A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

~Rita Mae Brown
Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

~Alfred Adler


On The Bedside Table
  • NOS4A2
    by Joe Hill
My Now
Old Writey Bits
My Thanks
Matt Fitzhardinge - Alaskan dogsledding header picture


In A Nutshell

Without even looking at what prompted this (partial) recounting of beliefs by Kaetlan, it's perfect. And perfectly stand-alone.

My feminism is confined to the freedom to make choices, and for equalization inside the social sphere. I support equal pay for equal work, but I reject the condescension of Affirmative Action. I support the woman who wants to pursue a prestigious education and career. I also support the woman who wants to stay at home, whether she's raising children or not. I even support the woman who feels she can 'have it all', no matter how misguided I feel that notion to be -- have at 'er, just don't complain to me about how tired you are.

I want women to be able to have abortions should they want to and NO, I don't include any qualifiers. I want women to be proud of themselves, but I also want that for men. I despise violence against women, but I despise violence against any person, irrespective of sex. I support advocacy for women living in countries where they're treated like chattel, and can be killed by their menfolk for whatever supposed breaches of family honour they've committed. (I won't even address how idiotic is the cognitive dissonance to believe murder is somehow not dishonourable.) The voiceless need a voice, and we, with our greater resources and cultural tolerance, are morally obliged to speak for them out of principle.

This advocacy doesn't include anyone currently residing inside another human's body. Sorry. That's just me.

I don't hate men, and I don't believe them to be the source of everything wrong with women's status in this society. For that, I blame Nature. I don't believe women are possessed of moral superiority to men. I don't believe if women ruled the world, violence would magically disappear --violence is the ravening wolf in all our hearts, and requires constant suppression by conscious decisions negotiated through moral and ethical codes. I don't believe women should be afforded any special privileges, and that includes the fascist 'safe office' policies and speech codes employed by an alarming number of corporations and universities. These policies infantilize women, and I wholly reject the idea we're all frail, hot-house orchids who need protection from Big Bad Men. I don't believe porn degrades women. I don't believe strip clubs degrade women simply by virtue of their existence, nor do I believe the women who work in them are degraded. I don't believe prostitutes are victims, though it's a dangerous line of work, and it's obvious the more visible of their number (the streetwalkers) are more likely to be victimized, whether as a result of prevailing public attitude (including the indifference of police officers), or through their very real vulnerability on darkened city streets.

And, having borne witness to the sheer fickleness and spite with which women can treat other women, I believe the idea of an all-embracing sisterhood to be a colossal joke, but conspicuously lacking a clever punchline.


Small Things

That's it? Surely there has to be more postcard requests than that! This is way too easy.

Apparantly, my cousin lives in Melbourne. I haven't seen her since I was 15 and she was like, 10. Not sure if I'll contact her, will have to think about that. Right now, a ride to the depot on Sunday is a higher priority.

ACK! One week!

Unfortunately, no Run for the Cure today - I'm working. Money is more important than exercise right since after actually paying off this trip, I've got a special assessment for my condo back in Calgary for roughly $3000 I have to pay for by the end of the year.

Which reminds me - it would probably help if I were actually getting ready for work instead of blathering on to you.


A Moment for a Cultural Break

The director of the National Gallery of Canada made a list of the first ten pieces he'd save if the place went up in flames (6 who are actually Canadian and one who is Canada-based) - I thought it'd be interesting to see what he picked.

I'm not a big fan of any of it really, although I think I'd like to 'see' #6, #9 (made out of plastic chairs) and definitely #10, which I included as a thumbnail. 10 rocks.

1. Sunrise on the Saguenay, Cape Trinity by Lucius R. O'Brien (1880)

2. Pavane, Jean Paul Riopelle (1954)

3. The Red Maple, A.Y. Jackson (1914)

4. The Young Student, Ozias Leduc (1894)

5. Fir Tree and Sky, Emily Carr

6. Forty-Part Motet, Janet Cardiff (2001)

7. Hope, Gustav Klimt

8. Iris, Vincent van Gogh (1889)

9. Shapeshifter, Brian Jungen (2000)

10. Untitled (Head of a Baby), Ron Mueck (2003)

*click to biggie-size*


Thanksgiving 2005 (I Feel Like A Fly Ball)

I've got it! .... I've got it!....

Yaaaay. No worries, will phone Tim when I'm in Perth next (on fri) and let him know that it's now his responsibility to find you at the airport... . I've got a few ideas of where to go and what to see when I've got you, is there any thing you wanna see or to go? It's still going to be a bit cool to do many beach related things but could possibly do rotto (rottnest)? Any sort of themes of things you wanna do (ie camping/fishing/outdoors/ or touring/museums/galleries etc?). I'm up for anything.

Get excited...you're about to come to the best country in the world (from the second best country in the world....) :D


I AM totally excited. But first I have to get through the writing of the will, since I'll have to do one for the military and since I have property and, I realize suddenly, assets of all kinds - it's a lot more serious than a paltry $500 RRSP or so.

Then, the swearing in - the allegiance to the Queen - which the Canadian military still does, strangely enough.


But this next part, here, is a bit of a reprise, because I've given the link to my stepmother and I want to reiterate an old post/comment wherein I tried to explain what this place meant to me or maybe, what it does for me. Besides, after candy for the plane and pears stuffed with cheesecake after a turkey dinner (and I don't even like pears but it was fantastic) - it's the least I can do...

Apart from being a way to keep in touch with friends in a deeper way than emails can in this busy world and apart from being a way to help / hope that those I care about can find a way to a better understanding of me, I've been through many incarnations of what I thought this place did for me. This is the one that feels the truest in this everchanging world. I'm mostly comfortable doing what I do, no matter who may see it (I say "mostly" because we know I've bailed out if too uncomfortable but not without telling you my reasons).

It's a difficult thing, knowing - really knowing - that someone may come along who knows you and you've made a decision not to hide yourself from anyone out 'here' on the web.

When I write something down, it starts to make sense to me in a concrete way. It doesn't solve problems, it brings them to a kind of life that I can move forward with. A way that gives me the ability to 'transfer' solutions, behaviours and ideas to my day to day life in a way that nothing else ever has. A way that feels natural and right.

I don't get much feedback and my 'audience' is small but this place works in a way that journals to myself never did because journals to myself were handwritten and less flowing and more external and the blog is *inside* somehow. I think, sometimes that maybe it's just the theory of it being here. Nothing more and nothing less - yet in a way, it is everything more to me.

It's a difficult explanation and maybe one that I will never get quite right.

The things I work through in here become what I can see in 'real life' - they become an actual tangible THING. I am the same in person as I am here - I've never been able to be someone else at work at home at play at.... I'm just me. All the time. And sometimes that's caused me problems, but looking back, I don't think I'd have it any other way. This place allows me to bridge the gap between 'me' and the 'me I am proud of' out there in the real world - which is something I've always struggled with - liking myself and trusting myself and being able to project that in a way that those around me feel or can believe.

It's all very relative. And all so very personal to each and all of us that continue to keep these kinds of testaments to ourselves and our lives - even though we are all in a place where the whole world can see us.

In the end, however, after two years and two months of writing to 'you' every day - I have nothing but gain, growth, friends, laughter and love - from myself and all of you, to show for it.

This Thanksgiving, for this I am thankful for.

This place. And every single one of you.

Additionally, two quotes (of course) -

Sometimes I wonder if everything is already known and each of us simply selects the facts that work for us. Is that why we all go through life so disconnected? Not only are our minds these singular islands, each separate from each other, but we're not necessarily operating in the same reality. There's a consensual no-man's-land that we pretty well agree on, but beyond those basic reference points that we're given as children, we're on our own.

We run into trouble communicating, not because we lack a common language, but because the facts I've selected don't usually fit with the ones you have. Lacking common ground, it's no wonder we find it so hard to communicate.

He meant that, when I spoke my name, he believed me, he understood who I was. There are no words to say how very much this pleased me. I think that almost every word we speak to anyone is a way of trying to explain to them who we are, and almost always we fail, and that is why I would rather not try. It is a great wonder to be able to speak a single word, your name, and be believed. There is only one of you in all the world, there has never been another, there never will be another, and once you know this, it is a hurtful thing to be taken as someone else or like someone else. You begin to try very hard to announce yourself to everyone, knowing in your heart that it is as foolish as proving the existence of the sun, or water, or pain, and as useless as trying to disprove any of them.

Theodore Sturgeon

I could tell you something I consider to be inconsequential to who or what I am and your spontaneous decision to make it important will color how you see me and treat me, forever.

I still believe it's worth trying.

And I believe that we have a duty as intelligent human beings, to each other and to ourselves, to recognize this flaw, give each other the benefit of open-mindedness and above all remember that we are each of us, the sum of our parts. Good and bad. To go a step further even - that my definitions of good and bad may not be the same as yours, which doesn't make them wrong, only a difference that I should explore and do my best to understand.

I do know that this place has helped to allow me to care less when I've failed and to pay more attention to what others say, in the hopes that I can help them succeed.

January 19, 2004

And from Thanksgiving 2004....

A letter to a boy

Since I'm tired, this may come out all wrong as it's from notes I wrote while the family kept yelling "are you writing in a journal?". But it's Thanksgiving and I have to do this before I go to bed. So.....

I just walked alone along this amazing beach through a fantastic sunset, the lake so massive you can barely see the far shore....being quiet within myself for the first time in ages. Just walking and listening to my heart.

Full circle around to the pier, walking out to the end to sit with my legs over the water, three new rocks in my hand. Total silence around me. A bite in the air. A still lake.

And I realized that I was utterly and completely at peace. Which is not something I am very often, although - to be fair, it is something I am more and more.

Underlying that peace, in my heart there is this exquisite ... something. Joy is the best word I have to describe it. Fierce leaping joy.

A joy that has never been a part of this girls heart before. There are a lot of reasons for it to be there, I know. Things all new to me that, this year, I have decided and felt and found.

And then it occurs to me that I think you have this joy in your heart all the time. I think that maybe I understand you a little better than I did before. And I envy you a little, but only for a minute, because something inside of me knows that recognizing it today is only the beginning and that now that I know it's there, I'll always be able to find it. Even if it's only a little bit when I really need it.

This is one of the things that I have been learning from you. I know this because whether or not it was always there, it has only begun to grow big enough for me to recognize since I met you.

You are a lot of things, Matt, but somewhere inside of you lives the wild and true heart of a child and that is a precious thing to have and to share.

And this year, that is one of the things I am thankful for.

Life IS good. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.


Oh, and Sal?

Roughly 50% of my pack space equals requests, gifts, and assorted things Canadian - I think you and Van would be proud. *blush*

At this point though, 3 and a half weeks is long enough only to get a better idea of *how* I travel, what I'll use of the things I think I need, and to get comfortable with the whole concept - it's more about working out what my basic requirements are for a comfort zone than it is about picking up what I need as I go - especially since I'll mostly be with friends and not on my own. Yanno?

The books on disk are backup only (I hate reading off screens, prefer the real thing in my hands), the land o' the last resort. But for someone who'll read three, maybe four novels during the 5 hours of bus, 2 hours of ferry, 20 hours of flying and 6 hours of airport time (just on the first DAY) - an utter peace of mind and low cost necessity.

I'm living "outside" and un-insulated, don't you worry.