Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Look Out Your Window, What Do You See?

Snow and ice. Ice and snow. It’s January in Alberta, what do you expect? By this time the snow isn’t pretty anymore. It’s filled with rocks and sand and ice melt. The ice on the sidewalks prevents safe walking.

This is my thirty-third winter in Alberta. I’m tired.

As a kid, growing up on the southern most end of Vancouver Island, snow was magic. It came rarely, maybe once a year and lasted for a couple of days. There were only a few hours to enjoy it. And enjoy it we did. It was perfect snow. Not too cold out, the snow soft and wet enough to make snow men and snowballs. None of us had snow gear. Our boots were rain boots. Our home made mittens would get wet. Our sleds were pieces of cardboard.

But it was glorious. And I wished I lived in a place that had four seasons. My mother, coming from Thunder Bay Ontario, didn’t like the snow. I thought she was crazy. Not like snow? How could that be? But she remembers cold days where it hurt your throat to talk.

I’m on her side now. Snow here lasts forever. Our summers are so short you don’t get to see them. 

But it’s not just the snow I’m tired of. I’m tired of my rut. The one I can’t get out of no matter how hard I try.

I know I’m supposed to go back to the island. But I’m here, because my daughter's life is here and my life is not my own yet. I can’t give her the dance lessons or the studio she so loves. She has possibilities here, right now. I am merely chasing dreams.

Which will be fine to chase when there’s no one else that has to be involved.

I have the goal.

Still the waiting is hard. Especially in January, on a cold day after Christmas.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Sky You Were Born Under

Last year I started a book called:
A Writers Book of Days: A Spiritual Companion and Lively Muse for the Writer’s Life – Judy Reeves
It's set up with a writing prompt for each day. I made it through the first month and then quit, because I'm a flake or something. 

Anyway, I thought I would start if up again in February, and in the meantime occasionally give you a taste of what it prompted me to write before I got lazy. Besides, I'm drawing a blank on what to write about today. So here's a bit of poetry. I would say enjoy but that would be arrogant.   

The Sky You Were Born Under (after Joy Harjo)

The sky you were born under,
Left you open to abuse,
And to being undervalued,
Because you are a girl.
The sky you were born under,
Told you who you had to be,
And who you had to listen to,
In order to be loved. (But not truly loved.)
The sky you were born under,
Made you wear certain clothes,
And speak a certain way,
So as not to entice men, (but still wanted you to attract them).
The sky you were born under,
Turned you into a sex object,
Yet demanded virginity,
And still expected motherhood.
The sky you were born under,
Cut off your wings,
And restricted your brain,
But, if you can ignore,
All that you were taught to hurt you,
You can grow back your wings,
And unleash your brain.
The sky that you were born under,