Fall in Canada

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As the tradition goes, I went up to Ontario to The Cottage for Canadian Thanksgiving this year.  One thing I don’t normally do, however, is go hiking whilst there.  I went on a hike with my dad, aunt and new uncle and saw some amazing views of fall foliage.  The sun was out, the leaves were vibrant…..let’s just say that sometimes I wonder why I live in NYC

“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”   – Robert Frost

 

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The Dance

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With a dip of his head, he held out his hand for me. 

“Would you like to dance with me, now?” he asked.

Slightly taken aback, but only hesitating for a beat that I think only I could notice, “Sure,” I said.

I took his hand and walked him towards the dance floor, my left hand extended behind me, holding his.  I entered the dimly lit dance floor and he circled around my left, moving to face me. I should have noticed the song.  I should have noticed that he didn’t put his right hand on my waist as someone with the small amount of familiarity that we had, should have.  I should have noticed he circled his arm around my waist and pulled me into his body.  I should have noticed these things, but I didn’t.  There was nothing else for me in that moment than my body being so close to his and how much I wanted it.

I raised my right hand to put it inside of his and clumsily found the correct position of his fingers around mine, his palm to my palm.  We danced for what seemed like an extended period of time without speaking; I honestly could not think of a single thing to say.  Even beyond not having anything to say, I didn’t even have the desire speak.

My dress rustled from the taffeta and tulle from underneath and swayed to the music, to the flow of our bodies gently rocking back in forth in time to the music.  He was a good dancer, confident and self-assured.  He had no fancy moves, but knew how to lead and I never once felt awkward or as if I didn’t know what was going to happen.  He led in circles, hips swaying gently side to side.

I wasn’t aware of much, but I was aware of the fire and tingling sensation that flowed from my core upwards.  I was aware of my own two thighs cradling his right one. It wasn’t intrusive or suggestive; it was if it found its place in this dance of ours.  It was if our bodies couldn’t be any closer and so, with the bulk of my dress taking up so much space, his leg cut through and settled in a place where our bodies could simply rest together.

“Are you having a good time?” he asked.

I started to speak slowly and deliberately.  I was having a hard time putting two sentences together.  I wasn’t flustered or nervous; I was simply enjoying the feeling of his body being so close to mine. I was enjoying the drowning out of the world, being in a place where everything else faded away and it was simply me, in his arms, feeling cradled, safe and enclosed.

We spoke of the ceremony, of the day.  He began to speak of school and his plans for the future.  I was surprised at him.  In that moment he became an adult man who had a vision for himself and a goal; a puzzle piece that had previously been missing for me. Until this moment, he had been a young man who was searching for himself, for a path, for an identity.  Discussing his future and his plans somehow became a catalyst of change for my feelings.

He adjusted his left hand so that our palms were touching heart to heart.  They were moist, damp.  Even this I didn’t notice or become aware of until days later when I was reflecting upon the experience of the evening and specifically, that dance, this moment.

I continued to sway my hips from side to side, from left to right; we circled round and round on the wooden parquet floor, the disco ball’s white lights dancing around us.  In that moment there was no time for me, only the feeling of his body against mine, of his arm around my waist, holding me in.

As all moments do, however, they end.  The unremembered song came to an end and I was broken from my reverie.  It was as if something small and almost unnoticeable shifted and shattered as we parted.  We stepped away from each other, but continued to talk as we exited that wooden parquet dance floor.  In recalling this story, I should also remember what happened after the dance was over; but I don’t.  The disco ball stopped spinning and the lights became a little bit brighter, all signals that our moment had ended. 

I don’t remember many of the details that made up that four minute period, but I remember the salient elements.  I remember, that for that finite period of time, life shifted, changed, molded, melted and just like our dance, made a full circle and solidified again…..I remember that.

Why I love my dad.

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There are many languages of love.  In fact, there’s a book on the five different languages of love.  I haven’t read the book, but knowing it even exists has illuminated the idea that people express love in different ways.  My dad loves by doing.

Here’s why I love my dad.  

My parents had an extra chair at The Cottage and I am in need of a chair, so, voila! I get the extra chair. Yay!  It’s from Ikea, so it collapses and comes apart which is perfect since I need to transport it from Canada, to Buffalo, to Queens.  

So, I arrive at my parents place in Grimsby, Ontario and find it already collapsed and ready for transport.  It crosses the border, then accompanies me on my 9.5 hour drive (ugh, the misery of traffic, you don’t even know – okay, I’m sure you do) to Queens.  I unpack my old/new-to-me chair and find this:

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My dad has put all the hardware into a baggie, inserted whatever hard wear he could back into it’s proper place, affixed it with some nice rubber-bands, found me an Allen wrench that will work, and drew me a chart.

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Aaaand he gave me step by step instructions.  My dad loves by doing.  He’s honestly one of the best fathers a girl could hope for. Not just because he gives me things but because he took the time to make sure I had everything I needed to get this chair together with the smallest amount of stress possible.  He’s awesome.  I ❤ him.

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I guess I’m not all that nice.

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I’m surprised at my ability to surprise myself.  I think to some degree we all have certain definitions of ourselves, a certain way we see ourselves, categories we put ourselves in.  I see myself as: warm, loving, funny, supportive, giving (even at the point of sacrificing my own sanity), and a host of all things associated with butterflies and flower fields.  

Then, recently my friend Dana sent me a link to someones myspace page.  A someone she doesn’t even know, never even met.  Here’s the page:

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What we’re looking at here is a girl who I’ve never met and will never meet and has just unleashed the biggest bag of crazy I’ve ever seen in my life.  The biggest. bag. of. crazy. EVER.  (back story, Dana is thinking of moving to Massachusetts and enjoys skydiving.  This girl is the ex-GF of a boy Dana is spending time with).

Now, who this girl is or why she’s “irate” (see mood on myspace page) is irrelevant to me.  What IS relevant is that she just cyber-accosted my good friend.  So, despite the fact that I define myself as being all things butterflies and nice, I immediately performed the following without thinking or pretense.

I clicked the link that reads “send message” and found myself typing the following:

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It is at this point that I call Dana and tell her what I’m doing; she tells me to stop, so I do. 

I may seem all nice, and friendly, and warm and giving but I swear by all things holy, unholy, and every god man could believe in that if you cross my friends you cross me – and I WILL CUT YOU.

I guess the moral of the story is that we all have many layers – and I just discovered a layer buried beneath the warm/fuzzy one (wow, doesn’t that sound like blue cheese? ….hmm, yum) – one where I am fiercely loyal to those I love.