Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nana, Mama and Stinkapee...

Stinkapee wouldn't go to bed last night. She was excited because Ophelia came to visit in the evening. Ophelia was really excited, too.

We watched, discussed and analyzed music videos. It's completely mind blowing to put myself in Ophelia's shoes and remember that she came into the world almost seventy years ago. She said that she remembers buggies used as modes of transportation and that she didn't start off with televisions, dvds, vcrs, computers and youtube.

I told her that I remember watching her as she watched The Matrix. This is not the world that she was born into and yet she engages fascinated with techy media culture.

We talked about the plasticized Barbadian popster...watched two of her videos. We talked about caribbean divas who weren't soulless pawns:

Ophelia said she thought the Barbadian popster should get out of music and go into modelling. We both agreed that as a fleshy coathanger for the imaginings of stylists and make-up people, she's a great success. Papi mentioned that he'd read, that it was all over the place that she's lamenting being snubbed by her Barbadian high school friends. She's literally a teenager, insecure, hurt by not being seen as popular by those who matter, even though her music is listened to by millions. We looked at one of her videos:

sent me searching for another black woman located north of the 49th:

the video images were so close you know the amerikkkans could have definitely used the Barbadian to bite off something/someone they figured wouldn't survive and make money, consuming it and transforming it until it seemed like theirs.

We talked about Black wimmin in music. The ones who don't fit the soul, r&b music originality strangling mold. We agreed that folks don't know what to do with Black cultural anomalies preferring to deal with the familiar reprocessed repositioned regurgitated time and time again. sad.

At Stinkapee's request we looked at Dilana, who the whole family likes because she's got a big woman voice not a squeaky little girl's voice.

We're not sure if she's a light skinned Black woman...we think she is...hmmm, whenever you find yourself wondering...you know that there's something more complex there than whiteness...or blackness, for that matter. Please (don't) forgive the idiot host's introductions which is so offensive in tone, ignorance and familiarity... and try to ignore the really irritating, uninteresting and unimportant male critiques attempting to superimpose their lack of power over her presence at the very end. Blech.

Nonetheless, Ophelia seemed visibly happy at Dilana's show of power and voice and viewing her performance led to a conversation about Black people's inability to deal even culturally with creative expressions that fall outside boundaries that are set for us...which we uphold...ofttimes out of fear of...punishment should we choose to explore what lies beyond...

We finished off the youtube visit by watching this video (...Stinkapee had fallen asleep by this time, so this morning as I type and collect images, she's looking over my shoulder fascinated. Her playdate just arrived. She ushers the little black boy in and they both watch. I ask him, this child raised mostly on hip-hop and r&b generated images of black wimmin, if he's ever seen a Black woman who looks like this woman before singing music that sounds like this, he says no...)

Which elicited more conversation about acceptable roles, aesthetics and creative outlets for Black wimmin.

Later on that night we talked about the possibilities for exploring who we are given the history of Black people, given our respective family histories and upbringings...we talked about trying to understand how our souls learned to resist and what role brains capable of processing multiple strands of data simultaneously without balking or shutting down, have in our ability to actively and mindfully resist our own historical, familial, emotional, psychological domination.

I said that I think that reading the books and being aware of collective histories and herstories of oppression and resistance is only part of the battle and that for someone to have the courage and the strength to move beyond simply understanding and mouthing or writing the political right on into living it out takes a whole other set of critical skills and aptitudes that are (mis)educated out of the vast majority of people in any given population purposefully by those who work behind the scenes to keep the herd quiet, amused and acquiescent.

So, yes Ophelia is a historian, I remembered and said to her that some things about resistance aren't actually to be found in the past, but can be located in the flesh, in the synapses firing off differently for some than for others, allowing some to "get it", to actively, powerfully and joyfully engage with information not taught to them as children by their parental units and other family members, while others, even those spending years in universities, remain pitifully, woefully, hopelessly, malevolently lost...stunted.

I'm thinking about Ophelia's words about "the hand each person is dealt". The tools each person is offered by their families that help or hinder them as they make their way into the world, try to form relationships, attempt to create families. We both agreed that it was for the best that I wasn't raised up in a Barbadian family. I would have become a very different kind of woman, I suspect...unh, I'm so sure.

I spoke to Ophelia about my parenting of Stinkapee as something that causes joy and pain...about how I understand it as a mixture of success and failure in that there are some aspects of parenting I had hoped to have been able to do better, while there are other areas where I'm so far understanding myself to still be in the "game". For instance...

Earlier that evening...

We looked at Stinkapee's drawings. Ophelia liked Stinkapee's drawings. She's so obviously drawing people with kinky hair, sometimes with dark brown skin, sometimes with piercings and tattoos...

Once Stinkapee started going to school about two years ago, with mostly limp haired children of different cultures, she started drawing these weird family picures where we all had bangs and hair that hung down.

I watched for a bit and then we sat down for a convo about it. She said everyone drew their people that way. She wanted to know why some people had limp hair. I said it was because they come from people who have limp hair, their ancestors have limp hair. I said that our ancestors had hair that stands up proudly at attention and so, we have hair that is wonderful and kinky and wiggly. She said she didn't know how to draw kinky hair. Mama shared some possible approaches to the visual replication of Black naps.

Stinkapee does bumps and locks and afro styles. But she's also got this colour and pattern thing happening. ...which makes sense since she lives in a visually vibrant, decorative house where there's a lot of texture, colour and pattern mixed together to form home.

Her drawings are becoming layered and complicated in ways that we're all really excited about. She does Black folks with sometimes with noses...she's still working at nostrils, always smiling, sometime with fat lips, noses you can see, tattoos and fascinating clothing.

Her drawings are displayed all over the house with the adult decorations and images...though, I giggled to Ophelia saying, I hope that when Stinkapee is in her twenties she doesn't demand the right to display these as evidence of early "brilliance" and attempt to inflict her childhood drawings on any room mates as something they should welcome on the walls of common spaces and love as much as her parents did/do...don't ask, it's a "joke" only the wimmin I lived with in my last house will truly understand and appreciate. :)

What was I saying?
Of course Stinkapee uses my drawing markers to achieve her masterpieces...while leaving the caps off periodically when she gets distracted.

I've just learned to breathe...exhale....and let go...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Suzy Homemaker rides again...

Okay, so I haven't blogged today at all. I've been trading and selling on craigs. We need money and I seem to be really good at negotiating to get more of it. I also seem to be pretty okay at finding gems.

Today Papi picked up the free, almost brand spanking new dishwasher I found along with a bunch of other really cool pieces of furniture that has helped me to completely transform à la HGTV a forty year old kitchen into something that not only works but looks really awesome. It's green and yellow with black accents. I painted to cupboards, replaced the floor tiles, spray painted the formerly brown stove vent topee thingee white...

All this to say pulling all the final pieces together today has kept me mad busy. I've got paint all over me from putting the finishing touches on the yellow.

I did manage a shower, did some music appreciation and video literacy with Stinkapee and Shmolee...via more Cat Stevens and Busta Rhymes (later she requested Gary Numan which we found by accident while looking for clips from the movie Cars)...here's to length and breadth of eclectic taste.

Illyria, our next door neighbour the eighty plus greek lady got the tour of the house. Her favourite word? (I know it looks bad when applied to darkies, but...) the closest spelling would be "Oreo", hee, hee, hee! I think it's spelled "ουσ" and pronounced "oréo" It means good.

So, as she walked about the house, we showed her through the red living room and brought her to the green and yellow kitchen, she's already been in the cross between white picket fence (it's camp, it's camp!) and mediterranean over grown backyard covered with tomatoes, oregano, sage, basil, giant zucchinis, some sort of salad green that's our ground cover...we took her upstairs to the bedroom...where I put the massive brass bed I found on...you guessed it...craig's...I remember the worn looking white woman living in uptown apartment with manicured grounds and "inquisitive" doorman who kept us in his sights at all times, sold her three thousand dollar bed to me after I watched her whittle away at her price for months until the nappy haired darkie couple in a rent a wreck minivan showed up and carted it away...of course I don't know enough Greek to explain the story to Illyria, but she just kept saying "ουσ", brava, "ουσ", brava, "ουσ", "ουσ"...of course she could be saying "bush monkey negros go back to Africa" :), but she smiles too much, gives food to all of us on the regular, gives hugs to Stinkapee, pinches Goncharolee's cheeks and spends too much time chatting about gardening with us in Greek for that to be what she's saying.

So, anyways. I've got to run I just sold Papi's old bike with his permission for our asking price. Mama's gotta pay next month's rent. I'm thinking of a temporary boarder. I've gotten over my hermit thing. I'm now doing an extended research project on the human race as a species. I think seeing my sister and bawling my eyes out over a period of days about the general messed up state of my biological family knocked something loose inside me so that I could expel it like a stubborn lougie (hork) deeply coughed and spat up from somewhere inside the lungs. Hmmmm...that was good. Stay tuned for more emotional lougies brought to you care of yours truly...

Oh god. My father just called...sad, sad, sad, not me him. I invited him to come see the kitchen and how it had changed. He said he had to do some more work and then go home to do more work...he works for himself.

He's so sad. I think he's one of those people who thinks that he'll wait until he's old/er to stop and spend time with family...like there's some sort of emotional insurance policy or emotional bank he doesn't have to contribute to now that he'll be able to magically start withdrawing from in the future when he absolutely has to, like some sort of one sided transaction that he thinks will work for him and give him what he needs. Sad.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Childhood music...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Commented and answered...

Second Waver, who, because of a little something about her profile, I worry is a torontonian, left a comment to Sisters: The underwhelming/overwhelming denouement...

She wrote:
dear darkdaughta --
after reading this poignant exchange i was sad for you & your half-sister ... the 2 photos of you both are very lovely.
it's clear that the 2 of you will always occupy space in each other's hearts ... and i hope you really will try again, with open minds & hearts. please don't wait too long.
Thank you S.W.

This is my response.

Thanks for the well wishes.

In terms of the time table, I have no game plan or schedule.

Not believing in the primacy of present day connection to biological family and more interested in unpacking what's already transpired in my childhood and learning lessons so as to not visit the whole mother- father- load of crap on my children as I build family mindfully and intentionally.

I don't need to see or to engage with biological family in order to do this heartwrenching, soul searing work.

In fact, them coming with unpacked, unclaimed, uncritiqued, unrecognized stuff, expecting to automatically be allowed in close enough to do unwitting carnage thereby adding news layers of wounds to the array of wounds already festering inside me, due to romanticized understandings of bio connection held close by them, not by me, is completely unappealing...

Even as my little inner child cries out for just that kind of glossed over, violins playing softly in the background while tearful, long lost family members run slo-mo into each other's arms, sort of moment...I think she really just wants somebody to love her and one of the parents to apologize for so badly screwing her to the wall.

I keep her and her yearnings in a cordoned off, padded play area where she gets to make music videos in her mind to mushy, soft rock radio songs without having the power or the say-so to do any real damage...anymore...she's already done quite a bit over the years.
I struggle with seeming like the unfeeling meanie because my feelings don't make themselves over into recognizable forms and predictable reactions. I don't value knee jerk embraces with family that allow no space for healthy boundaries maintained even when the price is high...as it was this week when afore mentioned long lost family member responded to my request for clarity with withdrawal.

When the punishment for keeping myself and my needs and my concerns in view and on the negotiation table is high, as it usually is, this just serves as a reminder about the fact that having a brain, being conscious of my feelings and needs and being willing and able to center myself in conversations where others have big needs, are useful and powerful tools in the day-to-day struggle to maintain good boundaries.

Withdrawal of friends, allies and/or family (all of which I've experienced in spades) are evidence that perhaps when the subtextual surprise "present" someone is bringing relies on my ignorance as it travels nonverbally, undercover in my direction only to be given to me...more like pushed on me without my consent at the last moment, I don't need to stick around to witness the unveiling.

Sometimes, even when there are hugs and kisses and what seems like affection being offered, it's okay...no, it's actually really wise to ask questions and expect answers before things get too close.

When someone is interested in moving consciously and consensually, healthy boundaries don't intimidate them, traumatize them, hurt them, scare them, trigger them, send them reeling or send them into a tizzy.

In any case, I'm glad that S.W. didn't choose to attempt to brow beat me for not conceding to a request which did not work at all for me.

What did the famous crack addicted lady diva of the formerly beautifully strong and melodic chops sing? "I'd rather be alone than unhappy?"

I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...
I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...I am a deeply feeling, affectionate, empathetic, thoughtful, politically critical and analytical, emotionally intelligent wild wold woman...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

No fucking joke...thank goodness...unh...badness for crucibles...

Okay, sorry A. (Estonian boyfriend in highschool), I cropped and then colourized you out of this version of the picture. (wicked laughter)

Like the Oprah hair? I got the auburn streaks by using facial hair bleach. :) Did I ever tell you about that time in university where I stayed up for 24 hours working on a giant oil pastel on paper drawing that was five times my size and then used Neat to take off the sides and back of my hair? (I'm laughing so hard right now at the memory...)

This is me at eighteen almost nineteen. Came back for the big high school graduation ritual at the middle-class high school I made sure to attend even when I was running away from home and staying in shelters.

The books in my hand? Oh, those are what I got for winning best geography student of all the grade thirteens.

I'm thinking about all the uber conservative, just fresh out of the suburbs, doing marvelously well at university, just hoping to not upset their parents eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-two, twenty-three,-four, -five, -six, -seven, -eight, -nine...blah, blah, blah, year olds I keep encountering who believe/think their world outlooks, life aspirations, politics, sexualities, self understandings are solid right, right now, just because they landed a good job, have parental approval, get good grades, are thought of as cool by their peers, have their own place, read the courage to hee...hee, hee, Heal...at sixteen and did a workshop for tweens the very next week for the not for profit agency that's defined them as an up and coming superstar...

How to not sound condescending (probably no way to do that) when I say: You're still finding stuff out, there's more to you that you haven't been paying attention to, that people have probably convinced you through encouraging you to enjoy external validation and through some probably not very subtle aversion/emotion/psychic pain conditioning you may or may not be recognizing right now. Don't commit to anything or any path before...well, just don't.

Just let yourself cook and stew and grow and change...

But wait...I was insane then, working at fitting in, looking all proper, palatable, contained and completely scary...and now, I'm still insane :) just not so interested in fitting in anymore....and a whole lot more interesting to look at...from where I'm standing, anyways. :)

What does it all mean?

Damned if I know....actually, damned even if I did. (laughter of the...you guessed it...damned)

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Historically miscegenated mestiza dna...

The is me and another of my sisters...there are four girls including both half siblings and only one boy.

And yes, dear god...dess...
for the historically challenged, who can't allow their understanding of the Middle Passage to infuse their understanding of how historically miscegenated mestiza dna works, we DO have the same mother and father...

...gee, I must have been nine or ten here. She's one year younger...

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Appreciating the beats without internalizing the messages...

Oh Gawd! How I love to dance. I don't much anymore. There's just so much brainless, painful, disturbing, vapid, surface stuff that comes with going out...or even listening to music with rythmic beats.

How do I listen without hearing or registering a word spoken/sung by people who don't really care to choose their words particularly carefully? I do register it, as my body pumps and jumps, my mind processes, compares, contrasts, sorting information, shaking it outta my cortext like bits of water outta of my ears after a swim.

The beats speak to me and make my heart race in ways that remind my that I'm made not just of brain tissue, but also of flesh, blood and juice.

Timberland. Weird creature communicating in beats per second that hop over whatever bits of resistance I have hardwired into my consciousness...and move right on through me lodging under my skin.

I hear Nellie, but don't register Nellie...she squeaks...but the beats...Justin is a big nerdling fakey-fakey descendant of Vanilla Ice, but the beats...aren't his...after it all.

I like this song. :) I understand the crass commercialism, materialism, sexualized, savage beast girl internalized racism, the nose thumbed unwittingly, self destructively at feminism...yeah, I see it...can deconstruct it...but this is a fucking minute or so long music video, not amerikkkan government international policy.

'Sides there's tha spunk and tha bounce...
I watch the screen jump and here...really must learn to spell..hear the music...it's one of my favourite wake me up, pick me up songs...

I like her choice of clothes. Reminds me of less motherly more nasty, mac nasty, skanky out at the bar without underwear days when I prowled the streets at night without having to worry about childcare or whether the idiotic hetero parents would treat my sweet Stinkapee poorly if they saw me offering to bend over or pimp out straight men who flirted with me as I passed by...gawd...I have all my gowns...excuses for gowns that are mostly made out of completely see through materials or slit up to the hip...unh or crotch...hanging over the upstairs banister. Stinkapee likes them. Will I be wearing them out anytime soon? cheups. Going dancing in Toronto just seems so unappealing. Maybe Wawa has a night life.

Oh...and for the morons out there who are still trying to pass themselves off as members of whatevah community politicized intelligensia:

Bras worn as clothing, forgotten drawers and heavy make-up don't rot the brain, they actually pretty much ensure a woman's analysis will have to be top drawer...pardon the pun...if she's gonna survive the morons with no comprehension, creativity, politically critical gaze or defiantly sexual life force who come her way trying to blunt and stunt her flow.

What's this one probably completely without analysis or interest in the theoretical fire storms her moves and groves elicit among feminists and race folk saying? Really? It's probably not particularly deep. It's also probably not important enough to warrant another word, let alone another paragraph. :)

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Fearless Friday...

"Bad" Mama...
Stinkapee and Papi have gone to the Zoo with one of Stinkapee's fellow five year olds, a boy, the one we weren't sure about who has blossomed and is, at this point, way less rambunctious and outta orda than Stinkapee is. :)

Shmolee Goncharolee slept for hours after I fed him his brown rice porridge and changed his diaper. We forgot to get more disposable no namers, so I resorted to the old faithful cloth.

While he was sleeping, I painted a wicker table, ate a peanut butter sandwich, watched the Wicker Man and thought about it being a remake of an older movie that was made during a historical period where men's terror of wimmin's power, brought to the fore for many because of the white wimmin's feminist movement, had reached a completely high-sterical place where a movie about a man unwittingly trespassing...more like being lured into a nudey, goddess worshipping, female death/life/birth/bee cult, could be taken seriously as a horror. :) heee, heee, heee, heee....

In between puttering about the house, trying to locate the remote for a fan I'm giving away and realizing that Papi doesn't know what the fuck to do about organizing the basement, which is the one place I don't regularly go...did I tell you the husband of the woman who owned this house and lived in it since the sixties, fell down the stairs and died in the basement. I keep worrying that my sensitivity and ability to see things other people don't/won't extends much farther than I'd like...yes, there are things even I really don't want to have to witness or hear go bump in the night....too many horror movies on the brain. :)

I showered with the shower curtain open while Shmolee roamed the bathroom under my watchful eye, as well. Should have just bathed him. But I was in a hurry because the man who was coming for the fan was due in about five minutes. :)

He came and had to leave because I couldn't find the remote for the fan. That sucks.

In anycase, what I'm trying to say is that basically I spent a large part of the day trying to figure out how to reconnect my Epson scanner to my computer...without the software...can't find it. Did system searches, did internet searches and didn't understand the language. Finally posted on craigslist, throwing myself on the techy mercies of the folks who live, breathe, piss and dream plug ins and downloads. Basically my post amounted to something that pretty much said:
I moved. My computer crashed. I reconnected my scanner/printer. There's no corresponding software on the new hard drive that was installed. Please help me figure out how to reconnect. I will be eternally grateful.
I received multiple transmissions. Techies are much maligned as introverted and anti-social. They're quite friendly and unlike other professions and groups of people, they're not normally given to gate keeping or resource hoarding. They like to share information freely. I appreciate that.

Thank you craigslist. Thank you computer techy folk.

So, I tinkered and attempted installs and finally got the rattid, pesky thing hooked up.

Last night I went searching for one of the (few) pictures I have of my half sister and stepmother...

I know she said she wasn't going to look anymore. How odd. I'm not sure what to do with people who put their hands over their eyes when they've been invited to look. I've often found that these are the same people who find the act of looking when not invited a delicious pleasure to be experienced cold and in secret without consent.


Hope she's peeking... :)

Now, I'm gonna sort stuff from the basement, finish painting the kitchen cupboards, paint the back verandah, finish making dinner and...yeah, that should do it. :)

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

The bonobo/chimp recessive genetic cross speaks...unh...types...

I've been doing research into human behavioural tendencies as defined and perhaps limited by our genetic make-up...

I'm wondering...when we attempt to resist oppressive, violent, hierarchical tendencies, are we actually going against stuff that's coded into our dna? I mean, we're descended from apes who, although they can be affectionate, social, caring for young, grooming each other...they also are very ritual behaviour oriented, hierarchical and willing to enforce hierarchies with violence.

So, I did a (oops...little...little) search...

It's interesting to watch the ways that researchers' reading of collected data is infused with what they need to believe about human beings' inherently gentle, affectionate and social ways...

In this writing on human "junk" dna and it's impact on our social behaviour...
Hammock and Young's finding extends beyond social diversity in rodents to that in apes and humans. Chimpanzees and bonobos, humans' closest relatives, have the vasopressin receptor gene, yet only the bonobo, which has been called the most empathetic ape, has a microsatellite similar to that of humans. According to Yerkes researcher Frans de Waal, "That this specific microsatellite is missing from the chimpanzee's DNA may mean the last common ancestor of humans and apes was socially more like the bonobo and less like the relatively aggressive and dominance-oriented chimpanzee."
The research is read in such a way as to suggest that we have more in common with the bonobo, a loving, interactive ape, than with violence and oppression capable chimps. Hee, hee, hee.

Maybe people who have difficulty questioning their own privilege and oppressive tendencies, those who are facinated by power and will do anything, say anything, hurt anyone, sell out themselves or anyone else in order to gain power, people who feel more comfortable when they are told what to do by someone they perceive as better or more powerful than they are, perhaps those who kick ducks and smash their heads open, maybe those who participate in genocide or choose to ignore their implication in genocide, maybe serial murderers like George Bush and the Son of Sam...perhaps all these people are connected via some sort of dominant genetic link to chimps and...the human bonobo descendants are an endangered minority of recessive touchy feelies who don't stand a chance.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sisters: The underwhelming/overwhelming denouement...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In literature, a dénouement (IPA: /dɛɪnumɛ̃/) consists of a series of events that follow a dramatic or narrative's climax, thus serving as the conclusion of the story. Conflicts are resolved, creating normality for the characters and a sense of catharsis, or release of tension and anxiety, for the reader. Etymologically, the French word dénouement is derived from the Old French word denoer, "to untie", from nodus, Latin for "knot." Simply put, a dénouement is the unraveling or untying of the complexities of a plot.

Also, the dénou Action"]] occur. Though similar, "Falling Action" is a completely different topic.

A classic example of dénouement is the final scene of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It: couples marry, an evildoer repents, two disguised characters are revealed for all to see, and a ruler is restored to power.

There are works which have no dénouement, mainly due to a quick surprise ending (such as Lord of the Flies).

As with most of my life experiences there's no place else to put this moment linked to so much I'm still trying to unpack. So, I put it here, not to contain it or to contain the feelings that are making themselves known...but instead to make space outside my head and heart...as if to say: I experienced this, felt it as fully as I was capable, mindfully moved through it, bringing everything I had to the mix...ie :)

From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:58:21 PM
Subject: Re: Hello

Thanks for the permission. I went back through the post about my family stuff and took out all the names I think. That post dates from a time when I thought no one was looking or cared. I took out the names because they're really not important to what I'm saying. Although I'm glad the inclusions of the identifiers helped you locate me. :)

I'm hoping that the questions I'm asking don't seem too invasive. I realize that asking questions won't give me a sense of who you are at your core. They'll just give me hints about what you're coming with, is all. Thanks for being understanding. :)

I'm looking forward to reading your answers/thoughts.


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 4:05:17 PM
Subject: on being black and white :-)

Hi darkdaughta

Hope you're doing well- Thanks so much for taking out the id bits in the
e-mails before posting them, I appreciate it.

I wrote out huge answers to your questions last night, but I'd much rather
talk about most of that in person. Here's a bit about how I think of myself
in terms of race though.

There's an excellent book called "Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black
and White in Canada" that really spoke to me. I also came across a bill of
rights for mixed race people that I took bits and pieces of for myself.
Really the key for me is that I feel I have the freedom to change how I
define myself (in terms of most things, including race) which I'm grateful
for. The travelling I've had the chance to do has influenced how I see
myself in terms of race as well. Right now I'm really embracing the term
mixie, but sometimes I identify more as black.

I often get the question "where are you from" and I know that 99% of the
time my answer of newfoundland won't do. A lot of people have trouble not
being able to easily identify my race and really want me to explain why I
look the way I do. There's a kind of odd anxiety when people can't fit you
into the racial categories they know. It still irks me but now it's become a
bit of a joke (I call it "the question").

Anyway, that's me as a mixie in a nutshell... :-)

Can't believe it's only a week and a bit until we can actually have a
conversation face to face. I was thinking of Saturday (the 4th), does that
work for you? The weddings are Friday and Sunday. Where would you like to
meet, I can get a drive to pretty much wherever.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,


From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:31:28 PM
Subject: Re: on being black and white in (another part of kkkanada) :-)

Hi J.,
Saturday the 4th sounds fine. Would you be interested in coming to my house for a visit? I find that my house serves the same purpose in real time as my blog does in blogland. People who come to visit enter into a space that really reflects who I am in a way that allows them to immediately absorb an understanding that functions mostly through the senses rather than through words...which can be so inadequate, anyways.

I wondered what would happen with the questions I asked about Blackness. I want to assure you that I didn't ask the questions to off put or to subtly notify you that I was going to define you or your experience.

What I was after was literally what I asked, given what you understand of yourself, how you were raised, how people see you, how you see yourself, what does being genetically related to a grouping of (mostly) dark-skinned people who identify as Black (there was a typo in the original transmission and I left the word "mean? " off the end of the sentence) What will it mean for you, situated and identifying however you do, to come face to face with me. When I say "me" this is loaded with me not wanting or needing to be understood as iconically representative of Blackness, hoping to not serve as emotional/psychological stand in for the abandoning/neglectful/lost family of Black West Indians, trying desperately to be seen as myself mixie in my own right even as my dark skin codes me in the eyes of others in all sorts of ways I have no control over.

So when I ask about Blackness, this is me really asking do you understand or think about how you will (choose to) see me, read me, pursue intimacy with me because of or despite this darkness linked to you, but so tangibly absent from your everyday existence since you were a child?

This is me asking if there is pain or other emotions, me asking if there are assumptions about how you as a light-skinned woman will be treated or mistreated by me - a dark skinned woman biologically related to you?

This is another approach to my original set of questions about safety and security. I'm speaking from a place of having tussled on many different occasions with many different mixies, mestizas, mixed raced, biracial Black wimmin carrying stuff that they unwittingly offered me when their stuff and social location bucked up against my dark skin. They assumed hatred on my part. They assumed discomfort on my part. They assumed a certain painting over of who they were, an oversimplification of their locations...something they had encountered with other dark/er skinned people time and time again.

I don't come ever having asked a light skinned woman where she was from. After I had a few really thick conversations/arguments with lighter skinned wimmin I barely knew where I sort of thought: "Wow, what just happened? She was talking in my direction, but I don't think that conversation and that rage was for or about me..." I started reading. Books I've read include but aren't limited to Borderlands/La Frontera, Half and Half, Miscegenation Blues...But also work by light-skinned Black wimmin like Rozena Maart, Michelle Cliff...oh god, who else?...there are so many writing about uneasy yet powerful relationships to Blackness on their own terms...

I'm not sure how much these writings actually change everyday interactions between Black people of different skin shades forcibly positioned at different points along continuums of shade in relation to constructs of whiteness and blackness...there's been so much pitting, so much divide and conquer, so much misunderstanding, so much silence...the theoretical writings don't seem to travel very far...I worry that the wheel gets reinvented, recycled, revamped without ever being traded in for a completely overhauled design. Maybe people are waiting for someone who is a (light skinned) mixie to come with a whole other approach, to set another kind of example or to draw a template...I dunno, I'm a dark-skinned mixie, so my issues are really different. :)

In anycase these days I come looking closely and understanding that most people of colour are mixed raced and mixed cultured. I come understanding that affiliating with criminalized, racialized (I forgot to mention - sexualized) dark-skinned people can be uncomfortable and undesirable and that if there is a choice to not visually or verbally affiliate it's always made sense and continues to make sense for many to simply morph and shift location choosing when to surface as fully identifiable in whatever way they choose.

Another reason I asked about how you understand yourself as pertaining to Blackness is that I'd like our visit to not be sidelined by the subtextual uncomfortably nonverbal reality of our different positionings, you and I.

If I know where you stand...since you already, hopefully from reading my blog, have a general idea of how I stay, then we can choose to concentrate on getting to know each other as human beings rather than as social constructs...we can feel whatever parental, familial related pangs need to be felt and not have to do that polite frozen smile, covering everything way of relating that blocks so much that could be more genuine when people meet and come together.

So, I guess this is me saying, I'm suspecting that my questions may have been difficult to explore and even more difficult to share with a stranger. That communication isn't something I need to post on my blog. But I would like to have some more meat. Can you offer some more of you, please? I'm enjoying the unveiling even as it's been difficult emotionally.


P.S. I'd like to post my part of this transmission. But I'm not going to assume that you feel as comfortable with my EdTV approach to processing familial stuff as I am. So, if you'd prefer not, I can leave off your latest communication without any ire on my part. Just let me know, okay? :)


----- Original Message ----
From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:24:47 PM
Subject: Tiny addition...Re: on being black and white in (another location in kkkanada) :-)

Hi! It's me again,
Trying to contextualize what I'm after...
You've mentioned off and on over the course of these emails that you actually have the benefit of my writings to give you a fairly clear view of the emotional, social baggage I'm carrying and the political framework I'm working with.

This is an advantage in that you have a picture of what the inside of my spirit looks like. I have no such view of you. My questions are specifically designed to make sure that, in terms of mutual knowledge and information shared, our interaction is more equitable.

I'm sure that you understand how uncomfortable my meeting with you may end up being if you hold a set of cards offering information about me to which I have no corresponding set for you...I'm sure your intent in trying to meet with me is not to keep an unnecessary and unfair advantage that may foster resentment or hurt for one or both of us.

Trying to create a basis for equitable, fruitful, hearty, happy, loving, open engagement...


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 3:23:15 PM
Subject: RE: Tiny addition...Re: on being black and white in..... :-)

Hi darkdaughta,

I'm sitting in my livingroom, about to watch Annie Liebowitz on Oprah,
post-call after no sleep during a crazy night in the hospital, snacking on a
piece of toast, encouraging one of our cats to use the new scratching post
rather than the futon. I usually have an afternoon off post-call, so today,
being too wound up to sleep, this afternoon zauber and I are going to go play
tennis and grab some ice cream at a little corner store down the road. I've
played tennis a total of 11 times and I think this afternoon we'll actually
start keeping score :-)

What I got from your blog is that you write about things important to you.
What you hope for your kids, how you feel about justice and our position in
the historical scheme of things, the people you've come across who have
influenced you.

I'm a very private person in a lot of ways. Much of what you're asking for
I've never talked about with even friends I've known for years. I'm glad
that you've been comfortable creating your blog and that I was able to use
it to get in touch with you. I'll give you what I can for your questions and
I hope it's enough. I'll throw in a bit of day to day- I think that will
probably tell you more about me.

I get excited about things often and am always trying out new things or new
approaches (right now, I'm reading about negotiation skills and getting
ready to run a 10k, my last passion was basket-weaving, go figure). Zauber
and I are constantly negotiating how we get along, what our roles are, what
our hopes for the future are. I often struggle with how I think of the role
of wife, trying to find what that means for me. Preparing to be a doctor is
huge part of my life. The reality of it is just around the corner, which
every now and then petrifies me.

Going back to your questions. It's an interesting situation, being half
black and having no connection to black relatives. That's something that
I've definitely made peace with, but was a real struggle growing up. I
remember the first time I heard the n word and being called a picaninny.
My home's a great place, but everywhere has its jerks. I had no idea
what those words meant (I mean really, at first I didn't even had a clue
they had negative connotations) or how to respond. I felt I had no one who
could help me navigate those kinds of situations. I learned what I needed to
on my own, but it was a difficult process. And then there's my hair... :-)
Curly, not kinky, but still very confusing to many hairdressers. I
discovered braiding only in my twenties and loved that I could have hair as
long I liked.

I identify mostly as a mixie because that best reflects my experiences. When
I do identify as black, it's loosely because I feel like I don't have a lot
to back that up with. I don't have ties to any black community, I don't know
a whole lot about the middle passage other than the term (and how it may
relate to hypertension, but I'm still waiting for the data on that :-) It's
silly but I'm a little concerned that our meeting is going to be a quiz of
some sorts and I really don't want it to be that way. I know you feel that I
have an advantage over you, but really I just want to meet you and get to
know you.

I don't know that there's any way to make meeting feel completely safe- it's
a pretty exciting situation. I think meeting at your place is a great idea,
I'll call on Thursday when I get in and you can tell me where for Saturday.

I've been writing this e-mail for 2 hours. I'm tired... I think maybe you're
in on a plot with Zauber to tucker me out so I'll go easy on him on the
tennis court :-)

Looking forward to talking with you in person,


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:17:58 PM
Subject: Toronto pictures

Hi darkdaughta

I've attached a few photos from when I was in Toronto. I read your blog
today. I think you're an amazing writer and doing a lot of good work. Having
had contact with you over e-mail I feel a bit odd looking at your blog now
though, so I won't be reading it again.

I feel that you need to know more than I'm willing to share with someone I
haven't met yet. I know that you've been able to have a lot of discussion
about things important to you in public on your blog, but that's really not
me. I'm a private person and save those conversations for the people closest
to me. I would very much have liked to get to know you before starting to
have those talks.

I was hoping that we could meet, see how we get along and go from there. I'm
discouraged by how things have been so far, and saddened that we could have
such strong misunderstandings over e-mail.

I think you're a very brave woman and I admire what you've done with your
life and how much you care for those around you.

I feel that this isn't the time to get in touch, I imagine that if we met
we'd just continue to have more confusion and misunderstanding which would
be a shame. Maybe I should have just telephoned after the first couple of
e-mails and that would have been better, impossible to know now though.

I'm glad that we did get in touch for a little while. I hope that this
wasn't all bad for you, it certainly was a good experience for me.

If you'd like to get in touch with me further down the road, I'd be thrilled
to hear from you. You know my new last name and the work I do so I won't be
hard to track down.

Bye for now,


From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 4:56:14 PM
Subject: Re: Toronto pictures

Thanks for the pictures, J.. I think you made the best choice for both of us given...well, given that communication started being realistically muddied, reflecting our lived experiences as individuals from the same blood line, raised apart. There's no simplifying the mess we were both born into, no way to simply get in touch without touching layers of stuff we both carry. I had hoped that you would have absorbed that coming to terms with the mess and not glazing it over even in day to day conversation has been part of my life's work for quite some time now. In any case, the attempt at communication with you, coming as you were with issues linked to mine, regardless of what you've been able to yourself unpack, was telling as it offered me a lot of information I had been attempting to submerge. I appreciate that. Thanks for the heads up that you're still in the world. And yes, perhaps at another point, perhaps when you're in your forties and I'm in my fifties, it will make sense for us to meet at another place for a reckoning...of sorts. (I usually don't bother saying this, given that it mostly resonates with pure cheese. But it seems so appropriate here...) Blessings, J., Tonia.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thirteen Setter Songs They Taught Me...

Thirteen Settler Songs They Taught Me...or How They Gave Me KKKanadian Experience

I'm tired today.

I'm tired of living in kkkanadian society where speaking euphemistically is an accepted part of everyday conversation. Where asking questions designed to elicit clarity is seen as uncomfortable, insufferable and scary.

I'm tired of people just trying to keep things light and airy while coming with issues they don't want to describe or claim, let alone acknowledge.

I'm tired of being expected to come prepared to be dissected by people who want me in clear view who take offense at being asked to uncloak or unveil.

Knowledge = Power...and I'm tired of power imbalances that arise directly out of me being unable to have knowledge of those who approach because they've hidden knowledge of themselves...even from themselves.

It makes engaging with these people tricky as I understand that I'm fuk'd anywhich way I choose to proceed.

I can try to stay in the clouds where they live and feel my head throb as keeping up with smiling surface pretense is work for me and eventually my smile starts to droop.

I can stay true to the self that I like and talk in a straight up fashion about every and anything, watching people take mental notes, make assumptions that register in their eyes and actions which they don't speak to...in my presence...

I can go a step farther and repeatedly invite them to talk and relate in a straight up fashion about anything and everything. This basically involves me speaking to the understood subtext and significance of their body language, actions and words, asking them to speak to the reactions they have when I do this. Which is then followed by me "chasing" after them verbally when they attempt to squirm away and back into psychic, emotional, verbal wormholes of their own making that they understand as safe places from which to relate which leave me feeling profoundly unsafe.

But any of these approaches is way too much interrelational work. It sucks to have to utilize different approaches with people who just don't want to be seen. It's exhausting, unattractive, unrewarding and unrewarded work.

I don't like to see or meet new people very much. Too much of a drain.

file that for a moment...

A few days ago a white man rode down the street where I live with his son (wow that's a big assumption, that could have been his nephew, his cousin, the son of his best friend...) ...unh...with a white boy child perched on the back of the bike. The child was singing what most people now referr to as an old folk song.

My mind did a dimensional shift and something came into focus that made my stomach turn, made me remember...

I remembered coming to kkkanada as a small...okay, not particularly small, I was always "big boned", as a young child. The teachers at the school seemed intent on making sure I understood what (they wanted me to understand) it meant to live in kkkanada.

They forced me to go ice skating tottering around in tight white shoes perched atop thin metal blades. The shoes hurt my feet, the blades made me loose my balance and the rink was fucking cold.

They forced me to go outside at recess in the dead of winter where white boy children and the boys of colour who hung out with them and hung off their ever word threw ice filled snowballs at me as I tried to hide myself away.

They taught me songs...so many songs, most of them I'd never heard before. It was good to clap and laugh (about something) singing along with the other children. The songs were strange. The words, although I was from an english colonized and therefore english speaking nation, were strange. "Oh muh darling, Oh muh darling, Oh muh darling Clementine...."

How was I supposed to know that the teachers were using my mind as a receptacle for coded information about the lives of murderous colonizing settlers who had stolen the land so that I would love the land theft project as much as they did? From where I was standing they were just trying to show me a good time and give me some kkkanadian experience.

Didn't really get the true nature of that kkkanadian experience...until so many years later. And now it's in my head...all the songs are in my head.

at school, at church and at "camp"...(insert: I said to Papi that going camping and to "the cottage" seem like reenactments of "discovering", settling (occupying) and "taming" the land when underneath all the fun, the coleman stoves, the tinder and kindling, the deep woods off, the mosquito netting, the bleach water for dishes, the burying of the poo, the campfire songs, the nine person tents and the row boating, it's clear that those who "camp" live out the vast part of their lives at odds with the natural world, simply performing relating to it at their leisure and convenience...on the weekend and during summer vacation.)

...Coded information transfer...transmit the racist imperialist christian religion based colonizing culture...venerate their memory by offering it romantically to children...history...and songs are written by, for, about the victors...even if the so called victors lied, cheated, manipulated, mass murdered and stomped on the heads of innocent little babies in order to "win"...a smart person, new immigrant, new settler would be a fool to not side with the victors.

These songs...well, I was going to try and preface for those of you who will try to avoid seeing the ghost in the machine, who will want to question the veracity of my facts, dates...the conclusions of that I'm attempting to draw...but fuck it...either you get what I'm...no, not what I'm saying...but what's t/here or you don't.

Thirteen Settler Songs They Taught Me

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Darling, Clementine

She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain

This Land Is Your Land

Oh, Susanna!

Home on The Range This is IT! This is the song that little boy on the back of the bike was singing as he looked at me and rode by. This is the song he was singing that caused the blood vessel to explode in my brain sending signals screaming back to my consciousness of the story I've been carrying, participating in, the evidence of which I've been attempting to drag up to the surface...

On Top of Spagetti

Camptown Races

Huron Carol

I've Been Working on the Railroad


Ten Little Indians

He's Got The Whole World In His Hands...regardless of who wrote it, this sweet little ditty pretty much speaks to the who imperialist land and people grabbing state of mind, no?

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if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

sigh...Seekers come every now and again...

I got an email from a stranger. I didn't respond at first. I guess I had to think...no, more like deal with feeling triggered around my meetings with so many of the wimmin I've encountered in recent years who came seeking, either forthrightly trying to cozy up to whatever they saw in me that they felt could add to who/what they were...some came less honestly...actually most haven't come very honestly and I've found myself having emailed conversations back and forth with some really upset, infuriated, traumatized, backing away, trying to still fake the funk wimmin who just couldn't get what I was asking them to come correct about, who couldn't get why I wouldn't just open up my insides and let them in...

I was talking to Ophelia this morning saying that my emailed transmissions with my half sister seem to be slowing down a bit. I understand that she may be responding/reacting to me doing what I usually do when people draw close to me, that Hannibal Lector thing and saying: "Quid pro quo, Clarice."

Oh, gawd...for the humour or analysis challenged - I'm not an arrogant, upper-class, white, male...serial murderer...hee, hee, hee...But, I appreciate his ability to take in information, to see and speak to what he sees without fear, knowing that they've already imprisoned him, there is no more they can do to him...his freedom is now of the mind and the senses...I like that...I like him insisting on an equitable exchange for the information Clarice is requesting, an exchange that resonates with exposure for her, thereby evening out the imbalance of power that separates them imprisoned/punished/knower and unimprisoned/interrogator/seeker.

In one of my last emails to my sister, I pointed out that since she had a lot of information about me, about who I am and about what I believe due to having found my blog, I would need to make the engagement a bit more equitable by finding out some things that would have weight, meat to them...I'd want to know more about who she is and about what she's been through...I actually do, expect the sharing to be deep and extensive on her end, too. :)
the emails...are...slowin'...d..o..w..n...I'm hoping that this isn't it and that there is more, deeper engagement to come...more on that when there's...more...

In the meantime...
So, I was in my inbox today and found an email I hadn't responded to...the stranger I met up above...I had to struggle with my people pleasing child to try and remember my own needs and to clearly state them in an email so that I would not become the source of a feed...something that used to give a bizarre pleasure, think Buffy's boyfriend in the den of the vampires with the humans who voluntarily come to be fed from...I no longer enjoy being fodder for any emotionally, psychologically starving woman/lover/friend I encounter...takes me way to close to the edge place in ways that are completely not cool or healthy.

This is a version of what the email said followed by what I wrote...

----- Original Message ----
From: Seeker on a journey I respect
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 11:46:51 AM
Subject: empowerment


My name is Seeker (name withheld as the sharing of it is completely unimportant). I saw your site after searching for +"anti-oppression" +"toronto" +"black women". Your site was first on the list.

A bit about me,

I am looking for empowered black women to speak with about life. I want to be around women who are angry about things to be angry about without being violent - or at least can show my why be violent. I think that relaxer sounds more like an opiate than a hair product and that it's function is akin to rape. My sexual orientation is questioning. I especially liked your lexicon/language page. I am conscious of the importance of language. I visit Heartless Bitches International, but feel intrigued/afraid of what looks to me like 'violent' language but inspred by what the community is looking for on the site. Non-Violent Communication seems to be a thing for me right now. I think that's a good start.

Does dialogue interest you? I hope so.



Hi Seeker,
The word "dialogue" is loaded as it implies an equal sharing of information, ability to challenge, mutual interest, a particular level of consciousness and life experience necessary for a meeting of minds, wills, spirits to join, engage and, finally, to separate, both the better for the meeting.

I haven't had this experience with another in a very long time. What I've had has been mostly wimmin seeking something...a particular experience of connection, a moment of growth and transformation defined often as "dialogue" or mutuality, which is most often more like something that would serve them, benefit them, while I am offered the opportunity to feel happy and content with having "given", "offered", been of use, having done work on behalf of another.

Oftimes...no, scrap that...always, these wimmin have walked away with some"thing" they felt they "got" or "received" or managed to "take" that they define as something I offered.

Oftimes...no, scrap that...always, I have requested a negotiation...(insert after having sent the email: even in one memorable...horrible...relationship with a top who I should have never allowed to top me, I requested a multiple paged, concise contract...which the person never signed)...
I usually point out that the person who approached me seems to have come questing, seeking and that, although I was fine with them seeking...given that I had been, have been and still am a seeker...
I wanted to invite them into a "dialogue" so as to better negotiate for what I would receive that would aid me on my journey as a seeker, so as to better make sure that I would not simply serve as milky teat during our "dialogues", as source for another, as stepping stone, no sooner perched on than forgotten and/or undermined as competition to be derided, destroyed and discredited...the source of any knowledge utilized in "dialogue", no longer useful, must be obscured so that the seeker, the one who initiated "dialogue", can be rebirthed, transformed as if by their own doing, not through "dialogue", a source of power and knowledge in their own right, not due to any "dialogues" participated in during some hazy, mythic, soon to be forgotten past.


So, am I interested in "dialogue"? No. I'm interested in barter and exchange of life sustenance that can support me on my journey as well as speaking with me will support you on yours.

What do you offer to create a dialogue that would benefit me situated where I am? I would be interested in negotiating the terms of a proposed engagement.

So, for starters: What are you seeking, craving, missing, hoping for that you believe I might have and be willing to share?


if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I know nothing...very little...pathetically little...an opportunity to get layered and wise...

I went surfing today, seeking other conglomerations of bloggers I could join...I'd like to be a higher being...if not in real time (for those with little sense of humour and even less analysis, I figure I should insert: given the fact that I am known in communities of resistance where I am understood to have a certain...comment dit-on?...lack of interest in "playing the game", I will not be accumulating a high density of "carrots" or perks associated however wrongly with higher being unearned status and privilege...) ...then, existing virtually in blogland in an altered state would do me just fine. :)

So, I'm googling away and come across this wiki. I "enter" but really cannot enter into the experience not even slightly. I am stopped cold by a list of names representing peoplings I know absolutely nothing about. Massively important, I understand to my true comprehension of the when/where/how/why I occupy this settled land, but completely voided from my consciousness through the efforts of those who prefer these things to remain unspoken.

I've lived in Toronto, memorized european names for older places as I was miseducated on the land labeled Ontario inside the stolen territory known internationally by those who are fine forgetting the horrific genocidal teefing lying diseased settler morphed in/to benign, hard working immigrant story.

For almost 31 years I scratched the surface, just barely able to sniff out the fact that all was not well with o kkkanada. I remember in grade nine sniffing out the political dance meant to keep the population believing that they had/have a say in the movements of the affluent, high level clerks dressed in suitable business attire raking in many figured salaries aka the government. When the social studies teacher explained the ritual dance called voting and explained without realizing it that voting doesn't give "citizens" the power to influence, even one iota, the actions of elected officials...beyond being able to fire them the next time the ritual dance called voting begins...I was disgusted, but conscientized enough to realize something was just not "right"....

I just didn't realize that "citizens" and "say" were themselves lies that formed only part of the first layer of a series of lies utilized as vehicles to infect subsequent settler populations with a vested interest in the ongoing theft of the land allowing for the concept of democratic voting to serve as a renewable tool wielded to create a media frenzied, soap opera like fascination with the workings of the imperialist power that have jealously guarded stolen land redefined as the property of others for hundreds of years as they/we cover over exactly how kkkanada was "born" in the process moving from violently settled land to peaceful internationally reputed democratic land where every human being born "here" has the "right" to vote.

Almost 31 years after being brought from one settled land, the descendants of captured, sold and forced labourers to yet another settled land, I acknowledge and balk simultaneously at developing consciousness that pulls back the blinders allowing me to see how precious little I know about the Native land labelled Ontario...

Ontario Aboriginal Communities

* ABITIBI NO. 70 - Wahgoshig
* AKWESASNE NO. 59 - Mohawks of Akwesasne
* ALDERVILLE FIRST NATION - Alderville First Nation
* ATTAWAPISKAT NO. 91A - Attawapiskat
* BEAR ISLAND NO. 1 - Temagami First Nation
* BEARSKIN LAKE - Bearskin Lake
* BIG GRASSY RIVER NO. 35G - Big Grassy
* CALDWELL - Caldwell
* CAT LAKE NO. 63C - Cat Lake
* CHAPLEAU NO. 74A - Chapleau Ojibway
* CHAPLEAU NO. 75 - Chapleau Cree First Nation
* CHIPPEWA OF THE THAMES FIRST NATION NO. 42 - Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
* CHRISTIAN ISLAND NO. 30 - Beausoleil
* CONSTANCE LAKE NO. 92 - Constance Lake
* COUCHICHING NO. 16A - Couchiching First Nation
* DEER LAKE - Deer Lake
* DOKIS NO. 9 - Dokis
* DUCK LAKE NO. 76B - Brunswick House
* EAGLE LAKE NO. 27 - Eagle Lake
* ENGLISH RIVER NO. 21 - Grassy Narrows First Nation
* FACTORY ISLAND NO. 1 - Moose Cree First Nation
* FLYING POST NO. 73 - Flying Post
* FORT ALBANY NO. 67 - Albany
* FORT HOPE NO. 64 - Eabametoong First Nation
* FORT SEVERN NO. 89 - Fort Severn
* FORT WILLIAM NO. 52 - Fort William
* GARDEN RIVER NO. 14 - Garden River First Nation
* GINOOGAMING FIRST NATION - Ginoogaming First Nation
* GROS CAP NO. 49 - Michipicoten
* GULL RIVER NO. 55 - Gull Bay
* HENVEY INLET NO. 2 - Henvey Inlet First Nation
* HIAWATHA FIRST NATION NO. 36 - Hiawatha First Nation
* ISLINGTON NO. 29 - Wabaseemoong Independent Nations
* KASABONIKA LAKE - Kasabonika Lake
* KASHECHEWAN - Kashechewan
* KEEWAYWIN - Kee-Way-Win
* KENORA NO. 38B - Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum
* KETTLE POINT NO. 44 - Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point
* KINGFISHER LAKE NO. 1 - Kingfisher
* KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB AAKI NO. 84 - Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
* LAC SEUL NO. 28 - Lac Seul
* LAKE HELEN NO. 53A - Red Rock
* LONG LAKE NO. 58 - Long Lake No.58 First Nation
* M'CHIGEENG NO. 22 - M'Chigeeng First Nation
* MACDOWELL LAKE - McDowell Lake
* MAGNETEWAN NO. 1 - Magnetawan
* MANITOU RAPIDS NO. 11 - Rainy River
* MARTEN FALLS NO. 65 - Martin Falls
* MATACHEWAN NO. 72 - Matachewan
* MATTAGAMI NO. 71 - Mattagami
* MCDIARMID INDIAN SETTLEMENT - Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek
* MISSANABIE NO. 62 - Missanabie Cree
* MISSISSAGI RIVER NO. 8 - Mississauga
* MISSISSAUGAS OF SCUGOG ISLAND - Mississauga's of Scugog Island First Nation
* MNJIKANING FIRST NATION NO. 32 - Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation
* MOOSE POINT NO. 79 - Moose Deer Point
* MORAVIAN NO. 47 - Moravian of the Thames
* MUNSEE-DELAWARE NATION NO. 1 - Munsee-Delaware Nation
* MUSKRAT DAM LAKE - Muskrat Dam Lake
* NEGUAGUON LAKE NO. 25D - Lac La Croix
* NEW CREDIT NO. 40A - Mississaugas of the Credit
* NEW POST NO. 69A - Taykwa Tagamou Nation
* NEYAASHIINIGMIING - Chippewas of Nawash First Nation
* NIPISSING NO. 10 - Nipissing First Nation
* NORTH SPIRIT LAKE - North Spirit Lake
* NORTHWEST ANGLE NO. 33B - Northwest Angle No.33
* OJIBWAY NATION OF SAUGEEN - Ojibway Nation of Saugeen
* ONEIDA NO. 41 - Oneida Nation of the Thames
* OSNABURGH NO. 63A - Mishkeegogamang
* PARRY ISLAND FIRST NATION - Wasauksing First Nation
* PAYS PLAT NO. 51 - Pays Plat
* PIC RIVER NO. 50 - Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation
* PIKANGIKUM NO. 14 - Pikangikum
* PIKWAKANAGAN - Algonquins of Pikwakanagan
* POPLAR HILL - Poplar Hill
* RAINY LAKE NO. 17A - Naicatchewenin
* RAINY LAKE NO. 18C - Stanjikoming First Nation
* RAINY LAKE NO. 26A - Nicickousemenecaning
* RANKIN LOCATION NO. 15D - Batchewana First Nation
* RAT PORTAGE NO. 38A - Washagamis Bay
* ROCKY BAY INDIAN RESERVE NO. 1 - Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek
* SABASKONG BAY NO. 35D - Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation
* SACHIGO LAKE NO. 1 - Sachigo Lake
* SAGAMOK INDIAN RESERVE - Sagamok Anishnawbek
* SANDPOINT - Sandpoint
* SANDY LAKE NO. 88 - Sandy Lake
* SARNIA NO. 45 - Aamjiwnaang
* SAUG-A-GAW-SING NO. 1 - Anishnaabeg of Naongashiing
* SAUGEEN NO. 29 - Saugeen
* SEINE RIVER NO. 22A2 - Lac Des Mille Lacs
* SEINE RIVER NO. 23A - Seine River First Nation
* SERPENT RIVER NO. 7 - Serpent River
* SHAWANAGA NO. 17 - Shawanaga First Nation
* SHEGUIANDAH NO. 24 - Sheguiandah
* SHESHEGWANING NO. 20 - Sheshegwaning
* SHOAL LAKE NO. 39A - Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation
* SHOAL LAKE NO. 40 - Shoal Lake No.40
* SIX NATIONS NO. 40 - Six Nations of the Grand River
* SIX NATIONS NO. 40, BAY OF QUINTE MOHAWK - Bay of Quinte Mohawk
* SUCKER CREEK NO. 23 - Aundeck-Omni-Kaning
* SUMMER BEAVER SETTLEMENT - Nibinamik First Nation
* THE DALLES NO. 38C - Ochiichagwe'babigo'ining First Nation
* THESSALON NO. 12 - Thessalon
* TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY - Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte
* WABAUSKANG NO. 21 - Wabauskang First Nation
* WABIGOON LAKE NO. 27 - Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation
* WAHNAPITAE NO. 11 - Wahnapitae
* WALPOLE ISLAND NO. 46 - Walpole Island
* WAWAKAPEWIN - Wawakapewin
* WHITEFISH BAY NO. 32A - Naotkamegwanning
* WHITEFISH BAY NO. 34A - Northwest Angle No.37
* WHITEFISH LAKE NO. 6 - Whitefish Lake
* WHITEFISH RIVER NO. 4 - Whitefish River
* WIKWEMIKONG UNCEDED NO. 26 - Wikwemikong
* WUNNUMIN NO. 1 - Wunnumin
* ZHIIBAAHAASING NO 19A - Zhiibaahaasing First Nation

Clueless in kkkanada...how fuk'd is that?

I'm thinking about colonizers teefing land, setting themselves up as the law of the land, drawing boundaries on the surface of the land and then getting to decide where the original denizens of the land can or can't travel and also getting to decide what new settlers, suitably positioned so as to occupy roles of lesser privilege, will be allowed to cross the lines drawn on the surface of the land....

So, refugees from Darfur are supposedly "pouring" into Israel. The Israeli government is imprisoning the men as war criminals, I think, and waffling as to whether they will let their families stay or make them go back to Darfur where they are being slaughtered by groups funded by the Chinese government (how sweet, any of the Asian poc want to take this on and infuse their rad politics with why an Asian government might think it would be okay to colonize African peoples, teef their resources and contribute to anothah African genocide?...gee... I don't mind who does it...you could be East Asian, South East Asian, Pacific Islander looking mostly Asian, South Asian...whoever wants to touch icky Black people less than shadeism racialism stuff...please, be my guest...laugher of the damned in full effect...).

When I saw the story on The National last night (...Papi grew up watching the news and understanding it as suitable fodder for intelligent conversation "as is") I thought about Israelis occupying Palestinian land, dominating the Palestinians, creating "justifiable" grounds for the wiping out of a whole people (how odd, now where'd they get that idea from?).

Now the waters are muddying and I'm triggered....

Settlers potentially setting up a buffer zone of darkies (hee, hee, hee) who are so bent on simply surviving attempted mass murder, that they're willing to respect the authority of power hungry usurpers rather than the ancient land tie of the original denizens. Imperialist, colonizing power relations undermine the the logical alliance between two oppressed people, position a colonizer as hinge connecting yet also functioning as separating, dominating force.

I guess I keep thinking about what would have happened if ties between oppressed people uninterested in perpetuating domination, more interested in resisting those who come to murder/death/kill actually moved from lefty, feminist, anarchist, progressive theory into global practice at any point in the history of the world. Maybe international ... social ... community ... activist... professional ... familial... interpersonal relationships would look really different today ... we might have really different templates for all just getting along.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Really...meds aren't necessary...

Laughter is good medicine and my mind is chock full of hilarious choruses I remember from my childhood that I can chase down on youtube. :)

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Human (interaction) Project...Run sibling transmission/communication...

----- Original Message ----

From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2007 8:02:56 PM
Subject: Hello from -------------------
Hi Tonia,

I'm J, your half sister. I've often wondered about you and was happy to come across your blog a little while back.

I'm living in (city name unimportant) now, and will hopefully be coming to Toronto for a wedding in August (looks like August 2nd-6th).

I think it would be great to meet in person- would you be interested?

Looking forward to hearing from you,


From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Subject: Picking my jaw up off the ground...
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 17:41:50 -0700 (PDT)

So, the last time I saw you, you were four...I think...it's hazy.

I have thought about (good stepmother) and you often. I'm glad you emailed.
Please give my love and greetings to
(good stepmother). EEk! Nothing particularly mature to say. Are you annoyed with me? Our father's not my fault. :) And yes, please! Visit away!

I would like to at least update my mind's eye picture of you and to find out more about your and good stepmother's life since she had to leave. My home telephone number is (blah, blah, blah) blah, blah, blah - blah, blah, blah, blah. Where is your wedding
happening? darkdaughta


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 2:15:52 AM
Subject: RE: Picking my jaw up off the ground...

Wow, thrilled to hear back from you so quickly :-)

I'll definitely pass on your best wishes to mom.

The weddings are Friday and Sunday- how about if I give you a call when I get in and see if you're free on Saturday? I'm staying in (city name unimportant) (the weddings are somewhere around there, not exactly sure...) but I can definitely get into the city.

I'm looking forward to seeing you!



From: darkdaughta
To: j.
Subject: Re: Picking my jaw up off the ground...
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 02:22:22 -0700 (PDT)

Second layer down... :)

You never mentioned how you came across my blog.

I ask because after I responded to your email I realized that there wasn't anything in your email that a stranger couldn't find out.

But, I also had an anxiety attack of sorts. :) I wondered, if you actually are my sister after all these years, have you met our father? Have you been in contact with any of our Barbadian family? And if so who? I'm interested because I started asking myself where a meeting or conversations with you could lead given that I don't see any of my family with the exception of my father and that's because we live in the same city...I wondered if this would open up avenues for engagement with other family members that I might not welcome...

Then I jumped back to: What if you're a stranger?

I'm pretty certain you're not. Of course this is hinged on one tiny thing, that small letter "m" in the email address which I remember should stand for your middle name which a stranger wouldn't necessarily know...but...can you tell me more about yourself that would make the picture seem a bit more solid?

Also, your first email had the last name (not necessary for the purposes of this blog post) attached. In the most recent one it has (our family's last name). Is there a reason for the change?

Hoping that my questions which are completely about my own security and ensuring my privacy (I get a lot of mail from strangers) don't offend...too deeply. ;)


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 1:10:41 PM
Subject: Hello take two :-)

No worries and absolutely no offense taken :-) The questions you asked were great- I think I have a bit of an advantage because I've been able to look at your blog, otherwise I'd be asking exactly the same things. Here's the super-long follow-up e-mail!

I didn't believe it was really you until I saw your picture and read that you remembered mom and me. I thought maybe you'd wonder if was actually me or not when I e-mailed.

Maybe these bits and pieces of info will help: My middle name is
(M---), like my mom's. Her maiden name was (----------). She and our father met in Barbados. She's a retired teacher, but worked in a business of some sort when she was in Toronto. I was born (------) 1978 in Toronto. My picture's at the bottom of this e-mail so you can see what I look like now. My grandmother came to visit after I was born.

At least one of my aunts came up at some point as well and as teens thought our father's friends were music superstars (I remember them saying they'd ooed and ahhed about (a fairly well known musician from out east) being in the apartment). I was just two when we left, you would have been 12 I think. Our father's middle name is (O------). He has a brother named (-------------) and another named (------------). His father's name is the same as his, and his mother's name is (--------------). He's two years older than my mom, his birthday's in June.

I completely understand if you need a bit more time to kind of digest things, it's got to be pretty bizarre to hear from me after all these years and for me to ask to get together in just a couple of weeks. I'm just happy to have heard from you. If you'd rather meet further down the road that's completely ok or if you're not comfortable meeting at all I understand. I gave myself a month from the time I realized it was really you to e-mail- I know there can be a lot to think about.

You're the first person from the other side of the family I've had any contact with. I've seen pictures of when we were in Toronto and heard about you. I've always wondered if you would remember me and if you'd have any interest in getting in touch. At some point I'll probably meet our father (the last time I remember speaking with him was on the phone when I was about 3 or 4), but right now I'm more interested in getting in touch with you.

I grew up in Newfoundland with my mom and my grandparents. My family was pretty close, my aunts and uncles were always nearby. My grandfather really took on a father role for me; he died 11 years ago. My mom didn't have any other kids after me, but I think my older cousins kept me from developing too much of an only child complex :-)

After highschool I moved to Nova Scotia, then Ontario for university. I lived for a while near (streets in downtown T.O.), then off (other streets in the downtown core), and sang downtown with a band called (--------------) (they'restill playing but mostly around Waterloo).

I got married a couple of years ago and changed my name, so pretty much everything now is under J. (=========) (except for my hotmail address and some other odds and ends). I'm in med school now with a little less than a year to go. We have no idea where we're going to be living next- maybe staying here, maybe going to Ottawa or Vancouver, really wherever I can find a residency spot. My husband's a graphic designer/ filmmaker which means that with me in school we're often broke but we're happy. We have two cats but no kids of our own yet.

A few years back I came across an article written by someone with your name in a publication at the Bay Birth Control Centre. Thought wouldn't it be great it that was you but didn't pursue it and thought the name was probably a coincidence. Every now and then I'd google you but never came up with much. A month ago I googled you again and came across your original blog (no idea why I hadn't before), thought this was probably you but realized the blog was out of date and had no idea if I'd be able to contact you through it or not. Got to your current blog and knew that this was definitely you, and that you remembered a half-sister named (---------------). I laughed when I saw on your blog that you're a sci-fi fan like me (I led a petition to keep star trek TNG on our local cable channel when I was in junior high and I may or may not still have the klingon dictionary on my bookshelf ;-)

Bottom line is I'm happy to have found you and to know that you're doing well. I'd love to hear from you again,



From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Subject: Re: Hello take two :-)
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 14:19:05 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks for the additional information. I think I mostly had an anxiety attack after I emailed you. I started having all these thoughts and wondering...well, what I emailed you in my second email.

I'm excited and happy that you emailed. I would like to meet you...again. I only have pictures of you as a child. I show them to my friends and chosen family. So, thanks for updated photo. I recognized you. :)

Thanks for the additional info about our family. The rest are a really closed mouth bunch. Sure, they'll gossip. But in terms of actually exchanging hard factual information? Forget it. I think my website, writings and blog are pretty much a giant tantrum in total reaction to the silence.

Like, you probably don't realize that I didn't know the names of our father's
parents. He doesn't mention them much and definitely doesn't call their names. I remember meeting his mother once as a child. She seemed like a hard woman. She died of kidney disease a few years later.

I don't see any of his family. I mostly grew up at least knowing of my mother's family. But, I grew up alone and after a while of them making some half hearted overtures and mostly expecting me to extend to them and understand them more than them extending to me and understanding me, I think I'm well on the path at almost forty to reconciling with the lack of biological family ties. I think this informs my obsessive breeding which my partner Papi goes along with. So far we have two children. Stinkapee is five. Shmolee is one. I'd like two more. Having grown up so alone, I don't think I'd wish it on them. I'd like them to have an actual clan of sibs who know them and care about them. :)

Weird for years I've been wondering what other family twists and turns would come my way. I thought about, but didn't expect you to come...so soon. I don't feel ready....didn't feel ready. I knew you'd come. It's weird being the eldest of five...my mother had another daughter named (-----------). The others refer to me, when they email...or call...when I communicate with them as some version of "Big Sister". It feels weighty, like they're looking for explanations from me that would help everybody understand the actions and choices of the various parental pairings.

I don't have one.

I have me trying to understand who I am. There's no wisdom here that can even begin to explain what happened for/between anyone.

There are also no coping strategies to help tolerate, unpack or fix anything any of us are experiencing as we continue to deal with the assorted parental couplings.

I've mostly chosen, after trying really hard to build relationships with our father and my mother in my twenties, and realizing they had little to share to help me understand them and their actions and that they understood little about who I was/am...to try to do my personal work through going to counselling, writing...a lot, trying to create chosen family ties and giving birth to a family I can try to not fuck up too badly.

J., do you know what you're looking to gain from meeting me? Is there something you're seeking beyond the experience of getting to know a sibling who was separated from you so early on?

Are there things about meeting that you're worried about or want to ask about?

I think I'd like to meet you when you come to town and then perhaps for you to meet my family if that's okay with you.

I'm thinking this through as I write. So, sorry for the verbal diarrhea. Hope some of this makes sense.

Oh, I'm going to be forty in January on the 4th. How old will you be? If you're January (-------------), would that make you a capricorn, too? My parents are both geminis and from what you're saying your mother is too. Too much gemini energy I think. They can be odd people. I've never met a gemini I got along with. Probably because of that first relationship with my parents, I figure. :)

Shmolee's crying out for me to give him some more cheese chunks. Gotta run...


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 7:34:31 PM
Subject: Re: Hello take two :-)

Hi again :-)

I'm so relieved that you're happy about all this. And thrilled that you
actually recognized me in the photo like I recognized you. I've attached
another below. I'm going to be thirty the same month you're turning forty.

I don't know if any of the family info I sent upset you, I'm very sorry if
it did, that's the last thing I want. I can't imagine how odd it must be to
be hearing those names for the first time from me of all people.

Congratulations on your two little ones and the family you're building. I
would love to meet them once you're comfortable with that. (my husband) and I are very much hoping to have children of our own, just not quite yet :-) We'd
very much like to have at least two children so they get to grow up with a sibling (not sure we'll make it all the way to four though!)

In the month I took before e-mailing you I spent time thinking about what I
was hoping for in getting in touch with you. I don't know whether we'll get
along or not or what kind of relationship we might be able to build, but I
am excited to find out. My mom (libra not gemini, so there's hope :-) and I
are very close. She's never talked much about her time with our father but I'm
satisfied with what I know. I've never really had a strong desire to delve
into much family stuff on the other family's in general, but with you it's
different, we really were sisters for those two years, (even if it was
before I remember) and I've always wondered about you.

Sure there have been things I've been anxious about in getting in touch with
you, but that doesn't seem to be weighing down my excitement any! I wonder
what we'll think of each other, where do we even start the conversation.
Hopefully we'll be able to find things in common and build on them. I'm sure
there are things you're concerned about- if you have any questions about me
that I could answer to make you more comfortable about meeting, ask away
(again, I feel like I have the advantage with your blog).

So, I'd love to meet you when I'm in TO, but again I'm ok with whatever
you're comfortable with.

Looking forward to hearing from you again,

p.s. what do I call you? Do you go by t.j. or is that just on-line?


sent by me this morning...
subject: Deeper

I have to find those pictures of you I have so that I can show them to you. Oh, and...do you mind if I paste a lightly edited version of our emailed transmissions into my blog? I could take out anything you're not comfortable with. I pretty much put everything that happens...in some form on my blog...as you've probably noticed. Let me know what you think...I won't proceed without your permission.

And no, the family info you sent didn't upset me. It simply reinforced my understanding of life with my father, who was an extremely uncommunicative and shut down parent who didn't have a game plan where raising a child was concerned.

If I haven't said it before, although I missed her and you when you were both gone, I do strongly believe that your mother was right to leave our father. He's a deeply scarred person haunted by ghosts from his own past that he doesn't have the language or understanding to deal with. He pretty much covers it all, the pain, the confusion, the rage with jokes, bravado and a strongly authoritarian way of dealing.

I speak to him off an on. Papi and I just went through a pretty intense period of dealing with him brought on my us being really stretched for money after we moved into our present house. He offered to "help", but mostly he disrupted the our day-to-day lives while trying to explain to us how to better run our lives. Right now we're not seeing him much. It's better that way. He calls or offers some money. But he's not actually capable of participating in the life of our family without causing damage. I travel back and forth between feeling sorry for him (for the little boy in him who is so plainly hurt...) and feeling angry with him for being such a stunted parent. I've parented myself mostly.

Your mother was a good stepmother. She was kind and caring and I told Papi's mother Ophelia this morning that your mother represented the only stability I've known since I left Barbados. I think she was stressed and upset towards the end. I assume that our father was being himself...a jackass and being mean to her. I think she tried, but didn't really have the tools to deal with him and his stuff. No one should have to deal with another human being so, so...confused and obnoxious...

She left me pads when she left. This is important for me. No one bothered to check to see when my period came. She was the only one who thought about it. I'm thankful. :)

I remember the letter she left me when she left. I still have it somewhere around here...I think. I think she was the only person who spoke to me as if my opinions or feelings, unaltered and uninfluenced by the needs of the adults around me, mattered. I appreciate that, too.

This is difficult. I feel as if the emotions I couldn't give myself permission to feel as a child are pouring out of me. tears...I'll be back...


From: darkdaughta
To: J.
Subject: Re: Hello take two :-)
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 09:28:48 -0700 (PDT)

Hi J. ... :)
You asked at some point if I had any questions?
I wanted to ask you how you felt about our father and your mother, about their failed relationship, his fault, not hers and about her having to leave him and move home? How do you feel about this? How do you feel about growing up with your mother's father as parent, but knowing that your biological progenitor (I don't use parent or father, because our father chose not to function as parent to you...) was not a part of your life and that your mother had to leave him...(for reasons she hasn't specified?...did she say, but just doesn't talk about it much? or did she not get into detail?...I worry I'm treading on ground I know nothing about here with you...)

(I'm not sure how my sister identifies. Her mother, my stepmother, is a white woman. My sister has light skin and curly, not kinky, dark hair.)

How do you feel about having a collection of Black relatives (I don't say "family" because we're actually not a family, but a collection of biologically linked, disparate solitudes, more than an intentional grouping of people who have agreed to love and work together...but then again, I'm not sure how many of those kinds of families I've encountered...)

Do you think about Blackness? Do you think about yourself as a Black woman? What was your childhood growing up in Newfoundland like in relation to Blackness from your point of view or from the point of view of those around you...family...friends...

Are you okay with me asking these questions? I'd like to meet you regardless...I'm mostly just trying to get an idea...perhaps your idea of what you're coming with in terms of stuff that will no doubt engage/interact with/intermingle with/bounce off of my stuff. We're human. Even when they don't know each other very well, even when they aren't biologically connected, human beings bounce off each other's emotional, familial, social baggage. I think it's something about how we're built...we're sponges and mirrors for each other's stuff.

So, this is me having a glimmering of an idea about my own emotional/social/ familial stuff... as you've read on my blog asking you where you're at with piecing together yours...

I'm just wondering what sort of dance of intimacy/connection/ anger/ confusion/ excitment/ unfamiliarity/ curiosity/ sadness/happiness/fear/resentment/love we'll do when we meet. :)

Oh, and..I'm not sure what you should call me. Biological family members all call me Tonia. I don't call myself that anymore...probably because of all the "stuff" that comes with the name. I mostly introduce myself as T.J.. Papi calls me T.J.. So, I guess T.J. is fine. Are you okay with being called J.? Or is there something you prefer better?

Getting together next week still sounds fine. Was there a day or a time you were thinking of? Who's getting married?

Thanks for the photos of you and of your partner. You both look very happy. That's good.


From: J.
To: darkdaughta
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 5:13:02 PM
Subject: Re: Hello take two :-)


Ack, my computer just ate my last message, not sure if got to you or not so
here goes again :-)

It's been great e-mailing with you, I'm really looking forward to talking
with you in person. Thanks for all the kind things you've written about my
mom- really means a lot to me that you remember her that way.

Absolutely include anything you like in the blog. The only thing I'd ask is
if you'd keep out id stuff for my mom (her first name's already in there,
but not her maiden name) and for my husband you can use the nickname I have for him - zauber - if you'd like to use that).

I love that you jumped into the meaty questions. Definitely lots of things
I've worked on over the years and am still working on. I'd like to put a bit
of time into writing you about them, so there'll be more to come soon.

J. (pretty much everyone calls me J. so that would be fine :-)


darkdaughta wrote:

Thanks for the permission. I went back through the post about my family stuff and took out all the names, I think. That post dates from a time when I thought no one who mattered was looking or cared. I took out the names because they're really not important to what I'm saying. Although I'm glad the inclusions of the identifiers helped you locate me. :)

I'm hoping that the questions I'm asking don't seem too invasive. I realize that asking questions won't give me a sense of who you are at your core. They'll just give me hints about what you're coming with, is all. Thanks for being understanding. :)

I'm looking forward to reading your answers/thoughts.

if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.