Friday, November 28, 2008


Sometimes I think of you and wonder if you’re dead, wonder
if you think of me, or if you stop to consider
writing of your mind, your trajectory. There
are only so many lives, only so many
friends I can stretch my ten fingers towards. The others, like you, fall
to my imagination and I start to tell stories
of make believe with only the smallest
remnant of you. But I do not yet know
the end, my stories run on in the past
and again I think of you and wonder.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Eye of the Fire: Best. Story. Ever.

Friday morning, on the last day of a 5-day early morning Chakra Yoga workshop, we reflected on our week, meditated and engaged in some free-flow yoga. Over the course of the week we had focused on each of the seven energy centers of the body. We learned their colors, we learned their sounds, we learned over what domains of life they preside. The third chakra, where the ego lives supposedly, had been a particularly challenging centre. The yellow fiery energy hub had stirred up a lot of stuff about life, direction, purpose... Apparently its the last domain of the body/ego before you go upwards to enlightenment. Or so they say.

So we were engaging in some free-flow yoga. Basically the music went and we just did the positions that our body demanded. At the beginning of Friday's class we had all lit a candle and put it at the front of our mats. As I got out of child's pose and leant forward in downward facing dog, my hair hung down over my candle. And suddenly, I heard the FOOM of flames catching, and looked up as I leant back down into child's pose just quick enough to glimpse the brightness of fire that had caught my hair. It extinguished just as fast as it caught fire.

The stench was instantaneous. I ran my hand through my hair and immediately took out a dried crusty smelly clump. I left the room quickly to survey the damage, brush my hair and get back to class. HI-LA-RI-OUS. We had talked about getting the energy from our lower energy centers up to our minds, get the energy flowing. I quite literally got the fire to go right to my head!

And class just continued (regardless of the stench).

After the final class was over, I surveyed the damage and discovered I had a little tuft of hair at the base of my scalp over my right eye. Hardly noticeable. But I took it as a sign, go lop off the hair, it's about time.

So the next day I went to Funky Toque and told the hairstyle to work with the tuft... and from the flames, we have renewal, and a much younger looking Stefan (see below, and note the reds and yellows and oranges in the background).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Keep Your Fancy Pants for Special Occasions

As with every Sunday edition of the New York Times, I acted no differently on this week's end in immediately flipping to the Sunday Styles section. I like looking at the photos of the newlyweds, scanning the fashion photos and reading the stories that seem more affable and comforting then the bad complicated news the news usually delivers. Reading an article entitled 'No More Fancy Pants,' I was disgusted, not delighted as I usually am with exposes about contemporary life.

See article:

The article looks at the current trend of downplaying the luxurious lifestyle. Just as sky-rocketing gas prices shook the populace to suddenly realize the ecological impact of their automobile affinities (issuing a rush of commercials touting the most fuel-efficient cars on the road, abruptly ending the fad of tanksized vehicles), the crashing economic markets have commercial enterprises advertising the affordability of their wares and their many sales. At a time when people are losing their homes and their jobs, "if you're laying people off," as the article states, "you don't want to buy a Ferrari."

My problem with the article which focuses mainly on the well-to-do and how they are shifting their lifestyles in accordance to the current economic climate, and its subsequent effect on trends in lifestyle, is that it treats modest living as nothing more than a trend. While I have no doubt that it is true (the article briefly mentions previous economic downturns of the 1930s, 1980s and post 9/11), the author misses the boat completely on the artificiality of blind consumerism.

In my humble opinion, flaunting opulence, fine jewelry or expensive clothes is never in fashion. Recycling your wardrobe every season, while it might be nice, is not realistic. There is this ideal of having massive amounts of disposable income to spend and buy at your heart's every whim that represents, for me, empty desires without any substance. I balk at this article and its claims that "thriftiness is making a comeback," "it's now chic to cut back," and "roast chicken will be very popular [addressing ostentatious and over-the-top restaurant food]."

Having clothes of quality, a comfortable home, strong connections to your family and friends, and a healthy lifestyle rooted in your local environment shouldn't be something that comes in and out of fashion. Such things are timeless, classic, but more importantly fundamentally human. Treat yourself every now and then, make it special, to be savoured. And focus on the foundational and eternal trues of life, the ones that never fade in and out of style.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Swedish Poetry? Swedish Poetry

My mother recently gave me a small collection of poetry from "one of the most influential figures in modernist Swedish poetry." It consisted of a collection called Ideals Clearance written by Henry Parland in 1929, a year before he would die at the young age of 22. I'm 22. If I were Henry Parland, I'd be dead.

Anyways, I wanted to share to pieces from the poet that got me thinking...

from SOCKS

wants something from me
even the cigarette smoke
coils question marks
doors threaten to devour me,
the matches' legs
are so long and hungry,
the coffee cups curl their pale lips
with scorn-.

from FLU

I'm scared
very scared
that when we one day creep out
of ourselves,

we will stand on a beach
with runny noses,
wrapped up in the raincoats of our personalities
and watch ice floes drift past.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It's incredible how I feel when I can put thoughts into words, when unlikely similes and metaphors just bubble to the surface, to the tips of my fingers and come out. I feel a certain very simple pride and humble radiance when I do this. For that I must continue writing...

Ghandi once said: "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." And in fact it's true, you must do whatever it is you do to feed yourself, to inspire others, to help, to comfort, to connect. We think about purpose, and goals, and plans, and returns too often... when really we should just stop, and do.

A friend of mine who is still at Harvard and devoting himself to a craft he does so well is my friend Jose Olivarez. Him and his friend Nate have undertaken a challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days. I commend him. At a place like Harvard, you need to put yourself up for the challenge to promote what you truly believe in. Keep with him as he continues along the poetic month:

Another wonderful display of expression in action is the show So You Think You Can Dance, which is in its inaugural season in Canada (the top 10 took to the stage last night). There are some incredible dancers who pour their soul out and radiate their spirits across the airwaves. Something about the show just inspires me, music embodied, passion presented, spirits shining. Two technically incredible dancers who I think have lots of spirit are Vincent Noiseux and Allie Bertram; both danced well-choreographed solos and displayed style. Allie, with training in ballet, rocked the stage in a pouffy tutu but a plaid vest and one pink-red slipper. Vincent kicked ass in his disco routine with Arassay. Which brings me to the other two dancers who should be in the top 4: Arassay Reyes and Nico Archambault. These two are stunning dancers as well as beautiful people, both physically and spiritually. In my opinion, in their solos, they really put their hearts on the stage. It is incredible to see people ooze passion from their pours and make you feel their potency, their energy, their spirit.

*Images from CTV website for So You Think You Can Dance (Allie, Arassay, Nico and Vincent)

Belated Boo!

It isn't too late, there isn't any snow on the ground yet.
Although, as a child, November 1st was often the day of our first snow.
Here, then, is our glorious pumpkin.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Opening the Floodgates: New Poems

I hadn't sat down to write poetry since I came home from school.
I never felt motivated.
I got discouraged.
My poems wouldn't be published, no one would read them, nothing would happen, what's the point?
But as the summer continued, I reminisced back to dreams I had when I was younger.
I wanted to be a writer.
And I can BE a writer, very simply someone who writes.
Who cares where the words go?
If they touch even one person, it will be worth it.
So here for you, two as of yet untitled poems.

*the open square bracket means the words that follow are meant to be at the end of the previous line

I wasn't aware there was
God in my hands. I thought He only lived between
and in my eyes. But yesterday, the charge electrified
my fingers. I wanted to taser my heart and spread
divinity through my bloodstream.

If I could walk and write at the same time, I would pen shaky-handed
masterpieces and illegible soliloquies that soar. My mind would [continue
dropping unlikely phrases, trailing them behind as I walk home. [Punctuation
and words would leave their invisible trace, stealing the breath of [hearts that have sung
true poetry, lost words, and bled gratefully into triumphant echo.