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Thumb screws…

September 28, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood went outside…

She gathered up some big stones and filled the wolf’s stomach with them…

When he woke he tried to run away,

but the stones were so heavy that he fell down and died…

The hunter skinned the wolf and took home the fur…

Grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine that Little Red Riding Hood had brought,

and soon she was well again…

As for Little Red Riding Hood,

she said to herself,

“Never again will I leave the path and go into the forest,

when my mother has told me not to…”

— in Little Red Riding Hood by Mireille Levert

This morning,

when I broke out of the house,

and stepped into the hot sun,

after last nights heavy down pour,

the air felt like an outdoor sauna…

On my way to the store,

for a 12 oz. decaf latte,

and some shrimp cakes,

I ran into a neighbour,

who has also fallen in love with flamenco…

She’s a super shy one,

but after seeing me prance,

by her house,

in my ruffled skirts,

on my way to class,

she heard her own call,

and three months later I watched her on stage,

holding her own…

Last month she told me,

I’m leaving nursing…

I’ve had enough…

And after more than twenty years in the field,

I know it’s not where I’m supposed to be…

I gave her a big hug,

of congratulations,

and I told her I was proud of her…

I told her,

I know it’s hard to go to the beat of your own drum,

but you have to…

Or it will kill you…

She said,

Thank you…

I know this is the right thing for me to do,

but other people aren’t so sure…

They have doubts about my decision…

Then she told me how her daughter was in her own struggle,

two years out of high school…

She had always been so clear about what she’d wanted to do,

and now she’s in a state of confusion,

and worried about,

What is Dad going to think???

Her mom told her,

You can’t worry about what other people think…

Just take some time off from school,

find a job so you can get out of your living situation,

which is no longer working for you,

and try to trust that when you give yourself some space,

what wants to,

will come…

I told my neighbour,

What you are doing in your own life,

making your own big change,

gives your children a different standard to look to…

And that,

on top of food,


and love,

is part of our responsibility,

as parents…

Even though we’re about the same age,

my neighbour has been parenting ten years longer than I have…

She knows these things…

I don’t need to tell her…

But sometimes,

even when we know,

it helps if someone puts our thoughts out on the table,

for everyone else to see…

Today she told me that her husband is starting to come around to her decision…

I said,

He’s probably been concerned because when he sees the courage you have,

to make a big change,

like you’re doing,

it forces him to have to look at himself…

It should be no surprise that this man,

who is also my neighbour,

has health issues,

with his heart…

I can feel them from a distance,

and close up,

when I pass by him,

packing up his dirt bike,

for his warrior weekends,

on the back roads,

of our home and native land…

A heart that has been silenced,

day after day,

for forty-two years,

and more,

can’t do it’s job,

pumping bad blood around,


Arrhythmia ain’t just a river in Egypt,

or so the saying goes…

Lower back pain,

is a hole other story…

And it often comes from trying to prove yourself to be,

something that you’re not,

to someone else…

Don’t get me started on the prostate…

Some territory is too foreign,

and a rigid world can only handle so much rocking,

at a time…

When people ask me,

Do you have any interest in going back to teaching???

My answer is emphatic…

If I didn’t have such a fear of speed,

and an aversion to noise,

I’d give Formula 1 racing in Volvo V70’s a good go,

or work out over a drum kit,

in some Canucks’ gonch

But when you see young children,

being pushed in strollers,

by their parents,

in the dampness of a rainstorm,

at dusk,

leaning out to look at you,

waving hello,

and tracing the path of infinity,

with their eyes,

at intersections,

as you sit in your big red car,

you have to listen to what they are trying to tell you,

and what they are asking you to say,

for them…

People like to tell me,

what they think I should be doing,

and who I should be talking to…

That they have strong hunches I should be looking this way,

and that…

Wondering if I’m getting all my applications in…

Believe me,

I’ve been applying myself,


and then some…

It’s just that the cheques haven’t been put in the mail…

My father has always told me,

We need to keep talking…

Among other things,

my father is obsessed with his heart rate…

He takes his blood pressure several times a day,

and can’t figure out why,

being so athletic,

and physically fit,

he has high-blood pressure…

He also can’t figure out why,

even when I’m pregnant,

and stressed to the max,

my blood pressure stays steady…

Or why when he’s around me,

his settles and moves into sync with mine,

and his anxiety,

drops off…

I don’t have a rational explanation for it either,

or any reason,

but in response to his request that he and I keep talking,

I sent him an e-mail,

saying that I no longer talk for free…

And I’m no longer open to advice,

from anyone outside of myself…

There’s an ice hotel in Sweden,

where Japanese couples go to make love,

under the aurora borealis,

when they want to conceive a boy…

But before they say to each other,

Dance with me,

they wear fur suits,

and drink vodka,

12,000 years in the making…

This makes me think,

that some people really know how to live…

Little Gem asked me,

when I played a song of photographs,


is everything okay with you???

You’re listening to weird music…

I told her,

I’m perfectly fine,

I’ve just got a fever of 103…

And for some,

my running temperature,

is simply,

too hot to handle…

In the bushes and the hedges...

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