Monday, December 19, 2011

gotta remember this . . .

O how we struggle until we realize the struggle is the blessing:  progressing, changing, evoling from a seed into a tree . . . - William Blake

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

sober thought

If we didn't have death, imagine what life would be like.  You'd postpone living.  Death is the pressure that causes you to invest in the moment.  Death rings the bell on all procrastination and makes today precious.  - John Shelby Spong

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

love her.

Inside the story told is the story that cannot be told. - Jeanette Winterson, The Stone Gods

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological, but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered.  It is this real connection which is so feared by a patriarchal world.  Only within a patriarchal structure is maternity the only social power open to women. - Audre Lorde

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 1: I am the 9%

Day 1: Resisting my privilege of wealth. Bre, the pseudo-solidarity hero, abjectly fails.

Click here to read the Geez Whiz blog post.


this week i am running a little blogging experiment for Geez magazine.

it might be a little bit silly . . .

The link for the first post is here.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

hello adolescence. again.


Well, that last post was . . . dramatic.

Wow, it is so hard to get back into the routine of paying attention to the divine in my life. Something that seemed so normal in bible college (not necessarily natural, but normal) now seems way too foreign to me. I feel thrown back into ten years ago, where i was trying to learn simple things like mindfulness and breathing.

It's a good journey. It's a hard lesson. Is it weird to hate breathing?

I remember a time in my life when I was at Bible College that I was so terrified at my role as a campus leader that I woke up early every morning just to pray, because I was so afraid that I would screw up my students or my role or my life that I was so aware of my dependence on the divine to tangibly guide my path every single moment.

I wonder now if that was silly or if that was really really wise.

Lessons from a 19 year old. Maybe we should live our life in such awe of what is around us, and what is in us, that we should live in this sort of healthy holy terror of ourselves, our connectedness, our capabilities, and of God's love and call for our lives. Maybe starting the day off with a realization of our cosmic significance and big-ness is the only sane way to begin our days. And a healthy dose and acknowledgement of the overwhelming grace for us if we do stumble or make a mistake, the love of community and God, the significance and meaning of both our good intentions and sincere apologies.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

november 5 2011

And on this anniversary of both life and death
i woke up squinting
the sun blinding from atop these prairie mountains
calling again to me in ways i am not yet ready to follow
and forward looks backwards looks weak looks entangling
i no longer have my Northern Star
. . . a lie wrapped in hope, self-deception, tears and a wounded heart
both a true and a lie in one neatly wrapped package
And i have worn out my welcome here,
a too-long couchsurfer
afraid of the world beyond that door,
seeking comfort in current surroundings and large bowls of sour cream
These tactics have grown scabs of pride and self-preservation
ever-more demanding of my attention.
This clearly is no longer working.
But my soul is stirring
change calls me from afar

Monday, November 07, 2011

a turning, a vision

i have been craving church lately.

it is an odd feeling. one that i would like to pay attention to but don't actually know how.
i have been craving prayer meetings, group worship sessions, sitting around a fire and singing cheesy jesus camp songs.

but i dont know how to get that without the gut-wrenching feelings that i get when i walk into churches, the feelings of unsafety, frustrations about patriarchal assumptions and language, etc etc etc

and this wrench in my gut whenever i think about god

i am not sure when this shift happened; this shift to a life focused only on the physical. i am not sure when i started to live on this planet and not in in my spiritual orbit of looking at life and everything that i encounter. but somehow it shifted, somehow it did and somehow i got so angry at the divine that i can barely encounter her anymore

meditations, sweatlodges, long walks often leave me feelings angry disoriented and unhelpful

i'm hoping this is a phase. i am hoping this is a just long and prolonged reaction to an ending of a certain dream that i once had. my idealist view of the world and my future is not so idealist anymore and i feel too real life lately. i feel somewhat betrayed by a God who lets shitty things happen, relationships get punctured, and dreams get crushed.

i feel a big ball of feelings which need to get worked out somehow. angst, anger, anxiety. but i do feel very secure in wherever i am in this life, and with how god and i interact. maybe i have finally gotten to a point where i believe i won't be abandoned by the divine which actually allows me to face and process these feelings of life pain and disappointment. could this be a good thing?

i heart jesus. but she makes me so damned mad sometimes.

Monday, October 31, 2011

31 on 31

It's my birthday! again.

i always find birthdays a better time than new years to make resolutions. It feels a little more personal, a little more connected to me and my rhythm of life. plus, i can do a quick self-check at new years to see if i am on track 3 months later.

so here is the update, folks, this is where i am at on this champagne birthday:


For an anxiety-prone angst-filled woman, this is quite a rare state. Took 31 years to get here really. Its so wild that 10 years ago I graduated from Providence College and started a new non-student life; my life looks so differently now than it did back then. 10 years is both a very long and very short time.

I am thankful for the challenges, hurts, pains, joys, friends, and people who rubbed up against me like sandpaper for your part in making me the woman i am today. You know who you are.

So this year I declare a year of rest. Meaning that one of my main lessons this year is that sometimes you just have to trust, sit, and let things be. To go slow, thoughtfully, and intentionally. To resist busyness and replace it with meaningful relationships and very important meaningful times-of-no-scheduleness.

I basically declare a year of play.

Will keep you updated.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

tell it

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.  - Zora Neale Hurston

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I realize now that the past does not dissolve like a mirage.  I realize that the future, though invisible, has weight.  We are in the gravitational pull of past and future.  It takes huge energy - speed-of-light-power-to break that gravitational pull.
How many of us ever get free of our orbit?  We tease ourselves with fancy notions of free will and self-help courses that direct our lives.  We believe we can be our own miracle, and just a lottery win or Mr. Right will make the world new.

The ancients believed in Fate because they recognized how hard it is for anyone to change anything.  The pull of past and future is so strong that the present is crushed by it.  We lie helpless in the force of patterns inherited and patterns re-enacted by our own behavior.  The burden is intolerable.
- Jeanette Winterson, Weight

Monday, October 03, 2011


Each relationship you have with another person reflects the relationship you have with yourself. - Alice Deville

Monday, September 26, 2011

honesty and courage

Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears (their) grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate.  But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge - from which new sorrows will be born for others - then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply.
- Etty Hillesum

Monday, September 19, 2011

not rocket science

i am at work
talking to women with black eyes
women whose kids have been seized by the government
women who have just been kicked out of their homes because of factors they had nothing to do with

and i am listening to a podcast on the upcoming climate disaster
and then one on the holocaust where i almost started crying when i heard about people getting in trouble for throwing bread to those in the concentration camps

and then i said, "what the hell am i doing?"

sometimes i get home from my job and i feel drained. super drained, exhausted, in a bodily way

so maybe if i am working on the real-life effects of poverty all day i should consider what i am putting into my ear
something uplifting maybe

i know its important to know what's going on in the world
i know its important to work against oppression and harm
i know i really really really want a just world and that self-education is a huge part of that, especially through individual stories and through alternative media

i also know that sometimes i feel like i am losing my mind
sometimes i feel that these burdens are sitting straight on my shoulders
sometimes my job is too too hard

so maybe i should listen to banjo music or something once in awhile.

Monday, September 12, 2011


So...I did it. After months of plotting and planning and working 50 hours a week, i have simplified my life.

And that's great. and holy whoopsie.

So I have time again to sit and to be and to think. To clean my house, to take walks by myself, to sit by the river and on culverts, to be spontaneous, to leave room for god and spirit and myself to collide.


And I remember now why i became so busy two years ago. How this wasn't actually an accident like I have fooled myself into remembering. Time and space means plunging back into deep and sometime dark places which are swirling around somewhere in my heart. It is surprising how quickly they have returned.

It is time to face some of these demons which I have tightly tucked away. I just didn't think they would come back so soon. I feel back in a time warp, being faced with thoughts, feelings, griefs that I thought I overcame so very long ago. Past losses, past hurts, past relationships, self-doubt, anxieties, fears, you name it.

I want so badly to be comfortable with myself; to be able to sit alone in stillness and feel contentment instead of nagging doubt; joy instead of fear; self-love instead of regret.

So. Here is a change, a shift, a new yet familiar journey. It is exciting and terrifying and mostly lonely. But I am thankful for it. Or trying to be, at least.

buckle up, here we go

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Time brings us wounds, but time also heals them. - Elana Dykewoman, Beyond the Pale

Monday, August 08, 2011

mondays in august

this is what excites me about life lately.
- simplifying my life
- cleaning my closet (literally, i mean)
- learning how to be a better cook
- only working 2 jobs
- making my apartment feel more home-like
- getting rid of most of my stuff (hello, kijiji)
- thinking forward of one day soon buying a house, maybe having a kid
- taking time to meditate and pray
- having weekends again
- paying off my car loan
- exploring, risking, trusting, loving


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

i work too much.

hello good friends

i've rewritten this post about three times now and whatever it says seems too silly, too perfunctory, too obscure to be useful.


that's sort of how i'm feeling lately. too silly, too perfunctory, too obscure

21 days to freedom, when i'm done with working 60 hour weeks. maybe i'll feel like myself again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

an important reminder.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal.  Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness." -C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

i heart you all.

I have always known that at last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today. - Narihara

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011


my head is up down and all around this morning.


and by that i mean, what's going on in my brain? by that i mean why can't i encounter the divine in a real way? why do i always picture God as a crotchety old man with a big cane getting ready to hit me for all of the bad things i'm doing? what happened to my distinct and clear sense of liberation i used to walk around with not so long ago?

fear is pervasive.

i am wondering about my place in my faith, my christianity that has sustained me so long but has also left me with oh so many bruises. i was walking with my friend in ottawa a few weeks ago and we were talking and i said "well, when i was a christian . . . " and then we both stopped and looked at each other and were confused. she was like, "what?" and i was like, "what?" it was a confusing thing to hear from my mouth.

i feel i can't seem to find jesus anywhere anymore.

Monday, June 06, 2011

so what am i?

(please pardon the inherent patriarchal language . . . )

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.  What a man can be, he must be. – Abraham Maslow

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

i reserve the right to feel differently about this later

i feel cosmically weary. i feel somewhat invisible. i feel sad that all of these people have left winnipeg. i feel i could sleep for a year and a half. i feel unready to leave my pyjamas. i feel wounded and hurt, deeply. i feel personally attacked, although i know i shouldn't take these things personally. i feel proud of our work. i feel inadequate. i feel so happy to have worked with these womyn. i feel frightened i'll never see them again. i feel the future is unknown. i feel like i didn't do enough. i feel i should have held everything together better. i feel really angry. i feel a lot of assumptions and lack of gracefulness has ruined my day. i feel i need to chill out for awhile.

Monday, May 16, 2011

just that sort of day

hello, m'lovelies!

here is some food for thought on this early monday morning;

"I've always wondered why blessings wore disguises.  If I were a blessing, I'd run around naked. - Sophia, Golden Girls

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 09, 2011


hello good friends

life changes fast.

on a totally other topic
i went to church yesterday. it was boring and fulfilling and significant and foreign-feeling and lovely.

i feel a turning.
just not sure where.

Monday, May 02, 2011


some days, in order to feel anything at all, i need to visualize prying my heart open with a crowbar.
is this normal?
i am only 30 years old and already am finding it difficult to live with an open-heart. to not be shut down to new experiences, new relationships, new friendships, new possibilities.
i feel like every wound i've experienced results in a bandaid or a plastic board or a steel plate put around that part of my heart, shielding it from further hurt
this is . . . not good
it is sometimes a struggle to engage. it is sometimes hard to start the day anew with an intention of living openly, freely, with arms open to the gifts of the day and the gifts of Christ. It is sometimes difficult to engage and to feel things when i know the risks of being wounded again, by anything and anybody, friends, loves, coworkers, new jobs, puppies, mentors.
this is all sounding very dramatic
what i am saying is that i have the ability to completely shut off emotionally. and i find that sort of frightening.

Monday, April 25, 2011


everything feels upside down today
well, lately
the last 2 weeks or so

my lines of engagement are all blurry
my relationship with myself and my god is tepid at best
shut off
i find easter to be a painful place to sit

so many feelings flying in so many different places
it feels a bit out of control
also liberating
also terrifying
also very sad, mostly lonely

i guess what i am trying to say is,
i've got to pull myself together

Monday, April 11, 2011

irresistable trust

it is an irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly
Arch put that as a comment on one of my below posts
i love that
i've learned long time ago not to blog about things like that
but . . . just wanted to point that out
thanks, Arch

by the way, who are you people out there? let's be family. or deconstruct hip-hop music. or something worthwhile. together.

i feel caught in this strange . . . tidal wave of change, liberation, oil of oregano. the future seems very bright, but very busy. as always i have having much difficulty finding a balance between work and volunteer and socialization and myself.

old news, really

there has been a shift; an odd, surprising shift which sort of just snuck out from my jeanette winterson-stocked bookshelf. i feel more comfortable in my skin than ever before. i feel . . . lovely, happy, grounded. busy as hell, and somewhat torturedly so. but am overwhelmed with the strength i find in my community, in my readings, in my faith. in my sense of self-love and a sort of egotistical adoration of my gifts and abilities and celebratory of whoever the hell i am.

i like it.

at my 30th birthday party a few months ago (hey, i am scoring grey hair now, that's cool, i earned it) my friend Julie asked me what advice i would give now, after ALL of these years of being alive and watching science fiction.

"Trust," i said, without even thinking about it. and then i was taken aback by that word that flew out of my mouth.

i really love being 30. it's not even that old. but i love having that experience, i love being familiar with mountains and valleys and plateaurs, i love knowing that all shall be well in the end, even if terrible challenges and sadness finds me on my journey. If I have any wisdom to give it is this. To trust, in who i am, in who God is, in that guiding hand which sort of drives me crazy and pushes me to new and exciting and frightening places.

all shall be well
all shall be well
and all manner of things shall be well - Julian of Norwich

God, i love her.

Monday, April 04, 2011


if you don't speak God can't hear you - Mayda Del Valle

Monday, March 28, 2011

sort of basic, but helpful

We're not meant to fit in.  We're meant to stand out. - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thursday, March 17, 2011

nothing makes sense anymore

what is love?
a choice?
a feeling?
an uncontrollable force?
a commitment?
good lord.
is it a head thing or a heart thing?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Amen. Yes yes yes yes yes.

 Adventure comes with no guarantees or promises.  Risk and reward are conjoined twins . . . there are many good reasons not to toss your life up in the air and see how it lands.  Just don't let fear be one of them. - Mary South

Monday, March 07, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

ola. gracias.

so i just landed after a week's vacation. there is a definite change in me, i dreaded landing in winnipeg again. my to-do list is so very very long and i don't know if i will be able to tackle it.

it was so nice being unconnected from the internet, no phone for a week. i felt disconnected, but still loved and supported by all of the fantastic people out there who know me.

'twas a very good feeling and i am already longing for this simplicity again

my soul longs for a simple life, one where everyday isn't full of undoable tasks and where rest is just as much of a priority as changing the world is

where i count my health and own fulfillment as important as my advocacy work

where i value a leisurely walk outside as much as i value marching in the streets

someday i will get there . . .
gotta get this guilt monkey off my back first though

Monday, February 21, 2011

jeanette winterson is my hero.

Atlas was afraid.  His future was at the ends of his fingers, and too heavy to be moved. - Weight, Jeanette Winterson

Monday, February 14, 2011

i want this.

Real power is usually unspectacular, a simple setting aside of fear that allows the free flow of love.  But it changes everything.  - Martha Beck

Thursday, February 10, 2011

recent learnings

ok, wow.
well, a flurry of comments, not on the page but in my inbox. interesting. nobody wants to talk about love publicly?

so, let me expand on my post below for fear you'll think me a heartless woman

i do believe that love CAN. i think love CAN be transformative. that it can change lives, cross boundaries, unite people at our very cores. i believe that love can be the most powerful powerful thing in the entire world. i have experienced it.

what i no longer believe is this idea that love conquers all, or that love will always win in the end. yes i think it can and should. but often doesn't. fear is a more powerful motivator than love and often kicks love's ass. love is so powerful it is frightening.

love can only conquer all in the context of a committed choice to stand firm through the scaryness.

to recognize this power and this fear and choose to stay in one spot regardless.


Monday, February 07, 2011

head purge

hello friends
my head is spinning with so many things! help me get them out. so here's my list for today.

moving - wow. everytime i move i feel so loved loved loved. so many people offering to help out doing really really terrible tasks like packing my crap, moving my crap, unpacking my crap, and then cleaning my bathroom. what the heck? friends are fantastic.

related...its sort of an emotional ride because it is easy to feel alone when you are unpartnered and doing something depressing like moving and feeling that the entire burden is on you. this is also how i feel about money issues and other things - like i can't share this burden with anybody else and carry it by myself. moving reminds me how NOT alone i am. that there are so many wonderful people waiting and ready and volunteering to chip in. i still get surprised. what? you want to come on a sunday afternoon and clean my bathroom? really?
it makes me realize i am not alone at all, and so very very fortunate. thank you for the reminder, friends!

the other day i told somebody that i didn't really believe in love. she almost fell off her chair, which was sort of funny, and then she was further disillusioned when another colleague agreed with me. that was sort of funny, but also sort of shocking to hear myself say it outloud. i think i need to figure this out maybe. is love a choice or a force?

check out geez magazine - this is one of my contracts! it's fun and weird and full of fantastic people. so i'll probably be mentioning it here once in awhile. as a refresher i also work here, and also as a research assistant for the UofM.

my bachelor apartment is so full of crap i literally have to walk over things to go to the bathroom and out the door. i had to pee sideways because there's a huge plastic box in front of the toilet. apparently i have a lot of useless crap. moving is a time to purge! makes me excited, but i probably should have done it long ago, or not let this accumulation happen at all. really, i don't need a ferengi head on my shelf. anybody want to take it off my hands?

ok i love you bye bye!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

this makes no sense

It is becoming increasingly obvious that i have no idea how to approach life.

I keep having this haunting feeling that everything i am doing i am doing wrong. i am trying to find strength in being myself but seem to always screw that up. i feel paranoid. when i speak from a place of vulnerability i feel childless and stupid. when i speak from a place of strength i feel i am putting up walls and barriers to people. i am very aware of when i am trying to impress people and i HATE that. but do it all of the time. i have been super judgmental of others lately and like to belittle and feel superior. that sucks. and is because i feel so inadequate lately in all of my tasks and jobs. i love being dramatic for attention but hate that i resort to that garbage just to feel good about who i am.
it feels like everything i do i regret or second guess. i should have tweaked that grant proposal. i should have taken the earlier bus. i should have not said that. i should have said that. i should have worn those pants. stupid stupid stupid things.
i am mad and tired of this circle. is this a common thing? do you get caught in this trap?
maybe its because my life feels so out of control. maybe its because i work 12 hour days. its probably because i have a million commitments and am terrified of dropping the ball and disappointing people.
ya thats it.
how do you find your core? and when you find it how do you stay there? and when you stay there how can you be comfortable with yourself?
advice please.

Monday, January 24, 2011

another one.

My experience has led me to believe that only by wholly entering, wholly feeling, wholly inhabiting other people and experiences, are we brought to any happiness and security.  Only by allowing ourselves to see what we already see and know what we already know are we freed from depression and ennui. - Eve Ensler

Monday, January 17, 2011

a difficult lesson

Freedom can come only from contemplating death, not from pretending it doesn't exist.  Not from running from loss but from entering grief, surrendering to sorrow. - Eve Ensler, Insecure At Last

Sunday, January 09, 2011

scared of real life again. watch out - bad words here.

and i sit and i wonder who i am how i am and what i a feeling and where is Jeanette Winterson when i really need her? i am abandoned without a path or particular inspiration where am i going and what has happened to my purpose my sense of joy my inherent deep and prolonging knowledge of who i am and who i want to be? fuck. and fuck you. you apocalyptic horseperson full of pestilence and disease stop this relentless pursuit of my being and my personhood. why so much self-doubt? and when will it become self-pity? and what response will that bear why do i depend so much on your opinion of who i am and my loveliness to feel that i have a cosmic beautiful calling one above this world and flying solo high above this beach with both abandon and extreme caution and a scorpio carefully chooses her victims. but i am the target of my own poison, my divinely inspired hauntedness uncertainties and beauty i am beautiful but torturedly so. needing a head pat and a kiss on the cheek once in awhile. i am strong and confused beautiful gifted precise longing longing and tears and joy laughter and DSCs too many even and in want of a real home roots which run as deep in my home as they run through my heart and my body and soul a place to make soup and tea. you can come over and i can show you who i am in ways never before offered. that wasn't meant to be sexual; it is genuine and at face value a gift i want to give to you from me. my still waters run deep and trusted souls are invited to share with me, haunted and unsure blocked out faces and ghosts around every corner whom shall i trust? where is the divine when i fucking need her? lovely. i want to be lovely. or moreso recognize my beauty without a pat on the head anymore. i am fucking strong deep lovely gifted. and will everyday change grow learn wisdom and stature - just look at my church certificate proof i am growing changing never ever forget love

*copyright Bre 2011

Monday, January 03, 2011


hello friends

so...i missed posting last week. caught that flu that's been going around. Day 10 and i am still not completely ok.

wow, life changes fast sometimes. it feels like this entire year has been one large soap opera with dramatic things happening almost weekly. its kept my counsellor on her toes, i'll tell you that.

i've been in a really good space lately - really healthy and working through some past issues and past hurts which have been negatively affecting me. big things which have been haunting me for years, sometimes decades. i feel so stuck in these sometimes. i spent a day right before Christmas just praying and meditating - wow, its been a long time since i've done that. It was so good for me and brought a lot of clarity and healing and even forgiveness towards a situation i've been struggling with for a very long time.

i don't really know how to live this life. i wish i did. these patterns of small victories and major setbacks feels like it is getting very very old.

who the hell am I? maybe 2011 will bring some clarity.
probably not.