Dear Friends,

More daily meditation paintings from March: if you’re looking at these thinking, “I could do something like that!” you’re right! Why not take out some watercolors, trace a circle with an old cd, and have some fun?

The Book Chronicle: I’m deep in the midst of Draft three of Developing Your Inner Life as a Political Act, taking into account the feedback I received from my first readers (thank you!). I’m going to have to cut a lot, as it’s currently 460 pages. Also, I’m realizing that if I were to move around some chapters the book would be stronger, so that’s going to be the next draft. I’m not exactly discouraged, but I am relating to the comments of other authors who have said “If I knew how much work it would be, I might never have started my book”. Another friend congratulated me on finishing the first draft: “Congratulation on the birth of your new ‘baby’! Now all you have to do is take it home and raise it until it’s ready to leave home!” And that’s what it’s like —– I thought I’d accomplished a lot, and I did — but there’s just a lot, lot more to go!

Meanwhile, I keep arting a bit most days, and writing some poetry for our open Mic here in Lethbridge. Here’s one about the body:

I Used to Hate You

—– Cat Charissage

I used to hate you.

I was ashamed, embarrassed by you.

I wondered — constantly — how others saw you.

If only you were . . .

a little more of this

a little less of that,

if only you behaved,

then my life would be okay. 

I took you to the doctor oh so many times,

Hoping he would talk some sense into you —

or give you some medication, or recommend something.

How much pain you’ve brought me!

I kept thinking it was me who was trying so hard,

punishing you for doing just what you wanted,

punishing you by ignoring you, 

never buying you anything beautiful.

never adorning you with color and scarves and shawls.

And slowly, slowly, I realized just how loyal you are,

how you keep me going

giving me your last bit of strength.

For years your demands were few

until you just couldn’t go, or do, or serve anymore.

The doctor said “You’re all worn out!”

And yes, I was.  And filled with pain, too.

Dear Body, forgive me for thinking that YOU hated ME

when all along, what I hated was a culture

that wants skinny women and bony bums.

Dear Body, I thought I was the one trying so hard

when I treated you as a workhorse.

And what do people do with a worn out horse?

Well, they shoot horses, don’t they?

And I, in collusion with an unhealthy world 

that commodifies women’s bodies and 

values you only for what you can produce,

almost did kill you.

No more! 

How could I ever think that you were other than me?

How could I try to shape you so others would approve?

How could I ignore you for so long?  

You and I are one.

I will no longer be mean to myself, to you, dear body.

You are marvelous!

You heal from insults and you heal from death scares.

Your scars are marks of valor — we’ve been places, haven’t we?

Your way of holding on to nourishment, to every last calorie

enabled my ancestors to survive famines,

surviving long enough to bring forth another generation.

I love how much you try, how much I try.

I love how faithful you are, how faithful I am.

I love how wise you are, how wise I am.

Dear body, dear body mine,

Here I am!  

Surviving and strong!

My body, My Self!

Take care dear friends! May Day and the New Moon —- much newness to revel in.

With much love and many blessings,

Cat