L'articles dans: roues/politique/panique


panique/épique

bonjour,

J’ai de la peine à sortir de la panique et à vraiment faire le pas de mon épique question de possible déménagement à Sudbury.

Pourquoi ça?

Je suis témoin en ce moment de violence systémique contre les sans-abris à Toronto et de manière plus proche de celle directement menée contre une amie artiste elle aussi récipiendaire du POSPH/ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). Mon propre traumatisme de l’année passée est réactivé et bien sûr, je vous entends déjà me dire: claude, prends soin de toi. Oui, et qui alors va prendre soin de mon amie? L’air frais de matin? Excusez mon ironie et ma rage. Elle n’est pas contre vous bien sûr.

Je comprends bien que mon corps physique, émotionnel et psychologique ont leur limites et que je dois les respecter, mais alors, où est le « corps social » pour ceux qui n’ont pas de famille?

J’ai de la peine à continuer à avoir de l’espoir en cette vie.

Je vais essayer de méditer sur un dessin que j’ai adoré lorsque je l’ai vu pour la première fois….. Le voici……

De la part de Ray Laporte de Sudbury, un dessin extrait de son livre pour enfants « A Way Through: Super EM and the Pennyfoot Turtle »

 

 

Mon autoportrait d’aujourd’hui, comme d’habitude dessiné avec mes yeux fermés et mes deux mains

 

à bientôt,

claude


de la part de claude: fin de la panique, début de l’épique?

j’ai eu le privilège de bloguer ici depuis mars 2020. comme mon art se déroule dans des gestes de ou proches de la survie (survival art), pour moi et pour ma communauté, ce blogue a été au travers de différentes phases liées à ma propre survie durant 2020. qu’ai-je découvert par rapport à « bloguer »?

j’ai appris que le blogue de la GNO peut servir d’espace de survie psychologique, un espace qui permet à l’auteur de sentir sa dignité, alors qu’en parallèle elle est coupée en morceaux (mon cas pendant ma crise de logement à Toronto, de mars à août 2020).

plus récemment, j’ai appris que le blogue de la GNO peut être partagé avec un autre être humain et servir de coin protégé où se tissent les liens fragiles d’une nouvelle amitié à distance.

c’est là ce que j’ai eu la chance de vivre depuis janvier 2021, en compagnie de Ray Laporte, artiste de Sudbury. et nous voilà amis avec le besoin, non plus d’un coin protégé mais de réaliser notre amitié « offline », au travers de téléphones et de courriers par la poste qui vont inclure des dessins et de petites lettres.

ma relation avec Sudbury n’est pas finie pour autant.

ce blogue entre dans sa prochaine, peut-être dernière phase: épique.

vais-je déménager à Sudbury dans quelques années?

j’écrirai plus à se sujet plus tard.

claude


de la part de claude

Ray,

it is hard to find the words that would translate at what level i thank you for your honest May 2nd email/post mentioning eating, trans, sexual identity and love. it is reassuring to hear that you are cautious with the word « love ». it makes me feel safe. i have tears in my eyes as i realize how much i have felt betrayed by this word when it has been said while contradicted by body language that screamed something different. and now it is my turn to reflect on my use of the word as i also have trouble with self-love. i have these winds around my spine, that i am getting to know and release sometimes, but they make my heart/spirit/trust/love disappear in a landscape where there is no self-love, only fear and terror.

i like our new phone habits. i really like to be allowed to spontaneously call you. we spoke three times i think.  your offer yesterday to smudge for my friend S just blew my mind and was so welcome. after we spoke, it felt that my air was thicker with existence and potential and S and i had a productive conversation. thank you Ray.

i am so glad that things are rolling for you again. congratulations on the hard work to arrive at that again.

here two recordings. tell me please which one you prefer and why, if you know.

 

à bientôt,

claude


de la part de Ray

Insulin plant -Claude – I got the insulin plant in the post yesterday. – thank you – I potted it today. Am continuing on my portrait project and continue to make turtles. I am in good spirits. things are starting to roll again, All the best

– All the best, Claude- respect with affection – ray


de la part de Ray

feeling divided – a response – I feel divided a lot of the time too. its because my focus is split because of this underlying anxiety that is caused by the depression, (from trauma and old issues from my past) Also i am moving slowly in our relationship because i am still being cautious because this is my first relationship with a trans person at this depth. I know other trans people, but only on the surface and not with this level of vulnerability and honesty. I am still struggling with my sexual identity at this late date. I know you refer to my strength of spirit. but at this time I am learning, so much about recovery through Overeaters Anonymous which is a spiritual program I am learning (awkwardly) about my higher power. You know yourself well and you bravely say love and dear you. Goodness i am only now, unlearning and relearnng to love myself . So its hard to say i love you with any degree of peace and serenity.

 

Thank you for searching out the ‘insulin’ plant – I will certainly try it. And thank you for your friendship – with affection and respect – Ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

i really keep our chat on the phone in my ears and heart. thank you for that.

after we spoke, i went to pick some nettle in a park not far from where i live and the next day gave some to an artist friend living close to me. it was some kind of exchange for the toilet paper he buys for me when he buys some for himself. carrying big package of toilet paper on my bicycle is not very handy….

he and i spoke about what nettle does to the body and then, he shared with me that another artist, dear friend of mine too, gave his partner an « insulin plant » she had brought back from Colombia. he explained to me that the leaves help stabilize sugar levels. i have no idea if it could be of any benefit for you, but i could not help thinking that this sequence of event had some kind of meaning.

so, today, i found a rhizome on the net that will be sent to you. maybe you will have the desire to plant it in a pot and let some leaves grow and then try one to see what it does to you. maybe it won’t feel right and you won’t.

with love,

claude


de la part de claude

Ray,

thank you for writing. i am as faithful as a dog in friendships, so, i am here. my last post said something about reaching the limit of this friendship on a blog and this was about the limitation of the blog, not the limits of my/our friendship. unfortunately i am physically far, so, please, if you would like a phone call let me know.

i think of you with the same endless respect for your power of spirit.

claude


de la part de Ray

Lack of communication Claude I am sorry that this has taken so long. My sugars are off for some time now – which has triggered a depression. all areas of my life are affected, including

reaching out to you  I don’t know what to ask of you. I do care about you and i hope we can remain friends. and i do know that you care about me  

 
All the best – ray

de la part de claude

cher Ray,

ton silence me trouble. il doit se passer quelque chose. je suis loin et mon imagination s’empêtre dans des cercles vicieux où il n’y a pas de voie par laquelle je pourrais raisonnablement être près et avec toi sur ton chemin. Ray, as-tu besoin de quelque chose? merde, je vois à quel point il est ridicule de poser cette question sur ce blogue. merde. je crois qu’on a atteint là la limite d’une amitié sur un blogue. merde.

mais, mon amour pour toi est le même,

claude


de la part de claude

Ray, i feel far away from you.

Ray, i do not know how you are doing.

Ray, it feels like nothing can buffer the physical distance between you and me. life is not easy here and must not be there either, and maybe it also seems to you that it is shrinking to the necessities of the local to an absurd point where even the local is not possible anymore.

Ray, i am going to meditate soon and salute the 4 directions.

Ray, i am ok, not dying of covid, so i am grateful for that.

claude


de la part de claude

hey Ray,

thank you very much for your sharing. you shared a photo of yourself. here are some of me:

with my building behind me (unfortunately my unit is on east the side where any sunlight is blocked by condo buildings around)

April 8, 2021

April 9, 2021

a lot has happened in my housing advocacy during the last weeks, in parallel with trying to get back to health. i am almost there but Toronto is in a covid exponential nightmare and it is quite scary to belong to the oversensitive, low-weight, high-risk, disabled in that context.

life is really a very precarious thing, such that sometimes i wonder what the fuck we are doing trying to invent layers and layers of mind and of activities that have nothing to do with heart or the basics of care.

yes food is sacred, but does this exclude that sometimes it becomes a dark teacher, one that hurts?

i do not know what my spirit color is. blue was my favorite color as a kid, but later on, even if i still saw colors they had no vivid individualized presence; they were overstimulating or meaningless or too attached to what others would say they are or just representing form. now, through meditation, i start to be able to differentiate them again and to experience them sometimes slightly independently from the shape they are in. rarely. please tell me more about colors.

i hope you are ok. i often think of you, but not writing to you made me feel further, less connected, less part of your life too.

take care,

claude


de la part de Ray

currently my main direction is to get myself to Paris in 2023 or 2025. For this I am completing a project of 40 portraits of people that i admire or love – the significant people in my life. This is a vehicle which will win me a senior artist grant the OAC Chalmers award. The work shall be exhibited in 2 or 3 galleries in Sudbury and Peterborough i have a record of exhibitions and installations to support my application, including a recent major installation of sculpture at the McKewen School of Architecture in Sudbury.

Regarding food as sacred: I believe that everything is sacred. In Overeaters Anonymous I am learning a new found respect for food. The First Nations see food as medicine. They also believe that in everything there is moderation. This is a spiritual approach to the planning, preparation, cooking and eating of food. Not unlike the preparations in building a fire. Speaking of fire which has a spiritual agency, do you have a candle?

How am I? – healthy, happy …..

 

 

My favourite colour is yellow. It is my primary colour of spirit. Whenever I am dealing with matters of spirit in a painting, you will find yellow somewhere. All the other colours are my playground. I am a colourist foremost rather than one of form. Yes, I surround my self with my poetry: my favourite paintings & drawings. My entire home is a workshop/playshop.

To be continued – amitie – ray

 

 


de la part de claude

Ray, i feel the need to spontaneously reply.

please tell me about you. do you have your poetry around you? what colors do you resonate with? what direction is the one which speaks the most to you right now? is food always in the sacred spot of your heart?

Ray, how are you?

claude


de la part de Ray

Regarding building a new life: you can build it anywhere, at anytime and with complete and utter freedom.
It is good that you are recovering from your infection. Are you eating well? food is essential not evil. Any thing can become evil or dangerous if not treated with respect, including food.
How is your social and spiritual nutrition? Loneliness can be a soul killer.
Your environment is key too. Is it filled with your poetry? That is your poetic objects, images and creations. Is there colour? If not it is a good idea to have your exterior surroundings align with your new internal vitality.
Your last post sounds like you are heading in the right direction.
Keep on keeping on – with respect and affection – ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

i am almost back to my pre-infection « normal » with the teaching that well, i have to commit to life if i want to continue to live. maybe i have to abandon my project to build a chosen family around me? do i?

today is new moon and i want you to know that you have a power of spirit that travels distance. the « you are not alone » in your last post resonated very loud when i read it and it still does when i look at the post again. it is like the words jump at me. the post is printed on paper and it is around me all the time.

these words of yours make me feel i am in an old massive beautiful building that echoes human voices just like when you sit on top of a mountain and every shout echoes from the mountains around. massive masses of granit chanting with you.

maybe it is because you anchor every of your words at the very deep level my soul can automatically trust. it is rare.

i am grateful.

yes, i would like to visit Sudbury but it feels like i won’t be able for long and then it might be « too late ».

you are there, in Sudbury. it is Saturday morning. my phone tells me your sky is cloudy. i wonder what you are doing and where your mind and hearts are. i wonder what is the direction that teaches you the most today. i wonder whether you can feel my heart and compassion for us human beings this morning.

i wonder how food appears to you this morning. is it

life

pure matter

atoms and molecules to digest

potential for hurt

a dark hole of distraction

an endless isolator

a suitcase of sensations

a dark cloud of overstimulation

a dangerous link to spirit

an enemy

a weapon

a taboo?

 

i send love to you and my gratitude,

claude

 

 

 

 

 


de la part de Ray

Pain can make you forget what you know claude, your last report was difficult news. Are your spirits strong? I pray and smudge that they be enlivened. In your words, the phrase of: « the place of can’t is a glorious place to start. Start exactly where you are and just be. You are brilliant, so I imagine you feel deeply frustrated and disappointed.

Claude: go into that feeling of frustration and see it for what it is  – an aspect of fear.  seeit for the illusion that it is. You have your experience, intelligence and awareness to call on,
with all these setbacks, are you finding any delight or moments of calm?
as an artist you thrive on colour, pattern and intelligent design; and loving kindness and social nutrition – like that kind and respectful doctor and nurse.
In all your current hardship please know: You are not alone.
Yes, our spirits, hearts, minds and bodies resonate with each communication. Thank you for  your openness, directness and honesty.
it is time to remember that you are enough and that you are resilient. Once you were strong. Ibelieve you can love yourself back into life. Again.
all the best – amitie – ray

 


de la part de claude

Ray,

you ability to hear me and respond on the same wavelength is tangible and i want to express my felt gratitude. thank you Ray.

thank you also for sharing more of your vulnerability. you allow me to step closer and let my heart, body, mind, spirit resonate with your words, hopefully with you.

and before i go into more of a reply to your words, i need to preface with this: over here, i am near unable, weak, with urinary tract infection and symptoms of burn out and the universe keeps sending me bad news or information i can’t handle in that state. so, i am learning a lot too. and, yesterday i learnt that going to the doctor and being taken care of felt like the « social nourishment » you were talking about: the nurse touched my arm (nobody touched me since august last year);  i was heard by my very nice doctor body/mind together; my friend Simlâ came to the clinic to pick me up.

 

you say you can’t sort out emotions right now.

i say i can’t either and i am learning how much work that usually is.

is this place of « can’t » the best spot for us to learn what our path is?

does it force us to accept the current process?

is the sorting out of emotions (ours and that of others probably) part of the self-punishing?

with love,

claude

 


de la part de Ray

food – pain – feelings

dear Claude

At this time, sorting out emotions is difficult for me. Your stories about pain and suffering are arriving at the same time that I am struggling with similar themes that I am delving into with the Overeaters Anonymous program. I am being re-introduced to old stories of abuse, abandonment and rejection from my family of origin. I am learning so much and I am trying too hard to understand and communicate. Trying too hard is a habit I learned as a child from living in a pressure cooker run by one demanding, punishing parent and an emotionally unavailable one. It is one of the root causes of my anxiety. You wonder what life is in Sudbury?

It is a friendly place, you should visit some time.
This project of discovering new relationships is causing me  to think about our respective situations. Thank you for your storie of your struggles with underlying pain, feelings and food.
claude, You come into my life at a wonderful intersection of three new people: Suzanne from Overeaters Anonymous who brings stories from family of origin that are brave, wise and courageous,  Jamie, who is making a new home, brings stories of adventure and perseverance. And you,
It is a very rich, complex yet difficult time. I am learning so much.
Regarding artwork: i do some journaling. And some of these themes are showing up in my family portraits project.
I  leave you with a quote from a meditation audio i am currently listening to:  « It is time to stop punishing yourself for the patterns that are the result of a spiritual starvation ».
all the best – amitie – Ray
Inbox

de la part de claude

dear Ray,

it is snowing, snowing, snowing here and i sit here with this computer and i imagine being over there in Sudbury, closer to your energy, your poetry, your vulnerability, your art. i am so glad to hear that your friend has found a place! this is great and it was suddenly fast. well, i hope it is still all good since you wrote about this a few days ago and, at least here, sometimes good places just suddenly fall apart.

i am also grateful for your honest sharing of how your motivation, mood, food and physiology intertwine.

what if that sharing were a poem you shared with the world? what if it were « art », the only art possible when we are down to the line between spirit and matter?

i have struggled a lot with food in my life. when i was close to 16, my grand-mother was dying and i think i felt drawn to be spirit more than matter. inadvertently, i discovered that eating only the very minimum would kick my brain on a source of energy that a lot of anorexic brains kind of get a high on. i had incredible clarity and, as suprising as this might be, that made me appreciate food even more: only the minimum, so every bite was precious and had to be good.

then, i will jump to a time in my life where food felt like my biggest enemy. i had psychosomatic body pain that was so intense i could not cut vegetables anymore and food would hurt after eating and go through me like liquid most of the time. i was loosing weight, becoming unable. the repressed emotions that had blocked my throat during the last years of my PhD, which were the beginning of dark times with food, were now lower in the body, blocking digestion at the chemical level. doctors were clueless and disrespectful. a very ridiculous time in retrospect.

it is the smoked whitefish of First Nations’ fisher family Andrew Akiwenzie from the west coast of Georgian Bay which saved my life. literally. i bought a piece from Andrew directly, at a farmers’ market in Toronto and from the first bite on, the fish felt like life. the fish felt like it had died differently than the fish you find on the market. the marinade that his wife used to smoke the fish was deliciously nutritious. my body/mind, sensitive at the extreme at the time, « decided » that this could be digested.

now, food is kind of sacred, but i am also super super repetitive with what i eat and i am shy about it.

please do not worry about technology. we can have a phone call about the cellphone and see how to start it together.

then, about our recording: do you have what you need on your computer to listen to it?

how are you Ray?

Amitié,

claude

 


de la part de Ray

Overeaters Anonymous OA I have realized that I am powerless to control my addiction to food and compulsive overeating. High glucose sets off a bipolar respnse

depression. Therefore I joined OA. Overeating has been a pattern for my entire life. It has led to several hospitalizations. This is literally a life or death decision. I don’t want to live at this survival level of existence. There is still poetry that I want to experience and poetry (artwork) that I have yet to paint.
I am not obese -only 20 pounds over my ideal weight.  At any rate I now have a structured program to help me get my physiology back in balance. and with that, a better mood and a good life.
I still have not got my training with the cell phone. And I don’t know how to select the sound-bytes from our conversation. One thing at a time.
Not believing the fear mongering mind is a critical step toward sanity.  The Eastern gate leads into the land of new beginnings . When looking to the south you decided to let go of anger – when I forgive I find more space in my mind,and heart.
  l like your ‘allowance’ for the flow of stories from your relieved head
I also like your intention to live in a stable complex world. To me this sounds like there are better days ahead. And there are.
.
I did a little bit of artwork a few days ago – that’s a good sign. to change successfully is to make small changes incrementally. an old friend once to me:  « Life by the inch is a cinch – Life by the yard is hard »
You are in my thoughts. amitie -ray

 


de la part de claude

Je pense à toi Ray.

Tonight East reminded me that i do not have to believe the fear monger on my left side, South let me meet and release a big chunk of anger in my head, West let me poor stories out of my relieved head and North put me in the middle of a world way more complex and stable than i am used to experience. I am grateful.

I am thinking of you, in my heart.

claude


de la part de Ray

State of being – This depression – although caused by diabetes is still a depression. It inhibits my determination, initiative and ability to communicate

My artwork is at a standstill – when the moment comes to start to paint or collage – i find no interest. I have misplaced the confidence and courage that I began this project with – to be really open at this moment (and to risk vulnerability).I respect your openness and willingness to be vulnerable. Knowing myself – it will take more time to have that kind of trust.
I do appreciate your offer to be helpful in some way  – yours is a generous heart.
I am seeing my family doctor next week. Iam also working on controlling my snacking.
Other news: My guest has found an apartment. He will be set up on or before March 1. i will have my space again
Wishing you all the best, Claude
– Ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

i hear you. i hear you tell me that you are in a state of mild depression. i hear your words in my heart.

i do not know enough about you to intuit what texture of me could be good to you right now. if it feels right, please teach me what you need.

with love,

claude

 

 

 

 


de la part de Ray

Dealing with a down Dear Claude, sorry for the delay, but i have sipped into mild depression – motivation and initiative are impaired. I received the camera and the beautiful drawing.

I will need some instruction on how to use it. I thought our conversation went well. i will listen to it again to make my selections.

 

amitie ray


de la part de claude

Ray,

thank you again for the phone conversation we had last tuesday. it is with me quite a bit and often at the end of the day, tired from doing background work for housing or ODSP advocacy, full of anger against my City and our Province, betrayed by reports with hypocritical language that promises a better time but clearly is just about austerity agenda, i think of how, in the end, we only have each other and then, i feel the need to write to you and tonight i do. other days, i spiral into the dark truth of our aloneness and there, the aloneness turns into shame and loneliness and fear.

 

i am listening to our conversation right now, trying to choose my 2 little segments to suggest to you as something we could publish. i cherish our words.

how are you? are you chosen your little 2 segments?

with care,

claude

 

 


de la part de claude

Ray,

thank you for your words.

i have read your post carefully and i am glad we will speak on the phone probably tomorrow.

at this point, i really do not know what life you think i have, but i hear you, and my perception is that you need reassurance that we are communicating, understanding each other in the mind and in the heart.

maybe my post of january 16th was not clear. it was my truth, but more like a highly needed poetic burst from different sources and seams, intertwining the individual and the systemic over time. i did not have time and energy to explain, only to verbalize, share, open questions. it seems i was rooting my fear of becoming homeless from March to August 2020 with my constant relentless but apparently vain search for « home », for a community and my current behind-the-doors activism to try to participate in changing something for others in this quite hostile and pandemic-hit city of Toronto.

Ray, i suggest that we are experiencing something now that this blog was probably going to make visible, i.e. that creating a new relationship through written words, from two different cities, from souls and hearts who have never met, with different stories and pains, individual and systemic is not easy.

i am grateful that we are doing that. thank you for being in it with me.

with love,

claude

me, yesterday on the left, today on the right.


de la part de Ray

Dear Claude,
I was surprised and embarrassed that I so misunderstood that you were not homeless. I  wondered if  my responses to your blog posts were off the mark were missing the points that you are making. In short, i wonder if i am out of my depth in my efforts to respond to your experience of life.  I guess i am looking for some kind of reassurance that i am  near the same wavelength that you are sending.
with concern and with all the best  – ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

merci.

j’écrirai plus plus tard de nouveau, mais, pour le moment, je veux juste te dire que je suis content à l’idée d’un téléphone bientôt et te rassurer que je ne suis pas sans-abri en ce moment. excuse-moi si mes mots ont apporté de la confusion à ce sujet.

amitié,

claude


de la part de Ray

I have been struggling with my response to your last blog. You are facing a monumental struggle – a lonely struggle. What can I say to deflect some of that pain? I was left stunned by the enormity of the homelessness situation and so many deaf ears incapable or unwilling to listen. Currently I am helping someone to transition from hospital to a home – a decent one i hope. and still on that idea , i miss my solitude.-my space. You said you were not an emerging personality.

You said in your blog that you were not an emerging personality, nor a young personality. Do you mean by this that you are an old soul having wisdom beyond the years of life lived. Or do you mean that you are on the road to realizing your true self?
It’s good that you hear ‘her’ voice – sounds like one of the internal voices of compassion. that i believe is a voice that comes from your seat of awareness -from the depths of your concsciousness – you loving yourself – a good thing
Yes we can talk on the phone and it can be recorded for workability.
the turtle is of rock and steel wire construction. Been making them for about 5 years I send you warm feelings and encouragement
– All the best -Ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

thank you for checking in and for your good thoughts. they are appreciated. i have had a very strange week. right now, different sources in my body bubble words and my mind does not know which one to observe and let flow. if i let them all flow more or less simultaneously, this is what comes out….

 

gratitude for tenderness or principle of mediocrity. sound, light. clouds. my or your molecules, here or there, or their molecules, floating or grabbing, onto and towards, tree, water, moon, wind. if and when. 17 Paton Road expropriation by the City? you are loosing you time he said. there has never been a community anyway. Chief Building: « i am very happy with the situation ». building empty. homeless people in tents. one eviction every 3 min. poverty reduction strategy: a strategy to reduce the poverty of the state, not ours. pathologization of poverty and homelessness. this is how homosexuals and trans people have been pathologized after being criminalized. systemic oppression is dark. hospitals ICU full, disabled people triaged, end of the line. where is « home »? what do you want? material. blood, breathing. hands. skin. roof, food, bicycle, yes. now. her voice. her pace. her gentleness. i heard her on the phone. my cells are nourished. still, fears? winds between my fascia layers, sticking to the deep incarnated shame. that deep layer that i can’t exhale. feel it. face it gently. take it. shake. below. wait. she is a ghost that follows and stops you. is it bad? maybe what she thinks is exactly what will happen. principe of mediocrity. can we be afraid together? Ray, i am not an emerging personality. i am not a growing personality. sharing vulnerability is my practice as a human being. or it is me, as transparent as can be. maybe.

 

i send love to you Ray.

i am looking forward to when you will get the cellphone i have now ready in my hands for you. maybe you will agree to send voice recordings of some posts rather than a written version. i like hearing the voice of people.

what is your turtle commission?

claude


de la part de Ray

Sorry to hear that relationships within your family are distressing for you. Christmas time is a danger zone where the politics of original relationships fall into a kind of playwhere people can become trapped into continuing to play out a role created many years in the past. for an emerging or growing personality it can be quite punishing.

I googled butoh. it seems quite rigorous. It looks like something one would have to be quite dedicated to learn its ways.
I have been a little bit lazy regarding my turtle commission. I’d rather have the freedom of paint. I do want to complete it before month’s end. I wish you peace on your journey – ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

i just looked at the blog on the GNO’s website and discovered that somehow all the spaces between paragraphs have been omitted! i do not know why and how this happened. i will look into it and try to change that.

thank you for sharing the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. they have been with me and also they have not, out of respect for you and for them, out of concern about appropriation and also out of commitment to my own practice, which is possibly rooted in my regular meditation and in the butoh teachings i got between 2000 and 2005.

butoh is now seen as a form of dance (and it has been very unfortunately appropriated by Western dancers), but it originated in Japan in the 1960’s as a post-war new and complex philosophy of personal and social identity, and of movement. in the teachings i received, there was a commitment to gravity and the body as teachers, a certain kind of common sense type of materialism and i can attest that it is when i try to « sense » the directions, in my present materiality moment, that i feel i can walk life.

in your post, you suggest a phone call to discuss, as you beautifully say, « our various understandings on matters of the spirit ». do you envision this as a recorded phone call which we would post here or as a private phone call?

now, what will i say next?

it seems that there is a need to drop into « materiality », to share that my past week has been full of gestures towards housing and ODSP activism. i worked a lot, too much actually and with depressing material and news, which led to diarrhea when i was for too long on the computer. all this was and is an escape to recoil from revisiting the « family » hurt around christmas, an attempt to live with unresolved questions i thought i could find a beginning of solution to, and a renewed commitment to work towards systemic change.

we need capital funds for social housing, not only (modular) « supportive » housing that coerces people to accept services that might not work for them.

we need a Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that increases social assistance rates, rather than hypocritically fill its coffers with income, CERB and CRB clawbacks, and balance budgets by sending disabled people to work.

we need solidarity.

we need interdependence.

we need chosen families.

with warmth to you Ray,

claude


de la part de Ray

Each Direction has a colour, spirit animal, a medicine, represents an element and has a teaching regarding a specific value or characteristic.
so it follows that:
East is yellow
the Spirit Animal is the Eagle
it’s medicine is Tobacco
It represents the element Air
it’s teaching is about Respect, Honesty and Trust
Also because it is the Eastern gate, where we enter the Medicine wheel, it is known as the Land of New Beginnings
We turn left, once we have considered the teachings of the Grandfathers of the East and enter the southern door or gate:
South is red
the Spirit Animal is the Deer
it’s medicine is Cedar
It represents the element of Mother Earth
It’s teachings are about Loving-Kindness
Continuing to the Western door we enter the
Land whose symbolic colour is black
the Spirit animal is The Thunderbird
It’s medicine is Sage
I represents the element of Water
It’s teachings are about Generosity, Gratitude and Sharing
To the north we enter the land
whose colour is White
whose Spirit Animal is the Bear
that represents the element of Fire
and it’s teachings are about Courage, Bravery and Strength
i was not taught about the strength to understand and the strength to forgive but I have come to believe that their place in the wheel is here.
when i pray, it is for these values on behalf of myself and for others in my life. I ask for strength in all my domains: spirit, heart, mind and body. i also have come to believe that my ancestors and friends and family that have departed to the western gate, guide me along with the Creator.
i also deepen my understanding of loving-kindess in my reading of Buddhism and in the knowledge of Christ that i am learning at my united church.
Perhaps some time on the phone we can discuss our various understandings on matters of the spirit. It is central for you as it is for me
for now I send you thoughts that gentle your spirit and heart and begin to convey the manifestation of a thriving personal reality – all the best claude – ray

de la part de claude

Ray,

 

your words have arrived in me and they have touched me with a very unique and never-experienced-before power. nobody ever told me they were welcoming me in their heart domain. what a gift. right now, i feel i have encountered your spirit and i feel i have been held without the fear of taking your space. thank you.

 

my being trans today was to wonder if i should book an appointment with Service Ontario to continue my journey of changing my name and my gender on my identity papers. at Service Ontario it would be for my OHIP card (would be good if i end up in hospital because of covid) and my driver’s license. this process of changing my name started on may 4 with a request for a Change of Name sent to the Ontario Registrar. it took 3 back and forth and 3 stamps and signatures from my MPP as commissioner of affidavits for the Registrar to be happy with my application and then, the amazing Registrar’s office sent me a Certificate of Change of Name with a mistake…. so, i sent it back and then it took another few weeks until i got the correct one. what relief when i finally got it. now, i am trying to have my new name (claude) on my identity papers and this is another « interesting » process. maybe you also changed your name and know what this is.

 

i have meditated outside, with the 4 directions, every day before breakfast for probably 10 years now and more recently before dinner too. my experience tonight:

Eastern direction? yes, let my red thread slightly undo this unknowable story in your head.

Southern direction? yes, listen to the screams.

Western direction? yes, humour.

Northern direction? yes, i am no judge.

 

Ray, your turn. Please, if it is ok with you, tell me more about your relationship with the 4 directions. And anything else you would like to share today.

 

Gentleness to you,

claude


de la part de Ray

Hey Claude I find your post so open, courageous and vulnerable. it gives me so much more understanding of trans. Thank you. Family of origin difficulties are universal. doubly so in a trans journey

Although it is an ancient dilemma, contemporary society is as stuck in prejudice and lacking in generosity of spirit regarding the realities of the trans experience. You must be summoning courage on an hourly basis. Regarding my own spiritual practice, you are now in my thoughts and prayers and you are very welcome here in my heart domain. I consider this opportunity to get to know and understand you an honour. So I am sending warm feelings and intentions your way. and certainly open to any third party wishing to comment. All the best Claude -Ray

de la part de claude

Selfie du 2 janvier 2021.          

 

 

Ray,

thank you for your sharing, your wishes and your curiosity about me. please receive my whispers of good and peaceful wishes for you for the year to come.

i just had a few rough days and i am not out yet, but i can write to you tonight. i will share just a very few things about being trans and will be super happy to share more in my next posts.

for me being trans is having had the best week of my life ever in Montréal in 2017 where i went for top surgery. it was pure bliss. i had prepared my journey quite a bit before and was sure i had made the right choice. i had also honoured my breasts through some rituals, but the clarify of soul when in Montréal carried me unbelievably powerfully and gently. i remember my tears of joy in the elevator to the operation room and i joked with the anesthesiologist right up until she pressed her liquid in and i fell under. and then, i had the best care ever from 2 friends for a full week and also from other people when i came back to Toronto.

being trans is a spiritual journey.

being trans, for me, also comes with quite a bit of social discomfort, partly because i inject T at small dosages and look kind of in-between female and male. and it comes with family pain. the family pain is way more complex than only about my gender, but since end of years over and over force me to face a murky although very volatile darkness more than at other times, here is my poem of today.

 

January 2nd, 2021

 

food? yes, i am here.

roof? yes, i am here.

bed, i am terrified. do you hear me? no reply

bicycle, do you have a heart? no reply

mom? no reply

dad, que l’année 2021 te soit “bonne” dans tout ce que ceci peut signifier. Que les bonnes choses coulent vers toi. Pour ton coeur, ton corps, ton âme, tes pensées, tes relations avec les autres. Pour mami aussi. Je vous aime.” no reply. 

brother? no reply

“family”? no reply

 

sadness? yes, i am here, hidden because you can’t hold me fully.

shame? yes, i am here and you can see me when your body fades away.

heart? yes. i am so full of learnings i can’t process, i am almost bleeding.

mind? yes, i am looking for home. do you see my nerves extending towards the nowhere i hope is somewhere? do you see me sunk in your heart not understanding anything anymore?

soul? yes, i am here. you are raw like a roadkill. it’s ok.

 

East? yes, i am here with small gentle scoops to take you despair.

South? yes, black sky black water.

West? yes, soft whispers.

North? yes, there is future. you have to choose grace.

 

with tenderness towards you,

claude

ps: if anybody reading us would like to communicate with us or comment privately or publicly (i can post your words?), please email us at claudesudbury at gmail dot com.

 


de la part de Ray

Yes, Claude I do have first nations blood. My French grandmother was a Metis. As a young family there was still a lot of shame in identifying as native so there was no knowledge of the culture passed down to us.

Any knowledge i have learned about indigenous ways, I have gathered on my own. I am patchwork quilt of spirituality. I read Buddhism. i go to a Christian church. I celebrate and pray using the four sacred medicines; tobacco, cedar, sage and sweetgrass
What do I wonder about you?
I do not have any trans relationships other than you. so it will be interesting to learn your perspectives on the art of living. I have known a number of gay people. In my younger years i wondered about my sexual orientation and had one short lived affair but came to realize that i was straight. so yes I am curious about how you experience the world, friendship, beauty, philosophy – you know – the whole ball of wax.
How this relationship unfolds  in freeform is up to our discretion, our courage and our humanity.
I do wish you the best of days – Ray

de la part de Ray

I have been making small Christmas toys for friends and their children. The feedback is enjoyable

The cards and the bird-sculptures are very loose and light hearted. so the time of advent has that of ease. Our two situations could hardly have more contrast. Although, I’ve had rough christmases it seems age has smoothed out some of the edges. I am a seventy year old contented bachelor. I hope your future holds a similar fortune.- that you create a new home, surrounded with your poetry. Home is important. Critical
Smudging is part of my spiritual practice. I learned about it when I belonged to a mens’ healing circle. One of the traditions we learned was a smudge at the beginning and the passing of the eagle feather. One of the facilitators was Ojibway. He taught a prayer of the four directions, the grandfather teachings and the values of the medicine wheel. I have travelled with that prayer since 1991.
I keep in balance by paying attention to and nurturing my four domains: the domain of my spirit, the domain of my heart, the domain of my mind and the domain of my body. When I lose my balance I ask the Creator to guide me in recovering it.
I wish you comfort and joy in the new year
Ray

de la part de claude

hey Ray,

it is the time of year when i can spiral down lost in cracks. i am disciplined at the moment to respect the cracks while not falling. today is a bit hard i admit. the body tends to vanish.

with this awareness, i consider your sacred acknowledgment of our start of a new human relationship. simple. present. there. cracks or not. respect. i pause and i listen. i hear you and i do not. i feel i trust you for a fraction of a second (intellectually, i trust you. period. but emotionally, trusting others paradoxically feels like betraying still others).

sadness.

still, in my core, i feel i have received something. thank you.

and then, i will share something about smudging.

smudging is also in my life and it has been part of my reverence/sacred/safety practice for years now. ironically, since i had to move in august, smudging can trigger the centralized fire alarm and bring fire trucks in the next 5 minutes… and it does so with very little….

as a 1st generation white settler though, i feel very shy to share this practice of mine. i have had conversations with Indigenous artists and been invited by one specifically to smudge a space instead of her doing it, and so, there is a sense that the practice has come to me too, but still, i know i am appropriating.

please tell me more about smudging for you.

claude

 

 


nouveau chapître: claude et Ray

i and artist Ray Laporte from Sudbury are starting a public conversation in this blog.

we spoke on the phone and my perception is that we agreed to do this as gestures of life, from our life experience and as part of our life as two people who are now by default in a human relationship. do you agree Ray?

this is « art » for me even if it might not appear as such. i wonder whether i want to say something else today. yes, this.

Ray, here is a selfie drawn with both hands and eyes closed and some words.

 

it is now 4:35pm

my deep shame/fear

is rising

as it does every day

to remind me that

i feel unsafe

in my own home.

i well know this is internalized oppression,

but still, 

the deepest

me behind all

meditative

practice is

looking

to know

where home is.

 

your turn Ray.

thank you for doing this with me.

claude

 


20 décembre 2020

Sudbury artists, I suggest you sign this letter.

It is to support internationally known and revered artist Tania Bruguera and other Cuban artists in their current fight for their own physical integrity and artistic freedom in Cuba (see press articles below). Writing a letter seems ridiculously ineffective given the threats that these artists are going through, but the friend of Tania who composed the letter tells us that being visible in the media is one of these artists freedom/life-saving tools. So, please sign and share widely. The letter will be posted on Tania’s website. 

The letter is here.

 

Press articles

December 19, 2020: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/09/world/americas/cuba-protest-san-isidro.html

December 7, 2020: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/tania-bruguera-under-house-arrest-in-cuba-as-anti-government-protests-escalate

December 7, 2020: 

https://hyperallergic.com/605948/artist-tania-bruguera-detained-in-havana-for-the-third-time-in-a-week/

December 6, 2020: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/06/havanas-artists-find-their-voice-in-a-call-to-defend-creative-freedom

December 3, 2020: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/03/941941353/artists-gather-for-rare-act-of-defiance-against-cuban-regime

December 2, 2020: 

https://www.e-flux.com/announcements/364681/an-open-letter-to-american-cultural-institutions-arts-professionals-journalists-and-various-cubaphiles/

November 28, 2020: 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/after-rare-protest-show-dissent-cuba-artists-say-government-agrees-n1249234

13 décembre 2019

peut-être que je finis un chapître difficile ou suis-je en train d’en commencer un nouveau sans votre consentement? je me sens timide, coupable d’absence et coloniser cet espace encore, de nouveau.

pourquoi vous écris-je? pour vous demander de me mettre en contact avec

  • Raymond Landry, Sudbury’s Homelessness Network coordinator
  • et un ou plusieurs locataires qui vivent dans des  » rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units » à Sudbury

merci.

claudesudbury at gmail dot com


2 novembre 2020

Who is threatening whose lives at Ledo Hotel?

As you might remember, I recently had to vacate my live/work studio (620 sq feet with 3 huge studio windows for $800) at 17 Paton Road in Toronto, because our Fire Chief and Chief Building decided that my ex-landlords’ progress towards making it Fire Code complying were too slow and not convincing enough (they had installed a whole new interconnected fire alarm – possibly over-complying – and we had sprinklers – yes that too- , but no 2nd exit and that, i am quoting, disturbed the sleep of our Chief Building – who did not think that we would loose speed and mind to be asked to relocate in the middle of a pandemic.).

Well, the story of Ledo hotel, as published on October 27, 2020, in the Sudbury Star, is not unsimilar. In both cases, we end up with displaced low-income tenants and an empty building ready for an exquisite non-affordable or even non-residential development. This is very sad and i can’t help but think that how our City officials apply their rules is participating in gentrification and painful displacement.

If you know anybody who lived at Ledo Hotel however, please let them know that according to the Sudbury’s « local priority rules » of access to social housing, they are (close to be) in a position to qualify for « Urgent Access » to rent-geared-to-income units. This is the good news:

 


8 septembre 2020

J’ai parlé aujourd’hui avec le Registre des logements de la ville du Grand Sudbury aujourd’hui et j’ai appris 2 choses importantes.

  1. Quelqu’un à Sudbury dont l’appartement serait condamné par la ville, et donc dans la même situation où je me suis trouvé ces derniers mois à Toronto, bénéficierait chez vous du Statut d’urgence et aurait alors un accès prioritaire aux logements à loyer indexés sur le revenu. Voici une bonne nouvelle pour vous, car ceci n’est pas le cas à Toronto et c’est pourquoi Toronto m’a refusé l’accès à cette unité à loyer indexé sur le revenu que Artscape m’offrait.
  2. J’aurais pu faire une demande de statut d’urgence à Sudbury même si c’était Toronto qui avait condamné mon bâtiment et il est possible qu’on m’aurait accordé le statut d’urgence. Ai-je manqué l’opportunité de déménager à Sudbury?

Et maintenant, puis-je vous encourager à remplir votre demande de logement à loyer indexé sur le revenu? Ca va prendre du temps jusqu’à ce que le logement vous tombe dans les mains….

 

 


2 septembre 2020

le chapitre de ma crise de logement se boucle. je suis relogé et ma requête auprès de la ville de Toronto et de la Province d’Ontario de m’accorder l’un de leurs subsides de logement a été approuvée.

je me trouve à la fois bien humble et profondément furieux face à ce que j’ai appris durant cette periode bien noire. je n’avais jamais vécu jusque là la subtile et de plus en plus béante violation de la dignité qui accompagne le risque de perdre son droit au logement, une violation qui s’infiltre même lorsque les amis sont là. je suis furieux face à la quantité de changements que notre système devrait s’imposer pour respecter notre droit au logement.

il faut changer quelque chose.

 

 


13 août 2020

une crise de logement est une oeuvre d’art.

la mienne a passé par une tempête de peur de devenir sans abri et de rage contre la ville de Toronto qui m’a refusé accès à une unité qui aurait été financièrement viable à long terme pour moi, après m’avoir fait attendre 7 semaines pour me donner réponse (on appelle ce genre d’unités « Rent-Geared-to-Income » ici).

maintenant, je me retrouve avec un contrat signé pour un apartment dont je ne pourrai pas payer le loyer. pourquoi? signer un contrat était nécessaire pour commencer une candidature pour un subside de logement (dans un monde un peu mieux fait, on recevrait le subside avant de chercher un logement et de signer un contrat, n’est-ce pas?) et signer un contrat m’évite aussi de me retrouver sans abri dans les prochaines semaines.

mercredi 19 août, je déménagerai et je ne sais toujours pas si la Province d’Ontario a accepté ma candidature pour le subside. pourquoi ceci est-il même possible? lorsque j’emballe mes choses, il me semble que je suis dans une réalité parallèle.

l’oeuvre d’art, vous la voyez?

et allez-vous m’aider à l’entendre?

 

 

 

 


12 juillet 2020

from artist Carrie Perreault:

« I recorded it while sitting at my desk looking through kijiji for possible apartments for you. I’m sure you’re looking there all the time—sadly I didn’t see anything worth mentioning. »


12 juillet 2020

je n’ai toujours pas de nouvel appartement. j’attends constamment sur des réponses qui ou bien ne viennent pas ou me reviennent négatives.

des amis m’ont offert des solutions d’urgence pour des stages temporaires.

je vous avoue que je ne sais bientôt plus comment garder une certaine dignité et ceci affecte mes relations avec les autres.

home is more than an image of home.

j’ai demandé conseil à un des activistes les plus dédiés et écoutés à Toronto par les sans-abris sur le terrain et par les médias et on n’a pas réussi à inventer une seule stratégie pour pourrait m’aider.

 


19 juin 2020

ma propriétaire a « généreusement » annoncé qu’elle allait changer les serrures.

bien sûr, nous collectionnons conseil légal, mais, je suis né pour l’action et alors, il me faut bouger l’énergie qui se bloque ou je suffoque. alors, j’ai préparé une valise d’urgence qu’une de mes chères amies est venue chercher et amènera chez une autre chère amie qui sera d’accord de m’accueillir pour dormir si je me retrouve fermé dehors. j’ai une énorme gratitude pour ce berceau d’urgence. merci S. and L.

jusqu’où cette histoire va-t-elle aller?

j’approche mes limites.


7 juin, 2020

edited on June 8, 2020

Acknowledgement of my privilege

i wish to acknowledge that i am a first generation settler with many privileges, among them that of living on the land of Toronto whose history is not without sharp clashes of concepts and power, in common with most other Canadian land. 

i am aware that this land has been the subject of the 1787 Toronto Purchase which was understood by Indigenous communities at the time as the beginning of a sharing relationship, but was used by settlers to transfer ownership to the Crown. i am aware that the “Purchase” took place for 10 shillings ($60 in today’s dollars), 2000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel and 96 gallons of rum. i am also aware that this same Toronto land was subject to a $145 settlement between the Crown and the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation in 2010 and that this settlement triggered mixed reactions among Indigenous communities.

then, i wish to acknowledge that despite some efforts in my artistic practice to participate in the deconstruction of this privilege and of that of being white, i have made only little progress and only in my understanding of this privilege, and this, sadly mostly through facing systemic oppression and housing precarity myself. 

Acknowledgement of my current paradox

understanding privilege is very different from acting its deconstruction.

as i loose my home while white, trans, living with disability (difference) and largely under poverty line, i feel closer to the homelessness that is so disproportionately prevalent in Indigenous and BIPOC communities.

i am scared and the violence of the situation i and my neighbours are in in the middle of a pandemic has triggered ancestral and personal trauma. for some reason which i intuit is linked to my confusion about how to reconcile with land and its communities and about how to relate to privilege despite my intellectual understanding of where we are at, my being is currently shutting its own boundaries to shame and suicidal thoughts. i am deconstructing myself.

it is partly burn out but there is also a teaching here i suspect.

what i see now is that i do not know and i can’t rationalize how to embody a right to housing without entering intimately taboo internal landscapes (a sensation that i simply exist; to be heard; to experience life as simpler than i think it is; joy without punishment, etc.) and other landscapes that i do not find legitimate politically, such as consciously or unconsciously embodying white male entitlement.

the irony is that the taboo itself is both trauma and privilege.

i am stuck. fuck.

where is gravity?

thoughts welcome: claudesudbury at gmail dot com

claude wittmann


31 mai 2020

Svp signez cette pétition.

Ici un commentaire ajouté il y a deux jours par Monique Woolnough, Executive Director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic:

« As the Executive Director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic, I am appalled by how social assistance recipients are being left behind in in measures taken to address the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. For low-income people already living well below the poverty line, many of whom are immune compromised, the added costs of delivery fees for groceries, cleaning products, communicating with their service providers through phone and the internet, etc… are simply inaccessible. Failing to include them in federal measures (like CPP-D recipients who have not been offered any additional assistance) or failing to ensure that provinces respect the federal directive not to claw back benefits simply reinforces the systemic practice of devaluing some lives over others and amounts to increasing the risk of infection and death in certain populations based on discriminatory factors. »

Merci Monique.


30 mai 2020

J’ai demandé aux personnes que je sais avoir visité ce blogue de me faire un enregistrement de leur répétitions de deux phrases précises.

Je leur ai dit d’y passer moins d’une heure contre un honoraire très symbolique de $15.

J’ai l’honneur de partager aujourd’hui la contribution de Carolina Reis. Merci beaucoup Carolina.

Parlons bientôt de ce que ce petit bout d’art fait bouger.

 


26 mai 2020

la différence entre les deux enregistrements, à part le fait que le premier a déjà été publié ici, est qu’en écoutant le deuxième, je commence à rire.


10 may 2020

i acknowledge that

  • i am still carrying the SHOCK experienced on March 10 when i learnt that i would have to vacate my unit
  • i am ANGRY at the Toronto Fire Chief and Chief Building
  • i feel a more specific and higher dosage of systemic and political oppression at the moment and it is hard to find the right line of holding individuals ACCOUNTABLE without blaming them
  • i am BURNING OUT
  • it is increasingly more difficulty to access joy or let it manifest
  • i am near unable to sit down with the wheels i love to true as they remind me that i do not have a job right now and that it would be unrealistic to expect to find one plus to be able to sustain it as a bicycle mechanics right now
  • i am slowly drowning in the sense that i won’t be able to come out of the unknowns i experience about my home and my job right now.
  • it is my RESPONSIBILITY to not let myself fall into the terror of erasure, to not internalize the oppression and to generate the entitlement to exist and have a safe home that i have never experienced anywhere
  • i feel GRATEFULNESS towards all my neighbors, my friends, my art supporters, journalist Laurie Monsebraaten, Josh Barndt and late musician and ODSP recipient Justin Haynes
  • art could help here, but i am not one to use art as therapy. of course my drawings help me cope with the situation and soften the experience and opens me to slices of beauty, but in the end, the slices will disappear if (my) art can’t cut into the systemic crap. 

i have written a draft of a letter to the Fire Chief. it is not ready to be sent yet and maybe it will be transformed into another action. if you want to participate in any way in this action, please send an email to claudesudbury at gmail dot com


7 mai 2020

excusez-moi, j’ai activé mon anglais en premier et maintenant je n’ai plus la force de tout redire en français. c’est souvent le cas, je m’en rends compte.

 

recipe against internalizing oppression

accept that what you will write or draw will feel ugly

draw or write

for example, a repetition of « this is too much »

take one pen in left hand, one pen in right hand

close your eyes.

put marks on the paper as if making a very rough portrait of body locations that call your mind. these are usually areas of blocked energy. be as quick as possible with noticing changes from left to right. when you know what an area feels like, write it down with closed eyes. stop when you feel a slight release in your head.

turn the page of your notebook.

again, one pen in left, one pen in right hand.

alternatively draw lines that are all these possibilities in you that are blocked by your own judge or by new rules added or confusion or an overload of emotion. maybe you will know what narratives they tell. maybe not because the mind is too fast.

inevitably this will start shifting things and emotions will show up. e – motions will happen.

commit to feel that. this is what is behind the oppression.

it is extremely vulnerable life.

draw the lines that come out of that.

maybe extremely vulnerable big hands will suddenly show up.

draw them.

let the lines go up.

let them pierce 1% of your own trauma.

no need for more.

commit to the (minuscule) light when you see some near the lines.

stay for a fraction of a second.

let go.

let go.

feel the tiny bit of peace that comes.

rest.


 

 


30 avril 2020

voici le studio que je vais perdre d’ici au 31 juillet 2020.

Monsebraaten_April 29, 2020

there are a lot of things that the article does not say.

i do not know how much longer i will sustain the task to generate fast thinking, grace and resilience to continue the political fight for this building while facing the dread of an unaffordable market and oppressive rules that accompany to our relocation.

needless to say that i have no time for bicycle wheels or for looking for a job and that when i open up to beauty, i end up in a blanket of trauma.

maybe i will edit this later. i admit.


2 avril 2020

i did not pay my rent yesterday, but i live in a live/work studio and my lease is a commercial lease and this puts me at risk. my landlords want us out on May 10, 2020 (see eviction letter posted previously). it is a long, convoluted, time- and hope-consuming story.

the landlady is here right now, in her office, contemplating the absence of rent cheques and probably inventing a new offensive although she is a senior landlady with a lot of health worries for her husband on her shoulders and who said in the past that we were her « family ». she was a bit like an unpredictable aunt to me. this is typical Toronto gentrification with landlords we thought were atypical.

residential evictions are suspended because of the pandemic at the moment, but we do not know if commercial evictions are too and how they usually take place.

would it be better in Sudbury?


24 mars 2020

i am not safe when my safety is designed by somebody else.

especially if that person designs my safety in a way that makes them feel safe.

that imposed safety is a form of violence.

because of COVID-19 and the fact that i might loose my housing on June 30, 2020,

i feel closer to death.

i know i have to surrender to my intuition.

i try to release old trauma.

i try to release old habits.

i get rid of old material stuff.

i think of repressed desires for resolve.

before i die, i would like that Nick Torok and i acknowledge that we were not ready.

is that exactly what i want?

i try to accept change.

i understand safety in a different way.

and then,

i panic.

 

wind and arrows fill the space between my bones.

my skeleton extends even more out of balance.

no housing is not an option.

no community is not an option.

 

i work all my energy to save our housing.

i worry about getting sick.

i worry about safety procedures.

i worry about my parents in Switzerland.

 

and then, i discipline myself towards allowing myself to love a wheel:

 

sound of a new 27 inch wheel before balancing the tension of the spokes and truing the weel

 

same wheel during the truing process

 

next time it will be louder.

 


11 mars: terreur

Phone call with Danielle Tremblay, director of the Galerie du Nouvel Ontario, after the tenants in my building received a copy of a letter from the City ordering our evacuation from the building at the latest in 60 days, i.e. on May 10, 2020. The reason given is that the building is deemed unsafe.

Market rent in Toronto for a one bedroom: $2’200

My ODSP allowance: $1’169/month

video made by the tenants a few days after (i am the voice)

petition: your signature is still requested, please sign.

letters of support for us can be sent to Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, who is our City Councillor and Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee. Deputy Mayor Bailão with whom we have met twice already to request help on our plan for a transfer of ownership to a non-profit should put our housing « safety » right at the centre and help us keep our homes and keep them affordable rather than evacuate us.  please send a copy of your letter to us at : [email protected]

 


si je n’arrive plus à me nourrir ou suis à l’hôpital

if i were to have the flu or coronavirus,

my brain tissues might get inflamed

and i know i might end up living in a parallel reality.

meditation is enough to avoid that scenario with colds,

but i will not have the strength to hold

if mixed in heavier symptoms and mucus.

if i end up not being able to feed myself at home or in a hospital,

i beg you to try to feed me food that

i can actually digest and benefit from.

if there is anything sacred, food is for me.

i am aware that what is below asks for a lot, so, please do what you can.

 

MY ROUTINE

BREAKFAST: red quinoa with 1 spoon of organic wheatgrass powder, probiotics, 4 drops of highly concentrated bee propolis, greens, radicchio, lettuce, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, 1 or 2 walnuts, oregano; DRINK: water from boiled green kale with nettle, calendula flowers, elderflowers, everlasting flowers, ashwaganda powder, 5 shizandra dried berries

LUNCH: baked fish with nothing else on it than basil or dill and turmeric, steamed greens, beet, lettuce, tahini, avocado; same drink as in the morning when possible or HOT WATER

DINNER: patties made of a mix of cooked lentils/quinoa/curly kale/tiny bit of chickpea flower with steamed greens, raw beet slices, a bit of smoked salmon, walnuts, avocado; same drink as for breakfast

SNACKS: 90% Lindt chocolate in small bites all day, oranges, 1 to 2 spoons of VEGA one powder in the morning and in the afternoon, in water. when needed some of the VEGA Sports bar Mint/Chocolate but my gut does not like it so much.

 

ESSENTIALS

  • probiotics:

 

  • any of the following without salt or only with a bit of seawead
  • lot’s of fish baked in the oven, with nothing on it (really) or steamed or sushi-quality raw. the best fish for me is swordfish. then, come pickerel, haddock, salmon, rockfish and whitefish. perch is more or less ok. cod and tuna make me feel cold and unstable. lake trout fucks my digestive system up.

  • lot’s of avocadoes
  • red quinoa but not white quinoa
  • red and green lentils after the foam has been skimmed to avoid cramps
  • huge amounts of steamed green curly kale
  • lot’s of arugula
  • lot’s of steamed brocoli
  • beets
  • lemon juice, lemon flesh
  • oranges (3 per day)
  • organic 1st press olive oil, not cooked though, only raw
  • lettuce with lemon and olive oil only as dressing
  • nettle tea
  • turmeric
  • oregano, basil, thyme, dill
  • 90% Lindt chocolate (cheaper)
  • VEGA one natural powder, if possible the « unsweetened » one

MY LENTILS/QUINOA PATTIES

Rinse red lentils well. Add cold water and let them come to boil. Change the water to get rid of the foam. Add water again + green curly kale + rosemary + basil and just a bit of salt (yes, here ok) or some seaweed to add salt. Let that become mush. Let cool down.

Rinse red quinoa, add 2x water and boil until cooked.

Mix about 2/3 or the lentils preparation with 1/3 of the quinoa. Add a bit of chickpea flower, create patties. Warm up a frying pan without oil and then, put the patties on there. They are going to react to the heat and that will keep them in one piece. Turn them after a while. Let them there until you know, they look ready.

HEALTHY ADDITIONS

  • organic wheatgrass powder
  • cauliflower
  • calendula flowers
  • elder flowers
  • everlasting flowers
  • kale, arugula sprouts
  • Bosc or Anjou or Bartlett pears
  • chickweed
  • radicchio
  • parsley
  • organic walnuts: about 6 per day
  • unsweetened cranberries
  • ginger
  • organic dried apricots: about 3 per day
  • organic 88% camino chocolate
  • canola oil

WHAT I CAN EAT IN SMALL AMOUNTS

  • black kale in small amounts because i get diarrhea if too much
  • spinach in small amounts because my gut either goes into diarrhea or constipation with it
  • sushis made with « multigrain » rice, not white rice
  • chickpeas
  • buckwheat
  • tahini
  • tomatoes
  • VEGA Sport Protein Bar Mint/Chocolate in very small pieces

WHAT I CAN’T EAT (no life threatening allergies though)

  • gluten (wheat, spelt, oats)
  • starchy foods (potatoes, white rice, brown rice)
  • amaranth
  • white quinoa
  • red meat
  • dairy
  • almonds and other nuts than walnuts
  • peanuts
  • sunflower seeds and oil
  • alfalfa
  • brown lentils
  • sunflower oil
  • eggplant
  • apples

WHAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO EAT

  • chicken
  • boiled egg

MEDICATIONS

  • please no ibuprofen, only Tylenol 3 if needed
  • very helpful home remedies: probiotics and bee propolis are essential; then, white tiger balm and melaleuca cajuputi oil for mind and chest congestion, camomile as tea or as in a bowl to steam my sinuses, marshmallow roots to calm gut inflammation or cramps, salt water to wash my nose, ashwaganda powder and shizandra berries (a few per day) to modulate stress, uva ursi tea and chanca piedra powder to help with clearing my kidneys and to help with body pain, corydalis cavea root powder if i have nerve pain.

28 février 2020

je suis soulagé car j’ai reçu le versement mensuel du POSPH malgré le fait que mon assistante sociale est absente jusqu’à nouvel avis et qu’aucun des deux autres assistants sociaux que j’ai essayé de contacter n’ont eu le temps de me rappeler.

j’ai reçu moins que ce que j’aurais dû recevoir, mais ça va aller.

POSPH = Programme ontarien de soutien aux personnes handicapées


26 février 2020

je parle français aussi, mais là les mots me viennent en anglais.

my shoulders and neck are burning with needle quick picking sensations. my mind is racing in fast disembodied associations. my head is hot. my bones are also my mind and that’s the case for all of us, but these bones of mine right now are vanishing. i know that if i do not take care of this, it will get worse. and that knowledge creates fear. fear of future. will i become homeless?

it is tricky to share this world because when i do, i participate in what ableist minds like to do with lives like mine. i share what makes my life interesting to the media, sometimes to academics or even advocates in their hunger to define my misery and possibly activate gestures from other hungry people who want to practice their acts of charity.

i want to be an equal.

i am in a swamp-space endlessly extended in directions out of the entitlement to exist and out of the belief that i will be able to come to Sudbury. for reasons i won’t share, traveling and committing to a predetermined schedule are hard although, in the deepest contradiction of the wild animal i am -and we all are wild animals-, structure and commitment are exactly what i need. i love deeply love when i can work at bikechain in Toronto. build a bike from used parts. step by step, gesture after gesture. one question. one answer. one tool. one gesture. one thought. did not work. try again. other tool? nice game. where is the wheel?

traveling and commitment require a starting point with a skeleton in one piece or more or less. i live with internalized and inherited mind forces and tissue memory, imagine them as from diverging and asynchronous times and directions, which are breaking my proprioception and kinesthetic experience of my skeleton. right now, i am not (fully) here. how could i come there?

i will need an annulation plan and a contingency plan.

we are equals.

nous sommes égaux.


roues/politique/panique : le projet mené par claude wittmann débute sur notre blogue

claude wittmann qui réside à Toronto nous guidera vers ce que l’art est pour lui durant le mois d’avril.

il mènera un atelier en collaboration avec Kevin Morgan de Bike Sudbury et leur but sera de centrer et réparer des roues de vélos appartenant au programme « Bike Exchange ». cet atelier sera ouvert à la participation de toute personne intéressée à apprendre et/ou à les aider. aucune expérience préalable ne sera nécessaire. le lieu et dates exactes de ce volet seront annoncées bientôt.

claude va aussi nous introduire à la mécanique qui joue dans les coulisses de ce projet: son handicap invisible, son besoin de plans de contingences spécifiques, son activisme pour améliorer la sécurité de revenu des récipients du Programme ontarien d’aide aux personnes handicapées (POSPH) et de Ontario au travail (OT). une partie de ces coulisses sont déjà activées sur notre blogue où claude partage pensées et sensations telles qu’il les vit au moment où il écrit.