Last Sunday the playful and compassionate writer, Tess Wlxted nominated me for a One Lovely Blog Award. Read all about it at her blog.

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What a gift to open my emails and find someone writing to me, saying, in essence, ‘I like what you have to say, and I like how how you say it!’

So this award comes with a few responsibilities including needing to thank the blogger who nominated me, which I am going to do right now: Thanks so much Tess, for taking the time to read my words and for gifting me this beautiful opportunity.

Next I am required to share 7 things about myself. Now it doesn’t specify what kinds of “things” so I’ve decided, since I realize (and am making this up as I write it here) that my “New Year’s” (that’s the Jewish New Year which starts on the 16th of this month) resolution is to bring more impish playfulness to my blog and my life, I will share my 7 favourite poems and give you a reason why I am choosing them. Okay here goes, and not in any particular order:

1. I am a Woman – This poem is long and is more of a performance than a written piece. I have shared it on many stages, including at my first ever reading at Black Sheep Books in Vancouver where the response was incredible. I wrote this in 1994, pre-Vagina Monologues, pre-Eve Ensler. It’s a retelling of the story of the original Eve, in the Garden of Eden, with a lot of erotic twists catalyzed by my encounter with a tempestuous serpent. In it I dramatically personify my genitalia: womb, vagina, clitoris, vulva, cunt.

2. The Game – Probably one of the most healing poems I have ever written, it allowed me to look with more compassion, curiousity and innocence at an experience that was mired in guilt, shame and anger.

3. Break the Glass – A poem based on a dream, it’s about a wedding ceremony that marries me with the people and natural place I call home. It’s on my upcoming CD, still in process.

4. The Man in Me – Besides the pleasure of the possibility, I love this poem because it permitted me to own those characteristics that are normally not ascribed to women. Yes, I am a girly girl at first glance (see my long flowing tresses and flower print dresses), however there is the “other” in me, and here I embodied many “others’. Actually I brought the inspiration of several different male consorts into this poem. (No I’m not telling which!)

5. Grace – As a poet, I often forget how I ever wrote them. This one is about a woman fighting for survival in an abusive domestic situation. She is determined to “move,” seeking refuge in a “hole in the couch” first, and then “a crack in the bathroom sink”. This may be the poem that I have performed the most. It’s like a mantra, a prayer, remininding me again and again of where I come from, how I got here (to poetry, love, compassion, the farm, Centre for Loving Inquiry).  She finds “love” in an unsuspecting place, with surprising “lovers”. Isn’t that the truth?!

6. Tango – I looooove to dance. I repeat, I looooove to dance. This one was inspired by my immersion over the course of one summer in the hypnotic rhythms and movements of the Argentinean Tango. You can watch a video of me “telling” the poem here.

7. Moonsnail – I found the particularly beautiful shell on the beach in 2000, but didn’t write the poem until three years later, in a poetry class with Salt Spring poet and writing teacher Lorraine Gane. I love these two lines: “How it came to be that you became my destiny/ Remembering why I came here, why I dream.” Each time I share them I learn something different about myself and the world.

(Just in case you are interested, all of the poems except for #3 are either on my CD or in my book, both of which can be read about and purchased here .)

Now I have to choose 15 or so blogs that inspire and delight me. Wow, this might take a while. So I will start with the ones I know and love. I will have to write another post after searching for some more.

routes of presence – Ariana Salvo is a dear friend whose writing is so beautiful, so descriptive, so lush and full of the wonder of nature and relationships.

pieces of her story – Sam Barlow shares the stories that she hasn’t told, those that have been hanging out below the surface of her life in this always courageous, poetic and insightful blog.

the green bough – Oriah Mountain Dreamer has written many beloved books about the life of the heart and the spirit. Here she offers marvelous tidbits of wisdom and joy.

chookooloonks – Karen Walrond’s book is called “The Beauty of DIfferent”. Her photos and her writing are honest, lovely and prolific.

kindred spirits project – Allen Schoen is a holistic veterinarian, the first one to bring chiropractic and other natural healing techniques to animals over two decades ago. He writes about human-animal connections in this powerful blog.

the sartorialist – Scott Schuman takes incredible photos of people on the streets of Milan, Paris, London and New York mostly, with a few side trips around Europe. I get a hit of beauty and inspiration when I open this blog.

4. Now I am asked to leave a comment at each blog nominated so they know to expect some new guests real soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the reading and seeing and being inspired. You never know what you might stumble upon…