Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fin de Siècle

The wheel of life completes another cycle at midnight.

The joys, the sorrows of the old year are over.

It is time to let go, move on.

To face what lies ahead with courage.

(I'm talking to non-Leaf fans here.  There is no doubt in MY mind that

they will win the Stanley Cup.)

Best wishes for 2014, everyone!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Tree of Souls

Are they coming or going?

It probably doesn't matter.

We leave the Source of all Life and we return to It.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Angry Faces

Hasn't been the best of times.

Kinda more like a bah humbug festive season this year.

Thrusday night I made an appointment to have my tiny, bossy cat Claude put to sleep hoping that by Friday morning he would be better and the vet would say his cancer had gone away.

It didn't and he didn't. 

The house seems so empty and of course just when I need to get out and tromp around in the woods there's an ice storm and Flynn and I are house bound.

Consoling my self with some angry faces on my drawing board.

Wishing everyone a happy and joyful Christmas

but personally I'll be glad when it is over.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Are Friends For?

Narcissus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was raised to be polite to people and to ask them questions about themselves when conversing.

And that works okay, as long as the other person plays by the same rules.

The danger is that a narcissist simply talks about him or herself and at the end of the interaction the polite person is sucked dry of any feelings of self worth.  


Sometimes a 'friendship' with a narcissist can develop if there is enough entertainment value in the relationship, you have shared experiences and/or there are open doors that that would otherwise be closed to the polite person.


(I didn't say polite people are smart or even overly moral people.)


Anyway, I've had a lifelong 'friendship' with a narcissist.


Or I did.


After dropping contact with me during a very bleak period in my life a few years ago she suddenly phoned yesterday.

And immediately launched into a monologue about her relationship with her husband & how it has been hell for years & that's why she hasn't been in touch but it's okay now, and her mom has Alzheimer's but she doesn't care and hey she's got this great little website going now, blah blah blah.

No apology. No how are you.

In the old days I would have spent hours listening.

Because that's what friend's do. Right?

(Remember what I said about polite people not always being smart people?)


Okay, okay.  I listened yesterday too.

I'm Canadian. I can't help it.

But the difference is that I could feel myself getting more and more enraged as she blathered on.

And then I had a meltdown.

I didn't say anything like I should have said, but I said enough.

And then I hung up.
Score one for painful personal growth.  sigh.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cold Knees

In the 1950s in Merritton, Ontario, most women and girls went  to church
on Sunday.  We wore hats because if we didn't we would die and
go straight to Hell.  We wore gloves because...
Actually I don't know why we wore those white gloves, we just did.

My Dad didn't go to church because when he was clawing his way

across Europe in 1944 some army chaplain told him it was possible to get

into heaven without going to church. 

And that guy must have given that same message to a lot of men because

church was largely a women and children thing.

Except for the person in charge. 

That was always a man.

But we didn't question those traditions.

Not then anyway.

We just went to church as if it was a bodily function that was automatic.

Like eating, breathing and shitting.

And I didn't mind it, even had fun sometimes.

But holy cow I always had such fricken cold knees!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

1955 Girls

Something different for my sketchbook.

I took this idea from a black & white photo of me, my Mom and my aunt.
 We were standing in my backyard in Merrittton and it was about 1955 I think.

Both Mom and her sister my Auntie Kay Weaver Cowan died of or with Alzheimer's.
No hint of it on that summer day so long ago.


Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm So Pretty

I've been getting into the movies on a discount ever since I found out that everybody over twenty-one looks sixty-five to the teen agers who sell the tickets.

Unfortunately my wild and radical days of sticking it to the conglomerate media outlets by gipping them out of a tooney every couple of months are coming to an end.  In February I really will qualify for the senior's discount.

I decided to do a selfie in honour of the occasion.


If this is not the way you see sixty-five year old women then you need glasses.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Pink Tree

No message here.  Just an experiment with the pastels and the glaze. 

The other pictures in this series have been too dark to frame and the brush strokes from the glaze too obvious.  I didn't burnish this picture before I glazed and the results are better.  It means I can't get that smudgy effect but the colours are much brighter

December has become a bit of a lonely month for me, but I'm feeling stronger this year.  After having spent so many years in the Yukon I know the psychological/spiritual boost of the winter solstice as the sun begins its slow return.

Looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Leaving Her Bones

Thousands and thousands of years ago my grandmothers left Africa and

slowly migrated to the European continent.

They dropped their body bones along the way

but not their DNA.

Like a ribbon that neither fades nor breaks

it connects me to them.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Journey

The Journey, oil pastel on ink, glazed.  20" x 14"

The second Grandmother tree. 

This one includes one of the grandfathers - represented by the deer but mostly it is about the journeyand the daughters, (my grandmothers) born along the way. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Writing the Grandmother Prayer

Since I had my maternal DNA tested I have been almost
haunted by my grandmothers who came out of Africa and

slowly over thousands of years migrated to northern Finland
and then on to Scotland.

It feels as if they are as happy to have been discovered as I am
to have discovered them.
 And so I've been thinking about a prayer to honour them.

I like the idea that they are in front of me not in the past

- so that's where I started. 

But I knew I needed more.

Then when Magaly, http://pagan-culture.blogspot.ca/ , saw my

picture, "The Grandmothers", she left a message on face book that

more or less completed the mantra.

Thanks, Magaly!

The Meditation

Grandmothers, I can face the unknown because you 

light the way.

May your torches burn bright.
May your love give me strength.


P.S.  I apologize for not being more present in the blogosphere.  I have some other projects on the go & the visual arts muse is here so I'm usually at my drawing board when I have spare time. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Prayer on Samhain

Grandmothers, whatever is coming I know I can face
because you are ahead of me

lighting the way.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Values Charter - Oui

English: Sous-Le-Fort St. in Old Quebec City, ...
English: Sous-Le-Fort St. in Old Quebec City, where the cable car stops. The year of the photo was Quebec's 400th Anniversary. 
This morning I was surprised to see on the news that so many people marched in favour of Quebec's new Values Charter.
A bill that would ban the wearing of religious symbols in the province's public sector.  I was surprised because the march was organized by Quebec's leading women activists.

"WTF?" I thought. 

But as I listened to a woman about my age explained that having finally thrown off centuries of living under the heavy yoke of Catholicism, Quecec women had no wish to 'go back'.

It suddenly made sense.

I don't believe a government has the right to tell a woman what she can or can't wear on her own time.   However, if you live in Canada then you must obey the laws.  Faces must be unveiled for driver's licences, in courtrooms, etc. 

Is it much more of a stretch to say that in Canada people who work for the state should, during working hours, refrain from wearing items that suggests anything other than loyalty to the state and its values?
It would take a lot of courage to pass such a law - but perhaps with the right checks and balances in place, the time has come.

This promises to be interesting.



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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Horror in Ottawa

Canadian television journalist Mike Duffy of CTV.
Canadian television journalist Mike Duffy of CTV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've never voted Conservative and over the years I've become cynical about
the motives of ALL politicians

so when I tell you that I believe that the PM is lying about his involvement
in the Senate scandal, it is the sad truth.  

Mike Duffy is a slightly different kettle of east coast herring.

I have never agreed with his politics but he was an amusing
TV political analyst .

I would not have wanted to have dinner with the chilly PM, but Mike Duffy? 
I would have jumped at the chance.

But because he was political and I have learned not to trust politicians
it isn't difficult to believe he was on the take. 

Which pisses me off no end.

Pamela Wallin's fall from grace, however, is difficult for me to process.  

Quite simply, I trusted her. 

Or I trusted her on air persona.   (Lesson there for me).

Do I hope that Duffy, Wallin and the others have their buttons sheered
off with a sword today, their epaulets ripped from their Senatorial
shoulders, their pension dollars turned into chump change and distributed
among the poor?

Unfortunately, I think the right thing to do is let them make their cases.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hallowe'en is so Dead

Halloween (Photo credit: Pedro J. Ferreira)

Some of my friends and former students have wondered why I'm against school Hallowe'en parties.

Hallowe'en is the night of the year when the veil between the dead and the living is thinnest - perhaps even penetrable.

And scary as that may be, until recently people who celebrated Hallowe'en often took the offensive. Sent their most precious and vulnerable into the dark night dressed as axe murderers, ghosts, ghouls and corpses.

On that one night of the year people used to laugh at Death.

After all, not many little girls who dress as a princess on Hallowe'en are going to marry into the royal family, but each one of them will die.  

So yes I am glad that schools are starting to do away with Hallowe'en parades and parties.  Few schools will allow gory costumes or anything that might allow children to start to come to terms with the fact that the grave is a place where we all must end.

I think that unless you happen to be a practising pagan, Hallowe'en is a mindless, sanitized, sugar filled symbol of  western soulessness and by celebrating it the way we do we mollycoddle children.   I think it is a true waste of school time.

But I still give out candy.





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Monday, October 7, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fricken Canadian Anthem

Margaret Atwood
Cover of Margaret Atwood

And I thought I was the only one who choked on the words to our national anthem.
Not so, my friends, not so.
It turns out the great and powerful Margaret Atwood and I have the same problem.

Being women,  our true patriot love isn't deemed important enough
to mention in the national ditty.

I didn't know it, but I guess the song was inclusive originally.

But I guess those darn Suffragettes ruined it for everybody by insisting women should be able to vote. 

And our consequent  punishment was to be forever banned from being mentioned at NHL hockey game opening ceremonies.

 How cruel is that!

But don't worry about me.
There is some comfort knowing that I know I'm in Margaret's group.

I mean if one has to be lessened and subjugated, one should always strive to be lessened and subjugated with the best!


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Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Grandmothers

Sometimes I lie in bed and try to imagine all of the women in my maternal line.  I start  with my mom, then her mom and her mom's mom and her mom's mom's mom and so on back to mitochondrial Eve.  I try to imagine what they looked like and how they lived and how brave they were and how each one loved the daughter whose birth led eventually to me.

Some nights they are a heavy presence.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Work in Progress

I'm taking some time to work with symbols and colour instead of words.

This is what is on my drawing board at the moment.

Not close to being finished but I'm pleased with how it is going.

Back later.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hey Muslim Brotherhood, Who Got the Role of Leading Lady?

Islamic women
Islamic women (Photo credit: See Wah)



Yesterday as I watched events unfold in Egypt courtesy of CHCH TV
the camera flashed on a group of protesters. 

They were pro President Morsi/Muslim Brotherhood.

The only thing unusual about it was that a woman stood in the middle
of the crowd of men. 

She was dressed in a black robe, wore a niqab and was veiled.

As far as visual impact went she might as well have been wearing
a Santa Claus suit.

And to further draw your attention she was vigorously jumping up and
down, thrusting her fist in the air and (presumably) shouting.

"What the frick is this?"  I thought.

But by the time what I'd seen registered in my tiny little brain the
camera had moved on.

Now I have seen groups of veiled Muslim women protesters before but
never one woman who stood alone in a crowd of Egyptian men.

Some days I am SO cynical. 

Sooooooo cynical.

It was, in my opinion, a message for western viewers:

Muslim Brotherhood = Democracy and freedom for women.

And I wondered which democratic brother drew the short straw
and had to be the woman.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guess Who

What a great day. 

I got to unmask another blogger!


Have you guessed who it is yet?

Hint:  She came all the way to Niagara from Kingston, Ontario!

That's right!  It was my blogging buddy Martha from Plowing Through Life

It is a long way from Kingston so she didn't get down last month to meet with me and Edmonton blogger Debra, (She Who Seeks), and Hamilton blogger Lois, (http://midlifefibres.blogspot.ca/) and we missed her!

Fortunately I was able to meet up with her in Niagara-on-the-Lake today.

We had a great time.

I hope I didn't talk too much, Martha!

I also got to meet her husband.
She has always said he is wonderful and I have to say it is absolutely 100% true!  
Hope you had a safe trip home, Martha.
So pleased you came to Niagara.
It was a wonderful visit!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Balls of Yahweh; Sunday Thoughts

Birth of a Middle-aged Woman  
The Goddess birthing the new woman. 
Pencil and pencil crayon.  I did this about 20 years ago
when I read, "When God was a Woman."

If you haven't been touched by the re-emergence of the Goddess
you will be.

And the more who are drawn to Her the stronger She gets.

But does the Goddess need a man-god to keep her company?
Does She need surly old testosterone driven Yahweh sniffing
at Her skirts?

I think she does.

We need the birthing of the Creatrix and the balls of Yahweh

in equal parts in this post-modern, post-church era if we are to
heal the planet and survive as a species.

The new woman is born spitting pearls, i.e., speaking her mind. 
But it can't happen within any of the existing churches.
Christians who think they can keep a foot in both camps
are delusional.
Sooner or later The Church will silence them.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammo - or Not

Atheist Manifesto
Atheist Manifesto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Our atheist soldiers are asking for counselling by other atheists
rather than by Christians according to the national pulse taker,

Rex Murphy (CBC, National Post).

Rex, by the way, finds the idea less than Rapturous.

However one of our local  newspaper columnists, Grant LaFleche,
(St. Catharines Standard), holds the belief that Rex is hellishly wrong.

 He said so in a most entertaining article tonight, (no link available).

And I have to say I agree with Grant.

If an atheist is willing to put his/her life on the line to protect us
he/she deserves to have an atheist counsellor.



Oops, blush, blush ... I meant



Anyway, I've been thinking of adding an atheist blogger to my sidebar.

But the problem is that most atheists I've come across are annoying.

 If Jehovah's Witnesses didn't already have a patent on the door knocking
thing I'm sure atheists would be ringing our doorbells day and night with

'The Only Logical Truth'.

My friends, I'm going to be looking for an atheist blogger who will help me
see daily life through his or her eyes but who doesn't judge or proselytize.


Maybe I should just write to the Canadian Army.

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