Saturday, August 30, 2008

Canadian Cultural Icons -- Tom Thomson

I was at Sand Bay, off Georgian Bay, off Lake Huron, last week, just outside of Parry Sound. I don’t know if a sound is a Canadian geographic term or if it’s general – a sound is a large, wide body of water that connects two other bodies of water – in this case, Georgian Bay and Five Mile Bay. There’s Parry Island on the east side of Georgian Bay, and the Sound is north of it, and Five Mile Bay is south of it and feeds back into Georgian Bay. A little confusing.

We went on a couple of picnics a short boat ride from my sister-in-law’s cottage. On Picnic Island, where else? Here’s a couple of pictures I took at Picnic Island. We are on the Canadian Shield here, an enormous slab of granite that includes Greenland, most of eastern Canada from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean, and the Adirondack Mountains are part of it too. In the Pleistocene era giant continental ice sheets 1,500 to 3,000 metres thick receded over it – they carried off most of the topsoil, exposing the bedrock and carving lakes and rivers into the rock. There are grooves cut in the bare rock, left by those ice sheets. I just love it there – for me, it’s another one of those “thin places” that Ellie told us about recently.

I was taking pictures of those trees, and trying to remember a poem our Grade 8 teacher, Mrs. Dyment, had us memorize. All I could remember was the line, “and the pine trees leaned one way”. Thank heavens for Google. Here it is (and by the way, I didn’t understand this when I was 13, and it reinforces my view that children should not be made to memorize adult poetry like this or “In Flanders Fields” or prayers like The 23rd Psalm and the Our Father):

The Lonely Land

Cedar and jagged fir

uplift sharp barbs

against the grey and cloud-piles sky

and in the bay

blown spume and windrift

and thin, bitter spray


at the whirling sky;

and the pine trees lean one way.

A wild duck

calls to her mate

and the ragged

and passionate tones

stagger and fall,

and recover,

and stagger and fall,

on these stones –

are lost

in the lapping of water

on the smooth, flat stones.

This is a beauty

of dissonance,

this resonance

of stony strand,

this smoky cry

curled over a black pine

like a broken

and wind-battered branch,

when the wind bends

the tops of the pines,

and curdles the sky

from the north.

This is the beauty

of strength

broken by strength

and still strong.

A.J.M. Smith

It also made me think about Tom Thomson, member of the Group of Seven, a Canadian painter who loved and painted and died in northern Ontario. He’s a Canadian cultural icon for certain sure. I think if you went to school here in the ‘50’s through the ‘70’s, you’d be able to look at a painting and guess by the style it was by Thomson, even if you hadn’t seen it before. Beautiful paintings. A fisherman and canoeist. Thomson’s death adds to his legendary status. He went canoeing in Algonquin Park one day, and was never seen again. The official verdict was accidental death by drowning, but there have been rumours of arguments and speculation that it was homicide, ever since. That's not what matters, though, the paintings are.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Got New Jeans While I Was On Holiday

And that seems to me to be a good enough reason to change my picture (just to show you all), and to post something else silly. First of all, I LUVS me my new jeans! They fit the way jeans are supposed to fit (painted on, but not enough to be obnoxious, my landlady said), and my sister-n-law said, “You are SUCH a toothpick!” when I came out of the changing room in the store. Ultra-low rise, because I am not put together the way manufacturers think women oughtta be (I have a narrow, kinda racing-greyhound rear elevation) – two buttons and about a two-inch long zipper in the fly. Sparks should fly.

In 1979, I loved The Monks. “I Ain’t Getting Any” and “Drugs in my Picket”. And this one, which seems most appropriate today. Have fun! I am …

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kinky Boots

Well, if I’m gonna kick ass, I gotta have a decent pair of boots, right? I LOVED the 2005 movie “Kinky Boots”. I love when they make Lola the first pair of boots that’ll bear the weight of a man, and she rejects them as disgustingly ugly. She wants “three feet of red leather tubular sex”.

The movie’s based on a true story, the story of “Divine”; and Wiki says the shoe factory’s story, turning to making fetish footwear to survive in a market dominated by cheap mass-produced shoes from China, was featured in an episode of a BBC documentary series called “Trouble at the Top”.

The factory is staffed by the people who've worked there for decades, some of them, or their parents did. He's trying to explain to them what they're going to be making, and a tiny, elderly Japanese lady says to him: "Look to the heel, young man... Sex is in the heel... Stilettos require constant balance from the upper leg causing the muscles of the backside to tense and appear pert and ready for mating."

You can see the red leather boots on Lola, about a minute into this video – it’s not the whole clip of the walkway scene, and it will likely ruin the end of the movie for you, if you haven’t figured it out already.

I want me those boots.

Goin' on a Lion Hunt; Gonna Catch a Big One

Well, maybe not, but I’d hate for anyone to worry. On Thursday morning, I’m getting in a car with one sister-in-law and one niece, and we’re going to drive about 170 miles north to another sister-in-law, who comes with one nephew, and stay for a week. There will be rocks (the Canadian Shield), water, an unknown number of dogs, snakes, bears, a trampoline … And I’m hoping to get out tomorrow to get a new battery for my camera, so I can share.

I won’t be back til late on the 27th, and I have to work the next day, so DON’T WORRY. There are no computers or phones where I’m going, and my cell won’t get any signal either.

Hot Damn!!! I Kick Ass!!!

Kick Ass Blogger Award

Gina at Pagan Sphinx is a Kick Ass Blogger, and she says that I’m one too! No-one’s ever told me they thought I kick ass before. I have always been a very good girl-type, who behaved herself. This is so much better! Thanks, Gina!

Here’s the rules for the Kick Ass Blogger Award:


  • Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
  • Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award
  • Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to
  • Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

And here’s my picks. This was hard, because there are so many kick-ass bloggers in my circle. It was made easier by know that some, like Fran, have already got the award:

Grace, at Jesus Wept, because Jesus surely does, at what she’s been through because of her previous place of employment, and her struggle to find a new church home.

Derek, at 89Days, because I know what he’s been doing for the last couple of years, and I know what changes he’s made, and we did the struggling together.

Mimi, at Wounded Bird, because, among other things, she has a kick-ass fleur-de-lys tattoo on her ankle.

Sherry, at After the Bridge, because I love the poetry – hers, when she posts some, and other people’s when she posts that, and while I’ve had mornings that FELT like Multiple Tweetie Mornings before, I didn’t know what to call ‘em.

And Dennis, at Psychology, Dogs, Politics and Wine, because of the Jazz, the elephants, the homesickness, and Pinkie and the Brain.

I said I'd write more about fear

Well, I said I’d write something more about fear, and I’m going to. Heaven knows, I’m an expert on it. And I’ve had a lot of practice with it in the last few weeks.

First of all, I’ve got something wrong with my left foot. It’s been bothering me for a few months, and usually in the middle of the night, or when I’m not near a phone. When I am near a phone and the doctor’s office is open, it’s not bothering me and I don’t think to call. That was my story, and I was sticking to it.

Finally, it got too bad to ignore, and I knew I was being an idiot. So in the middle of the night, I e-mailed two people, detailed the symptoms and the fears. The fears are from my expert medical diagnostic skills – it was Parkinson’s, MS, diabetic neuropathy, or residual damage from when a beer truck ran over my foot on March 1st, 1993. Go ahead and laugh: it really WAS a beer delivery truck. He pinned the foot under the front driver’s-side tyre, and I fell under the cab, tearing up some ligaments on the outside of the ankle. (Someone asked me once what made it important that it was a beer truck, and not full of milk – it’s VERY important!!! This is funnier.) I promised to make the doctor’s appointment the following day, and I did – it was a week away. Having “confessed” my fears, I then prayed for God to relieve me of them. And I was not afraid between telling on myself, and the appointment.

The nurse practitioner did some tests. The high-tech neuropathy test – you close your eyes, and he pokes the bottom of your foot with the cut end of a short piece of fishing line, and you say “Yes” every time you feel it. Pressing on some things in the back of my knee, and on my foot, to see if they hurt. I am TERRIBLY ticklish, and the test was agony, but it didn’t hurt. Stand on my tiptoes. I can do that. Rock back on my heels and lift my toes. I can’t do that; I can with the right foot, but not the left. And I asked, as I always do – Did I feel it every time you touched the bottom of my foot? Yes. He said, I definitely do NOT have diabetic neuropathy. And he’s ordered some tests – I’m having an EMG early in September.

I barely got out of there and home before I flooded the place. Called one of my confessors, and blurted out, “It’s not neuropathy!” He said, “What is it then?” and I said, “I don’t know and I don’t care. They’re not gonna cut off my feet!” Holy cow, who knew THAT was there? I honestly had not felt fear all the time I waited for the doctor’s appointment, but the minute he said not neuropathy, I realized I’d held deep terror. Way down where it’s barely verbal, neuropathy to me means, “They’re gonna cut off my feet.” I am not at all afraid of whatever comes next.

Then there are the other people. My friends in their late 80’s. She’s ready to move into a retirement home, and he’s not. She asked for moral support. What I want for them is peaceful transitions. What I want for me is not to have whatever changes are coming. They have my moral support, and practical support too. and not least of the practical support is prayer.

Someone else I love has been having a lot of medical tests in the last week. One in particular was frightening me to the point that I cried every time I talked about it. And I DID talk about it – the things I’m afraid of are like mushrooms – they grow in the dark. I guess I didn’t talk specifically enough to the person who was having the tests – I totally misunderstood what they were looking for, and I was needlessly afraid.

But I was not constantly afraid. I would talk to someone out loud, and say, I know that fear is based in the future, and the future is imaginary. Roland told me in the spring that when I’m in the valley of the shadow of death, I need to remember – I’m in the SHADOW, not the reality. When I was afraid I’d ask God to relieve me of the fear, and then I’d go do something, like scrub the kitchen cupboard doors, to keep me stuck right in the here and now, and not let my brain wander around in the imaginary future.

The other thing I could do is remind myself that the condition I feared either already did or didn’t exist. If it did, it could get better or worse. If it didn’t, it could start to exist, or it could not. And even if it did exist, and even if it was getting worse right now, that didn’t mean that in six months, it would be what I feared right now. There are an infinite number of possibilities. The internal medicine specialist I saw for the first time last December, because my family doctor was retiring after being my doctor for over 25 years, said, “You’re hardly diabetic at all any more.” Everything changes all the time, and it’s only in my mind that things always only get worse. The fear went away, and it came back, and I’d pray again, and it would come back at longer intervals, and with less force. We get stronger with exercise.

These look overwhelming, because you’re reading them all at once. I’ve been living them serially, over a few weeks. Nothing here is unusual or makes me special; this is life. The answer is always the same – talk to people and pray. I have this feeling that most religions expect that we will gather together to pray and worship, at least some of the time. Jesus said, “Whenever two or more are gathered in His name …” The synagogue across the road requires ten men for a minyan. Muslims gather to pray at specific times each day. Even AA says the only things you need for a meeting are two drunks, a pot of coffee, and a resentment, and they always pray at the start and end of the meeting. The answer is to join together and turn to God and ask for help. It doesn’t even matter what name you call God. It works out – God is so good.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Late Canadian Cultural Icon -- Stan Rogers

Stan Rogers lived in town with us; his kids went to Montessori with my best friend, Lisa's. He was killed in a plane fire in Cincinnati or someplace. I believe the fire started with some bastard smoking in the can, and he was off the plane and went back in to help the others get off, and died of smoke inhalation.

This is wonderful. I've known it for years -- we had the "Between the Breaks" album as vinyl for a turntable. Tom used to go around singing the chorus to Barrett's Privateers when he was about three: "God damn them all! I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold. We'd fire no guns; shed no tears. Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of Barrett's Privateers." A little embarrassing sometimes. I’m posting two videos – Barrett’s Privateers, just mentioned. The second is The Mary Ellen Carter, and the beginning of the video is important -- it's not the singer, it's what the song can do to someone. Here's the words:

(Stan Rogers)

She went down last October in a pouring driving rain.
The skipper, he'd been drinking and the Mate, he felt no pain.
Too close to Three Mile Rock, and she was dealt her mortal blow,
And the Mary Ellen Carter settled low.
There were five of us aboard her when she finally was awash.
We'd worked like hell to save her, all heedless of the cost.
And the groan she gave as she went down, it caused us to proclaim
That the Mary Ellen Carter'd rise again.

Well, the owners wrote her off; not a nickel would they spend.
She gave twenty years of service, boys, then met her sorry end.
But insurance paid the loss to us, so let her rest below.
Then they laughed at us and said we had to go.
But we talked of her all winter, some days around the clock,
For she's worth a quarter million, afloat and at the dock.
And with every jar that hit the bar, we swore we would remain
And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

Rise again, rise again, that her name not be lost
To the knowledge of men.
Those who loved her best and were with her till the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

All spring, now, we've been with her on a barge lent by a friend.
Three dives a day in hard hat suit and twice I've had the bends.
Thank God it's only sixty feet and the currents here are slow
Or I'd never have the strength to go below.
But we've patched her rents, stopped her vents,
dogged hatch and porthole down.
Put cables to her, 'fore and aft and girded her around.
Tomorrow, noon, we'll hit the air and then take up the strain.
And watch the Mary Ellen Carter Rise Again.

For we couldn't leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale.
She'd saved our lives so many times, living through the gale
And the laughing, drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave
They won't be laughing in another day. . .
And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken
And life about to end
No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend.
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Things to Be Grateful For

It says in my profile, “newly thin”, and I keep saying I’m going to say something about that, and I don’t. Twenty-five years ago I was morbidly obese – morbid means you’re gonna die, and obese means fat. I know for sure I weighed 285 pounds, and I didn’t like seeing that on the scale. So I stopped getting ON the scale. (Sigh.) I didn’t stop eating the way I did to get that way, but I only count from 285 because I’m sure of that number.

I’m diabetic too (no surprise, eh?) and I got heart disease as a complication of that. Five years ago, I was on the waiting list for bypass surgery. Then the surgeon said that with my history of post-surgical infection, he wouldn’t DO surgery on me. He failed to mention that there were other options – I thought they only did a bypass if they couldn’t do anything else. I went home that day thinking all I had left to do was die. It was VERY bad coronary artery disease. They found an interventionist cardiologist, who performed a miracle on my behalf. My cardiologists haven’t even felt I warranted a stress test in the past two years.

In December 2006, the month after Mum died and before I’d moved out of the marital home, stress made my diabetes terrifyingly unpredictable. I was waking up at 4 a.m. with life-threatening low blood sugars, and I wanted to lower my insulin dosages, so I wouldn’t be so at risk. I have a friend who manages his eating disorder with a very low-carb food plan. I didn’t want to do his food plan – it’s restrictive and boring and bad for you and onanonanon and I didn’t want to do it. So I’d pray, “God, should I get Bob to teach me how to do that?” And the little voice would say, “Why wouldn’t you do something that would make you better?” Took a month, cuz I really, really didn’t want to do Bob’s food plan.

But I gave up, and asked him to teach it to me. That was January 21st last year. That was the last day I took an insulin shot. I started eating the way Bob told me on January 22nd, and thought, “I won’t inject cuz I don’t know how much I’ll need yet. I’ll just test a lot today, and figure it out.” Well, I NEVER needed an insulin shot that day. I was also on pills for diabetes, and they were enough. I went from four shots a day on January 21st last year, to not one ever since. And in the months since, I’ve lost the last 60 or so pounds I had to lose, and I don’t take the pills daily any more, just when I need them, and they reduced my blood pressure medication too. I got a miracle. And I weigh less than I did at 15. Hot damn!

So I eat very low carb, and it’s NOT boring, and I love my meals. Yesterday because I’d worked hard, I splurged, and bought yogourt from Liberte Dairy in Quebec. All their products are wonderful, but I’d never seen the 10% milk fat yoghourt before, and I bought two containers. One is the amount for two breakfasts. Usually, I buy whole milk yoghourt and drain it in a coffee filter in a sieve overnight to get it thick – this is wonderful. Organic raspberries were cheaper than regular yesterday, and I bought a half-pint of those too. I added vanilla and a little sweetener (I know it’s bad for me, but it’s not as bad as sugar) to the yoghourt.

This picture only has a few berries on top, so you can see the yogourt, but I’m eating them all – while I’m writing this. The pretty blue glass bowl and the yellow placemat are from IKEA, but they’re both discontinued, I think. Blue and yellow together – I love that. They’re sitting on a wooden cutting board my Dad made me one Christmas.

What a life – I woke up happy, and said thank you to God before I got out of bed, and then I get this great breakfast. I’m about to shower with sandalwood soap, and get dressed and go meet friends for the afternoon. We’ll talk about God, and drink coffee, and hug each other a lot, and prolly someone will cry. Then I’ll go out in the sun for a while. Life doesn’t get better than this~

A Big Adventure

I’ve been so busy, I haven’t blogged, and I’m having trouble keeping up with everyone else. I’ve been doing housework-for-hire, to supplement my income. Who’d have guessed I’d LIKE it? But I do. Part of it is, I have clients I like, and they both need and appreciate the work. And part of it is, I’m good at it. And another part is, I work hard and really earn my money. That makes me feel happy. It also takes up time, and when I am home, I’m very tired.

On Monday, I had an adventure. A friend of mine lives with his parents. They bought that house a few years ago from a man who owned a wolf. He’d bought it illegally as a puppy, and as an adult, the wolf wouldn’t get in a car, so couldn’t move. Plus, the man was moving into the city. Now my friend and his family own a 12-year old wolf.

It’s illegal to own them. When my friend inherited him, his family obtained the necessary permit. I read on Wiki that the life expectancy for them in the wild is six to ten years, and in captivity, up to double that. This wolf is showing his age. His hindquarters and back legs are stiff and slow; he’s graying around the muzzle; there’s a few bald patches.

I fell in love with him. None of the hands here are mine – another friend took pictures of me and the wolf on his phone, and doesn’t think he knows how to forward them. I was too dumb to hand my camera to anyone else. I was awe-struck, really. I sat on the ground in front of him, and held his head (it’s huge) in my hands and rubbed his head and ears. He was pushing his left ear into my hand, the way dogs do. I didn't want to wash my hands, because I could smell him -- did wash before supper though. I’d have stayed for hours, if I could – I’ve been invited back.

More later, I promise.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kol Adonai ...

Ascribe to the LORD, O divine beings,
Ascribe to the L
ORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name:
bow down to the L
ORD, majestic in holiness.

The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the L
ORD, over the mighty waters.

The voice of the LORD is power;
the voice of the L
ORD is majesty;
the voice of the L
ORD breaks cedars;
the L
ORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD kindles flames of fire;
The voice of the L
ORD convulses the wilderness;
the L
ORD convulses the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD causes hinds to calve,
and strips forests bare;
while in His temple all say, “Glory!”
The L
ORD sat enthroned at the Flood;
the L
ORD sits enthroned, king forever.

May the LORD grant strength to His people;
may the L
ORD bestow on His people wellbeing.

--Psalm 29

Go over to JohnieB’s place, to see His flames of fire – breathtaking.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stilling Stormy Waters

For the last couple of days, I’ve been living with fear. As usual, I’m frightened about something that is beyond my control, and the answer is prayer. I’m not the kind of person who just naturally turns to prayer, you know? I’m the kind of person who knows exactly what the right thing to do is in any given situation, and I’ll tell you about that, or yell at you about it, and get bossy and manipulative about making sure you do what I know is right, and resentful if you don’t. Sometimes, that’s how I can TELL I’m frightened – I get all controlling and I scream at people. I want to DO something, and it’s hard for me to remember that praying IS doing something. The only thing.

I’ve spent a lot of time returning to the Serenity Prayer. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change …” And breathing. One of the teachers in my life says ANYTHING I try to do consciously is fighting, and what I need to do is just, once an hour or so, when I remember, pay attention to my breath. Not DO anything about it – just pay attention to it. It does make tension drain out through my feet somewhere.

Another one of my teachers says to me (I need to hear it often): “I wish you could see this as part of the natural order of life, and not as stressful and catastrophic.” When I first started hearing it, I just wanted to shout, “You’re not LIVING with this!!! It is F***ing stressful and catastrophic!” But he DOES know. And he’s right. When I notice myself and say, “This is as stressful and catastrophic as you allow it to be,” the stressful and catastrophic drains away too.

I do an ocean meditation. I’m on the ocean. Sometimes in a bathing suit, sometimes not. Floating on my back. A starfish float, I think little kids call it, except that’s face-down and I’m face-up. On top of the ocean. If you’re going to float like that, you have to relax everything – once your body gets tense, things start sinking. So the meditation involves staying relaxed so I float on top of the ocean.

And the ocean varies. Sometimes it’s calm and blue and flat, like the Caribbean. Sometimes, it’s grey and there’s big swells taking me up and down. Sometimes, I’m aware of the things that live in the ocean. “That great Leviathan,that you made for the sport of it.” I know they’re down there below me; I know some of them are carnivorous; and the only thing to do is keep floating, and trust. Sometimes, my ocean is the North Atlantic in full storm, and it sucks me down underneath it. Even that’s okay. Sometimes, I need that.

Last week, on Wednesday, Ellie posted on silence at Meditation Matters. I’ve gone back and read it several times this weekend. I have a friend who was an English major: loves poetry and writes it, and loves Rumi the best. Ellie’s post includes this: The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote, "Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being."

That’s a great line for someone who meditates and craves oceans.

I was thinking about it tonight, a little while ago, when I read it again. I thought, “I just need to remember to still the waters.” And then I remembered – that’s not MY job. There’s someone else who stills waters. There’s someone else who leads me beside still waters.

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they put out, 23and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. 24They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’ – Luke 18:22-25, NRSV

So, it’s MY job to let go of all this, pray, and let God handle it. To pray, to be calm and still like the waters, inside, and to be loving to others as I go through the night and the day.

Thanks, Ellie.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thanks, Eileen and Sharecropper

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What Is Your Dream? What Would You REALLY Like to Be Doing?

I tell myself a lot, “Everything changes all the time.” I’ve been through a lot of change recently, and it’s felt hard. I don’t WANT this change, I say. But everything changes all the time, whether I want it or not, and whether I try to ignore it or not. I’m not built to ignore it forever; I have to do something else.

There’s been a lot of change. Where I’m living isn’t home. My income’s insufficient for my needs, not for my wants, my needs. What I’ve been doing for a living for 15 years isn’t working for me any more. I’m so aware of how much it’s about serving an institution and not people. The Div College and ordination track I was on – well, I changed, is the truth, and God has different plans for me. My relatives – I’ve lost most of my relatives in the last two years. I have family, that’s a different thing, and it’s pretty portable. Very few of them are right here anyway.

And you know what? I’d love to have my mother and my aunt back. But being and being here while they were sick and dying changed me, and I don’t want to go back to what I was. This is better.

Do you remember at the end of The Wizard of Oz, when they’re getting ready to fly back to Kansas in a balloon? They slip all the guy ropes for the basket off their pegs, and the thing just lifts off. “Losing” the job, the relatives, the sense of call to ordination, the home … My guy ropes are being slipped off their pegs. There’s nothing to hold me where I am, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Freedom. I also feel it as a vacuum sometimes. But nature won’t support a vacuum. I FEEL it that way, but the vacuum doesn’t exist. There is something else that exists, waiting for me to start doing it. I just don’t know what or where it is yet.

Sometimes that’s discouraging. This little statement from Wayne Dyer helps.

And now for something completely different -- Jesus' Brother Bob

Well, trolls, Lambeth, guys who run the red at the last second meaning they’re on the way INTO the crosswalk while you’re crossing through it with the light … We all need a little lightness in our lives.

What we need is The Arrogant Worms! It’s kinda hard to explain The Arrogant Worms, and it’s probably better not to try. You can look at them on Wiki, from which I’ve borrowed this (I think it's SO COOL that the links copy when I do this):

The Worms usually perform the following songs at every show:

  • "Carrot Juice is Murder" — a parody of an animal rights protest song comparing vegetarians to murderers, including a line about Coleslaw being a fascist regime.
  • "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" — a ballad about a farmer who takes up piracy on the Saskatchewan River. The song was also covered by Captain Tractor.
  • "Mounted Animal Nature Trail" — an audience interaction song about a real place [1] on Manitoulin Island: Terry's Taxidermy and Mounted Animal Nature Trail.
  • "I Am Cow" — a bovine anthem.
  • "We Are the Beaver" — a tribute song to one of Canada's symbolic animals, the beaver. The song mentions how the peaceful rodent compares to other nations' animals like America's bald eagle, Russia's bear and India's tiger.
  • "Canada's Really Big" — A satirical national anthem for Canada.
  • "Log In to You" — a love song using computer network euphemisms for sex.
  • "Rocks and Trees" — A song describing the distinguishing features of Canada.
  • "Jesus' Brother Bob" -- A song about Jesus' brother, Bob, who is always in the shadow of his brother. Bob is seen as "A nobody relative to the son of God", and states that "If only I'd been born just a little sooner, I'd be more than just the brother of God junior."

And, there’s a semi-religious quality to what I’m doing here, so I’m picking one of their best songs. I think this can stand as the Canadian Cultural Icon tonight too, since it’s my landlady and landlord’s wedding anniversary today and I’m invited for Shabbos supper, and then I’m going out to drink coffee on an outdoor patio at 10:30. Don’t know when I’ll get another chance.

A Message from Mad Priest, via Mimi

Borrowed with permission from Wounded Bird: OCICBW ... got attacked by a particularly vicious troll last night. It was so bad I had to close down the comments overnight.

He seems to have got his revenge by reporting me as a spam blog to Blogger and they have blocked my blog. I have asked for reinstatement but it's taking up to a week to sort out at the moment.

Would you please notify people of this on your blog and tell them to put it on their blogs. I don't want them thinking I've done a runner or been disappeared by the Church Police.


UPDATE: To all bloggers: the best way to help is to copy Jonathan's email and post it on your own blog.

UPDATE 2: A good laugh is always in order. Padre Mickey posted the same email, but he added a picture with a caption that is priceless.

UPDATE 3 (Mine): Phew! Apparently it wasn’t a troll war. Blogger has a new anti-spambot, and it seems to be going haywire. Jonathan said he’d heard a thousand blogs went down because of it. So – everything’s okay, and he’s back at it, at Of Course I Could Be Wrong.