Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Big Ripe and Harvest-able Apple

Finally I have a relaxed well-rested moment to write about my recent whirlwind trip to New York. I flew in Thursday for two interviews on Friday before leaving on Saturday. It was quick, it was busy, it was rainy but it was fruitful. For the first time I arrived in New York and realized very concretely that I could live in this city. People live in this city. People are bored in this city. People do nothing on Saturdays in this city. They're realizations I couldn't make before the very sobering reality of arriving to the city thinking that I could potentially get a job here.

New York is such a mythic city, really. It is THE city of Sex and the City. The Big Apple. New York, New York. It's the city of TV shows, and movies. It's always seemed like a backdrop to morning talk shows, and a city chockfull of museums, all of which need to be visited in one trip. But no, it's a city. A big city, sure, but if you can focus on where you need to go, and skirt away from the tourist-dense parts of town, then you can be alright. People live in the city, a TON of people LIVE in New York. People do yoga and somehow find peace through meditation in NYC.

Can you tell it was something of a revelation? I won't speak of the interviews, they went well and I'm waiting. But as we all wait you can enjoy the images below from my trip.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Love Letter Open Mic

Just returned home from the Love Letter Open Mic at the Cagibi in Mile End, from such intensely personal, comical, praising, loving, hating words. We laughed, we aww-ed, we grimaced, but in the end, we felt the love. And I thought I'd spread the love, three pieces I shared tonight...

PostModern Longing

I miss you. I want to see your face
book profile. I want to read you
my latest posted item. I want to see where you've been
tagged these past months. I don't want to read the writing on the wall
your wall with all of the flirting suitors. How are you today?
What is your status? You haven't updated me
or your profile picture lately. Where are you?
I miss you. I want to see your face

You shut the door to the cold outside and shed
your wool layers, peeling back to the core
of the onion. I watch the heat of your body
radiating outwards like the haze of exhaust fumes
from an airplane. I imagine the skin
tones of your flesh beginning to permeate
the threshold of your body. And I see
pigment spreading like the cyclic cloud of cream
in coffee, allowing itself to dance into neutral
colorless territory. The ink of your skin
tone wanders its way towards me like the very
liquid black of my father’s pen sketching
on napkins, following patterns, losing definition.

(In your eyes, I see moonlight)
In your eyes, I see moonlight
on the ocean’s surface.
The moon brings its face to the mirror and
it shatters.

You steal heartbeats, catching
them before they breathe every time
you enter a room and put them away in a cardboard box.
They run around like chickens, clucking
rhythmically, shadows of breaths
that escaped. I soar up for air, every time.

I would rather enter your body
through your mouth, the swollen
prey inside the belly of a snake.

The mirror game, mere child's play of making my hand follow yours, renews
when we two men stare at each other as if our eyes were needles, yet still
seeing everything else we bare.
We move in parallel, my muscles baited
to yours, we echo
one another. My shoulders, wrists... ankles, knees
Your shoulders, wrists.... ankles, knees
they move together, as if string has grown between
our joints, eyes, navels; cardinal points
for the movement of a marionette, but here no hand
rules, instead, in tandem, two bodies.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reading Life: Pascale Quiviger's The Perfect Circle

I've been wanting to put together some sort of reflective piece on my life of late, but it hasn't been terribly exciting. work everyday, yoga as much as possible, and deadends. The jobs I waited so long to hear responses from have ended unexcitingly in 'you've got a strong application but no'. So the quest continues.

And the reading continues too. I keep wondering what would happen if I picked up books I devoured as a child. Books speak to you, draw out your thoughts, echo your current dilemmas. So without further ado, some quotes, windows into my thoughts... echos of ideas...

In that language [French], a single word, monde, means both people and the place where they're located, and it's because a place is its people.

"I'll ask you then: what is the meaning of life?"
"It's... to live."

Later, Marco stops the car to pick a giant artichoke blossom, mauve and white, its leaves pointing towards every corner of the earth at once.

On one side there is life and on the other, death. During life, we live. Death is simply the completion of that verb.

And I see clearly how at certain blessed moments, the question of location loses all significance, because reality starts to speak our imaginary language.

Perhaps the desire for God emerges like that, with a sudden awareness of time that condemns us to lose small things - the red shovel, a billfold, some gloves - and then the important things - a friend, my grandfather, and summer, several times.

And beneath my revolt against so terrible a wound, I think that for the first time, I chose to be alive. Not by enduring the kind of life that is anticipated, not by taking it from waking to waking, through activities that pass the time, but rather in its perilous nudity; with utter selflessness, I chose life with its black night and its white day, chose it fully and letting nothing slip, with my arms spread wide, in the garden, I accepted everything, all at once...

Hold me in your arms all night, the bedroom was blue and the window open, through the sheer curtain the stars took on impossible dimensions, and you even got up to check that we were still on earth.

The walking man undermines the work we do every minute, he makes us suspect that maybe there's no charge for the fact of being alive. Terrifying: there may be no other meaning for existence but the simple fact of existing. A grandiose fact. A miracle repeated unobtrusively by every springtime on earth, by every morning. To owe nothing to life and, for that very reason, owe it everything, that is to say: owe it life itself.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oh College.

Today I was assigned the task to go to university campuses to poster for upcoming events happening at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. I've been frequenting the McGill library among others all summer, so I thought, piece of cake. As I arrived at the McGill campus, I found it swarming. Students. Everywhere. Of course it had to be the first day of classes.

It was sort of exciting to be part of the madness. Lining up at the administrative office (to ask permission to poster not to haggle for classes), wandering around and looking lost... in other words, fitting right in.

I had fun being part of the energy - the hundreds of late teen early twenties kids milling about. I got a little nostalgic, soon little Harvard students will be shopping around for their fall courseload, popping into twenty-five classes, on ly looking for four. But it was also nice knowing I wasn't part of it, no stress, no worry, no school supplies, no lineups, no scheduling problems.

Now, I'm on the outside, working. And the back to school season doesn't really mean the end of summer as it has in the past. I get to keep enjoying summer like I have since June (but even more now that the weather in Montreal has turned hot and dry... a Rome/California identity crisis? Don't mind at all...). And I get to retreat back to my office at the CCA and continue on doing my thing, doing my yoga and learning the lessons and enjoying the self-reflection that I find immensely more valuable, enriching and evolving. It is, without a doubt, a new phase of life.