from 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


from 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

from 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


from 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

from 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

 

 


from 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


from 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.

 

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

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

with care,

claude

 


from 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.


from 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