Going to church

“God spoke to me, and he said ‘I am the one who  will decide which kingdoms will rise & whose will fall, and I say that I love & cherish these people as my children and they will flourish'”.

As I stirred creamers into my tea I did not look up at the man speaking, but I felt the hairs bristling on the back of my neck all the same. Inherited rage against the church of my father. It was late in the afternoon and the diner was mostly empty except for me, and these three church folk conversing over pie and coffee. There was something about the self-congratulatory confidence which this man’s faith spoke with that grated my nerves. Even as I felt the tension & irritation rise in the bile of my stomach a calmer voice reminded me to let it go. He meant no harm by his story, he was no threat to me in my booth, and who was I to judge his experience of the unknown.

“Father Clearey looked at me astonished as I spoke these words, for he knew that I would never have said such a thing! I was fed up with being there. There had been so much resistance, so many set backs, and they had just run out of money to pay us. So they called an assembly with the children to see if any of them had access to money. I was ready to throw in the towel, I was sure that these people were past hope and would be wiped out under the heel of God. So I said to myself, well I know what I think of these people, but God what do you think of these people?”

As I listened I felt the knots in my stomach relax into unexpected calm. Certainly this man was not perfect, he barely concealed his inherent racism & disdain for “those people”, but when that voice answered him he was prepared to listen against his own judgement. A small bead of hope settled in my heart. Here was someone whom I would normally consider beyond hope, a Christian missionary with an agenda. With Trump the President-Elect spitting his hate speech from the television in the corner of the diner these church folk stood for everything I thought was wrong with the world. Yet, here he was acting out of divine love to support people he had deemed beyond hope in circumstances that would try the most loyal ally let alone a bigot.

In that moment I thought about the reasons I had hated his faith, how similar they were to his own reasons for hating the faith of the north, how little any of our reasons meant in the face of so much pain. Humanities pain. My pain. The pain that I had been in when I walked into the diner to sit at my favourite corner booth where the waitress comes to sit on her breaks and cheers me up with stories of her weekend. She gives the best hugs. How I needed one of those hugs today because I was feeling so lost. There is no way to adequately describe the emptiness of depression. A real absence of care. Of faith. I questioned why I had turned away from all overt forms of faith as an attempt to prove that I was an intelligent, capable, grounded person in my father’s eyes. I noticed how much my heart craved that faith now. A faith that is open to receiving signs from beyond my own understanding of the situation. A faith that acts out of the best interests of those involved against my own petty judgements. A faith that loved deeply & fully with no expectation.

I was reminded of the one-step plan we had discussed in my yoga training. Give life. How impossible it had seemed when she had said that to me. Shed everything. She said that we were already on it. Over to God. I couldn’t understand how. One step. Over bagels & tea I understood the blessed simplicity of that sentiment.

There is no reason why that man should have had a change of heart. There is no reason that I should have stepped into this diner at this time to hear him tell it. There is no reason any of this should occur, and yet that is all the reason that I need to restore my faith in humanity. My faith in happy accidents & divine interventions. My faith in my own ability to keep going. My faith. There may be a divine reason too complex for my understanding, or I may have arrived here by a series of happy accidents, or gifts from the god as another teacher refers to them, either way the results are the same. I am sitting alone in the corner booth on a grey steely day stirring cream into my tea when I experience a change of heart. I can not measure or quantify the experience, but my actions change as a result. My thoughts change as a result. Love enters my heart as a result.

As I walk back to work considering the unlikely probability that I would hear these words at this time and have them land in my heart in such a way to momentarily lift the veil of apathy I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for magical mistakes & mysterious meetings. As I walk the one step at a time path through depression I see all the other tiny steps that have got me here. I see that we are each walking the one step path together, and whether we waver or stumble, we are moving through it as one. One step. The rhyme or reason of it is whatever we each choose to weave between the lines, but the result is the same. We walk together.

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Loosing faith

I feel it in my body. My limbs are heavy. My fingers feel thick & bloated like strange cocktail wieners attached to the end of my wrist stumps. My eyes ache, and my mouth tastes like ash. I have a hard time remembering what was just said to me. I feel like a waste of space. Same thoughts as before. I’m tired of hearing them. I can objectively see that I am doing well, my life is reasonably comfortable, I am reasonably skilled & kind, I am supported & loved, and my challenges are manageable. Yet my mind roars a deafening cry of apathy. It’s harder to silence when I know it is unfounded. Maybe I will always feel like this. Maybe I don’t deserve the things I have if I can’t appreciate them. Maybe the only way to get any peace. I can reason with myself that isn’t the answer. I can say the things to myself I would say to a friend. I can put myself to bed & make myself tea knowing things will keep going on. Maybe things will get worse, maybe I am a waste of space, but certainly no more so then anybody else. I can only make good of what I have here. How selfish is it to allow my mind to fall into such disrepair over nothing. Why does my body ache when I try to sleep? And disassociate when I try to focus? And smile when I feel afraid? I feel so embarrassed warning my friends. I need to tell you this because I know you would want to know if something were to happen, I have no plans, but someone needs to know, and I can see my weight transfer from my mind to yours, but I am no lighter for it, and again I am afraid. What is the point? Why am I here? I am asking a god that I don’t think can hear me for an answer that I am afraid to hear. No wonder it isn’t going well. Why do I make things so hard for myself? Or is it out of my hands generations of trauma leading up to this moment where I try to make an excuse for my own lousy outlook on life. Turning off the news helps. Playing music helps. Sleeping helps. Eating green food helps. Praying to no one in particular helps. Talking with others helps. Petting my cat helps. Drinking tea helps. Writing this down helps. 

I don’t know if help will ever really make a difference, but that’s the best I’ve got.

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Deep roots

The teacher is rarely the person at the front of the room. It is the person your heart connects with. Without a doubt you walk into the arms of their unknowingness & ask them to reveal their truth to you. The answer is always a surprise until hearing sounds too obvious. 

I walked into a room surrounded by teachers to be revealed. My nails clawed across the chalkboard of my mind. Defiant pupil scared of her own short comings revealed in nothing but the awful sound. Hip flexors cried out in stubborn unyielding, unwilling to be yoked to the fate self same sought. Tears rippling internally against a frustration fuelled by the same tired complaint ‘Why am I here?’

Determination is so beautiful.

Suddenly a truth that can not be muted answers my disheartened mewing. This is where I belong. These are the teachers I have been searching for to the questions I dare not articulate. I am here & I am ready to be played a fool. Show me the reason for this hate & fear. Where for did it grow in my heart? Where for in my neighbours? A ring of candles glisten in the dark. I don’t have the answer, but I am waiting.

Waiting is a practice that can lead to yoga.

Or maybe that’s not what the teachers said, but I am barely listening over the inaudible din of my self studying. Turning the question over & over again. Why am I here? Why am I here? Why am I here? 

I slept like a lamb new slaughtered. Blood on my hands I arrived on my mat ready to ply these butchers fingers. Awkwardly inflated, unfamiliar, groping through the dark in first morning light. I watch the shadows crawl across the wall. Somewhere in between breaths Mary started to glow. First dark like a shadow then bright golden light source unknown. Whose hand crafted such a sight? What hand supported me now? 

Under pressure nerves cracked in newly familiar places. I’m crazy for love, but I’m not going on. How many years in devotion to the tower I built around myself? Who is the brick layer? Who stained the glass? What was here before I arrived? Who will stand here when I’m rubble in the sand? This moment passed unmarked from one song to the next. I crave oneness with one of it, so I pack light, travel alone, watch my own back as I walk away from myself on the ledge. Why so guarded on the mirrors edge? 

A deer crosses the road & I am too empty to feel my heart beat in excitement. Saturday night pilgrims march towards fortunes neon glow, but Lady Luck slipped out the back while I unlocked the front door. Sweeping the floor well past closing time. I remark to no one in particular the parts of myself that I am afraid to name.

6:00 am comes easily when the purpose for rising is unclear. In the vast darkness my sneakers carry me through old haunts. Up empty streets to pick up berries in colours that remind me of secrets long forgot. The cashier gives me a knowing nod as I walk off into the sunrise. Silence slowly filling my ears as I walk down the street in the chord of D. Vibrations of kids laughing commune with the trees. This one cut down & that one planted. It will grow to be taller than I am in my lifetime. That door didn’t use to be red. These planks weren’t always so rugged. The sun didn’t look like this yesterday. 

As we drive the day feels more welcoming. There is a thread in the day that keeps me tied to the window. There is something out there looking for me, but today I am tied to my mat like a life raft. A raft that is filled with humility at the things I’ve taken for granted in the blink of an eye. Here my feet are. Ten toes for balancing. Here my eyes are. Two for truth seeking. Here my heart is. One of everything. 

I accept you into my heart as my sister, I promise to never speak ill of you, and I accept your love seeking only what is best for our collective highest good. 

Your heart open to mine I feel naked in a way no skin can express. In that vulnerability you accept my sins for me & I yours. We are purified of imperfections because together we are whole. Together we can do no wrong. Greater than the collective sum of our hearts. Overwhelming gratitude electrified in your presence I stand alone with only my own wildness to answer for. I have a voice inside of me that knows what it wants. It knew then what I know now I’ve just forgot. There is a playfulness not to run from. There is a security that isn’t forced. A voice asks me to be whole in my knowing.

One step.

I am grounded in laughter, and surrounded by a sea of silence. 17 lighthouses blink in the distance. In my awkward steps I will climb the ladder rung by rung to watch the storm from your safe haven. Fingers clasped together asking for a way – Om. 

A step together is a step forever.

In the quiet moments between lost & found you read to me my hidden texts. It is both a warning & an invitation to better understand this sanctity of expression. From my own silent utterance be true. Unshored it is soon forgotten. Sealed tightly it envelopes all mystery. My wholy unbroken.

A journey with no destination.

Together we have begun.

Grounded in uncertainty.

Unsure we stand united.

Pilgrimage of the heart.

Community of women.

Unknown maiden head birthed of sage wisdom.

Home.

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5x Day one

Today I start an 8 month journey to unleash my full healing leadership potential as part of a group of fierce women deepening our yogic practice together. It wasn’t looking like I was going to do it for a while, the cost was too steep, my fear too intense, but something galvanized for me once Trump was elected. Here was the most terrifying outcome for my friends & family I hadn’t even dared consider. If he was to be orange Mussolini then what did I want to do with my legacy before it’s too late? In the face of so much fear & hate I chose to love myself more deeply than I ever have, to take the opportunities while they were here today because tomorrow is uncertain. Too offer myself in service to my higher purpose. As a dear friend said, I don’t know what the right thing to do is, but I will keep looking for the next good thing to do. One foot in front of the other.

  1. The importance of touch via Broadley
  2. Habitual postures, habitual emotions, habitual thoughts via Oliver Goetgeluck
  3. Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah also read Leonard Cohen on Democracy & it’s Redemptions via Brain Pickings
  4. History tells us what’s next via Huffington Post
  5. Conversation with Mirabai Bush via On Being
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The Canadian Theatre is a Lameass Bourgeois Snooze

This.

Daniel Karasik

karl-marx-peaceSo I pitched The Walrus magazine and was assigned in April to write this essay (below) about the Canadian theatre’s sanctimonious bullshit liberalism, but it turns out The Walrus‘s freelance labour practices are high-handed and exploitative, i.e. partake of the same liberal motherfuckery I was writing about. After six (6) months of missed deadlines and serial ghosting on my editor’s part, after I thrice (3ice) tried to withdraw the piece and was told the magazine still wanted it for its website—but wouldn’t commit to any timeline for editing, publication, and payment—I made a very funny joke about telling my editor to fuck off, and that, for some reason, was taken more seriously than any of my polite follow-ups over the preceding half-year had been. The world is full of wonders.

I now present the piece on my Website, locus of my Personal Brand. You may Ignore it, or…

View original post 2,332 more words

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17 things I learned about sex after having sex

I saw a click bait article with this headline today and found their list rather disappointing, so here is my Hot Take on the subject.

1. Boys that are insecure about their body will criticize mine. It’s easier just not to go there, but accidents happen and sometimes just having nice things to say about each other will make everyone feel better.

2. It’s ok to like to have sex for sex sake. It’s just as fun shared with strangers, friends, or intimates. Pleasure has no hierarchy.

3. Trauma is part of a healthy sex life, mine or my partners, getting comfortable naming it will help bring joy to those vulnerable moments.

4. Lube literally makes everything better. Not that things were bad before, but just better.

5. Having sex with someone will not change how I feel about them. Never has it ever. Good sex won’t save bad relationships. bad sex won’t kill good friendships. 

6. Internalized homophobia/biphobia is real. I am still deserving of love & good sex even when I try to self sabotage. See point 3.

7. Making eye contact during sex is weird. That’s ok, it doesn’t ever really get any less weird, but sometimes it’s not so bad.

8. Initial gut reactions on whether I should fuck someone are generally accurate. 

9. Sex on drugs is not that great. Being high is kind of boring to begin with so it gives you something to do, but it’s kind of boring sex too.

10. It’s often more fun giving pleasure than receiving pleasure because of how vulnerability & anxiety work, but because most people feel this way sometimes giving over entirely is a treat.

11. Despite all the click bait to the contrary, sex isn’t that great for stress busting. Stick to masturbation & angry gay porn.

12. Period sex is way more fun than regular sex. More wet, engorged, horny, and my favourite messy. There is literally nothing better then being covered in your own blood & cum.

13. Threesomes are way more fun in practice than in the movies because I treat my friends more respectfully & playfully.

14. Don’t fuck people that aren’t worth talking to. It’s awkward. Be the slut you want to see in the world.

15. Literally no one I’ve had sex with or talked to knows how to use a dental dam. Fuck the education system.

16. Sex can be both performative & intimate. One does not make the other untrue. 

17. It sounds corny as fuck, but the best thing to happen to my sex life is to learn to love myself. In the tangible hands on sense. It’s a lifelong research project to know every sensation, sound, taste, and smell that turns me on and give it to myself. 


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5x embodied truth

Living your legacy in real time. A beautiful idea from Ron Finely. Something I’m reflecting on as I’m looking for an afternoon pick me up. There are seeds I planted months ago I’m seeing come to harvest now, there are others that have rotted on the vine. I trust that this balance is essential for nurturing the dreams I’m affectionately tending. Everything in its season. A few more things for you to consider as well:

  1. Interview with Ron Finely via The Great Discontent
  2. Krista Tippett in conversation with Mary Karr via On Being
  3. Inner Dearly Beloved a late addition after further reflection

This is all for now click back to find bonus inspiration on other lists that I’m leaving off short today.

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