The perfume of fear

July 30th, 2015

1054326558_ultsdamselWhen I was a child, a bee landed on my hand. My mother said it’s only a bee. Just hold still, she said, there is nothing to fear. My mother was not afraid of bees or snakes or the dark, or water, or strangers. She taught me not to be afraid, and I wonder if somewhere down the line that lesson contributed to her lack of grandbabies. I never learned how to shriek for help. I didn’t attract willing protectors. I never learned to manufacture the perfume of fear.

A woman in a red bikini drifts toward the sandbar on a grey inflatable dinghy. The lagoon at low tide a playland of clam-diggers, happy dogs, and children with float toys. Bikini lady is shrieking at the top of her lungs: noooooo!!! I’m SCARED!  help me help me help me! Laughter mixed with shrill mock-terror. No really i’m serious hee hee hee ha eeeeeeeeeee i’m scaaaaared HELP ME!!

C’mon lady, i mutter from my lookout. What would you ever do if you were really in peril? What would you do if not surrounded by eager rescuers, noses atuned to the scent of female fear? If you are so fragile and defenseless how do you even manage to walk out the door? Have you ever been truly in danger, ever had to make it on your own—or is this all just for show, a shallow mating strategy? You are what the boys want: someone to save.

Bikini girl drifts on the gentle current. Big-bellied boyfriend teases her for a moment, drawing out her need. She giggles and ratchets it up a notch, injecting a note of hysteria. Fear factor, really, heeeeeeeelp me!!!  The saviour comes to her rescue, reaching out a beefy arm. He chuckles derisively, protectively, and catches the oar.

I don’t fault the boys for running to the girls’ aid. A woman consoles a crying child, offering a breast or soft words of reassurance. A man puts his arm around a screaming young woman on a roller-coaster. Who doesn’t want to give comfort, if not salvation? We all want to comfort; we all want to save. The perfume of fear is like sugar to a fly. Irresistable.

<image stolen from http://shiningcityteens.blogspot.ca/2010/05/damsel-in-distress-feminist-movement.html>

Ann Randolph and the Bitch

July 22nd, 2015

AnnRandolph3Ann Randolph is a storyteller/performer from LA. She’s got the courage to get on stage and not be pretty, which makes me want to fall down and kiss her feet—I am so sick of watching women on stage in pretty dresses crooning pretty songs with pretty guitar chords, trying desperately to be sweet and inoffensive. Ann does real, and it isn’t always pretty. Just wearing those camel-toe pants on stage is an act of supreme chutzpah. Her stuff is definitely adult content, which is a rare enough thing for family-friendly Cortes Island to get me excited. When I saw Ann’s show, Loveland, last summer, I laughed so hard I just about strangled. And then of course, I cried. I was torn by envy and awe. Ann will perform her new show, Squeeze Box, at Mansons Hall this Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

How serious is serious?

June 7th, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I just got back from this wonderful road trip with my, uh, guyfriend. To visit his mom. In California.

I say this, and people give me this peculiar piercing look. Then they ask me, is it serious?  And I am flummoxed. I mean, what is serious? Liver cancer is serious. Babies are serious. Anything involving lawyers is serious. But love—how serious is that? Read the rest of this entry »

Living the semi-wired life

May 17th, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnwiredness is one of the luxuries of life in my green schoolbus on the bluff. No wifi, no smart phone, no wires. I have a battery-operated radio but the reception is crap. When I want to hook up I carry my computer down the cliff trail and along the ocean boardwalk to the farmhouse. It is only a 5-minute commute, but that distance makes all the difference in the world.

I climb down the cliff and sit myself down here under the patio umbrella, log on, send off my queued emails, download my mail and maybe a podcast or two for later listening. Check my twitter feeds and analytics, and the Tideline for island gossip and news. Do a little blogging, send and receive a few graphic files. Log out, feed the chickens, pick some kale. Then climb back up to my bus on the bluff, to work and practice and play. Read the rest of this entry »

Mothers Day post-partum

May 10th, 2015

non-moms banner3 sizedWhew [mops brow]! I’ve just delivered a whompin’ 10-megabyte blog. This baby’s been at least five years in the belly so, it’s about frikin time. Gonna get some sleep now. Happy Mothers and Non-Mothers day everybody!

Check it: Non-Moms.com.

In love with a boy and his dog

May 2nd, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am in love with a boy and his dog. It’s an old-fashioned sort of a thing.

Because mostly how things go in these fast-moving times is: you meet, and you flirt, and then you have sex. Sometimes on the same day, or maybe on the second or third date. And then hormones explode and you get all dizzy and euphoric, and then mildly to madly obsessed. You can’t think about anything but him/her, you replay every moment and fantasize relentlessly. You ignore most of your friends and bore the rest of them half to death. This, is what the pop songs call Love. Read the rest of this entry »

Just for the…

April 12th, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Gilean Todd was moored over at the landing, said to have rockfish, halibut, and cod. Spattering rain, gale warning in effect. But the tide had just turned so I put on my all-purpose bike gear, hauled out the blue kayak (like a split milk-jug), and set out for the wharf. With one boot full of seawater and the wind at my back.

I pulled up alongside and shouted up to the boat: Hey—you got fish?! Yup. Halibut. But only whole fish, said Silas, hoisting a glossy 14-pounder. Both eyes on one side, shiny as live. Just yesterday swimming off Comox.

I paddled round the wharf and dragged the kayak up the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

Mine won’t be having any

April 11th, 2015

generations_at_sunsetI was hanging out at the cafe with two longtime Island friends. Both about half a generation ahead of me in age. The g-word came up (grandkids!) and Kate immediately started in on the marvels of her latest grand-progeny. Denise, an accomplished qi-gong instructor and youthful, energetic force, shrugged. “Mine won’t be having any,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »


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