Thursday, July 28, 2016


In the summer I throw things in the garbage.  I eat blackberries and I clean my drawers.  I scrub floors I sweep I vaccuum I organize.  And I eat berries, a lot of berries, because berries help me clean things.  I found the program from Lison's funeral with CC's poem on the back.  I tried to throw it away but could not quite.  But threw away all the empty shampoo bottles, the little vials and wrappers and tubes that somehow collect.  How can one person use this many products?  Only half of each one before moving on to another.  I threw them away, I threw them all away, scrubbed the counters, folded the clothes into pretend file folders standing upright so I could see each one waiting to be worn.

I watched my hands cut avocados, I watched my hands turn into my mother's hands.  The way she peels an avocado makes me angry, as if she means to make me angry, as if she wants avocado pulp under her nails.  As if there isn't a better way to do it.  She knows there is a better way to do it because we have told her; she is being perverse.  I cut the first one her way, I cut the second one my way.  They both tasted the same.  I wonder whether I admire that kind of stubbornness, if I like it in myself when I catch it.  I wonder if she reflects upon these things as I do when she cuts avocados.

Tomorrow Shawn will be home.  He has been summoned to head office to solve Problems, and so he has solved them, while I have eaten berries and trimmed trees and thrown a lot of things in the garbage. I eat better when he is away.  I clean more.  Because I miss him, and I have grown dependant, I must do more with myself to compensate for his absence.  I went to yoga, I walked the dogs.  I collapsed the cardboard boxes and made them all so flat.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

a chase would be nice for a few

R phoned me tonight to ask about the potential for an investigation.  The conversation was very one-sided.  It was interesting to listen to him talk, mostly to himself, and rewrite the facts.  He retold me a story that we both know is not true, but I found myself unable to dispute it.  And it made me wonder if he has forgotten that I know what really happened, and if he has convinced himself that the new version is the real one.  It also makes me wonder if it is possible that I am the one who does not know the facts, and if it is at all possible that I have remembered things incorrectly.  In any case, I said very little because I was listening carefully.  If there is an investigation, I wonder if I am permitted to refuse to participate, having no interest in getting anybody into trouble, and wanting only for the victim to be safe from further humiliation.


E has asked me if I will read her daughter's diary and discuss it with her.  I said I would, although the thought is frightening.  I expect her diary will be painful to read.  And I want to help support E in her grief, although I am unsure if this is really a good way to accomplish that.  Sometimes people want things that aren't good for them.


Saturday, July 09, 2016

to taste life twice

I took a writing class, once, with a (semi)famous Canadian writer.  She said that she wrote a story about an abusive father; her own father had since passed away.  She said her mother chided her for writing this character, said her father was not so harsh, making the assumption that the character was based upon her real father.  And of course, he was.  But not entirely.  And that is the wonderful, terrible thing about publishing fiction.  People who know you look for themselves in your characters --  and are hurt when they do.

When my mother wrote her book, I did not have to look very hard for myself, because her work was categorized as non-fiction, and the character based upon me bore my name.  Memoirs (and memories) are strange the way they anchor themselves in the non-fiction section, but drift toward fiction in the bumpy parts.  The way we fill in the parts we cannot quite remember so seamlessly that even the writer does not know she has deviated from the facts.  The way no one can be sure they know the facts any more than anyone else does, no matter how clear the memories seem.

When I write, I do not publish anything using my real name.  I do not want anyone to recognize fragments of conversations we have had, or how my mind has dissected and reorganized these things.  I do not wish you to know that I was always thinking about your hands when you were talking to me.  I do not want you to know that I put my hand inside your coat pocket when you left the room for a moment - because I wanted to put my hand some place I knew your hand had been.


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

clearance event

Ellen found her daughter's diary, and has read it.  She says she wishes she had not done this; I wish she had not too.  She blames herself for her daughter's death.  She thinks she failed her.

I have tried to explain to her about diaries.  People who don't keep them do not understand how a diary does not reflect a whole person.  People think diaries are truthful because they are private ~ but they forget how we censor ourselves, even unintentionally, when we write them, because we write what is burning us, we write what is drowning us, we write what overfills and starves us.  But we almost never write, Everything is ordinary.  I have no strong feelings about anything.  It's all okay.  Those kinds of thoughts rarely inspire much writing.

Wrapped in the centre of my ache for Ellen is the growing awareness that I must do something about my own diaries.  Not that I have any plans of offing myself, but one never knows what unexpected things may happen.  If I should happen to be killed in a car accident or carried off and eaten by a giant bird, I would not like my diaries to be found by anyone who loved me in case they took them as truth.  The Whole Truth.  And blamed themselves for anything.

Loved ones, if I am dead and you are reading this, I implore you to stop it immediately.


Monday, July 04, 2016

Well that was disappointing.  BPPV is NOT over.  Very early in the series (pada hastasana) something shook loose in my ear and the dizziness came back.  Just like that.  So incredibly frustrating.  What happens now?  I'm not sure.  I tried to do the maneuvers to undizzy myself, and they didn't work.  (They need to provoke dizziness in order to correct it, and I could not get that to happen again.)

I think I need to keep going to yoga and see if I can push through this thing.  I cannot bear waiting for it to heal itself any longer.  I am planning to go back tomorrow.  And I am scared.


Saturday, July 02, 2016

I like the flower but not the garden

It has been fifteen months since BPPV first struck, rendering me dizzy and disoriented.  I wondered at the time if I was having a stroke, but my thoughts were so clear, it seemed unlikely.  The fact I could not walk without falling down was puzzling, however.  And frightening.

Months of physiotherapy and canalith repositioning maneuvers were nearly completely futile.  The good news is that is the body heals itself anyway, eventually.  It just takes longer than one would hope. It has now been nearly four months since the last episode of dizziness, the longest since it first began.  Long enough that I have begun to sleep on the "wrong" side again with no negative repercussions.  Long enough that I have repurchased my yoga membership because I feel confident(ish) that I can finally tip myself upsidedown without becoming unable to return to the upright position.  This is a test I will undertake on Monday with some trepidation - but I think it's going to be okay.