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Showing posts from January, 2014

Eating Alone

Last night I went to a Catholic seminary, and a priest gave a lecture, and he said a lot of semi-interesting things, but the one I still remember is this:

"We are not meant to eat alone."

In the celibate life, he said, this is one of the most difficult things (maybe I'm exaggerating this paraphrase? I'm not sure). As a parish priest, he calls his congregants and tells them he will be coming over (often) for meals. He promises to arrive at 5:30 and leave by 7pm. Only once, he said, he has been turned down.

"We're not meant to eat alone! You know what happens when we eat alone? We eat standing up, over the counter. It's not good for our eating habits. And it's not good for our souls."

Amen, I say. Amen and Amen.

There are a lot of things I enjoy about being solo, and there are a lot of times I like to be by myself; mealtime is rarely one of them.

Bodies Are Amazing, and I Kind of Love Mine (part 1)

I am 29 years old. A year away from thirty.
My joints seem prone to injuries.
I have stretch marks and rolls and wrinkles and stray hairs and white hairs. 
I haven't had a child yet, and I may never.
I have a slight curve in my spine - one that may result in more and more hunching as I age.
From what I understand of science, my body “peaked” at 23 or 24.
I hear it's all downhill from here. 
Sometimes this produces immense anxiety and fear. But you know what? The days of loathing my body are relatively few and far between. And they come with much less intensity than they did a decade ago.

In this lifelong and sometimes turbulent relationship with my body, I feel like I'm making progress. In particular, I've noted three recent changes that help me to love myself more:
I actually look at bodies – including my own. I choose to believe what others say. I am figuring out a theology of the body. 
Allow me to elaborate: (as with many of my big-conversation-posts, this has tur…

Romulus: A 19th Century Haitian Novella

On Tuesday, mail arrived for me. A small package with a book inside.



And inside the book was this page.

How utterly thrilling!!

I played a teensy-tiny hardly-more-than-nothing part in the translation of this Haitian novella into English, and it is an unexpected honour to be recognized for it. Doesn't everyone dream of seeing their name in the acknowledgements of a real, live, published book!?

Huge congrats to Matt, who translated the story and found a publishing home for his work! I can't wait to read it; my initial impression of the portion I've already read is that this will be a lyrical and educational read.

I'll keep you all posted. Or you can pick up your own copy! Support the arts! Hooray for small presses and Canadian work!

This Is a Post About Death

Here's the thing about death; it's the last taboo topic in our culture. It's the only thing I can think of that we do not talk about. And it is the onlything guaranteed to be a part of our lives.

It's never easy to face death or experience grief over someone else's death. But I am a firm believer that we make it even worse on ourselves by deep-seated denial and avoidance of the reality that death is a part of life

I get it; it's terrifying to think about what might or might not happen when life as we know it ends. And I know (oh, I know) that a lot of people are not gracious in sharing their views on the subject.
But pretending it will never happen to us only makes us more ill-prepared for when it does.

After three years of volunteering and training through a hospice care agency, I have learned tools and language that have taken a layer of anxiety off of this conversation. But even still, as I wrestle with the death of a friend last week, the husband of…

Blogging, Brooding, and a Recipe for Life

I've thought about blogging several times this week. I've certainly had plenty of time to blog; I'm back in my quiet Toronto house, classes don't start til Tuesday, and I've largely been eating leftovers and meals fed to me by my roommate's parents, who are visiting.

It's been a lovely little stay-cation.

But something keeps me from here. And so I started brooding about what that is.

Of course, it's January, and that means I'm going to brood about one thing or another. Winter does that to us (me).

I was going to let you all in on some of my brood-ish thought; I started writing them out. But the process took me somewhere unexpected.* I'm not going to gripe or complain or over-analyze myself. I'm going to say this:

On New Year's Eve, I spent some time thinking and talking about this past year. When I look back at 2013, I see two things that are true of my life right now: I am in motion. And I am stopping.

Moving, as I applied for school, q…