Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 269: want some?

some choices
will give you money
to live
a charade
with great style

some people
will give you their bed
to lie
to yourself
for a while

some places
will give you a rest
to breathe
out smoke
from the fire

and some moments
will teach a hard heart
to beat
like a clock
without time

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 268: Home.

The downstairs kitchen had cupboards filled with mom’s old outfits from the 60’s and 70’s. I would play dress-up for hours on end with anybody that came down to my lair.
There was one renegade pink flowery tile, accidentally placed backwards in the washroom. And when I sat in the tub, I would press on the tile and imagine it opened a secret passage.
The carpet in the “nice” living room had a faded spot on the rug in front of the stereo from where I sat and listened to music for as long as my sore butt would allow.
My bedroom is where I taught myself guitar basics and sang a song with it for the very first time.
And when I missed curfew, I knew exactly where the floor creaked past my parent’s bedroom.
The living room in the basement witnessed many girly sleepovers, parties, world cup viewings, scary movie watching, and various make-out sessions with boyfriends.
But every room had its own story.
Just as every house does.
It was the house I was born in.
It was the house I grew up in.
It was the hardest house to leave.
And it’s a far cry from what it used to be.
Ever since we moved away, other hands let it fall apart.
And after that someone else transformed it into a home daycare.
I have three uncles still living on that street.
And every time I visit, I can’t bear to look at my old house.
I actually look away, it’s so silly. 
But as many times as I’ve moved (five times and counting) when I dream of home, that’s the place I am transported to.
Every single time.
I wonder if that will ever change?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 267: A lesson on how to turn 15 minutes into an eternity.

The walk from my brother’s house to mine is about 15 minutes.
I had dinner there with my parents and decided to walk home.
Along the way I saw many things worth writing into my notebook.
Post worthy things.
And all I could think was:
Oh. Dear. God. I have to pee. Exclamation point.
Swigging a beer and heading out the door ten minutes later – mistake, mistake.
I could do this, I thought.
I passed at least 7 cafes. With bathrooms
But I decided to be prissy about it and wait until I got to my clean washroom at home.
(If you haven’t figured it out yet: I am my very own worst enemy).
I walked. And walked some more.
It’s amazing how the mind fixates on how you have to pee and nothing else.
I have had a cramp in my thigh since yesterday, and blisters from my sandals.
Still, all my mind could decipher was the insistent tinkle bell, ringing like a five alarm.
The distance between me and my pearly white bowl felt like a marathon route.
And I was like a slow horse-drawn carriage with blinkers and blinders on.
(Did I mention the cramp?).
A cute guy smiled at me as I passed him in the park and the only reply I could manage was a wide eyed grimace while biting my lower lip.
Damn you, tinkle fairies, I said shaking a raised fist.
Truthfully, to demonstrate the gravity of the situation, if George Clooney himself asked me for directions, I would smack him upside the head with my purse.
No time.
Having to pee that bad will bring out the crazy in everyone.
Half way there, I surveyed the perimeter, my eyes moving like darts in a saloon.
But before I could even finish my thought…
You will not stop at that gas station; you are a LADY, god dammit!
said a voice that sounded eerily like my Aunt Irene.
I mentally cursed all the men in the world who could just relieve themselves in bushes, corners or alleyways.
Short deep breaths, Tanya-- just... be careful on that exhale.
I turn the corner and see my building.
The angels begin to sing... and then the record skips and scratches to a halt.
(Not literally, I won’t stoop to writing about that just yet. C’mon. I’m a LADY).
There she was.
Chatty neighbor. Front stairwell. Gardening.
She begins to lament leisurely about how sad it is that the peonies are dead.
While holding a hose.
“C’est dommage.”
Sure, George Clooney you smack, but the old lady you can stop and talk to. Why are you single again? said a voice that sounded eerily like my own.(See above RE: my own worst enemy).
I barely made it up the three flights of stairs. But I made it.
And, ladies and gents, my bathroom has never looked more welcoming.
Hot diggity dog, was I ever happy to see it.
I won’t tell you the rest, because I’m a LADY!
And a lady doesn't discuss such matters.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 266: Rush Hour (how to get nowhere fast)

What starts the love rush, exactly?
And let’s forget sexual chemistry for a second or two.
What makes you realize you are in over your head because your heart is bursting?
Is it a look?
Something they say?
What triggers it?
That “oh shit, I think I love this person” rush that infects your insides.
And there is no turning back once the rush hits.
It’s a scary, truthful, sobering flood.
You now have something and someone to lose.
You now have a very good chance of getting hurt.
If they love you back? High-Fives and Hallelujahs!
But if you know they don’t? Ugh.
Then terror is amplified tenfold and you’re swimming in the deep end.
In the dark.
All alone.
Reciprocation is key.
Reciprocation is the life jacket.
That’s why, friends, it’s important to understand what started the rush for you.
The look?
The words?
What has left you with nothing but saturated, condensed feelings that overwhelm you at will?
You have to figure it out.
And then Ol’ Rush needs to have a good talking to.
Ol’ Rush needs to get its shit together and know the stakes.
Because nobody appreciates being thrown in the pool with their party dress on.
You feel me?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 265: for safe keeping

There in the attic we accumulate particular keepsakes.
Out of our peripheral vision but always overhead.
Some days, rainy ones, we want to climb up there and peruse through them.
For old times’ sake.
To shake our heads and get overwhelmed with emotion.
That distinctive blend of heartache mixed with gladness that comes from surveying the past.
Attics can hold trunks and trunks of treasure troves.
Some heavy with souvenirs.
Some light and simply waiting to be filled.
But the trunks themselves can be like solid, solitary crypts.
Their dusty lids silently reminding us that perhaps our greatest treasures do not require a final resting place.
Perhaps our greatest treasures do not need to be found again and again.
Like every beautiful thing that sits with time, they will age and fade away.
Try as we might, we cannot hold a moment in our hands forever.
Or fold it neatly over blue tissues and place it in an airtight box for preservation.
Attics will trick us into thinking we can.
The floors up there are not safe.
The foundation is not as strong as we expect it to be.
We can weigh it with too many trunks, lose our footing walking around, the floor will give way underneath us and we will fall right through.
When we crash to the ground with a loud thud and shield our heads from the falling debris of our carefully catalogued memories, we can hear the Attic shouting, “There was never a guarantee that I could hold you, or any of this, safely.”

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 264: This sequence of events is getting old.

A pattern will teach you a lesson.
If you are ready to see the truth.
Hold up your mirrors.
Face your reflection.
And, good god woman, step out of the rain.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 263: Ophelia

There is a sort of healing that comes from washing my delicate lingerie by hand.
Silk and lace are lovelier to the eyes and fingers when submerged underwater.
They move gracefully.
Like they have always wanted to drown this way.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 262: just a little patience

I am slowly learning the depth of my patience.
Slowly, slowly, slowly.

And I’m afraid it does not run as deep as I would have hoped.
Some days I want to scream at how long things take.
Why the constant wait for the rest of the pieces to align?
I am ready, now!
Don’t shake your head at me.
Don’t look at me with those patronizing eyes.
Patience is not a virtue I possess.
So what?
I want to rush things, skip steps, and just get there.
I know that’s not how the world works.
I know that’s not how life works.
I realize it takes the time it takes.
Even if that is a long time.
Even though I am ready now.
I realize that because I am the girl who is waiting for a ship to sail in on dry land.
And it will.
Wait with me, you’ll see.

It will. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 261: swim

"What’s the worst that can happen?"
Said the girl balancing on one foot at the edge of the bridge.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 260: The wheel's still in spin.

“Anything can change in life.”
You’ve heard that expression before.
It floats above your head when you’re at your happiest.
Like a cloud waiting to rain.
Or it is whispered in various undertones of hopefulness by close advisors or strangers, when you’re at your lowest.
And the words sparkle like a gift waiting to be unwrapped. 
“Anything can change.”
Yes, anything.
And it does.
Over and over again.
Doesn’t it?
Never on schedule.
Always when it is least expected.
Just when you think you’ve handled the last one, something flips it the other side around.
And now it is not the same.
My question is never what will change, but how will it change me?
Can I ever remain as I am, when everything I know has a new face?
Am I growing? Or am I changing?
Is one impossible without the other?
Is change growth?
Because if it is, then I can accept it.
If it is one and the same, then let it change, and let me grow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 259: painting

Color my day with experience.
The kind that’s worth remembering.
The kind that will paint my every thought tomorrow.
But be kind.
With your palette.
Use less blue.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 258: The Sunday Shift

The Sunday shift can be a crapshoot.
You never quite know what to expect.
Who might turn the corner, and surprise you by walking right in.
Who will leave you tongue tied.
And who will turn your day around with a gimlet and easy conversation.
It’s the ‘old world’ way of finding your way.
Around a new town.
Around new faces that blend in with the familiar.
A penny for your troubles and a dime for the bartender.
That’s the way it goes, if you so choose.
And at the end of the night, when you tally it all up and the cash register cranks open to empty wooden slots, you don’t mind.
Because the Sunday shift is the best shift.
Even if it don’t pay much.

*The Sparrow
5322 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. MTL, QC

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 257: the entanglement

One day, unaware, two individual silver necklaces became star crossed lovers.
In the vastness of the jewelry box they found their way to each other.
And when they touched, it wasn’t long before they were locked in a tangled embrace.
It could not be determined where one ended or the other began.
They were so blissfully inseparable.
But the longer they were together, the more fragile they grew.
Bit by bit, and knot by knot, their situation became a delicate one.
And breakable.
Reality set in.
That outside the safety of their comfortable drawer, they weren't considered jewelry.
Outside the box, they were just two different necklaces that needed to be unraveled.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 256: Who Knows How Long I've Loved You...

Today I purchased tickets to see one half of my all time favorite singer/songwriter duos perform live. Paul McCartney. I can’t even believe it, I’m so damn giddy. Sure, my tickets are in the nose-bleed section, sort of behind the stage, with a partially obstructed view, but who the hell cares?! I’m in the same room as friggen’ Paul McCartney! The only living Beatle!!  (No offence, Ringo).

As much as I have fostered a deep admiration for John Lennon over my lifetime, Paul McCartney remains (to this day) my ultimate crush. I remember being 7 years old in my dad’s car and hearing “‘Til There Was You” on the eight track, blushing and thinking to my seven year old self, “He has the prettiest voice a boy could ever own!”  It’s so light and soft. It sort of wraps itself around you. Kind of like spooning.

Yes, I was a goner right from the start. And over the years, I have let my mind fantasize about what it would have been like to date him (pre-Linda) back in their 1960’s heyday. I imagine him to have been the kind of Beatle Boyfriend who only slept with a few groupies before coming over to my place, to sing a song he wrote just for me! Yeah, he’d have been swell to date! He would be smiley and patient while teaching me bar chords. He’d even recite rhymey riddles to help me remember my finger placement for that tricky C#. Such a clever, silly boy that Paul! And fabulous at spooning!

As a songwriter, I am pretty sure no one has ever been able to make more girls swoon than Paul (we’re on a first name basis, I let him cop a feel when he taught me Bm). He has certainly written a variety of complex rock songs with ol’ Lennon, but his own slow-to-medium tempo hits are the ones that cut right to chase. And right to the heart. Every Beatle lover knows a Lennon song, but everyone on the planet knows the words to all the McCartney ones. They’re just so damn catchy. And lovely. Like spooning.

So when I see Paul on July 26th, I won’t see the frailer-Heather-Mills-choosing older version.

All I’ll see, in my partially obstructed view that night, will be the sparkly, handsome, young, mop-top lad who plays bass in the wrong direction, teaches me bar chords and still makes my heart skip a beat. You know, like, in the song he wrote for me: 'Let Me Roll It'.

Here's my all time favorite clip of my boyfriend - I mean, Paul.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 255: A mint julep - or two- and then...

Sleep has been trying to seduce me all day long.
I might have to have my way with him.
It could take all night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 254: "Say hi to your mutha for me."

Yesterday, at a total dude centric bar, oblivious to our surroundings, four single thirty-something women (us) discussed our ideal mate. The following post consists of uncensored commentary as transcribed from a dirty, nacho soaked napkin.

Here we go.

The Absolutes:

Has to know how to fix things (i.e. I don’t want to have to call my dad if I’m dating you)
Has to be able to grow a good beard
Has to be compassionate
Has to be conversational…ASK QUESTIONS!
Has to be assertive/resourceful
Also, he has to be a wizard
“Or Aragorn. Is that too much?”

He has to be honest and a do-gooder (i.e. hold the door if you see I have two ice-caps in my hands asshole)
Some tattoos would be good
He has to be romantic
He has to like cats
Beards are good
“I’ll date the short guys”

Must make me laugh: this means that if your jokes are good, you can be a bit fat (i.e. Seth Rogan, I love you. Call me)
Some respect (or a dog) would be nice
Must drink coffee
Must have beard
Has to like Christmas
 “Not just like Christmas, he has to be obscenely passionate about it. And not the ‘Christ’ part; the gift(s), eat, snuggle, hot toddy, tree trimming, movie watching part. Is that too much?”

Well written (never use acronyms on purpose…UIITBW-->Unless it is to be witty)
Offbeat sexy
Braver than me ( i.e. when I’m a chicken shit, you can’t be)
I love a good beard, too
“I’ll date the tall guys”

The Deal-breakers:

Not a fan of a lisp
Don’t be rude to wait staff
You can never say, “I’m not good with my hands.”

No crying during or after sex
No barbed wire tattoos
Don’t call me passive aggressive; because that is, in fact, passive aggressive

“Don’t make me fuckin’ answer the phone when your drunken ex-girlfriend calls at three in the morning and I have to spend 20-30 minutes on the phone with her, making sure that she doesn’t harm herself over you. She was nice and all, but I’m pretty sure you’re not worth it.”

No contemporary dance moves in clubs/bars
Sloppy spelling
Never use the word “bro” in public or in private
No Crocs. Ever. I don’t care what your excuse is

Unanimous not-up-for-discussion NOOOOOOOOO’S!!!’s:
CAN’T like Nickleback
Don’t say “I’m too old to have sex more than once in a day.” (Women in their 30’s are peaking, god damnit)!
Don’t snub me if you’ve been inside me. (At least a drive-by hello!)

Bonus Points (ka-ching!):

Did we mention beards?
Foreplay for longer than 5 minutes (please)
You like the Lord Of The Rings movies
You embrace the 'Geek Chic'
You still want to talk to us after reading this list. (Seth Rogan, please call Christina…for the love of god!)

The beers helped to get us a little loose lipped, so no offence should be taken.
Just being honest.
And we hope any men out there; will reciprocate their lists back to us.
For research purposes.
It’s all about science, folks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 253: Play (?)

Always a crossword puzzle to solve.
Always colours to match up in individual squares. 
Always time running out. 
Always a poised hand ready to hit that buzzer.
When did ‘complex’ become the only game in town?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 252: Five seconds of 'yes' or 'no'.

Today at work a roofing technician came to check out a leak on the ceiling of the board room.
When he was done surveying the damage, the receptionist called to say he was ready to see me and explain the problem.
So I went into the board room and found a ruggedly handsome man standing on a chair fiddling with a ceiling trap.
When he saw me walk in, he got down to shake my hand.
He had a broad, warm smile and the instant his hand hit mine, I felt a jolt of attraction course through my veins.
What the hell?! Where did that come from?
He spoke about the roof and I tried very hard to concentrate on what he was saying.
I was too busy thinking how odd and forceful physical attraction is.
No rhyme or reason to it.
It’s all chemical.
It’s overpowering.
He’s talking to you, you need to understand what he’s saying, pay attention!
Then, still speaking, he took his camera out of his pocket to show me photos taken on the roof.
He stood so close beside me, I could smell the soap on his skin.
Shit. My weakness is a soapy smelling man.
He zoomed in to a photo and pointed to the screen, explaining something about the drain pipe.
In doing so, he moved in even closer, leaving our faces about two inches apart.
I listened and watched him talk and then he stopped mid sentence and just looked at me.
Our eyes locked, and for five long seconds, we said nothing.
We just looked at each other, two inches apart.
My heart was racing.
I looked down first, cleared my throat and smilingly asked him to send that report to our engineer.
What the fuck!!! Did I almost kiss an absolute stranger?! At work?!
He smiled back, shook my hand and I walked him to the front door where we nodded goodbye.
I told the receptionist that if he came back for repairs, she should call my coworker (a male) because I don’t understand plumbing.
I walked into my office closing the door behind me.
Then I clasped my mouth and giggled.
Damn! That was fun.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 250: My name is Lola. But only in June.

I walked by a dance studio on my way home tonight and heard a familiar song.
The sexy salsa standard: Ave Maria Lola.
I was instantly overcome with a desire to be dancing onstage next to my familiar Cuban horn section.
For over ten years I toured around the city (and oftentimes beyond) with a Latino band.
The troupe (including dancers) consisted of Cubans, Venezuelans, Dominicans, and El Salvadorians.
Naturally gifted, serious musicians.
People who became like family to me.
I learned their different Spanish dialects pretty quick to stay part of the fast conversations.
And I inherited their deep love for this seductive, percussive music that contagiously makes you smile in spite of yourself.
One night during a running festival gig at the Casino we congregated to our little loge/dressing room.
All the musicians brought homemade specialties to eat. Lots of meat and rice!
Somehow someone always brought a bottle of Añejo 7 Años Habana Club rum.
And someone else always brought the glasses.
Without any prior coordination of those two details. It always boggled my mind.
We had a shot each, ate and laughed as we exchanged funny stories.
Stories are funnier in Spanish, I think.
Other Cuban bands playing the festival stopped by for a drink (rum is gossip that spreads quick).
I remember there was an upright black piano in the room, and someone started to play a Cuban mambo riff.
Pretty soon, the bongo player was tapping the desk, playing a salsa beat.
A Cuban singer broke out into song.
And they were jamming. Just like that.
Completely making up a song that if recorded, would sell successfully.
Pure, authentic sounds.  Improvised lyrics, half spoken half sung.
Once everyone got the melody we sang 'coro' (repetitive backup vocals in harmony with the beat).
It was one of the most memorable and magical experiences I’ve ever had.
Latin people are so rich with culture. So blessed with talent.
They escape hard times, strict government and poverty through music wherever they find themselves.
And when they immigrate to Canada, it becomes their bread and butter.
They will work any club gig they can, just to provide for their big families.
But it never looks like work.
They do it with such pride and soul that you can’t help but forever have a place for it in your heart, too. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 249: Behind the Smile.

I had to look up the word ‘photogenic’.
Not because I don’t have an idea what it means but because I’m befuddled by the usage.
Free Online Dictionary says: having features, colouring, and a general facial appearance that look attractive in photographs. Hmmm.
In the last 15 years or so I have often been told that I am extremely photogenic.
This wasn’t always the case.
Back in high school, I was the girl with the metal braces, combination skin, and poodle perm.
The boys weren’t looking, and not too many cameras were pointed my way.
Nor was I comfortable around either.
Having had terribly crooked teeth most of my childhood, I was someone who covered my mouth when I smiled.
My parents provided a great service to ease my embarrassment by spending a small fortune on straightening my teeth.
Braces weren’t any less painful to hide, but were a gentle reminder that better smiles were on their way.
I remember the day the orthodontist removed them.
It was as though he had given me a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
You couldn’t keep me from smiling if you tried.
It was the ticket to confidence that I needed.
And the next thing I knew I was in every talent show singing, every theater production acting and hosting every fashion show at my high school - in short, lots of yearbook photo ops.
And then I ironically happened to date three great photographers. One amateur and two professional.
Who made me their muse.
There are way more photos of me out there then I could ever have imagined back in the 7th grade.
And when I post photos some people say, "You are so photogenic!".
I don't know how to react to that.
I look at the definition above and can’t help but zoom in on those last two words: “in photographs.”
I need clarification.
Does “Wow, you look so great in photos, you are very photogenic!” really mean: “Wow, isn’t it strange how you look so great in your pictures, seeing as in real life you look nothing like that?!”
I wonder.
It's a very odd expression to say to someone or to hear being said about you.
I guess it’s because even though I smile as often as I do, with great zeal, somewhere underneath is the girl with the bad perm, combination skin, and crooked teeth who still has a very hard time accepting a compliment

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 248: But good to catch.

I wish I had a magic slingshot to propel into reality every desire, hope and dream that I keep stashed in my deep pockets and make them come true. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 247: Hey Mosquito, BITE ME!

There has not been a bigger test on my patience and self control in quite some time.
Sand flies have gone to town on my body.
Bites, everywhere, bites!
The itchiness is unbearable.
They have devoured so much blood I’m amazed I’m still breathing.
Most people come back from vacation and wear clothes that flaunt their tan.
I, instead, have to wear a turtleneck and long johns in 30 degree heat just to conceal murderous bites!
I mean, the sight alone will scare small children. We must protect the children!
What is it about my blood that these voracious flying beasts love so much?
I was sitting next to my sister on the beach the whole time and she didn’t get even one bite! Not one!
I really should start making money from this service I provide.
I have a business plan: if you are having a BBQ this summer, hire me.
I work better than those citronelle candles.
Just stick me in the middle of the yard, and you and your guests will enjoy a bite free environment.
Just remember to bring me to the hospital afterwards for a blood transfusion.
Think about it.
Now, excuse me while I shower in Calamine Lotion with my hands tied behind my back.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 246: Dear Me, Look Up.

Sometimes, like today, it can be Christmas in June.
Sometimes amazing luck rains down with the sunshine, and makes you forget a bad burn.
Sometimes a best friend chooses to move a few streets away and the summer feels brand new.
Sometimes people honor you simply by letting you into their lives and telling you their stories.

So when you feel your life has turned too quickly on a dime.
And are puzzled by the lessons you are forced to learn before you feel ready to.
Remember that it is not all Heads or Tails in life.
Sometimes it is just plain Hearts.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 245: These Days Are Ours

I’m sitting at the airport in Eleuthera.
Sunburned and mosquito bitten with a face sore from smiling.
We just found out that our scary small Dash 8 has a flat tire so our flight has been delayed.
I wish we could have been delayed on the beach with cold beer, but we have a connecting flight to catch, so we’ll just sit here in the small bar-less/snack-less airport, enjoy the wi-fi, and hope we don’t miss it.
Ugh, I’m sad it’s over.
This was a very short vacation, but a sweet one.
A real pick-me-up.
With laughter, sunshine, special moments and good people around every corner.
I have met two bus-loads of new friends that I’d love to stay in touch with.
I got to hang out with an awesome dog and have him chase me on the beach under some of the biggest stars I’ve ever seen. 
I got to see a close friend get married and start a whole new life in another country.
And I got to bond and converse with my sister without the kids distracting her every five seconds. We needed that.
This trip was a blessing, every detail tailored perfectly.
I even heard Arcade Fire and Feist playing in the hotel lobby because the owner and I had identical taste in music. Such a nice guy.
But mostly, while on the beach, I listened to a lot of Paul Simon.
It seemed to fit the setting perfectly.
I played "The Obvious Child" (below) on repeat more than twice.
The words rang true on this delightful sojourn.
In more ways than one.
It fit the emotional stories that my new friends shared with me.
And it reminded me I have been denying the obvious in my own life a little too long now.
So long Bahamas, thanks for giving me a lot more to be thankful for.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 244: Modern Love Walks Beside Me

Everyone should get married on a beach.
And this coming from the girl without the bride gene.
My friends tied the knot yesterday in one of the nicest ceremonies I’ve witnessed in a long time.
Parasols in the wind.
Guests dressed entirely in white or khaki.
Waves crashing on either sides of us.
The sun setting.
I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional, especially because I was busy photographing.
But the minister really hit home with a lot of the things he said.
He brought to light the beauty in that leap of faith.
With his words he made me understand again the special brand of magic found in that monumental decision to wed.
I looked at my friends, and I silently blessed them with every positive thought I could.
Because I want them to make it.
I want nothing to screw it up.
I want the love to win over anything life throws at them.
I saw tears of happiness falling down Serena’s face as she said her vows.
I saw the way her husband Craig looked at her with such pride.
And I saw genuine love.
My heart burst for them.
And it burst for me, because I realized an important lesson at that moment.
I have had a hard time looking at marriage objectively.
I have had a hard time believing in it for my generation.
I lost my faith in modern love.
But I felt something yesterday that made me remember the seriousness of that bond.
And how we should try to help people protect it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 243: Nine Lives?

Kids, the sun is not what it used to be.
I wore 65 SPF yesterday and still burned my arms pretty bad.
Mind you, I was a whiter shade of pale, so that wasn’t too hard.
I stayed in the water almost all day; it was too spectacular to be anywhere else!
The weather has been quite perfect.
Sunny and dry with a fresh cool breeze to dry you off.
Imagine immaculately white sandy beaches, and a calm, clear aquamarine colored sea.
The owner’s dog sits with me by the beach.
His name is Governor and I’m seriously wondering if I could dog nap him.
Governor's owner isn’t bad looking either… just sayin'. 
I love the combination of people in this wedding party; I haven’t stopped giggling since I got here.
At the end of the day a bunch of us rented a car from a local man for $40 and drove into town.
We fit three in the front and three in the back and head down to the annual Pineapple Festival.
There were no seat belts, only some type of rope contraption that we decided to do without.
Cars have to drive on the left-hand side of the road here, but the steering wheels are on the left, too.
A pretty terrifying combination when you are on the one narrow highway that leads you everywhere and an approaching car has their high beams on.
Lots of ‘almost’ collisions.
It’s amazing all the near death experiences I have survived on this trip.
Coming out of the bathroom of a dingy local bar we saw an actual giant tarantula.
I thought it was fake until someone poked it.
It wasn’t.
It was very much alive.
And we ran to the car as it lunged towards us.
Good times.
Today is the wedding; I’m staying out of the sun so I can look less like a cherry tomato in all the photos.
Hmmmm, but that water is calling my name.
I think I may need to go out and say hello to it.
C’mon Governor, let’s go for a walk and a swim.
And try not to get eaten by sharks.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 242: "There's Someone I Forgot To Be."

Eleuthera is the Greek word for “Free”.
That’s exactly how I feel.
Free from worries.
Free from obligations.
Free to relax.
Free to let go.
And let go I have…
Yesterday, at the Fish Fry in town, I joined the locals and danced with them in the street.
Under the stars and moonlight by the beach, I forgot how tired I was and just tuned into the happiness.
Happiness is free, too.
Did you know that?
I think I had forgotten.
I walked into the ocean for about a mile and the crystalline water still only reached my hips.
Every variation of blue in sight.
And for once, I’m not using that as a metaphor for my emotions.
Because how can you feel blue in a surrounding so serene, so welcoming?
Well, I guess you could.
But it's a little bit harder.
I decided today that blue suits me better when it’s the color of my dress.
Or the water I’m wading in.
And to help speed up my heart repair, here in the Island of Freedom, I set my blues free.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 241: Da Hangover Bar

16 and half hours later and we have arrived in Eleuthera.
Or as my sister keeps referring to it: Urethra.
(It was much funnier at 2pm when she told the customs officer that’s where we were heading).
It has been a long day of travel.
We were stuck in a very noisy Nassau flight lounge where the loudspeaker announcements sounded more of the auction house variety.
It’s Labor Day in the Bahamas tomorrow, so the place was bumpin’.
My favorite announcement, heard over the shouts coming from the nearby bar, was:
“A man has lost his wedding band, if found, please return to departure desk.”
And then finally a terrifying ride in a very small and old Dash 8.
15 people fit on that plane.
The highlight was when the pilot came on to make an announcement:
“Hello everyone, in ten minutes we will have to….(static)….(static)…(static)…so be sure to be wearing your seatbelt.”
Ummmm? Pardon me?
We survived it, obviously.
And we were greeted by one of my favourite people in the entire world, Serena.
Or as I call her Beena. Actually, Beans for short.
She’s getting married on Saturday and I’m here to witness and photograph.
She got us set up at this lovely resort.
Quaint and picturesque.
Imagine what Greece would look like if it French-Kissed a Bahamian woman, and voila - you have the Cocodimama Hotel.
Will write more tomorrow... I have a mojito waiting for me and a Fish Fry to get to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 240: Listen to the wind.

The trees sound agitated.
They are arguing with a wild, wild wind.
And losing.
Bits and pieces of them are plummeting to their death two seasons too early.
Whipping at windows.
And whipping pieces of debris into my eyes while I walked down the streets.
It was bananas today!
(Seriously, it could have been a piece of banana that landed in my eye, I walked by a grocery store or two).
Good thing I wore my cute panties today!
I paraded them with every gust of that wayward wind.
I could swear it was trying to blow me out of town.
Well, a girl can take a hint.
I’m leaving at the crack of dawn.
On a jet plane.
(With my computer, damn it!)
I hear you, Wind.
I'm restless too.