time to blow the whistle.

As of late I have crafted my world to embody a derailed train. I am chaotically catapulting off the rails, full speed ahead, pausing or direction is not an option. I can see this as my reality some nights more than others, bringing it all into perspective, a harsh reality, and demanding an incredible halt to the whole thing. I feel it now, for example, at 10:48 on a Friday night, at home by myself in Downtown Toronto after being unexpectedly finished work much earlier than usual, then my social plans fell through, then my back-up plan didn't come through, and my third back up plan didn't answer their phone. My body is tired, a cold is looming, a headache threatening like a black rain cloud above a parade. I have become busy, very busy. There is no such thing as "downtime" these days. I stuff every available afternoon and free period with coffee dates and phone calls. Window shopping, endless meals with friends, loud concerts, extra long hours at work, double shifts, split shifts, pick-up shifts, call for shifts. Any moment that could potentially leave me alone, I mean really A-L-O-N-E, just me and my thoughts and the reality of where I've been the last eight months [coma], is actively and ferociously avoided. Waiting for the bus or subway, riding the bus or subway, is spent reading, and while in between novels [I am currently in the middle of four books simultaneously after finishing two novels in the last week and a half] I spend waiting for transit times playing solitaire. When I am walking I am sprinting, and when not sprinting it is because I'm on the phone or listening to my iPod. As soon as I get in the house I turn all of the lights on along with my stereo so as not to be alone with the quietness of an empty room. I write a few brief emails to feel closer without revealing too much, without asking myself difficult questions. I am a sand castle with the walls so high and thin that any strain would wash me right away.

Twice last week I slept with a light on. I woke up last friday clenching my teeth and clinging to my blankets like I cling on to a companion hogging the bed.

And then - Ah, the inevitable confrontation - I hustled home to change into heels and do something with this unruly hair of mine, which somehow manages to be both frizzy and flat all at the same time, only to have Henderson [culprit.] go home unexpectedly early from a friend's birthday. All of a sudden it's 9:28 and I'm all the way home [Bloor and Dufferin feels twice as far from anything fun with the near-November chill in the air], and everyone is still at work or away or not answering their cells, or, if you're Christen, frantically putting together a faux-meat dress for her Lady Ga Ga costume for tomorrow (after a five hour quest she exclaimed, "how do even PET STORES not sell fake steaks?!"), I resigned myself to leggings and a tee, hair knotted in a braid (the ultimate tell-tale that I'm in for the day). I walked downstairs to my room and stood there for a long time [3.6 minutes, but that's an eternity for a destructive tornado like myself].

No music on. One small light. A journal on my bed, which I have vowed since Tuesday to write in every day since the last eight months have left days and weeks un-documented. The vow has resulted in half-page entries, mostly recalling the weather and what I ate that day. My guitar is in the corner of the diningroom, anxiety tightens my chest at even the THOUGHT of unlatching its case, heaven forbid I get honest enough to write something. A new canvas hangs on my wall. No words for a name for it yet.

A roaring, over-caffeinated-like monster is shrieking in my heart, "NOISE! DISTRACTION!!! HURRRYY!!!!"

I sat down on my bed instead. I opened my crisp, new journal.

"Jess. You are far, far away."

Once you figure out where you are on the map, it's a hell of a lot easier to figure out where to go from there.

My writing, these posts, painting, has become less and less frequent. Songwriting feels like a cracked well. Art is a pure, sacred thing that requires one getting very still and honest and telling the truth. What does the proverb say, "Above all things to thine own heart be true." And if you're not listening to your heart, everything else is going to be upside down - in each of us there is a Compass. If you have ever tried to find West while holding  a magnet to a compass's centre you know you are going to end up drastically off-map.

There is something so intricately beautiful about Creating - the necessity that one should press in deeper and farther into Truth and Pain, the Brutality of Life and the cycles of nature that ultimately go on to create and create again; I have been reminded in this time, dwarfed by the height and depth of all of the feelings and process of it all, that nowhere does it require that we have it figured out, only that we seek and marvel and wonder. I have always tried to prove Bravery by trying to do it all by  myself, resulting in this Train State, resulting in barbaric approaches to get through another day instead of digging deeper into the soil, pressing into where it hurts. Sitting with quietness and the loneliness that so often dwarfs me. Confronting the silence and boredom and the Unknown. If  I could learn to do that - OH. what great depths and heights would I know of. What worlds and journeys those would be. No one likes an artist that doesn't cross boundaries and RISK, sweet risk, per chance that new lands will be found, if not today, tomorrow, or the next.

Posted on October 29, 2010 and filed under writing-.