Fableogs

What Is Feminist? –The Dragon With Many Heads and The Dragon With Many Tails

I’ve been talking and thinking a lot lately about feminism and feminist actions. Most vividly, the topic came up around a play I wrote (Because I Am Your Queen). From the beginning, I wanted to create and foster a feminist project that empowered women both in its development and doing, as well as in its content. In other words, I wanted a play that practiced what it preached, without preaching, of course (I hope)! What are feminist practices in the creation of a play? In its production? In its rehearsal process? For that matter, what are feminist practices full stop? Canadians, for example, have been wrestling lately with the question of what constitutes a feminist government. One might not think…

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The Half Marathon I’m Dreading

One month ago, I signed up for the Shape Half Marathon in New York on April 14. I haven’t run a regular road half-marathon in about a decade. I do still participate in the occasional trail running event, but some years ago I decided that I’d run enough road races. To compound my dread going in, I knew I wasn’t even going to be able to start training until March 14th(literally only 30 days before the race). Sure, I would be cross-country skiing for the weeks before then, so not out of shape, but certainly not in running form. I only signed up because a friend asked me to. The race is on her birthday, so … Before I could…

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How Many Years of Life Is The Thigh Gap Worth? –The Melancholic and Death

I watched the television show Fleabag recently (an excellent mix of funny, poignant and wrenching) and was struck by a scene in which a feminist speaker asks her audience, “Would you give up five years of your life to have the perfect body?” The protagonist and her sister raise their hands, but no one else does. We, the television viewing audience, are invited to think the sisters are shallow. We woke viewers understand that life is more important than having the perfect body, as much as we may complain about the latter. This fable of Jean de La Fontaine’s came to mind. A wretched man called out for death to save him every day. The melancholy man said : O…

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A Glimpse Behind The Veil: Coming To Terms With Our Connectedness

It’s day 107 of my current meditation streak. It took until day 90 for me to notice an internal difference. Change is subtle. Time takes on different proportions. The distance between a thought and its expression gets longer. For example, I want to talk less about other people for gossip’s sake and to not say things about people that I wouldn’t say to them directly. You probably never gossip, but I have to make an ongoing commitment to be mindful of what comes out of my mouth (or my fingers on a keyboard). Backseat driving other people’s lives is such good sport. Diagnosing what other people could be doing better in their own lives is so much easier than steering…

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I Bought Running Tights First After A Year of No Shopping

In 2018, I challenged myself not to shop for clothes, shoes, handbags and jewelry for the whole year (I wrote about it here: Making Room In My Mind: A Year of No Shopping). Throughout the year people kept asking, “But what about sports clothes? What about running shoes!?” My answer was that I would make an exception, if I had to. After all, running shoes are a matter of physical health. I wasn’t going to risk an injury running in worn out shoes. As for sports clothes, well, it’s amazing how long one can keep on going in tights so stretched out the crotch is bagging down around mid-thigh. Never mind running bras that make a snap-crackle-pop sound when you put them…

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I Feel and Think, Therefore I Am: The Head and The Tail of The Snake

I’ve had several conversations recently with friends who are taking actions that feel wrong in their gut. Literally. Whether it’s knots in their stomach from stress or new intolerances to foods. Yet, their decisions, from the outside, look rational, reasonable and prudent. We are, as a society, far too Cartesian. Remember, René Descartes (17thcentury French philosopher) and his, “I think, therefore I am”? He famously thought our bodies were mere machines.  I bet he wasn’t much fun in bed. When we ignore the knowledge that our bodies carry, by refusing to include that wisdom in our decision-making process, we intentionally deprive ourselves of useful and relevant information to guide our actions. To find insight into this puzzling behavior, we can…

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To Thrive In An Unfair World, Don’t Be A Miser: The Treasure and The Two Men

Conversation got a little heavy at the breakfast table the other day. I was telling my partner about a book I was reading by Phillippe Lançon, one of the survivors of the terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices on January 7, 2015. Next thing we knew we were revisiting the November 13, 2015 attack at the Bataclan concert venue, which we experienced from a restaurant only a few hundred meters away (and which I wrote about here: A Paris Weekend In November). Then it was Kikkan Randall’s cancer, discovered only months after she won a gold medal for cross country skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Life’s randomness can terrify me over my oatmeal. Fortune toys with us.…

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Put Women Back In The Story and Power: The Lioness’ Funeral

I’m at University of Illinois this week, working with their theatre department on a play I wrote, in collaboration with some other wonderful women artists (Barbara Pitts McAdams, Lisa Chess and Jacqui Dugal). The play is a bit of an absurd fantasia featuring six historical-literary queens rewriting their stories in a spa located on a fold of time in a dark matter universe engineered by their physicist spa attendants. With women’s stories on my mind, this fable filtered to the surface of my consciousness again, but from a new angle. The moral has always seemed to be about sucking up to power, a theme that resonates in these amoral Roger Stonian times. What strikes me at this moment is the fate…

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How To Make The Most of Your Life: The Old Man and The Three Young Men

My meditation streak hit day 64 today. Without putting too much pressure on myself, I’m hoping to keep up my regular sitting until I hit 100 days. The last time I sustained such a streak was after my father died. Sitting regularly helped me breathe in the face of mortality, my father’s and my own (fewer people ahead of me in line, as if there is a proper order). Meditating on one’s death is a common practice in Buddhism. A mantra might be, I could die today. I don’t actually meditate on death often and when I do, I feel like I’m a fraud. Most days, I still don’t think I’m going to die that day, even as I’m saying…

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Mina’s Naked Yoga Toes

I’m in yoga looking at my naked toes. It’s not a pretty sight and distracts me from my breath, flow and alignment. Running has thickened several of the toenails, so wearing nail polish feels like a favour to anyone who has to look at my toes. The long-term, non-stop polish practice has yellowed the nails and left white deposits of I-don’t-know-what and, yes, aging is having its way. It’s the new year and for the second year in a row I’ve decided to give my toenails a breather, literally. I’ll leave the polish off my toes until it’s sandals season again. The first days of my naked toes depress me unreasonably. Last year was more traumatic than this year. I…

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