together – alone

I’m not sure where to start this post, because I am ad-libbing as I go, and I don’t know where it’s going to – so thank you for joining me on this meander if you’re here.

[in preamble – the post builder dashboard popped up in my browser tabs and I felt like it was a prompt for me to write a post, something I haven’t been doing very regularly in quite some time.]

I’ve spent the last several mornings attending a low-cost virtual info “training” that gave me just enough information with respect to the areas that would be delved into in their extended program, but not the means as to how the work need be undertaken .. essentially these are feeders into the pay programs on offer.

There are so. many. programs.

My social media feeds are flooded with them. Each with its own spin on how to transform your life, your side-gig, your business, your [whatever thing you feel you need to improve, insert it here]. Let’s face it – most people feel some kind of dissatisfaction with their current life situation – it is axiomatic that while we are in the human condition that we will on some level experience it.

Some of those programs and courses are what I would consider affordable (though that is always a relative term, isn’t it?) and some definitely less so. Affordability is always something that must be put into context with respect to one’s own individual situation.

There are many people in need of some sort of guidance in this bizarre world we currently find ourselves in, whether due to the large issues that parts of the world are experiencing, or smaller (though equally large in context to our own scale of experience) more personal ones.

As a person who has been intent on personal development throughout most of my adult life, largely through self-education, books a-plenty and through various (affordable to me) programs I’ve signed up for over time, I have found that in many ways progress does not happen in a vacuum, in isolation. It really does take a village to raise a child, and in this context child as a metaphor for the self that sits at the core of each of us.

Sometimes all the knowledge in the world is not enough to implement a transformation without mentorship. Some people are lucky to come across a benevolent mentor along their path, and others spend a lifetime looking. Sometimes the wisdom finally comes, through their own hard work and experience.

Last week, the nature of the meaning of ‘community’ came up in one of the online groups I belong to. Community has such a nuanced meaning, from the macro down to the micro. As part of that discussion, it was determined that to be a part of a community, one must in some way respond to it, participate in it, in what was thought to be a meaningful way but to me weighing what “meaningful” is, is just as ambiguous as defining what constitutes a community.

That got me thinking that communities are like fractals, that they spiral outward and the further away you look at it from, it appears to be one thing, but the closer you zoom in, you realize that it is made up of many disparate interlocking parts.

We each have a unique place in it, but we don’t all show up in the same manner, and perhaps the way in which we take up our own individual space doesn’t always meet the expectations of all of the parts within the whole, but that we still maintain our part in it in a way that only we can. The whole becomes better than the sum of its parts by virtue of all of its individual components.

I’ve been in situations where people have expectations on how one needs to behave; they feel the need to validate a person’s contributions against their own set of preconceived conditions without really seeing, or leaving space for, a person’s unfolding into who they are and finding ways in which to validate their contributions in an organic way – essentially, to play to a person’s strengths rather than hold them to expectations that, because of it not being in their nature, they will struggle or ultimately fail to meet. I have found this to be true in many corporate environments (though I am especially grateful that that is not currently my experience).

I think we have a lot of work to do as a collective humanity in figuring out how to hold space for each other, how to let each individual person shine their brightest and allow them to contribute in the best possible way.

I think we need more people who can hold space in that way; those who can see the value of each individual contribution, not only to give voice to those who speak the loudest, have the deepest convictions (and perhaps the deepest pockets). We need people who can coax out from those who are the most silent, in some ways the most disadvantaged, those who are risk-averse and reticent, the light that they keep hidden beneath a bushel, and in releasing of their light delight in their unique place within the fractal that is Us.

People like to say “it’s not about the money” but when we dig a little deeper, it really is, in the end; those who have resources will resource themselves further and those without will continue to fumble their way towards ecstasy, in whichever way they can find at their disposal. Thankfully there are those that see this gap and in their generosity aim to fill it so that everyone finds their way to wholeness.

Because aren’t we all, in the end, whether we are aware of it or not, reaching toward apotheosis?


Morning practice

Well hello.

It’s been a while.

But I’m gonna jump right in, anyway.

This is my morning practice:

Brew espresso on the stove.

Froth milk in a frother.

Feed the cat.

Make my morning offering at my ancestral shrine.

Set down my big mug of latte with a tower of froth foam on the table.

Sit down to my open journal page to ponder, gather my thoughts and express them in words, talk about the weather until something deeper comes.

Some mornings I make the mistake of precluding this routine with social media before I even get started, while lying prone and half asleep. Something prompts me to pick my phone up and look.

My mindfulness app tells me that I have successfully completed yet another successive session (I fall asleep to Jay Oren Sofer’s sleep meditation mostly every night).

Then I scroll .. through socials, through texts and IMs .. to my increasingly bulging in box (remember the days when we’d clear our email boxes out daily?!).

Some days it’s a bad idea. I am swept into the daily rhetoric of whatever hot topic is giving out its siren call.

This morning, though, I’m pulled into an IG post, then follow a link and I find Sonya Renee Taylor on Instagram and stumble on towards a podcast interview between her and Brené Brown.

And this is when I realize why I’ve gotten the nudge.

(I of course immediately order Sonya’s book, The Body Is Not an Apology Second Edition: The Power of Radical Self-Love, with my available Audible credit).

(And the hard copy, because you know, sometimes you just want to have a physical book to-go.)

(And the accompanying workbook.)

(Jesus take the wheel and stop me now.)

This is how I’ve been feeling lately:

Having followed the self-help trends *everywhere* I have become exhausted and burnt out, on all things Self Improvement.

I want to flip everyone the bird and say – I’M GOOD, NOW!

At some point I stop and wonder if and when I’ll ever get off this crazy train.

I’ve been doing this for decades, almost half a century, and of course I’ve made progress.

The thing is, while progress is inevitable, it is also exhausting.

I remember feeling this way in my twenties, delving, digging, sorting out, exhausting the limits of my capacity and then falling into a sort of disengaged stupor, always feeling like I’m never quite where I want to be.

Ad infinitum

What I have come to find is that some people (“us” if you see yourself reflected in the aforesaid) will never get “there”.

Not for the lack of trying – lord no – but for realizing that the more you know, the less you actually know.

With each new level of realization that unravels, a whole new tangled ball of yarn appears.

This, it seems, is both a blessing and a yoke whose weight I’ve never seemed to be able to divest myself of.

Until now, maybe.

As I listened to even the first handful of minutes of this interview, I think I breathed deeply for the first time in a long while.

The concept of accepting yourself as who you are AS YOU ARE IN THIS MOMENT is one of the most radical acts you can enact.

The striving can stop.

Maybe in those fully embodied moments of beingness I can learn to tap in to what I really want.

Who I really am.

What I have to offer to the world.

Into lovingly embracing the whole of who I am, right now.

Not what the cacophony of external voices tell me I should/need/want.

Not what the wounded parts of myself tell me I should/need/want.

I’m going to let that tiny kernel grow with tender and careful tending.

Because how else are we all going to be free?


Thirty-six years ago, on a snow-dusted late autumn day, I was raped. Back in early 1984, when I attended the trial of the man that raped me, the #metoo movement hadn’t yet mobilized to bring awareness to the fact that the victim and the witness were one and the same, that regardless of the circumstances, taking advantage of a person is always criminal.

The rape hadn’t been a brutal one. In fact, I had gone willingly to the site at which I would be forced at knife point to undress and then have sex with a man who wasn’t a stranger. I had gone with him to buy some cocaine, something I was familiar to because I had for almost a year been working as a stripper in a club on the upper end of St. Laurent Blvd., and had been taking various kinds of drugs for several years. The boyfriend that I had at the time was a deadbeat and verbally abusive (something I was fairly used to from being raised with parents who were also free with that sort of thing), and together we consumed mostly hash on a daily basis, but we also sometimes did coke. The stripping supported the both of us, since we had both quit college and moved out into an apartment together, and neither one of us could be considered gainfully employable. For a while I had tried to find other jobs, but no one would hire me because I didn’t have any experience. We were two nineteen year olds, without a clue.

Before all of this, I could tell you that I grew up in an at times volatile home, that my father had committed incest with a sibling before I could understand what had torn apart our family dynamic, that I was molested by a neighbourhood teenager when I was four, and again by my sibling’s spouse when I was nine.

To say that I had a healthy attachment style or that my relationship to sex was normal would be a lie, but at the time I didn’t know these things. I just kept on going, trying to figure out how to go about things for myself because there wasn’t a reliable source to provide me with a way that I could function in a healthy manner in the world. No one spoke of these things; we just learned to live with them.

At the time I am sure PTSD didn’t exist in the public lexicon. I had two, maybe three counselling sessions after the rape. They did not address the long history of what had come before that had perhaps contributed to the trauma that led me to pull out my hair until a part of my scalp had almost gone bald and was tender to the touch. My therapist showed me a way, via hypnotherapy, to calm the impulse to pull my hair out, but had never addressed the root cause.

I initially didn’t want to press charges. It drags out into public the very things we hold the most private, our body and how we choose (or in this case not) to share it. It makes public the parts of ourselves that we are already ashamed of. My boyfriend insisted that if I had really gotten raped rather than just cheated on him, then I should report it. So I did, three days later. For good measure, after I came home that night, he insisted on reclaiming possession of me. When I went to the doctor three days later, we discovered that my rapist had now given the both of us a parting gift: gonorrhoea.

My rapist was not charged with rape, in the end. He stole my wallet, my belongings, and sold them. He had my address book and was calling females listed in it to see if he could lure them into a meeting – at least until he got caught, at which point they became evidence. He was in possession of an illegal weapon. Those were the charges that we laid against him, for which, by the time the trial was over, he had most likely already done the time for.

Years later I googled his name and found that he had become rather notorious. Some of the articles were in relation to a trial for murder that he was a witness on around the same time as the trial he was facing for my rape. Years after that 1984 trial it would come out that he had perjured himself, according to him, under duress by the officers. To my mind, the charges against him for rape were reduced because he had testified at that murder trial. The man who had been convicted spent decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit based on this false testimony.

I discovered that he was in the news again in 2001, as a result of being tried for another rape. What made it news-worthy was that he was acting in his own defence and had subjected the victim of the crime to two days of questioning. After discovering that the original judge had been biased (due to a conversation he had had with the prosecuting lawyer that had recorded him speaking to the penalty prior to the trial), the case had to be retried with a new judge. It made it into the history books as a case that would shift the laws required of witnesses, because the poor woman who was the victim refused to subject herself to cross-examination once more, and would have been in contempt of court had the testimony from the previous trial not been deemed admissible.

Today I read that the man who was falsely convicted of murder has been granted restitution by the courts. Our legal system is supposed to provide a way to keep citizens safe from repeat offenders who are harmful to society. My rapist is such an offender. He was a career criminal, and felt that he could take whatever he wanted, whether a piece of stolen goods, money from the sale of drugs, or the use of a body that would otherwise not willingly have complied to his demand of it.

He is apparently deceased today (according to one of the articles), but the harm he has done to so many is indisputable. He is just one of many such people who know how to work the system, to slip through the cracks of the law.

Before people who rape people are stopped before they can do more harm, we need to view the crime as one that is reprehensible. This isn’t about a lover’s spat gone wrong. It isn’t about wearing too short a skirt, or in my case nothing at all at a job that I was doing. It is about power and humiliation, it is about taking something from someone that can never be replaced, it is about leaving those of us who have had those things taken from us in a perpetual state of recovery from trauma. Where is our restitution, for crimes we never committed?

not-so-small art

Wow… what a fucking a-MAzing weekend. Not only did we do some ancestral healing work, but we eco-printed the woollen shawls that have been journeying with us since the start of this work.

The process of eco-printing was shown to the world by India Flint, whose books and in-person teachings have been spreading the art and skill of printing onto fabric with plant materials.

I have to say I am in love with the process. There is something visceral about the gathering and collection from meaningful places, or plants that have some special significance. In the animist’s world, these plants essences become transmuted and infuse the materials upon which they are laid. By wearing them, you have an opportunity to commune with them again, yet as with everything else in nature, the colours, though embedded into the cloth, are impermanent, so after a while the process can be repeated, time and again; they essentially evolve with you.

I can’t say that I understand the chemistry behind the processes, or have any skill in controlling the outcome of the process, but the surrendering of that part that wants to control everything makes the unwrapping of the bundles, once they’ve been steamed and cooled, all the more wondrous.

Here is a sampling. This was the unwrapping of my bundle. (Videography courtesy of Patricia Belen.)

Until we meet again, steam pot!

Me & Keanu

I’ve finally gotten around to reading the title GQ article today. I stop in the doorway of my son’s room, brandishing the cover with a smile and his girlfriend, Erika, said, “She’s in love.” Gabriel corrects her, “Oh, she’s been in love for a long time now.”

He says it true… let me explain.

I’m sure others have a Keanu story – that moment in which we become cognizant of his “whoa” factor. Mine occurred sometime in 2003, I reckon.

Let’s backtrack a decade, though, for some context. I’d just gotten married in 1993, to a California native. In April, after exchanging vows on a Saturday, with most of my belongings already packed, a moving van picked it all up on the following Monday and I left my old life behind in Montreal for a new one in California.

Okay so it wasn’t quite to the swaying palm trees of L.A. No… more like the pungent smell of a wall of garlic that assailed me every time I opened the door of our apartment.

Enter Keanu.

My husband and I were standing in line at the movie theatre, waiting to be let in to the movie Speed, and we started chatting with another couple in line who mentioned that the lead actor was a Canadian, like me, and swoon-worthy. I rolled my eyes, determined then that I would purposefully ignore this dude, because who is impressed with beefcake? Not I.

Fast forward a decade…

2001 onwards, life is just kicking me (maybe all of us?) in the proverbial balls. By the spring of 2002, my marriage is a-crumbling. We’d made it to 9 years and it looked unlikely that we’d be making it to a decade. I’d been having a really hard time at the job that I’d been in for almost five years. My husband had injured himself in a gnarly crash after riding the Lake Elsinore motocross track. Between work, financial, health, life and other personal stressors, I had what I called my Big Meltdown.

I left the former job and started another one. We lived in Wildomar and the new job was in Pasadena, making my round-trip commute amount to about 4 hours, give or take. Needless to say, that wasn’t sustainable. I had heart ablation surgery and shortly after, before we could lose the house we owned to foreclosure, we sold it and split up for what would amount to be about nine months.

In August, I got a job in San Diego near Del Mar and my son and I moved into an apartment close to where I worked, with his elementary school and after school care within a ten minute commute radius from my work place and where we lived. We were set, I figured, in theory at least, but between the job losses and changes, the rupture of my marriage, the multiple moves, I now admit that I would regularly cry in the shower, because I needed to keep my shit together between showers, for my six-year old son. The new job lasted about eight months, after which the apartment had to be given up because I couldn’t pay my rent and still have enough to live while on unemployment insurance.

But before all of that went down, I spent a few months working with a motley crew of people. Halloween came around and some folks dressed up in costumes. One coworker arrived all leather clad and had these wraparound shades on with her hair slicked back. I was like “What are you?”, which garnered an incredulous look.

“I’m Trinity,” she said, probably wondering which rock I had been stuck under. I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me that my mind would be blown by the movie The Matrix.

I think it was at about this time, with a whole lot of time on my hands and the internet at my disposal, that I ran into an interview with Keanu. Contrary to my previously held impression, he came across as articulate and intellectually curious. Also, he liked motorcycles, hockey and was Canadian. Also, HE WAS KIND TO HIS MOTHER AND SISTERS! He became, in absentia, my ex-pat compadre.

After giving up my San Diego apartment and then being in limbo while sharing my husband’s one-bedroom apartment until his year-long lease expired (and waiting for him to decide whether we should make another go of it as a couple), our family got back together again, and relocated to Orange County. That fall my husband would crash his brains out yet another time on the same track as before, and within two weeks of that my mother, my only living parent, would die of a massive coronary infarction.

Keanu, despite never having crossed my path, saved me a little that year and in the years that followed. I felt a crushing isolation, a continued sense of failure within my marriage, and yet just knowing that he existed within relatively close proximity was strangely reassuring.

Time has come and gone. More moves and changes between then and now have occurred, yet Keanu still rules. He’s found a way to make a life on his own terms, continues to be curious and creative, and despite all the detritus that life flings at him, he seems oddly optimistic.

Now if that isn’t worthy of admiration, I don’t know what is.

I don’t think I have room in my life for another person; I certainly don’t in my closet. The truth is, I lead a pretty hermit-like existence, and I like it that way, even though there are times that I wish I could share thoughts on books, or bounce ideas for creative projects, off of someone while we lounge on the sofa peaceably sipping our coffees, comfortably sharing space and silence.

So when folks ask me whether I’ve been dating, I invariably respond with “Nope… I’m holding out for Keanu.” And you know, it’s kind of true.


MARCH 27, 2019

Early-ish start today, considering I worked late last night and didn’t get home until after midnight… and to sleep for another hour still, after that. I was thirsty for water, and a couple of weeks ago I finally bought a Britta pitcher but hadn’t yet washed it and run the precursory three jugfuls of water through it before first use, so I did that, finally. The water quality is awesome here in B.C. but these old pipes in our building (that keep making themselves known by bursting on the regular) produce a pale yellow coloured water (rust, maybe?) and I’ve been thinking that maybe consuming it in copious amounts might not be that great for my own inner plumbing.

Anyway… I digress…

In the last month, I’d fallen back into the unenviable habit of ruminating. I say this because I used to do this all the time, in my teens, twenties, thirties, forties. It seemed to have switched off, thankfully, finally, in my fifties. I recognize that not all people are so afflicted, and that ruminating serves a purpose. It helps us become self-aware, and allows us to process things. I have learned, though, that there is a point at which the cud just needs to be swallowed and allowed to pass through.

It’s a tough call, that one. It’s like deciding when a piece of art work or writing is finished. Should I dab on another little bit of paint? Do another read through and edit with a fine-toothed comb? How much do I want to lean into perfectionism and where and when does it stop serving me, or others?

I’m rereading the material from the mystery school that I have joined. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with the ancestral healing work I’ve also decided to walk the path of. Whether looked at literally or figuratively, this work is important to my inner life, which in the end also affects my outer one, and by default the lives of those around me. Self-examination is a huge part of the process.

I’m rambling. Clearly a shortage of coffee in my yet morning-addled brain…. so circling back around.

Ruminating serves a purpose, though I’ve come to realize that it can also be fettered down by beliefs about the self or perceptions of external factors that keep me locked down in a loop, sometimes a self-defeating one.

So I choose to bear witness to the thoughts and then I let them go. I choose which actionable things I can do in order to get to the crux of the issue and then release the rest. I continue to work towards being the best version of myself, and that, I’ve found, is a persistent and life-long process.

I leave you with this. The road to improvement, whether of the self or the environment around us, can be hard or soft. For most of my life I’ve chosen the harder path, the one dubbed “hard-knocks”. Though I never knew quite how they would become realized, I consciously chose the most difficult ways to accomplish things, to learn the lessons my spirit seemed to need to learn. Man, it’s a rough way to go about life, and it breaks you, over and over again, and then some more. There are only so many times a pot can break and be fixed before it becomes irreparable, no matter how much I lean into the concepts of wabi-sabi and Kintsugi.

As I wished a friend for her birthday, I wish you all the same:

May the road meet your feet with gentleness and grace,

may the winds bring you all you need,

may the fires burn brightly in your heart and warm you,

(and I add this, now…)

may the waters quench your thirst and cleanse that which no longer serves you.


one Sunday afternoon

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, drinking my third mug of coffee, flipping through the pages of my mother’s old phone book. What I hope to glean through doing this, I have no clue.

Names had been added and crossed out. I recognize my own handwriting in it, my mother’s, my father’s. I recognize the handwriting of a family friend, who used to live in Kingston, but now I wonder if she, too, has died. Probably.

There are names in it that I don’t recognize, names beside which there are Hungarian addresses. Excavating a life becomes difficult, post-mortem – as in life, we only seem to discover the things they want us to know while the rest is buried within them, within the past.

This tracking of my genealogical history has been difficult and unsatisfying. There are more questions that arise than answers, even in this time of technology and the relentless categorization and tracking of data. I do online searches today and find nothing. Ten years ago I could plug in the name of a person and find all kinds of various hits, but now that data is controlled and funnelled through a “smart” A.I. program, only the ones it thinks are relevant pop up. Only what the world deems important comes to our eyes.

So it’s always the squeaky wheel, the loudest voice, the most vociferous opinion that we see on the platforms which for two decades provided us with a wealth of information.

Today? Not so much. I might as well hole up somewhere with a box of microfiche and get to it. I feel like answers might be found in Hungary, but my command of the language has suffered much since my mother’s death, and was never that proficient to begin with. English is my language of choice, the language I have been educated in, learned to be curious in, to think in.

In light of the discussions within my ancestral healing group over the last several weeks, I mourn that loss of language, because within the language, its context and use, are the secrets of my past, the ones I can intuit in my bones.

Words hold meanings, the memories of things. In one language a word could mean the same thing as in another, superficially, but in each language it has a timbre to it that is relevant to the people whose mouths made those words, who spoke those words, a meaning that I will never really know as a member of a diaspora.

These meanings… they can be passed down, if people choose to, but often there is too much of a burden that is carried in their wake, one each generation that comes before the next wants to burden itself with but to not pass on to the ones that come after because they want them to have a better life, a brighter outlook, an untainted future.

But with that loss, there is also a loss of rootedness, a kind of cultural and historic amnesia. It is no small wonder that we find ourselves in a world that holds itself to nothing, that consumes without thought, where everything within it becomes disposable. Some days I wonder if we’ll recover from this illness of spirit, for that is truly what it feels like.

We find ourselves living on the lands of others, people who have suffered, just as our old peoples had, at the hands of others. They are still here, listening to the murmurings of the waterways, the flailing of the trees as they fall to deforestation, to the sound of the thick blood of the earth as it is getting bled out while its face is pitted with the byproducts that make teenage acne look like a walk in the park.

Our elders had gone silent in an effort to shield us from the pains they carried over centuries. We had a chance for a new start, but without their wisdom and the knowledge of all that came before, we made the same mistakes all over again.

When I was a teenager, I distinctly remember refusing to acknowledge any worth to the words of my parents. The separation required to become an adult is a tough journey, especially if those that teach us have become complacent in the comfort of their own lives by the time they come to witness our transformation, and don’t find a good way to guide us, to lead us through by example.

Maybe they are still struggling too.

Maybe by that point we’ve already seen too much of the darker sides of humanity to want to trust anyone else in this process.

I was young and brash, yet I was also sheltered, naive, and wholly unprepared for the world and its people, especially the ones who saw me coming and couldn’t help themselves in taking advantage of me – but I didn’t know that I had this deficit until it gouged holes in my spirit. I took advantage too, in my own way. I suppose that is how I learnt, but I can’t help but feel that there must be a better way to do this.

So here I am, on a Sunday afternoon, alternately staring out of the dining room window, typing this with two fingers on my phone’s keypad, listening to the birds calling outside (seagulls, crows, and another I can’t identify), to the chirping of the cross-walk signal, wondering what I will do with the rest of my day.

There is so much I want to do. I have a long list of chores that I keep ignoring, books that I want to read piling up into stacks that I may never finish reading in this lifetime, stories I have written but that have languished uncompleted, dishes piled in the sink that need washing, a refrigerator that needs to be sorted and cleared, choices to make on food plans for the week, clothes that need to be laundered and stowed, a cat litter box to clean out… to name a few.

In this overload of choices, I often choose… nothing.

and the world cracks open

It’s too early for me to be up. I got home well after midnight last night (earlier today?) and didn’t get to sleep until after 2 a.m. I suppose the massive size of my to-do list is weighing on me… which I can’t divulge  because the surprises I have planned for this weekend will not be .. surprises.

I’m sitting at my dining room table, listening to traffic noises and a crow cawing while I sip my delicious Saltspring Island coffee and tap my phone screen to write this. The sunrise outside the living room window is astonishingly beautiful. I said so, to the cats, but I don’t think they understood, although Leia did hop up to her perch by the window and intently stared at the birds flying by.

The big oak trees in the park have shed most of their leaves now, though there are a few hangers on. The evergreen conifers stand out amongst the filigreed deciduous tree limbs. I’m thinking a snowfall would be lovely just about now, although I think it is still too mild for one. The sky has that metallic grey pallor that hints at winter though, so I may get my wish for a white Christmas yet.

There is a mountain of chocolate on the table amongst other gifts I’ve been amassing over the weeks. I may well spend the actual day of Christmas alone this year, but the gifts will begin filtering out soon, into the hands of those I cherish.

As I sit here alone in my little dining alcove, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude, for my life as it is now, for the wonderful beings who people it, for the person that I am discovering within myself. There is a sort of peace in self-acceptance and appreciation. I am not perfect but I have grown to appreciate my own company.

I’m not sure what that means. I have been uncoupled for what will soon be eight years. I have a full life and enjoy the continual journey of discovering what other treasures I can discover within it – many, this I am certain of. I hope that I can in some way repay the pleasure that life gives me by giving to it back in-kind.

The ancestral work I have been doing with Nikiah Seeds has been one of many catalysts, though it is clear that it has perhaps been the straw, but rather than breaking the camel’s back, it has opened up access to the sort of healing that generations upon generations of my people, my blood, my genes, have been calling for from the other side. We have only just begun. There is much to do, but oh, there is so much hope and an expectation of release. Soon, with Nikiah holding the space and sharing wisdom, I will deepen this practice further. I am infused with anticipation and excitement. What a gift, truly.

I am grateful. I am grateful. I am grateful.


I have a headache… probably from staying up too late, watching “This Is Us”. The writing is brilliant. Beautiful. Heart warming. Heart breaking. Both, sometimes at the same time.

Why is life so complicated? How did kindness become such a challenging state of being to bestow upon those around us?

I am constantly reminded that kindness is a choice, as are many other things, and sometimes kindness means to be honest with the kind of integrity that makes you quake inside, that makes you worry that everything meaningful you’ve ever hoped to build toward will crumble.

Sometimes it means to be brave and to persevere, even though failure might be the end result. I feel I’ve done that, time and again in my life. Not always, because sometimes fear yanks away the wheel from my grip and relegates me to the back seat, but when I let it drive for a while, I realize that I’m moving farther away from where my heart wants me to be. So I relent, find the resolve to take my seat in the front again.

I try to lead by good example, and I fail that too, at times. Spectacularly. I fail because I can’t see past my own humanity, or that of the ones who surround me, by whom I fail, sometimes. I look at people and see what they are not. What they could be. What I think they are, however erroneously. The strengths and weaknesses intermingled into one hot mess that I can’t rise above, at least not then, maybe not ever.

The thing is, I keep coming back, showing up to give it another go. I do that because I believe in us, all of us. I believe in people, and their beautiful frailty and strength. The two don’t diminish each other, they make each stronger, more enduring.

When I was young, I would get into these dark moods. It was a kind of sadness that would grow out from my marrow and overwhelm me. It felt sort of like covering myself with a big comforter in the early morning, in an attempt to sink back into sleep, not sure whether it was to rest some more or as an escape from the weight of trying to learn to be a human being.

No one really teaches you how to be that. Sure, we are told what to do and not do by anyone who has an opinion to give. Mostly though, we each end up finding our own way, no matter how skewed the journey. We learn from those around us how we want to be; who we want to be less like. Our hearts are broken a million times in a lifetime, and in the end it is up to us to figure out how to find a way to mend each break.

Sometimes, people come into our lives, at times briefly, at times more enduringly, and teach us the things we need to know to become more of who we are meant to be. Sometimes they just hold our hands while we figure things out, and sometimes they hold all of us, our lives, together while we make our way through to the other side of the painful things that break us down and force us to remake ourselves again. Sometimes, they do the breaking, or watch us break, hoping that we will find a way to mend ourselves, on our own.

I have no answers – I never have. I have only more questions, many without any answers.

I’ve learned that being told what to do seldom works. My mother, on those darkened days, used to urge me to “cheer up”. There was never a moment that she reached out to try to solve the why of it, or how to go about finding a solution. It’s not that she had any answers, per se, but maybe going through the motions of coming up with solutions, to be witnessed instead of reacted to, I might have found my own way to the answers, at least a whole lot sooner than fifty some-odd years in.

I still don’t have all the answers, though, at least not definitive ones. The solutions change as quickly as the dilemmas do, and what worked today may not work tomorrow. What I have learned though is to stay the course, through the good stuff, the less than pleasant stuff. There is always some kind of revelation that arises, if I am patient enough, if I allow myself to be open to its receiving. If I forgive myself when I give a less than stellar performance and allow myself to be the human that I am.

Life is miraculous. The fact that we exist is miraculous, that we’ve persevered as a collective species; that I am alive, despite so many odds of it being otherwise. I don’t understand, can’t even pretend to know, why it is so. That is part of the great mystery.

What I do know is that the reason we have survived is because we have been able to find common ground… to pull together and help support each other in the face of insurmountable odds. We have found ways to persevere, and to thrive because we have been able to become greater than the sum of our collective parts.

Sure, for millennia, the weakest amongst us were eliminated from the gene pool by virtue of the fittest outliving those that were less so. We live a comfortable existence today, by comparison. We have luxuries and comforts that very few were afforded with any sort of regularity even a century ago. You could say that such softness was an affliction of the ruling class, a class that got to where they were by originally being the hardier and smarter of the populace, but that became diminished by dint of their self-inflicted segregation.

We weaken when we become exclusive, when we stop engaging with each other. It is a sure recipe for die-off. We owe it to ourselves, our children and their progeny, to learn from what has come before, to let all of that sink in real good, and find a way to rise above all of it.