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I feel so powerless.

After yesterday’s plane crash, there’s so much pain and tumult and uncertainty. I can do nothing.

Four people died today when a small plane flying from Winnipeg crashed at an isolated First Nation in northern Ontario. Officials with the Transportation Safety Board say the twin-engine Piper PA 31 crashed into North Spirit Lake at about 10 a.m. while attempting to land at the airstrip at North Spirit Lake First Nation. Five people were on board the plane, including the pilot. The TSB confirmed there is one male survivor of the crash.

Hildebrand said there is no control tower at the 1,066-metre-long airstrip, adding landings are left up to the pilot’s discretion. Hildebrand said the plane, built in 1977, was not required to have a voice or flight recorder.

Local resident Martha Campbell died in the crash, along with Ben Van Hoek and Colette Eisinger, two members of Aboriginal Strategies Inc., a Winnipeg-based native consulting firm, Rae said.

People on the small, closely-knit reserve are devastated, Rae said. The reserve is located about 300 kilometres north of Kenora and is accessible only by air or by winter road. Eric Feldman, principal of the Victoria Linklater School on the reserve, said the community is coping with the tragedy with almost no resources on the ground. “There is no emergency equipment whatsoever here,” he said. “There’s no firefighting equipment, not even an ambulance. They were putting the fire out with snow. The one survivor they took to the nursing station.”

Officials from the Transportation Safety Board are headed to the community to investigate.


North Spirit only has a doctor on site one day a month, and it was yesterday; I’m so glad for that. I’m so glad that Brian will go home to his wife and kids. But our hearts ache for the other families.

I’m concerned about ASI, and about how my husband can cope with suddenly running a grieving and frightened company whose president and another employee just died in a plane crash.  The ramifications are extensive.






I am thankful for lindy hop!
Without swing dancing, I would get no exercise at all.

I am also thankful for a wonderful dance partner who makes lindy hop (and charleston, and balboa) lots of fun, even though as a lead he has to do much more mental work than I do.



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I watched The Help again yesterday. It is such a good movie! The Help is filled with poignant moments, but today I want to focus on the scene in which Charlotte Phelan finally affirms her daughter, Skeeter.  Until this point, it seemed that Charlotte was only trying to change Skeeter into herself, into a southern beauty who would land a rich and handsome husband. It appeared that she had little regard for who her daughter actually was. After Charlotte had read and processed Skeeter’s book, she began to appreciate that her daughter was a strong and unique woman. Charlotte then ran Hilly off her property rather than let her daughter be threatened by her peer, and then told Skeeter that she was proud of her.  “Courage sometimes skips a generation. Thank you for bringing it back to our family.”

Have you had a moment like that with your mother? Not that she has realized her bigotry, but that she has actually seen you and affirmed you? Why do many of us still long for that? Even if our mothers aren’t a big part of our lives anymore, there is something innate that makes us still look to them for approval.

It might be time for me to take over my own mothering, and tell the uncertain daughter inside that I’m proud of her.



It happened again on the weekend.  I was asked that dreaded question, “What do you do?”

The lindyhop scene around here is 80% university students, and there is built into them the idea that people are either studying or working, generally to quite a high level. It is largely inconceivable to them that a person of any intelligence or opportunity would simply be a housewife.
But it isn’t just them; the question comes up almost every time I meet someone new, and when I see someone again after a few years.

Keeping house is no small thing, and I honor its rewards which ripple out from that home to friends, family, and to the wider community.
Yet it is not an occupation that brings much esteem, therefore I try to direct conversations away from this aspect of myself. I hate being asked that question!

Perhaps I will take up limericks and haiku so I can reply, “I’m a poet.”



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A great quote from Joy is:

The language in my most painful poems can get kind of raw.  One of the first such prayers I read to a group had the word “shit” in it.  This man came up to me later and said, “I didn’t know you could say ‘shit’ to God.”  My response was, “God already knows what you think.  Uncensored prayer is saying what you think to God, no matter what.”

I always found it odd when people didn’t realize that nothing can be hidden from God. If you’re thinking it, He already knows. Why not be honest and pray it?

Here’s one from her book, Uncensored Prayer

Why can’t I lay this down?
Why won’t I?
This addiction to the past,
the obsession to retain the hurt that haunts me,
causes me to perpetuate self-condemning action
that mutates from vice to foe,
that keeps me chained to all I hate
and claim I long to leave.
And yet I practice like a pro
receiving praise from no one,
no reward, no promise of relief
while I hang on and hang myself
with what I hate to lose.
You have promised power to free me,
all the help I need to heal.
What’s wrong with me?
Am I proud or stupid to choose death over life?
I fight deliverance like it’s the bad guy
who stalks to take me down.
I’m miserable, embarrassed, angry at myself
and yet here I am – a life-long fool
enmeshed in a mess of my making.
Why don’t you do something, God?
Zap me like Paul;
take me away where I can’t hurt myself.
Intervene in my destruction,
haul me off to heaven – the land of the free –
where I will sin no more.
What if I never grow beyond this trap,
my self-imposed exile from grace?
What if I’m never able to trust you enough?
I want to but can’t;
every attempt is short-lived,
fraught with frustration as I cry to you,
“I’m sorry” once again.
What kind of child am I to act this way,
repenting without belief that it will matter in an hour
when I know I’ll fail again, and yet I keep trying.
Does that make sense?
You stand with open arms;
in fact, you hold me close and whisper love
that somehow isn’t enough.
I see these Christians
who tell amazing tales of salvation at the brink.
I long for this so bad it hurts like hell
because it doesn’t happen for me.
I know I hope or I wouldn’t seek it,
wouldn’t try to grasp this grace.
You say I can’t do it, but you can;
my best will never save my soul.
You say you came because I couldn’t come.
You sit within my pain and it hurts you, too.
I see your eyes – compassionate and kind –
but what about those who want to trust, but can’t,
who long for love, but lose?
Can you help someone who can’t do their part
to believe and just let go?
Am I stuck with half a heart
to serve you with the whole of me?
Where’s the hope for me –
divided and doubting deliverance once for all?
God don’t leave me like this;
don’t let go of me.
You put up with Peter and Thomas –
prime examples of un-likely disciples.
You say you won’t abandon me,
but please God don’t abandon me.
I’m the least likely to succeed at this;
please don’t give up on me.



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Today I’m thankful for my terrific husband. I’m thankful for a long hot summer. I’m thankful that no one in our family came down with Jets fever. I’m thankful for the comforts of home, and for the adventure of travel. I’m thankful for lindy-hop. I’m thankful for good books. I’m thankful that I don’t have to cook a turkey.



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For as long as I can remember, I haven’t liked myself.
I don’t feel that I am good at anything. I haven’t experienced much success.

So it was a big step for me a few weeks ago when I realized that I actually would like to have myself for a friend.
I know that I can be a good friend. I am trustworthy, helpful, attentive, loyal, compassionate, sacrificial, thoughtful, authentic, supportive, and caring.

Becoming aware of this was a chip out of the wall of self-deprecation that’s been in my way for a long time. I am still exploring the idea of approving of myself, of finding something worthwhile that I am good at. It is a very novel thing for me!


(You can’t imagine how difficult it was for me to claim that list of good-friend qualities…)



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