Monthly Archives: December 2016

Lest it be said…

I paced the floor during the hours between the news that Carrie Fisher had collapsed while enroute to LAX and the news, finally, that she had died. I don’t know why I got so concerned about Carrie Fisher. I had a feeling Leonard Cohen would die; anyone who heard his last album should have heard the end in his voice. I’m playing the only George Michael piece I own: Faith. I didn’t expect any other deaths, but I wasn’t horribly surprised, death by death, until Carrie Fisher.

I guess part of it is that I’ve only recently had my attention drawn to Carrie Fisher. Who she was turns out to be someone I would have loved, and probably really liked. I love smart women. I love smart people but I prefer smart women. Maybe it was that the first and only thing I’d seen her in was the first Star Wars trilogy; I was not that into the movies, nor did I find the characters compelling, but the series created such a storm in our culture that one could not avoid being drawn in. I love fiction, I love science fiction, and yeah, the stories aren’t great, the characters are pretty thin, and they spent a ton of money creating some of the most amazing visuals. I think that’s what finally caught me, for the movies.

Carrie Fisher still wasn’t on my radar.

It’s only recently that her star rose on my horizon. Her wit bowled me over. I saw her in a couple of interviews and after thinking, who? what? I started to think about Carrie Fisher and probably in a manner of which she’d approve. I was wondering. Who doesn’t like a little wonder thrown their way? Not the grim-faced sort, where someone wonders about you and shakes their head. No, the wow, there really is magic in the world, kind.

People have been throwing themselves down in fits of agony over the losses they’ve experienced, or we the consuming public have had showered down upon us. I see no need. 2016 is no more hideous than many other years I’ve lived through. When the horror lives inside your own home, you don’t need falling stars to take you off your balance.
I’ve lived through several hells and I’m scorched. But I am not afraid of fire. Well, yes I am, but in a most intelligent way. I am cautious around fire, it can be useful, but it can take you away in a most unpleasant way.

I hope that while she was waiting about for the plug to be pulled, Carrie had a relaxed time; I wouldn’t want her to have suffered any more than she already had.

The Myth of Family

Dad & friends in their haphazard London taxi pretending to drive about in Halifax during the war.
Mom at Basic Training in Cornwallis Ontario

These are the people who became my parents. I have thought long and hard about both of them. I probably spend more time looking at me, but since they’re my mirrors and my source of so many habits that I need to know them, at least within the context of what I came out of our relationships with.

Scars, mostly.


Indeed, scars that I’m working over and getting the fascia to loosen up a bit, act a bit more like my body is undamaged. It’s all complicated when you’re not “normal.” Normals will argue with you “Well, I’ve had thoughts/done deeds that are not that much different from your examples of your behaviour.” Except they hadn’t been examples of behaviour but examples of habitual predilections, habitual perceptions, and habitual actions (or reactions).

That all said, if you read it, means I’ve had lots of bizarre questions about my parent, about whom I know little or no personal history. I have some building blocks: one had a business man father, the other was raised by a mortician; both enjoyed riotous youths but neither got into serious trouble; they are both the youngest child in their family of origin (oh, that lets so many cats out of the bag, except, it’s just a phrase I’ve picked up and found useful); one had serious mental illness, the other was clueless; one was a vicious predator, the other was clueless; both worked hard, but for very different reasons.

I recently decided to find something I could connect with in one parent, a difficult parent. I’d already felt that I’d come to a place of acceptance and love. But, recent events have revealed the truth about just how tied up I am in the utterly terrifying place my childhood was.

Time to untie another string, loosen another bow, and unwrap the package another layer.

Patience, The Virtue, And Me Without A Saint

Once upon a time.

Isn’t that how it all starts? Once upon a time, there was a woman who experienced a crisis. Yes. A crisis. Not of faith but of physique. Wait, don’t jump to conclusions because the story doesn’t start there, that’s somewhere near the middle. but it’s where we’re starting.

So, once upon a time there was a child who was born a ghost. The ghost child recognized its role as a sacrifice. The ghost child’s parents recognized their willingness to make the sacrifice in their hope for bounty in return for their gift. The parents could not decide how best to sacrifice their ghost child. One parent set to chewing on the ghost child’s body. One parent took the ghost child into the woods and left it there to be consumed by the beasts and insects until the last iota. Because the ghost child did not succumb to the efforts, the parents then treated the ghost child as a beloved living child. When their arms could not embrace the ghost child’s form, they turned their backs, they beat the ghost with holy water and holy men, and they wailed to their friends and neighbours that their child had forsaken them. The friends, the family, turned from the ghost child and left it to wander through the world untethered and unfettered.

The ghost child did not dissipate. After a long and lonely existence lived on the gruel of motherlessness, the ghost child put on the garb of a living person and took up a life.
Early and frequent success as a living person led the ghost child to believe that it was saved, reborn, or perhaps simply born.

Now…there was a woman, who had been a ghost child, who had been alive, and who had a crisis. Illness and its prescriptions wore away at her vitality but not her intensity. The urge that had wrapped a ghost in the living skin of a person had been fueled by an intensity, a stubbornness, a firmness and that strength stoked her collapse, just as it had driven her earlier transformation.