Fableogs

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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Where did all my running buddies go?

Finishing up some last business on my next Run Like A Girl book for the publisher, I got to the task of writing acknowledgements. Figuring they would be somewhat similar to those I wrote for the first RLAG book, I had a look back. Surprise. There was a lovely list of friends I ran and cycled and cross-country skied and went to yoga with. Not one of them is a regular workout partner anymore. In fact, in the 8 years since that book came out, my life has apparently changed so radically, that my only frequent workout partner anymore is my life partner (and when he’s not with me, I bring podcasts for company). Absorbing the full scope of the changes…

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Will Our 5G Lives Be Better? –The Hare and The Tortoise

The fifth generation of mobile telecommunications is rushing toward us with promises of speeds somewhere between 3 and 200 times faster than the previous generation. 5G will meet our “vast needs” for transmission capability, so that we can connect everything from our toaster oven to our pet’s collar to the Internet. We are in a flat-out sprint to … where? Here’s a fable that is probably familiar to many. The surprise is how fresh the story feels.  Running is no use. You need to set off with care. The hare and the tortoise bear witness to this.  Let’s wager, said the tortoise, that you will not reach the finish line before me.  Before you? Have you given this a thought? The…

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Don’t Let Others Control Your Health and Wellness: The Doctors

Her hand on my pulse, my acupuncturist told me today that my energy was better than she’d ever seen. Did I feel more energetic? Well, now I felt a little zippier, because she’d told me I was. Was I on a new diet? No. Well, I might be eating less sugar than last month. Who isn’t eating less sugar in January than they did in holiday-riddled December? But I’m not eating no sugar. Give up chocolate? —Certainly not! So, no, diet was not the cause. Not that I don’t intermittently (okay, often) feel tempted to try any number of the new diets that come out every week, promising to change my life. The latest is eating “pegan”—that’s a combo of…

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The Interior Design Benefits of Meditating

Yesterday I hit Day 45 in my meditation streak. The streak was inspired in part by the utter randomness my meditation practice had become and in part by a meditation workshop I participated in on December 2. The last time I meditated for as many days in a row was in 2015. For this streak, I’ve asked myself to sit for at least 10 minutes every day, which means that for about 40 of the days I’ve sat for … 10 minutes. I’m tempted to judge myself for the shortness, but hey, I’ve been meditating regularly and so I’m less prone to! Have I achieved a higher level of consciousness? Am I having deeper thoughts now? If I am, then…

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How To Think About Gillette’s Believe Video: The Young Rooster, The Cat and The Baby Mouse

Gillette released its Believe video last weekend, stirring up much controversy. The video takes a bold stand against toxic masculinity, calling out aggression, fisticuffs, bullying, sexual harassment and other manifestations of the unhealthy boys-will-be-boys and men-will-be-men behaviours. As I was brushing away my tears and wondering if Gillette made women’s razors that I could start buying (oh, I already do but they’re called Venus, so I didn’t realize they were Gillette), there was wild pushback from men vowing to never shave with a Gillette razor again, claiming the right to be “real men” and to let the “soy boys be soy boys”. An aside: Among a certain quite large cadre of men, being vegetarian, as in, eating soy products, is considered…

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Not Running in Paris

I was in Paris for the month of December. Two weeks in my back started hurting for no discernible reason and I couldn’t run for the second half of my stay. In addition to the intense frustration at missing the pleasures of a run along the Seine (the light, the architecture, the people watching, the little exercise yard on the Left Bank), I felt old and creaky as I limped to the boulangerie in the morning for our breakfast baguette. (Side note—divine Paris breakfast—fresh baguette slathered with raspberry jam and sheep’s milk yogurt from an adorable little glass jar and crunchy salad of little gems, endive, snow peas, cherry tomatoes and carrots.) Getting out of bed as slowly as my back demanded…

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Making Room in My Mind: A Year of No Shopping

January 2019 is one week old and I haven’t shopped for more than a year now. I just finished my annual challenge for 2018: no shopping for clothes, shoes, handbags or jewelry. Way back in April 2018, when I wrote about the experience at three months, I had a clean feeling, as if I’d cut something pleasurable, yet toxic, out of my diet. At six months, a fog had cleared after that initial detox and I was starting to get a look inside my shopping mind. By the time nine monthsrolled around, weeks might pass when I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t shopping. I spent December, the final challenge month, in Paris, a city I go to often and where I…

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