Monday, February 18, 2013

An Apology to the St. Catharines Standard

A person's shadow is made up of the socially unacceptable

personality traits that s/he represses or keeps hidden.

If you want to know what your shadow looks like make a list

of the people you don't like and write down what it is about

them that is so hateful.

That list of characteristics is your own shadow personality.

Even countries have shadows.

On the surface Canada is a haven of justice
and ├╝ber politeness.

But to see the country's shadow think of the police actions at

the G20 riots in Toronto, the reputation for viciousness that

our international hockey players have earned

or the government's disinterest in the 600 missing
aboriginal women.


It is healthier to acknowledge the shadow
as a part of who you are.

But it is a painful process.

When I saw the image of  young breast cancer survivor
it triggered the fears that I don't acknowledge.
The fear of cancer, of its treatment and
the fear I have of death.

I did not want not want to be confronted by it,
not then,

not over my evening cup of tea.

"... if it is possible, let this cup pass me by."

We experience strong emotions and then we label them.

I labeled my reaction to the image incorrectly.

it was fear.

And hard as  it was to look at it,
it was exactly what I said it wasn't.

It was a community punch in the
jaw to cancer.

My apologies to the St. Catharines Standard.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Gods Love a Hero

There was a time when The Hero Archetype was

exclusively male, but the thing with archetypes is that

they evolve -  they become more or less powerful

as shifts occur in human thinking.

There is no lessening of the importance of the male Hero,

(think of Frodo or Nelson Mandela),

it just happens that we live in a balancing time in the

history of humankind.




The archetype that we identify as The Hero

begins her journey by going on a quest,

(in this case she begins by looking for a cure

for a dreadful disease).

The Hero also has to undergo terrible


(i.e., chemotherapy, radiation),

at great personal cost,

(the loss of her breast, a powerful symbol of

womanhood in many societies).

It is absolutely necessary that The Hero

sacrifice herself for the sake of others,

(she allowed her body to be photographed and

her identity made public to give courage to other women).

Finally, The Hero archetype must  slay the monster,

(the cancer, in remission).



So now that I  think I understand
why this remarkable image resonates
with people,
I should feel better.
But I don't.
It still makes me uneasy.
Next blog:  Confronting the shadow

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Rethinking a Blog

Lake of Bays, Ontario
Lake of Bays, Ontario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've had something on my mind for several days now.

I've been uneasy.

And it has to do with the stand I took on the image of the

woman who lost her breast to cancer.


The first clue that I had a problem came when I made

a typo at my blog site.

I was shocked and unsettled, you could even say rattled

when I reread my response to a comment. 

I'd written that I agreed with the person when I had actually

intended to say that I disagreed.

It was a classic Freudian slip, although I refused to see it that

way at the time. (I hate to be wrong about anything.)

I hurriedly deleted my response.


Second, I received a letter from a dear blogger friend

explaining how the image had given her courage to do something

that was actually of great benefit to many disfigured children.


Although my internal response to her letter was alarm

I replied with a sort of "well isn't that nice" comment.


The light still hadn't come on.


Then last night I dreamed I was standing on a wooden dock on

Lake Ontario not far from where I live in my awake life.

I knew that my 'dream' house should have been at the end

of the dock but I could see that it wasn't.

Instead, the dock sloped gently into the dark water and disappeared.


When I woke I realized that there was a message in my

subconscious mailbox, (water being the dream symbol

for the unconscious), and if I wanted to retrieve it and
end my unease
I was going to have to walk down the dock

get into the water and start working with symbols.


Next blog: Looking at the image symbolically

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am still a WOMAN

This week the St. Catharines Standard ran the picture you see
above under the heading,
"I am still a WOMAN".

The newspaper photo included her face

and took up 3/4 of the front page.

It was shocking,

and the reader was supposed to see it as

a visual punch in the jaw to cancer.


But it was very wrong.


Her statement that she is still a woman is absolutely true.

And to publish a picture of the face and naked torso of any

woman in our community should be seen as totally

immoral at worst, an assault on her dignity at best.
But sick people are vulnerable people.

And sick, pretty, young women are vulnerable AND exploitable.

Try to imagine the photo of a man who had lost

a testicle to cancer posed on the front page

in a similar manner.

The Standard usually does an outstanding job giving voice to

the struggles of the people in this community,

but not this time.






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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And the Grand Total Is ...

$10 in quarters, $20.20 in dimes, $6.30 in nickels, $4.16 in pennies,

2 looneys and a puzzling number of coins from Mexico, France,

England and Germany which don't count

- and I have no idea how they got in there anyway.

The total amount of money in the pig was $42.66

 One person

came close to guessing the amount.

On face book my long time friend, Wendy, who lives in Perth, Ontario

guessed $42.21.
Anyway, that means I will throw in an extra tooney
and donate $44.66 to the 'Out of the Cold'
Breakfast Programme. 

As for the pig, well she's on the mend as you can see.

She'll be getting a new coat of paint and a pretty new ribbon

and I'll post her picture when she's done.


And what will you be doing with your Canadian pennies now
that they are goners?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Pig Gets it Today

Led into the slaughter house.

Any last oinks?

The deed is done.

The autopsy.

A miracle recovery!

Tomorrow I'll post how much I'll be donating to
the "Out of the Cold" Breakfast programme 
and who came closest to the actual total!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

For Eggplant Lovers Everywhere


I totally hate the name eggplant. 

It makes me want to move to Quebec so I can call it la plante aubergine.

But I do love the darn things

AND I found out that in some places they are called

Mad Apples!


Google didn't specify exactly where those places are.

Sadly one of them is not boring old Sobey's, where I shop.


Anyway, I found this recipe by my favourite vegan cook,
Laurie Sandowski, in my mail box this week and thought,



Ms Sandowski calls this recipe Imam Bayildi (Turkish Stuffed Eggplant)

I call it Mad Apples in a Pot.
Here's the link:

(if you go to the link you'll have the option of getting her delish/healthy recipes delivered to
your mailbox)
Or, if you prefer, here is the recipe, complete with my spills and fingerprints:

Oh and don't tell this to vegan Laurie, I served it with crusty garlic Parmesan bread. 

Bwa ha ha!

And happy Super Bowl Sunday to all you football fans out there!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

How Women Get Their Ideas

1.  A woman's thought is fertilized by the male essence of the universe
and grows in the bloody womb of her mind.

2.   It travels down through her heart, her lungs, her stomach, her solar plexis

3. and emerges pure and wise from the birth canal.

But then, you knew that already...