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I’m almost in the clear – mere boxes to move and some floors to clean, and I will be free of the heavy house hanging over my head. Ha.

Why am I writing this all down? Should I have started this whole blogging thing once the actual journey began?…maybe on the plane…or in Brisbane, my first stop? It definitely could have been a little more exciting, had I new and novel things to write. But no – I think I started writing – or, more precisely, sharing – at the perfect time for me. Starting now, while I’m still at home, offers some sort of anchor to my world here; a point of reference.

After spending many hours with friends, packing and cleaning and talking – well, it reminds me why this will always be home for me. I am so comfortable here. I am so safe and cared for. Who could ask for more? I am grateful.

While an old friend and I briefly talked this evening, I realized that writing has always been important to me. I find joy in keeping track of stuff – all of it – thoughts and ideas, events, quotes… it’s inspiring, but it can be a lonely place as well…an oubliette of sorts. I delve and sometimes I can’t find the way out. Writing with intent may be a good way to stay out of the dungeon. If I believe that someone may read the stuff I put down on paper (so to speak) then I should be able to stay coherent! At least I will aim to be coherent…er…at least after this paragraph!?!

So only a couple of days left in town. Every moment is something special. I am taking snapshots in my head. I am racing around to tie up all those loose ends, and all the while I am doing my best to have fun. I think I am succeeding. I KNOW I am.

How do I know?  I know, because no matter how high-strung I feel, I can still find time to sing loudly in the car.  To all the songs.  Whether I know the words or not.

This is one of my favourite things in the world. Everyone should do this. Who cares if other drivers look at you funny! Maybe you’ll inspire them to do the same. Admittedly, I often take the long route in order to finish a song. It borders on ridiculous, but there it is…my semi-guilty pleasure. Oh, really…you know, I don’t feel guilty at all.

Anywhere we can find joy – that’s a good place to be.

Theme songs of the day:

Take Me to the Riot – Stars, from the Album In Our Bedroom After the War

Anecdote – Ambulance LTD, from the album Ambultance LTD

Can’t Stand Me Now – The Libertines, from the album The Libertines


If I felt the early stages of freedom yesterday, today I just feel exhausted. I am realizing I can’t keep up this pace forever. My intent was to stay as busy as possible before I go, but I’m feeling the effects of very little sleep and an extraordinarily long list of things to get done.

I have loaded my plate to the point of brimming.

Take a left at Mitchel's Farm in Saanich and you come across this beautiful view

There are things that HAVE to be done: empty the house by Saturday, clean, pack, so on, so forth, blah blah blah. But the things that are keeping me really busy are the things I WANT to get done. Visiting and reconnecting with friends, taking pictures of everyone and everything, getting outside to appreciate the local beauty (who doesn’t start to take our surroundings for granted?), reading, writing, ‘rithmatic (ha, kidding), getting excited about where I’ll be headed in –wow- just eight days! – these are the ‘to dos’ that take me away from the former, more redundant activities. Who can blame me, hey?

The tough thing about getting over-tired is that my coping skills decline exponentially with every few hours of missed sleep. The emptiness creeps in…it’s like a vapor – a fine mist just enveloping me very subtly. It wraps around my back and moves through my chest, up the back of my neck. It’s not crushing, just a little stifling. It makes things harder.

Luckily, so far, I haven’t had these ‘vapor-bouts’ all that often, or for very long at once. Just an hour or two and then I get distracted enough to keep going. Actually, I think maybe I get bogged down by the big stuff I have to get done, and then I remember that I have a lot of fun stuff to get done too. This helps!

To pull a quote from an email I recently wrote to a friend: “One thing that seems to be getting me through the tough times is knowing that there is this huge web of inter-connected people; people that care for me…in SOME way.  Saying this, at times I also feel alone – even when I’m surrounded by close friends and family.  It’s very surreal and indescribable…?

Now that I read this back, I think I also find solace in knowing how much that inter-connected web of people not only care for me, they also care for each other. There are so many beautiful relationships out there, so complicated and simple and different. This is family. We are all family.

Theme songs for the day:

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton, from the album Concert for George (*note: It’s live, and the best version of the song, by far)

Fresh Feeling – The Eels, from the album Souljacker

Phantom Limb – The Shins, from the album Wincing the Night Away

Driving at dusk - the clouds just glowed.

Driving at dusk - the clouds just glowed.

The house is barren and it’s wonderful.  I feel I can breathe again.

Isn’t it amazing how we incessantly collect things; always wanting more? We tend to wrap memories and feelings around inanimate objects. In the end, our stuff has the upper-hand. It maintains emotional power over us. “I can’t get rid of that: it was my aunt’s…it was expensive…it matches the couch…”

The boys get the big stuff loaded

The boys get the big stuff loaded

As the moving team (a group of really loyal friends) carts and carries and lifts and packs, I wish that we had a dumpster outside where I could throw out the lot. I am a true believer: we shouldn’t let our stuff own us.

Of course, saying that, I still have a hard time giving a good portion of it up. These quiet power-wielders will not have the last laugh… oh, er…wait – I should probably keep that candle-holder… uh, yeah… a friend gave it to me.


So I guess it feels like this next chapter of my life is finally starting.

Using a word like “finally” conveys a sense of impatience, and although I only made these life-changing decisions in the last few weeks, it feels like I’ve been waiting eons to see them come to fruition. I guess I am a little impatient. I am nearing the end of packing up. I have some cleaning to do and some errands. My heart is in my backpack already and I will fill the rest of it with a few essentials (no candlesticks mmhhh?..). I will head to Vancouver for some visiting and some live music for a fantastic cause:

I will get on the plane and I will be free.

I know I am looking for something. What? I’m not sure… but I have a feeling it will always be waiting around the next corner. Will travel help me get around the bend to have a peek at what lays beyond? I think it will. Or at least it can’t hurt. I’m not going to get all the answers I want, but I will have a really good time searching for them.

I am very aware of the perception of running away.

I don’t think I am, and if I am, I don’t care. The thing is: I faced life head-on when I needed to. The last 16 months have been the toughest, most painful, most tender, most hope-inspiring, test of human-ability that I have ever witnessed; that I will probably ever witness. Not only was I seeing it up close, I was living right smack-dab in the middle of it.  I was partaking in it, moving it forward, keeping it together.

I need a rest. And by rest, I mean journey.

Theme songs for the day:

Masterfade – Andrew Byrd from the album The Mysterious Production of E

Gravity Rides Everything – Modest Mouse from the album The Moon and Antarctica

Silver Lining

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February 2009