Religion of Health

Is the argument by my intellectual self that this is bad for me, reason enough not to do something I love?


We have become a society who’s collective religion is health. Let’s ignore the fact that during my lifetime EVERYTHING has been on the “good for you” and “bad for you” list, including cigarettes, which were considered good for you for a while. It is a self-righteous thing to see your choices as the only virtuous and reasonable choices to make.

For me personally, I’m done with the guilt. Or at least I have a personal goal to stop feeling guilty. Who is to say how we should live our lives?

Eat well, exercise, avoid alcohol and other bad habits and die anyway. So what is the point?


Sister Lost

Maggie Gyllenhaal, is a beautiful reminder of my sister, except my sister was fair with blond hair and blue eyes. But, the expressions and movements, as well as the look of her face are so similar, that when I watch, Mona Lisa Smile or Stranger than Fiction, I am always pulled into nostalgia for my lost sister. Today is her birthday. We lost her in 1996 and I fiercely miss her stillimage.

She is the only person, I know for sure, who ever loved me. She was my own personal cheerleader. I regret missing cinnabuns and cigarettes with her.

While she was alive I still believed science was my saviour. If something was “bad” for you, I still took notice and avoided it.

Little did I know how little they knew. Missed experiences. Lost joy. As far as I can tell, they ain’t got it figured out yet. But I digress.

I loved her, and she loved me back. I always felt like I was older than her. A difference that may be rooted in the fact we have different fathers.

Regardless, I loved being with her and talking to her and my heart was broken when she was taken away. It was still worth it to be sure, to have her in my life, even for a short period of time.

She would’ve loved my current home and we would be sitting out here on my balcony together drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, if she was here. Oh and the turtles, a shared delight, the candy, not the reptile, I’ve already had a few in her honour. Happy Birthday. Love you always.


Fear Mongering

My current drum is fear mongering. One if the items in queue, it should’ve likely never been shared, but I didn’t do it publicly on social media, I wrote them a letter. Writing a letter is an old standby when things are important enough to share. Like you still get a hard copy from your lawyer, or at least a copy eventually. IMG_6618

I am tired of the use of fear in our society. We are all scared to death of dying. I’ve written about this before, but the truth is, all that our scientists are doing is saying, these people died. They died from A, B and C. A, B and C are caused from this so we had better avoid this at all costs.

It sounds compelling until you realize that until we eradicate death, the “cause” of it has not been eliminated despite how we act. For instance, if you have ever had a baby, you will be familiar with this type of revelation. It goes something like this.

She was overdue and labour wouldn’t start. Then, she ate a burrito and her labour started. If you want your labour to start you should eat a burrito too. Feel free to replace the word “burrito” with your current version of the story. My favourites are “sex”, “spicy foods”, “a bumpy car ride” and of course, going for a walk which might be the most boring and difficult of the suggestions at that stage of pregnancy.

Truth is, most labours start because it is the end of a pregnancy. Yes, nine months of pregnancy usually brings on labour. And while labour is not as certain as death, we use the same kind of reasoning. He died of a heart attack. She had a stroke. These things used to be called “natural causes”, now they are conditions that should be managed, at all costs, because we believe if we eliminate these diseases we will eliminate death. It hasn’t happened yet.

So why all of the fear? The letter I wrote was to the local radio station. Yes, I am one of the hold outs that listens to the radio. Unfortunately, they are now running public safety announcements that go like this. It is a lovely day…poof you end up in the hospital. I usually have the radio shut off by now because I am tired of being manipulated by fear messages. So I don’t know what the message attached to this bit of fear is.

I doubt my letter will have an impact, but I believe we have to step up and let the powers that be know how tired we are of the fear messages. I can be sitting warm, comfortable, healthy and well fed and the messages our media brings are all about death and terror. Yes, there is bad stuff happening in the world. Why do I need to feel that it is all personally happening to me, all of the time?


Fear of Death

Everything is part of the same thing. However you want to define it. We are in connection with each other, the planets and the sun. It is the vastness that makes it so difficult to conceptualize. We are here to witness a brief moment in an infinite amount of time and space. When I think of the greater meaning of all of this, I don’t think it is to avoid my own death at all costs. The literal cost is to waste my time here worrying about an inevitability that which I cannot even understand. I believe we are here to experience this life fully.IMG_0276

Part of the experience I want to include is smoking. Some of my fondest memories are having cigarettes with my daughters, wrapped in comforters so that it would be warm enough to stand outback on the deck long enough. That smooth feeling when everyone is focused on lighting their smoke. We have all come together to relax, reflect on life and just enjoy being together. The common habit of smoking creating these moments.

Our focus on health and safety has become a religion. The religion of death avoidance. We will all live forever, if we just increase safety more. This belief system has created oxymorons, or contradictions, like “preventable death” and “Do you want to die?” as if there is a choice.

We know the pendulum has swung too far because we are so busy protecting our children they are no longer allowed to freely explore their worlds alone outside like we all did. For fear of death, we are taking away some of the best experiences. Wow! I guess I’m on a rant. I should stop that.

I think I’ll go watch some more Netflix. I feel like becoming one with the couch.


Beyond the Curtain

I experienced a brief flash beyond the curtain, driving down a forested area on a country road, on a sunny morning. The clouds and light cast shadows across the road and the light appeared to flicker as I drove by.IMG_5179

I was overwhelmed by love and joy and connection. And some bitchy part of myself pulled me back quickly reminding me that I needed to stay in my body while I was driving the car. My first response was gratitude that I had safely returned to the car that was still on the road. It was followed immediately by loss. Loss of that wondrous feeling. But I was radiating love myself from the experience.

The bit, the part I didn’t want to start with, is when I arrived at my destination, I heard about the planes crashing into the buildings in New York. I had felt it. I hadn’t known what I was feeling, but it was pure love and connection.

We all went home that day. I forced my daughters to stay in the living room with me all evening. I was petrified that we were at the start of World War III. My understanding of the events from the perspective of this world was much different from my experience of the release, love and freedom before I knew what was going on.

But I felt love. I experienced a glimpse of the other side. What is it about death that scares us so badly? It is the one inevitability of being here. If it was that bad, we wouldn’t have agreed to be here. And yes, I think we chose to experience this. I like to think of it as a three D video game, or whatever that would be called now a days.