I’ve been tagged by the ever so lovely Herminie over at her side blog. I loved reading her answers and she thought up some really nice questions. Lately I’ve been writing a lot but not on here, so I figured it’s kind of time to break my accidental semi-hiatus or something.
I was tagged by the lovely Katharine.
If you could escape to any world or time period (real or fictional) where would you go?
The Wizarding World, in a heartbeat.
What is a quote that you live by?
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” (Roald Dahl)
What are two movies that have made you cry?
I cry all the time, but the last two that I can remember with certainty are Juno and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
What is a secret dream that you have?
I dream of running away to New Zealand with my sister to start a wool farm/vegetable garden/french-canadian café/knitting store and give therapeutic knitting classes, but it’s not really secret since my sister knows about it and I’ve just written it here.
What are three songs that remind you of your childhood?
À la claire fontaine, V’là l’bon vent, La mère Michel.
What are you afraid of?
Describe the last time you remember being truly happy.
Cross-country skiing in the woods with my mother: the right amount of wax on my skis, the sunlight making snowflakes glitter, the snow-coated evergreens, the sweat, the heartbeat.
What is something that is on your bucket list?
I don’t believe in bucket lists, but I want to take a cake-decorating class.
Do you have a collection of anything? What is it?
I used to have several collections (bookmarks, coins, buttons…) but I don’t anymore.
Do you believe in magic?
Yes! Magic is everywhere.
What is something that you find beautiful yet sad?
I think everything has beauty and sadness, but tired and lonely strangers on public transportation strike me the most.
In 2012, I:
- took an actual yoga class for the first time
- took an anthropology class for the first time
- fell in love with organic chemistry (“slowly, then all at once”)
- had about 18 total, hysterical emotional breakdowns
- discovered fan fiction
- got outraged
- got back into writing
- found my calling/my path
- bought less
- faced some of my disillusions
- waited and waited and waited
- biked more
- turned 20
- discovered John Green
- loved things more
- loved life more
- loved people more
- discovered Downton Abbey
- visited my favourite city twice
- wrote a lot
- cried a lot
- moved to the big city
- mastered the art of taking the bus
- found new favourite places
- made super-awesome new friends
- learned about cognitive distortions
- discovered my cognitive distortions
- got better and more confident with people
- realised I am an adult
- decided to become the person I want to be
- survived the apocalypse
In 2013, I will:
- get out more
- show others my love more (communicate better)
- learn how to decorate cakes beautifully
- do more yoga
- go to the grocery store regularly
- cry a lot
- notice things; find them beautiful; love them
- be brave
Late night, curled up on my bed listening to a pop song.
Seated in a Greyhound bus, next to a grungy clementine-eating boy, seeing a patch of wheat plants peeking out from between stray wagons in the bleak urban landscape.
Spinning barefoot on the dry lawn beside a highway, savouring the last drops of summer.
In the dark, speeding, whirring metro, next to a friend and countless other rush hour victims.
My mother’s braiding hands in my hair; Bleeker embracing Juno.
My ears hanging on every note: 5000 people singing their favourite song in unison and a tearful prima donna on the stage.
The details of a car’s appearance etched under my skin, itching, itching, making me implode.
More innocent souls than I can count, and the lights of their homes in the distance at dusk.
Lights and snow, lights and snow, lights and snow.
I was tagged by the lovely Herminie.
1. What are you doing for the holidays?
I’m going home, to re-unite with the sea and the woods, and to spend many precious moments with my family. We will laugh and hug a lot. I will make a Yule Log with my sister. We will go snow-shoeing and, hopefully, cross-country skiing.
2. Favourite Season?
Autumn, with its beauty, its crispness, and all the excitement it brings.
3. Do you feel you were born in the wrong time period/era?
I am content with my life the way it is, with glitter, coloured pens, hospitals and rights. But if I had to pick another era, I would want to have been born in a Huron/Wyandot settlement in the 1200’s.
4. If you could live anywhere, where would you live? Reality or fiction.
I would be an Arithmancy professor at Hogwarts. (In reality, I want to someday live in Yukon.)
5. What were your childhood dreams?
I wanted to receive a letter of acceptance from Hogwarts and fly away to a magical boarding school in Scotland, mostly. I also dreamed of becoming a spy, an explorer, an adventuress, a writer, a painter, a teacher…
6. Where do you live (like country/state/territory wise, nothing personal I mean)?
7. Movies or Books?
Books. I know so little about films. No place is quite as pleasant as libraries, bookstores, and second-hand book sales.
8. Your tumblr ‘url’ meaning?
When I made my blog (almost three years ago!), I wondered what I could call it. It came to me rather quickly: I want to write to the morning mist. Here’s to the morning mist…
9. Do you believe in magic?
Yes, I do! I believe that magic is everywhere, simply waiting to be uncovered.
10. If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
The ability to let things go.
(because so many lovely people I follow have done it, and it inspires me -)
Amortentia (gingerbread, brewing coffee, and rain), sea air, showered skin.
wind and water in all their nuances, a tuning orchestra, children’s laughter.
iii. things to touch
a beloved book, sheets straight out of the dryer, wet corn starch.
the greyish white of a snowy sky, the golden glow of anything the setting sun’s rays touch, the millions of glittering colours in human eyes.
Cyrano de Bergerac, Lettres de mon moulin, Siddharta, Un sac de billes, the Harry Potter series, and anything by John Green, Mo Willems, and Dr. Seuss.
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, Big Fish, Elizabethtown, Love Actually, and Marie Antoinette.
soft brushes, “eskimo” kisses, forehead kisses.
viii. kind of touches
warm, strong, well-meaning, and decisive.
"exquisite" and "golden" - otherwise in French, "gazouillis," "gargouille," "mélodie"…
fond, smiling, and familiar.
I wanted nothing more than to leave my stupid small hometown and never come back. I wanted to lose myself in this maze of people and concrete.
It’s funny how these things turn out, isn’t it?
When I learned I had to move here, I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay home, with its wide empty streets and small quirky trees. With its friendly librarians in the half-dead-peony lined library. With its army of birds singing courage right into my veins every time I stepped outside. With its sunny kitchen and cheap holiday decorations.
I like it here, I do. There’s a faux-fireplace in my bedroom and I see a squirrel every day. There are trees. There are dead leaves swaying in the wind. There are nice views and nice spots. I like this way of moving around, jumping on buses and trains whenever it suits me.
It took me two years away from home to understand what ‘home’ really meant, but now that I’m really far from home, I’m scared. And it’s ok.
I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower at the cinema Sunday morning. And as I got out in the heart of the sunny city, tears still tickling my throat, completely alone, I wondered what to do. I had a world of possibility before me. I had planned to visit the botanical garden, but I didn’t have to go just then.
I walked in a bookstore - the big, commercial kind. There were so many books. So many of them. And they made me sad. I could only think of all the people who had poured their heart in those books writing them. Who had rewritten sentences and corrected words. Who had read more books than I did and followed more classes than I did. Who knew their language better than I did. Whose book I would probably never read.
I felt my own insignificance. It’s like sometimes when I’m meditating in the backyard at my parents’ home. My legs are crossed and I’m sitting on the ground and as I bow down I feel so small. I can feel just how tiny I am in this Universe. I can feel how my life doesn’t matter to this Universe. I can feel how my life matters to me and to a small, so very small number of people.
I felt that way in the bookstore. I felt how what I write would never matter to this Universe. I felt how I would never write anything of significance. And I realised I was ok with that.
I don’t write to be read, I write to set my words free.
Orange and yellow leaves were scattered on the sidewalk. The toughest flowers still decorated the boxes lining red-brick walls. Cars were parked close, too close to one another. A bag hung on my shoulder, holding pumpkin puree and rolled oats. The air was crisp; the light made everything glitter (especially the dewy rosebuds).
That’s what the street was like when I saw him. He looked as though he had just come from another century; I imagined he really had…
He was a celebrated physicist back in the 1880s. For a long time, he researched boring things, and was very successful. But he had a secret plan: he wanted to make a time machine. He hid his project from the public eye, but the secrecy eventually drove him mad. He knew he was getting close to his time-travelling goal. He couldn’t keep his imminent success to himself. He started bragging about it to his fellow scientists, only to be scolded for his folly. Because of his supposedly foolish words and his old age, he was threatened to lose his job. In the heat of the moment, he made a small mistake - his machine exploded - and he found himself in a fancy canadian neighbourhood in the autumn of the year 2012.
He looked in confusion at the big metallic contraptions that lined the streets. He looked with disgust at the peculiar architecture of the habitations. He listened with horror to the yells of some boisterous students. His heart skipped a beat when he saw, walking on the other side of the street, a young woman with trousers and a shiny, brightly coloured, unusually cut coat.
Later - when the deranged young lady had crossed the street and gone another way - he whooped and jumped ecstatically. He had succeded. He had finally travelled through time and space.
Now, how would he ever go back to 1886?
I could see it in the rearview window: the orange glow of the rising sun peaking over the thick layer of clouds that covered my hometown. Before us lay the darkness. (But it wasn’t a symbol. I refuse to think it was.)
The radio hosts talked about turkeys and snowflakes. My father tried to engage a conversation, in vain. I didn’t know what to think. Everything was beautiful; I was scared; my eyes watered.
Later - when the golden sunlight set the red maple trees ablaze - I listened to Regina Spektor’s On the Radio and I cried. The last note still rang in my ears when a fleeting deer bid me farewell.
After weeks of wanting to throw my life against the wall and smash it like a porcelain plate, I finally feel at peace with everything. I’m filled with stories, but that’s ok because I have all the time in the world to write them down as well or as badly as I want. I’m going to study to occupy a job that will stimulate me, fill me with energy, fill me with life, and make me very happy. I’m moving to a big city with lots of noise, concrete, trees, and people people people, and it’ll be a grand adventure.
It’s ok, because there will always be crisp, peaceful autumn days. Every year, there will be cheerful, sparkling early-winters; sluggish, numb late-winters; vibrant, energising early-springs; anguished late-springs; and lively summers. It will all be fine, because there will always be new recipes to try, new books to read, new songs to love, new ways to see the world, new thoughts to think. There will always be bird songs.
I have a small white card-stock heart on my cork board. It was given to me by a little 8-year-old girl whose name means ‘swan’. She came to the library when I worked. My coworker didn’t like her because she threw too many tantrums. But I liked her. I understood her. She wasn’t a spoiled tantrum-thrower; she was just awkward and smart and insecure. She was scared.
She would stand less than a step from me, her neck turning up at an impossible angle, her big hazel eyes poring through me. I don’t know how or why, but she knew I understood her. (Kids have that uncanny ability. She didn’t know, but she knew nonetheless, that I too had once been an awkward, smart and insecure child who had just moved from a bigger city.) She knew I could tell her when she was being unreasonable. She knew I could hug her and tell he it was all right.
I was going up the stairs when I saw its light. It filled the lattice of the back door with a light whiter and brighter than I thought possible, projecting its eerie glow in our cramped entryway. Its disorganised beams were magnetic; I found myself needing to step outside, to see the truth with my own eyes, to know that this light really was moonshine.
It was cold outside, still wet from the afternoon’s rain, and dark. The moonlight was blocked by the many leaves of the apple tree. I stepped on the grass and skirted the tree, burning with curiosity. My heart was beating faster; where was this great caster of light?
When finally I saw the Moon, it almost burned my eyes. I stood there for a while, my feet in the cold raindrops, my head turned up, my tears drying on my cheeks, my lips curling into a smile.
I like to think the Moon was deliberately trying to get my attention: to tell me to go out more and to connect with real life more. Even if it wasn’t, it still gave me strength for today, and that’s what really matters.
I woke up that morning and stepped on the kitchen floor. The tiles were cold. Right then, I knew. It was coming.
It was a bittersweet realisation, the prospect of a “welcome back” as well as a leap in the unknown. The temperature, the leaves, the colours… but new faces, new ideas, new places.
I’m scared but I’m ok.