About Me

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Christine Ama is a freelance fashion, arts and culture writer. She has contributed numerous articles to ADONE Magazine and SheDoesTheCity.com and worked for several years as a product copywriter for the Hudson's Bay Company. With a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an intensive Fashion Merchandising program under her belt, Ama is passionate about marrying her love for creative culture with the written word. In the past, she pursued music as a self-produced electro pop singer/songwriter called Christer (rhymes with "shyster" ;) releasing a full-length album, two music videos and touring internationally. After visiting over five countries in Europe, Ama temporarily relocated to Berlin, Germany where she worked and wrote for over a year. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

No Pictures, Just Words

I know, I know. Where the hell has she been?

What can I say? It's been a crazy couple of months. People get sidetracked sometimes. It's been a time of renewal, of transformation. Winter struggles to thaw, daffodils are peaking out from the boulevards and the sun battles the rain, aiming to bring us all warmth and happy days. The promise of change is all around, isn't it?

I'm finally re-integrating with the North American psyche. Money makes the world go around, especially around these parts. So if I want to pay rent, buy those boots, sip those bevvies and go on that road trip across California, I need dollars, lots of dollars. And discipline. And desire.

I got a second job, in an office, doing morning cash for a certain corporate restaurant franchise that shall remain nameless. For a while I was working three to four mornings a week there, plus three to four nights a week at Alibi, and my life became this dreadful march from bed to work to the bottle and back to bed again. Didn't leave much room for getting inspired, that's for sure.

But all the while, I've been thinking a lot about renewal. Sometimes I feel like my whole life is just this one level played to the enth degree and rather than moving forward I am just restarting it over and over again. Working two jobs and not creating nearly enough, swan diving into failed, fleeting romances and giving up on neglected projects. Floating in a haze of indifference and longing and just feeling generally unfinished, like something very integral and bigger than myself, is missing.

About three weeks ago I had a spiritual healing session with my friend Ari. My best friend had been urging me to go see him since I got back from Europe. He studied mysticism in the forests of Vancouver Island and since had become quite the professional, although not a capitalist by any means. He is willing, when asked, to guide you through an intense internal exploration of your sub-conscious, and figure out what the hell it is that's keeping you from realizing your greatest self. It's not always about purging bad energy, but transforming it into something new, something you can put to good use.

I was not so much a skeptic, maybe just not quite ready. But lately I had what felt like a large nasty ball of black hash in the centre of my chest, one that, over years and years, had culminated into quite the pesky demon. It became so prevalent in my day to day life, that soon I found I had trouble breathing and was getting anxiety. I couldn't focus. So I would work or party or do whatever else I could to ignore and escape the reality that I was somehow sorely dissatisfied.

I finally felt that I didn't really have a choice. I would go to Ari the Mystic. Maybe he could help. Or maybe it was all bullshit. But it couldn't hurt, right?

My best friend and I took the bus on a rainy, miserable Sunday afternoon to Ari's home off Victoria Drive. He, with his slim clothes and long black hair tied easily behind his head, greeted us warmly and made tea. For a long while we all just sat in the quiet comfort of his bedroom, arranged to accommodate a rather serene healing space, littered with crystals and charts and a massage table laden with beautiful cloth - all the expected New Age things that most people would scoff at, including myself. But you know, I've always felt that holistic healing is terribly underrated. The mind is such a complex, extraordinary machine. One needs only to explore it and nurture it to get results, rather than drugging it or analyzing it to death. Maybe all this hocus pocus was foolish, but it beat the heck out of therapy, mainly because it smells nice and is easy on the wallet.

Eventually we began "our work" and I won't go into detail, but it was quite possibly one of the weirdest experiences of my life. It was also overwhelmingly effective, a catharsis I can't quite put into words. Over the course of two hours, amid much humming and scent burning and hypnosis of some kind, we were able to explore in rather vivid detail the architecture of my sub-conscious. And what we found there was a beautiful, brilliant woman trapped within a nagging unlove for her own self. Someone who does not give herself nearly enough credit. He told me that I have been over-exerting my masculine side. Hilarious. I can be pretty emo, that's feminine right? But really the feminine side is the creative, intuitive side and I was failing to channel these into anything worth while, rather just putting all my energy into the latest load of dishes. The masculine side is practical, analytical and tends to focus on doing things rather than feeling things. I realize I spend most of my time running errands, cleaning the apartment or getting all my everyday shit done, and spend very little time nurturing that other part of me, the one that needs it most.

At the peak of all this, I felt a charge of white light finally breaking down that nasty ball of hash. I could feel it dissolving and splitting open like a seed inside my chest and I wept and cried out in pain and it was frightening and liberating and a huge relief. Ari talked me further through, beckoning the bad, ushering it out of me, steadily easing my nerves as we released some kind of sick emotional toxin out of my body, straight into oblivion.

When I finally rose from the bed, I felt bafflingly clear. Everything just suddenly made a lot more sense, either that or the things that didn't make sense no longer mattered. It was a glorious feeling. Placebo perhaps? Who cares. It helped. I suddenly felt like I had a grip on things. Over the next few weeks, amazing shit began to happen. About two mornings after my session, I woke up with words, endless floods of words, running through my head like race horses. I made coffee and sat at my desk and wrote. I wrote for six hours. I wrote until eventually I had to tear myself away to shower and get ready for work. Then I wrote some more.

Then I went to work and as I was there, all I could think about were these words I had been writing and wanting nothing more than to return to them. And when I did I was happy to see that they poured out of me even further.

A week went by like this, in which every spare moment I had was dedicated to these endless pages of writing. Writing about truth. Writing about love. It felt like I wasn't even writing the words but that they were writing me.

Since then, I managed to level out on a steady high of raised consciousness for about a week and a half. But Ari warned me that the harsh everydayness of life can easily seep back in. This, he assured me, was not necessarily a quick fix. There is no such thing really.

But at least now I have an outlet, a sanctuary in the root of my mind, one of peace and pure happiness. One that I can return to whenever I see fit. One that is solely mine.


  1. I just read this aloud to Jaz (he's also a friend of Ari's). Very inspiring Christer :).

  2. Krister, I'm making a documentary as a grad project at SFU on public art. One of the artists I've interviewed is Ken Lum, and I would like to include your photo of the East Van cross reflected in the skytrain window. If you agree, I'll give you credit (however you want it) at the end of the video; also, I would appreciate having as large a file as you have of that image for best quality (you can use SendThisFile or YouSendIt if its too big for an email). Thanks so much,
    Michael Cox
    mjc12 at sfu dot ca