Monday, June 25, 2007

selling property

Yesterday I was at a barbeque by a lake. Even though the weather was very changeable, I did not miss the opportunity to go for a swim. However, it was in conversation that I found my strength. I was asked why I was in Nova Scotia, and without a thought I heard my reply. “I am here to sell some property.” Perhaps only two weeks ago I would have hedged and said that I had some legal work to attend to, but now I am really only still here to sell property and waiting to sign some of the documentation before I head back north. What I heard was not the truth in the statement, but the strength in my voice.
I woke this morning to the sight of sunlight in the leaves. I found myself praying, in gratitude, for my family, my family here in Halifax and my other son trekking in Mongolia with his wife and son. I found myself praying for my almost former partner—I am hard-wired to pray. I have been created to pray—thought communication with the “Other Which Is”. And whether or not these prayers have been “answered”, they have changed me—and for the better.

I have tried to put up photos and it says that they are posted successfully, but I can't see anything!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

farmer's market

Yesterday we went to the Farmer’s Market. The market is held in an old brewery, a heritage building, and it happens on many levels in all the rooms. It is overflowing. I wanted to be there once before I left, because next year they will be in larger quarters out on a pier in a new state-of-the-art ecological building. I just wanted to be there with the colour and the people and the smells. I hope to return to this city to live, and then I shall be at the market every Saturday morning. By then it will be in the new building, and it shall have its own ambiance. I needed to say goodbye to the old. They have a farmer's market in Timmins. I went once and and was so disappointed that I never returned. But the places simply cannot be compared and soon I will return to Timmins and enjoy the other experiences that it has to offer.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I had returned to Nova Scotia for a month to try and make a physical closure: lawyers, property, banks and messy details left over from a broken relationship that I had thought was of God and would last though eternity. I had prayed for years for healing. This was not the outcome that I had envisaged or that I had ever wanted. I came to doubt in a God who answered prayers, constant fervent prayer. I came here alone, two hours down the road from our former home. And friends sought me out, embraced me in their love and concern. Now I can see more clearly how the dominance of my former partner had put barriers between family and friends, and without this encumbrance, I am loved and cherished. This was never the outcome that I could have foreseen.

So to the dear friends that I never really knew that I had: my gratitude, my love and our future filled with light. Your reaching out, your concern, your assistance and your showing me that I am a person, separate and alive and standing alone is restoring me to the person that I was and am being created to be.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Just 6 kilometers from this little house on a city street is a pristine lake with lovely slopping rocks. We parked on a busy road, disappeared into the woods and following a winding trail, with children and a dog, was this perfect uninhabited lake. In the distance on other rocks were several other swimmers and dogs all enjoying what was for us the first swim of the year.
I am a far, far more natural swimmer than a dancer. Swimming is always, for me, a spiritual experience. The water seems holy. Well, real water, I am not a fan of swimming pools. I prefer to take my chances with the leeches and the sharks, although neither have got me yet. I suppose that this is my ability to take some risks, within reason. So now that I think about it, swimming is a far better metaphor for me than dancing. I am coming at last to know myself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I have just finished John Shelby Spong’s “A New Christianity for a New World”, which I understood. I met the good bishop once at a workshop. We had lunch together. I was impressed. But I wanted so much for there to have been a fix-it god who could have heard my prayers and healed my situation, but then either this god didn’t care, I didn’t get the formula right to persuade him, or he doesn’t exist, at least in that “Father” form. If he does exist, does that mean that there is no god or that god is not like that at all? I am going for the second option, a non-theistic god, the ground-of-being. This draws me into Progressive Christianity, which I have explored before. I think that now I am only loosely Christian because I need to use the software that I know. I shall spend this time in Halifax reading and thinking, but today I need to vacuum out the car. I shall do it mindfully.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

dream pigs

I had a dream about a small herd of pigs. (I like pigs.) I was trying to build a large pen for the pigs underneath a house that was on posts. There was plenty of room. They were pink pigs, except for one that was a rusty colour. I’ve seen that colour in pigs. This pig came up to me and nuzzled me. I put my arms around her. Somehow I knew that she wanted to know what I had named her. I told her that her name was Algoma. She was very pleased. I thought that I would not hurt her feelings and tell her that it was the name of a steel company.. There was a strong emotion of love.
So now what does it mean? I have, perhaps loved too much, too long, someone who increasingly abused me. My capacity for love had not diminished, but I have learnt hard lessons. Love does not conquer all. I used to have dreams of weird animals that I discovered in basements that I came to realize were hidden and unrecognized emotions. In this dream I am below a house but the animals are perfectly normal pigs. But who ever thought that pigs would personify enduring love!

Monday, June 18, 2007

the archbishop's letter

Several of the retired Canadian Anglican Archbishops wrote an open letter supporting same gender marriage which was published with an article in a national newspaper, the Globe and Mail: "Bless same-sex unions, retired archbishops urge"
Anyway, I walked into the pub at the golf course in Annapolis Royal yesterday with a couple of other gals and Archbishop Peters, one of the signatories, was paying his tab. So I said "Nice letter" and he replied: "I thought I'd be tarred and feathered". "Not by us" I replied, and the three of us elderly types grinned our approval.

We sat in the sunshine on the terrace with the golf course, the silvery water and the village in the distance. We ate well and talked long, and with my friends I shall survive. I shall take all these memories back with me to the north.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

questioning the guiding spirit

I trusted. I thought that beyond all there was a universal love, called God, who cared about me. No matter what abuse was hurled my way, in the end things would work out, and I would be cared for.
Now I am coming to understand that this faith kept me in an abusive situation when I should have loved myself enough to move on. So I am still coming to grips with this, and ultimately with my faith.
I sat with a dear friend yesterday on the roof garden of a delightful Indian /Thai restaurant in Halifax. In her love and zaniness she took me out to lunch. We talked about our lives, my recent break up. Then I talked about how I now saw that I kept in bad situations because I kept praying for healing, because I thought that I should stay and “learn the lesson”, “bloom where I’m planted” “use the now circumstances for my transformation”, but with all the prayer, the situation worsened and I wondered about prayer. The response from my friend was “If you, the minister don’t know, then how can the rest of us know?” It was said with laughter, but the truth is that not only am I in a financial mess because of the breakup, but I am in the midst of spiritual crisis. Some new must come out of this postpartum bloodbath.
Meanwhile the rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom. The city with all its green is most beautiful, and I shall be, too.

Friday, June 15, 2007

enough whimpering

Enough whimpering: a new life awaits. I am in that stage when I am putting pieces of the puzzle together. I am stubborn, or I am fearful, which is it? I ignore the warning signs and stay in a relationship or a job until its bitter end. Praying to a god to fix things up, for healing, has only prolonged the process. That has been a major insight; that my faith has keep me in abusive relationships. Well, no more, 63 years may be a bit old to start out on a new path of being alone and becoming my own person, but I’ve taken the first step, and I’m going to do it.
A dear friend came into Halifax yesterday evening. We walked over to an Ethiopian restaurant and had a very different, but very good meal. There are no utensils, just a flat crepe like bread to use to pickup the food. We dipped in and enjoyed. Each time I meet up with people from my past, they help me to see with greater clarity, now, that the fog has lifted and I am moving on.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

passing friendship

Caught in the now moment of deep friendship I always think that it is eternal or at least for this life. Time has a way of shattering my illusion.
I suppose that the loveliness of friendship always has it's shadow side, and in the end we each make our choices, which either lead to life or to death. We can only be there for each other, whatever the choices we have made. But when one breaks this bound what can the other do? I was her friend for a season, and that's is all I could ever do,. It was the best gift that I could have given her.
These ramblings are, I suppose, part of the process as I try to make sense of what is really a deep sense of betrayal and the rupture of a friendship which at one time gave me life and joy.
We lived, we worked, we created together and now I am left with the debts and the recriminations which come from her near constant rage towards me. Once part of her attraction was her joyful embrace of living on the edge. Her descent into manic behaviour means that there is no longer any place for me except to pay the bills.
So here I am trying to make sense of this hurt and moving through it all to dance again.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the explosion

The Halifax Explosion
We were looking up into the trees that line the street. They are immense, but how old are they? We thought that they might have been planted when the houses were built, but how long ago was that? The previous owners said that this house was about 80 years old, but the roofers thought that it was more about 100. If so, it must have escaped the explosion.
The Halifax Explosion in 1917 leveled much of the city, but this street must have been spared. Then yesterday we saw a map of the devastation. It covered all this section of the city up to two blocks from here. These houses would have lost their windows and the young trees would have been stripped, but here we are living in the ever after.
My life has experienced a horrifying explosion, and while my windows may have been blown away and the leaves stripped from my branches, while I am wounded and bleeding, my life is going on, and I am learning to dance again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In the Elms

I've been taking pictures, but it seems that to download I need the disk that I left at "home" in Northern Ontario, so when I return "home" in three weeks, I'll add the photos.

I'm sitting in a little house on a tree-lined Halifax Street. It has been raining for days. In my little second floor bedroom I can almost lie in the great branches of the elms just outside. The rain provides the music, and the leaves are larger and greener each day. The trees embrace me.

I used to relate to the great white pines of our northern forest, but now the leafy trees are croning their song to me of new life, of life cycles and hope for another day. I am here in Halifax learning to dance again, a new dance, moving away from my place on the shore with its good and bitter memories and looking into new possibilities. I now have a temporary, moving-on, position in Northern Ontario, but now I know that I must return here to the ocean and the province where I was conceived but not born into, but which has always called me home.

Monday, June 11, 2007

just starting out

I have just started and created a blog. I am just starting and creating a life. A relationship of twelve years, that I thought was for a lifetime, has come crashing down and with it goes my home on the ocean shore, my gardens and the hospitality business that took so long to create. Now that is over and done with and I begin again. This beginning is reabsorbing me into the realm of a transcendent god, rather than the Mister Fix-It Deity that I professionally serve in my position as a "minister of the gospel". In the midst of all these changes I begin to write.

It is an appropriate beginning - a rainy Monday morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I am spending time with my son, his wife and two grandchildren. I am doing the usual things, reading, playing checkers, buying treats and reconnecting. Reconnecting must be the word. I am reconnecting with living and no one can just live, we've got to dance.

I cannot start again from nothing. I bring everything I was and am to the dance floor, but then some of the burdens need to be jettisoned inorder that I might be able to freely move again. A sacred dance moves through the interconnectedness of all things. If it takes me beyond Christianity, then I must go, but my words and memories are western and Christian and are in the process of being redefined.