Writer in Residence

it changes

By Trynne Delaney

What makes us feel the need to change forms?

I meet up for coffee with a friend who says she’s leaning towards photography these days. She says it allows her to be a technician. That makes sense to me. All I know is that my writing should not be in public right now. It needs space; a changing room. In the meantime I’m thinking about textiles and sports. I picked up crocheting for the winter. Now spring is coming and I think I feel a change again.

An acquaintance posts about  queer soccer league registration and envy shifts in my gut. I’d register, but it’s in Toronto and I live here, in Montreal. The league is rec, and I’ve never been competitive, so this is appealing to me. I think about playing soccer with people who don’t somehow make me feel isolated and hypervisible at the same time.  When I was younger I was convinced there were no kids like me playing. So much of the sidelines work of soccer was talking about boys and relationships – two things I’d only considered in the way that I’d considered that one day I would grow up and have to do taxes. I felt sick that I couldn’t join the league. The acquaintance offered for me to come by to catch a game if I’m in Toronto this summer.

I like the idea of joining a soccer league in theory but I'm not sure I'm ready. This is not a body that can be pushed and being on a team makes me want to serve everyone; this body becomes a tool that can assist someone else's goal. How can I make sure that feeling doesn't distract me from what I need? I used to run so hard I would almost black out in service of others. One year, this attitude got me MVP. Now, I'm trying to change that. Sometimes, when I was running with the ball rolling ahead of me, I felt like I was so good – that if I couldn’t have relationships with the girls on my teams based on common interests, then at least we could all appreciate that I worked harder than everyone else. Now I know that I can't work harder than everyone else. I'm aware that even  that that narrative was one I constructed on my own.

What other narratives are out there? Creativity seems the strongest when there's something else that's moving with you. Writing is a practice that needs practices that are material and social. “In theory” can get tedious. For now instead of writing, I make a lot of things to unravel and kick towards the future. 

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.

Trynne Delaney is a writer currently based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal). They are the author of the half-drowned (winner of the QWF First Book Prize) and A House Unsettled. In their spare time they like to garden.