Archive for the Stream Of Consciousness Category

Bodies, Identities and Genders

Posted in Issues, Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized on July 10, 2017 by Human Being

Let me take a moment here to talk about bodies. Or my body. Or the vessel in which I move about the world. Perhaps I am my body, or maybe I just live in it, but either way, we are inseparable.

There are times when I identify more or less strongly with the experience of existing in this body I was born into and the ways in which society wants bodies like mine to operate. There are days when I embrace my curves and the sway of my hips beneath a flowing skirt. There are days when I feel compact and tight, strong and springy and there is no room for any flowing skirt. There are days when I want to hide in a shroud, when I feel awkward and uncomfortable no matter what I am doing or where I am. Some days I want to be dashing and handsome and can’t stand the runaway curls that tumble into my face. Some days I feel graceful and feminine but still want to do things that are not traditionally associated with femininity.

Gender is so much more than clothing. Obviously. But what I have learned is that clothing can help me “perform” my identities so that I feel more comfortable and confident moving through the world. It’s more than a costume, too, though as a theatrically-inclined person I definitely identify with the analogy of characters and costumes. Being pretty genderfluid means that I will feel very different from day to day, week to week, month to month, and I never know how I can expect to feel on any given day. So clothing helps me pick out, try on and fit into different facets of my personal identity wardrobe. Kinda? I am still far from figuring it out, believe me.

Anyway, just wanted to rant about that a little. Unedited, unfiltered. Yeah.

The Roughness Of My Handskins

Posted in Anecdotal, Stream Of Consciousness with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2013 by Human Being

I thought of many blog-worthy things today, but I’m going to record this real-life incidence of metaphor before I forget. I’ll certainly get to the other things, since this has been a particularly parched blogging dry spell, so I have some self-imposed catching up to do.

I definitely channeled the “eccentric-and-unlucky-quirky-creative-type” vibe today. Biking into downtown Montréal from the friend’s apartment at which I’ve been unceremoniously and self-consciously crashing, my pant leg kept getting snagged in the pedal mechanism of my bike. A few brief catches here and there were fine but then it got caught and I had to slow down and backpedal to untangle it–twice. No big deal. Fine. I’ll roll up my pant legs. This also proved uncannily difficult.

The front fender on my bike has also been hanging a little too low and rubbing against the wheel when I hit bumps. It makes this sound. But I can ignore that. Mostly. I also noticed that my front and rear brake pads are rubbing. Some adjustments are required. Again, no big deal! I will just go into the bike co-op workshop later and do some tune-ups. Godness knows it’s been months since I serviced the ol’ beast.

So as I’m entering downtown I’m trying to decide which café I should choose for my sitting and sipping and finishing of Important Things. I pass by a few, ruling them out and weighing my other options. Barely into the few blocks in which I’d like to seek my java, my fender starts doing the squealy, grindy thing and I try to give it a kick to straighten it out or just–you know…tap it into a better position. I’ve done this with kickstands that rub on my wheel at a particular point in the rotation and it works just fine. 

Apparently a kick forward is a little trickier and requires more foot-dexterity than a backward kick. I go in way too hard and positively smash my right foot into the wheel which, of course, turns and my foot gets caught, of course, in the spokes and my bike jolts sort of sideways. I’ve crashed my bike before. Not this bike, but various bikes in various situations and varous locations. It happens. Pedestrians fail to look when they step into the street and there’s no time to ring my bell or even stop so I bail to avoid hitting them…those inattentive bastards. This happens frequently. Heck, I feel like that’s the only reason I’ve crashed my bike in recent memory. Until now.

Time always does the whole slowing down thing when I find myself in this situation. I think to myself, Okay, I’m going down. Let’s try to make it graceful and gentle. I squeeze the brakes to slow down as much as possible as the bike leans past the reach of balance and deposits me,  hands-and-right-knee onto the pavement, which is still sliding past under me. Palms scrape, front wheel twists out of alignment, onlookers gasp–the usual. After I’m mostly finished grating myself across the road, I leap up and out of the way with my maimed bicycle. Montréal has some busy bike lanes, and preventing a pile-up was my priority.

It’s heartening to have the cyclists behind me stop and ask if I’m okay–en français and english–but I insist I’m fine and that they should move along. I can feel that creeping hot sensation that manifests immediately after a skin laceration and makes it difficult to tell where exactly lies the abrasion and which parts of me are bleeding. I quickly get out of sight of the busy main road and pause behind a wide pillar to collect myself.

Wheel twisted. I’ll just adjust that–there we go. Hands are scraped. I thought they’d be bleeding! Left forearm to elbow is tingly but….also not bleeding. Fine. My knee is simmering. Hot, that is. I don’t wanna look I don’t wanna look I don’t–AAH, my only pair of jeans! I’ve gone and ripped the knee of my one and only pair of jeans, which I’ve only worn a handful of times. I can’t believe I’m more upset by the ruination of pants than my own well-being. I’m tough and I know this is just a wee tumble–nothing serious. I wrecked my jeans IwreckedmyjeansIwrecked MY JEANS THAT I’VE BARELY WORN AT ALL.

I’ve had an ongoing wicked case of the shakes the last few months but when I start trembling I know it’s that post-injury adrenaline release thingy. There are a few moments of incredulity at the apparent lack of fortune that’s been plaguing me but out of the haze of post-crash frustration I don’t actually consider myself inherently unlucky. Why do these things always happen to me? I thought-cry into the heavens. I try hard, I really do, but outside factors always screw me over! Why? The universe has it in for me! It’s putting me through the ringer! etc.

In a few moments all of that seemed terribly melodramatic, of course. I found a picnic table and perched on the edge that had been spared by the afternoon rain. I breathed, assessed the damaga to my bike and myself, wiped snot and tears off my face and calmed down. I think crying is sort of a programmed instinctive reaction to these things, even when it doesn’t hurt or isn’t a big deal, which is why small children can seem to get so upset over such trivial things.

I looked at the heels of my hands and marvelled at their unscathed-ness. They ought to have been scraped down to the bone. Rasped right off. But they weren’t. I’d always noticed that my hands were more leathery and callused than my friends’. This didn’t bother me, but it was definitely noticeable. I bore deep-creased, resilient skin on my palms in lieu of silky smoothness and faint lines. This never entirely made sense because I wasn’t one to plough the fields at dawn every day and develop thick, hard-earned calluses through regular, difficult labor.

But there they were, my stalwart palmskins, lesion-free and without a trace of chafing. I had certainly felt them rub across the pavement. My previous bike-falls and tree-climbs had hardened my precious appendages against damage. The metaphor was so obvious that it seemed laughable, set-up. A situation that revealed a moral. How silly.

Because of the perceived “trials” I’d already been put through in the mind of adrenaline-high me, I had become immune to the effects of the universe throwing shit at me. I get it. I got it. It was a reminder. Not a reminder from a supreme being or a spirit guide but my own conclusion that I was able to draw from observable circumstance. Cool.

  So, as the sword is tempered in the fire, as are we brought strength by our experience. As the hide becomes tanned by the sun (except mine), so, too are our resolves toughened to armour against misadventure. And as a lump of coal is reduced to its finest and strongest under the weight of all the earth, so too are our spirits fortified by tribulations great and small.

–Me, just now, in my state of Facetious Enlightenment

Still Here, Still Blog-Positive

Posted in Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on April 29, 2013 by Human Being

I had no intention of creating this blog to write regularly for a week and then forget about it. The whole point of this exercise was to give myself a reason to write, a responsibility–a promise to myself. Even if it’s uninteresting or about nothing in particular, every post in this blog exists to exercise my writings and prove to myself that, damn it, I can write if I want to and damn it, I will.

To make up for the several days free of posts, I will post a torrent of posts during this, my 10-hour train ride to Québec City from Toronto.

Stimuli

Posted in Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized on April 19, 2013 by Human Being

Going stir-crazy. Muscles are demanding my attention. They wish to be put to use!

I need to do something to stimulate my brain. I’m going soft. And maybe a little stupid. Help,

If I Wrote Down Everything That I Thought About Writing Down

Posted in Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized, Words, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2013 by Human Being

Then I don’t think I would have time to stop writing.

It’s so much faster to play out a conversation in one’s head concerning a topic upon which an individual has been ruminating. Easier than putting pen to paper, or typing. The thought process moves so quickly that conclusions are reached and new questions brought up before the key points and revelations become solidified or recorded. This is a stream of consciousness. I propose this addendum to the Stream Of Consciousness: the intangibility and fluid, fast-moving nature of thoughts. Maybe that has been the conventional meaning all along and I just never quite put it in a sentence. 

I’m sure someday there’ll be brain-recording devices that can capture our thought processes for faster and more thorough records. This would come quite in handy for dream recollection. It would also lead to more tangents having the chance to be explored more in depth. Do you see the potential problems that might arise? With so much content, such a vast volume of raw ideas, one might find it difficult to filter through every single thought to the elements meant to be retained. Similar to the problem one faces when one wishes to do multiple things at once: they cannot all be done, thus neither can the mind-essays be written.

So instead of choosing between the great ideas I’d accumulated for today, I wrote this.

Past and Present Selves

Posted in Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by Human Being

I was thinking earlier today about the way I responded to things a few years ago versus the way I do now. The things I did, some silly and embarrassing (not in a public way–that wouldn’t bother me as much), some a little disappointing, some flat out naive. 

I wonder how I would say the things I said then if I said them now. Or if Now-Me switched with  Then-Me. Or even if older, wiser me could re-watch some scenes from the past and edit out the less appealing bits. I’ve neve been ashamed of myself or embarrassed to be who I am. I’m not saying that I did something terrible and wish I could change the past. This is different. More reflective, passive. Like looking at school assignments from elementary school: “Oh, Child-Me, you were so precious and naive but tried so hard to be good at this thing,” but somehow not patronizing.

I know that 3-To-5-Years-From-Now-Me could very well be looking back at this and writing something similar, or thinking it. Or maybe some more advanced form of expression and thought of which I am not capable now.

I guess the only ways to circumvent naiveté are:

A) Learn everything there is to know about everything

B) Acknowledge that there is plenty you won’t know about yourself until later and there’s not a blasted thing you can do about it.

I don’t feel the need to justify Past-Me or even really explain some of the things I did. I think the Past-Versions of my friends were different enough that they might not have perceived these things as objectionable then. Maybe there are a few things I’d like to clear up, like acting stupidly in certain social situations because of unfavourable romantic circumstances or a (hopefully subconscious) need for attention. But we’ve all done those things, right? Haven’t we? Have we? Have all my Past-Versions-Of-Friends already blogged about this very topic and lamented on how they too wished they could play a powerpoint presentation of tasteless past actions and dispel any ill will. Haven’t we all looked back and felt disconnected with who we were before?

…probably.

Time is a crazy thing. Just….crazy. Being aware of multiple times at once can be tricky. Yes, this is all connected to the whole Live-In-The-Present thing, but I’m not going there now. And how well do we really remember things? How do our versions of reminiscence compare to friends’ accounts of the same event? I have a friend who was working on a project centred around that question. 

Now I am who I am now. I am no longer who I was, and I am not yet who I will be. I guess I can accept that I’ll forever be looking back on previous versions of myself (“drafts”, if you will), and being aware of having moved forward. But I shouldn’t be criticizing them. 

The Allure Of A Dreary Day

Posted in Nature, Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 16, 2013 by Human Being

Today isn’t the kind of cloudy, rainy day that sends me seeking shelter and drawing curtains closed. It’s not the kind of overcast cloud-cover that oppresses and bears down sternly over us, letting fly drips of icy spittle and gusts of bone-chilling wind. It’s gloomy, but not gloomy like Eeyore, or angry like Oscar the grouch. 

It’s a benevolent gloom. Somber, dark warmth shrouds the hills and valleys, thick and grey like a wool blanket. Warm, fat drops might have fallen earlier; they’re dripping from eaves and patio furniture and hedges and trees. There is a thick, buttery breeze that’s not too insistent but still commands attention. This is a springy kind of gloom that brings promises of tulips and budding trees, baby birds and pleasure boats on the water. Greens seem greener, wind chimes gentler, and birdsong more potent in this kind of weather. The grass is a carpet thickened with dew. Gulls circle, their cries dampened in the haze, where the edges between sky and cloud, air and ground are indistinct.

This is a mysterious gloom. A beautiful gloom, beckoning. An enticing, inspiring gloom.

Starting

Posted in Stream Of Consciousness, Uncategorized, Writing on April 15, 2013 by Human Being

I’ve been putting off posting something–anything–on this blog for a while. At first it wasn’t avoidance but procrastination, aided by the alluring idea of customizing every other aspect of the blog and my profile. It’s easy to get caught in the set-up and before you know it, the thrill is gone. The thrill of the actual thing one was working toward is gone.

The other thing that’s been preventing me (and who knows how many other prospective bloggers, writers, artists etc.) from starting this blog is the fact that I feel I have nothing to say.

But everyone has something to say.

Cake

Posted in Opinion, Stream Of Consciousness with tags , on April 14, 2013 by Human Being

I am about to enjoy a slice (the last slice) of cake. I am also quite sick and can smell and taste very little.
On one hand, I want to wait until I can taste it properly.
But I really just want cake.

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