A book of Mormon or a lion’s head bowl your dirty old sneakers and a used camisole A camping potty and a broken TV world’s ugliest chair contest-winner and its mate, the settee A tall concrete tiki set or a big rusty clock and bald vroom-vroom tires for the wannabe jock A Loong Foong vintage cookie tin and a scuzzy old toilet or a decrepit old rocker but don’t sit lest you spoil it A pair of leather-like boots or a real-plastic dresser and some moldy old books from a dusty professor An inflatable hot tub and fake-rattan patio chairs or some lightly used razors includes gross chinny-chin-chin hairs Some creepy old doll parts or a bagful of ‘hemp’ seeds all ready to sow and 2 dozen duck eggs though not in a row A box of A & W Mugs and ‘a fake owl to scare birds’ or a disgusting old hamster cage opportunely pre-soiled, comes with used turds An ‘Old-antique’ horse lamp and a ‘dead’ cow rug or some grossly stained mattresses replete with bed bugs A giant Yahtzze set and miniature chairs made of wicker or a pre-cracked ‘antique’ mirror prices are firm, please do not dicker Cement garden pigeons and barbicide for dog groomers or 4 and 6 inch flex hoses for all the DIY boomers These are but some of the ‘treasures’ You want me to buy Steals of a Deal And (crap)Pies in the Sky Thank you but no deal, at the best of times I would pass, but now during COVID I’d like to kick your sad ass. So Fuck-the-Fuck-Off, which means stay-the-fuck-home please stop being a chump re-use and re-cycle up-cycle that thing or WHEN COVID is done with us take your shit to the dump! With all the love I have, ~Marcela: Asking, begging FB Marketplace and local buy/sell/trade groups everywhere, to take the example of Ladysmith BC, and PLEASE shut.it.down, for the duration! These are NOT essential services, but they ARE actively contributing to the problem! No amount of legal-ass-covering-guidelines are going to change the thoughtless actions of STUPID; the OTHER pandemic. April 04, 2020
There have been others since I came to live here, but you commanded and kept my attention, from the first time ever, that I saw your extraordinarily bright, red paint.
And since that moment, when you dwarfed everything around you and obligated me to see you, I have wanted to get closer, wanted to get a better view, and always wanted, always yearned, to see you again.
I needed to experience your power, relentlessly, and with great fervor. And for weeks now, I have been captivated by you, visually, psychologically, emotionally, and with irrevocable commitment.
And I have compulsively sought you out, with the diligence and precision of a skilled stalker, from every vantage point, in this hilly town.
For weeks now, each and every morning, I have clambered groggily up to the step-stool view in my sleeping chamber, because knowing you were there allowed me to face another day, and I have been awed by the turmoil you create, deep, so deep inside me.
For weeks now, each and every evening, no matter how fatigued, I bid you good night, because you give me some measure of consolation, succour, in my solace-less world.
You have represented all that is true about me, the contradictions, and I am as contentiously conflicted about you, as I am about most things.
Your intensity screamed to my own; and like the others in the bay, like me, you are a political and personal hot-potato, and I love you-I hate you, come here-go away, fuck-off, no! fuck-on!
And you present me with a familiar quandary: what is right for the world around me versus what I get, what I need, from you, from the world around me.
And so by direct extension, you have been a secret, conflicted indulgence, analogous for me, to beautiful footwear, but made in China by slaves and their enslaved children.
And I have viewed you with my naked eyes, and through binoculars, and I have captured you with my camera over and over again, from my step-stool view, from the highway coming home, from my excursions on the hilly trails, and from my perambulations about the town.
And this morning, when I opened the curtain to greet you, you knocked the breath right out of me, for the light had you glowing in shades of gold and pewter, and I was mesmerized, shaken to the core, by the beauty of you, and the light, the indescribable, iridescent light, and the way you played together, with, and in the sea.
And I remembered Barrett-Browning, and knew I will do well to concern myself with, fly toward the light, despite additional bruising of my oh-so broken wings.
And my despair collided head-on inside me with the memory of who I am, the shine and vibrancy used to describe me for decades by others, now hoarded away far too long, by me, recently, because: pain.
And I wonder; if like me, despite meticulous maintenance of mechanical parts and attention to aesthetic details, you may meet an undignified, rusted out, abandoned, demise?
But your light rouses me from the melancholy of this early morning reverie and while you are neither Sunflower nor Water Lily on a A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, van Gogh, Monet, Seurat alike, would have been as awestruck by that light show, by your radiance, as I.
So it is little wonder that this evening, upon reaching the place on the highway, the place where I always spy you first, returning from my hated-reality, hot tears burned my cheeks with a vengeance that took me by surprise, but at the same time, not at all.
For I realized that you had left me, as I knew you would; suspected this very morning, that today might be that day, the day I find you gone.
And all that, in a painful morning stupor, while bedazzled, so very smitten, by your glow, your nod to me, to heed Browning’s wise words, to keep fluttering my wings, toward the light, toward my light.
And I am so very grateful, to me, for all the times I hunted you down, from yet another place and angle. I am richer for having enjoyed you, and you fueled, no, you ignited, new fantasies of leaving, to live my art, whenever my eyes, my heart, the core of me, met your steel girth, your vibrant and vivacious red coat.
And I never coveted you more than this morning, never appreciated you more, than in those parting moments, when you willfully, boastfully even, occupied that space, your space in the vast vast sea, wearing the gold,
of the Queen you are.
~Marcela: one skin, 58.7 years, life/version 19.9, and counting.
March 04, 2020
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.