Monday, February 08, 2010

Respect the Rule

Someone stole my umbrella today.

Last time it rained, I brought my umbrella to campus with me as usual. Because I didn't want the wet umbrella to soak the rest of my clothes, I placed it in the locker next to the one in which I placed my clothes. I only had one lock, and so I placed it on the locker with my clothes. Upon my return, not only was my own umbrella left in the locker next to my locked locker, but, someone else had placed their umbrella in that locker as not to soak their clothes as well.

This time it rained, I did the same thing. Figuring that, like last time, anyone who noticed my umbrella in the unlocked locker they would realize, like a gentleman did last time, that I had placed my umbrella in a separate locker as to keep my clothes dry. This time, whoever saw my umbrella in the unlocked locker did not offer the courtesy and understanding to leave my umbrella there, but instead they took it for themselves.

Now this all sounds rather inane. I should just lock my stuff up, you say. But what occurred to me is the fine line in which we respect the Golden Rule and we avoid the possibility of having another individual be able to respect that Golden Rule. In this case, the first time, the gentleman didn't take my umbrella but actually supposed that he should expect the same courtesy and kindness that I also expected by placing my umbrella in the unlocked locker. The umbrella in the unlocked locker offered him an opportunity to respect the Golden Rule. The locker with my clothes locked inside never offers anyone the opportunity to respect that Golden Rule.

This may seem obvious to you all, but today I realized that our world would be so much better if not only we always did follow the Golden Rule when the circumstances demanded it, but also that the world would be much better if the world we lived in didn't require measures that preventived each other the opportunities to respect that Golden Rule.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Conversation

Conversation should not be "made". Rather, conversation should be the product of a reaction between two energies, two particles made up of neutrons and electrons and protons of ideas, opinions, feelings and experiences colliding a speeds faster than that of sound or light. Conversation should be explosive yet effortless.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Whoever postulated this is very wise...

"To have friends, you must be a friend."

Even here in the city where I grew up and where I now reconnect with people I knew in highschool, all it takes to rekindle a friendship is to be a friend; to pick up the phone, send an email, arrange some time to spend some time together. We may not have much in common after ten years living separate lives, but just to share our lives gives us something in common: We are living in a world and sharing our lives in this world with each other makes us friends again.

These are also very wise words...

"Nothing is lost forever"

Let us be friendly.

Let us be friends.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Lost In Time

I'm on vacation. Holiday. Not working. I have time on my hands. Too much time.

I feel lost.

My days are not empty. I meet with a friend for lunch or a coffee. I read. I correspond with friends from afar through texts or email. I go for a run or a swim. I do. I act. Yet, my days are not full.

To be on vacation means not to work. Maybe I am so well trained by our capitalist system I intuitively understand time in a produce/consume paradigm. Unless I have 'worked', or unless I spent the money I have earned from working, unless I have actively contributed to the production and/or consumption of goods and/or services, I do not feel that the use of my time has been worthwhile. Maybe in our capitalist system we are taught without work, time has no value.

My psyche exists in a conflicted state: My time interacting with friends, reading, or maintaining physical fitness is worthwhile, but then why do I feel I am not making the most of my (free) time?

I am lost in time. How can I find myself?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


These gifts I give you I give so even when I'm gone I'm still present in your life.

The scarf. The tea pot. The photo. Even the rack you use to dry your dishes.

I am here. In your kitchen. In your bedroom. Around your neck.

I don't want you to escape me.

Because I can not escape you.

I've Got Something To Say

The need to speak is irrepressible.

I'm back.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Before anything begins, something must end. This inevitably happens when packing.

Today I began packing my apartment. My belongings effectively disappear into boxes and bags. Like clever literary devices, my stuff representationally foreshadows: I will soon disappear from this place as well.

What an awful thought? With each item I place in the box, the more and more I fade away.

Why would I do this to myself?

But I must go. I have both resigned and embraced the fact I'm leaving.

I must clear my slate here before I can enjoy a blank slate in Austin.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Moving Up Moving Down

I am about to move - move on - move on up - move onward - move forward - move upward - move.

"Stop worrying where you're going, move on!"

In August, I will be moving to Austin, Texas. Moving up? Moving down. South.

"Once you've figured out where you're going, you've gone!"

My life will be changed - My life in Austin, Texas will inevitably be different from my life in Toronto, Ontario.

"Just keep moving on."

I will be attending the University of Texas at Austin to pursue my PhD in Performance As Public Practice. I will leave behind my job, my lover, my circle of friends, my community of artists, my city, my neighbourhood, my home.

"I made a choice and my world was shaken - so what? The choice may have been mistaken, but choosing was not."

I will be working toward a meaningful career in a field that combines several personal passions - academics, art, theatre, theory, and performance. I will have a unique opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, study new ideas, explore new places, learn new things, experience more life.

"Just keep moving on."

But as I move on - move on up - move onward - move forward - move upward - move, I think it necessary to try to define where it is I am.

Point of Departure

I currently work at a Performance Arts School of a national calibre. I provide emotional, personal, and health service support for the students whom live in the school's residence. This includes making sure they eat, they get enough sleep, they have access to counseling services, they have dentist/doctor appointments arranged and organized, as well as providing some informal counseling services and adult companionship.
I love my job. The students provide constant challenges - they continually force me to develop mentoring and leadership skills - each one, in their own special way, reveals their unique humanity - and, as children, they continually display the ineffable value of 'play' . My colleagues have a sense of humour and fun, while always adhering to their responsibilities and duties with a committed sense of professionalism. My job offers the paradoxical position of continual professional and personal development while simultaneously reminding me of the importance of staying young at heart.
This year, since I've acquired a steady and inflated income, I spend much of my extra cash to see theatre, films, art, music, and any other cultural event of interest that the city and it's environs have to offer. I've been a regular at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, seen an opera produced by Canada's Opera Company, and attended both the European Film Festival and the Inside Out Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I've attended plays and musicals here in Toronto at Soulpepper, Buddies in Bad Times, the Canon Theatre, the Princess of Wales, as well as seeing shows at the Stratford Festival. I've attend most all of the National Ballet of Canada performances, and this week I am participating in several of the Luminato events. Becoming an observer instead of a participant has both pros and cons: I have learned so much by watching, but have not applied what I've learned by doing.
On top of enjoying the cultural events my extra income has afforded me, I have done some shopping (though not much) and have taken a vested interest in fashion (though not terribly seriously). I am also proud to say that my extra income has gone towards substantially reducing my credit card debt (though my student loan debt still remains untouched). The remainder of my income is spent spending time with friends sharing drinks, going dancing, watching movies, eating out, throwing parties, and other general harmless mischief.
I also have started to exercise. Now that I have become a 'working stiff', I fear that my body will age and sag (as bodies tend to do when the regular routine of work imposes strict structures upon ones formerly free and easy life). I have started swimming three times and week and doing other exercises (such as push ups and sit ups) on days that I am not in the pool. I have noticed results and am pleased that I both look better than I did before, and I have improved my overall health.
I love my life. I love my friends. I love my job. I love my lover. I love all the art I see. I love where I am. But that is not enough to keep me from moving on, moving onward, moving forward...

"The World Only Spins Forward"


From here I move.
I literally move; from Toronto to Texas. This in itself is daunting. I only have a superficial understanding of "Texas". Gun totin', republican votin', George W. Bush ranchin', Lone Star statin' Texas. Such a overall vision of Texas is incompatible with what I know about Austin: the county which includes most of Austin was the one county that voted to oppose the ban against same sex marriage in the state. Between the constitutional right to carry a gun and gay rights activism, my new home is a paradox.
I move forward down a career path. Up to now, I've only had 'Joe' jobs; nothing serious, just a way to pay my cell phone bill. But now, I'm on my way to a substantial salary (Finally I will be able to afford to pay off my student loan debt). Now, I must commit. No more playing games. Pursuing my PhD is the real thing.
Academically, I move deeper. Deeper into ideas I have examined and explored. Ideas examined and explored from new perspectives - exposing something new and unknown to me. Learning to expound on these ideas in new ways.
I will move - not away from old friends - but toward new friends. Inevitably, some acquaintances will be lost - distance reveals that some bonds can be broken. But the strong bonds of true friendship - those unbreakable bonds that reveal their strength through casual emails, phone calls, online communication, occasional visits, and letter writing - will remain. Even when I move, true friends will stay with me.
From here to there - moving from one place to another. As exciting and scary as being an egg tossed from one pair of hands to another - if I am not caught and cradled on the other side, I will be broken.



All I know is that I'm moving somewhere toward something true.