Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Whingey Whiner Wendy...

that's me...

Honest to god, reading over the crap I've been posting I envision a Goth adolescent with hair dyed a deep inky black, white pancake makeup and kohl-lined eyes... an angst ridden Pollyanna, sighing about the house, having dramatic outbursts of existential despair and stealing dad's absinthe when he's not looking...

Well buck up Buttercup, life deals a hand and you do what you can with it... all the whining and wringing of hands does nothing but irritate and alienate. Hell, I'm boring even myself.

I watch my picture postcard backyard as the heavy wet snow floats down from a gunmetal sky.  It's the sticky type that clings to the branches of trees, drapes the branches of firs and is a bloody menace to shovel.  The bird are active at the feeders, their feathers ruffled and fluffed, then startled as clumps of snow imperceptibly melting, suddenly fall to the ground.

Musing on death today (promise, not in an angst-ridden way, more of an intellectual exercise).

It's inevitable my thoughts turn to death, with a mother who has been said to be dying yet has rallied and has energy and appetite to spare.

A friend's wife recently died a very awful death, fighting with her poor disease-ridden body to the very end.  It was a tragic and messy end, he is traumatized and rootless... telling his sister he is just getting through his day then suddenly is overwhelmed and brought to his knees.  She was 52, a stranger in a strange land, ending her journey in the frosty white embrace of a Canadian winter, far from her steamy, tropical roots. She was fortunate (if that word can be used) to be surrounded by her husband, who loved her to distraction and his loving,caring family who rallied round and were with always through the last bitter weeks.

D. and I were discussing death the other day, grappling with the possible reality of finite days for my mum, a woman he has known since he was 19.  I drift these days, confused and uncertain -my reality being that her appetite has improved, her colour rosier, her energy levels clearly better.  D. feels it is the innate human need to fight for that last inch of life, to grasp with both hands and the last of our strength to the realness of days, the knowledge of looking into the abyss spurring and frightening one into clinging to the now.

I just don't know.

He feels that all humans are afraid of death - of the uncertainty, the not knowing.

I disagree - and he asks me, well, what would you feel if you knew you were going to die?

Unbidden, unplanned, the word hangs in the air between us "relief"...

He is taken aback, disconcerted.  but what do you think happens after?  I reply, I don't know - I had faith but that was a very long time ago and deep in the soul I think I believe there really is nothing after.  Perhaps a life force, which like energy, becomes another form of something but the memories, the realities of my life will be gone, eventually fading to moments of poignant recollection in a loved one's heart, then snuffed to annihilation as the passage of time and generations continue.

I search my mind and soul, prodding to see if there is a form of denial in the calm acceptance I feel is genuine and find no crumbs of self-delusion nor semblance of pretence.

My mother has great faith, a deep,abiding and gentle sureness that I can admire if not internalize. She believes implicitly in god and the joy of the hereafter in heaven where she will rejoin those she loved in this life.  She says and has said to each of us,more than once "I'm not afraid of dying" but she is - I sense it in her periods of denial, in her desperate claim to be on the mend.  "I almost died" she says, astonished, her very tense implicit that that was then and this was now when she is not dying.

I do not despair at her imminent (or not so imminent) demise - she is 93 and has had an incredibly rich life, full of adventure and friends and experiences to be envied by those of us without her breadth of experience.

But that is enough for this post.  The concept of death and its implications are complex enough to require musings and thoughts aplenty...

Saturday, March 10, 2018

I struggle within myself to understand why the removal of my gold rings is causing such poignant sorrow and a confusion of emotions need to be picked apart and straightened and rolled into orderly balls of understanding.

I think too of my breasts, such a wonderfully sensitive part of my body, and imagine the feel and look of it so different AFTER - while not radical, a large piece will be taken and I can't help wonder if this will be yet another nail in the coffin of a sexuality which burned so brightly, so intensely that what we had would set the universe aflame... 

As women do, I have discussed with friends what indeed is the spark that sets us ignite... while cerebral imaginings are without doubt the most powerful aphrodisiac, the feel of his hands on my breasts, squeezing, pinching, owning could send me spiraling into a maelstrom of mental, emotional and physical pleasure that would leave me panting and exhausted.  

For women, breasts are one of the first signs of our sexuality... a physical manifestation of those restless yearnings which many of us had no name for in those heady adolescent years. I started out feeling bereft, overlooked and shamed in that department.  An older sister with huge beauteous breasts was one thing, but when your 10 and 11 year old sisters had more than you had dreamed off in your 16 years, it lead to a lot of teasing... not malicious per se but nonetheless leaving a tender scar.  For despite reaching my 5'8" height early, broad shouldered, with an expanse of rib cage, long-limbed and just BIG (not fat, not even heavy(then) although as an adolescent I thought I was both), I had what I then perceived as these woefully lacking breasts sitting slightly and shyly and easily overlooked.  Yet those small mounds had such sensitive tips despite their paltry opulence brought such great pleasure... I remember the first time a boy cupped my breast and the breathless, choking GLORY it evoked.  In later years, with D. such a source of pain/pleasure that the right sequence of actions and reactions could bring panting, breathless BLISS....

I remember coming home from university, clean undies stuffed in my purse but planning on raiding my sister K's cupboard.  A shopaholic from a young age, with the exception of the breasts, we were much of a size - tall, long-limbed and solid.  She wore a dress that summer day, linen with simple embroidery, long sweeping skirt but the front  - oh the FRONT... silk ribbons criss-crossed from neck to waist - adding a naughty yet virginal somehow delight to a simple classic piece.  Ripping it off her back as soon as we got home, I poured myself into it (tightening the ribbons!)- and strutting, sexy S. - stalked to the dining room where my da sat reading the paper with his half glasses.

What do you think da, I said striking a pose?

Looking over his glasses at his strutting daughter, he said in his dry tone "on K, obscene, on you, unseen" and went back to reading!

Yet I grew to love my little breasts... revelling in the pleasure they gave, finding finally in D's eyes the beauty I couldn't see when younger.  Then children came along and those same breasts nurtured and loved them, as my milk flowed and gave my beloved babies sustenance and liquid love, I grew to appreciate them even more.

Like the gold rings, my breasts have been dreaming of past days for a very long time ... a body part which if anything with increased weight has proved to be bothersome and irritating even... yet I cup my breast and wonder if the loss of part of it will impact how and the manner in which I see the world.  

This is the female form, 
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot, 
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction, 
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor, all falls aside but myself and it, 
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth, and what was expected of heaven or fear’d of hell, are now consumed, 
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it, the response likewise ungovernable, 
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands all diffused, mine too diffused, 
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb, love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching, 
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love, white-blow and delirious juice, 
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the prostrate dawn, 
Undulating into the willing and yielding day, 
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh’d day. 

(Excerpt from Walt Whitman's I Sing the Body Electric)

Thursday, March 8, 2018


My fingers roll the smooth gold between them, seeking the to unscrew the small clasp... the water is warm around me, steam drifting into the darkness of sky and forest, tendrils of fog sighing through the yearning bare branches of trees yearning for spring.  Above me, the sky is overcast and lowering.... pressing down and hiding from my seeking eyes the cold gaze of star and moon.

I realize I will have to snip the rings.. and feel a choking, burgeoning sadness erupting from my entrails, threatening to spew sorrow into the night air.  Having intimate piercings is not always simplistic... with four golden rings, their smooth unbroken sweep of promise giving lie to realities.  They can twist at times, tugging suddenly as you go about your everyday business... I can't help but smile as I think of those times when suddenly you develop an awkward, odd type of walk, tightening your thighs, spreading while trying not to be obvious as the ring has twisted and is tugging tender folds of skin.  Tight biking latex shorts were some of the biggest problems, as friction and sweat as my legs pump up hills and sweep around corners pulling and tugging until cursing, I would have to pull to a stop and quickly adjust in what is (hopefully) a quiet corner.

Yet they've been an intimate part of me for so long I can't recall when I got them, a promise, a claim, a reassurance and an owning.   While it has been too many years now since those promises were broken, the claim rejected, the owning torn asunder, I have clung to them as dreams once realities, full of colour and passion and belief and a great, incandescent joy, an understanding and great beauty in knowing where I stood in the universe....

I used to laugh at those that descried physical and concrete symbols, tattoos, piercings and their like.. and the oft-used adage, but think of what they will look like when you are 80!!  I used to retort, I LOVE the idea of having them at 80, of harried nurse's aids helping with a bed pan, seeing the glint of gold amongst the greying, ginger curls, the D on the wrinkled posterior and realize for an instance, that this old creature, frail and aged was once young and vital, passionate and intense, with dreams and beliefs and needs ... and perhaps think, if just for that moment, on the inevitability of time and its ravages on our bodies and minds and in that second, in that flash of time, remember to embrace their realness, embrace their passion.

Such pleasure those rings have given me... physically, the tugging by his fingers, the rubbing and the friction and the quick dart of pain when pulled.  I loved walking around in the every day world knowing I carried between my thighs his secret marks of ownership.  That as I dealt with the humdrum realities of children, and home and bland, boring work, the other me, the writhing, wanton, passionate creature of stolen moments, fleeting, wonderous weekends, hot nights behind locked doors against the intrusion of the other world of children and demands,was really always there, simply another intricate aspect to the confusion of thought which is each of us.

So many changes in such a short period of time!

But the rings must go as the 19th draws nearer and the bland demands of medical necessity insist.  For in my breast squats something which must be removed... a possibly evil child or one with malice yet no true ability to alter my life. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

a river runs through it....

I stand and watch the water sweep by through the melting landscape of ice and snow. Joyous, fierce and determined, the once placid creek, swollen with rain which weeps from a grey sky and snow melt from double digit temperatures leaps and bounds and fiercely climbs the banks of its erstwhile prison, triumphant in its heady freedom.

I sit,sipping coffee (nectar of life) and contemplate the realities of aging.  On the floor above, my mother lies sleeping, dazed and exhausted with the after-effects of pneumonia and industrial strength antibiotics.  

I have always said, from a young age,that old age will not capture me nor bind me with its cloying breath, that the inevitability of the body's slow but insidious decline into sore limbs, faltering steps, eyes blurred and hearing dimmed will not be my lot. Old of course being a relative concept, one you deem clear and hard and delineated when your limbs are young, your heart strong; a concept that change and mutates and resolves itself into a confusing array of ill-met goals as you travel the wavering thread of life granted you by the Moirae... as they sit weaving in their far away eyries,watching with immutable gaze the fate of the frantic creatures we call humankind.'

It takes great courage, I think, to keep walking, to keep to the path, putting one foot in front of the other.  Knowing in the dark recess of restless nights that perhaps the dreams of youth and belief in self are simple static in a sleeping mind and that the soft tendrils of dreams soon disappear when the cold light of day creeps in and dissipates the last clinging tendrils of belief in achievement.

Harshest to contemplate is the possibility that what you have lived is the sum of what you will ever live, that the achievements you've had to this sad point in your life is the total of what you will have wrung from this desperate existence.  I think of myself in my early 20s, strong limbs, ambitious and fierce, with vistas to conquer and mountains to climb and wonder.....

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cold beauty....

I love autumn.. most people would concur the rich tapestry of green, gold, vivid red and every shade of cream from palest taupe to deepest brown against the cerulean sky of the third season provides an eminently gluttonous feast to the eye and soul.

Yet winter brings with it, its own cornucopia of great  if more subtle flavour.

The ribbon of highway winds away in the distance and the whoosh of tires on roads slick with slush and salt provide a hypnotic rhythm to my thoughts.  Snow clings to the bare limbs of trees, yawning yearningly to a steel grey sky. Evergreens, muted in the early morning gleam, flow palely in the soft light, while ice spills in a frozen stream over the reddish hue of the exposed Canadian shield rock. 

The Inuit have, I am told, more than 50 words for snow.... the hardiest of our nation's people, the first of our nation's people knew the infinite flavour of its touch and appearance.   In the hollows of the forest which line the highway are steel blue shadows, whispering, sliding into the palest of blues then into cream and palest white, the surfaces smooth and untouched yet by foot or paw or wind.

The only absolute I have found in this life is that there are no guarantees.  It is, when all is said and done, a crap shoot.  That is neither good nor is it bad... it is a simple reality that if internalized gives you a certain freedom.  It doesn't undercut desire or plans for the future but rather, if accepted, allows your imagination scope and possibility - more crucial, it gives you the flexibility to pick yourself up when your world goes to hell, when the plan goes awry... when the promise is unmet and the yes, even when the ultimate destination turns out not to be what your anticipation had conceived.

I think it saddest when I read of a dream met, a deepest wish fulfilled, a yearning made flesh and find the individual lamenting shortly thereafter that it wasn't the absolute most fantabulous, bestest, dreamiest thing after all... because on reaching that they realize that nothing can be maintained at "perfect" for every moment.  That in the dream there is a little flaw, that in the hoped for desire, they found a part they hadn't conceived of, that perpetuating that high is an impossibility.

Which is why I think I liked the old fairy tales best.

They had blood and disappointment, guts and broken dreams, they had harsh realities of possibilities and often frankly awful endings.   The sanitized versions that are continually being revised and prettified and made "palatable" for overprotective parents and puritan minds are in themselves the biggest lies, lulling their precious children into a false sense of security.   But the children know... deep inside the mind and souls lies the kernel of awareness we each carry from our moment of birth, the knowledge that there are no promises that can't be broken, vows that can't be foresworn.

The very essence of life is unpredictability.

Live with it, internalize it and accept it- then you can move through this uncertain path and find, as I do in the highway stretching before me, hidden beauty.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


I pull the bulky flow of thoughts around my shoulders, skin flickering at the shards of belief which scrape across the sensitive expanse of angst.  Time shivers in the cool embrace of past experiences and the multi-coloured patchwork of broken promises and shattered dreams.

Time is much in my thoughts these days... the inevitable passage of its reality.  I watch from the narrow end of a telescope and see behind me the expanse of was going to do and one day's that litter the fractured path of my life.  Excuses, justifications and lost possibilities brighten the patchwork of fabric, and I feel a poignant sadness as my fingers feel for the closed reality of their former promise.  I lie back, pulling the quilt around my body, a slice of blade caught in the weaving cuts and bright blood trickles from the soft expanse of flesh.

I am surrounded, the me, the soul, id, the existential core of self that lies enveloped in smothering blankets of excess flesh and wonders how I was caught yet again.  I look out from the pads of smothering revulsion and feel trapped, caught in a body I don't recognize nor wish to claim.  That little mark..... the small blackness trapped in the blue-veined breast pulses and sends a soothing promise of nullity and cessation of pain.  

Like a callus, I rub my shoulder against the shard of promise and revel in the clear, bright reality of pain it brings, illuminating for a moment the greyness of an existence lost in idle speculation and lack of will.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Whither wander....

It sits, nestled deep within the surround of pale blue arteries, snaking outward through the expanse of pale red muscle and white tendon, a small darkness I sense there deep beneath the surface.  A pale of smoke which amorphous and innocuous sighs and bleeds outward.  Look closely and  the lines you think delineated and sharp bleed soft into the surround of flesh... reaching, like a flower in delayed motion, you breathe out, and in and the small darkness sighs and expands.

I open the mirror and the sun spills through the large doors, beyond which the forest grows and the creek beneath a thin, crackling layer of ice sighs past the house.  My eyes, like the ocean surface bleed colour from the sky and shift in waves of possibilities and melding of tint from palest green to darkest forest gray...

Behind my changeling eyes I feel myself as if a sideways glance (because direct will obliterate the true reality), that flash at the corner of your vision.... I breathe out.  I always felt most real when the flesh lay taut over the bones, when pale expanse of skin blinked shadow and shade as it followed the contour of muscle and tendon.  I felt myself then behind the flesh, almost free, and loved to look down the expanse of gross flesh and see the clarity of bone, the sharp jut of hip, the concave of belly and the long bones of thigh and calf with the sharpness of knee providing breathless contrast to their sweep of pale length.

Now, encased and imprisoned in gross flesh, I sit shivering beneath the surface, crouched behind my prison of broken vows and the reality of monotony and despair.  I whisper to the darkness I sense deep within and coax it with promises and seduce it with possibilities of sweet air and freedom.  I cup if gently in my mind, butterfly caresses, whisper of soft papery wings across its throbbing pale dark coolness, breathing softly, encouraging and coaxing....

Beyond the window, the squirrel rummages in the disordered churned snow of the deck, seeking sustenance and hope.  Simplicity personified in the bushy tail and busy prehensile fingers as they dig through the snow for discarded seed and peanut shells. 

I sit and raise the mirror yet again and watch the colour bleed from my eyes as the sky thickens and snow clouds roil and over the pristine landscape greyness descends.... and deep within I feel the thrumming of my small dark and smile.  I wonder at the needless complexity and confusion of the human beast and watch the squirrel do what he needs to survive.