Posts

It was the strangest of years...

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I'm writing a book on this crazy and unexpected year. It's over a hundred single-spaced pages, and there's more to go. Can I succinctly summarize? No.

Snow floats in delicate dance from a white sky. That I can see from my basement window. Had anyone told me I would be here a year ago, I would have laughed.

This year I packed myself away and started out, like the Tarot Fool, unburdened and fresh. I left Vancouver and returned to Toronto, without a house to move into, without a job. It continues to be a wild ride.

I am reconstructing my life slowly. And differently. Having left and returned gives everything a freshness. But I am not seeing the same way. People are somehow changed. It's like I can see more deeply, and am surprised by what I discover. No wonder he or she was so loyal! No wonder I always felt oddly hurt by him or her! Perhaps I couldn't see below surfaces before, and now I can. I'm negotiating my way through my resurrected life carefully. Christmas wit…

Prodigal return...

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I had one of the nicest Christmas' ever. Low key, but with my family, my two brothers and my mother, on the 25th, and then my two children, two neices and one nephew, and bothers, and mother, and doggy, she's welcome at my mother's, on the 26th. Two years away, and what was not enjoyable before, family tensions et al, are gone, washed away. Just quiet gratitude. The way it should be. And why is it that sometimes we have to nearly lose everything before we let ourselves in to what's there, appreciate what we have? Or is it that I was gone for 2 years, and they nearly lost me, and so are being appreciative of me? Whatever it might be, it was very nice and has left me feeling, well, happy.

I wrote in The Move: "The prodigal return. When what leaves comes back. We return again and again to our roots in our memories and our dreams. We never truly leave where we have come from. Our past lives on in us."

But it's more than that. When you go back to what you can ne…

Happy Festivities!

Happy Holidays... and for those of you dreaming of a White Christmas. Whatever your family, &/or friend, rituals, however you celebrate the birth of the light, enjoy!

(borrowed the delightful White Christmas from Ken's site.)

Solstice 2005

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Receiving is Giving

I discoverd, looking at my sitemeter, that Freecycle Newswire linked to my post, A path of gifts. It was difficult writing, searingly honest- how fragile I am yet strong. But only strong in the sense of knowing that we give much to each other and it is through our love for each other that we blossom. How happy the giver of a gift can be when they see how wonderful what they have given is to the recipient. The art of receiving is as important as the art of giving. Loving kindness, support for each other, caring, helping, giving, receiving, surely this is what makes the world go round. The beauty of us. Finding that people really do care. Such plentitude in our hearts.

Digital camera gone awry

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What happened to my beautiful digital camera? It's 2 1/2 years old, was not dropped, just started doing this a few days ago- focus is gone, colour bleeds. While the effect is certainly interesting, I need a camera that works!

I have an extended warranty on it that's up next year; I am hoping Sony will cover the repair of this. How am I going to take photos over the festive season, or continue to create my photopoems without it?

Any ideas on what's happened to the camera?

Master Text/MasterCard

I am dressed in a black suit, leather boots, my curls free but tamed by a conditioner. Lipstick outlines my ready smile. I answer the phone all day at a head office for MasterCard. At lunch I eat leftover tandoori curry in a vacant office and then travel in the mirrored, news-screened elevator down to a coffee shop to buy a lemon-coconut pastry. What am I doing here? The crowds of well-dressed business men and women. I am alien to this moneyed world. I walk through, carrying my pastry, watching like an anthropoligist studying strange creatures who are bulging with hidden aggession beneath cultured veneers of wool and leather, their preened and polished gleaming highlights decking the concourse like Christmas lights. It is the opposite of the third world country I come from; it is the far end of the spectrum politically for me. When I was numb after my marriage ended and couldn't be a college & university editor anymore, I started temping. What drove me into this world is uncle…

The Move: Section #38 on seeds...

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From "The Move, " something to think about...



Section #38

Everything begins as a seed. A future is contained in the seed: the full, flowering tree; the whole person exists in possibility. All the information that is needed is contained in the seed. With an adequate mixture of necessary ingredients, it will grow and flourish in all the ways it was meant to.

Perhaps relationships begin as seeds too. What they will ultimately become is contained in the beginning. The parameters are set, even if unconsciously so. Attitudes and expectations, the rhythms of the way it’ll unfold, are prescient at the beginning. If one knows how to read the flickers of intuitions, dream fragments, stray thoughts, then one might discern the possible directions of the relationship and whether it will be ultimately satisfying and endure or not.

Careful and diligent tending is only as good as the seed planted at the beginning.

How else to explain the strange coherencies of her stories and dream images and th…

Dreams, ah, no, nightmares...

For a bit, who knows, I'm trying daily writing again... it'll be all over the place, though. Don't expect consistency in narrative, or the narratorial voice. Sometimes lifewriting, sometimes who knows.
In the cold, dark night I awake; the clock is flashing 2:03am. Sigh, why'd I awaken? Now I'll be awake for hours. It must have been a dream. What was I dreaming? I pull the two sleeping bags around me, the down one I wrap around myself inside the cloth one which is zipped up. I lie in a cocoon each night. Tonight I have woken perturbed. I think of the dream. And then I see the image. I must still be half asleep. I see an open cream-coloured photograph album on a dark sidewalk. The image suddenly zooms in. There is a photograph of a body on the sidewalk. Only her torso, her right breast, which is bare and splattered with blood. Everything is black and white except the splattering of blood. I don't see the wounding; I don't see what caused her death. I feel sick…

The Lock

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It was one of those days. With the large coffee urn and a shoulder bag with a thermos mug of coffee & lunch, I rushed out into the frigid day and just missed the bus. By taking a different route, consisting of running a block, 2 buses and a streetcar, made it on time; but when I got there I found I'd forgotten my purse. The last time I forgot my purse was probably 35 years ago. Someone lent me a token to get home, otherwise I'd have been walking. The 30 cup coffee maker was well received.

At the other end of the day, the same route of 2 buses and a streetcar took not half an hour but an hour.

The lock sticks. Well, it's almost had it, actually. You turn your key for ages and it half opens, and then finally, with twiggling and effort, the dead bolt slides back into its socket and you can get in to let out the dog who's been barking nonstop throughout.

My daughter let me in tonight. Her hair was still damp from a steamy shower, which was odd, because she never showers i…

A Coffee Urn

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Changing the world one gift at a time

In the past week or so I've worked a few days at a Community Services umbrella multi-service organization covering about 16 neighbourhoods of Toronto. Among the communities it serves, some stats stand out: its families are the largest in Metro, averaging about 4 -5 people; it has the highest proportion of single parent families; it has the highest rate of multiple-family households; it has one of the most densely populated areas of the city; as a landing place for new immigrants, it is the most multi-cultural area of the city; a disproportionate number of people live in apartment buildings of 5 stories or more; it has a high proportion of low-income families; there is high unemployment, and some of the areas rely largely on governement transfer payments; it has a high rate of homeless or transiently-housed people, and a high rate of people with mental health problems; there are a large number of food bank families in the region; it has a high p…

My daily practice...

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Since 1995 I've been a Certified Kundalini Yoga instructor. I looked online for the meditation I've done daily for 11 years, the Dhrib Dhristi Lochina Karma Kriya, and found it at two sites: one closer to Yogi Bhajan's version, and one geared to a Western yoga market. I've separated it from any guru worship. Usually it's 15 min a day, sometimes followed by silently focusing on the breath for an equal time, or more usually with a rest after, and once a month I do a 2 1/2 hour sitting. It has had a profound effect on my sense of ethic, of understanding that there are consequences to any action that you take. I understand the concept of reverberation through this meditation. Beyond that, it's an ally, a friend, my daily comfort and teacher. Thought I'd share my practice... *hugs xo

Unconcealing the Concealed: Intercepted Lightbeam

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Hmnn, in the midst of editing The Move, a pause which I offer for you to ponder:



Unconcealing the concealed, hidden, repressed, as a light beam carrying coded information is intercepted and changed, revealing its interception, because the interception itself remains as a record in the light, so unconcealing the concealed changes it.

What if the pathway of language were like a beam of light carrying coded information, and our attempt to understand what is being conveyed changes what is being conveyed because of our presence in the pathway?

What if I were telling you a secret, and, in your hearing my previously hidden secret, your listening intercepted the narratorial structure of that secret, and changed what I thought I was conveying through it?

What if there are no absolutes, and everything is relative, and it's all a matter of perspective?

Would actual memory exist, or only our perceptions of what we remember, that are being changed by our re-remembering, which are like interceptions…

Writing one's life...

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I have a compilation of a lot of bits of writing for my NaNo this year. It's a semi-autobiographical book in small sections that incline towards prose poetry. It's called "The Move" and explores what it means to live without security, grounding, a home. And the discoveries in it are quite profound. It's like there is the world structured by capitalism, an economic grid, where we work, buy what we need, etc. A demand and supply model. What the protagonist discovers is a larger deeper network between people, one that seems to work through 'call' and 'response.' That there's an almost telepathic connection between us all. And that we are in a network of interconnections and are supported simply by being here. Of course I want to get all soppy and say that love is the underlying energy and that we're all cared about, but have to consider how to convey that without sounding didactic...

I'm writing it in the 3rd person because it's, well …

A path of gifts

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A few of you have asked how I'm doing. Finally the words are coming...

Let me preface by saying that I arrived in Toronto August 1st with two suitcases of summer clothes. Without work for 4 months, any government assistance or charity, somehow I have managed to put together a small home for my daughter and I. How this has happened amazes me. It's a path of gifts, of many small miracles.

Money is the very strangest thing of all. I literally have almost nothing. I don't have what I have collected over a lifetime, nor can buy what we need. With that route denied, how things have been coming to me astounds me. Oh, Freecycle™ is amazing; so is my neighbourhood. Little things, I needed a plastic drainer for a dish rack & found one yesterday; I needed a shopping cart (3 in storage, nothing to use), found an old rusted but perfectly serviceable one; needed a printer for my daughter's long Civic's project, was given one by a Freecycle™ member, and she got 144/145 on it; n…

Blog Against Racism Day

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Yesterday was Blog Against Racism Day. You can still participate by leaving the URL to your blog against racism at the post by Chris Clark where they are being collected. Click on the active link above.



Poem from my Singing Bowls of Horizons.

Authors Authoring Our Lives

"If, seated on high, amidst the authors of our destinies, we could read the book of our life. Which is written. Already written, finished. But we shall never know our story. We are only characters in it. And to think that there will be readers of our book. They will open it. And they'll make fun of the murkiness of our night. Says the author~" Helene Cixious, "Stigmata."


Nothing grand like positing a Divine other as author of our lives, or even ourselves: history is the author of our lives. History creates the book of our lives, where we only live as a character, and even then a character in what becomes our own story, a story that we can never fully know, either. If we remain anonymous bearers of history, our lack of individuality is our story. And nothing is ever 'settled,' the process of revision after revision continues. Perhaps history is an author who never finishes the story that is written and rewritten with each successive generation. There is n…
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From my novella-in-progress, "The Move"- sections 50 & 51. Click on the image for a larger, readable size. Suggestions are always welcomed.


Section #50

A man who she met at a garden party, talked to all evening in his kitchen, and went dancing with late in the night at a bar with a jazz band and a toy railroad all the way round the ceiling with a tiny train chugging continuously, that new friend took her to the slough. She should have been packing. She wanted to meet his friend who lived in the wetlands on the Fraser River and wrote books by hand.

Walking on boards placed on the rich vegetation of the rain forest, a pathway opened into another world. She entered a lush and overgrown secret place where creativity flourished directly out of the imagination. Kaja, statuesque and beautiful, like a Germanic goddess, welcomed her. Tall, sensual, curly chestnut hair pulled up and tied, her legs bare and long in shorts, her green eyes shone with vibrancy and mystery. The magical wo…

What am I most grateful for?

Having spent the greater part of my life serving others and trying to fit into, I don't know, their conceptions, or conceptions I had of their ideas of how I should be, I have to say I'm grateful for whatever intelligence and talent have clung to me through it all and sorry that I haven't honoured either but I am trying to rectify that. You all, in the blogosphere, are a big part of this process of coming-into-being...

I'm grateful for the flock of angels who fly with me every day; for feeling as if I can cope, that I am strong; for being able to learn from my experiences in a positive and healthy way; for not being bitter or pessimistic. I'm grateful for my ability to see and feel the world around me; I'm grateful for the brilliance in everything...

And for the delicate smile at the corners of my beautiful daughter's mouth when she tells me she got an almost perfect mark on a major project that she worked for weeks on (she dropped out of school & I ended…

To post or not to post?

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Well, sending you to my website to read the first 11 pages was perhaps daunting, and who has the time? Many thanks to Jean and Laurieglynn for their very helpful comments! This section, from page 99, is perhaps not polished enough, and probably way too long to post as a blog entry. I'm not sure if I should leave it up or pull it. It's about the vast field of interconnections between us all and the many small miracles that happen continually in our lives. I think this section might be central to the theme of my novella-in-progress, The Move. It's perhaps a more theoretic section, and I think it has, I dunno, perhaps too Buddhist an edge to it (all that talk of no arrogance, although I don't actually say non attachment) that I have to scrub and polish out (it's non demoninational, though may have an underlying Buddhist philosophy, oh, heck, that's where I've learnt the most spiritually), and this section is in the midst of sections that are about happenings, …

NaNoWriMo?! Oooh, yes, & now the work begins...

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50627/50000 words

Okay, so the word count is 50627 by NaNoWriMo's unofficial count. Have I been writing up a storm? Nah. Oh, I've been sweating it, you have NO idea; I've been working with feverish incessant continuity, yes. I've been eating and sleeping this book. Lots of new writing, and lots of old writing. It's autobiographical in the 3rd person, go figure, and interweaves life and fiction, and so I've included many blog entries and emails as I tell the story of the last 8 months of my life. It's all been done in little blocks of writing that criss-cross each other, resonate against each other, dissent or assent, unfolding a story through events and metaphoric and symbolic images. There is huge, mungo HUGE editing to do. It all has to flow with a poetic voice, and that's not easy to create and maintain. I've got to put connectives in, discipline the narratorial voice into a consistent level, add the philosophical dimension of ambiguity and unknow…

Has there been a breakdown of morality this century?

From an article in Arts & Letters today:

Whitney Harris: I am totally convinced that Adolf Hitler was only a name that symbolized the absolute and worldwide breakdown of morality in the 20th century. It started in 1914 with World War I when everyone killed everyone and no moral standards remained. Revenge was the order of the day and any excuse was permissible. And afterwards? What did the communists do in Russia? And the Japanese in China?

Sixty years ago on Sunday, the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial got under way to bring leading Nazis to justice. Whitney Harris was one of the principle figures for the prosecution.

Read the interview, "I Hadn't the Slightest Idea of the Scale of Genocide."

The other day I met an old aquantaince in the park. We were both walking our dogs; there was a light dusting of snow; I recognized her, even in her ankle length wool coat, by her handmade felt hat. Her son had taken a year off between high school and university and with some money he in…

On the problem of concepts of equality...

The central problem with the concept of equality is that it presupposes a unitary subject to which all other subjects must adhere. If that prime subject is a white, upper middle class male, as it is in Western European culture, then we can see it is extremely problematic for women and those from so-called 'minority' groups. Women, for instance, have babies. This makes women, and women's issues and needs, fundamentally different to that of the unitary male subject which underlies the notion of equality. It also makes the diverse needs of ethnic peoples problematic. If we are all to be the same, how can we celebrate our differences? Personally I favour Parity over Equality, parity being a system that allows equality in difference, that recognizes and respects difference, sexual difference being a fundamental aspect socially and which, under Equality Theory, prevents a woman from attaining true equality with her male co-workers, but under a political system of Parity would gi…

From my current NaNoWriMo project, "The Move."

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From my current NaNoWriMo project, "The Move."

AUDIO recording...(4:28min) I am rather 'melancholic' at the moment, and recorded this 4 times, eventually going with the first practice session... Oh, and I've used one of my own photographs too.

Lo-fi: Uncertainty…
Hi-fi: Uncertainty…
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This is rather intense, but I can live with it (isn't that ultimately the only criteria?). The character is at a low point in the turning...


In the uncertainty of every moment, where the fragile knowing rests on unknowing, how do we push through the collisions of the days? The overwhelming propensity of the world bears in on us. It is vast and unfathomable and mysterious and yet we must. Go into the darknesses and wrestle with the disappearing light, call the dancing angel back, carry what is ethereal and impossible to grasp. Is it always a question of light, bringing ourselves to consciousness? Of evolving into who we…

In the Uncertainty of Every Moment

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From my current NaNoWriMo project, "Parchment of Roses."

AUDIO recording...(4:28min)

Lo-fi: Uncertainty…
Hi-fi: Uncertainty…
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The character is at a low point in the turning...


In the uncertainty of every moment, where the fragile knowing rests on unknowing, how do we push through the collisions of the days? The overwhelming propensity of the world bears in on us. It is vast and unfathomable and mysterious and yet we must. Go into the darknesses and wrestle with the disappearing light, call the dancing angel back, carry what is ethereal and impossible to grasp. Is it always a question of light, bringing ourselves to consciousness? Of evolving into who we are. And of healing the splits, the wounds, the places where the shredding, that couldn’t. How to move from a state of deliquescence to the harmony of integration. Where the ground of being is apparent. When integration itself is only a process that is superceded b…

Self-portrait on the edge of

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I'm not sure whether to post this photopoem, its extreme Hamlet-like self-referentiality. When did I compose it? Maybe a month ago? When Kyra, my daughter, saw the photopoem where it is reproduced twice, she told me it was an awful picture of me, that it didn't look like me at all, that if she'd seen it she would never have guessed it was her mother, and absolutely not to post it. The eyes, yes, she she said that was the only part that looked like me. Take that off the computer screen, she said. My fierce little editor....

Yet, on this rainy cold and broke day, I return to it, wondering. My manuscript is being written, yes, the artist is alive, so is the mother, but for how long without a job? This portrait was composed on the edge of.

Even I don't know who that woman is. Even I have never seen her before. She must be a literary figment...












It clicks to a larger and readable size, but you probably already know that...

Which is not large enough for some readers, oh Blogger…

How to fathom...

From The Move, my current writing project...

How to fathom the poetic metaphors of our lives? Where does art come from? What layers of our being do images arise out of? And how do they reveal our lives in their unfolding, and in what ways are they prophetic? It seems as if we already know the truths of our interactions with each other, and she is not sure how that is.

Her life was an artwork where a collection of images had clung to her.

The Aviator blessed as Shefi, butterfly spirit...

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A Mazahua Indian chief, "Margarito Sánchez Valdez, bathed the aviator in incense, wreathed his neck with marigolds and blessed him in the name of Shefi, a butterfly spirit, and Mysyohimi, the Mazahua's supreme deity."

The journey began "on Sept. 6, when Mr. Gutiérrez flew his ultralight, Papalotzin, an indigenous word for the monarch, over Niagara Falls with a cloud of butterflies beneath him."

From there he "traveled more than 4,375 miles from Montreal to Michoacán State, following the butterflies at low altitude. He logged more than 90 hours of flying over 72 days." Last Thursday, "Mr. Gutiérrez wheeled his ultralight plane painted like a monarch over the butterfly sanctuary...and brought it swooping in to land on a stretch of mountain highway."

His extraordinary journey made to publicize the plight of Monarch butterflies, who are vastly thinning in numbers, whose future as a species is precarious.



NYTimes Article: To Save Endangered Butterfl…

Photos my daughter took today...

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My daughter's into the digital camera (finally)... here's a merge of moi, from this afternoon, now how self indulgent is that? Nothing like those rich carpets of gold leaves... we are in an older neighbourhood with many beautiful trees, they are massive and wise and soothing, and often I reach out and touch their trunks, the knotted bark, and caress leaves as I pass by...

All images ©2005 Kyra Clews

A NaNoWriMo month...

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If anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year would like one of these nifty counters for their website - I've put mine in my banner - go here: National Novel Writing Month Progress Meter. Last year I swear seeing the little pointer move incrementally around the dial kept me going until I jubilantly huffed across the finish line with 50,000 words on the last day... (this from a woman who's got many unfinished manuscripts littered about, pieces here and there, until, that is, NaNoWriMo, a marathon writing month when you join in with tens of thousands of other insane writers around the world and convince your muse to take the worded trek, and to travel with you, offering you ambrosia and nectar and good kicks in the butt when needed, writing a first draft of a book of novella length by the end of the month)...

Shadows On The Wall - photopoem

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Our Doggie...

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Our dog, Keesha, taken today by my daughter (who doesn't like digital cameras, prefering the SLR, but, oh, Keesha was so cute...)




























A writer's dog?... flaked out after a day of heavy writing? You can see our minimal conditions at present: yes, that is my desk, which is also my couch, and my bed (shhh, it's actually very comfortable).

Keesha is a purebred Springer Spaniel, not the show dog though, the one bred for hunters. She's very domesticated. Very cuddly, sleeps mostly, loves any kind of treat, dog treats, people treats, droppings from cats (where she keeps small children's sandboxes in the park clean to my discomfort), organic recycling bins, bones, and sticks are good to chew too. She never walks anywhere, but pulls whoever's walking her (usually me) like I was a toboggan and she was a sled dog. When she's off leash, which is mostly if we're not crossing too many roads, she races from house to house, or field to field, or bush to bush, sniffing and ex…

3 - BOD (Book of the Dead), continuing the story...

Posting some sections of my NaNoWriMo novel, BOD (Book of the Dead) from last year. This time I'm including a little of the narrative of the woman's day-to-day life...


She checked the phone, and there was a message. It was from Jarret, "Hi, something's come up. I'm putting the children on the train. They have enough money for a taxi, so don't worry. They should be home around 6. I'll be back later, maybe tomorrow."

Nothing more, no explanation of why he wasn't coming home. She felt herself crumbling and began to cry. Why did women always cry when they felt overwhelmed or helpless? She cried deeply for a long time. It helped to release the tension inside. Where was her husband? Was the woman who had answered the phone really with him that morning? She sounded like a one night stand, since she didn't seem to know the name of the man she was with. Could it really have been her husband?

It was nearly six o'clock. She went to the bathroom and wash…

2 - BOD (Book of the Dead), continuing the story...

Posting some sections of my NaNoWriMo novel, BOD (Book of the Dead) from last year. Some other things happen between what I posted yesterday and the continuation of the story here which leave her rather frazzled, one of which is a 'crank caller'...


The phone rang again, and absent-mindedly she answered it. “I have been trying to reach you for hours,” said a deep male voice. The connection wasn’t good and there was static on the line.
“What do you want? Why are you calling me?”
“I wanted to tell you that there is a body in the graveyard, in an old and untended section…”
She hung up the phone and began screaming, loudly, hoarsely, and then sobbing. When it rang again, she picked it up slowly, “What do you want?!”
“To tell you that it wasn’t a dream. An old, homeless woman died in the cemetery where you worked. Her body is still there. You must find it and give her a proper burial.”
The line went dead. Shona shivered deeply. She felt suddenly cold, a sense of dread overcoming her. If …

1 - From BOD (Book of the Dead), for Halloween...

For Halloween, some pages from my NaNoWriMo novel last year, "The Book of the Dead," and I did post this section last year, and will add 3 more sections of this story over the next couple of days...

Her fingers and toes began to grow warm, tingling, even as they were freezing. She is losing feeling in them. She cannot move her toes, nor her fingers. They do not feel like they are part of her. Her legs feel numb. She tries to roll, and cannot move. Her cheeks, exposed, are like stone slabs, weighted and heavy on her face, etched with ice, and then she no longer feels her cheeks or nose or chin or eyes. She can't open her eyes. They are encrusted. It feels as if her scalp has been pulled off her head, a terrifying feeling, and then nothing. Her skin feels like a shell, an exoskeleton, but soon she can't feel the ice her body is ensheathed in anymore. She is still breathing, slowly, painfully. Breathing is laboured, like a huge weight is pushing down on her chest, and sh…

One Hundred Million Sperm A Day

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The original drawing, albiet with photoshop lighting, from a drop-in, non-instructional lifedrawing session at the Toronto School of Art.




100 Million Sperm A Day

100 Million Sperm A Day, ink, pencil on paper, text a digital layer, 11"x14", ©2005 Brenda Clews

Sassure and the biological referent...

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(Update: added a sketch drawn not on paper but with a stylus and tablet on a screen from a few years ago when I was writing a paper for another ARM conference... there's a counterpoint interplay and vision between the two images that I hope is evident.)

In response to the last post, entitled, "Passion, like a flame... or a semiotics of sexuality, or an anatomy of desire..." A little something on semiotic theory...

Hi everyone- I'm not saying that we as individuals want or don't want to have children, or even think about them if we're past child-bearing age, not at all, only that that biological reality is there in heterosexual unions in ways that aren't in homosexual unions.

So it can be looked at semiotically in Sassure's sense, where the "referent" is an object in the world, or a relation to the material world, rather than a concept of it. Sassure's work as a linquist revolved around signs. The sign is created by a signifier (material or …

Passion, like a flame... a semiotics of sexuality, an anatomy of desire

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From the September drop-in non-instructional lifedrawing session with the male model:










"Passion, like a flame..." ink, pencil on paper, text a photoshop layer, 11" x 14", ©Brenda Clews, 2005.

The drawing, when I'd finished it, seemed to speak about homosexual love, queer love, same-sex desire. The way it entraps, because of the culture, the struggle with it. For someone gay, it's not just, 'Are they potentially interested,' but, 'Are they gay, or could they be, too' - a double question. So he is... pulling back, thinking, yet crouched, his body alive with desire, his libido flowing towards the object of his desire. Whether who he desires is even aware of him is not indicated in the drawing.

As I worked on the drawing, I started thinking about whether sexual orientation configures the experience of desire. This profile of desire has no procreational element in it; it's pure sexual desire. Meaning it's different to heterosexual desire wher…

ARM Conference today...

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I am at an Association for Research on Mothering (ARM) conference at York University this weekend.



Good thing I finally splurged on an internet connection - I thought the conference was next weekend, and so missed 2 days of it! I volunteered yesterday, and sold journals...

More about these amazing conferences later, gotta run...
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Update: When you're working, you don't get to go to many panels. My view of the conference therefore very limited. It's mostly in the chatting between panels where I meet wonderful women doing most interesting work. But over-riding everything is a flow of mother-love, acceptance of each other, nurturance. It's hard to explain how fulfilling these conferences are emotionally. It could be Andrea O'Reilly too, who founded ARM, who's got a fun social side, heck, she's a party person, and not just a prolific writer of books, of which she publishes at least one a year. Leaders really do put their individual stamps on group…