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Peace. sort of.

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This morning I slept in. I was going to be up and on the road by 7 am. all rejuvenated from my weekend with Louise. Here is what the weekend held: kale chips! a fair with rides and mini donuts! a drive to the west coast of the island, with the wild ocean coming in right there and the wind like the prairies but with brine. Talking about patience and learning and dying and life. Cooking thai curry sauce and rice and prawns. the Farmer’s Market and butter tarts and salad greens. Playing crib (I won all but one game). ferry rides to and fro. love the ferry.

Yesterday J and I went up Grouse Mountain. A walk in the woods, but more vertical. we got to the top and were ecstatic, having walked up and up and up. Sweat. heaving breath. muscles warm loose tight. ah. breath. this thing we do, breathing, that we take so for granted. the smells up there were intoxicating. we got to the top in better time than last week. lead with your heart, shoulders back and down, engage everything, keep it all in, and go. feel your body. feel the love. Lots of people on the trail we all share this adventure. it’s not a pretty trail, it’s a workout, but it’s outside and it’s challenging and we’re all in this together. I pass people and wait for J, then the people pass me. leapfrog all the way. J’s good natured about me going up, coming down, meeting her, going up, waiting, coming down meeting her, going up…i’m like a border collie. “c’mon, are we playing now? do you have treats? what’s that smell? c’mon, let’s go!”

We get to the top. I can see my school from here! look, there’s where your house is, there’s mine–oh look at the sunshine through the clouds.

anyhow, i slept in. but i didn’t turn on my computer before i left. I just listened to the radio. and I heard that the BC government is taking people who are defrauding welfare to small claims court. petty fuckers, the BC government. What are they thinking? welfare fraud? the fraud is that people are expected to survive on the paltry insulting crumbs tossed to them by the state. My fucking tax dollars. it’s a waste of them to take people to court. put that money, the money for the lawyers and the judge and the paperwork, toward a guaranteed annual income, already.

When i got on my bike i was mad. I made good time to school. in the rain. my rain jacket is at J’s, where i hung it, trying to be tidy and efficient. That’s what happens when i put stuff away. I never see it again. drat.

I met a woman who is thinking of applying to our department for her PhD. I told her I was writing a story. the title came to me as I was riding to school. The title is “How to Write an Obituary”. When i described the story as i so far think of it to her, we both cried. and she shared some stories, too. And we parted friends.

i’ll tellĀ  the story in a couple of weeks at a festival here. We’ll see how it goes. Now i’m writing about prostitution and harm reduction and how to withstand the encroachment on grassroots movements by Institutions of Power. How can we hold back the Health Authority and the Social Services and the Ministries of Health and Housing and Employment and Assistance? They are staffed and maintained by people, but the people are apparently run by the policies, not the other way around.

Anyhow. Stories. Rantin’ n’ Tangents. that’s what I’m doing. then in an hour I’m gonna go to the gym. Peace. that’s how it goes around here.


Beware of springtime. Season changes are tough, eh. somehow, springtime is the toughest of all. I swear, the sun stays up longer, illuminating the corners, giving us more daylight to get into some trouble. People are suffering. and the suffering shows up when the sun shines. crocuses turn their brave little heads up to the slowly warming horizon, people emerge from their dens, blinking into the sunlight, and…

…throw away their medication. or pick up a pack of smokes. or start drinking. or let the waves of depression wash over them (“i was going to spend the long cold nights of winter inside, writing the book–what happened? i have failed again”) or release the taut rubber band and ride uncontrolled into manic highs…

Or break up. Among my circle this spring, three of my friends have broken up with their long, long term lovers. 17 years, 9 years, five years…Goodbye. and there is no easy way. no clean good way to break up with a lover…’cause that passion and spark that brought and kept you together has to burn, still–I burn still for my ex-lovers. and with some, that flame has become a good bank of embers where a satisfying friendship stays warm and nourishing. For others that flame eats through the fabric of our time together, exposing dropped threads, weakness, paths for more destruction. but for all, in the weeks and months after the final break, there was only pain. like hacking off a limb with a butter knife. and there is nothing to do but live through it.

I’m so grateful I have decided that no matter what else, I will be committed to the women’s liberation movement. An uprising of women. It’s a movement, but it’s human, too, and it shifts and changes and stays the course, and there are women beside me through all the seasons. We will manage to navigate the storms of springtime, the placid stealth of summer, the melancholy of fall, the depth and anguish of winter–and know it and mark it and find the joy in being part of a movement. Not only a community. a movement. There will be conflicts and tensions and break-ups, but coming together and agreement and celebration and solidarity and resistance and learning–hard hard work. weariness and pain, but also the kind of growth that happens after a good fire. the kind of growth that happens with the application of carefully tended, religiously turned and stirred up compost–ya, it’s all scary and big, icky and smelly–but look at the beauty that emerges! Spring is a season to be endured, stirred, ridden and tamed. Enjoy the aroma of the new blossoms, sure, the glory of new buds, the warmth of the spring sunshine. But there are tests with that. careful. the melting snow reveals no small amount of shit on the ground.