Volume 19 of Aphrodite's Garden: 1994 January-March  work & days: a lifetime journal project  








An intensely psychological volume. Louie leaves for South Africa to work on the elections, I take a job cleaning houses, between times try to fix what's wrong with me in relation to men. A lot of bookwork.

Notes: 1986-1988 journal summaries, Marianne Williamson A woman's worth, Gillian Hanscombe The art of life: Dorothy Richardson and the development of feminist consciousness, notes on lameness, notes on will, Tarthang Tulku, Kathleen Hurley What's my type?: use the Enneagram system of nine personality types to find your best self, notes on love, Eva Pierrakos The pathwork of self-transformation, bookwork about grain/Orpheus film, Buddhist notes about Vajrasattva diamond being.

Mentioned: Louie E, Ken Sallit, Joyce Frazee, Dave Carter, Leah Rosling.

824 E Pender St, Strathcona Community Garden, the Calabria, Praxis, Cineworks, La Glace School, Josphine's off Commercial, CISR.

Emily of New Moon, Laxdaelasaga, Richard Davis Cold Front, The long day closes, Jane Campion, Donna Williams, John Stoltenberg.

 3rd January 1994

Williamson is saying: women can use the power of the soppy. They are archetypally aligned to be able to. The way when I sat in the bath in the dark singing the love-lilt under cover of pouring water he came straightaway, it had reached him, who likes to be listening in one room while I am in another. And more: we and they adore to be in the power of the soppy. It' a bliss that floods our cells with you, with youth. Getting there and getting away from there, that's a power worth having. It's religion, Louie. Neither staying out or staying in. Known paths. What I've been working at in these piles of years. Now can I do it to show?

A lame woman. What she is from outside. What she is from inside. What she is earlier, before she is lame or a woman. What she is to an impotent man. The love in a child and how it is defeated.


Dear you,

I'm speaking to you and will write it.

I was mean to you and you minded. It was because I needed to see you oftener than I did, only that, and resented being in pain in ways it seemed you could fix if you wished. And it may have been right, because though I missed you I enjoyed missing you, once I didn't have to resent anything. But I am sorry to have been mean, tho' I'm glad you minded. I'll be friends if you will. Now that there's a safe distance. You were an intervention in my story, which I honor and think about and keep wanting to tell you about. There you sat in that department library amidst those closed men saying you wanted to talk about love and friendship. That was courageous. And I want to say this - I hope you laugh - I was lying when I said I didn't believe in love. There's nothing I believe in more. When heart stands up for itself and says I love, that's when I'm a soul. It's the most myself I can be. Always, ever, in any direction. But what you said is not quite that - what you said is that you believe you can find a true love, a person. That one is so painful it makes me gasp. I want to disown it. Like this: well maybe you can but I can't. I'm disqualified. Anyway the price is too high. Etc. It's extraordinary how hard it is to stand up for that wish unless there are circumstances that make it safe, ie unless it's impossible. Or else unless it has already come true.


Something frightened me just now. It was a fear I just glimpsed and lost again, but know has to do with identity. As if I remembered being unmoored. What it has to do with Louie. I say no I will not anchor you when you go. A firm no I can't justify, only that I must be away from you. I say it has to do with identity. That's what I know. I have to be able to change, back or forward I don't know which. I take your pressure stoically. You say then it's goodbye forever - is it? I don't think so. But if it is, it's still necessary.

It's early before cleaning work. Sad and slow. Last night at her table I said, You worked all the way around it. It's a hole in my life, something happened to identity there. She said, Now I understand everything. I thought - you could, but you don't. You could understand why I mistrust. You haven't wanted to work with the core where I could have been released. You wanted to be released yourself, and you have been. That's all. My keys you haven't touched. You have evaded.

What I'd told her was a gift. She said it was a blame. Oh you are evading now, not to see that even if it blames it says here is something I want. I was speaking in a retracted person - as it felt - thin, slow, remote, pained, nearly silent, like an old man rubbing his calluses.

I do blame you. Alternately I fall into a blank. You claimed generous love but you did not care to see what it was I was longing for. You made yourself its enemy when it crossed your dream.

In the school of women artists there are these, I want to say, crucifixions - if I mend the other, she will surpass me. I want to mend the other because she is myself, because she makes my common wealth. But if I am surpassed I have betrayed myself it seems finally, and I fall out of the school and am left at random among those who are barely persons to me.


It said, Imagine you've never known this person, and you're never going to see them again. A face on the pillow I'd never seen - as if a Martian or an angel had embodied there and was studying my face out of some ancient and impartial and completely unknown being. Her face looked stable but melted as if its embodiment were incomplete. I felt: nervous, young, mystified, blank in the way of thinking something might be expected of me I had no clue of.

14th February

Is 'writing' code for feeling and intelligence together.


What I want is the widest map I can make, and then to locate my academic and film positions in it.


Going into it agape below - what it has to do with the pink dress girl - her consciousness - when she was sent away, she gaped, maybe - she became that face showing through - yes she became a spirit who was in herself, there - she looks like someone who dilates inwardly, has a door to the otherworld inside her body - that consciousness, is that what it says find?

She has it instead of her confidence.

Is it death because it's not in the world. Yes.


Dear large, since yesterday I have brought into this room many of the ideas I like to be with. I want to make from among them. I look up now and see the beautiful silvered ridges of blistered paint on shiplap across the way.

Say your doubt.
I'm worried it's dreams of making and not making, divine euphoria that escapes.
Oh my dear you are trying to jump ahead of tense crossings, the way you do with your human loves. Try this: enjoy tension. What would it be like?
There is a wind. Things moving in their ways. It signifies maybe that I can look on powers they make invisible. That means this beauty is real work. Then what do I know about tension. There is tension in them. If I knew it I could be gentler. Is this right?
You are leaving out needing to eat.
That is the tension? That beauty is unbearable to those who can give me what I need to eat? Is this love woman's dilemma?
It's everyone's dilemma.
Could I start by being honorable to beauty in others?
Yes. Pay your debts.
What do I owe beauty?
Consider David.
I just considered his name, its symmetry. Do I owe myself to understand him? I am only satisfied when a god is standing in front of me, and then I'm afraid.
That's tension. Understand what your work is for.
To mediate love and fear. Do you mean that is how he is in it?
You can't get away with making him symbolic. Leave that for now. Beauty and fear. Where is fear on your walls?
One little card hidden around the corner.
Make it bigger. Let it come to meet beauty. Let it be in the work as well as out.
What else.
Let it be the fear particular to exclusion.
I see writing it very large, enlarging it. But is it safe?
It's dangerous but I have to do it?
Will I be able to work and drive?
Do you mean I'll be able to turn it off?
Do you mean it is always there?
Is fear the missing part of my energy?
What should I do now?
What are you afraid of.
Tense crossings.
Take each as it comes. Just notice the ways you can know you are afraid. Thank your defense, praise it, speak to it, don't be sudden. Ask it to help.
I'm wanting to run.
You can, in a while. Just give yourself twenty minutes of sitting.


Hello you was that a short marriage?
I'm not sure, was that you in the images and intuition and Orpheus and all?
Yes but I was drunk
I'm wanting to laugh. I'm happy you're here    
Are you mad at me?
No - if you were drunk presumably I was drinking with you.
Are you mad at me?    
I don't get mad I get even
Even who?    
Even you
Was that you looking at him with a glad I    
Your eye was glad but you weren't
I'm delighted you're married to me    
Let me say that another way
You're bubbling, I was expecting trouble    
What did you think of the forest
Do you make it    
Yes that's me
I've loved your work, you're a genius    
Anything you want to know?
How do you do it    
Ah. Why do you want to know?
You want me to say I'm not raiding you.    
I could say this: I won't tell anything you don't want told. I know if I'm not true you'll leave me back to the underworld. It's true I want to live with you outside, but my workshop is down there
I've always loved how brilliant you are in your work    
You've run after other dreamers
Only because I didn't understand that I could find you. I was looking for news of you    
I know, and I kept sending it
Sometimes it broke my heart that I couldn't read it I loved you in those days, you were a wild sad lonely poet.    
But you didn't realize I meant you
How do you feel when I cut off one of those guys    
I feel for you
Isn't it you who cries?    
No because I'm still with you, but you don't know you're still with me
Can I put my head in your lap    
I'm Titania
I know you mean I have the head of an ass    
I'm not sentimental
Oh but I am, I'm Greg Morrison    
I'm David MacAra
Are you really?    
Electronic musician
You make these guys up so I'll feel you? Did you invent David Carter?    
When you loved Ken, your child love, that was me. You brought that feeling to David C but it is you who love him. He's gay
Sort of
Come on. Were you in love with him?    
Yes but he's like you
I'm afraid to ask about Louie    
Don't be afraid, feel what I'm saying
You're happy. I'm afraid that if you're happy I'll be embroiled with her again    
Let me talk. Louie was at times a way to love me. I was there, you made love to me, I knew it was me, I knew it was me you were trying to marry, and did marry at moments, though in the dark. And that was me when you'd transformed her. I loved your passion, it made you stronger to find me
Why couldn't she touch me    
She didn't want to touch me. She competes. She was wanting to learn how to marry herself
Why do I imagine an inner man when it's an inner woman I'm looking for    
It's the feeling - feel it. I give you images to bring it
One more    
Let's do something else
I'm like this, I tie up ends    
You try to
Humor me    
I wish
Okay. The green man
Oh we're them! We read each other's minds    
He stood behind you and we were both of us. He wrapped you in arms from head to foot
Did you like him    
I liked him. I still do
He's such a donkey    
Less than you think
I'm jealous    
You are
Do you want to marry him    
But you're married to me!    
We have to be married before we can be married
Was that your tantrum    
Or mine yours. You thought I was going away because he was
Why didn't you help me    
What you did was alright
What you did was outrageous    
It interested us
We'd have to say "we do"    
(laughs) Both hands
Nice pictures   
Let's collaborate
You're a good executive    
Planner; you're the executor
Do you want to be an artist    
I already am
Does that mean I'm not    
You're jealous
Worried to know what     (
kisses me) I'll tell you as we go along
Are you smug    
One more thing, when I go into this application will you go away    
I was with you when you wrote your thesis

I felt music, I felt grey root on the roof of the car, I felt the great silver light between two sides of Commercial Street. I felt stressed and worried by desire and uncertainty, I felt affectionately decisive with a telephone salesman, I feel delighted, bubbly, to say I feel these things.


Working today, cheerful. Was it cheerfulness that came with the opening of the sky. There was Mark and Adeena's exquisite baby. Mark as if didn't like that word. Adeena had the new mother's shrunk face and enlarged body, and Mark was, I was saying to myself, so weenie she must have married him for safety. I was vacuuming the laundry room in a tizzy, thinking of what I seem to have discovered I want - beautiful blazing testosterone, nothing less. That one, that kind of guy, the kind that looks like war. No more marriage of minds, marriage is about energy, it's a marriage of energies I was saying. Was I right? There's a brightness I get thinking of it, and it's like his when women like him.

Wanted to tell how, yesterday, the tow truck driver who boosted me the second time just turned a battery upside down over my battery. I loved that, like loving the way Dirk could hear gas or water when he shook the can next to his ear, and like ironing wax out of the carpet.


It is fantastic tension, working this way.

Is this tension my child self?


It's the tension of where are they, they're not here. A tension at the heart. What shall I do. I'm obsessed. It keeps talking about him and to him. What shall I do.

Tell me about the tension.

The forehead band that seems to open to a gap in the crown. I feel there's some stance I must find. Give in to it, but to what. I'm saying, Tell me what to do. Calling to Joyce. There is a little girl abandoned in anxiety. She has called and cried. Strangers have told her to be quiet. She is so small holding herself alone in a room, so small to be alone. Holding herself with her own little muscles. A small, anxious, one - anxiety is just this worried small feeling of not knowing how to be. She was in relation, there was confiding small feeling and speaking and reply, and now there is no reply. Mama wo bist du. He doesn't hear me, he doesn't come, there's nothing I can do. Here is this worried small courage. Holding itself together.

This is as hard as it's been.

Dear one - my heart is so sore. That's it. I am alone and frantic in anxiety. I'm alone and frantic in responsibility for myself, to find a way through. I am at an end. My heart is sore and simple. I am dashing back and forth in my cage. Is that too dramatic to say. There is no help, I can only endure myself until it changes. There is nothing I can say to myself that will open the valve.
When I listen I hear myself start to obsess about him and that seems endless and useless, I'm afraid to listen.
Listen. That is talking not listening.
I'm afraid you will ask for total sacrifice.
The sacrifices have already happened, They are in the past not the future.
I'm afraid I will hear my own confusion and not be able to recognize it, that I am delusion.
Your being is not delusion, though your wants aren't simple. What else are you afraid of?
That it won't stop.
It will stop.
That it is unreal.
It is unreal in a way, but what in that is there to be afraid of?
That mind is unreal, what I say to myself, that I can't rely on my knowing.
And if you can't rely on it, then?
I will seem hesitant and mad and lost and be despised.
And then?
No one will love me.
Go on.
I will lose health, pleasure, joy, sanity, and be only loving hunger.
That happens to people. What relation do you have to it?
I say, Oh that isn't me, I am smart and goodlooking and capable.
Who is.
The one I happen to be.
It seems there is a doubt.
Oh is this the true ground?
It is a ground but there is a ground under it.
Can you tell me what it is?
No but listen.
Should I sleep?
I'm frightened and want to run away.
You are persisting. Consciousness is wanting to faint, it has wanted to faint before.
There is so much instruction rubbish.
You have eaten so much instruction rubbish instead of being direct.
I want it to stop but I am afraid of blanking and staying stuck.
Whatever comes to you in this while, just touch it, hold it on your palm. Do the application, it is a worry. Feel the worry and do it.
2nd March
Can I talk to you for half an hour before I have to go work. I wrote the application suddenly last night, didn't refer to note pages, just wrote it. Why do I balk?
Let's not do psychology, let's not do it first - hello sweetie.
Oh I see.
See something pink and fuzzy.
Pink grain, an air of pink mist.
That exercise has a driven driving quality.
Put another color into it.
Gold, it's like gilt edges but just the gilt, little curly lines.
Are they still or moving?
I saw them still, they could move, they're over on the right, near each other as tho they are parts of the outline of something that isn't all there, that's inferrable but not seeable.
Come forward in among them.
I want to lean on them, they're quite firm curly lines but they never get big, it's more as if I get close to them without their size changing. I haven't got that.
Go through them, no it's come through them.
It's like a clearing in the mist, goldy light not from an outside source but from the space, the space is self-shining.
Come into it, it's me.
I'm worried you want me fixed in the blissful void.
This realm is very wide in all directions, many blisses, I'm all of them not one.
I'll check the time, half an hour - I saw scribbles of light among the poppy stalks.
That's it, and you saw where they are on the foxface.
In the forehead and also - oh I see why you put it there - are we really going to go deeper into what we've got? - in among the little stalks, so beautiful.
You lit a candle.
Was that me?
You caught it.
This is so much - trying to write fun - don't you like that word? Seems not. Do you want fur?
Try fur.
Back there - okay - the fur I like - you like - the fur off chrome - can we do that?
Put a mist around it - yes, any color you like.
Pewter grey a gleaming mist, a point with those lines streaming and catching.
I saw that catch about fame, don't worry we can run them off, stay with me.
I had another thought but I'll let it go. That motion, the streaming out while staying still. The sort of throbbing catch. And the tiny color in the threads.
You can be any of it you want.
Why am I thinking of him now, should I check it?
(Breath.) No, not check. You're scared of getting stuck but this is what you can do, find the thought in me.
A fire in a mist, not the still fire but a fire with strong flapping and snapping and flaring and raising polished blades shining with that esoteric polish of mirrored molecules - is that it?
Have to wait 'til it's dark. But I find myself rehearsing.
Rehearse if you do but keep coming back to me.
The underworld was pink.
'Bye - maybe you'll see me during the day. Get gas. Drive safe.


Has anyone ever written about the child listening to language it doesn't like. A native Ellie. The other ethic never taught - that, later, people will recognize each other by, but that the child has to feel an unescapable unhappiness.


Mary's call. I fight with her in a whiney voice. She fights back in - what's that voice, obstinate - a resigned, obstinate voice - wants me to "be a daughter," family loyalty - she who had not the necessary loyalty to a two-year-old, and doesn't know what family loyalty is. It's alright if we live in a desert and there's a scarcity of grubs, I say. She says we do live in a desert. That is a good answer and yet family loyalty is no help in my desert. What she doesn't know is loyalty to a spirit. And I am not loyal to spirits either - but there is such a thing. I have always believed. Joyce is. Loyal to the good in someone, loyal to the real in someone.

Mary's culture is not loyal to women - not loyal to individuals it says - family loyalty a refuge of the mediocre - cultural loyalty a refuge of the even lesser. Is it that she is stupider than I thought? Yes. What is implied by that? I need to know about her to know about love woman, because love woman is structured by her. Love woman is kind of stupid. My mother is a version of love woman, a stupid version. Stupid but has a lot of energy. That is where control comes in. But it is not ego that is to be in control. Ego comes into existence because children are not protected. The larger self is love woman grown up.


The dream of looking from the window with my father, seeing the pasture trees have trees among them in white blossom. The window frame itself surrounded with a blooming branch. We are looking south and I say I never remember that sight without feeling completely at home. I don't remember exactly. The feeling was that I was acknowledging somewhere I am that he is too, and that it goes on, and that it is a perfect place, a place I center myself around, a core. Something silent.


I want to say, Oh, what is the matter with me. I am devoured by desire for what it seems I can't have. Devoured, devoured, by a desire to be married. Is that what I have to call it or what I want to call it. A madness, so painful an imbalance. At fifty, and with other things to do, so out of peace, raging. Lions and tigers. What is it. Is it the revenge of instinct, is it the rising of some revenge. Is it what happens if I give myself time, is it what I have controlled when I do control. Is there any end of it, the looking for. Everywhere. As if looking for the hero of an English novel, the arms of a man tall enough, well made enough, wellspoken, individual, kindly, of good family, of acceptable fortune, high spirit, principle and justice.

13th March

It is Monday morning, I come from Rob's house, where a tall man with light arms fed me, held me, kissed me, fucked me, listened to me, loved to lie with me. I come away haunted, hurt, puzzled, sad, lost, because you aren't claiming me. I lie next to him seeing your hand and your chest, which are ways of feeling you, feeling the you in you. I am so sorry you don't come for me. Don't answer my letter. Don't lay down your useless struggle. Sit raging alone in your false tower. Don't begin.