Wednesday, November 11, 2015

of late: October Musings

1/ 7:55am on Fraser st, waiting for bus   2/ Spontaneous brunch for travelling friend from afar

3/ Treasures from last Trout Lake farmers market of the season     4/ Foxy new restaurant opening up across the street

5/ Pumpkin pie to celebrate political oustings    6/ Date night: Tetsuro Shigematsu from Empire of the Son

7/ Tucked away in a back alley at Parade of Lost Souls   8/ Three doughnuts this month. This pumpkin one was the winner.

Of late...( though late again. )

October was// level II. 

It was more Grouse Grind than a hike on the dyke. The newness had worn off, and when that's over-- it's just hard work, and so many looseleaf papers, and saying "no" to lots of fun things. 

I threw myself into teaching. I threw myself into school. I threw up on the inside, just a little bit.

Remember in September when I said you might be holding me to my promise of being kinder to myself? 

These oaths get forgotten when shit gets real, and you end up saying yes to everything except for yourself. I mean I-- I do. 

So in the last few days of the month, I found myself on my teal couch, with the husband beside, needing to breathe into a metaphorical paper bag. Turns out, I can't do everything all at once, and not have some essential part of my silhouette become crooked. B was firm on this-- I had to teach less days than I was currently taking on. There were stubborn tears. I went to sleep.

In the light of a cool blue day, I realized: that husband o' mine is a wise man.

That sounds sucky. Was there anything good?// 

Oh yes. Of course. There are moments everyday that are good. Like, sending mail and imagining your friends faces' when they get it. Like, biking downhill to go fetch flowers and apple chips from farmers. Like, going on dates with your husband and with friends, and having people who GET you, and all the connection and conversations that that entails. Like, it being October and you getting to wear your crisp Autumn clothes while it being very mild outside. Like, having a mean spread at Friendsgiving with all your pals. Like, having it rain and it still being a novelty after living amidst all that snow. Like, having a home and having plenty to eat and being able to be warm. All of it is good.

Body// is a bit wrinkly. It's telling me that I might need to listen to the insides soon. Now. So, I try to do that thing we call breathing. I try to rewire my thoughts to the helpful ones. I try to be curious about any and all anxiety. I recognize that October is a season of A Lot and it will pass. 

Hope is there though: this time last year (or the last few years, really), if I was this busy and stressed out, the body would have had a coup by now. A hostile takeover. But it's just a bit sharp around the edges, which is a kernel of something. 

Walking and breathing and releasing. That's my recipe for now.

Stoked!!!!// My country is my country again! This cannot be emphasized enough. Whatever comes next, I feel lighter and cleaner and truer. This is what it feels like when a collective bunch of beings stumble out of hibernation. There is still much more work to be done, but the horizon feels cleared of a decade of dirty debris.

On Art// Lots of friendly ghosts this month: I had the privilege of seeing two beautiful plays--Empire of the Son and Cock. They sent my brain whirring. My Shakespeare acting professor passed away; he who taught us so much. It was strange to mourn someone you haven't seen in years. I watched my sister's choir perform in an alley. I dug out my old Theatre box and recited my monologues in a dark room, by myself. 

Being in a city where art is more accessible, I am bumping up against my past life more and more. It is new and old at the same time, this feeling. I think I will invite it in more...figure out ways to find an opening to crawl through. 

In the mean time, I write these little updates and round up pictures from my vacations, and let that be enough.

Thoughts on marriage// I wouldn't have gotten through this month without it. What a solid feeling, to have some flesh and blood person who is your very Own, but who lets you be your Own. We are good to each other, and that is all I ever wanted from life. Thank you X one million pearl earrings.

Upcoming// A light? A tunnel? I just have to hang on. There is relief somewhere soon (maybe even right now, this very second, if I want to get all philosophical about it), and I just have to trust that putting one foot in front of the other, as I always have, is the way to go. I am proud of myself, and that is a very big something good. 

Sometimes when I am deliriously tired, I think of you.

Love always,

Your pen pal

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

travelogue: cortina, we go

Copenhagen allowed us to slow down. We tried to blend in with the impossibly tall, intuitively stylish Danes, and aside from being way shorter and a bit more earnest and goofy, we succeeded in melting into that hygge way of life.

So! Just enough time to relax and then off again to the next adventure.

Stop # 3: Cortina D'ampezzo, in northern Italy.

Having spent five weeks travelling in Italy with my family ten years ago, this version of an Italian town was wholly different. Being situated in the north, nestled in the nook of the Southern Alps, Cortina is a collision of Austrian and Italian influences. The juxtaposition between the quaint flower boxes of Heidi's alpine youth, and the passionate slurp of tagliatelle going down someone's gullet. We watched little bambinos stroll by with their families, clad in lederhosen and pigtails. We'd spy strudel and tiramisu on the same menu; schnitzel and gnocchi too.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

a little film (cortina d'ampezzo)

After Copenhagen, we headed south to hotter climes. The third stop on our epic euromoon was the town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, a UNESCO world heritage site known for being an entry point to the Dolomite mountains. So different from CPH. So different from Iceland.

It's currently pouring rain--like SHEETS of rain, outside my window on the first day of November. I've been watching this little film over and over, remembering for myself Cortina's particular brand of quirky quaint. Squeezing in the endorphins and Vitamin D this town gave us, which Vancouver is short of right now.

Photos and stories to come. For now, join me in watching a land where the Alpine meets Italy, where apple strudel meets pasta. 

For the clearest picture quality, click on the "b+j in:" link below the embedded video to be taken to the Vimeo page. If it doesn't matter to you, watch it here, and enjoy it despite the bit of fuzziness!

b + j in: cortina d'ampezzo from Joann Liu on Vimeo.

Song: "The Shrew" by Beirut

Sunday, October 18, 2015

travelogue: copenhagen, we go

After iceland, our very veins needed to slow down.

We needed one bed to sleep in every night for many consecutive days; we needed simple decisions like what to eat and how much of it should include cheese; we even needed, yes, less magnificent landscapes so our eyes and hearts could ease off of exploding every few seconds in disbelief.

We needed Copenhagen.

For my friend that is about to go on a solo mission to CPH, I've written out some details for her trip
(but also for you and you-- you should go! and also for me, for next time). If you don't like details, skip!

Monday, October 12, 2015

a little film (Copenhagen)

To save my creative energy from disintegrating, I work on this little video series about europe in my few spare minutes between Masters duties. The last one was completed two months ago, so I guess that is my going rate. Not bad! Considering.

Here is a silly peek into what our five days in this truly special city was like. Copenhagen restored us. Brought us back from the brink.

 The first couple days were seriously spent in bed, or doing laundry, or watching netflix (ohhh hallelujah, that moment when you reacquaint yourself with technology from the perch of a comfy couch, knowing you won't have to set up camp and sleep on hard ground that evening), so this video is remarkably shorter than the first. It's not very cinematic either.

 Nevertheless, when we're older and greyer and less airplane-bound, it's for us to watch and remember that we once spied on some deer and biked on coastal highways and felt like we had made it to the European version of home.



b + j in : copenhagen from Joann Liu on Vimeo.

 Song: "Kilojoules" by Freelance Whales

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Of late: September Musings

1/ Beautiful relic from the past. In their late 20's here!   2/ Birthday flowers that STAYED ALIVE FOR ONE MONTH.

3/ How I get through my week without crying     4/ A parcel in the mail for our newest friend

5/ Time to admit it's Fall    6/ My first seed babies are teenagers now

7/ Almond milk london fog= my study drug   8/ B makes the best brunches, really.

Of late...(literally, late! Sorry.)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

travelogue: iceland, we go (part II)

I said I would write more

photos more

iceland more!

But I can't.

At least not the way I did it in part I.

You see, I am a very, very fickle blogger. I lose steam so quickly, like a molten lava cake that wasn't baked properly. It's a bit overwhelming. I trumpet hard my excitement of getting it all down, have so much resolve to do it, practically roll out the red carpet.

But then I lose interest. I already made you a little film

And. Life gets full.

(Life is so very full, at the mo. Not full the way it was in the summertime, but Fall Full, you know? It's so different. It's more more more. More adult, more business casual. More packing lunches and highlighters and taking the attendance.)

So I don't have the time to do a Day 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 itinerary. A part of me wants to. But the stronger majority doesn't, and just wants to lay on her teal couch watching The Good Wife.

Shall we compromise?