Friday, June 30, 2006

A Poem, of sorts

All This

A hand to hold, a heart heard beating
A stolen kiss, a moment fleeting,
A sigh, a moan, a folding union
A soaring, sighing mass communion
Allies inside the darkened night
Souls eternal reunite.
Laughter shared and brightness seen
Emotions on a trampoline.
Hope and future, ball and chain
Joy in sorrow, joy in pain
Powerful, a soul defiant
Sorrowful, a spirit pliant.
Dark and soothing, mistress strong
Hearts desire heard in song.

Things she gave me when we fell in love.

Written by me. Patent pending.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Ok, I’m taking a huge chance here. I’m touching on a very tense and politically charged issue, with two very strongly opposed sides. And I’m not actually on either side, so I guess there’s a good chance I’m going to attract some ire. However, I do feel strongly about this issue, and want to put my message out there. Because no matter what happens, I don’t want to feel that I didn’t at least say something.

I’ve really been thinking about the whole “Native Crisis” thing up around Caledonia. You know, the blockade, tire fires, collapsing power towers, that stuff. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on the behind-the-scenes issues and factors at play here. I, like most everyone else, learned about the events by watching it on the news or reading about it in print. I followed along with interest.

The original protest was smart and completely understandable. Sometimes, you just have to stand up for your rights. How long are the Natives supposed to do things the “right” way (i.e. the way our government tells them to)? How long are they supposed to navigate our labyrinthine legal system, only to be stymied, lied to, ignored, and patronized and condescended to before they finally stand up and shout “Enough!”?

Of course, as any intelligent individual knows, any successful protest will, eventually, get out of hand. Because it will grow, and once a mob reaches critical mass, it becomes an entity on its own right. Warriors become vandals. Because no one can control the mob. So, anyone who starts a protest must therefore accept responsibility for the fact that the protest could, conceivably, end up out of their control. And they must respect the fact that they are therefore accountable for the actions of the mob even after they have lost control.

If you start a fire, you are responsible for what gets burned.

And then the folk of Caledonia, who had had enough, decided to have their own blockade. Apparently deciding to fight fire with fire. A popular phrase, which I believe really only actually applies to real fire. Not a phrase to be used metaphorically. Think about it. You don’t deal with a flood by shooting fire hoses at it. In otherwords, another bad idea.

Why? Don’t the people of Caledonia have just as much right to protest as their neighbours?

Welcome to the analogy portion of the diatribe.

Once upon a time there were two brothers. Their names were Bob and Wolf. Now, Bob and Wolf were adopted brothers, true, but fate and circumstance had put them together, in the same family, in the same house. Like it or not, they were going to have to learn to live together.

Turns out, Bob knew some pretty cool tricks. He had collected some pretty cool toys, and had even invented a few new ones of his own. They definitely came in handy. Wolf knew a lot about camping, sports. Turns out, even though they would sometimes fight, that both brothers had a lot to learn from the other.

Left to their own devices, things probably would have worked out for the best. But their adopted father – let’s call him Government (ok, so it’s “very thinly veiled analogy time”) – didn’t really want the kids to get along. He had his own agenda, and in order to accomplish it, he would need to take things from both his adopted children.

If there was one thing he couldn’t have, it was a united enemy.

So he gave Wolf special “privledges”. A good allowance, but only if he stayed out of sight most of the time. He sometimes took things away from Wolf, and gave them to Bob. Well, sold them to Bob. This made Wolf angry, because Bob had his things.

Bob resented Wolf’s anger. After all, it was Government who took Wolf’s things. Probably for good reason – after all, why wold Government do something if it wasn’t for good reason? Wolf most likely had done something to deserve it.

So, to recap: Government stold from Wolf, and sold the stolen items to Bob. And in the end, Wolf was angry at Bob, and Bob was angry at Wolf.

Turns out Government was quite Machiavellian.

And a genius. Now he could play Bob and Wolf however he wanted. As long as he continued to play each side against the other.

One day, Wolf had decided he had been taken advantage of long enough. Not too long ago, he had bought a car with his own money. Government had taken the car, and sold to Bob. Wolf wanted it back. He was tired of arguing with Government, because he would always just lie. He’d promise to set things right, then renege. Or deny it.

Wolf decided that if he couldn’t use the car, neither could his brother Bob. He got some heavy chains, and wrapped them around the car, locking them with padlocks. Bob was pissed, but Government told them both that he would deal with it.

Government got drunk and decided to ignore the problem.

Eventually, Bob got angry, and sick of waiting, and decided to put a padlock on the bathroom door. If Wolf was going to keep him away from his car (and yes, it was his car, because he paid for it), then he was going to keep Wolf away from the can.

Stepping away from the analogy here, I hope you can see what I am getting at. We shouldn’t be angry with each other. We should’t be on opposite sides of the issue. We have to, as a people, realize that we have a common antangonist. We all have to do some soul searching, and be willing to take a portion of the blame onto ourselves. We all have a share.

Once we have done this, we can turn our attention to Government. We can shake our heads and wag our fingers, and admit we’ve been had. It was a fun ride, but now it’s over. We’ve grown up, we’ve turned 21, and we’re not going to be played against each other any more.

That means supporting each other. That means that Bob will have to admit that Government should not have stole things from Wolf. And Bob will have to admit to himself that he should not have bought Wolf’s things, because in doing so, he was perpetuating a crime.

Wolf will have to admit that, while Bob’s actions were wrong, they were done more in a spirit of ignorance than antagonism. And while Bob does have things that belong to Wolf, he does want to put things right.

So who should pay? Should Bob just give everything back to Wolf, allowing Government to keep all the money he paid? Should he just loose everything?

Should Wolf just decide to forget about all that he lost, and allow Bob to keep it all? While Government still, once again, keeps the profits?

Fuck that.

Where possible, Bob should give Wolf back what he bought. Government would then pay Bob back, with interest, the money that the items are worth.

In some cases, Wolf will have to accept that Bob will be keeping some things, but in turn, Government will pay Wolf what the items are worth. With interest.

And Government, if he has any sense at all, should just shut the fuck up and let the brothers make things right.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Friends and Family

We were going through my grandma’s personal effects. We found this poem. I guess she must of written it shortly before she died.

My Friends and Family

I’ve baked my last pie on earth
But I don’t want you to cry
I’ve become a new citizen
Of the kitchen in the sky

The baking here is perfect
I never burn a thing
So don’t shed tears for me, my loves
I’m not closed, I’m opening

I made a cake for daddy
Had tea with Vic today
I even made lasagna
St. Peter said I may

Miss me but don’t mourn me
I’m quite alright you see
Just keep my spirit alive
In your thoughts and memory

And one day we will meet again
I’ll tell you where I’ll be
I’ll be waiting for you
In the kitchen, drinking tea

- Isabel O’Meara

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I turn towards it. The mask. The Official Replica Batman Cowl, made from the same mold used to make the real cowl for the movie. For real. It sits in it’s place of honour, atop my glass pyramid of priceless movie mementoes. Atop the sculpted bronze dragons, the hideously grinning plaster skull, atop this altar to aspiration, it stands. There’s even a light, placed behind it, to cause it to look exactly the way it did when first seen in the movie.

For some reason, tonight the cowl calls to me. It beckons me as my eyes lock upon it. It speaks to a side in me that had long lain dormant. The side of me that willingly stole into the night to play pranks. To knock on doors and run away. To hide behind signs to scare the wits out of innocent passersby. To take chances, to leap from the tree branches, to trust that, when the time comes to land, I will come out of it more or less ok.

The mask speaks to me, and whispers to this dark fox inside me. Put me on, it whispers softly. I know I don’t really hear it, but a part of me realizes that I do. Take to the night, slip from shadow to darkness. Take chances, follow  the dare, tilt at windmills! Become! Transcend! Take to the night!

Then the microwave beeps. Ah, the burritos.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Invitation

Recently I've been reading up on Native American sayings and wisdom. This piece really spoke to me, so I'd like to share it.

The Invitation By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting in your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit in pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tip of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God's presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Grandma

Recently, my grandmother passed away. She was a very special lady, as grandmothers tend to be. I won't say she was the best grandmother ever, like so many Hallmark cards like to claim (I just love that they mass-produce items claiming that the recipient is the best. I won't claim she was perfect. But I loved her, and she loved me.

That means something. No matter how many people you meet, annoy, befriend, live with, sleep with, fight with, etc., there will only be a finite number of people who love you. There will be plenty of people who say they love you, and don't. I hear the love word bandied around at work in casual conversation way too often. It's an important word, and shouldn't be used lightly.

Because of divorce, remarrying, etc, I have had four sets of grandparents. Most were, to put it bluntly, craptastic. For example, my father's parents. After my parents were divorced, they severed all ties with myself and my sister. Their own grandchildren. Flesh of their flesh. Suddenly we didn't exist.

My grandmother (my mom's mom) made up for all that, and more. She was so special to me, and of course, I never really did enough to make her understand that. But I loved her strongly, and I hope she knew that.

I have many regrets, naturally. I didn't visit anywhere near as often as I should have. Birthdays, holidays, the occaisional drop in. But I have one large regret. My grandmother had written her autobiography, and had asked me to type it out for her so that she could get it published online.
I have it still ... its about 1/3 done. I didn't work on it anywhere near as often as I should have. It always seemed like there was plenty of time. I suppose intellectually I was aware of the possibility that my grandmother might one day die, but emotionally the thougth didn't register. My grandma has always been very healthy, rarely even had a cold. When she went, she went relatively quickly.

I know how much it would have meant to her to see her autobiography completed. In the end, I let her down, which sucks. All I can do is recognize my error, and try not to repeat it with others that I love. Because my grandmother deserved more from me, as do the others.

I'd like to post more memories of grandma, as well as some excerpts from her autobiography. She also wrote some short stories I plan on transcribing, and hope to put some up here as well.
For now, I have to accept that she's gone. That's not easy. She has always been there, and the idea that I can't just go see her is simultaneously frightening and saddening. I miss her so much, I haven't even begun to start.

Bye, grandma.