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This is NOT a Sob Story: Part I

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This is NOT a sob story and it is just the beginning.

The more I learn about this thing, and trace back to what at first glance appeared to be unrelated ‘health issues’ over the last couple/three years, Hashimotos is just a single example out of many, the more I understand this ‘thing,’ and the angrier I get with my (ex)GP and the mainstream healthcare system.

I have had to become my own doctor in so many ways, and so much of my (and others) suffering could have been pre-empted, treatment could have been so much simpler had a few connections been made, that I have now made myself. There could be a thousand and one reasons I tested negative for Lyme, including the fact that it may well be different bacteria, with very similar, equally serious symptoms, and/or, how we test for Lyme remains inadequate at best, and negligently pathetic at worst, resulting in many (documented) false negatives. Whichever it is, I am well beyond ‘acute’ which is the most treatable phase of this beast, well beyond ‘chronic,’ into the third phase, which impacts every single part of my body, every single system.

Some days the only thing I can do is stand, because sitting is too painful… and that’s just the tip of the symptom iceberg… Game changer does not begin to describe it, this thing. In a pm conversation with my BFF, I likened it to addiction, in that it morphs, hides, changes, is resistant to treatment for all of those reasons, just as stigmatized, judged (but you don’t look sick… fuck you!), and mis-understood.

The mainstream healthcare system did fuck all to support me in that battle, why the fuck would I be so delusional as to think they will help me with this one! No seriously? Why? This is not a sob story, this is my reality, it is complex, brutal, and there is no quick fix. So if you find it overwhelming (imagine how I feel?), fuck the fuck off already, permanently. Don’t bother just unfollowing or snoozing, please, that is so fucking passive-aggressive that it seriously brings out the ‘violent’ in my hard-core anti-violence stance. Stupid as they generally are, some interwebs memes are at least accurate: “…if you can’t take me at my worst, you do not deserve me at my best…”
~Marcela.
Crown in place, at the bottom of the sea floor, closely guarded by PinkFish and her compagnons silver fishes… Don: like my other favourite artist, Vincent, you lay the paint on thick, in layers, because real stories cannot be told in veneers and with thinly brushed, watery strokes, for the truth, rarely lies at the surface.. I love you, and you MySue. I would drown without both of you right now.

PinkFish – original art by Don Bruce, Terrace BC

Writing and Photographs: please share if so inclined but do refrain from plagiarizing and using photographs without permission. Thank you.

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Madam Bitch-Slappy

In my vertigo-ed state
I lurched to my perch,
for the water-coloured sky
changed as quickly,
as Life-Dom Madam Bitch-Slappy,
has changed mine…

~Marcela.

May 7, 2019
Photographs and Writing: All Rights Reserved

 

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No Permanent Affliction

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The truth is:
There is no permanent affliction or injury
physical; emotional or psychological,
sustained in the day to day sport of human living.

The truth is:
There are only innings, periods, heats and quarters
of battle, endurance, triumph or loss
in this game called life.

The Truth is:
the ether or some mystical inhabitant of it
keeps not, (y)our score of wins or losses, deserved and not
you and I, solely, are umpire, referee, and judge.

The truth is:
There is no permanent affliction
physical, emotional or psychological
only Game Changers
permanence and winning are a Lie.

So play the game
play it well,
play it now. 

~Marcela.
May 03, 2019.


An intruder has taken up squatter’s rights in my body.
Whether microbial, myco-toxic, fungal or parasitic (all four?)
in nature, it is fucking me up but good: my hair is falling out, 
there are moments during which I feel like I'm going to have a 
seizure any minute, I can't feel my limbs half the time and the 
other half it feels like something is crawling around inside them, 
or biting me, from the inside out. My kidneys hurt all the time, 
my vision has taken a beating, it is blurry half the time, 
my eyes are pinned all the time, and I see floating spots 
every time I blink. I have a constant 'cold,' I am in physical 
pain all the time, it ‘travels,’ my ears ring most of the time, 
I sound like a crack whore, I have had a tooth (molar) removed 
because my (awesome) dentist and I thought maybe the numbness 
was because of that, way back in December, when things first 
started. That hole in my mouth severely impacts my ability to 
eat certain things and the way I talk. I talk for a living.

I have been treated (to the tune of what is adding up to 
thousands of dollars) by my (awesome) naturopath for (potential) 
mold/mycotoxin illness and parasites, gotten rid of furniture I 
can’t afford to replace because potential mycotoxins, taken more 
(unpaid) time off work, lost too much income, to travel and see 
the most useless doctor on earth almost weekly for pretty much 5 
months (here, have some anti-anxiety meds and/or pain killers… 
no, thank you anyway…), and everything I have/am experiencing 
points to Lyme, or some other bacterial/parasitic/fungal thing, 
but she does ‘not believe’ in that, ‘does not have time’ for 20 
different things, symptoms ( but that’s how Lyme, and other less 
common microbes work in the human body) in one visit or 40, 
couldn’t be bothered to test for anything outside her limited 
box, and literally gets (intimidation) uppity when I mention 
anything I have talked about (including Lyme) with other health 
care professionals.

The list of her endless negligence and tyranny toward me is so 
big and hurts so bad I can’t even go there. It is safe to say 
that other than pregnancy when they said I couldn’t, I have 
never hoped for a ‘positive’ test result from a healthcare 
professional in my life, until now. The walk-in doc I saw in 
Nanaimo last week gave me no useful news yesterday, and won’t 
take me on as a patient because he’s leaving that clinic anyway… 
but he did give me the name of another doc there, and I managed 
to get an appointment with her for next week. In keeping with 
the recurring theme in my life, none of this is straightforward 
and it might even go way back to something I may have picked up 
working at the hospital in Duncan about 3 years ago, remember the 
Hashimotos thyroid thing (?), and I will continue to work with my 
naturopath, who unlike the ex-GP, is not intimated by other 
perspectives, mainstream medicine or the folks in it, 
she believes they should all work in a complimentary and 
collaborative way. Yeah, me too, but it feels like that is 
so far away from what we have that it borders on wishful 
thinking and we all know how I feel about that shit.

I am not giving up, while at the same time, 
working extraordinarily hard not to let my anger 
and hurt consume me, for it is not productive, 
harms me more, and attempting to regain some measure of life 
quality, while working full time (there is very little choice 
here) in a field and area of said field, which requires my full 
physical, mental and psychological acuity. I am out of energy, 
out money and out of credit, but I repeat, more to hear it myself 
than for your benefit, I am not giving up. 

She is a brutal fucking bitch at times, this game called life, 
and she is in a particularly bitch-slappy mood at this juncture. 
What she doesn’t know however, is that at least in this very 
moment, right here, right now, so am I.

~Marcela: Battling, unwell, wielding all power toward 
living, for survival is no longer an option I am inclined to 
entertain.

The Score

Illness: 5 (months, maybe years…)
Marcela: 1 (tenous)
GP: Useless but winning, because safely swathed, in God-like 
white coat, and unbeknownst to her, fired.

PS: Please, oh please, spare me the ‘you got this,’ and any 
manner of ‘positive energy’ and other platitudes. And please, 
oh please, respect my beliefs by not, under any circumstances 
praying for my Atheistic-Realist soul, in the same way I don't 
atheist all over your posts/struggles/issues/triumphs... 
for the only defense I have left for this manner of 
un-helpfulness, is delete and block. No tackle left for 
bullshit, not a smidge. Comments the likes of ‘this sucks ass,’ 
are so much more meaningful, as are none at all, if positivity 
and prayer are all you know how to do to support someone in pain. 
Thanks.

PPS: If I have to 'deal,' with whatever is eating me alive, 
I will do it wearing cherries and polka-spots...



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Open Letter To A Salty Sailor: Less, the Ultimate More

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Dear John (yeah I did that, again)! I write these words as nothing more, or less, than information. Know that, first and foremost. They change, complicate, nothing, or everything, as the case may be.

You, the man I have come to know and appreciate as ‘Your Sexy-Ass Saltiness,’ and your trusty (real)steel steed, Marty the Sexy-Ass vintage Mercedes,

embarked upon the first leg of your current adventure, some weeks ago now.

I met your recent text update with both pure, unadulterated pleasure, and not a bit of envy, but a great lump of it!  When I read in your missive that with friends and family visited, and Marty safely stored in Manitoba, the real adventure part finally began, as you sat in a train station, awaiting your East bound train.

And my ripe imagination envisaged your chill, sexy-ass self, man of many names, many adventures and few words, doing exactly that, which pleases you most. For you are, that unlikeliest of souls, a true traveler, not, in your words, ‘a vacationer.’ I imagined you at that train station, smoke in hand, looking something like a cross between Hemmingway and Van Gogh (two of my historical heros), on a train station bench, outside… because smoke in hand… and then on the train, bumping along the tracks, living in that exact moment, eyes out the window. Perhaps you were thinking about the boarding of that freighter in Halifax, disembarking in Liverpool, and traipsing ‘cross many a country to this adventure’s ultimate goal, mother Russia, and her many parts unknown. But those thoughts never stray too far from that which is right in front of you, and I imagined you applying your vast knowledge of world histories to it, that which is right in front of you, right now, in the moment. For you are, among so many other things, a master of that art, and I have learned by observing you in moments we have shared. I have been paying attention.

To your words, but more importantly, to your actions, and always, to your quiet.

You are a skilled, gifted, even if inadvertent, instructor.

I have thought a great deal lately. I have thought of many things, including of those pertaining to your role in my world, not the least of which, is that you have already been, and will be, gone a long while. If my various and sundry lives have taught me anything, it is that game-changing shit happens, at the drop of a dime, often leaving us with little to no opportunity for communicating the important stuff, to those we are connected with. And so given some of the game-changers thrown at me, historically and in more recent times, I am compelled to articulate previously noted words, for I feel it is important that you know, this:

I appreciate your part in my life Sailorman Zeke. I care about you. The unintentional but most powerful tutelage of our dalliance, has been the source of more insight about myself, and what it is that I really want out of my remaining time here, than most things. And that right there, is a big-ass statement in and of itself, for it is not news that I have lived/led/survived/crashed in/resurrected, more lives, than most folks get, in just one skin.

In happening, quite intentionally, for we know I buy not, into vague and useless concepts like fate, but I digress, how odd… in the intentional happening across that which I believed not to be for me, you, your presence, your particular way of being, in the world, in relationship, and in my life specifically, I have experienced, and mostly enjoyed something that has evolved from (in your words following our first ‘date’), “pleasant enough,” to rude awakening, to something that I am challenged to describe adequately, but it is pleasing to me now, most pleasing indeed. This is important in my current world and incarnation of self and the life I am attempting to lead, while barely treading water. And perhaps more importantly than anything else, it is straightforward. It is transparent. It is uncomplicated. It is nothing more and nothing less, than what we have both agreed to, at any given moment in time. It has developed into a most satisfying surprise.

But you lead me astray yet again, in the best possible way, though astray none the less… so, to those words I have been compelled to scribe for weeks now: I believe, and I could be wrong, shockingly it has happened at least once before… I believe; that the word love is one you do not bandy about often, if at all. At this juncture, nor do I.

That said; I do harbour feelings of love for you Sailor. Interestingly, most refreshingly, they are nothing like anything I have experienced previously, they are so much more, and so much less, all at once.

More, because these feelings are grounded in a process, one which I have either not been provided here to fore, have not provided for myself, or perhaps even, could not ‘deal’ with in pasts further and more recent. The process I speak of is the space required to truly learn another. The space required not only to accept, but to appreciate those very traits, ways of being, I once found unacceptable in a sexual relationship.

More, because bereft of the traps of ownership and ex-pectations, we have afforded, each the other, and selves something only others who function this way, can know, can understand, can appreciate, can savour. More because these feelings I harbour for you are not based in fear of what I would miss without you, for I am secure in my person without any other. More, because they are based in genuine affection, respect for exactly who the other is, not that which we think they ought or desire them to be, or need them to be, to be OK with, to be OK in, our own skins.

More, because they are grounded in continuing curiosity, rather than the erroneous and arrogant trap of believing to fully ‘know,’ the other, any other, ever. More, because curiosity, in all manner of things pertaining to said dalliance and the world in general, historical and current, is what keeps us alive, truly alive, interesting, and interested, to and in self, and the other, any other, ever.

Less, so much less, in the most un-encumbering of ways, has become the ultimate more. Less, because my feelings for you are utterly bereft of, unweighted by, any semblance of clingy need. Less, because I (we) have few-to-no expectations about anything pertaining to ‘you-and-I,’ and so by direct extension, only curiosity remains, and like a full moon, it draws me in, it is enticing, always.

Less, because I feel no pressure to be anyone other than exactly who I am, at any given point in time, and I have not, even for a second, in the course of this thing I call our dalliance, wished you to be anyone, but exactly the person you are, at any given point in time. Not through the (now hilarious) miscommunications and literal ‘Dear John’ and ‘Dear M’ moments, moments of big (for me) heart ache. Not through the differences and varying life experiences informing our respective world-views, political positions, psychological and emotional places, and not through those moments when I questioned myself, because training, in previous romantic failures of proportions most epic, and (too) high prices, paid.

It has been shifting for me for a while, but the most noticeable, most profound change, came about for me last July, during that most memorable, for so many reasons, birthday voyage we shared.

The word love can be such a trap, and also not. I choose not. I choose to continue harbouring feelings of love for you Sailor, for however long, for however we choose, or not, to be connected. And I wanted you to know, because shit happens, and seemingly nothing, nothing at all, changes, complicates, everything.

So from this stark-raving Atheistic-realist of many names, to you, the quieter one of like-beliefs, but no less intensity, the sexy-ass renaissance man of few words, many names, and more real-life adventures than many a more famous traveller:

“No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone. The accidents happen.”

-Adrienne Rich

That works for me… and so do you Sailorman… so do you.

Stay safe out there Zeke… smooches,
~M. (Aka, well, you know who she is).

 

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Of Cartophilia and Librocubilarism…

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I am going to miss this particular view (for the next 6 months), and the Salty-ass hu(man) attached to it, so much more than anything I look at out my living room window, for 18 more sleeps. I knew when I met him that he is “a traveling man, not a vacationer,” and a traveling man must travel.

Yesterday he was showing me a rough route plan, for he ‘plans’ only that which is absolutely necessary, and where/what he really wants to visit/see. He’ll be driving to Calgary and Winnipeg first to visit with family, and then flying to Halifax where he will board a freighter to Liverpool.

From there he will make his way to mainland Europe and travel by bus and train or goat or mule or flying pig(?) through many parts, including my other home countries, to reach his goal of Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. He’ll be back sometime in the early Fall. I am not a bit jealous, I am jealous through and through.

As we were looking at the map, I expressed how much I love ‘real’ maps, and that for many years I held onto various Atlases from high school and University, because the art of ‘real’ mapping and the concept of ‘borders,and ‘cultural territoriality,’ fascinate me so greatly. And just because they are beautiful.

His Salty-ness says ‘hang on,’ makes his way to the forward bunk, and comes out with a Hammond World Atlas published in 1954. It is a magnificent piece of work. A most thoughtful, meaningful gift. Well-loved but in all its glory. Tears of holy-shit-I-love-this-book literally sprang from my eyes when he said “it’s yours, I was hoping to meet someone with a map fetish.” I said “aah, but were you ready for a cartophilic librocubicularist”?

And we laughed and laughed.
🙃⛵️👑🚢💋
~M.
March 10, 1019

Share with acknowledgement please. Photos and Writing: All Rights Reserved

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Welcome, The BigSteelBox!

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"I honor every woman who has strength enough to step out of the 
beaten path when she feels her walk lies in another; strength 
enough to stand up to be laughed at, if necessary. 
That is the bitter pill we must all swallow in the beginning, 
but I regard these pills as tonics quite essential to one's 
mental salvation."
-Harriet Hosmer

Harriet was a very wise woman! Fortunately for me, I have yet to 
find the rule, stating an age limit for stepping out of said 
beaten path, a maximum number of out-steppings, or a ceiling on 
failed(?) quantity of attempts to blow up the proverbial box. 
And should I come across these rules at any point in my trudges, 
travails and travels, I shall, happily as ever, break them. 

In keeping with my contradictory life and self, it begins 
(again) now, with a sexy-ass BigSteelBox.

~Marcela; moving off the beaten path, coming un-boxed one more 
time, in a BigSteelBox.
March 02, 2019

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Un-learned; an Intelligence of Self.

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“The Artist is no other than [s]he who unlearns what [s]he has learned, in order to know [her]himself.”
-E.E. Cummings


The longer I write, create anything, the more I get this on a level so profound it hurts; and it hurts so good that at some point it stops hurting, and serves to validate, that, which I have always known, self.

The less I care about what you or anyone think, of anything I create, written or otherwise, the more I unlearn about all you and they have inured me with: false concepts and ideas, of who and how to be.

The more I unlearn about these things you have gifted me with, the less I need your, and their validation for my art; or anything, pertaining to me, any little thing at all.

And the less I need your validation, the more forth-rightly I can inform you, when you have mis-read me, again, and care little, if at all, about what you do with that. This is a freedom, an intelligence of self, I have not known, here-to-fore.

~Marcela.
February 26, 2019.

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Life is Not a Black and White Photograph

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Talking about this very concept, idea, led to a mass Marcela un-friending, online and in-human, a few years ago. Even following lengthy and meticulously laborious explanation and clarification on my part, these folks continued to deliberately misinterpret pretty much every word I articulated/wrote, and to convince themselves and others, that I was co-signing, excusing, or even welcoming nasty/brutal life events, acts of rape and other violence and vileness that had occurred/been perpetrated against my (or others’) person, physically, emotionally, psychologically, culturally speaking. Things are not as black and white as, if I don’t hate it, I must love it. Drives me crazy, this kind of thinking. We live in living colour, in the grey areas, in the pastels and neons, we travel on goat trails, detours, derailments and on hair-pin turns, but people insist on thinking in terms of black and white, and on linear highways. I do not miss said (un)friends. Not even for a second, but the memory of it all still breaks my a heart a little. Fortunately, I have people in my life today, who get what I was/am putting down in relation to this train of thought and its (positive) impact, on my person and life.
~M.

 

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Diamonds’n Hoars

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        Cold-drunken Hoars, drop
        frosty icicle diamonds
        in the grassy ditch


Marcela: itching to go walkabout,
January 17, 2019
Image and Poetry: Please share without plagiarizing. Thank you.

 

 

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Ageing is Not an Act of Violence

I really, really dislike the language in the so-called “how hard did aging hit you challenge,” currently making the rounds on FB. It asks us to post (y)our first ever profile picture and the most recent one. It’s actually an interesting little game, except for the abysmal language and all of the assumptions and implications inherent in it.
 
Unless, like some folks I have loved, we die (too) young, ageing is one of the most natural and normal, not to mention unavoidable processes, known to human kind, and using this kind of language to describe it, is just another sad, sad example of how we create false ideals, ridiculous, unrealistic expectations and concepts of youth and beauty, by virtue of the very words we use to talk about them, or the ‘loss’ of them, as if they are to be grieved, as opposed to accrued experience and wisdom celebrated.
 
Ageing does not hit people, and saying so implies (rather explicitly), that it is a violent act or event, which in turn implies (rather explicitly), that it ought to be avoided at all costs. And while violence is certainly at least partly responsible for some of the visible signs of ageing on my person, the markings on my face and body, the lines, the furrows, the lumps and bumps, are the stories of my life, and I am loathe to describe them as having been “hit” by ageing.
 
My other beef with this particular FB ‘game,’ is that it generates comments such as: ‘you haven’t changed a bit,’ you still look the same’ and similar bla blabbidy bla, and I call BULLSHIT!
 
I, and everyone I know and have seen engage with this, do not look the same as I/they did even a few years ago, and if we haven’t changed, inside or out, we’re doing it wrong, life that is, or getting botox-ed to death.
 
It’s thoughtless, mindless bullshit like this that makes me want to leave the e-world altogether, but since it is one of the only ways I ever engage with some folks I would truly miss, I chose to qualify my own participation with this lil’ bitty rant.
 
The picture with the spiky red hair was taken in approximately 2009, the other one two weeks-ish, ago. I have had a million and one good, bad, ugly and indifferent experiences since then. I have had at least 12 hair styles and as many hair colours, I have gained and lost and gained and lost at least 50 lbs altogether in that time, and I have enjoyed and suffered many happy and brutally painful times in the 10 years between these two photos, and it shows; as it should.
 
PLEASE: STOP treating getting older as if it were a disease. PLEASE: let’s try to understand that getting older, really does bring more than just ‘a loss of youth,’ and ‘diminishing’ beauty, it is the only way in which to truly know, appreciate, accept, and love yourself, and by direct extension, to know, appreciate, accept, and love, anyone else.
 
The devil-chick is my actual original FB profile photo. That, has also changed, in that I am just MORE her as I age, and there is little to nothing graceful about it. As it should be, for me.
Peace,
~Marcela.
January 12, 2019
Images and writing: All Rights Reserved.