Thursday, November 30, 2006

wrestles with angels

Thursday, November 30, 2006
fear not.
posts contained within wrestles with angels still exist.
also, a more comprehensive links lists exists there.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

some dribble for you

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1.what letters do you type most often? do you know? i do. e, a, s, n, l. that's pretty specific. how do i know that, anyhow? well ... those are the keys that have long lost their letter sign - meaning they're blank. i have typed them so much they plain wore off. and pretty soon, the letter m will get added to this list. just some completely irrelvant and totally meaningless trivia for you. to make your head explode.

2. do you think the core of who we are as persons changes throughout our lifetimes? if you took a personality test, do you think it would be different at different points in your life? i wonder. i wonder if the fabric of one's essence can change with the seasons of living. i feel like mine has. or ... perhaps not. perhaps the changes i perceive actually reflect the pieces of myself i have uncovered?

3. i'm hungry these days. but ... have no desire to eat. until my body threatens to quit. and then i have no choice. why is it some of us have this fucked up love-hate relationship between our hypothalamus and our stomachs? one has no idea of the social nature the act of eating until one no longer has someone with which to share meals.

4. i walked by a live power line just dangling from the trolley bus line on my walk home from school monday. a horde of cops appeared to be lurking about the neighbourhood. all just standing there, fucking the dog. i wonder about the folks that supposedly manage the safety of this place, when they have to be asked to do something about a fucking live wire, dangling onto the sidewalk. i cyncally wonder if this had been the ritzy shaugnessy neighbourhood, how differently such a situation might have played out.

5. there's a spider living on the corner of the door frame to my room. she's been there for a few days now. she scared me at first, even though she's just a tiny black thing. still - she's ugly and different looking. and so i perceive that as a threat/fear. instant reaction - i want to get rid of her. then i think - why? just coz looking at her bothers me? and so ... i leave her there. why not respect her for what she does? after all she has a role to play in the food chain.

6. do you know that more than 50 % of information you receive about a person you meet is non-verbal? know what i hate about george bush? i have finally figured it out. its simple, really. and has nothing to do with ideology. its the incongruence between his verbal and non-verbal communication. it casts him in a suspicious light.

7. i hate the phone. it invites misunderstandings.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

guest blogger - my stuffed moose

Sunday, November 26, 2006

lonely existentialist moose

moose seeks partner with fresh perspective to search for answers to the universal questions in life. (deep breath here) primarily - what is the plural of me? is it meese? meeses? mooses? moosi?
seriously! hell is not knowing the plural of yourself. how can i find love if i can't put an appropriate label on 'we?'
(sigh.) exploring the greath truths ... that's what counts in this life.


Friday, November 24, 2006


Friday, November 24, 2006

why, oh why, does it seem so hard to tell the difference between the despair that's placed before us to tell us to change course and the despair that's an inevitable part of transition?
there's a saying that tells us 'things seem darkest before the dawn.' in fact, its cliche to say so. so ... ? why don't we ever get it?

why do we find it such a challenge to know? to know, the difference.
time and time again, when i face my old friend despair,
i fear i do not know him. after all these years, i still don't know.

other questions i have ...

why do people say such horrid things to each other over the phone?
do we get an emotional hard-on when we hang up in someone's ear?
why do humans inflict suffering upon each other? what's so fucking entertaining about it?
why is each one of us our own worse enemy? why?
what's wrong with having an addiction? really, i'm asking.
i mean, do you still villify a junky, even if s/he is a functioning junky?
why should i give up my addiction just to make society feel better?
society does not give up its addiction to greed and power and stuff to make me feel better.
so ... ? what gives?
it seems to me like some fucking control thing.
what are we, living in a fucking borg cube, or somethin?


Thursday, November 23, 2006

stephen harper's a fucking imbecile

Thursday, November 23, 2006
and so is anyone who voted for him!

sheesh! will we ever learn?


poodles on speed

i feel like i'm riding a poodle on speed these days. things that define my life seem to change on a friggin dime these past few days. whew! i am really getting too old for this shit. really, i am. well, i sure am glad i DON'T have a daughter. my son, he's a good boy who doesn't cause his dear old mum - me - any worry or stress. i know that daughters are a right pain in the ass. i can say that - i'm one. ha ha. i'm sorta being flip here, so don't go all postal on me and think i'm expressing misogyny. i'm just being my usual sharp-tongued self.

and that takes me nicely into my next point. i really need to work with machines and software, NOT humans. so - yeah, on this, my 15th or so day here, i find myself in school once again - i start monday. OMFG am i serious? yes. yes i am. oh the life of a student. like, as if i haven't experienced it enough! i know i know. i'm certifiable. but ... it works for me.

ok. now seriously. some philosphizing. about people. about humanity. how much seems like too much to expect from others? do we just assume everyone is a disappointment, a selfish, egocentric prick out for him/her self? that seems rather bleak, negative and hostile. that seems like the perspective of someone who fought the battle and lost. doesn't it? and now - the sticky part. what about siblings? do we expect anything from them? i'm inclined to think so. does that make me naive, or old-fashioned? thinking that i should still approach life with some faith in humanity? i hope not.

i'm curious. what does anyone who reads this, think? and ... does it matter? does it change anything - the way we approach and view other humans? i'm inclined to think it has a big impact on how we, as individuals get perceived by others ... by society at large. really.

image originally uploaded by crayzy ray, flickr creative commons

YA LIKE IT? (that's really more of a rhetorical question, btw)


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

addiction - part 2

Wednesday, November 22, 2006
so i read this bullshit article that talked about some fucking study, published in some medical journal about how this so-called safe injection site is helping junkies and even helping them to quit. ya, well we can make the numbers say whatever we want, right? RIGHT. true, really.

i am just disgusted at the way politicians and other power trippers use the downtrodden and street urchins to fulfill their own egoistic purposes. lets just be honest with ourselves. we don't give a shit about others. we don't wanna help anyone, but ourselves. plain and simple. we all have an agenda. anyone who claims not to is full of shit - either lying or just incredibly naive.

i cannot juxtapose the incredulity of extreme opulence and extreme poverty, side by side in the strangest ways. for instance, a homeless person, with all his belongings in a shopping cart living on the street, and sleeping just beneath a large billboard-type sign that advertises condos in yaletown for $300,000. or another homeless person, curled up and sleeping just beneath a very opulent window display at the hudson's bay - velvet, taffeta, scarlett o'hara-type posh settings. does the existence of the very rich mean that the very poor will also be? i think so. WE HUMANS ARE SO FUCKING SELFISH!

so ... what does this have to do with addiction? i dunno. something. tho i have done a shitty job of connecting the two here in this post. not that anyone reads this anyway. you're all so busy convincing yourselves that you are good people, to take the time to read about the shitty side of life. and by that i mean the truly gritty, really down and out stuff. that i walk by each and every day. that most of us don't care about, as we wrestle our way thru the stores, beating people away from the latest XBOX or whatever stupid thing everyone is convinced they MUST buy! oh ... whatever.

just ... one more thing. before you judge an addict, try to truly understand that person. an addict doesn't wake up one day and say, 'gee, i feel like i wanna be an addict today! lets get started.' its definitely not like that. make an effort to find out what it is like. just to give you an idea ... living with an addiction is like trying to swim with a 50 lb lead weight attached to your foot. and you're not sure how it got there. and you don't have the key to unlatch it from your leg.

my message is i guess, don't judge. understand.

... to be continued ...


a guppy in a bowl of dopamine?

"i'll have one of what she's having, please!!!"

i looks pretty laid back in this pic, don't i? well, lol ... i sure feel anything but that today! i feel sort of uptight ... sort of disappointed that i am not really anything more than a fucking RENT PAYMENT to my so-called brother. yes, my brother is charging me rent! and he fucking monopolizes the TV (my viewing preferences are never sought), the phone, the temperature (he likes it at 25 degrees C - way too hot for me, a polar bear), and even tells me that i can't have my fucking windown open. he never washes his hands, tho always insists i do so ... apparently i am the only one with germs? no ... apparently he is the only one that's a FUCKING ASSHOLE! a bloody fucking selfish and egocentric prick that thinks only of himself! ARE ALL FIRST BORNS THAT WAY??

i really don't give a shit if he's dying. he's crying with his belly fully - 2 TVs, complete with satellite hook-ups, an $870/month 2 BR apt for himself (on his welfare income, no less) and a car ... and he's a 2 pack/day smoker ... and he's crying to me that he needs the fucking money for his car insurance? yeah ... when i'm already living on one meal per day, no internet connection (he has one, never uses it and forbids me to also ... nice, huh?) and virtually no spending money of any kind. HE'S A FUCKING SHIT HEAD. and life pretty much sucks today. but ... yeah yeah ... don't sweat the small stuff, right? i know i'm still luckier that most. too bad for the asshole, he doesn't recognize that, too.

selfish, egocentric people make me want to scream. he has succeeded in reducing me to tears once today over this fucking rent bullying. i know i know he will bully our mother for the money next. PRICK! well, fuck all humans today. if this is how disappointed i feel about humanity ... just imagine how disappointed g-d must feel.

it boggles my mind.

well, i will just think of guppies
swimming in dopamine.
and that will hafta make me laugh.

here's something else ... herbie (remember him?) on acid

cool, huh?


Monday, November 20, 2006

heaven's breath

Monday, November 20, 2006
i sometimes feel it -
heaven's breath,
breathing down on me
miniscule, yet monumental
all at once

a conundrum
of major proportions,
heaven's breath -
sometimes so brilliant
it leaves me wanting for air,
sometimes so despairing
it sucks the life from my blood

can you feel it?
i don't suppose you can ...
its there, pressing
heaven's breath - pressing
all the foolish WORDLY resistance
from my aorta,
from my carotids

heaven's breath oozes
from the sky -
cotton batton dreams
sail on each whisper
of inspiration, of expiration
to this meager, and vulnerable soul.

image: me, taken on the greyhound bus, somewhere between calgary and the okanogan


Sunday, November 19, 2006

waiting psyches - no pics

Sunday, November 19, 2006
ugh! i hate 'em. all those waiting minds. just ... waiting. with varying leves of emotion. yeah. well, that's what i get for going downtown right in the midst of the santa clause parade and grey cup sunday (when BC is vying for the grey cup!). a sea of people lined the streets. a sea of waiting people. with waiting children. for my poor, battered and oh so tired psyche, it felt all too much to bear. i just wanted to cry. could i just go somewhere ... ? anywhere .... ? where i didn't hafta feel the overwhelming presence of OTHERS!??

i need to schedule a visit to the beach sometime soon. i have yet to make my way to the west side of downtown van, where the beaches wait for me. i need to get there. i also need to get a friggin job. i hate this constant starting over i seem to do every few years. why why why do i possess such a restless spirit? it sometimes feels as though all this material bullshit we need to survive in the world ... it feels as though all that shit shackles my spirit. y'know? it feels that way. stuff, money and stuff acquisition make this world so unpleasant and hostile. GREED. it just sucks. for everyone. even those who happen to HAVE.

its funny, this city. you have gastown - a great oldish sorta section of the downtown that one could think of as the 'old town.' quaint. touristy. (read: rip-off prices at all the little shops there). middle and high class, for sure. and then, one only need cross cordova and voila. presto chango - one finds oneself in the slummy part of downtown. just like that. sort of like our very own platform 9 and three-quarters. cool, huh? NOT.

i can barely believe i am taking all this so well. by all this i mean being here, while M. is not. its exhausting, in a way. you never really realize how it works, when you marry someone and are with them for many years. you never really realize the way in which the two spirits sort of feef from each other. and now ... distance and two time zones separate us. and it feels .... wierd. i feel like part of my SELF has gotten amputated. honestly.

and several days have passed since i have had a really stimulated, reciprocal, intellectual conversation with another human. i have also felt sort of ... afraid of connecting to the world at large via the internet sometimes. just ... because ... well, my pysche's energy reserves feel desperately low. and to connect myself to the world at large like this ... well ... i don't feel the same intense compulsion i did before arriving in vancouver. wierd. well, not really. adjustments take energy. it just about sucking the life fore outta me. and ... also the very real possibility that M and i will not see each other until 2007. YIKES. i hate that thought. my birthday ... winter solstice ... our anniversary ... all may pass without me being able to even touch him - my M.

i dread the thought.

that's all.

sorry - no pics because this fucking shitty wireless network i'm on is FUCKING SLOW! UGH!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

get your umbrella outta my face!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
urgh. yeah. its raining. like ... a rain forest sorta rain. woah. and well, some people need to learn umbrella ettiquite in this town! oh well, not to sweat the small stuff, right? its all good.

um, yeah. it is, now that i find this place. wooweee. kewl. its like a neat little den - like a vapor den. remember watching sherlock holmes and seeing watson find him in an opium den? it looks all cosy like that in here. and this device called a volcano, made in germany, wow ...! its way cool! i DO love this town!

well, things change, but never the DTES (downtown eastside) of Vancouver. that famous corner of Hastings and Main exists here in this little section. and its vibrant ... colourful ... alive. oh yeah. at all times of the day and night pretty much. the Safe Injection Site looks like its aged more than its 3 years, lemme tell ya. yeah - well, junkies tend not to respect property very much. what's my first clue? well maybe its that huge board, covering what used to be a large, oh so large picture window. and ... you can look inside the place and see they had to begin constructing a new exit vestibule. hmmm ... i wonder if the feds still think that's a worthwhile venture? well, i suppose vancouver officials hope to keep this place open til the olympics are done. can't have the olympic public seeing the open drug trade, and etc here in vancouver, now can we?
well, those street junkies are sure wily. yeah - every day they have this huge sort of flea market, right on the side walk outside 25 E. Hastings. just the street dudes and what they have managed to find-steal-whatever. you know what they say - one man's trash, another man's treasure! enterprising, to say the least. well, its necessity being the motherhood of invention, ain't it?

yeah. coz its not like anyone else other than themselves is gonna look after things, is it? that's sort of the impression one gets, walking west on hastings, toward cambie st. yes, when you are walking in what most of the world classifies 'a great place to live' and you see a RAT on the sidewalk, you wonder. you wonder, just what the fuck is going on. and then it occurs to you - its a great place to live, only for certain individuals. yes yes. junkies live the results of their own choices, for sure. but ... compassion? or do we have criteria for that, too? and when when when will we LEARN. THE WAR ON DRUGS IS NOT WORKING!!! when? soon, i hope.

umbrella photo originally uploaded by louru


Sunday, November 12, 2006

quick post, no pics

Sunday, November 12, 2006
tastey news bits
did you know that death row inmates have myspace pages? and, well, of course they don't ADVERTISE the fact that they live on death row. hmmmm ... scary. and, did you hear about the family that's suing greyhound for damages after a sanitary tank got emptied on the highway on the family's SUV. YUCK! can you say ... e coli ... c diff ... and all kinds of other ICKY BUGS??? guess who's buying a new family vehicle?

a note for M
moose tried to undress himself again last nite, of course. i had to fasten the belt to his leather jacket. naughty moose ... :^B ... truly, i have this feeling that moose wants to somehow plot his way to those 'sexy boy' leather pants hanging on the doorknob of my new bedroom.

the radio's playing jewel, and i'm having an emotional orgy with her voice and the enrgy of her song. she asks "do you love me like i love you?" and darling i smile because i need not ask you this question. i know. i know the answer. i feel your absence. not just as a loss or silent aching. but i feel the entity that connects us - love. it burns brightly. i treat moose like he's holding a piece of your soul inside him.

about war and remembering our soldiers
i happened on the remembrance day service yesterday at the cenotaph in downtown vancouver. a sea of people, as far as the eye could see - all around victory square, all along cambie, hastings, and that little side street on the western edge of victory square whose name i cannot remember. anyway - the psychic wave from this gathering of 10,000 people just flooded me. it felt - overwhelming. but in an okay way. i could feel the intense emotion in the crowd. since i'm on the topic of the military, i will just say i think its pointless to vocalize opposition to current military campaigns. its like a zero sum game. what's the point? what does it accomplish?

i suppose those who oppose iraq and afghanistan don't consider the folks who sacrifice themselves to a military career. well, y'all should, y'know. ya should. i can say this because i opposed the invasion of iraq this time around. but, several years later and many lives lost and broken, does it matter? not really. its like protesting against the softwood lumber deal or free trade. futile. and i wonder, what value do opposers place upon military service and sacrifce? just wondering. perhaps it would make a difference of opposers channelled their energies of frustration and despair into constructive causes, like writing letters to soldiers, sending them care packages, or just taking some time to visit the cenotaph in your own town. SPREAD SOME POSITIVE ENERGY is what i'm saying.

pink luvs vancouver
i love this city. love it. have i told you, i feel as though i've come home? i went wandering again down east hasting. and i found a cool market grocery store. and just when i began to pine away for my reusable canvas shopping bag, this cool store had the for sale - tres cheap! yeaaay. and so i filled the bag with all kinds of good things. yum. i'm glad i remembered to pack my umbrella - we love rainfall warnings here, don't we?

the spirit of vancouver fills me. its verdant and lush, damp and cool like a rainy fall day. its hot chocolate at 4 am in at the wireless internet cafe downtown. its the tree outside my bedroom window with orange leaves AND succulent green buds. its screeching seagulls searching for their lost mates. its those steep hills that leave me almost breathless. its the high i feel just breathing in the air and considering all the amazing possibilities. its shiny, wet holly bushes, complete with lovely red berries. its sheets of rain puddles cascading along the slopes of the back lanes. its the towering old evergreens - not just the kind with those tiny needles, also the kind with cypress-like leaves. its the pittering tap of the raindrops against the side of the building that lulls me to sleep in mid afternoon. its shopping for fruit and vegies on the sidewalk in november. its a sea of umbrellas coating the sidewalks.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

today today today

Saturday, November 11, 2006
the separation
i felt a vital piece of my heart rip away as the bus started up and began slowly backing out of the terminal. an intense feeling of incompleteness squeezed my gut really tightly. i felt mildly nauseous. the full impact of my departure for vancouver hit me square in the gut the moment i lost my view of M. i felt simultaneously silly and unapologetic, at my silent tears and stifled weeping, as the bus slowly meandered its way thru the ghetto of downtown winnipeg and westward. i clutched my stuffed moose tightly. the moose M. gave me for my 2005 birthday. i treat this moose as if some very dear and fragile piece of M. heart lies buried deep inside. i tell myself it does. ok. 'nuff of that topic. *sniff*

the trip
W, my brother - the family gypsy, if ever we had one - told me to expect a crowd on this bus. in anticipation of the 'long weekend.' well, long because remembrance day - a statutory holiday - fall on a saturday and so most businesses will close on monday. anyway - grrr. far too many people. with all the psychic energy in the bus i felt as though it would explode. or perhaps my neural pathways - from absorbing it all. how do i turn that off? where's the switch for this ... this ... sensing ability i seem to have? i have yet to find it ... its debilitating sometimes. I HATE CROWDS! the consolation lay in the fact that i still had weed left and that i managed to get a seat very near the back of the bus. it seems all the potheads gravitate toward the back, doesn't it?

so ... as our bus set out on the trans canada highway on a sunny thursday morning, a set to work getting my nimble fingers a rollin! hee hee. a girl's gotta be prepared, y'know. i am not one of those losers that rolls reefers pathetically with no filter (urg - pet peeve - joints with no filters ... !!). anyway ... first stop brandon. i have no mental appetite. however my gut feels like it will inwardly collapse if i don't put food in it. so - one plate of greasy fries and gravy. oh yeah - like THAT'S food! ha ha. well, i ate enuf to prevent my from passing out and then went a walked around the block with my stinky little cigarettes.

the bus - its the fucking milk run! urgh - the driver pulls into ever forsaken little prairie village - you know place that comprise a grain elevator, a fuel station and a general store. yeah - so the driver pulls into each small fucking town ... dotted just off the highway at 15 or 20 minutes intervals. oh and he just goes in - blabs to the store clerk for 5 minutes and then comes out. no parcel to pack. no passenger. TIME WASTER!

ok. miracle upon miracle. we finally get out of manitoba. the only thing worse that being in manitoba is being in saskachewan. a giant fucking ping pong table. honestly - no bloody trees! and - FUCK its friggin -19 degrees celcius. yes - in regina. and swift current. and moose jaw. FUCK. COLD. oh burrrrrrrrrr that is COLD. and it feels colder still at 0215, when the bus driver wakes you from a delirious sleep to announce everyone must get off the bus while he refuels it. urgh ... it sucks. but -- may as well smoke another reefer!

ok ... so i had fucked up dreams - like wierd shit that i don't remember enuf to recall but sufficiently to know it seemed psychedelic. and also i kept waking up half asleep with this feeling that i had ... um .... like somehow become detached from my body. wierd. like - the sudden realization that i couldn't really feel myself. ha ha. anyway ... crossed over to alberta sometime in the wee hours of the morning. and calgary at the obsene hour of 0630. fortunately, i know where the staff smoking picnic table is, in some nearby yet obscure part of the terminal grounds. it'd snowed there. the snow looked oh so white. divinely white. of course ... i don't hafta tell you what i did there, do i? HAHA.

urgh .... the bus leaving calgary fucking filled up. and yes, i actually had to tolerate someone sitting beside me. it turned out pretty cool. i had forgotten what a great girlfriend a gay man makes. we smoked together of course. and we had lunch together at subway - yes i finally did eat. but only half a sub. the trip thru the mountains - its always nicest early in the morning. the sun shone down on the trees, giving their icey-silver coating a golden hue. ever see golden silver? on a tree kissed by jack frost? its breath taking. the mountains hulked, as they always do. and the canyons and crevices and deep rolling hills folded into one another. and the crystal green streams that trickle and sometimes rush down the mountain sides. thar's lime in them thar hills!

i found most annoying the chap sitting in a neighbouring seat, telling us tripped out pot heads shit like, 'oh this is where that tour bus when over the rail' ... at a deep canyon that brooded along side the highway. a highway with near hair pin turns. oh - did i mention the weather conditions in the moutains? snowy. like - poor visibility and black ice snowy. like - 'oh is that the ass end of the bus i'm on sliding and skidding slightly?' like - 'holy shit! look at that semi truck (with long trailer attached) laying on its side on the highway, at the foot of the mountain.' the bus driver surely earned his wages those few hours. whew.

the bus remained fucking packed basically most of the way. i lost my cool gay man girlfriend at revelstoke - that's where he got off the bus. and i managed to avoid a seat mate the rest of the way. still - all that energy in that bus coach. too fucking much. and my arm -- my arm that's not supposed to be broken because there's nothing on the xray except the scar of my growth plate - my arm fucking hurt! urg. possibily it had something to do with the numerous times i had to lift that fucking heaving back pack with my 'sore' arm. i dunno. well, eventually 600 mg of ibuprofen helped it. well made the pain bearable enuf that i lost the urge to just chew the fucking thing off its socket!

pathetically, i could not bring myself to leave my beloved moose unattended on the seat. so i stiffed him in my pack and brought him with me. sad sad sad, huh? well, whatever works i guess. possibly i'm just a child at heart? yeah - and also a junkie. when i smoked my last joint in kamloops i immediately set my mind to how i would go about hunting some down upon my arrival. hey - at least i'm honest about it. most people deny it - can't admit they're junkies.

yeah ... so ahhh ... by the time we got to kamloops it felt like having entered the garden of eden. green, warmer. even a little sun. nice. i saw a couple get on the bus. it reminded me of what i missed. especially when she laid her head on his shoulder and snoozed. especially then. the bus, of course, got behind schedule. only 1 hour. no biggie. and still it left plenty of time to go carousing around the usual spots for weed. oh i hate buying dope on the street. oh especially at nite. i almost laffed out loud when the dude asked me 'are you a cop?' haha ... nah man. i'd never pass the fucking drug test! lol.

arrived and ... !
oh yes. it was a colourful walk my son and i had in the downtown east side at around 0200 hours. colourful, indeed. i made a point of telling my son that's not how i normally make my purchases. however, desperate times .... [you know the rest, i'm sure]. sounds like funnnnnn, don't it? lol. oh ... and its hasn't stopped, yet. as of this writing its 16:11 and i have yet to sleep. not feeling like it yet. i do that. in a new place. especially without M. don't like sleeping. it feels to .... empty and lonely.

well, wireless internet cafes rule. especially those opened 24 hours. oh yeah. guess where i'm gonna hang out? ha ha. well, not ALL the time. i gotta get me a job on tuesday. and ... oh i know i know i owe about 5 or 6 emails ... yes - i have not forgotten. please allow me to catch up with myself. please.

i feel good here. well, aside from the absence of that a vital piece of my heart. along with that core part of my soul. its ... its ... still in winnipeg. with its most gentle and beautiful keeper. but you know something? M, darling, you're here with me too - i see you so much in our boy. and me, too. in many ways.

thinking of L. makes me sort of think of my own mum. and now that i'm here with L. i just don't get mother. and how she so easily can unload her burdens on her kids. in fact her interaction these days consists mainly of playing broken wing. most parents go out of their way to avoid burdening their kids. mother, on the other hand, prefers to manipulate her children into staying close by playing broken wing. its not working. for me, its not. sounds harsh, perhaps. but not if you know the whole story. and ... in the end, regardless of what i vent here, i remain distantly respectful. i have come to realize the distance - its a requirement for the respect to remain. that's where i'm at. at this point, its the best i can do.

i'm spent.

[fotos: (1). M - taken the day before i left winnipeg. (2). & (3). the view from 'my room.' the picture does not do it justice. it looks too one dimensional - maybe a flash next time?]


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

when i am an old woman ...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

when i am an old woman ...
i shall wear shocking pink

with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me
and I shall spend my pension on frappucinos and reefers
and satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
i shall sit down on the pavement when i'm tired
talk nonsense to strangers and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
i shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

you can wear terrible shirts and socks that don't match
and eat three pounds of curry at a go
or only bread and a pickle for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
but now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
we will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
but maybe i ought to practice a little now?
so people who know me are not too taken aback, surprised
when suddenly i am old and start wearing my shocking pink pants.

poem - originally written as
when i am an old woman i shall wear purple
by jenny joseph
image from geekphilosopher


Sunday, November 05, 2006

the lust of babel

Sunday, November 05, 2006
i have spent some time here and there reading the bible. now that i see its stories without any filter, i feel awestruck at the wisdom of ages and the timeliness of the stories and issues contained within the great book. of late i have felt this nagging, lamenting hunger. and i turn to the wisdom of the great book for clarity. or to the wsdom of the great ancient sages and philosphers. to feel a little more filled with light. instead of doubts. and laments. for, studying the words of the wise invokes self-reflection.

the tower of babel strikes me today. the story, i mean. how fitting for today's world. pride goeth before a fall, and all that. believing onself divine ... or almost equal to g-d. worshipping and idolizing one's own product before all else. nietzsche said,
"in architecture, the pride of man, his triumph over gravitation, his will to power, assume a visible form. architecture is a sort of oratory of power by means and form."

indeed. and, as i look to the skyline it strikes me that the pursuit of architecture ~ seems lust-filled ... as in the lust with which one pursues an imminent carnal orgasm. we rape the earth in our quest to transcend our own finiteness. as if stone, glass and steel can provide the tools one needs to erect a conduit to the divine. but, we forget ... that it does not and cannot. yet, we cannot resist the urge to idolize ourselves. and so we continue to lust after the orgasm of architechtural triumph. not just one ... but many. and desire ... fuels our lust. and, lust brings ignorance ~ spiritual blindness. and we lose sight. and we lose understanding. of ourselves. of what surrounds us. particularly each other. and so ... we live out the fable of babel in our own modern-day existence.


the blue, or red, pill?

the following, an excerpt from matrix philosophy and written by oliver mcadoo, illustrates beautifully the notion that the manner in which one seeks and views truth colours the lenses through which he engages life.

mcadoo seems to think that taking the blue pill will lead one to the truth - eventually. i disagree. i’m not convinced. here’s my reasoning. i think that the blue pill represents learned helplessness: cultural/religious/sociologic repression of certain types of knowledge. DENIAL. with a view to order. with a view to maintaining the status quo. truth cannot exist where repression of knowledge does.

at any rate, the ideas, concepts and reasoning contained within the following excerpt make it worth the read.

remember, my friend … knowledge = empowerment

In the Matrix, which pill would you take, the red or the blue?

The question of which pill to take illustrates the personal aspect of the decision to study philosophy. Do you live on in ignorance (and potentially bliss) or do you lead what Aristotle called ‘the examined life’…

The Matrix is a film filled with religious and philosophical symbolism. The plot supposes that humans live in vats many years in the future, being fed false sensory information by a giant virtual reality computer (the Matrix). The perpetrators of this horror are machines of the future who use humans as a source of power. Humans are literally farmed.

The central character of the film, Neo, is presented to us in the opening part of the film as a loner who is searching for a mysterious character called Morpheus (named after the Greek god of dreams and sleep). He is also trying to discover the answer to the question “What is the Matrix?”

Morpheus contacts Neo just as the machines [- posing as sinister ‘agents’ - ] are trying to keep Neo from finding out any more. When Morpheus and Neo meet, Morpheus offers Neo two pills. The red pill will answer the question “what is the Matrix?” (by removing him from it) and the blue pill simply for life to carry on as before. As Neo reaches for the red pill Morpheus warns Neo “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

The film as a whole and especially the choosing scene is deeply compelling. Why is the choice between what you believe you know and an unknown ‘real’ truth so fascinating? How could a choice possibly be made? On the one hand everyone you love and everything that you have built you life upon. One the other the promise only of truth.

The question then is not about pills, but what they stand for in these circumstances. The question is asking us whether reality, truth, is worth pursuing. The blue pill will leave us as we are, in a life consisting of habit, of things we believe we know. We are comfortable, we do not need truth to live. The blue pill symbolises commuting to work every day, or brushing your teeth.

The red pill is an unknown quantity. We are told that it can help us to find the truth. We don’t know what that truth is, or even that the pill will help us to find it. The red pill symbolises risk, doubt and questioning. In order to answer the question, you can gamble your whole life and world on a reality you have never experienced.

However, in order to investigate which course of action to take we need to investigate why the choice is faced. Why should we even have to decide whether to pursue truth?

The answer in short, is inquisitiveness. Many people throughout human existence have questioned and enquired. Most of them have not been scientists or doctors or philosophers, but simply ordinary people asking ‘what if?’ or ‘why?’ Asking these questions ultimately leads us to a choice. Do you continue to ask and investigate, or do you stop and never ask again? This in essence, is the question posed to Neo in the film.

So what are the advantages of taking the blue pill? As one of the characters in the film says, “ignorance is bliss” Essentially, if the truth is unknown, or you believe that you know the truth, what is there to question or worry about?

By accepting what we are told and experience life can be easier. There is the social pressure to ‘fit in’, which is immensely strong in most cultures. Questioning the status quo carries the danger of ostracism, possibly persecution. This aspect has a strong link with politics. People doing well under the current system are not inclined to look favourably on those who question the system. Morpheus says to Neo “You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”

The system also has a place for you, an expected path to follow. This removes much of the doubt and discomfort experienced by a trailblazer.

Another argument on the side of the blue pill is how does anyone know that the status quo is not in fact the truth? The act of simply questioning does not infer a lack of validity on the questioned. Why not assume that your experience is innocent until proven guilty? Just accept everything?

So if the arguments for the blue pill are so numerous, why take the red pill? Why pursue truth even though it may be unpalatable and the journey to it hard? In the film, Neo risks death to escape the virtual reality and discovers a brutal reality from which he cannot return. As he discovers the trouble with asking questions is that the answers are not necessarily what you want to hear.

To justify taking the red pill we might ask what is the purpose of an ignorant existence? Further still, what is there in merely existing? Simply existing brings humans down to the level of objects; they might have utility or even purpose, but where is the meaning? Existence without meaning is surely not living your life, but just experiencing it. As Trinity says to Neo, “The Matrix cannot tell you who you are.”


a major achievement for democracy

sadam's guilty verdict. does anyone else out there appreciate the hollow irony of a death by hanging sentence serving as a major achievement for democracy in a country riddled with violence? what does bush-43 mean by democracy? he called iraq a democractic country. really? that's what we're calling it these days, when 50 or 60 citizens get brutally murdered? when ordinary citizens cannot really trust the police force, because of a raging infiltration by the militias?

ok. cause i thought its something else ... like CIVIL WAR! lets take a few steps back here. and ask ourselves. can democracy exist there? i mean, really? think ... think ... think ... before answering. i really believe its so complex - politics and society in that the middle east. the entire historical and present-day context we must consider when speaking of this region. the waters seem muddied indeed. what impact would leaving iraq have upon iran? upon gaza? upon israel? and what of staying? does iraq remain one homgenous society? or does it become a confederation of smaller states/cantons/provinces?

and we must always consider that the cultures of the middle east differ markedly from our own. i really believe in the mutual exclusivity, for societies, of fundamentally extreme religious beliefs and democratic principles of social inequality. i venture the assertion that societies such as iraq and iran differ from western societies in that they find themselves hundreds of years behind, in terms of social evolution. so, that said. can that region really become democratic, in the western sense of the word?

what constitutes democracy in any society? did we think south africa had democracy when apartheid remained in effect? likely not. so ... why does removing sadam and staging some elections create a democracy? did the democracies of canada and the usa evolve to their current states in 5 years? NOPE. so ... what's going in iraq? good question. but i doubt any of it constitutes a major achievement for democracy.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

a picture speaks 1,000 words

Saturday, November 04, 2006

i'm collecting the stories of injured soldiers.
many sources of information tell us about our fallen soldiers.
not-so-many tell us about those who have returned
from the battlefield with a permanent, life-altering injury.
i want to tell those stories.
for, i believe these soldiers, even though they live,
also gave their lives. i want to honour this.
if you encounter such a soldier's story
that you find particularly inspiring,
please share it with me ...
so i can honour the story and the individual.
i aim, with this project, to transcend
national borders, military campaigns, political lines
and, instead, focus upon the human element.

originally uploaded by violinsoldier


a leg, dancing on the plate

"whenever i look at my dinner tray, i can see my leg dancing on the plate."

she sobbed. until the pain pressed all the vibrancy from her soul. and the phantom pains. they began to resurface. i felt my spirit, inside my body ... wilting under the weight of her loss. her anger brought frightening and spiteful energy to the surface. it made her mean. i served her anyway. that's my job. and why wouldn't she feel mean? she just lost her right leg. below the knee. when i brought her tray to her bedside, and opened all the plastic containers. she would not eat. she sobbed. i could feel her spirit wilting inside.

no wonder the doc did not want to do rounds during her waking hours. no wonder he did not want to talk to her. its as though ... he could not face her. swirling in that energy realm. well, a nurse does not have that option. a nurse must march onto the battlefield. and serve. and give. and submit. she caused me such annoyance ... such grief ... even offended at times with her mean-ness of grief. still, i felt for her. and for her husband, who came to visit her daily, soo faithfully. one day he said to me ... 'i'm at a loss. i don't know what to do.' i felt it. i felt like i didn't either. i mean, psychologically, spiritually. but i could not say that, could i? i can't remember what i said exactly ... but i did impart some sort of encouragement ... wisdom. and, in the end we both understood her. her feelings. and ... in each our different ways, we loved her.

that's why i cannot nurse anymore. i love people - humanity - too much.


cpl paul franklin - a solider's story

The pain was excruciating.
He called it 'the most g-d awful pain you could ever imagine.'
'I've never felt anything like that and I would never give it to my worst enemies.'

and that's cpl paul franklin's description of what it felt like, when a suicide bomb in kandahar ripped off the greater part of his left leg and also ignited parts of his body. and ... after 26 surgeries, a double BKA (below the knee amputation), and several month of rehab, franklin walked on that stage, with his two prosthetic legs. he hobbled along, with his two canes, proudly wearing his uniform. and he touched the purest and most raw innard of my heart.

he denied claims that referred to him as 'hero.' he instead wishes glory for all the canadian troops fighting on the hindu kush ... and other places in afghanistan. he claims glory for himself only as a representative of canadian troops out there, fighting for canada, for what canadians hold dear. indeed, though he did not say, i would venture a guess he wishes glory for all soldiers - including the brits and americans in iraq.

paul franklin can walk only about 800 metres at a time. he doubts what he can do. he knows, in his heart of hearts, he will never run again. never run again with his 6 year old son. but, y'know something? he will try still. it touched me deeply - paul franklin touched me deeply - when he spoke of a promise made to his wife. 'i promised audra i would come home, no matter what.' and he recalls that thought keeping him from letting go, slipping away from living consciousness on the battleground, to the other side.

this man touched me. with what he said. they way in which he said it. and with his great big compassionate heart. it burst through the tv's photons. i could see it. feel it. touch it. cpl paul franklin burned with his positivism. with his bright light. and ... when asked his feelings about those who oppose the war in afghanistan, the wounded soldier gave a reply filled with wisdom, tolerance and love. and not whiney outrage, bitterness and intolerance.

it makes me think ... makes me appreciate my country.

ahhh ... my dear sweet canada -
a place which does NOT embody
the "for or against" philosophy.
tolerance ... they name is canada ... thy name is love.

[however could i think of leaving this place? my canada ... however could i think of leaving this country that my dad chose, that M chose - from the world at large they both chose canada. how could i leave? i do love it so ... even when i say i don't.]

ahh - but i digress ...

cpl paul franklin fought for what he believed in and lost his legs. instead of tending to the wounded soliders on the battleground, franklin will now live out his remaining career imparting this skill upon others. he will don that uniform ... that one that took his legs ... and teach other soldiers how to do what he did. medics - paramedics - embody even more divinity and grace than do nurses. press on, cpl franklin. you leave me in awe.

why do we find wounded soldiers so noble? is it because they gave a body part for their cause? is it because they laid their life down for the cause? perhaps its because they follow through upon what they believe? all of the above. and so ... heros abound. they surround us. and so? the biggest hero of all, here? the little 6 yr old boy - simon - who will never play run alongside his dad. and all the children who have given their dads to the cause. of war. of liberating. and relieving suffering.

thank you simon ... and all the children you represent.
you have given us more than you can imagine.

images originally uploaded by peejoe and limbic

its not quite remembrance day here
- that is november 11 -
but, i remember today. remember that,
many men and women wage war daily -
doing a thing i cannot.
we all serve humanity in different ways.
the way of a soldier ...
its a painfully ugly noble compassion.
and you, soldier, walk it.
i thank you
... i honour you ...
for walking the walk that i cannot.

the poppy - its for you.

image originally uploaded by kayodeok


Friday, November 03, 2006

still here because ...

Friday, November 03, 2006
bad weather in the columbia mountains means treacherous travel conditions in the mt passes, already some of the most dangerous stretches of highways in canada. soooo ... i'm here 'til the weather system passes thru that part of the columbia region - sunday or monday. i plan to use the extra time here to write a post about cpl paul franklin, a canadian soldier that lost his legs in afghanistan in a suicide bombing. he made a speech at a red friday rally and it moved me.

image originally uploaded by suckamc


i got restless again. and, well, i changed things. yet again. HA HA. ahh, y'all must be used to it by now. i promise though, not to change the urls anymore. i wanted this blog to have a plain look, since its the only one with the great pics. and the sidebar on this one is long enough. there's others. you can see 'em via my profile. oh, btw, i moved the political blog back here, from wordpress. just so y'all know. its now this. its just become easier to have everything in one place. i got my blogs the way i want 'em for the forseeable future.

if you can see yourself, you can help others. recognition of self in a looking glass and capacity for empathy seem related somhow. according to studies done with animals. chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins recognize themselves in a looking glass. monkeys, birds, and some cats/dogs see their reflection as another of their kind. interesting, huh?

why bush-43 won't let rummy and cheney go. well. its simple really. these two must remain in the bush cabinet because they serve as the most splendid scaegoats for bush-43. they have really, really come in handy these past many month, when the media has pounded the current administration for its incompetence in iraq. i had this ephiphany this morning when i read the president's quoted statement telling americans cheney and rummy would remain thru to the end of his term in office. why else would bush-43 refuse rummy's resignation? because its working for bush-43 to have rummy around, a villain we all love to hate. and surely anyone looks good - even dubya - alongside a man who shoots his friend in the face!

i'm leaving on a greyhound. yup. i'm taking the greyhound to the west coast. my bus leaves winnipeg tonight - just b4 midnight. and it arrives in vancouver sunday at 0800 - that's am. ugh. i'm 5'8 and all leg. like, my legs are loooooong. blood clot city, here comes pink. ok. well, that's the point. i'll just hafta duck out to smoke a splif at every single stop the bus makes, now won't i? gotta keep that circulation going. gotta prevent those blood clots. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

please feel free to publish pink's link. here it is. just so you know. i'm not hidin' out anymore. got nuthin' to hide from. so link away!

my recent posts. i know. i know. i got lotsa blogs and i'm hard to keep track of. yeah, well, try being married to me. M.'s forever telling me he can barely keep up with me. anyway. the "nightingale" blog is something i started to write about my nursing encounters. touching g-d has a post about letting go of our children - like, letting them grow up and into themselves. the "tales" blog has several new posts, one of the recent posts delves into addiction. the post, in this blog, just before this current post is part 2 of the life post.

whaddya think? just a small aside ... i toyed with the idea of starting a health file blog - like a place where i could post all this health information that's clogging up my neural pathways ... its all very useful info. but not doing much good rotting away inside my head. it would provide the answers to common and timely health concerns. like ordinary things such as heartburn, insomnia, or stuff about diseases or whatever. i don't profess to know everything. but i have collected a lot of health and medical intelligence over the years. it only seems appropriate to continue sharing it in some way. i will no longer have a license to practice nursing. but i can certainly share what i know with others - with y'all. does that sound like a dumb idea? maybe. but ... i'm gonna work on it. slowly though. for - i've found another distraction to write about.

image - night-time skyline of vancouver - originally uploaded by chris rae


assimilation and resistance

[this post is directed to the incredibly xenaphobic interviewee i saw on a CNN feature report. it is not - i repeat NOT - directed at americans in general. just to the man i heard on the screen. no offense intended - ok? just so you know.]

a man from georgia, on CNN, just told the reporter he thinks its awful that he has to choose a language in which to receive service. that man from georgia says the growing hispanic culture threatens the USA. oh pulleeeese! gimme a break. fuck - i'm disgusted when i hear about cultural encroachment in the USA. and some REDNECK spewing off some verbal diarrhea about the dangers of a bilingual society! fuck d'ya got stones in your heads?! perhaps ... perhaps ... you could get you're head outta your ass long enough to realize that losing that whole borg approach to culture could be good for america?

"you will be assimilated. resistance is futile"

d'yall really think that's a recipe for a healthy society? ok. so ... apparently you haven't heard about switzerland ... ? the folks there have no problems at all with polyglotism. in fact ... it makes them better humans! don't get me wrong - i agree wholeheartedly that illegal immigrants arriving in droves - in some places as many as 100 per day - puts huge financial, social, moral, emotional burdens upon those affected local economies. that said ... the aliens live among you DEAL WITH IT ... WORK WITH IT! embrace it!

so... you have a big problem with mexican aliens - actually you should think of them as refugees of poverty. and then ... hmmm. doesn't it ever make you think -- what can we do to alleviate poverty? to make it better for those people, where they originate, so they don't need to escape? i gotta tell ya ... its fucking repulsive to hear and see a white redneck on my tele screensaying to another human 'these aren't your schools, go home.'

it sorts reminds me of the nazi-like nationalism that rears its head from time to time in germany. they have xenophobes there, too. xenophobes. i know i know. it seems a tad judgemental. but ... i gotta say it. i gotta. i'm the daughter of an immigrant that lives in a country whose infrastructure and prosperity, immigrants built. i haven't forgotten that my dad arrived in this country 40 years ago with $35 dollars in his pocket and the clothes on his back ... that he never collected any sort of social security or unemployment insurance in his life ... that he always worked and paid taxes and still does, even in retirement.

i have not forgotten that new blood keeps old blood vibrant ... living ... honest.
how sad that others don't have such a perspective of humanity. american resistance?
resisting what? resisting humanity?

"you will be assimilated. resistance is futile"



[NB: addiction, part 2 still to follow.]

something occured to me just now, while watching the CBC morning news. the story of the violence in gaza caught my eye. the governing Hamas put out a call to all women to submit themselves as human shields. human shields - to protect the unworthy asses of those cowardly militants, hiding in a mosque. hiding in a holy place? putting civilians in harm's way? hiding from the israeli soldiers whom they have engaged in gun battle. cowardly ... ANYWAY... in all this, something ocurred to me. what? well, that any society becomes like this [ie like gaza] when they oppose something so much - they forget that for which they stand. y'know? when the entity you oppose becomes that which defines you, you have lost the struggle... and fallen toward darkness.

GRASP the light, people. lest the darkness swallows you whole.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

tossed into the deep end

Thursday, November 02, 2006
totally. that's what they do. in a defined sort of way. well, its how it feels to a rookie nurse. surrounded. by all the hostilities of disease. apathy. despair. urgency. i remember feel utter paralysis at bringing myself to do even the smallest, most inconsequential task. like changing a post op day 3 hip surgery dressing. i felt so anxious. so ... inadequate. not about my skill. just ... about my worthiness of assuming such a role. could i really pull this off? i secretly asked myself.

i remember feeling so scared. like treading in a dark and haunting unknown cave. and i could feel the loss. the despair. the rage. the sorrow. the apathy. the impatience. in my patients. in my colleagues. in visitors. in myself. though, i could not focus enough strength to reach out and touch these raw emotions in myself. or in my colleagues. i succeeded with my patients. and their families. at great cost, i think. it seemed so attractive and easy to develop and intimate psychic connection with patients. particularly the very ill. it drained me ... it infused me. i awed at the hand of death and its wake. looking back, i believe those times i saw the hand of g-d. felt his breath. that's what i think. still ... i felt so frighteningly humbled.

i eventually got paired up with a great veteran nurse. no-nonsense. a gifted teacher. a kick ass nurse. and a nice person. we clicked. she seemed to get me. gave me enough space to explore and assimilate my new role. but not so much i felt paralyzed by anxiety. my learning curve rose. it felt exhilarating. i felt so connected to the human collective. in a most primordial way. as i gained more and more independence the reality of workload, and its impact on nurses, cast its shadow upon my face. slowly. oh so slowly. i did not see it at first, focussing so much attention on the minutia and paraphenalia involved in executing the role of 'unit nurse.'

but just a week before christmas, we worked our way thru 3 code blues.
my patient died. a first for me. but ... not a last, for sure.


compassionate ephiphany

i felt the despair in that man's eyes. on the tv screen. i could see the resignation and sadness pressed into the weary creases of his face. failure of the surgical team to retrieve a clamp from his abdominal cavity wreaked devastating consequences on this man's health. the show, on TLC, documented cases such as this which occured worldwide. i felt the fear and loss thru the tv's photon screen. i did. and a feeling chilled my heart. i turned to M. and said quietly, 'i don't want to have that kind of power over people. i simply can't.' and that sentence embodies the reason why i cannot allow myself to return to the practice of nursing. and the battle i waged throughout my own practise of nursing. from day 1.

on my very first day as a graduate nurse - the day after i wrote my gruelling 6 hour nursing exam - i peed myself as i stepped off of the elevator and onto the 4th floor of the small urban hospital. my first day responsible for my own practise. sure, i would be paired up with a veteran nurse for several weeks. still, to have live-or-die control over another human. in such a hostile, technical environment. that a human could die at my hands ... by my own action ... as a result of a careless error, or worse yet - as a result of circumstances over which i have no influence at all!

how similar nursing and soldiering seem me now.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

words of my patients

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
  1. don't make me brave. just make it easy for me.
  2. am i gonna die?
  3. how long does mom have [to live]?
  4. i'm scared .... i'm dying you know.
  5. will it hurt?
  6. when will it be over?
  7. have you done this before?
  8. how do you nurses do this job?


addiction - part 1

- defined - physically and mentally dependent on particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without adverse effects; enthusiastically devoted to a particular thing or activity.

- word origin -
from an obsolete adjective/adverb, meaning bound or devoted; slaves given to roman soldiers to reward them for performance in battle were known as addicts. eventually, a person who was a slave to anything became known as an addict.

do a google search on the word "addicted" and the hits returned by the search engine include 'are you addicted to the internet,' the wikipedia addicted and drug addict entries , and a smattering of links providing the lyrics to a song of the same title.

the song reads like a lament of an addict. the song speaks to an entity that holds all the power, and entity from which one runs, but can never escape. the song speaks of the feeling of being unable to breath without a fix ... of being unable to see anything else. the song speaks to feeling stuck, to feeling haunted, to feeling lost and overpowered. any addict will know - the song truly speaks of addiction.

does this sound like a choice a person would make? does an addict really choose this life? i'm inclined to think its definitely NOT an informed choice. informed choice: knowing what the choice entails, its consequences, and side effects. does an individual contemplate the choice to use drugs in this way? its unlikely. and, this adds another dimension to the state of being known as 'addicted.'

society, the mass media in particular, villifies drug addicts. casting them in a blame-the-victim light. it seems to appeal to our initial intuitive reaction. after all, no one held a gun to their head and forced them to take the drug. still, this view of addiction simplifes the issue. addiction simply cannot be distilled down to such naive simplicity.

ask any street urchin who became homeless and street bound because of an addiction. ask him if he feels his life has settled where he envisioned it would. ask him if he feels happiness and joy in his life. perhaps his answer will shock you. perhaps you will not believe your ears when you hear the addicted street urchin wish for death.

i worked as a nurse, at north america's first official supervised injection site for illicit drug users. hundreds of nurses applied. and the applicants got distilled to 8 finalists. of which i happened to be one. in accepting this job offer, i unknowingly entered a dark and foreign world. of drugs. of desperation. of marginal lives. i felt excited at being a part of something so revolutionary, so new. i had no idea. no idea at all.


"yankee, go home"

that's the first english phrase my husband learned, as a young boy growing up in 1960s switzerland. he says he had no idea what it meant. just that its what people said back then. and still say, to this day. when i asked why, M. replied, "they never left after the 2nd world war!" indeed. ask any german citizen about this - they will utter expressly anti-american sentiments. i recall, about 7 years ago, having dinner with a relative visiting from germany. i'll never forget the tone of her voice when she told us, "germany is still an occupied land." i could her the angry despair in her voice as she said those words in her native german.

just thought i'd share an interesting, european perspective.


sacred life - part 2

still contemplating life. this time, though, its end. i'm thinking of issues that pressed themselves into my frail and weak soul. end-of-life issues. euthanasia. life support. resuscitation. futility of treatment. i've faced this stuff. in my career as a caregiver. and, now that i have achieved a safe distance from that role, i see things differently. and, i'm inclined to think it hinges upon the way i see suffering. read on. it will become clear. i hope.

terry schiavo. tracy latimer. do you remember these stories? different circumstances. different people. yet, the same issue at play in both cases - the value and definition of life. so ... know i ask. does cognition constitute life? does cognition serve as a criteria upon which medical treatment decisions get made? do only we only allow life for those individual with physical and cognitive capacity to contribute to society? who are we to decide such? to decide when death should visit? to decide when life should end?

the soul - its the spark of g-d. the breath of g-d, that gives us life, existence. its not ours to destroy. its not ours to create. its ours to honour. and love. in the face of disease. in the face of suffering. in the face of physical pain. in the face of emotional pain. in the face of psychic pain. does suffering have a purpose? i believe it does. and so ... it seems selfish, vain, short-sighted to end a life with a view to ending suffering. does death - a la assisted suicide - really end suffering? i don't believe it does. it merely makes it easier for those of us who remain standing.

i sympathize with michael schiavo. and with robert latimer. but ... i cannot condone the actions they took. it seems selfish, vain. it dishonours the sanctity of life. such actions put our own selfish fears and despair ahead of g-d. they reflect a lack of trust. in g-d. in ourselves. while i appreciate the cruel irony of removing a feeding tube from a woman who, indirectly, sustained brain as a result of an eating disorder, i cannot agree with the action taken. instead, i just think it underscores the importance of making treatment decisions with complete information, based upon reality, and not hope. [of course, hindsight is 20/20]. it also underscores the importance of each and every one of us making our wishes known to our loved ones - in writing. what treatment would we want to undergo? and what would we want to refuse? one of my assigments in nursing school involved writing my own living will. it had to be specific. and articulate. and it opened my eyes to a world i had never before entered.

with respect to the latimer case. i sympathize. i have felt the crushing despair of having a child whose care needs i cannot meet. of having a child who lacks the cognitive capacity to return my love. its worse than death, i believe. for, having a child like this involves loss of the child on so many levels. and never-ending, at that. still. it never, ever occured to us to kill our child, to take his life. i could not imagine snuffing out such a beautiful, angelic spirit. in fact, i am inclined to believe that 'special children' possess a special sort of divinity. their spirit - contains such frail and divine beauty. anyone who has worked with these kids will know what i mean.

and so ... i conclude that what the latimers did they did out of fear, out of despair, out of selfishness. do we ever want to destroy the thing we love the most? no. and that makes me think about a reminder that mayden, dearest provided us in her blog, today. yes, indeed. the difficulty in loving lies in knowing that the needs of your loved one takes precedence over your own.

image - a collage by moi!