with it, fragrant bouquets of spring.

She smiled again to herself, as she heard the birds chirping outside, loudly announcing their complete renewed excitement, over all the new adventures awaiting.

She wished she could join them. Or at least, she wished she could somehow tell them, she was feeling just as excited!

Her own adventures, were waiting. And waiting…indeed!

-to be cont’d

Stay At A Haunted House Part I

Setting: English Inn, Victoria, BC/Canada

Time: 8:45 AM

__

Her room faced North. Lots of sun entered through one of the two windows also facing North, during the day.

The creamy voile curtains, kept trying to play their role, as an alluring privacy veil, tantalizing the sun, tantalizing…her face…

She was still laying in bed. Considering as usual, she never sleeps well at a strange room, let alone in a strange bed with a strange pillow. Whenever she’s traveling! And traveling she has been, since the night before.

Her ears usually lie with her on her first night at a strange hotel room. Except, they usually remind her of obstinate little children, refusing to go to bed! They are alert and widely awake, mocking her tired eyes, for wanting to close down the night and just…rest.

Her eyes are tired. Her ears?! An entirely different story! They are now picking up every single step in the hallway and every word spoken by late passerby.

But then!…_she thought to herself_ ‘it was incredibly quiet last night, in this strange little hotel on Esquimalt Rd’. Then why didn’t she sleep?!

Need To Reopen

It hit me yesterday.

The thought of ‘I need to reopen my cafe all over again’!

Creating community

Creating a safe atmosphere

Creating warmth for people to gather

I know the ‘right ingredients’ and I’m not about to go down the list of every detail. There are so many.

I enjoy it

And, I love to sit back and watch people come together and have a great time.

It was incredibly simple the other night. I didn’t fuss. But I did love seeing smiles everywhere.

I baked 3 different…pizzas (yes pizzas! Nothing fancy)

Mediterranean (of course)

Margherita

Traditional

Yes from scratch. Along a REALLY AMAZING Charcuterie board, freshly baked Pistachio, lavender and vanilla French Macarons that turned out amazing…and voila! I was ready! Even in my minimalist house/lifestyle where I keep purging!

___

My father:

That’s where it all started.

Mother said I wasn’t ‘planned’. The princess she was, could not, deal, with an ‘unplanned’ child while she was busy with her friends. But hey, I am not going to blame my mother one bit :)! I don’t see the point of even going there! And this is a lesson to us all! ‘Let it all go! Not worth it! You have no idea what the circumstances were! Who knows?!’

So yes, absolutely no grudges against my mother.

My father adored me. She neglected me. So what?! I forgive her. I like to think she kind of likes me now :)! Did I mention we only talk on the phone?! Wink

No.

No it wasn’t always that easy. Just please rest assured it wasn’t. Just take my word for it. Details?! Unnecessary at this point. Someday I will share. If it fits or serves a point (picture me smiling while saying that)

– Jumping to an unrelated subject: I insist, completely insist: ‘Novo Amor’ has some songs that I prefer over ‘Bon Iver’. I say this as this one song is playing. See! I keep getting into this really silly debate about how ‘dare Novo Amor ‘copy’ Bon Iver’! Why am I the only one who sees the similarities but don’t mind???!

Back on subject:

My father saw me. He did.

I have many memories, but I’d say my favourite was:

Coming back to visit from Uni. Our parents’ house, used to be sooooo quiet. Kids left to pursue dreams. I was the youngest. I visited.

I’m in the big quiet hallway.

I am skipping towards the living room. Skipping and humming a song.

My father. I suddenly noticed! He was standing there smiling and tearful.

‘How do you bring life to this quiet place?!’

____

I want this to be my forever story.

‘Bringing life. Light. Smiles’

Am I too old to reopen?!

Yes I get tired more often now. I’m used to living like a ‘domesticated’ wild Kat by now. It’s been four years hidden in the woods.

I get it. Then I don’t. But I know, the ‘deep’ love towards the closest human to my wild nature, never leaves, even when I don’t understand.

I just…need to try.

Beverly

6:30 am.

The snow hadn’t stopped falling all night.

She was dressed. Long wool military style coat, double breasted with golden vintage looking buttons, and a buckle around the waist. A thick scarf around her neck. A mustard colour toque, which arrived in the mail just 3 days ago. No she did not order it online. One of her loyal coffee customers, is an Art school teacher and an avid knitter, and what a surprise it was to find it in her mailbox the other day. A handmade gift. Just for her. In one of her favourite colours.

Needless to say, the deep sense of appreciation for such a gesture, has not stopped radiating since she opened the package, and her eyes met the precious garment.

__

Before she continues with her story, she feels the need to apologize to her readers.

She feels, what she has written thus far in this morning post, carries a big dosage of triviality. Who cares about a description of gifts from loyal coffee customers in the mail?! Not that she receives them often! But it’s still perhaps unrelated to by some. Or most.

Who cares about a description of her winter gear?! Has she forgotten the one barista she employed a few years ago?! The one, who was incredibly sweet, but had this incomprehensible power, to hold you hostage for half an hour, unstoppably describing what her cousin Talia was wearing, eating, finding humorous at such and such family party…! Has she forgotten, how she used to sneak her hand slowly behind her back, her fingers desperately…precariously…reaching around, searching for whichever (hopefully unbreakable) object they can feel on the counter behind her! Something they can discretely flick to the ground, or pretend they miraculously bumped it as she faked losing her balance…then comically looking startled ‘what?!..how did that happen?!’! All done, only, and only, for the sake of changing subjects, as her eyes used to grow tired of glazing over, while the story kept going.

__

So let’s fast forward a little, shall we?!

Thank you for nodding.

__

She’s now outside the door. Still dark outside. The snow is falling. Her car needs brushing.

She loads the old car with coffee gears. Enough for over a hundred under- caffeinated early morning /and late morning/ coffee zombies. She estimated, she was bringing enough to awaken that big of an army.

She finally drove away.

Her destination, the local school, about a 10 minute driving distance. Not bad at all.

They are holding their annual ‘Arts Day’ event. Different Artists will be present, along all the staff, volunteers…etc.

She arrived at the snowy parking-lot. Managed to transfer all the hot coffee supply inside. Drove away.

There were teachers and artists. All buzzing around like bees, inside the school. Adding those last touches to what she thought was a spectacular display.

When did they all get up?! She thought to herself!!

See, Canadians are a different breed of people! They love the snow. And even if they didn’t, they pretend they do. It’s a source of pride. Or maybe, they simply don’t know any better. She’s not too sure anymore! But what she’s sure about, is in this little town of around 5000 residents, people really love the snow. They don’t seem to ever get tired of visiting the trails. Skiing. Snowboarding. Biking. Hokey playing. You name it. Snow?! They’re out there having fun.

Not her.

__

Fastforward again.

She’s back at the end of the day. Picking up exhausted, empty coffee vessels, with tired over-handled coffee buttons, and overworked drying out spouts. They looked as if they were incredibly thankful she had finally arrived to set them free, bring them back to their sleepy quiet life on their happy clean shelves. Away from zombies’ hands reaching out to squeeze the last drop of caffeine out of their poor metal guts.

She hears a voice in the hall as she’s about to peacefully exit. ‘Kat!’.

Oh it’s principal H.

Principal H is a man in his forties, who definitely puts some thought into his appearance. He’s always dressed in hipster shirts. This morning, he was wearing a sharp fitted dark, white polka dotted shirt. He always reminds her of Kenny Bania from Seinfeld. Especially his big enthusiastic smile!

‘Oh hi’ she looked back.

Principal H insisted on helping with loading the car. That was very nice.

The problem was, her old 5 series BMW is embarrassingly dirty on the outside! Grim from driving on country dirt roads was hugging the car like a green wide-eyed, teasingly smiling old greyish slimy gooey stretchy little big monster. So her first thought was ‘it won’t be pretty if his sleeve does the slightest brushing against the dirty monster’. Then she thought of how much she loves this old girl. It’s perfectly and regularly serviced. It’s just old. No rust, thankfully, but she has to try second gear when she first starts driving it on cold days, so she can prove she is trying to be gentle towards the old gal’s sensitive transmission, then will usually carefully shift to third then fourth then eventually D. That’s when ‘Beverly’ gives her a sigh of relief and starts humming and ‘breathing’ normally.

So there was the sharply dressed principal! Looking at her car, semi puzzled.

Her car, stoically standing there, all dirty and old, among huge shiny and shimmering under the snow, brand new SUVs, and intimidatingly confident, powerful and roaring brand new trucks.

Her car, the old Beverly, tried hard not to make any eye contact, with all the younger beefier vehicles glancing curiously at it, in that full to the rim with bullies, auto playground. Beverly proudly looked straight ahead, and waited for her to finally get in, and start driving it away from all the chaos. All while Mr. H was still standing there waving, the snow is falling over him, probably scratching his head, over the contradiction between the fitting brand new minimalist mustard toque, the fitting military looking long coat with vintage buttons, the fitting mustard colour gloves…and the unfitting…old dirty car.

I love you Beverly.

Romanticism

Music: Lord Huron/’The Night We Met’.

But the whole album is good. Just sayin

***

My sister is doing great. All results are ‘benign’!

My sister…Is completely stepping back into health, and soon will be back to her theatre lecturing.

She faced-time me yesterday. Saying she was labeled ‘the monkey’ of The ICU! Meaning, she can’t stop monkeying around, and making everyone laugh, after the surgery was done. This woman is so amazing!

She said “I insisted on calling you! I am worried about you”

She’s ‘worried’ about..’me worried about her’. Sounds funny. I know.

She must’ve sensed it despite the distance?! I’m still trying not to read too much into the mysticism of it all.

I told her I’m fine. Then carried on with what’s really important! Her!

This news made me, wake up this morning, feeling very tired! I’ve been tired a lot lately. But, soon after coffee, I decided to let the sun in. And this took place:

– I showered even before going for my run. I wanted to feel ‘new’. I am feeling new. With this so anxiously awaited for news.

– I decided, to unearth my mother’s old vintage dresses! And resurrect The imprisoned beauty out of the old trunk! Seemed fitting!

I love these dresses. I wear them sometimes, and feel…calm…and happy..

I keep saying ‘I was born in the wrong century haha’! Until someone ‘clever’, points out ‘your mother is still, THIS century’! That’s when, I smile, turn my head around to face them, and say ‘you’re right! I still… feel..I am more suited to be a ‘romantic’ Dracula assistant, than being here in this century lol’! Then we quarrel some more about…history and historical correctness

I decided, a little bit of romanticism in art, textiles, old faces, young faces, my forever love for old linen, old fabrics, vintage colours and textures…is ok. And it doesn’t…make me ‘detached’ from the reality of life.

It’s ok, to be forever, fascinated by beauty. In every shape and form..age, colour, and texture. That’s me. I see a face, a piece of fabric, an old table, a tiny dusty old child linen jacket in a vintage store, and I feel…’this is so…beautiful’

Let the sun in. I wish this to whoever visits me here today.

Chris Cornell

This letter is for you:

I don’t care about your fame. Or your looks.

What I care about, is getting to know you.

When I heard the news, that you decided to leave. A few years ago. Life, suddenly got …really sad! And that hasn’t stopped! On and off.

First Amy Whinehouse!! Then you?! Then Anthony Bourdain!!!

I went to Amy Whinehouse [the movie], at an old retro theatre in town, when it first came out. I left the theatre in the end, speechless, and angry. Poor sad soul. How she was treated.

Today, I finished my work early. January is slow. So I can do ‘creative’ things, with my time. I can paint, draw and write stuff that no one cares about! Except I.

Chris Cornell, yes I can drive to art galleries, look at art hung up on walls! But your art, is so much more beautiful! I can’t see it, but I can hear it! And it’s so much easier for me to absorb. Because it only requires one sense. So I can fully focus.

Chris Cornell,

“Preaching The End Of The World” is really the perfect companion to my current state of mind. But my state of mind, can completely change, with your next song. And I think, that’s amazing!

You have touched me. Affected me. You’ve walked with me on cold Toronto streets, to my design classes, on those TO evenings! Where I spent 3 years, fully immersed from morning till evening, in design projects and design assignments! Hauling my backpack full of heavy design books, stale cafeteria sandwiches, water bottles, forgotten unwashed portable coffee mugs and an Apple laptop!

I remember “Be Yourself” beating in my ears, mixing up with my pounding heart, and my steps…on dark wet sidewalks! While running to catch my subway train.

I also remember, dedicating photography projects, to some of your songs! Where my photography prof was a bearded man called Peter! Who looked perfectly suited, to teach the 7 photography classes that I took with’m, over the span of 3 years!

  • Peter, told me once, that he went to the doctor one day, did some tests, and…discovered..he had ‘one kidney’! He said he had no idea! Pretty bizarre! I remember, not knowing what to say! I had no idea why my photography prof was telling me this news! But what I do remember very well, is his face! He looked, disappointed and maybe sad! Shocked, is probably a better word to describe it! I still don’t know why he told me!
  • I remember, pairing, “Black Hole Sun” with a ‘photogram’ photography assignment. Where I placed random objects (a cross, a thistle and a plastic dinosaur toy haha) on photographic paper, with the right surface upward. All took place on top of a light table. All was also done in complete darkness ‘of course ;)! Then I turned on the underneath light, for (I can’t remember how many seconds). I did a bunch of those. Until I had one that spoke to me. I still have those photos.
  • I used to wear a white T-shirt with the word ‘Grunge’ on the front. My partner on that project was Semcha from Milwaukee! And you….You were a big part of every project on those days!
  • I’ve got a photograph I’ll send it off today
    And you will see that I am perfectly sane
    Not for a lifetime or forever and a day
    ‘Cause we know now that just won’t be the case