July 8, 2012

nostalgie

catherine @ 6:32 pm

Untitled

« Et ce qu’il a pris pour une douleur n’est que la nostalgie d’un cœur lavé de la peur, nostalgie des espaces déserts où la liberté a élu domicile et qu’il n’a pas su aimer aussi longtemps que la peur l’habita. »

Vassili Golovanov, L’éloge des voyages insensés

March 31, 2012

chavirée

catherine @ 12:49 am

« N’écoutez que votre inconscience : elle seule peut vous offrir des fruits qui chantent et des neiges qui soudain, en plein vol, se transforment en pélicans. »

Le verbe est un navire. Paris, Éditions du Rocher, 1998, [ Anatole Bisk, dit Alain Bosquet ]

January 16, 2009

nostalgie

catherine @ 1:47 am

As I noted recently, these last few weeks, when I have the time, I have been trying to get rid of stuff I have been lugging around for the last, euh, 25 years or so. So I have been looking through a mind-boggling amount of junk that I have never bothered to throw out but also some sentimental stuff such as photos, old letters, mementos as well as the occasional and somewhat important-looking document that I can never decide whether I should keep or not.

I have boxes and boxes that I have to go through and I have not really looked in them in a very, very long time. I usually just store everything in a spare closet from move to move, thinking that I will get around to it… eventually… and then totally forget about it until the next move. But because this apartment has NO STORAGE SPACE, I have no choice now. I have some serious “decluttering” to do.

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Filed under: la vie, life
December 29, 2008

patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper

catherine @ 1:06 am

You can see the complicated structure and, and you say, well how does that happen, right? Suppose you’re the cosmic designer, how are you going to put galaxies out there in a pattern like that? It’s not just throwing them out at radom; there’s a more complicated process going on here. Euh, how are you going to end up doing that? And so now, we are in for some serious play and that’s we have to seriously play God, not just change people’s lives but make the universe, right?

So if that’s your responsability, how are you going to do that? What’s the kind of technique, what’s the kind of thing you are going to do? So, I’m going to show you the results of a very large scale similuation of what we think the universe might be like using essentially some of the play principles and some of the design principles that, that you know, humans have laboured so hard to pick up but apparently nature knew how to do at the beginning. And that is you start out with very simple ingredients and some simple rules and euh, but you have to have enough ingredients to make it complicated and then you euh, put in some random… ness, some fluctuations and some randomness and realise a whole bunch of different representations.

- George Smoot, astrophysicist, cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner, during his talk about the design of the universe at the 2008 Art Center Design Conference Serious Play, May 2008 (TED).

November 17, 2007

I hold these truths to be self-evident

catherine @ 8:23 pm

Last night I dreamt of a strange appartment building. The structure was very bizarre and dangerous but that is not surprising; I often dream of weird, defintely not up-to-code buildings where you can literally kill yourself by just milling about. In my dreams, I am usually living in them, often alone, or looking around because I am thinking about moving in. Anyway, in this dream, things were slightly different because the building was occupied and I knew a couple of the tennants (people I know in real life). And although I was not moved in yet, I had been invited over to dinner by some other tennants I did not know and spent most of the evening spilling my wine on the tablecloth (ok, that is not really different; I spill stuff on a regular basis).

Before I left, my hosts showed me photos of various parties that had been organised in the building over the years. As I looked at the photos, I remember thinking that was a lot of parties and a lot of people. I was also rather baffled to note that Leonard Nimoy was in almost all the photos, invariably standing alone yet surrounded by dozens and dozens of people, his arms folded across his chest, a look of astonishment on his face. When I asked about him, I was told he had been asked to move out but that he was not very happy about it and insisted on taking all his stuff with him.

What struck me the most about the dream was that when I left to go home, I was using my power wheelchair. This is kind of strange because, notwithstanding that I have not used it in over two years, in most of my dreams, if I am not vaguely walking, how I get around is usually not emphasised. But this time, I distinctly remember slipping into something familiar, comfortable, comforting even. I remember putting it into fourth gear, like I had so many times before when I was just about to take off. As I turned the first corner, I landed on Saint-Laurent Blvd and came to a sudden halt as I viewed the throngs and throngs of people on the sidewalk. And, as I often have, I remember thinking, quite annoyed, “man, I gotta find a side street fast because there is no way I am going to put up with all those mindless bipeds walking into me every few feet”.

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Filed under: disability, handicap, la vie, life
September 8, 2007

no more pussy footing

catherine @ 1:03 pm

This morning, while making my long overdue RSS rounds (definitely not as much time to read as I used to), I came upon this text by The Girl Who wherein she talks about being intimidated by assholes and caring too much about what these people think when they obviously do not give a shit about how they make her, or anyone around them, feel and how she is starting to find a way to assert herself instead of letting it consume her or affect her relationships with people she cares about. Essentially, she writes about overcoming her “pussiness”.

And wow, she was so able to articulate how I feel about the whole thing and why it is that at one point in my life, I decided I was not going to take any more abuse. Of course, you have to substitute “Mormonism” with “disablism” in my case. And a lot of the stuff I had to (and still have to) deal with is directly related to my disability and not always just random stupidity. But it does wear one’s patience thin in other areas as well and I think she explained it beautifully.

Still, coming up onto 41 years (eek!), I have to admit that stuff still gets to me and I still have moments when I lose all my bravery and just want to run away (and there are probably times when I should have). There are still times when, even though I know it is not all that important, that I should not let these people and these situations get me down, they do anyway. But that’s life and I guess that even when we know we are stronger than that, there are moments when we are not and we need to tell ourselves that is OK too.

December 8, 2006

conspiracy theories

catherine @ 4:35 pm

In his wonderful story “The Alchemist”, Paulo Coelho wrote that “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”. Which is a comforting thought, not to mention so damn romantic. But more often than not, it is the other way around and you really get the feeling that the only thing conspiring is Murphy’s Law.

I have quite a bit of experience observing as well as personally experiencing the effects of this fundamental law of nature but up until this morning, I had never bothered to find out who this Murphy guy was. What on earth did he do to piss off the deities so far as to have such an unfortunate truth named after him, anyway ? Sniffing around the Web, I came across this Web site where the full force of Murphy’s Law was finally revealed through this seemingly insignificant contribution:

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