Showing posts from May, 2006

Floor Sweat


That obscure country north of the border...

"Canadians are healthier and have better access to health care than U.S. residents. And, according to a new study, Canadians obtain better care for half of what Americans spend on their medical system." CTV News

Not only that but, thanks largely to the Liberal Government under Chretien:

"The [Canadian] federal government has posted a whopping $12-billion budget surplus for the fiscal year that ended March 31 [2006]." Shaw News

Compare this to the U.S. Deficit of 8.4 trillion dollars. Methinks the US has to consider electing a president and a party who can put the economic stability of the country first, even risking electoral consequences to do it. And, Americans, do something about your national health care!

Hexagram of I & Thou



Crawl of vines
the window.

How can you breathe
without air?

Fresh, profuse tendrils.

My fingernails,
green like Spring.

Celine, worms
with five hearts
fill the earth
create the soil
out of which we grow.

The spirits are watching.

My mouth fills with loam
thick, rich humus.

Do I seek
what is too deep
and far away
from sunlight?

Thin mantle of earth
that supports us.

Remove the screen
find pure green.

It was the vines
that undid everything.

I'll tell you what's sacred.
Not the gods out there.
This flare of life
in the shrine
of our bodies.

short, unfinished sketch of funeral flowers...


A Moment...

Before the moment, or is there a moment? Something freezes in time, or does it, or is it only what we embellish? Perhaps we create a moment to represent the other moments, a snap shot of time that didn't happen like that at all.

Otherwise we'd go mad with the intricacies of living. Overwhelming details. Simplify, this is the mantra.

Why not take that stream of photographs, and play them as a slide show. Why embellish one when many will do? Let's overwhelm ourselves while the carousel goes round. As we breathe, so we shall image. Snip snap shutter bug. Flutter bug. The moments are memorable; each one.

Only what we remember isn't there. If there were a camera it would tell a different story to the one of our inner narrator. What we remember isn't on celluloid, or pixelated. We can't upload our memories because they aren't orchestrated that way.

Not as one memorable moment.

Our moment is an amalgam of moments. Clarified, pure. The image that fits our interpret…

A to Z Meme

I've been tagged by a beautiful bluebird for a meme

accent: mostly Canadian, but have been told undercurrents of English Southern African/Zimbabwean & British, & probably some Swahili rhythms

booze: red wine, usually Merlot, and dark beer, Guiness is good

chore I hate: vacuuming, swishing floors with a mop and bucket way preferable, or sweeping

dogs/cats: a Springer Spaniel with me, a shy black cat at my mother's at present

essential electronics: computer, digital camera, sound equipment, does coffee maker, fruit smoothie blender and toaster oven count?

favorite perfume/cologne:Angel - all kitchen scents, over a hundred, no floral, but usually don't wear perfume

gold/silver: silver for my lunar/lune-y self

hometown: TO, where I've been since 10

insomnia: wake for a few hours in the night frequently

job title: umm, dog walker, chief housecleaner, mother, writer, artist, editor, receptionist, tutor, meditator, blogger... :)

kids: two

living arrangements: close

most admired…

Slipstream, oh the tangled garden

post removed by author

"Never Got to Love You"

My tiny video clip of Leonard Cohen and Anjani Thomas, that Google kindly uploaded directly. I was holding the camera high above my head, couldn't see the viewfinder. The clip stops because my camera ran out of memory. It's just under 2 minutes. They are singing, "Never Got to Love You" from the CD.

I took this image from Book of Longing off the Blue Alert website, have digitally added copyright information and linked it to the site. It's too beautiful not to share.

My ex Mother-in-law died yesterday. The last time I saw her was in 1998, on a night when she came to look after her grandchildren so I could go out. I was working in an office when she passed away but I felt her presence so clearly, I knew. When I got home, my ex phoned and told our daughter. She said she just can't believe Granma won't be there this Summer, or at Christmas, that she won't see her again. We cried a lot. I helped her pack so she could catch the bus to the small town in southern Ontario to be with her Dad and brother. I wished I had a car and could have driven her, and also seen my son, who's living there and has taken it very hard. The cancer was virulent, fast, just over a week from when it was discovered; thankfully she didn't have to suffer long. I didn't get to see Granma, the way it worked out, but I did spend 2 hours in the hospital on Wednesday feeling close. She was 84; a good long life. Bless her. Bless her. Bless her.
The one who is dying lies in the hospital bed upstairs, unable to speak. The oxygen mask; the breathing tube.

The other one sits at the table at the end of the cafeteria by the window that looks out on the parking lot and the trees of the ravine and writes.

Canada geese walk carefully on the wet gravel, drink at the grey puddle, or stay under the pine trees out of the rain.

Upstairs the family drama unfolds. They don't expect her to live the week. It was all very sudden, this illness, this immanent death.

Those who know she is downstairs pretend she isn't. They think the old and beloved woman would have forgotten. They want to protect everyone. They are lonely, sad.

But she hasn't forgotten. Nearly breathless, the morphine dulling her consciousness.

The rain drums in the puddles.

The sprinkler is ridiculously on, a constant gush of water as high as the trees.

Sprays of water accompany the cars on the bridge passing by.

She waits.

Perhaps what needs to happen will…

Toronto Street Performance: Leonard Cohen Live

(click on image for larger size)

Leonard Cohen and Anjani at an outdoor concert at Indigo Books in Toronto on May 13th to promote his new book of poetry, Book of Longing, and her jazz CD, Blue Alert, of songs they co-wrote (or perhaps co-arranged, really they're his poems) and that he produced. The Barenaked Ladies were there, and singer Ron Sexsmith.

Leonard Cohen is 71 years old. It's the first book of poetry he's published in 13 years and is filled with his delightful line drawings. After the concert Heather Reisman, the owner of Indigo-Chapters, came out and told us Book of Longing had made it to number one on the bestseller list; the first time a book of poetry has been number one in Canada.

A few hundred people attended the event, and the rain held off until he had finished.

I did take some video with my digital camera, and tried to upload it to a couple of hosting sites without success, which is probably just as well since the quality is not very good. If you go to the

Mount Merapi

Can't we see why the ancients thought that a hell existed beneath the earth of fire and brimstone?

An angry underworld war lord belching flames for the unworthy.

Explosions of acrid smoke, flames shoot into the sky, darkness spreads over the land, rivers of redhot lava overflow, burning down the mountainside, searing villages, the world is ignited.

The heat cloud is growing, but, as of Monday morning, Merapi hasn't blown yet. Evacuations continue. Here's a news report.
They will come in the car. They will stop to pick you up. When you get into the car, they will be silent. There may be tears on their cheeks. They will let you know the barest facts. You must understand that they are numb, with shock, sadness, grief, anger. Perhaps there will be talk of logistics, how and when. These are the simple things, where we feel useful. You will sit in the car while it is driven the distance. If he is driving, his knuckles will be taut, white, on the steering wheel. He is already writing in his head what is happening, composing the elegy. He cannot fathom the split in his heart. This time it's real in a way that it never has been before. The one who I urge you to care for sits beside you, looks striken out on the grey highway, uncomprehending. The trip will be wordless. When they arrive home, they will all disappear, into other parts of the house, into their rooms, into the silence of their hearts, to wail, to struggle, to feel the deep heaving. My love is…

An Hour at Christie Pits Park in the Late Afternoon

Christie Pits is a ball park, with baseball, basketball, bocce, football, rugby and soccer fields, three small interlocking swimming pools, an ice rink, and a playground with a wading pool. It was the site of the worst race riot in Toronto's history in 1933. It's now nestled between Koreatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Little Ethiopia, and Seaton Village. It's one of the parks I take my dog to when I need to be alone to ponder on the meaning of. A block south is Bickford Park, an off-leash dog park with many frolicking canines for my Springer Spaniel to play with and hills or benches for me to ponder on the meaning of when I'm not chatting with other dog owners.

Yesterday's word sketch. I wished I'd had my camera with me, or more time to do a drawing. Today it's raining, natch.

I sat on a hill and wrote, in celebration of Spring, what I could see from my vantage point:

Green curve of hills, painted leaves across the sky, blowing, graceful. Soccer in the f…

Back, and back on track

ARM's Conference on Carework and Caregiving: Theory and Practice went very well. Professionals and academics from diverse fields gathered and presented papers and discussed the practice of carework from many angles. I'm still integrating much of what I learnt.

My daughter's been intensively working on a school project on our currently "one" computer - the iMac, which has never crashed nor come down with any viruses, and I managed to slip in to say hi. There was an excellent response to my two presentations, which is all leaving me wondering, once again, if I really do belong in academia. Oh, sigh...

Do you have an iconography of intuitive images?

One of the problems with intuition is that it doesn't operate according to causal logic. The first two times I 'saw' "Gargoyle Man" (see yesterday's post, 'Lizard Man') I let events unfold with fascination. Is there a connection between "Gargoyle Man" and the break-ins? I would emphatically say yes. Whether, by 'seeing' the image thrown up by my intuition I was also in a position to 'shift' the unfolding of intentions and events is another question entirely.

'Lizard Man' is a little differently configured. A new twist. Something less human and more reptilian; less amenable to reason or understanding. He was also 'inside' rather than looking at the dwelling from 'outside.'

Do I believe in magic? Magical consciousness is one thing; magical thinking is another. An image like this, however, lends itself easily to magic. So I can throw unsplit prisms of white light around our little home. I can surround the f…

The 'Lizard Man.' What do we do with our intuitions?

During the half-light when waking up I saw a 'Gargoyle Man' staring at our cottage (years ago when I was still married and had a cottage). He was a greenish colour, sort of like a stage costume, half statue, half man, eyes fixed on the cottage, not on me as I imaginally attempted to be seen. I thought, oh, a representation of the "Green Man" from British Isles myth, and started researching stone gargoyles on churches and houses. That wasn't the meaning at all. No invitation by my subconscious for an archetypal jaunt. The cottage was broken into a few weeks later.

I saw a similar 'Gargoyle Man' standing in the back yard staring at our house in Vancouver. A few weeks later the house was broken into when my kids were home and I was at work. It was very stressful.

Not much was taken either time. The images of the 'Gargoyle Men' preceded the break-ins both times. The men in the images were boyish, Pan-like, mischievous, but not harmful. As with any break…