Posts tagged #friendship

rubble (n).

886956a47bd0f299c95aec833985cc78You are broken, and sat there, breaking. I will not gather you, like a shattered glass (I have shattered many from clumsy hands), I will not brush up the pieces. I am not afraid of the tiny slivers. I am not afraid of the mess. You don't have to go anywhere until you are ready. You can stay scattered on the floor as long as you need. I will tread lightly. I will watch my step.


transcend (v).

ba4db5f7a783a0b07cf6e05a3d64b77fIn these words may you find a little bit of sweet comfort and full understanding of my support, dear friend: I believe in the whisper that I have heard, that there is such thing as healing. I believe that what is now does not need to be always. I believe that there is hope that what has seduced us into its piercing grasp - ripped our flesh, burned our insides, engulfed us in flames, turning to ash everything and everyone we have ever known and loved, cracked our skulls - may not always have such a stronghold on our weary and searching hearts.

I believe in the decent man that you are, and I promise you, there is still so much hope of returning to who you have always been. I know you will find him, in triumph.

You are not far off. You are not far from home.

weekend in chicago.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetLast Thursday I snuck away to the tropical city of... Chicago. Seriously! It would have been nice to go on a sunny vacation to Bora Bora or something, but in comparison to the freezing weather of Toronto, Chicago was almost balmy. I have a few dear friends in the windy city so the whole weekend was full of cheese, wine, food, wine, howling with laughter and cheese.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetOn Friday morning, locals Joe and Topher took my friend Natasha and I to Southport Grocery (ironically not a grocery store) for brunch, where I had the most magical bread pudding pancakes I've ever had (to be completely honest I've never had bread pudding pancakes anywhere else, but I'm fairly confident these were the best anyway). Then the boys took us to Anthropologie, which is arguably the girliest store ever, and they each came out with a book purchased, and we girls came out with zilch. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcamMy oldest and dearest friend Lynsey lives in Chicago, and we got some serious catch up time, which was so glorious and precious. Also of note, if you're looking for delicious brunch places in Chicago, we ate at Little Goat and it was fantastic. Their hash and their breakfast burrito (of which I am a self-proclaimed connoisseur) was on a whole other level of amazing. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetWe didn't do too much touristy things, but just before our flight, Joe took us to The Bean. Because I guess no trip would be complete without it. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThanks Chicago for your bright skies, great architecture and beautiful people.


words on loneliness from "the city sage."

6a00e55225716d8833019b0020220f970d-800wi-1 I've never quite been able to express the kind of loneliness that sometimes grips me, and I recently stumbled on these words by Anne Sage on her blog "The City Sage." She says:

"I've alway struggled with loneliness. I don't mean a 'call up a few friends to chase the blues away' loneliness. I mean a profound sense of isolation that confines me to my bed; that wracks me with sobs sent from the pit of my gut to consume me from the inside out; that finds me in a crowded room deaf to everything but my echoing thoughts. It's a self-absorbed, self-induced, self-perpetuated sort of loneliness—because the heavier it grows, the harder it gets for me to push it off and do something about it.          


"The thing is, I'm tired of trying to do something about it. Tired of showing up at therapy. Tired of risking the whim of fairweather friends. And man alive, am I tired of reading the books. The ones that suggest I never learned to express my emotions or set boundaries in order to feel heard. The ones that claim we are all essentially alone and the sooner we accept that the sooner we'll find peace. The ones that tell me to stay in the now, practice gratitude, feel my feelings. I'm tired of circling endlessly in my own head. 

"One book, however, has pushed me out of my head and onto paper—a small distance, granted, but a step forward nonetheless. Writing Down Your Soul teaches an approach to journaling that draws out the frightening, audacious things you've been keeping even from yourself. It forces you to ask difficult questions such as 'What am I hiding?' and 'What do I truly want?' It leaves you staring at a page on which you've just written the words, 'I want someone to love me enough to come find me, no matter how hard I hide.'"

Do you ever feel like this? I know I have many people that I have deep, meaningful relationships with, I know I am not going at this alone, and even still I get gripped with this yucky, heavy feeling sometimes. What do you think?

[Pictures from The City Sage].

carry (v).

4a333de8ddc9ff7f5659da1048b284eeI'm still not ready to fully believe that you're no longer on your way to who you used to be becoming. I'm still not ready to stop making fun of you for all of the things that you do that you think you must (you don't need to). I still believe that in you are Generation words, and love to bring cities of walls to rubble. I carry you, late in the evening in hazy half-sleep, your name is ringing through the inky midnight, and I hum along, I know the song well.


ImageImageImageThere is no better way to rest and rejuvenate than to bring yourself to the sea, so I did just that. I miraculously got my back pack on a Ryanair flight without being charged (and if you've ever flown Ryanair you know how much of an accomplishment that is; it largely had to do with a lot of strategic synching and another oversized-bag customer creating a diversion at the gate. Needless to say I was completely anxious for 24hrs thinking of their day-of baggage charge (60€) and I sucked it up and paid 20€ for my other two flights coming up on this trip). And then I headed to the coast of Spain. 

I met my dear friend Carrie and her best friend Jill in a little plaza downtown and we spent a leisurely day walking the beach, eating veggie burritos and drinking mojitos [not very Spanish of us] and enjoying the general luxury that is lounging in a hotel room. 
That evening we attended Carrie's classmate's birthday. The birthday girl, Laura (Barcelona native), had rented a performance space and asked her friends to prepare a skit or song of some kind. There were songs with guitars and accordions, there were skits, there was a game show in Catalonian that went on forever, there was a hilarious dance routine performed by Carrie and her lovely friend Crystal. I was so impressed and inspired with everyone's care and dedication to their friend, not only to show up but to prepare and perform as well. How often does that happen at a birthday party in Canada?
One of the birthday guests prepared a little something for us foreigners as well, a 20 minute power point on Castellers, which is the Catalonian tradition of people stacking, really, creating towers in various formations by standing on each other's shoulders. It was pretty comical how detailed his presentation was, but the whole thing is very fascinating, and, surprise, there was a Castell festival going on the next morning! We now had another must-see attraction to add to our itinerary. 
It's a little terrifying to see dozens of people stand on each other's shoulders and then see them shimmy up to make tier upon tier, especially because the top tier is always a tiny child or two, but the energy of the square and enthusiasm of the participants was contagious, and it really was great. 
No trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's cathedral that is still under construction. The first time I was in Europe, this was my single most favorite cathedral I went to, and a top highlight of the whole trip. This time around was no exception. I've said before that a lot of cathedrals can give me the heeby-jeebies, but this one is vibrant and alive and full of very intentional and very inspiring imagery. Two things I noted this time: one was when the audio tour was talking about the light of the cathedral, and how Gaudi strategically calculated and mapped out how much light would come through the bright stained glass; he said, "it must not have too much light or too little, for both are blinding," and that the colors are chosen intentionally, to shine down the encouragement, "I am the water of life, I am the light of the world." The second was that Gaudi flanks the church with facades of Christ, his birth, life and the passion, and the imagery of the alter is all about the believer, dedicated to life's questions, who are we, what do we believe, why are we here, what awaits us when we die. How lovely that the place that we sit to reflect is built to cultivate the wondering of the heart. 
After getting stuck in a serious thunder storm, we met Carrie's classmates to watch a play. It was a three person play, a woman, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend's fear, personified. Obviously I don't speak a lick of Spanish but it was still great to watch the movements of the story. 
Stuck again in the rain, we were determined to have a hearty and cozy dinner, and the Italian restaurant down the road was just the ticket. We shut the place down with huge pizzas and bruschetta and seafood pasta and chianti (there was also, unfortunately, a very disappointing crepe, but I won't hold it against them). 
Visiting with such a good girlfriend was really great after the crazy experience of the camino. I'll see Carrie again when I pass through London on my way home, but for now she and Jill headed back to the UK. 
Yesterday was a mellow day. My enthusiasm for exploration (and visions of getting a great massage) were squashed when I learned it was a bank holiday and most stores were closed, and I had a bath and a nap in the late morning after breakfast and a switch of hotels. Motivated by the great need for lunch, I headed out and noticed that my dear friend Tom Smith (circa Muskoka Woods days) was available to entertain me. We met for coffee, walked with churros con chocolate (topped with whipped cream, are you kidding?), stopped in at the cathedral Santa Maria Del Mar, met up with his Polish friend Anita, hiked to Park Guel for sunset, and had a night cap. Tom is absolutely hilarious and had me giggling non-stop, and he is also a very philosophical and theological man, and it was such a treat to spend the day with him. He was a great tour guide and historical anecdotist [not a word but is a word to me]. It was a lovely day. 
Now I am on a charter bus, literally sitting on a seat hovering the stairs at the front right beside the driver (got the very last seat), heading for the airport, destination Munich to spend some time with my old roommate Lindsay and her very German husband, Roland. Can anyone say schnitzel? 
Thank you for indulging my very rambled recount of my weekend. I am blissed out on inspiring company, a beautiful city, and incredible gratitude for my five weeks in Spain. 
Posted on May 21, 2013 and filed under from jess-.

kindred (adj).

beanPlease know, my dear friend, my sister, when you feel sorrow my heart will be troubled, when you lose sleep I will not sleep soundly, when you are confused I will try and solve the problems with you. When you lose something it is my loss too. I will celebrate with you, I will sit in silence with you, I will not grow tired of hearing your doubts and worries. It is not a disturbance, it is my greatest joy.

Posted on March 11, 2013 and filed under the word project-.

a special celebration.

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482245_10200185668058751_1372125494_nYesterday I popped over to Vaughan to celebrate a very special lady, Danica (in the middle of the last picture; beside her in the stripey dress is  Katie). I met Danica in 2005 at Muskoka Woods when we were just pups. We've spent five summers together working at MW, we were together through messy games with jello and paint in our hair, sleepless nights with homesick campers, late nights with teenage girls talking about the insecurities of high school, days off of recuperation (read: tanning for hours on Danica's parents' cottage dock), and camp was eventually where she met Mike, who she fell in love with, and they're getting married in June! I was just thinking yesterday how special it is that I've known these girls for so long, and we've experienced so much right beside each other. These girls have been with me through so many incredible memories and I can't wait to celebrate Danica and Mike's wedding in the summer!


Posted on March 3, 2013 and filed under from jess-.

radical (adj).


My favorite thing about talking to you is that afterwards
I feel like I can be anything in the world -
I can be as tall as a mountain and cross oceans and rivers
You make me want to drastic things
and bold things
sell everything and go everywhere
give all my money to a stranger
become mysterious and different than I am
You make me want to make a print and leave a mark
you make me want to colour the earth and fill it with song

After talking to you it's like everything sings
and I like the world like that.

[Keegan Gibbs Photography].

Posted on January 23, 2013 and filed under the word project-.

improve (v).

37788084344073250_hiG99rXW_cTeach me how to slow down, show me how to stop and look around intently, tell me how to do it: to take more time to see all of the faces around me and what they are saying if I look with wide enough eyes and an open enough heart to ask them the right questions. Instruct me how to quiet myself, hold my tongue, shy from definite conclusions, become a safer vessel for those who need to store their secrets. Let me be a better friend.

Posted on December 24, 2012 and filed under the word project-.