While Meditating on the Concept of a Story…

“Some moral tales belong to kindergarten, the age of being afraid of the dark, the age of venturing from the house alone for a short distance, admonitory fables in primary crayons. But other tales are always with us. We tell them to ourselves in midlife and in old age, different each time, accreting as stalactites press toward earth, heavier with each drop and its burden of secret dissolved rock and minerals, the many salts of the planet.”

— Marge Piercy, He, She, and It

Reason #36 to Keep Living: Pain

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This winter has been the easiest for me in years. I’ve methodically incorporated wellness techniques into my schedule, including journal writing, daily gratification, a sunlamp, healthy eating (most of the time), consistent exercise, and medication. I have been efficient, productive, and social. I have been everything Western society claims one must be to achieve success.

But have I been successful? I haven’t written anything seriously my own in nearly a year. Worse than that, I haven’t wanted to write anything seriously my own. The desire to write comes sometimes, briefly, like the rank smell of cigarettes on the wind, and then drifts on by me. I write what I need to in order to get through my university courses, but my heart doesn’t settle deeply within the words like it always used to. Continue reading

“Your race is appallingly alone in its world. No other mammalian species. No other ambisexual species. No animal intelligent enough even to domesticate as pets. It must color your thinking, this uniqueness. I don’t mean scientific thinking only, though you are extraordinary hypothesizers … But philosophically, emotionally: to be so solitary, in so hostile a world: it must affect your entire outlook.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Reason #35 to Keep Living: Comfort, Coziness, and Cats

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It has taken me the past four years or so to realize the importance of physical comfort and coziness. Oh, and did I mention cats? Cats always help. Always.

If you study the picture above, you’ll see a squishy armchair, two blankets, a window letting in light from outside, a book, and two cats. These are all elements that make up my own personal coziness. You’ll have your own recipe for comfort and coziness, and that’s fine. Not everybody likes cats. Continue reading

Reason #34 to Keep Living: Education

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If I have it my way, the next half of this blog-series will become somewhat of a travel blog, documenting my adventures finding work in countries other than Canada. Travel, as you know from past blog posts, is one of the central reasons I stay alive. I find value in it not only from its pleasure, but also from its inherent educational tendencies. Every time I travel, my brain stretches and my heart grows a little bigger.  Continue reading