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Salmon arm…

September 21, 2011

“I also get men here,” Johnson says.

“Some come because they want to sew for their wives,

girlfriends,

or whomever…

They enjoy the classes because they’re engineering types who like problem solving,

and appreciate the complexity of bra construction…

We also get cross-dressers and transgender people who want to make things for themselves…”

— in Boot Camp? Try Boob Camp by Michelle Sponagle, Special to the Globe and Mail

Today I’ve reflected upon,

a conversation,

I had,

with the mother,

of Little Gem’s schoolbus mates,

sometime,

last Winter…

This mother,

has seven children,

four of whom,

were born,

in a refugee camp…

And soon after,

her family,

immigrated,

to Canada,

she became,

a single parent…

Her husband,

could not take the blow,

of changing,

from a church minister,

and community leader,

to a man,

dependent,

on government,

hand outs,

with no permission,

to work…

She told me,

how much,

she would like,

to earn her own money,

through gainful,

employment,

rather than,

being dependent on,

welfare…

But,

as a mother of seven children,

she is not seen,

as being experienced enough,

to clean up,

after other people,

as a custodian…

She said,

When I look for work,

I get asked,

if I have experience…

I just don’t know how to get the experience,

that other people say,

I don’t have…

I know how to clean a toilet…

She added,

with a smile,

As a single parent,

my mother never knew,

how she was going to feed us,

each and every day…

There are some days,

since I have come to Canada,

when I don’t have enough rice,

to feed my family,

but all of my children,

are becoming educated,

in this country…

So things can change,

significantly,

in one generation,

and for that,

I am grateful…

Sometimes,

it is very hard,

when I hear,

some things,

to believe,

the theory,

that we are each,

co-authors,

not only of our own lives,

but also of the web which,

holds us,

altogether…

Someone very important,

to me,

once said,

It’s like you think,

just being with you,

isn’t enough…

I didn’t know,

what that meant at the time,

or where,

the belief came from,

but now I do,

with no question…

It’s all about,

perception…

I asked,

this mother,

as I drove her home,

to the social housing complex,

around the corner,

from where things,

lined up enough,

for me,

to own my house,

what she would like to do,

for herself,

once she’s completed the task,

of raising her children,

and she said,

When I was a young girl,

in Africa,

I worked with elderly people,

and those we called handicapped…

I really loved doing that,

and I’d like to do it again,

once my children are grown…

But I don’t know how,

I’ll get,

the experience,

or prove,

that I can do it…

And as I drove away,

from this woman,

who said,

Thank you,

for talking with me,

I feel so good now,

I thought about how,

the papered degrees,

and certificates,

some of us hold,

on the outside,

don’t even come close,

to being signs,

that point,

to what,

we can do,

from the inside,

when we’ve,

had the courage,

to jump off ,

the mainstream,

for the intents,

and purposes,

of swimming,

directly,

toward,

the light…

If your world is all screwed up, rearrange it...

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