*This is a re-post.

This time I’m headed to a farm with a bunch of friends to make theatre. Even though it’s my job it still feels luxuriously wrong. So, I’m reminding myself (and you) with this re -post; in this last week of summer before the shit hits the fan and the leaves start falling- to make myself go fucking relax. Please read on…

…I’m headed out to facilitate a woman’s retreat in Hawaii for a week. Basically, it’s a bunch of friends doing yoga, going deep, swimming with turtles, feeling our feelings, working on our tans and eating organic food pulled fresh straight the garden that morning.

My favourite part is that there are side by side outdoor claw foot bathtubs, so you can lie under the tropical stars with a friend, waxing poetic about life as the palm fronds wave above.


Sounds amazing right?

Except in the weeks leading up to this adventure I lie in bed and writhe with anxiety about going. I’m panicking and I can’t take a deep breath.

1. Because I have a 9 month old kid. (What kind of monster leaves their baby?)

2. Also, I don’t deserve it.

3. Also, life is hard, so this trip doesn’t make sense.

4. Also, my family might die while I’m away from them.

5. Also, how dare I imagine being so carefree?

6. Also, I’m selfish.


These are the thoughts keeping me up, staring at the ceiling at night.

So I go to my therapist to talk about it and she gets me to do something really weird.

She takes 6 scarves and for each dark thought I have, and one at a time, she drapes the fears over my shoulders and head.

Soon, I can’t see from underneath the fabric, it’s hard to breathe. My chest constricts.

She asks me what my body wants to do.

I drop to the ground and roll up in a tiny ball.

“It’s too much work” I say. “I shouldn’t go.”

“And now what?” she says.

“It sucks under here, my face is sweating.”


I stick out a leg to catch some air “the fabric stinks. I’m bored.”


I sit up and 3 of the scarves fall off my head onto my shoulders. That’s much better. The weight is less and I can take a deeper breath.

“Fuck this, I want to get on that plane”  I say.

“Okay” she says “why?”

“Because it takes discipline to let yourself feel good. It’s a fucking full time job keeping your head above water. It’s easy to stay at home and know that I don’t deserve pleasure- it’s much harder to stand up and fight for it.”

I pull a scarf off.

“I know this is totally obnoxious and I’m lucky to be having this problem- but I will not disregard my longing- with shame. Every single motherfucker on the planet deserves to feel good and if I actually get to, I will not waste my time indulging guilt…”

She tries to interject but I keep going.

“…And if I was talking to a friend, I would tell her “Remembering joy is your job. Lightening up takes rigor and don’t forget, you are fighting for a lot.”

Another scarf falls off.

“I’m going to work this week, the deadline is called “chilling out” and it’s a motherfucking full time contract.”

And another one drops. I can see through the gauze now.

“Motherfucker, to do what I love and be a mom is radical feminist act.”

Now I stand up.

“Because life is hard and it’s also so, so easy.”

And the monologue comes to a climax.

“It’s important, crucial actually,  that once a year, although it’s not good timing and I could save the money to fill a cavity, and my family needs me- to get the fuck out of town.

It’s really stressful being generous with yourself isn’t it? It feels impossible sometimes. It’s so anti-culture I’d call the act- revolutionary.

I’m writing this from the plane.

Don’t hate me. Join me.


Advice: What has Meaning?

exporter —  August 20, 2014 — 1 Comment


Thanks for your words on the cult of abundance.  I would love to hear your opinion regarding the cult of MEANING, finding meaning in every experience.

We live in our heads with worry for the imagined future and obsessing about the past while assigning meaning to every experience, feeling, thought, star movement, planet retro grading, spending patterns, temperature change, and on and on.

We create systems of power and governing and morality and yoga and then pretend these systems have natural laws.  So what is real? Why truly has meaning?   


Ohhhhh sheeeet. High 5 (Borat accent).

What the fuck am I supposed to do with this question?

Okay. So you are right. We try to make meaning because meaning is all we have.

We know nothing as to why we are here. What the point is? If we are useful or parasites and if we will all eventually be tortured slowly to death while the sun fades out because we took too many “I deserve it” vacations to Mexico.

Let me freak out about that for a minute; the “I deserve it” line.

You don’t deserve a massage, or a Saturday morning sleep in or even Earnest Ice Cream (Major plug here, holy fuck BEST IN THE WORLD.) You can have those things but they are not owed to you in any way- ever.

You deserve love.

You deserve shelter.

You deserve nutrition.

That’s it.

I got really high on mushrooms once and through my puking and crying into a snow bank God spoke to me. Like loud and clear and for real and it changed my life.

The message was:

1. This earth is my art and you were chosen to care for it. It is not here for you, you are here for it.

2. Expect nothing except sticks to make fire and clean water to drink. If you have loved ones, hold them close and do all that you can to protect them.

3. All that matters in your life…all you are here to do is care for my planet, care for each other and to find moments of comfort in the cold.

So, that’s pretty fucking bleak but it’s also a great relief.

This is our only job. This is our greatest meaning; to take care.

We make meaning because that means we are important and in control.

It makes sense to have rules to live by.

I used to have a slight OCD issue when I was a teenager and I’d close my eyes while driving and count upward slowly, and if I made it to an even number in the 20’s before swerving off the road or hitting someone that meant my mom wouldn’t die. It brought me relief to know I had control in some way. My actions had meaning.

But of course they don’t. And that’s the hardest thing to let in.

That all my connection making, praying, prostrating and believing might just be rituals to comfort me because truly what I most long for doesn’t even matter.

We don’t matter.

This is what God told me.

Which is why I just texted my husband to bring me home some Salted Caramel Earnest Ice Cream; because small comforts help; and taking care of each other is the only thing we can do in this wild, mysterious, passionate life that may mean nothing at all.

Kinda cheezy I know- but I didn’t say it.




This is a Secret Message

exporter —  August 10, 2014 — 2 Comments

Leave your partner or fuck your partner

Continue Reading...

feminist pickQuestion: When is it patriarchy and when am I being overly sensitive?

Recently, at the end of a long series of complex discussions, the guy who was leading (who is maybe 10 years older than me) came up to me and said “you are very smart!” He said it with a look of sort of amazement on his face and I believe he meant it as a compliment but I had a hard time imagining him saying the same thing to a 50-year-old man. Like the vast majority of the people I work with, I am smart but I frequently get this comment and it always pisses me off. I feel perhaps I am not exuding the kind of authority that might transform smart to wise. I would rather people be interested in the content of what I’m talking about than patting me on the head like a talking horse. Is “smart” a backhanded compliment, or am I being too sensitive?

Answer: Fucking smart question. Just kidding. It’s so subtle hey, the patriarchy…PATRIARCHY! Let’s all just take a deep breath and scream it at the top of our lungs Yaaaaaaaaa PATRIARCHY!

Let me be clear. PATRIARCHY hurts both men and women and is complicated.Being aware of the patriarchy doesn’t make us man haters. It doesn’t make us unfeminine militants. It’s simply the truth. Like, “my foot has a bunionette on it” is also the truth. Sometimes the truth is annoying as fuck; but it’s right there, in plain sight when I look for it. So, let’s get over feeling nervous about using the word. If it offends or instigates reaction in you – that’s because it’s powerful and alive so let’s dig a bit deeper shall we.

Here are the clues I can pull from your question that prove that this guy is using the privilege of PATRIARCHY by calling you “smart.”

#1. You are right; he would not say that to another man. Can you imagine? “Well done Blaine (high 5) you are really smart!”  Not. Going. To. Happen. Because you are right (again), it’s demeaning and weird to point out the obvious in people. When we respect someone, we don’t highlight what is naturally assumed.

#2. Your spidey senses were activated. Why don’t we give these senses more credit? Instead we ask am I being too high mai? Am I being too sensitive?” Because you are so “smart” you know when you smell shit, you know when someone is lying, you know when you are being placated, you have always known since you were a little girl…but…

#3. You don’t feel free to challenge him in the moment. A powerful, adult, educated feminist was stopped dead in her tracks by a benign off the cuff compliment. Hmmmm. Weird. This, again, is the insidious grip of PATRIARCHY.

I have to stop the rant for a minute and say- if I were reading this right now, I may secretly think “fucking 90’s feminist, enough with the rage already, have we not moved on? I’m bored of womanifestos and the Indigo Girls are grandma’s…”and then I’d have to consider that this thought too is part of… PATRIARCHY.

Women are also a part of PATRIARCHY. Sometimes we may be even more damaging because we are so personal with our self-hatred. I recently posted:


…which was meant to be a poke at what our culture limits feminism to; (sex trade workers, men, and topless bunnies are usually not welcome) and I was onslaught with hate mail from feminist women. Not a single man commented on the post but the women attacked me in full force. It hurts when we turn against each other while fighting the same battle. But once again, I have to remember, the women are not shaming me intentionally- it’s because of our complete immersion and complicity in PATRIARCHY.

What can we do about the insidious trap of PATRIARCHY:

#1. We can start using the word more. Stop being scared of being called “an angry feminist.” Stop caring about “rocking the boat” and when we see PATRIARCHY point it out.

#2. This doesn’t have to be aggressive or mean. Could you imagine yourself stopping him right in the moment he called you smart and asking pleasantly “why would you think otherwise?” To me, this is the same as stopping racism when we see it. Saying no to it. Publically. In the moment. Yes, it’s fucking uncomfortable, yes, it means you are calling attention to yourself but this is your job as a woman- for women- to stand up and speak up when you see/feel inequality (especially when it’s subtle and tricky in group settings).

#3. Who fucking cares if it’s disruptive or embarrassing. The more we do it; the less it becomes so. The more we do it, the more other people will do it too. Begin. Now.

#4. You doing this inspires ALL people to stand up when their spidey senses are activated. It also asks ALL people to really think about what they are saying before they say it.

#5. Get over the fear of hurting feelings. We are NOT blaming men. We simply want to be considered equal in every way and we will assume men want that for women too unless shown otherwise.This man probably doesn’t want to sound like an ignorant prick. If he’s in anyway cool or intelligent he will check his ego and appreciate the gracious note. *Side story- just the other day I got schooled by a friend for saying something dumb. I said “…in First Nations culture…” and she was like “there are a LOT of First Nations cultures out there dude, and we are all very different, so you are totally off base with the mass generalization, who precisely are you talking about?” and I was like “ohhhhhh shit, here I am, trying to be all fucking cool citing “First Nations trivia” and she got me- in public”. And it was embarrassing and I thanked her and I will again. Thanks Quelemia. It’s a gift when someone gives you the chance to learn and grow.

#6. I recently read about how important wrath is in the book Dakini Power by Michaela Haas (which is fucking awesome.)  The Buddhist nun interviewed made a distinction between anger and wrath explaining that anger is painful and muddy and messy, but wrath is clean and true. When you feel wronged. Speak your wrath. Be Clear. Move on.

#7. Finally, when you do speak up- be aware of backlash comments such as “what’s the big deal? And “are you taking this a little too seriously?” and don’t let this phase you. This again is PATRIARCHY talking through someone. It’s easy to be relaxed and want to stay that way when you are part of the comfortable majority.

It would be great if this was everybody’s job, it would be amazing if someone else stood up for you in that group and mentioned how weird the comment was, it’s frustrating to fight your own battles but it is our job to start raising our expectations, it’s your job to respect your spideys and speak your wisdom.

PATRIARCHY is right here.

You are not being “over- sensitive.”

You are wrathful about the ridiculousness of it all.

We all are.


*Another awesome book about contemporary feminism and patriarchy is How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.  I just bought 5 of these necklaces for my friends from her website.

My best friend gave me the challenge of trying my very best while drawing a picture.

This is the final product.

Honestly, I spent fifteen minutes of concentrated effort.

I focused.

I’m quite proud of how it turned out.

Everytime I look at it I laugh because I can’t quite believe I’m this bad at drawing.

Sometimes your very best is fucking hilarious.



Emelia Symington Fedy —  July 21, 2014 — 3 Comments

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For all you women out there gettin’ er’ done today;

Good work.

Thank you.

You rule.

It helps.