The roar of the culvert spewing forth the runoff, raging like the internal and external storms of the night previous, temporarily assuages my tinnitus and pressure addled brain, with this other, din. I walk on leaving the culvert behind, and, with the relentless vengeance of the intruders in my body, they cut anew; the razor-sharp edges of my current reality and I wonder: why I still choose to live this wounded and broken, life(?). Parker, Dorothy that is, in all her glory and folly calls on me, again, to live another day for while increasingly troublesome, my vision endeavors to see, that “cherry bough gone white with Spring,” and so I walk on, desperately seeking; the next “prettiest, thing.” ~Marcela: not done yet, according to Parker anyway. 02, 02, 2020
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…”
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.
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...
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.”
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).
"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
“The Artist is no other than [s]he who unlearns what [s]he has learned, in order to know [her]himself.”
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.
February 26, 2019.
Where do we run to Sister? The noise on the outside, the noise in our heads, where do we run to Sister? May we find a place to rest our minds for the noise all around is building prison walls with no means of escape, where do we run to Sister?
I run no more Brother, I run no more. I find solace in my mind for I know it to be aware and fertile. I find peace in my heart with self for I know me better, now. I seek peace and solitude in my personal environment for my public environments are loud with others’ pain. I run no more Brother, I run no more.
Be still in your heart my Sister, for it knows the true meaning of truth & tranquility. Run no more my Sister. Be still in your heart…
My heart breaks my Brother, my heart breaks. It breaks or us, for them, for me… and I understand, why Vincent cut off his ear… .
I understand as well, we are here for other reasons, not to gouge out our eyes or cut off our ears. We are here to witness and listen. We must give credence to those who cannot do for themselves… he says as he carries his 20 year old dog outside, because he can no longer make the journey alone. Along with the fear in his eyes I see much love and understanding as he holds on knowing that he is safe in my arms. Soon I will have to let go, where do I run to sister?
I held Gloria’s hand, for she had no other, when her eyes saw no more, and I had to let her go. I understand. I seek Brother, and we run no more, we run no more.
Gloria was honoured to have held your hand, she moves on knowing that some one cared and now she too, runs no more. I love you sister…
We have battled over our differences, only to find, that we are so alike. I love you brother.
We battle no more my sister, we battle no more… we took different paths to get to the same place. One can only fight with one self for so long before the futility becomes evident and it is evident to me that we are ONE my sister, we stand together as one, and we run no more.
I cry tears of joy my Brother, I cry tears of joy. And I laugh my Brother, I laugh aloud! For we are cut from the same cloth, and our seams are crooked, but they tear no more Brother, they tear no more!
Yes, they are crooked and you know we wouldn’t have it any other way, the straight path was never meant for us… we are adventurers of sorts and must stray off the path every now and then. It is what makes us feel alive. Walk the crooked path my sister for I am behind you sewing up the seams and filling the potholes as you do for me.
Where do we run to sister, where do we run…? We run no more Brother, we run no more.
This poem is the literal and direct outcome of something I posted to my personal Facebook page. It is the ensuing thread of comments/replies, to the original post. In it, I was expressing my dismay with others’ disregard for their neighbours. The post occurred in a moment of significant emotional, physical and psychological fatigue and pain. The unwitting poem began with the heartfelt words of my brother Tom in response, and took us somewhere quite unexpected, or is it… that? Out of current and more long ago struggles and battles, individual and mutual, we created something deeply meaningful to me, and I am thunderstruck by its depth and the reverberations still going through me, hours later… I am beautifully blind-sided, by its acuity and by its power to break me down, in the most beautiful way, though not without some anguish, to the core. This could not have happened, without his input, which only serves to underscore and demonstrate, the entire point of my original post, and what I am challenged with on a daily basis: what we do (good/bad and all points in between), matters, has impact, good/bad and all points in between. We are connected to everything and everyone, and we live a world which increasingly diminishes, denies and destroys, that. The words of my brother are his heart, my responses are mine. The continuing love and loyalty of my one and only ever best friend Sue, the immediately raw responses of my friends Collie and Carol to the thread/poem, are theirs, and I am profoundly moved by and grateful for, the presence, in my unruly and precarious life, of these women, and my brother Tom. You have done good work mama Marcella, you have done good work. All of your toil, sacrifice and pain, have not gone unnoticed, have not been in vain. And we love you. This poem is yours, mama, it is of your making, word for word.
~Marcela & Tom, with Sue, Collie and Carol.
November 03, 2018
Writing and photographs: All Rights Reserved.
Remnants Like an old (Czech) flag in the wind, tattered remnants of fear, flap relentlessly, in the recesses of my heart and mind; denounce and decry my worthiness of, the unorthodox life I crave. Whispers the fearless wild-child inside, “…burn the flag woman, burn the damned flag.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With thoughts of my maternal grandmother, Žofie Schlosser Ševčíková, June 06, 1911 – November 17, 1995. She was inordinately dignified and quite literally worked her fingers to the bone for my mother and her. She did it while standing up to, and then leaving (unheard of at that time), a violently abusive, alcoholic husband. She did it during a time in war-torn Eastern Europe most of us cannot fathom, no matter how many history books we profess to have read. She was profoundly gifted in languages,and well-read. She toiled with her tiny body and life-worn hands,in a way we, of more recent generations cannot know. One of the things I remember most about her is the importance to her, of quality, in everything. And I wonder, knowing what I know about the drudgery, the losses, the sacrifices that were the bulk of her life, I wonder, given the opportunity to ask her about what she would have done differently, had she the chance to be anyone,to do anything,she desired,what that would have been. I am anxious this day,and she came to my mind. She was born 107 years ago. A mere blip on the radar of our Universe, not known to most, but remembered well, by me and my mama,her daughter, this day. ~Marcela: tattered in the process of (more, always more,) unfurling. Writing: All Rights Reserved / Image: Google Search June 06, 2018
As I pluck, the stray hairs from my face, I try to ponder with some grace, this crazy thing, called Aging. As I take my locks, from gold to dark, With silver strands just for the lark, I smile, for I have Lived. As I view the lines on this visage, every day is vernissage, and mostly, I care Not. And as I judge this culture, youth obsessed, no more couth do I possess, than (T)rump-a-dump, himself. In this world, where absurd is King, I wag and wonder at this thing, the phenomena, of Stupid. We're teaching children, to regurgitate, are raising mindless reprobates, in bubble-wrapped, Entitlement. I yell at them, to read a book, get your brains back off that fuckin hook, you call a life, on-line. And as I sit, with 56.5 I rejoice the years I am alive Live(d) and Love(d), with frenzied fire’n Passion A youthful spirit, in its tweens the wise chick in me hears’n gleans that this body, doth Protest! In recent words, to my well-(b)read child I spoke of this my big wild ride, and uttered this, fair Warning: If tomorrow, I should die, know that my life was not all pie, but holy fuck me, what a Ride! Lose no tear, for my time lost here, I sped through akin to Buzz Lightyear, had no time, to sweat the small Stuff! No such burden, as regret, for NO dull moment did beget, a single breath, I Took! And so I enter, this next phase, In a blur of crazy-dayz, and with electrifying, Verve! I ought to warn, you faint-of-hearts, my new grand plan will have no chart, to map out how this goes! So if you love me, in all my glory, you will know that this next folly, will be, of proportions Epic! BOOM. FALLOUT. AFTERSHOCK. SPLASH. SMILE’n WAVE, like the Queen I am. Quack-a-fucking-doodle-dizzy and with a brand new energy, for an old(er) chick! ~Marcela. October 21, 2017 Photos and Poetry: All Rights Reserved.