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|Saturday, February 14th, 2015|
|compassion and not judging
Yesterday here in Halifax the police announced that they had arrested 2 people, a 20 year old local young man and a 23 year old woman from the USA. A 19 year old man had killed himself thursday evening when the police came to a residence to arrest him. These young people had apparently been plotting to go to a public place and shoot a lot of people and then kill themselves. No they are not muslim or apparently following any other extreme religious or political doctrine. Today the police elaborated that their target was a large mall, the one where my youngest son works as a security supervisor. I was sick and horrified, trying to imagine why somebody would want to do this. But wait it gets better. Late this afternoon I found out that I know the mother of the 20 year old young man:( She is not a close friend but somebody I have know casually for a number of years. My husband knows her husband too as he is a fervent linux computer person.
I don't know the details of his life situation, the suspect that is, if he was still living at home or not or what. The 19 year old who killed himself was the best friend of the other young man. The mother of the suspect is completely in a state of horror and shock and disbelief.
The moral of the story, as they are so found of saying, is that nobody knows the whole story. I have no idea how this young man who grew up here in halifax came to a place in his life where it seemed like a good plan to get guns and plan to kill random people in a mall and then kill yourself. The parents are a bit odd but not in the kind of way that one might suspect that their son would turn into some kind of psychopathic killer. But then that is usually the way isn't it:(
So I am so glad, no beyond glad, I am ecstatic, that the police prevented this from happening, my son's life might very well have been in danger. But I am also rocked back on my heels and reminded not to judge and to hold a space for compassion for others who are suffering.
I hope that these 2 young people arrested can move beyond just being labeled "murderous misfits" and get their lives headed in a different direction.
And please remember to hug those you love and tell them that you love them every single day. My son is at work today at that mall.
|Monday, February 2nd, 2015|
|Poetry for Bridghid on Imbolc/Candlemas
This year I have had a poem picked out for months. In the summer there was an intensive dance program a one of the dance schools where my daughter takes dances classes (she has been doing ballet there for 13 years). My daughter due to her special needs can't do all day weeklong programs, but we did go to the end of week performance. One of the instructors read one of her poems. She has been teaching dance for decades. Through a series of coincidences, we ended up getting a copy of her book of poetry and translations of the poetry of a couple of other people. I knew right them that I would be posting that poem here on this day:) But now that I look at it, that poem is a long prose one (it's the one that caught my daughter's attention and why we wanted to get a copy of that book of poetry). I am too lazy to type the whole thing out so instead I have picked a short poem that is on the next page:)
Soon I'll invent a mantra of zero syllables,
a choreography for air currents
around motionless dancers.
She also gave us a CD version of the book so that my daughter who cannot read can listen to the poems by herself.
Joan Kunsch lives in Connecticut
|Saturday, December 6th, 2014|
|December 6, 2014: 25 years gone but not forgotten
I know that today is just St. Nicholas Day for many. A dear friend is also celebrating her 45th birthday today.
But here in Halifax it is the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion which happened 97 years ago, yes, yes there are tons of christmas and holiday events going on too, a very strange juxtaposition.
For me, today will always be the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. It's been 25 years but let us never forget the 14 murdered women. This year to mark the 25th anniversary a scholarship of $30K a year has been established for women engineering students at the Universite de Montreal (I don't know how to get the accents to show up here).
Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz
Somebody has written a series of poems, one for each of these women.http://annahumphrey.com/blog/?p=330
|Tuesday, October 21st, 2014|
|heartache and heart break
Somebody I love very much in my extended family is seriously and probably terminally ill, out of the blue. This is completely unexpected and far before their time. Cancer is awful. Today is all we have. Hold your loved ones tight, tell your family and your friends and partners that you love them each and every day.
Someone said to me this week: "Sometimes the "best possible outcome" in the eyes of what is Eternal is something that brings a crippling sorrow to us living on this plane."
The sun is shining here today but my heart is aching.
|Friday, October 3rd, 2014|
|The circle of life goes round and round
Tonight at sundown is Yom Kippur the Jewish Day of Atonement. A dear friend has her birthday tomorrow and life has been difficult for her this past year, I worry about her and how she is drawn to what appears from the outside to be a community that to me and many others looks uncomfortably like a cult and one that rubs me personally the wrong way as the members seem to be Christians who are "borrowing" (as in taking holidays, traditions and reworking them to suit themselves) very heavily from Judaism. Cultural appropriation is not OK when we are talking about those who were here before the "white man" (and I do agree with that) but groups like Jews for Jesus (not the one she is involved with BTW) and this one are somehow exempt?
Anyhow, that is not the topic of this entry, just a small side rant, sorry!!!
Last night my son who is a med student was up all night delivering babies, the delivery room can be a joyous place of birth or a sorrowing one where birth and death go hand in hand. He is having experiences that will change him forever, writing themselves into his very spirit.
This morning I read a status on fb by an initiate in my spiritual tradition grieving out loud as a fellow initiate is preparing for their final journal of this lifetime. I didn't really think that much about it at the time, I was on my way out the door. This afternoon when I got home I was reading the comments on that status and suddenly I felt my breath catch in my throat as sorrow overtook me when I realized that I knew who they were talking about and no matter how much I shake my head in denial, I know his crossing time is near, not at all unexpected but hope against hope we still looked for a miracle.
In the space of so short a time I heard my son recount with wonder the births he took part in and then had confirmation from dear Shimmer that yes the fb post was indeed about that person and that the individual is nearing his crossing time.
For that elder and initiate (and his beloved husband), who is much of an age with me and Shimmer, I have lit a candle and pray that Those who watch over the dead and dying gather him up gently and rock him to sleep. I regret that I never had the chance to meet him in person. He will never be forgotten.
In the jewish tradition to which I was born for this lifetime, tonight I ask forgiveness of any I might have offended during this year and I forgive those who might have offended me.
In the tradition to which my heart and spirit belong I feel the turning of the wheel of the year, the passage of time and the coming of the time of darkness and communication with those who have gone ahead, the ancestors and the mighty dead.
blessings of light and dark to all.
|Monday, September 29th, 2014|
Today is my birthday. I am turning double nickels (thanks to Shimmer for that expression, I hadn't heard it before his birthday last year:):))
I admit that I struggle a lot with this whole getting older "thing". Where I live 55 is the first age at which I can access seniors' discounts.
About a month ago I made what for me is a major decision. I have decided to "retire" at 55, as a good friend says, to close folders in my life. I know this sounds puzzling as most of you know that I do not work for pay outside of my home. However, for many reasons that I won't go into here as most of it is not my story, we have had very large and unexpected ongoing financial costs. Although I have been a fulltime stay at home mom for a long time, I am a college educated person with lots of skills and experience. In the back of my mind I always thought that if worse came to worse I could join the work force or else find some kind of freelance work that I could do at home to bring in some extra income. For the last few months I have been working on an editing project and I have been unpleasantly surprised by taxing I have found it and how difficult it has been to find time and energy to devote to the project. I finally finished it yesterday and sent it off by email last night.
As of today, I am no longer thinking about looking for a way to bring in extra income nor looking even casually for career or job opportunities. I am going to trust in the Powers That Be and make that leap of faith that my husband's income now and after retirement will be enough for the 3 of us to live on.
It's worth pointing out that we are also in the laborious long term process of sifting through 18 years of stuff acquired by 7 people, that is how long we have been living in this house. We are planning to, want to and need to, downsize to a smaller, more manageable and more affordable house/home. It does look though as if we won't be able to do that until the spring of 2016.
I am off to get a cappuccino from a local coffee shop that is right around the corner from my house.
I am so blessed on this birthday to be the recipient of a surprise visit from my oldest son and his delightful partner who over the years has become a dear friend and welcomed member of our family. We have not seen either of them is over a year.
Today will also include homemade maple walnut brownies, sushi for lunch and if my daughter has her way, vegan frozen yogurt on our way to the ferry this afternoon.
thank you for reading:)
|Monday, April 21st, 2014|
Last night I went to the book launch/show by Rae Spoon and Ivan Coyote. The show was sold out, the small theatre venue was packed. The show was powerful and both of these individuals are so brave to put themselves out in public this way. Ivan Coyote does a lot of talks at schools and a lot of work supporting youth. The book is called Gender Failure. For anybody who is interested in issues around gender and transgender, I highly recommend books by both of these authors. I have read several of those written by Ivan Coyote. Rae Spoon is also the subject of a film called My Prairie Home.
My prairie home:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Prairie_Home_%28film%29
Arsenal Pulp press is a small independent Canadian press that is 25 years old. Both Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon are Canadians too.
I think they did some US shows but those might all be in the past. They have a few more Canadian dates on this book tour but I think it might be wrapping up. Both of them tour and perform regularly, if they come to a city near you, don't miss them.
|Friday, March 21st, 2014|
|Another book review
I an reading a book that is a collection of essays about urban wildlife, it's called the Urban Bestiary by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (for Heather: I have it out of the library:)) I am really enjoying it, currently I am reading about birds. I am a big advocate for those of who are city dwellers and don't get a lot of chances to spend time out of the city to look for the wild spots, plants and wildlife here in the city and reconnect with mother nature right here in the city:) Yes that would be me, the weird middle aged lady walking barefoot in the grass on the halifax commons on beltane:):) As we walked through our city today, we saw some almost opened purple crocuses, lots of snowdrops too as well as plenty other what my daughter calls "shoots".
|Thursday, March 20th, 2014|
When we built the extension on our house we couldn't afford to do any of it in a more eco friendly or "green" way, no solar panels etc. I was both sad and mad that important environmentally friendly practices were out of reach of regular folks. When our furnace finally packed it in a few years ago we also had no choice but buy a new oil furnace even though it is energy star and a lot more efficient than the old one. The new water heater? It's electric but here in NS that means mostly powered by dirty coal:( Yes we have a wood stove, allowing us to heat mostly with a renewable resource but that's it beside the regular stuff like turning off lights, keeping the heat down and we don't own a car anymore. Recently due to a tax error from last year's return, that was my husband's fault but also in his favour, we had an unexpected small influx of cash. We are spending most of it getting the new roof we were wondering how were going to afford. However, this also means that while we are not planning any expensive purchases, we do have a little more leeway in our daily spending. So, in a long winded way, I am finally getting around to the point of this entry. I have decided to start buying some LED light bulbs. I might buy some online to get a better price (they are still expensive that way though) but today was a payday so I bought 2 light bulbs. Yes, that's right 2 lights bulbs that with tax cost $34 (gulp!!!). They are supposed to last for more than 20 years and use a lot less electricity than the old fashioned kind I grew up with. When we eventually sell this house, you can believe that we'll be taking our light bulbs with us:) The new owners can have those awful CFL ones, those ugly twisty things that have turned out not to be such a wonderful thing after all.
I am very happy on this first day of spring to be able to do something, even if a very small thing, that will shrink my household's footprint as well as eventually lower my power bill (the rates keep going up of course).
|Thursday, February 27th, 2014|
WARNING: This post deals with the violent death of an aboriginal woman. I don't know how to create cuts here.
Those of you who are local to me or even in Canada may known about a young aboriginal woman from Labrador who went missing 2 weeks ago. Her body was found dumped in a ditch along the highway in NB yesterday. There were posters all over town here, she was a student ironically about to do a thesis on missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, 485 documented cases now including her. There was a poster on the power pole at the end of my street. I feel so sad about her death, she was just 26. Her potential thesis supervisor has written a couple of amazing pieces about her. Here is the second one:http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/honour-loretta/21987
The murder of women in general and aboriginal women specifically is an issue that needs to be addressed. As well as the murder of other at risk communities like transfolks. The more we talk about this and think about this, the more likely that we will find a way, as a global society, to stand up and say this is not acceptable.
RIP Loretta, you were a person who deserved respect and should not have ended up in a ditch like road kill.
ETA: 2 first degree murder charges have been laid in this case. I call upon the PTB let justice be done.
|Friday, February 21st, 2014|
|In my dreams
In my dreams, Dauphin Manitoba is not so terribly far away from Halifax NS. In my dreams, we can hop on the train, the plane, in a car and be in Dauphin right away. In my dreams we would have cake with my son and his partner for his birthday on sunday and then we would go over to the library and see the exhibit of his photos. Then we would hop back on the plane/train etc. and be home by bedtime. In my dreams only alas.
Here is a link to the photos he has in this exhibit. He is, in my biased opinion, a talented photographer. He develops his own film and has many different types of film cameras. His black and white portraits are stunning. http://digitaldenial.tumblr.com/
He has more on flickr including this one he took here last spring of my daughter taking a picture herself:http://www.flickr.com/photos/deesquared/11880430256/
I miss him, his birthday is this sunday, my oldest and my first baby, even after 28 years and 4 more kids he still rocks my world.
|Monday, February 17th, 2014|
On a whim, I have decided to start sharing books that I have read here. I just read Green Angel and Green Witch by Alice Hoffman. They are young adult fiction but stunning, IMO they combine love, loss, magic, fiction and reality is a way that just works incredibly well. They are short slim volumes and I believe they have also been published together in 1 volume called Green Heart.
|Thursday, February 6th, 2014|
|Good bye Open Diary
Along with writing here, I have on and off written for quite a few years on another site called Open Diary. I found out from a dear RL friend that OD is closing down tonight at midnight. I was able to go and download all of my entries and for that I am grateful. I checked out prosebox but really I don't have aspirations to be a writer. I just like to write and journal in a casual off the cuff kind of way.
I have much more of a sense of community and being at home here on LJ but OD was special and it was the first time and place that I wrote in a public way about knitting and other bits and pieces. I think that for me tumblr and also twitter fill that need for me as evidenced by how rarely I write here. But I come over here and check on my friends every single day. Yes I check fb many times a day but I don't miss it if I don't and I truly dislike fb a lot for many reasons.
I just wanted to say farewell to OD.
|Sunday, February 2nd, 2014|
|Ninth annual bridgid poetry festival
It's that time of year again. Happy Imbolc/Candlemas to those who celebrate. It's also groundhog day. In any case, we are half through winter or for some this marks the beginning of spring and the equinox the mid point of the season. All of those are good things. The days are getting noticeably longer and even though where I live there is likely at least 2 more months of snow and cold wintry weather, it's the short dark days that I find the most difficult and that part of the year is almost over.
So, let's post poetry online yet again. I also find this really difficult. Here is a link to what it's all about.http://gnosiscafe.com/gcblog/2014/01/31/9th-annual-brigid-poetry-festival/
My poem this year is about tea, one of my favorite things. I have seen part of this poem posted several places, I hope this is the full poem:
I wish we could sit down together,
And have a cup of tea,
But since we can't
When you have this one,
I hope you'll think of me.
If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are exhausted, it will calm you.
|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
|December 6th 2013
24 years 14 dead because they were women daring to study engineering.
22 years that this event has been marked by a national day of remembrance and action on violence against women.
95 years the time Nelson Mandela spent on this planet.
100+ years the time a friend's grandmother has spent on this planet, thinking of them as this much beloved elder may be entering her crossing over time.
96 years ago two ships collided in the halifax harbour causing the massive explosion known as the halifax explosion.
and finally 44 years that my dear friend E. has been on the planet in this incarnation.
|Saturday, August 31st, 2013|
I know I haven't written anything here in simply ages. The reality is that life has been more than a bit of an overwhelming marathon for the last several months, well more than a year really. Death, suicide, addiction, aging health issues, severe chronic illness, disability etc etc etc well someone near to me, friend or family, has had a challenge in one or more of each of those categories.
Anyhow, as I am decidedly not a person who shares an awful lot of personal information online, I haven't been posting really anywhere very much.
However, one of my long time favorite fantasy authors has a contest going on to win her latest book which is coming out this september. By the way, her blog is hilarious too and it is the only blog I read that has footnotes (LOTS of footnotes).
I'm not awful found of fb and I really dislike when people use twitter to promote themselves or enter contests so I am taking the third option and considering this my blog and using this space to meet one of the contest entry requirements. I figure that those who read my LJ are mostly readers and so will not mind overly much. Again, my apologies if this does bother you.
So here goes, first the blog entry on her blog and then what was suggested by the author on her blog:)http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2013/08/20/shadows-is-coming/
Do you love fantasy author Robin McKinley’s books Blue Sword, Sunshine, Pegasus, The Hero and the Crown, Spindle’s End, and others? SHADOWS is coming in September 26th! http://tinyurl.com/RMcKSHADOWS
Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it to enter a drawing for a signed copy http://robinmckinleysblog.com/contest/
|Saturday, February 2nd, 2013|
|2 poems for Brighid and Imbolc/Candlemas
My father was a great lover of Shakespeare. In his memory and honour, this year I am offering 2 sonnets, the first one chosen by me and the second one chosen by my husband:
Shakespeare Sonnet # XVIII
Shall I compare then to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd:
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ows't,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Shakespeare Sonnet # XXIX
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,--and then my state,
Like to a lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sing hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
|Thursday, January 17th, 2013|
|The humble penny
One of the things that caught my interest (again) in 2012 was the lowly 1 cent coin. In Canada this coin is being discontinued, the last ones were minted in 2012 and it was supposed to be withdrawn from circulation at the end of the year. However, merchants kicked up a fuss and the withdrawal was put off to february.
I have just about finished writing a zine about the canadian penny. I like coins and have been drawn to casually collecting them on and off for a few decades, I usually end up trading them in but I do have a small collection just now. I had first become interested in the penny when I learned about pressed pennies and started collecting them for my daughter. There are several machines in Boston that I visited with my dear friend S. and then again with my daughter.
Somewhere along the way, I discovered that US pennies were largely copper through 1982 and Canadian ones through 1996, those pennies are worth an average of 2 cents each so like far too many people I started collecting them:) At the moment, just by sorting those that end up in my wallet or my husband's pocket. I wish I had started doing this longer ago.
Apparently at the moment in the US it is illegal to melt down coins for scrap metal but even just saving the copper pennies is a way to do a little investing as each penny is worth about 2.2 cents. If you find any of the wheat ones (older pennies had wheat on them, I currently have exactly 1 of those) those are worth a little more. So, don't buy pennies for more than a penny but do start sorting and collecting them or send them to me:)
|Thursday, December 6th, 2012|
|december 6th, 23rd anniversary of the Montreal Massacre
May their names never be forgotten, 23 years ago they died for being women.
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
|Wednesday, August 1st, 2012|
My #2 son Zach Dewar married his longtime sweetie yesterday (6 years together and they've been friends for 9 years, she is only 23 by the way). It was a big production, they looked lovely, lots of family came to town (my oldest son was sadly not able to attend) and we laughed and cried (great speeches and we missed my dad of course). My daughter was a bridesmaid and my 5 years old niece was the cutest flower girl ever. I wore a dress and A HAT but did NOT have to shave my legs (thank you to my other DIL for the awesome tip that fishnets mean nobody can see you have hairy legs). My husband wore a tux(!!!!) and gave a speech too.
May all the Powers That Be bless this union. May they have many long years of love, happiness and good health together.