je te sens loin. est-ce que ça va? si tu peux, donne-moi des nouvelles.
je te sens loin. est-ce que ça va? si tu peux, donne-moi des nouvelles.
it is hard to find the words that would translate at what level i thank you for your honest May 2nd email/post mentioning eating, trans, sexual identity and love. it is reassuring to hear that you are cautious with the word « love ». it makes me feel safe. i have tears in my eyes as i realize how much i have felt betrayed by this word when it has been said while contradicted by body language that screamed something different. and now it is my turn to reflect on my use of the word as i also have trouble with self-love. i have these winds around my spine, that i am getting to know and release sometimes, but they make my heart/spirit/trust/love disappear in a landscape where there is no self-love, only fear and terror.
i like our new phone habits. i really like to be allowed to spontaneously call you. we spoke three times i think. your offer yesterday to smudge for my friend S just blew my mind and was so welcome. after we spoke, it felt that my air was thicker with existence and potential and S and i had a productive conversation. thank you Ray.
i am so glad that things are rolling for you again. congratulations on the hard work to arrive at that again.
here two recordings. tell me please which one you prefer and why, if you know.
– All the best, Claude- respect with affection – ray
i really keep our chat on the phone in my ears and heart. thank you for that.
after we spoke, i went to pick some nettle in a park not far from where i live and the next day gave some to an artist friend living close to me. it was some kind of exchange for the toilet paper he buys for me when he buys some for himself. carrying big package of toilet paper on my bicycle is not very handy….
he and i spoke about what nettle does to the body and then, he shared with me that another artist, dear friend of mine too, gave his partner an « insulin plant » she had brought back from Colombia. he explained to me that the leaves help stabilize sugar levels. i have no idea if it could be of any benefit for you, but i could not help thinking that this sequence of event had some kind of meaning.
so, today, i found a rhizome on the net that will be sent to you. maybe you will have the desire to plant it in a pot and let some leaves grow and then try one to see what it does to you. maybe it won’t feel right and you won’t.
thank you for writing. i am as faithful as a dog in friendships, so, i am here. my last post said something about reaching the limit of this friendship on a blog and this was about the limitation of the blog, not the limits of my/our friendship. unfortunately i am physically far, so, please, if you would like a phone call let me know.
i think of you with the same endless respect for your power of spirit.
reaching out to you I don’t know what to ask of you. I do care about you and i hope we can remain friends. and i do know that you care about me
ton silence me trouble. il doit se passer quelque chose. je suis loin et mon imagination s’empêtre dans des cercles vicieux où il n’y a pas de voie par laquelle je pourrais raisonnablement être près et avec toi sur ton chemin. Ray, as-tu besoin de quelque chose? merde, je vois à quel point il est ridicule de poser cette question sur ce blogue. merde. je crois qu’on a atteint là la limite d’une amitié sur un blogue. merde.
mais, mon amour pour toi est le même,
Ray, i feel far away from you.
Ray, i do not know how you are doing.
Ray, it feels like nothing can buffer the physical distance between you and me. life is not easy here and must not be there either, and maybe it also seems to you that it is shrinking to the necessities of the local to an absurd point where even the local is not possible anymore.
Ray, i am going to meditate soon and salute the 4 directions.
Ray, i am ok, not dying of covid, so i am grateful for that.
thank you very much for your sharing. you shared a photo of yourself. here are some of me:
with my building behind me (unfortunately my unit is on east the side where any sunlight is blocked by condo buildings around)
April 8, 2021
April 9, 2021
a lot has happened in my housing advocacy during the last weeks, in parallel with trying to get back to health. i am almost there but Toronto is in a covid exponential nightmare and it is quite scary to belong to the oversensitive, low-weight, high-risk, disabled in that context.
life is really a very precarious thing, such that sometimes i wonder what the fuck we are doing trying to invent layers and layers of mind and of activities that have nothing to do with heart or the basics of care.
yes food is sacred, but does this exclude that sometimes it becomes a dark teacher, one that hurts?
i do not know what my spirit color is. blue was my favorite color as a kid, but later on, even if i still saw colors they had no vivid individualized presence; they were overstimulating or meaningless or too attached to what others would say they are or just representing form. now, through meditation, i start to be able to differentiate them again and to experience them sometimes slightly independently from the shape they are in. rarely. please tell me more about colors.
i hope you are ok. i often think of you, but not writing to you made me feel further, less connected, less part of your life too.
Ray, i feel the need to spontaneously reply.
please tell me about you. do you have your poetry around you? what colors do you resonate with? what direction is the one which speaks the most to you right now? is food always in the sacred spot of your heart?
Ray, how are you?
i am almost back to my pre-infection « normal » with the teaching that well, i have to commit to life if i want to continue to live. maybe i have to abandon my project to build a chosen family around me? do i?
today is new moon and i want you to know that you have a power of spirit that travels distance. the « you are not alone » in your last post resonated very loud when i read it and it still does when i look at the post again. it is like the words jump at me. the post is printed on paper and it is around me all the time.
these words of yours make me feel i am in an old massive beautiful building that echoes human voices just like when you sit on top of a mountain and every shout echoes from the mountains around. massive masses of granit chanting with you.
maybe it is because you anchor every of your words at the very deep level my soul can automatically trust. it is rare.
i am grateful.
yes, i would like to visit Sudbury but it feels like i won’t be able for long and then it might be « too late ».
you are there, in Sudbury. it is Saturday morning. my phone tells me your sky is cloudy. i wonder what you are doing and where your mind and hearts are. i wonder what is the direction that teaches you the most today. i wonder whether you can feel my heart and compassion for us human beings this morning.
i wonder how food appears to you this morning. is it
atoms and molecules to digest
potential for hurt
a dark hole of distraction
an endless isolator
a suitcase of sensations
a dark cloud of overstimulation
a dangerous link to spirit
i send love to you and my gratitude,
you ability to hear me and respond on the same wavelength is tangible and i want to express my felt gratitude. thank you Ray.
thank you also for sharing more of your vulnerability. you allow me to step closer and let my heart, body, mind, spirit resonate with your words, hopefully with you.
and before i go into more of a reply to your words, i need to preface with this: over here, i am near unable, weak, with urinary tract infection and symptoms of burn out and the universe keeps sending me bad news or information i can’t handle in that state. so, i am learning a lot too. and, yesterday i learnt that going to the doctor and being taken care of felt like the « social nourishment » you were talking about: the nurse touched my arm (nobody touched me since august last year); i was heard by my very nice doctor body/mind together; my friend Simlâ came to the clinic to pick me up.
you say you can’t sort out emotions right now.
i say i can’t either and i am learning how much work that usually is.
is this place of « can’t » the best spot for us to learn what our path is?
does it force us to accept the current process?
is the sorting out of emotions (ours and that of others probably) part of the self-punishing?
it is snowing, snowing, snowing here and i sit here with this computer and i imagine being over there in Sudbury, closer to your energy, your poetry, your vulnerability, your art. i am so glad to hear that your friend has found a place! this is great and it was suddenly fast. well, i hope it is still all good since you wrote about this a few days ago and, at least here, sometimes good places just suddenly fall apart.
i am also grateful for your honest sharing of how your motivation, mood, food and physiology intertwine.
what if that sharing were a poem you shared with the world? what if it were « art », the only art possible when we are down to the line between spirit and matter?
i have struggled a lot with food in my life. when i was close to 16, my grand-mother was dying and i think i felt drawn to be spirit more than matter. inadvertently, i discovered that eating only the very minimum would kick my brain on a source of energy that a lot of anorexic brains kind of get a high on. i had incredible clarity and, as suprising as this might be, that made me appreciate food even more: only the minimum, so every bite was precious and had to be good.
then, i will jump to a time in my life where food felt like my biggest enemy. i had psychosomatic body pain that was so intense i could not cut vegetables anymore and food would hurt after eating and go through me like liquid most of the time. i was loosing weight, becoming unable. the repressed emotions that had blocked my throat during the last years of my PhD, which were the beginning of dark times with food, were now lower in the body, blocking digestion at the chemical level. doctors were clueless and disrespectful. a very ridiculous time in retrospect.
it is the smoked whitefish of First Nations’ fisher family Andrew Akiwenzie from the west coast of Georgian Bay which saved my life. literally. i bought a piece from Andrew directly, at a farmers’ market in Toronto and from the first bite on, the fish felt like life. the fish felt like it had died differently than the fish you find on the market. the marinade that his wife used to smoke the fish was deliciously nutritious. my body/mind, sensitive at the extreme at the time, « decided » that this could be digested.
now, food is kind of sacred, but i am also super super repetitive with what i eat and i am shy about it.
please do not worry about technology. we can have a phone call about the cellphone and see how to start it together.
then, about our recording: do you have what you need on your computer to listen to it?
how are you Ray?
Je pense à toi Ray.
Tonight East reminded me that i do not have to believe the fear monger on my left side, South let me meet and release a big chunk of anger in my head, West let me poor stories out of my relieved head and North put me in the middle of a world way more complex and stable than i am used to experience. I am grateful.
I am thinking of you, in my heart.
i hear you. i hear you tell me that you are in a state of mild depression. i hear your words in my heart.
i do not know enough about you to intuit what texture of me could be good to you right now. if it feels right, please teach me what you need.
I will need some instruction on how to use it. I thought our conversation went well. i will listen to it again to make my selections.
thank you again for the phone conversation we had last tuesday. it is with me quite a bit and often at the end of the day, tired from doing background work for housing or ODSP advocacy, full of anger against my City and our Province, betrayed by reports with hypocritical language that promises a better time but clearly is just about austerity agenda, i think of how, in the end, we only have each other and then, i feel the need to write to you and tonight i do. other days, i spiral into the dark truth of our aloneness and there, the aloneness turns into shame and loneliness and fear.
i am listening to our conversation right now, trying to choose my 2 little segments to suggest to you as something we could publish. i cherish our words.
how are you? are you chosen your little 2 segments?
thank you for your words.
i have read your post carefully and i am glad we will speak on the phone probably tomorrow.
at this point, i really do not know what life you think i have, but i hear you, and my perception is that you need reassurance that we are communicating, understanding each other in the mind and in the heart.
maybe my post of january 16th was not clear. it was my truth, but more like a highly needed poetic burst from different sources and seams, intertwining the individual and the systemic over time. i did not have time and energy to explain, only to verbalize, share, open questions. it seems i was rooting my fear of becoming homeless from March to August 2020 with my constant relentless but apparently vain search for « home », for a community and my current behind-the-doors activism to try to participate in changing something for others in this quite hostile and pandemic-hit city of Toronto.
Ray, i suggest that we are experiencing something now that this blog was probably going to make visible, i.e. that creating a new relationship through written words, from two different cities, from souls and hearts who have never met, with different stories and pains, individual and systemic is not easy.
i am grateful that we are doing that. thank you for being in it with me.
me, yesterday on the left, today on the right.
j’écrirai plus plus tard de nouveau, mais, pour le moment, je veux juste te dire que je suis content à l’idée d’un téléphone bientôt et te rassurer que je ne suis pas sans-abri en ce moment. excuse-moi si mes mots ont apporté de la confusion à ce sujet.
thank you for checking in and for your good thoughts. they are appreciated. i have had a very strange week. right now, different sources in my body bubble words and my mind does not know which one to observe and let flow. if i let them all flow more or less simultaneously, this is what comes out….
gratitude for tenderness or principle of mediocrity. sound, light. clouds. my or your molecules, here or there, or their molecules, floating or grabbing, onto and towards, tree, water, moon, wind. if and when. 17 Paton Road expropriation by the City? you are loosing you time he said. there has never been a community anyway. Chief Building: « i am very happy with the situation ». building empty. homeless people in tents. one eviction every 3 min. poverty reduction strategy: a strategy to reduce the poverty of the state, not ours. pathologization of poverty and homelessness. this is how homosexuals and trans people have been pathologized after being criminalized. systemic oppression is dark. hospitals ICU full, disabled people triaged, end of the line. where is « home »? what do you want? material. blood, breathing. hands. skin. roof, food, bicycle, yes. now. her voice. her pace. her gentleness. i heard her on the phone. my cells are nourished. still, fears? winds between my fascia layers, sticking to the deep incarnated shame. that deep layer that i can’t exhale. feel it. face it gently. take it. shake. below. wait. she is a ghost that follows and stops you. is it bad? maybe what she thinks is exactly what will happen. principe of mediocrity. can we be afraid together? Ray, i am not an emerging personality. i am not a growing personality. sharing vulnerability is my practice as a human being. or it is me, as transparent as can be. maybe.
i send love to you Ray.
i am looking forward to when you will get the cellphone i have now ready in my hands for you. maybe you will agree to send voice recordings of some posts rather than a written version. i like hearing the voice of people.
what is your turtle commission?
i just looked at the blog on the GNO’s website and discovered that somehow all the spaces between paragraphs have been omitted! i do not know why and how this happened. i will look into it and try to change that.
thank you for sharing the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. they have been with me and also they have not, out of respect for you and for them, out of concern about appropriation and also out of commitment to my own practice, which is possibly rooted in my regular meditation and in the butoh teachings i got between 2000 and 2005.
butoh is now seen as a form of dance (and it has been very unfortunately appropriated by Western dancers), but it originated in Japan in the 1960’s as a post-war new and complex philosophy of personal and social identity, and of movement. in the teachings i received, there was a commitment to gravity and the body as teachers, a certain kind of common sense type of materialism and i can attest that it is when i try to « sense » the directions, in my present materiality moment, that i feel i can walk life.
in your post, you suggest a phone call to discuss, as you beautifully say, « our various understandings on matters of the spirit ». do you envision this as a recorded phone call which we would post here or as a private phone call?
now, what will i say next?
it seems that there is a need to drop into « materiality », to share that my past week has been full of gestures towards housing and ODSP activism. i worked a lot, too much actually and with depressing material and news, which led to diarrhea when i was for too long on the computer. all this was and is an escape to recoil from revisiting the « family » hurt around christmas, an attempt to live with unresolved questions i thought i could find a beginning of solution to, and a renewed commitment to work towards systemic change.
we need capital funds for social housing, not only (modular) « supportive » housing that coerces people to accept services that might not work for them.
we need a Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that increases social assistance rates, rather than hypocritically fill its coffers with income, CERB and CRB clawbacks, and balance budgets by sending disabled people to work.
we need solidarity.
we need interdependence.
we need chosen families.
with warmth to you Ray,
your words have arrived in me and they have touched me with a very unique and never-experienced-before power. nobody ever told me they were welcoming me in their heart domain. what a gift. right now, i feel i have encountered your spirit and i feel i have been held without the fear of taking your space. thank you.
my being trans today was to wonder if i should book an appointment with Service Ontario to continue my journey of changing my name and my gender on my identity papers. at Service Ontario it would be for my OHIP card (would be good if i end up in hospital because of covid) and my driver’s license. this process of changing my name started on may 4 with a request for a Change of Name sent to the Ontario Registrar. it took 3 back and forth and 3 stamps and signatures from my MPP as commissioner of affidavits for the Registrar to be happy with my application and then, the amazing Registrar’s office sent me a Certificate of Change of Name with a mistake…. so, i sent it back and then it took another few weeks until i got the correct one. what relief when i finally got it. now, i am trying to have my new name (claude) on my identity papers and this is another « interesting » process. maybe you also changed your name and know what this is.
i have meditated outside, with the 4 directions, every day before breakfast for probably 10 years now and more recently before dinner too. my experience tonight:
Eastern direction? yes, let my red thread slightly undo this unknowable story in your head.
Southern direction? yes, listen to the screams.
Western direction? yes, humour.
Northern direction? yes, i am no judge.
Ray, your turn. Please, if it is ok with you, tell me more about your relationship with the 4 directions. And anything else you would like to share today.
Gentleness to you,
thank you for your sharing, your wishes and your curiosity about me. please receive my whispers of good and peaceful wishes for you for the year to come.
i just had a few rough days and i am not out yet, but i can write to you tonight. i will share just a very few things about being trans and will be super happy to share more in my next posts.
for me being trans is having had the best week of my life ever in Montréal in 2017 where i went for top surgery. it was pure bliss. i had prepared my journey quite a bit before and was sure i had made the right choice. i had also honoured my breasts through some rituals, but the clarify of soul when in Montréal carried me unbelievably powerfully and gently. i remember my tears of joy in the elevator to the operation room and i joked with the anesthesiologist right up until she pressed her liquid in and i fell under. and then, i had the best care ever from 2 friends for a full week and also from other people when i came back to Toronto.
being trans is a spiritual journey.
being trans, for me, also comes with quite a bit of social discomfort, partly because i inject T at small dosages and look kind of in-between female and male. and it comes with family pain. the family pain is way more complex than only about my gender, but since end of years over and over force me to face a murky although very volatile darkness more than at other times, here is my poem of today.
January 2nd, 2021
food? yes, i am here.
roof? yes, i am here.
bed, i am terrified. do you hear me? no reply
bicycle, do you have a heart? no reply
mom? no reply
dad, que l’année 2021 te soit “bonne” dans tout ce que ceci peut signifier. Que les bonnes choses coulent vers toi. Pour ton coeur, ton corps, ton âme, tes pensées, tes relations avec les autres. Pour mami aussi. Je vous aime.” no reply.
brother? no reply
“family”? no reply
sadness? yes, i am here, hidden because you can’t hold me fully.
shame? yes, i am here and you can see me when your body fades away.
heart? yes. i am so full of learnings i can’t process, i am almost bleeding.
mind? yes, i am looking for home. do you see my nerves extending towards the nowhere i hope is somewhere? do you see me sunk in your heart not understanding anything anymore?
soul? yes, i am here. you are raw like a roadkill. it’s ok.
East? yes, i am here with small gentle scoops to take you despair.
South? yes, black sky black water.
West? yes, soft whispers.
North? yes, there is future. you have to choose grace.
with tenderness towards you,
ps: if anybody reading us would like to communicate with us or comment privately or publicly (i can post your words?), please email us at claudesudbury at gmail dot com.
je me demande si tu as des ancêtres parmi les Premières Nations.
je me demande ce que tu aimerais savoir de moi.
it is the time of year when i can spiral down lost in cracks. i am disciplined at the moment to respect the cracks while not falling. today is a bit hard i admit. the body tends to vanish.
with this awareness, i consider your sacred acknowledgment of our start of a new human relationship. simple. present. there. cracks or not. respect. i pause and i listen. i hear you and i do not. i feel i trust you for a fraction of a second (intellectually, i trust you. period. but emotionally, trusting others paradoxically feels like betraying still others).
still, in my core, i feel i have received something. thank you.
and then, i will share something about smudging.
smudging is also in my life and it has been part of my reverence/sacred/safety practice for years now. ironically, since i had to move in august, smudging can trigger the centralized fire alarm and bring fire trucks in the next 5 minutes… and it does so with very little….
as a 1st generation white settler though, i feel very shy to share this practice of mine. i have had conversations with Indigenous artists and been invited by one specifically to smudge a space instead of her doing it, and so, there is a sense that the practice has come to me too, but still, i know i am appropriating.
please tell me more about smudging for you.
thank you claude – very thoughtful – i thought you might like to know that I am celebrating our new relationship with a smudge of tobacco, cedar, sage and sweetgrass – always – ray
i and artist Ray Laporte from Sudbury are starting a public conversation in this blog.
we spoke on the phone and my perception is that we agreed to do this as gestures of life, from our life experience and as part of our life as two people who are now by default in a human relationship. do you agree Ray?
this is « art » for me even if it might not appear as such. i wonder whether i want to say something else today. yes, this.
Ray, here is a selfie drawn with both hands and eyes closed and some words.
it is now 4:35pm
my deep shame/fear
as it does every day
to remind me that
i feel unsafe
in my own home.
i well know this is internalized oppression,
me behind all
where home is.
your turn Ray.
thank you for doing this with me.
Sudbury artists, I suggest you sign this letter.
It is to support internationally known and revered artist Tania Bruguera and other Cuban artists in their current fight for their own physical integrity and artistic freedom in Cuba (see press articles below). Writing a letter seems ridiculously ineffective given the threats that these artists are going through, but the friend of Tania who composed the letter tells us that being visible in the media is one of these artists freedom/life-saving tools. So, please sign and share widely. The letter will be posted on Tania’s website.
The letter is here.
December 19, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/09/world/americas/cuba-protest-san-isidro.html December 7, 2020: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/tania-bruguera-under-house-arrest-in-cuba-as-anti-government-protests-escalate December 7, 2020: https://hyperallergic.com/605948/artist-tania-bruguera-detained-in-havana-for-the-third-time-in-a-week/ December 6, 2020: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/06/havanas-artists-find-their-voice-in-a-call-to-defend-creative-freedom December 3, 2020: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/03/941941353/artists-gather-for-rare-act-of-defiance-against-cuban-regime December 2, 2020: https://www.e-flux.com/announcements/364681/an-open-letter-to-american-cultural-institutions-arts-professionals-journalists-and-various-cubaphiles/ November 28, 2020: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/after-rare-protest-show-dissent-cuba-artists-say-government-agrees-n1249234
peut-être que je finis un chapître difficile ou suis-je en train d’en commencer un nouveau sans votre consentement? je me sens timide, coupable d’absence et coloniser cet espace encore, de nouveau.
pourquoi vous écris-je? pour vous demander de me mettre en contact avec
claudesudbury at gmail dot com
Who is threatening whose lives at Ledo Hotel?
As you might remember, I recently had to vacate my live/work studio (620 sq feet with 3 huge studio windows for $800) at 17 Paton Road in Toronto, because our Fire Chief and Chief Building decided that my ex-landlords’ progress towards making it Fire Code complying were too slow and not convincing enough (they had installed a whole new interconnected fire alarm – possibly over-complying – and we had sprinklers – yes that too- , but no 2nd exit and that, i am quoting, disturbed the sleep of our Chief Building – who did not think that we would loose speed and mind to be asked to relocate in the middle of a pandemic.).
Well, the story of Ledo hotel, as published on October 27, 2020, in the Sudbury Star, is not unsimilar. In both cases, we end up with displaced low-income tenants and an empty building ready for an exquisite non-affordable or even non-residential development. This is very sad and i can’t help but think that how our City officials apply their rules is participating in gentrification and painful displacement.
If you know anybody who lived at Ledo Hotel however, please let them know that according to the Sudbury’s « local priority rules » of access to social housing, they are (close to be) in a position to qualify for « Urgent Access » to rent-geared-to-income units. This is the good news:
J’ai parlé aujourd’hui avec le Registre des logements de la ville du Grand Sudbury aujourd’hui et j’ai appris 2 choses importantes.
Et maintenant, puis-je vous encourager à remplir votre demande de logement à loyer indexé sur le revenu? Ca va prendre du temps jusqu’à ce que le logement vous tombe dans les mains….
le chapitre de ma crise de logement se boucle. je suis relogé et ma requête auprès de la ville de Toronto et de la Province d’Ontario de m’accorder l’un de leurs subsides de logement a été approuvée.
je me trouve à la fois bien humble et profondément furieux face à ce que j’ai appris durant cette periode bien noire. je n’avais jamais vécu jusque là la subtile et de plus en plus béante violation de la dignité qui accompagne le risque de perdre son droit au logement, une violation qui s’infiltre même lorsque les amis sont là. je suis furieux face à la quantité de changements que notre système devrait s’imposer pour respecter notre droit au logement.
il faut changer quelque chose.
une crise de logement est une oeuvre d’art.
la mienne a passé par une tempête de peur de devenir sans abri et de rage contre la ville de Toronto qui m’a refusé accès à une unité qui aurait été financièrement viable à long terme pour moi, après m’avoir fait attendre 7 semaines pour me donner réponse (on appelle ce genre d’unités « Rent-Geared-to-Income » ici).
maintenant, je me retrouve avec un contrat signé pour un apartment dont je ne pourrai pas payer le loyer. pourquoi? signer un contrat était nécessaire pour commencer une candidature pour un subside de logement (dans un monde un peu mieux fait, on recevrait le subside avant de chercher un logement et de signer un contrat, n’est-ce pas?) et signer un contrat m’évite aussi de me retrouver sans abri dans les prochaines semaines.
mercredi 19 août, je déménagerai et je ne sais toujours pas si la Province d’Ontario a accepté ma candidature pour le subside. pourquoi ceci est-il même possible? lorsque j’emballe mes choses, il me semble que je suis dans une réalité parallèle.
from artist Carrie Perreault:
« I recorded it while sitting at my desk looking through kijiji for possible apartments for you. I’m sure you’re looking there all the time—sadly I didn’t see anything worth mentioning. »
je n’ai toujours pas de nouvel appartement. j’attends constamment sur des réponses qui ou bien ne viennent pas ou me reviennent négatives.
des amis m’ont offert des solutions d’urgence pour des stages temporaires.
je vous avoue que je ne sais bientôt plus comment garder une certaine dignité et ceci affecte mes relations avec les autres.
home is more than an image of home.
j’ai demandé conseil à un des activistes les plus dédiés et écoutés à Toronto par les sans-abris sur le terrain et par les médias et on n’a pas réussi à inventer une seule stratégie pour pourrait m’aider.
ma propriétaire a « généreusement » annoncé qu’elle allait changer les serrures.
bien sûr, nous collectionnons conseil légal, mais, je suis né pour l’action et alors, il me faut bouger l’énergie qui se bloque ou je suffoque. alors, j’ai préparé une valise d’urgence qu’une de mes chères amies est venue chercher et amènera chez une autre chère amie qui sera d’accord de m’accueillir pour dormir si je me retrouve fermé dehors. j’ai une énorme gratitude pour ce berceau d’urgence. merci S. and L.
jusqu’où cette histoire va-t-elle aller?
j’approche mes limites.
merci Danielle. c’est exactement ce dont j’ai besoin.
edited on June 8, 2020
Acknowledgement of my privilege
i wish to acknowledge that i am a first generation settler with many privileges, among them that of living on the land of Toronto whose history is not without sharp clashes of concepts and power, in common with most other Canadian land.
i am aware that this land has been the subject of the 1787 Toronto Purchase which was understood by Indigenous communities at the time as the beginning of a sharing relationship, but was used by settlers to transfer ownership to the Crown. i am aware that the “Purchase” took place for 10 shillings ($60 in today’s dollars), 2000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, a bale of flowered flannel and 96 gallons of rum. i am also aware that this same Toronto land was subject to a $145 settlement between the Crown and the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation in 2010 and that this settlement triggered mixed reactions among Indigenous communities.
then, i wish to acknowledge that despite some efforts in my artistic practice to participate in the deconstruction of this privilege and of that of being white, i have made only little progress and only in my understanding of this privilege, and this, sadly mostly through facing systemic oppression and housing precarity myself.
Acknowledgement of my current paradox
understanding privilege is very different from acting its deconstruction.
as i loose my home while white, trans, living with disability (difference) and largely under poverty line, i feel closer to the homelessness that is so disproportionately prevalent in Indigenous and BIPOC communities.
i am scared and the violence of the situation i and my neighbours are in in the middle of a pandemic has triggered ancestral and personal trauma. for some reason which i intuit is linked to my confusion about how to reconcile with land and its communities and about how to relate to privilege despite my intellectual understanding of where we are at, my being is currently shutting its own boundaries to shame and suicidal thoughts. i am deconstructing myself.
it is partly burn out but there is also a teaching here i suspect.
what i see now is that i do not know and i can’t rationalize how to embody a right to housing without entering intimately taboo internal landscapes (a sensation that i simply exist; to be heard; to experience life as simpler than i think it is; joy without punishment, etc.) and other landscapes that i do not find legitimate politically, such as consciously or unconsciously embodying white male entitlement.
the irony is that the taboo itself is both trauma and privilege.
i am stuck. fuck.
where is gravity?
thoughts welcome: claudesudbury at gmail dot com
Svp signez cette pétition.
Ici un commentaire ajouté il y a deux jours par Monique Woolnough, Executive Director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic:
« As the Executive Director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic, I am appalled by how social assistance recipients are being left behind in in measures taken to address the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions. For low-income people already living well below the poverty line, many of whom are immune compromised, the added costs of delivery fees for groceries, cleaning products, communicating with their service providers through phone and the internet, etc… are simply inaccessible. Failing to include them in federal measures (like CPP-D recipients who have not been offered any additional assistance) or failing to ensure that provinces respect the federal directive not to claw back benefits simply reinforces the systemic practice of devaluing some lives over others and amounts to increasing the risk of infection and death in certain populations based on discriminatory factors. »
J’ai demandé aux personnes que je sais avoir visité ce blogue de me faire un enregistrement de leur répétitions de deux phrases précises.
Je leur ai dit d’y passer moins d’une heure contre un honoraire très symbolique de $15.
J’ai l’honneur de partager aujourd’hui la contribution de Carolina Reis. Merci beaucoup Carolina.
Parlons bientôt de ce que ce petit bout d’art fait bouger.
la différence entre les deux enregistrements, à part le fait que le premier a déjà été publié ici, est qu’en écoutant le deuxième, je commence à rire.
claudesudbury at gmail dot com
i acknowledge that
i have written a draft of a letter to the Fire Chief. it is not ready to be sent yet and maybe it will be transformed into another action. if you want to participate in any way in this action, please send an email to claudesudbury at gmail dot com
excusez-moi, j’ai activé mon anglais en premier et maintenant je n’ai plus la force de tout redire en français. c’est souvent le cas, je m’en rends compte.
recipe against internalizing oppression
accept that what you will write or draw will feel ugly
draw or write
for example, a repetition of « this is too much »
take one pen in left hand, one pen in right hand
close your eyes.
put marks on the paper as if making a very rough portrait of body locations that call your mind. these are usually areas of blocked energy. be as quick as possible with noticing changes from left to right. when you know what an area feels like, write it down with closed eyes. stop when you feel a slight release in your head.
turn the page of your notebook.
again, one pen in left, one pen in right hand.
alternatively draw lines that are all these possibilities in you that are blocked by your own judge or by new rules added or confusion or an overload of emotion. maybe you will know what narratives they tell. maybe not because the mind is too fast.
inevitably this will start shifting things and emotions will show up. e – motions will happen.
commit to feel that. this is what is behind the oppression.
it is extremely vulnerable life.
draw the lines that come out of that.
maybe extremely vulnerable big hands will suddenly show up.
let the lines go up.
let them pierce 1% of your own trauma.
no need for more.
commit to the (minuscule) light when you see some near the lines.
stay for a fraction of a second.
feel the tiny bit of peace that comes.
voici le studio que je vais perdre d’ici au 31 juillet 2020.
there are a lot of things that the article does not say.
i do not know how much longer i will sustain the task to generate fast thinking, grace and resilience to continue the political fight for this building while facing the dread of an unaffordable market and oppressive rules that accompany to our relocation.
needless to say that i have no time for bicycle wheels or for looking for a job and that when i open up to beauty, i end up in a blanket of trauma.
maybe i will edit this later. i admit.
Merci à ces deux artistes qui m’ont envoyé un courriel.
Ai-je la capacité de la recevoir en ce moment?
je m’autorise le temps d’écrire quelques lignes.
j’aimerais juste savoir si mes mots sont reçus par un être humain quelque part.
svp, écrivez-moi un mot si vous avez lu ces lignes.
clowittmann at gmail dot com
i did not pay my rent yesterday, but i live in a live/work studio and my lease is a commercial lease and this puts me at risk. my landlords want us out on May 10, 2020 (see eviction letter posted previously). it is a long, convoluted, time- and hope-consuming story.
the landlady is here right now, in her office, contemplating the absence of rent cheques and probably inventing a new offensive although she is a senior landlady with a lot of health worries for her husband on her shoulders and who said in the past that we were her « family ». she was a bit like an unpredictable aunt to me. this is typical Toronto gentrification with landlords we thought were atypical.
residential evictions are suspended because of the pandemic at the moment, but we do not know if commercial evictions are too and how they usually take place.
would it be better in Sudbury?
i am not safe when my safety is designed by somebody else.
especially if that person designs my safety in a way that makes them feel safe.
that imposed safety is a form of violence.
because of COVID-19 and the fact that i might loose my housing on June 30, 2020,
i feel closer to death.
i know i have to surrender to my intuition.
i try to release old trauma.
i try to release old habits.
i get rid of old material stuff.
i think of repressed desires for resolve.
before i die, i would like that Nick Torok and i acknowledge that we were not ready.
is that exactly what i want?
i try to accept change.
i understand safety in a different way.
wind and arrows fill the space between my bones.
my skeleton extends even more out of balance.
no housing is not an option.
no community is not an option.
i work all my energy to save our housing.
i worry about getting sick.
i worry about safety procedures.
i worry about my parents in Switzerland.
and then, i discipline myself towards allowing myself to love a wheel:
sound of a new 27 inch wheel before balancing the tension of the spokes and truing the weel
same wheel during the truing process
next time it will be louder.
Phone call with Danielle Tremblay, director of the Galerie du Nouvel Ontario, after the tenants in my building received a copy of a letter from the City ordering our evacuation from the building at the latest in 60 days, i.e. on May 10, 2020. The reason given is that the building is deemed unsafe.
Market rent in Toronto for a one bedroom: $2’200
My ODSP allowance: $1’169/month
video made by the tenants a few days after (i am the voice)
petition: your signature is still requested, please sign.
letters of support for us can be sent to Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, who is our City Councillor and Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee. Deputy Mayor Bailão with whom we have met twice already to request help on our plan for a transfer of ownership to a non-profit should put our housing « safety » right at the centre and help us keep our homes and keep them affordable rather than evacuate us. please send a copy of your letter to us at : [email protected]
if i were to have the flu or coronavirus,
my brain tissues might get inflamed
and i know i might end up living in a parallel reality.
meditation is enough to avoid that scenario with colds,
but i will not have the strength to hold
if mixed in heavier symptoms and mucus.
if i end up not being able to feed myself at home or in a hospital,
i beg you to try to feed me food that
i can actually digest and benefit from.
if there is anything sacred, food is for me.
i am aware that what is below asks for a lot, so, please do what you can.
BREAKFAST: red quinoa with 1 spoon of organic wheatgrass powder, probiotics, 4 drops of highly concentrated bee propolis, greens, radicchio, lettuce, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, 1 or 2 walnuts, oregano; DRINK: water from boiled green kale with nettle, calendula flowers, elderflowers, everlasting flowers, ashwaganda powder, 5 shizandra dried berries
LUNCH: baked fish with nothing else on it than basil or dill and turmeric, steamed greens, beet, lettuce, tahini, avocado; same drink as in the morning when possible or HOT WATER
DINNER: patties made of a mix of cooked lentils/quinoa/curly kale/tiny bit of chickpea flower with steamed greens, raw beet slices, a bit of smoked salmon, walnuts, avocado; same drink as for breakfast
SNACKS: 90% Lindt chocolate in small bites all day, oranges, 1 to 2 spoons of VEGA one powder in the morning and in the afternoon, in water. when needed some of the VEGA Sports bar Mint/Chocolate but my gut does not like it so much.
MY LENTILS/QUINOA PATTIES
Rinse red lentils well. Add cold water and let them come to boil. Change the water to get rid of the foam. Add water again + green curly kale + rosemary + basil and just a bit of salt (yes, here ok) or some seaweed to add salt. Let that become mush. Let cool down.
Rinse red quinoa, add 2x water and boil until cooked.
Mix about 2/3 or the lentils preparation with 1/3 of the quinoa. Add a bit of chickpea flower, create patties. Warm up a frying pan without oil and then, put the patties on there. They are going to react to the heat and that will keep them in one piece. Turn them after a while. Let them there until you know, they look ready.
WHAT I CAN EAT IN SMALL AMOUNTS
WHAT I CAN’T EAT (no life threatening allergies though)
WHAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO EAT
je suis soulagé car j’ai reçu le versement mensuel du POSPH malgré le fait que mon assistante sociale est absente jusqu’à nouvel avis et qu’aucun des deux autres assistants sociaux que j’ai essayé de contacter n’ont eu le temps de me rappeler.
j’ai reçu moins que ce que j’aurais dû recevoir, mais ça va aller.
POSPH = Programme ontarien de soutien aux personnes handicapées
je parle français aussi, mais là les mots me viennent en anglais.
my shoulders and neck are burning with needle quick picking sensations. my mind is racing in fast disembodied associations. my head is hot. my bones are also my mind and that’s the case for all of us, but these bones of mine right now are vanishing. i know that if i do not take care of this, it will get worse. and that knowledge creates fear. fear of future. will i become homeless?
it is tricky to share this world because when i do, i participate in what ableist minds like to do with lives like mine. i share what makes my life interesting to the media, sometimes to academics or even advocates in their hunger to define my misery and possibly activate gestures from other hungry people who want to practice their acts of charity.
i want to be an equal.
i am in a swamp-space endlessly extended in directions out of the entitlement to exist and out of the belief that i will be able to come to Sudbury. for reasons i won’t share, traveling and committing to a predetermined schedule are hard although, in the deepest contradiction of the wild animal i am -and we all are wild animals-, structure and commitment are exactly what i need. i love deeply love when i can work at bikechain in Toronto. build a bike from used parts. step by step, gesture after gesture. one question. one answer. one tool. one gesture. one thought. did not work. try again. other tool? nice game. where is the wheel?
traveling and commitment require a starting point with a skeleton in one piece or more or less. i live with internalized and inherited mind forces and tissue memory, imagine them as from diverging and asynchronous times and directions, which are breaking my proprioception and kinesthetic experience of my skeleton. right now, i am not (fully) here. how could i come there?
i will need an annulation plan and a contingency plan.
we are equals.
nous sommes égaux.
claude wittmann qui réside à Toronto nous guidera vers ce que l’art est pour lui durant le mois d’avril.
il mènera un atelier en collaboration avec Kevin Morgan de Bike Sudbury et leur but sera de centrer et réparer des roues de vélos appartenant au programme « Bike Exchange ». cet atelier sera ouvert à la participation de toute personne intéressée à apprendre et/ou à les aider. aucune expérience préalable ne sera nécessaire. le lieu et dates exactes de ce volet seront annoncées bientôt.
claude va aussi nous introduire à la mécanique qui joue dans les coulisses de ce projet: son handicap invisible, son besoin de plans de contingences spécifiques, son activisme pour améliorer la sécurité de revenu des récipients du Programme ontarien d’aide aux personnes handicapées (POSPH) et de Ontario au travail (OT). une partie de ces coulisses sont déjà activées sur notre blogue où claude partage pensées et sensations telles qu’il les vit au moment où il écrit.