We base our universal reality on constants we rarely question. Every scientist knows that proper measurement is integral to the usefulness of their findings. That without good metrics, their study is flawed, but still, we base our reality entirely on the assumptions that keep our mere mortal brains from exploding. The comforting biases and ordered reality that keep us from spinning out from chaos and allows us the piece of mind to evolve beyond just living.
I know that time is merely a construction that we have fabricated to try and make sense of our complex reality. In the moment when catastrophe strikes, time seemingly stands still, every milisecond spread out as a lifetime, each decision an agony of options that stretch out into infinty. There’s no time for action, no time to think, but yet limitedless thoughts sprint through our brains as if years had just passed by. Each instant remembered as vividly as the next, and though by our reality only seconds have passed, it would take weeks to explain each complex moment. The next months a blur that seemingly happened in an instant, unable to even recall a distinguished timeline of events.
Why is it that I sometimes remember the most mundane in all its glory, and the most traumatic not at all?
That moment of breath before a first kiss with someone you have been dreaming of, for what seems like an eternity. The lifetime before the ambulance arrives. The times when time slips by so quickly instinct takes over and it ceases to even exist for just that moment.
If each moment is a constant, on a linear track through the universe, then flashbacks are time travel and I am a magnificent Goddess able to manipulate this force with the sheer will of my traumatized brain, because in an instant, I’m there, flashing in and out of time, unable to keep a firm grip on any reality.
You see the sun doesn’t actually rise in the east, but our spinning motion and arbitrary selection of direction in this endless prism, trick our eyes into believing it. Time moves fastest on mountains and maybe that’s why it takes so long to climb, because the valleys are dragging us downwards and backwards through reality. But if we increase our climb to the speed of light, we can escape the summit and leave the concept behind entirely. At that moment, do we see our life flash before our eyes, or the universe as one tiny pinpoint that we can leap across? Or are we waiting waitless outside a black hole for infinty to crush us as time stands still?
The present is actually the past by the time our brain interprets it, yet we say to live for a moment we can’t ever understand until it’s gone. Tomorrow’s not for certain, and the reality of the past is never quite how we remember it. We say let’s meet at this set time, but each experience its passing differently, maybe that’s why I always think ppl are late.
The speed of light is as fast as our tiny brains can comprehend, yet none could interpret the passing as fast as it’s happening, so how could we even meaningfully measure it? Would that travel rip apart our skulls, or damage our sense of reality to the point that no constant is ever again steady? Is that the point we travel back to the beginning?
They say live for the future, but what if tomorrow is the day the clock stops ticking? What if the past is all we had and we are perpetually living it in never-ending cycles that we can’t see locked on this linear track. Tick tock. Tick tock. Don’t be scared for tomorrow. Time will bring us home, eventually.
New poem for slam.
*to the tune of O Canada.
Oh Canada. Our home on Native Lands. Pride built on lies, we were never taught to understand.
That this land was here before Europeans, that we thrived for thousands of years. That the white man’s cultural ignorance led to millions of deaths and tears.
Their primitive colonialism, destroyed so much good. We need to make ammends and fight for equity. We need to make ammends and fight for equity.
Oh Canada. I love you, and all the privileges you have afforded me, but my Native sisters and brothers are suffering. We are dying, disappearing, exposed to racism every day, turned away, denied, locked up, posioned by governments and corporations, and show every indicator of a people in serious crises. High numbers live in abject poverty, unemployment, we die younger, nearly half of the children in protective care are ours, our numbers in prisons outpace every other dramatically.
This is not because we are bad, incapable, unintelligent. It is not because we want to be victims or are too corrupt.
You see, after they broke the treaties, trust, and cooperation, purposefully exposed us to deadly diseases, slaughtered us in droves, quantified our blood to make us prove our status, and beat who was left onto tiny reserves without thought to our nomadic sustainability, they stole us from our families. Until the mid nineties they locked our children up in schools away from everything they knew and beat the culture and language out of them, along with their dignity and self-worth. A lasting legacy.
This continues to this day but in a new form. Capable parents with minor flaws find their babies stolen from their loving arms, placed in white foster homes, repeatedly moved and disrupted, away from their culture, languages, and traditions with little legal recourse.
We all share the history of the Two Row Wampum Treaty. Gushwenta. The belt consists of two rows of purple beads on a white background, where the purple respresent these two peoples, Natives in their canoes and non-Natives in their ships, side by side down the river of life together in peace. Supported with the strings of trust, but each taking our own path down the river, with our own laws and ways.
Our path is still being stolen as we are forced more and more each day to change our course to meet that of the ships. Instead of coexisting in peace, the river has been drained so that only one may pass, our canoes overturned by the waves of the ships, the waters polluted by toxins, and our path diverted by a dam we had no say in creating. Our people drown crying for a life-preserver to be thrown, while you stand lamenting our impending demise, but somehow remain unwilling to lift your arms to make the toss.
Throw us a life-preserver and help us back into our own canoes so that we can continue on our own path in peace. Perhaps one day we can meet at the middle of the river and dock our vessels together in the full flowing water without upsetting the balance. But we can never get there unless all of us make the effort to row in that direction together.
*We need to make ammends and fight for equity.
In my younger days, I traveled a lot, and did some work in some extremely dangerous places, and was very careless of my body in the process. As a result, I encountered and contracted several different parasites over the years. This poem is about those parasites and is in honour of Futurama. Sweet zombie Jesus, do I miss it. It’s called My Parasites.
How I wish my parasites were builders. That they would make my body strong instead of weak. That they could enjoy the gift I have given them within my flesh and repay it with kindness.
That within my milky white layers they would lay ideas. Strength. And courage. Instead of larvae.
That the leader of my liver would loot toxins instead of life. That the mayor of my colon could colonize regularity.
How I wish my parasites were builders. That they would make my body strong instead of weak. That we could be friends with “benefits” or at least besties.
But my besties, who know my breath and brain and bowels better than any beings, have betrayed me.
They say your body is a temple. Mine certainly feels like a shrine. These parasites are plundering my pieces, pulled to my parts as holy protozoaen pilgrimage.
Over the years, I’ve had more than my fair share of these unwanted spawn of satan use my body as a breeding ground. Feasting off my cells as their source of life, draining it from my own. These unwanted party guests who arrived early, got way too drunk, broke my fine china, clogged the bathroom toilet, and then refused to leave.
How I wish my parasites were builders. Securing their home instead of destroying, consuming every last resource to extinction before jumping ship. But I guess they were made in our image, much like us, resembling their God.
I remember the first ones.
Boil-like larvae nourishing themselves on the meat of my legs. Human botfly is not “fly”. Let me tell you. Then giardia. Ugh.
Then sand fleas below the knees. Unable to take quinine, I got malaria. Then giardia. Then malaria again. Six more fucking times. The last so severe as to leave me comatose for days. My doctor dismissing my distress as “women’s troubles”, my diagnosis delayed through biogtry.
Then cyst making tapeworms, organizing my organs as a smorgasbord. Laying in wait …. for weakness.
How I wish my parasites were builders. We could live in harmony.
But alas fickle friends. Get the fuck out of my house. It’s time to go.