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Showing posts from February, 2006

The madwoman in the attic looking for inspiration...

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Where oh where has inspiration gone? Blogging was easy the first year, lately it's been like, umm, like not being able to find your pantyhose in the morning when you have to get to work in an office you've never been in before; realizing there isn't enough coffee cream for the 2 thermos mugs you need every morning, and milk is so weak; being driven crazy by the Wal-mart clock on the wall that ticks worse than Cap'n Hook's crook because time is passing and nothing is emerging; seeing all the bright diamond glistenings in the snow when you take your dog out for a romp and knowing it's all been blogged and so have whatever photos you can think of taking; a dull kind of February silence filling the well that's frozen...

What am I thinking about? Men, confusing beautiful creatures that they are, but that's a constant, so never mind.

I wonder about evolutionary theory and the development of ethics. This topic's come at me from 3 different sources in the pas…

A late Winter's path...

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A quiet weekend. My daughter at her father's, the exhaustion of single parenting sets in. Yesterday I napped on and off all day, and was too tired to go dancing at 10pm, even though I was showered and dressed and ready to go, so I spent an hour meditating with 'loving-kindness' instead and fell asleep. It's February, classically my most difficult month. Seasonal Affective Disorder. I've tried staring into full spectrum light bulbs in other years for an hour or two a day, clipping it to my computer monitor, making sure to let the light into the retina, with perhaps a minor sense of a lift the next day but nothing substantial. I slump. It has turned cold, wind chill of -17C, with a northerly wind, and I know I'm not going to make it to the lifedrawing session I thought I might attend tonight. What I will do is take my dog out to Christie Pits where she can run up and down large enough hills and buy just enough food for tomorrow at a local Italian grocery store an…

Favoured quotes

Not usually liking quotes out of context, prefering either the original author's or the poster's comments for embedding the jewel in, I, too, have my favourites. These speak to me about art, ways of being, meaning...


"I stopped and let myself lean a moment against the blue shoulder of the air. The work of my art is the work of the world's heart. There is no other art."

Alison Luterman


"You are not here to love the world; you are here to be love in the world."

Grace Johnson

A woman who is always there, somewhere.

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Update:edit. Thank you, Richard,and MB, for your invaluable feedback. I've made some small changes, & will let it rest a bit and come back to it in a few weeks. The drawing I did in the mid-90s at my long gone cottage on Georgina Island. She's not the woman in this small word sketch, but somehow a similar energy...

In his "wish stream" a woman like her doesn't exit. She is beyond the years of possibility. She is slipped into, and relaxed in, like a well-worn dressing gown, a comfortable old couch, a favourite cafe in which to ponder one's thoughts. She is the warmth of a female oasis where struggle isn't necessary. She is the mother's arms, the place of acceptance, the restful time of sunset. She is the quietening. She is not just over the hill, but down in the valley on the other side, laughing and dancing her opulences. There is no need to impress her, or even to pursue her. She is a feature of the unchanging land. The aging woman with unbounded …

Between One & the Other

There is a moment where you're not paying attention when you melt into. Before that, self conscious effort. If the ego is how we see ourselves, we forget who we are. In the forgetting we open. Looking back, we can't say when or how it happened. Only one moment we were skin sliding on skin and in the next culminating towards orgasm; we were moving our bodies with awkward rhythm and then we were dancing without care, liquid motion, instruments of the music; we were struggling with disassembled words that wanted to flow with great pasison but couldn't and the next we were writing our opus. It's the moment of melting, where we've disappeared from ourselves, that I'm intrigued with.

Hydra-head of Essentialism in Neuroscience

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Essentialism: women’s essence is maternal; to be fulfilled, a woman must be a mother and spend her life mothering. Which not only is ludicrous but dangerous to the life, liberty and freedom of all women to live their lives fully in any way they choose and to develop their talents, intelligence, capacities in any and every area of human endeavour, not just the one of raising children.

This is not to deny the importance of having and raising children! Nothing could be more important for us as a species. But that one half of the human race should be limited to this role is essentialistic. As if it is her unchanging, eternal role…

That thought system has not only been challenged but overthrown in the Western world, surely. After half a century of feminism aren't we are well past it? Does it keep cropping up in various forms because to have clearly defined roles for people makes the workings of a society easier?

The latest incarnation is in the field of neuroscience. Did you know that “fr…

Dancing Chameleon

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Since, of late, I've changed my profile pic rather too frequently, I set out to create one today. I'm trying to post something I can live with. This one's okay, the hall corner we (my daughter's behind the camera) took it in drab so I dabbled a bit with the background, whitened out the window with the tea towel hanging as a curtain. We liked the silhouette; the lines of the body; the painterly background. Perhaps I can leave this photo as a profile for awhile... going to try. I'm not just in an 'identity crisis,' shifting semblances of the self, but a 'life crisis.' Oh, sigh. Who are we anyway?

My favourite creature as a child in Zambia, where I lived in the jungle, were chameleons which I played with for hours. It's hard to stay the same, and yet we never change...

moon under ice clouds

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click on image to read the poem

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Pearl in an Iced Web of Light

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Tonight, the landscape iced, the streets, parks, roofs of the houses, encased. The branches of the trees I passed were glossy and fragile. I went out to photograph in the alley behind the house where I live, and came home with a pearl in an iced web of light.
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Update: I left this image looking like a stage set, the 'pearl' so flagrantly hung, as a postmodern homage to "Pearl," a 14th century poem by the 'Pearl-poet,' thought to be the same author who wrote, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." My hommage doesn't have reference to a Pre-Raphaelite or New Age female muse, doesn't refer to the courtly love tradition, nor even to the Christian sensuality of "Pearl," with its open adoration and jewelled luxuries, which must have been a relief after the austerities of the Byzantine era. But the "pearl" is imaged, held in a web of light: it's been found, is still shining all these centuries later...

Since I can…

Dance of the Dual

This is about a third in to The Move.
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Entering an enclosure of great transparency and light where things name themselves.*

Fulfillment of our desires is not fullness in itself, but a counterpoint between lack and abundance. To know one is to know the other. They are twin forces, balancing each other through all the cycles.

The creative force is the force of entrophy. An oscillating dance, each necessary to life and death.

Life cannot exist without death; so death cannot exist without life.

In counterpoint we know each other.

Dualism enables us to straddle the middle, the golden means, the pivot of the centre. Even in uncertainty.

On the threshold of being, non being.

The dialectic of our soul.

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*This line, I'm sure, is from Michael Hamburger's introduction to Poems of Paul Celan, which I would've written onto one of the copies of this mms. but which didn't get onto the computer, and which means a trip to the library...

A working printer, so editing...

After She added salt..., which was problematic obviously, this, which comes before On the edge of, which wasn't, and which I posted way last year. I have a working printer finally, am editing, but not in any order; since it's all I'm really writing these days, I'm posting little bits...


This is a piece on, hmnn, security, but it's poetic, so what I consider "the glue," connective images running through the whole book; She added salt... and On the edge of I think of "as bones."

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Is feeling safe in your domain security? Protecting your assets, information, property, who you are? She is without domain. Skinless, visceral wandering. Every abode temporary, a borrowed shell.Without firewall, dam, divider, enclosure, screen, buffer, barricade. Nowhere to hide. The parchments of her words peeled back, shorn of the sheaths of a fragmented grammatology.Exfoliate. She is peeled, pared, scraped, sloughed. Shorn of her home, its belonging…

The last post, on Core Values

I am surprised that my last post garnered not one comment. My site meter showed a healthy number of readers. I wonder what the problem was? And I wonder if I should consider it for the upcoming conference on the ethics of care; I worry, as ever. Writing always has to be poised, somewhere where it doesn't slip over the edge nor is too cliched, conventional.

Of the last piece, I could say, 'You can take the woman out of the Third World, but you can't take the Third World out of the woman."

Although it takes place in this culture, perhaps it's too alien to this culture? Too Africa or India or South American or ...

In that piece I aligned with probably 70% of the mothers of the world. Who do live in poverty, who do hold their families together in often impoverished conditions, who have a strength beyond reckoning if you really think about it.

I'd still like some comments, a discussion of any sort, encouragement, criticism, attack, it doesn't matter. Silence is the…

She added salt...

This is a later section from my story, The Move, and any criticism or feedback is appreciated. I want to submit it to a conference on Carework and Caregiving: Theory and Practice (deadline March 1st), but find it onerous, or perhaps I am fatigued with it. Some other responses, or readings of it, would help enormously. And give me a way to introduce it...
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She added salt to a bag of trail mix in the bulk foods store before sitting down with a coffee at a table to write. The colours of the street had became fainter and her step less sure on the wavering sidewalk, and she had sat on a bench until everything recombined. The doctor recommended eating something salty and drinking if this happened.

In the past few days she had eaten little and her stomach hurt from the lunch of minestrone soup and a pumpernickel bagel that her friend had served; this small bag of nuts, seeds and raisons seemed excessive. But she continued nibbling. She had lost too much blood over the past week.

Su…

The Move, Section #59 (An aesthetic of intimacy)

When you are making love to the light rippling in the window, the alter of streaming candles and precious leaves on the silk mat, the colour and movement and sensuality of the dancers around you.

When you are making love to the man or woman of your heart, dreaming your God or Goddess.

When you no longer care how you appear, when you've forgotten yourself, when you hold nothing back, unrestrained, and give everything, your entire passion -pain, suffering, anger, compassion, joy, love- to us.

This has become my theory of art.

An aesthetic of intimacy.

The Move, Section #80 (on miracles)

When I post a section I have to work on it, which is good, and so is feedback. Much of "The Move," an autobiographical novella, is about synchronicity. Creating new patterns and connections. Unfolding previously unknown paradigms into new realities, to be superceded by yet newer paradigms in the process of a life...

Section #80

She continued probing how what she needed, an apartment, furniture, kitchenware, appeared seemingly miraculously. She was like a magnet. Attributing it to divine intervention was just a form of metaphor to explain it; angelic beings weren't carrying items to her. Anymore than the way any church, synagogue or mosque attempted to co-opt the process of miracle to justify their version of godhead. No-one can claim ownership of this process. What religions attribute miracle to, the stories they create to explain what is unexplainable, because it can't be willfully recreated, are just metaphors for the process, a way to explain the way to.

She had her …

How do we think.

Do we know how to think? That's not as crazy a question as it seems. It started this morning with my wondering why we become entrapped in stories that we take to be reality. Like the Bible, or Koran, or the Tao te Ching, or the Mahabharata. These books are holy books, yes, and at the core of their culture's belief systems, but they are only stories. Stories that tell us how about the meaning of the world, how to act in it, and how to think. Because our thoughts are where we are most puzzled. The rest is easy, eating, sleeping, making love, working. Yet our thoughts affect our day-to-day reality and shape who we are and what we do. They are crucially important to our self-identities. Our thoughts compose us and compose our view of the world around us. But the ability to do this is a relatively new creation, entirely dependent on a 2mm layer on top of the cerebral hemispheres, the neopallium (Latin for "new mantle"), or neocortext as it is more commonly called, only ab…

Falling... a story about nothing.

Usually denying myself food and drink after 6pm because I don't sleep well and if I wake to go to the bathroom in the night, I'm awake for hours. Do I remember that my blood pressure is on the low side, and plummets if I'm dehydrated or hungry? Which I am every morning as I rise, make coffee, let our dog out, wake my daughter.

Walking into her darkened room in my long dressing gown, I step on a winter boot, the hem of my dressing gown catching under my foot as it slides, caught on the mid-calf length faux sheepskin. The bog of materials pivots me. I can't rebalance myself, my foot trapped by the gown and the boot, neither relinquishing their hold. I'm lightheaded anyway. I fall straight back like an ironing board.

I try to bend in mid-air, to allow my rump to take what's coming, but can't manoever my body. I fall onto soft carpet, inches away from a wooden chair, on the back of my head, which I'm trying to tuck in for protection.

After impact, I roll on my…

Canvas of light

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Click on the photo to go to flikr to see the slideshow of the photographs my 15 year old daughter took of her 53 year old mother that night, or the sidebar of Rubies in Crystal for a flikr montage of photos ...




Moving across the canvas, shadows. In the lights once I counted five shadows, some short and close, others long and stretching far. Did that mean I existed? How do photons spin around us and collide into the wall leaving a dark imprint of our shape? Are our obscure lives the canvas that catches us? I dance through the hours of my days, sitting, walking, sleeping, eating, talking. Breath is a dance. Displacing the air, sending the light spinning around us, the impulse of our thoughts flinging ideas into being through our bodies. Is a dance. You at the computer screen with your dancing fingers on the keys playing music for me who reads you. A grammar of light flies off into incandescence, shadowing, spotlighting, a flux that captures us, moments burnt into negative space, where it…

How a woman.

(Sat: With Blogger down again what was I to do but tinker with this? The first paragraph slightly revised (sorry to upload it again to those of you with feeds! Like the 9th time?)

Fri: How hilarious!- Blogger's been acting up this evening, giving error messages, refusing to open sites, and now that it's working again I discovered eight copies of this post! And 8 copies have been duly emailed to me!)

She looks in the mirror, pushes her hair back, curves her back slightly, smiles. The nightdress is dropped on the floor as towels are laid close by. She turns on the bath tap, feels the spray, steps in. The warm waterfall falls on her back and neck and shoulders and soaks her hair; flicking open the shampoo that smells like a meadow of alpine flowers, she pours honey-coloured liquid into her cupped palm, rubs it between both hands and sweeps them into her hair bringing a lather. With the tips of her fingers, she rubs her scalp until it tingles. Arcing her head back, the water runs th…

White Fire

Old projects that you didn't finish and feel guilty about? Ah, I know those. Some of them won't let you alone, though. Like White Fire. Blogs are always new, none of us want to read stuff from years past, so I've posted the beginning of this epic prose poem at my website. And I hope, by doing so, that that act triggers me to get back on it. I need to stop looking at it as a massive research project (which it is) and as something tiny and possible (which it is in incremental bits).

White Fire began in 2000. I wrote about 6 pages, which I read on a poetry show on a local radio station. It almost became a performance in 2001 too, with a troupe of a dozen disparate singers and dancers, but that's another story (that I'll obviously have to tell if I get back to the work).

It's an epic prose poem on the history of love in our culture. Ostensibly, that is, we'll see.

It's theme is a discussion on whether 'soul mates' exist. I personally don't believe …

Mezzotint, Encounters of the Moment