Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Fear Not/Want Not, Wanton Woman"

I first posted this in 2009 - after coming out of school.. but I think it still stands very much relevant to what I feel today.

I was scared I would be heard
so I began to sing

I was scared to be visible
so I let my Light shine again

I was scared others would hurt me
so I came to love them

I was scared no one would love me
so I learned to love myself

I was scared I would not make friends
so I started liking others

I was scared others would think me sensitive
so I let myself cry

I was scared people would only see a clown
when they saw I played more

I was scared to Shine
so I learned to breathe, and to Let it be

I was scared I had no direction
so I followed the path in front of me

I was scared to be rejected
so I auditioned/applied for it anyway

I was scared my body was no longer beautiful
so I dared to lingerie!

I was scared to be found and get hurt again
so I went public on interweb and said, Here I am!

I am not Fearless
such claims I do not make
but I have come to know
that Boldness is the flip side of Fear
the choice is there I have pushed through

as I choose to stand in spite of fear
so I stand in Love for me

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What's Your Story, Morning Glory?

So while killing time on set a male colleague off-handedly turned to me and asked, "So...what's your story? Are you married? Got a boyfriend...what?"

"So, we are starting there, are we?" I thought. Having caught wind of this person's rather unwelcome M.O. around other women on set (he was becoming notorious for making sexist or sexually suggestive comments). Women were initially broached as objects of conquest, secondly as colleagues, it would appear.

Smart retorts quickly flooded my mind but I resisted, being mindful that spewing something out would be hostile. Perhaps I didn't need to be defensive if his angle was not to offend (at least, not intentionally). In the few seconds it took to think on how this comment was intended, I asked myself that question: What WAS my story?

My "story" didn't really start where his started, nor circumference itself around relationships in my life. It operated on a different levels, across various fields and scopes which had very little to do with whom I was romantically entangled with. In short, my story did not subscribe to this rather traditional, patriarchal (and heteronormative) paradigms but rather sat outside these confines to be its own wild animal, its own running horse, unfettered and free of the constraints of societal expectations whenever possible. I chose to be the writer of my story, not just its recorder. 

What was my story comprised of? What factors in my life had created my story and shaped me as its favourite protagonist?

My mind, heart and spirit all have long grocery lists of influences on identity, including my own temperament and brain, as well as many horrid and or 'challenging' things, wonderful things, excruciatingly painful things, character-building lessons, inconveniences, humilities, perceptions, joys, loves, defining moments, risks taken, roads less travelled and many inward quests...the likes of which only another "Quixote"-ian dreamer/lover/fighter might understand (where we are both battle weary from charging at windmills a time or two). If I was a conquistador of my sordid little tale, I knew not its end, but only its rough beginning and a middle I was now immersed in.

What those "who are you?" identity questions posited around my relationships to male figures are really asking is, 'To whom do you belong?'. Not too surprisingly, this ideology harkens back to when Marriage (the institution, with a capital M) was more a contract, or exchange between the initial proprietor of the female (the Father/Guardian) and her newest owner (the Husband) and less a love story* (nowhere are Ryan O'Neal or Ali McGraw featured*). Starting one's story from the pinnacle point of one's romantic partnership does not have the same sweet ring as say, " do you define yourself in relationship to others, the world and most of all, yourself?" Now THERE would be a juicy question indeed.

We run into a bit of identity-erasing danger when the "married/not married", "single/not single" is the initial ruler from which to splay out a woman's identity. It's fantastic to be Mrs. X, but I would like Mrs. X to also be asked, "What ELSE about you and your life, your experience, your spirit, your passions, your knowledge, your travails makes you, you?" Black or White, This or That-type dichotomies are too small a space from which to see a full picture, the breadth and scope of an identity. I would need to chew my arm off to wriggle out of such a steel-jawed contraptions to liberate myself in all manner, in order to remain a free thinker, paradigm-buster, and self-defining individual that I am endeavoring to be!

I may look like an apple, Sir, but I am a pomegranate, composed of many tiny planets. We all are. Clueless Colleague meant no harm, I'm sure, but we seemed to be speaking across at each other from different islands and nary a boat in between. How to bridge such a divide?

I decided the best way to answer his question was to be truthful. My truth was not only different, but also bigger than his truth. Of course, I didn't expect him to know any of it, having barely met me, so I thought it best to just inform him.

"What's my story?" I took a breath. "Well, I am an actor, a writer, an artist, an explorer of life, a friend, a social creature. I am doing props, kitchen help and set dec, and am learning about indie film first-hand, which is awesome. I have an interesting story, lots of them actually! But my Story doesn't gravitate around men nor is defined by my relationships to them. I don't see things that way. My story stands apart, all on its own. I am the sum of all my experiences, and lessons and perceptions." Then I smiled in earnest, and stuffed my hands back in my pockets. (It was cold.)

Another male colleague who was standing close to me had heard the conversation. I glanced sideways to see he had a small smirk on his face.  

The inquisitor of the initial Question looked at me for a moment trying to gauge if I was being 'bitchy', hostile or had gone slightly mad. The confusion was because I was none of these things. After a moment, he mumbled something or other then stepped away. My male friend and I exchanged a look. I was glad I had a cohort, the kind of man I could befriend, the kind who was on the 'same page' regarding women's stories. He got it.

I'll bet he has his own richly woven story. A tapestry from which his relationship to a partner, may be a part of, but not all encompassing, nor defining of his whole identity. After all, we are all pomegranites.

Friday, August 16, 2013

To Lovers, Past and Future

(from 2013) I cried a few nights ago because I was missing that sense of being Special to someone. Then I got upset at myself for thinking those thoughts, for even coveting such a feeling. What kind of insecure fool was I? Why should I wait to be Special to someone in order to feel loved?, I wondered.

There is the dreamer, a romantic inside who does yearn for a tender place to lay my heart upon, and a kind fellow to reciprocate in kind. That has never left me, and will stay with me yet. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find a romantic love. In fact, when I was fortunate enough to find it with two men, I learned that I could be very happy being in love and part of a couple. That kind of soft place in one's heart is hard to replicate.

So I cried into a pillow as I realized the fellow I had been seeing did not provoke me to feel like I was the apple of his eye, that he never gazed at me adoringly. In fact, when I studied it, hardly seem to gaze at me at all. There was a lack of enthusiasm for me and I took it personally. Then I started to reason, 'Just because he does not feel I am Special (to him) , that does not mean that I am not.' Some wiser part of me gently called, "Remember who you are...".

So I remembered.

With that quickly came the realization that I needed to start with the intrinsic belief that I, all unencumbered and on my own, and naked and flawed, and hopeful and loving, and insecure, and grand, and powerful, and shy and bold and funny...that in all my glory, I am Special to begin with. Better is the notion that anyone who does not support this view, in either feeling or manner, must move along.

"Future Lover, whoever you may be, my one condition is this: if you do not join me in the reverie of celebrating my being a special person, or erode any trace of shine off of me, so that I may forget it for one moment...then we do not see eye to eye on this most critical matter. This lack of this recognition must signal to me that I must let you go too.

We are all learning lessons, including me. I acknowledge that some sting is the price of a risk taken. As we part, I will wish you well in sincerity. I hope that you find what you need to. I hope too that along your journey, you will come to see your own light shining. Perhaps then, will you recognize a shiny likeness and learn to 'see' someone like me."

Thursday, May 09, 2013

You're not supposed to LIKE it!

I have my reasons for loving my "Marilyns" - my special-occasion, smoky pink, subtly-curved heel evocative-of-a-Monroesque-era glamour girl shoes. le sigh. They make me walk a bit wobbly, 'tis true, but I am more aware of my bum - of even having a bum to sway. There is that.

BUT...there are moments, where I am of two minds. Of two left feet, of two minds.

There is the issue of being desirous of something pretty (ie. shoes with instantaneous sexiness built in - the SEX-ON-A-STICK shoes), but there is also the bunion-ing resentment which builds one blistery step at a time. It arrives when your mind switches from feeling like a goddess to gauging how much farther you need to walk until you reach your destination and can remove the demon shoes! (Oh, sweet freedom!) When mind, feet and spirit cry out: WHYYYYYY?! Why to pain us sexy shoe coveters?? To what purpose? To what end? Why must one suffer for a supposed 'beauty'? Why have I taken this idea as acceptable?

[Disclaimer: there is a rather lengthy and involved discourse to be explored regarding gender and expectations, socialization, culture, power dynamics, submissiveness vs. possession, objectification, control and powers of industry, capitalist gain, etc....which I will not be cracking open here, for that is not the feel of this tiny rant.] :)

My mini rant is more about an observation that pains me (south of the ankle, to be specific) that not ONE of 'cute' shoes I have, can be worn comfortably longer than two long blocks. or ten minutes. not. one. pair. ouch to that. 

As much as I have toyed with the idea of boycotting millionaire shoe companies or writing letters of frustration to mysoginisticly-bent footwear designers, I grow weary from the day's demands to pick too many a battle. The night is almost over and my shoes are nevertheless bringing me home, in one sexy, bum-wiggly piece. As much as these blistery thoughts pop up (like bubbles of misfortune from the ill-fitting foot housing), I have to reason on the concrete truth that is not so pretty: OF COURSE SEXY SHOES ARE NOT GOING TO COMFORTABLE! Of course, they are not going to be made with a cushy platform, or made bunion-producing FREE! Of COURSE NOT, you nincompoop!

If indeed there WERE comfortable cushioning in drop-dead-sexy foot housing, where would the insole producing industry be? Hello?
Where would our consumer-driven society be?
Where would foot powder industry?
Where would the cute-shoe accutrements industry be? (and, panty hoes wouldn't run with shoes that did not tug on the fabric, thereby: where would the panty hose producing industry be?)

Why, NOWHERE of course! (Don't you love rhetorical questions?)

You are not supposed to LIKE beauty products; you just have to NEED them!

Think about a Sunday morning: where would the foot cream, bunion-filing, foot soaking, aspirin eating, red wine swigging, hangover-cure drinking, contraception, Day-After pill popping, ok-you-got-a-little-carried-away wearing that bunion-it's-a-pleasure-and-pain-thing and now are slightly distressed-inquiring-at-clinics-and-labs-about-a-certain-Plan-that-comes-after-A...seriously-what-the hell-happened-it's-Sunday-morning-and-I'm-feeling-shite type realizations be?

Where ever would the feel-better-let-me-take-the-pain-away-with-OUR-STUFF-industries be?!

Why, they would cease to EXIST! And all because I selfishly wanted to walk good and speak gooder and feel pretty, and find my bum and trod with attractive footwear that does not kill me.

Selfish me!

These industries found their niche/s, and my nickel, alright. I'll give them that. I saw the gerbil wheel, and jumped into it with both blistered feet. But I don't love spending $12 on insoles for kind of expensive shoes just to be able to walk with them. (What?)

I'm not bitter. This is the society I live it, and these are the choices I  have made from within it. I love beautiful things, looking at them, fantasizing through them. It's just that I would prefer to wear such lovelies, luxury items like ill-fitting but attractive lady shoes, without having to break them in by breaking my own feet.

It's just that I want it all.

In a fair world, we would not have to compromise, and I could walk footloose and fancy-free, even in clickety-clicks! That is a picture I want to entertain. Hold it...still entertaining it.... OK, done.

As I was saying, I want what I conceive of as beautiful to be ensconced in what is right. My tootsie toes are but a minutia of a greater picture. Two insignificant points from which to see greater trajectories pointing to other societal ills, other pains, other constrictions ill-fitted to the individual. Which lies are we willing to accept and why? Word has it, there are many. Like, MANY, many.

But before you curse me out for resorting to 'lady shoes' in spite of knowing their consequences, and their associated discomfort (hey, it's not like I wear them OFTEN!), for liking pretty things that don't make sense, for chasing this mythical unicorn and dreaming of comfort, quality and fairness coming to fruition in my lifetime...please do not judge me too harshly until you've walked...well, you know.

Merry Christmas. Opt for a rubber soled, low heel. ;)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Water, water everywhere...but I aint thirsty.

Fishing, Shopppin' Around and other useless analogies for the dating pool:

Fishing around on Plenty of Fish feels like going to the supermarket and looking for your favourite brand- and seeing they no longer have it- and not realizing there are other, newer brands out there that, given the chance might actually become your New favourite brand. Yet still looking on the shelves, hoping they have misplaced one, one left over of your favourite brand- still pining. Having that picture in your mind's eye and no stock on the shelves to match it. Ever.


And...well, I am loathe to shop. But until I get on my boots and pull up my bootstraps and decide to go shop in a completely different store, not knowing what the hell I really want, I will wait and look at brand names of products I have never thought about nor used and which may even repel me, and ponder if...maybe I should be a better shopper.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Defining Moments (thus far) 2011 & 12

1) Getting access to the world at large via Grimley. I climbed a little hill all by myself, mentored by Des and nurtured by a little theatre community who said to me, without words, you have a good work here and it is worth producing, We believe in it. By extension, I started to believe in myself again, as being capable (if not, good) writer, at least. I started to Believe again, and started to Hope anew- things considered for too long as whimsical and nonsensical to rely on or pay much mind to. Things painfully put upon a sad little shelf, where they left a missing-an-appendage ghost type of feelings. Something felt amiss yet I could not put my finger on what.

Grimley was the dark rose that would blossom for me. Paradoxically, through it I found such light and joy again, 'pleasantly surprising' people, receiving support and accolades from friends and kind strangers. This high would carry me for weeks after the work had passed...the song of Grimley and the happy residue of its ghost danced upon my heart and dared me to cut a rug with a little gleam in my eye again. A spark was lit anew!

2) Getting access to the Green Room - and the innards of the Theatre Actor life again... Ah! treading the boards again! What joy. I missed the old costumes, the smells, the powders and wigs, and the private little jokes that are posted and hanging all over the room like a mad scavenger hunt... I was playing in the sandbox again, something I had once done so well, the way children 'play' with abandon. I had to push myself into discomfort in order to be bold and fearless, and not be afraid of visibility. I had to leave all fears aside as I focused on the Work. The Work would also translate into relying on instinct more than intellect again and learning to trust that there was 'something' there to not only catch me, but also propel me up and keep me standing. I lost a lot in "the 5 year war" (CFS)...Trust in my talent and physicality being chief among them.

3) "Deciding to Get An Agent"- something I had not seriously contemplated for want of 'being in a better'... position financially, life-wise, career-wise, weight-wise, etc.. until finally I looked at myself and the way I was actually living my life. I was, and had been for some time now, living it as though I was making room for Acting and writing in some manner, leaving flexibility and access to return to it. Realizing this, I figured I might as well go all the way in, and try to earn some money at doing something I enjoyed and had loved all of my life. It would no longer be a closeted "want" that ould never manifest. I would give this Manifestation thing a decent turn! This meant, changing up The Plan re: career chasing and job structuring, perspective on work vs. career, etc. and some turmoil was had by that... sigh. In the end, I have not given this Artist part of my life such front and centre precedence before, until now. I was to Seize the Day before I get too old, or sad, or settled, forgetful or wayward off the path of who I really am: an artist with a social working heart, but an Artist, first and foremost. My brother was right.

4) Getting, procuring, almost begging for a laptop, or notepad on which to take my scribblings out of the house and away from the four walls! It will cost me $125 for an old laptop from a friend, but that is a modest price for my sanity and for nurturing my writing without it feeling self-punitive, by virtue of trapping me inside a tiny room in order to do it! The world, both inner and outer felt expansive again and so I breathed. I went to a coffee shop, where I opened my new (used) tool and...began to write.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

provervial Country Song in pocket

so I found this in the Notes archive about an unusually inconvenient, incredibly pain-in-the-assy move that I had to do. (it was worth a chuckle NOW from a detached place, devoid of the pain.):P

Dec. 27, 2010
Someday I'll write a country song, about the shiteous day I've had (make that a series of conjoined shiteous daze), which will include my shoulders and back screaming, "HOLY F*N MURDEROUS HELL!! My shoulders are like ROCK! a massage therapist NOW and I'm going to need the once-over!!"

This *country song* would also include a musical sampling of a Benny Hill sequence (that becomes funny if played very quickly and, even better backwards). That bit would represent how due to pathetically poor communication (PPC) I wound up packing and hoisting heavy, awkwardly packed stuff, dragging it along a dolly with a broken leg, effectively a 3 legged dolly (country song material, I tell you..), holding doors open with my chin, elbows, t*ts and ass, crouching to lift the dolly's broken leg side, as I simultaneously attempted to roll loaded dolly over uneven door frames and lumpy floors...only to have the contents (precariously perched) slide off and tumble to the ground. Numerous Times. ("count to, two-one-thousand...I shall not kill another human being today...three-one thousand..."). I would include these elements in the song. Yessir, I believe I would.

Well, due to ensuing PPC I can no longer get into garage of old apt without remote control get in old apt, pick up stuff..and finish cleaning. Worse, since there is no phone at old (& mostly empty) apt, I cannot call or "buzz" the other person to come and let me into said garage. WELL!

I finally manage to get INTO garage, and INTO building, only to discover I have a wrong set of keys which do not open apt door (locked changed after break-ins. could I forget). Well, reader I will spare you the dirty curses I shared with no one in particular. (Note: I ultimately entered apt..but it cost me a couple of new gray hairs!).

After loading up and transporting a new load of shite from old to new apt (note: new apt= only 1/2 size of old one!). At the new place, it gets terribly fun when I have to roll the fully loaded, hobbling dolly up a whole parking lot level because there is no elevator at HELL LEVEL (2 down from the street level...way, way, downtown...this is what Tom Waits sang about). So I have to push hobbling dolly up unreasonably steep hill to next floor where there IS elevator (using t*ts and elbows again to hold doors open & roll ole Hobbly Legs). I have to enter into a concrete mini-maze (I am not exaggerating) to FIND elevator. If mini=maze was a pain in the ass, the elevator is the boil developing ON that ass! Neither I nor Hobbling Legs care for these elevators too much with their narrow doors and uneven floors, which jiggle and jolt everything to where shit falls off dolly again. ("five-one-thousand...peace and love...thou shalt not kill whoever constructed faulty elevators and constricted entries and walls..oh Happy Place, Happy Place..")

Onto other things! So I bring stuff down to new storage area. I get to storage (also at Hell Level) and realize I do not have new storage room keys (yet another key??). I"m going to need a grid soon of all the keys and trinkets I need to keep track of for both apts!

Keys are not at new apt as agreed upon (yep, PPC again). *Oh happy day*. So I go on hunt for grounds-keeper and upon semi-pleading and offering to buy him a Coke, he nicely lets me into storage. I shove my shit into a nearby empty locker in the interim (since I do not have a LOCK and KEY with which to lock our LOCKER. (..."six one-thousand, seven one-thousand...All you need is laa laaa".)

Fast-fwd: slap peanut butter on orphaned piece of bread, chug two glasses of water, dribble on shirt, then off on another long drive to get 'nuther load. (Note: we DID use a van for moving, but there was SO much shit left over - none of it mine- that several car trips were subsequent!)  

So now I'm driving back to my Vancouver, hell, I'm even productively singing songs (Note: car radio suddenly incapable of  FM reception or of playing CD's - excellent country song elements too)! I get to old apt garage, then by the luck of the gods, someone is going into the garage, so without a remote control for garage door, I 'piggy back' and sneak in. I go upstairs, with now *correct set* of apt keys...but...ok, where is the other person now? left the bldg? No note..very mysterious. Said person so hell bent on "finishing up today!" is nowhere to be found, and was apparently not counting on my return to continue loading. My phone which sat so charmingly on a chair being charged, has also been taken. So how can I CALL to see wtf is going on? Alone. Again. Naturally. That could be the title of my country song perhaps. or maybe "The Cheese Stands Alone".

In the end, I would up packing the rest of the *stuff* (ladylike expression for "shit that's not mine") alone, unscrewing the last of the annoying shelves, dragging 3 legged dolly down halls - and as before, holding doors open with limbs, t*ts and ass, contortioning body into unnatural positions to leverage ole Hobbly Legs over lumpy frames, uneven elevator entrances, all that good shit! Things tumble, and fall. And fall. And fall. Deja-friggity-vu.

Two more trips like this: ENDLESS doors and entrances. nooks and crannies, twisty, narrow hallways, KEY SETS for everything!, pushing hobbling dollies uphill, swipe-y cards to enter, missing elevators, pinching my fingers, making new bruises in strange places. The drive-through Timmie's effect is wearing off, I'm getting tired. Some help? Anybody? ("Bueller...? Bueller..?"). 

Then it gets dark. Starts to rain (yes, just like in the movies to heighten the Drama). And it IS getting dramatic. I can no longer see what I have in the car, so have to load dolly in the dark, mumbling various dark thoughts under my breath. The lack of sleep now wearing my patience transparent, so tired, bloody achy, and in a general state of grumpiness at the major inconvenience of...fuckity EVERYTHING for days on end! "Gaaahh!!" I curse the skies in dramatic Charlton Heston manner.

Now my country song is nearly at an end. Don't worry, reader. I know the world is already polluted from mass musical mediocrity so I shant contribute to this murky pool. If I wrote a country song, it would be too depressing to be played on the country stations anyway.

But good to rant about. haha well, keeps me from causing injury to others.  (I guess that is a good thing.)