Sunday, March 26, 2006


Inspired by the American Cancer Society Daffodil Drive last week, I have written this story.

In the purple and gray morning, I release the small leather ball from my slingshot into the brisk breeze above my head. Fine hairs waft around my eyelashes as I watch it climb to almost disappear from view, trailing its cargo of sewn-on feathers and tiny little bell.

A bullet of black and white and brown streaks from the sky above and grabs the ball, makes a wide circle and settles, fluffed and agitated, on my wrist. I stroke the feathers beneath her dark amber eye with the knuckle of my index finger, crooning words of praise and beauty. I bend my face to the crown of her head and inhale her wild, dusty smell. She is fierce, she is hungry, she is Peregrine, and she is mine.

On these exercise mornings I think about how, long ago, I came across her path and saved her life. She came into
Wind Over Wings damaged and emaciated, wounded by some collision or perhaps a projectile, a carelessly thrown rock. I doubt that, she is too fast … perhaps in pursuit of a smaller bird, she did not see the approaching car? I'll never know. On those long days of healing, her wing splinted and her feathers dirty with her own filth, I would peer into her eyes and will her to speak. Tell me, tell me what it was.

As she mended and we began our rehabilitation work together, a trust grew that has us in its tethers now, bound together inextricably. She cannot be released to the wild; this would surely be a death sentence, as she is hobbled on the one side and too accustomed to people to keep herself safe from them and their ignorant impulses. Besides, I could not bear to let a day pass without the guidance of her bird wisdom. She is self-reliant, noble, wild at heart, unapologetic. She is everything that I would like to be.

I prepare the lure for another flight, reflecting upon the illness that courses through my own bloodstream, threatening to consume my body from the inside out. Two treatments left and then maybe a clean bill of health? There’s no way of knowing. I cling to the hope that these outings of fresh air and exercise will imbue my body with just enough positivity to tip the scales in my favor. Maybe if I hang my soul from the talons of this little beast, she can carry my hopes towards the heavens and release them, there to diffuse and to shower life down upon me.

I chuckle at my sad attempts to bring poetic meaning to this ritual, the morning flight runs that keep my bird strong and allow me to breathe the cold, new air. Still, perhaps there is just a little magic in this bond and in these moments. Enough to keep me happy, surely, and perhaps enough to heal me.

The target prepared and my falcon circling above my head, I pull the band of my slingshot back once more, aiming for the rising sun. I stretch the band to its limit, holding the ball in its leather cup as I glance at the bird, climbing in her anticipation. Pulling the band just a bit further I release, and watch as she pursues her quarry. Ah, beautiful, beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful bird, my mind whispers.

The light in the east fills out the horizon just as she dives, a feathered arrow of hope, into the blue and silent sunrise.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

to be a knowledgeable woman

For the past year, I've had reason to be, perhaps, overtly tuned in to my body's rhythm and reproductive capabilities. I'll admit, this is all due to stopping hormonal birth control, trying to conceive, conceiving, losing a pregnancy and being post-partum. It's helped me to be more in tune with my body and pushed me to learn more - only to learn there's more to learn!

Today, I found this web page ... ... which is somewhat thorough on the hormonal and cultural events surrounding a women's cycle. Rather interesting and perfectly fitting for this blog ... since we're so woman-centric. :)

Plus, as I have learned so much about my body, I believe it is beneficial for every woman to learn what she can about her body's natural processes. It is helpful, too, in cases of "abnormal" natural processes in the search of diagnosis and treatment.

If we know our bodies and trust our intuitions, we can be more involved with the medical processes and take charge of our care. I've realized doctors only know so much and have other patients & distractions, so we need to approach our care with knowledge and interest & not assume doctor always knows best.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

you are beautiful

Originally uploaded by patia.

Our sister Patia posted this on International Women's Day.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

helena nelson-reed

She has been a favourite artist of mine for some time and when she contacted me a little while back to be showcased on the Creatrix Collective I was ecstatic. I admire her approach and skill. Her painting, Chrysalis, is the Featured Beauty for Spring 2006.

Kwan Yin by Helena Nelson Reed

Helena describes her approach: Archetype and myth are the human experience and universal truth of our collective subconscious. Like ancient tales, my paintings are inspired by actual events, personal experiences, or those of individuals I've known. I consider myth a guidebook of possibilities for navigating life's maze and moving past personal paradigms. Sooner or later we all participate in someone else's myth, and they in ours. Fairies, tricksters, wise fools; in such guises we travel to strange places, encounter shape shifters and magical beings. Goddess energy manifests as a coiled spiral of power and force to be reckoned with; flexible, fluid, and resilient, and this concept appears in my art via archetype. Life has taught that reality (well, mine at least) can shift radically in the wink of an eye. A common example is when catastrophe or a series of lesser but life altering events occur, initiating the falling away of cherished identities. Ideologies and dogmas prove flawed, support systems fail, friends may desert, and belief systems no longer support actual experience. When the veil is torn and one's belief/identify is revealed as illusion, what's left? When I stay conscious (not always an easy thing to be) and in the present, observing my life spiral coil and uncoil, the heart and inner eye are cleared and opened by what I feel beneath the intellect. Like Persephone released from her subterranean nightmare, there is light at the end of the tunnel, a new reality, and thus greater capacity for growth, joy and life. The story isn't over, however. The Divine Feminine is cyclic in nature and thus nothing is permanent, eventually the cycle will begin anew and yet another veil unravels and falls away. Keep Creating and Expect the Unexpected!

Her personal sites: and

Sunday, March 05, 2006

looking back

When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God's hands were better than anything we could have planned.~ Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 100

This Sunday morning I am so damn grateful. This week marked three years of sobriety for me. My life has changed so much, it’s not perfect. I still struggle, a lot. With emotions, feelings, trying to do the next right thing. Most of it is just dealing with life. I truly did not understand how to do this (still don’t to some extent). I always wanted to be numb, not feel, to not be responsible. I didn’t care about anyone, least of all my self. I had no self worth.

And the worst of it was I didn’t know why. Why did I have so many problems. I kept looking for that key to fixing me, that one magic idea to make it all perfect. I never found it and I all got was very very close to being locked up or death.

Still don’t have any of that perfection, but that’s ok. I do have a solution.

Over the past three years I have had people let me be screwy, confused, angry, sad, overwhelmed, happy, peaceful, and many many other feelings that I can’t even explain. No one chastised me or told me I was wrong to have those feelings. They listened, understood and often told me that had they felt the same.

They loved me when I didn’t even like myself.

Thank God.

I still screw up, get angry, feel weak, lost and have fears.

But I am no longer alone. For that I am thankful.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Feelings...good, bad, indifferent

It’s hard to know what to focus on when my mind seems so scattered...

All my training, all my study of the disciplines that should help me (yoga, meditation, deep relaxation, visualization) seem to fail when I need them the most.

I can help students, most of them are perfect strangers to me, but I can’t seem to help myself and the more I try to *relax* the further out of reach the ‘peace of mind’ seems – there’s a detour on the path of my own tranquility.

My seated practice has suffered mainly because I’ve been in so much pain I can not sit – my neck, my shoulders, my knees, my hips – I feel like I’ve become an old woman before my time...I creak, I crack, I pop and at once I am frustrated as well as sympathetic to some of my students with similar physical ailments

I just feel like the days blur, I am going through the motions and I don’t even have a clue – numbness just takes over...

Last night I was at dinner with my friend, Mr. C and I got to talk to him about how I feel - like I have always had to be strong and I am tired of being expected to be that way ALL THE TIME – even most of the time...why isn’t it OK to stop, to not fight? Who is this fight for, me? Who is it ever for? Is it selfish of me to want to just stop?

Once, when one of my dearest friends was faced with a serious illness (she had colon cancer and they missed some of it when they removed it and they did no radiation so it spread to her bones – awful just awful) – she was being treated with chemo, well chemo is toxic, very toxic and most of us are affected by that but it was nearly fatal for her – she was being poisoned and she had to be hospitalized and the things she was going through at the time were just horrendous and I remember one phone call early on where she called me crying and began talking about how she wanted to die – really wanted to – she needed to talk about THAT feeling with someone because her kids just would not listen to her – she wanted to talk about her own funeral. It was (and still is) one of the hardest conversations I have ever had to have with a friend, but I listened, why? Because I OWED her that much – she was my friend – she was my sister at heart and with that conversation it dawned on me and I’ve never forgotten that we have to remember it’s OK to live with those feelings too – it’s OK to ALLOW your loved ones let go – the ONLY reason we don’t want them to ‘give up the ghost’ as it were is purely selfish on our part – we will miss them – we don’t want them to leave our universe…not realizing that they will always be with us, in our hearts, in our minds, in our intertwining of spirits that makes us all a part of something bigger...something sacred and joyful...something that can never be taken away.