Growing up, my family had a framed picture of Don Cherry in our basement. The photo was of my father and a group of other men my father played sports with surrounding Don, all big smiles and thumbs up.
As a kid I feared Don Cherry. Every time I heard his voice or saw him on TV I would feel my anxiety begin to rise. I couldn’t understand why he was so angry, so dismissive, so flamboyant, and yet so treasured by so many older adults in my life.
I would hear him making fun of hockey players, calling them pansies and mocking them for not being strong or manly enough. When ever I heard him on TV I would think, “He is mocking those people for the same qualities I hold.” …
I have never really felt like I was from a place. Perhaps I learned to feel this way from my mother. I never got a sense of where she was from but I know she spent time as a child in Shannon Park. Yesterday we visited Shannon Park guided by nostalgia, memories of innocence, and an open gate.
VENESECTION COLLECTION — Week 8
Yesterday I walked into the VG considering coincidence and destiny.
Some people consider coincidences to be signs from something greater — the universe, god, a spiritual clue into what we are experiencing. The more critical and doubtful consider coincidences to be nothing more than moments where things line up in unexpected ways making them seem more profound and unique than they really are.
I think of myself as being someone who exists somewhere between working with critical doubt and always reflecting and hopefully considering symbolism. I want to believe there is power and purpose behind coincidences but the logical and rational sides of me do not agree with the emotional. …
This week during blood draining I was told I have a curse.
I have never really considered my heritage and I have certainly never identified as being Celtic, but the nurse informed me Hemochromatosis is a Celtic “curse”. Most of my life I have been far more concerned with who I could be rather than consider how I became to be.
For years I have wandered between heartbreak and magic, oscillating from being content with the present to feeling overly anxious about the future. All this time I have been worrying about what could be and I missed out on worrying about where I came from. …
A few years ago I was diagnosed with Hemochromatosis. It is easy to manage if you take your health seriously. I did not. I ignored the diagnosis and most of my other health concerns for 5 years. In this past year I have been working to take my mental, physical, and spiritual health seriously.
I have started treatment for Hemochromatosis. It begins with bloodletting or phlebotomy, with the goal of reducing the amount of ferritin in your blood to a “normal” level of around 100 nanograms per milliliter. My ferritin level? Over 2000. Ferritin can deposit in tissues, joints, and organs. Later in life you can experience health problems or have other health problems exacerbated by the high ferritin levels. It is genetic, so both of my parents had to be carriers. So, like most things in my life, it is their fault. …
I have a secret to share. I have frequently been a sometimes squishy, anxious, sensitive monster. Okay, maybe that isnt much of a secret. Another secret? Photography has sometimes caused me enough anxiety to consider giving it up.
I almost stopped completely. What was the point of trying to be creative when you dont have much capacity for experiencing joy?
I was too preoccupied with just trying to look like I wasn’t falling apart all the time to take pictures. Hiding empty wine bottles in closets, getting out of bed, and pretending you are okay is a lot of work.
I have a lot going on and lately I feel more like a collection of disorders and conditions, but I am also incredibly lucky. This privilege translated into me believing I was due for a tidy conclusion to my often untidy story. A reward for dealing with dark experiences and darker behaviours. But, life is rarely tidy and my need for a grand conclusion was misjudged. …
Plan for Vitality in 2018
This is a weird time of year. Most of us have eaten a Mary-Kate Olsen’s sized portion of cheese and treats over the holidays and we are staring down the new year and trying to figure out where we want to end up.
We resolve to eat less, do more, try harder, and worry less in 2017. But by February we are caught up in eating more, doing less, and anxiously giving up and wondering why we ever tried in the first place.
So how do we find the balance of committing to being better versions of ourselves and setting goals that don’t overburden us? I suggest we do it by focusing less on what we want to do in 2017 and plan more for how we want to feel in 2018. …
On New Years Eve 2016, I painted my old cross trainers in glitter and gold.
I was determined to finish out this year of personal growth and challenge in shiny shoes looking like a resplendent galactic queer. For once, I achieved a goal.
I wore gold leggings, a mesh shirt, glitter all over my face and body, and metallic bandanas around my neck. The 2nd Annual Corpuscles of Light NYE party was calling all of the wonderful weirdos and late night ravers to the Bus Stop Theatre in Halifax’s North end and I was invited. Moreover, I wanted to go.
I wanted to go even though sobriety has meant that I avoid much of the late night, downtown dancing scene. …
I am no sober guru, but I know what it is like to want to cut back and make better choices for me. I don’t partake and this holiday season I plan on staying on the sober train. So, if like me you want to remember your family members rant about why Trump is great by avoiding boozy blackouts, here is how I plan on doing it.
Do whatever you need to do to feel safe and healthy.
Stay low, completely avoid, or lying to friends and family about why you are not drinking are all okay if it helps you to stay sober. I have told family and friends that I am on medication to avoid having to indulge in one of their bougie boozy cocktails. …
I believe in magic. I believe that the power to transform values, skills, and knowledge through the right combination of people and conditions is magic. Make.Do.Camp created magic this past Labor Day weekend by allowing for the collection of people, places, and things to bring it out in us and each other.
Make.Do.Camp is the product of hard work, passion, and the belief in the capacity for innovation in the people and places of Nova Scotia. This was the first ever Make.Do.Camp put on by Laura Simpson and The Syrup Factory and it was built on potential and courage. Inspired by a camp in California and by the hope for things and people in this province to be better than they are, Make.Do.Camp …