Posts in september
September Days III - Cold

I’m currently home from work, on my couch, with a proper September cold. The last week or so I’ve felt my energy draining day by day. Perhaps it was naive for me to think that, on my day off last Thursday, a pool day would solve it all. But I’ve wanted to go to Kitsilano salt-water pool since the start of the summer, and on this particular September afternoon the sun was out, I was off. It felt like it was my very last change to go. So I did.

Before going to the pool that day, I went to an optometry center to get my eyes checked. I haven’t done this in year. Maybe 10-15 years, I’m not sure. My eyesight is actually amazing, however recently I’ve been noticing my left eye straining quite a bit. I usually get cluster headaches right behind my left eye, and I have almost a constant twitch on that side as well. My insurance covered the visit, so I thought why not! I was right, my eyesight is slightly worse on the left eye which is causing a strain. So I got a prescription and had a look on some of the options there. I’ll do some more extensive research on frames later. It was quite an eye opener (pun intended) to realize how many hours a day I spend in front of a screen though. If I’m not working in front of the computer (my work is all computer work), I’m either on my kindle, phone or in front of the tv. That really needs to change as well.

Looking back, swimming in the (although slightly heated) pool right next to the ocean with its breeze probably triggered the cold even more. Anyway, here we are!

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Andrew was able to join me after work, which rarely happens, so I ended up having an amazing day. Afterwards we decided to go out for dinner instead of going straight home. We went to our local and most visited place The Main on Main Street. We had our usual dishes, sitting by the window and letting the sunset warm us up. From outside we all of a sudden heard some strange noises, and peeked back only to see this little guy looking right at us.

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Dont worry, his owner was a couple of meters away having a pint. The parrot loved sitting where he could observe people walking by, admiring him. He probably loved the attention.

Today it’s grey outside, and the forecast for the week is all grey skies and rain. September weather, just like April, wants you to have it all really. I’m not complaining.

September Days II - Home

There’s so much delicious magic in nesting. I feel like my life so far has been a long search for home. A longing to go home. I’ve moved all my life, having separated parents means going back and forth. Meeting in parking lots, moving from one car to another. Your mom’s new boyfriend, and their new flat together. You move in there. Your dad’s new girlfriend’s house, you move in there too. During the summers I slept over at grandma’s summerhouse with my cousins. The color coded toothbrushes for all of the blonde children, grandpa next to the fireplace and grandma making black-current cordial in the kitchen - that was home. At fifteen I moved away all on my own, to stay with other high school girls in a far away city. We survived on oatmeal and mom’s frozen taco pies. In the evening we talked about home, missing home. I lasted a year, before I went back to mom’s lake house.

Four years later I moved continents, to California. Thinking I belonged there, thinking I would discover home next to the beaches and palm trees. After every semester I moved place, looking for room-mates and apartments that felt like home. Not counting those random motel rooms and in-between places, I rented six different rooms. The only thing I brought from house to house was my mattress and a red lamp with a tiger foot. Once the honeymoon years were over, I craved Europe and didn’t feel at home in the land of yoga and wine and cobb salads anymore. I took the train to the airport; I listened to To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra thinking ‘I will remember this moment for the rest of my life’. And here we are, I remember.

I didn’t feel home “at home”. The years away had alienated me; I didn’t belong in the north west Swedish small town among the birch and pine trees anymore. Even the language didn’t feel like home anymore, or how people didn’t smile when meeting me at the grocery store. In the midst of panic, feeling like I didn’t belong, I took the first opportunity I could get and moved countries again. This time to Ireland.

Ireland felt like home. The farmers markets, the sea, the rain and the book shops. People seemed stuck in a different century here, listening to music popular 10 or 20 years ago. Their hobbies hadn’t changed with time: people gathered in pubs and actually talked with each other. But finding a home, an actual place to stay at, was more than difficult. I was forced to stay in a hostel for three months, surrounded by strangers. Home was no longer a physical place, due to necessity it had to be a state of mind. A Starbucks, a friend’s place, the school library. I searched for home wherever I could find it. I found Andrew, then, and he became a place of home.

Close to the three year mark in Ireland, I started to miss home. Again, not knowing what that meant. I thought it meant Sweden, so I went back for half a year. I tried my hardest to nest (painting my room at dad’s place, buying decorative figures and books) and feel a sense of belonging. And I did, but not as much as I craved. The feeling wasn’t strong enough to keep me there, Andrew was missing me so I went back to Ireland. Stayed for another year. It wasn’t a good time, it wasn’t home, but we tried. We tried our absolute best, while daydreaming of creating something new, together. In Canada.

Cut to the present time. We’ve been here for almost two years now. We spent the first couple of months in an AirBnB, and then moved to a basement apartment a couple of blocks away. And while the apartment is not truly ours, whatever that means, it feels like home. The furniture is not ours, so everything is not handpicked by us. But we try to make it as much ours as possible.

One day I’ll have a place that’s completely mine. A small little place, close to nature but not too far away from the roads either. I’ll enjoy that then. Right now, I’m enjoying this. The more you romanticize your own life, the more magic you create. The more you realize you can find joy in the most average of places and things, the happier you get. I think I believe that now.

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Having A Coke With You

(Poem of the week)

Having a Coke with You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

// Frank O'Hara

autumn, poetry, septemberEmma Carlsson
September Days I - September Babies
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September babies are born from Christmas miracles and new years celebrations. If your parents weren’t together, most likely you were conceived during a drunken night when your mother and father strayed from their families to meet other young ones out on town. If you’re a September 20th baby like me (and many babies are), most likely the stars aligned on December 25th. December 24th in Sweden is for family celebrations, December 25th is for friends and strangers. That’s when they met, my tall dark father and my short blonde mother, in 1988. I’m not sure if they were together before that, if they knew each other. I believe they had common friends already, I’ve seen pictures of gangs gathered around old Volvos. Women with over-sized jeans jackets and men with leather vests. Anyway, it’s not my story to tell.

Every September I feel reborn. In a mellow, content kind of way. I didn’t come in to this world screaming through a bloody, torn vagina; I didn’t make that trip. Instead, after a 24 hr painful struggle suffered by my mother, I was carved out. As a baby I didn’t scream much in general. I preferred sleeping on chests and quietly observing the dynamics of the world around me. Not much has changed.

In 18 days I’ll turn 30. I made it, my youth is officially behind me. 30 doesn’t automatically mean proper adulthood, whatever adulthood means. But it does mean accepting what is, what was and what will follow. The lump of clay has taken some type of shape. What follows now is detail work and caring for the mass of space I ended up becoming. 30 for me doesn’t mean having all the answers, rather it means I now know what questions to ask.

September is a fusion of summer and autumn. The best bits of both all blended into one. You can still swim in outdoor pools and even the ocean will welcome you, if you want to meet it. There’s still warmth in the air and water, but the wind gives birth to baby winds and the core slowly cools down the lake. Leaves falls from the mother ship like romantic petals, slowly. Independently, not all at once. That’s October.

Here’s to embracing all of September and every last day of my twenties. Here’s to the Harvest Moon and Mercury’s forward movements and Autumnal Equinox and birthday celebrations. Bad days, good days, September days. I’ll try to write it all down.