Tag Archives: memories

Joy to the World – a series of vintage Doyle family photos

A long long time ago, well 26 years ago in grade five I was chosen to play the part of Mary for the grade five production of the Nativity during the annual Bayview Elementary School Christmas public assembly. My mom snapped this photo just as I was sitting down in the Nativity chair. It certainly makes my bum look huge.

Every Christmas as a child my brother and I saved each cardboard roll from the inside of Christmas wrapping paper to play games with. In this photo we are playing tetherball using an ornament attached to string with Lady the collie watching us. It was cold outside remember and we needed something to do. And yes, those are Mickey Mouse and Dr. Suess books in the background.

Though it was extremely cold outside Stephen and I did play outside in the snow until our fingers were frost bitten every day. This is us in the backyard. We piled snow to build forts when there were no drifts to use. We slid down mountains over jumps knocking the wind out of us. And when Spring began to hit we built ice and snow damns along the side of the road in a tremendous effort to stop the flow of water from melting snow going down the street while cars and buses rushed by us. We were busy and had no fear.

Oh and I figure skated too.

😉

Absinthe 99 or playing with the green fairy that was 2004

In 2004 during an intensive year of college in British Columbia we were asked to illustrate a poster in an older illustrative style with hand drawn letters. Absinthe 99 is the result of that assignment.

That year of college was one of the most brutal and rewarding times of my life. I had applied and was later accepted into an advanced multi media program at Langara College. I took 21 courses in one 12 month period including advanced typography, history of design and colour theory. By the end of that year I was addicted to GHB (sedatives). Add to that, my boyfriend was manic, and suffering through immense panic attacks and depressive episodes and unable to work, let alone feed himself until later that same year… it was all I could do to cope with the situation I found myself in. If anything, the strict regimen of college that year heightened and brought to the surface my inward disorder with the world around me. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and a few underlying learning disabilities.

I believe all those people who succumb to addiction have their reasons and people it really does not happen overnight. It begins innocently enough when one can’t get out of a predicament and that predicament then folds in on itself evolving into a monster! And truth be told I’ve never drank absinthe… someday maybe… I also hold the belief that once an addict you are not always going to be an addict. I do believe to get better you must live a more holistic lifestyle. And for some, that does mean remaining sober indefinitely. Addiction is simply a way of showing us there is a problem that needs to be dealt with or you will die.

Maybe, it’s the reading of 2012 by Daniel Pinchbeck that is reawakening those memories and you know what? I’m glad because now they seem fresh and perhaps today I can make sense of them as my mind is clear, and life is good. For too long I discounted those experiences as trivial and felt bad that I had traveled into the depths of my soul using substances (other than sedatives) to enlighten and open up channels that did exist in reality when I was a child. And I sometimes think, that Attention Deficit Disorder is a result of those perceptions being systematically taught out of us by society.

This year, as I settle into my home I’m finding memories are surfacing of those years; many good and some pretty awful ones to. I’m simply accepting them for what they are and digging out the artwork that was created during that time, for in it holds the key to moving on, letting go and growing once more.

I created 11 by 14 inch prints of this illustration and they are available on HangsaLittleLeft… my darker art shop… muahahahahaha!

Secret #4 – Saying Good Bye

One sunny afternoon I sat on my deck in Vancouver, brush in hand not knowing what to paint. I stared down at the piece of two by two foot freshly gessoed masonite board firmly planted on my lap. The sky was ultramarine blue, the garden glowing green and most colourful that day in late July, 2004. My senses were overwhelmed by the beauty of this environment. I glanced down at the board and at a the light grey shadow there; my shadow.

I gingerly traced it beginning to fill in whimsical areas of enchantment with much excitement and more importantly, contentment. Continue reading

967 days later…

Memories accumulate over time interlacing overlapping each other causing fog to form at the base of one’s understanding. We see people in passing who at one time understood us; perhaps even loved us and whom we used to love to. They dwell between the nether regions of our souls; a place dark perhaps distraught from years of neglect and solitude.

When you see what it really is
that is what you’ll “get”
Got it?

I don’t know why I saw her tonight. I don’t know why she was there dancing. I couldn’t understand the memories that surged yet understood why and how they became.

We ingested copious amounts of drugs together. We partied days at a time. Not hours. Nor evenings. Days. 72 hours? 3 days turned into weeks for me. Months. Years. Passed.

It broke tonight. The craving for intoxication. Annihilation. Emptiness. I saw her and all that was is. All that will be was forgotten.

Nine hundred and sixty seven days later I remain sober of GHB.

Fuck, the last two weeks became stupendously hard for me and I don’t know why. It was all I could do but work, draw, write, sleep, not sleep, be, not be, freak silently while the cravings raced over me, through me and around me. How can this be? How!!! Talking to someone here in this freaking city is irrelevant. People here in this small town have no clue. NONE.

So, I will talk to you. You who will not judge, nor react. You who will accept. You the unknown, the present tense of life.

It melted away tonight. As quickly as it hit, two weeks later it melted, evaporated. It’s been a long long time since I’ve craved like this. Maybe the longest it has ever lasted since I quit. The whole of the month of April, 2008 has nearly strangled me with… the words just don’t exist to continue writing right now.

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In the walking one finds solace from the haunting past

Thanks range for the spark to write this.

I attended a public elementary school where corporal punishment was practiced. Boys and girls were segregated in the playground each having to play on opposing sides of the school. In Grade three this practice was abolished. Corporal punishment remained all six years I was a student there.

In grade three when I was ALLOWED to play with boys, we girls and boys were very confused. Off school property we had no problems with this.

In the mornings we had to say the Lord’s prayer. Anyone who wasn’t of Christian faith had to leave the room. I didn’t like it.

This is what I remember in Saint john, New Brunswick, Canada from a couple of decades ago. There may have been rules or policies in place about the lord’s prayer that I, as a 5 to 11 year old were not aware of, but the memories of hearing the strap waft down that single corridor from the principals office and watching the boys play on the better side of the school playground still echo firmly in my mind.

Not all was bad at that elementary school. Three of those six years I was taught by fabulous teachers whom ignited the imagination and nourished the creative side.

But this post is about corporal punishment. Continue reading

Unedited memories

September 2001. High on weekends.
Homeless so to speak.
inbetween cities
inbetween life
I ran away
I stumbled. hesitated. fractured into too many pieces.
unable to contain them all – but one got away.
I’m still looking for that piece
images, flashes, deformities and laughless.
It was a movie I thought.
I was watching a movie and I thought briefly that I was in a movie watching this movie of two towers blowing up. falling down.
I’m in a starngers house.
His sister calls from LA
We realize we are watching NY
Continue reading