Thursday, January 22, 2009

personal tragedies

Why do you look at him?
...because he's pretty... because he's cool
and he knows it,
damn it.

Does it bother you that just as God smote people in history,
you can also be smitten in love?

If I read bits of great literature
my life's pathetic tragedies lose their pedestal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When Celsius meets Farenheit

This morning, I put on three pairs of socks. The forecast for the day only put the high at -20C (with the low at -33C/-27F), so I thought I would dress up to prevent the unfortunately likely event that my toes fall off. I've got this thing called Raynaud's Syndrome. Basically, if I don't wear the right footwear, my toes go white and I am in a lot of pain. My doctor has told me to move to a warm climate. "You're young, you have time," she said.

And today was only proof that I do indeed need to get on that plan to move. In parts of Quebec, it was colder than it is at the North Pole. Armed (Footed?) with three pairs of socks and wearing long underwear and the thickest sweater I own, I trekked out into the world. The cold was like a force, working its way through my pants instantly and cooling my legs. It was like fingers slipping under and behind my eyeballs. It is such a penetrating cold. Thankfully it is not windy, not yet. There are still two more days of this type of weather forecast...

In the US, they would declare a state of emergency or something. In fact, last Saturday in Boston (I was visiting), with 4-6 inches of snow, the city of Cambridge declared a State of Emergency. Pa-thetic. I've heard that schools in Rhode Island are closing because of the cold tomorrow. And in Canada? We move right on. I went to yoga, went into work, and am going out to a dance concert tonight. Cold? Put on another layer, you'll be fine. Sure the weather can seem a little ridiculous, almost inhuman. But we Canadians, we're intrepid and always up for the challenge.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Montreal > New York City

Inside, it's dark

Life is also these other emotions felt on the inside
like a dry sponge, twisting, petrified
You also have that holed, oil-stained rag
slung over one of your ribs.
Pretending on the outside, polished, fools
but only for a while. There is a shadow.

This emotion, I could say I hate
it, but I feel the pit of my stomach
a muscle I always had, but never used.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Appreciation for New Year's

As we walked through the tunnel to the L train heading towards the final countdown of 2008, a man serenaded passersby with Auld Lang Syne on his saxophone while the echo of heels rang back from the girls in black dresses and feathery hats.

I am not usually a big fan of New Year's. Last year I spent the holiday (which is basically a transition between seconds, albeit the most important transition of the year) on top of a hill by a bonfire in Vermont. I trekked up there on snowshoes with the aid of a headlamp with a group of other guests staying at the inn. It was a very powerful moment.

Last night was all different. The cold was still there but I was in New York City wearing nice dress shoes and accompanied by a group of friends who had descended on the city from Boston for the bash. Even though Chris and Ayten were three hours late from Boston because of inclement weather on dubious road conditions, we whisked up to Pio Pio, a Peruvian restaurant on Amsterdam with no worries and excited for the night. We found a chattering lively restaurant with warm yellow walls, great food and Recession- and student-worthy prices (I couldn't resist that Recession jab).

Out again we were in the cold nippy night to head to my sister Zarya's party (which she co-hosted) where we doubled the attendance with our arrival. My friends from Boston (aka my 'entourage' as Z called it) got to relax and chat with some new folks. A night of adventures on public transit (and/or misadventures...), laughs, good people, good cheer was only continuing. We were ultimately headed to our friend Shirley's in the Lower East Side so we got back on the subway, losing the travel-weary Chris and Ayten (in transit between Boston and DC) along the way.

As we walked through the tunnel to the L train heading towards the final countdown of 2008, a man serenaded passersby with Auld Lang Syne on his saxophone while the echo of heels rang back from the girls in black dresses and feathery hats. That was it at that point for me. NYC buzzed with an energy that we were all sensing, an excitement that spread across the city. New Year's Eve was more than a transition between seconds but a time to have fun, celebrate life, celebrate your friends and enjoy.

I believe the New Year rang in somewhere between 1st Avenue and Union Square, we huddled in the cold over a subway grate and cheered, and continued to enjoy each others company. We found an extra drink or two (to wait out the Subway clog at Times Square where we had to transfer trains) before the group dissipated and I melted into my bed. A lovely end to an old year past and a happy start to a new year just beginning.

Here's to a fine 2009!