Wednesday, 29 July 2015
I just finished this picture which is based on a circa 1860 tintype of sisters who lived not far from where I live now.
I don't know much more than the fact that one of them was named 'Aggie' (Agnes), they were fairly well off and that Aggie's elderly granddaughter died a few months ago.
What their hopes and fears were or even how their clothes felt on their bodies, I have no idea.
So solemn and stiff in the tintype and so grey they might as well have already been in the grave.
Even warmed up with a little colour, Aggie and her nameless sister peer out at us - lovely/chilling reminders of our own mortality and the passing of time.
Monday, 27 July 2015
One day someone steals your bicycle, eats your
lunch, insults you and trips you on the stairs.
After a few days of this you call that person a worm
and a dog and what's worse maybe even say their
mother wears army boots.
But then you start to feel uncomfortable in your
skin so even though you consider the sins of the
other far greater than yours you say, "I'm sorry I
called you a worm and a dog and your mother
actually wears nice shoes."
And surprise of surprises you find being good with
the other person isn't important, being good with
yourself is what matters.
Is this feeling of being back on an even keel
My churchy understanding is that forgiveness means
that you never again think of what was said and
done and like a frigging saint you pick up with the
person as if it never happened.
Fine if your name is Mother Theresa.
It seems to me right now that it isn't churchy
forgiveness that is called for, rather it is
being right with your God(s), loving and
respecting your own soul and being able to
gently let the other person go.
One translation of the Irish 'le gach dea-ghuí' is
"go with prayers".
Sunday, 26 July 2015
The funny thing about saying "I'm sorry" to someone
is that so often it seems to hinge on the other
person meeting us half way.
As if we have a built in mental Geiger counter that
impedes the development of sorry-ness unless it
detects sorry-ness in the other person first.
But a person can feel sorry or not sorry.
It's existence within can never depend on how
someone else feels.
Sorry-ness should only be measured against one's
own moral standards.
Being sorry doesn't mean asking for forgiveness.
Saying, "I'm sorry," means holding your head up
and getting right with your own soul.
I learned that the hard way recently.
Friday, 24 July 2015
That is the blood of the lamb
splattered across my new sparkly
I must have looked like I needed
more help than a simple sip would bring.
Anyway, the picture reminds me of an old
friend who once told me the nuns at her
school said never to bite into the Host or
the blood of Jesus would come gushing
out of her mouth
and from there presumably, if she was lucky enough
to have one, onto her new sparkly pineapple t-shirt.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Cree girls fishing at Moose Factory
I am awestruck by the journeys of my grandmothers
and often imagine their lives and the places they
have left their bones.
Most came out of Africa, traveled with their tribes
through Europe to Ireland and Scotland and
eventually came in great ships to the new world.
But one grandmother was already here.
Three hundred or so years ago my Mohawk
grandmother left her bones in what became
Her beautiful brown pagan face stands out
for me right now like a shiny new chestnut
lying in a bowl of fresh bananas.
Monday, 13 July 2015
Many years ago I went on a bike tour of Bavaria.
We cycled through rural communities and often
found ourselves in dark forests.
And in the darkest parts of the forest it wasn't
unusual to come across a small grotto dedicated to
A burning candle and Her image behind a wire gate.
The whole thing no more than a foot high.
To see it you had to kneel.
Each grotto verdant,
Smelling of damp earth.
A holy place.
Wednesday, 8 July 2015
Lately I've come to the conclusion that the Christian
Church belongs totally to Yahweh.
In other words I don't change the words to every
prayer and response anymore, i.e., saying the "Our
Mother" instead of the "Our Father".
I've decided that when I'm there, I'm going to
honour the Father.
The Good Father.
The Protector, Defender, Lover, Partner
of the Great Mother who is always creating.
Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Friday, 3 July 2015
I don't roll my eyes at the idea of evil entities.
Or the casting out of demons.
Not only do I think that evil exists I believe once the
door is open evil can attach itself to a person like a
malignant cancer cell.
The first time I had a drink I was 17. I drank until I
couldn't stand up.
In my mid thirties I was a popular, church going
teacher by day and living a life of alcoholic
debauchery by night. I'm skipping a lot here but
there are no words to describe the ugliness of my
life at that time so it doesn't matter and I've come
to terms with it anyway.
After my second blackout I went to the priest.
Vatican II had been blowing fresh air up priestly
cassocks for awhile, (temporarily as it turned out),
and he was a good guy.
That very day, kneeling in church begging for help
from my God, I actually felt my addiction leave me.
It peeled away from my back like a 'thing'.
I don't mean that I suddenly had strength to take
myself to AA meetings every night.
I mean it was gone.
It would have been silly to go to AA.
I understood then what the casting out of demons
And I believed.
I rarely have a drink now but I do enjoy a little wine now and then.
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
From a found photo, probably taken in the 1930s.
An old woman sitting in a homemade boat reading.
No name, no date, no place.
All I know is that whatever her troubles, right now
she's in another world, a place where time doesn't
She's lost in a book.