3. More Journaling

Journal #79 November 10, 2001 – January 8, 2003

Sunday 5:00 am Dream: “Going into new place – as if dark and bottomless – push some stones around as adjust to light – step into newer house or building – beautiful woodwork for windows – as if shades out of beautiful wood – sorting through some nice clothes and shoes that I haven’t seen before.”
Almost made a decision to go to Prairietown for a few hours but it snowed so drinking coffee and writing in the coffee shop. Always on my mind so did drive out on the Remembrance Day weekend. Stomach area – power chakra I guess bothering me; like indigestion; have the feeling since the marathon that its meaning I’m overdoing it. Wrote two exams at work; over 95 on both; but know with work, have a too active social life and busy busy busy. Thinking of changing my hours of work 8- 4:30. I’m up about 5:30; idea being I could do a walk and yoga before work????
DREAM: “as if driving in States; hearing B.B. Cole”.
WOW! Fifteen women showed up this week for a Full Moon Ceremony at my house. I invited my landlady from next door and the rest were all First Nations women although some could have been Metis as looked like one white woman besides me. Many I didn’t know as they came with some that I did. The elder I knew had asked if I would host. I’d provide the space and decide if there was something in my life useful to me at one time that I was prepared to give away. I could also put out something for potluck.
She had a helper and we all sat in the upper room of my house which had no furniture. We sat on the rug in a circle. The helper untied the cloth holding ceremonial items; and then proceeded with the lighting and smudging each of us that followed the prayers of the elder. I cringed wondering how the smudging was going over with the landlady as she was Caucasian and I had agreed no smoking in the house. After the main part of the ceremony,we shared the food everyone had brought. Soup, berries,bannock and some coffee shop doughnuts. There was more than we could eat. A woman gathered a teeny bit of each variety of food the women had brought taking it outside to bury by the river thanking mother earth or something like that.
Another cringing moment for me was when I saw soup spilled on the carpet. The ceremony ended with a give away in which the item each woman brought was put into a basket. One woman drummed, lots sang, the basket went round and when you felt called, you put your hand in the basket and picked an item. The receiver shared with the larger group what was received; and the giver spoke of what had been given up and both could choose if wanted to share the significance. All did.
My turn. I gave up a book, a story about someone dealing with the law. I talked about how much in my life changed; the civil suit ending; and I saw the significance of receiving a tea towel relating to living in a new house, the marathon, Ireland; maybe time to do nothing; just have tea.
Landlady came over the next night and I realize I could be a psychic. Everything I assumed she’d be angry about; she was. She was full of wrath to do with it all; having women I didn’t know at my house; the smoke in the house; the rug. I was calm as I heard her out and attempted to talk about a difference in cultures. What helped my case was there was not one lingering smell from the smudge and not one iota of a spot on the rug. I knew it was unexplainable and told her I saw it on a spiritual level that something happened there and now no evidence of it. Both of us had seen the soup spilling and we experiencing lots of smudging happening. I appreciated her concern and I and she were there until the end and we didn’t see anyone cleaning it up. We both got down on our hands and knees and looked at the rug. Some things I can’t explain. Hopefully we have worked through it.
Next day I worked on the Retreat Budget; estimate still comes in at $5000.00. Board of Directors cancel the retreat. Grief hits again. I speak with a counselor at the Sexual assault centre contemplating how hard I’ve fought to get things to be OK; to settle with church, to make a difference. She spoke of the difference I made in educating community and I’m trying to explain I am finished. There’s more things out there besides abuse. I’ve had ten positions at the government insurance in four years and finished all the classes I am going to take. I don’t want to do workshops anymore. I used to think it would help my kids. Now think they will find their own answers.
One month till Christmas and contemplating how it will be; wondering what spirituality to go with: not celebrate Christmas, celebrate family? Had a date with a man;so uncomfortable as we sat drinking tea. I was saying RACISM in my head at much of his conversation.
Went to a fundraiser with a woman from work. She has her kids in a Christian school. Lots of business men in suits. Quite amazing! One thousand dollars bid for a cake and one thousand dollars bid for twelve cream puffs. I never saw anything like it. The “I will follow Christ” posters; Rules of Conduct poster with number one being “Instant Obedience” on the walls was quite different compared to schools I grew up with.
My aunt wants me to take her to Ireland. She is over ninety years old. I can not fathom it. Too scared to do the driving when there; too scared to go by myself with her. If I could get someone to go with me. Maybe.
I am sorting, sorting, sorting. Sorting money, budgeting,sorting scrapbooks from 1999 till now. Realize lots happened. Sorting my clothes; my house. Now put my computer in the living room.
At work, I am in production. Taking new files. I have one hundred sixty one given to me in this caseload. Too much going on. Went with a friend for a celebration supper. Celebrating life; then went to a lecture on the boreal forest. Neat!
My landlady talked to me about going to her own spirituality retreat. She had to draw a God tree. I did one. I drew mine in my journal. It looked like prairie grasses. I wrote: “As if came from the sod and built a steady, stable life and now there are endless possibilities of shoots, new growth going in every direction and not sure what has died and what needs to be saved, tended to, taken back, reclaimed, what I need to say good-bye to, what I am holding on to; what I can’t stand; what Id like, what I am responsible for. Sod means my Irish roots and Canadian roots, sturdy, stable life, house, career, kids, relationships with family of origin and friends.
The shoots are the new growth, Ireland, dating, new personal injury rep (a PIR I); the classes I finished have me prepared for three higher level jobs; a PIR II, III and a specialist; and a shoot for the retreat I planned.
What died in my life is the walking and the marathon. Needing to be saved? Probably the walking, singing, and dancing which is not happening. Ended are the Tamara’s House workshops. I’d better tend to food, house, and friendships. I’m taking back spirituality and reclaiming love for myself. I love this god tree stuff.”
We are back to working on the retreat as grant money may have been found. We’re thinking of a theme like “Nurturing Our Spirituality.”
Grief hits after the funeral of an aunt. Maybe it was being in the same graveyard as Mom’s grave or just too much hit from the past. I am going through so much guilt over not taking my aunt to Ireland. My friend phoned and asked if I’d come see her in Abbotsford. Escape she said would help the grief. I’m going to think about it. I phoned another friend but had a hard time with the intellectualizing. My son read me an article on depression that said what does not work is release of feelings.
Wrote Canada Pension Plan who said they’d send estimates to me so I would know what my pension would be at 65 if I kept working from now till then. Within two days it was here. Five hundred a month at 65; pretty pathetic. Actually shocking!
Unsure what I am angry about these days; but cold sores in my mouth. Wanting to write a second book. Feel no closer to dating; that brings up lots of stuff. Had the marathon women over for coffee. The best is spending time being Gramma.
After work each night; cleaning and organizing. Got rid of a box of social work and sexual abuse information; things I’ve saved for fifteen years. I think I’ll take all the workshop information back to Tamara’s House(makes me cry). Feel as if no one wants it.
My brother in law became a Reverend.
I gave all my resources, handouts and posters, etc to a First Nations Elder and feel good about that. Still want to sort money; save for a car, a trip, a house, furniture. Talked to my closest friend about not wanting to do workshops anymore; wanting to go to the desert; to Arizona. Where did that idea come from?
Know I have an opportunity at SGI by taking classes. Closer to Christmas it gets; the more sorting I’m doing; sorting old 1998 book stuff; justice ideas; things I haven’t been able to look at for three years. I’m still keeping old letters people sent me.
Christmas is the shits. Grief again. Good-bye to Mom. Made a list yesterday of all I have as well as a list of what I want. Clothes that are more me. I’d like a deep green duvet and light wood furniture for my bedroom. Have an idea that Tamara’s House could maybe send letters re publishing a second book; second one wouldn’t be half as hard as first.
Days after Christmas I feel like I’m saying good-bye again to the Catholic church and to Christmas. Garbage is how I feel about it all. Had cold sores for weeks on lips. What I didn’t like about Christmas:
all the alcohol
all the food gorging
no one talking about anything real
lost my voice re singing in church
how much money I spent on nothing
thought this year would be nicer and wasn’t
too long with my family
how I appreciate the sunrise, the walks and can’t understand that no one else does
laying awake one till three thirty during the night
not liking myself much these days
Still amazes me that I have quit smoking. Took a bunch of clothes out of my closet and gave to a second hand store.
Walked to a coffee shop; used a template for a journal question and answer exercise.
My calling in life? To love
Am I living it? Yes
Rejecting it? Sometimes
Truly wish to find it? Yes
How can I bring this gift to myself and the world? Being Me in Each Moment
I seek? Wholeness
Before I was born, my face looked? Like those before me
I call beloved? Energy Pureness Nature My kids All that I am in contact with All that I am connected to
I would die for? I’m not there
I still trust? Like a child the SUN
I have shed? The Catholic Church
Most of the Family
My hope is restored? when I hear of someone caring for someone else
I am not too busy to? breathe
Catalogue of my greatest secrets? Don’t have any
Shames? Same
Accomplishments? Living through this with dignity
Most proud of? Moved through enough to work full time and enjoy marathon experience (something besides work)
I hate? apathy
Who have I forsaken? no energy to listen to my authentic self smiling – joy filled – talk about in the moment.
Gift she would give me? is a hug
To be born? unknowingly
To die ? unknowingly
Unconditional love? How I love many times
Loving someone unconditionally? is painful and rapturous
Appreciate? more
Hope is? Aliveness
Love is? Freedom
Faith is ? Expressing love when unsure
Waiting is? patience
Sisterhood is? understanding
Inspiration is? creativity
Courage is? facing fear
Freedom is? life
Truth is? ever unfolding
I live with integrity by? accepting self
I value my? heart/mind
I reflect those by? caring for self
I practice compassion? by giving where I can
My power comes from? food, cosmos, energy Spirituality
I use my power? to take care of myself and others each moment
When I am empty? I’m whiny, complaining, my body aches
I trust? myself, some others, the energy of life
I am obedient? to my inner knowings
If my ears were open to universe? songs, sing, dance, Enjoy
The metaphor of my life? Finding Love and Responding With Love
The mystery of my life? Seeing thru illusion
I dance with this mystery? by trusting myself
I have killed the song of my life when? I’m unwilling to trust
I can bring to life my song? By taking a risk
I am close to being content? With all I have, where I am and what I’m doing
I must live? openly, honestly
I can live? with self-kindness and vulnerability
I have a? poet’s heart ex. Songs and poems
I have a? sculptor’s hands – my life
I have composer’s ears? hear others pain
I have a master cook’s palate? Beauty in my life
For me to change? Learn to protect self
I am finished with? Pain
I honestly wish? To change
Home is? Peace with what is
I am at home? Inside this morning

I need to go home and work on some meals. I may bake bread,buns and then buy what I need. It is snowing unbelievably which is beautiful. Went home. My sister phoned. She listens while I am in deep crying over the end of the church. Said can’t believe in the words, “The Lord is my Sheperd.” Is it facing death or is it knowing – no evil shall I fear and it’s knowing no one is around and yet I lived through all that – as if I don’t understand our world and need to get it.
Spirit of Cosmos – Universe – Life – was there through it all. Do I need to understand it all? In my centre is calm. If all of life is a meditation,I spend most of my life meditating on organizing and sorting the past.


Get it over with Will it overwhelm me?
Never goes away Is it healthy to do this?
Life is empty right now Do I have enough support?
Have space
Benefits I think Can be doing funner things
To give myself hope Don’t need it anymore as not as many darknesses

Bugged me when I shared with a woman re writing a second book and she said, “You’re going to suffer through a second one?”
Her son was an abuser of his children; jailed; is now out.
Went to a New Year’s Eve Dance; really enjoyed the dress up and dancing.
A New Year and in body pain so extreme could not go to a friends invite re eggs benedict. Went for a drive in car; screamed and cried for 2 hours; did not help; went home and when I draw in journal, it recedes a bit. Jan 4/02 was able to do some work on my book. Rather be there than stuck in the pain. Wonder if this is reality; book won’t go away. Pain is back like it was in 1996-97; writing allows expression; acknowledgment. Maybe work on it for a week and see where I get.


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