Friday, May 30, 2008

parallel lines.

and it's strange. the way the world works. and things align. everything comes into line.
the lines. the parallel numbers. it's really something. and today when i came back to my computer. it was filled with messages. and it just all came into line. the possibility.
p o s s i b i l i t i e s .
and i'm just two transcriptions away now. into the second last. and the ideas are alive. in me.
and if i had the time. or the equipment...or knowledge maybe...i'd make a film out of this all. a real film. something with movement. or the ability to. but for now. i'll just have to use my little program here and make something with what i've got.
today we have numbers. 
and my first draft should be complete by the beginning of July. and my final discussion is on September 3. 10am.  
scary but good. these are important dates and it's important for me to have dates set aside. as it makes it real for me. in my head.
and on my way. in the morning. i saw a wasp carry a dead caterpillar. and i watched in amazement. almost missed the bus.
and then everything aligned itself. with numbers and language.
and i've been thinking so much about drawing. and painting. 
life drawing.  or drawing life. 
and i think that maybe with the alignment of numbers and words...we need to be drawn.
drawn to. and drawn out. on paper. and sheets.. between parallel lines. 

Thursday, May 29, 2008


it's like all the listening has produced space. or something.
and this research with its project and people and stories.
there is something that has teared open my heart. at its seams. where it was broken. before.
and the memories ooze out. or something.
all this coding has got me thinking. about coding and codes. and how it's just that that really damages and destroys and creates conflict.
all the fighting. all the codes. and change.
and perhaps i've chosen the best possible topic to do research on. and perhaps this is where my life needs to be. i think about all the people. about this world. about all the broken families. and situations. and how many youth are abused for just being. for breaking out of certain codes.
i think about "coming out" and only hope for a day when there will be no such a thing as having to "come out". 
i am brewing and stirred inside. i stir myself. and this brews me. inside.
i want to work with queer youth who are involved in abusive family situations.
i've never felt this so strong inside. when i first started my Master's i remember speaking to Nancy and saying that i want to do research connected to homeless youth. and i remember her asking me if i want it to be "queer" youth. i said no.
and perhaps i've been running away. or pushing this all deep inside. where it brews and stirs.
but today i feel broken. through. and out.
today i am pulsing and pushing at the seams of my heart...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


this morning the bus didn't stop for me. and i think that maybe i was invisible for a moment. and the caterpillars surrounded me. and we walked together. to the next bus. the caterpillars and i.

in their pillars. with legs. and words. and something in between.

yesterday i transcribed a very full document. with words dripping off the sheets of paper. so much was said. and i listened while she spoke on that Monday morning back in April. but i heard it differently this time. and full. with filling. this feels like the base. or the hard drive. her words. and ideas.

"Every youth has a right to be here. Every youth has the right to be treated with dignity and with respect...It seems so simple."

and today i play with words. and findings. today i read and write. and i am working on my literature review. and there is so much to be reviewed. and read. 
and it's really something. this research. re-search. i re-search and re-search until i find what someone else found before.
and it's just something. and all this reading about the abuse and the violence. for what? for having a queer identity.
so many youth are homeless. home less. because their parents don't agree with their "sexual orientation". damn. i would like to re-orient them in their minds. the parents. the power. people have. so much. power. and i wonder. when this world will change. 
i feel too much. and will most likely smash a lot of glass throughout the process of this research. 
this is alive. like my heart. in my heart. these words. these findings. i don't just read them. they beat against and into my heart...

Monday, May 26, 2008


somebody wrote the word 'give' in black with marker, pretty much all over the city. wherever i look..wherever i go i see it. 
i wrote the word 'hope' in red with spray paint, everywhere i went a few years back.
and there's this nostaligia or something. with the smell of summer. or spring. and research. with words. and meaning. there's something in the air.
and i remember when. and in the morning i dream of massive canvas. with wide open space. and pocket dictionaries. and paint with colour. i dream of these things. 
and on my way to the bus i stop and i watch caterpillars. in their pillars.
and i dream of wind without rain.
and it's strange that somebody wrote the word 'give'. just recently. everywhere. in every place.
every 11 seconds the word. with its meaning. and i think i'm dripping over the edge with idea. 
or formation. and i need to get to the l i b r a r y. now. for coding. and understanding..

Friday, May 23, 2008

new york.

and so things are like puzzle pieces in my head these days. and it's coming together.
and my research has brought on ideas for new projects. a participant that i interviewed brought up the idea to create a resource guide. i am thinking that this would be a great side project, as it is so needed and i am sure it would help so many youth out there.
i spent the last 4 days in new york. the graffiti was good for my mind and for my heart. it was a hectic 4 days and i was pretty annoyed by all the noise and people. i think my body was craving something more peaceful. 
but, i found something of interest in a local gay magazine. "The Ali Forney Center"-"where homeless LGBT youth are sheltered, housed and assisted in becoming safe, healthy and independent young adults" and the website brought me to some really great articles.
so even though i found new york to be very stressful and annoying, i did find resources for my MRP! and beautiful art.
today is Friday and i feel like next week will and should be spent in the library-coding and writing...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


and what does it mean to "come out". i've been thinking and wondering. and there's this constant sort of negotiation thing that happens, especially when you're young or first "coming out". and it's hard. not easy. the coming out. the process. the words. language. space.
and i spent the entire day yesterday transcribing one interview. i don't know what it was that took me so many hours. i needed time to process the words in my own body. and to listen and re-listen and really hear what he was saying to me. and "we need a gay shelter" "we need a gay shelter" "we really NEED a gay shelter". i woke up with his voice in my head. and these words. and this whole "coming out" thing. and something along the lines of "every place i've lived in, i've had to deal with homophobia". and damn. this city. these people. this h o m o p h o b i a .
these words feel so 7 years ago. but i knew when i started this project that these feelings. memories. all these things would rise up again. 
i don't want this to be so much about me or my experience. but something about yesterday. the words. the words. the words. something in them, awoke something in me. again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

a mixture.

"when everything is lonely I can be own best friend, I get a coffee and the paper; have my own conversations with the sidewalk and the pigeons and my window reflection. The mask I polish in the evening, by the morning looks like shit"
and i've been thinking. about methodology. methods. the ways we go about doing what we do. how we choose our system. of methods.
and i don't know that i really chose my methods in any particular way. i feel like i just knew. or something. it was there. inside. right from the start. and this whole project. is like something that has been in me for a while. waiting. to come out.
c o m e   o u t .
this project comes out and it brings so much out. it brings out truth.
and something in me feels tired. on sunday, babsy and i will go to new york for 4 days to visit my brother. we will look at art. and take photos. and write words on walls. and it will be good. for rest. or for something. it feels important to get away right now for a bit.
and i know that all of this is just beginning now.
the coming out. the truth. the words. the stories. the methods. this system. is only just starting now..
i am reading a book called: 'runaway-diary of a street kid' It's a published journal of a 14 year old girl's experience with homelessness. i'm reading it amongst so many other books and articles. i think it's important for me to almost bombard my brain right now. i need to overload myself with information and words for a little while. i like how it affects my sleep and my dreams. it affects my existence. and the way that i interact with people. but, it's also important for this project and for my writing.
it's important to know and to listen to what is necessary and needed. like the overload of books, new york, these things. are all important parts of the process.
and ofcourse for me, gobase-my little cat man in the photo. he is the most important. and he helps me think and understand these things through..

"I've got a flask inside my pocket, we can share it on the train. If you promise to stay conscious I will try and do the same. We might die from medication, but we sure killed all the pain. What was normal in the evening, by the morning seems insane" (bright eyes)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


And yesterday we spoke about knowledge and imagination and writing.
We wrote for 20 minutes. And right before we wrote i think she said something about metaphor. Something about not revealing or not completely uncovering. Something about something that will allow the reader to imagine. 
imagination. image-in-nation. image-nation.
i imagine this. and i wrote pages upon pages about image-nation and about knowledge.
And she wonders about knowledge and where it comes from. or where we think it comes from.
i imagine. knowledge. comes from nature. knowledge as. embedded in the air. in the earth. in the trees. the little birds that my eyes carry.
And i also imagine that there is toxic knowledge. and people are so consumed with themselves and with pace. i imagine this.
There is so much we can learn in the forest. for rest. the birds show us which berries are poisonous. the ants tell us when it is going to rain...
There is so much. and we talk about knowledge. but how often do we talk about nature?
Uncovering and revealing. Time is passing. and there is so much that i would like to say. speak. learn.
and i wonder what everyone else wrote about during those 20 minutes.
and i wonder what you think about this interpretation of knowledge.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Last night in class we spoke about how to write the research proposal. and there were many questions. and that is good. but then after a while i started to wonder if i already wrote my research proposal! (i know i already did). it's just that it hit me at that point that i have begun. i've already begun the process and i'm finding it difficult in class discussions and groups. i'm trying to be open and positive. in class. with my classmates.
For the small group discussions I really wanted to talk/learn about arts-informed research, so I created a small group and we discussed this (sort of). What i did realize is that i have already brought my art into this project by silk-screening the bandanas with my designs.
The process of the bandanas feels important to me in this project.
It took time and lots of walking to actually find plain bandanas (with no design) and then at home i carefully silk-screened different designs and different colours onto all of them. And in this process i wondered who i would meet, who i would interview and how we would impact one another.
They hung on the bannister with the wet paint on them. i stood there in the hallway staring at them all as they dried. i stood there and put a part of me into each piece.
i've been thinking and wondering and thinking about how i will incorporate disability into my MRP. To me, poverty, homelessness, and disability are very closely linked and so i can write about that link and it's existence. Another important aspect is that 'homosexuality' was thought to be a disease/disorder for so long and was classified as that in the DSM. i think i should spend time writing about that as well.
There are several important ideas i want to discuss in my paper: 
-youth culture (a brief introduction to and understanding of)
-street life (the dangers, the community built...)
-homophobia and its impact on the self
-the nature of support services

Sunday, May 11, 2008


i've been marinating in words. for days now.
i've been thinking about the listening.
and my body remembers every single expression. every emotion and every feeling.
i remember every word.
i've been thinking about thinking.
and this trans-cribing is getting inside. of me.
i'm listening.
and the air. takes me away.
and in the morning. i always wake up to these words...
with these feelings. memories. these things.
and the bird. the little bird. it sings outside of here.
and i just can't stop....listening.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


i'm okay.
and this is okay.
i feel better about all the work i've done because it's good and necessary and this is me and how i do research.
yesterday i emailed Shout Clinic and officially closed off my project-no more interviews. i think i have a lot of data now and anymore might be too much for this project.
i love research. as nerdy as it may be, i really love research. especially community-based research.
before class there was light rain. and it was spring outside. and on my way i carried little birds in my eyes. and i thought about all the important things. or something like that. and the people all around me. talking. speaking. saying. while i was carrying little birds in my eyes.
class was good last night. we broke off into small groups of our choice. my group was focussed on "homelessness and poverty research". there were three of us, all with very different ideas and very different knowledge; i liked that.
before the group work nancy spoke about interviewing and addressed the 'fear' or whatever it is that the class seems to feel about interviews..."we are always interviewing"..."we interview the text as we read it"...thank you for that, for those words.. made it feel lighter inside.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


i find myself waking up early with the intention of dedicating my mornings purely to transcribing. i am trying to do this. it takes time though, as there is so much in the early morning that captures my attention.
Yesterday when i got to class (early) a fellow classmate came up to me and asked me if my "committee thinks it's practical" what i am doing for my MRP....i was a bit taken a back. she proceeded to ask me if my supervisor knows how many interviews i've conducted...and how much transcribing and work needs to be done. it was bizarre. i smiled and told her that i'll be fine. it's strange that she still went on about it. 
is it really that difficult to include interviews in a MRP? maybe it is. i don't know. maybe people are just afraid and their fears fill the room. i feel or felt discouraged. not sure what i feel now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

so much

On Saturday May 3 I presented at a conference for the first time. I presented at the Critical Disability Studies Conference. My presentation was titled "Sweet, Sweet Toronto: A critical overview of homelessness in Toronto". I showed my short film and spoke about it, followed by a discussion on homelessness in Toronto and the relationship between homelessness and disability. I was extremely nervous before my presentation, but as soon as I got up and started speaking it felt as though all my passion towards these issues were exploding out of my heart. It felt good and inspiring. I believe that I am ready to overcome my fears of speaking in front of groups of people.
I have not received anymore phone calls for interviews for my research. I know I have a lot of information already and there is quite a bit to be transcribed, however, there is something about interviewing that is so full and filling...
I foresee future projects.
I have connected with a PhD student that I met at the Homelessness, Housing and Poverty Working Group. He and I share a lot of similar interests, especially in terms of spreading messages throughout the city.  I look forward to working with him on some "city work" : )
Yesterday was the first day of the MRP course and Nancy spoke about "passion" and how important it is when doing research. How wonderful it is to have people around us with that "burning passion", whether it is for the same thing or not. I think about this. I think about my passion and how refreshing it feels to meet other people with that passion....
Something that I noticed in class last night was that after I presented my MRP topic, I somehow felt discouraged. Something about the way students were talking about interviewing and timelines discouraged me. I know I have done quite a few interviews for this project...but I also know that is what I had to do....I need it for my research. I wouldn't feel right only doing a literature review with this project, because to me that would be silencing and non-inclusive...

So much to much to think about....