Dec 6th Action

December 6, 2016 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Words matter.

“Women on one side, men on the other.”

“He told us [the men] to leave, and we did.” (p. 171)

From the book: The Montreal Massacre by Louise Malette & Marie Chalouh; translated by Marlene Wildeman. Charlottetown, PEI: gynergy books, 1991.

Do you know the new inclusive words for the Canadian anthem?

Why is it wrong if I need the words of my national anthem to include me through its language?

I am not a son. I am a daughter. I am not a man but I am a person. I am part of us.

Language matters.

Words matter.

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My Previous words of remembrance.

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

 

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How Long?

December 6, 2015 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Lifetimes have passed since.

The length of a generation.

It’s been a life time – babies who were born that year are now young women as they were. They were women who never got to fulfill their destiny.

A Mother’s Grief.

A mother who will never hug her daughter’s daughter to her breast.

[We stand] crying before the coffins of strangers,
offering roses and tiger lilies to young women [we will] never know.

“O Lord, how long?” O Lord, how long?” cry those standing at a prayer vigil on another December day.

Family Bear

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance are here.

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Expendable

December 6, 2014 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I own a red shirt. I’ve worn it once. A red shirt. What’s the significance? Maybe you have to be a geek to get it. A certain sort of Star Trek geek in fact.

It has one word written on it.

That word is Expendable.

I wore the T-shirt, for the one and only time, on my last day of work in May. Sorta of an inside joke but I was the only one (geek) who got the joke.

I kept having to explain.

I kept trying to explain.

It got harder and harder to see the funny in it.

I work in a field that is 95% women.

You see, this also happened in May…UCSB May 2014 .

And again .

Yes, all women face these concerns and fears all the time.

And after a day of proclaiming myself as expendable, I didn’t like the joke anymore.

Nobody should be expendable.

YWCA Rose logo

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance are here.

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Dec 6th Remembrance

December 6, 2013 at 6:00 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

To the child alive and well

caught in her thoughts

obliquely

on this Monday with things to do

she heads toward the lot

where Sunday she’ll be laid to rest

… … …

To Tuesday’s student

massacred Wednesday

buried Thursday

… … …

To the young woman of the morning

who will be mowed down

at five in the evening

her place is marked already

under snow that flies up

behind her muted step

… … …

To the schoolgirl of late morning

quietly writing

who will die a violent death

that afternoon

reciting

her adulterated history lesson

… … …

You are in danger

in your classroom

as the setting sun glints

off your cheek

… … …

(parts of: The Ideal Site For The Crime by Louky Bersianik)

In the book: The Montreal Massacre by Louise Malette & Marie Chalouh; translated by Marlene Wildeman. Charlottetown, PEI: gynergy books, 1991.

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

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Je me Souviens

December 2, 2012 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , )

This time of year, as the environment around me starts to get all bright & sparkly, I ruminate too much on death.

As I write this it is December 1st, World AIDS Day – a day set aside for education and awareness. I came of age when this epidemic was still a mystery. A recent read, set in 1987, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, took me right back there.

Thursday is December 6th, National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Twenty-three years ago on Wednesday, December 6, 1989, 14 women were killed because they were women.

The YWCA’s Rose campaign has ideas for advocacy and commemoration.

23 years is – what – a quarter of a lifetime. These 14 young women would now be in their forties and fifties. What did we lose? What would they have contributed to society?

What did they not get to do? They never got to decide whether or not to have children. They’ll never feel the aches and pains of an aging heart or body.

Yellow Rose-Fall 2012

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance are here.

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Sometimes It Hurts

December 4, 2011 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , )

In order to talk to the dead
you have to choose words
that they recognize as easily
as their hands
recognized the fur of their dogs in the dark.

Words clear and calm
as water of the torrent tamed in the wineglass
or chairs the mother puts in order
after the guests have left.
Words that night shelters
as marshes do their ghostly fires

In order to talk to the dead
you have to know how to wait:
they are fearful
like the first steps of a child.

But if we are patient
one day they will answer us
with a poplar leaf trapped in a broken mirror,
with a flame that suddenly revives in the fireplace,
with a dark return of birds
before the glance of a girl
who waits motionless on the threshold.

‘In Order to Talk with the Dead’
by Jorge Teillier

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

My previous words of remembrance.

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Moments

December 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm (Life) (, , , , , , )

Whistler: “Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”

Becoming, Part One

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season two; Episode 21

 

Women’s Lives Count.

14 actions you can take to help end violence against women.

My previous words of remembrance.

Je me souviens … Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 27; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; Annie St-Arneault, 23; Annie Turcotte, 21.

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White Poppies

November 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm (Life, Memoir) (, , )

I wish there was somewhere in Saskatoon where I could buy a white poppy for Remembrance Day. The only poppy available here is, of course, the Red Poppy. For those of you not in the know, the white poppy symbolizes peace. The Red Poppy is for remembrance of the war dead. The White Poppy movement started in the United Kingdom, in 1926, as the No More War Movement. I have no problem supporting the troops and remembering those lives, both military and civilian, lost to war. I’m just not comfortable supporting war as a way to deal with conflict. There HAS to be a better way!

poppy_card

Let me start with a little background, for those of you who don’t know me. My dad joined the air force, I assume, just after he finished school. I do know that by the time he was twenty-five, he had a wife and four kids. I was the third daughter and was born when he was stationed on an army base in Germany. My older sisters were born on bases in Canada. My mom was an unhappy army wife, alone and ignored in a foreign country. Not soon after I was born my Dad was out of the service… I’ve heard rumours of a dishonourable discharge. Nobody’s ever discussed it with me. He left us soon after to start over with a new family. Alcoholism ran rampant in his life.

My mother’s father grew up somewhere in Poland, he told me tales of being conscripted into the Russian Army (WWI I do believe), of riding horses during this war, and of starving in Russia & eating tomatoes for the first time. He ate his tomatoes with sugar, which was the way he ate them to the day he died. He hadn’t eaten tomatoes before as he had been told they were poisonous. He didn’t make war sound adventurous or fun or noble.

Most of my siblings, at some point in their life joined the Cadets. The eldest and youngest were active for years. The youngest got her pilot’s license because of the Cadets. My stepmother has been, and still is, very active in this organization. I lasted a week. Didn’t like the marching, the guns, being told what to do and when to do it. It was never an organization where I felt validated or safe.

I can understand the lure of joining the military. It provides you with structure, shelter, and food. It can give you a community to belong to and believe in. A younger brother and niece both joined out of family obligation. Neither lasted. My brother did basic training and was back home shortly after; why it didn’t work out I was never told. My niece went overseas with the Cadets and was sent home early, again I don’t know why. Maybe this is why I have a problem with the military, it seems overridden with secrets.

I am also concerned about who makes up the majority of most armies. By that I mean who is on the frontlines shooting and getting shot at. “We are the dead” as it says in the poem; In Flanders Field. It is the poor and disenfranchised who make up the majority of the dying in both the military and civilian ranks.

This military culture, we (society) glorify scares me. I know this culture. It is a culture that results in a reckless lifestyle that leads to too much drinking and abuse. The ads should say see the world, kill those more disenfranchised than you and escape from your life and responsibilities. Can’t we hope to achieve peace without waging war?

I want a chance to show that I’m tired of this mindset. I want to stand for peace. I want a white poppy to wear.

Ypres_Ian Britton

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