Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Creative Practice, Simon's Genies and the Exuberant Bodhisattva's Big Exciting Blog News

Last Thursday evening at the end of Ecstatic Dance, which you can read all about tomorrow, I ran into a man carrying a pile of paper plates and an open package of plastic forks. He had been in charge of the birthday cake, but alas, there was no more. I’d been blabbering away about how I’d self-published an illustrated self-help book and the man with the plates and the forks seemed quite intrigued. I helped him look up the book on Amazon.
“My name’s Simon,” he said. We shook hands and inched our way to the top of the stairs outside the dance room. I stood at the top, and he stood two steps below.

“Oh,” I said. “I have a soft spot for Simons.” And thus, I’d arrive at the perfect segue to embark upon the “My ex-boyfriend jumped off a building,” speech. Thank you, to Simon the dead Hermit, who has provided me with so many fabulous pick-up lines that may last me the rest of my life. I told the other Simon all about me and Simon Girard’s three-part epistolary novel, The Little Savage and the Hermit. How most of it was terrible and embarrassing. How most of our relationship was terrible and embarrassing. But now that Simon was dead, maybe it was suddenly really important. The other Simon put down his plates and forks and embraced me out of nowhere.

“It’s something to love someone who suffers so much,” he said. “It’s amazing how people suffer so much…” For a few moments, we held our embrace on the stairs. Then the unrestrained conversation continued. The other Simon does something important that has to do with telephones and left-wing political parties. From what I understand, it is also good for the environment. His father writes piles of important books about various non-fiction issues. The last one was about the CBC and what he considers to be the ideal model for public broadcasting. When asked about my job, I said I do piece-meal work translating stuff from French to English. I’m not insatiably passionate about it, but I like to keep up my French, it is stimulating enough, plus I get to pick my own schedule.

“So if you had a genie, what would you ask for?” said Simon.
When’s the last time someone asked you that? It’s easy to just laugh off this sort of question. Since we all know that nothing in the world can make life entirely unrelentingly blissful. Still, what is so terrifying about considering what we want?

For me, I want a healthy, healed body. Regular sources of sexual gratification and intimacy are also helpful. I want regular, exuberant, uninhibited, and unceasing conversations about sex, yoga, bodies, eating disorders and people’s lives. I want this somehow incorporated into my daily existence. (I.E. ERICA, START A FUCKING PODCAST…) And the other thing that has created a consistent source of grief in my life has been the unrelenting notion that somehow I am failing creatively. That I am forever lacking a creative focus, a fruitful creative practice, and at the end of my life, this will leave me with Deep Regrets. The pressure of making something massive and groundbreaking is paralyzing and enormous. And then it occurred to me, what is wrong with making blogging your creative practice?
So maybe blogs are too 2008, and maybe they’re not the most literary or artistic or edgy mediums. But just because you didn’t get to be Margaret Atwood this time around doesn’t mean you don’t get to be a writer. There are a million different ways to be a creative person. And if your transcribed verbal machine gun provides you and even a mere handful of people with some joy and relief, well then, why not just run with it?

And so, I’ve decided that this blog, this random slew of sentences and awkward graphics will become my new, official creative practice. After beating myself up forever throughout torturous efforts to write novels and plays about foot fungus, I realize that it is through blogging, through these uncensored, reality-based words that I find my most natural and authentic voice. And although there’s some value in challenging yourself to create beyond what’s natural and easy for you, there’s also something terribly painful and futile about trying to fit into a mold that’s just not you. Margaret Atwood is Margaret Atwood. You get to have a Kale Phone.

Me and my Kale Phone
So that’s that. Thank you to the Simon who didn’t jump off a building for asking me about my genies. When it was time for him to go, he said, “You are such a delightful ball of candid emotional intimacy.” It is one of the kindest compliments I have ever received. I will try to live up to it as I go about my days.

The End.

Bless all the Simons I have known, Bless Ecstatic Dance, and Bless Toronto. I am here until Tuesday, at which point I am going to Montreal for at least the summer…  From now on, I am going to try to post something new, every MONDAY around 4 or 5 o’clock, and every THURSDAY, around lunchtime. Maybe I will also do that Throwback Thursday Thing on my Facebook Page, even though it is a little silly. I invite you to follow me however you would like.
Or I'm pretty sure you can also click on Subscribe at the bottom of this post.
P.S. Who remembers the Karadavasana duck? Seems like a lifetime away... 

Karandavasana Duck: created by my very talented artist friend Sara E. Enquist. Check out her website!
Yours til Ekam Inhales
Simon Girard (1979-2015)
Ecstatic Adventures of the Exuberant Bodhisattva


  1. Hi
    I found you ages ago through an ashtanga blog. I don't practice ashtanga anymore, you don't write about, but I'm still here reading. I think you're a talented writer and I hope you continue.

  2. That's kind. Thanks for reading Charlie! I will do my best... And yes, I only have a few more things to say about Ashtanga. Maybe I will say the rest some day soon.