Short Letters


‘I would have written you a shorter letter, but I did not have the time’ – Pascal 1656

I found this quote a long time ago. When I write someone a letter, I write pages and pages, wanting to get all the details of my life onto that page so they can feel what it’s like to be me; where I am, what I am doing, what the air feels like around me. But what if all we had was one page? What if we took the time to boil it all down to just a few words? How would we express ourselves and our relationship to this person and all their friendship means to us, in just a few words? I have decided to take the time. I have been writing Short Letters, based on this idea. Painting each line, I give myself the space to write only the most minimum of words. In preparation, I write pages and pages. Trusting that the four or five words I need will find their way out of the multitude.


Each one has a specific person in mind. I visualize the words on the paper as I paint each line. I visualize this person reading the words as I stencil each of their letters in. I have notebooks full of these ‘short letters’, further editing my words, so only those that continually ring true make it onto the final product. One letter requires a lot of time. Time to think, time to feel, time to know.



In Transit: Bus Rt. 20

In Transit


July 24, 2017

Bus: Route 20, Westbound

Time: 4:28pm-6:29pm

Starting Point: Dundas St. (@ English St.)

Song: Done by Frazey Ford

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In Transit pics

this is it. this is the beginning. a first one. I’m on the bus. I’ve cleared it with the driver that I can ride one full cycle on this bus, getting off just a bit further, at the library (Dundas and Clarence). I’m gonna try. I’m doing it. writing pages on this trip. for a blog post. scan ’em, and post ’em. listening to one song, as I do, the whole way around. I want to write something of substance. what is that quote? write one thing of substance everyday. let’s try this. you’ll see how my head rolls and chimes out the same sentences over and over. You’ll know I’m on a bus. the people sitting around me, on this bus will change the whole way through. the scenery. me and this page and this pen will stay right here. put. I want to write something of substance. we’re stopped on the street. in front of the moose and the bear and the wolf. they send their spirit and medicine with me on this journey. I can write much more considerately than I can talk. and that’s the problem. that’s the obstacle I aim to overcome. to appease. I’ll start on the page, in hand written notes I pass to you, in letters I write through the mail, in text messages, instant messaging, and email…it’ll come out of my mouth eventually. all that love I have trapped in my throat. is it as simple as that. I’ve been practicing. speaking up. speaking out. it feels weird. every time right now. every time. I’ll keep trying. new language. new words. new message. focused message. phrases. syntax. new ways. li new. like ‘I don’t want you to…’.

like…other things too. I can’t think of them. I’m writing. It is now 4:45. we’re on Riverside, just west of Wharncliffe. I am on the bus. this is happening. no one seems to notice me. no one cares what I am doing. freedom. I can sit here, and write, and exude gold light from my body, and everyone only just gets to receive it. I take require nothing of their energy in return. this is an act of giving. to myself. and to others. I start a lot of sentences with and. and i don’t use capitals at the beginning of my sentences. this is a writing practice. this is a writing practice. I could slow down and stare out the window a while. ok. I will. I’m on this bus for the duration. I can write and stare and listen and observe. and allow it to unfold. allow. let. I’m so fucking sick of this. that’s what is written on the back of the seat in front of me. a woman in a wheelchair was just told by the bus driver she would have to wait for the next bus because, I don’t know why (I couldn’t hear that part with my headphones in). It makes me think of accessibility and mobility and if I just witnessed an example of how that needs work in my city. I just went off on a tangent in my mind. to katy. and what I want to say to her. how I want to punch it out. all those demons telling me I’m stupid for making myself vulnerable. that I can’t do this. fuck that. fuck them. I can so. I can do this. I’m doing it. right now. navigate your direction. get on the bus that takes you where you want to go. and ride it. ride the fucking bus. get it done. forward motion.

In Transit pic3

stop being held back. tell your sadness and your grief – my joy takes nothing from you. there are only six of us on the bus right now. we’re on Beaverbrook. almost the end (?) of this route, before we begin going back where we came from. the turning point. may it be so. I’ve cleaned a few of the houses in this neighbourhood. from my molly maid days. …and then there were two. this bus driver likes to use the overhead speaker (thank you for riding, excuse me ladies and men and gentlemen, there is construction up ahead. and I’m going on a detour), and his horn. I am the only one on the bus now. 5:14pm. I’m loving this. what a ride. I get to write. I get to write. I get to write wherever I want. I can ride all over the city. go places, literally, as I write. I can go places. I can go places. I can go places. I’m going places. I hope to write my whole way along. every place I go. write it down. I’m pregnant. oh shit. that’s not true. ha. fuck. I’m just transitioning into motherhood. you know, it’s a stage of life. from maiden to mother. it’s beautiful. it’s full of wisdom and listening. observing and putting into action. discarding and walking away. walking towards. quietly. with ease. let go. let go. let go. I am ok writing this. this is how I feel. this is how I am experiencing my life. I feel a shift. I feel it. I’m becoming it. I got this. this is going to work. I am focused. it can unfold. I know what I want. I am creative. I can handle it. I can make beautiful things from it. we have been sitting here for a very long time now. I’m ready to get moving again. 5:23pm (across from between Rona & west

london alliance church). there’s the swiss cal chalet. we’re moving now. there’s jaime’‘s apartment building. I’m on the move now. this is an experiment. trying new things. new means of expression. new parameters. same path I’ve traveled a hundred times. fresh. new. I can do this. I can live my life. I can be happy. I can grow. I can create. I can envision a life for me, and make it happen. I’ve got my mind st set on you…the bus begins to fill back up. 4 of us. I’m no on it now. the bus. riding the circuit. this is really happening. my goodness. remember write something of substance. remember the Bear and Moose and Wolf. what should I write. what is of substance. here. on this page. on this bus, along this street, within this city, situated on this land, as part of this land mass. we are travelers here. we are travelers. I am a traveler. on this land, in this life. traveling. a traveler. that is what Soul speaks to me now. wisdom. Bear Moose Wolf. I am a crab. and a turtle. Crab Turtle. he is Dinosaur Raven. ha. fuck. Eagle. Hawk. Bird of the Sky. language is so fucking important. teach me your language. let me understand. I am learning my own language too. the language of Allyson Proulx. lefty smudges. committed, compassionate, questioning, vulnerable, fun, funny, silly, kooky, paced, timed, timeless. timed and timeless. my goodness. it’s almost over. we’re at Wharncliffe and Riverside. no. I want to ride it around going the other way too. yes I do.


I forgot about that. 5:40pm. yes. this is what I want to do. to loop. the whole loop. we have to reach the other end (?) point and return once more. again. to the starting point. and then a little bit further, to the library. I am committed. I will treat myself with an ice cream when I am done this. job well done. we are at Dundas & Richmond (heading east). the bus will continue to fill up. seats changing bums on the regular. like coming and going. errands being run. work done, heading home for the night. I am on this bus. I asked permission. I am getting it done. I am doing it. art. fuck. writing. projects. love. choices. love. I mean it. I’m sick of feeling sick. I’m sick of acting sick. I’m sick of choosing sick. I think this loop is the shorter of the two. I live closer to the east end. I live in the east end. the bus is full again and someone is back sitting beside me. I am self conscious they will try to read this page (silly, I’m going to post it publicly). and conscious of not wanting them to be distracted/attentive to me. let me be. let me be. let me be. I let you be. 5:49pm. gold glow. gold glow. gold glow. you got this. I’m almost back to my house. opposite side of the street. this loop is unfamiliar to me. I think I’ve ridden it once. to the grocery store at Oxford and Highbury. the grocery store is a food basics I believe. I’m on this bus. I’m doing this. riding past where I began. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a comedy because it has to be. you can’t tell that story without humour. what’s the quote? you if you’re

going to tell the truth, be funny, or they’ll kill you. they might kill you anyway. they’ll try. tell the story anyway. be funny. 6:03pm. we’re at the food basics. it’s almost time to turn around. the ride is in it’s last leg. last leg of the inaugural journey. I have begun. I am no longer who I used to be. step one. step again. we’re at Fanshawe. stopped for a long time again. I’m hungry. I brought an apple but then ate it while waiting for the bus. I’m going to write this page and then I’m done. this was a lot longer than I had originally thought. partly b/c I forgot about to visualize this leg of the journey. I didn’t see myself here. I didn’t see. I didn’t see it. blindsided. I can’t say never again. I will ‘fail’ again. things will happen. I will make choices that are hard to live through. in the aftermath, leading up to. 6:24pm. it’s how I live through it. it’s how I learn and live my life after it. defining characteristics. I am grateful for this time. I am glad I have begun. I am thankful for muses and creative spirit. thank you Bear and Moose and Wolf. thank you London Transit. thank you bus driver (he hasn’t honked his horn in a long time). Back to my original stop! 6:27pm. Two hours. my goodness. I did it. It feels good. I love you. you are beautiful. this works. you work. I’m on my way to the library. type this up. Big sister it up. scan it up. post it up. live it up. love it up. write it up. love it up. go get ’em. you are beautiful. love. ♥ 6:29pm