Around this time of year we have a family tradition.

My dad passes around these little cards to anyone who might happen to be spending the holiday with us.  These cards are usually small, unique and special.  Cards you don’t just find anywhere.  He finds these cards over the year and hoards them in his secret stash for this very occasion.  You see, the cards HAVE to be special because it is not just any Hallmark greeting that is going to be written on these cards.  On these cards we will write our deepest hearts’ desires for the following year.  On these cards, we will write our Big.  Ass.  Dreams.
(And yes, that’s what we call them)

These are not the dreams that you have which are fleeting, or the dreams that you have while riding the bus.  These are not the dreams that you have in your sleep or New Year’s Resolutions that you know you will not follow.   These dreams are the ones that tug on your heartstrings daily, the constant whispers that we are most likely to ignore.

If you’ve ever walked the Mall in Washington D.C., it’s like starting at one end with the Lincoln Memorial, and then to the middle with the Washington Monument, and then finally, at the end of the road, badabingbadaboom:  The White House.  This is not a political campaign, nor am I suggesting we perpetuate the American Dream by saying that we can all be president if we set our minds to it.  What I’m getting at here is scale.  We’re not talking peanuts.

We’re talking Big.  Ass.  Dreams.

The Rules of the B.A.D are as follows:

1.  On your card you may write one to three of your most daring hearts’ desires.  BUT, they have to be tangible and measurable by next years’ end.  For example, “I will win the lottery and marry a millionaire” is probably not very tangible.  However, “I will move to Seattle, get a job at Microsoft in hopes that Bill Gates will fall in love with me” is something a little more reasonable.  If you DID move to Seattle and got a job at Microsoft, even if Bill Gates did not see you fit to photocopy his bum-cheeks, we’d still give you a golf-clap of approval because two outta three ain’t bad.

2.  Your B.A.D. MUST remain top secret throughout the year.  You cannot tell your lover, your priest, your therapist or your dog.  Capice?  TOP SECRET!!!

3.  You must seal the envelope of your card with a kiss and positive thoughts.  And then you deposit self-blessed envelope into a very magical pouch, which gets stashed and stored until next year.

Each year we read each other our previous years’ hopes and dreams.  We applaud one another for success and we support one another through failure.

So as the dawn of a New Year fast approaches, I encourage you to pause for a moment.  Find a little card or even a piece of paper.  Listen to the whispers of your heartstrings and go for it.  Write it down.  Send it out there.

For I am wishing you the most humongous of hineys, the biggest of booties, the most colossal of cabooses, the maximus of gluteus, the daring-est of derrières; the awesome arse, fantastical fanny, serious seat-warmer,  the all-I-wanna-do-is-a-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-and-a-zoom-zoom-Rump-Shaking, Bootylicious BIGGEST, BADDEST-ASSED DREAMS for 2013.

Happy New Year.


The Move (part I)

How do you dismantle a life?  How do you take it apart, pack it away, give it away, throw it in the garbage, sell??  How do you make judgement calls on all of the memories, imprinted into object, translated onto the tangible?  What do you trash and what do you treasure??

I am moving.  I didn’t know I was moving, but sometimes things just happen and before you know it, you’re on a slingshot trajectory to Lord knows where, but there’s no use in even thinking about turning back now, because there is simply: no turning back now.

I took another job teaching at a Moksha studio.  This time, for two months in Prince Edward Island.  After a few unfruitful attempts to sublet my apartment furnished, my next-door neighbours,  pregnant with their second child and in need of more space said they would be interested in taking over my apartment—albeit unfurnished.

Which gives me exactly three weeks to get rid of a 3-bedroom, fully and almost lavishly bespeckled apartment by somewhat of a junk-collecting artist/hoarder with a giant basement with plenty of room for extra….junk.  (Oui, c’est moi. )

I moved into this apartment in the middle of a break-up, somewhere along the lines of Round Three in a five-year, five-round relationship.   So at that point, there was still hope.  And as I look around at all of these things, I realize that I nested and built this imaginary life on hope alone.  I rented this apartment and I lived in its’ potential, thinking, “This place will be good for a couple—one day.”  And it took me a pretty long time to realize that maybe some things are just broken.  Sometimes love just ain’t enough.  And maybe, I should start living in my potential instead of the potential of a person or an address.

When I started packing things up, sorting, selling…opening up my apartment to weekend Garage Sal-ers; wheeling and dealing in my vintage store of memoires, I find humour in the things I am attached to.

A meat thermometer.  A ten-dollar metal thingamagig that can be found anywhere, but has perfectly cooked a whole lot of Thanksgiving turkeys for some very important people in my life.

Looking around this room, this pop-up store which once was my apartment, I realize that objects can only absorb a limited amount of memoires.  They can become oversaturated, infused with too many associations.  The meat thermometer I keep because it’s small and, based on the delightful expressions on the grease-stained lips of my turkey eaters, pretty bang-on.  However, the couch, stained with promises, hopes, tears, wine and disappointment (in no particular order)—that fucker has got to go!

Montreal is a city that has filled me with some of the best and some of the worst memories in my life.  Its’  sultry summers, winding balconies, tarnished copper, beautiful, strange people, cobblestone walkways, meandering bike paths, gonging churches, snowy ice-rinks, exotic language, vivid markets, wine and parks and picnics and music has taught me how romantic life can be, with or without a partner.  And yet, its’ sidewalks, streets and cafes are haunted by little ghosts of love lost.  What once was mysterious and new is now familiar.  The proverbial sex-life is non-existent.  For that matter, so is the non-proverbial one.

I sometimes feel like a tornado has spun through this city, bringing me the best of friends who felt like family; as a group we gathered like a force that rested in the calm eye of the storm, so that we might, for a spell, imagine a life where we’d be together forever.  And then ultimately the same storm that blew them in, swept them right back out again, dispersing them to foreign destinations, Oz, and all of the other magical places in their lives.

Its’ conic currents blew in the tempest of a huge, heart-wrenching love that spun around in circles and circles for years and years, before finally, it broke and then blew itself to a calmer land by the sea.

And so, I know it is time.  Time to change.  Move on.  Let go.

One person does not need to own so much stuff so that she can furnish an apartment for three.

(To be continued)….in the meantime, Happy New Year!

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