Author Archive

Sylvie’s Open Letter on living with episodic migraines: June 21 – Journée mondiale de solidarité pour la migraine (La Tribune)

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

This is an Open Letter that captures my experience with migraine. Published June 21, 2022 in La Tribune. Photo images from the Internet were added to this blog post and not a part of the original La Tribune article.

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Journée mondiale de solidarité pour la migraine: une pathologie insidieuse et stigmatisée

POINT DE VUE / En 2022, je suis fière d’assister à une plus grande ouverture d’esprit sociétale et une empathie plus présente. Nous avons cependant encore du chemin à faire, principalement en ce qui a trait à certaines maladies moins connues et surtout, invisibles.

Je suis une migraineuse épisodique classique. Bien que la migraine soit une affection courante, elle est souvent simplement associée à de «gros» maux de tête. Il faut toutefois comprendre que ceux-ci sont intenses, invalidants et dictent mes faits et gestes. Ma condition de migraineuse a un impact direct sur ma vie sociale, mes relations interpersonnelles, mon travail, mes rêves, mon alimentation et mes choix de consommation, et j’en passe.

J’ai souvent l’impression que ma vie ne peut être pleinement réalisée. Je planifie toutes mes vacances et mes sorties en fonction de mon cycle menstruel et mon stress émotionnel, qui dictent les aléas de ma migraine. Côté alimentation, je dois éviter certains produits. Bien entendu, on oublie la consommation d’alcool, même un seul verre.

Avec le temps, on apprend à se connaître et à s’écouter. De mon côté, la routine est fondamentale, notamment des cycles de sommeil et de réveil constants et une alimentation sur une base régulière, afin de maintenir un bon taux de glycémie.

Puisque ma condition est peu connue, donc moins bien comprise, le soutien n’est malheureusement pas universel. Célibataire, j’ai appris à me débrouiller seule et avec le support des groupes de soutien de Migraine Québec. Professionnellement, ça n’a pas été toujours facile non plus.

En 2014, j’ai dû mobiliser le syndicat à mon travail et mon médecin pour riposter à un patron qui mettait en doute mon état de santé en raison de mes absences mensuelles qui étaient pourtant couramment discutées. Pour une personne fonceuse, ambitieuse et accomplie comme moi, ce fut exténuant.

C’est le moment où j’ai compris que l’évolution de la pensée devait prendre son envol. Que le manque d’information créait des barrières. Que la flexibilité au travail oui passe par la conciliation travail-famille, permettant aux parents de quitter plus tôt pour récupérer leurs enfants à la garderie, mais aussi par une flexibilité des horaires qui permet aux personnes ayant des soucis de santé de composer davantage avec ceux-ci. Moi je suis migraineuse, mais le nombre de maux diversifiés avec lequel chaque être humain doit composer au quotidien est inouï.

Bien entendu, les choses ont changé. Je peux maintenant dire que j’apprécie la position ferme adoptée par mon employeur à l’égard des initiatives de santé et de bien-être au travail.

Je considère que le télétravail est impératif pour garder un certain contrôle de l’évolution des différentes étapes de la migraine, et il permet aux migraineux de demeurer sociables, connectés et productifs. Les matins que je dois étirer, en raison d’un mal quelconque, n’ont plus un impact automatique sur ma journée entière. Je ne me sens plus jugée lorsque je dois m’absenter, ce dont je dois en partie à la rigueur avec laquelle je m’applique à conscientiser mes supérieurs. Je peux compter sur un billet du médecin qui précise que je suis apte au travail moyennant quelques accommodements sur une base cyclique.

Bien que 2020 et 2021 furent presque salutaires et que 2022 permet de concrétiser une certaine évolution de la pensée, j’espère sincèrement que cette transformation sociétale se poursuivra et permettra à de nombreuses autres personnes aux prises avec des problèmes de santé de s’accomplir malgré les barrières sociétales toujours existantes.

Sylvie Hill

Montréal

Sylvie, au sujet des migraines & auras: 21 juin – la Journée mondiale de solidarité pour la migraine (Quebec Science Magazine)

Monday, June 20th, 2022

“Sylvie Hill, écrivaine, poète et blogueuse pour l’organisme Migraine Québec, a un souvenir traumatisant de sa première aura. « J’avais 12 ans, c’était le matin et j’ai été aveuglée, comme éblouie par de la lumière. Je ne trouvais plus mes mots, j’avais une sensation d’engourdissement. C’était effrayant », dit cette quarantenaire qui souffre de migraines liées au cycle menstruel.”

Migraine art – Quebec Science

POEM: “My Underwear Is In My Room” — I’m in no rush / I’ve no need to push

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

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My Underwear Is In My Room

By Goddess am I lost
in this getting found.

Immigrants come to Montreal
and find their others
in groups and dinners
and ethnic food grocers.

But there’s no store for Ottawans!
Or shops for displaced Albertans.
From my balcony I do see the mountains!
Rockies memories or skiing Camp Fortune?

Where are my lovers?

Even in London, by Goddess, there were some!
Mark somewhere, and my 5th Grade admirer.
The Muse and his textures
and an old mate I met at the mall.

In Montreal I just had one.
But I wished I had never met him at all.
So ugly the whole thing, looking back now.
False, waste of time, cheap, vacant & out to lunch.

(And the most beautiful sweat-skin smell
and the best of the deepest tongues
the thickest of the most manly hands
and the saddest soul of them all.
The most competent, yet the hugest lost potential
ashamed and sad in drinks and drugs
and wayward mates who tell him to buy another round
and so disrespectful to his casual woman.)

But a lesson?

I am made only for Big, big love.
Or casual lays with men not of this era.
The ones we met in our late 20s, 30s at Zaphod’s
before the commodification of Tinder bods.

Yes I judge. Thank you, my loves have been
top shelf, top notch.
These transient online bullshit dating transactions
breaks the spirit, rots my guts.

No thank you, I don’t need material for another book.

But what sucks—
Was I never happy in my relations?
Laughed most with the French Canadian and an Egyptian.
Such terrors and traumas with other gentlemen!
(Drinks, drunks will do that to ya!)

But that first love – a standard.
The ultimate human – a measure.
Parents: raise your girls to feel secure
If they feel no worth, they’ll reject a man of worth.

By Goddess am I lost
in this getting found.

Immigrants come to Montreal
and find their others
in groups and dinners
and ethnic food grocers.

But hold on! This I know.
My angels are around me somehow.
I meet them in texts and on balconies now
instead in every shop, and Wakefield pubs.

I am homesick after his last meaningless touch.
It was so transient, so empty, so put on.
And Jesse warned me it’s like this in Montreal:
Easy come, easy go, joie de vivre, let’s have fun.

Ontarians are not Quebeckers
And I’m still Albertan, recently connected
with my Russian-lineage cousins
And the happiness that comes!

To what do we hook our Self?
Because I am not a Montreal seductress!
I am so Provincial next to this!
But in Ottawa, I sure did swing my dick.

There are growing pains in Montreal.
I need you to tell me it’s good for my soul.
Alone, desolate, dead in Ottawa
I said when I sat here scared to tell myself:

“If you’re afraid in Montreal
it’s because you’re there.
And if you’re there in Montreal
it’s because you dared.”

You wouldn’t believe the green canopy of trees I see!
They’re spread out everywhere here across my balcony in my new City!
And the sun is setting on the summery scene
and my underwear is in my room, in drawers: my cutlery.

And I will go in my bedroom in delicate feet
And I will remember that I have since changed the sheets
And like the song says, ‘now change me,’
I will keep making my home in spite of the mystery.

Because what does this all mean?

I’m in no rush
I’ve no need to push
My underwear is in my room
In Montreal, and for now – that is enough.

Sylvie Hill, Montreal, July 10, 2019

Dresser

16 June Bloomsday – BOOK REVIEW | Flimsy, Fanciful Fun: Edna O’Brien’s “Joyce & Nora: A Portrait of a Marriage”

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Edna O’Brien
James & Nora: A Portrait of a Marriage.
United Kingdom: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2020.
£6.99

Reviewed by Sylvie Hill

Perhaps a pandemic project, or a favor traded in by the publisher, Edna O’Brien’s book, James & Nora: A Portrait of a Marriage, is a cute, short collection of important facts that does not tell us anything new about James Joyce’s life and marriage to Nora Barnacle. It is a 2020 reprint of a 1981 edition, and a masterful display of the O’Brien Joycean style … over substance. That’s not to say it is incomplete.

Indeed, this is the same criticism often applied to Joyce’s own masterpiece, Ulysses— linguistic acrobatics that entertain more than explain. In that, O’Brien’s book is in good company. Accusations against Joyce’s later works of art being mere vanity projects have undoubtedly unsettled fans as much as the current charge against James & Nora may, especially given this dusty critic-scribbler is miniscule compared to the seasoned giant writer, O’Brien. Edna O’Brien is an Irish writer of both fiction and nonfiction and has been called “the most gifted woman now writing in English” by Philip Roth.

Regardless, the present verdict is an uncomfortable one: James & Nora: A Portrait of a Marriage advertises O’Brien’s skills as a creative writer while not representing any vital contribution to Joyce studies.

The book’s publishers, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, boast “Ground-breaking, award-winning, thought-provoking books since 1949” with the aim of “building bridges and opening minds through exceptional works of literature” (“About”). Can O’Brien’s brief sixty-two-page book fit into that catalogue?

The wandering flow and literary prose in James & Nora are impressive and fanciful. It will entertain Joyce fans but not tick the box as a seminal work of insightful analysis driven by academic exploration, which it never pretends to be. The publisher reserves the book’s back cover to praise O’Brien but does not frame O’Brien’s mission nor provide a clue of the intent of this miniature biography.

To orient her reader, O’Brien seems to do away with an overview of Joyce’s marriage quickly and succinctly (as early as page four): “We know that he and the future Mrs. Joyce eloped from Ireland, lived permanently in rented rooms, were hounded by debt, and that Mrs. Joyce did not read much and did not care to cook.” And that is that. O’Brien is done with the plain language, impatient to return to Joycefully jostling the English vocabulary into expressions worthy of Ulysses.

James & Nora: A Portrait of a Marriage does not delve into the significant impacts of the exiled, immigrant experience thrust upon a couple in foreign lands beyond mentioning that it was difficult. Far from demanding the book be a self-help guide for expatriate couples living abroad, it will not extrapolate through ground-breaking study or with an applied theory what it could have meant for James Joyce to take up with a bumpkin and transplant her into the cosmopolitan milieu of an evolving world in turn-of-the-century Europe. Nor will O’Brien’s experiment explore further the gut feeling Joyce suffered about wanting to break up and quit family life.

The lofty language threads from cover to cover the basic facts from Joyce’s conflicting relationship to love as a lapsed Irish Catholic and writer, and his neglectful boyfriend ways abroad, to an end-of-life punctuated by his lifelong devotion and need for Nora Barnacle to be by his bedside the night he dies alone. Remembering that for Joyce, bland facts of life like farting, sex, and eating were always exalted with flavor and savor in his writing, this is not to say a factual recount is unimportant.

For the freshman Joyce student, this is a lightweight and an accurate introduction and representation of Joyce’s style as channeled through O’Brien’s immense talent and quirk. However, without premise, it does not promise at all to explain fierce attractions nor lifelong bonds between the Joycean odd couple. Sadly, it will not touch on the effects such a warped union had upon James and Nora’s two children’s mental health either. As a retelling of facts in exciting phrasing, does it have any other purpose but to please?

The title, A Portrait … of the marriage, is a nod to Joyce’s autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. While ever clever and an honoring homage, it creates a misleading expectation for the reader.

An expertly painted portrait, for example, can render a one-dimensional world nearly three-dimensional in its artistry and craftsmanship, as if the subject were alive among us to touch and smell! Alternatively, a portrait can appear as a cheap copy and flat representation of obvious features. Like a polaroid that fades in time, transience is a fitting word here for how O’Brien’s book comes off like an intriguing conversation at a pub with a terrific character as Edna most certainly is.

For the seasoned Joycean reader, marriage and companionship are “hot topics” that Joyce treats magnificently in his own works; it is what he is known for. In the soul-stirring short story, “The Dead,” from Dubliners, Joyce conclusively paints the ultimate philosophy of marital passion and disconnecting upon the face of a character, Gretta Conroy, in a single moment as she stands on a stairwell hearing the distant music before gathering her coat after a party. In the heart-breaking, story “A Painful Case,” a touch of the hand becomes spiritual and literal suicide in a story of male-female friendship. These two short stories, among many others, evoke in Joyce’s readers such strong emotion that we carry these moments eternally because they are crafted so memorably. Failing to draw out these parallels in Joyce’s own marriage is a missed opportunity in a book about his tempestuous union.

Made famous in part for having contributed such poignant, hard-hitting, and spectacular truths about sex, love, and complicity by way of his literary canon and astonishing imagery in the everyday, Joyce deserves a definitive autopsy of his own coupledom.

A mercurial man in his icy articulations, sharp wit, and as impressive an intellect as he was a base collector of sexual kinks, James Joyce’s magnetism—and tendency to repel most with his penetrating look or honesty so biting and unforgettably hilarious for its unapologetic accuracy—paints him as a contradictory man full of piss and tenderness. Paired up with a chambermaid from Galway, the two explode a chemistry chiefly the territory of a muse and his subject, but how it translates into domestic relations is what begs discussion here!

“To have an inkling of anyone else’s ascension-descension into love is nearly impossible,” O’Brien writes (2-3). “Joyce’s is dazzling, daunting, metamorphosing and imponderable. Here there is no truck with pots and pans, no normality.”

O’Brien’s language is gorgeous, but the exaggeration of “imponderable” is a let- down. Those who know of the type touched a bit like Joyce with narcissism, genius, and an assured sense of self and vocabulary whilst prone to tremble in secret vulnerability can know Joyce’s attraction then for less intelligent but earthy women. Fans of Stephen Dedalus learned that among the Irish Catholics, young men were hounded by their oppressive mothers and sinister priests and suffered sinfully by the hand of guilty masturbation for which hell fire would get them if marital consummation, or a prostitute, did not release them first. The polarizing virgin/whore traits emerge in the image of women for James Joyce, with Nora the non-married wife exemplifying both. For those of us who identify with Stephen, Leopold Bloom, and Molly, our appetite is strong to learn more of the story of the man (and his life) who could read our hearts and souls.

O’Brien’s book is a hearty ode, and a tease. It falls apart—literally. The physical pages detach from the book with a simple bend of the skinny spine, foretelling perhaps the flimsy effort in the packaging. Compare this to O’Brien’s indispensable Penguin classic of 1999, James Joyce: A Life, with its list of rave reviews, including The New York Times quote in a bold Ulysses-blue banner framing the back cover that reads: “Joyce fans should thank their lucky stars.” Yes! It was a treasure for Joyce fans, and touted a “triumph.” Structured and twenty-two chapters strong, that book teaches the life of James Joyce in a compact yet comprehensive and essential read. Explanatory and exhilarating, the book works. But not here.

James & Nora: A Portrait of a Marriage is not the Golden Gate Bridge her publishers promise that expansively connects us to the other side where there lays a deeper understanding of Joyce’s relationship. Instead, it is a charming footbridge into Joyceville, sure. It expedites our knowledge journey easier than laboring upon the more elaborate Richard Ellmann Way. Indeed, as the inside cover cites, it’s a book “brimming with life and energy.” Yet, it can be disputed that this is a resurrection of an intense relationship and represents more of an elaborate and celebratory obituary.

—Montreal

Work Cited
“About.” W&N – Ground-Breaking, Award-Winning, Thought-Provoking Books since 1949, 17 May 2018, https://www.weidenfeldandnicolson.co.uk/imprint/orion/wandn/page/about-wn/.

missive :: HAKA | MANA | STAUNCH MAN, YEAH?

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

HAKA | MANA | STAUNCH MAN, YEAH?

Do things exist if we cannot name them? If named, are they into being now and forever furthered into their sense? I think so.

I remember meeting someone in my life for whom there was no words to describe them but I knew there was a word. (I tried to in #RussellSquareStation).I used to pronounce the unknown word with this face below, with an accompanied guttural expression of “ARGGGHHHH!!! WHAT IS HE?!!”

His stance could be confrontational but not combative: like a “haka” warning you that he could kill you, so just be aware, and mind is all. His oomphf was “mana” – that is the word: “2. (noun) prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma – mana is a supernatural force in a person, place or object.” And his being, “staunch,” just as Christina Thompson, author of “Come Ashore, and We Will Kill You and Eat You All” describes her Maori husband in a non-fictional biographical history book about their history both personal and of New Zealand’s Indigenous people. She describes ‘staunch’ as being of different meaning in New Zealand than elsewhere.

Three words that I never heard in Ottawa for the kind of person I would unlikely meet in the streets in which I lived life. Three words we don’t speak, and for which no other English word comes even close to describing viscerally. Three words that open the mind to a different kind that one finds elsewhere but not here, and always faraway. Like the Mauritius-born Northern Englander in London who was full of beans, tenderness, intellect and named A Man Called Woo Woo.

I long for the time to travel again to some far-off places to meet different kinds. And Montreal brings us so many. And recently in dreams, I’ve been some and seeing places.

Of all things we have not seen yet and the folks we have yet to meet. Of all the times we felt love but it wasn’t an “I Love You”, could it have been I love that you are here since everyone we meet may be willed and wanted? Destined?

Careful where you put your attention, they say. Yet some of the most blazed paths to the source are strongest not for the object of your attention but because you’re already burning bright and you’ve spotted a mirror reflection reflecting back your light — even if they are really dark.

I used to pretend I was tough with smokes and bottled beer at the Aloha Room but my haka was nothing more than shit talk.

I reckon I’ve free-flowed in the artistic realm having published things that once need be nuts or tapped into Source to let loose in the status-quo and perhaps in that, and with my virtue and that I’m here because Tolstoy paid for my Great Gran to come on over and my French Canadian Grandpa was a poet – I’ve got mana.

As for staunch … maybe I’ve got chutz·pah, and I certainly carry a Jewish nose that may have by way of Russia and Armenia.

I realize now it was never the boozing drunk wild and reckless I wanted in my sought. But the fierce and furious, mana-with-prana man, and staunch solid oak of a beast for which I’m destined! But we are what we eat, and we sow what we reap.

ERGH to unbecome what we’ve done over decades of aging, eh? To find our wits among fits and starts of planning and reinventing. Centred, I swear we find it all — and sometimes in silence, and peacetime, it just … happens along.

missive :: Grandma In The Closet Waiting For Fishsticks

Monday, February 14th, 2022

Grandma In The Closet Waiting For Fishsticks

When I went to knock they said, “she won’t hear you, I’ll let you in.” And, so, I knocked, she didn’t hear me, and they let me in. I called for her, and no sound. In front of me, the living room quiet with the little kitchenette and a table and a little can of Gingerale sat upon a little folded paper towel as Grannies are apt to do. But Granny, nowhere to be found. Then through the bedroom door, and the bathroom. Where the hell was my Grandma. The closet? I opened the door and there she sat in her beautiful home-made dress. “A tailor,” she once said. “A salaried tailor,” she’d add saying how rare it was to be paid like that as a woman, and how she married at 35 having my dad only at 42 because she was a career woman. But the 1940s were having none of that and the 50s meant women had their roles, the men theirs, and that’s that.

“Grandma?” She sat there in her home-made tailored dress of baby blue or maybe white but something just perfect for fussing around her Calgary home during the day until night. Except this was a perfectly dull and shitty suburban pristine suburb community of Brampton, Ontario where East Indians walked about in turbans and about whom my Dad was racist. Old folks home for the dead and dying and for Grandmas who seem to hide out – in the closet.

“Grandma?” Her little dainty body in her pretty home-made dress tailored to fit a slim body, still fit over her silky little Hudson’s Bay slip with maybe some lace here and there and always feminine, that woman. And her little slippers on her little feet of toes squished together that were soft and neat. “Grandma?” There she was in her perfectly softest white hair sculpted like 1930s in a bob and terrific long bangs pulled back neatly with a stylish barret. Bangs that still held the imprint design of the prongs of her pretty plastic comb with thick teeth that kind used on us as grandkids to detangle knots in fresh-washed hair in big giant clawfoot tubs and soaps that smelt like “Grandma’s House.”

“Grandma?” Grandma sat there alone in all her femininity having had a life long life of gardening and making things, of sewing and mending things, of keeping home and fixing things, or being an entrepreneurial woman with her own favourite grandma, probably the only one who she truly loved and loved her unconditionally. That’s my great-great grandma then my Grandma’s grandma from Armenia we’re told and somewhere far near Russia. “Grandma? Grandma – what the hell are you doing sitting in your closet??”

Dainty Grandma, poised and perfect, sat in her little closet cupboard just waiting to die, I guess. Or until they came to get her for her Captain Highliner fishsticks at noon, served on a bed of lettuce while the nurse man came by with a tray not of appetizers but of little white cups of medicine. When she was done her lunch, she’d return to her room. Dementia? Ha ha! That’s what my step mother and cruel father would have said yes but Grandma knew well to tell us she ripped up our letters and or “hid them” and we knew exactly that she knew exactly what the letters meant and it was best to keep them from the man, my Dad, who paying her rent at the old age home in Brampton.

“Grandma, let’s get you out of there and go for lunch.”

The look upon her face of seeing me, “dear Granddaughter” was full of joy and happiness and gratefulness and a big smile. She’d pet my chest still wondering when even in my 30s I’d get breasts. She’d hand me a belt and say “try it on.” She’d pat my bum and go “Ou ou ou, honey bunches.” Grandma stood there all about 4 feet tall of her, shrunken, when once she towered over me just a baby, then one, then two years old then three. Then four then goodbye at five, parents are getting divorced, we have to leave the mountainous Albertan home and outdoors and gardens for the French Canadian crowd back in Ottawa among whom everyone would grow cancers and love with conditions. Depending on the day they were your friend, but if it was a Tuesday count yourself unlucky again.

And so torn apart from the deep love consistent of a paternal Grandmother and her industriousness, and how can we forget, she taught me to write. And here I am writing about her and will again and again until my end.

So when it came time for her to die, my Dad hid her. Ever since I left him in the style my mom did and boy did she love this drama and watched me tell stories that gave me migraines with aura like it was her on-demand soap opera, ever since I left him at 18, I knew, I said, “he’ll hide Grandma on me.” And he did. And I wonder how she died, did he kill her? No really, did he kill her? And did my step mother smile her turtle-face tight bitch thin lipped smile and utter bad words in support of my father’s anger toward women, which started with her?

I used to have a plaque by my bed that read, “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” I was always stumped by that first line and would ask my mother, “but why should I not wake up.” She never could give me an answer that was good enough. If I did more woodworking I would create a plaque now that may say that if I should end up in the closet like Grandma, hope I choke on a fishstick and never ever come back.

They say we come in on our own and we die on our own, forget the lovers you’ve known and your friends are all gone. With much verve I say for Christ sakes if that be our journey and an awful one at that should we not try to bless one another with care and love? Mom’s mom died surrounded by family, hands, love and comfort. My mother for me now – is nowhere to be found. Expected my father would write my sister and I off, sure, but what kind of life is this and how do we go on when your story of origin is but a stupid fuck drunk and inexperienced versus the desire to be wed and come together and have a family and live together in love until you’re dead.

In the animal kingdom, children neglected die in the wild world without the tools they need to survive. In the human world, they sit in cupboard closets after a rich lifetime of contributing, now waiting for medications and fishsticks and granddaughters who will be kept from them by their very own offspring.

Sylvie Hill

BOOK PEER-REVIEW | “Motherhood in Precarious Times” | Demeter Press

Monday, February 14th, 2022

I was honoured during the summer of 2019 to peer-review an anthology of essays and poems about mothers in dangerous times. An exceptional and enlightening read now published, Motherhood in Precarious Times is available for purchase for $24.95 on Demeter Press. My favouring review appears on the back blurb of the book.

Motherhood-in-Precarious-Times_FC Motherhood 2

“Motherhood in Precarious Times explores through reflections and academic analyses in poems, stories, and essays how environmental, socio-economic, political, and cultural and gendered threats shape mothering. The diverse voices combine powerfully in this vital anthology that will undoubtedly shape many debates from choosing Mother Earth vs. Motherhood, to fatherhood’s role in emergent maternal independence.”

– Sylvie Hill, Writer, Poet and University Continuing Education Professor of provocative literature courses on sexuality, relationships, and female “awakenings.”

Deep connections to pursue passions together but separately: why I loved the film, “Submergence”

Monday, February 14th, 2022

This is what it looks like when two people, passionate about their individual missions, are about to part to go fulfill their purpose, which is dangerous and deadly …. but all about life-saving, and LIFE itself.

It’s a scene from a movie called “Submergence” on Netflix. Check it out. It’s glorious.

I’m a sucker for films about fierce connection where each as friends, or as new lovers, help the other in fulfilling their purpose. Where they don’t give up their passions for a relationship just yet – but they continue on, perhaps distracted but nonetheless in pursuit of the task.

There’s the movie, “Once,” which is a bit like that. “Snow Walker” as well. But this one goes deep – literally, into the underworlds of both our natural Earth, and into the underworld of Somalia and political/religious terrorism.

Each in their darkest moments – literally and figuratively – the the characters are able to call upon the other’s wisdom shared during the lighter moments. This wisdom keeps them alive.

I like how with the lady scientist, she will go to the very bottom of things, to the depths, face death – and rise. He will do the same. Something about being reborn through the deathly experience of pursuing some freakish compulsion to PROVE LIFE IS WORTH LIVING, and that it is rich and holy, resonates.

And that the two each dive to those depths of death to prove life is worth existing — is meaningful.

McAvoy is beautiful to look at it — nice to see a man’s thighs fill out his snug jeans. And those eyes. And, I always appreciate a woman with a small bust – and her unapologetic nerdiness is … inspiring.

Joseph Arthur: Portrait of the Rockstar as Digital Artist

Monday, February 14th, 2022

Lola Art Magazine – Issue #10

Lola coverLola story

POEM: “JEEP” — Henceforth we get locked in targets / Set ahead for us by past upsets

Sunday, February 13th, 2022

JEEP.

Whether whatfore he said then and none other
He could picture me with a crew as a Mother
Of three, packing them into the back of a Jeep
Taking them to soccer, in control, routine.

Wencewhy, though, had he thought me militant?
I was only 20, disciplined, and innocent.
But stupid when drunk, and wildness dormant.
So what did he see as maternal in this Poetess?

And why the Jeep?!

Whether whatfore he said then to me, bothered:
“You with kids? Ha ha, I don’t think so sister.”
Yet he was the narcissistic, dark alcoholic
and I too entrenched in his war to get out of it.

Henceforth we get locked in targets
Set ahead for us by past upsets
Family patterns, neuroses, and abuses
This is the outcome of divorced kids’ futures.

And why the Jeep?

Love is that one thing that breaks us from regime
That sets us off in silly-land, challenging all that seems
And it’s addictive in its hallucinatory properties
And when gone, leaves us with blunt realities.

We need only one person to say: In you, I believe.
We need only parent to say: go away, you bug me.
I needed only one young man to tell me I could mother.
And only one fucked-up experience to discover –

That maybe he wasn’t as much of a creep,
that maybe he was the one who had my Jeep.

Sylvie Hill, Montreal, October 2, 2019.

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