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A Self-Portrait Using Objects I Threw in the Bin

August 21st, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

My internet friend (does it matter what type of friend? we have never met in physical proximity or looked at each other in real time,  so I signify it as a type of friendship for clarity, for specificity?) R recently wrote a resonant blog post about moving into a new flat with his girlfriend. Recently, Caroline’s (my roommate) best friend moved into her boyfriend’s flat. We discussed the pros and cons of moving into someone’s space rather than finding a space together— holding hands holding sage over a doorway to burn away old encounters to make way for a world of unknown welcome desires.

In R’s post, what stood out, was the softness with which he moved through the memories, not in some grand gesture of removing them from his life, but knowing that they had their time, and granting himself the permission to let them go. The objects don’t need to be in physical proximity for that archive to exist, but that archive does need to expand its boundaries to include a new person & to move with a new person.

I include the whole post because reading an excerpt is wasteful of the experience, even if it doesn’t comply with his fastidious page arrangement. 

A Self-Portrait Using Objects I Threw in the Bin

ON SATURDAY I AM (we are) moving out of this flat and into another, within the same building, yes, but larger and with more windows. It is the windows I am delighted by. 
I moved into this place eleven months ago but it doesn’t seem so long ago as eleven months. Time moves as it does, and so it goes. It has been quite the year. Much has changed. In preparation for moving out I have slowly been sorting through bits & pieces, clearing drawers and throwing away many of the things I have collected over the years. It is strange to go through the drawers. In my parents’ house – which it is now known as – I would often, through laziness or indecision, simply put objects in these drawers only for them to now be stumbled across once more: letters from family and boys and girls, an untold amount of very bad photographs, small gifts I received but had no use for, cigars I never smoked, maps, posters and promotional flyers, new & used batteries, Allen keys, busted lighters, paintings that I had abandoned or lost interest in, bills, payslips, gig ticket stubs, t-shirts I forgot about, two piano books (sonatas and jazz respectively), about a score’s worth of foreign money (European and American), instruction manuals and birthday cards. Going through it all was something I normally would have, in my usual way, put off from now until forever; I was forced to clear the drawers to make way for things my girlfriend may wish to put in there – for a long time her own possessions have been scattered around the room.

Beside me was a gaping black bin-bag. With a brutality I found most unnatural, I picked up each item, considered it briefly, held it close to my eyes, and stuffed it into the bag (which burped after every swallow). All this time! Vanishing! It was therapeutic as it was sad. Before I tied the bag I contemplated bending down and retrieving the goods but could not bring myself to do it. What would be the use? The bag weighed heavy. I drew the thin corners in and tied them tightly. I carried them down, in the rain, to where the bins were and felt nervous that somebody could go down them. I threw the bag to the back of the farthest bin. 

I checked today and the bins had been emptied. All those memories – or at least the stern to which the barnacles of memory attach themselves – are gone.

And now I leave this place. I viewed it just under a year ago on the seventh of September. I was finally inside the flat I had wished to live in for all the years I had taken the train past it. One Saturday my parents and I visited (parking in the carpark of a McDonald’s where I bought something to stave off my hangover, and the sun hazy and thick) and we, all three, fell in love with it. Two days later I put down my name.

It has been my first place and it has treated me well. Though she is sleeping upstairs this very moment – or tossing and turning, if I can hear through one unearphone’d ear – it has always been mine. It is small and its one tall window is my sun. How much I will miss it! Soon it will be empty again. By Sunday night it will be empty again, and clean, untainted by any of my belongings. What will the space be then? Even if I were to stand up right now and remove the rug from the middle of the floor, I would not quite know where I was. The memories are on the rug, as they are anywhere else I choose to look.

I feel sad to leave it behind but excited for all that which lies beyond it, the times that are to come. There are other places, other dates.

For all I express in these words, please understand that I have not packed anything. Everything is still in its right place. I should get away from this keyboard and put it orderly in boxes. I am appalling at packing, excellent at procrastinating, and a devil at putting-off. It is likely that the next time I write here I shall be in our new abode, wriggling into a new writing space and endowing new memories upon new things.

Go after her.

May 18th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

I am so glad I know so many women that feel.
My friend Helena Kvarnström wrote this many years ago:

“Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.”

attente / waiting

October 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I feel like this blog has just become an update receptacle and even then I don’t keep up, like the news of Part I of my interactive documentary, microfemininewarfare: exploring women’s space in electronic music being screened at ElectroFringe Fest in Australia last week. Last week, however, I was in New York being too much while chasing memories, tattoos, love & blue eyes. But also being a serious productive cat with meetings and potentials.

I’m having thematically recurring dreams in which a medley of my (ex)lovers come in and out of various situations. Every night is a different mix with different expectations. I’m also having dreams about Chiapas almost every night, still. Everything sticks to me like that. Is there a way to just have sex all the time? Like with breathing—you do other stuff but you have to keep breathing but then sometimes you take time to focus on breathing and find your body’s orientation. Could not the same be of intercourse? You just do it all the time while living life and then some of the time you focus on each other’s bodies completely?

2013 has been all about waiting. Is waiting synonymous with patience? I don’t know. I didn’t even realize that my snail tattoo is also part of that theme. Of course it is, yes, all of it. Sanyu told me something I’ll never forget: “When he is ready, if you wait, he will come back.”

Here is something better from Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: 

The lover’s discourse is of an extreme solitude

attente / waiting— Tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting for the loved being, subject to trivial delays (rendezvous, letters, calls, returns)

Am I in love? –yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.

Waiting is an enchantment: I have received orders not to move. Waiting is woven out of tiny unavowable interdictions to infinity.

September 2013 so far…

September 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A 5521 kilometer-long open wound the salty ocean won’t let scar

“Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut out” —Gloria Anzaldúa

My Top 3 #lastfm Artists: Julianna Barwick (35), Slow Dancing Society (28) & Lubomyr Melnyk (19)

Your art/work is what makes me hold on & admire you. I’m in awe of the chance of experiencing the vast unknown w/in your work —with you.

Olfactory memory, how your tentacles suffocate me so tender

Brazilian jazz you make my love my body —Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Astrud Gilberto …

Staying home to read poetry. Staying home to learn new words to love you with.

Chile’s made some great poets—Pablo Neruda: “As if you were on fire from within. / The moon lives in the lining of your skin.”

London, chasing light with you has been a pleasure / The moments our speeds cross paths I burst with energy & love for you with me.

My Top 3 #lastfm Artists: Lubomyr Melnyk (24), Slow Dancing Society (21) & Austra (21)

i’m eating a squash/spinach salad & drinking a gluten free beer I snuck in at the club in Brixton while everyone dances to drum’n’bass in Brixton

The sun bouncing around the English countryside & through my train window, hello there

“We are each other’s orientation devices. We self-alienate in relating by recognizing the other as both that which grabs us and that which turns us away and into the world.”

Lancaster, your tender sunset & wind out my window are so lovely. Thank you.

Attempts at sleep with music on headphones when not having slept for a really long time always imparts amorous beguiling images.

Love as responsibility towards the Other.

Where is my Colonel Sanders & his magic of “Abbreviating Sensory Processing of Continuos Information” ?

Turned into cats.

July 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink






When patience toward you is handed to you like this, it’s difficult to do anything but fall in love.

catemoticons (1 of 1)

“There is always something traumatic, extremely violent, in love. Love is a permanent emergency state. You fall in love. It is crucial that we use this expression. To fall in love. You lose control. I claim that love, the experience of passionate love, is the most elementary metaphysical experience, a Platonic experience, in the sense of: You lead your routine daily life, you meet friends, you go to parties, everything is normal, etc.—and then, you passionately fall in love. Everything is ruined. The entire balance of your life is lost. Everything is subordinated to this one object. I almost cannot imagine in normal daily life (outside of war and so on) a more violent experience than that of love.”
— Slavoj Žižek

Write to me.

October 14th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

 — the world is full of words – write to me —

write me romantic words of superflous proportions —steal poet’s words, steal all the words in the world to make me believe I am in one of those books I carry with me every time I move across the world. You know which ones, the heavy ones, the ones of female desire, the ones of beating heads on hardwood floors. Take all those words, move them around, and see why I love those words so much. Eat the words and shit them out to see how they look like in all the ways. Write to me, on paper, on the computer, on napkins, on the metro, on the road, on receipts, on magazines, on books, on newspaper clippings, on you, on me, on them, on the trees. Write to me with fingers full of blood expanding to show me the love you say you have. Keep writing, write like it’s a Grecian marathon, keep writing in the most detailed ways possible. Use examples. Use verbs. Use the clarity of Joan Didion. Or write me a few words, simple words, big words, complicated words. Write me however, whenever, but write me often and write to me, not to them, not for the world to see. Just me, just write it to me, because your love is not for them, but for me, and a love song is not a love letter.

I promise I won’t make that mistake again.


Winnie the Pooh

June 12th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”


“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”


“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”


“Hallo, Rabbit,” he said, “is that you?”
“Let’s pretend it isn’t,” said Rabbit, “and see what happens.”


“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”


“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”


“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”


“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”


“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.”


“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.”


“[A] quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business.”

In Love

February 3rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

“Suis-je amoureux ?”- Oui puisque j’attends.”
L’autre, lui n’attend jamais. Parfois, je veux jouer à celui qui n’attend pas; J’essaye de m’occuper ailleurs, d’arriver en retard; mais à ce jeu je perds toujours: quoique je fasse, je me retrouve désoeuvré, exact, voire en avance. L’identité fatale de l’amoureux n’est rien d’autre que: je suis celui qui attend.”
– Roland Barthes

Being in love is the best and most important feeling in the whole world. Nothing motivates unless I am in love. My friend D teases me about this a lot. Many times I will bring something or someone up to him and gush about how amazing and wonderful it or they are.

— “You think everything/everyone is amazing!”
— “No! I am so critical and judgmental! But I am also unabashedly in love with a lot, and want to express it as much as I can.”

Funny (sad?!) that most people think I am an ice queen, selfish, and unapproachable. Probably, because I’m sure I come off that way. Physical face-to-face interactions are weird. I never know how to be or what to say, so I usually just end up promoting myself as a spectacle. I am easily amused by myself, and so an adventure always follows me around.

I tan a lot. People have a lot of judgmental things to say about tanning. People have a lot of judgmental things to say about a lot of shit. HELP ME BE LESS JUDGMENTAL!

Oh, yes, back to being in love. Being in love is like this special sheath you get to wear and it gives you magical powers!


being able to see clearly and with the saturation on +10, having the ability to focus on all your work, having enough energy to do ANYTHING even if you haven’t slept because you’ve been making love for days, having beautiful skin because  the blood is racing through your body constantly making everything glow, finding inspiration in everything, forming a world with your lover, seeing the world through their eyes…

I remember when I fell in love the summer of 2010 with my documentary project, before I even contacted anyone, before I even knew what it would become. I wanted to devote all of myself to it, and the love grew and grew and grew and I was so willing to give myself to it, willing to give all of my time, all of my energy to it, and it, in turn gave me so much of itself back.

Why did I not finish it? Why did I get carried away with my doctoral work as if that can be finished later? Why do I discard my work so quickly? FOLLOW THROUGH.

New loves again & again – disposable – New loves turning over make me full of unrequited love for the past, make me intensely sentimental and regretful for the past projects I was in love with and gave up because something else became more convenient. Now my shoulders slouch from the weight of the unresolved past, and my scoliosis keeps curving in. Moving on like this is never moving on, but stuck in all the places all at once, never being able to be in the ‘now.’ Like Erica Jong writes, “I look forward and see myself looking back.”

france 2004

france 2004

Dear Loyola Garden, I love You

December 24th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

In September I attended a toy camera workshop with Midi Onodera put on by my department of Communication Studies at Concordia. We had an afternoon to shoot and edit. I chose the Barbie Cam to shoot my short film because how strange is it to shoot holding a Barbie in your hand that has a camera in her chest. The feminist discussion is not lost on me, but that’s not the point right now. The Loyola campus of Concordia reminds me a bit of York: it’s far away from the centre in the suburbs & no one likes going there. Having just arrived, I wanted to get to know the campus and make friends with it. I decided to shoot the garden, as it was just finished sharing its bounty for the season. I emailed j that afternoon asking: “hi  / can i use one of your songs / it’s a love letter to the garden / wanna send me something calm and slow?” & what you hear is what he sent me & I love how it works so perfectly.

Of Love

November 13th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Kat always writes the most incredible fucking things on her blog that always seem to come right at the time I need them. She started writing online again & you should follow her forever.

Expectation. Forgive me.

I miss you when you are gone, and when you are near I miss you in anticipation of your next departure. There is no such thing as closeness. Objects can be no closer than they are, co-arisen and inseparable. Everything interpenetrates and yet I long to be penetrated, as if something is missing, as if something is lost. Who am I, if you do not know me? You ask me to write the answer on your face, yet you insist that it must be spoken, it must be in words. For a moment, before you explained your request, I thought you had understood. You said, with your air, or, with your breath, but all you meant was talking. You just wanted me to talk, as if that might bridge the gap. Oh, you do not know me, and I cannot tell you, it would only prove me right. What do you know without words? I am touching you and you are writing words on a screen. You are transmitting thoughts to someone else and you are not totally here. I leave and wonder when you will notice my absence. This is the only reason I leave you, so that maybe you will experience the lack of me, as I experience the lack of you. No matter how close I pull you, even into my very body, I lack you.

We stood on a cliff looking out over the edge of the world. It is so big, I say. It is so still, you say. Back in the town we had touched the leather horse things, and you said, they are made for something so much more powerful than we are, and you said, they are made so well, better than anything for people. And I touched them all with my hands, bridles and halters and bits and saddles. Oh September. The saddles the blankets the crops. Neither of us has ridden a horse. We will talk of the trips we have taken. I will tell you to buy a certain toy for a child I do not know. I hope that child is me. Once, you bought black shoes with white lightening bolts on them. I do not care for shoes because my feet are so big. You put metal to glass with duct tape. You remind me of my father.

My father called me, thinking I was thousands of miles from where I am. I have not returned the call. They say that fathers who have been absent ought to write to their daughters and apologize, even if it is the only thing they can do, even if their daughters will never forgive them or even acknowledge them. This, God bless him, my father has always done.

I want a long dress; I want a knife; I want a baby. We talk of Henry Miller, of his honesty, and the air is so light at the edge of the world, and so many of the trails are unauthorized. Why don’t we worship our ancestors here, you ask. In my family, we do, I say. And in another world I am writing to a stranger about how Georgia is like Russia and already I have nostalgia for the future I might share with the person I would tell this to, the person who might understand. You shove your arms in a heap of manure to see how warm it is on the inside — the people give you a look.

I can feel it all through me, the future we will not act out, the future we have already had, the future we have shared from the beginning. There was never a beginning, there was never. There was the edge of the world. It was so large. It was so still. And the birds on the rocks were sensitive, and the waves were sensitive, and the eyes that saw it all were sensitive.

It was simple: I loved someone and I wanted them to know it.

I would take you with me. I would take you into the hole in the center of my chest where I do not exist, have never existed, the laughter of permeability, the air. I would take you where I cannot go myself. God, this pain is exquisite, and your face, I write on your face, I take you on my life boat, I die in your arms as you change from a boy to an old man and back again, over and over. You are a completely different person. You are a mirror. I want to walk to the edge of the world with your DNA in my body.

Where Am I?

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