hells_half_acre: (Thoughtful)

Articles like that make me happy I'm me. There's more to a happy life than people realise. I may not have a job, a boyfriend, a goal, I may never be made happy by the things society tells me are supposed to make me happy, but I breath beauty like oxygen.

For all this article says though, it doesn't mention the possibility of enjoying things in passing. I have passed musicians before, here in Montreal all the time, and enjoyed the song until the metro arrived. There's something to be said for fleeting beauty. You don't stop every pretty girl or boy in the street so you can stare at them for hours. Sometimes you just throw them a quick glance and then smile to yourself once they've passed, happy enough with the slight tease of reminder that you've only experienced the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beautiful things in the universe.

That said, I agree that people live their lives out of balance...that a world where you don't feel like you have time to stop for a few minutes and enjoy some songs, is a world that needs to relocate it's priorities. If I was a boss and someone came in a little late for work, and I asked them why and they said, "There was this amazing violinist in the metro," I'd say "cool man, I'm sorry I missed that." But then, I don't have a job now do I.
hells_half_acre: (Default)
Max zenlike

I've been a lot of places in my life. The more places I go to, the more it feels like I've barely been anywhere. Different places have different ways of getting under your skin. They all give you different feelings. I become attached to places like I become attached to people. Sometimes I wonder how much geography affects personality.

I can't imagine my life without travel. I can't imagine ever stopping and saying "that's enough of that." I can't ever seem to get enough. Travel will always be like drinking water in a desert, something never to be taken for granted, and something I'll always want to do more of.

It doesn't take much in life to make me happy. I think there are some people on the outside looking in that think differently. They think I'm too picky, they think I'll never be satisfied, they believe that I feel I deserve better than others. It's not true though, in reality, I'm satisfied with very little. I don't spend much money. I don't really feel the need for matching furniture or fancy appliances. I don't really care what my salary is as long as I half enjoy what I'm doing, or at best can tolerate it until something new comes along.

Gabe and I are similar in that regard. We are also similar in the way that we always need to keep moving. It's not about being footloose and fancy-free, it's about going stir-crazy. It's about being addicted to feeling the sun on our face from every possible angle and altitude.

I think what makes the transition hard for me between student-life and "real-life" is the difference in what we are supposed to want. What happens to those of us who are happy with very little? To me, the "real world" is all geared towards owning things you don't need...not really, a bigger house than you require, some fancy car, furniture and dishes that match, a lawn filled with grass that isn't even native to the continent.

It's true, sometimes I get sick of the wandering life. Sometimes I wish I could use the word "home" in reference to only one place instead of several. There are some days where I think, 'yes, I will get a job and I will work 40 hours a week, and I will eventually buy myself a good couch, and I will be happy goddamnit it! I'll force myself to be happy!' Unfortunately, or fortunately, I know it doesn't work like that.

The truth is I'm a long way off from wanting the life I'm supposed to want. The life that society seems set up in order for me to achieve without asking questions about whether it's actually worth it all in the end.

I am happy with very very little. I also don't think there is a division between school and "real-life". It's all real-life. Wanting to continue to live simply is not about avoiding the "real world" it's about choosing how to live your life, and if that means rejecting social norms, then so be it...but it's not avoidance. It's not irresponsibility. It's about knowing yourself and what makes you happy.

I see a lot of my friends going through the same thing as I am, and part of me wonders if it's really a quarter-life crisis at all. Part of me thinks it's more of a shift in perception. It's about social structures lagging a bit behind a changing mind-set. Some of my friends do want the family and house, and that's cool too. It's all cool. Sometimes though, I see the world as being full of people like me, who would much rather have a backpack on their shoulder and a plane ticket in their hand than have a three car garage.

Because the truth is, normal freaks me out. Normal turns me off. If a guy tries to pick me up in a stereotypical way. If a guy wants to date me and bring me flowers and kiss me goodnight all awkward on my porch on the first date...well, I lose interest fast. I've come to expect something more. I've grown used to my twisted relationships, my unusual lifestyle, my blunt way of communicating.

Maybe one day I'll be normal, but I doubt it...and really, even if I end up living on next to nothing for the rest of my life. I have a feeling that as long as I'm free to live in my own underground society with my twisted relationships and my misplaced intelligence, I'll be happy. Happiness is about knowing who you are and what you want and living the life you've imagined. It's not my fault if the life I've imagined isn't considered normal.
hells_half_acre: (lilypads)
If Gabe has a sense stronger than the rest, it's his hearing. He has perfect pitch. He can pick up language without having to see it written down. He can mimic accents and speech patterns after only brief encounters with them. He can pick up instruments easily, pick out harmonies, and create beautifully haunting melodies. He can hear very high pitches or people calling from very long distances.

For all his hearing though, his mind wanders and he misses what people say. My mumbling still confuses him, as I don't stress whether something is important or not. He has to try to remember the sounds he heard from me and try to reconstruct them in something that makes sense, often times, he fails, but I love the attempts. There was one time I asked him what he wanted for dinner, and he looked at me in disbelief and declared "You're not fat!" and I thanked him, and asked him what he wanted for dinner again. I should have asked him what he thought I had said, but compliments are so rare from him that I hadn't wanted to spoil the moment.

Gabe declared to me the other day that although my hearing was not as strong as his, my sense of smell seems to be amazing. I can smell the faint traces of pot circulating through the heating ducts a whole twenty minutes before it becomes strong enough for Gabe to smell it. When something goes rotten I'm always the first to track it down.

I love smells. There are smells that have taken me back in time to wildflowers and insects on sunny summer days, running around our house in the country looking for garden snakes. I can recreate feelings and memories by combining the right ingredients. Cardamon always reminds me of christmas. I only had to bake Kermakakku for Gabe once, and the next time he smelt cardamon he looked at me and said "It smells like Christmas!"

There are some scents I want to drown in. Scent that make me feel comfortable, loved, at home. Scents that make me want to protect everything I have in life, to hold fast to it and never let go. These are the precious scents, the delicate ones. I can't drown in them, because these are the scents that are fleeting, that vanish if they are consumed too greedily, if they are handled too roughly.

When I was a kid I always remember the scratch and sniff books and stickers. I remember showing them to friends and then getting paranoid that they would smell all the smell away. That they would sniff it so hard as to rip all the scent out of it and leave none for me. I can honestly say it was somewhat foolish of me to think that way, but not so with the precious scents, the delicate ones. You can smell those all away.

They don't disappear down your nasal passage, instead they are too easily taken over. You find them and stand there and slowly against your will, your own chemistry is already changing the air, changing the fabric, changing the consistency of everything. You don't have to be filthy to be overwhelming. Just being there affects everything. The scientist can never have a completely flawless experiment, the zoologist can never observe animals in their natural habitat, because they've already changed it by being there.

I was once told by someone that my family was the only one they knew where each sibling had their own unique smell. It's true. If I lost my eyes and ears I would still know my siblings by their body chemistry, if not by the way their personalities change the pressure in the room.

There are some things in life that are delicate, and these things usually always end up becoming what is most important to us. These wonderfully small intricate things - subtle, grand, amazing, or simple things - become everything to us. It's easy to get carried away, to consume them too quickly, to overwhelm them simply by our very presence and desire for them.

It's hard sometimes to know what to do. Do you hold tightly and risk ruining them, or do you stand back and risk losing them? Do you enjoy them while you have them and accept when they are gone, or do you continue to seek them out, or deny yourself altogether?

Of course it's not just scents I'm talking about anymore, but I do wonder sometimes whether it's healthy to drown myself in my pleasures, as I so want to do, even if by doing I consume everything too quickly and hold everything too tight. Unfortunately our society is founded on the western religions, which most often seem to believe that all pleasure is sinful, that all these wonderfully delicate things are wastes of time. Rasputin believed that sin was finite, and it was up to the pious to use it all up and save others from hell. Religions can be funny things. I'd like to start a religion of wonderfully delicate intricate things that we all fall in love with. We'll all meet on sundays or thursdays and think about wildflowers and chasing snakes on hot summer days, or that certain smile that sometimes crosses your loved ones' face, or the smell of a shirt, or the feel of rough stubble, or the way hair falls on shoulders and spills down the back, or the way the water crashes against the shore while the birds disappear into the fog, or the way sometimes you want to drown yourself in your pleasures, because, well, what a way to go.

It's not that we're scared
It's just that it's delicate
The universe is sacred, you cannot control it
If you try to change it, you will ruin it
If you try to hold it, you will lose it


Nov. 29th, 2006 01:38 am
hells_half_acre: (night)
Tonight was a perfect night for taking pictures in the city. A little chilly, and just misty enough to make everything look a like an apparition. We're all ghosts in the city at night. Lit by artificial light. I always feel like I can do anything. The laws of physics no longer apply. I can walk through walls.

No one talks to strangers in big cities. I'm the only one. It's not like I chat. I just say sorry, or explain that I need to lean over them to hold on to the pole on the subway or else I'll fall over. No one ever responds, or makes eye contact. Sometimes there is a nervous smile, but if I blink I miss it. I don't think I come across as crazy. I think people have just gotten used to never speaking to strangers or having strangers speak to them. It throws them off. On beautiful nights though, it makes me a little sad. Perhaps I'm the only one who sees people as more than just bodies around me. I know there are people inside those bodies, people who perhaps don't like tomatoes and have a favorite television program. I could be wrong though, maybe they are all just robots, and technology hasn't progressed far enough to allow them to speak when spoken to.

The Holt Renfrew has three giant red flags over its entry. They have HR printed on them in fancy letters enclosed in a circle. When they blow in the wind though, on a slightly misty night, the HR looks like the hammer and sickle. I wish I had a camera, because tonight was the perfect night for pictures.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
I've referred to the following rant to a couple of people recently who didn't have access to it when it was initially conceived. So, I figured I would post it here. This is for those of you who won't get offended by this. For those of you who will, well, you have to wonder what that says about you. Without further ado, I present 'my anti-beige rant:

I don't understand these people in big houses. They have these perfect houses, with furniture from magazines, and perfectly colour-coordinated beiges and browns. They have artwork on the walls and you have to wonder who the poor artist was, because somewhere along the line they lost their soul. There's no personality in the art, and you have to wonder if it was choosen simply for the reason that it didn't detract too much from the strangers admiring the "beautiful" tile work that only reminds me of old rusty metal with half the character.

People live in these houses, and I can't help but wonder where their personalities went. Did they ever have a soul, or were they born as automotons of consumerism? I think back to all those people I didn't get along with in high school, and I can't help but think that I'm seeing their future. The gorgeous house, the husband that calls them honey, the 2.5 kids that play videogames in the carpeted basement and grow up and eventually die after driving under the influence because how else are they going to feel alive. I wonder if these people talk to their kids like the people do on TV. All sappy, with words like "sweety" and "I think we should talk..." They grow up to be social conservatives just because they don't know anything else. They've never seen past their own desires. They've never desired anything that couldn't be bought.

I can't help but think that this is what is wrong with the world. These plastic people. I have to fight the urge to tackle them, to push them into the soft dirt violently, to somehow jar them into a different way of thinking, to reawaken their deadened senses. I'd punch them for good measure.

I'm sure they do have personalities. But I don't know where they are. No one expresses themselves in beige, I don't care who argues against me. Just because you have a nice house, and want nice things, doesn't mean you have no soul...but these people's houses are interchangable. If you went to Jim's house you could easily confuse it with Diane's house...if you told me that I was in Rachel's house I wouldn't think anything of it.

When people walk into any room I've decorated...any room I've LIVED in for a substantial amount of time. They always tell me that it feels like me, that, if no one had told them that it was my place, they could have easily guessed. Some even tell me that they couldn't possibly live with those autrocious colours on the wall...but hey, that's alright, they aren't me afterall.


Oct. 22nd, 2006 10:30 pm
hells_half_acre: (Clouds)
    Seth awoke and tried to focus the numbers on the alarm into something other than a red blur. 4:27am. He slowly allowed the information to sink in, while wondering why it was that he had woken up so early even though it was quite obvious that he was still exhausted.
    ‘Ponk?’ He thought, sitting up and furrowing his brow in the dark.
    “What?” Seth detangled his legs from the sheet, cursed under his breath, and walked as fast as his sleepy muscles would carry him to the window. He raised the blinds, just in time to see Vincent throw something at him. A small stone hit the window pane.
    Vincent waved excitedly as a bright smile spread across his face. Seth grinned despite himself and opened the window.
    “Vin? What the hell is it? It’s four-thirty in the morning!” he called down in the sternest whisper he could manage. “You obviously aren’t dying, what the hell is so important?!”
    “Happy Birthday!” came the smiling response. Seth couldn’t help but laugh.
    “Thanks. I’ll be right down,” he said, shaking his head in mock disapproval.

hells_half_acre: (Sherrie's Bday)
I'm going to write up a little story from a day back in my good old demented childhood, but first Sherrie wanted me to post the following. Sherrie's a little depressed about her boyfriend sometimes being a bit of a bastard. It's a common problem, I told her:

"He's in his own little world and he can't take a moment to poke his head over to yours and try to understand where you are coming from....it's a typical affliction of men."

I should say, it's also an affliction of some women too, but not nearly as often as men.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
('tis a little sappy, I know...but that's what happens when you write something at 3am.)

The world today is not made for wanderers. It’s a world of stability, and rules to keep it that way, where one doesn’t think anything abnormal about the routine of school, permanent job, steady lover that becomes a fiancé, that becomes a spouse - you live in an apartment and save for a house. You have children and save for retirement. You live out your days and you say, “Look at this tree. 40 years ago I fell out of it and broke my arm and yours when you tried to catch me.” You are as permanent as that tree, though you have legs un-rooted to the ground.

Citizenship became a loaded word somewhere along the way; though if asked I would say Canadian, english-Canadian, while my traveling companion replied with the same but french. We both have stood on a mountain top and looked over vast forest, lakes and rivers, and wondered if there was a spot where nobody had yet stepped, though in our intellect we knew the land was never empty. We have told others of the beauty of our homeland, the place we were born, and yet we wander - not unsatisfied, but driven for more.

When we were in Ireland we stood on soil that was soaked with the blood of centuries of violence. We stood in a land where lines blurred between enemies and friends, between right and wrong, where you began to wonder where the line fell between honourable and pointless death. We stood and looked out on the country that was neither our birthplace nor our home and we knew we had found a part of paradise. We felt peace in our souls and if someone had struck us down right there we would have died happy.

We walked through the forest and lane ways of Germany. We looked at buildings that attempted to look like old parents they had never known. The sun shone down on a land where people had been uprooted, shipped off and never returned. We learned to cherish friends, strangers, and enemies, in a peculiar way that comes from being unsettled by the deep horrible meaning of the past.

We drank wine in Prague. We got lost and walked by monuments to heroes of many nations. The souvenir salesmen spoke to us in every language of the continent and oddly held truth in the simple act of selling their wares.

I watched the Scottish Highlands move around me from a train window and believed myself in a dream of love, life, and loneliness, that comforted the soul. I was on the edge of the world with the irrepressible desire to fall off. I laughed and was content.

He promised to marry China and laughed. I gave my blessings and saw him off. He smiled at children who stared at him in bafflement. He danced and became lonely in a sea of people. He stood on the garden wall and knew the meaning of friendship.

We will meet up again, and laugh and speak the languages of our hearts. Our stability in our own and each others minds, hearts, and hands. Our citizenship to the country of ourselves.


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