Posted on 05 November 2004

My daughter was worried about my misery and I told her not to worry, that misery makes me angry. Angry at myself more often than not. And this makes me louder more verbal. It also makes me more honest with myself. It gives me the energy to focus, to move, to do what has to be done.

I’m writing orders for the store for spring. It’s time consuming and I can think of little else but I enjoy playing with line-sheets (small black and white outlines of styles), photographs, and colour charts, and deciding what will appear in the store month by month. I’m also putting together an album, a collage of styles and colours, adding to it page by page as I place an order; and find myself quite happy sitting on the floor, cutting and pasting.

I’ve pushed the American election to the background of my mind. What’s there to do or say? Yesterday, I wished I lived in Europe. I do not like my neighbours. I am appalled that so many people considered gay marriage and abortion more deadly than a war where their youth are killing and being killed.

Last night at dinner, Rob, Brendan, and I sat around discussing religion. We were all surprised that formal religions – those that dictate what is moral and immoral to large groups of people, many of which involve religious services and physical structures – have such large followings. We spoke of the Ten Commandments but not one of us could name them so we looked them up on the internet. There are two versions, one in Exodus and one in Deuteronomy but in both the sixth commandment is “Thou shall not kill.” I can understand that some consider abortion killing. I do not understand war. I can not bear to hear of the atrocities committed.

This morning when I came out to my little house, a squirrel darted by me, I smelt a skunk and I knew Java the cat was lurking nearby. I’m really beginning to wonder about all the animals that are congregating around my private sancuary. I decided to look up what each symbolized.

The bear is a creature of healing, self-knowledge and patience. The skunk is a bringer of warning and a teacher of self-respect. The squirrel teaches trust and thrift. The raccoon “teaches us merriment, openness, cleansing, wiliness, tenacity and humour.” He is also a symbol of disguise. The cat is a deeply spiritual animal. “It is said that a cat is more spirit than animal. Historically, little distinction has been drawn as to the difference between witches, fairies, spirits, goddesses, and the feline, for at different periods in time the cat was believed to represent them all in corporeal form.”

I can still smell the skunk outside.

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