Solo eros retreat on the Bluff Wilderness Trail 

Took an eros retreat on the Bluff Wilderness Trail. First time I hiked the whole thing and camped. It was really lovely. Eros in the Marcusean sense where pleasure is political. Being in who and where we are so we can be in step with others. So things I love to do - be outdoors, meditate, reflect, play. Try to touch in to what I am really feeling and what it is that I want to do free of any pull or influence. So goal-driven hiking moments where I felt I needed to make tracks were tempered with --I just want to swim or look at these mushrooms. These retreats have been so powerful and healing in these last years.

Kayak Camping Rogues Coast Area (Near Peggy's Cove) 
Kayak camping with Oliver during the Perseids. We started in Blind Bay. First night Flemming Island near Dover Island. Loads of climbers there. We got visited by at least one Minke whale. So moving. Second night Burnt Island. Finished in Lower Prospect with Andrew who met us for a day paddle. I am in love with my new rig.

Poetry Reading 

Design and photos: Karen Smith

Camping Ship Harbour with Maggy 

Photo credit: Maggy Burns

Sometimes when the big picture feels tough, it's nice to focus on the small ones. Dear friends. Beauty. What matters. Started at Kim Thompson's house on Weeks Lake, then Second Falls, Charlotte Lake. We camped on a sweet little pebbled beach near Second Falls. Felt like we were camped on the lake.

Kim built the first straw bale house in North America. It's beautiful. Has that Spanish warm plaster feel that she brought from her time in Spain. She also began an inspiring Earth skills, sustainable building and living, arts centre called the Deanery Project. See link below. I've decided to dedicate all of my charity giving (1% of my income) to everything like this that gives us a glimpse of what is possible. Focus on local.
  |  related link
Herstories - a collective poem 
Found poem written with contributions from Feminist Approaches to Women’s Economic Empowerment Meetings (Oxfam, IDRC, Global Affairs Canada)

Ela Bhatt, of SEWA one of my moral compasses once said….
“a project never changed the world.”

Let’s face it we’ve all been here before
WID, WAD, GAD, t-wee and so many more

The question is really what’s new?
Are we moving beyond the chicken coop?
And the projects, the short term, our very silos..

Tell me what part of herstory are we going to own.

What is feminist praxis anyway?
One thing we know. Its nuanced, contextual. It’s a long term game.
And speaking of vulnerable so are our gains.
Or they can be. We know that.
We’ve already seen two steps forward and four
steps back.

I mean look at the world. The business of trafficking? Growing.
with shrinking civic space.

The populists, demagogues, the ones spreading hate
Fundamentalisms of all kinds, they’ve got our cell phones.

Tell me what part of herstory are they going to own.

How to change norms, sustain and reach scale.
We’ve got one working model that’s historically served well.
It’s movements.
How do we work with movements and networks. The ones
who don’t stop.
Who ensure heat from the bottom and heat from the top.

How do we widen the tent if we’re serious about power.
More bodies, identities. Women, all genders negotiating
their sticky floors.
Learn how to bargain beyond local and small.
How to bridge rights and economies in a globalized world.
They’re all tied -work, body and voice. But more than
any ideas we have its about widening choice.

Tell me what part of herstory what part of the agenda will the self-organized own?

We need to be pragmatic yes move the needle sure
But let’s really see if we’re serious about power.
The world is watching. This is our hour.
Let’s not waste it.

Maybe just maybe….

the roman empire is crumbling. And there’s
space for new ways. That aren’t binary, oppressive
don’t put prescriptions first. That aren’t so pale, male or stale.
That find globalized gains.

And power’s just not out there is it?
It’s our own power structures, our funding, the way we research
and work. Our organizational egos. Even how we think.

It’s messy. We’re going to have some difficult conversations
and choices.

So tell me
If this is feminist praxis
what will you risk

to change the gender narratives?

Let’s show the world there are other ways to share, work
and care.

Let’s decolonize.
Let’s dare.

We can do this together. In both the what and the how.
On the shoulders of our ancestors. With our children in mind.

We can be a beacon, a birch basket, a wide bed of coals.

Tell me what part of herstory, in this very precious window…
what part of herstory will we own.

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