Girl Spoken After School Camp

SASS’s March Break camp is now an after school camp!

CREATIVE VOICES FOR CHANGE!

Girl Spoken uses creativity, art, and self-expression to explore issues facing young girls, including: – identity – body image

Thursdays from 2:45-4:30 April 26th to May 31st @ Cornwall Public Library In Boardroom (upstairs)

A collaboration with the Cornwall Public Library and the Sexual Assault Support Services for Women of SDG&A

Registration is required as space is limited. 

Register: 613-932-1755 ext. 27 volunteer@sassforwomen.ca

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EPIPHANY STRING

“We play a game with time and life, like a pair of rolling dice.” ~unknown

I came across the above quote just shy of the beginning of the new year. It had so much to say within the few seconds it took to read it…

Remnants of ember ink render themselves to a surrendering shape. The past slowly creeps upon her. Reminiscing in different tones, and she’s become a little deaf. Shadows talk. Her shifting movement escapes the echoing grip. She smiles a little, and then a little more.

The winter solstice came and went. Receding with it, the patterns and permeation of the past. With a celebratory candle in hand, she secured her vows. The cocooning darkness of winter kindled hopes. Breathed fertility into the days unfolding. The goal crested. Heart centered propulsion was rising, greeting the new year with abundant dreams. And another cycle began. A steady stream of changes were moving in like mystic mist. Waves hushed and rolling.

The rhythm of her heart galloped like a hundred readied mustang. Moonlight rebellion fighting fires in her bloodstream. There was a soft light burning loose. Her word was given, a blossom budding. She built a new body beneath double January moons, fought the world for her own hand. Steady and vulnerable. Sure and secure.

The silent purity of black and white stretched out within frosted breath. Ideas and chains unfolding within eyesight. Incredulous and captivating she danced within the imagination of her soul. She owned a New Year wish. Something unprecedented to try on.  Not always one to follow expected norms, she laid faith out to be disassembled and reborn, and then peered out of a cage. Her soul was conjuring an escape plan, molding and moving.

Winter nights are crisp, and clean. Clarity and peace seem to define them. They possess ethereal silence that calms, speaking many languages.  She found herself on many different  paths. Each of them contributing to the wholeness of change. She awoke beneath the sun. Settled into the woods. Breathed in the deep darkness of winter sky, nestled into serene silence. But the wind, it was recalled most, always coming back with wisdom neatly enveloped in revelation.  It hit her face as expectations fell away, intuition swaying in unknown directions. Leading was an unequivocal sense of elation.

Winter whispers a quiet dream time. Dark edges. A womb in which to huddle in the safety of transcendence. Intentions bear the mentioning of fruit to be born. Fabricated with gold heart filaments, barriers willfully fall away, unraveling time.

This was vision. A promissory note from fate that her spirit dared to cultivate. Not an average New Year resolution. That was the brightly painted point.

Dare. A simple word owning the boldness of flaming synonyms; risk, venture, hazard, challenge, defy, invite.

Outstretched and clear eyed, feet have hit the ground moving a purpose forward. Her body resonates with a savage warrior cry sounding across bridged distance. Poking and whispering secrets grow, readied for unleashing.  Things would never be the same, she gathered the invisible and cradled it in her arms. Slipping quietly into the new. The promise of spring dawning waited patiently. It has something in store. Something so secret she could only grasp it’s vague sense, the warmth of it gently kissing her forehead.

The smoke signals rose. Signing for the future.

The blue moon was conspiring. Hoarding gifts. Sent to deliver a message. Asking slyly what a name sounds like when you throw it into the wind. And so she threw her cards skyward, just to watch them fall…

S. Mallory

MARCH BREAK Girls Empowerment Camp

Emotional Creature  (age 13 +)

The program, created by Eve Ensler, uses

dramatic arts and a final performance piece

to explore the lives of girls around the world.

Topics include:

  • self esteem
  • peer pressure
  • healthy romantic relationships
  • mental health self-care

 

March 12TH—16TH     9am—4pm

@ SASS for Women 123 Amelia St

Register: 613-932-1755 ext. 27

volunteer@sassforwomen.ca

 

 

The Vagina Monologues – V-Day 2018

In 2018, staging a production of The Vagina Monologues or A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer is more than just a theatrical experience; it is an ARTISTIC UPRISING, a RADICAL act, an ACT OF RESISTANCE.

On February 17th, 2018, at 6pm, V-Day Cornwall will present a one-night only benefit reading of Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues at The Best Western Parkway Inn & Conference Centre.

It’s been almost 20 years since V-Day was founded, since Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues shattered taboos, sharing the stories of women as they had never been told before. 2018 will be it’s 20th year.

“Welcome to V-Season 2018. It’s hard to believe we are here at this moment in our movement’s history. While the stakes could not be higher, we feel the energy of rising up, of resistance, of bold artistic energy and creativity coming forward from V-Day and One Billion Rising activists across the globe. We witness it in your performances and your risings. At the City of Joy in Congo, over one thousand women survivors will have graduated by the end of 2017, and the documentary film also entitled CITY OF JOY is enjoying a successful run at film festivals across the world, exposing audiences to the message of Turning Pain to Power. We could not feel more committed to the work at hand and the movement with V-Day and OBR activists worldwide at its core – is more active than ever, producing art for social change, activating communities and colleges, raising crucial funds for rape crisis shelters, domestic violence shelters, local programs for transgender youth at risk of sexual violence, for immigrant women and girls, and many more groups reflecting the needs of their communities.”   www.vday.org

Blessed Be

Divides. Chasms.

Trenches between dreams and reality.  Invisible barriers with names. They’re crafty little spaces of contemplation and change. They can give rise to possibility, if tended to in such a way…

Halloween has come and gone. Following closely behind, the most recent full moon. I perused some emails and came across an article on how to live like it’s Halloween everyday. My curious nature had been poked thus I opened the email, and took a peek at the content. I wasn’t sure what to expect since the internet is rife with click bait. What I found was somewhat surprising. A little cliche, but the basis and content was palpable. The message had a voice. It was relatable and universal in it’s own right.

Celebration of roots and sacredness. The divine feminine. The article was an elaboration on modern day witches. Wise healers portrayed as nothing more. Women with gifts in modern day. A feminine portrayal of a journey many may never have considered or have forgotten.

How do you define a woman? Or a witch for that matter? The word witch itself is apt to conjure stereotypes. And if I were to insert the word pagan, what images might arise? How great of an influence did the middle ages have upon this melodious practice of art and soul? Is it not a dangerous and impossible game to make attempts at defining the nature of a woman? Many have tried. To cage that spirit. To define it. Quiet it. But that spirit, the idealism and truth that embodies woman can never quite be eliminated can it…

There is an intimacy, blessedness and devotional sense breathing within the sanctuary of the witch. How do you define something so undefinable. A witch, in essence moves in tandem with nature. True to her spirit. Undefined in her resiliency and beauty, she is a woman. Pure. Simple as she chooses to be. A pursuer of the matriarchy. Nurturing in spirit. She is what she chooses to be. The definitions can be as broad and captivating as the oceans and winds. Flames glowing quietly behind the blanket of night.

I think in this supposed modern era, we’ve lost and are losing many traditions that made the earth rich. Traditions that feed and nurture the soul. In all aspects of life there tends to loom some threatening idea attempting to silence some voice or another. Whatever the place in time, it’s important to feed a sense of belonging. Whether it be to one’s self, the world or one another. But silence I think can’t be observed without victims. Without far reaching consequence. Women have an immense depth of power at their disposal. Abundant virtues stemming from their sexuality, intuition, nurturing and spirituality. Ritual and tradition should be deemed sacrosanct.

Reverence for life and humanity resides at the core of the pagan philosophy. Like so many other preconceived ideas that have faltered in the face of judgment and fear, the path of the witch has endured it’s hardships. The plight of woman is no different. They are in their own ways related. Familiar to one another. It’s the same for witchcraft, shamanism and the like. At the heart of many spiritual concepts you will find similar beliefs within the core. I think the ideal state to be reached and conceived lies within. Leaving behind labels and misconceptions. Let the healers, dreamers, and lovers be. Fusion is the epitome. The cathedral of the heart where one can be fulfilled with the way of their choosing. Faithful to themselves and what they believe to be sacred. Free to roam. Free to choose.

What is life is not lived with magic and dreams? What is this earth without woman and the gifts she has to offer?

Ritual and reverence have their place in this world. Even if they are scoffed at and at times left behind. That makes them all the more powerful. I can’t imagine a world without the ancestry of tradition. Refreshed and brushed of these neglected ways can benefit the world. I think more than ever the world is in need of something nurturing. Something warm. A sisterhood of understanding. A sparking secret. A spirit in flight. Not the kind on a broom, or donning a pointy witch hat. But a sense of communing sisterhood. Of adorning nature with her rightful place. A memory unearthed. The healing of the spirit of woman, unleashed and flowing. Who is woman? What does she have to offer? What imprints are being left upon the earth?

S.Mallory

Where we Stand

Are we living in a dream? Is this a parody of lives past? Some days this world seems like the stuff of nightmares. Some days I think we’ve made progress. Others I think we’ve just exchanged one form of suffering for another.

Are we stuck? Vulnerable to systematic subjugation? To a deniability of the humanity that we are all comprised of? This dark dismissal of what makes us human? How little needs to be seen, noticed and noted to affect change around us. What possibilities could be unearthed and created if a little more time and effort was devoted to humanity. What are we capable of? Are we this soul severed from the connective tissue of our core life force? What exactly does thriving mean? Is existence resigned to a constant reel of overplayed stagnation and suffering? Are we victims of politics, systems, policies and excuses? Rules or lies?

Why are our champions and advocates the ones who’ve suffered often times? Are onlookers so remiss? Who are the onlookers? What will it take to unlock the frozen state of apathy running rampant around the globe? It doesn’t take that much of a lengthy glance around to find suffering in the world. It’s easy to encounter binging on self satisfying inner statements of willful blindness. People who have suffered are often times the ones fighting to change the system. To change the world. They are the ones that should be protected. Instead they move about, navigating their pain and attempting to find ways to better life for themselves and others. To bring meaning to their pain and to hopefully change something for someone else. Because suffering like all other human emotions, is universal.

How many times have the words “that’s just the way it is” been uttered over the course of human existence. I’ve stared, blankly, at these types of responses. Felt the rage well up in me.  Sickened that the suffering of another human being could be idly dismissed. No second thought given. It’s just another day in the world. Just another problem to be rid of. How many times has denial and escape caused suffering? Change comes from sensibility. From the emergence of human spirit screaming into sight. It takes a soul that has become incensed, disgusted or carved in pain. Someone and someone’s who have fallen to their knees and known what the excruciating discovery of pain feels like. Bystanders can look on. But those hurting feel it through their bones in truth. Have we not all experienced pain? Suffering so deep and raw. What makes this so avoidable that we are unable to find some way, in all of the darkness, to shed some light on one another? Is it not discouraging or disheartening to know that at the core of our humanness we could do better?  With a little more effort, things could be different? Humans have made advancements, but not quite enough. If we are the governing force that rules this planet then it stands to reason that we, are the ones in control. What exactly are we doing with our privilege? With our resources, in all aspects of our minds, bodies and spirits?

What prompted this avalanche? Many, many experiences. The taste of unfairness nestling me into uneasy places. Places that didn’t feel like freedom. There are so many moments that stand out. But recently I was scrolling through some youtube comments. They were listed beneath a touching piece of music I’d just come across. There was a poster commenting on suicide. This person went into a bit of detail about their current life situation. Several people replied. Offered advice. Offered their emails and contact info, reaching out to this individual. And as much as this seemingly small act of kindness was, it touched me. It was symbolic. Real or not, because that’s what the internet does, makes us cynical. It was a reminder. Do we hear enough about the good in the world? Are we encouraged to create more of it? To love and uplift one another more. Not with easy words. But with deeds. For the sake of relieving the suffering of another? Or simply because above all we’re all a part of one race. Humanity. That somewhere, somehow, wishing for better hasn’t been enough.

I wanted to start this off discussing kindness. Then compassion came to mind. I struggled to find adequate words to express the sentiment I wanted to convey. Then love came to mind. And I thought, how does the world receive love? How does it give it? Deep within it’s the basis for existence I would think. And yet, how is it being expressed towards our earth and all of it’s inhabitants? I know in spiritual corners you hear of healing, love and light. But do we wait on that light to do the work for us? Maybe we are that light. I know the human condition has been addressed time and again. And will continue to be. I think our new found alleged advancement needs to be used creatively. In every way possible in the servitude of good things. It’s so easy to spread what seems dark. To hear the noise of that through everything. And it shows. It shows in the way we live.

S.Mallory

Strangers in The Room

I opened the door. A vibrant sky poured out. Molten lava bubbled from my throat, burning away the last of silence.

The night was dark. The sky filled with screaming winds. My body moved against and with the torrent of air. The ground  was scattered with leaves. The scent of fall welcomed my sense of freedom. I’d walked out the door and left every stagnant stale emotion behind. I ran. The wind hit me. Again, and again. I ran more. The rain hit my skin. My senses coaxed. Urging me to let go of the weight pushing down on me. Music played in my ears. I drifted. Dragging a corpse behind me. Waiting for the shadows to curl out from the dark. I wanted to confront them. Wanted them to speak out so I could stand, as I was with the wind rushing against me, with a smile on my face.

I was recently thrust back into childhood feelings. A nemesis, ie a villain in my childhood abuse story is likely on his death bed. If not now, it will be approaching. I thought I’d detached from most of the emotions of the past. I thought. It wasn’t so as all these anxious emotions rose to the surface. I battled. My mind tossed pros and cons in my direction. I was considering the feelings of someone that had never cared for mine. The monsters were let out to play again. And as usual I was blindly being sucked into the vortex of what I tried so hard to run from.

I had to ask myself where I begin and where they end. What did I want to do with the remnants of the buttons that were being pressed here. All of these knots in my my mind. My heart always conceded. In some form or another. I don’t want to hurt anyone. But when is the line crossed?  When do I stop sacrificing myself? Pretense is a ridiculous notion. It’s a nothingness giving way to more nothingness. Pretending to be anything other than the core of your truth is a certain death. A violent cancer that builds disaster. When do I stop playing “their” version of a character in that twisted story. Here was this frail sick man, and my compassion kicks in. The part of me that wants to make sure I’ve properly said my goodbyes. The loss and sadness. The part of me that acknowledged the wasting of human life and potential.  Yet another part of me struggled. We had nothing to say to one another. There was awkward silence between us in the hospital. And here I found myself waiting. Waiting on what? Change? I could tell him I love him. I could be decent and help with things and make it easier on the family. I considered that option. I considered doing as I always had and try to be understanding . It wasn’t working anymore. I found myself becoming anxious and enraged. Their true selves began to poke out at me through the thin veil of the sadness of the situation. These were still the same people that had never protected me or been there when I needed them. And I, after all these years have grown tired of being discarded. It was a complex road  to navigate for me. And so I pulled back. I had to decline some things. I said no for my sake. For my emotional, physical and mental well being. I don’t want regrets. I don’t want to feel I’ve been inhumane. And it’s a struggle because I know they will never acknowledge what was done. It will never see the light of day. So what is my presence going to change? I’ve had to come to terms with doing my best and being at peace with that. After all this time, it’s my well being that needs to take priority.

I’m still tangled inside with the situation. I can only hope for the best resolution possible of a murky past, while looking forward to the future. Meeting life with understanding and compassion where I can, and where I must, pull back and protect myself when no one else will.

And so I hit the road tonight. I ran. Trying to wash some of this frustration from my system. Deciding or attempting to reconcile these feelings that have to tried to eat me alive more often than I care to count. What I can do is stare them directly in the eye and create the best possible ending. I need to accept and acknowledge that there is only so much I should claim responsibility for and leave the rest to the fates to decide. You can’t change the mind of a corrupt heart. You shouldn’t stick around to play games with it either. But you can walk into the dark and make it a little less scary. Bring things to the surface in whatever way enables you to find your peace. No explanations are owed. In the end it’s ourselves we have to live with.

S.Mallory

BLUSHING LANTERNS

October is finally here. I’ve been waiting alongside all the autumn lovers I know. Fall has been a little finicky this year. But finally there is a bit of chill in the air as we wait on the season to take a deep breath, and let go of it’s wonder.

Spiraling magic sets a stage. Cozy comforts call to us. Beautiful hues glinting in the sunlight. The feeling of being tightly wrapped in homecoming. Autumn comes upon us with gentle rose gold kisses. Sunbeams caressing everything in sight. Cicadas chiming beneath the subtle glow.  I don’t know a better feeling than the magic autumn carries.  A nostalgic reminder of comfort and contentment. It’s a mystically choreographed time of year. A gorgeous blend of colors. Images. Scents. Warmth and connection. A bewitching breath upon creation.

Autumn is so very symbolic. Life falling away but doing it so very beautifully. Majestically interpreting life, offering it up for our senses. It quietly and hypnotically weaves enchantment. The sun is inviting. Delicate with it’s touch. The chill in the air devastatingly just right. Oppositely you have the wind and rain. They usher in a sense of power. A threshold awakening the next season to come. I stand in awe of it every year. It speaks. In such myriad ways. Nudging towards night, to the unfolding of winter and going within. Naked tree branches tell of change. Adorned in their bareness.

Nostalgia kindles within the red fiery foliage. Dips into the golds and oranges. Decoration and celebration build excitement. This love for the mischievous sentiment of Halloween. Tricks and treats. Welcomed shivering fear and supernatural anticipation. Glowing pumpkin faces against the backdrop of darkness. Witches. Specters. A cloud covered moon speaking quietly.  It’s always been a season with such an unspeakable draw. It brings with it so many beautiful ways to indulge our senses. It’s endless movement of the soul. Fascination.

Striking elements,  the windy rainy days speak for themselves.  The tempest winds blow through the trees. Leaves fall and spiral. Scatter through the air, with force and conviction. Strewn about to settle anywhere, and everywhere. A brilliant visual of chaos. Winding and mesmerizing. Autumn winds have the ability to reach within and change things. Sweep them away. It is power. But it carries something unspeakable. It stirs something otherworldly. The soul glides within it. Caught up in the spell, singing and sighing.

Lets not forget the allure of Pumpkin spice and everything nice. Pumpkin flavored and scented everything. The indulging aroma of it all.  Pure comfort is an art. Pull out some Candles. Warm your hands with mittens. Decorate. Remember comfy socks. Hoodies. Family. Nestled hugs. Firelight. Burning wood. Dark skies. Shorter days. Thick blankets. The sound of crunching leaves beneath your feet. Sipping a warm drink in the chilly air. Watching the steam rise like it has a secret it wants to impart. Quiet nights feel like hideaways. And scarves, hugging  you gently. There aren’t enough scarves to ever be tired of them.

Warm glowing lights in the distance beckon. They signal home. Twinkling in the early evening. A crow caws in the distance. And trees rustle. Like a finger reaching out in the shadows, smiling, night beckons. Evoking memories, prompting you to enjoy. Recollecting the romance and scenery, childhood memories and creature comforts. The imagination and spirit of it are endless. Priceless. Picture perfect. 

S.Mallory

WANTED: Deviation

Serious, tight pinched faces. You know the kind. The ones you just know are going to cringe. Cringe when you deviate from what seems proper. From the accepted. I have to confess, sometimes it’s fun to watch the look of surprise form on their faces. A look the splinters left, after the massive blockage is yanked out…*snickers just a little.

Have you ever had a moment where you catch yourself being overly serious? Yes, right? It’s so easy to get caught up in so called “adulting.” The fun gets sucked out of everything. Myself I’ve found it happening all too much. It slowly starts to creep up on me. My heart then nudges me. It starts to tell me to get my shit together. Hey you! It says to me. Yeah you! Are you sitting there wondering why you’re bored again? Why yes, yes I am…thanks for asking. Glad you pointed that I out, I reply.  And no, not out loud, to anyone that might be wondering. I was glad for the little bit of guidance. Someone needs to talk some sense into me when I’m making too much of it. Humor and fun are light, lessening the burden of overthinking. There is an exception though. If you have a bit of a dark devious side, then maybe some thinking is a good thing. The kind of humor that takes planning…wink wink.

Life can have a tendency to suck the life out of us. How funny is that, considering what the word “life” actually means. So I’ve been on this little quest. Trying to remind myself when I’m lost in the land of the cranky, to snap out of it. I’m big on choosing paths in life. I tend to believe that we have more choice available to us than we sometimes see. I want to optimize my options. And if I’m being too damn serious, then something has to change. The world is filled with seriousness. It’s just too much some days. My inner monster child starts to rebel. My humor starts to trickle and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.  And I really wouldn’t want to.

I took my sinister savage out for test drive. Dusted off the rust and gave myself a good kick in the arse reminder. Looking for a flash flood deluge, I opened the doors to let myself get swept away. Away from the over thinking, the carnage of too much mind rigidity, and remembered that I was in fact, in possession of a sense of humor. In possession of joy.

The ball started to roll. Downhill. Taking me with it, getting me some really great smiles from my daughter. She knows that look in my eye. The plans in motion twinkle. And then I divulged my plans. Picking at her while getting my fix. And sent off my email.

My daughter had missed a few days of school. I was getting the usual million emails and phone calls from the school notifying me. I replied;

“My daughter was abducted by aliens. Just kidding. She was absent on the 11th and 12th.” And off it went.

Am I not taking my parenting duties seriously? HA. I must not have been the time I signed “Nicki Minaj” on a permission slip either. Life is way too serious. This a drop in the bucket of examples. But the point is there. There are too many guidelines in this world. Blah blah blah is all I hear. The devil is in the details they say…

The element of surprise sweetens the pot. The eccentricities of life make it amazing. I can’t say enough about being creative with life. Dress it up. Dress it down. Hack life. I love giving it a reason to sit back and smile at me. Wondering, “where the hell did that come from?” It makes me giggle just a little more and lets me know that there’s so much more where that came from. Perhaps some secrets for telling another time…

S.Mallory

I CAN’T HEAR YOU…

NO. It’s One syllable. Two letters.

There have been times when I’ve felt the need to perform the sign of the cross when uttering it. A little dash of holy water here and there never hurt either.

If you don’t want opposition, don’t say it. If you want safety and ease at all times, don’t dare speak that formidable forbidden word.

I’m not going to complicate this point. It’s straight forward. Maybe we’re told it’s hard because that keeps us quiet. Sometimes the mind encourages us to feel things are more than they appear. I’m not discounting the difficult feelings. But don’t let them take your no from you. When they do, speak louder. Repeat it. Over and again til they’re so sickened with you that they can no longer stand it. Be firm in your peace. In your heart. In your mind. Move on purpose. Because if you don’t, you risk suffocation. Can you tolerate being smothered? Do you want to stay inside? Deep down where it’s warm, comfortable and unresponsive?

However your no takes shape within you is yours to yield. Heed the warning signs when it starts to slip from your fingers. It’s so easy to become invisible. To slowly become extinct.

S.Mallory