March 3, 2016
It’s Saturday morning. 9 am. We’re sitting on the floor. I’m washing down a piece of cold pizza, still on the table from last night, with the end of my coffee. I scored the last of the cream. Alida’s nose is a slippery waterfall but it’s been the best night we’ve had in a week or so, with only 3 wake-ups, thanks to that blessed, blasted Nose Frida (which in my midnight stupor, I’d decided was much like reverse egg-blowing). Inexplicably, Jonah slept until 8:30am, and he’s in a great mood. The apartment is mess, but not deeply so. I had the forethought to pick up vacuum bags yesterday (win!). The sky is a bright, beautiful, cloudless blue. All things considered, it’s a good morning. And I have a thought. An unusual thought… one I haven’t had in well over a year. “You know what…” I say to Achim, before trailing off as I immediately change my mind. But then, it’s too late. I’ve let it out.
“I might go for a run this morning.”
Goal Setting Guide Revisited
February 4, 2016
At last! I’ve wanted to revamp the goal guide pretty well since I first posted it. A few people mentioned that the long, scrolling format was kinda hard to follow and frankly, I agree. The new year seemed like a good time to clean it up and give it a run.
I’ve made it into sensible distinct pages, spaced things out, upped the text or illustration size here and there for emphasis and clarity. Now you’ve got the slide show below, or you can even download this printable version. I had a lot of interest from teachers last year, and I thought an easy peasy pdf may be appreciated.
Happy Birthday, Little Blog!
January 27, 2016
On January 14th this blog officially turned 1 year old! I am the shyly proud creator of 50 individual posts. My goal was to keep it up at least a year and then see, and although my upkeep has been a little spotty, I am pleased to report that my interest has surprisingly not been. I’ll be changing a few things, but continuing for sure. It can be hard to find space to create, physically, emotionally, and psychologically in the beautiful mess of everyday life, and this place has been sort of a “room of one’s own” for me.
Love Story: The Last Page
December 17, 2015
To us, it feels like a new story starts here. It’s not that it wasn’t still confusing or messy at times, it really was. I mean, it still is! But it wasn’t a question of if there was an “us” anymore. That much was clear.
We still didn’t go to Spain together. I spent two tortilla and café con leche fuelled months lugging backpacks with my friend Shannon, basking in a blur of art galleries, mossy castles and winding, white sunbaked streets; running my fingers over miles of intricate tile work, and sleeping in filthy little beds. He picked me up from the Frankfurt airport and I stayed for two cozy weeks, just before Christmas. As I remember it, we mostly just lay around by the fireplace. Flipped through old photo albums and VHS tapes. Went for drives.
Love Story: Page 16
December 4, 2015
September 2006 – The Universe
There I lay. By myself, in the dark, in his bed. Still, spent and a little shaky from the emotional upheaval of the day. As I stared at the ceiling, the events of the day, the month, the year – the years – seemed to vanish, a torrent of quiet, sparkling dust swept up and scattered, imperceptibly across the expanse. I suddenly felt very alone. So alone, but not lonely. Rather, it was an aloneness that gave me the profound feeling of inhabiting myself, a total presence of mind. I’d say it was an out of body experience, except that it was quite the opposite. There I was, lying alone, with so little control in the world, but… I was okay. It was probably one of the most meaningful moments of my life – a complete calm and clarity overtook me and I had the strongest, most distinct feeling of safety. It was as though in my aloneness, I realized that I, Elena, this impossible ball of chaos, was not alone. Rather, I was profoundly surrounded by love, wholly taken care of.
Love Story: Page 15
November 28, 2015
September 2006 – Bonn, Germany
I had a notebook with me, on the airplane and for the next few months. It was supposed to be a travel diary, but ended up mainly filled with chicken scratch hostel addresses and contact info for all our Amazing New Friends, whom I would never speak to again. However, on the flight over, my journalistic intentions were still fresh, and I did write. I don’t even have to hunt down that book to recall one particular passage.
“People always say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but not for me. Absence makes me forget.”
It wasn’t a good start.
Love Story: Page 14
November 21, 2015
October 2005 to September 2006 – Toronto, ON / Bonn, Germany
I think we only wrote one letter each. Paper letters, I mean. Mine was a long, disjointed cadavre exquis of personal essays, flitting through homemade lino print stationary, looseleaf and sketchbook paper, various pens, highs and lows over the course of several days or honestly, probably weeks.
12 Loads of Laundry (and then some)
November 13, 2015
Hellloooo up there! It’s me emerging – rumpled, a little sweaty, maybe a discarded raisin or two stuck to my face – from under a mountain of bust-out onesies and small, impossibly oatmeal-encrusted striped t-shirts. My sister’s visit was awesome but exhausting, big props to those of you with twins. Two babies at once has a special way of (adorably) consuming the days!
The 9th has come and gone, and the Love Story is still hibernating. I know. In lieu of explanation, I thought I would submit this photo of our car, literally packed with 12 loads of laundry on their way to
be burned monopolize a laundromat somewhere:
Love Story: Returning November 9th!
October 27, 2015
Sooooo, part of the idea behind finishing the love story in 30 days was to have it wrapped up before my sister and her husband and baby boy arrived here in Germany (from Canada!) on the 22nd, but of course, that didn’t happen. So it goes. And now we are in full swing familyville. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on over the next week or so, and I realised that it was just adding stress to do a Love Story page, which kind of defeats the purpose! I am really loving putting these little instalments together, but right now I need to spend a some time with my dear long lost sister! And bake a bunch of cakes. Which is really not my forte but such is life when visitors come to call in Germany. I will rise to the challenge! It may (will!) get messy. Speaking of which, funny story…
Love Story: Page 13
October 23, 2015
October 2005 – North York, ON
We didn’t speak for a week. Or, that’s how I remember it. Actually, it was an extremely long day and a half, filled with crazy-making one way conversations in every foreseeable permutation.