Body Memory Works Both Ways
We often talk about body memory when it comes to trauma. We can forget it works both ways. Body memory can take us back to the very best of our lives.
When I painted my grandfather's garden bench and found some new cushions I liked, I sat down with a good book—and was surprised by the serenity I felt. I noticed the same sensation when I went out to read a second time. The serenity came from deep within, from some mysterious place. The third time I went out, I put down my book to just feel it—and within seconds the same serenity and contentment returned. What was going on?
It finally came to me. My body was remembering sitting on this very same bench with my grandfather as a six- and seven-year-old kid, out by his fishpond, overlooking Boundary Bay and where I'd been born.
But it wasn't just Grandpa's bench. . .
on being 17: molestation and forever wayne
THE "SUMMER OF 17" a young girl moved to Arizona...that would be me.
I'd suffered a back-from-death experience the summer I turned 17, and my health that fall was such that I'd been given the choice of either going to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN—or go live with family friends moving to Tempe, AZ. Let me see, eenie-meanie-miney-moe... My mother and I hitched a ride with a couple who happened to be driving down, and I arrived at the Ney's house on October 26, 1969.
In this "Year of 17," it was the worst of times because the doctor under whose care my mother placed me before going home to Iowa, molested me. A well-known Christian man, he was also the leader of Young Life at Scottsdale High, and therefore his molestation was a double whammy—an assault on my emerging sexuality (and hence my identity), and he dragged God into it. The worst of times, yes.
Yet it was the best of times. It truly was. For I had Wayne.
fear and faith
I'm reading Katie's Life of Pi and Yann Martel deals with this a lot via his main character Pi. Pi is sharing a lifeboat on the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger, and probably someone who knows a little about fear--and faith. Pi says: I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life.
Footloose and Fancy Free
—Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman.
Of course, this was written by a man.
It's A Bit Like Polishing A Turd
Me From The Mists of Time
A Shout Out To Anderson Cooper and CNN
A Love Story and Royal Lineage
John of Gaunt is the fourth son England's King Edward III's, third to survive infancy. Katherine de Roët is the daughter of a knight brought to England when King Edward III married Phillipa of Hainault, modern-day Belgium. The story, then, of the king's son and daughter of the queen's knight is hands down the most endearing and enduring love affair in all of English history.
Finding Fred: 1 of 4
MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER, Major Frederick Augustus Bagley, was one of Canada's original Mounties in 1874—and her youngest. He lied about his age to get in, got caught, but in the end was allowed to sign up "for six months." Fifteen-year-old Fred didn't go home for years. He became their bugle boy in the historic trek west to save the Canadian First Nations from American whiskey traders and to squash any bright ideas the United States might have of annexation.
"Finding Fred" in four parts tells the story of my initial search for my missing grandmother Leona Bagley and stumbling upon her father, one of Canada's most famous Mounties. Frederick Augustus Bagley, however, was not famous for his policing but for his music as well. He started bands all over the prairie, making the Mounties synonymous with symphonies and brass bands.
I write about finding him because DNA calls us all, asking to be discovered so that we can better understand ourselves.
Finding Fred: 2 of 4
Research on Fred Bagley's very early life begins not on the prairie but on Vancouver Island with my mother's half brother and his wife—Dale and Penny Bent. Penny has been researching Fred pre-Mountie; my mother, brother, and I post-Mountie. So I drove up through Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay and boarded a ferry for the 2-hour trip across Georgia Straight to Nanaimo to see what information she might have of Fred's mother and father and his childood. Below deck and parked, I got a binder of my research from the jeep, hoofed it up three flights of stairs, and hunted down the cafeteria where I began reacquainting myself with what material I had while eating some very bad scrambled eggs and not very good sausage.
In this episode, I discover my roots in Jamaica and London's "Pacras Poorhouse."
Finding Fred: 3 of 4
My fascination with ghost towns is fully rewarded when I learn that Grandfather had ties with Bankhead, the old CPR town built just north of Banff at the turn of the last century.
Finding Fred: 4 of 4
PINCHER CREEK LIES IN THE PORCUPINE HILLS, the Rocky Mountains foothills of Southern Alberta. Here the Mounties bred their horses and here is where Old Buck, Fred's pony, was put to pasture in his old age, where he was allowed to roam free and at will. Buck showed up at Fort Macleod, Fort Calgary, or Pincher Creek as the mood suited him, always welcomed with carrots and apples by Mounties glad to see him. But then at 32 years old, in 1899, he was "humanely put down," the same year his master, my great grandfather, resigned from the Mounties after 25 years of service. Fred and Old Buck were in it together, beginning to end.
Here I find Fred's love for his girls—and my mother.