Monday, 22 August 2011

the complex where i live

"This is not the time to argue, you'll pardon me using that word... This is not the time to argue about right wings or left wings. This is the time to unite all our forces for the task which lies before us — the task of creating a society which will make the wealth production of Canada available to all who labour with hand and brain."

Tommy Douglas

I live in income-linked housing. Over the years I have paid over $1400 per month, and less than $400 per month, for the same dwelling. It all depends, not only on the number of income-earners in the household, and how high or low the current incomes, but also, on how effectively we can document our incomes, and articulate our need. 

Through the years of my life I have lived in rooming-houses, crawling with cockroaches, in shared houses, with arrays of housemates who chronically argued about bills and housekeeping, crumbly apartment buildings that had been chichi for some previous generation, a log house that had a hand pump in the kitchen for drawing water and no flush toilet, and places like this-- a housing complex, a modern urban dwelling built with poor families in mind. A year or so ago, my daughter started complaining that she wanted to live in "a single family dwelling"-- what kind of talk is that, for a nine year old?

My family home in rural Manitoba, 1970s

In this era of wobbling markets and failed ("tainted") mortgages, it may be worthwhile to pause for a moment, o North America, and consider how many people fall into the "never had a hope" category: while my parents and grandparents owned their own homes, I have never owned my own home, and further, I have never had a hope of owning my own home. 

I have spent the last twelve years thinking about home, homemaking, and homelessness, and all the while, democratically-elected governments have been stripping away supports, through steadily complexifying bureaucracies (indirect means) and slash-and-burn adjustments pitched to a worried middle-class (direct means), to ensure that the majority of North Americans will be pressed to the wall, silenced by the sheer weight of living, while the international wealthy class can continue to lift away-- with all of our joint goods-- into the economic stratosphere. 

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but

indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack - the direct

and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless
series of maneuvers.

The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like

moving in a circle - you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the
possibilities of their combination?

Sun Tzu
, The Art of War

Condolences to the family & friends of the honourable, Honourable Jack Layton.

The Star: Jack Layton dead at 61 
CBC: After 50 years, Layton took NDP to the summit 

Ongoing tale: The Arab Spring

 with thanks for the inspiration

you need to tell me

I do, sometimes

I need to tell you

what is going on

bristling or building

like a wave inside of me

burgeoning like some

gestational entity, will

she leap from my forehead

or he from the side of his father’s head

or a more traditional birthing expected

who can tell

what the next moment will bring

in a cross-fertilization process

that is pulling at the core of all

these tidy weavings

(c) excerpt from a poem i wrote 2010 or so 

Tommy Douglas quote from the CBC article, link above
My thanks to Sid Chow Tan for the Sun Tzu quote, a timely reminder. 
Happy birthday, Theo! 

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