Monday, July 25, 2005

Riding the Rollercoaster

My life has taken me on another wild ride. Looking from the outside, it looks as if I were just walking along when a delivery truck just slammed into me. I could hardly see it coming from the inside and many people will not have seen it coming at all. Now on the other side of it, well not quite but definitely on my way, I can see all the warnings, like bright fluorescent neon signs.

Sometimes I feel ok, like maybe it wasn't too bad, but other times I get that sick falling feeling you get when going over the top of a rise on a roller-coaster, when you just being to fall before the momentum picks up. I am trying not to let the guilty "you're so bad" voice take over. I know that what I did was right because of how I feel now, if it was wrong I would feel that too. It will better in time, I just have to try to get through this moment.

I have been doing a lot of writing on this subject... and I am almost finished, I would like to get back to writing other things and I am sure anyone who reads my posts are pretty sick of reading about it... what can anyone else say but..."Whoa... thats really big... well good luck." This is pretty much something a person has to deal with on their own, but for me writing has always been a way to deal with it... So be it.

I am unsure of the future, and I know many things will be harder now, but I still move ahead with anticipation and bravery. Life is far from over.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cigarettes Suck!

I just spent five days in Jasper with my best friend, who I have not seen in four years. The visit was great, really honestly an excellent time... except for the cigarettes. She smokes a lot, and I have lived in a non-smoking house for about 10 years now... in a non-smoking province it seems. I have been back to Ontario many times since my escape out west when I was 16, and people still smoke like crazy there, sure maybe because its the same people I used to know, and the people they know, but none the less I find myself in smoking households way more often in Ontario then in B.C. I would say 90% of the people I know here... and I am a social butterfly of sorts, do not smoke cigarettes, and even of the ones who do, the majority of them do not smoke inside.

So I was unprepared for the cigarette smokers in Jasper, especially for my friend. I was ok for the first day and a half until I started to feel the smoke in the back of my throat and nose. I started coughing, and feeling generally ill and tired. It amazed me that she could smoke so many cigarettes when just being in the general area of some of them made me feel so sick. She tried to spare me the brunt of it by sitting by the open window with a fan, but honestly it barely helps. For a non-smoker, you can smell it and feel it anyway. I just resolved myself to deal with it for the remaining days, what else could I do? I did not want to make her feel any worse about it then she apparently already did; she apologized a lot.

This morning, my last at her place, I woke up with a very sore throat and I am not sure as of yet, if it is a cold I have caught, or just the abuse of my poor throat. I drove all the way home, 5 hours, feeling really shitty and zombie-like, with my head feeling congested and heavy. Then when I got here and opened my suitcase... well you can imagine what my clothes smelled like. It's going to take a few days to get it out of my system and off of my stuff, how nice a souvenir!


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Loveliest Bones

About a month ago I finished reading The Lovely Bones, by Alice Siebold, and I have been having a lot of trouble getting into another book since that one. Sometimes I have this problem, when I finish a book, it takes me a while to get into a new one. In this case its not so surprising because the Lovely Bones was such an incredible book.

It was a Christmas present last year, which sat beside my bed in my 'books to read asap' pile. It's quite a big stack really, I never have only one book on the go. As soon as I finished the Dark Tower, which I will discuss in a later post, I again had my transition problem, but I eventually settled into Lovely Bones. With an opening line like "My name is Susie Salmon, like the fish, and I was 12 when I was murdered on December 14th 1976..." not exactly the opening, but close, it had me hooked in right quick.

This is now one of my all time favorite books. It is small, not a very long read, but the content is huge and powerful. I am truly impressed at how Ms. Siebold has taken such a tragedy, the horrifying tragedy of a young murdered girl none the less, and brought forth such a moving and intelligent story. If any of you reading this hasn't read the book yet, I apologize for ruining anything for you, but you should go out right now and read it if you are interested.

One of my favorite aspects of the story is the description of Susie's heaven, down from which she gazes and observes the rest of us, and especially her family. If such a tragedy has not occurred to us, we can hardly imagine what it would do to a family, but Ms. Siebold depicts the breakdown and complicated pain Susie's family endures and cracks under. I cried many times while reading this book, and I have to commend a writer who can elicit such an emotional response from her readers. It amazes me how she could write this story and not make it damaging to me, the reader. That is one of the aspects that I really admire.

When I was 17 I started reading a book written by a journalist who had been at the Holmolka, and Bernardo trials. This journalist wrote the story of these killers, and what happened to their victims. As anyone who remembers the case (and who could not these days), there was a lot of video footage of the horrors that these two performed. Well the book was full of this stuff. My aunt had just finished reading it, and as I have always been interested in psychology (including criminal), I decided I wanted to read it next. She warned me that I may be too sensitive for the story, but I scoffed. Part way into the story, I started having nightmares, and horrible tortured thoughts. I closed the book somewhere in the middle of the first kidnapped girls ordeal, but that did not work. I kept having nightmares and horrific images in my mind. Inside me it felt like the girl was still trapped and being so horribly abused, so I re-opened the book and read just until he finally killed her. After that I closed it for good and cried my heart out for those girls. It took me months to stop seeing them in my mind. There was a time when I wished I could have watched that man get the death penalty, and I am not a supporter of capital punishment.

My aunt had been right, I guess I was too sensitive for that stuff, and I am grateful for that. This is why I commend The Lovely Bones so much. It is a terrible thing that happens to Susie Salmon, but Alice Siebold depicts it in such a way that it is a bearable pain, and even leads us to some profound insights and to hope. Bravery is something I admire most in the world, and bravery is something to be honored and recognized in this great writer. Bravo!

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