Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oh Canada

Realizing how flashy the Declaration of Independence is I thought I would try to dig up some primary sources for Canada's history. I held on tightly for inspiration and insight. But, so . . . so boring. Now I understand these are political documents but where is the vision that forged Canada? No wonder Americans know there history so much better. Their texts are a pretty interesting read. Now I am sure we have our share. However, they are not, as of yet, in our shared consciousness. Where are they!? Do we have any? Here's the link where I got some of my sources.



Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Writing on the Wall

I was recently reminded of a strange cultural phenomenon of North American men (and perhaps women but I hardly think it is equivalent), the bathroom wall. I went to a warehouse for a pick up and had to use their bathroom. Sometimes I try to anticipate how bad these bathrooms would be. But it had been awhile since I last encountered a bathroom with such an elaborate fresco. The usual suspects were there. Scattered were various phone numbers offering various services. There were several crudely drawn images of naked women with a bear minimum anatomical representation. Then there were the penises (peni?). They were disembodied, pointed straight up and given faces and a turban (with a stereo-typical “East Indian” look). The caption beside one read, "A new Canadian."
Now were does one start in commenting on a bathroom wall? What struck me in this instance was just what men must think about their penises (I'm entering this on my Pocket PC and for efficiency it automatically suggests words I have used before and so now whenever I start with the letters "pe" it suggests “penises”)? I always got the impression that we were rather fond of that particular body part, but the way it was employed here or in derogatory language it appears that we actually think very little of it.
Perhaps the question can be answered by turning the perspective around. What do men think about immigrants?
Immigrants often look and act differently than we are accustomed to. They may not deal with situations as we think they should. This difference, viewed as a foreign or uninvited presence, can easily be treated with fear or mistrust as we cannot predict or control all the actions of these people. This uninvited guest poses no immediate threat but can affect various aspects of our life. From here it is often a short step to outright hostility fuelled by the belief that we are protecting what is good and right in the face what seeks to destroy. The immigrant, perhaps like the penis, can often be treated like the enemy within.
As the bathroom wall demonstrates sexuality is intensely objectified in our culture detached from holistic world-view. I do not believe that men have integrated their sexuality and so, being foreign to them, it often becomes the plane of violence.
Sexuality is so close to holiness, something so intimate but so foreign, so powerful, and so beyond control.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Body of Work

I thought that for my first blog I would post a recent reflection on writing (sorry for the accidental alliteration . . . ahhhhh . . . anyway). A major reason why I continue to maintain a blog and website is so that I have a forum to explore my thoughts and ideas in writing.

What they tell me is that a story needs a structure and that finding that structure is crucial to the existence of the story. I am sure that in many ways this structure has been likened to a body. A body, a human body, may be born in love, hate, passion, or indifference. But it is always born in union; in penetration and reception, in giving and receiving. For this reason perhaps stories too may be born in an author’s rape of its subject. Or perhaps the story was conceived casually, almost mechanically. Like children born in these circumstances, the fruit may even turn out to be good stories.
Now if the story is the child, the body to be born, as an author who is my lover? Is it life, ideas, society, or God? In love there are no neutral participants, but this is also the crux, there are participants. Love is not a solo act and neither are stories. I know some stories have come out of hatred for life, ideas, society, or God as they have come from innumerable other emotions which drive us into each other’s arms. I suppose that if any of what I am writing is true, then I am aware enough to choose how I will approach my lover whether I will attempt woo or wield her. I am approaching 30 and feel that just now am I realizing that I may not love people. This is an age where if I were to be a successful writer I should at least be published or locally recognized by now. But if I am learning just now that I may not love the one who will bear a story for me how long will it take to reach the sort of intimacy in which we might enter the marriage bed? Or maybe I have gotten it wrong. Perhaps I am the one who warded of the advances of life, ideas, society, and God. Maybe they are seeking intimacy with me that I may bear them a story honouring to them. How much longer then? I know this much, I am beginning to long for the story and so perhaps I should pray for the lover.


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