The Pull

I was washed away by the waves.

Washed clean and away.

The salt stung the sunburn across my shoulders.

The water was biting, a cold just south of comfortable despite the hot, hot day.

I had been wading, shallow, only up to my knees,

But the current was strong, pulling and tugging and forming a sink hole of sand around my toes.

It pulled me down, under.

To be part of the ocean but never one with it. It is too vast, too above it all (while below).

My face went under and my eyes squeezed shut too late.

The salt stung and scratched.

Kelp brushed my arm and I grabbed it, the oily skin clutched between my fingers, bending to my will.

I heard shouts from the shore as my head broke the surface.

I managed to plant my feet, rush forward slowly, my sprint held back in water like running through molasses.

A second wave, as large as the first came and I braced.

I did not go under.

I made my way to the shore, the pull of water up to my thighs now, then my knees, then my ankles.

The kelp still clutched between my fingers.

The sand was warm between my toes, sun kissed and a jarring juxtaposition to the cold water.

I broke free and sat down on the sand with a deep breathe, close enough to the shoreline to still feel the waves brush my feet like reaching fingers.

My friends rush to me, speaking hurriedly and panicked but I tune them out.

It seemed even the ocean would not fight to keep me

Stealing Beauty

I shared my thoughts with you, so long ago of a place to be only mine.
A secret haven, a place of beauty for me to possess and guard with the selfishness of youth.
My dreams of beauty and splendor, of seeing the world through rose coloured glasses and without the jaded eyes that age brings.
I have found that place, but am left disappointed.

How can I possess something so beautiful?
And guard it from others like me, people who want to see the best of life?
How can I keep a bit of the world for myself?

The answer is I can’t.

Instead I captured beauty in a moment, a memory to last a lifetime if only on my shelf.
A glorious spot that is no longer only mine.

 

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Summer Nights

I love to walk along the water, reveling in the romantic atmosphere. It truly is magical with the lights over the water and the gentle lap of the waves making every stroll memorable. These are my favourite memories of the summer, the heat cooling off comfortably and the crowds broken off into smaller groups allowing for a false sense of intimacy.

The sensation of being alone and surrounded by people all at the same time. I live for these moments.

I love these moments.

Scattered Thoughts

I often go down to the beach with my shoes off and my feet in the sand, wandering, wandering, wondering what I am doing with my life.

I bought myself a rose today to make me feel beautiful. Sometimes a girl just needs a pretty flower. It’s a burgundy rose because red is too cliché. I always buy roses with the thorns still on, I don’t like things that are unnatural. Besides, roses with thorns make you pay more attention to the details – you don’t want to get pricked.

I hate yellow roses and pink are far too pale, but I love purple and white.

My thoughts are scattered.

You used to think me beautiful, Now your eyes wander far too often, Staring and seeing only others; never me.
You used to think me picture perfect, Now my picture is tattered, torn, Left forgotten on the floor of your bedroom.
You used to think me artistic, Now you find me laughable, my art is silly and meaningless.

You think her beautiful. You think her picture perfect. You think her artistic.

When I leave I won’t say goodbye – goodbyes are too messy for me – and you won’t know I’m gone until you miss me. Whenever that is … it’s hard to miss someone you don’t think about.

I’ve tried to be pretty, pretty perfect for you but I fail every time. Even my stockings won’t stay whole … they rip and shred like my tangled mangled heart.
I can’t ever be as perfect as you need me to be (as perfect as you think you deserve)
My photos aren’t as pretty, my art isn’t as beautiful.
My curves are too curvy, my hair is too flat.

And my thoughts are too scattered.

We don’t love like we used too, and our hands don’t touch anymore (only when we’re sleeping).

It’s hard to love, love perfect for you. I try but I fail every time and cry silently, shaking in sobs while you lay sleeping and oblivious.

Goodbye love.

Beautiful Goodbye

To you my love, I send my most beautiful goodbye …

You say I am cruel, I am heartless, to leave you so bitterly and spontaneously – only bitter because you did not see my tears, only spontaneous because you did not see the signs. To leave without a word of goodbye, you say, was to leave whilst tearing out your heart with my cold hand (you always said my hands were cold), ignoring your tears and pleas. You say I never loved you because if I did I would have stayed, to this I say you never loved me because if you did you wouldn’t have asked me to stay.

I love(d) you more than words can begin to describe but you took it for granted and for this, and for my dreams, I left you behind.

I did not say goodbye, but not to be cruel – never to be cruel. I have tried a thousand times over and over again to tell you of my plans. I’ve wanted more than anything to share my dreams with you, to be with you. But every time I’ve opened my mouth to speak I have known it would be the end of us so I smartly shut it or changed the subject. In this, and only this, did I deceive you. If I could’ve taken you with me I would have, if I could have had you, my love, and my dreams I would have, but life would not let me be so selfish.

So instead I left you, without any note or goodbye aside from my keys on the kitchen counter and the apartment emptied of my existence. But I left with the intention of saying goodbye – I left with this note in mind.

I called your house the other day when I knew you would be at work – your schedule has always been so predictable – just to hear your voice again on the answering machine. But she picked up and the sound of her musky voice left me cold inside. It was foolish of me to think you’d cherish me always like you said.

My heart broke anew though it had no right to.

You have her, someone new. And I have my dreams and this beautiful goodbye.

Private Thoughts pt. 4

I’m going somewhere else and you’re not invited …

I love driving in the city in the rain at night. The windshield wipers sound like a heartbeat, like the heartbeat of the city and its almost surreal as you drive past the city sights and street lamps all blurred from the water that drips over the car windows. The only true way to appreciate downtown Victoria is in the rain – it’s the only real way to experience life on the West Coast. Rain is life and here in Victoria we Live.

My two favourite places in Victoria are the Inner Harbour and Goldstream Park. I’ve been to all the touristy places and don’t get me wrong I love Butchart Gardens and the museums, Beacon Hill Park and Old Victoria – especially Market Square and China Town, but nothing says Victoria quite like the Inner Harbour and no place is as beautiful as Goldstream (although Royal Roads does come close).

Last Saturday, while walking the Inner Harbour, I paused and watched a man perform juggling acts and tell jokes about the joys of being a Canadian comedian. He was amazing and I emptied my wallet into his hat at the end, just as he’d intended. It’s impossible not to lose all your change in downtown Victoria if you have a social conscience. There are far too many people living on the streets, attracted by Victoria’s warm climate, to ignore and I more often than not find myself growing hungry, my stomach grumbling as I try desperately to save a toonie for a slice of pizza while I drop my change into the many lonely hats, reminding myself that they’re probably hungrier than I am.

The Inner Harbour is the gateway to Victoria and is at its prime in the summer. You can’t speed walk past the waterfront between early May and late September, there are far too many people and vendors around. People selling wood and soapstone carvings, selling necklaces and beads, hand drawn portraits and the works. Most things seem overpriced but you can’t help but fall prey to their earnest faces. There are street performers and mingling crowds, not to mention all the nearby attractions and restaurants, too much to see in one day.

In the winter it gets depressing for many but that is when I like it best. If you can stand the rain and the chill that comes off the water it is worth it. I think I like being lonely, which is why I often brave the weather – usually earning myself some sort of sniffle by the end of the day – just to sit on the stone steps and stare out at the water. The Harbour reminds me that I’m not really trapped in Victoria; I can escape if I need too …

I have many pity days, days where I suffer from anywhere-but-here syndrome. The selfishness of youth keeps me from appreciating the beauty in which I live and the draw of travel that has branded me makes me itch to leave Victoria and see, well, see everything. I often forget about how lucky I am and instead feel trapped on this island. I need to see the world, experience tragedy and live through sadness in order to appreciate the magnificence around me.

When I feel particularly trapped, as if the world and the rain are pressing down on my chest and keeping me somewhere I don’t want to be, I go to Goldstream to remind myself that there are things worth waiting for.

While the Salmon Run and all the other yearly attractions that nature brings are amazing to see I almost never go to Goldstream during these times. I am selfish and don’t wish to share my experience with others. I want the trees to surround me, I want silence all around, except for the sounds nature brings. And yes, I want to be lonely. Only when one is lonely can they truly appreciate all that is around them.

My favourite place in Goldstream is our own Niagara Falls. I like to sit on the rocks and just listen to the sounds of the water. I once had wild fantasies of swimming by the waterfall with one of my lovers, clothed only by the water, embracing in the desperation that love and lust bring to youth. These dreams were dashed aside when I actually swam the glacial waters of the falls, discovering for myself what others had tried to tell me – the water is too cold for dreams. But still, eyes half closed, perched on the rocks I still remember my desires and tingle with the anticipation of finding another waterfall like this one in my travels.

One day, after I have traversed the world, immersing myself in as many cultures as I can find, living the nomadic existence I so long for, I will come back to Victoria and visit my old haunts, I will live in the city of my youth.

I will pile on layers of clothes and sit on the stone steps of the Inner Harbour in winter. I will perch myself on the rocks of Little Niagara – the falls reminding me of my travels and my lovers – and I will lose myself in the trees of Goldstream, neither speaking nor listening … just being

Young Love

Lovers’ feet tangled under a layer of sand, the toes sticking out breathing in the salty wind. Everything is entwined, everything is touching.

We love like young lovers, no patience for each caress; hurrying and stumbling, desperate for touch, desperate for love and affection. We don’t enjoy it like we used to, no longer will you wipe the hair out of my eyes and kiss my brow, smiling sweetly like a boy in love. No longer will I hug you tightly – unwilling to let our bodies stop touching for even a second, kissing your neck and whispering words of love.

These things we took so much for granted that we rarely notice them disappearing.