Saturday, January 31, 2009

Do thoughts of accidents create those accidents?

Do you have these experiences? This afternoon I went to a mall to buy some groceries and on my return decided to walk the dog to free up the evening, when I had hoped to go dancing. Normally I wear snow pants to dog walk, but had leggings on under my jeans and that seemed warm enough. I undid a back button and slid my cell phone in, an HTC Touch I've had about a year. Doing the button up, I thought,

'What if I fall? The phone will smash.'

So I undid the button, took the phone out and slid it into a front pocket.

'That's safer.'

I can't remember if I've ever had 'a thought' travel through my mind of a potential fall before, not one where I've taken a precaution 'just in case.'

I did fall. I haven't fallen so harshly on my tail bone since my daughter was a baby, and that was skating on ice and it took a full season to heal. Eighteen years ago. Today I was playing with the dog in the snow and slid on a path that was snow-packed and icy. I lay in the snow for long minutes not sure if I had seriously hurt myself, no-one nearby. As the pain dimmed I carefully rose, on my feet, knees bent then straight, bent at the waist, then slowly lifting myself upright. Seemed okay.

Though sore. So I took Ibuprofen and stayed home and watched The Squid and the Whale, which was an emotional experience since my children also have lived/are living a bifurcated life between two households.

Back to the topic of this post. It happens. Falls in Winter. That's not the point. The point is that I moved my touch screen cell phone out of the back pocket for an event that I've never thought about before and which did happen. An accident - at the angle of the snow path to the sidewalk I'd gotten my dog way too excited and she raced towards me, careening into me and causing me to lose my balance.

Is it that we must immediately cross 'negative' thoughts with 'that won't happen' when we think them, otherwise... they happen?

My cell is safe, my tail bone perhaps a little bruised, and, yeah, lucky, but. Should I have dismissed 'the thought' of a possible fall when I had it?

Was it a premonition, or did the thought create the event?

If you've had these sorts of experiences, I'd love to hear.
Gradually I am coming back to the life that I live. My son has moved to his Dad's and except for a few short calls or times he's been by to pick up clothing and journals, there's been no contact between us. I feel bereft. Of course I do. But I understand his need to break with where he broke down is paramount at present. I trust him. He knows I love him, and that I am here for him, and that he always has a home with me. Unconditionally and without reservation, this love, this home.

Because I haven't any addiction patterns or problems in my background, I didn't recognize what was happening to him, nor was I much help, I'm afraid.

All I had to give was what I hoped was sustaining love, and through his being able to count on that steady love, the strength that he needed.

And who knows in the way of the mystery of things if his being here for a year, despite the difficulties, didn't also help to give him the courage to make the changes he needs to make.

I also hope his father is repairing their relationship, for that is very necessary for this young man.

He needs all the support that those who love him can give.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

An 87 year old woman doing the Salsa



I found this at Phil Bolsta's site. An 87 year old woman doing the salsa. She is amazing, at that age or any other. It's breath-holding to watch her turns and flips and dives. This is a woman with rhythm! She certainly resuscitates 'old age' and wow, is she inspiring. Indeed she is.

Even in the midst of the bare aftermath of the crisis my family is still going through, there is still wonderment and so I wanted to share the joy of this video.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My son is at his Dad's, recuperating. Since there is no communication between households, I have to rely on what my daughter tells me. Apparently they are looking into rehab for 6 months, which I feel is too long. Because the girlfriend's son is dealing with ongoing addiction problems, my son cannot live there. Adrian, my son, is, of course, welcome to live here, without any conditions or reservations. There is a whole network of support in Toronto for him, from my entire family, who visited him frequently in the hospital and have offered any and all help he needs, to friends of mine who have contacts in various organizations and can connect him to young men in similar circumstances, to the wonderful and loving friends he has made during his year here, as well as the various doctors and therapists he's been seeing in Toronto.

The room that became his in the basement has a separate entrance and so I could not 'keep an eye' on his comings and goings, but then it would not be 'my thing' to oversee him since he's an adult.

My approach is one based on trust. On openness. On a 'good enough' relationship where he felt he could talk to me.

For the most part, we have had this. The couple of weeks before his breakdown, he had become more distant, but then he was much busier with college, so the encroaching difficulties were masqued. The weekend of the binge, though, which began during the power blackout, he was nearly unapproachable and was obviously in emotional difficulty and would not call a distress centre. He was angry and depressed and questioned the meaning of life, how he felt trapped, how little he saw ahead in the way of positive change. The night he took the acetaminophen, I talked with him for 2 hours, and then his sister talked with him for another 2 hours, but I think he was just desperate to exit the vicious cycle of addictions that he had not been able to break out of with will power alone.

In most ways, his life was going well. As he said in hospital, he was actually happy with his life. He liked his part-time job, liked the people he worked with, liked living in downtown Toronto, liked me, his sister, and our dog, liked his classes and the people in them, and liked the women he's dated and become good friends with, and was perhaps developing a closer relationship with someone who had become more special than the rest. He wasn't sure why he wanted to end it.

I don't know why either, since I could see that he was starting to come 'into his own,' and it was exciting to see him creating a new life for himself here. He's been seeing someone at CAM-h, an addictions centre, where the philosophy is 'harm reduction,' and it wasn't working for him. In fact, and I hate to say it, he seemed better before the CAM-h therapy, something his father insisted on as a 'condition' for visiting, because Adrian had been clear of everything for half a year or so and was working on giving up his 'vices.' Rehab is 'abstinence-based' and that would be a better approach. Once he starts on a binge, it's hard to stop. And I think that's what happened - and it spun out of control, and it was the addiction cycle that tore at him, made him desperate, rather than his actual day-to-day life here.

He was so mad at its control - the addictions, what they represent, which is very personal and very complex - that control over him, the addictions: a master who was a monster from within, the addictions: what he would do to annihilate inner pain, a cycle which caused more pain than it relieved, that he would sacrifice his life to it to appease it. Like destroying the host that the virus was over-running. Short-circuiting the process by removing the victim. Or so it felt through the days I spent sitting beside him in hospital.

And perhaps he has done the miraculous thing he wanted to do. Deep within. Where it counts. A true success that no-one can guess or truly know about except him.

As I write this, I find myself bowing to my beautiful son, in recognition and honour.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thank you to those of you who dropped by with a message of warmth, support, healing. I deeply appreciate...

My son will be discharged from hospital tomorrow or the next day, miracle that he is, and is going to stay at his Dad's for a bit until he can go into a rehab program. His Dad's is not an ideal place for him to go, and there is his Dad's girlfriend's son, who is not a good influence, but neither is my apartment ideal. While neither place is quite right or appropriate to his needs, I support his desire to go there, where he may find some inner healing from the unexpected, sudden and total rejection he received from his Dad at the turn of the year last year when he was banished and wasn't allowed to return even to pick up his belongings after the few days he was spending with me over Christmas. He slept on my couch for 4 months before we cleaned out a room downstairs. It hasn't been an ideal situation here, though we all tried to make the best of it that we could.

In many ways I felt helpless to 'fix' or 'heal' what the other household had done to him, and saw difficulties, or perhaps it's better to call them wounds, of the heart, of the spirit, that were scary and deep.

So, in a day or so I will bid him adieu with the hope that the 'other' parent may find compassion within to rescind some of what has passed so that this dear, intelligent, and sensitive young man may heal inwardly and find a greater peace in his world.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day Four at the Hospital


Today Adrian started sleeping, finally. But in hospital they wake you for so many things! Blood pressure. Bloodwork. Glucose tolerance test. Lunch. Dinner. This test and that test. Team of doctors here. Et caetera. In the midst of terrible worry, I had to smile - last night was his worst 'crazy' night and the guy on the other side of the curtain in the room they shared was growling, so my son growled back, and was moved into a ward. He ripped his IV out twice and escaped from the ward, going up to the top floor, where everything was locked before he was caught and brought back to the ward! He was only trying to go for a cigarette, apparently. So they moved him into another semi-private and have "a sitter" with him 24/7, and as his vital signs normalize he is calming down. He's enjoying the company of the various "sitters" too I think.

I'm at the hospital about 8 hours a day, have stayed over two of the four nights he's been there. I love my son. I am grateful he is alive. I am grateful for him. He is a beautiful son, a beautiful person. The worst of the crisis has passed, and it comes with jolting awareness. I knew my son was complex, often depressed, sensitive, creative, intelligent, generous, feeling, carrying far more than he ought to, responsible, and yet I thought with the progress we've made this year, after his father kicked him out and refused to let him even go to pick up his clothes or anything else, so humiliating, this year he's spent with me, that as we worked through everything he was okay. He'd enrolled in college, was working part-time, has been dating and become close friends with some fantastic women. He seemed to be stabilizing. It's been a hard, uphill struggle for him, but something cracked. I'm not sure what. He is as fragile as are we all. I don't know how to be there for him in the ways that he needs. But I will try harder. Changes are ahead, what or how we don't yet know.

__
Cell phone photograph taken on Jan 23/09 by Natu, Adrian's sitter yesterday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My son took an overdose of Tylenol while drunk on Sunday night. I wasn't aware of it. I didn't get him to the hospital until late Monday afternoon. I spent the night in a chair beside him at Emergency. He was still lively and talkative, though nauseous and couldn't keep even water down. They gave him the antitode, liquids, gravol.

He was admitted to hospital that night.

His condition today is much, much worse. He tells me he's drifting in and out of reality and is having trouble differentiating a dream-like state from where he is. He is barely audible on the phone.

I'll be going to the hospital after his Dad leaves this afternoon (I'm not allowed to be there, the father's girlfriend's rules), and don't plan on leaving unless he starts to improve. I'm taking a camping mat and sleeping bag and will stay beside him, hospital rules be damned.

He's 21 years old. He's a beautiful young man. Oh, my son..........

Sorry.
my son is still in hospital, his condition worsening, but perhaps today will be the day of peak and reversal and of healing back to health

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major

Symphonies 1-9Listening to Bruckner's 7th, which I haven't heard in over a dozen years, not since my ex left and took Bruckner with him. It's the Jochum recording with the Dresden orchestra. Magnifique!

While I once heard Bruckner on huge speakers with booming bass, I now listen on a Tivoli hi-fi, with its inbuilt sub-woofer, and seriously, the sound is decent.

Bruckner to me is spiritual strength. We boldly reach for what we desire, and we dance with it. No light New Age-y airy stuff here. Dense, an impenetrable storm of instruments at times, like an orchestra of mountain ranges with dangerous sloping rock and deep bottomless crevices that plunge into the depths of the earth, beyond human range. And towering storms that move in a musical mass over the peaks. And the clear endless sky that opens out to the universe. At the centre, the heart that sings, with such passion!

Bruckner doesn't uplift me so much as buttress me against the oncoming tides of difficulties in their manifest forms. I find Bruckner in my bones.

Alexander Sokurov: Moscow Elegy - Andrei TarkovskyTarkovsky, in Sokurov's 'Moscow Elegy,' which I watched last night, says, of film, but it could be any art, that it is "a serious, difficult art, with great sacrifices."

Tarkovsky says, "It's you who must belong to the art, not vice versa."

Bruckner reminds me that we belong to life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

In the Dark of the Night

I

After a shower in the evening, I look for the hairdryer. A wind chill warning in effect, I don't want to walk the dog with wet hair even under a hat.

My hair is long and takes a long time to dry. I'll blow dry it a little and wait. We have time.

As I stand in the bathroom at the mirror, I disappear. The apartment is torn from the world.

I move like a blind woman through the rooms, searching for candles. At the window I do not see any lights, except distant cars. I phone my son at work. The grocery store where he works part-time has its own back-up generator.

Darkness retreats from the candle flame, leaving small globes of golden light.

II

Our apartment is heated electrically. Base board heaters line every room, and every room has its own thermostat.

My daughter keeps her room at 10C; I like mine about 22C. We keep the apartment at 17C. Tonight we plunge into frigidity together.

III

As the temperature drops, holding a candle, I look for my soft-fabric snowpants made by the Sundown lady who lived on Toronto Island and ran a cottage industry making warm bright down coats for babies, children and adults. She knew how to make coats for Canadian Winters. The snowpants are as warm and supple as they were 20 years ago when I bought them at her little store in a house on Richmond Street.

Or perhaps I am already wearing them when the lights go out, I don't remember.

IV

The first night is slightly exciting. Bravo and onward. My son insists his room in the basement is warm, and I go to sleep on my bed fully dressed, with wool socks and the snowpants, two down covers and a huge faux-fur coat from the late 1990s.

I talk to my brother who works nights for a couple of hours, till perhaps 2am.

The air is cool and yet faintly damp, like there is a cold fog.

Do I sleep? I don't remember.

V

My daughter is out of town, and I'm glad. In the morning I discover we have hot water and make a drink out of chickory and barley and a drop of table cream, something akin to coffee.

When I go downstairs to wake my son for his classes, I am overwhelmed by the smell of gas. He's alright. Upstairs my old Northern Telecom phone that's plugged into the jack works fine. I call the landlord and am on hold for 5 minutes before I hang up, find the Consumer Gas number and call and report the smell of gas. Men are here within the half hour, and they are downstairs about that long before I am asked to sign a form saying that they discovered one of the water heaters was leaking gas and so they turned off the gas and capped it.

This team only responds to emergencies; they don't do repairs. That's another appointment and another team.

Is it my hot water tank? Mine is the only new one of the four in the basement, having leaked last Summer and been replaced.

It's too dark to tell.

I don't know.

VI

The power failure and the leaking gas are two unrelated events. It is a bad day.

VII

At some point I sleep in my nest of a bed with its layers of covers. I don't know when, but wake groggily.

By then, my son is home, having missed his first class due to the bus service taking the place of the subway that isn't running due to the power failure which occurred because a major transformer station was flooded.

Flooding and heat.

Like my heart.

VIII

I buy a coffee at a Second Cup that has just had power restored. It's patchy, who has power and who hasn't.

My superintendent lives a few blocks away and though his house is in the blackout grid, he had nonstop power. He's sympathetic. He's glad I called the gas company. Because each of us rent hot water tanks for our units and pay our own heating bills, he says he can't put in an order for Consumer's Gas to come and fix the tank that was leaking, the tenant has to. We don't know who the tenant is.

In the roulette, it could be me.

IX

Fully weather-proof, I have only to put on mitts, hat and jacket to walk the dog. The neighbourhood is empty, save for a few other women walking their dogs.

It's unnatural.

X

I send updating tweets out over Twitter that go to my blog and to Facebook and friends there leave comments that come back through my email.

Obsessively, despite my cell phone being nearly dead. I siphon battery power from my netbook to feed the cell phone which gives me internet connection.

I feel dislocated from the world. Yet without lights, computers, TV, radio, the hum of electically-powered living, I am located in the world that is the world.

XI

Evening, and the inner temperature drops. The apartment is getting colder. I am wearing my full-length faux-fur coat with the hood on all the time now. I am shivering.

I call my other brother, who isn't home, and my mother, who forgets what I'm calling about and talks about the bank books she has for all of her grandchildren.

I phone a "warm house" and am told they can send a car round to pick up my dog and I right away. Thank you, but I'll wait and see later in the night. Okay, you have our number.

My son's friend phones to offer us warm refuge at her parents' place. She is very sweet. He and I are more comfortable with family, though. We'll wait for my brother, his uncle, who will surely rescue us.

He doesn't.

XII

Severe weather bulletin. A wind chill warning in effect. Temperatures are between -20C and -30C. Only 25% of homes originally affected by the power outage are still without power. That's us.

Warmth! Heat! Wherefore art thou?

Inside is like outside without the wind.

It's like winter camping, without the tent heater or the fire. Late one Christmas about 30 years ago I was in a bachelor apartment in a rooming house that had lights but no heat. The landlord and his partner had gone away and hydro cut the heat. I remember this particular type of coldness, its fog-breath. The ceiling cracked and paint fell all over the apartment that night and I broke my lease and moved within weeks. I put some of that broken ceiling paint in the journal I wrote, didn't I.

I sit on my bed wrapped in layers of clothes and the large coat under two down sleeping bags, my dog in a fleece coat beside me. I'd be gone if it wasn't for the dog, to a friend's or family or even a coffee shop. My breath is foggy.

My son will not leave. I am determined to stay, too. I buy a thermos-carafe of coffee while he picks up pizza. We eat by candlelight. He says he's tired and makes his way downstairs. I don't want him down there and to his protestations insist I will check on him later.

XIII

I only know this. I struggled and then lapsed into meditation, deeper and deeper, intoning a mantra, finding layers of calm beneath the water flooding the transformer station, finding what I'd forgotten, when, flash, the lights blinked on as if they'd never been off. The world began. Again.

___
When a Hydro crew arrived at the Dufferin transformer station, a relay station that turns high voltage electricity into usable energy in our offices and homes, they discovered dangerous flooding. The station was filled with water up to knee level and rising. They immediately cut power to 100,000 homes in Toronto. Power was restored gradually over the next day or so as they pumped the station and dried the electrical components. The blackout began around 10pm on Thursday, January 15th, and power was fully restored around 9:30pm on Friday, January 16, 2009. In the last area to be restored, we were without power for nearly 24 hours, a severe wind chill warning in effect for our region throughout.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Beginings of a Treatise on Performance Poetry

What I wish to do is develop techniques for videotaping and presenting performance pieces.

The writer, poet, artist, composer usually works alone. It is the solitary nature of creativity. While there is a great dissemination of work on the Internet, poetry is not mainstream. A century ago people memorized poetry, recited poetry in their sitting rooms, poets, like Byron, or Tennyson, were best sellers.

With the advent of media, poetry has disappeared into obscure journals, or Internet sites of individuals and groups dedicated to poetry but who really only read each other. The culture-at-large has all but forgotten poetry.

Poetry is beautiful, where language is most astounding. Most songs don't achieve the simplicity, richness or depth of a finely written poem. Poetry is honed language reflecting and shaping the concerns of the milieu in which it comes to be.

Yet poets are not singers, if they were they'd be out there like Leonard Cohen, or Joni Mitchell. Nor should it be necessary for a poet to add to their years of study of literature by having to also study film-making. There is no reason why a film of a poem has to be illustrated by images and carried with music, though, of course, these filmic components can add to the piece. My point is that the poetry itself should be enough, as were Dylan Thomas' lyrical readings on stages across America in his time.

Not just the words of a poem, but the reading of it can be magic. Poets can recite their work. There are poetry readings all over the world. Poets can perform their own poems.

What I would like to develop are film and editing techniques whereby the solitary poet, writer, artist, composer may capture their work in a solitary fashion on film and present it in video format to a multi-media world. I don't want to turn the poet or composer into a director at the centre of the collaborative venture a film is because this runs contrary to the solitary and introspective nature of most poets or artists.

By nature, the creative process is solitary. Poets are not collaborative. They read; they write. Alone. Surely a camera can be set up and a film created in the solitary world that the creative spirit works in for sharing with others. I am, therefore, exploring how the single camera on a tripod capturing a single performance can be edited to create a charismatic film of poetry that may be appealing to wider audiences and thus bring poetry back into the mainstream.

In this way poetry may become available to the masses who may find many poets, writers, composers superlative and celebrate and support them in the ways that they should be doing and would be if their work was presented in a format that the culture favours.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Waxworks by Ai!R

Today I found this on Jamendo (a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses), 'Waxworks,' by Ai!R, a Russian band. This music touches me in deep places. Perhaps I may find I am able to put some prosepoetry and movement to music like this (the license looks okay, a first hurdle, and of course I'd ask for permission from the musicians and credit them):

twittergadget emoticon tweet

The was , you know, , even the melted & the came out in the .

(TwitterGadget emoticon tweet.)

(the music was hot, you know, man + woman, even the snow melted and the stars came out in the daylight)

Sold All My Classical Music in a Fit of Poverty

Once upon a time I sold all my classical music in a fit of poverty. Downloading all Bruckner's symphonies, 31y261d! Will I be alive still?!

Today on Jamendo (a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses), I discovered this artist, Grace Valhalla, French, unique:



And then downloaded other techno, like a few albums of Project Mahlen Goscht, to paint by...

My kids were: Why are you listening to techno? And then I began dancing the dance of the pneumatic drill, the hammer, the screwdriver...

(they laughed as they shook their heads, crazy-mummy)

Yeah, I'm falling in love: with Jamendo. The entry of the Russians rocks my soul.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Slideshow


Find more photos like this on Creative Crossing

A slideshow that I posted to a site that a friend, Klara Elek, invited me to join. Not to replace my art website, but sometimes one should contribute to a site.

Looking at these pieces, I realize I haven't yet begun to paint. There was a very long hiatus of perhaps 20 years, and then a slow reunion to painting. These pieces are 'to regain my hand.'

The only one that's closer to 'painting,' for me, is the Landscape Figure. I painted this in November 2006, and shortly after began a series of contract positions in reception at the executive offices of a bank, and, while I'd hoped to follow the energy in this piece and produce a series of larger size, between my relationship at the time, my daughter, who went into crisis, full-time work and desperately searching for a larger place for us to live, I neglected to push myself to produce, always thinking, 'later, when time opens out.' But the emotional energy had dissipated when perhaps there was finally and again time.

Message: when 'it' happens, go with it, push your life aside, follow your art. They'll all understand, they always do.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Rubies in Crystal blog banner

I've put up a new banner and changed the colours in the blog.

I took the photograph, a self-portrait, last Fall, after reading Peter Handke's, A Sorrow Beyond Dreams.

(Click on photo to see it at full size, which looks better to my eye. I had to shrink the image for the blog header.)

Or this, which I... don't know what to say about.



The original photo, and don't ask how I did all the colour and whatnot, I did so many things in Photoshop Elements I can't remember!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Yesterday, our doctor thoroughly checked my daughter's foot and decided that she didn't need an x-ray. This was good news. It is most fortunate for the 'other' family that her foot wasn't broken because they did not make sure she received medical care after the ex's girlfriend drove over her foot. They left the "medical care" up to me, days after the accident happened, though 'the Commandant,' or what I call the ex's girlfriend, had enough wherewithal to drive her to Toronto rather than making her take a Greyhound bus home.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

the ice-pellet night

20:58 ...avoiding walking the dog in the cold, dark, snow mixed with ice-pellets Winter's night...

20:59 ...putting on snowpants, snowboots, muffs, fleece, wool socks & hat, faux-fur coat, earphones & iPod, and walking the dog... brrrr, bravo!

22:39 ...snow like little pins on the eyes was all that was exposed and got accustomed to Sirenia on low volume & thought of Milton's Satan

22:44 ...& of Wagner's Siegfried & Brunnhilde who wakes from a magic sleep
The ex's girlfriend needs a 'name.' I'll call her the Commandant. It suits her. And which she is, most certainly. One of my strongest images of her is her standing with her arms crossed, twaddling one finger on an elbow, in an Authoritarian pose, a la Milgram. Though she is a very buxom Barbie bleach-blonde who isn't skinny by any means and is quite tall and wears short mini skirts even though she's about 50 or something.

Anyway, "the Commandant" told my daughter to call her Dad for cab fare to and from the doctor.

Meaning=1) the Commandant knows exactly my financial situation and the detrimental effect getting my ex to cut child support will have on my family (she appeals to his cruelty, she knows him well). She thinks leaving 3 people without enough to pay rent, bills or eat is a fun thing to do, as any authoritarian personality would. She knows that I have a legally binding Separation Agreement where it is clear the ex must continue paying child support for my son and she knows I can't afford a lawyer who would stand up for me. She's laughing all the way to the bank.

And 2), to suggest that my daughter call her Dad for cab fare before she even dropped her off today tells me loud and clear that she knows exactly what she did to my daughter's foot when she drove over it and that she truly is behind manipulating my daughter into deciding 'not to' wait at a clinic or emerg for medical care (then the Commandant's 'traffic accident' would have to be reported and then her insurance premiums might go up, but let's care more about money than people) and how bad it really is since she knows my daughter cannot walk even the 2 blocks to the doctor (a 10 min walk at most under normal circumstances).

Could she have driven my daughter to her own doctor in the city where her Dad lives this morning? The one she took the poor girl to to get a load of anti-depressants that I assume she wanted to make the poor girl more docile and manipulable. Of course not. That would be to admit she ran over her foot and did not report the accident to the police as she should have, who would then report it to her car insurance company.

A highly manipulative woman who is extremely vindictive, oh it would make your hair stand on end to tell of some of the 'punishments' this woman has meted out to our family over the years!

You know, I wonder if the sense of ethic, compassion and fairness is a genetic trait that some people have, and others, like the Commandant, and the ex, don't have. While they treat my daughter as a weak little neurotic failure of a child, my daughter is in fact stronger than anyone in that house. My daughter has a strong sense of ethic, and for that she is amazing.

The Commandant's son, who was a heroin addict, on methadone now for 4 or 5 years, de-flowered my daughter mere weeks into her 16th year when he couldn't be charged with statuatory rape, and my daughter fell in love with him and was taken down the garden path of drugs by him and we nearly lost her, and my son, both in that house of doom, the Commandant's house, and yet her son's recovery only came about due to my daughter's strength and insistence on a drug-free relationship. I couldn't imagine living under the Commandant's rules and regulations and infinities of punishments, of which she mets out tons from what I hear, and I can well understand why no-one can live there without becoming dependent on drugs, street drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, they all have, just to survive, as I understand it, because the core is bad, without moral understanding, without an ethic of care. I accused them of being terrible parents and so she had my ex cut child support to 'punish' me.

This is the commandant, her methods. How she 'controls' people. She particularly hates me because I refuse to be 'controlled' by her. She has never been able to manipulate me. She has hurt me and my children in innumerable ways to 'punish' me when I speak the truth about what goes on in her house but she has not been able to bully me into submission. For a decade she's been trying to take over the reigns of running my life through my children. I refuse to talk to her; I will only talk to my children's father when there is anything to be discussed regarding the children. It incites her to fury, I'm sure, that despite everything she's done, I remain a free woman raising two children alone, and I'm doing a damn good job considering what I have to deal with.

They are terrible parents and my daughter's foot is yet another example of how dangerous the situation is in that house.

I write too much. The story is so shocking.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The situation has worsened. My daughter's foot was run over on public property, outside a "Sport's World." I can only assume medical treatment was not sought because if the accident was reported it might affect the ex's girlfriend's car insurance. It is my belief my daughter was manipulated into deciding not to receive medical care due to 'the time it would take.' The girlfriend would know that if she could convince the girl that she did not want to go through the hassle of waiting for 5 hours at a clinic, or longer at a hospital, at 18 years of age, and therefore capable of making a legal decision on her own medical care, there is nothing I could do legally about the fact that she didn't receive care. I did have quite a long conversation with a police officer located in their city last night and I decided not to put my daughter through the stress of having the police go to her father's house to see if she was alright because, like everyone else, I fear what the girlfriend would put my daughter through.

While it sounds like a normal sort of thing to say about ex's girlfriends, in my experience, this one is a highly manipulative and extremely vindictive woman. I have what I feel is a horror story of examples of what she's done to me over the years he's been with her. She will strike, and she has in this case. He hasn't paid child support this month. This would not be the sort of thing he would normally do given what has happened, but at her direction, or perhaps threat, he would. That child support covers half the rent on a 2-bedroom apartment. Without it, the rent is 85% of my income, leaving scant money for only a portion of the bills and no money for food.

With this loss of income (taxable in my hands, he surely is luckier than most ex's in that regard), I can only cover a third of January's rent now because of the bills and cannot pay the remainder until later in the month, and the City, for that is who I rent from, at market rates, there are no subsidies given to me, will begin eviction proceedings within 3 weeks of any unpaid portion of rent that was due on the 1st of that month. They don't wait, and they give you no reprieve.

My daughter's foot is somewhat swollen but she is able to walk on it and claims it's not painful; it is quite bruised on the upper arch. She came home and after a conflagration between us over her either working or going to school, went to bed. I decided to let her sleep and made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. The rub is that I actually cannot afford cab fare to the doctor's for her, for this is one of the dire consequences of her father suddenly and radically cutting child support, surely at the bidding of his girlfriend since this is her sort of thing to do when anyone crosses her.

When the girlfriend (they've been together about a decade and live together but she claims him on her taxes as "a boarder" thus avoiding the legal implications of the actual "common law" relationship they have and thus I call her "the ex's girlfriend") comes across these blog posts, I expect her to mount an armoured tank against me. But what can she do? I persist in telling truth; I do not manipulate; I do the best I can to take care of my children against what often seems unbeatable odds with what goes on in the other household.

Over my years of blogging I have endeavoured to keep the 'messiness of reality' out of my posts, preferring to focus on my art. I am not sure why I am now breaching my code, but it seems unstoppable. And if I must break the silence and speak, then speak I must.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

At least I have this blog. Blogger keeps legal records of whatever's posted when.

I am too scared to call the police because I am worried about the emotional and psychological ramifications for my poor daughter at her Dad's house. She already carries such a burden, I wouldn't want to make it worse for her. I care for her and love her very much.

I cannot do what is right because I am afraid of what they will do to her if I do.

There have been other injuries where medical attention was not sought for my daughter and I have been concerned about her safety for this reason at her father's for some time.

A 2000 lb or 3000 lb car runs over a foot, your child's foot, and you don't take her to the hospital and make sure nothing's broken or strained, that she doesn't need a cast or crutches or even bandages? Surely it's not just me who finds this reprehensible?

Yet I can do nothing for fear of what they will do to her if I do.

Catch 22. Kafka's reality. It sucks, let me tell you.
If I call the police and request that they visit the ex's house to make sure my daughter's foot is okay, at least it'll generate a police report on an unreported accident. Then if there are any broken bones or other serious consequences to not receiving any medical care when the accident occurred there'll be a police report, a validation that nothing was reported or done for the girl who was injured.

I'm inclining towards asking for help from the police but fear what the ex and his girlfriend will do to my daughter psychologically if I seek the help that I believe she needs.

It should not come as a surprise to the readers of this blog that I left my ex in 1997 due to domestic violence, not towards me at that point, at least not physically any more, but towards my children.

It seems a continuation of that story, how her Dad's girlfriend ran over her foot with her car and her not being taken to the hospital - they apparently 'drove' by a clinic and decided it was 'too crowded' - it would obviously have taken up too much of their Saturday to make sure no bones in her foot were broken or that she didn't need crutches.

If the woman had run over a stranger's foot and had not reported it to the police and had not sought medical care for the person she hit she would be charged.

How is what has happened any different?
Because my daughter is 18 and thus legally capable of making her own medical decisions, there's nothing I can do about the fact that they did not seek medical help when the girlfriend ran over her foot with her car. But it was a traffic accident and not reported. I can get the regional police in the city in which they live to go over tonight and check on my daughter's foot and make sure she is alright.

Thankfully the ex and his girlfriend are not making her take the bus home by herself tomorrow, but are driving her to Toronto, where they have told her to get me to take her to a doctor.

What are my legal options if any bones are broken? Or if there are serious consequences to not receiving medical care when the accident happened? An accident that was not reported, as the law requires.

And if I get dispatch to visit their house tonight because I am worried sick how will the the ex and the girlfriend take it out on her? And on me (he still hasn't paid the child support I am legally entitled to this month)? Will they make it difficult for her there if I get the police to go to the house, and make it difficult for her to tell me of further infractions against her well-being and safety in their house?

I am a mother whose child has been hurt and for whom no medical care was sought I am more than worried. As you can imagine.
My ex's girlfriend ran over my daughter's foot with her car on Saturday, supposedly an 'accident,' though the ex's girlfriend apparently wasn't being very careful at the time, and they did not take her to the hospital, did not get it x-rayed, and, while they iced it, at least that, my daughter phoned and said they wanted me to take her to a doctor when she returns on Monday. I am, as you can imagine, beside myself...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Three Photos

Three photos, taken with my simple cell phone, then photoshopped to change the colour. I'm not sure what to do with them yet. They remind me of different things. I like the first two, yet can't abandon the third.



Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Resolutions, or rather Prophecies...


What are your resolutions for this year?

Or, rather, what do you foresee?

When I look into my crystal ball I see...


That birds will roost in the clouds and oceans will sweep over mountains;

That life will endure and we will continue our exploration of it all; we, embodied mind, conscious body;

That we will become fascinated with a model of a rebounding universe that blossoms like an opening flower and shrivels to a seed and blossoms again;

That love is, always was and always will be. That we will laugh and cry and be born and die.

On the blue-green pearl that orbits.

This year will see a crop of superb leaders emerge, but there won't be any major revolutions;

There may be food riots, many more homeless people, it won't be easy;

Continued economic upheaval for the Industrialized nations, that we are in the midst of a massive redistribution of wealth due to outsourcing, which is restructuring the wealth of the world;

Continued warfare between the Palestinians and the Israelis, peace won't be successfully negotiated this year;

That our connections to each other through the Internet will continue to develop at incredible rates with information flying globally even as leisure and fitness while still centred largely in the gym will also involve the quiet arts of meditation, yoga, flow workouts, walking and hiking, easefulness.

That progress in understanding and halting Alzheimer's will make old age a more appealing process;

And so on, and so forth, it's a very busy crystal ball...


(Impressionist photographer, Gertrude Kasebier, posted by Lotusgreen at Japonisme.)