013// Relive Me

It’s lovely to me the way you talk about the parts of life that get you excited
it’s as if you are experiencing them for the very first time
over and over
Watching your eyes light up anew as you relive something that has already thrilled you once before-
it’s a privilege.
I find myself becoming increasing attached to the corners of your mouth
the ones that inch upwards when you talk about the clouds

Perhaps this is quite selfish,
but I like it even more when you re-live me
.

06.06.17 

Being loved is a privilege, a privilege, a privilege and I think more people should write honestly about how that feels. 

With Love, 

Kolina 

009//My Mother is a Shapeshifter

How can i understand
what it means to provide a home
when i have not felt
what it’s like
to have
two hearts beating
together

i age, and think to myself
that i understand
sacrifices
willpower
strength
and resilience

without ever having
the expectation to reciprocate
the way She has
moulded Herself to fit my life

when our souls were empty
she was the river that filled me first
when i was tired
She would rise as sunshine
to help me grow
when i was weak
She became my energy
only to give up what little She had left

how did i get here
if not for Her

She is a fortress 
a barricade that rose
around me
that fought against the world
for a single soul
the wall that has held me strong

My mother is a shapeshifter
and I am trying to flow
into the ebbs and waves of who she is

so that i too
can lay myself down
and ask
who do you need be to be?

With all of the love for my angel Mama on earth, and my angel Oma in heaven.
I am the luckiest to have you both.
Kolina

Love Month

February rolls around and there are are a few types of people:

  1. You love valentines day and everything, I mean everything  is pink. Right down to the little red hearts you draw in your agenda.
  2. You hate valentines day with a burning passion and tend to gravitate towards ignoring the fact that pink, a wretched colour, even exists.
  3. Wait.. it’s valentines day??

I feel like as I’ve gotten older, random holidays that pop up throughout the year hold more meaning for me. You could care about them.. or you could not. Truth be told though, you’re probably going to be having way more fun if you’re the one participating. I didn’t really think like this until I learned what it’s like to be unable to join in. The year I got hit by that car, was the year all of my friends went all out for Halloween. This sounds silly but after halloween came and went and I was still bedridden, the thought occurred to me that  I might never get another halloween. Suddenly it seemed stupid that given the choice to have fun with it or pass, I had always decided that it was too childish for me. Now the only thing that seemed childish was how I chose to use my perspective. I know this seems drastic.. missing one halloween doesn’t seem like a big deal. But I missed out on many aspects of my life because of this accident. Some parts I still miss out on even now, two years later. If I didn’t learn to appreciate the things I can in my life from this experience then that would be very, very drastic.

This year love month came around and it got me thinking about what it means to have a day to celebrate love. Valentines day for me always seemed very family centred. My mom still writes my sister and I valentines day cards. I still have a teddy bear on my shelf with a heart written ” I love you, love Oma”. I’ve put more effort into the cards I’ve written for friends than I ever did for any crush.

So what does celebrating love on this day actually mean? I think it can mean a lot of things. Love to me has always been multifaceted. I think it exists as one entity that can be expressed in a multitude of ways. This, in and of itself, is why I do not think having a day to celebrate love is lame. We’ve all heard it: “you should be celebrating love evverrryday, not just on valentines day.” Yes. Yes you should. But if everyone took this day to sit down and extra appreciate what love actually exists as in their lives, then maybe it will feel ever more present on days that are not February 14th.

Things that I think we should all have ~ F E E L I N G S ~ for :

  • Ourselves!! Self looooooovvveee!! When’s the last time we all took a good hard sit down and said “hey body!!! Yeah I mean you, you beautiful thing that has taken care of me for my entire life–  I’m gonna start listening to what you actually want!” Personal care is a journey I’m still working on. I’m slowly starting to learn about what it means to listen when your body & mind ask for something.
  • The earth!! I think this one is so forgotten. We all need to be showing gratitude for the foundation that governs our every step. February has sported some wonderfully snowy days so far. Catch those snowflakes!! This includes looking at lifestyle changes that can help us be kinder to our environment. 
  • Friends and family!! These people in your life that love you and nurture you are important!
  • A significant other who recognizes the universes that you hold inside you!!! You don’t have time for mediocre and if thats all they can give you that then I’m sorry but a love month can become a goodbye month pretty damn easily. ( See bullet #1 & listening to what your mind and body want)
  •  Art. Read some poetry, some fictional work, watch a film, go to a museum, a dance show, play some new music. I am always searching for the human condition in it’s purest and most expressive form.
  • Show some lovin’ to your furry friends!! They’re there for you when no one else is! (Maybe cut meat out of your diet once a week?? Shameless plant based plug? Maybe. But animals need love too!)
  • Just caring about humans in general. Don’t engage in negativity. Ditch the stigmas you carry, the biases, the misconceptions. If you don’t get something learn about it. I have big feelings about not. making. others. feel. lesser.

Mostly I think that love involves expressive gratitude. What are you thankful for? Lead each day with the things that you are appreciative of, and you will find that love for those things, places, or people will flow quite freely. These are all things I’ve been trying to get better at working into my life. I really think reflecting is a great way to learn and make subtle, important changes.


An end note with a personal opinion:

I often see posts that look a lot like this circulating on valentines day:

You don’t have a valentine on valentines day? Well some people don’t have a mom on mothers day or a dad on father’s day so shut the f*ck up”

My human experience has included these two things:

  1. I have not had a dad on father’s day since I was about 15 years old.  
  2. I have been valentine-less for the previous 21 valentine days. 

I know how much it sucks to scroll through social media, on both of these days. Do you know how shitty it is to look through hundreds of pictures of people golfing on July 21st know that will never be me and my dad? I also know what it feels like to be totally fine on both of these days because I don’t have a dad on any day and I am happy for those people that get to spend time with their fathers. I also didn’t have a love on any other day.  I would be lying though, if I said it has never sucked to wonder what it’s like to be posting a picture of someone you are so in love with on a day meant for cherishing them. So it troubles me to see this post floating around, making people who may quite possibly feel as though they will never find love, feel even worse about themselves.  Wanting to find a person, does not mean you don’t feel bad for someone who has experienced loss. The two do not equate each other.

If you are lonely on valentines day and want to express that loneliness on valentines day that is okay. If you are not lonely on valentines day that is also okay. If you feel like you want to extend love into other areas of your life because you reckon you should give it back to the universe that is also okay. If you have a significant other that you want to celebrate on valentines day, that is wonderful and very ok. If you have lost a parent and are sad that you cannot show them the love you wish you could on this day that is okay (and for that I am so very sorry – because I know).

But could I please ask this: That we all be very aware and respectful of others & their personal feelings, all days. Especially on days when some of us might be a little lonelier. 

(And if there are lonely people in our lives maybe we just need to show them a little more love, not a little more apathy)

With the most love to everyone this month,

Kolina

Places Love Exists (Europe Edition)

For about as long as I can remember I have been showered with love. I am so unbelievably lucky to have grown up in a family that said “I love you” more than necessary (you can never say it enough).  I’ve always inherently known that love exists. Love is important. Love is a powerful emotion that guides passion, and caring, and changes the way we interact and give to those around us. However, what took me some time to appreciate is the multitude of ways in which love manifests itself around us. In fact, is has become a huge fascination of mine to search for it everywhere. So in little notes and scribbles I have acquired lists of places where I think love exists. Here is the Europe edition.

  • On a ferry boat in Greece where a father pretends to be a choo-choo train for his little boy up and down the isles.
  • The families on the streets of Paris. Both mom and dad cuddle and play with their children before they brace for the night ahead.  A heartbreaking form of love.
  • A teenage girl walking down the street holding her father’s hand.
  • The driver who skyped his Canadian friend on our way to the airport in Athens
    • Also, the way this taxi driver so absolutely adored his life.
  • A woman walking past me in Florence on the phone, pep talking her friend.
    • “You got to give it all you got and if that doesn’t work you are going to try something else. You can do this.”
  • The strangers on the street who helped my family get me to the hospital in Greece who then texted AND emailed us to see how we were doing.
    • We were no longer in their country anymore and they were still checking in.
  • The man in Italy who thanked me profusely for buying a single pen from him at his merchant stand. He clearly used this shop as a main source of income.
    • He apologized so many times for not being able to speak english. I wish I could have apologized to him for not being able to speak Italian.
  • My aunt who I have only seen a few times in my life, hugging me and crying as we drove away from her house in Nürnberg, Germany.
  • The family on the pier at Fuschl am See, Austria.
    • “Papa, Mama, Komm!”
  • An old folks home that was having an afternoon dance in Munich, Germany.
    • We stood in the streets, watching through an open door, as a room was filled with moving feet and laughter
  • The way my heart felt when I walked into a room and was embraced by friends that I had not seen for years in Schwabach, Germany.
  • The way thousands of voices sound when they gather arm in arm and sing a song called “Wahre Freundschaft” (true friendship) while the sun is setting on a field in Romania.
    • Also, the way culture has a way of embracing your identity and binding two people together in forever friendship.
    • Also, the act preserving a culture.
  • Le mur des je t’aime, or the wall of “I love you’s” in Montmatre, Paris.
    • I sat at watched as couples young and old, kids with their parents, and friends kissed and posed for selfies in front of the wall that has ‘I love you’ written in 250 languages.

I think the take away here is that it’s everywhere and its all-encompassing. In the past I have often tried to decide which forms of love were more important or unimportant to me. I didn’t give romantic love any sort of value until I experienced it. I know the earth shattering reality of what it means to share love with friends and family while they are still alive, because I know loss. There is heartbreaking love. There is love for places. Love for strangers. Love for humanity. There is SELF LOVE.  I’ve learned it’s all so very important and the ways in which love is present in your life changes. It’s easy miss out on the beauty of one form just because you’re too busy looking for a different one.

Most importantly though (here comes the cheese) … give love. everywhere. always. to everyone (including yourself). no matter what.

With Love,

Kolina

Fuschl Am See

Much of the writing I find myself recording in the little books I carry around with me is observation. Throughout my time in Europe I did my best to see people, to listen to the things that were occurring around me. One day, while my family spent some time on the lake in Austria, a particular family caught my attention and this is what I wrote once I swam back to shore:

 

“I am sitting on a dock in the middle of a lake; it is crystal clear, surrounded by mountains.

The water is cold.

The cold kind of fresh that makes you feel clean when you jump in

A family of four swims up to the dock

There is a dad, a mom, a daughter and a son.

The kids are young.

The boy yells “komm papa komm! Los geht’s!”

They are giggling and all smiles. I watch them for a while wrestling and throwing each other into the water.

Normally these things make me miss my dad- and while this reminded me of the times we used to have together- it made me miss the idea of family as a whole.

For so long I have wrested with the idea that having children is selfish.

That time and resources should be invested elsewhere.

Lying here, mesmerized by this happy little family I feel like I can’t tell myself this anymore.

Someday in the far future I am going to have a family.

I am going to have kids and adopt kids.
From a very young age I am going to look into their shining eyes full of potential and teach them how to take on life and appreciate it with every inch. of. their. souls. “

 

 

With love,

Kolina

World Hijab Day 

Yesterday was #worldhijabday and my friend Jamie and I had the oppourtunity to try on a hijab in the student Center of McMaster University.

While I can’t even begin to pretend I know what it’s like to put on a hijab with pride and fear that you’ll spend the day being ridiculed, mocked and harassed- I can consider what I can do in order to make those around me feel safer and valued.

I think this starts when we extend more support, get a little more educated, care a little more, and love a whole lot more than necessary. 

007// Finding Home

I wrote the first few lines of this poem in a grocery store parking lot in the notes section of my phone. The idea of home is something I’ve turned over in my mind for quiet a few years now and I’ve never really been sure what to make of it. However, in a hotel bed of all ironic places, I think I finally found the words…

And so that makes me think you really can’t make homes out of human beings.
Because they take things with them when they go.
Like the smell of their baking
or the sound of their voice when you call them on the phone.
They take their laugh
and their cologne
and the way they touch you.
They take the comfort
and the reassurance
and every answer
to every question they leave behind.
We settle like dust into the spaces between their bones
and when they go,
the parts of us that we moved in go with.

Humans are not your home.
you are.

Root into yourself. Dig lower.
Plant love so deep within yourself.
Tuck happiness into the safest corners of your rib cage
so that you always have some where only you know to look
Run your hands over every inch of your body
until you know it as well as the walls of the house you grew up in-
And know that you are home.
Say it as you feel yourself breathing-
One hand on your chest
another entwined in your sweet smelling hair,

“I am home,
this body is home,
my soul is so beautifully safe in this home.”

|k.tavares

Endless Possibilities 

Starting a new book always leaves my mind buzzing. The prospect of 200 blank pages waiting to be filled over the next few months is mind boggling- these pages represent the spaces that will be left where the tears fell and the ink can’t write, or the scribbles that try to tie my brain back together as I piece through this ironic and crooked world that I quite honestly adore. They represent something that is learning from experience by creating art, they are the harsh and disturbingly beautiful reality of what this world actually is. They are searching, and realizing, and discovering and? They are me. Wholeheartedly me.
I’m excited for what book 5 has in store and as always I really hope you are too 💋

With love, 

Kolina 

004// The Artist

 

It’s that weird feeling you know

when you feel like you get someone’s heart but you just don’t.

you know you have painted waves under their collar bones and the trees on their inner

thighs

 but you didn’t stick around to help them tread water or grow in the sunlight.

How can you take comfort knowing their limbs are withering, and dying and breaking

while you kiss the life right out of them.

you completely missed her soul didn’t you?

Eyes glittering though sheets that kept out light and therefor there was no real need to feel.

she will believe you.

She will think that through cracked lips and vulnerable sighs that she should care.

but it was you wasn’t it?

You , who with half closed eyes scratched a half moon spectacle into her lower back

you that burned so painfully sweet.

She was not your canvas to paint.

No one asked you to brush your eyelashes down her hip bones, and never once did she offer sugar to tame your demons.

You who chose to drown in her waters anyways. You filled your cup until you were drunk on her scent at which point you decided she was no longer your drug of choice

You who tried to glue the pieces back together into security and safeness

but pieces of a painting never fit back the way they used too after their canvas is broken

You should have realized that I am my own work of art and destruction

it never had anything to do with you.

02.04.15