Tender

Tender

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Ordinary Magic (A Maverick Missive)

Lacey Decorations (CAI)



 He asks me, 


is this world's ordinary not extraordinary enough

for you?

how would one miracle more be a cure for your incessant longing?


it's true,

but in that sneery way he has of always being right

so right away I turn away

unwilling to quite accept his flayed refrain

its insult contained in the idea that I could 

- like taking some kind of potion -

that I should

twist my heart and mind and notions

refine myself until I feel

- actually feel - 

complete and joyously ecstatic, 

as

witness to only ordinary magic. 



Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Life's funny that way

All is light (CAI 2019)

 We live in a system that has co-opted all of the world's resources into the game of capitalism, to the harm of the planet and the unwellness of the majority of the world's living, conscious creatures. Shifting that system towards wellness requires significant re-thinking of the relationships among governments, service organizations, for-profit organizations, citizens, and resources. The people in charge have no incentive to rethink those relationships, except one: self-interest. And so they do think constantly about reshaping those relationships, to the further detriment of Earth and all life here, while we just live our lives, not wanting to think about all those hard things, while they dismantle the bits of progress that have been made and put a stop to any movement in the right directions, while actively changing our systems to suit the top 1% regardless of the harm to anyone else. The majority of people being harmed would fight tooth and nail to keep it this way. That is the nature of the planet on which I stand. That is the nature of the creatures I live among. It's baffling, and it's terrifying. Everything is made of energy. None of this exists. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

The taste of love

We serve our love with the flavour of our maturity. 


Some of us taste like blue cheese 


Maturity (CAI)


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

An Open Letter to The Kids in the Hall

The view from the cheap seats

Dear Kids in the Hall,

Things I wish I had a chance to say to you on Friday night:

My awe is rarely inspired, and here I am, standing on my front lawn, with awe all over my face. No, I wouldn't ever say that out loud. My kids would just CRINGE!

Kevin McDonald is actually my second-favourite. No, I can't say that, it begs too many questions with no easy answers. But he is my only celebrity sighting in real life. 

Jennifer Whalen, where is more Baroness Von Sketch? Where is more of you? No, that's not about you guys. But seriously!

Guys - let Jennifer moderate! 

Dave Foley, you totally missed us in the crowd. We were the only family who were all wearing Kids in the Hall T-Shirts. Parent fans AND teen fans. The holy grail. I had your face on my chest, even! You came two rows behind, then, gone. Instead, we the audience got two-part questions and weird vendettas, plus people who put their hands up that they've dreamed about you guys when it's not a dream, exactly, but... WE would have said nice things about the new season and asked something fun. Your loss, my friend. But my gain, because if I'd tried to talk my kids would have died of mortification. Anyway, you should have let Jennifer do that part and maybe screen the questions...   No, strike all of that, it sounds so whiny and lame. Notice me! Notice me! You didn't notice me!

My 15yo and I watched the new season together and it was amazing for them to see your bodies as comedic instruments. Plus, the more full-frontal they see, the less mystique there is. It's an education.  Eesh, I can't say that!

I was really anxious when I heard you were doing another season. I was afraid you'd fall into the traps. Now, that sounds like I didn't have faith in you! I had high hopes but tried to keep my expectations low. I didn't need to. You blew them away.  Who am I to have expectations? Sitting here in my cheap seats beneath anyone's notice? 

This new work is a progression, a deepening, an achievement.  As if my opinion matters at all to these big stars, all tanned and content and aging well! Like, oooh, this random middle-aged woman with frizzy hair thinks our work is a progression! What a relief!

Hey, guys. Big fan since day one. Huge impact on my life. Love your work. Thanks.

Okay, that stands. But is it really worth saying?

Better not raise my hand. 

 

Sincerely,

CAI


Addendum Sept 18

Since you guys have been so much on my mind, after years of not having any space there at all, it's not surprising that I did, in fact, have a dream. In my dream I had just woken up from a dream and I went into the kitchen area of a B&B, where I guess I was staying with my in-laws, who were having breakfast, and I came in and said, I just had the weirdest dream...and before I could finish, Mark walked in, in a bathrobe, to get breakfast. This made sense to me. I exclaimed, hey, it's so weird you're here, I was just about to tell them that I had a dream about you! I was about to say, I had a dream about Mark McKinney and he said I wasn't funny!

Mind you, I don't remember actually having that dream, that's just the dream the dream me remembered having. I dreamed that I dreamed that Mark McKinney told me I wasn't funny, and then I told Mark McKinney about that dream. It wouldn't have made for a very coherent story, in any case. :) 


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Futile flailing

As above so below (CAI a long time ago)

When I read The Time Traveller's Wife (which I hated, btw), the thing that struck me about all those miscarriages is that she kept trying. I had one miscarriage and it devastated me in a visceral way. It kept me from letitng myself feel ready to love another pregnancy until it was at a point where it might live on its own. I was lucky, my next two pregnancies produced two amazing humans that I am honoured to be raising. But if I'd had another one, I think there's no way I'd keep trying. I would reconcile myself to a childless life before going through that again. 

But I may be wrong, based on how I live my life. Because when it comes to my creative birth, all I have are a series of miscarriages - projects began with love, holding such promise and my heart, but unable to make it past the first trimester because of money (mostly), time (also mostly) and energy (see time and money). I had a stillbirth project, nurtured and loved over a dozen years, taken to the brink of birth, only to die off due to lack of oxygen. Or, money, time, and energy. Or, Covid. I grieve.

Now I have a new project struggling in the first trimester, and I can't help but notice, I'm exactly where I've been for 15 years. I changed every single thing about my life, but somehow all the fundamentals are exactly the same, and I am in precisely the same place even though it looks completely different. No closer. Further off, because I don't have the joy or hope of a new project, just the drudge-dread feeling that I've been here too many times and I know how this story peters off and lets me down. My hope starts sounding hollow to myself. I can't even bring myself to talk with people about my project with excitement; in fact, I sound a little dejected, as though I'm embarrassed to be seen with it, as though it's already failed. Like what I'm trying to do is too big and also, no one will even get it, and anyway, I will probably never finish it or even get it past prototype. So. 

And the weird thing is, I am still fucking writing it. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Silent Agreement

Community (CAI 2021)

In relationship, chosen or imposed, we encounter difficulties and irritation with other people. Some personalities simply don't work well together, and for the most part, we choose to build relationships with people where that isn't the case. But we all have plenty of relationships, between work, neighbourhoods, and family, where our lives are entwined with people who have personalities that we find difficult, or who don't like us. 

When difficulties and irritation arise, there are two groups of responses - to address, or to ignore. 

If we choose to address, we risk conflict, so we often choose to ignore. 

If we ignore, we are responsible to LET IT GO. If we ignore and do not let it go, but instead add it to the Pile of Resentments, the pile will grow until it is too big to ignore. It is an important step of maturity to learn to Let It Go. For real. Truly. Not pretending to, not being the bigger person but secretly holding the resentment, not telling yourself you've let it go when really, you're still holding on. It involves self reflection. It involves employing empathy and compassion. It involves curiosity about the other person and caring about them. It's work. Work we do when we are in relationship with someone.

When we are stuck entwined with people we aren't well matched to, where it's hard to get along, we can assume a silent agreement between us, to use the years we will be entwined to better know each other so we can find more parts to respect and like; to use a thought-filter that gives the person affection and compassion; to actively look to build empathy for that person's experience; to give that person space to be themselves even when it's uncomfortable; to recognize where we're imposing expectations on that person and creating our own disappointment; and on, and on. Relationship happens over a long period of time. We will have many opportunities to practice these things, stumbling together with the trust that we are building relationship. Many chances of difficulty or irritation are bound to arise. We are bound to each other, so we must face them together. 

If our silent agreement is in place, the decision to address or ignore is made in that context. I may ignore a lot of things, and let them go as best I can, over time, and try to keep my resentment pile from growing. I may address important things, so that we can talk about what I'm feeling and what might help, risking offense, risking conflict, because the relationship is important enough to be worth working through conflict, with the silently agreed-to goal of mutual understanding and the silently-agreed rules.  I can actively try not to blame them, to look more fairly at my own part, be willing to deal with that. 

But what I can't do, what a relationship can't withstand, is Ignoring AND Holding On. Because that is a breach of the silent agreement. That is a failure to apply the rules of mutual understanding to the situation. It's a failure to keep the resentment pile from growing, and it will lead to Big C Conflict instead of the small conflict that could have prevented it, because the Conflict will contain all our resentment, everything we failed to Let Go because we failed to do our own work in the relationship by working on our own thinking. 

I think the silence of the agreement is the first part of the issue.



 

Friday, April 29, 2022

This wokening snowflake has boundaries and won't be gaslighted.



I’ve been horrified to see how the quickly the bully culture co-opts and destroys language before it can be useful in people’s growth and healing. The victims finally have a language and the bullies don’t like it. 

When I was growing up I didn’t have the words for how I was bullied - gaslighting! Now I have a word that captures the sinking feeling of being shown how wrong your very instincts must be, again, to feel that you’re being harmed in any way when the person you admire, even love, is telling you that it’s all in your head, that what you remember didn’t happen, that what you know isn’t true. Gaslighting. That’s a thing, it’s not my imagination, there’s a word for that! What a relief, to have a way to name it quickly, that nebulous, slippery set of symptoms that don’t quite add up to something you can prove and put a stop to. Thank you. Now I can see it, name it, recognize it, consider it and not dismiss my inner knowing. 


Think about all the insults - Snowflake! Liberal! Woke! 


Like considering yourself unique and special is laughable. Like being open minded to new ideas is despicable. Like paying attention to the experiences of other people means you’re not authentic. 


We had those words, finally, a way to shorthand very important, key learnings on a journey of personal growth, and they have turned them to insults, actions to be avoided. While we, ever the victims, put our heads down and tried to avoid their fists.


The bullies are doing to our language what they do to everything we love about ourselves. They belittle and sneer. They turn our words into weapons of shame, just like they do our differences, because they are bullies. They use whatever weakness they see to get an upper hand, feel strong, and sway the stupid, following sidekicks to do the same. Whatever reasons, whatever work they’ve done in their lives to grow up so this manifests in more socially acceptable ways (such as controlling a conversation, talking over someone, belittling their experience, teasing them about their stutter or appearance, laughing when they make a mistake, telling people not to be so sensitive and it’s just a joke), at the end of they day they have a bullying personality. So they will bully. They will look for weakness and poke at it, and they will look for strength and try to take it, turn it to weakness, weaponize it against us. To feel in control. For whatever fucked up reasons have fucked up their minds, hearts, and spirits that has NOTHING TO DO WITH US. For these reasons they don’t even know, they have successfully been stealing the words we use to describe how their behaviour affects us. Ooooh, whiny snowflake, did someone step on your BOUNDARIES and then try to GASLIGHT YOU? Boo hooooo hoooooo. They are silencing our voices, or worse, getting us to pre-emptively silence ourselves. They are undermining our ability to describe our experience. 


Anyone who sneers at another person who is trying to describe their experience is an asshole. Even if we love them. So don’t mind if I don’t let them decide what words I use to describe my experience.


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Ein offener Brief an die Fab Fünf (Queer Eye Deutschland)


Ich wünschte, ich könnte das auf Deutsch schreiben. Ich hoffe, Google Translate ist entweder genau oder lustig. (Englisch folgt)

Fab Fünf,
Ich bin in dem Moment auf Ihre Show gestoßen, in dem ich eine Queer-Eye-Intervention benötigte. So behandle ich die Serie, als ob ich mir, wenn ich genug Folgen hintereinander anschaue, irgendwie ein Leben auf der anderen Seite vorstellen kann, in dem ich all die Dinge realisiere, die ich realisieren muss, und all die Dinge auf magische Weise beende, die ich nie beendet habe. Ich benutze es wie ein Aspirin gegen die Flachheit, wie unmöglich es sich anfühlt, dass ich meine Arbeit jemals zu etwas Substanziellem bringen werde, ganz zu schweigen davon, meine Küche in Ordnung zu bringen und wieder mit dem Training zu beginnen. Es gab keine neuen amerikanischen Folgen, und dann tauchten Sie in meinem Feed auf. Ich hatte nicht erwartet, durch Untertitel eine solche Vertrautheit und Verbindung zu spüren, aber wow. Ihr! Beeindruckend.

Ich fange an, Ihre Stimmen auf Deutsch zu hören, die ich nicht verstehe, aber in meiner Vorstellung weiß ich genau, was Sie sagen. Wenn ich verzweifle, lächelt Ayan und sagt, selbst eine kleine Änderung kann einen großen Unterschied machen. Das nächste, was ich weiß, ist, dass ich meine winzigen, abstrakten Gemälde auf die Küchenrückwand klebe, und es stimmt, es ist klein, aber es ist groß. Jeden Tag schaue ich mir meine Stücke an und spüre meine volle Bedeutung. Ich fühle mich inspiriert, meine Kunst in meinen Raum zu integrieren.

Als ich die Plackerei spüre, die Mahlzeiten zuzubereiten, erinnert mich Aljosha daran, was ich bereits weiß – was ich mit schlampigem Groll tue, könnte ich mit Sorgfalt und Aufmerksamkeit tun, und diese kleine Veränderung könnte einen größeren Nutzen in meinem Leben haben. Es stimmt, und irgendwie wirkt Gemüse ansprechender, wenn es für Fajitas ausgelegt wird. Er macht die Musik an und wir tanzen in der Küche, wenn niemand da ist.

Als ich langsam den Kontakt zu meiner Sinnlichkeit verliere, erinnert mich Leni daran, dass Bewegung nicht anstrengend sein muss. Sie führt mich zu meinen Matten, wählt meine Musik aus und fragt mich, was sich jetzt gut anfühlen würde? Sie zieht mit mir nach Happy Rhodes. Ich lasse meinen Körper sich bewegen und meinen Geist zur Ruhe kommen, und ich erinnere mich, wie es sich anfühlt, sich besser zu fühlen. Wir sprechen über Dinge, die ich hier nicht schreiben werde, über meine engsten Beziehungen, die alle auf meiner Beziehung zu mir selbst beruhen. Über Leben und Verlust und Sinn. Ich verändere mich für mich.

Als es mich nicht mehr so ​​sehr interessiert, dass ich jeden Tag die gleichen 4 Hemden und 2 Hosen trage, nur um nicht darüber nachzudenken, durchwühlt Jan-Henrik meinen Schrank und fragt mich, warum ich bestimmte Teile gekauft habe, wie ich mich fühle und was ich wann gemacht habe Ich habe sie getragen, wie das im Vergleich dazu ist, wie ich mich fühlen möchte. Er bemerkt, dass mein Kleiderschrank 4 Größen umfasst und ich meine lebenslangen Körperveränderungen nicht erklären muss. Er findet die Stücke, die ich ausstehen kann und die es noch besser machen, und bringt mich sogar dazu, eines zu tragen. Er reißt jedes Mal ein paar mehr, um sie loszuwerden, zu verschenken. Für ihn versuche ich, kleine Änderungen vorzunehmen, um mich stilvoller zu fühlen. An manchen Tagen wähle ich sogar die besser sitzende Weste. Er wünscht, ich würde zustimmen, etwas hineinzustecken oder einen BH zu tragen, und ermutigt mich, eine bessere Lösung zu finden als die Tanktops, die ich derzeit ertrage. Vielleicht werde ich. Er hört zu und kümmert sich, wenn ich versuche zu erklären, wie es ist, ständig die Reizung durch Kleidung zu spüren und mit chronischen Schmerzen zu leben – wie sich jedes zusätzliche Unbehagen unüberwindbar anfühlt. Keine Lösung, meine Vorstellungskraft reicht nicht aus, aber er kümmert sich darum. Früher hat sich niemand darum gekümmert.

Und Avi, für dich habe ich einen Lipgloss hinzugefügt, weil ich dich liebe und ich weiß, dass ich schön aussehe, wenn ich ein wenig Farbe hinzufüge. Ich möchte Sie erfreuen, indem ich meine Schönheit hervorhebe, obwohl ich an diesem Punkt meines Lebens nicht geneigt bin, mehr als 5 Minuten mit meinem Aussehen zu verbringen. Wir haben Gespräche darüber, warum das so ist – meine Erfahrung mit Geschlecht, Sexualität, Gewicht, Altern. Was Schönheit bedeutet und wie sie gefährlich sein kann. Du bringst mich dazu, Dinge zu sagen, die ich mir selbst nicht sagen wollte, und wenn ich dich umarme, denke ich, wenn ich mit deinem Arm um mich auf dem Sofa sitzen könnte, einfach ein paar Minuten still sitzen könnte, würde ich mich innerlich ganz fühlen.

Jeder Tag wird schwer, mit Schmerz und Verantwortung und die Zeit vergeht zu schnell, um sich auf das Wesentliche einzustellen. Also, jeden Tag, wenn ich mich von Ihren Stimmen inspirieren lasse, kann ich Sie alle vor aufgeregtem Stolz für mich schreien hören, als hätten Sie die ganze Zeit für mich gewurzelt, als ich einen Schritt auf mich zu machte. Mit deiner Kameradschaft kann ich mich auf meinem Weg belohnen, anstatt mich dafür zu bestrafen, dass ich nicht weiter bin.

Wussten Sie, dass Vorstellungskraft die gleichen Teile des Gehirns anregt wie Erfahrung? Ich habe eine super Vorstellungskraft.

Ich weiß, dass du weißt, dass du Menschen hilfst, aber du wusstest nicht, dass du mir hilfst. 
Danke aus Kanada. 
-CAI



I wish I could write this in German. 

I came across your show at the moment I needed a Queer Eye intervention. That's how I treat the series, like if I watch enough episodes in a row, somehow I can imagine myself into a life on the other side of realizing all the things I need to realize and magically finishing all the things I never finished. I use it like taking an aspirin against the flatness of how impossible it feels that I will ever see my work through to something of substance, let alone get my kitchen in order and start working out again. There were no new American episodes, and then you showed up in my feed. I didn't expect to feel such a familiarity and connection through subtitles, but wow. You guys! Wow. 

I start hearing your voices speaking German, which I do not understand, but in my imagination I know exactly what you are saying. When I despair, Ayan twinkles his smile and says, even one little change can make a big difference. The next thing I know, I'm gluing my tiny, abstract paintings to the kitchen backsplash, and it's true, it's little but it's big. Every day I look at my pieces and feel my full meaning. I feel inspired to integrate my art with my space. 

When I feel the drudgery of making the meals, Aljosha reminds me what I already know - what I do with sloppy resentment, I could do with care and attention, and that little shift might have wider benefit in my life. It's true, and somehow vegetables seem more appealing when they are laid out for fajitas. He puts on the music and we dance in the kitchen when no one's around. 

When I start losing touch with my sensuality, Leni reminds me that movement doesn't have to be demanding. She guides me to my mats, selects my music, and asks me, what would feel good to do right now? She moves with me to Happy Rhodes. I let my body move and my spirit settle, and I remember what it feels like to feel better. We talk about things I won't write here, about my closest relationships, which are all founded on my relationship with myself. About life and loss and purpose. I shift. 

When I stop caring enough that I wear the same 4 shirts and 2 pants every single day just to avoid thinking about it, Jan-Henrik rifles through my closet, asking me why I bought certain pieces, how I felt and what I was doing when I wore them, how that compares to how I want to feel. He notes that my closet spans 4 sizes, and I don't have to explain my lifelong body transitions. He finds the pieces I can stand that take it up a notch, and even gets me to wear one. He yanks a few more each time to get rid of, give away. For him, I try to make tiny changes towards feeling more stylish. Some days I even choose the more fitted vest. He wishes I would consent to tuck something in or wear a bra, and encourages me to find a better solution than the tank tops I currently endure. Maybe I will. He listens and cares when I try to explain what it's like to feel the irritation of clothing, all the time, and to live with chronic pain - how any additional discomfort feels insurmountable. No solution, my imagination falls short, but he cares. No one has ever cared about that before. 

And Avi, for you I have added a lip-coloured lip gloss, because I love you, and I know I look beautiful when I add a little colour. I want to please you by highlighting my beauty, even though, at this point in my life, I'm not inclined to spend more than 5 minutes on my appearance. We have conversations about why that is - my experience of gender, sexuality, weight, aging. What beauty means and how it can be dangerous. You let me tell myself things I haven't been willing to tell myself, and when I hug myself, I think, if I could sit on the sofa with your arm around me, just sitting there quietly for a few minutes, it would complete something inside me. 

Every day gets heavy, with pain and responsibility and time moving too fast to fit in what matters. So, every day when I inspire myself with your voices, I can hear you all squeal with pride for me, like you were rooting for me all along, when I take a step towards myself. I can reward myself with your commaraderie on my journey, instead of punishing myself that I'm not further along. 

Did you know imagination sparks the same parts of the brain as experience? I have a super imagination. 

I know you know you help people, but you didn't know that you help me. Thanks from Canada. - CAI


Happy Rhodes today's pick Baby Don't Go https://youtu.be/_pHIp1pTKBQ


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Reaching for the pot from the fry pan

CAI & CDG, sometime ago

My guardian, my pimp, you left me here to navigate this plane alone, and I may never forgive you. 

I already have. You never left. 

Far enough to let me breathe becomes too far to keep me whole. Oscillation drags us down.

What is left? Left to do, now, what can be done, what will doing do, now? Left is right. Can we right what's left now?

When will you lift the heavy you use to hold me down? You say, that is death. You may be right. I may be left here yet. I've waited for the time and the time passed without coming. I've waited for the means but that means I'm always waiting. 

What do I want, anyway? A quite life, to waste away the days breathing life and playing? Yes. Yes. Yes. And loving and making. Not doing. Not doing and taking and doing some more. But don't we all? Want that? Doesn't everyone want peace?

Why should I have heaven while others live here in hell? How can I make my peace while the world burns?

Listen to Happy Rhodes. https://youtu.be/kCu5rPSQdDE



Friday, December 10, 2021

(Open Letter) to Joan Cusack

 Thank you for being a touchstone at every point in my life. You appear in more of my favourite movies than any other actor. You consistently choose films and characters that offer insight and range; you are completely your characters and completely yourself. You work with your brother which leads me to think you have genuine affection, which warms my heart and gives me hope. You seem like a person who cares deeply and also doesn't give two fucks, which attracts me like honey. I would know your voice anywhere, I pick it out all the time, and it's like a little gift, a reminder that you're out there, in the world, existing and creating beauty and curiosity around you just by existing, every time you unexpectedly show up. I even kind of remember you in movies that you weren't in, but should have been. I can reimagine every movie I've ever seen, and every movie I ever will see, with you in it. You always belong. I love that you're real. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Misted


Sometimes I catch the mirror
or it catches me; I stop
arrested by the sight of me, my beauty
a surprise
always a surprise to see.
I face me, head on
eye to eye
clear blue shining life crinkles warm with love for me
and I wonder: can anyone else see what I see? 
or is this beauty just for me?
hidden in plain sight, a missed surprise
a mist between my beauty and their eyes.  

(it's no coincidence that mist and missed are the same word)

Thursday, October 28, 2021

An Open Letter to Catherine Keener

 A Wind in the Door (CAI)


Dear Ms. Keener,

Do you realize that you may be the coolest person alive?

with warm regards,

CAI

 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

An open letter to Bill Murray

Bill Murray (CAI 2021)

Dear Bill Murray,

I saw you in the latest Netflix thing and what occurred to me is, you're getting old. Like me, I'm getting old, I just started a little later. But I was struck by the realization that you will live your whole life and never know me. I never really thought about that before, that you might die never having known me at all. It's too bad, but it's the way of things. I think you would have gotten a kick out of me, if you knew me; that the way you would have seen me, and my work, would have brought a unique and important energy to whatever I do next. It might have made up for some of the things I don't know about you, that still hang heavy. I think the pride you would have felt to be part of me and my doings would be worth taking to the grave, despite your many other amazing life experiences. I think that knowing me as a person on Earth would make life feel more complete. And of course, just being known deeply by me is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it's already too late. Getting to know me takes many years and not insignificant effort, and even then, trust builds in shared doing. Do we have many years left? No. And they are already pretty spoken for with previous commitments and callings. I'm afraid we don't have time to build the bond of knowing deeply. That time passed without either of us noticing. You will always miss me, until your dying day, never knowing what you are missing. Meeting me now would do you no good - it might make matters worse, at this point. A meeting between a celebrity, a fan? It degrades what's possible. You might think what you see is me, and walk away mistaken that you know me. You might die thinking you'd met me, and I was nothing special. Better to die having never met me at all.

With warm regards,

CAI

(listen: Happy Rhodes, the Issue)

P.S. It occurs to me that this letter isn't to you, at all. It's to the whole world. Or myself. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Doing anything is hard

Horizon (CAI 2021)

Doing anything is hard

like

anything at all.

When anyone does anything

like

anyone at all

they should be honoured

proud

we should celebrate that something

anything at all

actually

got 

done

when

we 

make 

it

so

hard

to 

do

anything


at



all.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Open Letter to Canada's Prime Minister

(creator not identified, found this on https://www.change.org/p/carolyn-bennett-o-canada-our-home-s-on-native-land)

Sir,

You must deal with the truth of Canada’s nature and relationship with the First Peoples. From killing Old Growth forests to missing and murdered women, from residential "school” to prisons where too many of the First Peoples are confined, from poisoned drinking water to eroded territories, from the RCMP to the OPP, I've barely begun the list. The truth is that our entire economy and society was never paid for, and can't be paid for. Subjugation and eradication haven't done their evil job, the First People are still standing, asking for the partnerships we promised. We are no longer the brutal people who first peopled this land. We know better. Know better, do better. 

We can't do land acknowledgments and then arrest land defenders. We can’t pollute drinking water and not provide drinking water. We can’t claim respect and absolve their murderers and abusers. Canada should be a land of integrity. 

Two things you can do right now:

1) Call off the RCMP from Fairy Creek. 

2) Find all the bodies of children murdered by the insane residential system, and do something about it. 

Then, enact every recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report http://www.trc.ca/. Take every first and next step possible. And then the next. For as long as it takes. 

Canada is amazing, but I can't feel proud of my country because of these failures. We need to get on with the hard work of building a partnership with our environment and our First Peoples so that seven generations from now, our descendants are still here.

Maybe in a few generations we can heal the wounds and build trust, but not until we start. The first step is to acknowledge a pattern of behaviour that is not working and is, ultimately, killing us. It's time to get healthier. Be honest, be clear. June is Indigenous History month. We can never fix the past, but there's plenty to do in the present. 

Submitted with respect for those who have experienced Canada's attempted genocide first hand.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Divvying up the pie (last slice)

The entire world economy is currently worth $87.55 trillion dollars. There are only 87.5 trillions in our entire world economy. Please note: 

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world with a net worth of $107.1 billion. will be the first billionaire to become a trillionaire in 2026 at the age of 62. 

Xu Jiayin will be the second billionaire to turn a trillionaire in 2027 at the age of 68. 

Jack Ma, will be the third man to hit one trillion Dollars net worth in 2030, at the age of 65. 

Ma Huateng, also known as the Pony Ma, will become a trillionaire by the time he’s 61 years old in 2033. 

Mukesh Ambani, is expected to hit one trillion by 2033 by which time he will be 75 years old. 

Bernard Arnault will probably become a trillionaire by 2032 at 84 years old. 

Mark Zuckerberg will be the youngest person to make a trillion at the age of 51 years in 2036. 

Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, is also set to hit a trillion in 2040 when he will be 83 years old. 

Michael Dell will have made his first trillion by 2043 by when he will be 78 years old. 

Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both set to hit $1 trillion by 2051 at the age of 77 years.

That's 11. Of 87.5. Owned by 11 guys in our lifetime. In their lifetime. And forever after tied in inheritance, never again part of the world economy the rest of us share. We're down to the last pass on the Monopoly Board and there are only about a dozen people on Earth who will win if we keep letting the systems run us. 

(source: Business Insider India, October 3, 2019, "Here’s how long it will take the world’s richest billionaires to become trillionaires.")

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Disposable

Unfinished & Tangled: A self portrait (CAI 2020)

I am not disposable. 

But maybe I am. I guess I am.

I haven't earned the right to know where I stand

to trust where I stand

I haven't earned the true esteem of a friend

When people look at me they see

what? not much. Not much here to see, to be

If I try to share what's here, I impose

If I don't, I withhold

and it's not very interesting, anyway

Never enough, always too much

Alone, in the end, 

alone again

even among friends

still 

alone. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Crow's taunt

(strange bird created by CD Good)

On our first day here, we saw a fox

large and orange and confident, trotting, just off 

in the distance, and I thought, 

we are closer to nature

we will have to watch the pets, I thought

but in the silence since

no animal has crossed my line of sight

all is quiet, day and night

save one, rare crow who sometimes shows his wings

flying off, he sings a croaking taunt my way 

saying, see, you are alone

even here

you are alone

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Hope can be too demanding

 

Long View

I understand that hope can ask too much

how comforting to sink back, let demands

float away, spend the days

not caring

I see it's not just easier; sometimes it's life saving

to forget to try, just wait to die

reduce yourself to the basics.

When effort falls flat what inspires more effort?

When trying draws judgement but not support, when doing takes energy from precious stores

When experience tells us the prize will cost more

than it's worth

abandoning hope can be a warm blanket safe haven 

a kind of birth

free, finally, from the strain always striving suck me dry try try try

treadmill hamster-wheel life of strife hanging on by broken nails

the carrot always miles 

away

I see why, today, you might decide despair is a better friend

and in the end

I can't disagree, even though I see there's something lost in translation

I can't shake your ambition free; it's hard enough to do it

for myself. 



Friday, January 29, 2021

Gash

A gash in the sky


The wound of belonging
knicked open clumsily
gashed open suddenly
a gift reversed, transaction gone wrong
then the burst
head roaring outrage chest fire lava bubbles skin hot stomach
punch
knife pierce right through the eyes
I sigh
because here it is again
not overcome, not won against
not vanquished 
not gone, just scabbed over
raw red, throbbing, vulnerable, waiting 
to be ripped open
and I wanted to be zenner than that. 


Friday, January 8, 2021

Frozen in place (lyrics, can you hear a tune?)

Frozen in Place (CAI2020)

I thought that I would matter 

But I don’t

I thought my words would gather

But they don’t

I thought I’d be important, a person who decides

I thought that people would be drawn to the truths I’d write

I thought my life would keep unfolding with the next surprise

But it won’t.


I thought the years held promise

But they don’t

I thought my dreams would fly

But they won’t

I thought that hopes and effort could give my visions life

I thought that recognition would reciprocally arrive

I thought the world would see me in my wonder if I tried

But it won’t.


Unfolding years resign me to the loss and dread and fear

Try again? Why try again?

To speak when no one hears

No spark, no lift

Each try falls flat, depleting precious stores

Hope recedes unyielding as failure takes its course


Do or don’t, whatever, it never was a choice.


I thought one day I’d matter 

But I don’t

I thought my works would gather

But they don’t

I thought I’d bring some clarity, and people would respond

I thought my tribe would find me and together we’d expand

I thought the world would strive for peace and I would take its hand

But we won’t.


Dread-dull resignation has replaced my faith in lies. 

(lyrics, can you hear the music? please share)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Purgatorial oppositions

The Grey Zone (CAI 2020)

I enjoy meat. I hate eating dead animals. I love sugar and cheese. I hate being overweight. 

What a funny pergatorial planet, where everything is available but all of it bad for you, except what's good for you but unappealing. That's just its nature. I mustn't let it bother me so. 

Integrity's balance doesn't mean the oppositions are balanced equally, and it also doesn't have to mean choosing to exclusion. Integrity can sway, swing, lean in a direction. It must, to offset and create movement. Otherwise we just teeter in place until we fall. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Freeloading

Freeloaders

 I get tired when people warn that you can't guarantee a base level income because people will get used to "sucking at the teat" and won't work. I believe they believe that, but it doesn't matter because they are hypocrites. Those with significant means have been sucking at the teat of other people's desperation, need, skill, talent, and knowledge for all of capitalism's reign. They just don't want to share it. The whole point of the entire miserable, exacting, system is to improve the quality of life. Create stability and prosperity. Allow for the pursuit of one's purpose or, dare we, happiness. That's why we, as a society, agreed to it all in the first place. Lots of us never agreed. Now, finally, automation is here, but instead of increasing our pay and decreasing our hours, you're just dumping us wholesale or finding all new ways to exploit us. No, un uh, that's not how this works. Social benefit commensurate to profit. As the common resource owners controlled by a government of resource stewards, we stand entitled to dividends through wealth taxes and limitations on corporate profits, returned to us as cash to do with as we see fit. If we want to work hard for the system, we will, because humans are work and play animals. They work when they find work they want to do, or work that matters to them that needs doing. If we want to earn enough for a "better life" however we define it, we can. But if we're going to build an entire economy based on exploitation with the promise that we are working towards equitable opportunity for all, Canada and then, beyond, at least some of those profits need to create the kind of stability that lets humans feel peaceful enough to avoid intoxicants, seek education and purpose, take care of each other and themselves, and participate without fear that failure to accept exploitative practices could put all of that in jeopardy. It's only a pipedream because the people in charge choose to make it so, and the vast majority don't question the systems or choose to push governments to provide a minimum standard, because they think that the "freeloaders" will suck at the teat. And around we go. You'd think that it's about time some of the freeloading went around, that hard working people got more than just hard work, fear and promises. But time is funny, because it never does seem to be time, and suddenly we live in the world of opposite, where people refuse to accept it when what's good for them is also good for everyone, and that it goes both ways. The species is doomed to repeat the same tragic patterns, every generation in its own way. In a system designed to funnel most of the resources out of the system and into a special, VIP space where a few have everything and more, while the rest struggle and devolve, we have come improbably far, an improbably high number of times in human history, and that is a hope I hold tight. 

One thing today in this direction, check in on myself for where I limit my imagination of what's possible on Earth by what has been built by evil men. 

Is that all I can do? Probably not, but it's one thing. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The same Sky



The same sky
a few degrees of rotation
a world of story different
what to expect, what to enjoy, what to fear
actionable morals of alternate moralities
a small head-twist apart
a shift of the eye
across the same sky
and I still don't know which way to turn

 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Try, try again


Do you understand the extent of what you've done?

What makes you think? What makes you so?

Taking another go!

at a meaningful life.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

True self


 The sun doesn't "come out" - it's always there. Just like the true self. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Another day another proof



What makes it most laughable, of course,
is that sex with demons won't affect your body
at all
but your spirit
on the other hand
may enjoy
the change of pace.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Hard days come

Destructive Doing
Some days are harder than others.
Most days I just look away from it
the fear
the truth

that my efforts are worse than waste
because they cost more than nothing would have cost
took more than nothing would have taken
and gave nothing back that I wanted

just pain and futility and more certainty that whatever I try
next
will end the say way
in nothing

and I can try to see it from another angle
I can tell myself another story and turn my cheek but it doesn't matter
because the ends are the ends
the means remain unjustified
and I'm not even sure what I'm doing here
in the end
after all

anyway

I can't remember what I was thinking
to have tried and tried again
I reach back to myself and find only an empty
sad naiveté
a story full of plot holes and pointless, endless dialogue
saying nothing at all.

I can't even feel sorry for her, that me
she invites my disdain more than my pity
why did she ever think
anything she did might matter?
how much delusion did she eat for breakfast every day?
spoonfuls, bowlfuls
of sugar-coated sand.

Don't try to reassure me
I mean, what's the point?
But you won't. Anyway.
Because there's no reassurance to explain away the facts
there's no story that makes it all fine with me.

It's not fine with me.
The good bits and pieces don't counteract my failure.

The idea it was a choice
is the farce
that deflates all attempts, in any case.

I'm not even allowed to feel what I feel
while there's something to cling to, some consolation to grasp
to invalidate this knowing and let you feel comfortable saying that
I'm wrong
even though, I think on some level you know,
I'm not wrong at all.




Saturday, April 18, 2020

Blame


How long has Hope made me wait in line
for a turn that was never mine to take?
how many times has she beguiled my mind
to build another house of cards to break?
caressed my heart, relaxed my guard
led me down the garden path again
to trip and tumble over cliffs of pain?
Now she scratches at my door
crying, my dear, I'm sorry
you must admit,
you have only yourself to blame.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Distortion

The Grief of Loss of What I Never Had (CAI2019)

Overblown and underwhelming
what comes through me, into reality
bears little resemblance
filtered by pretentious words and inadequate skill
into bits and pieces too heavy for the wind to carry
too heavy to float
sinking to the bottom, mired and drowned
but even so, still, too light to hold meaning down.
My silly gifts revert to impositions of confusion
suspicion, a twist of discomfort that forgets its name.
Again, and again.
Better, maybe, better to be still
swallow the bitter pill and let it
gag the truth before it spills through my clumsy hands.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Unseeing is believing


Standalone (CAI2020)


Maybe I was made for this
to stand in plain sight and never be
seen

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Winded

Gut Punch (CAI 2020)


A prize I didn't know existed 
until I didn't win
that sucker-punched gut exposed,  
wind
blown 
right out 
of
me.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Needed

overwhelmed
washed over
lost
in the sea
it's me, it's me
that's missing
who will notice I'm not there
why should they care,
anyway
as long as they get what they need

The point


Is there a point in writing words that no one reads?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Gratitude (a prayer)

Reality (CAI2020)

Thank you, Mother, for the lesson they can't ignore
A warning, clear and stern
with no wiggle room for doubt
thank you for the lightness of the sentence
a lesson, not a punishment,
not yet
thank you for sending us home
for tearing so many holes, all at once
so we have no choice but to stop
take stock
and rebuild
Father, please protect us
keep us well and safe and warm
loved and sheltered from the storm
a wish for all
a wish for life
May I fortify my best
may I pass this test of my humanity
flying with the colours
being with the memory
of now.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Yes

Ballot Cast (2019 CAI)
it's already happened
it's happening now.
it makes me tired just to look at it,
but still, in the end,
I vote yes.

Indefinite, not infinite (Maverick Missives)

Indefinite Wisdome (CAI 2019)
The concept of Maximum holds the key.
The limits.
Unlimitless requires an infinite environment
so
of course Spirit pursues it!
But in a body, it’s destructive
Because Earth is not an infinite environment
Earth is an indefinite environment
And that is a totally different animal.


Earth has a limit. 
Nothing is created or destroyed, only changed
Nothing much comes in. Very little goes out.
We can do this, indefinitely

But not limitlessly. 

Limits create the definition
that allows indefinition to continue.

Wake up!


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Fabulous Women


Too Subtle (CAI 2019)

As I prepare to attend an International Women's Day Conference where there are many speakers I find interesting and admire, I have a confession to make: I secretly hate inspirational talks.

I know it’s a bit perverse and I’m probably jealous of the amazing people, but I have a habit of letting inspirational talks shame me. They highlight my inadequacy. I am not inspirational like them. All my promise, all my potential, everything I’ve done to learn and grow and figure out life’s challenges, all my failures that I call learning experiences; all I know and long to share with the world, is not much, after all. Not polished. Not finished. Not interesting. Not coherent. Not enough.

Maybe we could organize a conference of the women no one ever asks to speak, because their stories seem suspiciously common. Because they are not accomplished enough, not fabulous enough, haven’t managed to come out the other side of their challenges and put together a tidy TED-inspired story of how they grew and what they know and what they did that was so important. 

Maybe I’d rather hear mumbled, uncertain snippets from women who are still mired and mucking around. Women who have accomplished staying alive today and doing all the things that needed doing to keep their lives afloat and take care of the people they care about, despite a bevy of personal challenges. I want to hear how they find ways to be sane and loving, when the world is so terrible. I want to see how they grab and protect moments of creative inspiration despite a life filled with chores. I want to hear how they sometimes manage to break through the resentment of having all the work and none of the glory. I want to understand how they keep believing in themselves even when no one else believes in them, when the world tells them there’s nothing in them to believe in, anyway, and that situation has not changed despite their best efforts. I’d like to understand how they manage their chronic pain and constant, underlying anxiety. How they get back in touch with their bodies and learn to love them, or fail to do so despite years of trying. I want to know how they cope with never finishing anything they start, but plugging away at it anyway, or how they reconcile themselves to give it up. I would like to understand, too, how they feel about the Inspirational Women being Fabulous until common efforts begin to feel pointless, since they can’t be held up like a polished diamond for admiration. Are they inspired?

Maybe, instead of seeking inspiration in the exceptional, what I really crave is to feel inspired to hold myself, exactly as I am, as special and important. To feel that I’m not alone. To admire other messy, “unaccomplished” women who are scraping together their own purpose amidst a life dedicated to others, in a world designed to keep us from knowing our true godliness. 

I think I want to believe that I’m not a failure because no one cares about my experiences. I want to feel like I’m one of many on a journey that is important, somehow, even if I never come out the other side. I deeply wish to believe that my lack of audience reach doesn’t mean I’m a waste.

But, I suspect that craving for consolation doesn’t deserve respect.  Let alone a whole conference.

And, anyway, no one would come.

And also, I would not speak there. 

I am not so jealous of the Fabulous Women because they get to speak and be heard. I am jealous because they get to be so brave and motivated that they can do it. I can't remember the last time I felt that way, like I could tackle something like wrapping my knowledge into an interesting present for the world and delivering it with gusto. I can't remember the last time that the thought of doing something really interesting and probably very useful didn't feel like an invitation to failure, an imposition on energy, something I probably can't get done before life drags me backwards three steps. When I see the Fabulous Women and I know, they are actually fabulous, it makes me notice what I am, now. Where I am, now. What I can be, now. And I'm not satisfied. The best I can do is not good enough for me. I should be able to step up, and in. Life keeps sending me setbacks like curve balls I really should have seen coming, and I'm not sure I have the disposition for it. When I go somewhere to get inspired by the people who overcame that, I feel tired. Too tired to even admire what they do. 

I am of diminished capacity. I am limited in body and mind in ways that make my spirit lose interest altogether. I may never understand the most fundamental things that everyone else seems to get. And I have no way to help anyone else with anything they are experiencing, because following the disjointed path of my breadcrumbs would try the patience of a saint. It has. And that will likely be the only way to get what I had to give, in the end. It wasn't what I hoped for. 

But maybe today will be different. Maybe today, the inspiration will spark instead of snuff. Maybe today I will walk away with energy I didn't have before. So I go.

Because hope is the only path to peace that feels compelling. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

To weep is not weak



In this fragile state I am often weepy
Tears rise unbidden,
stinging eyes, constricting
breath
I sigh, again to find myself overcome
becoming weak right in the centre
of my strong
I play along with life, all the while
wondering about this feline creature
playing with me.
Weeping, but not weak
Weakened moments a release,
of tension, dissonance, consternation.

I cry, for a moment I cry
(a moment or two)
all the while knowing that I will make it through
back to me
this is not the sum
dying isn't the worst of what's to come
and life always offers consolations
to those who see.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Choosing Mean

Conscience(CAI 2019)

When did it become cool to be unkind?
A merit badge of honour?

When did pushing boundaries become thumbing noses
And personal ambition become winner takes all?

When did people become unapologetically,
unashamedly,
mean?

Each person must choose it every day
to be that way
they have to choose. But
maybe it's not again and again
choice after choice,
but simply one choice, to not care
then hold, hold fast, right there
Pandora's box shut tight.

I imagine how that would feel
to protect, guard this new power
like it represents sanity
like I've finally found the way around all the pain
that others' suffering naturally launches inside
the empathy that resides in our hearts from the start
To have found a pain-killer for the soul.

It must be as addictive as crack.

Imagine! to have discovered a way
to thwart life's inherent poignancy
the pull of destiny that doesn't exist
the contradictory means to survive;
to have someone clear to blame, something empowering to believe
that lets me off the hook, a reprieve
imagine slipping through the grip of guilt
Hoarding all my caring just for me!

I feel exhilaration, freeing all the possibilities previously bound by honour
shifting that honour to me and mine
a lovely switch and bait that feels like freedom
from mommy's nagging whine about what's right

I mean, who's to say? We can't trust the evidence of our eyes
or the people who run our lives
and where is our God or Hero to save the day? Guess what?
we have ourselves to save.

Yes, there's a strength and pride, to come out the other side of caring.

Nice trick if you can.

maybe I should be jealous, or mad
but all I feel is sad.