Monday, November 30, 2015

Reverb15: imagination

I miss blogging. Ever since I became a mother, it's been something that has slowly drifted off my radar as I shifted my focus and learned my new role in life. (Or rather, a new role, I should say, because I believe that I am more than just a mother and the feminist in me needs that to be acknowledged).

Point being, I miss the process of reflection, writing and nurturing creativity. My god, I miss nurturing creativity so much that when I have an opportunity to create I'm almost paralyzed by remembrance. Taking time out for creativity is a balm to my soul. Yes, really.

Far too often we sacrifice the things that really feed us, nourish us, in favour of busy. Smartphones, internet, lists, work, every day life dramas.

Yesterday I was driving home, licking my wounds, focused on narratives that only harm my soul, when I looked up at the sky and noticed the sun between the big, white, fluffy clouds. It was a simple moment but it reminded me that the world is beautiful and that I need to remember to see the beauty. To celebrate and embrace it.

Where am I going with all this? No where really I suppose. Just reflecting on how I fill my days with stuff at the expense of moments and thoughts and joy that make me happy. I forget to get outside. I forget to write. I forget to make art. I forget to let go of the shit that drives me crazy. The games that mean nothing in the long run (how good is the art created, how many people read what I write, that it's cold outside, etc, etc).

So this morning, when Kat McNally's #Reverb15 oracle reading came through my email, I wasn't entirely surprised to receive imaginationinstead of love. While I feel like I could use some more love, it's not really necessarily true. I do have a lot of love in my life. What I need is the stuff that nourishes my soul and makes me remember to be grateful for the love that I actually do have; to follow my bliss as it were and stop being afraid of my own demons. Because quite frankly, the past season has really been about me learning to face down my own fears and tell them to shut up; both professionally and personally.

So here I go into Reverb15 with the focus being on letting go and embracing the new places my imagination and creativity will lead me in the new year.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Yulemas Countdown

I'm so looking forward to the holidays this year. I didn't go all out for Halloween cause I was just burnt out but "Yulemas" is going to rock this turn of the wheel. Little Faye (he's getting bigger, no longer a baby), is totally gung ho about all the seasonal stuff and it's amazing.

We put up the holiday lights this week and he loves them. The drive home from work has turned into a new adventure in pointing out all the lights that are out and about along the way. Next weekend we're putting up the tree and I think he's going to love the lights in the house.

Tomorrow we start an advent calendar for the first time. I've decided to have a knock off elf, named Tito by Little Faye, who will deliver a box daily as Little Faye is a little too young to get the waiting to pull out the boxes.

I bought the countdown boxes at the end of season a few years ago (clearly I have a hoarding problem) and only finally decorated it this year. It's not perfect but given that it's going to be used by a toddler, it doesn't need to be. At the end of this season I'll look for a wooden one that will last past toddler-hood.

I debated starting it a bit earlier to coincide with the Solstice but in the end decided that it was ok to sync it with the 25th. The overlap is close enough and the point of the season is still there even if I let it be generally celebrated as Christmas.

I always find it somewhat challenging to blend the holidays in a way that still honours my own traditions. I suspect it's going to be a lifelong issue for me. But it's ok. As long as he learns the important stuff, that's what matters. The dates don't matter as much as the general themes and values.

Hopefully Little Faye loves his Tito the elf advent adventures!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

my subconscious at work

The subconscious is a funny thing. While I'm clearly having mommy issues, my dreams are filled with men doing me harm. How odd is that?

In fact, the next before last, I dreamt of my stepfather hanging off me in a way that was suffocating and 2 men I know acting as probation officers (not for me) who were giving my stepdad a tour while he was shackling me emotionally.

Last night I was a series of different women being stalked and attacked by this one man and woke up screaming as he tried to hunt me down to hack me into pieces.

On some level I get these dreams as being a continuation of the nightmares I had a child (I always had 2 reccuring nightmares that featured men and clearly stood in for my biological father figure) but these dreams are very different. I guess my inner child is rearing her head again in this process.

Speaking of the process, I have to say it's an odd place to be in. To be grieving but not really doing so publically. In fact, I have a blogger whom I read who is going through a separation and is sharing the process in a way that I don't feel entitled to. But emotionally it's kind of brutal to be wrapped up in grief and yet be holding it close to me and not sharing. It's not my nature and yet, while part of me wants to share it with everyone because it's kind of the only thing I am thinking about on some level, it's also something I don't want to share at all.

I don't want to have to explain. There is no reasonable explanation for it. Ultimately, no matter which way you look at it, my mother's choice is coldhearted and irrational. Other than wanting more attention (a whopping call every few months), I am not a demanding child. And yet, people struggle to understand in ways that make me feel like I either have to defend her so that I don't look bad or accept their pity because what else are they going to do?

I suppose a divorce brings the same dynamic but still, people can wrap their heads around couples falling out of love. Rejecting a child and grandchild for no reason other than not being capable of nurturing a relationship isn't really something people get. And they shouldn't! And I'm happy for others that they can't wrap their heads around it.

But how to walk around in the world, privately feeling like the walking wounded? That's the question I'm navigating at the moment. And clearly, I guess subliminaly, I am feeling a bit under attack in the process!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

reflections on new experiences

I'm trying to make time for art journaling in my life, no matter how simple it may be.

I always forget how much my artist date/journal soothes me and makes me calmer. It's a meditation that actually in many ways, lets my brain be still because I'm just doing the one thing.

I may have mentioned before that I work with Indigenous students on campus, doing anything from orientations and support for the students to education and sensitization for the larger community.

It's been a crazy roller coaster learning curve for me over the past 2 years. I grew up being told that it was not my place as a non native (now I'd insert the term settler) to try to go into the communities and "fix" things. I grew up with an overwhelming fear of offending and of appropriating a culture that is not mine. Ironically, I can say that that same fear of appropriation wasn't something I translated into other cultures until recently (it's beena  big year of learning over here in Faye land).

Why am I even mentioning this? Well because honestly, being in this position has meant that I find myself in situations where I can feel a bit uncomfortable. I end up collaborating and sharing experiences where I am the outsider again. I am aware of the privilege being extended to me and hyper conscious of the need to be conscientious while participating. It's an odd, yet beautiful combination that keeps me on my toes.

What I love most are the moments when I find parallels and realize that despite the form, I am in communication with the same source; that I am still praying to the God and Goddess; that the ritual is tapping into the same process I am familiar with only differently. These moments make me happy and sometimes, every now and again, when I'm with members of the local community, I sense (or am told) that there is a flash of recognition, of shared understanding.

And it's such a sacred gift when that happens.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Breaking up and words as mantras

I'm not going to lie, I'm looking forward to letting go of 2015. It's been a hard year and I'm looking forward to it ending.

I'm looking forward to letting go off all the insecurities this year has brought and fully embracing the new strengths I've gained.

It's been a while since I've really done a word for the year. I don't know if one word really has rung true for me in a while but this year,  starting now instead of new year,  I'm choosing to find word(s) that nourish me and remind me of my worth as a person.

I'm tired of letting the bad stuff define me. I'm tired of letting my insecurities kill me. And I'm letting go of all the things and people who are toxic to me. This includes my mother.

Truth be told,  I've broken up with my mother. It's been years coming. I've held on way longer than I would have had it been anyone other than my mother. I'm not going to lie. It's heartbreaking and I'm reeling from the hurt and anger. But it's finally done and now I'm going to focus on healing.

And like any other break up that I've gone through I'm sure there will be good and bad days. I'm sure it'll likely take years for the wounds to heal. I may write about it here as this is the safest place for me to do so. Oh the ironies of the Internet and the anonymity of it at times. Some days it makes my world feel too public,  others it provides the cloak I need to be honest.

So anyways,  that's a snippet of what has been going on in my life this year. I'm off to find a word that will nourish my soul and be a balm to my wounded heart in the months ahead; a mantra and prayer to remind me to live and love with an open heart.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sanctimommy and the smartphone

Recently a post showed up in my Facebook feed that left me feeling really cranky. Essentially the post talked about how a mom or down her smartphone and counted the times her children looked up for validation from her. She counted something life 23 times that she would have missed if she was on her phone.

I get her point. I know that I'm guilty of being on my phone too much. That I miss things. And I'm working on it.

But here's the thing. I'm doing the best that I can to balance it all and posts like this just feed the mama guilt. And I'm tired of the not good enough ever present mother that I'm meant to be.

Do you think moms of the past were always watching us?

I don't think so. In fact I'm damn sure they weren't. They were shipping us outside to play. Letting us explore the neighborhood.

They were knitting or sewing or cooking (looking down and not watching us to be sure). They were having coffee with other moms or taking care of other children.

I'm not sure why this generation,  my generation,  is so intent on telling us to be present for every single moment. To engage with our children 24/7, when while cooking wholesome meals,  do yoga,  maintain our self through friendships and other means,  craft elaborate cakes and home decor,  etc, etc and stick expects us to be sane.

Can we just stop?


Some days I'm more present than others. Some days I'm a better mama than others. But my child is always safe. I'm always there. And guaranteed,  while I might not catch every single glance for approval or acknowledgement,  I catch most and my child knows he is loved.

Can we stop judging and start supporting? Can we remember that is important that we try our best and that our children know we are here?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

yulemas crafted gifts

I don't know what it is about Fall, but as soon as the air starts getting cooler, I start wanting to knit/crochet.

Don't ask me to knit in the summer, but during the dark turns of the wheel, I'm all over it!

I'm currently crocheting a blanket for a friend for Yulemas. She's someone who I think could use a little extra tlc this holiday season so I started this quiet about 2 weeks ago. I'm trying to remember to infuse it with love as I work, in hopes that she will always feel loved and cared for when she uses it.

Hopefully I've given myself a decent timeline to get it down before the holidays. It's always a little tricky to plan a handmade gift that gets down in time for the season!

It's super soft and warm, so I am hoping that it'll do the trick. The pattern is very simple, meant for a beginner, but the yarn suggested for it is really not beginner friendly. I was about 60 rows in before I caught a mistake I was making. I was looping into the wrong loop in my half double crochet because it was too hard to see the extra hole in the yarn. Instead of starting over again, I opted to continue with the mistake as it'll make the blanket thicker and warmer. But yeah, not an easy wool to work with, despite being cozy, if you're not able to see stitches well in fluffy yarns!

Here's to hoping I get it finished in time and that it does the job it's meant to do!