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There’s a blackout in my building. Thunder. Tiny explosions of water on the balcony. A distant mechanical hum.
Today is a lazy day for me. The blinds are drawn and the white light of my laptop brightens the room.
It’s time for an update.
I’ve been in Toronto, Canada for over a month now.
This wasn’t the plan. I arrived in late May to attend a conference for a number of days. Protocol was then to move to the city of Peterborough to live with three girls I’d never met. The thought of being surrounded by cottage country was appealing. It was there I planned to write my book.
It can be crazy how life unfolds and if there’s one thing I took from time spent in Thailand it’s that my intuition must be honoured. Despite the various spaces I occupied in my pre-Thai life – the violence, the struggles that still have the ability to make people uncomfortable when discussed, life here was pneumatic compared to an undercurrent of what I tapped into in Thailand. The ramifications of ignoring one’s intuition in Canada at any time can prove to be destructive, disastrous, even fatal. Thailand was something completely different for me. It’s as though I had to physically use parts of my brain that had previously laid dormant to survive.
As a result, returning to North American life has rendered me an outsider although I don’t view this classification in the pejorative. Neither fully here nor there, I balance both worlds. At times it’s as though I see the inner and the outer simultaneously. The only way I’ve been able to explain it is to imagine looking at the legs of a chair. Most will notice the legs as the major characteristic that comprises the chair. Sometimes I see the space between. Or the shadows. Or the highlights. Or all at once and not one more pronounced than another. The positive space quickly moves to the negative. The space between is experienced before the legs take form. The shadows are their own.
This process has affected everything. I move through spaces and see holes. I hear empty moments. I view what I once knew completely differently. Sometimes I cease looking for words to describe an experience as they can only pollute it. And when I’m in tune with everything, when my mind isn’t falling into old patterns, my intuition becomes no different than my blood.
The thought of moving to Peterborough began to physically make me ill. There were circumstances lending to this and who I was pre-Thailand would have moved regardless. I would have used reason alone. I would have over analyzed and perhaps made excuses lending to why the ditch of my right arm felt on fire and my stomach ablaze. I chose not to go.
I’m fortunate to have supportive friends and I’m currently residing with one on Toronto’s west side. I didn’t plan to be here long, I didn’t plan anything really. I was living day to day, moving with the time, knowing something would unfold. I spent ten years of my life in Toronto previously and I’ve never been able to enjoy it as I have these past five weeks. Between work, training, visits to health specialists and daily distracted life, I missed out on a lot although I don’t regret having gone through the process. It’s that work that has brought me here today.
Hanging out on a Monday evening in the dark and rain. With a mechanical hum in the distance.
I really have no idea what’s next for me. I know this apartment is available for another four to five weeks and I’ve recently realized that I want to stay in the city for longer than that period of time. Life keeps rolling out grandly right now. I spent a great deal of my life pushing hard against what was coming at me. Currently, I like the idea of of surfing it.
We’ll see what unfolds. Happily. With my eyes open.
Monday, July 8, 2013
*This piece was written at the beginning of what would prove to be a citywide blackout. My area was without electricity for 46 hours.