Oliver and I cycled the entire Local Food Trail this morning: from home to the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market, down to Purity Dairy for milk and butter, a double back to Riverview Country Market, and then to Receiver Coffee Brass Shop for bread.
Oliver was much more comfortable on his bike this mor…
When Fernie was too hot, we took a walk
through old-growth cedar forests1trail description: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/canada/british-columbia/old-growth-trail to a lake
where thousand-year-old canopies could block
the sun, and underfoot a carpet make.
To soothe my feet and pacify my mind
I took my shoes off, spiting risk of hurt
and marveled that my senses now could find
the vegetation cooler than the dirt.
Of course! Plants take the sun’s incoming heat
and feed the beasts, in turn each others’ food,
but what’s not needed slowly turns to peat
the Earth kept mild2see https://www.zylstra.org/blog/2019/07/novacene-ais-garden-of-eden/ by entropy so skewed3apologies https://books.google.ca/books?id=jBtDSf1VzQkC&pg=PT86&lpg=PT86&dq=distorted+entropy+called+life&source=bl&ots=KFpLeLxHjY&sig=ACfU3U2wEGCZ37WlVqJVV2r5hEglURy2TA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjN_Pm48YjkAhXnkOAKHXkaC5YQ6AEwC3oECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=distorted%20entropy%20called%20life&f=false.
But federal funding for the CPR4😬👀 https://fernie.com/about-fernie/history/the-kootenay-railway-wars/
made coal5https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Historical_Geology/Peat_and_coal a fuel that we’ve6https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-114.8403463,3a,25y,109.11h,92.6t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJDBHnJJ-xD3espiMBxzLiA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 burned out7subtle? nope. https://lefaive.ca/2019/08/bleep-bloop-am-i-adhd-or-just-a-piece-of-shit/ thus far8https://ruk.ca/content/reducing-emissions-slow-and-costly.
I already put away most of my luggage from that incredibly long vacation at Mom’s (that by the way felt more like a series of weekends – over before I knew it). But I brought all my childhood journals, and am now in the process of “organizing” them, starting with labeling them with their date ranges, and maybe eventually itemized entry dates or topics if I have time. (An archivist I am not; I have no idea what I’m doing.)
But reading what I wrote over some particularly memorable periods of my life I realize I focused on unpacking what was bothering me, and left out a lot of the good that happened. A lot of stuff I’d like to remember better.
So, here are the highlights of What I Did On My Summer Vacation!
- I drove Mom’s car. I wrote about it on instagram, but this car meant a lot to me (yes it’s the same one she had when I was growing up).
- I drove out to the mountains with Mom. We went to Canmore (for fun and reconnaissance) and then we went to Canmore again (for mountain biking) and again (for french pastries) and again (for more mountain biking) so I think that’s a record.
- I hung out with a friend from high school who I’ve gotten to know better on the internet in recent years. We saw John Wick 3 and then had a heart-full conversation for hours over dinner. It was amazing.
- I read a lot of N. K. Jemisin. When I was done my “plane book” (tip: check the number of pages before buying a plane book from Amazon. Actually don’t buy from Amazon. Look I was leaving soon and the local bookstore didn’t have it), I renewed my Calgary Public Library card and borrowed another.
- We went shopping at MEC a little (I guess I went to MEC four times this trip, which is also a record).
- We drove to Sundre to buy a second-hand backpack, and saw beautiful fields of Canola (hi, China!) and got caught in a hailstorm (hi, Global Warming!)
- Alex arrived and we drove to Mount Robson. Mom’s car struggled to get up the Icefield Parkway but we made it. We saw the peak of Mount Robson with no clouds. Once.
- Alex and I and J___ and J___ hiked up to Berg Lake! I sat on a bench and looked at a glacier.
- I laid on a beach and looked at a glacier. I communed with the glacier.
Glaciers are strange beasts. They are fossilized snow. They calve, they break, they melt and retreat but they are renewed as the ice forms and flows downwards. A solid fluid at this massive scale. What is the Reynold’s Number of a glacier? [I can google this now, it’s 10^-11] They exfoliate mountains, but to the mountains they must seem like mayflies. They are so blue. They creak and groan. They look like you could reach out and touch them when they’re kilometers away. They devour people. The awe I felt, of something so otherworldly, rivaled the best science fiction. Glaciers. They store water at the top of the earth so it can flow slowly into the oceans. But they exist in such a delicate thermal balance – growing in winter, shrinking in summer. And they’ve been shrinking, overall, for decades now. What rivers will be dry when the glaciers vanish? Can we unfuck our planet?
- Alex and I hiked up to Robson Glacier. It looked like a small walk to the toe. Two hours later, i got my wish, and touched ice. It felt old. I also may have licked it [kids! this is not advisable]. It tasted cold.
- We saw the Spiral Tunnels and watched a train go through.
- We drove to Fernie to pick Saskatoon berries, but there were none.
- We saw the old growth forest at Island Lake Lodge, and we saw the beach at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park. They are wildly different ecosystems, only a half hour drive apart.
- Mom got sick, and drank a lot of Gatorade (only the Glacier Frost flavour because it had the least food colouring).
- We saw a Shakespeare at the Bow, and laughed our asses off (heh) at A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- I really love mountain biking, and will endeavour to get out more.
But did I accomplish what I wanted to on this vacation? According to a text to a friend, I planned to:
do almost nothing because I’m exhausted of feeling like I’m failing? Try to forget about work? Try to figure out why I am the way I am. And maybe solve capitalism.
Points one and two were a qualified success. Points three and four… well I’ve got a lot more unpacking to do.
Contains: mental health topics, including seeking emergency help.
I’m back to work tomorrow, and I’m terrified. I was hoping that a full 4 weeks of vacation would bring me back that vigor, that ambition, that I-can-do-all-the-things-and-be-calm-about-it feeling that I felt two years ago, after hiking the West Coast Trail.
I felt alive. I wanted to wake up in the morning and take on the day. I used my bullet journal extensively, even starting each morning by writing in it on the porch with my coffee. I wanted – expected – to have that feeling back by now. Not that productivity is the goal of vacation, but… it would have felt nice.
Then I read this comic by ADHD Alien (original post)
and hoo-boy that sounds familiar. I’ve been in the “quitting” stage for a good half-year now, in one way or another. Burnout is what brought me to the hospital, about a month before my vacation.
But of course, an inner voice tells me that relating to self-reported ADHD symptoms does not a diagnosis make. Since it’s gotten worse in the last few years (and I don’t remember it being this bad in childhood), it probably isn’t “legitimate” according to the DSM-5 and I am deficient – intellectually, morally – if I don’t pull my own shit together. And even if I do deserve to claim a disability, if i don’t internalize that comic right now and fix my ways, then I’m just being willfully useless.
Out loud, now, Rosie: “That is bullshit.” Another thing I struggle with is calling out the inner narrative when it criticizes me. I’d rather appease “them” by going along with the bullshit, to my own self-detriment, until I can’t anymore and I can point to myself and say “look at what you did to me” than push back. So even writing that down was a small act of injury, which I took in order to practice calling bullshit (and believing myself when I do). I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do. Some inner voices don’t deserve to see the light of day.
So I really, really hope that that PEI takes action on the 1000-patient psychiatric waiting list that I’m on. But if the 5 years I’ve been on the 4-year-long family doctor waiting list is any indication, it’ll be a little while.
I’ll get back into the swing, but I might have to take it slow. Assistance, as described in the comic above, would be appreciated.
YYC (Calgary) has these cute little shuttle buses that take you between the different terminals. I almost got this posted in the time it took to get from terminal C to A (Alex’s gate to my gate).
So I can still use this blog, I’m just … lazy.
During our vacation I gifted Daughter a cordless headphone. She loves listening to audio stories when we’re driving so I took a subscription to Storytel. With a two week trial for free, I thought it would be an excellent way to listen to something new, instead of an entire vacation listening to th…