Monday, December 27, 2010


The best thing I learned about myself this year is that I have endless reserves of anger and rage. This may not sound like a good thing to learn about oneself but I find a strange pleasure in that, alongside the disturbing nature of the discovery. It means that when I need to be angry, when I need to rage to stay alive or to protect that which I value, or when I need that anger to be there to fight for what I believe in, it will be.

I also learned that I can let go of things like resentment. And that I can be patient and loving even when I don't feel like it. I am capable of a lot more than I realized.

I will carry this on with me. Knowledge is power; and self-knowledge even more so. Now that I know that I can let go of resentment, for instance, it's a lot harder for me to hang onto it in the first place. I see the endless pools of rage and anger resentment brings (and even if I think I can utilize that anger, I don't want to live there), and I'm not willing to have that be my default setting.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


From Reverb10. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?


I've had my paradigms of life challenged this year. It hasn't always been by friends. In fact, though friends have been the ones introducing me to the paradigm shifters, they haven't directly challenged my perspectives. In part because I isolated myself from my friends this summer. But that's beside the point right now.

S. introduced me to Alex Jones via and Even if you don't believe it, it's still interesting. If nothing else it made me realize what I value in life, and what I'm actually willing to fight for and die for and still go down full of faith that I did the right thing.

That was a sudden change.

That was the biggest change. Not the only one.

Perhaps not the biggest change. Another friend, the woman who introduced me to Arbonne, was the indirect cause for me to listen to Keith Kochner speak in Saskatoon. That changed my perspective greatly, made me realize I don't have the limitations I thought I did, that I don't have to live my life the way I have been, that I'm not trapped into anything but that everywhere around me is opportunity.

These changes are ongoing, quick bursts and then long-term work.

Little changes - after all, a 4 inch shift in the ocean floor will cause a tsunami - can be as mind blowing as big ones, after all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

5 Minutes to Amnesia

You have 5 Minutes before you will completely lose your memory of 2010. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Here I go.

S. Him this year. His generosity. His love. Just him, in his life, crotchety and funny and sweet and sour.

Z. The dog. Her puppyhood when she was sweet and her current state where she's not. Such a biter. So much work to be done. Sigh.

Saskatoon. Hearing Keith Kochner speak. Having those ideas sink into my soul and remind me of what is important and what is not.

Learning about the way the world is working, the tyranny and oppression and removal of freedoms that is happening every day and nobody gives a shit. Alex Jones has a lot of information about this. It's scary but it's important to know. Even if you don't believe it, it's important to know. The Canadian government just passed a bill so that American troops can come to Canada to maintain order during an emergency. I think Canada gets to define emergency - but maybe not. And either way, we've just signed away some of our sovereignty. Great work, government...and great work, Canadian public, letting that one slide through without a whisper of protest.

The love I've experienced this year. I would want to remember that too. The revelations I've had in churches and at home.

And my five minutes are up.

That went faster than I expected. But I think I remembered the important things.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I appreciate S. More than I think he knows. He's been there for me this summer when I know I was extremely hard to live with. Sudden spurts of anger and rage mixed with long periods of what felt like numbness and withdrawal from life.

So he deserves a medal. Or something. Just for loving me through all of that.

I didn't express much gratitude this summer. I wasn't capable of expressing much. At least that's how it felt.

After going to Saskatoon last month, my outlook on life changed. Not overnight, it's an ongoing thing, an awareness of perspective and the important things in life. It has made me easier to live with I think. I hope. And it has made me more aware of expressing gratitude and love towards people I value. I hope it has actually taken action. I know I'm not as stressed. I'm calmer.

I don't think I've actually thanked S. for his wonderfulness this summer though. I think I'm going to do that. Right now.


To quote Reverb10 - When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

Well shit.

This is probably what my Arbonne sponsor would like to know too.

Although I'm realizing what my dreams actually are, and defining what I really want, and it changes as I get older and more informed about the world, and more aware of what matters to me.

To answer this I really need to know what my aspirations are. The only repeating aspiration I have is to be a published author. I don't do much to promote this goal of mine. Although writing these every day is a baby step towards that - it keeps me writing every day - and that's something. I am slowly going through the full length novel I wrote two years ago, getting it ready to submit to a publishing house, and that's something too. It's just a lot of baby steps. Little pieces of action, far apart. I'm not sure why I'm not a big action quickly sort of girl. I never have been. But I don't think that's because I couldn't do it. Just for some reason I don't.

And with's a strange feeling. I wanted to promote in November, to the next level, to share my dreams with some business builders and get the ball rolling. I was half-way there - and then doors began to shut. Gently. But shutting nonetheless. And I got the distinct, strange feeling that November was not my time. That it would be, at some point, my time to make Arbonne my focus. But not right now. I went to an Arbonne meeting and again, got the sense that while I needed to keep my toes in the water, it was not the time to 'hurry hard' at this.

I'm not sure why.

I felt strongly that I needed to start my business at the level I did. I don't regret doing it. I'm glad I started on this venture, and I still have dreams and goals. I just can't get it going right now and for some reason I feel like that's a deliberate thing.

It's strange but I'm going with it. If I can't follow my TUG (the ultimate guide, built into each one of us) then I can't follow anything.

Those are the two main areas I have aspirations in that I feel I need to take action on. One, I feel I need to take more action. The other, I feel I'm doing what I'm supposed to even if it doesn't seem like enough.

What are my next steps? With writing, it's to finish these prompts and get my book ready to send away. I guess I should set a deadline. I will have my manuscript (or a selection of it) in the mail to the publishing house by my next birthday (which is coming up pretty fast here). With Arbonne, it's to keep dipping my toes in, keep pushing here and there to see if there's a spot to find forward momentum, and wait for my gut (hmm, reverse tug and what do you get?) to tell me that it's time to move further, faster, now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I have been increasingly blessed to find that I don't think about my body and mind being separated much anymore.

It still happens.

A few nights ago I had a little fit - I don't know what to call them. I used to get them all the time. Time speeds up and slows down simultaneously. My mouth gets a strange taste in it. My head feels larger and heavier than it should. Things are incredibly loud. I feel like I'm moving very quickly and yet everyone else is so, so slow.

I had a doctor tell me it might be temporal epilepsy. In which case I had a seizure.

That is a mind-body split. It was very strange since I hadn't had one for so long.

I didn't like it one bit.

I used to live my life as though my mind was connected and my body was absent. Lately I've had more moments where I felt my body was more connected than my mind. As if my body was trying to tell me something and my mind was completely oblivious. Or in denial. Or deliberately shutting out information I needed.

Migraines stemming from shutting down when I needed to speak up. Muscles tightening when I refused to acknowledge my stress. Heart beating hard and fast and chest tight when anxiety overwhelmed reason and faith vanished in the face of fear. Breathing being lost in the stress of the summer.

And my brain didn't feel that involved this summer. It was shrouded. Blocked. Fuzzy. Forgetful. Not present. So perhaps that's why my body had to step up, to keep me going, to keep me alive and functioning on some basic level that I had forgotten existed.

More and more my body and mind and heart and soul feel like one cohesive unit.

If that was a consequence of the summer, then I am grateful again that this summer happened.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

11 Things

11 things I don't need. 11 things I'll try to eliminate in 2011.

1. I don't need One World Governance. Individual countries need to keep their freedom.

2. I don't need higher taxes. The economy won't improve unless people have money to spend, after all.

3. I don't need my freedoms being restricted in the name of security.

These three, all I can do about them is to protest the bills being passed that pave the way for these things to happen; and to use my voting power wisely; and to be aware, informed and unafraid. Keep my eyes open. Look for the light.

4. I don't need the procrastination I exude towards my writing. This is probably the easiest, and hardest, to eliminate...just by sitting down and making myself write.

5. I don't need poverty, and I don't need riches. However, I also don't have riches so I can't get rid of that one...and I've been trying to get rid of poverty for a long time. Perhaps I need to reevaluate my definition of poverty.

6. I don't need stress. I am learning to manage the things I find stressful and I am getting better at not internalizing things I don't need to.

7. I don't need meaningless anger. With learning what to internalize and what to shut out, I am getting better at eliminating this one too.

8. I don't need hatred. I am letting go of resentment, and with it goes the hatred and the anger.

9. I don't need censorship. From myself or from others. And this is solved by learning to hear myself, to allow myself to use my true voice, and to fight to be heard.

10. I don't need to be given smurf bites by my dog. This one is going to take some time and training. Possibly professional help.

11. I don't need my furniture to be destroyed by said dog. Again. Professional help may be required.

Friday, December 10, 2010


What was the wisest choice I made this year, and how did it play out?

Good grief, Reverb10. You don't pull any punches, do you?

To answer glibly, and off the top of my head, I have no idea. I won't know until I have the wisdom of hindsight, time passed to show me the long term consequences of the choices I have made this year. It's near impossible to tell which of the choices I made this year was the wisest; and the context often determines what was wise at what time, anyway.

But if asked to actually choose one - going to listen to Keith Kochner speak in Saskatoon. Not only listening to him speak, but taking in what he had to say, and growing, and bringing change into my life because of it. If anyone reading this ever gets a chance to go to an Exchange Event, I would recommend it. There is so much to take in. So much change to put into effect. So much to ponder and let go of and rewrite. So many areas of my life that it applies to. I went because of Arbonne; it's shown me that my true passion in life is to tell stories, and the desire of my heart is to tell stories that change people's lives (hopefully for the better). And to live in Balance. I have yet to figure out how Arbonne, and theatre, and every other choice I've ever made, fits into that.

But I'm no longer freaked out about that process, and I no longer think I need to have all the answers yesterday. This is a journey and I am growing peaceful with that reality. Most days.

I think that's all the wisdom I can put into action in my life right now.

Rocking My Socks Off

When I graduated from Rosebud a lovely woman took all the graduating women to a spa for mani-pedis and massages. The woman who did my pedicure said I had the softest feet she'd ever worked on. She asked if I ever went barefoot.

I told her I wore socks and shoes almost all the time, or socks and slippers. She said that explained it, at least in part.

All that to say, I don't rock my socks off.

I didn't do a lot of parties this year. I'm not sure I did any, actually.

I didn't do a lot of social gatherings either.

The best social gatherings I went to were with people S. worked with. They came over for his birthday. We went to one of their places for another birthday party, and for an end of season party. Outside, or at a local pub, surrounded by people who were full of life and energy when I was not, was a way to fill myself with some of that energy. Music, or the sound of people and doves in the backyard of the house next door; a fire pit, food cooked over the flames or brought by cheery waitresses. Comfy clothes, decent. Pizza on blue couches in a third story apartment that felt way, way higher. Chatter. Talk. Theatre and life mixing. Games. Drinking, alcohol and pop and water with ice crunched between the teeth.

The feeling of acceptance.

Those were moments of connecting to community too. Those were moments that I will remember from 2010.

Beautiful Souls

Another prompt from Reverb10 - Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different & you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

I'm a few days behind. I'll catch up on the weekend. Writing is tough...yeah, yeah, I know. I love it. But it's tough to take time for it when I'm gone all day and I want to come home and spend time with S. and the dog and not my computer.

When I thought about this one I didn't know what to write. I don't know what I do that makes people light up. It seems to be a bit random. Little moments of true un-self-awareness, those moments when a person is just truly themselves, no censorship - you know the ones? Where you see someone and get an instant crush on them, as one of my acting teachers once put it. Not a sexual thing - just a moment of seeing their soul. It's beautiful.

And I'm not sure what makes me different. Or rather, I'm not sure I can articulate what makes me different. It's my soul. That can't be articulated.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Where have I found community (online or otherwise) in 2010? Where would I like to join, create or connect to more deeply in 2011?

On a side note, I'm enjoying Reverb10. Even if I feel rushed doing it.

I have noticed this year that I started with a feeling of community. Within and outside of the theatre. I had gigs, friends I was working with, confidence and joy. And then that went away and I felt a vacuum of community in my life that led me into depression, or at least damn close to it.

So I've felt a loss of community that was, in retrospect, kind of self inflicted.

I briefly felt a sense of community at a church I went to three times, before it began to push all sorts of buttons for me.

I've felt connected to my neighbours for the first time in two years. Not strongly, like I was used to in Rosebud, but still connected. It's something...but not a community.

I've felt connected to people S. worked with. A bit of community, like a family I was married into. The people I've worked with, in some cases more than others, like a little bit of that too. But not enough to sustain me. And that's not what work is for, after all. Not outside the financial, anyway.

So, to answer the question. I've found community in dribs and drabs, where I could, because I realized I desperately needed it. Mostly offline, much to my surprise now. Although I spent a lot of time on Facebook. Which I guess says something about social media vs. human connection.

I would like to be more connected to my 'old' friends in 2011. I would like to find community in a spiritual sense this coming year, whether in church or in an informal setting. I'd like to plug into the theatre community, in some way, and into the Arbonne one as well.

But mostly with my friends who've been there through thick and thin. And some new ones I'm making now. Relationships are important to me and I want to keep that a priority.


What was the last thing I made? Is there something I want to make but need to clear time for?

The last thing I made, or felt creative about, was a present I wrapped. I didn't make the present - that I bought - but the wrapping process made me feel like a creator which was nice. It's pretty, sitting on my table until I see my friend tomorrow. It's orange. She reminds me of the colour orange. I hope she likes it.

The last thing I actually made, though, was a sock-shoe for the dog. It was not my idea. S. took an old holey sock, cut it apart and measured (roughly) a sock for Z. And then asked me to sew it. So I took orange thread (a colour theme perhaps) and sewed up the sides of the bag for her foot. She didn't much appreciate it but at least her foot can bend where it's supposed to. We'll see if we make any other sock-bag-shoes for her.

And I want to make a summer dress. The pattern is cut out. The material downstairs. It needs to be ironed. Today I noted to myself that I feel like I have no time to do anything. I'm not sure that's true but I know January will be upon me before I've prepared for it and I don't like that. The feeling of panic, being rushed. I need to sort out my time usage. And figure out how to utilize that fricken commute in the evening that goes for 45 minutes when it should be 20. Stupid traffic.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Letting Go

Again, Reverb10.

What, or whom, did I let go of this year?

In a word. Resentment. I held onto some anger I didn't need. And I let go of that this year.

It was a wonderful, good feeling.

Of all the things to let go of, that was the best one.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


This is from Reverb10.

I ponder the question, how did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? And I think, off the top of my head, that I didn't.

This year was a year of ups and downs for me. Incredible ups. Intense downs.

I started the year with such joy and hope and excitement. I was going to be involved with four theatrical productions, possibly more. I was going to have two shows produced that I had written. I was unemployed but with a sense that things would be okay, I would be provided for and my soul would be fed and I would be okay. My faith was strong. My joy complete.

The first project of the year. Working with friends. Writing a show out of the blue - so three written works produced! - and having a blast, and making money doing what I love. The wonder of that experience just happened. I didn't go out of my way to cultivate it. I just experienced it and revelled in the love of it.

Working with children in a homeless shelter. I wondered, in a different way, at their lives. The fact they would use the microwave on the toy kitchen and not the stove or oven. They would use a toy phone but not talk to each other. Again I didn't cultivate a sense of wonder, and it wasn't a sense of wonder in the way I suspect is meant by the question I am pondering.

Then we started rehearsals for the second theatrical project of the year. A play I wrote. A character I loved. A process that was just fun, just playing with friends. A wonder I felt at the joy and the fun and the play. This wasn't work. It was sheer enjoyment of being alive. It was wonderous. And then the show was cancelled - postponed - cancelled. Three days into rehearsal. Anger warred with disappointment warred with resentment and more anger. Fury. Rage.

The other two shows I was supposed to be a part of were cancelled too. Both my plays now unproduced sitting in drawers where I couldn't see them.

More anger. More rage. Much more resentment.


Unemployment again but this time without the sense that I would be provided for. Without a sense of purpose. I felt lost and drifting. Inexplicable anger, misdirected at those I love instead of those people, and forces, I was angry with. No wonder, unless you count wondering why I was so angry and upset and sad and dark. And then it was just numb and apathetic.

We got a puppy, at first a minor distraction and then a reason to get up in the morning because she needed me to. It probably saved me. Even if it also showed me the darkest pools of rage, brought a great fear into myself because how could I be so angry with a little baby, innocent of ill intent, to the edge of hurting her but at least I could stop myself from crossing that line. And I was feeling something again. Even if it wasn't wonder or joy.

A patch of light. Visiting home for a few weeks. Nothing to do but no pressure to do anything. I couldn't find work here, I was a visitor. And then a spot of interest, a chance to take matters into my own hands, Arbonne was a chance to make money and have some aspect of life come back, and so I took it and floundered.

I realized there was no balance. Either all focus was on writing, or acting, or Arbonne, or socializing, or finding work, or playing games. When doing one the others vanished. I realized this was what I actually wanted - balance - all aspects of a whole life showing themselves at once. More than riches or fame or success. Balance would be nice.

I put myself out there. I get work. I wonder at how the pieces are suddenly falling into place for me. What happened? What was I lacking all summer, why is there light now where there was darkness, why hope where there was despair, why joy where there was an endless hole of anger? And the anger is still there, simmering. But it's not at the top anymore. It's progress. Or at least pleasant. I have time with friends. Work with money. Arbonne appointments. Family visits. Love. Auditions. A writing class. A welcoming congregation. Life is full of wonder and joy again.

Life throws some curve balls. I lose my job. Arbonne falls to the background, people say no, they don't want to hear what I'm doing. We can't go home for Christmas. The dog is being a little shit. The church is full of lies. The audition is a bust, writer's block surfaces.

And I hear a man speak about resentment circling down to resistance circling down to revenge. About the foundational stories that provide cracks and leaks and lies in the houses that are our lives. About how to identify those stories and change them and begin to heal. To let go of resentment. To let go of the lies and find our way to Balance. True abundance in every aspect of our lives.

And I let go of resentments I've held since the spring. Since the shows vanished along with my joy. I begin the life-long process of replacing lies with Truth, of reprogramming the voices in my head, of finding Balance with a capital B.

People still say no to Arbonne but for some reason I feel that it's a gentle Not Now from Him. I don't know why but I am okay. Moments of despair instead of weeks of darkness. A chance to speak blessings into the lives of hundreds of people every day, people who may not know what I'm doing but for whom I hope it makes a difference anyway. A Joe Job transformed into a chance for Light to triumph. A dog who is still being a shit but instead of unfathomable anger I find patience and an acknowledgement that she is there to teach me as much as I am there to guide her on the path to Good Dog. Writer's block dissipates. Auditions still a bust but that's okay too. It's about more than that, a bigger picture, a life of joy and abundance instead of panic and lacking.

New friendships grow out of unexpected places. Chances to share a faith that is unconventional at best. To share a joy and a peace and a gratefulness without labels or limitations. Old friendships revitalized once my resistance was thrown away. Joy in the hiccups of an unborn baby.

I am finding my sense of wonder again and for that I am so, so grateful. If that is what the summer was for. For me to appreciate the Light again once I began to find it. Then I am slowly growing grateful for the summer as well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blinded by the Light, or perhaps just Blinded

I've started going back to church. My neighbours invited me with them and I decided to go. Something was missing in my life, some hole that I decided needed to be filled with God. And thus - church.

The first Sunday I went, I was amazed by how welcoming everyone was. I hadn't been there for 5 minutes and four people had shaken my hand. Welcomed me there. Expressed pleasure that I existed. The worship music was lead by an enthusiastic and decent group of musicians and singers. The sermon, delivered by a young man in his third year of seminary, was also enthusiastic, if completely unsophisticated. I was surprised by how it landed with me, how my intellect didn't get in the way and write off the young man for losing his place, his train of thought; for his entire sermon of cliches and non-original thought. It landed, and I had an experience, my faith renewed like it has not been for years.

I went back the next Sunday. It was another guest speaker. An old man, a man who preached in the style of my youth, designed to push my buttons with his incessant prattle about how God will make you wealthy if you tithe with an open heart and just have faith. After all, he and his wife had faith that God would provide when they stepped out and bought their fifth property without knowing for sure they could pay for it.

Thanks. That's really relatable. Fifth property, huh? I bit my tongue and held in my cynicism. When I talked to my mother, decompressing, I got the mixed messages of "I can't handle the Prosperity Gospel" and "You shouldn't go to church to get something out of it. Going through the motions has value too."

Full of cynicism and confusion, I slept in the next Sunday.

The pastor's wife called me a few days later to see if I was okay. I was both pleased to be missed and annoyed that I had to call in sick to church. And then she asked me if I could use my acting talents to help the youth put on a Christmas banquet in 6 weeks. "We haven't chosen anything yet," she said. "But the youth pastor is quite a talented actor too! He did all kinds of things in high school. I'll have to chat with you both on Sunday!"

She prayed for me too. Prayed that God would shower me with blessings, money, and find me a good husband one day. She didn't ask if I had a man already and I didn't volunteer that information. She did a lot more talking than listening and I just wanted to get off the phone before my phone bill got higher. I might have tithed when Old Man Prosperity preached but it hadn't returned to my wallet, guided by the Golden Hands of God, just yet.

I hung up with a rueful smile. It was true, what my acting teachers had said. Every time church people find out you're an actor, they try to rope you into putting on amazing productions in no time at all - after all, it can't be hard. Every high school student does drama. It doesn't take time. I bit down on my jaded knee-jerk reaction and planned how to politely decline any responsibility for a Christmas concert/program/banquet thingy while not making them sound like blithering idiots for their ignorance.

I went on Sunday. I tried to leave my judging eyes at home. Tried to have an open heart and mind, a teachable spirit.

"Who here would rather have a million dollars? Who here would rather have True Riches?"

This is what the pastor segued too, in a sermon about faithfulness. I bit down. I am here to be teachable. I am leaving the judging eyes at home.

"Define True Riches!" shouts special dude behind me. He's been singing in harmonies the entire morning, much to my surprise; harmonies that arise from him trying to sing the tune, I think, since they work but they don't sound fully intentional. He's also been yelling the odd supportive phrase throughout the sermon, which he has done every Sunday I've been there. Nevertheless, by this point I am in total agreement with Special Dude. I want the definition of True Riches already, particularly since the pastor has asked the question, with minor variations, 6 TIMES. I mean, get to the fucking point already.

Except when he got to the point I could no longer hold onto the teachable spirit I'd been trying to cultivate.

Because the point, and the definition of True Riches...


"God wants you to be rich!" "God wants you to make more than $100,000 a year! Why? Because $100,000 a year is a limit, and God wants you to have no limits!" "God's blessings are the goose that laid the golden eggs! People can take away your wealth (the golden eggs) but you'll still have true riches (the goose)!" "I believe this verse is about money!"

Verbatim. Unfortunately. That is all verbatim.

I wrote down some furious notes. I ran out of paper. When the pastor asked if we believed what he was saying, I shook my head emphatically - I don't think he saw. I began to shake with rage, my arms crossed, sitting in the front row, anger rising and rising until I had to either jump up and slap the pastor across his lying face or leave.

I left. My heels clicked all the way across the community centre floor to the back, where the two door guards (I guess they're called ushers) pointed out the washroom. I went in, looked in the mirror - my face was pale, I was shaking, I looked distraught. "I can't go back in there," I whispered to the empty room. "I just can't."

I texted S. - "Fucking prosperity gospel. Coming home. Want a cheeseburger and fries?" I took a few breaths and snuck out while the guards - sorry, ushers - weren't looking. I made it to the car, got inside and locked the doors - I felt like I had to escape. It was so oppressive. And as I drove away I checked my mirrors, expecting the pastor's wife to chase me down and haul me back inside.

I talked to my mom. "I got away though," I said. She laughed but that's how it felt.

I ranted for a long time. To S., to my mom, my dad. On here, now. On Facebook. The lies this man was preaching, masquerading as God's word, cloaked in the verses about a cheerful giver - tithe to Pastor Moneybags, God will reward you with cash, it's working for Pastor Moneybags, isn't it? As he grows fat on the tithes of his impoverished congregation who cannot afford a building of their own and must use a community centre while they wait for God's blessing to arrive, in the form of Mamon.

A word he actually used in the sermon, to describe God's blessings.

Last I checked, the Bible said you could serve either God or Mamon. Not both.

Not both.

And last I checked, Satan made promises of material wealth too.

So if both look like angels of light...

If they both shine brighter than the sun...

If they both give you money when you follow their rules...

What the fuck is the difference?

From an earthly perspective, that is.

I've struggled with money, and with faith, and I've almost made the choice to choose Mamon over God. To hear that if I only had enough faith, and the right kind of faith, I'd be rewarded with money...well, that rubs me the wrong way. That invalidates the faith journeys of every poor person on the planet. Why isn't it working for the Christians of Africa, or China? Surely the Christians who are prosecuted for their faith, who have to make a choice between worshipping God or living their lives in peace, surely they have enough faith to be given large gifts of cash instead of having their fucking lives taken away from them? This message of bullshit invalidates my childhood, where money was rare and God was not. My parents, who experienced poverty and faith hand in hand. It makes a mockery of everything I feel to be true and right, and turns God into a Golden Calf.

I can't handle it. Obviously.

The pastor's wife called me that night to ask if I was okay. "Someone said you left during the sermon," she said. I took a deep breath and told her the truth, politely. "The prosperity gospel pushes a lot of buttons for me," I said. "I had to leave."

"Oh. Oh," she said. She didn't seem to know what else to say. "Well, thank you for being honest," she finally said. "You're welcome," I said. "I'll call you on Wednesday and we can chat," she continued.

S. said I should have told her not to call me or contact me ever again. I guess I was too polite. I think being polite and nice is going to catch up to me one day, when I snap and have a breakdown of some kind on some random person - God help that random person, they're going to wonder what the hell happened to them - but since that is still just a thought and not a near-future eventuality, I didn't tell her to go fuck herself with her golden Bible.

By some accident my phone died today.

Accident? Or divine intervention?

I don't know.

But it's a good thing, either way.

Because today might have been the day that I snapped.

I drove to Saskatoon today. I've had an overly busy last two weeks. I've had 3 days, in the last 22, where I didn't go far as I can remember, anyway...but I think I only took one of those days to just do nothing. So I think I'm pushing myself to a breaking point of some kind. For the last week or so I have been spoiling for a fight - you know those days where you wake up and you just want somebody to do something or say something so you can just light into them and rip them apart, just so you can feel better? I wanted to break someone's nose, or cut them to the soul with my words, or something violent and cruel and completely unnecessary, just to be a bitch and get it over with. I fantasized about going back in time, to the customer who was grouchy because their favoured dog food was out of stock, who told me we were going to lose business if we didn't get our act together instead of reading the GODDAMNED SIGN ABOVE THE DOG FOOD THAT SAID IT WAS A MANUFACTURERS SUPPLY ISSUE and had nothing to do with us - fuck, I wanted to go back in time and take out 26 years of being nice to people on her until she cried. Good thing I haven't got a time machine.

I didn't fight today. I had a few chances to be a bitch but I held back and was nice and lied when people asked me how I was, said fine, smiled, all is well in the inner workings of this maniacally tired girl. I saw a friend and that was a high point in my day - it's possible to just rest in the largeness of her almost-to-term belly and take some real delight in the life that resides in there. And then I kept driving. I cried a bit as I drove. I talked myself through all the reasons I need to go to therapy. I think I've decided that I should get at least one sleep-in day a week, a day where I do nothing and go nowhere and just hang out with my man and my dog and try to restore my sanity in little pieces every day. I decided I shouldn't be in customer service, where the chance to explode on innocent people is just too readily available. If they ask me to be a merchandiser, I think I'll take it - it means dealing with product, not people, and you can swear (quietly) at product if it's frustrating you without getting fired.

Doing the Arbonne thing feels a little confusing to me right now to be honest. Is it chasing Mamon in another form? Or is it okay? Am I the hypocrite, or am I simply searching for a way to use my God given gifts and still have a roof over my head? My sponsor wants me to kick it into high gear. I'm tired and confused and I feel like I'm letting her down. I don't know what I want anymore, and I don't know what I'm doing for me and what I'm doing to be nice.

I have a lot of sorting to do and I thought I was done sorting through things - do you have to continually resort as life goes on? Don't you get to some point where you've done your sorting and you can just live already? If so, that apparently doesn't happen in your 20's. Sigh.

And now I'm in Saskatoon, waiting for my roommate for the weekend to arrive. I'm exhausted and I just want to go to sleep even though it's only 7:30. I usually am at a writer's class right now - and I just realized I forgot to tell them I was going to be absent this week. Insert the expletive of your choice here, I feel like I've used up my quota for this post already.

So I'll finish this post, and close my eyes, and wait for a knock to signal that I need to open the door and let her in...and then I'll crash hard and hopefully tomorrow when I open my eyes I'll be in a place to listen to this speaker I've come all the way here to listen to, and hopefully I'll be rested in spirit and in body when it comes time to turn around and go back home and work for 6 more days before I can sleep in again and take a much needed resting day with the two creatures I co-habitate with.

Assuming the dog - and S. for that matter - hasn't forgotten that I do in fact live there too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Working World

I am not used to standing for 8+ hours a day. My feet hurt after each of my two shifts.

It's a fun gig though. The funnest retail environment ever - selling to Cirque patrons as they go into and out of the shows. I was surprised, though, to see several patrons who were more interested in shopping than in seeing the show - they remained out in the merchandise area intentionally after the show had begun! That's an expensive ticket just to do some shopping, ladies.

It's a cold working environment. The tent is barely heated, just enough to take the edge off the chill. It would cost a fortune to heat the merchandise area; so we wear layers and layers of black and try to stay dry in the rain. I didn't notice it when I was working but the in-between times were chilly. Chilly and damp, and I still had fun!

I'm really glad to be back in the working world, even if it is only for a few weeks. It's so nice to be out of the house, with purpose, a task to complete and people to work alongside of. I need my solo time, but I need to be out of the house too.

We're off to a wedding in a few days. It's an outdoor wedding. Hopefully the weather cooperates but it doesn't look likely.

I have very little else to say. I'm glad to be inside today, relaxing after some actual working days; and I'll be glad to get back out to the chilly rainy Cirque tent on Tuesday.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I've been sick with - well, with something, for four days. I never know what to call these things. I'm pretty sure anything with aches and fever is a flu, but I rarely get sick to my stomach. Probably because I just lose my appetite altogether. Anyway. It's settled down to a chest cough so hopefully that means it's on it's way out.

It did mean that I had to miss a friend's show. That made me sad. I love the play she was in, and I've never gotten to see it up on its feet. A coughing audience member, particularly a contagious one, isn't well loved however, so I chose to miss out and hope that I'll get another chance to see it someday.

The dog has been a little angel through all of the aches and lethargy and coughing. S. went to his hometown for his brother's bachelor party (which was an epic weekend, from the stories I've been getting) so I've been home alone with the pooch. Which has been fine. I haven't had the energy to do anything, and she's been most accommodating instead of turning into an under-exercized demon. Right now she's sleeping on the floor, sucking in air like it's going out of style - she has nursing dreams that seem quite intense. She'll be a farting machine later.

So I've watched a lot of television and I've done a lot of sleeping. I finished reading a book and I've checked up on a lot of blogs.

Not much of anything else. I tried to write but my brain hasn't been cooperating. I tried to memorize a monologue for an audition coming up - also not much success, but at least I've got some of it down. I hope I have a singing voice by then since I need to sing for it too. I also tried to do some Arbonne stuff but when every sentence is punctuated by a wracking cough it's a little hard to speak. Plus people are too worried about your health to believe that you can improve theirs.

A friend came over yesterday which was nice. No, it was great. I haven't seen her all summer and I've missed her. We had such a great conversation. We're kind of in a similar place, with our semi-jobless states and both dating non-religious men; it was nice to chat about our lives. I'm glad to have at least a few friends in the city.

S. and I have talked about the disconnect we feel sometimes living in the city when a lot of our friends live in a small town nearby. Nearby meaning about 90 minutes away by car. We try to make an effort to go out and see people. A few of those friends make an effort to come in and see us. A lot of them don't. It's tough for me not to internalize that and assume that they don't actually want to be my friends anymore - I have to remind myself that life in a small town - and that small town in particular - gets insular and it's almost impossible to avoid it and see beyond the valley walls.

Almost impossible, a small voice says. Because some people manage just fine. And those are the people I get to see more often.

Ah well. That's life, they say in France.

It's not that different from my life the last few days, after all. I've been living in a self-imposed insular state for half a week. If my friend hadn't made an effort to come over I wouldn't have seen another human being in that entire time. And those outside my walls wouldn't necessarily know why.

So I guess there might be other aspects to the lives of others that I don't see either.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to walk the dog. That is, if I don't cough up a lung first.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

It's Nothing New

S. believes in me. The depth of his belief blows me away.

I wonder if I believe in myself as strongly. I don't know. If I did, wouldn't I have done something with the talent he sees in me by now?

The fact that he thinks I'm talented enough to make it provides more impetus than I expected.

He sometimes tries to spur action in me by nagging me. That doesn't work very well.

But the simple act of telling me he thinks I'm talented, that he believes in my gifts, makes me want to do something with those gifts. How strange.

S. loves me. The strength of his love takes my breath away.

It's nothing new, but it seems new to me every time I realize it.

I am one of the fortunate ones.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Social Skilz

I wish I had them.

I mean, I think I have some. I do have friends. I seem to participate in social events without making S. want to crawl under a rock. I appear to be capable of making a good impression on people.

But in some situations, the natural thing to do doesn't occur to me.

I just took the dog for a walk. We met an adorable little black pug. I have learned that when two dog walkers intersect, if they stop to let their dogs visit, only the dogs get introduced. It's a strange little phenomenon but it's just how it is.

We also met two people who were dogless. They were standing outside their houses, chatting. They introduced themselves, I introduced myself. And the dog. And then didn't really ask them any other questions. Half way down the block, after we'd left, I realized I should have inquired as to their jobs and lives, since they were obviously willing to chat with me and I felt that initial interested spark that indicates possible friendship. And since I'm trying to meet people right now since I haven't got many friends in Calgary, that would have been good to follow up on.

But I didn't. And now I may never see them again and have missed an opportunity to make new friends.


Maybe that wasn't an abnormal thing not to think of though.

Or maybe I've been spending too much time with the dog.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This has been a summer of learning.

I have never had a summer where I haven't been surrounded by people. Whether it was in a theatre, at a restaurant, or in a museum, I have never had a shortage of humanity to immerse myself in.

I am not an extrovert. I find excessive amounts of people exhausting. I get 'peopled out' and need to retreat to solitude to retain my sanity.

But this summer, I have learned that there is such a thing as too much 'solo time'.

This is the first summer in years that I have felt loneliness. This is the first summer that I have had to go out of my way to find a social outlet - the first summer I've felt a need for a social outlet in the first place. Usually I get enough human contact during the day, at work.

But now I don't get that. I spend my days with a puppy. I see S. and almost no-one else. I occasionally talk on the phone with people, and that's it.

That's not enough.

So I'm learning how to create a social life. I've never had to do that before, and it's a strange new experience for me.

In the process I'm also learning that I'm not very good at incorporating all aspects of my life into a blended whole. I tend to focus exclusively on one thing at a time, to the detriment to all else. I am writing and the house falls to pieces around me. I am cleaning and I abandon my artistic side. I start doing Arbonne and I ignore upcoming auditions until the last minute. I decide I need a social life and I cease to be productive on any other level.

It's a problem but at least I'm learning now instead of when I'm old and wrinkled and unable to change.

I've been reading Dooce, a blog my mom introduced me to. Being the kind of person I am, I've actually gone back and am working my way through every single post she's ever written. I wish I'd done that before I started writing my blog. I've learned a lot - this post particularly has riveted itself to my brain. I don't always think about the possible fallout my online work might have on offline work, or life. There are things I've written here that I wish I would have taken more time to think out, or perhaps not written here at all and kept them in my private journals, or in my brain, unwritten. Not that I've experience huge fallout from what I've written, but I know I've inadvertently affected people negatively and that, I can't help but think, has changed relationships for me.

It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with balance; but perhaps it does. A balance between writing the truth in my life and my head and being aware of how that truth will affect the people around me.

So it's been a summer of learning. And I don't see it stopping any time soon...and that's okay.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I'm learning a lot right now, about myself, about my thought processes, about my perspectives and perceptions and assumptions.

I wouldn't have thought that Arbonne, a health and wellness company, would have spurred self-examination and growth; at least not so quickly. My sponsor told me Arbonne was a self-growth company disguised as a health and wellness company and it's proving true so far.

I signed up for several reasons. It's something that I think will keep me from being homeless while giving me the time control to pursue acting and writing; and I like the products. But I also was just tired of being unemployed, tired of waiting for someone else to give me a chance.

I went and listened to a talk by Keith Kochner - he's called the Gap Guy because he helps people identify the gaps between where they are and where they want to go and eliminate those gaps. It blew my mind apart. I wish I could have gone to the whole 2 day exchange, since a 15 minute talk had such an impact, but I didn't hear about it in time. Still. 15 minutes was enough to give me food for thought for a week.

He said in order to get where you want to go, you have to make exchanges. Obviously what I've been doing hasn't gotten me where I want to be. Why didn't I think of this on my own? I don't know.

And this will change my life. It'll help me to set and achieve goals in every aspect of my life.

Now all I have to do is implement it...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Life This Past Month

I haven't posted anything here in almost a month.

It's not like I've been terribly busy this past month or anything.

This past month I've:

fought the darkness
fought the light
spent time with friends
isolated myself
cut my hair - bad, bad idea
been frustrated with and in love with puppy Z at the same time
gone and house/pug sat for my parents
become an Arbonne consultant

My life in a nutshell.

The last few days, since becoming a consultant, I've had an excuse for business. Huh. I meant to spell 'busyness' but I guess business works too. Steep learning curve but it's good for me. I'm already meeting some really cool people and getting out of my head - I had no idea how much I needed that until I started.

The last month for puppy Z has involved learning a few new tricks (she rolls over now, and we're starting her on a military routine - she sits, lays down, crawls a few paces and rolls over before sitting back up - you never know when you're going to need a puppy marine) and chewing on EVERYTHING. Hence the 'in love' and 'frustrated with'. She eats, literally eats, wood, whether that be baseboards or stair edges. And paint. And bits of the carpet. Argh. Just chew on your bully stick, you dumb animal. And then she sits there, all cuteness and little jowls, and how can I stay mad at that?

Lots of learning, on many levels and to many purposes. Life, I guess.

In a nutshell.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood

All the crazies come out in the summer.

The landlord is fixing the screen door, finally. Or trying to. I'm not sure how much success he's having.

He is simultaneously interrogating the neighbour, asking if he's the one who left the couch in the dumpster. It's a little awkward for me, even though I'm inside trying to ignore them.

"Did you leave the couch in the dumpster?"

"I'm not answering that. I pay the rent." Blah blah blah.

"Yes, but you do live in my property."

I try to tune it out.

By the way, the neighbour totally did leave the couch there. Is it against the law? I don't know, but he's not owning up to it and damned if I'm going to get involved in the craziness that lives next door. They argue outside by our parking spot a few times a month. They ask us for drugs that we don't have. They've asked us for money. In general I think they're not dangerous, but I don't feel comfortable with them either. They spent the whole weekend drinking - not unusual, and it doesn't bother me until they start getting in arguments and smashing glass jars in our parking spot. The dog took offence and barked at them.

At least the soberest one of them cleaned up the glass before S. got home.


The screen is fixed and I can hear the landlord destroying said couch with a hammer. I hear a saw now too.

The dog doesn't know what to make of this permeable barrier keeping her from enjoying the plants on the balcony. By enjoying I mean eating. I'm glad to finally have a functional screen. It's much cooler in here with a breeze flowing through.

Even if it's tinted with cigarette smoke. I think smoking is disgusting. I know, and love, some people who smoke. Smokers aren't disgusting. But smoking? So, so gross. Ick.

The other neighbours are nice people. They have two little kids and the dog likes to play with them. They're from Sri Lanka, and they've never had a dog of their own, so they like to play with her too. Their mother lent me two books when she found out I like to read, and she gave me some lettuce that she'd been growing. When the sweet peas are blooming I'll bring her a bouquet.

Provided the plants haven't been eaten by the dog, or choked out from the smoke.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I'm frustrated.

Frustrated with my life.

I hate being unemployed.

I feel like I'm unemployable and I hate it.

I hate feeling like I'm a creative hack.

Like I won't ever act again.

I have a growing hole on both my resumes and there is nothing I can do about it.

When I try things fall through so I wonder why I bother.

I've considered going back to school, to learn something else, something that I could enjoy and actually make a living at too.

But is that giving up?

Or is that reality?

I don't know.

And so I'm frustrated.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The People Whisperer, or How My Dog is Teaching Me To Breathe

I took four years of training to become an actor. A self-aware, emotionally intelligent, physically in-tune person. I know it's a journey, I'm not 'there' yet, etc., etc.

But I certainly thought I had an edge on everyone else.

Apparently I am not immune to arrogance. And apparently it took an 8 week old puppy to show me that.

Yes, we recently got a puppy. Zoey, the adorable Boston Terrier. She's smart. She's stubborn and feisty and a bit of a suck. It's a lethal combination. We've had her a week and she's already housebroken (for the most part). She knows if she whines in the direction of the door she can go out to do her business (she's very concerned about her stock portfolio). Looking downstairs gets her to her food. Pitiful whining at the bottom of the staircase (that she can actually climb on her own) gets her carried up to the living room for playtime.

We're training her using Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer techniques. It's surprisingly effective. We 'claimed' the kitchen and bathrooms and she stays out of those rooms. We reward calm behaviour and correct un-asked for excitement. We maintain calm, assertive energy and she recognizes us as pack leaders.

Oh, alright. S. maintains calm, assertive energy and she recognizes him as a pack leader. When I'm calm and assertive, she responds to me that way. Most of the time though? I think I rank somewhere as a littermate.

Why? I get frustrated with her puppy behaviours. I get upset when she doesn't listen to me instantly. I kind of forgot how puppies were. The last time I had one was 10 years ago. She's like a toddler, and I am not the patient person I thought I was.

Prided myself on being.

Cesar says you don't get the dog you want. You get the dog you need.

I thought, watching his show "The Dog Whisperer" before Zoey arrived, that I would nail this whole calm assertive energy thing. Oh, I'm a professional actor, I'm trained, emotions are my friend, blah blah blah. I've had animals my whole life, I know how to deal with them, I'm so patient, this will be a breeze and we'll have the calmest dog in the city. No. The world.

Pride cometh before a fall.

And boy, what a fall! Instead of being patient, I get frustrated. Instead of calmly correcting, I get angry when she bites in play and punctures the skin (she has razor sharp puppy teeth). Instead of living in a calm, assertive state, I constantly have to stop and reevaluate my energy, breathe, and bring myself back from a tense, aggressive, stressful place to a calm and breathing one. Calm and assertive. Calm and assertive. Stop fixating. Relax. Let her be a dog, a baby, and teach her to obey. Calmly. Be. Just be the authority figure, the pack leader.

It's exhausting. Not to be calm, but to constantly bring myself back from stress.

Upon reflection I'm not sure why my behaviour, my state of mind, is so surprising to me. I worked at a day-care for a month and I got frustrated with the kids there. Granted, they were deliberately pushing buttons (seven year olds rarely call you a bitch otherwise); but they were also babies. Little kids. Not adults.

The difference with Zoey is that I can see her reading and reflecting my energy. It's uncanny. Right away, right there. I get angry, she gets insecure and excited. I get frustrated, she gets persistent and excited. I calm down and breathe and stop taking it all so personally, and she sits down and looks to me for direction. Like she's supposed to.

I'm sure kids read and reflect too. Looking back I can see that. But I see it so much clearer with Zoey. Maybe because I grew up with animals, surrounded by them, and my experience with kids is much more limited. Or maybe it's just because I'm more focused on my puppy than I am on someone else's kid. After all, I can look forward to 10 - 15 years of life with Zoey. The kids I got to leave behind every night.

I am forced to be more aware of myself in every aspect of my life in order to present authority to my dog.

I didn't expect that.

I didn't expect Zoey to show me that I have a short fuse. I am selfish and want to get my own way, instantly. I have high, unreasonable expectations of the other life forms I interact with. When I am upset I want the world to stop until my tantrum is over and I'm ready to continue.

(I knew that last one already. I realized that a few weeks ago when I was driving along a busy road in the city and Scott and I got into a fight. What did I want to do? Slam on the brakes until we'd had it out and he'd seen things my way. I think that would have gotten us in an accident, injured for sure and possibly killed, but damn, I almost did it before I realized the consequences. That scared me into non-rage in a hurry. And the same process happened again yesterday, although I thought I'd learned better. I guess I'm not super human in my learning curve after all. Fuck.)

So I can't stop the world as long as there are others in it. I should have figured that one out, sharing my world with people like I do, but for some reason it didn't click until the potential accident and the introduction of a puppy who is watching my every move, my every wave of energy and emotion and physicalization for cues on how to behave. On what's allowed. On where she can go and what she can do.

Somewhat like having a baby, I guess. Only I think it's less pressure. Dear God, what would I be like with a toddler of my own?

Well. I think Zoey will have taught me much more about myself before that happens.

And the funniest thing about all of this? I think I'll be a better actor, not just a better person, for it.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Just finally figured out why I've spent the last three days on the verge of crying whenever I watch The Dog Whisperer.

Or Fight Science.

Or when I listen to music.

Or write.

Or do anything except physical exercise.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Resonates

I deeply admire Stephen King.

I have not read anywhere near enough of his books to consider myself a true fan. Let me correct myself. I do think of myself as a fan, an erstwhile, ill educated fan. Other people probably wouldn't consider me a fan because I haven't read enough of his stuff, but I'm getting there. Slowly and in a haphazard manner.

I just finished his book, Mist. This passage is one of the reasons I have a strong artist crush on the man.

“You know what talent is? The curse of expectation. As a kid you have to deal with that, beat it somehow. If you can write, you think God put you on earth to blow Shakespeare away. Or if you can paint, maybe you think - I did - that God put you on earth to blow your father away....since (realizing that he was a good commercial artist) that voice of disappointed expectation - that cheated child’s voice that can never be satisfied with such a mild superlative as good - has fallen pretty much silent. And except for a few rumbles - like the sounds of those unseen creatures somewhere out in the foggy night - it has been pretty much silent ever since. Maybe you can tell me - why should the silencing of that childish, demanding voice seem so much like dying?”

This is said by the main character, David, an artist.

In the middle of a book about human behaviour when faced with deep fear, he has this additional nugget of truth that resonated with me so much I had to write it down and keep it forever.

On a bit of a side note, in the opening credits of Alan Wake (that game I wrote about the other day), Alan attributes this quote to Stephen King. "Explanation is the antithesis to fear." Love, explanation - heart and mind - logic and emotion. Both are tools we were given to deal with the world around us, two sides of one coin. Too bad we humans tend to pick one side over the other instead of finding the balance between the two!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bits and Pieces From My Mind

"Just give it to a thrift shop, they don't care if their water tastes like burnt."

I know he doesn't mean anything by it but my hackles rise a little anyway. But I don't know him that well so I say nothing.

I don't think he's ever had to face a reality of poverty. Where everything he owns comes from a thrift shop. A charity. Where if it wasn't for someone giving him something he'd have nothing.

If he has, he's sure as hell forgotten it already.

I can speak from experience - if I don't like the taste of burnt water, nobody else will either.

No matter how poor they are.


But we don't live by our emotions, do we?

This is still bothering me, weeks after reading it on an acquaintance's Facebook page. This acquaintance said she felt like her world was crashing down around her and she had nothing to hold onto. So what does one of her adult Christian friends - I'm assuming she's some kind of mentor - say to her? We don't live by our emotions. What you feel is invalid. Push it away, and hang onto God.

Why does this bother me?

I stop myself from commenting on this post over and over because I don't know what to say.

The assumption that we shouldn't take our emotions seriously - that we shouldn't listen to them - that we shouldn't live our lives by what we feel - it makes me feel uneasy.

Something I should ignore according to Christian Mentor there. Just stuff it away. God will take care of you. If you feel negatively, you just don't have enough faith. Trust God! God, God, God!

Look at all that projection. She didn't actively say any of that. Obviously I have some issues of my own to deal with.

But I would like to know why Christians think that emotions are unnecessary. Why are we told that we shouldn't live by them? And what the fuck should we live by then? Our minds?

(Spoken as a true Blue.)

But I would like an answer. I don't think living solely by our minds is any better. I don't know about everyone else out there, but God doesn't usually use my brain to communicate with me, not right off the bat. First He grabs my attention by tweaking my heart in one way or another - through my emotions.

Because I listen to them.

Maybe it's just because I'm an actor and I have a bit more, oh I don't know what to call it. Emotional training? Positive experience with heightened emotional states? It's closer to training, how to open yourself up to that overwhelming experience, and then how to get yourself down without breaking or destroying yourself...maybe that, combined with my personality, makes emotions less scary for me than they are for the average person. Because emotions are scary, but that is a fear to be embraced. They serve a purpose. They are there to serve you as much as your brain is, your heart, your intelligence. It's all there because God put it there, and it pisses me off to see something so close to myself written off as an unnecessary appendix to life.

Because there needs to be a balance, and I think as Christians we all too often lose sight of that, and instead we push away the frightening aspect in favour of the one that makes more sense. The one that can't be manipulated by the Devil, after all, it's in the Bible. It's there in black and red.

As if knowledge is immune to the twisting of Darkness.

All of this just because I want to tell this acquaintance, this girl, that how she feels is okay. It's something to accept, to learn from, and to grow because of.

Ignoring emotions isn't going to build anything up except walls, and walls don't help any relationship. Not with people. Not with yourself. Not with God.


It just occurred to me that if I were to ask one of these two people what we were supposed to live by, they might say Faith.

Complete trust or confidence. Strong belief.

Those evoke emotional responses in me but maybe that's not how it is for everyone.

I don't really know what it means to live by faith. I have a bipolar faith - I either trust God completely or I don't trust Him at all.

I know when I'm struggling to trust when I get an anxious spring, a tightening in my chest that tells me everything is going to shit and no-one will be there to catch me.

I understand I should trust when I look back at the path behind me and see that I haven't been homeless or behind in any payments - even if I've been broke - and that I have been provided for. With friends, money, shelter, love...needs and desires.

And when I feel the trust there I am afraid of nothing. Perfect love casts out all fear.


It's telling to me that in Harry Potter, the Avada Kadavra spell, death by pure terror, isn't shattered by peace. It's broken by love.

It hits us on the most primitive level. Where everything is survival and instinct and reaction time. Love opposes fear, not hatred. Although I think a lot of hatred has fear at it's root.

I feel like a very fearful person sometimes, although I don't think I really am. I'm not afraid of bugs, or dead things or rodents; I have my fair share of rational fears but nothing that overwhelms me and keeps me from living a normal life. I'd hate to find an intruder in my home, for example, but the fear of it doesn't make me sneak around my home with a butcher knife.

My one irrational fear is a fear of the dark. It's something I've worked against since I was a kid. I learned quick that if you have a flashlight outside at night it just makes the darkness darker and inhibits your ability to see outside your little sphere, which I think makes you vulnerable to attack from all the crazies waiting in the shadows. I'd go out to check the animals at night and leave the light off until I needed to see details. Of course, when I slept I'd tuck the edges of the blankets underneath me so the dark creepy things couldn't sneak underneath the blankies with me. Even now I fight the impulse to jump from the light switch to the bed, so that I can prove to myself that nothing is lying in wait underneath my bed. And then I lay in bed and see shadows gathering in the corners and they appear to get thicker and darker and I tremble and shut my eyes and pray for the fear to be gone. Or I snuggle into S. because he's warm and alive and he'll protect me even when he's sleeping.

Love. It's pretty powerful.

I had a lot of dreams last night where I needed a flashlight to survive. Lots of battling the darkness with what little lights I had. It's probably just the combination of a few books I read - Brother Odd and Forever Odd by Dean Koontz - and the latest XBox game to grace our console, Alan Wake. Alan Wake has to fight Darkness personified with any light source he can get his hands on in order to save his wife. It's a pretty cool concept, actually. I haven't played it yet because just watching S. play makes me jump off the couch.

But these were just dreams, because I didn't wake up, skin crawling, sweaty, heart pounding with fear.


I finally figured out why two of my pots of sweet peas are dying. The cold at night is only bothering them, and it confused me no end until I realized they were the only two pots in front of the sliding patio door. The glass doesn't hold enough heat to keep them through the night. I moved them the day before yesterday, after they almost had it, and I think they're coming back already. Hurrah! Except now the middle of the balcony will be naked.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Write What You Know

I'm doing a fair amount of writing these days. It's amazing how many hours there are in a day when you have nothing to fill them. It's equally amazing how easy it is to piddle those hours away with useless, meaningless crap. Facebook, I'm looking at you.

I'm also getting in a lot of reading. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Sparrow and Children of God, Good Omens, Of Mice and Men. And the odd book on writing or acting. Or both.

The book I'm reading right now, The Blunt Playwright, is proving both enjoyable and thought provoking.

In particular the comments on knowing what the protagonist wants. This shouldn't require that much thought, should it?

But when I often don't know what I want in real life I guess it's not that surprising that I have trouble writing characters who know what they want too.

I mean, it works. Sometimes very well, because I think a lot of people go through life not knowing what they want. The trouble is that when you're writing a story, it has to go somewhere.

The people in the story have to want something badly enough to change their lives for it.

Which is also something I don't think I do on a regular basis. I don't know if I want anything outside my current sphere badly enough right now to change my life.

The wonder and beauty of writing, though, is that I am provided with catharsis and voyeurism on a daily basis. I live a dozen lives a day, lives where I do want something, badly enough to kill; where I fight, am angry, am gentle and soft; where I make sense of a confusing world and where I succumb entirely to the chaos, to the moment. Lives that end and lives that keep going. Moments captured and moments lost.

It's a challenge. It's an incredible release.

Even with this post, I don't really know what it is I want to say.

Just that I'm writing, I guess. And it's wonderful strange and hard all at once. I am so lucky to be able to just sit at home and write.

I should put that as my status on Facebook. Be right back...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Infected With Rage: Or How Zombies Showed Me The Light

I am furious right now. So furious I can't type properly. Furious like the zombies in 28 Days Later, but with a just cause.

There is a certain woman that keeps sending me chain emails full of hatred. I think I've mentioned her on here before. At first the emails made me shake my head. One made me weep. Several, including this latest one, have filled me with rage.

I don't understand how anyone who calls themselves a Christian can stand behind words of such hatred. The emails she sends out talk about how we should just kill all the Muslims by bombing the hell out of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan - kill their women and children because 'they've done it to us'. They celebrate a professor at Michigan State because he told all the Muslim students to go home. They justify bigotry and racism because 'we are in a war'. (A war that was made up for political gain in my opinion, a war that hasn't fixed anything, a war against an act of terrorism that happened almost ten years ago and hasn't been repeated...but that's all irrelevant to the email campaign of hatred and fear, dressed up in patriotism and the love of God).

Even if it was an active war and people were being killed in America every day by terrorist bombs (I realize it happens more often overseas, but since it kills 'them' the emails ignore it), even then I couldn't advocate racism as an appropriate response. How does painting every Muslim with the same fanatical brush help anything? How does judging someone on their skin colour or ethnic heritage keep us, or anyone, safe?

I notice that she never sends out emails condemning all of Christianity because of the fanatical actions of certain sects of the faith.

She never sends out harsh words towards those who bomb abortion clinics, or beat homosexuals to death. Oh, right. Those people deserve to die because they're sinners. Unlike us.

Why can she judge Islam by the actions of a fundamentalist few and keep such a blind eye to the sins of her own professed faith?

Next she'll be saying we should round up the Jews for killing Christ.

I could let this ruin my day.

Or I could let it inform the actions I make in my own life. I could take a look at myself and see where I am blind, where I am a bigot, where I judge harshly without reason.

Maybe after I calm down I will. As much as I would rather just keep pointing a finger of righteous anger at her because it's easier, that doesn't help the world become a better place either.

This is the truth that I want to live by: "The ultimate sense of security will be when we come to recognize that we are all part of one human race. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border." Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that. An Egyptian by birth, named for the Muslim prophet, he may be Jewish but I don't know if that matters or not when a person is filled with hatred towards everyone who isn't perfectly Aryan.

And one could argue that our primary allegiance is to God - but I think this quote falls under "Love thy neighbour as thyself".

I'll settle for the world learning the second half of the commandment. It's a bitch to do. I certainly wouldn't risk my life to save this particular woman from zombies. (You'll know who really loves you when the zombies attack. True friends don't trip you when they're running away.)

Shoot. All my anger is deflated now that I realize I'm not living the commandment myself. Well, fuck.

True to form, it took a zombie reference to point out the truth of my own life to me. So now I'm going to go away and swear a whole lot and finally accept the fact that this woman, despite herself, has given me an opportunity to grow further into the Light.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Let It Snow...

It's snowing outside. Or rather, drizzling. It's not committing to either season out there, just a general mix of unpleasant, chilly precipitation.

S. is outside somewhere, rehearsing scenes for his job as a historical interpreter/actor this summer.

I'm inside, my feet cold and my lap full of warm computer, sipping tea and watching my sweet peas grow the best they can in the half-light that makes it through the clouds. My knee hurts like it always does when the weather's like this, damp and cold. Between that and my ankle full of twinges (and my sore wrists, and does anyone else notice that their hip joints kind of click when they do sit ups? No? Just me, then?) I could be an old lady.

Joints are apparently not my friends.

Which means that when I'm an old lady I may not be as independent as I would wish to be.

Which sucks.

But that's in the future, the very distant future, and I'm very good at not thinking about possible unpleasant futures if I can be persuaded to think about things like how to kill the darkspawn in Soldier's Peak or what life would be like in a zombie apocalypse or how to build a tree house in medieval Europe.

Or what I should make for supper when my sure-to-be cold man gets home.

Which reminds me, I should be in the kitchen. ;)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Rest In This, Daughter, And Know You Are Loved

This last week has been a time of thought and contemplation for me.

It seems like so many things are tying themselves together from past conversations into a present learning experience, which is both incredibly cool and extremely difficult to accept at the same time.

Months ago I had a conversation with one of my best girlfriends about the human relationship with God. She had just come back from a retreat where she was surrounded by artists who wanted to figure out how their faith fit into their art, and what she had to share with me blew my mind, to the point where I don't think it's really been able to absorb the heart-knowledge until now, and even now it's only just starting.

What she said was this: that we relate to God as either slaves or orphans, or on a good day, as sons (or daughters).

Slaves feel that they need to earn their keep, their love, their place in God's eyes. It's all about work. The work will save you. Orphans have no sense of what family is. They feel that God is transient and they need to steal their way into His heart. They need to please him in order to belong; and even then there is the constant fear that He will abandon them just as everyone else has.

On the other hand, Sons don't do anything. They can't. You cannot earn or steal the title of Son. You have that title before you are born, before you exist. It isn't something you earn, or accept, or steal. It's what you are. Nobody can give it to you and nobody can take it away.

All you can do, as a Son, is rest in your place.

That still makes me tear up.

It clicks, doesn't it.

So why is it so hard for me to accept?

I don't know.

I haven't had a steady, permanent job yet this year. Over and over I've felt, in my heart of hearts, that this is where I am supposed to be, that this time is gift meant for me to practice my craft of writing and auditioning. That this is my time to create and to rest.

I haven't accepted this. Instead I've fought it tooth and nail, looking frantically for work, feeling like I'm mooching off the system by being on EI. I've conveniently ignored the fact that I've paid into that system my entire working life and so it's not mooching. Even when that's been pointed out to me by my parents and by S, I've rejected it. I've ignored the creativity within me, pushing it aside to write my resume and pursue jobs that kill me just thinking about them.

Simply put, I've done everything but rest.

I have trust issues, have I mentioned that before? I'm very much like a toddler, believing that how things are now are how they will be forever. In my head, I will never find another job, so I'd better take the first thing that is offered to me no matter what it does to my soul. I struggle on a daily basis - no, hourly...rather, by the minute and the second - with believing that God will provide for me. I ignore all the evidence to the contrary - that I am clothed, fed and housed, that I am not yet broke - and take counsel with fear. I consider selling my soul, my actual eternal soul, to the powers of Darkness in exchange for financial security.

And then I wonder why my dreams are dark.

God is very patient. That's all I can say.

And I am very confused, most of the time.

I've been reading The Chronicles of Narnia and it amazes me how those stories also bring me to tears, over and over, by their power and simplicity. To see Aslan taking such joy in those He loves - it makes me cry to write that down - alongside His incredible patience and sorrow when they fail, or turn aside, or put pettiness above following the nobility within them. How He cries with Caspian dies, an old man...He really does share our sorrows with us, even when He knows better than anyone how short lived that sorrow will be, and that brings me to tears that He would care enough to partake in that with us, so that we won't be alone. And that He cares enough to share our most transient joys, even if it's nothing more than the pleasure of a romp in fresh air in the springtime.

For some reason it is easier for me to see clearly when I am in Narnia with Aslan, than it is when I am here and now, with God.

I think - I hope - He's okay with that. After all, as He says to Edmund and Lucy at the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (coming to film sometime this year, hurrah!), "...There I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."

It's an uphill journey and I fear I am much more like Jill Pole than like Lucy Pevensie. But I try. And I put down my burdens, and I pick them back up, and I put them back down, and I start again.

For now, that will have to be enough. See? See how even then, I take the perspective of a slave, that my struggle is the work I must do to be fit for love? See how I turn to God as an orphan and cry out that I'm trying, please don't turn aside, I will be better, I will, I will.

I would never have thought that resting would be so much work - and I know it only is because I keep making it that way.

Goddamn this fight, this struggle to accept that I am loved, end of sentence.

I hope I'll get it eventually. I hope that someday I'll even just see His shadow as He leads me. That I'll feel His warm Lion's breath on my forehead and know, just know, that I am enough. Until then I am blind, with tears and with humanity, overwhelmed with sorrow at my own frailties, with the disbelief at the gift I am being given, day after day after day, offered to me every second as I doubt and fight and struggle with myself.

And for now, that will have to be enough.

Not for Him; for me.

Until I learn how to open my arms, my heart, and accept.

End of sentence.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well, That Answered That Question

I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III. Genetics. Gotta love 'em.

Most of the time it has no impact on my life. No, let me reword that. Most of the time I forget that not everyone experiences pain on a regular basis when they're simply going about their daily routine. I injured my wrists by clapping at a performing arts summer school; the repetitive motion of clapping stretched out the connective tissue in my wrists and now the bones grind and pinch nerves. I usually feel it when I do things like lift a kettle full of water or even just when I carry a plate sometimes, but I tend to ignore it because I need to in order to function. You don't realize how much you need your wrists until they hurt all the time; so that's the main thing that reminds me that my DNA isn't completely on my side.

The geneticist told me that the same injury in my wrists could repeat in my other joints, specifically my ankles. He also said as I aged the natural tightening would help the bones stay in place, but that I'd likely have arthritis in them by then so they'd keep on hurting for other reasons. Oh joy.

Well, my ankles have been bothering me for the last 2 weeks. So, keeping in mind what the good doctor said, I have been wrapping them in tensor bandages whenever I've had to do a lot of walking (such as door to door sales) or high-impact movements (which I don't usually do but I've been doing a cardio exercise regime that includes jumping jacks because I don't want to have a heart attack when I'm 40. The good thing about hereditary ailments is that you can try to prevent some of them).

This morning, after I wrote my post about how unhappy I was with this new job opportunity, I walked to the bus. Rather, I got half-way to the bus and my ankle crapped out. I kept going. I'm very stubborn. But then I realized that if I ignored my body and continued walking, I would likely wreck my ankle the way I wrecked my wrist.

If your ankles don't work, you can't walk.

If you can't walk, you're kind of useless. For anything.

So I phoned my trainer and said I wouldn't be in today, turned around and limped slowly home. I've been home for a few hours, following the RICE thing for injuries, and it still hurts like a - like a painful thing.


I was going to say that God didn't have to hit me up the side of the head to answer my doubts about this job, but then I thought about it. Didn't I feel uneasy about doing this, and didn't I ignore my soul speaking and keep going?

I did.


Apparently I needed some pain to make me stop and listen.

I'd like to say lesson learned but I know that's probably not the case. All I can hope is that the learning curve won't always this painful.

Have You Switched to Shaw?

Hello! My name is Rebecca and I'm here on behalf of Shaw! I'm in the neighbourhood trying to save people money by bundling their services! What do you currently have with Shaw?

God. Shoot me now.

I just got offered a job working as a door to door salesperson. I've done one training day and I already hate it.

That's probably not a good sign.

The whole atmosphere in the office is that it's all about the dolla dolla bills, yo. I can't. I just can't. I faked interest and enthusiasm yesterday. I'm not sure I can fake it again.

It's a straight up sales job, all commission. The money can be great. My trainer pulled in $275.00 yesterday. She's very persistent.

She also doesn't listen well.

One gentleman told us that he's with Telus and he's not happy with the service, but he wants his word to be good; he signed a contract and he won't break it because he has to look at himself in the mirror every day and that's worth more to him than saving twenty bucks a month. My trainer told him she broke people out of contracts all the time. He responded that he didn't care. His word was his word and he wasn't going back on that. She repeated that she could save him money. Like saving money is what life is about.


I respect that man. His viewpoint is a rare one. He is a trustworthy gent, and that is honourable.

My trainer has no use for that honour. I got a semi-dirty look when I told the man I thought he was respectable. She never told me off for saying anything, but as we walked away she dismissed him as 'old school'.

And the thing is, if you don't sell you don't make any money.

So my question is, do I want to devote any more time to this?

And my dilemma is that I have no other job. I have no other prospects either. I feel guilty even thinking about turning down a potential opportunity in favour of sitting at home on EI. I should take this job because no-one else is interested in hiring me. Right?

At least until I find something.

But what if I never do?

Is this a test of faith, or is this an answer to prayer?

It sure doesn't feel like an answer. How can if be if I feel so strongly about this after one day? I can't buy into the mindset of sales. The game. The chase. The 'kill'. That's what they fucking call it. A sale is a kill. Like we're a 'wolf pack' and we bring down gazelles.

Not interested!

But also poor!


I also can't believe that I will find success and be able to follow my dreams if I pursue a high paying job for a couple of years.

I feel like I'm whoring out my soul.

I guess that's my answer right there, isn't it?

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want...

...just as soon as I figure it out.

What do I want out of life? I've been pondering that a lot lately.

I continually find that as far as the here and now goes, I haven't got a clue. Big picture? Oh yeah, I can tell you that. I want to die as an old lady who has never lost her independence or her love of life, surrounded by family and friends I love who love me back. I want to be remembered for more than one generation, for being an honest, strong, noble and friendly person, accepting and wise. I want my words to live on after me. I want my thoughts to spark thoughts in others; it really doesn't matter to me if I get paid for those thoughts as long as they live on without me.

And I don't think I'm there yet and that's okay.

But as for what I want right now? I don't know. I only know what I don't want right now and that isn't helping. (I recently watched Vicky Christina Barcelona and I almost disliked how much the character of Christina resonated with me. Watch it. It's worth spending 90 minutes on.)

Which just brings me back in circles. What do I want to do to pay my bills, for instance?

That question comes up blank. Which really isn't helping. Especially when I've got a job interview that could lead to a full time, long term thing, in an area that interests me but isn't directly involved in the area I trained in, and if they offer me a job what do I do? What do I do?

I need a paycheque.

And I need my soul to be fed.

Maybe having those two needs met in one place isn't realistic, considering what feeds my soul and what actually pays.

All of which is a moot point if they don't offer me a job. So I guess instead of freaking out before my eggs are hatched, I'll just sit tight and stop fretting.

For now.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


A week and a half later and I'm just breathing.

Man, what a rough weekend that was! On Friday I lost my temp job because they hired someone full time. It wasn't unexpected but I hate being unemployed. The days stretch on without an external force to govern them, no imposed schedule too often means no schedule at all for me.

But I had plans. I was going to focus all my time on the show. I was not only the playwright and an actor, but also Head of Marketing which was just about to kick into high gear.

And then it all got postponed indefinitely.

Now I have nothing to fill my days with. Nothing. NOTHING. Except to mull over and over what happened, what could I have done differently, what should I have said, what he said, what she did or didn't do...

Mulling can turn into brooding really easily.

Especially if you're a blue personality like I am.

I tried to shut it off, push it away and focus on other things, but every time I sat down to write that was all that came up. Anger. Frustration. Betrayal. Bitterness. Rage, and I was blocked, no words coming out except words of pain, my pain, not related to the work I was trying to do. I could journal until my fingers were numb but the second I turned to write something creative, whether it was something new or something I'd been working on for months and a giant rock settled itself in my brain and my soul and I was blocked entirely.

I'm working past it right now. Channeling all of my anger into angry stories. But it really felt like having one creative avenue shut down killed all of my desire to try again with something else.

Immature I know. But that's what it felt like.

So I put everything to the side, put my life on hold and ignored it all.

Until that didn't work anymore.

And then I began to sort, to think instead of brood, and I made myself sit my ass down in a chair and write even though I didn't feel like it. And what came out was angry, yes, but it was part of a story and I felt better afterwards. Like I had done something productive for the first time in days. Like I'd finally gotten out of bed and shown up for something instead of wallowing in self-pity and bitterness.

And I signed up for Script Frenzy, which may or may not have been an insane idea as I now have to write a 100 page script by April 30th but I suspect it'll force me to show up and move on every day, the external force I so desperately need right now.

We have an audition tomorrow. I hope it goes well - it could mean employment for the summer. Either way though, I will be imposing a schedule on myself. Waking up to an alarm. Going to bed on time. Eating when meals are supposed to happen and writing from this time to this time every day.

I think it's time I stopped drifting and made an island for myself instead of waiting to float into something. None of the things I've floated into this year have provided a lasting foundation.

It must be my job to create that for myself, with the help of God and the people in my life whom I trust to stick around and support me.

So here goes, and the whole while I'll just be here breathing.

We'll see what happens next.