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Vestiges

And as the last vestiges of summer 
relinquish their hold 
on this special place 
so I lay down this sceptre 
and bow out of a reign 
long due a new sovereign. 

For it is imprudent 
to cling to that 
which is neither my current reality 
nor domain. 




















~Marcela: desperately seeking a desirable next, 
in Ye Olde Queendom of Quack. 
October 25, 2020



















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Tomáš Mrnka – October 24, 1935 – July 07, 1971

Dear dad:

I think about you every day, miss you every second.

Whenever I have cause to go to Vancouver I look for the places we lived, and remember the early days of our life as immigrants, how excruciatingly hard you and my mother worked to build a life, from nothing, absolutely nothing, in a country and culture so foreign to us it may have been another planet… but it was exciting, and your energy, your never give-up was, is to this day, palpable, and it lives on inside me.

When I lived in Switzerland and started going back to the old country, I sought out Nerudová 1, every.single.time, and remembered the old coal storage downstairs, what you hid there, in preparation for our escape… When I went back there with mama and my boy in 2014, tread upon some of the same cobblestones in Karlovy Vary that we had all tread upon at some other point in time, I drank up mama’s stories of where the two of you had spent time together, regaled my son, one of the grandchildren you never met, with my own recollections of the first 7 years of my life there, and my recollections of you… and I cried like the small child I once was there, when we visited Božý Dar, our old ski cabin, and vague memories of being on those ski hills, on your back, in a rucksack, and then on my own tiny skis, came to life brightly, and as it does in these moments, time stood still…

When I went back to Stewart a few years ago I walked until my feet bled, until I found our old townhouse… and the nearer I knew I was, the more intensely I felt your presence, and I remembered the 20 foot snow banks, and that we had walked this road together, and desperately I tried to make out your voice, failed, for it had been so many years… decrepit, rotting, moldy, the carport caved in by decades of big Northern BC snow, and overgrown by the vegetation that takes its environment back when we abandon it, but also seemingly untouched, it was all still there, frozen in time…

Walking through the front door was the single greatest moment of surreal of the entirety of my years, and no drug on earth would match this high, the emotional crash of it, rolled into one intensely profound experience… so intense profound, because while I cannot buy into the spirit world, you were there, because I was there, because we had all been there, at another time.

I walked into the small square of a kitchen, and I remembered you shaking up the resourceful man’s milkshake, for you were nothing, if not resourceful, for my big brother and me, in a mason jar – canned milk and strawberry jam… I walked into the living room and saw the giant tree through the streaky, fungus-covered window panes, that tree our Collie Sheba chased a bear up into… and I as I made my way up into our bedrooms, where the lamps you had so skillfully MacGyvered for us once hung, I remembered your words, but still, could not conjure up your voice as you told us to put the sheets on our beds… when I walked upon the molding carpet, the same one we had all walked upon all those years ago, I heard your footsteps, coming home from the mine that took your life.

I could not bring myself to walk the rotting stairs down to the basement, where you kept your rifle, the one my mother was tempted to use when we were told you were dead. For that news was and remains the single most impactful event in our respective lives. The mine, the people associated with it, took your life, and with it, my mother’s joy, and my brother’s and my childhoods, in one fell swoop. And while I am aware that it is an exercise in futility, I cannot help but wonder, often, what life would have been like for all of us, had you lived beyond 36 fast and furious years, to see a birthday past that one, to see this day, what would have been your 85th year.

Your rebel lives on inside me, and maybe even some wisdom, which only years can bring, I see more of that in my brother, and I like to think that you would have been like him, at this age, and so in this way, and so many others, you live on inside him. Your rebel, your energy, your wild, your survivor, your wise-man, and sometimes your impulsive adventurer, they all live on inside me and my brother, in a thousand different ways.

I think about you every day, miss you every second.

Love, your Macek.

October 24, 2020

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2020: Season Finale Preparations

Some folks have expressed concern about the 2020 Season Finale, I’m building a bunker in my garage for the New Year’s Eve Party… cause I’ve given up all hope of the Aliens taking me with them… you know they’re out there going:

“What in the Flying Fuck’? President Covid and a virus called Trump! Abort mission to land Alf! Abort the fucking mission”!

Alf’s screaming “fuck you Mork, I’m starving, gonna get me a cat! Look, there’s one on the Virus’s head”!

A girl can dream, besides, it’s 2020, anything is possible…

xoxo
~Marcela.

 

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Downside-Up

Cups runneth over 
straws break a Camel’s back
bitter icing on cakes
did you step on that sidewalk crack?

Injuries are insulted
actions scream silent words
Bushes assaulted
did you throw the stone that killed the 2 birds?

Cats scurry from bags
blue eyes wide/tightly shut
Wild a-flutter red flags
Pandora you slut!

Sleeping dogs wide awake
a blue moon appears daily
Chewing on shoe-leather steak
Where the fuck is my baili(wick)?

Madness no method
mirrors reflecting but smoke
silver plated linings
world’s a fetid, acrid cloak!

Grace(land) left Elvis
a cat sat still, un-curious
barked down a tree head over pelvis 
tragic slo-mo life, in a lane fast and furious.

Because... just because... 
~M.

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Quietly, she wept

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,

The diamonds did their water-dance,
A salty sailor slept.
Pondering life’s happenstance,
Quietly, she wept.
Wept for all the years she squandered,
Living someone else’s dream,
For all the years she wandered,
In the box’s maze of schemes.

Moon-shine lit the captain’s bunk,
A salty sailor slept.
On liquid light rays thinking-drunk,
Quietly, she wept.
Wept for so much love and fielty,
Bestowed upon folks unworthy,
For trusts recompensed with cruelty,
They wrung her dry like scurvy.

The stars winked and dimmed and sparkled,
A salty sailor slept.
To milky way-days thoughts harkened,
Quietly, she wept.
Wept for the quirky wild-child,
She knows is her inner world,
For that curiously clever bright-eyed,
That precocious little girl.

The wind sang aloud its wind-songs,
A salty sailor slept.
The cool breeze assuaged her done-wrongs,
Quietly, she wept.
Wept not with remorse or worry,
For life’s folly, yours, theirs, mine and ours,
For her twisting-turning story,
The racing pace of hours.

The Diamonds did their water dance,
Moon-shine lit the captain’s bunk,
She was awestruck by her choice, perchance
to heave overboard life’s junk.
The stars winked and dimmed and sparkled,
The wind sang aloud its songs,
She wept the tears of chains unshackled,
She slept the sleep of crones.

~M.Y.M.:  new(ish) in old(er) age.
Summer, 2020

Photos and Poetry: All Rights Reserved

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I Set A Place For You

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I set a place for you 
For you have long sat 
At my table 

I set a place for you 
For I miss the meals 
We often shared 

I set a place for you 
For you have long lived 
In my heart 

I set a place for you 
For I cannot but love you 
In Absentia 

Marcela: loving you. July 25, 2020

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STOP Calling them ‘Schools.’

 

Please: STOP calling them ‘schools’! Just stop it! Let’s just be clear: they were never ‘schools,’ the institutions we call ‘Residential Schools,’ they were prison camps.

Period.

Their sole purpose was the torture of children, to ‘beat the Indian out of them,’ and by direct extension of course, their extended families and communities.

We really need to call things what they were, what they are. And if we think it has stopped, we need to think again. We just hide it all better these days.
~Marcela

https://www.capnews.ca/news/here-are-all-202-children-known-to-have-died-in-vancouver-island-residential-schools#e.7l8g9k.pd3kdc

 

Image: https://opentextbc.ca/geography/chapter/4-4-case-study/

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Next

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,

While we waited, with bated breath,
for a return to our ‘normal,’
she breathed a heavy sigh,
of relief.

While we stepped in,
she stepped out,
and we saw our impact on her,
more clearly.

While she regenerated from,
our relentless destruction,
we planned for,
next.

We will either learn,
to respect her,
or we will continue,
to destroy her.

Have we not learned, yet,
that to destroy her,
is to destroy,
ourselves?

So step in with me,
for just a while longer,
and think about how,
you do,
next.

~Marcela: letting her breathe, so that you and I can continue to do so.
May 03, 2020

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Precious

 

broken-mirror

As I stood amid the broken, jagged shards of life as we had known it

Individually, as matched sets, collectively,

As I watched in horror the blood drip from my shattered heart

when the fragments splintered into indiscernible shapes,

As I cut my fingers to the bone demanding

with frantic, frenzied determination,

that they, the pieces, allow me to re-arrange them

into something acceptable, to me,

something at least resembling what had been between us

I was struck anew, by that weightiest of acceptances,

that you have come to visit again, loss

but that you will as ever,

leave something new

in your

wake.

And I may hold it tighter,

with more ardor,

than I did its previous to your intrusion,

incarnation.

And it will be,

it is now,

Precious.

Marcela: licking wounds, picking up pieces, making plans, waiting for bitch-slappy’s next, making plans anyway.

April 25, 2020

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8036, of 21, 466 days… Stepping Out

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This is not the simple little bit of writing it started out to be, I had intended it to be at 8:30 this morning, because it is too important to me for quick and dirty, and because I am having a very ‘bad brain day.’ The ramifications of Lyme & Co. and the hard-hitting anti-biotic I was taking and have now aborted, my latest effort to keep the bugs at bay, factor largely to above noted ‘bad brain day.’ So unless you have the capacity to finish what I/you have started, I respectfully request, that you refrain from exercising the hubris, the temerity, to comment, chastise or congratulate.

As I sat enjoying my space and a really great cuppa Joe this morning, I was texting with the Sailor about all manner of personal and global bitch-slappy and interesting, when he quipped about my life being more 🙃 read as: upside down ‘interesting’ since we have known one another, than most people’s…  I responded with: “it has been that way for 58.9 years Sailor, not just since we have known one another, for I was born into all manner of  🙃 and ‘interesting,’ and have also created and stumbled into, a great deal of my own  🙃  and ‘interesting,” and that, is truer than true my friends! And then, in the middle of that communication I remembered the date today: April 25, 2020!

What that means is: I have lived my life, made my choices from the ones available to me, had some made for me, because I do NOT have control over everything that happens, impacts me, only what I do with it, but I digress, how odd… What April 25, 2020 means, is that I have lived my life for 22 years, or 8036 days in-a-row, without the protective plexi-glass wall of alcohol, other drugs, and many auxiliary self- and by direct extension, other-harming strategies, that I learned to use at some point. I know exactly what ‘that point’ was by the way, down to the second, the words uttered at me, the actions that precipitated ‘that point,’ to get through life and her bitch-slappy, for without the plexi-glass wall, my only other option felt like that thing Parker’n Me  have thought about, written about, joked about, were never really kidding about.

What that means is:

22 years of bitch-slappy unfiltered,

22 years of learning how to own what is mine, without suffering through, without taking responsibility for that which is NOT; this piece in particular has been a ‘capital C’ Challenge.

22 years of attempts at navigating the rocky road NOT leading to ‘blame,’

22 years of attempts at avoiding the donning of the grossly unfashionable ‘victim coat,*’

22 years of trying on and pulling off identities, pursuing, completing, abandoning, personas, goals, dreams, achievements considered desirable, assigned to me by individuals and systems/groups I both ‘landed’ with, and chose,

and 22 years encumbered by, trapped in, often held hostage by, the exorbitant number of boxes in the world we occupy, the ones I now take infinite pleasure in blowing up, for the buggers multiply at a rate quicker than bunnies,

22 years, to find myself located rather firmly, for better and for worse, here:

I have done better at it on some of those 8036 days than on others, better and worse at navigating calm and rough seas alike, better and worse traversing goat trails, maneuvering hair-pin turns on precarious mountain roads, and better and worse travelling with grace, on the few and far between straight-aways, the stretches with gloriously beautiful views, literally and figuratively speaking.

Recently, I have ‘enjoyed’ a most eclectic rain-storm, a rainbow coloured nuclear fall-out if you will, of several years in-a-row of WTF have I allowed, done to myself and my life(?), how the fuck did I land here?!? Me, who busted her ass so hard for exactly, NOT this!?!

But: I have done much of that, the bulk of it, on my terms, her (bitch-slappy’s) terms, and for the last several months, unapologetic, truly for the first time in my life, unapologetic for any of it. For I was acting on the often intentionally obscured-by-others information available to me, and in no small part, on what I believed at the time was the right thing for me, along with that all important thing called the context of where/how these things occurred, and the events/people/places I am powerless to exert any manner of control or influence over, regardless of any choice I may have made, to ‘be there,’ whatever that means in any given context, mine, theirs, yours, ours.

That is not to say I am unapologetic or regretful, and more importantly willing to ‘amend,’ in cases where others have suffered as a result of my actions, or even misunderstandings about my actions, not at all. I am unapologetic for who I am, and for being a flawed but most-willing-to-evolve, adjust, revise self and only self, human-woman.  And as I believe is true for many women ‘just like me,’ contrary to popular belief and the often misguided conventional wisdom which has some folks believing to know who I am, what I am about: I have not had the she-cojones, big enough, strong enough ovaries if you will, not to care about what others think, how they respond to me, not to be gutted by how they treat me, who they think I am, who they think I think I am, the truth, my truth, of the inner workings which actually drive the outward me; not other’s perceptions not their assumptions about it, but the invisible layers of my machinery, the nuances of each tiny bolt, the contribution of the older, some rusty, some broken bits, to the entirety of this human ‘mašina,’ and her original ‘culture and tribe,**’ The culture and tribe I identify and find myself planted in more firmly, rooted deeper in, attached more firmly to, as time does that thing it does, marches on, with or without me, with or without my permission, it doesn’t give a shit, so I have to.

What that means is: I was not born tough, or even resilient. I was born wild, creative, funny, fun-loving, smart, painfully sensitive, and with an imagination and heart bigger than big, with a seemingly bottomless capacity for understanding, compassion toward even those of us humans who have committed unspeakable acts of heinousness, the most damaging of wrongs, toward others, including me. I was born to and with, and have honed, a significant capacity for knowing that context is everything, for taking the time to look for it, for it is rarely to never obvious, and almost never pretty. I was born with a view to the contexts which often drive human behaviour, born with and to, a clear and painful understanding of the fact that we do not live in a benign world, one in which all is fair and just. Those are words. Like love. And they are demonstrated, like hate, ignorance, fear and anger, through actions, not utterances. I was not born many things, I came to them, battled for and against them, most often out of necessity.

And I am a realist, and like Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, I know that:

“Life is beautiful in spite of everything! [and that] There are many thorns, but the roses are there too.”

What that means is: shit happens! People do good shit and people do bad shit, and bitch-slappy has played a very strong game in my world. And while outwardly it has appeared as though I have kept up with her, the inner working parts, my inner working parts, are often battle-weary. For I have willfully or willingly, at times not-so-much but stoically, waged too many wars, engaged in too many wars, on my own and others’ behalf over the years, and on a handful of dubious occasions, I have waged war against and upon myself. Most often, however, I have picked up arms in the name of those ubiquitous but rare-in-real-life philosophies; fairness, justice, human rights, human dignity, love; I have gone into battle against and with individuals and/or systems, that I had not the slightest chance of emerging as anything other than slaughtered from, barely limping away with my wits and life, a handful of times, literally so.

And while parts of that ‘wild child’ have never been vanquished,  the child who was always heard singing aloud, the one who loved nothing better than to try different tastes in her mouth, the sound and impact of different words on her tongue, the one who still lives to find new and exciting ways of putting conventional words and other life and real food ‘ingredients’ together in unconventional word- and real food recipes, loves nothing more than feeding them to others, people I know and love, and people I have never met and love, and even people I have never met but love to hate and hate to love.

And like so many of us who care to, are awake enough to know, are not so beaten by it all that a flicker of that human child remains to find back to, I have had to battle relentlessly, repeatedly, to find my way back to her. And in this context, 8036-days-in-a-row, have been a key component of that war. For as much as I want to be a pacifist, I was born into a war-torn rebel’s world, and contradiction is as irrevocable a piece of me, as are intensity and softness, just some of the many cogs’n gizmos in my inner workings, along with the night visions, which often call upon me to see, to examine more than simply one, flipside.

And so today, April 25, 2020, at 8036 of 21,466 total days to date, I make the decision, out loud that is, for it has been resolute within me for a very long time, a decision I have been avoiding for the better part of a decade, and since a particular set of momentously important to me flashes of introspection, flashes so hot that they took my breath away. The fire started burning 10 years ago, along with one in 2006 which served as the original kindling. These moments, this blaze, burning over the past 14 years, are about a deepening understanding, awakening to that thing I have mentioned here, and in other articulations: context.

It is, has been about, using the cognitive abilities I was gifted with, to think beyond the obvious, the easy, the overly simplified. For complication and complexity are not one and the same thing, and while simple may suffice in some instances, complex problems and issues are rarely-to-never solvable, with simple, surface-level, easy, band-aid if you will, solutions and fixes and with punitive, self-deprecating, other-worshipping practices and beliefs.

So I made a decision in 2006 NOT to make a decision about continuing involvement in a movement I have been a more and less active member in since April 25, 1998, a movement I have incredible gratitude for, but the core tenets of which I have ‘bought into’ less and less, the more I grow into me, and my ever evolving world view. I know that I made that decision not based on my own needs, wishes and desires, but because I was afraid. Afraid of what others told me would happen if I didn’t go, afraid that I was too bad a human do deserve anything better, because those messages, had been beaten into me repeatedly, literally and with words. Afraid to rock the boat, because while one half of my original people spent his life doing just that, and it is in my blood, the other half spent a good piece of hers running, having to hide, from her and her mother’s violence-inflicting tormentor, and rocking the boat was a life-threatening endeavor for them, also in my blood. So for years, I continued to make a decision I was not happy with, but kept convincing myself I could ‘live with,’ because other people’s tapes, other people’s history, other people’s choices and thoughts about what I should do, who I should be.

And in all fairness, over the years since 2006, I was able to at least in part, ‘take what I need and leave the rest,’ but the truth is, my truth is, that I cannot buy into most parts of it at this point, and believe strongly that some of the ‘instructions,’ and for lack of a better word dogma, are so damaging, that it is not possible for me to continue on as even a part-time participant, and live comfortably in my own skin. My own skin happens to be the only one I have to be, need to be, comfortable in. And so I wish most fervently that you are picking up what I am putting down, though I already steel myself against potential backlash from lack of exactly that.

Because people will read and interpret the articulation of this decision as all manner of things I am NOT saying, and because people will inject all manner of things I do NOT believe, and will NOT do, and people will discount the fact that I will continue to ‘count,’ because I have no desire to be anything but Marcela unfiltered, Marcela undiluted by anything but life-pure, with internal and external vision clouded only by age and the bacterial war inside me known as Lyme & Co., NOT by the survival tools I put away for good, 22 years ago today. Because please, know that there is more than one way to skin a cat, sober up a horse thief, more than one way to find and keep, self.

And while the one person who has been with me in that movement since before April 25, 1998, including through several years of physical and other separations, the one who would have remembered the date before I did today, but is not in a position to think about anything but her own battle in this moment, the one other really important one, the human I started counting for in the first place, did remember, and called to let me know.

And because of his context, and something beyond my control, our relationship has taken a most unexpected turn, but after the initial shock and pain, in an odd way, I am beginning to see the parts that are for the better, though I haven’t quite worked out the exact bits around much of it, yet.. but my point, and I do have one, is this: that human my son Thomas, understands, deeply, far beyond the surface, why I stayed, and why I cannot at this juncture; why my world views, my belief systems, my inner ‘mašina,’ no longer allow me to consider myself (and others) in the terms and labels ascribed us by our culture, in regard to so much of life, but specific to 8036 days, in regard to human responses to trauma and general bitch-slappy, and that not everyone comes with the same set of ‘resources,’ or choices, or birthright, to deal with said traumas and H.R.H., bitch-slappy.

And that, his ‘getting it,’ his remembering, is gold that no medallion will ever give me, though along with counting, I may still collect them too, because we can buy all kinds of fun’n fancy ones online, just not all the work and battle, that is not available on Amazon, in case you were about to google that shit.

And please, make no mistake: the difference between now and the years I speak of, is not that I am going to do anything differently in maintaining a back-to-back count, it is that I am telling you I won’t be coming by anymore, to eat cake, for counting back to back, and to be told how great I am, or to have my dignity affronted with assumptions/conclusions and uninformed opinions by people who have met me less than a handful of times, some for less than 5 minutes. Really, it comes down to where/with whom I want to expend the precious time, exert the precious little energy and other resources I have available to me, and it does not mean I am not grateful, or that I will not always cherish the ‘beautiful souvenirs,***’ please do not make that mistake, or do if you must, but do, please spare my oh-so vulnerable heart.

I picked up my plexi-wall on April 24th, 1998 for the last time, and I have as little desire to raise that battle shield again as I did in my most fervently ‘in’ days of service and ‘movement’ involvement, but pretending to be part of it, knowing I have not bought in for more than10 years, is not something I can, not something I want, choose, to live with anymore.

Thanks for reading, it has been a laid back, eat too much, and do whatever-the-hell-I-want-kinda-day, and the neighbours’ fence panel, is the only bit that turned 🙃 ‘interesting,’ during a big-ass gust of wind this afternoon. I, have been unwell, but calm as the proverbial cucumber. I think I’ll make a Czech, Okurkový salát outta that!

~Marcela: Stepping out, gracefully, with gratitude, and bereft of a single dram, of maleficence or even resentment.

*A very different phenomenon from true victimization, something I am also familiar with.

**This is a vast topic for me, to be investigated and noted in a different context than the one in this piece of me, and it includes my original home and native land, its food, customs, belief systems, ways of living and being, my original tribe, their history, and their influence on my deepest self.

***“I can’t spend time with people I don’t enjoy. I can’t do it anymore as theater. I make choices, and that’s a beautiful thing about growing up, learning to say no, in a nice way, just say no. I have this friend…we just went different ways in life. Once he came to me and said, “Francis, you don’t like me anymore.” and I said “No, it’s not that I don’t like you, we’ve chosen different styles of life. I still have beautiful souvenirs of all the things we did together and how close we were, but the truth is it’s not that you bore me, but I don’t enjoy talking to you anymore and I don’t want to fight with you but there’s nothing in common between your life and mine nowadays.” I would have never said that but he asked me. So what could I say? I said the truth. Growing up has a bit to do with that, to be able to tell the truth, to show who you are, even if it hurts.”
― Francis Mallman