Giving Up God

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I have learned in the last decade that giving up god is a little like coming out—you’re never quite done. I had thought I was pretty clear with myself and those around me where I stood, but I find as I enter into the task of becoming churchwarden at Holy Trinity (a story for another day), that I am often having to come out and explain myself again.

The season of Lent started today (at midnight or sundown yesterday, depending on how you like to measure the calendar). This is Ash Wednesday, a day on which Christians remind themselves that we are born from the earth and to earth we return. For Christians it is tied to death and resurrection and the idea that we were created by god and belong to god.

Lent has traditionally marked a time of reflection for Christians—40 days where something is given up in an effort to be more mindful in faith. Historically, fasting was common. In Europe, in the middle ages, this made a certain sense, since it was a pretty lean time at the end of winter anyway—may as well make virtue of necessity. It has morphed over time into a different kind of fast: giving up chocolate, TV, watermelon. Others have turned it into a time of taking on something new: bible study, prayer, a new volunteer project. Continue reading “Giving Up God”

Let’s Dance…

Kevin O’Leary’s rich guy moaning on CBC Radio this morning was only made tolerable by Armine Yalnizyan telling him to pack up and leave if he’s so unhappy. While she was advocating a kind of socialism, it is closer to my primitive anarchist heart than O’Leary’s tiresome libertarianism.

I remember discovering anarchism in high school. Not the way you probably think–with a bunch of wannabe radicals–but in a grade 11 history class on revolutions and political reformations in europe. I was particularly captivated by Russian revolutionary and social anarchist, Mikhael Bakunin. Continue reading “Let’s Dance…”

a child in science

I am an oldest child and was a peaceful baby who slept when I wasn’t eating. This left my mother unprepared for my future self or for my brother who left her sleepless.

My first experiments were in physics. They began at the age of a year and a half, learning to build potential energy by climbing the refrigerator. At two, I slipped away from my nap to play with gravity and friction on the slide two blocks away. The neighbours were very surprised to see me.

Continue reading “a child in science”

Can we choose our own death and still protect the vulnerable?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know what we need to do to make it even possible.

There was a powerful article in the paper last week which described the author’s involvement in the death of a number of people over the years, who (according to the author) sought his help to end their lives. It was heartfelt I believe and made gripping reading. Especially since it ended with the author’s own journey to Switzerland to end his life. Continue reading “Can we choose our own death and still protect the vulnerable?”

Happy Solstice to all

Almost every culture and religion celebrates the solstice in one way or another, whether on the day or very close to it. Even for those whose cultural ties are weak and religious ties may be non-existant, the turning of the year is an undeniable and astronomic event which offers all of us a chance to pause and reflect on the good things and the hard things in our lives. The Winter solstice marks a move from darkness to light and gives hope at the same time as we remember that we are entering into the coldest part of the year. Continue reading “Happy Solstice to all”

Coming into being — An Athiest in Advent

IMG_20151218_125741_edit1Waiting. It can be a chosen tool of acceptance. It can be a way of building excitement. It can be a strategic position. Or it may be a grim necessity.

Telling someone else to wait can be a tool of control—demonstrating your power over another. It may be just gentle teasing. Or it may simply be a plea for patience.

Preparing. There is some common ground with waiting, but it is a position of action, of agency. This is not resignation, or simple hope that we will receive what we most desire. Preparation is about engagement. It is about creating possibility. It is a process of both action and openness. Continue reading “Coming into being — An Athiest in Advent”

My grandmother’s cake

IMG_20151116_190530_editFood is a powerful force in our lives. We have to eat frequently or suffer. We gather over meals. We use meals to celebrate. We have consumed so many meals in our lives that it is no wonder we develop strong associations both good and ill with many foods. Food remains a central part of hospitality.

I had a very strong relationship with my grandparents. They were a source of creative energy and comfort throughout my life and served me many meals and culinary treasures like this one. The example of hospitality they set is one that I try to emulate in my life.

Continue reading “My grandmother’s cake”

Dancing

Like many humans, erotic themes are seldom far from my mind, so I thought I’d try writing some. This is my first poem in a long time. Read it here: Dancing

Likely NSFW unless you have a very liberal workplace. I apologise for putting it in PDF format, but I felt a need to control the look and feel.

Here are the first two stanzas:

Dancing,
your rose pink dress enfolds you
wrapping itself
around your voluptuous body
even as I long to do.

– blink –

Dreaming,
my lips caress your brow
brush your eyelids
and drift
ever lower
to cheek
to lips
to throat.