Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I'm staving off a depressive state; the downward turn of my emotions generally happens when I'm alone too much. There's no long weekend for me - Canada Day (our answer to Independence Day, and only 3 days out) is on Wednesday, and I'm off until Thursday morning. From work, and from Emily. Thank goddess there is no long weekend for me or I might drive myself insane.

I learned a few things about myself at the beach last weekend:

- I burn very easily. This will only come as a surprise to those of you who don't know I'm a redhead. It should not come as a surprise to me, having inhabited this body for nearly 44 years, but I singed my lower legs badly on Saturday.

-Water has a way of bringing things to my surface. It comes from being a Cancer.

-My kid needs swimming lessons. She's ready. She laughed at the waves that crashed over her face, she rolled and plunged and swam for hours, impervious to cold.

-I like being in the company of women. I've known this for some time, but it comes as a delightful surprise each time I experience connection with other women.

- I gave myself a year to settle into this new life of mine. A year of planning and exploring, but not really searching for anything or anyone. My year is almost over. I came out to my ex gradually, it happened in waves between my birthday and his (mid to late July). We decided to separate at the beginning of August.

-While he has had three (countable) relationships since we separated, I have not had one. Then again, we have different criteria. And I was giving myself a year. Did I mention that my year is almost over?

-I cannot be with someone who is emotionally inaccessible. Ten years of my life, gone. Never again.

- I can't settle for being second to anyone, even a ghost.

Running. I've started running and it feels amazing. It lifts my spirits, it gets me out of doors and moving my body. I've come a long way from the woman who could barely make it out the door and into the car, because she was in so much pain. Somewhere over the last 20 months, I've left 130 pounds behind. Ands a lot more than that.

A week from Saturday (on my birthday, but that's just a coincidence) I will be meeting up with a group of my high school friends. I've known some of them since elementary school. If there are any people in the world who truly know me, or knew me at one time, it would be this group of women. Will it come as a complete surprise to them when I tell them I'm a lesbian? They're gonna want to know - girl talk, and all - if I'm dating, if I've been seeing anyone. I have no reason to hide. It could be another 25 years before I see some of them again.

I'm a strong, independent woman. I'm stronger and more independent than I've ever been. Even strong women get lonely. And that, on the eve of my 44th birthday, is where I find myself. I chose to be here - and I wouldn't change a thing - but in this moment, as the sun sets, and the rainclouds drift in from the west, I ache for something I've never had before. And part of me is horribly afraid that I will never find it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

attention:Fortune Cookies

Every time I click over to your blog I get a "malware" warning from Blogger. I read your blog on google reader, but I haven't been able to comment lately. Just wanted to let you know, in case you weren't aware - because I can't get to your site or your profile, I can't get an email address.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I love my country.

I love the fact that same-sex couples can legally marry here.

But I feel compelled to add that I'm aware that our reputation in human rights and environmental matters is far from spotless.

I'm not a big fan of Stephen Harper and I hope he never gets a majority government. In fact, I'll be doing everything I can to actively prevent that event from taking place.

The Harper government has drastically cut funding for the office of the Status of Women, closed many branch offices and changed its mandate.

They have not touched medicare yet, but made some noise about how private health care might save taxpayer dollars.

Omar Khadr is still at Guantanamo. He was 15 when he was captured. While I am not a fan of his family's political statements, he was a child when he was taken captive. Did my kid have a clue when she was 15? The Conservatives have done absolutely nothing to secure his release.

A federal court ordered the government to allow Abousfian Abelrasik back into the country, stating that the government has no grounds to refuse him re-entry. the government refuses to comply.

Aboriginal reserves are like third world countries. Many people have little or no access to clean water and adequate health care.

Aboriginal land claims have languished, unsettled, for decades. While the federal government formally apologized for the residential school fiasco, many people awaiting compensation have yet to be paid.

The Harper government has taken actions that endanger our water supply, and refuse to honour environmental agreements that previous governments enacted.

If Harper gets his majority, marriage rights may once again be on the table, even though he claims the issue is closed.

One in five people live in poverty in the province of Ontario.

No government is perfect.There's always something. But as much as I love my country, I don't want to paint Canada as a perfect mecca - a human rights vanguard, because in many ways, it is not.

I do have a stake in what's happening in the US. Our prime minister is watching.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

okay okay okay

Maybe it was watching the thunderstorm at midnight in her rented cottage, picture window open to Lake Huron, sky bathed in light.

Or the red wine. I had two glasses of wine, believe it or not. I am so not a drinker.

Or perhaps it was the two hour walk on the beach that we took yesterday morning. There was mist rolling in off the lake, and enough wind that fine grains of sand are still clinging to my skin.

Whatever the reason, I'm finally waking up to the idea that maybe, perhaps...

Okay, I like her.

So, what do I do now?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the muse strikes

Boston, August 2009:

My letter
falls from his fingers
and he turns
his head
facing sunlight
streams in misted windows.
Sorrow and
tears of blood, shed.
Should he light a
for my wayward soul?
His halo glows
as the wooden rosary
around his neck.
Brown rough cotton
thick rope knotted
bursting seams,
he bows his obedience.

Somewhere, that same month:

I watch you sleep
arm tucked
behind your head
breasts full,
like the moon
we rest under.
This is all the
holy I need.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I'm back.

It was amazing, as usual. And, just like every year, I need to process what happened for me while I was there. I process with pen and ink, and eventually some of my thoughts will find there way here...but not yet.

Which leaves me with the paradox of being full of words and simultaneously wordless.

So I'll share some photos that I've taken over the last week or so, including a couple of shots taken at unicamp.

The pond at unicamp. Taken on "Bob's Beach" on our last day:

Me and one of my roomies. This is what I look like after four days at camp.

Another shot of the pond.

I took greg's fine suggestion and attended the masquerade as mother nature with a mustache.

Emily and I fooling around with the new camera as she waits for a haircut. I posted this one because you really can't see her face.

Bunnies frolicking in my back yard

Why I love where I live: Trees


More trees

I live a block away from two of the busiest streets in Waterloo, but you'd never know to look at the pictures. It's a prefect place for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Some of you might be wondering - why a camp for witches? In fact, why call yourself a witch, when pagan will do? Often, depending on who's listening I do call myself a pagan, or I tell people that I practice earth-based spirituality. But the word witch - well, it (according to some) is derived from the word wicce - which means to bend or shape. Starhawk described magic as "the art of changing consciousness at will." I believe that we have power to effect change. I believe that the earth is sacred and should be revered. I call the earth by many names, sometimes male, but most often female - representing different aspects and energies at work in the universe. Gaia, Demeter, Brighid, Aprhrodite, Persephone, Isis, Innana, Diana, Cerridwen, Hecate, Pan, The Green Man...and even Jesus has a role to play, if you consider his energy to be part of the Pantheon.

Witchcamp is a teaching tool - a way to bring like-minded people together for an extended period of teaching and learning. Most often, I learn about myself. I get to be part of a large group of women (and a few men), learning, creating ritual, raising energy, sharing the gifts and pleasure and sometimes pain of being who we are. The camp I go to is four days long - many camps, including the camps in BC and Vermont, are week-long intensives. Someday I'm going to Vermont - but not yet.

Wild Ginger is where I learned that I belong somewhere. It's where I met some of the women who continue to be mainstays in my life, as mentors and examples of out, queer women who are making a difference. It's where I literally found my voice - my writing voice, my singing voice. It's where, for the first time, I had the courage to sing in front of a large group of people (with the exception of church and community choirs, where I did not sing alone).It's where I began to come to terms with my own sexuality.

I used to long for it every year with an ache that I couldn't explain, because sometimes it was all I had to look forward to - in my emotionally empty home, with a relationship that was sterile, where I was seldom myself, except for once a year, when I let loose and partied with the Goddess. Now, especially after the last year, I have brought a lot of that energy into my day-to-day life. I'm no less excited to go - but I can also take the energy I raise and carry it home with me, use it instead of storing it up for next year, or for the next ritual with my coven. I am part of a coven because of WG, and the last four years of my life have been blessed with the energy of women that I feel so close to - always.

I leave you with a parting photo - me, last year - and the words of Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk:

The Charge of the Goddess
by Starhawk

Listen to the words of the Great Mother,
who of old was called
Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite,
Cerridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid,
and by many other names:

Whenever you have need of anything,
once a month, and better it be when the moon is full,
you shall assemble in some secret place
and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.

You shall be free from slavery,
and as a sign that you be free you
shall be naked in your rites.
Sing, feast, dance, make music and love,
all in My presence,
for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit
and Mine also is joy on Earth.

For My law is love unto all things.
Mine is the secret that opens
the door of youth,
and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is
the Cauldron of Cerridwen,
that is the holy grail of immortality.

I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal,
and beyond death I give peace and freedom
and reunion with those that have gone before.

Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold,
I am the Mother of all things
and My love is poured out upon the Earth.

Hear the words of the Star Goddess,
the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the universe.

I who am the beauty of the green earth
and the white moon among the stars
and the mysteries of the waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.
Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices,
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.
Let there be beauty and strength,
power and compassion,
honour and humility,
mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me,
know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not,
unless you know the Mystery:
for if that which you seek,
you find not within yourself,
you will never find it without.

For behold,
I have been with you from the beginning,
and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

"All acts of love and pleasure or my rituals." Now that's a belief I can ascribe to!

Please note: I am not generally naked in my rites.

(This is me a year ago. I've lost another forty pounds and I've let my hair grow again.)

I'll be back on Sunday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Here's What I Don't Get: It Won't Take Long

This post was written by Robin, who is one of my favourite bloggers. She writes beautifully, as you will see:

Here's What I Don't Get: It Won't Take Long

Monday, June 8, 2009


What to do?

I have this adrenalin rush going - it's a fight or flight thing. Do I stand my ground, keep using this space that I've claimed for my very own, keep being myself, uncensored, writing what fills my brain, whatever comes to mind? Do I post here, in the open, keep up all my posts that are personal? Do I take down the writing that I've shared with the world - because really, when you blog, you are potentially exposing yourself to millions of pairs of eyes. Not everyone has good intentions. Do I obey the nervous fluttering in my stomach that tells me to retreat, or do I stand firm?

I have this urge to address him personally that I am trying to quell. It will just fuel whatever-it-is that keeps him obsessed. I have learned that the best thing to do is to disengage. Yesterday my ex was doing battle with our batshit crazy next-door neighbour. She's not allowed to speak to our kids, because she's, well, very unstable mentally. He allowed himself to get drawn into her web, by engaging in dialogue - an exchange that she profited from, even though it went something like this:

"You will not speak to my kids."

"Yes I will because I need to save them from going to hell."

Repeat ad nauseum, because she wasn't getting it and he wouldn't back down. I drove away from that scene, shaking my head because he knows, he knows that engaging with her is giving her something that she wants - attention, engagement, validation of some kind. And I can completely understand my ex's reaction, because I want to do the same thing.

I won't.

And I refuse to back away from this space that I've grown to love, the space that helped me to free myself when I started blogging a bit more than a year ago. He can read whatever he wants - they are just words, after all. And it's not like I haven't exposed myself before - accidentally outing myself to family members who found my blog...turned out okay. (By the way, if any of my numerous, extended family members are reading: the rumors are true. I am queer.) There's nothing he can do, there's nothing to hold over my head. Everyone who needs to know about my life and my sexuality already knows.

He doesn't know where I live.

He doesn't know where the kids live.

He doesn't know where I work.

My family will have nothing to do with him.

I've blocked his email address.

My comments are moderated already.

So what if he's reading? It's a free country. Hell, we have medicare and gay marriage up here - we really are free.

But what's really bothering my is my stat counter. You see, he was checking in from Vancouver yesterday. Today he seems to be checking in from Montreal. From a few thousand miles to a few hundred miles away from where I sit at this very moment.

You see, this is no online, disembodied being, although I am well aware that they can be equally frightening. This is someone who has this illusion, this idea, that there was once something between us.

My mistake. Pain, anger, hurt and sorrow - that's it. And who wants to bring that back? Perhaps in his mind we can be friendly, and have a chat about old times. But it won't happen.

There are no old times worth remembering. It was such a short period of time, if you look at my life in context of all the places I've been, and the things I've done. But it left me feeling a lot of guilt - because I brought someone in contact with my family and my daughter who had no business being part of our lives. It took me years to recover - and to forgive myself for choices that I made.

So, no. There will be no reminiscing. Or contact at all. Ever. Not ever. And there will be no retreat from here, where I blog, from my home, my kids, my family, my life. Because it's mine.

I will take the precautions that I need. I will keep myself safe.

But I will not back down. Check out my stance - arms folded, feet firmly planted. There is power in my body and power in my voice that I will not repress, will not give up, and will not suppress for anyone. Or anything.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Had to make some changes.

I took down my facebook badge, but I'm still on facebook.

And I've set my blog so that search engines can't find it.

If you live in Vancouver and you've read my blog recently, and are still reading, could you leave a comment? I had some suspicious activity from that direction - because of the facebook badge, my first and last name were linked to this blog, even though I removed my last name from the badge.

I don't care if my family sees it. heck, the whole world can see it, but there's someone out there who just doesn't get it. I want nothing, nothing, nothing at all to do with that person. My life is none of his business.

I received an e-mail from the person that tried to friend me on facebook a few weeks ago. I've blocked the address. I'll set up a new email addy for this site and change my profile picture when I have more time. As it is, my grandmother's birthday awaits.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I love my daughter's school!

Why? Because they sent the following page home in their monthly newsletter:

(Sorry -you'll need to click on it if you want to read it)

I won't print the other side, but it had links to various anti-homophobic websites, including Day of Silence.

I'm impressed! And truly grateful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

advice please

Wild Ginger witch camp is less than two weeks away! And I am so excited as I always am...there are so many things that happen for me there. I came out to people for the first time while I was there last year (really, you couldn't ask for a more supportive environment).

I love ritual, and I especially love big rituals with tons of people that I know and love...and a few that I don't know at all...anyways...

The following message came from my group list, and it really intrigues me:

hi witches. the saturday night ritual planning group would like to invite you to a masquerade ritual.
> please come to the ritual masquerading as one of the following:
> chauvinist
> feminist
> gender
> mother nature
> dragon.
> please brings items to wear and share... be as creative or as boring as you like.
> consider: face paints, masks, costumes, props, etc. please keep the environment in mind...

So if you were going, how would you choose to costume yourself? Why?

I need to think about my costume and what I want to do. I've already ruled out the "dragon" option.....