20 Jul 2014, 2:47pm
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In Season and Out

I’ve been blogging for enough years to see the pattern that when someone who blogged daily drops back to weekly, or so, the writing’s on (or rather disappearing off) the wall.

That said, the pattern usually happens within the first 2 years of blogging. Most often with someone who blogs under a pseudonym and runs out of classified but not personally identifying things to say.

Typically people who quit (previously, invisible to the audience) wrote to navigate a personal crisis, often offering drama or upbeat pictures until the big reveal where they can go public that they are now in a new country, new career, new marriage. Then they disappear again since the distraction about and use of talking about something else is over. That makes sense. Why wouldn’t a purpose underlie communicating?

But then why wouldn’t communicating be a way of being, shooting the breeze, connecting without a motive past the talking? That works too. Not so crassly-based. Maybe that’s my countryside roots showing. Urban is on the clock and the clock on the money and there has to be a purpose and payoff, a ROI, but countryside is you’re here, I’m here, let us entertain one another. What are you about?

cucumber cling
Why not hang on? Why not quit? In the grand scheme, neither makes a whit of difference.

Quitting happens. It can be a good thing. To stop one thing allows room for something else.

Some of the people who quit sometimes regroup to re-amalgamate all their blogs to one site, often an author site, or for food bloggers, a bookselling site where they slowly erase content until a professional veneer remains that then peters off in a couple years or until the next cookbook.

In contrast since National Capital Freenet days I had a showcase area and a blog area and by the time I had multiple blogs I had an author site. I’m deviating from pattern enough that my blog demise isn’t fated from the signs.

The mushroom of writing is always going with me. Fruiting bodies pop up everywhere but it isn’t crisis-based.

Whether a season of leaf

of of lily, I am still continuing.

Maybe that’s madness.

The biggest laugh I ever had at my in-laws was one Christmas when my brother-in-law apologized for any extra cleaning incurred because of his kids being there and my mother-in-law said, no, no. I clean the kitchen that much whether it is used or not.

I busted some eardrums with my laughter. They looked perplexed.

To me to clean whether need or not struck me as utterly obsessive compulsive. Uncharacteristically comically, uneconomical and useless.

But it makes as much sense as for me to write whether a subject is driving it or not.

There’s always something to say. There’s always something to clean. It’s not what you do but what you’re doing makes you.

OC, I suppose that too is a pathological/illness-based filter. I seem to use that a lot.

What if my model is of flourishing rather than compensating? What would that change in perception?

1 Jul 2014, 9:50am
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Happy Canada Day

getting dog all decked out
[Archived crowd shot in 2010]

Let’s continue to make, moment by moment, choice by choice, the country of compassion, love, honouring the different but equal, supporting the vulnerable and protecting and improving the air, water and land. Boundaries about respect not defence. See how lives in parallel can coexist without necessitating destruction or disruption. Curious and kind, taking time. All the time we need.

P.S. And this from this year:
Celebration woven into the chainlink.

24 Jun 2014, 5:40pm


Our World Tuesday is not really remote from Ottawa but is a road trip.

The Fieldwork Project has been going a few years on the wild to the west of Perth near Maberly if that helps. Take an unmarked dirt road off Highway 7 beside a lake and stay on it until the banner appears. The site has more directions. There’s a parking lot and a guide in a box, a comments book, a deet and guide to recognizing and removing ticks.

And five new installations by: Geoff Wonnacott, Marc Walter, Lisa Cresky & Susie Osler, Barbara Cuerden & Karina Kraenzle, Zone Vert and Carey Jernigan & John Haney. I’m not sure we ended up looking at them all. Installations by their nature aren’t photographical. One was a nest as if made for a giant with clay shapes in it that you were to raid, take around and break to let the seeds in them be dispersed.

Another was a “hunting” hide with the other side being the daily gathering of a photo in a built environment of grocery store. What is our story of self, of “adventure”, of “normal” and “nature” and our relationship to them.

Forget scarves for trees, how about a glove? Yarn bombing as art? It begs the question of nature and this construct of non-nature defined by humans not being evidenced. Except the grove of pines were probably planted.

That’s by the lady who is often around the tiny fieldhouse at the base of the park across from the National Gallery.

There was a mini picket fortress as if by beavers.

There was a translucent shelter with a ladder in it that lights up at night. First off eye-catching.

Hm, wish it didn’t light up at night even if using solar power. Light pollution happens one lumen at a time and dark skies are so rare. It won’t make a difference in the grand scheme but if it is moving in the wrong direction or right direction? I don’t know if this was part of the design of provocative or my bent.

If it doesn’t matter, but how could it not? I feel guilty for any lights at night. Regularly think of doing a note campaign along the streets to slide under businesses that keep their storefront going continuously to let them know I won’t shop there if they do. If a store is open 24 hours, it is in use. Showing off merchandise in the off-chance someone see it and wants. I like the Paris model where metal doors come down over the store front. Closed is closed.

Ghost barn. I don’t know that I moved to new thoughts. My failing.

I can’t say I get art. I keep exposing myself to it but little catches.


There was a monument to the book and decay. Presumably erosion of information.

You can’t tell but the stack is donut-shaped, narrowing as it goes up. Books are starting to fall off.

From the site info:

The work is about stillness, and interiority, the kind that is particular to the book. In an era where bookishness seems to be disappearing, Speaking Volumes is a testament to the internal voice and its absence – and the persistent beauty of the material object – being slowly returned to its source.

The structure is a sentinel made of books, in a small glade in the pine forest at FIELDWORK. The free-standing structure is accompanied by fragments torn from the books themselves. Words and phrases are suspended from surrounding trees, like nearly perceptible whispers.

There’s the aim.

In the trees around it were torn out bits of paper fluttering on strings and tangling in the pine branches. A bit of a gee whiz factor. Words everywhere.

Except what I appreciate about a forest is the absence of words. Why bring plastics (a different exhibit) and things into a cathedral of light of trees?

Does intention make a difference in effect? Was the yarn and thread cotton or tiny plastics that will stay forever?

It is a claiming of space that is claimed by field and fence and road and broken patchwork of forest, but this time claimed to examine ourselves in with physical prompts?

Am I a philistine? I may have been in the wrong headspace. Some parts of me wall up into skeptical with visual art. Occasionally pottery or sculpture can break thru but mostly I want representative art. Which is at odds with liking representative poetry least of the kinds.

It may have been that I was more concerned with ticks and lyme disease and sun making skin cancer and deet causing other cancers and aerosol eroding atmosphere and amazed that aerosols are still marketed for any use. And caught up what I could see.

flowers are to art what ideas are to words.

What is ephemeral is more interesting than just its aspect of ephemeralness but all the complexity that fits in that life too. We have 172 species of dragonflies in Ontario. Each compound eye has about 30,000 tiny, six-sided lenses or facets. It may buzz past a Bladder Campion which is that inflated pouch of a roadside flower with white petals. Perhaps someone taught you to pluck it and snap it against the back of your hand. As it ages the seeds inside it turn from white to pale and darker purple then black-brown. They are “weeds” because they’ve been here centuries, but came from Europe.

13 Jun 2014, 5:28pm
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Did you come by when I was out?

Someone came knocking at my wee small door.
Someone came knocking I’m sure, sure, sure.
I listened, I opened,
I looked from left to right,
but not there was a stirring in the still dark night.

Walter de la Mare’s was one of the first poems I memorized and it still delights me. (He also wrote horror stories and was a bank official. How odd.)

For me, I’m still busy. G’wan over to pesbo to see the event de jour. And I speak more at twitter more than anywhere.

Life and I’ll surely slow down for a bit soon. Mid-next-week looks calm.

Once, several years ago, Colleen in Manitoba said summers are too busy with gardening to blog and I didn’t understand it at the time. Ah, I get it now.

Life maintenance and 1/4 of what you want to get done seems to take all the time. Pick and choose, pickaxe and chip.

We have garden beds. I have a largely functional shoulder, chest and back again. I’ve felt outright normal for about 2 weeks now. How extraordinary normal is.

Around the 25th I’ll have blocks of times to get thru all the back burner stuff for a while.

But on the other hand, after a 3 year wait, we have poppies blooming. Each of the last 2 years we were away when they were going to blossom. They take a long time in bud almost popping.

Heavy rains last night made them look far less like crepe paper than they did the day before. But even torn and a little past prime, they look fabulous. And more buds are thick with their own waiting.

2 Jun 2014, 11:45am
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This Absurdity fringe of gender

We are continually shifting definitions of gender, hopefully broadening to obsoleteness.

As the male silhouette shrinks, the female fashion trends move to leggings. As males wear bigger baggier pants, the females wear bigger pants to keep outlines distinct. Why do males hold themselves into a narrower subset of colors, fabrics, patterns of cuts and narrower set of haircuts? Why does such nonsense such as this 50 reasons to push for equality and notice it isn’t here yet.

Gender is presented to us as caricatures of wide-shouldered, square jawed men cloth-covered neck to ankles, women displaying more skin, wearing heels and lipstick and big hair.

I doubt the majority wear those on special occasion. People not in ads, not on tv, not in movies, not in cartoons, in the daily dress more androgynously. The majority of the time we aren’t abraded acutely by gender. Most of the time we walk about freely, evening mingling among all the gender spectrum because it is not relevant.

That is a gift horse with one bad tooth. There are still patterns. Females are more interrupted, are less likely to be boss, and all the etc you know. There’s always going to be something.

Oriah wrote in part,

Several people wrote to tell me I was making myself tired by acknowledging this condition, suggesting that I simply keep saying to myself, “I am not tired. I am full of energy.”

Now, I know that how we view conditions- both inner and outer- profoundly impacts our experience. But I was tired- not dying, not angry about being tired, not panicked or catastrophizing in any way. Because I could acknowledge I was tired, I went to bed early.

What bothers me about this so-called positive thinking is that it assumes that all thoughts of what is, when what is does not meet our ideals, are negative.

Although she was talking about caregiving to her father, she also puts her finger on something that transfers.

#YesAllWomen gets framed as complaining, instead of action, as if words were not also gestures of action.

#YesAllWomen gets framed as making generalizations, even when it is very specific to one person and one person at one moment.

It gets framed as making self into victims and blaming males and therefore discouraging unity by setting up him and us camps which perpetuates the nonsense of gender. That’s not it.

It gets suggested that #YesAllWomen is emotional-based. When one is attacked, naturally emotions happen and that effect lingers for years. When you remember bodily reaction of being disrespected, there’s an attachment to self as distinct from others, and some sense of autonomy. That isn’t the problem. The problem is the lack of recognition of boundaries when those boundaries are drawn by someone with visible books or encoded by fabrics to present as female, or perhaps have a timbre of voice that is female-range.

That’s not anger or catastrophizing. It is stating the facts. The patterns in aggregate make up the facts.

mackerel skies
Ah, blue sky, blue sky.

It is not generally males who slut-shame low-cleavage, get catty instead of complimentary about short skirts, who police women to not go out at certain hours alone. It is females who tend to mirror each other in silence saying I wanted to say something that didn’t. This complicit mess of social standards and tolerance of pushing even those lines, is not at the feet of males only. it is a human issue.

Comparing one life to another, one situation to another, glossing into one thing a range of behaviors from hiring a woman at lower pay to lynching a girl for getting raped. Not the same thing. Agreed, apples and oranges and not productive to pile everything in one heap.

Comparison is false but the system, is it the same root cause across different languages, cultures, continents? Or parallel evolution from different causes? The last thing we need is sloppy thinking. Especially since logical intellect has been codified as male and women get groups with Deleuzian tangles.

The more you say, the greater the risk that someone jumps on a minor point to as en excuse to throw out the whole or the validity of the whole.

The more you speak, the more you risk backfiring and reinforcing gender instead of calling out the parts of it that aren’t intrinsic. But that’s a short-term blow-up.

Prejudice is a thin card. When it faces you, the joker going toe-to-toe, it’s hard to miss. When it isn’t facing you, it’s only the thin width of the card.

General life anecdote. Someone on Top Gear saying “this car could be driven by a cross-eyed woman” as if that were the stupidest possible case scenario and different than a cross-eyed man.

Instant burn. Maybe I’m a sucker and a chump and a practiced subject of bully. To react to a troll is to be weak. Or to have heard the same joke in too many variations for too long.

It was a cheap shot perpetuating a joke, but why again? It was not provoked by there being a legion of cross-eyed women driver accidents. The audience is presumed male host, male drivers, for males. What’s the logic? In-group bonding to someone who can’t be hurt because no females would be in that space therefore no harm done? Same logic as anti-semetic jokes are funny so long as the body builder there in the corner isn’t Jewish. The joke presumes that I wouldn’t watch the show and shoves me to outsider position.

Apparently #YesAllWomen it is not stating the obvious since the systemic constant pattern isn’t recognized as significant.

You can’t fight all battles continually. When you do speak, that in itself is not negative thinking.

Negative thinking is the normal silence. Speaking is the making room for new, asking for new. If listened to.

That some females flourish does not prove that there is no pattern. That some people draw the line for over the line elsewhere does not mean there is not problem.

Sexism is waning compared to a couple decades ago. Or maybe I have made myself insular in a community that doesn’t practice it so strongly.

#YesAllWomen is not to usurp singularity as The Only Problem. It is not to jockey to be the best problem in competition. It is not out to win a ribbon.

#YesAllWomen is not blind to the possibility of sense of humour. It is for enough is enough.It doesn’t matter that some women don’t mind. That is not who it is for anymore than a blonde person from Newfoundland liking blonde jokes and Newfie jokes.

Adaptable rolling with things with a sense of accept what you can’t change. Enjoy life anyway. #NotAllWomen isn’t opposed to adaption but is seasick from all that rolling.

“The past is not actionable” is an opposition to the #YesAllWomen stories. We are all subject to the baggage of gender that we did not choose. Sure.

That isn’t the point either.

“We can only control this moment, if that.”

So we should not speak of the past? Yet we trot out as if neutral cultural reflections of violence in “diverting” “entertainment” of females being written as if powerless, as if needing a male saviour, as if males were the villain. Is this not also the past? Is this not also negative? A “good movie” in which there is a plot arc based on a binary of them and us in which one is intending harm and one is intending harm to protect another? Where there are 4:1 males to females on the planet and females don’t speak?

Is this not all a negative ubiquitous hogwash that ramps up hormones, trains neurons to mistrust and want an adrenaline rush, stimulants of stressful situations or imaginings?

But the solution isn’t to tell people to stop talking.

Is there blurriness?

But what about female on female violence? Isn’t this just a general human issue?

Yes, people who communicate with power and hands and are poor communicators who disprefer to hear no are creeps come in all ages, colours, sizes and genders but even still, only a handful of females have assaulted or letched at me. Proportionally few but with impacts.

In a lot of rooms I can accurately predict that if my arms are covered, then I take a sweater off and have short sleeves there will be a beeline of someone rubbing my bare arm as if they have been waiting. There are others who reliably only touch with a pause hover or light near touch that gives time to move away or towards and the gesture is completed or retracted in a fraction of a second of listening.

Touchers or close talkers isn’t the issue. It is certain behaviors that presume to touch females is to touch public space with as much liberty as to grab a handrail.

I know boys are also assaulted. In my home community more pedos were aiming for boys than for girls. Or hebephiles (puberty onwards) or ephebophiles (14-17 years). I suppose eventually, just as the word gay became more than a general word for not-het, eventually ephebos and hebes will eventually come into currency as being not the same as bi, not the same as hetero.

That isn’t the issue. That would be derailing to another topic.

Women are still risk of being dismissed or being unheard when they call out behaviours while the males who bother are excused as “going thru a bad time now” or “didn’t it mean it that way” or “didn’t mean anything by it” or “doesn’t get enough attention at home” (i.e. blame woman A for male not listening to woman B).

If a woman is hitting on men wildly, are the same excuses made for her? Probably? Are the men checked in with to see if they are okay about all that boundary shoving?

The issue isn’t as narrow as one person to one person. That is with solutions. Speak to the person. Put one person in line. That’s not the level of problem.

The dialogue is to change the system. It isn’t outrageous or upsetting. It is pesky. It is sloppy. It is unnecessary.

The Geena Davis Institute is a watchdog for women in the media and business. How far as we from genderblind? A ways. “Female writers accounted for 15% of feature film work in 2012″ [source]. Men are hurt and spoofed to. Yes, but that’s another thread. Playing roles we can forget they are roles and mistake them for essences and earnestly try to be like a gender. We forget our gags are jokes and make them into gags.

But that’s just the way humans are and always have been. No, I don’t believe that.

Whole systems of behaviour change rapidly. What was culturally common upends. Society can go from working as an economic community to revolution where people stone each other or go from intermarrying to “ethnic lines” drawn. Smoking can go from everywhere, even doctors smoking during operations, to being locked behind cases.

Consider practice of drinking and driving and beer bottles all along the roads through the 80s. Or what it is to be male or female being strong pinks appropriate only for males and females needing to wear blue, to that reversing. Males drink and women don’t, traditionally. Depending on who and when and where. In United Arab Emirates women are the drinkers who binge drink at least once a week. In Russia females of course were in engineering and roadworks. Why here are women just holding construction signs?

Individual choices come from somewhere. From the way we treat one another not just from infancy but in the daily. In what we let pass. In what we pursue.

Healthy boundaries where it is win-win help so everyone flourishes. To loop back to Oriah, to say no to some stuff is stressful but less stressful than to let some things stay fuzzy and continue.

Boundaries- or rather, the lack of them- is often a source of anxiety. If I don’t know where I end and you begin, if I can’t tell if something is my business or yours, or ours, or that which belongs to something sacred and bigger than the two of us together, I am likely to feel easily overwhelmed and overburdened- and that can create anxiety.

The problem on one level is not one person to one person but the implications and baggage we attach to gender. It is where general boundaries of ideas exist compared to where an individual places them.

A problem comes not when a person presents as female. It comes with the implication, presents as female therefore unconscious primed to something big about a pecking order, intelligence, capability, motivation, character, world view, an assessment of a whole shebang of aspects not having to do with that particular person. Or the gender generally. Believe me I would as much as anyone like gender to disappear and take all its nonsense of monopoly on lace and pink shoelaces with it.

Much of the rules of engagement of gender are local, shifting in time and place and like anything else need a great deal of work to stay in place.

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