Monday, November 29, 2010

spreading my angst around the province

so i was a guest on CBC Manitoba's weekend morning show last sunday - listen to part 3 here!

Topic was "church shopping." Though i sort of cringe at that term, I think it turned out pretty well.

Be well, dear readers/listeners!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


i want a purple picket fence and a sense of stability. i want to throw caution to the wind. i want. i want to live this life as much as i can and to live myself as much as i know how. i want to draw lines around myself when appropriate. i want to let those lines down when appropriate. i want to know the difference. i want to be cherished. i want to be held gently, to not question who i know myself to be. i want to give myself grace. i want to know truth and speak it and live it. i want to be known. i want to be known. i want to grow where i am planted. i want to control things which i cannot; i want to be in these children's lives unconditionally. i want to stop living under this cloud. i want a hamster. i want to fly. i want to be less selfish and less confused. i want to live joy. i want you to see me, and know that i am enough.

Monday, November 22, 2010


i've got nothing today that i have the freedom to blog publicly. sort of a horrendous week. ugh.

here's a cartoon to lighten the mood; copyright info included.

Monday, November 15, 2010

why do i do this to myself

so i posted this on FB this week, and have felt pretty naked and uncomfortable ever since. so here it is (slightly edited for mass cosumption), for the world to see. it was in response to some questions by a friend.

so i have this button that says Trust God but Question Religion. if i had a mantra right now in my life it would be that. that's where i am at, completely.

the bible was written by people at the top of the cultural hierarchy, for people in top of the hierarchy, mostly to support their ideologies. so it makes me mad. but there is some truth mustard-seeded within, here and there, so everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt i think and we can't discount the truths that may lie within just because some oppressive dude said it.

i beleve in the person and work of Jesus - i hold onto that. and i find meaning in that, though it is excrutiating and time taking and takes a lot of faith to sift through the cultural patriarchy and other things to really get to the real person of Jesus and what she stood for. but i still hold onto that person with my life - maybe an emotional need. but my life has been saved more than once within this belief and in this trust with this person-God who i don't actually understand or comprehend but hold onto dearly for meaning. and i find meaning within communities which struggle with these things too - SCM type communities - who wrestle with the inherent oppression found within Jesus, the bible, christianity and who struggle and cry together in this pursuit of some meaning in this upside-down life. they are hard to find, but they are out there. and give me hope and reasons to continue on with it.

this faith gives me hope. there is something inside of me which does not accept that what we see is everything that is going on. i want to pursue the erotic joy which audre lorde writes about in all that i do and all that i am (please read the article so that you understand my non-creepy use of the word erotic here). i have experienced and believe something very very very good and loving exists which we can't see, but we can FEEL. that is what i pursue. it is both my strength and my weakness, my tool and my crutch. it sustains me and kills me at the same moment. and what is more erotic than that? carpe diem. especially when the future is so uncertain.

Monday, November 08, 2010

up and down and up #2

so this is inevitably how every blog posting and academic paper i write go;

i sit and struggle and try to push myself as hard and as far as i can go
i write it down
i normally think it brilliant and super perceptive
i post it/hand it in
a day later i read it and freak out because i think it sounds the stupidest thing in the world and feel embarrassed about ever saying those things and surprised that i still have friends/teachers who respect me at all.

it is a cycle which has become sort of funny to me. is all part of the process i guess. self-doubt self-doubt self-doubt

anyway, i promised you a sequel. here it is.

last post was a long rant about my last year - challenges i faced, things i overcame, learnings i've learned, things i am still struggling with.

i didn't mention much about God, and that surprised me a lot. But that has been its own journey the last little while. so this is what's been going on.

somewhere in 2008 i felt i had somewhat of an awakening; a real understanding and picture of what the world could be and was intended to be - a place of justice and of true LIBERATION (that word still excites me, so i will yell it). There was a moment where all that i have been struggling with reconciling with each other - things which i believed in thoroughly but seemed to counteract each other - made perfect sense together - Christianity, spirituality, religion, justice, feminism, oppression. i felt reawakened, alive, excited about this new vision/understanding. I was once frightened of God and his violence; his unattainable demands; the biblical words and stories where justice seems to be perpetuated within its very traditions and words.

i felt an aha moment where God became ever-bigger and where everything i cared about made sense to me. A God of no gender, who demands and creates justice, a God of ever-love to all no matter what race, religion, gender, a God who truly reaches out to us in so many ways, who hates patriarchy, injustice, oppression, and all that dehumanizes people.

everything made sense, and i was passionate to work towards a world where the words Christian and feminism and justice are commonly understood to work hand in hand together.

this went super well, for about a year (but what a year!)

somewhere along the way i started to lose hope. to lose hope in real change, to lose faith in the church that i held so dear that it would ever break its own chains and patterns of oppression. i felt so estranged and marginalized from the community that was such a part of my self-identity. i couldn't stomach walking into a church anymore, hearing and feeling its inherent oppression - its hierarchical patriarchal structures which perpetuate injustices and are full of power struggles. i jumped around from church to church hoping for a place where i could really feel like i belonged, but gave up to find this, in Winnipeg at least.

i felt tired of being othered from both the Christian community for being a feminist, and felt othered from the feminist community for being a Christian. It is a battle that I am tired of, and needed to take some time off.

this is getting long. anyway.

somewhere i lost hope in God, in the church. the two seem so intertwined. how can i work towards such a hurtful, injustice-perpetuating place? how can i actually be feminist in Christian places, or vice-versa? I was tired of being beat up from every side. see last post re: bitch quote.

so i wandered my own desert. found great comfort in SCM. felt really disconnected from God and her church.

and, like always, my wandering has seemed to take me full-circle back to where i started. i do trust God. i don't trust the church, or any religious structure really, to not be a tool of oppression and colonization. and after about a year of not being able to pray, play, find comfort in, dialogue or dance with God without feeling so pained about everything, i have been back to exploring this relationship that her and i have. this perpetual dance we have with each other throughout life of discovering each other a bit more, gaining distance, getting closer, back and forth.

i have been praying again, journalling again, pondering her ways and seeking a connection with her, also feeling comfort and some fulfillment in her presence again. so am experimenting with this again, intentionally inviting her presence into my life, consciously trying to open myself up to what she has to say to me. its been fun - familiar but strange and frightening in many ways. trust is so difficult.

i recognize, even today, how crazy this might sound. i really believe in a divine being who cares about our daily lives, who walk alongside me and who i can interact with in fun and significant and wild wild wild ways. who i am trying to remember loves me no matter what, and how important it is for me to have that sort of daily presence in my life. i am excited about this, and humbled.

still estranged from the church, and largely happily so. but we'll see where that leads as well. likely the full circle will come again where i will once again feel welcome within its reach and feel that i can believe in what it stands for again.

we'll see.

Monday, November 01, 2010

up and down and up up up

hello readership

so here is the you - knew-it-was-coming annual birthday retrospective. buckle up.

i have been 30 years old for about 1 day now. most everything feels the same. i even got carded again, which is sort of amusing but also sort of embarrassing.

i was thinking back to my birthday last year and am really taken aback at how different life is now than it was then. last year i decided on a theme for my birthday day, as well as for the year ahead, to revolve around courage, movement, and self-love. K R and C, my good friends, put up with my wackiness on that day. and still ask me how my theme is going. Well, here's the yearly report.

absolutely stellar.

It is so weird to think about the place that i was in a year ago. so . . . stuck. in so many ways. mentally, emotionally, even physically in many aspects of my life. i felt like i was in a huge hole that i couldn't possibly climb out of. i wallowed in hurts and was licking my wounds, scared to interact with the world and to trust again.

Courage was really important because all i wanted to do was cocoon myself and protect myself from the world. so much hurt and pain from everywhere. when i was younger i used to feel almost no emotion about anything - it was a way to protect myself from so much confusion and hurt. in college, in community, i learned to turn the switch on and feel . . . . which was exciting for awhile but once things turned sour i felt i had no skills to deal with it. That sort of kicked my ass with a vengeance during this time. i am a sensitive soul - perhaps too sensitive - in shocking contrast to who i was in my youth. I could probably have a better balance for this now, and am working on that. this quote resonated with me this week, being the feminist Bitch that i am;

Not all Bitches make it. Instead of calluses, they develop open sores. Instead of confidence, they develop an unhealthy sensitivity to rejection. Seemingly tough on the outside, on the inside they are a bloody pulp, raw from the lifelong verbal whipping they have had to endure - the BITCH manifesto

so after this year of whipping from all sides, i wanted to lock myself in a vault and forget about everything. Courage was important for me to not give up and to keep moving forward with life. And somewhere I found it. Thailand was a symbolically significant time for this. And I couldn't have found this courage without my community.

Movement - related. My psyche was so stuck in this place that i couldn't see which way was up anymore. dark dark dark. so much happened that year, all at once - the details of which i can't put on this page because it involves too many people i love. i felt that no matter how i tried, i couldn't get over this damned barrier. but somewhere along the way i have. clearly. i am no longer stuck in that mindset or thought pattern. i feel victorious and i also feel exhausted. and happy. and bigger and stronger.

self-love - if there is anything i still need to work on, it is this. i just don't know how to. it is difficult to unlearn everything you have been taught since a child. feminism has saved my life in this way and has allowed me to realize and believe that my voice is important, that i am important, that i am worth being listened to, that i will not be treated like i am not important anymore. victory on that! less victory on translating those into feeling that i am worth love, commitment, loyalty, time, gifts. less victory over my overwhelming reflex of self-blame for everything that goes wrong.

so... this year has brought much change, and many blessings. courage and movement - check. self-love - mini-check; still working on this one.

upcoming 2 posts: how God fits into all of this, and my focus for this coming year. stay tuned . . .