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UBC Theses and Dissertations. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The creative writing i s structured so that the themes are re-worked through additional sections of writing which contribute to the research.
This research approach i s adapted from the two-step process of narrative i n t e r p r e t i v e inquiry described by c u r r i c u l a r t h e o r i s t Dr. Such a process builds upon a phenomenological r e v i s i t a t i o n of l i v e d experience with a post-structural consideration of the possible meanings within experience as i t i s written and re-written.
Such thought advocates autobiographical and creative l i f e writing and journalizing. Further, the resultant, s t o r i e d texts contribute to our knowledge of the p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s of feminine experience. Through the powerful process of writing and storying, the writer comes to examine and understand the selves while simultaneously writing these selves into text. Such learning p a r a l l e l s the recursive nature of writing i n a back and forth movement that emphasizes how we learn to write as we write to learn.
Such learning becomes the means to r e f l e c t upon the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the pedagogical selves, bringing a more "thoughtful and t a c t f u l praxis" van Manen , into our teaching, as well as a f u l l e r understanding of the writing and r e f l e c t i n g process f o r students. The approach of t h i s thesis consists not only of writing i n various genres, but s e l e c t i n g them and shaping them into a text. The thesis i d e n t i f i e s and discusses an egocentric story that s p e c i f i e s how a woman writer and teacher became through writing, and how t h i s becoming begins to transform to a s u b j e c t i v i t y which i s decentered i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to other subjects and other texts.
The pedagogical implications of t h i s story for curriculum practice are situated within the empowering teaching strategies which encourage the writing and which serve as a model for teaching practice. But the following people l i v e i n t h i s thesis, too, and I wish to honor t h e i r contributions: Wendy Sutton, who for over twenty years has been mentor, teacher, fr i e n d and astute editor. I have been fortunate to work with Wendy as an undergraduate and a graduate student.
Carl Leggo, who named me poet and writer, who encouraged me to seek publication, and whose poetic soul and w r i t e r l y excellence are a continual source of i n s p i r a t i o n. I w i l l always be grateful for the day I met Car l. Fellow poet and writer, humane and emancipated teacher, feminist friend.
Ted Aoki, scholar extraordinaire, innovative and open educator and th e o r i s t , whose goodness and v i s i o n shine through his writings but are even brighter i n person. Syd Butler, whose ground-breaking work on l i f e writing i s a model and a motivation.
Syd has been generous with both books and words of support. My husband, Don, who has supported and encouraged my pursuits and who continues to nurture me with love and laughter. My three beautiful daughters, Sara, Rebecca, and Erin, for whom I also write, and who f i l l my l i f e with joy. My parents, Shirley and Joe S i l v e r , my s i b l i n g s , and my i n -laws, who have also loved and supported me throughout my endeavours. Donna Chan and Jacqui Wittman, who are sharing t h i s journey, and whose responses and reassurances have been an invaluable part of the process.
The members of the Language Education Department, t r u l y a special group of people and an exceptional department. Two Writers on a Journey. The essay was co-authored with Dr. The following poems are i n press: These logs weave inter t e x t u a l threads between and among the poetry, non-fiction, f i c t i o n , metafiction and drama within them. The Prolog discusses the importance of writing and storying within a narrative, feminist and post-structural framework.
The Prolog i s layered into six parts, each of which considers d i f f e r e n t facets of feminist, autobiographical and post-modern writing and teaching. The Interlogs which occur throughout the thesis interrupt the logs to remind the reader to re-consider the layers of textual and textural meaning, or to o f f e r strategies and content for alternate readings.
These interlogs vary i n nature from poetry to anecdote to f i c t i o n. The l a s t four interlogs i n the thesis play upon the theme of metaphoric writing which i s an i n t e g r a l part of J u l i a Kristeva's theory about poetic text, which Kristeva characterizes as revolutionary, that i s , operating within a p o l i t i c a l , h i s t o r i c a l and c u l t u r a l context Kristeva These four interlogs demonstrate how various forms of poetic text can "revolutionize" how we think about writing.
The fourth i n t e r l o g , Re-fusing: Carnival, relates the metaphoric and poetic world to the teaching world through the dramatic and l i t e r a r y conception of mask. The Polylog consists of nine sections, which begin with a breaking of silence and continue with a progression of writing voices. These sections r e - v i s i t the experiences of my woman and teacher's l i f e , moving through the transformation to writer and to a less egocentric writing subject.
Re-awakening i s about the unravelling of the many layers of i d e n t i t y which have buried the writing selves. The r e a l i z a t i o n that writing practice i s v i t a l occurs through the act of writing and through reading feminist texts.
Re-traversing t r a v e l s former ground but takes a deeper look at motherhood and what i t means to be a woman-mother-writer-teacher. Re-membering r e - c a l l s past pain, sadness and memories, p a r t i c u l a r l y about miscarriage.
This section depicts the welling up of pain and sorrow as more layers of the selves are peeled back and re-membered through writing. It i s a longer section to re-produce the d i f f i c u l t y of such an endeavour. The several poems and the scene about miscarriage i l l u s t r a t e how a writer can write about the same event many ways and from 3 d i f f e r e n t angles, working and re-working the themes through writing about them.
Re-feminizing i s an angry, hard-edged segment that makes no attempt to hide bitterness or rage or fear, drawing upon the more demanding aspects of being a woman and a teacher.
Re-visioning focuses on the i n s p i r a t i o n and influence of V i r g i n i a Woolf, and begins to revolve away from selves-consideration into the realm of other subjects.
Re-configuring i s a t r a n s i t i o n a l section whose pieces s h i f t i n and out of egocentricity. This section i s p i v o t a l to the polylog, including the landscape of our selves, our world and the curriculum landscape. Here a l i n k i s made between the writing selves and the teaching selves; between the writing landscape and the teaching landscape. Re-configuring concludes with a poem that gazes outward again by re-connecting to others. Re-constructing considers post-modernism i n l i g h t of education, feminism and writing, coming to terms with some of the contradictions and ambiguities.
F i n a l l y , Re-constructing s i g n i f i e s the f i r s t stage of a transformation which i s never complete, another beginning i n a movement towards de-centeredness.
The Monolog steps back chronologically, and i n the consolidated voice of the writer, r e - t e l l s parts of the polylog, p a r t i c u l a r l y the story about coming into writing. Dialog One works through some of the themes and features 4 of the Polylog. Here an interview with an "unknown poet" conveys other sides of the selves i n conversation about the writing and about egocentricity.
Dialog Two works through some of the feminist aspects of women writers' texts and l i v e s by placing journal entries and poems i n between the words of other women authors. Dialog Three works through some of the c u l t u r a l , poetic and post-modern aspects of text and theory i n a polyphony of voices and texts. The Analog re-counts what i s unsaid i n the poetic language of the thesis by a r t i c u l a t i n g how some of the writing came about.
Journal entries and memories and narrative re-writi n g re-constitute some of the emotions and meanings of the polylog. The Illog brings the thesis to a temporary pause through the semiotic and the unconscious, followed by the Epilog, a poem whose dwindling echoes symbolize that the poetic, creative text and the writing and teaching selves who l i v e and r e - l i v e the text are without end.
Throughout the logs, the creative textual forms are connected with gerunds that begin with the prefix "re," threading the thesis with a series of s u b t i t l e s which color the i n t e n t i o n a l i t y and meaning i n the layers of words. The use of the pr e f i x "re," followed by a hyphen, i s a deliberate attempt to accent the movement, flux and m u l t i p l i c i t y which characterize the material of t h i s text.
IJ wxits andU can't tislp myi-stf fJjuit Izssp falliny down tfzs tlaclz riots,. D don't want to oosxwtis. U txy to placs in my nsw psxi. D xstuxn ayain and ayain to ttis woxdi. U wxits; 1st ttism tats ms out of any pain ox ttuxt ox ds. IJhs words, wasl over ms and mg dss-irss. U rsturn to ths words. Jlihs ths ocsan, mg writing is. Jlihs ths ocsan, mg writing rssonatss, with ths sound of ths watsr s-lajijiing against jiilss.
Jlihs ths ocsan, mg writing can rags in a storm, strils out as. Jlihs ths ocsan, mg writing rs-lp. I did not give b i r t h to quintuplets or qu e l l r i o t s i n an east end high school, rob tr a i n s or marry more than one man at the same time while commuting back and forth between families.
There i s no upcoming made-for-TV movie about my time i n j a i l , or my murder of a daughter's schoolmate's mother, and I have never been unjustly accused of a crime, hijacked on an airplane, or detained i n some foreign country knock on wood. I am r e l a t i v e l y unknown, undistinguished and unremarkable, an ordinary c i t i z e n leading another ordinary l i f e.
But something compels me to write of my woman's l i f e. Something c a l l s me to speak of my experiences as a woman, crea t i v e l y , i n the poetic and r e f l e c t i v e and narrative forms that have become a v i t a l part of my l i f e over the l a s t few years. Something burns inside me, smouldering u n t i l i t bursts into a flame of words, the smoke c i r c l i n g my sto r i e s and poems, bleeding them into the a i r , the st o r i e s and poems giving o f f smoke signals I want others to pick up and read and remember.
Like Ursula LeGuin who writes of st o r i e s t o l d round the campfire LeGuin , I want to o f f e r my words up to the flames of the metaphoric f i r e. But by remembering it he had made the story his; and insofar as I have remembered it, it is mine; and now, if you like it, it's yours. In the tale, in the telling, we are all one blood.
Take the tale in your teeth, then, and bite t i l l the blood runs, hoping it's not poison; and we will all come to the end together, and even to the beginning: LeGuin , Like C l a r i s s a Estes who believes i n the power of s t o r i e s and the feminine s p i r i t , the Wild Woman archetype, I want to write the s t o r i e s and poetry of my feminine experience with emotion and i n t e g r i t y.
I want to embody the events of the day and the moments of my l i f e. Moments of being, V i r g i n i a Woolf c a l l e d them Woolf , Those times when we see something f a m i l i a r with such c l a r i t y that the world stands s t i l l ; those times when we notice for the f i r s t time something i n our world that i s heart-rending or wonderfully funny or t e r r i b l y sad or s i l l y or unbelievably b e a u t i f u l.
And we write these experiences into words, giving them shape and substance. What drives me to write i s as age-old as the story i t s e l f: Estes , 12 She encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passions, and poetry She is ideas, feelings, urges, and memory.
She has been lost and half forgotten for a long, long time. Estes , 13 She lives in the place where language is made. She lives on poetry and percussion and singing. She never writes her own l i f e and scarcely keeps a diary; there are only a handful of her letters in existence.
She left no plays or poems by which we can judge her. All these facts l i e somewhere Heilbrun p r o f i l e s how many biographic accounts of women writers' l i v e s were constructed and burdened by patr i a r c h a l interpretations imposed upon them. She discusses how many of these biographies, written by men, obscure and d i s t o r t the women's l i v e s , the unacknowledged anger, the d e t a i l s.
Heilbrun analyzes how some women writers i n years past revealed only cert a i n parts of t h e i r selves, without reference to the hardships, the pain, the s o c i e t a l expectations Heilbrun In her essay, Curriculum and the Art of Daily Life , Madeleine Grumet celebrates the ordinary, the everyday, the domestic, the home, c a l l i n g upon everyday experience to be included i n the curriculum as a v i t a l source of knowledge, meaning and aesthetics: But here is our dilemma: When these accounts [stories of home] are omitted from our scholarship, when we look elsewhere, anywhere for our sources, our reasons 14 and motives, we perpetuate and exaggerate our exile.
The power of those who bear the babies and nurture them, who order the provision of food, decide what is clean and dirty, who wash the sheets and care for the aged is palpable. Grumet , 84 Helene Cixous c a l l e d to women: Write yourself cited in Conley , I can hear William Gass entering t h i s exchange, commenting on autobiography i n an age of narcissism and questioning the many autobiographical t r a c t s which sel f - i n d u l g e n t l y reveal a l l — the a l l being rather d u l l or overdone Gass Enough with self-confessional personal h i s t o r i e s that record the color of our new dress or our most recent transgressions or our whining wails about how many times we had the f l u i n any one rainy season, Gass might cry.
But Gass' essay i s written from the pat r i a r c h a l point of view of those members of the population who have dominated the l i t e r a r y canon f o r years. Marlene Kadar rejects the term "autobiography" and favours " l i f e writing," p r e c i s e l y because the former term has excluded important forms of writing written by women that t e l l of women's l i v e s: Kadar , Carolyn Heilbrun even i l l u s t r a t e s how poetry can write a woman's l i f e , Many feminist l i t e r a r y journals are committed to publishing the l i f e w riting of women i n order to redress the imbalance which e x i s t s i n the l i t e r a r y canon and to feature issues and images central to women's l i v e s: A l l w r iting i s autobiographical, Donald Murray reminds us Murray Helene Cixous would agree Conley Is Brandt excusing herself from any of the re s p o n s i b i l i t y?
I don't think so. My own experience at the outset of my own writing adventures confirms that a l l writing i s indeed autobiographical, but that the " l i e s " i n f i c t i o n are truths of t h e i r own and the "truths" i n non-fiction can l i e. I noticed my husband, Don, eyeing my papers on the computer desk the other day, curious about t h e i r contents.
Then one day I read him a b i t from my "Power Games" piece, the part about his playing basketball. I was depressed at M. You have now, I muttered. Brandt , letting the poet in me out: Brandt , 54 What we put into words, what we attempt to make " r e a l " and "whole," i n V i r g i n i a Woolf's words, what we chronicle can be viewed and re-viewed.
When we turn a r e f l e c t i v e telescope onto our world, what we put into words can have re-verberating ramifications. T e l l i n g the s t o r i e s and poems of our selves and our l i v e s also means that others can take a look through the telescope.
The ethics of such writing can be d i f f i c u l t to define. Is anything, any occurrence, there ready and waiting to be plucked off the idea vine and re-worked through the writer's gardening pen? If so, writers don't necessarily make good friends or 17 r e l a t i v e s. Poet Susan Zimmerman writes: No fact, no d e t a i l , no anecdote i s beyond the writer's hand and reach. Anything can be laundry for the word-processing wash.
Writers take facts and fancy, embroider them, mend them, patch them together, and hang them out i n the midday sun to dry. The f i n a l product's f i c t i o n a l aspects can seem the most natural, and the t r u t h f u l b i t s can appear more bizarre than the red underwear on Great Aunt Fanny's c l o t h e s l i n e.
But s t i l l , within that finished product are fragments of something recognizable that r e f l e c t and r e f r a c t b i t s of emotion and experience. And fragments that can border on invasion of privacy.
When I f i r s t began writing, I was very naive about the public and the private. Although I was c e r t a i n l y reluctant to share my writing with others, I wrote without considering a l l the ramifications of recording l i v e s i n p r i n t. I'd occasionally read some of my pieces to my family for t h e i r reaction. Mostly they paid l i t t l e attention, the way a busy parent can sometimes d i s t r a c t e d l y comment to a c h i l d , "that's nice, dear," i n reply to the chi l d ' s excited exclamation that the cat i s on top of the cupboard eating that night's dinner.
When everyone eventually comes to, a l e r t , s i t s up and takes notice, a l l h e l l breaks loose. When I began seeking publication, i t seemed the natural outgrowth of putting my thoughts and feelings into words.
A way 18 to connect and be remembered. But i t i s n ' t easy to have a writer i n the family. Just ask my daughters, whose names and antics have appeared several times i n p r i n t. The f i r s t time one of my daughters saw an a r t i c l e where her name appeared, she commented with c h a r a c t e r i s t i c eight-year-old enthusiasm for my writ i n g endeavour: But some things need to, beg to be said and written.
Because wr i t i n g about our ordinary l i v e s i s a kind of writing that i s important. Because I believe I should open my own many selves to the sort of scrutiny that writing brings. Because I believe I can attempt to examine my selves through what i s written. Re-deciphering There i s a tension between the feminist desire to retrieve and reveal our l i f e s t o r i e s , and post-modern thought which acknowledges both how we construct these s t o r i e s and how the words within them continually s h i f t and fracture.
What can ever be " r e a l " and "whole" i n such a context? What chronicle i s ever completely "authentic"? I cannot resolve t h i s tension, but I 19 have come to believe that perhaps t h i s very tension i s what prevents me from disappearing into a t o t a l i t y which consumes my l i v e d experience as a woman. As a writer and a woman, I seek to write what w i l l resonate with emotion, but I am also aware of the "trap of words" which Helene Cixous locates cited i n Conley , In writing autobiographically, the writing creates and constructs the autobiography, or as Kadar would say, the l i f e writing.
What we reveal, what we omit, how we choose to reveal Ted Aoki c a l l s t h i s the said and the unsaid, commenting that t h i s i s where the poets play t h e i r part Aoki He said he writes the truth, and I think he also said he i s not a f r a i d of i t.
But I am not always certain that the truth I am writing about i s the complete story, just small parts of i t revealed momentarily and r e f l e c t e d b r i e f l y , and I worry that t h i s d i s t o r t s the truth. Sometimes the form and language of my words also seem to a l t e r t h i s truth so that i t i s even d i f f i c u l t for me to recognize.
Yet i f I were asked to acknowledge that t h i s truth must be mine since i t comes from deep within me, however I have stretched i t out, turned i t upside down, or destroyed i t by c o n f l i c t i n g images, I would accept t h i s truth as mine, w i l l i n g l y. I only hope that some of these truths w i l l at least be forgiven, i f not understood.
Renee Norman's journal What i s truth? The truth i s hard passionate, too Do the l i n e s of truth r e f l e c t back what i s truth t o l d truth f u l l truth un-folded un-truth folded The words of truth flow out of my pencil They f e e l true I re-read the words strong passionate true Is strong and true too hard? Does true passion hurt?
The truth i s the truth hurts me Should I stop writing the truth i f others hurt, too? The world would split open," wrote Muriel Rukeyser cited in Greene , Will this be visible later in our poems?
Has the history of truth begun? The truth i s. I write because I must. I write because I have a thesis to complete. I write to make known my woman's l i f e. I write because I have a captive audience. What i s pedagogic about writing a woman's l i f e? Not only do I teach my own children, but I teach other children i n the public school system.
My i n t e r e s t i n writing and feminism intersec t s with my educational concerns, my l i f e as an educator and a parent. Max van Manen eloquently describes our pedagogic undertaking as parents and teachers Within the phenomenological undertaking of writing and re-writing l i v e d experience, writing serves pedagogy van Manen , Writing i s a method of thinking and r e f l e c t i n g , a means of understanding the significance of the lif e w o r l d , an exercise of self-consciousness that brings us to a more thoughtful and t a c t f u l praxis van Manen , William Pinar believes that writing autobiographically i s a process that i s highly s i g n i f i c a n t to education.
In a lecture delivered at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Pinar described t h i s process as one which makes us aware of a past that i s influenced by psychological, s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s and gender forces Such awareness i s an opportunity to see the world a d i f f e r e n t way, a reconfiguration of ego that a l t e r s our perspective of the world.
Pinar believes t h i s a l t e r a t i o n i s important to education since he conceptualizes teaching as an instrument of self-expression that i s highly personal.
David Jardine writes how inter p r e t i v e inquiry begins with a sense of the significance of f a m i l i a r instances of our l i v e s , 23 our "being in the world" Jardine a, These particular instances, these "texts," "must be read and re-read for the possibilities of understanding" that they call forth, a playful process that depends as much on exploration and "happenstance" as on the meanings in these texts Such interpretive inquiry is pedagogic because it involves "the transformation of self-understanding" 60 , "understanding who we are differently, more deeply, more richly" 60 , or according to Gadamer's philosophy, understanding which "always must be renewed in the effort of our living" cited in Jardine a, Writing a woman's l i f e i s pedagogic through the transformation that such writing makes possible.
I came late to wr i t i n g but l i k e Natalie Goldberg, writing became fo r me "the tool I used to digest my l i f e and to understand" , For me, t h i s transformation i s i n e x t r i c a b l y linked to feminist texts by and about women.
Like Goldberg, I responded to feminism which s t i r r e d me to write. We live our lives through texts," suggests Carolyn Heilbrun , A million hands stitch, raise hods with bricks. The activity is endless. And to-morrow it begins again; to-morrow we make Saturday. Some take train for France; others ship for India. Some will never come into this room again. One may die to-night. Another will beget a child.
From us every sort of building, policy, venture, picture, poem, child, factory, will spring. Life comes; Life goes; we make l i f e. Woolf , And Helene Cixous writes: I am already text" , J u l i a Kristeva suggests that we are produced i n our texts as we produce them Lechte , 58 , an eternal subject-in-process of a text-in-progress.
I would add that t h i s jouissance and t h i s music resonate with the darker, stormier sensations and chords, a l l part of a woman's being-in-the-world. I concur with Kristeva, though, that writing produces forgiveness Lechte , Writing also produces understanding. Writing and re-writing a woman's l i f e i s a pedagogic "being-in-the-world" which generates and re-generates understandings important to the l i v e s of a l l women.
Writing a woman's l i f e brings to l i f e t h i s poet, one of Shakespeare's s i s t e r s , her l y r i c a l and poetic words echoing endlessly and profoundly within the context of many texts. In confronting and facing parts of my selves as I write and i n considering what t h i s meeting holds for me, I am once more remembering, as B r i t i s h drama educator Dorothy Heathcote writes i n Of These Seeds Becoming , that the struggle i s the journey.
I am once more recognizing not just what i t means to be human, but also what i t means to be a woman. It seems to me t h i s discussion i s something important that a l l teaching and parenting could c e n t r a l l y consider. In Composing a Life, Mary Bateson states that women should l i v e t h e i r l i v e s without daydreaming a l l the time; that i t i s creative pursuits which keep daydreams from becoming overwhelmingly unbearable I write them a l l there at Penelope's loom: How can personal and poetic l i f e w r i t i n g — t h e account of some of the instances of one's l i f e — i n v o l v e such conversations?
I wish to stretch the boundaries of interp r e t i v e inquiry as Jardine discusses i t i n The Fecundity of the Individual Case: Rather, each text, each voice, each l i f e , i f you w i l l , swims i n a sea replete with many other voices, texts, l i v e s , a swarming sea of humanity s a l t y with the dialogue of other tongues.
Sometimes these tongues have been s i l e n t and s t i l l many leagues beneath t h i s sea. Sometimes these tongues have reverberated loudly as they dominated the turbulent waters.
Such in t e r - t e x t u a l inter-weaving invests l i f e writing with the l i v e s of many others. If we open the conversation to these many textual others, the dialogue provides a means of holding up one's own text i n a mirrored sea which r e f l e c t s a l l texts which have come before and a l l those to follow.
In t h i s way a text, b u i l d i n g upon a l l other texts, re-forms the way experience i s shaped. And always, subject to the multi-faceted texts r e f l e c t e d i n that mirrored sea of texts. Verena Conley's deliberation of Helene Cixous' writing and philosophy captures t h i s " g u i l t " of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , t h i s re-writing which occurs through re-reading, t h i s re-reading which occurs through re-writing, an inter-textual inter-connectedness which i s never innocent of the words and interpretations of others.
Reading then is writing, in an endless movement of giving and receiving: Conley , 7 A text is always guilty, in an Althusserian sense. A text is a rereading, not only because we must reread in order not to consume but also because it has already been read. We approach it with the memory of other texts, and there is no innocent reading as there is no innocent writing.
Conley , 12 These words, these texts, r e a l i z e what Ted Aoki describes as a two-step process i n narrative i n t e r p r e t i v e inquiry For i f , as pedagogues, we do not l i v e deeply and consider t h i s l i v i n g , how do we reach those we teach? David Smith reminds us of a "narrative phenomenological sensibility," the complexity and the importance of the lived condition, the "attention to l i f e as it is lived I wish to broaden t h i s consideration of l i v e d l i f e always already i n flux to embody emotion as well as meaning.
Like Ted Aoki, I am an earth-dweller Aoki I seek the ground beneath my feet, the smell of fresh s o i l when i t i s damp, put out the t i p of my tongue to catch a drop or two of rainwater before i t f a l l s upon the earth and i s lovi n g l y absorbed. I also hear and see the way the horizon extends far beyond where I dwell, see and hear the distant songs I imagine are sung beyond that horizon.
As I am an earth-dweller, I l i v e among other earth-dwellers, and I f e e l that dwelling, f e e l that l i v i n g. I know that the rainwater which dampens the earth I l i v e upon i s caused by water that i s condensed from the aqueous vapour i n the atmosphere and f a l l s i n drops from the sky to the earth, but i t i s the taste of t h i s rainwater upon my tongue and my hair dripping i n my eyes and the poetic words I 29 attempt to inscribe which give the factual knowledge l i f e and depth and meaning.
Emotion has l e f t i t s trace upon my learning, and when I have f e l t i t s absence i n my l i f e , bereft, I have searched for i t anew. We can a l l dwell upon the earth, catch the rainwater upon our tongues, and touch, taste, smell, hear, see, f e e l the earth beneath our feet, the earth extending beyond where we dwell, the earth beyond the horizon. Our tears can replenish us the way the rainwater replenishes the earth, f a l l coursing down our cheeks u n t i l they reach the t i p s of our tongues, and mingling with the rainwater caught there, become one l i q u i d , the earth's e l i x i r , the earth-dweller's potion.
Writing i s a practice for l i v i n g deeply and considering our l i v e s ; re-writing i s a means to explore the ambiguities and contradictions, to play p o e t i c a l l y with the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and so open up our many skins, our many selves and others, to the commingled blood pulsing through our beating hearts: My heart beats strongest when I can write of these many roles, out of these many roles The song I hear that keeps me writing i s f u l l of the harmonious chords, melodic notes, discordant counterpoint and minor and major keys of my everyday l i f e i n t h i s world.
Often I write of my everyday experience t r y i n g to make sense of what I think and f e e l and wonder. I write about past joys and pains, present hopes and concerns, future visions and 31 sorrows. I write about what moves me, s t i r s me, shakes me, makes me cry or laugh, what I see or notice or wish I could change, what i s buried deep inside that has r i s e n to the surface, clamouring to be released and s w i r l i n g upward i n those puffs of smoke c i r c l i n g overhead: Under the blows of love I catch fire, I take to the air, I burst into letters.
Cixous , 44 I once wrote i n my journal that each time something I write i s made public, I f e e l as i f I have just given away some part of me that I s t i l l need. Yet the compulsion to write continues, a t e r r i b l e commitment and obsession. The drive to share that writing continues unabated, as i f I must give away a l l of myself before I can be myself.
Woman, as Cixous defines her, is a whole—'whole composed of parts that are wholes'—through which language is born over and over again. Minh-ha , 38 Writing is born when the writer is no longer. Minh-ha , 35 Perhaps I seek such o b l i v i o n , re-born, as my own name, Renee, suggests, i n the writing.
No longer composed of the same parts I slowly gave up, but missing them, I am an apparition apportioned into poems and s t o r i e s and other written matter: In the logs which follow, I f e e l as i f I give away 32 everything and I am re-born i n the writing. Re-born and re-written again and again. That i s the beginning of no end. Let me begin at the beginning of the beginning. Was I re-born a f t e r my daughters were born? Renee—re-born—what did my mother know when she named me?
Or did I die d r i f t i n g down drugged on noxious nitrous oxide? Renee re-surrected and re-born t h i s re-velation re-vealed i n the rhetoric of r e a l i t y. Running to re-write running to ruin writing about the running the re-writing sometimes ruined by the running. Reflections on Writing I r e a l i z e d , as I sat writing the exam a l l alone i n a cold room i n December, my s i x sharpened pencils spread out before me on the table, that I roleplay when I write, digging into my writing i n much the same way that an actor t r i e s to absorb a r o l e — f e e l i n g the part, i d e n t i f y i n g with the characters, imagining a l i f e.
As I wrote with the p a r t i c u l a r audience i n mind suggested by my task, my pencil sped across the page. I f e l t as i f I were speeding along some highway, my thoughts only s l i g h t l y ahead of my p e n c i l , and sometimes the pencil overtook my thinking.
I had no idea what the writing sounded l i k e and I did not reread at a l l as I wrote. There was not enough time, and t h i s time the penc i l wouldn't l e t me. I also r e a l i z e d that i f I care passionately about a matter, I write with abandon, and roleplay my way into my writing f u l l of emotion. Sometimes I even cry when I write, my f e e l i n g so close to the surface that the tears s p i l l over.
This awareness—that I write much the same way as I roleplay, transcending present time and present place to a more temporal plane of existence where a whole new set of circumstances rule—came to me as a c r y s t a l clear piece of s e l f -actualized knowledge r i s i n g up and out of my consciousness as I wrote. I can s t i l l r e c a l l the moment, and perhaps the coldness of the room, the unearthly quiet, the time of night, the clock t i c k i n g by on the wall as I continually checked i t , contributed to the e x i s t e n t i a l , disembodied f e e l i n g that accompanied t h i s knowledge.
Sometimes my writing takes over from the thinking me that begins the process. But I often read, reread, revise, reread, agonize over words or phrases a f t e r the i n i t i a l writing. Writing my f i r s t poem for the graduate writing course was d i f f e r e n t. I read and reread often. I crossed out and substituted words, came back to parts much l a t e r.
Although sometimes not by choice, as my three daughters continually interrupted me, u n t i l f i n a l l y , I am ashamed to admit, I jumped up and down screaming tantrum-like—my own fourth c h i l d — f o r everyone to leave me alone, my work was important to me.
I dreamed much of the poem the night before I wrote i t , but only used some of what I remembered. But the kernel of f e e l i n g was there. I think I write mostly from f e e l i n g — n o t image, or even memory, although they play t h e i r part. I read my f i r s t poem to my daughters—the eldest, Sara, said she thought i t was about my writing. Rebecca said she 37 thought i t meant I was a very caring person. Eri n , the youngest, was s i n g u l a r l y unimpressed, and much more interested i n climbing on my knee for a hug and coming between me and my pe n c i l , as young children are wont to do.
I have learned how to write at the kitchen sink and use any f i f t e e n minutes where everybody i s happy and occupied to do snatches of writing or reading.
Despite the e r r a t i c nature of fi n d i n g time f o r writing, what I l i k e best about i t i s rediscovering myself, independent at least for a while—sometimes as f l e e t i n g l y as f i v e minutes— from wife-mother-teacher.
I r e a l l y do have things to say, and say them. I s t i l l wash clothes, but now I throw them i n the machine quickly between phrases, or stand staring out at the rhododendron bush i n a reverie, t r y i n g to work out some problem, Spray and Wash i n hand. I am watching t h i s me to see how she develops with considerable i n t e r e s t. Drowned out by the c r i e s of small children Joyous but unrelenting The words spinning round and round inside my head Waiting to be Released Given sanction Unburdened by the constraints of time Time the d r i f t e r Time the excuser Sad the words lay unspoken, unshapen, unbidden, underneath my tongue I would sing those words to the ocean i f i t sang them back to me Who w i l l sing back my words?
A l u l l a b y of voices Humming i n my head Rocking me to speak. I Am a Feminist I am a feminist with a husband. I am a feminist with three daughters. I am a feminist who cooks and washes clothes. I am a feminist who hasn't had time to read the feminist t r a c t s.
I am a feminist who hasn't attended consciousness-raising sessions i n the 60's. I am a feminist who l e t s her daughters play with Barbies. BUT— My husband encouraged me to return to university and cares for our children while I attend and washes our daughters' hair on Sunday night while I struggle to f i n i s h at the computer.
PLUS— I have never stopped 40 t a l k i n g to other women l i s t e n i n g to t h e i r pain and pleasure trading s t o r i e s now and then between fl o o r s AND BESIDES— Now I share my st o r i e s with our three small women no, Sara, you don't need to marry a r i c h man to get a swimming pool you can get that a l l by yourself yes, Sara, you can do i t together that's a fine way to envision i t.
Rebecca, i t i s you again roleplaying the king Superman the monster Peter Pan Rumpelstiltskin you can play any adventure roles you choose and those are some of the ex c i t i n g ones. E r i n yes, I w i l l carry your ten pound Book of Horses up the s t a i r s for you and lay i t across your bed as you sleep turned to the page with the white horse dotted with black stars.
SO— when Rebecca sends another Barbie s a i l i n g over the balcony to land with a thud near the front door and Ken i s t i e d up with pink ribbons and when E r i n points to Barbie's chest and asks what are those? I was astounded to read what Jane Tompkins has to say about learning to forgive and understand the c r i t i c a l me inside us Tompkins , I wonder i f I, too, am a woman f i l l e d with anger, and i f so, from where i t emanates.
I know that as I began my journey into writing and introspection, I was somewhat taken aback at what was coming out of my p e n c i l , and somewhat reluctant to share i t. It f e e l s r i g h t , but as I turn over and over and the knots are revealed or untied or tightened and I can view them from close-up or from afar, i t i s taking my breath away.
Tompkins has taken o f f her s t r a i t j a c k e t i n order to examine her own anger and emotion. I think I am going to take some slow, deep breaths, then plunge on. For the Four F 1s: It w i l l take me a l i f e t i m e to understand For the Etruscans Duplessis , I shut myself i n my room to read i t , only getting interrupted once by my oldest daughter, who poked her head i n to see what I was doing and why I needed to shut the door.
I shut the door so I could read, could think, could take i n the words as I think they were probably meant to be r e a d — i n chunks of text that didn't always necessarily seem clear but s t i l l gave a sense of where the author was going, had been, wanted to be The part I loved the best was near the end where Sara Lennox's words are constantly interposed with Duplessis' words in the brackets , Duplessis taking much of what she has already said and weaving i t i n and out of t h i s other woman's thoughts, s t r i k i n g l y s i m i l a r.
I also f e l t a strong kinship to the two intrusions of r e a l i t y that interrupted the essay? One, her c h i l d , complaining that Duplessis never buys what the c h i l d l i k e s to eat. The other, Duplessis, wanting to cook something nice f o r her companion, but also hoping i t would l a s t , so she wouldn't have to cook for a few days.
Yes, I thought, t h i s i s true, I have been there, I am there. The female aesthetic brought down to earth by the mundane of everyday l i f e. The c o n f l i c t of ambiguous womanhood— wanting, needing to nurture nourished ourselves for a while on the words and thoughts , but also wishing that t h i s food of our love could l a s t , spread out, for a l i t t l e longer, so we could take time to b i t e off some more words to chew and digest.
Duplessis' writing and the essay? I have even had some of my babies without fuss between semesters. That our language, that i s , the female language of our l i v e s and experiences, i s not extinct, but rather, not yet f u l l y formed but forming. And i f we can continually accept that t h i s language breaks many of the old b a r r i e r s , that t h i s language has to f i n d new ways of saying what has yet never been said, because a l l that has not been said needs to be spoken, then as t h i s female language forms, flounders, flourishes the four f ' s , we w i l l , unlike the Etruscans, create a language that l a s t s , however strange i t seems, or however paradoxically i t seems to turn back on i t s e l f.
Fields of Feeling, Windows of Wonder: I am beginning to believe that somewhere s c r i p t s of my l i f e e x ist over which I have l i t t l e control, but i n which I somehow play a central role. I am beginning to believe that there i s some sort of c e n t r i f u g a l force which revolves around me i n ever-widening c i r c l e s of experience. I am beginning to believe that I may be s l i g h t l y psychic, but because t h i s i n t u i t i o n has never been f i n e l y tuned or developed—and to be honest, because i t frightens me—such clairvoyance only enters my l i f e i n small, undisturbing clouds of smoke.
Once I phoned my next-door-neighbour to inquire a f t e r her mother, who was very i l l and dying. This neighbour took time o f f work to care f o r her mother at home. I had not talked to her for weeks. This was t y p i c a l of both our busy l i v e s and our neighbourly relationship, my days f i l l e d with diapers and part-time dabbling, hers f i l l e d with a f u l l - t i m e career.
But that day, inexplicably, I wanted to phone and ask about both her and her mother. How was her mother doing? Was there anything she needed? It must be hard, and so on. We talked, and her mother died not much l a t e r that same day. I know that such occurrences can be common phenomena, but when they occur with alarming r e p e t i t i o n and frequency over the years, they are d i f f i c u l t to shrug away and ignore.
When I am at the centre of what i s happening, i t seems so strong and s i g n i f i c a n t. I have always had a v i v i d sense that another f r i e n d and neighbour with one daughter the same age as my oldest would one day have another c h i l d.
She had been t r y i n g to conceive again for years, beset with various problems that made t h i s apparently next-to-impossible. One day, af t e r walking home from accompanying my daughters to school, I passed her house and r e a l i z e d I had not seen or spoken to her for weeks. I knew with a c l a r i t y and certainty, then, which I could not explain, standing outside her house i n the cool morning a i r , that she must be pregnant.
I imagined how she and her family would be planning t h e i r days, since they had wanted t h i s for so long, but had adjusted to l i f e as i t seemed destined so far. As I looked 44 out at her house, I projected a whole scenario through the curtained windows and s o l i d front door. I did not go up to her door. Somehow I didn't f e e l r i ght about intruding p h y s i c a l l y upon the scene that I had just played out f o r them. I phoned her when I arrived home, and she t o l d me dramatically that she had something to t e l l me.
I f e l t amazed and a l i t t l e breathless at her announcement that she was indeed expecting another c h i l d. Just uncomplicated co-incidence, a l l of i t? Mystical musing on my part? Or i s there a force f i e l d of f e e l i n g which follows me as I make my way through my ordinary l i f e , and into which I sometimes step, somersaulting backwards? Or i s i t just that events unfold as they do, and I f e e l my way into them, sometimes scoring bull's-eye with the dart, sometimes not even landing the dart anywhere near the board.
I have f e l t t h i s psychic sense of revolving repercussion with my writing: Writing a l i f e , my l i f e as a writer, the l i f e within my writing, the writing within my l i f e. Another l i t t l e window pops open, i t s l i t t l e shutters just barely touched by me, seeming to open of i t s own accord. L i f e proceeds i n small but s i g n i f i c a n t ways, and back behind me i n that f i e l d of f e e l i n g , or underneath one of those l i t t l e windows, someone or something i s sometimes snickering s o f t l y at my astounded awe.
I am a chameleon Soaking up whatever color comes my way What color w i l l I be when I am done? The color of a journey never ended. I didn't make t h i s journey. The trouble i s Daly writes some of the book l i k e some men.
The trouble i s I couldn't spin. I'm s t i l l not sure I'd ever want to spin. I have very mixed feelings about the book, ranging from: After a while, the new words s t a r t to make a l o t of sense.
I guess I'm just "numb, dumb and normal," a compromiser Daly's words , and while I've found many books on the shelves put there by "cemetery l i b r a r i a n s , " and laughed wryly, I am reluctant to put Daly's book on my shelf because I didn't f i n d any room i n her book for me. There I was, s e t t l e d happily i n V i r g i n i a Woolf's room, and pleasurably t r a v e l l i n g down the paths of Oxbridge with her; i d e n t i f y i n g with her anger about exclusion, her great s e n s i t i v i t y ; and thinking about her lapses into madness, her suicide, her husband, Leonard.
Then I picked up Daly's book, and the room became a prison, but I wasn't just the prisoner, I was the j a i l e r , too. While Daly's word-making i s b r i l l i a n t , i t seems, to me at least, so stark and devoid of f e e l i n g. Is t h i s intentional? Moreover, I could not f e e l her deep sorrow for the su f f e r i n g she records so widely and c l i n i c a l l y i n these pages. For me, t h i s made the suff e r i n g by women at the hands of men and sometimes women, too, pornographic patriarchy and unmitigated mockery.
When I read some of the woman-hating h i s t o r i e s , I could hear the screaming i n my head. Did Daly hear i t when she wrote? Who needs to spend time with this? I gave b i r t h , I miscarried, I'm Jewish, I've v i s i t e d male doctors who I secretly thought were former Nazi perpetrators.
If the men Daly castrates i n these pages were to get ahold of these s t o r i e s , what d i f f e r e n t use some of them would make of these annals. I am reminded of a former fr i e n d from my 30's, whose husband owned an expensive, graphic book about the t e r r i b l e t r i a l s and terrors conducted with accused witches.
Whatever use 47 he made of the book during his marriage—the mind boggles—he burned my fri e n d at the stake once he graduated from law school, and she was never the same, nor was our friendship.
Having said a l l that, I think t h i s book documents for posterity a l l the h i s t o r i c a l and current incidents of misogyny which l i k e the Jews, we women should never forget.
There were passages i n the book that I f e l t myself sinking into quicksand with my mind firmly fixed on the ideology, on a slow, downward path of discovery, my emotions buried for once beneath the quagmire. But I'd far rather walk down the paths with V i r g i n i a Woolf and follow her into the s i t t i n g room, l i s t e n i n g to her s t i t c h — not a cosmic tapestry with heavy metal threads—but an earthly needlepoint of b r i l l i a n t colors.
Daly may be a Revolting Hag, but I couldn't help wondering i f she f e l t some of what she writes about. I'm not saying you have to be burned at the stake to understand, but the qua l i t y of empathy could at least be a gentle r a i n. I ' l l never be the same again.
Just that a l l our d e t a i l s crowd my dreams I am ambiguous woman not a s h r i l l and strident just-a-woman's voice But when I t e l l my story when I t r y to write that otherworldly l i f e do you understand my love i s not diminished but strong Growing Dormant while the d e t a i l s disappear and l i k e a sleepwalker not asleep but neither f u l l y awake I t r a v e l through t h i s world for a while coming i n not as a d e t a i l but the story It i s you who make me strong who give me the story I would not trade our d e t a i l s for any dreams I just want to write the story awake 49 Awakening The poem i s NOT i n the answers to a l l those questions: The poem i s me.
Eldest Daughter 55 II. Middle Daughter 56 III. Listening to my daughter laugh deeply from her b e l l y at how i n her class she looked and looked for her eraser, which was l y i n g on her s k i r t. Hugging my youngest daughter the way she requested, high up, and f e e l i n g the lightness of her l i t t l e body as I swing her up Listening to my youngest daughter r a i l at me, I-hate-you-you-dummy-you-doe-doe-you-are-so-stupid, and understanding how i t fe e l s to be b e l i t t l e d.
Running with my daughters to the window to see the eight blue jays they counted i n our season tree i n the creek, and r e a l i z i n g the pleasure and joy I take i n delighting i n the world around us through t h e i r wonder and excitement Watching my daughter daydream, wondering whether that wandering mind w i l l ever l i g h t upon some hidden v i s t a , and astonished at some nugget of wisdom that f a l l s from her as e a s i l y as a sweater shed on a warm spring day Looking at my baby sleeping with her curls fanning her fine features, her forefinger the same finger I sucked as a baby stuck i n her sucking mouth, and wanting everything to stop soaring by so quickly Reading and writing side by side with my daughters i n the playroom as the sun streams i n through the window, a l l of us respecting the other's need for solitude and silence, but drawn together i n our work by a mutual purpose Listening on the monitor to my oldest daughter holding my youngest daughter on her knee, t e l l i n g her a story and singing the same l u l l a b i e s I sang to them, the youngest asking, "Is i t over now?
I have danced with Evan Marci 1s fr i e n d back from the BBC who said i f I ever t i r e d of you to give him a c a l l. I have danced with your father's f r i e n d who held my hand too long a f t e r the music ended. He didn't say hello at your parents' f i f t i e t h anniversary party. I was younger then and t h i n My breasts devoid of mother's milk and taut. We used to dance together too. But not one of those male dancers Dancing i n my past For a l l t h e i r slippery sinewy grace and subtle mocking movement Could ever dance l i k e you Eldest Daughter the c h i l d i n a woman's body long legs climbing the s l i d e the dress bunched-up then f l i e s down the s l i d e the descent from childhood delayed by delight child-woman me-you you-me blended into one blur generational double exposure a p o s i t i v e picture framed i n perfect playtime pleasure the future s l i d i n g negative of a f i l m about to be developed I finger her photograph over and over bending i t s corners looking at me I I.
No, but I know that f e e l i n g of panic, l i k e when I've done something l i k e swallow the wrong p i l l because I was so t i r e d I didn't read the lab e l properly and picked up another b o t t l e. A l l the time. I want to spread my wings, wear my purplest running shoes, and run, baby, run!
Well, a l l rig h t , i t ' s an improvement on shut up, I guess, but the same bad-tempered sniping s t i l l seems to be there i n the words. I can see that. Your thumb w i l l always be with you. I've never seen t h e i r tears, and people believe insects have no feelings, but I think when t h e i r beautiful wings get pulled o f f , they must somehow cry.
What do you think? Probably darker than the young geese's, but not as dark as the Mom and Dad geese's beaks. No one knows for sure, because we see God a l l around us and we f e e l God i n our hearts and minds, but aren't with God i n the way we l i v e together here on earth.
But I think God celebrates a l l our birthdays. Adults have t h e i r own ways of playing. Want to play l i k e me for a while? A l l right, we'll drive to a park with swings. They swim i n the water, so they don't need knees. Your knees bend as you walk, but f i s h don't walk. They don't have legs. Just an evolutionary accident. God made them that way, they're water creatures. No chance of that! P rint that l a s t poem off the computer. Calculate for daughters how many more hours t i l l we leave for Disneyland.
Clean the fridge out. Revise the l a s t l i n e of that l a s t poem printed o f f the computer. Unpack daughters' toys and a c t i v i t i e s so there w i l l be room for people i n the van.
Cancel the newspaper for the week. Show daughters on calendar the day we leave. However, if you want to treat your condition properly, you will need to find the right intensity of CBD that works for you.
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Dravet syndrome, is a serious form of epilepsy that caused Charlotte to suffer from over grand mal seizures every month. This was obviously impacting her life very negatively, impairing her development and causing grievous and potentially fatal dangers to her health. Though originally bred to treat epilepsy, the high CBD dosage of this strain can potentially be useful for treating any number of conditions.
In terms of the effects it had on young Charlotte, by triggering CB1 receptors in her brain the strain was able to reduce the frequency of seizures from to only 3 or 4 per month. Stephen Hawking Kush, named of course for the famous astrophysicist and all around significant figure is notable both because of its intense quantity of CBD, and because it is a 1: The fact that Stephen Hawking Kush has a 1: Noted for its relaxing, serene vibe without any kind of intense drowsiness, the strain is often chosen to treat severe degenerative disorders, such as ALS and Multiple Sclerosis.
Be sure to use with caution thanks to its THC high , but if you are suffering from a serious condition, then SHK might be just what you need. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Your email address will not be published.
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