Monday, July 28, 2008

The (First) Time I Broke My Mother's Heart.

She overheard me tell my dad that he was the only one who could ever break my heart.  She thought it meant I did not love her enough.  Really what it meant was that I perceived, subconsciously in my selfish teenage heart, that she would never do anything that would ever break my heart.  She hadn't always been the perfect mom, but she has always loved me with a fierceness that I know hurts her.  Even though she can't always express it in words, I know she would do anything for me and never complain for a second no matter how much discomfort it might cause in her life.  She hurts just because it's possible that I might hurt.

To this day I feel at home just talking to my mom on the phone or online, and especially when I get off that bus in her city and she opens her arms to hold me.  She still cries almost every time.  No matter how many times I have hurt her, she never closes herself off to me.  So many times, I chose someone else over her.  I loved someone else more than her because his love was like an accomplishment, I had to work to get it and I had to work to keep it.  She opens herself to that risk every time.  In the deepest seat of her heart she is a mother and I have never doubted her.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

meeting boys; pros and cons

what i like about meeting new boys:
  1. there's always something that initially sparks my interest. he's cute and there's something 'je ne sais quoi...' about him. usually it's in the eyes or the smile. or maybe he's got adorably curly hair, or he's ridiculousy funny. (or all of the above... ahhh, dreamy.)
  2. knowing that he feels a spark... he brushes my hair off my face, maintains eye contact longer than technically necessary (but not so long that it's uncomfortable or creepy staring)
  3. there are compliments, playful joking about how I have internal glittering of the soul, and again, brushes my hair off on my face, twice in less than 2 minutes - not that I'm counting... that he knew my name, or remembered my name and was curious to know more.
  4. that I remember that I am an attractive woman that guys do feel compelled to talk to and impress. It feels good and really doesn't happen often enough. It definitely motivates me to get out more.
  5. See part b of con #1
what i don't like so much about meeting new boys:
  1. working up the energy and fighting the overwhelming (and, let's face it, silly) fear before approaching or re-approaching the guy you've been introduced to because you told your friend (and everyone else) he had to introduce you because you thought he was very cute and wanted to meet him. (This actually becomes a plus when you do make your approach because whatever the pay-off may or may not be, the satisfaction of actually accomplishing it is a high that is not easily exceeded.)
  2. the high energy required to maintain his attention and curiosity can be exhausting, and is depleted as the night passes, the beer continues to flow... and when the night is an odyssey of epic proportions that goes on till the wee hours and finally ends at 5:30 (when you leave to get on the dreaded vomit comet which should really be avoided at all costs...) It's inevitable that your charms will wear off - as does your make-up - and you will start doing and saying stupid things that are decidedly lacking in internal glitter of the soul.
  3. (really 2b) If the night really goes on too long without any physical acknowledgment of the spark, the banter drags on and at a certain point you just get bored of it. It becomes transparent that he is now practicing his comedy routine on you and he can't or won't turn it off and be real with you. So if you want to continue talking with him, you're going to have to reciprocate the routine-ness and on-ness. And let's face it, by 5 am you're exhausted and it's starting to grate. Like, "I'm not even going to get a kiss (read: the killer make-out session that you had foreseen 5 hours ago) out of it now after all of this fucking work."
So maybe these cons are the reasons that I don't go out more, but I do think the pros make it worth it. And I guess it is good to stay sharp at playing the games that boys play. Plus it really is fun, no matter how it turns out.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

so what if he drinks every day???

Like lots of people, when I've had 'a bit of a day', nothing hits the spot like a nice glass of wine out on the balcony/porch/backyard.

And in the summer, the patio season, you are definitely more likely to find me hanging out with my buddies drinking a snakebite (cider/lager halfers) than any other season.

But lately, I've been thinking about alcoholism. Not because I even remotely worry about that affliction getting the better of me. Rather because I have been exposed to it all of my life in one way or another. There is a person in my family who was a 'raging alcoholic' when she was young and she also grew up with alcoholics. She used to take me to AA meetings with her when I was a kid so I heard some great stories, let me tell you. The height of sophistication for an eight year old - going to tim hortons with the gang after Their Weekly Meeting. And I know more than one man who drinks every day... one who drinks so much that he rarely exhibits signs of inebriation despite going through a 'two-four' in about 3 to 4 days... one who went through detox and was sober for over a year and who has now decided to 'go for a beer with his buddies' giving little thought to all those who suffered with him and supported him - talk about a slap in the face... anyway there are more than that but saying more would get me in deep trouble. If I'm not already.

Here's what I think. (And this is not AA approved, I've done no research, It's just my opinion...) Alcoholism steals, it kills, it destroys. It kills your vitality. It steals your personality. It destroys your relationships. Make no mistake, though, everything it takes it leaves something else in it's stead. It leaves a person who is unable to experience joy, motivation; a person who does not think about how their words and actions affect others; a person who allows themself to be ruled by their anger and disappointments. A person who can be cruel and even violent where there used to be someone kind and loving.

I can't be more specific than that, but that's okay. I said what I wanted to.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hugging Life : A Practical Guide to Artful Hugging by Martin Neufeld

The 5 Principles of Hugging (Condensed)

hug with respect  
Every person’s ability or willingness to express physical intimacy is different. By respecting your limits and those of your hugging partner, you honor each other and you honor the beauty of your humanity.

hug without conditions
A hug, like love, must be unconditional for it to become deeply meaningful. When you give freely from the heart, with out expectations, you invariably receive far greater then your heart ever desired, this is the law of the Universe. 

hug with heart 
Every hug is, to one degree or another, the physical manifestation of Divine love. If your intention, when hugging another, is purely loving then your spirit will be lifted up, as comfort and joy fill the hearts of all who share your heartfelt embrace. 

hug with gratitude  
A hug is a beautiful, life affirming, expression of our humanity. It is through this simple yet profound gesture that gratitude and reverence for the sacredness of life can be expressed and honored. 

hug the moment  
Every hug, every person you hug, deserves your complete undivided attention. In this moment of divine sharing take the time to be fully present and mindful. This is your life, right Now!, so Breathe it, Enjoy it, Appreciate it, Embrace it and Share it!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

declaring what I want, seeing and dreaming

people have told me that if I want to get married, I need to make a list of all the things I want in a husband. So I did. Now, let's just get this straight: I would like to get hitched, but I will not be marrying just some slob. I'd rather be single than settle for a life less than the one I expect for myself. And this is not a classified ad, I'm simply 'putting it out there' so God knows what he's working with.

So here he is, in a nutshell:
  1. smart & educated
  2. practical & resourceful
  3. ambitious & energetic
  4. kind/thoughtful/sensitive
  5. patient, peaceful and inspires peacefulness in those around him no matter what the circumstances he faces
  6. always willing to give love and affection, and never withholds
  7. does not use passive-aggressive "communication"
  8. slow to anger
  9. honest, good character and holds fast to his integrity
  10. my age or younger
  11. good looking & healthy
  12. enjoys life and has a sense of humour... and the big stuff:
  13. our life together is on a firm foundation of the word of God
  14. he encourages me and responds to my encouragement
  15. he is my partner and my co-pilot. I am not just along for his ride, sometimes he is the navigator on my journey.
  16. he never forgets that I am my own person with opinions, feelings and beliefs that come from an experience and life separate from him
  17. he shares a similar vision for life as me, we are going in the same direction

I really don't think that's too much to ask for, do you?

Monday, July 02, 2007

the medium is the message (or, Why I need a break from facebook for a while)

dreaming is one thing you can't do enough of. No more status updates beginning with the words "Kristin is..." Atleast for a little while. Time to get back to me, the girl I'm s'posed to be.

Marshall McLuhan said that the medium is the message. His are not the simplest theories to understand, but they relate to communication and the media, and they related to individuals too. Simply put, the technology that we use changes us insofar as it changes the way our mind works; our minds will mirror the technology with which it must relate. This has ramifications for society at large as well. The virus that is facebook has infected all users with a new way of thinking. After a few months of relating with facebook at a fairly intense level, I started to notice that I am not really the same me anymore. My opinions and feelings and thoughts have not changed, but the way they are processed has changed, and so has the quality and depth. I am not enjoying my life as deeply as I should be, and I miss that. For my personal life, there is nothing more important to me than my mind and my thoughts - and I really do feel that they have suffered.

Also I am not as self aware during the challenging parts of my life either. The last couple of years have been very difficult for me, being in a constant state of flux unable to really transition or become accustomed to anything before the next change... so I've been rolling with the punches okay, but one difference I have seen lately is that I am not really dealing with my feelings about any of it and at times I am completely unaware of my feelings. My mind-space stopped resembling my blog, and began resembling my facebook profile. It's all surface, without any thought for what's underneath. And what's underneath is what's important. When I was all about the blog, a reader could pop in and check out basically any part of my thought life. But since I've been all about facebook, all you get is a status update with a relatively low character limit that forces me to define my life in a sentence or two - as long as I can start with the words "Kristin is..."

When surprising and wonderful things happen, I want nothing more than to be able to dive in just feel everything. I want to really be alive, not just online.

Monday, May 21, 2007

in my humble opinion...

yesterday I had the opportunity to have a political debate with a person who is happily on the opposite end of the political spectrum as I. On the ride home he was playing Toby Keith, and I said I was more of a Dixie Chicks fan... and of course this became a debate on the virtues on the war on Iraq. The thing is I was not even remotely invested in the discussion. I knew I wasn't going to change his mind and he wasn't going to change mine. The thing about opinions is that really they are an extension of our ideal. In my idea of a perfect world, my opinions reflect the political, economical and philosophical truths perfectly. But as much as I know, I really don't know shit. I know a teeny tiny sliver of everything there is to know, which is why my opinion really can only be defended to a point. Just as my conservative troop supporting pal's opinion can only be defended to a point. political discussions don't have to end friendships if we understand what the other guy is really saying, if I can imagine the ideal world that he is imagining I will see that it's probably not that different from the one I am... it's just that his way of getting there is not as good as mine. haha... just kidding.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

don't think twice, it's alright

so what happens when a 30 year old girl moves back home to her dad's house after ten years out on her own? well, just imagine it. how do you think her independence, her strength, her sense of self and her cultivated optimism stands up against the father who still treats her like a teenager and his new wife who treats her differently every day, when she's not completely ignoring her? how do you think her cat adapts to a new cluttered environment, two new cats and a dog?

okay well I'll start with the cat. for the first four days after we moved, the cat didn't leave my bedroom, and she peed on my duvet the first day. I still haven't been able to get her to use a litter box other than the one in my room so I live with the not-so-faint odour of cat pee as the customized room fragrance. Today was the first day the cat came into the basement - stairs being a new concept for her. And when confronted by a yappy dog, I've heard noises from my cat I didn't know she could make - throaty growls, hisses with bared teeth, and angry scrowly meowing that's reminiscent of jungle dwelling felines.

maybe next time I'll have sorted through some of the stuff I've been overwhelmed in my latest transition, and I'll actually be able to give you the update.

Whenever I've gone through transitions in my life like this, ones I knew were coming, I've handled them similarly. I just take care of the external details that I need to but not let the whole thing get inside. I don't mentally prepare, I don't plan for the emotional upheaval. I think it's hard enough to deal with transitions as they happen but to try to prepare for them just drags the torment out longer. You know? Well, I don't know I could be wrong. But you can't know what you're going to feel, so how can you possibly prepare for it?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Butler Brothers host the Slackers Film Festival/Odyssey

A life alterring experience, seeing the latest film by The Butler Brothers and Substance Productions, Confusions of an Unmarried Couple. Not to mention finally meeting Jason Butler or Jabutts - who I felt like I knew from his monologues in the film Bums. He seemed to know me too... I wonder what Brett said about me... hmmm. The night took me places that I did not expect, including a random 'celebrity' sighting.

So the Slacker Film Festival, held at the Reg Hartt Cineforum. Which is really just the home of Reg Hartt, a consummate film buff and eccentric by all accounts. My $10 ticket included a copy of the Special Edition DVD of the latest Substance Productions film, Confusions of an unmarried couple. It was a true slacker festival where you were invited to bring a case of beer. But for the uninitiated and unpracticed slacker like myself who does not have her priorities straight (no trip to the beer store planned), there was blissfully a supply of Muskoka Lager and Honey Brown for me. I think there was even pizza. And I do wonder if it's a coincidence that the "gala event" fell on 4/20 - planned or providence... no comment?

Confusions of an Unmarried Couple. Written and Directed and pretty much everything by the Butler Brothers. Cinematography by Jason Butler. Music and original songs by Ryan Noel. Starring Brett Butler and Naomi Johnson. 3 thumbs up - so good, i borrowed a thumb. Surprising, funny, brutally honest and yet more refined than the previous 2 'brews', and brilliantly acted. Brett Butler & Naomi Johnston put in consistently great performances as a couple dealing with the aftermath of infidelity and trying to figure out what it means that the infidelity coincides with a marriage proposal. The Butlers took home the Audience Choice Award at the Indiana University Film Festival, and are nominated for Best Film at the second biggest film festival in the UK (coming up in May) for this film.

In true slacker fashion, it took over an hour for the VIP crew to finally leave the theatre and make their staggering way over to Sneaky Dee's (just doors down from the house with the neon Cineforum sign in the front window) where Brett treated me to a pint of Waterloo dark and we destroyed a plate of nachos. (We definitely lost the competition for the most effective rationing of chip to dip in the Kingscrown Nachos race.)

As a slacker in training, I was not aware of the potential need for walking shoes, so I had some discomfort when it came time for us, at 2 am!!!, to try to find a barbecue party that this Californian filmmaker had been told about that was about 5 blocks west and 4 blocks south of sneaky's. Picture it, 6 drunken party hunters (some with VIP lanyards) wandering down an old residential area in little italy at 2:30. And there's the crazy Cali film dude talking to this poor blonde girl walking by herself up ahead... and then there's this cocky obnoxious redhead behind us yelling "um that's my girlfriend there, do you mind, thank you..." as he blows through the VIP posse and I realize that I know him and say "hey that's Christian" (the commercial guy from the listerine commercials among many things.) We never did find the party. But for me the fun was in the search.

The leather straps from my thong sandals are stretching out of shape from all the walking, so by the time we started walking east back along Dundas (or as the American dude named Scott who looked almost identical to Vince Vaughan and who was even funnier!!! said... DUNdis.) they were slipping off the back of my heel after about 30 paces. The butler brothers enjoyed making fun of me about how I didn't plan ahead with proper footware, but I like to think they were a little impressed at how I didn't complain. but that's just how I roll.

I finally arrived home in the Echo at 3:30. After dropping Graham off at his car, the 6 inches vaguely resembling a seat became free for Brett so I blissfully had time to recover from having him on my leg pretty much all the way home. That was a fun ride, I'm not complaining. I definitely think Brett had the worst of it, between the parking break on his left and the roof right at his head and having to lean on the headrests. Graham was also pretty squished in with all of the boxes of DVD's and equipment in the backseat.

So the moral of the story is that with those Butler Brothers, you can never know what to expect. But it will always be good times. And you should probably wear comfy shoes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

same subject

He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never therefore make any progress.

Anwar Al Sadat

Monday, April 09, 2007

think happy thoughts. think happy thoughts. think happy thoughts...

life builds on itself. every day - if I'm doing it right - I learn something to help me grow from yesterday and the things I was trying to figure out. I feel good that today was one of those days. I got some solid answers about how to line up tasks and really saw everything working out for the best. And I see 2 more A's (or even A+'es) being added on to my repertoire...

Yesterday was one of those days too actually. The teaching at fellowship was very thought provoking and really rang true for my life. I can really see some concrete solutions to improving the quality of my 'lifespace' (a term I learned this week in Managing Change and Transitions).

So back to today! We were studying Coping Skills related to adapting to change and transition and the teacher mentioned a study she had seen about the internal monologue we have as we go through our day. Well you know that I pretty strongly believe that our life is formed in large part by our thoughts. So apparently there's this study that found that 90% of the thoughts we have in a given day about ourself, about the world around us and the impact we can have on it are NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. 90%. Dude. So pretend you have 500 thoughts a day. That's 450 negative thoughts. 50 positive (or just neutral analytical thougts every day. SJ, you mentioned the blue book. Those 450 negative thoughts imprison you inside a pattern of perception of yourself. Those 450 negative thoughts defeat you because you don't even try things you want to try, since those thoughts have convinced you that there's no point. You could never achieve that.

And actually it's controversial. From a very cursory bit of research I note that the average person has between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day depending on if they are a 'deep thinker' or a writer. I daresay many of those thoughts are barely formed, some wordlessly made of images, some may be related to involuntary biological functions.

So say you had 11,000+ negative thoughts in a day. Some of those are angry thoughts. Some of those are thoughts about past failure. You are saying 11,000 nasty things about yourself every day. That's like 11,000 people each saying something crappy to you.

What would happen if you could train yourself to turn those all into positive thoughts? Oh my God. Just imagine how many things you would no longer be afraid to try? Just imagine how quickly your self esteem would soar into the heavens? Of course you know you can do that. There are techniques piling up out there on just how to do that. But you don't really need to spend money to learn them. Just have the courage to tell yourself to stop thinking that - and I mean this concretely, that for every bit of 'stinkin thinkin' you stop and correct it with a positive. Yeah. Replace it. Dude, imagine the things we can get done?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

may the force be with you

Yoda, and even Luke Skywalker would tell you that you do not need to give yourself over to the darkside for it to really ruin you, even just temporarily.

I have seen the darkside. I gave it a good once over. I examined it from the border; poked at the covering layers; explored the breadth of the border from coast to coast. I did not go in. I'm pretty sure it didn't notice me scanning and poking around, I believe I am safe for now. But make no mistake, it has invaded my thoughts and crept up by way of fears I should not have. Memories of heartache and betrayal that I thought were buried. But what I have learned is that if a memory gets you in the throat than you are still holding something that you need to let go of because it is keeping you from being who you are supposed to be. You can't be who you are supposed to be if you are still trying to be (or just can't let go of) who you were before. So if you are in between who you were and who you are going to be... who the hell are you? Who the hell am I?

Everyone knows - even Anakin, although he learned too late - that the only way to keep yourself strong and safe from the dark side is to call upon the force, to allow the force to be strong in you. The force. The light. It needs to be your guide from the inside out. So may the force be with me and with you.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

people can be really amazing...

So first I need to say I really need to start being more careful about what I watch on TV. the last 2 nights I've watched documentaries that were just heartbreaking. It started on monday watching the hour with george stroumboulopoulos and his first guest was Stephan Jones, the son of the infamous cult leader responsible for the Jonestown massacre. This guy just squeaked by being a part of the death toll which was about 914. I have a lot of thoughts about the tragedy, but what really struck me was hearing about the survivors. Stephan was about 18 at the time, so now I guess he's 46. The 10 minute interview (which was George's first really good interview in a very long time) really had me in tears. And they talked about the documentary which would air tuesday night on vision... and I watched it at midnight. and then I was up until 4 reading about it online. I've heard it said that 9/11 was the day the world changed (from an American perspective) but I think if you asked anyone who was around at the time, they would say november 18, 1978 was pretty effing huge in that regard too. Jim Jones' soldiers murdered a US congressmen, some journalists from NBC and church 'defectors' before driving back to the commune and making sure that everyone present drank the koolaid (at gunpoint if they refused), shooting Jim Jones (cause he couldn't bring himself to drink) and then drinking themselves. One guy was arrested at the airfield and imprisoned until 2002, but other than that I think they all died.

Right, I said I didn't want to focus on the tragedy... but you know, just to make sure you know what I'm talking about.

Stephan actually said in the doc, that if he'd been on site he believes he would have drank the juice. he had a pretty strong will to live, but he also cared a great deal about the community and his place in it. And even though he knew his dad was crazy... his mom drank it, and he loved her more than anything else. But it was his mom who made sure he left when he did. And now he's married and has three daughters. And I look at these people who survived (some who defected with the congressman's party and survived the shooting, some reporters and family members who had been visiting with the party) and what hits me is that to survive something like that and really manage to be a whole person they needed to hyper evolve by their thought and emotional life in order to heal. They are more well-adjusted than the average person walking around, more in touch with their emotions... and they would need to be, you know?

It's tragic to think of the last moments of those who drank, the way they were manipulated and lied to in order to believe that it was the best option available for them. To think that they watched all the children die... and I believe that after that point there was no way any of them would want to live. But it's absolutely inspiring to think about the moral courage of people who survived and went about to live full lives and become happy individuals. It seems easier for me now to maintain my momentum on my way to fulfilling the life I can. You know?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I just don't think I'll ever get over you

(song by Colin Hay, also in the Garden State soundtrack)

I drink good coffee every morning
Comes from a place that's far away
And when I'm done I feel like talking
Without you here there is less to say
I don't want you thinking I'm unhappy
What is closer to the truth
That if I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
I'm no longer moved to drink strong whisky
'Cause I shook the hand of time and I knew
That if I lived till I could no longer climb my stairs
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
Your face it dances and it haunts me
Your laughter's still ringing in my ears
I still find pieces of your presence here
Even after all these years
But I don't want you thinking I don't get asked to dinner
'Cause I'm here to say that I sometimes do
Even though I may soon feel the touch of love
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
If I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

say kristin, what's up with the slightly less upbeat new title?

well, thanks for asking. I guess it happens to all of us, eventually. Remember from the Breakfast Club, how when you grow up your heart dies? Well mine finally did. Nooooo,... just kidding!!! It's just something I've been thinking about for a while. Resisting. I'm still an advocate for dreaming and wanting big things for my life. That will not stop. But certain things one thinks she wants may only be holding her back from being able to see the possibilities... one needs to look honestly at this, and have the courage to let go. I guess I should not say more or you'll start guessing what the eff I'm talking about. I know you think you know already. Half of you might even be right.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

wake up every day as if it is on purpose... (Hitch)

from "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. not the easiest book i've ever read because it constantly asks me to exert more energy in thought. but well worth the work.

Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself. I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks. I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did. They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tching Thang) to this effect: "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again." I can understand that. Morning brings back the heroic ages. I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame. It was Homer's requiem; itself an Iliad and Odyssey in the air, singing its own wrath and wanderings. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air — to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light. That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier, more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way. After a partial cessation of his sensuous life, the soul of man, or its organs rather, are reinvigorated each day, and his Genius tries again what noble life it can make. All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, "All intelligences awake with the morning." Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise. To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering? They are not such poor calculators. If they had not been overcome with drowsiness, they would have performed something. The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry information as we get, the oracles would distinctly inform us how this might be done.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

my first ever rewrite

oceans emotions

a few days ago
i saw your face unexpectedly in a photo
and it was the heaviest anchor weighed upon my heart...
it was the most forceful wave of feeling and tears
I have felt in a very long time.
it felt so right
but I can't look too much longer
this picture may be the end of me
my lungs fill up with ache
my heart can't beat against the press
i drown in the photos of your eyes
I can't help but stare too long at the promise of your smile
because there's something about this memory of feelings
that's more real than the real feelings I barely feel now

Friday, January 26, 2007


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Do I dare...?

do i dare
think about you deeply enough
to write a poem?
a few days ago
i saw your face unexpectedly in a photo
and it was the heaviest anchor weighed upon my heart...
it was the most forceful wave of feeling and tears
I have felt in a very long time
and it felt so right
I can't look too much longer
this picture may be the end of me
my heart forgets how to beat
I have to force the breath out of my lungs
I can't explain how focussed I have become since,
not focussed on you but on me
slowly becoming strong enough to turn away
from what can't matter as much to me
as what I understand you do
as what I feel everything should do

Monday, January 15, 2007

dear diary,

what a day. and it's barely started. I spoke today for the first time in two years, and it really fucking hurt my throat. but you know, i did not want to give my captors the satisfaction of breaking me so silence was the only way. when I spoke today, it was to confirm to bill and the president that yes, in fact I would be the saviour of mankind once again and die at the hands of the terrorists. and honest to goodness I was relieved to be done with this life once and for all, and to have my death mean something. Some accuse me of having a messiah complex. But just because I may have that complex doesn't mean I'm not the saviour. Normally my calls to sacrifice are more subtle. I go in knowing I'll probably die but nobody is blatantly asking me to be tortured and die so that the terrorists bombing the country (seemingly) in an arbitrary manner can be stopped. And dammit-all to hell if that bastard wasn't lying to the president about the people responsible just so that he could kill me. That guy was actually the one doing all the bombing. He should have known that telling me I would die for nothing would make me fight. I know, you're thinking "but did you have to bite that guy's flesh off?". Well I didn't hear you coming up with anything better so just bite me. (haha. lol and alllll that shit.) So that brings us up to like 7 am or something. Me sitting in the tunnels beneath fayed's safehouse basically a moment away from being discovered. and one of his men tell him that they gotta go or else the operation will be jeopardized. and once again, Jack Bauer survives by the skin of his teeth. big surprise. (they can't kill me off, not with my contract... ha suckers).

the rest would take me so long to explain all the back story... suffice it to say that I could not have imagined at that time that a nuclear bomb would be going off before 10 this morning. And I really did not expect to be working with Assad, a man with a 20 year career as a terrorist, and basically securing his pardon. But shit he gave me some good information. I want to trust him, even though he did shove a knife into that guy's kneecap. Dude, that was sick. I seriously almost ralfed. One thing that didn't surprise me was that this freaking useless president (and that hag Karen and all of his other shortsighted 'advisors') would not listen to a word I said and because of him all of my worst case scenarios almost came true - had I not intervened I don't even know what would have happened. Well the day would have been over before it started. And then the other thing that of course never comes as a shock is the apologetic, sincere words of the president just before he asks me to take responsibility for the operation and basically give everything I have for my country. I wanted to tell him to fuck off. I wanted to say 'after the shit you put me through this morning already? are you kidding me?" But true to my far-too-patriotic character I heard myself uttering those oh-so-very Jack words "I'll do my best, sir." If I had been standing beside me I might have kicked my teeth in, and I'm not even kidding. I almost missed my prison cell in China.

Damn, I wonder how Audrey is. I so need to get some. 2 years... God.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

just so you know I'm still here...

a quote

make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood...
make big plans, aim high in hope and work.

Daniel H. Burnham

I just like that. if you're going to dream make it big or don't bother.

Monday, December 25, 2006

merry christmas and all that!!!

my first buy (almost) nothing christmas

hey there! hope your holiday is awesome. santa is good to you. time with your loved ones is relatively stress-free. and that there are lots of those little joy-filled moments one on top of another so that it seems like one big long joy-filled moment. that's what it's been like for me. a week with my mom, meeting her friends, playing jeopardy with her boyfriend (and kicking his ass everytime), an amazing party (night) with friends, watching it's a wonderful life with grandpa on christmas eve - damn I love that movie, I cry every time george finds zuzu's petals, and when he marries mary, and when he has to make one more sacrifice to help someone else or his town altogether... I hope there never comes a time when that movie doesn't reach me. It's so good because it's just honest about the despair a man can feel when his dreams don't come true and it seems like his life has been nothing.

waiting now for dad to come pick me up for breakfast and gift opening at home (I have nothing for anybody... and they all understand). I really haven't had to worry about shopping which has made a ridiculous difference in stress levels, let me tell you. But I do have gifts for people that I actually put a lot of work into and I think they'll really be appreciated. Just be patient... on boxing day I will go pick up the "packaging" and then you'll see!

so have an awesome day and I will talk to you soon!

Friday, December 15, 2006

what a nice boy - 2006

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a ball of anger in her belly. this ball was big and radioactive and it made her sick. all kinds of sick; her heart hurt, her mind hurt, her head hurt, her toes hurt, even her fingers and her earlobes hurt. she also had a very big heart, but this radioactive ball sent out poisons that kept everything from working properly, especially her heart. So she didn't show love the way she felt it, she didn't know how to be happy and trust when someone loved her. Some people that she loved more than anything else didn't even know how much she loved them!

This girl wasn't born with the ball in her belly. It started when she was young and somebody taught her to feel hurt. But it grew and grew from all of the times she was afraid or sad or hurt, and she buried those feelings deep inside of her and they became this bad bad ball. So you see, the ball wasn't anger on the inside, it only became anger around the shell. For a long time, there was nobody to help the girl to see that she didn't need to be afraid or sad or angry. because everyone around her had their own fears and balls of anger to deal with. And they all thought it was normal! But one day, a kind boy was became the girl's very good friend and he told her something nobody had ever told her before. That there's no need for all that pain! He said there is a God whose love is stronger, more resilient than any poison, and that love can cut through any darkness. he can take that anger, fear, and sadness from you and make you like you never had it. You can be a new person, all you have to do is rest in God. Trust in him for everything.

He taught her just like what a prophet said, Who is among you that feareth (which is more like respecting and loving) the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God. (Isaiah 50:10)

And so she did what that boy said. She trusted that God did not want her to have all that pain and that he was big enough to take it all away from her. And her life became perfect!!! Noooo... But! From that moment on, any pain, hurt, sadness, strife that came her way could not destroy the peace she found. And people began to learn how much she loved them, and they all came to be able to help each other heal. And so it goes, not a perfect paradise but pretty darn beautiful.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The I and the Me (Sociology study notes part two)

George Herbert Mead's socialization and self theory

am I me? is me who I really am? when I say I, I am talking about a person who exists without reference to any people around me or any perceived potential fallout to action I take, or things I say. When I say me, I'm talking about others and how they see me. You see? I can't say me without thinking of the others because there is no me without you!

the game (Sociology study notes)

hey steve this is for you

"I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind thinks about what my mind thinks about your mind. I dress my mind before yours and expect that you will dress yours before mine. Whoever cannot or will not perform these feats is not properly in the game." --- Charles Horton Cooley, 1902

Cooley was a sociologist who was concerned with socialization and the self. his main theory was called the looking glass self. he figured the self developed as the individual concerns himself with how he wanted others to see him. he saw our socialization as performance. anyhoooooo i just thought you might dig the quote but figured I should give you some background. that's all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

if i think about it hard enough, I'm back there...

I'm in that green green room. the walls sponge painted that dark green on lime green. the moulding the dark green. the subsistent leafy plant on the window sill next to the oscillating fan and the guiness glass of pennies. just to the right of centre, dan is sitting on the floor resting on the futon playing star wars: jedi knights on his computer. I am curled up against the side of the futon, kind of watching, kind of just there. As I remember it now, there is a playlist playing with the soundtrack from the end of the affair mixed in with radiohead. I know that's not true. Because he's playing video games on his computer so there can't be music playing. if anything, there is the sound of the video game which does include music.

we're not talking. every once in a while he'll explain something about the game, or show me something really cool. but I don't really want to talk because I am not here to bother him. Being around him makes things better without needing to talk. And I know he's way too polite to tell me to shut the fuck up, even if he wanted to. Because sometimes when I talk, I talk way more than I mean to. It's been a rough week. I'm stressed. Home is actually a sanctuary again. My two awesome roommates are a sanctuary. We have overcome all of the cleaning/chores bullshit... (because I finally realized that everyone was doing their part but with 3 people and our insane cat it's never going to be the same as my place with Elisabeth. We kept that place clean, because she really cared about that stuff. Got me to care too, which caused so much crap when I moved in here with dan and steve. poor guys... I can laugh about it now and I hope they do too... but I digress.) Now I absolutely love being here with them all of the time, instead of just pockets of time when I can manage to not be stupid, like before. The talks, the debates, the coffee, the silence. So back to the green room and the Jedi Knights. Dan demonstrating the choosing of the character and the gear and the store, like he's 12 he gets so excited. And I just feel so happy. So at peace. My thoughts are all quiet ones for the first time since the latest family drama/trauma. But I spent hours talking about that with Steve last night, and now I just need to not. We joke a bit about his buddy Jesse, and about how I think he's superhot. But then, back to the game. Dan gets into a great lightsabre fight, and I confess, I am riveted. It is like watching a movie, except your buddy beside you is in it. crazy.

I didn't blog much those days, even though I was happy and stuff, just not inspired. My job, the future stretching out before me looking exactly the same as today, the dreams I can barely remember, the sense that I'm losing my voice. That's before I applied to school. I'm afraid that all the great experiences with these guys will get lost, that's why I'm here again. That's why I came back to this crazy-painted apartment with the teeny tiny kitchen with the beatles poster on the wall, with the giant dinosaur microwave acting as microwave stand for the little microwave. To the guys I took for granted way too much. To the peace and patience and friendship Dan gave me without even thinking about it. So these days I don't see him much and I talk to him less, not like Steve who I still kind of talk to every day, one way or the other. That's why I'm back here in this green room watching Dan play Jedi Knights. The purple comforter bunched up in the corner still kind of smells like cat pee, smoke is in the air because this is before Dan quit and we just both had a cigarette. He usually doesn't mind sharing with me even though I am not a smoker. Oh, I remember the times we used to go out in the cold to get him smokes... the time that the convenience store beside that Chinese Food place (what was that called???) AND the gas station were closed and we had to walk to the other side of the mall... woooow. so cold. sorry, did it again. So. Every few minutes I space out and start looking at his books again. Absentmindedly pick one up off the floor and start thumbing through it. The fight didn't go the way he wanted it to so he has just reset the game. that'll probably happen a few times. And I'll just sit here, curled up against the railing of the futon, happier than anyone should ever be in a green green room.

...and all this is to whom?

My thoughts on Blogging

this one is atleast partially inspired by marieseda ---- as I mentioned over at her blog, I am in love with blogging. it's not always a perfect relationship, but it's cool cause I dictate it. It's my sanctuary. My voice. Me. Bruises, blemishes, flaws and all. Where's my heart? As always, right out there sitting on my sleeve for all to see. Full disclosure has always been my policy, because I don't really know who else reads it except my friends to whom I gave the link. If some random cat in manitoba reads it and digs it, that's cool. no harm. I have been told by some I am too honest. I've also been told by other's that there's nothing wrong with that. Well, for good or for ill, my policy stands. Full disclosure. Take me or leave me, love me or hate me, dig me or ditch me...

this is kristin.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

this is for diogo

Motho ke motho ka Batho

this is Bantu (or some related tongue) for "a person is a person because of other people". In Communalistic societies, for instance Bantu, humans are social beings and the self is not emphasized. The community is important. What's good for society is good for the people in it. We live in an Liberalistic or Individualistic society where people all believe that happiness comes through self actualization. Where the community is becoming less and less a real thing. To be YOU and to make yourself happy is all that we have time for. The Nguni and Bantu word Ntu, meaning nothing, is derived from the word Muntu (person). This is not to say that a person is nothing, just empty and soulless, not at all. It means that a person is not a thing. The essence of a person cannot be captured in a definition as an object... because a person is a subject. The essence of a person is fluid, always evolving, thinking and feeling, moving through time and space as time and space move through them. Every thought or feeling makes you a new reality. Your experiences build you. The people you love and who love you build you.

So when a person decides he has a weakness, and wants to overcome it so that the quality of his life might be improved, he can evolve and there is no fear of losing the thing that makes him him. Because there is no thing that makes him him. He just is and does and goes and feels and sees and believes and grows.

If anyone is interested, I found this dissertation written by a scholar at the University of Pretoria. About the difference between the two types of societies. But this was actually all inspired by Ed and Sociology class today.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

streaming consciousness

So this will be a post where I just type and type to sort of think about all of the things going on in my busy little brain and roll it out before me flat so I can just check up on some things. What follows will likely be an edited version of the original... something I almost never do.

In this mind of Kristin there are layers of thought, layers of consciousness, layers of reality... and they are piled on top of one another, pieces covering others, obscuring and making things difficult to process properly. All of these unexamined and uninspected layers are still affecting my behaviour though, my actions, feelings and their antecedent thoughts... and I feel like it doesn't make sense. I'm contradicting myself. I'm not even sure how I really feel. Am I happy? Or am I sad? Is there some anger weaving itself through? Is there loneliness, or is that longing?

The only thing I truly understand is love. My love for my friends is uncomplicated. Gratitude cannot be exaggerated. Deepened understanding of people I've only partly known, deeper respect for people who have always deserved it but probably don't know how much, deeper admiration of my friends and all their beautiful qualities and the richness they add to my life. If you're reading this thinking that sounds like you, it is. If you're reading this hoping I think of you this way, I do.

Adding to the confusion are all these separate streams of discussion, which are all fun and interesting and I am learning a lot, I just find myself debating and 'arguing' which I actually I don't like. Laugh, chuckle, snort on that if you want, if you don't believe me. But it's true. I will (as many of you will attest) debate or argue until I pass out if I feel like I must, but it's not fun for me. There are many other ways of discussion I find more conducive to concensus and/or understanding and I much prefer a calmer dialogue or (poly?)logue (gosh, that's so not a word but I think you know what I mean). when I argue my blood rises and my vessels constrict and my brain doesn't function the way I like it to. I tend to feel defensive... fight or flight becomes my only guttural dilemma.

So I'm contradicting myself. I'm saying things that aren't strictly true, although they're not lies because I'm just not even thinking right. I'm lowering my level of decision processing, I'm convincing myself that ideas I detest are acceptable, feelings that surprise me are swept under rugs; I'm avoiding. I'm painfully aware of all the work sorting through this mess takes, the emotional toll of the consequences I've racked up... and I'm just 'goin where the wind takes me' cause it's easier.

My friends, I need you. I need the inspiration you never fail to provide. I need the love you never refuse. That being said, that 'comments' button is not an invitation to advice. This post is me being honest with myself. Advice is not necessarily asked for but phone and e-mail or at a coffee house would be the preferred venues.

quoting you quoting me

below is an excerpt from a letter I wrote jacqueline when she moved to vancouver.

I know how scary it can be to change your life in such a big fell swoop. But if there's anyone strong enough to weather it and come out on top, it's you. You deserve to find more happiness than you can even imagine and you should pursue that more intensely than you've pursued anything ever before...

...Our relationship was always more complicated than I wanted it to be. I regret that you probably never knew how much I wished for us to be friends. I will not speak to blame here, only to all the miscommunication and the wall(s) between us. I regret it all. I've learned from it though and I will never allow it to happen again. People will not question (or doubt) how I feel about them. I guess the more complications there are, the harder it is to reach out to a person and let them know how you feel. Like, the more important it is, the more you fear a rejection and the more your fearful brain screams at you to NOT REACH OUT, that often you don't hear the opportunity, sometimes the last one, TO REACH OUT. Yes. Live and learn is right!

what can I say, but you got me. I made that promise to myself just as much as to you. jac posted this to her LJ today, as I knew she would.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

so it's that time again...

I feel it in me, bubbling up wordlessly, the rhythm of a poem that must be allowed to roam the sound waves of the voices that will read it.

so many things in my life right now seem to be just beneath the surface trying to be born.

the question is how to tap the reserves without an inappropriate mixing of metaphors.

this is me...

Jac and I were reminiscing and found this post on her livejournal. I always loved hearing this, and sometimes I need to be reminded that this is me.

Magical Journey

Who are you? How do I explain? You’re powerful, conscious, open. Someone I worked with once, true, a colleague but we never really spoke. You reached out, saw our similarities, our strength, support. I ran the other way, didn’t like you for no reason at all. No reason except fear, fear of the spirit you possessed, the courage to love openly, gain strength from sharing your heart. And now here we are, miles apart and our voices unite, provide encouragement as we journey through our twisting and turning alleys. Around every dark corner a new surprise. Our roads converged as we said goodbye. You’re the spark behind my voice, igniting all the things I’ve held in too long. My echo through the distance, keeping him real in my mind, reminding me of what I’ve discovered deep inside. He awakened the sleeping demons deep within only to prove that devils truly are angels in disguise. He showed me the way and you hold my hand when it gets tough to breathe. My feelings scatter, a rollercoaster of emotion but you bring reason as the words purge forth from my fingers. So how then do I explain you in a brief exchange when the words fail to come? I can’t hide you, won’t. You’re up front and center. Yet when asked, I can only spit out- a girl from back home who I worked with once. So unsatisfactory. The simplicity nothing compared to your magic.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Did I Tell You...?

So some people have been kind enough to remind me that I haven't written anything new on "my story blog" for a while. now I have. and it's not a bull**** post like the last one.

I was talking to Dan recently and that reminded me that if you don't write everyday, you're not really working on your story. Right now I'm just keeping it alive... like life support.

world premiere screening of Confusions of an Unmarried Couple

Substance Productions, aka the Butler Brothers are screening their 3rd film, Confusions of an unmarried couple, for the first time ever.

Sunday, November 26th, 6:30PM
2 Sussex Ave., Toronto, ON.
Admission: FREE

to view the trailer for this film, go to the substance productions myspace site (or click here) to see a trailer for confusions of an unmarried couple

to read a review for confusions of an unmarried couple click here!

I'll see you there!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

french bugs

next blog button took me to this blog with pictures of insects and cool stuff that i didn't want to forget.

Friday, November 17, 2006

not born to shop part 2

so I was good. I bought exactly what I needed, what I wanted at a good price. resisted h&m, zara, ae and the gap with relative ease. supported jamie as he bought shoes, a shirt and a scarf. I didn't even buy food in the food court. I'm in training for buy nothing day.

we had group presentations today in the civil studies class - my group did a report on the toronto public spaces committee, james' group covered the ontario coalition against poverty. one of the ocap guys made a really great point - generally people spend about $100 - $200 a week on themselves, just on things like coffee and food. ya know, spending cash. there is a supplement for registered homeless people of $27 a week. so, not that I think they should get more or less, it's just an interesting way to look at things.

what about this: buy nothing christmas!!! I've already told people to not expect too much from this starving student, but this appeals to me because it takes the commercialism out of the holidays. I can't imagine that the original intent of exchanging gifts was to put money in the pockets of the corporations.

coming soon to a blog near you...

an ode to el chupacabra is in the works. see also jacobs' blog for a recent post emitting love for chupy.

not born to shop...

Did you know that November 24th is buy nothing day?? According to adbusters, the point of life is not to consume consume consume until you're happy. What? Really?

okay, yes I'm being sarcastic. stuff doesn't make you happy. the more stuff you have, the more stuff you want. it is the vicious-est of circles.

no thought provoking essay on this topic this morning, I have to meet my buds at Gabby's and have lunch before I go shopping at the Eaton's Centre with James, who has his mother's credit card to buy his birthday present(s). I just really need a new pair of shoes!!! yes, this would be an example of irony. (actually my shoes have holes in them so this is a purchase of necessity. I will try to avoid the sales racks at the gap, h&m, zara, ae, etc.,).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

like, oh my god... (the valley girl post)

I'm sooooo tired. like, for real.

seriously, though. I have, like, all of these assignments, most of which are group projects, and no energy. Plus I love it when the other members of your group don't even bother to like show up for the meeting 2 days before the presentation to put it all together and make sure it's all good. totally, props to Valya, the only other member to show up. and did anyone call to let me know they weren't coming??? um, no I don't think so. Like, as if I really need this, ya know???

I just wanna sleep for like a week and I totally can't even do that!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

to all you bible talk types...

just to let you know i posted some stuff on the bible talk blog (yes, it still exists!) and prettied it up a bit.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

thank you monty, thank you el chupacabra...

thanks to my good friend el chupacabra, and his friend Monty, I actually had the opportunity to meet the mayor of Toronto, David Miller this evening at The Political Party at the Revival on College Street. That was quite the thing for me. I've always really liked Miller's stand, his vision, and his methods. before tonight I was about 99% sure of who I will be voting for on the 13th of November. After tonight, all uncertainty is gone. Pitfield has no vision, she wants to "take the city in a whole new direction," and she's just not as classy. During her time on stage, she took some really cheap shots at him which I thought were pretty offensive. And when Miller came up to the podium, he did not say one word about her. I didn't hear him talk about 'his opponent' once. And you know, back to that, I don't like the direction she wants to take the city in, for the most part. I agree with her on points but I do not agree with some of her proposed methods.

And I like when Miller talks about Toronto. What a great city it is, and how much potential it has. How we have a lot of work to do but if we come together we can make some great things happen. Pitfield says things about wanting to make Toronto a city she can be proud of. are you kidding me??? this city is freakin awesome, there are days when I seriously fall in love all over again like it was the first time. But nobody is perfect, and miller is right. people need to understand that this is their city, and that when people get involved at the grassroots level, the government can do so much more. (that was when we were chatting all intimate like) Case Ootes would not have been able to prevent so much of the Bike Plan coming into fruition if more people had come together and spoken up.

you may have seen me on CityTV tonight... I just remembered that as I was having my chat with dave, the cameras came on. when the light shone from behind me I almost passed out, completely lost my train of thought and stumbled on my words. do you think he noticed?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This is a link!!!!

I will need a date for this event brought to you by Spacing magazine (a seasonal must-read for anyone who loves this city of ours) and Eye Weekly:

"The Political Party, an event that brings together Toronto's leading mayoral candidates. Mayor David Miller and challenger Jane Pitfield will outline their visions for Toronto's public spaces and face pointed questions from our panel of John Lorinc (urban affairs journalist for Toronto Life, Globe and Mail, Spacing Votes), Ed Keenan (Eye Weekly City editor), and Dale Duncan (Spacing managing editor).

Following the mayoral event will be an old-fashioned rock n' roll show with special musical guests (we're keeping that underwraps to be suspense!). Stick around to mingle with the candidates, dance to the tunes of our DJ, and chat about the upcoming election."

yes, dammit! i'll fight!

I wonder if it isn't time to quit blaming the politicians when nothing happens. Common Election campaign sign slogans I encountered today "It's time for change." As if a new mayor or even a new council will change anything. The problem is us. We are none of us Activists, and only a small percentage of us Citizens, rather we are mostly Consumers. The problem is that this city is crying out for activists - which is just at the very least, speaking the eff up. Ask these guys - why the fuck didn't you fill in the bike survey? for crying out loud why the hell should i vote for you? or discuss these things with each other? or even more, join a group that lobbies for bike path development, or the protection of public space, or the integration of the green bin into apartment dwellings or something you're passionate about. or maybe run for council, school trustee or even mayor yourself? do you know how easy it is? just check out this site who runs this town? started by dave meslin, the founder of the toronto public space committee. Let's get passionate! This city is not just a bunch of grids where we work and go home to watch tv. it is a living organism and it could be thriving so much more if we weren't choking it to death on car fumes and apathy.

okay, now i feel better.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

fight the good fight???

...or just give in to the inevitable? We are becoming a society willing to give up citizenship and community more and more as we become not just consumers, but Consumers.

below is a quote (which includes a sub-quote) from The Reinvention of Work by Matthew Fox, which I am reading for my Work & Life class in school.

"Czechoslovakian playwright and former president Vaclav Havel warns fo the spiritual disease engendered by a consumer culture--one in which a "desparate substitute for living" is represented as human life:

'In the interest of the smooth management of society, then, society's attention is deliberately divererted from itself, that is, from social concerns. By nailing a man's whole attention to the floor of his mere consumer interests, it is hoped to render him incapable of appreciating the ever-increasing degree of his spiritual, political and moral degradation.'

Life becomes "reduced to a a hunt for consumer goods," and freedom becomes trivialized to mean "a chance freely to choose which washin machine or refrigerator {one} wants to buy." Consumer bliss has the effect of diverting people's energy away from the community to the self... Clearly the price the community pays for consumerism is very steep."

I don't really think i need to add anything right now, besides I need to eat or i may faint.

Monday, October 16, 2006



so reads the headline of the toronto Sun today. the last time I blogged about the Caledonia Standoff, I just cut & pasted an article from somewhere else. this time it's my own words.

i'm riding the bus home from school today, and beside me lies today's sun, and the subheading catches my eye. It turns out that 500 people decided to protest the Native Occupation of a subdivision that is on disputed land. Two superficial and subtly biased paragraphs into the article I feel the anger welling up in me... the ignorance and bigotry still horrifies me. How can this be??? In Canada, for heaven's sake. These people were attempting to cross the barrier into the disputed parts, and were barred by the OPP. This is an old dispute, 200 years of social injustice, and these people are angry because they are being inconvenienced. The Sun would tell you they live in fear. If they are in fear, it's because someone told them to be, they are being manipulated. Natives would not hurt these people. The Natives are the victims of violence and the threat of it.

The residents are upset because they bought a home. The businesses are upset because they are losing revenue. And I don't disagree that the whole thing sucks. But why don't they care that there is a genuine land claim that needs to be considered here and that the land was being sold from under the feet of the six nations people? Why don't they care that if the natives hadn't taken this action their claim would have been nullified, much like the land claims of the past? Why don't they care about what's right? Why aren't they concerned about the possibility of people being hurt or killed like in Oka or Ipperwash?

The Toronto Sun is affiliated with Canoe Live's website and there was a balloon at the bottom of the article telling me to voice my opinion online, so I did. I am not sure if my comment is posted yet, but here's the link if you want to go have a say too.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

take it the bridge now...

...i'm bringin sexy back.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

what does it say...? (prison break prison break prison break!!!!)

so I'm studying Sociology and I'm finding it really fascinating. I've started to ask questions about things I never thought so deeply about before. Within the last month I've watched all of Season 1 of Prison Break and I am current up until the episode for this week. I've also caught the first few episodes of a new show called Vanished. One of my favourite shows is also 24 which I have watched since the beginning. And of course Alias. All but the second are extremely popular shows and I think Vanished probably will be. Well anyway my intent here is not to give a review of my favourite shows. I wanted to consider the ethics portrayed in these shows, the morality that underlies all of them and the overarching sense of paranoia which has not been seen since the seventies, which was called an age of paranoia as pertaining to film and television.

First - the paranoia. In both Prison Break and Vanished, the main "baddie" is a pseudo-secret society. Vanished seems to be revealing the Masons as a force for controlling politics and economics and the justice system as well, using any means necessary. Wives are abducted to persuade powerful men (senators, state governors) to behave a certain way. In Prison Break we have The Company setting up patsies to take the fall for murders of powerful people who turn out to not be dead but rather held captive - to maintain hold on yet further powerful individuals. The Company is to blame for the US government being complicit in so much evil in the world for their economic advantage, for Lincoln (Link the Sink) Burrows being incarcerated and sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, for his ex-wife and son's stepfather being murdered and his son being implicated to keep the secret, for his lawyers (including his ex-girlfriend as well as her fiance) being murdered to keep the secret... and so on and so on. And in Prison Break it becomes rapidly clear that The Company can get to anyone, anytime, anywhere and the will in order to maintain secrecy.

In both Alias and 24 which feature anti-terrorist agencies linked to the US government, there are often "moles" working for the enemy but planted right next to Sydney Bristow or Jack Bauer. And as happens quite often the good guy will be required to knowingly rely on the mole in some life threatening instance. Jack has been in the field with someone he has in custody with his life completely dependent on his "enemy" having his back. In Alias, Sydney re-teamed up with a man who betrayed her and lied to her for six years telling her she was a good guy (CIA counterterrism) but really she was one of the bad guys(SD-6). A sense of not really being able to trust anyone follows our heroes.

And what of our heroes? Prison Break features Michael Scoffield, a brilliant structural engineer with a neurological disorder which prevents him from compartmentalizing the details he sees in the world around him (although he seems to do okay compartmentalizing moral questions, but I'm skipping ahead...) such that he sees patterns in everything and becomes unable to separate details from the Big Picture. Glancing at structural drawings reminds him of the fact that his firm designed the prison his brother has been wrongly incarcerated to, which inspires him to plan a route through the prison pipes and walls, (a la Shawshank Redemption style, only quicker) reading articles about other criminals in that prison quickly transfigure into his mind a way to use their money and resources in order to escape. The state of illinois' governors' daughter being a doctor at the prison sparks a plan to fake diabetes requiring daily insulin injections (and black market supplied insulin blockers) so he has access to the infirmary, a crucial part of his escape route. Every black market artefact he acqires requires him to become involved with more and more criminals. Some victims of circumstance - really good guys deep down that you will root for, some disturbed psychotic animals that you would fear having them on the streets. Michael transcribes the prison blueprints into 200 hours of artistic tattoos all over his body embedding clues and anagrams, and it's visually stunning. The guy is beyond brilliant. He wants to break his brother out of prison and has gone to great lengths plotting to do so. Once in prison, he is almost relentless in his pursuit. There are lines he won't cross. He won't kill anyone. The crime he committed to be incarcerated put not one single person in danger, except himself. But he will exploit the beautiful doctor in the infirmary, who is a recovering addict, even though he is quite in love with her. I like to think he didn't know how vulnerable Sara was, but the boy did his research. It seems doubtful. He conspires with a vicious mobster, he is forced to work with a pedophile murderer, and helps these men to escape the prison with him for the simple reason that he needs to get Lincoln out and they can help.

So that's enough about Prison Break. I didn't mean to spend so much time with it but it's fresh in my mind. I have also thought about Jack Bauer, the hero of 24. Jack has 24 hours to stop a very serious terrorist threat. Generally, he works for CTU (the Counter Terrorist Unit), utilizing other members of the team and all of it's very very very very very very efficient resources. However quite often, Jack is considered a rogue agent. Put up against the clock he must break rules, protocol and disobey orders for the greater good. Jack has killed people. A lot. they were all "bad guys" though, so its okay, right? Jack has had to let good people die in order for the greater good to result. Jack has broken the laws of the Geneva Convention with respect to witness interrogation. But Jack always wins in the end. David Palmer did not get murdered when he was Governor - not on Jack's watch. The terrorist plot never goes down as planned.

Alias is a little different, Sidney Bristow's morality is a lot more clear cut. She gets the job done. She's okay with killing the bad guy, but there is never justification for 'collateral damage'. Alias is actually a variation on the themes of La Femme Nikita... she always accomplishes her mission, and she always looks ridiculously hot doing it. But her heart is constantly being broken, by Michael or her father or some other person she trusts. Her best friend was murdered and doubled (some far-fetched DNA storyline) and so there is a scene where she has to shoot the woman who looks identical to her best friend and been posing as such for months. Quite poignant!

I know, I just have way too much time to think about the tv shows I watch. It may be true but probably not for much longer. but these shows are in my head and they aren't going anywhere - I have to do somehing with them. and I seriously do wonder what it means that our most predominant heroes in TV have so much ambiguity where morals are concerned, and that paranoia is so prevalant again. And just remember - it could be worse, I could have done a discourse on the significance of the gorey CSI/Law & Order type dramas. Just be glad I don't watch that stuff!

thanks for reading, and may I just add... PRISON BREAK PRISON BREAK PRISON BREAK!!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

what the world weighs

I've been trying to compose this for about a week now.

Here's how it started:

I was waiting for my bus home after work last monday when I pretty much started crying out of nowhere. Or so it would seem, because there's not much wrong with my life. things are okay! I have a great roommate, a funny cat that keeps me perpetually entertained, I love my new apartment, I had a perfect birthday party recently... I have a kinda sucky job that's true but really who cares because in a matter of weeks I'll be attending college full time and truly on my way to making my dreams come true. I have great friends (although I miss them all like crazy because everyone's so busy and my schedule is a mess...). So there I am with an okay life crying with such deep sorrow that it actually hurts physically. And to be completely honest I have not completely recovered.

It's this world, you see. the pain, the suffering, the hate, the isolation, the greed and anger... it's just all too much. I want to help make this world a better place, a nicer place in whatever small "pay it forward" ways that I can and as grand a scale as humanly possible. i feel it's my responsibility, as an individual with certain advantages that I've done nothing to deserve. I am a blessed person, in so many ways but especially in the sense that as often as I have been knocked down and had the crap kicked out of me by the world I've always been able to start over in a better place than I'd ever attained. Like so many of the people in my life I just never give in and believe what forces seem to want me to believe about myself. And I have so many people reminding me of just who I am. But this inner 'strength' is not something I claim credit for and these blessings I have not earned. But it's soooo hard. What can I do? I have no power, no clout. I can sign petitions and pass them on. I can buy wrist bands and install banners on my blog. I can start a career (in 16 months) that will be all about helping people improve the quality of their lives. I can recycle. I can reduce. I can conserve energy and not be driven to consume what the media tells me I should covet, and I can buy local and take transit. I can drink fair trade and organic coffee... the list you know it goes on. But I'm only one and everyday I still see water bottles and pop cans and paper in garbage cans. People still buy SUVs (?!?!?!). And everyday I see Corporate interests given more consideration than basic human necessities. Good people buy products everyday from companies that are exploiting entire nations of the disenfranchised poor. everyday I see the bombings and wars and beautiful cities destroyed. children die and some become monsters robbed of childhood, AIDS is still spreading and killing worldwide. Every person who loves also hates, we all deal angrily with others when we are angry at ourselves. We are silent when our spouse clearly needs the companionship and love we promised at the altar. We judge those who just have the misfortune of a different weakness then our own.

all is vanity. there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 in the Amplified Bible says: All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God's providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.

What does that mean? Does that mean I shouldn't care at all? Just put my head down and keep God's commandments and God will bless me and to hell with anyone else? that doesn't feel right, that's not my God. God clearly values rooted character, individual and collective happiness and adjustments to all inharmonious circumstances under the sun. It is the duty of all men. Jesus Christ bled compassion and love. and he told his disciples that as great as his works were, the works they would do would be greater.

I think I need to find a balance. I need to care and I need to love but I also need to be able to enjoy the blessings that are in my life - my roommate, my cat, my friends, my family, my awesome circle of believers. Then and only then can I withstand what the world weighs.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

it's working

Dear Friends,

As the awful civilian death toll rises above 1000 in Lebanon and Israel, people around the world are seeking a place to voice their frustration and concern. Over the last 4 days, 200,000 people from 148 countries have signed the ceasefire petition. At this rate, we could soon be the largest global online petition in history.

The pressure is working. The global outcry over this crisis has pushed the Ambassadors to the UN Security Council to work around the clock to achieve an immediate ceasefire.

The latest word is that the Council may be close to a final vote today or tomorrow, but we've been this close before and negotiations have fallen apart. We need more pressure now to close the deal.

Please forward this email on, spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues, post a link on your blog, bring up the campaign in discussions, and urgently encourage people around you to join this global wave of protest by signing up at the link below:

The pressure is working. Let's ratchet it up.

With hope,

Ricken Patel, Ceasefire Campaign

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ceasefire Campaign Petetion

Dear friends,

Right now a tragedy is unfolding in the Middle East. Thousands of innocent
civilians have been killed or wounded in the bombings in Lebanon, Palestine
and Israel and the death toll is rising every day. If the US, Syria or Iran
get involved, there is a chance of a catastrophic larger war.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for an immediate ceasefire and
the deployment of international troops to the Israel-Lebanon border, and
been strongly supported by almost every world leader. This is the best
proposal yet to stop the violence, but the US, the UK, and Israel have
refused to accept it.

I have just signed a petition calling on US President Bush, UK Prime
Minister Blair, and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to support Kofi Annan's
proposal. If millions of people join this call, and we advertise our views
in newspapers in the US, UK, and Israel, we can help pressure these leaders
to stop the fighting. Go to the link below and sign up now!
With hope,

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

random post

why won't blogger let me delete this post??? i can clearly edit it till my heart's content but not delete it outright. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

dreams must NEVER have size limits!!!

I am officially so happy I might throw up! I am so excited I might throw up! Not only am I going back to school in September, full time. I am going to be in he program that was basically designed for me to fulfill all of my dreams. Never again will I allow my dreams to built with size limits. This is what happens when you don't limit... when you're not afraid to ask God for more than you think you can have.


Friday, July 07, 2006

interlude: music review?

if tracks on iPods could wear out, pretty much all of the songs on the new dixie chicks cd would be scratching and skipping. this thing is so good... the melodies are actually addictive. I have seriously not listened to anything except The Dixie Chicks The Long Way Around since I picked it up on Sunday. I love The Long Way Around, Everybody Knows, I'm Not Ready to Make Nice, Baby Hold On, Bitter End, Voice Inside My Head... but yah, I am crazy about Lullaby. It almost makes me ache it's so beautiful. Any thoughts? I know my brother has had binges where he's listened to I'm Not Ready to Make Nice 15 times in a row... my dad too. You? Or maybe there's another CD or song or something that has gotten you the same way?

talk to me!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Dear friend,

I just took the Nature Challenge at

The David Suzuki Foundation has researched the top 10 ways Canadians can conserve nature. The challenge is to pick three and do them over the next year. That's it!

It's a great way to get involved and really do something tangible to help make our world a better place.

I encourage you to visit The Nature Challenge Website to learn more.

Thank you.

you may have gotten this e-mail from me recently. Or maybe not. Well anyhooooo... I don't think David wants me to tell you the 10 things, I think he wants you to do the research and examine your life and see what you can do. One of the things I want to do is reduce waste at home and out there. So I want to eat take out less - all those containers, wrapping, bags, etc., are just too abundant. Plus I'll be healthier and save money! And when I buy a book or something I don't take a bag from the store if I don't need it. Something else is I want to do is use cloth bags for groceries... And ride my bike to work (although I already ride transit which is pretty good.) My biggest challenge is going to be enforcing the recycling at work, which I have been doing more nazi-ish lately. My most favouritest customer is a guy who works for the government who told us the other day he wants to start ordering all his printing to be on a higher level recycled paper

The thing is that making these changes takes a little work, a little thought, a little planning but the benefits are manifold in health, finances and the natural world around us. And don't even get me started on all of the corporations wasting and destroying precious ecosystems and exploiting cultures... when we make small changes these corporations lose and the destruction can be lessened and maybe stopped in some cases which can improve quality of life for people at risk.

I will have more later... Tom Robbins is seriously wrecking me with 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues'...

Friday, June 23, 2006

connected by the rhythms

to iPod or not to iPod. that is the question. no, seriously. when i'm out there, walking around or on the bus I have the choice of listening to my iPod or not. this means every CD I own plus all the music I've downloaded plus all my CBC Radio 3 podcasts and even some BBC 4 Documentaries are at my finger tips and anything I could ever want to listen to is as simple as swishing my thumb around the circle some number of times.

without the iPod, I'm a part of it all. small joys reach my heart - the child playing some silly game with mommy, the girl on her lunchbreak stopping to talk to the homeless man beside the hotdog cart, the people at the sandwich shop going out of their way to make my moment in their store sweet... you know the little things. I go with the flow, move with the sidewalk traffic and I feel like I'm really a part of it all. I feel the energy flow as the same sun warms my shoulder as everyone else. It's a natural flow, it's me, it's my rhythm in tune with the people around them and it's possible to feel love and appreciation.

with my iPod and whatever playlist, album, artist or genre I got rollin on shuffle... it's different. that vibe, that rhythm, that sound seems almost to come from the inside... and in a way it does because I chose which wave I would catch. however at the same time as it comes from inside, it also wraps me up and folds me inside. it detaches me from the street and the people roaming along it. I no longer flow as they do, but instead I move at whatever speed the music moves me. I move in and around and through - I slip sideways so that I don't have to change my rhythm.

When I choose to iPod I'm choosing to separate myself from all of the life around me and plug in to this artificial rhythm and force my body to flow to whatever it is i've chosen... the chaos of broken social scene, the aggression of rise against or nine inch nails, the vaguely cheesey longing in solo boy singers,...whatever it is it's not the natural flow that surrounds me. When I plug into my iPod, I think I'm really plugging into myself. my blood is flowing and I choose the music that most closely matches the emotion that results... or does it choose me?

it's a choice indeed. I'm glad I have the iPod because there are times it seems to be the only option. I need to get back into my head and move around at it's determined pace and sometimes nothing matches that pace as well as Greenday's Jesus of Suburbia... And then I'm glad also for the moments when I plug into the sidewalk and dance to same the rhythm as all the other whose feet share it with me.

someone left a marker at this page...why? this passage here...could it be?

What I'm Reading: Even Cowboys Get the Blues by Tom Robbins. As I turn the page on page 72 I find a little slip of paper from the corner of a sheet of letterhead for the company my recent ex-roommate works... and I think 'that's weird... Steve didn't finish this book or som'n? this is such a bad bookmark..." and then I read this paragraph on page 73 and it dawns on me that just maybe someone wanted to remember this. Steve? Dan? Someone else?

"...relationships seem to lead only to marriage, and for most dumb brainwashed women marriage is the climactic experience. For men, marriage is a matter of efficient logistics: the male gets his food, bed, laundry, TV, pussy, offspring and creature comforts all under one roof, where he doesn't have to dissipate his psychic energy thinking about them too much---then he is free to go out and fight the battles of life, which is what existence is all about. But for a woman, marriage is surrender. Marriage is when a girl gives up the fight, walks off the battlefield and from then on leaves the truly interesting and significant action to her husband, who has bargained to 'take care' of her. What a sad bum deal. Women live longer than men because they really haven't been living. Better blue-in-the-face dead of a heart attack at fifty than a healthy seventy-year-old widow who hasn't had a piece of life's action since girlhood. Shit O goodness, how I do go on."


eta... not that anyone believes that marriage IS always like this or even that it has to be. but in all honesty I think I have never rushed to be married and that I ran from the one time I came even remotely close is that this sort of idea has always been my fear. Because this is definitely not an impossible or unrealistic picture of what it can become.

I know that there are people who have - or will have - marriages that are nothing like this, that are or will be what marriage can and should be. And I know that if I do decide to get married someday it will be nothing like that above picture. Partnership. Love. Respect. In the trenches fighting the battle together. Interesting and significant life together ...and that's what it's all about!

Friday, June 02, 2006

an article from political affairs dot net and People's Voice

I just like the whole article and couldn't say it any better. this is something that's really been on my mind since it started.

THE SIX NATIONS blockade at Caledonia has outlasted the 1990 Oka struggle to become the longest First Nations blockade in Canada's history. At times there has been a testy reaction by a very small minority of white extremists, but on the Native side there has been a very firm resolve for disciplined and peaceful pressure on government to win negotiation and solution.

This land was registered as under dispute and apparently on the federal government's calendar for a hearing sometime in the next 100 to 150 years, going on past practice. This disgraceful situation probably would have continued if the federal government had not added insult to injury by selling the disputed land to a private developer. That's a decision without a hearing - so much for the process of law!

Knowing that in a few days their land would be lost forever, the people of the Six Nations played their last card, blockading the land, and later Caledonia's main street (part of the disputed land) and the Highway Six by-pass around the town in response to an early morning raid by the Ontario Provincial Police.

The response of the population in southern Ontario has been quite calm and there is a growing core of support for the Native people. The weekly counter-protests are organized by a minority of hotheads with racist tendencies who scream for law and order, yet are determined to bypass legal negotiations and bully the Six Nations into street submission. This will not happen.

By the Victoria Day weekend, considerable progress had been made, although unfortunately this was not officially reported by the government. This progress included an apparent commitment to return land that houses a defunct and vacant Correctional Facility, originally taken illegally from Six Nations, after an environmental study to establish the condition of the land. It was widely rumoured that there would be a moratorium on the disputed Douglas Creek land and a third party archeological study for graves of Native people.

This led to a goodwill offer by the Six Nations to open Argylle Street. But on Friday evening, May 19, the anti-protests became more aggressive. When the Six Nations people started to dismantle their barricades on Monday, May 22, the rednecks could not stand the prospect of peaceful resolution without retribution. The baseball-bat armed mob put up their own barricade and the situation degenerated, complete with physical engagements. The Native people threw up a new defensive barricade, dug up the road and prepared to defend themselves. A state of emergency was declared in Caledonia, and people worried that the Canadian Army would be called in.

Some facts must be stated for the record. During this protest no Native person has attacked a resident of Caledonia even when provoked with racist slurs. When the citizens of Caledonia had a rally at the Fair Grounds, the Native people applauded their right to congregate peacefully. A young Six Nations man was shot just under the eye with a pellet gun; the next day a young intruder was captured within their camp driving erratically and in possession of a pellet gun and military equipment, including a flack jacket. He was handed over unharmed to the OPP. Violence and the threat of violence have only come from the anti-native minority.

There is a problem in Ontario. It might be convenient to look at every phenomenon in isolation and to pretend awe, ignorance and wonder when an oppressed people stand courageously on their own behalf. If ignorance is bliss, there are a lot of happy people in government here and they are trying to spread it around.

But there is a history, with its twists and turns, and also with a common thread. Remember the murder of Dudley George at Ipperwash by the OPP? Remember the lies and subterfuge to protect a red-neck premier and his cabinet cabal? Remember the OPP riot squad attack on OPSEU members right in front of the Ontario legislature? How about the legions of missing Native women who don't get media attention? How about water you can't drink? How about mercury poisoning? Where the hell is the conscience of the Canadian State? When the police become spectators, as they were when racists stoned Native people at Kahnesetake in 1990, they are supporting the attackers, carrying out state policy.

The cancer of right-wing, imperialist and racist thinking explodes around the Native people. Their struggle is a beacon that lights up the political environment and exposes the danger facing all of us. Will the social justice movement face similar violence and retribution when it escalates the very issues the Native people are dealing with now? The issues of water, environment, medicine, living space, the right to exist purely as a condition of birth and being?

I think the Native people are politically more advanced in many ways because they are forced to deal with these problems, not hide from them. As a student of history, a trade-unionist and a Hamilton worker, I am not surprised by the calm and peaceful determination of the Six Nations people. Throughout history, struggle develops its own dignity, its own unity. There is nobility in standing your ground, in fighting for justice. That's why Robin Hood is a folk hero and Hitler is not.