All the words you want

My website is changing… evolving… transforming!  from a little, hairy, yellow and black caterpillar into, um, a little yellow and black butterfly.  Soon, I hope, it will be unrecognizable. But it will still have my face. Yes, my face with antennae and 36 eyes or whatever. It will still be mine, and I hope you’ll stick around to witness the rebirth, and that you won’t stomp on me with your big human feet.

Love poem challenge

Can you write a love poem that doesn’t make my teeth ache? challenge!

Here’s mine:

Someone said
give internet dating a try.
Internet dating my eye.

I wrote my profile
in blood. It took hours
to list what I’m passionate about–
sunshine, water, words, and so on.

At the end I realized they had asked me to mention
I am passionate about.
I ignored the question.
I am passionate about my list.
I am not a good listener.

They asked me what people would notice about me first
I rolled my eyes
because the question was stupid,
and told the truth
as pleasantly and passive-agressively
as possible
I dress funny.

There were other questions
But I was tired
I uploaded the photos of me when I was sick, exhausted and cold
the most flattering ones I could find

The ones you will never see
because you are not looking in my direction
because you too
are sick, exhausted, cold

and over there is a bright fire
burning with all the things you love.
You’re mesmerized.

I am too.
But I’m holding on to my list
You’re on it.
I’ll never burn it.

Year of the Lollipop

A new year. A brand new year in which to dress up, mess up, ‘fess up and hopefully success up. What a treat, a terrible, terrible treat, like a year-long lollipop. But thankfully you only have to lick it one day at a time.

I actually have a good feeling about this year, which is not wholly unrealistic, despite a number of handicaps which beset me at the moment  (not quite enough work, no truly permanent address, chronic lack of sleep). I have a good feeling about the trajectory of this year, which seems to me to be rising ever so slightly, and curving, like a smile.

My health is good (knock on wood). I have a little financial padding (thanks, Dad).  There are good people in my life striving to better their own health, fortunes and futures.  Cherished friends, family who haven’t yet written me off,  and things to look forward to. A decent astrological outlook, lengthening daylight hours and waterproof boots. I’m doing just fine, thanks.

There are always complications of course. But the best thing about this life is that complications make the pattern prettier and more interesting, and even those mistakes we make over and over again, are a part of that design. Perhaps if we could see the panorama of our intersecting lives, the places where we fall down and lay splayed on the sidewalk, time and time again, might be where the beauty happens.

Who knows where I will be a year from now? The hope is Mexico. Before that, Slovakia and after that who knows… China maybe. But right now I’m licking this here lollipop, and it’s a big sucker. It’ll take me all year to finish it. if I were a kid I might enjoy it more, but I as an adult it’s going to take some work, persistence, patience. Still, sweet is sweet.  Never going to turn my nose up at candy.

What’s in that box?

It’s that time again. Time to sit and reflect on all the brilliance and brutality that has come to pass since our last go round at the Christmas tree, though we’d rather sit and drink eggnog.

I am not really in the mood. For either the past year of for the eggnog. Because I am tired and my eyes are dry and it’s grey as a corpse outside.

I feel like a drowned rat in the desert. but still I am thankful for my warm sweater and comfy couch and angel cat and cbc radio and decaf coffee.Hopefully tomorrow I’ll perk up and feel less hungover… because i have nothing to be hungover about. Life is good, in this particular body at this particular moment.  I got gratitude. I wish you all some of that… some gratitoothpaste in your stocking. It’s sure better than a lump of coal, unless you want to bbq the turkey.

A foot in the door

Moving… for the second time in a little more than 2 months…weird to be heaving my stuff around yet again, for what will only be 3 months, before I give in and move once more. Not all my stuff, mostly clothes and a few personal effects.  but footwear alone  fills up a duffle bag. That frightens me. If i ever want to live lightly as a traveller on this planet, I’ll still need footwear for different seasons and conditions, and my feet are big and difficult and need the right habitat. Orthopedic shoes, insoles and waterproof walkers. none of those fancy  pretty thing with heels for me, I’d crush them as soon as i put them on.

In some countries, people don’t wear shoes. They can’t afford them, no one else is wearing them, and their feet become tough and streetwise. i love to go barefoot, but to do so year-round would be impossible. In cold places, people have to hunker down, and find appropriate footwear for the season. Or not. i have seen many people wading though slush in sneakers, but I treat my feet better than that.

I am not a driver but a walker, so I work my feet hard. But recently I went to see an RN who now has her own foot care business. She treated my feet to an hour of healthy attention, which involved a dremel with special attachments for filing away callouses, medically sanctioned moisturizing cream, industrial strength toenail clippers and (ouch) antiseptic lotion for the cut on my toe.  it was all very medical, surgical almost. I have never been interested in anything like a  pedicure, but the experience was somewhat relaxing, when not jolting or stinging–  akin to going to the dentist for a cleaning. ( lie back, close your eyes and let me stick this electric buffer in your mouth).

Taking better care of my feet is part of my desire to take care of myself in some basic ways that have never been that important to me, but which I realize are related to having a humble and reality-based attitude toward myself and my place in the world.  A clean, organized home is not the sign of a crazy person with mixed up priorities, as I have sometimes thought. It is the sign of someone who does not consider themselves too good, or  too bored, for basic chores, who understands that we are dependent on our environment for our health, our happiness and our very lives, and that the way we keep our homes says a lot about how self-aware we are, because dirt and disorganization undermines our ability to think, feel peaceful and rested and hopeful about the next good thing.

I slip up all the time of course.  Just as in any religion, the ideal of Perfect Cleanliness is one to strive for but never attain, and sometimes even willfully oppose. Not that I sprinkle my floors with dirt but often I leave my dishes to marinate in their own juices overnight, I admit. But in this lovely flat i realize what a treasure it is to have space to think and breathe and move unencumbered. It is someone else’s cleanliness and orderliness that I am striving to preserve, but I am hoping that such habits will grow upon me.


I moved in before i finished this post. I am padding around i pnlastic slippers indoors and praying my clunkiness doesn’t disturb my downstairs neighbour and that I’ll be able to sleep when this blog’s put to bed.  On the subject of getting back to basics– I have a little way to go. But i am on my third pot of soup from scratch in this apartment and I consider that a good sign. I have swept the floor a few times and put my little bit of clutter into piles.There is a place for all those footholders…out on the landing, where smelly things belong.  Thankfully, in this nice space I am calling home for a little while, there are places for things.  And for me.



Holy Grail of the Mall and other inedibles

Do things ever really work out the way you think they’re going to? Planning can help narrow the funnel of possibility, so that the outcome will have more chance of looking, feeling, smelling, sounding and tasting the way you expected.  But does a person really want to get what they expect? Certainly not if you expect the worst. But even if you expect resounding success, beauty, fame, fortune or a hammock between coconut trees and nothing to do, it might not be what you really want and need.

I set out this morning to the Mall. Yes. I did. Because I am looking for that Holy Grail, a pair of comfortable shoes that I can also wear with a a skirt and look semi- professional. Because I am trying to assemble a grown up outfit. I have already purchased a second hand black pencil skirt, which is totally out of character for me but as the investment was $1.50, i thought it worth the try. I am thinking of speaking to professional audiences and for some reason I think I need to dress like a professional in order for them to even take the first leap into listening to me. I could be wholly wrong about that, but more about that later.

So I came to the Mall because Winners is here (Home Sense? same can of clams)  and i have had surprising success finding footwear that fits my, uh, magnificently generous feet,  at Winners. My idea was I would buy a coffee, settle down, do some writing, and before all that, actually say my morning prayers. At the Mall. I am not sure what I was thinking but that didn’t happen, as you, prescient reader, might have predicted. I was also completely unsettled by the music which was playing, which might have been top 40 but I wouldn’t know. It was not uncatchy but catchiness is not exactly what a person who wants to write a novel needs.

So, instead I am writing this little tiny blog post, to say… things have not turned out the way I expected. but that’s ok, because Life is King. What life offers me, in response to my pursuit of my goals, in the face of my desires and fears, teaches me something new every day. It is not that I want free flow all the time… I want to construct a life that helps me get where I want, and that will take some  concrete action and some planning and some reflecting/centering/meditation/ prayerful time. But I also want struggle with the unexpected. Because that, as my Dad would say of the orange roe, and other parts of the lobster that many consider inedible, is the good stuff.