Sunday, November 15, 2015
"Sphinx" (working title)
It hit me again - like a nagging heartbeat just outside the edge of hearing. I scratched at the inside of my ear trying to clear out the sound.
I refocused on my task, pressing the numbers into the keypad, attempting to bypass systems.
Sphinx froze, then stated, “they’re here.”
“No… No, not yet,” I begged. I kept typing in codes, desperately working the system.
“Now,” she said, quietly - calmly.
I glanced up at the dark figure beside me, nothing but a silhouette to my eyes and back-lit by cool white wall panel lights. She was a tall, stoic and gracefully poised. Her firm shapely body seemed like a statue it was so still.
“Now,” she repeated.
“I can’t…” I blurted. I felt the sharp edges of panic plucking my nerves like stringed instruments, threatening to sever them. “It’s not…”
Suddenly the screen flashed blue then green and a quick trill of electronic noises signaled the acceptance of data. I swore in relief to myself and whispered a gentle thanks to the Uni.
“Let’s go,” I said, grabbing the silk of her palm and dragging her through the newly opened door. “We’re almost there.”
“I know,” she said again, her voice echoed strangely, almost void of thought, yet somehow completely certain.
We ran down the hallways lined with stark gray metal walls and strips of vertical paneled lighting. The only decoration were the thick bolts riveted in deep to seal in the air. These were mostly barren service ways designed for engineers and servicemen. Everything looked identical to me. I had no idea where we were.
“Right,” she stated calmly, and I stumbled briefly with a confused expression on my face. “Right,” she repeated more firmly and comprehension tickled my brain. I bolted towards the right fork in the passageway ahead.
My heart was pounding in my chest. Every possible fear was playing theatre in my head, brilliant stories of blood and gore. They would catch us, hook us in with their grappling knives, and reel us in like struggling sturgeon whipping against the current. And when they caught us, they would eat us alive. Fresh meat, moist and juicy, exceptional quality.
I choked back a sob.
“It’s okay,” she said. “Left.”
I looked at her with wide eyes. With an instantaneous trust born of necessity, I whipped left. She was so strangely certain and I found myself impressed by her impenetrable calm as we thudded down the passageways. I felt like my bile was inches away from making decorations on the wall but she seemed almost doe eyed despite the danger. Who was this woman?
“There,” she said as we approached a foot thick silicate glass partition that revealed empty space beyond.
“What?” I asked dumbfounded. We were at a dead end.
She said nothing, only stared quietly out into the Uni beyond.
I shook my head in agitation - the sound, like a heartbeat just outside the edge of hearing, was in me again. The air started to vibrate and distort in pulsing ripples, rhythmically, as if in time with a heartbeat. I placed my hands on my temples trying to control the pressure that was building there.
Behind us I could still hear shouting and the thudding of thick soled shoes against the steel floors, and I looked at Sphinx with a desperate expression. She just stood there, calmly, with her head cocked to the side as if listening to something - something else.
I began to panic. We were trapped. There was no way we were getting out of this.
The pulsing started to hurt. I mean really hurt. My hands gripped at the sides of my head, desperately trying to keep it from ripping apart. I think I was screaming.
“Good.” stated Sphinx.
“Wha...” I managed weakly before the breath was sucked from my lungs, wrenched out with titanic force.
The glass had shattered.
We were sucked into space.
At the same moment the overwhelming heartbeat and vibrations abruptly ended, the world exploded. Imploded. Exploded. I had no idea. I was sucked from the station like a seed spat out of a straw and shot into the vacuum of space. Into.. nothing. Into absolute emptiness…. Everything went silent.
I must have blacked out.
I awoke slowly, groggily. There was a strange beeping noise at the edge of my hearing. With indeterminate slowness my brain finally registered the persistent beeping of a heart monitor. For a moment I was still, calm, eerily comfortable.
And then I panicked.
Wrenching up in the bed I clutched at the tubes and wires connected to me, confused and blindly trying understand them and what the hell they were doing on me - oh god, in me. But they tugged painfully, beads of blood welled up at connection points.
Someone rushed towards me, making noise. I gripped at them, begging, dry heaving. They kept screaming at me. I couldn’t understand them. The room was spinning. There was strange music playing and I was going to be sick. No… I was sick. I threw up, everything in my stomach heaved upwards with surprising momentum. It felt like it would never end. I had the absurd thought that I was a fountain. And then world swirled back into black.
(to be continued?)
I feel I could edit until my dying breath.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I sit cross legged and watching
The pressure mounts
I sit between the lines
and watch for my opening
to reach through
and pluck them, listening
for a tune
the assemblage of tones that
where the lyrics bind
and words are kind
where brutal honesty
I am here...
between the lines.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
I see your eyes watching me
The liquid state from which you evolve
Into your gaseous expulsions
Tied up in tendrils of innocent notions
Lick the sweet nectar of sweeter relief
The silver platter of revulsion.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
One pulse on a heart monitor,
One memory for the books,
An echo that reverberates near,
The sensation still lingers,
One open thought is louder,
Thumping expression I feel it,
Soft words - worried - but spoken,
Demons screaming for release,
Sadness tinges the relief,
I wish we could speak,
Ephemeral words to touch you...
can you feel
There could be something greater in you.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Thursday, September 24, 2015
I was at some sort of outdoor event. I think it was a strange sport that involved a pool. I remember walking dressed in a beautiful backless dress knowing I had something important to do. I took my seat on some bleachers and then felt an odd feeling... and I knew... I was there. Another me, who'd time traveled?
I turned around and looked at a crowd gathered in a section behind and just off to the side of the bleachers. There I saw someone tall in a light suit holding up his/her hand to their face to shade their eyes from the glare of the bright sun. And I saw a flickering reflection of light off something, making it difficult to see behind the person, but I knew anyway. I knew it was me. I wasn't supposed to make contact, but I smiled mischievously and made a small wave. I swear I saw myself wink back at me.
I turned back around to attend to the game and my purpose there. I had to do something (although I don't remember what). I felt my own eyes watching me but I new I had to maintain focus. It was important to not make people aware that I was both here and there. The dream progressed, I don't remember much except that a bunch of wild and dreamy things happened.
Then found myself in a crowd, and I nudged my way up until I was almost near the front. Someone in a pale suit was in front of me with their arm up to shade the sun from their eyes. Through the space his arm made, I could make out the bleachers and the pool beyond. And then I saw myself in my backless dress, turn to look at me, squinting to try and make me out in the crowd. I couldn't tell if she actually saw me, except that I new that she did, since I'm her, and she tried to suppress a knowing smile and waved surreptitiously, just the tips of her fingers moved, really. I winked at her... we both knew.
I moved away, having to complete my business - my mission, whatever it was - and as I skirted around the crowd I watched the backless dress me from behind as she resolutely kept her eyes forward instead of drawing attention to me. I remember thinking, "Hm, she's really quite beautiful.. I don't know why I'm so self conscious."
Then the dream moved on, and has sunk into the deep recesses of my memory that I cannot reach.
Still, that part was so vivid, so clear and detailed, it felt almost real. As if I had actually time traveled and saw myself from both perspectives.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
mm.. what a wonderful dream.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
And so I wrote.
THE PIRATE, THE BOY, AND THE PEANUT
By Kristina Shelden
There once was a young man, who after eating a gooseberry pie spiked with moon juice, fell terribly ill. No one in the young man's town knew what to do, for the boy would respond to no medications or treatments.
Now, everyone knows that the evil pirate, Roberto Arnando Del Montague al Noutzen, has in his possession a magical object that could cure all ailments. The boy's parents, fretting themselves raw, and knowing not else what to do, placed the poor sick soul in a fishing boat, and pushed him off to sea. In between his index finger and his thumb they placed an offering. A peanut. (Because everyone also knows Roberto Arnando Del Montague al Noutzen can resist not the temptation of a single peanut.) And they prayed to the ocean gods to guide their son safely to a cure.
The gods, being Martians from outer space, and having brought the moon juice to the earthlings, (also knowing all too well the temptation and power of such a magical concoction, and the hangover - OH! The HANGOVER), took pity on the boy and using the ocean currents, guided the boy to R.A.D.M.a.N.
Swiftly the boy’s small boat approached the massive ship commanded by the evil pirate. Angrily he saw the boat approach - such audacity that anyone dare approach his ship and treasures! - and with a grace born of a man at sea, and a grunt befit only of the piratiest of pirates, he swept up a harpoon gun and aimed it levelly at the poor sick young man. Just as his thick evil finger pressed the trigger just a hairs-span in depth, his keen eye caught sight of something that instantly melted his heart.
Without hesitation RADMaN fished the limp figure of the boy out of the rickety craft, and placed him tenderly onto the ships deck, all the while cooing softly to the peanut.
Now his crew knew all to well the warning that was within that soft cooing sound, and slowly backed away from their dread captain, hands held out in supplication for peace. Or at least, sanity.
RADMaN hungrily licked his lips. He rubbed his hands together briskly in anticipation. He opened and closed his mouth with a sloppy slick wet sucking noise. And he grabbed for the peanut with greed in his beady black eye, (eye, in singular, because his other eye was covered with a patch, of course. Pirate.. duh.) and tried to pry the coveted item from the sick boys fingers.
But it didn't budge.
RADMaN blinked stupidly.
He pulled at it again.
It was stuck fast.
Nuthin. It wouldn't budge.
He growled and sat back on his haunches. “Yaaaaar me matey’s! What be the deal here?”
His crew looked back at him warily, none knowing the answer.
Suddenly there was a great boom and a crash from over the railing, the sound knocking the dread pirate back to land squarely on his tush with delicate little ‘oopsie!’ only befitting of the daintiest of milkmaids. (“Ahem!” he says, “Yaar.. I mean.. OOF!”)
A deep and powerful voice echoed over the wind. It was a Martian!!
“T’is the Moon Juice you great fool! It has rendered him stiff!”
RADMaN glared sulkily over at the Martian. “Stiff??” he yelled, “But I wants me peanut, yaar!”
The Martian chuckled mightily. “To get it, evil sir, you must SAVE the poor boy! Using your thingbobbit you got from your last raid.”
“SAVE?” The pirate pouted, “But that goes against me morals! What kind of pirate would I be!”
The great being grinned slyly at the prone, dread, evil pirate. “A peanut-less one.” And with that the Martian slipped silent back into the depths of the ocean.
The pirate stared at the boy, who was still, sure enough, stiff as a wet dream. Pursing his lips, he signaled to one of his crew members, who intelligently enough, scurried away to grab the thingbobbit.
After a brief wait, the crewman returned but yanking awkwardly and pulling in tow a very pretty young lady in a blue dress. Attached to her wrist on a thin gold chain, was the thingbobbit.
“But it’s MINE!” She screeched petulantly. “Daddy gave it to ME!!” Her whole body leaned back in protest, her heels planted firmly with her little toes pointed in the air.
The crewman, completely out of his element, looked bewildered and completely at a loss. The dread pirate RADMaN looked up, although hesitantly, from his contemplation of the small peanut planted firmly in the sick boys fingers. His eyes practically making a tearing sound through the air as his gaze pulled away.
“Susana Petunia O’ Indica La Entre Dam!” He boomed. “My daughter, come here now! Yaar!”
Susana stopped her futile tugging at the pitiable crew member, but didn’t move.
“I said, YAAAAAR!”
SPOILED’s eyes turned the size of saucers. With shoulders slumped in defeat, she approached her father. With the purest expression of mope in all the land, she offered up the thingbobbit.
“I really don’t understand what’s so important..” she started, but her father eyed her sternly and her mouth popped closed, albeit with a perfect pout gracing her lower lip.
“I must save this lad,” he said, “to get me my peanut!”
“A PEANUT!!!” she screeched again, “And SAVE a boy! POPPA,” she said deliberately, “WHAT, KIND, OF, PIRATE, ARE, YOU?”
RADMaN grinned greedily. “One with a peanut! Yaar!” he bellowed triumphantly.
He leaned low and placed the thingbobbit directly into the sick youth’s mouth. Instantly his eyes popped open and he was alert and awake. “WHOOoooOOoOoo!” he breathed, “my HEAD!”
Deftly the evil pirate snatched the peanut from the young man’s still groggy fingers and suddenly burst into a jig and sang a yo ho ho pirate song.
Unbeknownst to him, his daughter suddenly turned from petulant spoiled child, to demure young lady. She watched coyly as the young man wobbily stood up. He was a fine figure of a young man, and she noticed. Blinking, he turned to take in his surroundings, and at once was assaulted by the incredibly beauty of RADMaN’s daughter. They stared at each other unabashedly.
RADMaN, giggling contentedly, finished his jig and popped the peanut in his mouth with a satisfying crunch, (shell and all, Pirate’s eh?). Then, he noticed the two young adults.
He looked to his daughter, then he looked to the young man, then back to his daughter.
“Crap,” he said. “Yaar.”
But you can't.
It stays there, unfinished.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
|Kristina E, Kristina S, and Kristin S at the 2015 Scotiabank 5k Charity Challenge in support of Spinal Cord Injury BC|
This year was my first year participating in the Scotiabank 5k Charity Challenge, and I set what I honestly thought was an unreachable goal of $1000. I am deeply humbled and overjoyed at the reminder of how generous and amazing the people are in my life. With your help, I raised $1,100!!!! I'm still in awe over how ridiculously awesome you all are. Thank you. THANK YOU to those who donated. I know that there are many worthy causes out there and it means a lot to me that you shared your hard earned dollars in support of an organization that means so much to me.
|Turtle Dancer Sports Card for SCI-BC 2015 Scotiabank 5k Charity Challenge|
The day of the 'run' I was fortunate to have two amazing friends, Kristina E and Kristin S, join me. I'm so lucky to have such supportive and amazing people in my life. Although I had every intention to at least try to walk then entire 5k, we brought along a wheelchair just in case. After 1k I already felt serious fatigue starting to kick in. To be honest, right then I wanted to plop my tush into that inviting seat, but my amazing friends encouraged me try going "just a little bit further". And I did! Another entire kilometer in fact. I'm kind of proud of that! It's amazing how far our bodies will actually take us if we don't immediately give in.
But by the 2k point, I was pretty near falling over, and I was so far behind the pack I wasn't sure we'd even finish the race in time, so I did get into the chair. Then these phenomenal women took turns pushing me. It was actually a total blast! Both of them felt like jogging so I got to zoom past the stragglers and rejoin the throng of people involved in the 5k. I've gotta say, it's a small thing, easily taken for granted, but it felt amazing to have the wind blow against us as we moved quickly back up to the pack. And having never participated in a run like this before, I was surprised by, and absolutely loved, the cheering people on the sides of the way encouraging us on. Whoever thought to start doing that is a brilliant person. So fun!
After being given that rest, and having been reinvigorated by the fun, I decided that I would walk the final kilometer. I wanted to cross the finish line on my feet.
I'm proud to say that I did.
My friends and I had decided to turtle dance at every kilometer mark, and we fully jiggled a good wiggle at each marker, but as promised to my donators I videod my turtle dance across the finish line. I apologize for the goofiness of the video! We did try to make another one with all three of us but unfortunately it didn't work. Still, here is my Turtle Dance Finish:
**Okay so I tried to inlay the video and it wouln't work.. so here's a link to facebook!
Thank you again to everyone who supported me and who helped Spinal Cord Injury BC reach its fundraising goals. Help post-injury is so needed - our entire lives change in ways we can't even explain, and it's amazing to have an organization dedicated to helping people return to full, productive, happy lives.
Your Turtle Dancer
Saturday, June 27, 2015
You know, I try hard to make my lifeaversary a celebratory thing. I'm the kinda gal that likes to dust herself off, and move on. I think it's pointless to dwell on things you can't change, and even more pointless to swim in misery for the things you can.
Sometimes, though, that's not so easy.
So, for today, I think I'm gonna allow myself a little bit of feelin shitty. I think I might cry a little, too. Yup, sure am. Oh, hello salty tears, thought you'd come by for a visit mm? Stay a little while and wallow with me. I think it's okay, today.
Sometimes shit just fucking sucks. I still remember a body that could do anything I reasonably asked of it. And although I've done a lot of moving on, I still miss it. I can't seem to stop myself, today, from remembering when my body still fully worked. It's like a sharp dagger from the past, slinking through the depths of time to pierce this armor I've built for myself, poking holes that allow me to see with a strange sort of clairty what I 'once was'. - The young woman who ran the length of long beach in Tofino, who climbed mountains in Spain, who had unstoppable passion and verve and had the ability to fully express it. The young woman who chose to walk to Granville Island from the skytrain just because it felt good and took the 5 flights of stairs up to work because she enjoyed the feeling. The young woman who kinda felt like she could do anything she put her mind to.
I've come a long way, I know... I'm proud of the person I've managed to etch out of a challenging situation - a person who in large part remains quite independent, and still finds as much laughter in life as she can.
The thing is, today, I morn for the past... I do. I can't seem to stop. Maybe that's what today is for.
Tomorrow I'm taking part in a 5k charity challenge that supports Spinal Cord Injury BC. I won't be able to run it, no, and maybe won't even be able to walk the entire distance.. but I'm going to try. And I'll be surrounded by other people who will be incredibly supportive and caring.
Maybe today is the day for tears.
And tomorrow will be for victories.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
I think that would be beautiful.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
"Did you know... To remove garlic odour from your hands, rinse with lemon juice or scrub with salt and then rinse with cold water."
My question... WHO WOULD WANT TO REMOVE GARLIC ODOR FROM THEIR HANDS?
omnomnomngh could smell that ambrosia all day.
tight bindings that chafe and burn
salt tingling, drops of yearning
I look down at the space between my breasts
jaws clench in muted frustration
it still looks a little raw
my fingers fiddle with a lip of tape about my wrists
a fault in my bindings that I've worked free
and can undo
I consider that...
this space is uncomfortable
begs for fulfulment
no amount of denial, of persistence,
of repeating that the bare walls are beautiful as they are
changes the reality that I want this place different.
If only that paint were a different colour
And I wasn't fucking tied up.
Monday, June 15, 2015
On June 28th, I'm participating in the 2015 Scotiabank Charity Challenge at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k while raising funds for Spinal Cord Injury BC.
7 years ago, on June 27th, I was in a car accident that left me completely paralyzed. I had broken my neck. I was told I had a 10% chance to walk again, and that no one really knew how much I would gain back. By some miracle, I spent only 5 weeks at VGH, and a comparably short time of 7 weeks at GF Strong physical rehabilitation centre. I walked out. (Well, limped :p)
This date is rather special to me. I call it my "Lifeaversary". The anniversary of the day I almost died, but lived instead. To celebrate I am going to walk the entire 5k in support of an organization that helps people with spinal cord injuries adjust, adapt, and thrive. This cause is close to my heart, for they've helped me in so many ways too.
I can tell you that any help is invaluable to a person learning to deal with, and continues to live with, a spinal cord injury. SCI-BC is a non-profit organization that helps people post injury adjust to their new lives by providing resources to adaptive options such as sports, housing, vehicles, community activities, peer support.. you name it. The doctors kept us alive, SCI-BC helps us LIVE again.
Please help me walk those 5k's... it won't be easy, (holy doodle it won't be easy!!) but I want to accomplish it!
Thank you so much for your generosity and support. It is so appreciated and valued. Any amount helps! Please don't be shy to donate any amount you can. It all adds up!!
And if I reach my goal, I promise to do a turtle dance at the finish line!!!!
You can help support me by making a secure online donation using your credit card. Click on the link below:
All pledges will receive an official tax receipt.
For more information on how YOU can participate in the 2015 Scotiabank Charity Challenge at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k, please visit us at http://www.canadarunningseries.com/svhm/index.htm.
Thanks for your support!
If you are having trouble viewing the above web address, copy & paste the entire URL into the address bar of your browser.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
June 1st rolls around and yayyyy... the downstairs floor has tenants again. Good for you apartment building!
The problem, however, is that someone has moved in with what I'm pretty sure is a young puppy (or a very soprano dog) who does NOT like being left alone... and is left alone often.
Now, you might be thinking, "But, Kristina, you said that this puppy is on the bottom floor and you live on the top! There's a whole level of suites in between you! You must be crazy."
And to that I reply, "Oh, dear friend, I wish."
My building is beautiful, charming, and quirky... and also full of ancient technology. Instead of bathroom fans to cast out steam (and other such gasly bathroom tendencies), there is a window which leads to a sort of chimney, (which I've labeled thus for lack of knowledge of the correct term). This chimney of bathroom air connects all three floors for our steam (ahem) releasing contentment.
This also connects all three floors with a tunnel of soundly love.
So.. there it is.. it now sounds like there is a puppy constantly yipping and whimpering in my bathroom. And I can't even cuddle the damn thing.
Update: June 7th 2015
Just walked downstairs to the laundry room to find a woman patiently waiting outside her door, trying to train her puppy to be quiet.
Faith in humanity restored. Go great dog owners go!!
Friday, June 5, 2015
I mean.. haha.. I so don't do that.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
into the haze
little smiles play chase across my canvas
bubbles of laughter decorating the room
heat rising and unsympathizing
if left unchecked the forest will burn
The fire licks at my toes and legs and thighs and yearns
I am through with patience and I
attempt to pace myself
race with myself
I can beat myself
I need this
Quaff now the ambrosia drink and
sweet dreams etched with ink
designed by the think
Thursday, May 14, 2015
caressing skin, tips of nerves... retired...
Dulled memory then sharply keened
tingling.. like a disturbed pond.
Sense, assaulted with clips from another time.
Too close for comfort,
sticky, sap clinging
Boredom holes that allow
Forget, taunts memory, just try to forget.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Please, go for a run today, for me...
Feel this... for me...
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I leave in just a few hours. The beginning of my epic journey home. And I couldn't help but take some time to visit the beach one last time - say my final goodbyes to what has become such a wonderful and relaxing place for me.
Just now, I've just ordered what will be my last meal in Ko Lanta. Mm that has the sound a bit of a death sentence to it, doesn't it? Perhaps a little dramatic, but in a sense, true. This journey has come to an end.
Of course I can't help but be set to reflection on my time here. It has been an unexpected experience. I almost can't put it into words how I feel about my trip. I've loved it. I've hated it. I've wanted to leave. I'm upset I have to go.
This yo-yo of emotion has been a staple of this trip for me. Some things have been so tremendously difficult. Some have been unforgettable in the most amazing way. I would never give up my time in SE Asia. The memories I have now are etched deep and I love the gentle scars and shapes it has left on me. (And I can say scars in the literal sense. That monkey bite did leave a thin white reminder to never withhold a banana from a little creature, no matter your reasons.)
I don't have a lot of time to write, now, but some more stories are in the laundry pile waiting to be cleaned up and shown off. These will have to wait until I'm back on Canadian soil.
So for now.. cheers... "To living life and experiencing all it can offer no matter what you're faced with. To the good, the bad, the amazing, the horrific, the fantasmical and everything in between. Cheers!"
The Wandering Quad
Monday, March 30, 2015
Hands down the best meal I've had this far. Steamed spanish mackerel and fried *something something* fish. Both freshly caught by Pierre and his lovely lady Evelien (who may have done more sunbathing and relaxing than fishing but who could blame her) and prepared by the gracious staff of Blue Moon restaurant in Ko Lanta, which is run by the exemplary Geng. (Funnily enough the *something something* fish was my favorite - and the forfront meal in the photo - but when I googled the spelling of what I thought I was told it was called it showed something completely different. So..... a replacement of the *something something* name is forthcoming.)
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
(Written in the morning, March 29th 2015)
Welllll it took me a while but I seem to finally have unwound the small coil of anxiety that was quietly plaguing me this whole trip. I think it happened the moment I found my last place to stay in, and realized that I have naught to do but eat, sleep and be merry until I go home. No more planning, no more finding places, no more worries how I'm going to get there and the physical struggle and fatigue that can be involved in that, no more transfers that cost a shocking amount more than I anticipated... just relaxation on a stunning beach. And thanks to the generosity of my amazing parents, no worries about making the last of my baht stretch to the very end. I can just enjoy. Thank the various gods for that!
I worry about writing too negative of posts, but the truth is this has been a very challenging trip. I've found SE Asia to be hard on an ambulatory quad. I unfortunately have missed out on some phenomenal opportunities due to fatigue or physical inability. Or experienced financial restraint if there was an option that I could do, but it, of course, is more expensive.
Even now I sit in a simmering cloud of green jealousy staring out at all the people renting scooters to drive about the island of Ko Lanta. I hate jealousy. It doesn't suit me. I like to find alternatives and find experiences for myself. Unfortunately I can't ride a scooter - or, I suppose more accurately, this is not the place to learn, and I'd likely need adaptions to a vehicle in order to provide more safety in the face of my physical limitations - and although I no longer have to worry about accomodations, food, and the occasional drink, (thank you thank thank you mom and dad!) hiring a tuk tuk to tour the island is just a bit too exorbitant a price to pay.
So, I guess I'll just get a cheap massage and rest by the beach again. Haha. Hard knock life, hey? :p
Ah, well.. I'm looking on the bright side but if I'm honest it does bother me that I can't do something I want to do. I'm certain all peoples with a disability have felt this at some point. A thick frustration that festers like green slime on your resolve to enjoy life to the fullest.
Huh.... I paused in my writing this to have a conversation with a couple new friends I met here and now it seems they might be willing to have one of them drive me on a scooter I rent with me on the back, and the second would drive their own scooter! HaHAH! Go universe providing! Green slime washed off and down the drain. Hahahahhaa!!!
(Written the next morning, March 30th 2015)
Sooo that turned into a perfectly phenomenal day. I owe a serious debt of gratitude to Pierre and Evelien for sharing their day with me and giving me an opportunity I would not have otherwise been able to enjoy.
I got exactly what I had hoped for. We scooted almost the entire circumference of beautiful Ko Lanta. We stopped at stunning beaches and snorkeled with the fishies and crabs. We played games with shells in the sand. We ate on the pier in Old Town. Shopped a bit (and an extra thank you to Pierre for suffering through that!!), and drove back as the sun set.
With the wind cooling us in the dwindling light as we cruised along we saw the people of Lanta go about their daily life, elephants riding trucks, kids hooting and yelling while piled up on the backs of bikes, and more beaches which we managed to reach just in the nick of time to catch sunset.
For me, this was an absolutely incredible day. That feeling is heightened because I had thought for certain I would miss out on the experience. I may forever owe these kind people for what they gave to me today. I think they may not even know how special this was to me.
I am so wonderfully content in this moment. And so thankful for the generosity of people. You've capped off my trip in gold and sparkles.
The grateful Wandering Quad
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I'm confused by how often I'm questioned, "You want a drink, now?", here in Ko Lanta. Who questions a person if they want a drink on the beach? The correct answer is, "Um... you DON'T?"
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Every time I stand up I see stars. This very nice French man who was walking me to see a hut I may rent had no idea I was politely stumbling along behind him with sparkles blurring my vision and a quiet chant in my head repeating "don't pass out.. don't pass out.. don't pass out.."
Also, his croissants are absolutely phenomenal. (Justsayin)
Low blood pressure is an issue I struggle with constantly as a result of my SCI. Perhaps I'm just not getting enough salt out here (despite the gulpfulls I choked back in the water the other day because of a faulty snorkel spout). Whatever the case, time to take it super easy and rehydrate to the max. Gonna hunt me down another coconut...
Here I go!!
(Don't pass out.. don't pass out.. don't pass out..)
Monday, March 23, 2015
So today a nice lady on my island hopping tour informs me that the dengue carrying mosquitos are slightly bigger and black and white in colour. Up until now, I have seen not a one of the lil buggers. Until I sat down this evening for some dinner. And one lands on my arm.
Que Kristina's 'mad dash' back to her room for her bug spray. And the little bastard DID get his sucker into me in the brief milisecond of his landing and my subsequent shooing, because an all to familiar welt has presented itself on his landing site (miniature, in comparison to a full suck-fest, but eye-squintingly ponderous nonetheless).
Ugh! Eulgh! Blrgh! Please do NOT be a carrier of the dengue! I've got just over a week to go and I am on track to spend it getting as atrociously dark skinned as I possibly can. No breaks for brutal fevers and sickness allowed.
And that is final. Final you hear!
Ps.. the fucker is stalking me.. he avoided Death by the skin of his blood sucker. Next time, I spray instead of clap....
Yeah that's right you little dengue bastard! You better watch yoself!
That is all.
I just don't get what's so damn attractive about babies. When people swarm to a little creature and coo and burble and make truly absurd noises and doe-eyed-love-struck faces at this little stranger thing covered in snot who is, at any second, about to cry so hard a bit of its mucousy goop will land on your bottom lip.
Okay, so I don't know that snot will come flying out at any random passerby of a baby, but any parent knows that one WILL get covered in any number of bodily fluids whilst caring for the little noise makers.
No, thank you.
Now, as a young woman of 30, I've noticed its almost assumed that I will be one of the mushy faced adoring masses. Parents with babies will give me a sort of knowing and welcoming smile as they near me with their little thing, which slowly falters and cracks into an expression of uncertainty as my face likely registers a mixture of fear, revulsion, and panic.
Okay I'm getting all dramatic and exaggerating again. But I'm sure my face does look at least a couple shades of unnecessary green.
So here I now sit at my bungalow bar and not one, not two, but three sets of parents with snotmakers are here at the restaurant (and I secretly pray, not actually STAYING here, although I definitely heard at least one obnoxious baby cry in the night).
Already I fear I have made some proud parents upset at my obvious lack of enthusiasm towards their spawn, and sit with a sort of wild eyed and mildly disgusted bewilderment any time one of them approaches me.
Clearly... no babies for Kristina.
*disclaimer to all my friends with spawn: I love your spawn. They are the cutest things ever. Obviously this post has nothing to do with your squishy potato of love. I would never be afraid of rogue snot-balls being flung at me from your precious little creature. Never.
Thank god you still love me anyway.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Written earlier today:
Oops... problem with the airplane. We've been deplaned and there's a frantic rush to try and make sure everyone gets their connections. Mines a bit special too because not only do I transfer planes in Bangkok I have a transfer on to a boat in Krabi to get to Koh Lanta. Yikes! Wish me luck!
Well it was bound to happen eventually. An airline has misplaced my luggage. I've been promised it will be sent my way tomorrow. I'm trying desperately to believe that.
My first thoughts when I find out:
1) shoot... I have no idea where that mini toothpaste has gone.
2) damnit!!! I don't have any bikinis in my carry on!!!
Clearly my priorities are in the right place.
Well anyway after a much longer travel day than planned, and sans the majority of my clothing, I have arrived on the island of Koh Lanta. Here I now sit in the restaurant of my little budget bungalow (aptly named: Budget Bungalows) sipping on a $3 mojito and thinking about the pretty beetle that greeted me upon entering my little hut. Playful little devil... crawling onto my bag in the time it took me to take a much needed pee break.
I just about squealed bloody murder (out of surprise more than anything else - I swear) but managed to keep my cool and very gently flicked the little loki away.
Alright... dinner's here! And it's time to order another mojito.
Missin you all!
And I still need that luck! Just in the form of baggage arrival rather than me arrival haha. (Also maybe to keep little beetles out of the bed and only on purses where I may keep a keen eye on them... not that I'm scared.)
Addendum: March 21st, 12:30pm local time:
My bag has arrived!!! Huzzah!!!
Go Bangkok Airlines go!
Thursday, February 19, 2015
A rooster wakes me in the morning. I hear it proudly trumpeting in the not too far distance. I would be pissed off with it, but it's hard to be angry when you're waking up in a new country full of excitement and hope.
Later I sit by the pool, chosing to rest my weary bones and actually pace myself for once, and close my eyes. I let my ears be carressed by the sound of wind rustling through the thick trees and tropical brush. Birds call out, their song melodic and clear, a beautiful sound so very different from the birds at home. And there's more of them. They sing with each other. A frog croaks out what sounds like a throaty catcall. I imagine he's flirting with the birds.
And thunder, deep and powerful rumbles through the sky. Loud claps ricochet a counterpart to the intense bass and the hairs rise on my arms. A smile plays about my lips. I love thunder. No rain, yet. Just a cascading sky of grey clouds and breaks of hot sunshine.
I open my eyes and look at the small flower held between my fingertips which fell from the tips of the balinese trees. It feels like a gift from Bali. A little welcome blessing for me.
I am happy here.
Managed to short out the mini-laptop on my first try using it. Guess this new adapter doesn't convert the voltage like it should. Or maybe I fully used it wrong?
In any case... I may not be blogging as much as I'd hoped! It works on the phone but not very well. Phoo.
Seriously considering just chucking ol mini here... I'm not certain it's worth the weight to try and fix it! Any computer blokes care to check out this error message and let me know if it's magically an easy fix? :p
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Well I've checked in! So far no help walking but I did get a little red dot. I can see I'm going to have to find a better way to explain my disability. Still the assumption is, if you can walk, however slow and awkward, you're fine.
I wonder what this dot will do for me. Maybe it's a transporter and when I get to China I press it and BEEP I'll be right at my connecting flights gate.
It could happen! :p
Anywho!! Less than 2 and a half hours to go!!! Bye Canada!!
PS, I want to send out a HUGE thank you to my amazing friend Roxy who went out of her way to drive me to the airport. She is my little red dot ;p
Monday, February 16, 2015
I can't believe how soon I leave! One full day left in Canada. I find myself more nervous than I've been in a long time. But then, I remember once upon a time a trip to London brought on the butterflies. Now, it's as comfortable as coming home. And the same went for places like Spain and Italy - nerves before experiencing the unknown, then, inevitably I relaxed as I got used to the differences and celebrated them.
Mind you, due to illness today I lost a day of getting ready!! (Not helping the nerves!) God I hope I can get everything ready in time! Wish me luck!
Also, a big thank you to my bestie and her hubby!! Such an awesome going away present! All-weather pen and pads of paper! Too cool.
All right... time to attempt sleep. I've got a big day of packing and picking up last minute things!
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Anywho! Score! And thank you Kris!!!!!
From the mini,
Friday, February 13, 2015
For someone with a spinal cord injury, however, we have added challenges. I am an ambulatory quad. To the layman this may give way to the misconception that I'm perfectly healthy. Dealing with simple ignorance is a challenge in and of itself. For example, in 2011 when I was going through the YVR airport to catch my flight to New York and then Spain, I found that one of the security lines was so abhorrently long I feared my legs would not be able to handle the long wait. The thing is, yes, I am able to walk, but doing so is extra fatiguing on my body due to muscle weakness, tone, and spascicity. I simply can't stay upright as long as I look I aught to. And I have to pace myself according to the activities for the rest of the day.
So, bracing myself for the inevitable kick-back, I chose the empty handicap line.
The first words the guard said to me were, "You're not disabled."
THIS trip, I've decided to try to preemptively avoid these sorts of troubles. Especially since I have a short layover in China. If I needed to rush for any reason, I'm not capable of doing it. My "running" speed is about as fast as a casual stroll.
So, I had my travel agent specifically request for special help due to my spinal cord injury. Personally, I've never done this, so I have absolutely no idea what it will mean. Will I have someone show up with a wheelchair and wheel me about? Will I have access to one of those golf cart dealios and get to blast through the airport pretending I'm a dune buggy princess? (Please be that one!!). Will I still have to deal with ignorance once I get there with another declaration of my physical ability spouted out from the mean lips of an uneducated airport worker?
I gotta admit, I'm a bit nervous of it. Nothing to do but set myself to ready, and go for it, though!
Wish me dune buggy luck!
Thursday, February 12, 2015
"Uh... yeah. Yeah, of course I am," I reply with a distinctly shallow sense of conviction.
I can tell you that, yes, truly, under all the layers of stress and preparation, I'm thrilled. But, over the last few weeks, a blanket of overwhelming activity attempted to smother out the flames of joyous anticipation.
How easily that can happen, yes? For me, I had taken on extra hours at work, handled all of the day to day, prepped the new employees, coordinated the switch-over, spent two full days driving and two days attempting to help renovations on a house, dealt with the potential of getting a new dog including taking it with me on said trip, tried to keep up on meeting with people since it's the last time I will be able to for two months, and desperately attempted to eck out the occasional minute to actually think about and plan my trip.
Oh right, and I have a spinal cord injury. :p
I lost track of doing laundry, stopped doing the dishes, and basically flat-lined on pain and fatigue more than once. Thank goodness I decided to start having groceries delivered to my house or food would have completely subsisted of the uber-healthy choice of delivery.
(May I take a quick moment to gush about grocery delivery? I'd balked on allowing any sort of help during my recovery and acceptance of getting an SCI, and groceries was one of them. I didn't feel normal unless I went through the regular process of going to the store, wandering around, and lugging the food into the house.
What an utter fool I had been.
Why waste all that energy!? I can now shop whilst sipping vino in my pajama's if I care to. And on Wednesday (my given delivery day) I come home to my groceries piled up and ready right beside my door. Screw this walking up stairs with heavy crap bullpucky! I may never go back. It seems utterly foolhardy now.)
In any case, I hardly had a moment to breathe, much less think about and plan my trip. And, subsequently, stress started to pile high in my heart. I wasn't ready. I don't even know where my universal electric plug thingy is. And doubts about my ability to handle this trip inevitably trickled into my overwrought mind.
Has this ever happened to you? So much pre-trip craziness surrounds you that you actually hit a point where you regret the trip altogether and wish you weren't going?
Well, it happened to me. A few times actually. It's been a mild bit of a roller coaster.
Thank the gods it's always been a temporary state.
Today I finally had a moment to think about my trip again, and a conversation that started with the strained-to-hide and thick reedy voice of stress ended up in giggles and squeaks of apprehensive joy.
Part of it was that I google earthed my first hotel today, just for shits and giggles. That was a lark! This is not something I was capable of doing on previous trips. Zoomed right down and stared at a three-dimensional photo of Bali Segara as if I were standing on the street right before it. What a.. digital trip. I wonder if any of you have done this? I google map lots of stuff here in my own city because I find it an excellent resource for finding a destination easily, but I'd never traipsed around a foreign land without my feet actually doing the work before. Although in doing it, I actually felt a little bit like I was cheating on my trip. One of my favourite parts of travel is the discovery of the new, and seeing my hotel prior to the moment of arrival was somehow uncomfortable and like I had robbed myself of a special experience. Am I nuts? Maybe I'm just sappy like that. :p
The point is, though, that today I felt that enlivening thrill rush through me again. The deep beat of travel sounded in my heart and I felt it be real again. I felt, I feel, genuine excitement, raw and free of the stress surrounding it.
In less than a week I will fly into Denpasar, Bali. I will discover a part of the world I have never seen before.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Is it the 90's chick in me? You remember.... chatting with a guy, (or gal..) .. and you can hear the nerves, and the spiritedness of it. The subtle seduction that might come out of a perfectly innocently worded sentence. The verbal obviousness of it. The tenor of sound that tickles you. Or just a well rounded conversation that resonates within you. I swear the sound contributes to a depth that our bodies crave. A real connection. And so your whole body is a bit charged. A subtle melody of intrigue. Because what if you say something wrong? Will they giggle? Will they reject you? Will they say something witty back that completely smooths over the incidental trip of words?
Do you remember when a pause was a... pause!? Not 4 hours later because, "Oops, sorry, I got busy and couldn't respond."
As you spend those 4 hours - and don't pretend that you haven't - in a sort of suspended agony desperately needing the answer to those questions.
Also pretending you're nonchalant and really don't care.
HAH! - we all care.
I miss a pause being the length of a freakin pause.
I miss 3 hour conversations with a good friend. When time itself takes a break in the comfort of chatter and laughter. I miss that being an option if you couldn't meet someone face-to-face. People didn't just find the time, they made it. They wanted it and included it in their lives.
What is the norm now? A spattering of random comments that interrupt an evening of other activities.
Doesn't it sometimes feel like someone is hucking paper airplanes at your head while you're trying to get something done?
We're such an attention deficit society. Why don't you drop what you're doing for a minute and fully focus on someone else for a bit? Don't you remember how good it felt?
Ah, yes... as the introverts collectively yell out "But, wait! It's too hard!"
I am deeply in the introvert spectrum and still, to me that's like saying: I should eat junk food because it's cheaper and it tastes good.
But it isn't freaking good for you.
I know how easy it is to follow the path of least resistance. It's a natural desire but not one that is always correct.
Anyone else notice how depression seems to be a psychological plague of our age? I put it to you, to think about on your own terms.... perhaps... just perhaps.. this really does have something to do with it.....
... why don't you call me and we'll chat about it? mm?
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Art is never a guarantee. It's a tumultuous journey that promises exceptional highs, uncomfortable lows, and a myriad of experiences that, at the end of the journey, one could never - would never - replace.
Don't feel discouraged. This is one of the many plights of an artist. It is not an easy path we follow, but one our hearts yearn for none-the-less.
For every person who is deaf to our sound, there are so many more who can hear, who are touched, who's eyes glaze over in a recognition of souls...
And if ever you have a day where those kindred spirits are not near - or are perhaps replaced with nasty little creatures that take pleasure in spreading misery - remember your own soul, and how it delights in the creation. Remember how it makes you feel. The love affair that stole your entire being and refuses to let go; the passion it has evoked in you; the moments of sheer ecstasy that buds from inside of you.
Remember that sound, for you, and play for you.
The kindred listeners will return.
The assholes can shove milk crates up their arses and go for a horse ride.
Determination is the key to success. Living in your own moment is the key to happiness.