Monday, November 30, 2009

Ready To Bust Mah Pod!

November 30, 2009

Dear Journal,

I feel like we've been in couple's therapy, you and I. A little intense, as if we were bound at the hip. Each day of this month I knew you were waiting for me, waiting to see if I could be faithful. Apparently the answer is no. I wander. I stray. Sometimes you're out of sight, out of mind.

It's not you, it's me.

I'm flirting with life, you see, the wider world where things happen and I stir the magic cauldron with my very own hand. It's not just kitchen and garden and sewing machine anymore. I need further fields. I have this urge to run away from the beckoning of your screen and taste foreign fruit.




More! more! more! I'm insatiable! I get bored, and as much as those real live people out there drive me crazy sometimes, I find myself drawn into that world of busy-ness and complication, of strangeness and exotic ideas. I want to know everything!

And then,

and then I want to be able to come home, and roost, and let it all slosh over me and distill until it's potent and eye-wateringly strong, and just a drop can dispel a host of ills. I want to sit with it in stillness. I want to watch it take germinate in the dark and send out roots and take hold in the soil of where I'm at.

That's all I want. Just everything.

Spontaneous Combustion

There are moments, o ye sistren and brethren, when it's a far better thing to just go to bed than fret over why your keyboard won't type letters. A far better thing. Because if you be so tired that you can't figure out that the blessed thing simply isn't properly plugged in at the back, you're definitely too tired to compose a coherent post.

This 'flu has hit me pretty hard. Last night I was so hopped up on Ventolin and fever that I couldn't sleep, so I lay there flying through the cobwebby corners of my head, having brilliant insights and making breathtaking connections between the various mysteries of life. Most of it I don't remember this morning (probably a mercy), but I did manage to suddenly recognize some patterns behind what a client is presenting, and some oblique treatment strategies to address those. Even looking at it more soberly this morning, it still looks like a heck of a good idea. Incredibly so. I've since spent some time looking through various texts, and the bonds between the seemingly unrelated parts are unmistakable, if you know where to look. I didn't know yesterday, but I know now.

In a lot of ways, I'm not a person with huge reserves of self-discipline. Fasting, long bouts of prayer/whathaveyou, sitting alone in the bush for days, those things aren't on my to-do list. I don't have it in my to motivate myself that way. But every now and then, through the discomforts and altered states of fever or (unintentional) sleep-deprivation, I have these moments when my mind loosens its scrabbling grip on what it thinks it knows, and goes wandering naked in unmapped territory. Lots of what it finds are just twigs and dried leaves, but occasionally I stumble into a cave of wonders, with ancient paintings on the walls, lit by fires not made by hands. It's strange, and it's humbling. I don't know how I got there, and I don't know how I got home again, but I've been, and I'm different for it.

I don't know what else to say about that.

Maybe nothing. I'll just ponder it in my heart.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I had a bath this afternoon.

When I got out, I saw a huge plume of black smoke rising from behind the big shed that serves as "garage".

Curiosity prevailed, and I found that my husband had decided to burn down one of the old buildings on the property.

Without a permit.

We live right next to town.

People notice these things.

People like the volunteer fire department, which is housed in the building directly across the field from us.

Apparently we're in for some " fire safety counseling" tomorrow. Hopefully we're not also in for a big fine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Family Matters

Puss came home from her "fixation" appointment today. Amen and amen. No more kittens. As utterly appealing as they are, they grow up into cat-producing cats, and that's an endless cycle. Winter kittens are particularly bad up here. They tend not to live very long. That gives me the heebie-jeebies, thinking that there'd be kittens freezing to death in some frigid corner of the auction mart.

Forgive me, but through this gynecological ordeal all I could think about was something I read a long time ago, maybe a decade ago, written by a proponent of families "planned by God", and an opponent of birth control. She was walking with her legion of children, and some man came up and (very rudely, I agree), gave her a blast, declaring that people like her were the bane of the planet. And she said that she gestured towards her children, and asked him which ones of them he'd suggest that she should have done without.

Which sounds so pro-child, yes? Yes, I thought so, on first glance.

But for many people of the world, the question gets turned back, and parents find themselves a position to ask which of their children will go hungry, or be sold, or some other abomination, so the others have something to eat that week. Or perhaps there's no question. No one gets anything.

What if that same woman found herself in a very different economic landscape, where there was no safety net, how would she choose? Would she choose to watch child after child die while she continued to create more in God's name, if there was fertility control available?

When I was still plenty hormonal for about five years after the birth of my second, I desperately wanted more kids. Desperately. Everything in me screamed "Baby!" Now? I'm really glad my kids are growing up, more independent. I love them, and I love watching them as their own people. The hormones shifted. My perspective changed. I like this stage, for all concerned.

There's only so much land, so much fresh water, so much food. That goes the same for deer, cats, and people. Even if I'm easily able to take more than my family's share of those things, and so much else, by virtue of the fact that I live in North America, that's still what it is. More than our share.

I have more than my share by a long shot. My efforts to wean myself off this unfair abundance are pretty measly and I know it.

All things considered, I'm sure glad I don't have 10 kids. I wouldn't ever like to be in a position to have to choose between them in such a way. That's not something that every woman in Africa or South America or Asia, or even North America, can avoid.

And Puss?

No biggie. She took herself off to the auction mart for a long nap and now she seems right with the world.




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Benefit Plan

I just had one of those pay-off moments.

I was lying in bed with my arms outstretched, trying to open my lungs enough to catch some oxygen. This cold/virus/bug has really hit me hard.

Patch knocked at the door. "Are you in there, Mum?"


"Can I come in?"

I wanted to say no, please let me wheeze in peace, but I didn't. "Sure, come on in."

He had a hot-water bottle for me, and then knelt at the end of the bed by my feet and started rubbing them. After a while he began finding acupoints, and holding them, and asking me about the meridians, and trying to trace them around my ankles and up to my knees. He's got a good touch for it, wise hands. The treatment lasted about 20 minutes, and then he rubbed my head, wished me a good night, and took himself to bed.

My boy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thread of the Fringe That Swished You

I've been collecting containers in anticipation of the holiday for a while now, because using gift wrap gets up my nose and makes me scroogish. I'm going to see if I can do without it altogether this year.

Most of the tins were $0.49, the big ones set me back $0.69. Second-hand, of course; the thrift shops are full of these. The ones I like best are just going to sit on my bookshelf and twinkle at me through the season, but the other (still very nice) ones are going to be impregnated with candied pecans and toffee and cookies and sundry other holiday bits and pieces.

You see the fringed tin in the basket? It was too boring. I was rummaging around in my fabric bins, looking for scraps to make a little gift-pouch (also in the basket, tied with green ribbon), when I came across a length of flamboyant gold fringe. Inspiration struck. I measured out a length on the circumference of the tin, stitched across the fringe to stabilize it, cut it, daubed the edges with Fray-Knot or whatever that stuff is called, and then glued it on with regular white glue. Swish, eh?

Right, that's enough playing. Time to crack the books. Ta!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mea Culpa

Shame, shame, double shame... I missed a day! Instead of posting, I just went to bed.

It was an extremely busy weekend, lots of friends over for supper, massage practice, studying, cooking, cooking, cooking, dishes, dishes, dishes, Himself experienced a sundance sweatlodge, two batches of wine went from one incarnation to another, Poppy had a Saturday job catching chickens for a local farmer, and Patch took advantage of the snow and hauled the X-country skis out of the auction mart. Much of a muchness.

And I found myself some kind of weird bug to join into the fun. Not exactly sick, but sneezing and wheezing like crazy, and big, swollen lymph nodes. Thankfully, after going back to bed for a few hours of extra sleep this morning, everything seems to be about 75% better.

I'm trying not to drive myself crazy. I swore at the beginning of the school year that I wasn't going to flog myself to get 100% on every little quiz, and so far I've managed that (hah! that's for sure!), but I can feel the craziness mounting. There's so much to learn! A case study that needs to be started, for a condition we haven't even covered yet, so I've got a bunch of extra studying for that, on top of all the rest of it. As much as I know it really doesn't mean Sweet Fanny Adams, I like getting high marks. Some kind of residual childhood approval thing, probably.

And then there's Christmas looming...

I gave the 6' tree the boot last week. It, and all its decorations went to the recycle tent at the dump. Poppy and I can't breathe with spruce in the house, so a number of years ago Himself found a $5 artificial tree at a garage sale. I've always hated it, but it was a big deal for the kids, so we kept setting the wretching thing up every year. No more. I told them if they wanted big trees, they needed to start the process by getting their own homes. Until such time, they'll have to make do with what I'm willing to live with . This year it's a little table top tree. I tried to push through a little green wire Christmas basket shaped like a spruce, about 8" high, and would hang nicely on the wall, but poor Poppy nearly fainted. I had mercy. We'll keep the 2.5' tree for a few years longer. After that? Just candles and pinecones and festive, glittery cookie tins.

But that looming Christmas thing... it's more about sewing. Not that I really want to start a bunch of projects, but I feel like I should. I've got seasonal stitchy-guilt.

And I suppose I should buy some presents too... and find the stockings...


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

I don't remember ever wishing for snow before, but I'm wishing now. It's the end of November, and there are dust-devils blowing through town.

Ack - water!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Convincing Case For Creativity

I've had case studies on the brain lately. I have to write one for my course, and I've never done anything like this before. When I reviewed the samples they had on hand, it was a pretty dismal outlook - all I could think of was being on the receiving end and how much chemical intervention I'd need in order to plough through 16 offerings of that sort.

So I've spent a little time searching the internet for "how to write a massage case-study". Not exactly a gold-mine of information. The few articles I did find didn't employ the same format we were instructed to use. And they were uniformly dull.

Maybe there's an inherent limit to readability of the genre, but I was really hoping to stumble over something scintillating and witty and absorbing.


It's only 10% of my final mark.

Maybe I'll take a chance and "innovate".


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Matryoshkas En Papier

(Not sure about my "French" blog title, but it'll do for now.)

I found this really nifty card tutorial yesterday, and I thought I'd give you directions over to Zakka's from whence it came.

It's the last lap of November, and that always means I find myself in the throes of MAKING THINGS FOR CHRISTMAS. This year, not so much, but I still have little pangs of handmade lust as my mind schemes to express itself through my fingers. Cards would be a lot less time-consuming than quilts, I'm guessing... especially if I only made a few.... hopefully it's not like potato chips; you can never stop at one...

Dang, they're cute! Somebody stop me!

Edit: Looking at these, I'm suddenly reminded of the little fabric creche sets I made one year when the kids were tiny. Too bad I don't have a picture from the olden days... I probably made about 10 sets for friends with children, and they were basically fabric matryoshkas of Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus, who slept in a decorated tea-box manger. They were constructed with stitching and glue, and had cardboard bases so they'd stand up, and I hand-painted the faces.

When did I have the time?

Oh right. The kids were small. I didn't sleep for an entire decade. Selective amnesia.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Patch: "Mum, what's 'Sass Factor'?"

Me: "Not sure. What do you think?"

Patch: "I'm not sure either, but I think it's what they test for at Dad's work when you have to pee in a cup."

God help me if I'm ever employed at a construction site!

Monday, November 16, 2009

"The touch of an infinite mystery passes over the trivial and the familiar, making it break out into ineffable music.. the trees, the stars, and the blue hills ache with a meaning which can never be uttered in words."
-Rabindranath Tagore

I don't know who he was, but I love this quote.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What this is not.

This is NOT

-Kitty kibble

-Teeny-weeny bits of fried chicken


-The sorrowful remains of baking-failure.*


THIS is the 2009 Edition Madcap Christmas Tin Filler, aka Candied Pecans. THIS is now my favourite candy, being mostly nut and not a lot of candy. AND it's so easy that even I could make it, which automatically earns it the designation of Good.

I like giving some home-made sweeties for gifts at Christmas, but I find real candy-making rather stressful (not to mention regularly unsuccessful) so I was trawling the internet for a new beginning. I found the recipe here.

I've already rounded up the tins from the second-hand stores in the area, so now I'm all set. Christmas? Bring it on!

* Unlike the chocolate cake crumbs in my freezer, today's other baking adventure. Honestly, I need to concentrate when I'm in the kitchen. Forgot both the eggs and the gelatin binder that keeps the end-product from crumbling to chocolate ash. It's going to be reincarnated as trifle, I think.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2 A.M.

"The way to learn to do things is to do things. The way to learn a trade is to work at it. Success teaches how to succeed. Being with the determination to succeed, and the work is half done already." - Anon

I drive myself crazy, always living in the future, always fussing about what I haven't done yet. And you know, I think that's part of why I keep getting things done, so I'm not going to come down too hard on myself, but still. There's got to be some moderation.

Learning. I want to know more. It makes my heart leap when I hear about other people in middle life still pursuing new skills and understanding. Like Deb. She's studying herbalism. Too cool! Actually, my first thought was that it would be great to splice with her and share the brain-pool, so I could know that stuff without trying to shoehorn it into my head.

Last night I woke up in the wee hours, suddenly thinking about someone I knew a long time ago. We worked together. She had a baby, and the child was severely handicapped. I went to visit at the hospital, and brought a gift, but I didn't really hold the situation in my heart. I wasn't committed to real compassion, to seeing her life.

Suddenly, at two o'clock this morning, I remembered that, and was so sad that I'd been too immature and wrapped up in myself to be with her. I hadn't learned how. I'm still learning, and I hope I'd do things differently if faced with a similar situation again. I don't know. I hope so. I hope I'm still learning compassion and presence.

Learning just takes time, and it takes doing. You learn a trade by getting your hands into it, you learn life by living. I guess it's unrealistic to expect that I can be more of a person than I am with the limited experience that I have. I'm not particularly committed to reincarnation, but if there was ever an argument that would sway me, that would be it - that I'd make progress faster along the path next time I cover the same territory, and cause less hurt.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Late, That's My Only Excuse...

Eeesh. Nearly forgot to post. I guess I'm like a bicycle... too-tired.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


This Meal Brought To You Courtesy Of Patch Catering.
Share and Enjoy!

(Roast beef, onions, carrots, potatoes, slow-cookered for 8 hours while we went to the city.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jogging Tax

I was working on the chest of Himself this afternoon, some active release on those crabby pectoralis muscles, when I began to think about breathing. Admittedly, I was mostly thinking about the possibility of not breathing if I happened to press too hard and collapse his lung, but it progressed from there.

After all, we've got two lungs, and surely that's a bit excessive, don't you think? Probably one's just for back-up.

In that case, there's a lot of superfluous, double-lung breathing going on. Especially with all those exercise fiends you see out there, running and power-walking and such, using at least twice as much air as they're properly entitled too. Don't these people ever consider the Peak Air scenario? I mean, sure, it seems like there's a lot of air, just because we haven't run out yet, but isn't prevention better than trying to find a cure?

I despair of them, I really do. You'd think they'd abstain, just out of common decency and kindness to one's fellow man/woman/person. But it seems that we'll have to take direct action against these wanton, wasteful breathers if we're going to have air seven generations from now.

I suggest a Jogging Tax. That would be a good name, though naturally it would apply to all frivolous athletic endeavour. We could apply to it every pair of new sports shoes, bicycles, or yoga pants, and use the funds collected to buy respirators for the chronically oxygen-deprived.

I would even volunteer myself as the Grand Poobah of the Fresh Air Initiative, and (in exchange for a generous per-diem) I'd travel the country by private jet, holding community meetings where the voices of concerned, sedentary citizens will finally be heard.

It's novel ideas like these that change the world, faithful readers. Mark my words.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Train Is Bound For....

This weekend, during the lunch break between classes, the conversation turned to oral sex.

Now, this is something I don't want to discuss particularly, not here and now. But it's something I even less wanted to hear about while I was trying to eat my lunch. After a few minutes I couldn't restrain myself any longer. "Please! Please! I'm going to be sick! Let me finish my salad in peace!" The ladies who lunch, they laughed. Apparently I'm silly and old-fashioned and prudish.

And then the talk took a more serious turn, as one of the women, more or less my age, related a story about her 14 year old daughter. Apparently this young woman was engaged in a game of Truth Or Dare at school, and she was dared to lick a classmate's penis, which she did. The laudable part, the point of note, was that her relationship with her mother is so open and trusting that the daughter told her all about it. The maternal counsel she received? "Make sure you only lick the side, not the end, because you might get a disease."

The consensus at the table was that this exchange was proof that in a loving, open mother-daughter relationship your kids can come to you with anything. Obviously this woman was a solid contender for Mother of the Year.

I'm sure my mouth was hanging open, Romaine dangling from my teeth. Is this for real? I CANNOT IMAGINE, I really can't, A) my daughter doing anything so stupid, or B) giving her such stupid advice. Who knew that disease is so easily avoided? And where did I get the silly idea that 14 year old girls shouldn't be licking their classmates like popsicles, on a dare?

This is a strange world. I'd try another one, but the train isn't due for goodness knows how long...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ignorance is NOT Bliss

I've got Patch making gluten-free bread today. He said he's interested in learning to cook more complicated things, and I think that's a great idea, especially now that he's reading more easily. There are a lot of ingredients, and a few steps, and a recipe helps a lot.

Knowing how to cook for yourself is one of those most basic skills, as basic and necessary as knowing how to brush your own teeth. I think it's a SIN when a person leaves home not knowing some basic cookery skills. It's a terribly handicap, both in terms of self-sufficiency and finances. Ready-made, or restaurant food, is horribly expensive, and most often less nourishing.

Even more so, to send this boy, my celiac son, out into the Wild Beyond without knowing how to bake his own bread, well, that would be cruel. He loves it. He's crowing about his talents as a chef, and making plans to master other favourite recipes.

I astonished a classmate this weekend by mentioning that I spent my summer raising and butchering chickens. She couldn't imagine that much DIY. I can't say it was my favourite-ever activity, but I'm sure glad I know how! Knowing how to get rid of a headache fits in there too, in the category of basic life-skills. I love my line of paid work.

I love fiction, and I love fabric, and I love speculative conversation. But I can't enjoy all those other things without knowing I've got a firm foundation in the earthly world of hands and soil. Funny. It's not like I love chicken shit or hauling water or weeding gardens. But something in me knows I need it.

It's just a drop in the bucket of available knowledge, useful knowledge. Drip, drip, drip... another fifty years or so and I might be up to the quarter-full mark!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holy Homework, Batman!

(image from morguefile)

How am I going to get all this done in 4 weeks?!!!

My brain doesn't have enough storage space!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ghostly Gabor

Currently reading:

Great book. Go find yourself a copy.

Passion is a divine fire: it enlivens and makes holy; it gives light and yields inspiration. Passion is generous because it's not ego-driven; addiction is self-centred. Passion gives and enriches; addiction is a thief. Passion is a source of truth and enlightenment; addictive behaviours lead you into darkness. You're more alive when you're passionate, and you triumph whether or not you attain your goal. But an addiction requires a specific outcome that feeds the ego; without the outcome, the ego feels empty and deprived. A consuming passion that you are helpless to resist, no matter what the consequences, is an addiction. - Mate

Friday, November 6, 2009


I'm in the midst of packing for my November school weekend. Oi. Travelling gluten-free does NOT mean travelling light. I can't leave it to the very last minute, or I end up eating nothing but cheese and fruit, and I'm not that sort of woman. This month I'm raising the bar and bringing little individual containers of cooked chicken, romaine lettuce, homemade dressing and grated parmesan. Chicken caesar salad.

I should bring some extra cloves of garlic so my classmates have the option to join me in my vice.

Or, alternatively, I suppose I could bring my toothbrush.

It's frustrating, trying to be prepared for this many meals away from home, but the truth is that even when I can find a restaurant that serves GF, I certainly don't enjoy it more than my own cooking.

Mind you, I have no quarrel with the dishwashing staff. Really, that's the best part of eating out, don't you think? No dishes. Amen.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Escape Hatch

I'm too lazy to go back looking in the archives, but did I mention that Poppy goes to school now? She started last winter after we moved here, going a few days a week. The principal here was great about it - said she could come when she wanted, for what she wanted, no b.s. about having to jump through hoops that don't really exist except in some little god's fantasy.

And because he was so easy to get along with, this September she enrolled full-time. This is the deal we struck: they get the funding, and I'm the last word, and nobody messes with mama. She's doing Gr. 10 full-time this semester, but next semester she'll probably end up going half-days. When school doesn't work for us, when better things come along, we go with the better portion. If there's some kind of problem of "socialization" (believe me, there are a LOT of "socialization" problems in public schools that I've never witnessed among homeschooled children), Poppy has the option to walk away. Any time. She doesn't have to be there. Ever.

It's working out wonderfully. She's got a goal to be a psychologist, wants to do the academic paper-trail through high school, and is motivated by group situations. I bumped her up a couple grades because her age-peers are struggling through material better suited to elementary level.

You know? I think it's possible that she's the only kid in the entire school who actually wants to be there. She gets herself up at 6:30 every morning and walks there. She's the only one walking too, as far as we can tell. There's a bus, but she doesn't like taking it unless it's really cold.

And it's all because she doesn't have to. Anytime this stopped working out, she could stop going. I know it, she knows it, the teachers know it. The exit is always an option.

I love that. I love that my kids know they don't have to put up with crap that doesn't serve them well. I jump through the hoops of my schooling because it's getting me where I want to go, and the destination is worth the journey. If, for some reason, it stopped being worthwhile, there's no "must" involved. Same for Poppy. In her life, school is there for her - she's not there for school.

Patch? He doesn't consider school an option. Possibly ever, though every once in a while he talks about getting a trade ticket at a college in order to facilitate his business plans. He's got a strong entrepreneurial bent.

Yesterday he was discussing with me his future as a married man with children, and considering that he might like to be the one to stay at home with his kids. Homeschooling is really important to him - he wants to make sure his kids have that opportunity, but he doesn't consider it a foregone conclusion that his wife will be an at-home kinda gal. I love that too.

My kids have a wide world, possibilities on every side. We all do. The trick is letting the scales fall from our eyes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Difference

2 "kinds" of banana muffins. Believe me, baking soda makes a difference. Who knew it wouldn't only change the texture but the colour? You know what else gives you white banana mufffins? Using vegetable oil instead of butter. For a while I experimented with using vegetable oil as a percentage of the fat content, but at the halfway mark the muffins got very peely-wally and tasted a little odd. Back to the Faithful Recipe. Oh, except for the blueberries - I bought a great huge bag of frozen blueberries a while back, and I throw a handful of those in instead of chocolate chips now. My body has been saying NO to caffeine more and more over the last couple of years. Can you imagine? I still partake in chocolate, but I find that I enjoy fruit a lot more.

Does this mean I've finally grown up?

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
- William Morris

Little details, big differences.

What I'd add to darling William's quote is that the ability to take an interest in the details of life is a measure of happiness in itself. I'm slowly pulling out of a very long-term depression, and one of the things that I notice best, and had missed the most, was the ability to care about anything. Yesterday I was at the second hand store, and I could actually muster up enough enthusiasm to buy some Christmas ornaments and candle-holders, and have the interior conversation about how to make things festive for the upcoming holiday. How long has it been since Christmas was anything but more work?

D is also for dent. In my head. The trunk of the car fell on me this morning, and there was blood everywhere. Nothing like a head-wound for a truly dramatic bleed!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I think, and I know a lot of other people who think it too, that "Swine Flu" is a profitable constructed fantasy of the hugely lucrative pharmaceutical companies. There's absolutely no indication that this "pandemic" is any more dangerous than any previous 'flu, and the population isn't in a weakened state, like they were in 1918 after WWI, that they'd be especially susceptible.

And this lady

the Finnish minister of health, has reason to believe that the "vaccination" campaign is an attempt to eliminate a huge percentage of the world population. She has nothing to gain by saying this, probably quite a lot to lose.

Follow the money.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I'm going to shamelessly copy Sarah at Handmade Homeschool and designate Tuesdays as "A Quote and a Question" days.

"Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other."
- Henry David Thoreau.

I think about bodies and souls a lot. I work with bodies of course, as a massage therapist, both in the sense that I work with my body and work on other bodies. And I love what I do. I think about it all the time, how things might work better, try to uncover seemingly unrelated patterns of strain. I want people to leave my clinic with more function than they walked in with, and more often than not, that's how it works out.

One of the places all this thinking leads me is into the realm of, what is a body? What is a thought? What is a soul? Is there any difference? Do I think any less with my kneecap than I do with my brain? I'm serious on that. Not so much quantitative contribution, because obviously a person can lose an entire limb and maintain a whole personality, but in the sense that it's a group effort, no matter how small the group is.

I often feel the meridians of my own body, with their subtle energies and flows, and I feel it in my clients, and I know, I know, I know that this is somehow what we ARE. And there it is, like a holograph, the thought in the knee, the tears in the skin, the holy of holies in the in-between spaces that have no name.

But on the other hand, all my limitations flood me, and I can only focus on one thing at a time, and it causes me to break things down into little classifications. This is the body, that is the soul, this is where the pain is, that is where I feel well.

And about 18 months ago I saw the Body Worlds exhibit, and you know? There was nothing there. They were utterly lifeless. Whatever connect or construct between those molecules and the energy of life that had been, was no more. And in a situation like that, it's very easy to revert to viewing the body as a cloak that the "soul" (whatever that is) puts on and off as it sees fit.

So here's my question, and feel free to disagree with everything I've written above. I'm interested in opinions.

What is a soul? Is there such a thing? If there isn't, what's asking this question? If there is, what is its relationship to these fingers typing?

Edit: What a hoot! I just realized that it's actually MONDAY! Can you tell my days are all one very much like the next? Right then, MONDAYS are Q&Q days!... or however it works out....

Sunday, November 1, 2009


November 1, All Saints Day.

For all the saints who from their labours rest
Who thee, by faith, before the world confessed
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed,
Allelujah, Allelujah

I can't help it - as soon as I hear "All Saints Day", I hear that hymn in my head, a relic of childhood. Sometimes I think every memory I have from birth to 20 years was molded by my church life.

And since? Well, it's a little different. Perhaps every memory since is molded by my reaction to church. And I'm not sorry for that, either the first twenty or the second (almost) twenty. Sometimes I'm wistful on behalf of my children, who haven't grown up terrified by an immanent Rapture, frantically learning Bible verses to keep sin at bay lest the Day come and they be Left Behind. It was certainly high on the anxiety scale, but boy, it added all these layers of meaning and complexity to my life and my understanding. But Poppy and Patch will have their own layers, I suppose.

Parenting is a tricky business. Stupidly, I allowed the first thing I read this morning to be a local online magazine on birthing issues and attachment parenting. I tell you, there's nothing that makes me feel more incompetent, insufficient, oafish, and insensitive than those kinds of articles. All the Granola Mamas, preaching the gospel of slings and quiet voices and contemplative parenting... who ARE these people? Here am I, the outspoken, loud-spoken, bellowing at my kids as they bellow back at me, who longs for a chance to be truly alone, figuring that my kids are usually left best to their own devices (and me to mine, hint-hint), hugging, rassling, cooking, running a little business that does NOT include my children, eagerly waiting the day when they take up on their own and leave me a little more space, hoping that they'll be okay, secretly longing to make quilts for grandchildren... I love my kids, and I'm on the last lap of parenting, and I've got all these plans for when I grow up. Where's a voice like that in those magazines? They don't publish them. Surely I'm not the only one picking and choosing the best bits out of the granola. (Give me the nuts...)

Do you know what I'm saying? I'm not sure I do. I can't live up to it, whatever it is. It's just as much an illusion as the Real Simple magazine. It's not real. I choose this, I choose that, I choose on the spur of the moment, and I choose it all! I choose to keep them home, and I choose to keep planning for the day when they leave and this chapter is done. And I'm not going to apologize for that.... no more fundamentalism, not for God, not for Granola. It's not all one way or the other.

Ask and ye shall recieve. I'm asking! I don't know what I'm asking for, or who I'm asking, but I've decided that I'm going to live life with my hands out, waiting for the windfalls of providence. Don't know how I'm going to get my homework done, or the motivation therefor? I'm asking. Don't think I've got enough customers to cover expenses? I'm asking. Too tired to work? Asking for enthusiasm and energy. Body in pain and falling apart? I'm asking for repairs. Find myself hating everything and everyone? I'm asking for an open heart. I'll ask for anything. Everything. Even if it doesn't make sense, and I'm asking madly off in all directions. Somehow it'll all come together, like the picture in a kaleidescope.

Er... that's all. Got a little carried away, but I think I'm done now.