Sunday, July 26, 2009


One time, when we were in a village in Ghana, they asked us to pray for them because they had no drinking water.

That memory keeps on coming back to haunt me.

Oftentimes, I feel very lonely, yet I feel right, like where I am and what I'm doing is where I should be, which makes it worth it. Right after Ghana, I remember going to my sister's hockey game, and standing in the lobby. Everyone around me was taking about the stupidest things; where they might go for school, or what they would wear to prom, or who was doing what, and it felt so incredibly petty, stupid, and meaningless. I remember thinking, is this the kind of mediocrity I want to be surrounded by? And I could no longer relate to the people I was surrounded with, because I had seen and experienced something completely different and heart-wrenching that I would never go back to ignorance and selfishness, yet I could not relate to the people that took me on that journey. I realized that I was not the Ghanain people who had impacted me so, and I was not the people around me I had grown up surrounded by. I didn't fit in, yet that was okay.

I pray that I could live out a life of faith that is able to answer that prayer, and not content myself with the hypocrisy to live in complacency and have the nerve to call that a well-lived life.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I have to get this out.

So last night, I was biking in Kitchener on Corrie's bike, at 11:30 at night, to get back to the place I'm staying, (Matt Cardases, Jamie Knight, and that gang. Good people.) and I'm not sure how it happened. I'm thirty seconds on the road out of Corrie's place, and my dragonfly bag was sitting funny, and my leg was hitting it every time I pedaled. The kickstand was out too far, so the pedal was also dinging that as well. So I'm distracted kicking my kickstand with my foot, and adjusting my bag. Kickstand went well, but the bag wasn't working. I adjusted my bag again, but somehow, (I'm still not sure how) I flew over the front of the bike...

It's weird. When things like this happens, everything slows down, and I can see every detail, yet I completely forget most of it. And there's this strange, almost tranquil side of me that analyzes everything, and stays almost annoyingly calm.

The next thing I know, I'm lying on my back, sprawled out. I'm on the middle of the road, and the asphalt is still warm from the day's heat. Corrie's bike is on top of me, and I do not know what just happened, or how I got there. I'm staring at the black sky, that the orange lights turn the sky this nasty blue-orange color. I used to call it Blorange. I tilted my head, vaguely wondering why the street is so empty, and wouldn't you know, the bus is coming! The 7A, which goes to Fairview through Connaught, to be exact.

"Huh. I wonder if it'll stop for me. I don't want to get up." I thought to myself, almost too calmly. "No... wait, that is a big bus. It's quite close, and I'm laying on the ground. It's not going to see me... HOLY SHIT!!!" And this I screamed as I rolled out from under the bike, and tumbled onto the sidewalk.

I'm bleeding, and my lip is tingling, and pulsing uncomfortably. But beyond that, I'm completely unharmed. What a STRANGE moment. I was breathing heavily, as I processed everything that just happened, and it's at this part where that annoyingly calm part of me vanishes, and I start to panic. Like, earlier, I was talking to Corrie about booking a flight to Vancouver, and planning to pick up my car with Anthony the next day. I'm going to the CSL next week. I'm going to the Coldplay concert at the end of July, and this time, I'm bringing my camera to take pictures. I haven't finished reading The Divine Comedy. I have far too many exciting things to do and see to get flattened by a bus in a thirty second lapse of time, where one moment, I'm adjusting my bag, and the next, I'm lying flat on the ground, with a bike on top of me, watching the bus approach.

It was just too close for comfort, and all of the possibilities for me not coming out of it so unscathed are just too likely for me to be happy about it all. It has just shook me up about how fast and unexpected something extremely bad could happen, and how quickly things change, when you least expect it, and right when you're in the thick of it all. Thank God though, it is not the end. Not yet. I don't want to go yet.

A lovely man from Alberta pulled over to see if I was okay. The bike worked fine, and then I got into a great conversation with him on the side of the road about corporate greed, how capitalism is marring the beauty of society, and how ugly Canadian cities are. It was certainly interesting going back to the house. I bumped into Dan Sage (this guy I was CONVINCED had a crush on me...) and he was sitting on the porch, smoking a pipe. I parked my bike, and then he invited me to smoke a pipe with him. Somehow, he didn't notice I was covered in blood. But I did smoke a pipe with him for a bit. It was very nice, surprisingly. I should avoid pipes. I got inside, and Jamie Knight and Curtis Healy gave me very shocked looks. I was covered in quite a bit of blood, and pretty worse for wear. But ice and a washcloth helped significantly. Jamie would make a good doctor.

But now, because of this experience, I am legitimately afraid that if I were die in such a fashion, my last words, out of reaction, would be, "Holy shit!"

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Boy... I am such a romantic. I started writing a story, and this is a chunk of it, but reading it now, it definitely sounds like I'm very much an idealistic, romantic, optimist.

Thing is though, I love it. :)

What is the value of our plans? Everybody makes these plans and ideas, but sometimes, it seems rather silly, or a hindrance to what they really want to do. One time when I was at the dentist, the nurse, as she was sticking sharp things into my mouth, kept on telling me about the things she wished she could have done. As soon as she found out that I went to Africa, she kept on saying how she wished she could have done that, or wished she had taken the opportunity to travel, but she never did it. What would it be like if, when 5:00 rolled around, and her shift was over, instead of driving home to make dinner for the husband and kids, she got home, and dug her passport out of her bedroom drawer? Her husband would come home, and see her in their room, with a big old suitcase sitting on the bed, one of those kinds with white vinyl on the outside, and brass clasps to hold it shut. No wheels. It’s terribly impractical, but of course, they haven’t traveled together anywhere in twenty-five years or more, and in that instance, that was a trip in their old motor home to the Grand Canyon. The only reason she has the passport is because it’s useful to keep that kind of identification in your bedroom drawer.

So he comes in the room and sees her, and she’s still in her dentist-nurse smock, which was a really awful-looking smock, bright blue with red and yellow houses on the fabric, and this puzzles him, so he says,

“Honey, what’s going on? Thinking of going somewhere?”

In his mind, he’s a tiny bit worried, but this is mainly because he forgot why he fell in love with her those many years ago. He loved her adventurous and spontaneous nature, and he was jealous of it. He wished he had the courage she had to jump into any adventure without a backwards glance. But of course, this was thirty or more years ago. Years of working in the dentist’s office to put bread on the table, and years of raising two or three kids have made her forget that important part of herself. But the kids are all gone, and that little conversation her and I had in the dentist’s chair as I paid for her to inflict pain upon me rekindled a long-buried memory.

“Oh, I’m glad you’re back. Nothing to worry about, honey; I’m packing up because I think it’s time we went somewhere.”

“Okay…” At this point, he’s wondering what’s wrong. “Where are you thinking of going?”

“Well, I would really like to go to Africa, but it’s a bit of a process to go. We’d have to apply for our visas, and get the appropriate shots and vaccinations. So I’ll settle for a trip to England. I always wanted to see that big clock tower they have in London. What’s it called again, dear?”

He’s flabbergasted at this point, and almost out of control, he finds the words “Big Ben…” leaving his lips, before he regains some form of composure, and looks at her like she’s one of his daughters about to be grounded, as he tries to reprimand her.

“Now, you can’t just leave like this! What about your job? And we’re going down to visit your parents this weekend. This isn’t good! You can’t just get up and pack up and go!”

“Well, you’re coming with me, right?”

His eyes would be wide. He would be fuming at such a thought. “Come with you! You’re crazy…” He lacks his wife’s vision, and because he’s so caught up in his plans, he’s unable to grasp onto the brilliance of the endeavor she is attempting to take on.

Now, from here, it can go any which way. There is a wide range of possibilities from him completely rejecting her suggestion, to eagerly going with her, to her leaving him behind, to her going back to that dentist’s office tomorrow, back to work as though nothing had ever happened. This is my favorite scenario:

She folds the last of her clothes into that old suitcase, looks at him and says, “Honey, why are you so scared? Did you not always want to go some place like this? Remember when we were young? We dreamed of this sort of adventure. I love you. Come with me, please?”

And he’s going to cry. Oh boy, he will suddenly be taken by surprise by the tears he finds in his tired eyes that haven’t cried in so many years, not since that time they watched the movie where the dog died and he was reminded sharply of the border collie that was his best friend when he grew up. And then, she’s going to come over, and look at him in that way that made his heart pound when they were teenagers, and she’s going to say,

“You know, this suitcase is only half full.”

And with shaking hands, as he ignores the perverted voice of reason screaming in his head, he will find himself folding his shirts into the suitcase while his wife books tickets for the next possible flight they can leave on. This scenario I love, because he has something to overcome, a challenge to surpass, and he has to grab a hold of courage and love to go with that wife of his. I like it because it’s challenging, and through challenge, comes growth.

I suppose the value of our plans is of an ambiguous nature, because they give us that security, but the price we pay is those years missed pursuing those dreams we had when we were younger. I want to be the one who pursues them though, and never find myself tied down by the plans. The plans lift us up; never tie us down, though I know people will disagree with me. There is a time and place for everything, they will protest. And I agree, but the thing is, you should make the plans, and never make plans that control you, or take away your freedom.