my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

The Lesbian Chronicles: this is the place where i rest. — March 8, 2018

The Lesbian Chronicles: this is the place where i rest.

this is the place where i rest


learning how

to stop




has been a challenge

for me

beginning with

my arrival

no body

there to

soften my fall

so i

fell first

into food

and boys

and then


always looking for


always looking

for faster and

faster ways

to stop feeling

my pain.


waiting on

the tracks

for the

one train

with faulty brakes

to break me

into ten million

little pieces so

that i would

finally feel

no thing

at all.


marrying a man

was a sin

against myself

but i

so desperate for a

tribe of little

me’s and

my family’s


failed to hear

my timorous

voice that said

“no no no.”


this time around

i will fall

only when

when i trust

myself enough

to know

that i can

safely release


into her



saying yes

to the kindness

and no

to the harshness

breathing in

breathing out

embracing myself


and over

and over





The Lesbian Chronicles: You Reap What You Sow. — November 28, 2017

The Lesbian Chronicles: You Reap What You Sow.

I am co-habiting here in Montréal with my Mother due to a confluence of events much too complex to write about today, better saved for that proverbial rainy day blog.

Here is my mini version:

Years ago in a different time and place I was a practicing Buddhist. When the day arrived for my naming ceremony I felt quite hopeful, as I was attempting to rename myself from my given name of Rhona and my adopted name of Katharine to something else altogether.

I entered the temple and waited patiently for my turn, and hoped the Buddhist Name Goddess would be kind. My teacher gave me a blessing and named me ‘Sawjack’. I asked my teacher what my name meant and was told ‘You reap what you sow’. (This is where you insert that creepy music from the movie ‘It’ when the clown is about to do something very very bad.) At that time I didn’t understand the ramifications of reaping what you sow, today I most definitely do.

I have up until recently chosen only powerful but cruel women. Truth be told, their cruelty turned me on, but only in limited quantities. When they acted according to their character, I demanded that they treat me with kindness instead of cruelty.

“How did that work for you?” You might ask. “Not so well!” I answer. So here I am, living in Montreal with my cruel and powerful mother and certainly reaping what I have sowed which to be honest, is mostly manure.

C’est la vie! I have learned a lot and continue to do so. I am one of those irritatingly optimistic people who believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

‘Till next time,


Shadows And Light — April 15, 2017

Shadows And Light

Recently  I made a video of myself reading one of my stories and frankly I was quite dismayed. I wasn’t sure who I was looking at, certainly this person on the video did not match up with the image I have of myself.

This was the first time that I had ever seen myself on video and frankly I was more than a little disturbed.  I did not like at all how I looked, or more specifically how I spoke. In still photography I look fine, because I can smile like everyone else, I’m just not able to smile with my teeth showing. On video however, I can see that when I speak I certainly do not speak as most people do.

I have Moebius Syndrome, or Moebius has me. Regardless of the how or by whom, having Moebius means that some muscles in my tongue do not function, forcing me to speak differently than the norm.

In my community which includes healers and therapists; there is a movement to look toward the light, believing that if you are in the vortex of positivity you will be rewarded with all the riches, healing and love that you have been longing for.

I have toyed with these concepts for a while and find them lacking. Here is why –

If I can’t make peace with my flawed mouth then I will have failed and the kingdom of heaven will then be permanently closed.

In my opinion however, this concept of praying away the shadow only forces the shadow deeper underground. I  am a perfectionist. I can never not be one, perfectionism is written in code into my DNA.

Now how can I make peace with not looking perfect?  I can’t. What I can do is this. I can finally make peace with never being normal and make peace with not looking nor sounding like Joni Mitchell (my heroine). Then paradoxically I can relax into me, because I just gave myself permission to love and accept my unyielding perfectionist self.

So I am loving the hater part of me instead of shaming the hater part of me into submission and into the shadows where she has lain waiting, always waiting to find another opportunity for self abasement.

Accepting the all of me just as I am: the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Forgiveness — September 12, 2016



Definition of Forgive

1: to give up resentment

2: to grant relief from payment

3: to cease to feel resentment

I have had such difficulty writing this piece. I wanted to give all of you something perfect and shiny and bright. I wanted to wrap up my story with silver ribbon and a blue box from Tiffany’s.

Instead you are getting my truth which is not wrapped with a bow but in yesterday’s newspaper, and I didn’t even use the cartoon section for the wrapping, but the obits.

The greatest sorrow of my life has been my relationship with my mother. My first days of life were spent in an incubator in the ICU department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal, where my mother abandoned me for a business trip with my father to Québec City –

” Why would I have stayed with you in the hospital? said my mother
The nurses were there!”

Late this summer when I told my mother I needed to stay with her for two months due to my untimely exit from the apartment I had shared with my now ex – partner Lorraine, her response was less than enthusiastic. I ignored her non response, and proceeded to annihilate what was left of my fantasy mother by asking her to come back with me to Toronto so that she could help me deal with the unpleasantness brought on by my exit from my aforementioned apartment.

“You know I’m not good with that stuff!” said my mom.
“Mommy!!! I need you!! I need you now!!!!” said desperate me

“I need you mommy!” was now looped through my brain and played non stop throughout my day, like an itchy ear worm.

I couldn’t stop myself. I understood intellectually that I did not win the good mother lottery prize but emotionally I was still just four years old, begging my mommy to come to my tea party. She never came and my Barbie’s had to drink their tea with just Ken and me for company.

In my desperation I called a psychic I saw advertised on my Facebook feed. Rachel told me I needed to forgive my mother before I can move forward. Really? This is what I paid five dollars for? ( It was a special offer.)

How do I forgive? According to the Miriam Webster – I need to stop feeling anger toward the person who wronged me.

I have tried repeatedly to do just that. I really have. I have gone to therapy for years with hopes that I could come to some type of peace with my mother. I have talked incessantly about my situation with Jodee, my long time therapist. I thought I was making slow but steady progress, but in Montréal all healing went to hell in a hand basket. I felt unhinged, as if I literally was coming apart. I was desperate for my mother to take my face in her hands and say –

” Don’t worry Katharine, I got you”

I so wanted my mother to create a safe space for me in Montréal, even though that had never happened on the thousand trips I had made to Montréal previously. I didn’t think I was asking for much, just a drawer to put my clothes in, and an acknowledgment that this was indeed a scary and difficult time for me.

As a child, I did not enjoy Halloween, as dressing up in costume made me anxious. I lived with parents that put on masks every day when they went outside our home. Just like the parents who caution their children to use their inside voices during school and synagogue; my parents used their inside face with me, and their outside face with others. The mask they showed to others was so radically different than the one they showed to me at home, that I am still disturbed by masks of any kind, knowing what danger can lurk beneath.

I tried this time, I really tried to make believe that I could calm this frightened fragmented inner child of mine, but I, like my mother before me, threw baby Katharine out to the wolves. I could not console her and I let her rage at being abandoned take me over.

I so wanted my mother to come to my rescue, just this once.

I kept on repeating:

” Mom, you can redeem yourself for all the damage that you have done before, all I ask is that you create a safe place here for me to rest and recoup until my new apartment becomes available in November.”

And each time I begged and each time I pleaded, I lost a little bit of my soul and a lot of my dignity but I could not help myself, so desperate was I to be seen. To make matters worse, as a retired psychotherapist, I understood intellectually that my mother was not ever going to give me what I needed, and in fact took pleasure in seeing her former jappy princess daughter reduced to sleeping on her not so comfy couch, but I was not able to make my brain meet my heart.

Weeks passed in this way, and then my birthday happened, or didn’t happen, to be more accurate.

I had spent the weekend before my birthday celebrating with my close friend Marcus and his family. Before meeting Marcus I had an idea of what familial love should feel like, but did not have a body memory to go with it. Thanks to Marcus and his family, I have experienced love as a felt sense. To celebrate my birthday, they surprised me with a weekend at the splendid Hovey Manor, located in the Eastern Townships.

When I came back I made the mistake of sharing my joy with my mother. If any of you here tonight are familiar with the reality TV show Survivor, whenever the winner of a reward challenge gloats about her reward, the people left behind become angry. I came home so happy, I forget my own rule about keeping my joy contained so as not to risk my mother’s wrath.

Too late.

Now I was to be punished, and since the punishment level was in line with my joy, the punishment was extreme. My mother decided to banish me from her kingdom which meant that my birthday would not be acknowledged.

No birthday cake. No birthday card.

” But I’m sixty, Mommy!! See me! Celebrate me!”

And my shame at my bottomless need to be seen by her, obfuscated my otherwise sound judgment.

And still.. and still.

I’m now back in Toronto, safely ensconced in my new cozy apartment. Every morning before I get out of bed, and every night before I go to sleep, this agnostic Jew prays to the Divine Mother and my Guardian Angels and anyone else I can think of, saying my prayers out loud because I don’t want to take any chances on any unseen helpers not hearing my forgiveness plea.

“I release you mother, and the hold you have on my heart. I am going to do my best to stop blaming you for not being the mother I so desperately wanted, and to try my best to live a life unencumbered by my old friends shame and blame. Please dear Mother God send me your love and healing and if you’re feeling really generous, please send me my Beloved. I am ready to receive her now!”

Hopefully these prayers will help me this month when Chanukah comes around, so that when I light my Chanukah candles sans Maman, I can take comfort in knowing that like the Maccabees before me, I have won the battle even though I have lost the war.

— March 14, 2018
The Lesbian Chronicles: Ode To Love — March 1, 2018

The Lesbian Chronicles: Ode To Love

All I want is to be loved and to be believed. All I want to be nurtured and cared for. I don’t think my wanting is wrong, but it’s my wanting of my mother’s love that certainly isn’t right.

Wanting my mother’s love is a hard habit to break, like trying to get my dog to stop barking when she spots a poodle on the street, or a wren from migrating to Mexico for the winter.

I’m trying to make my body understand that I will never find this with my mother. She is not that kind of mother. She is not that kind of person. She is not that kind of human.

My drug of choice has been repetition. Repetition has given me a sense of power through my defiance. I will not listen to your lies. I will question your version of our story. And question, and question and question until I exhaust my supply of words and I am emotionally spent.

I cannot, I simply cannot plead for her love one.more.time. I can not raise my voice any longer in the hopes that my shouting will inspire her to tell the truth, to see my pain, to see me.

That my mother has abandoned me when I most need protection should not come as a surprise, but it has – I’m surprised still that now, when I am at my weakest, my most vulnerable, that she refuses to help me. What’s even worse is her insistence that she is, indeed helping me, that she has always helped me, that she is a wonderful human, and an even better mother.

This distortion of the truth is where my addiction lies. I feel I must respond to her lies, to her distortion of the truth, to her make her see, to make her repent. If I stop, I feel as I will expire, but in actuality, I need desperately to stop so that I may live, so that I can have a life free of this primal addiction.

For my addict self, happiness is upper case: “I NEED TO SPEAK ON REPEAT TO FEEL ALIVE” but for my burgeoning healthy self, happiness is lower case: “i need to stay quiet. i need to breathe and feel all my feelings that i have held at bay, so that i can begin to heal.”

No drama, no hysteria, no highs nor lows. Just me, trying to stay present in my body to better navigate my brave new world.



The Lesbian Chronicles: The Emperor’s New Clothes — February 21, 2018

The Lesbian Chronicles: The Emperor’s New Clothes

I’m trying not to worry and trying even harder not to engage with the haters. What’s different for me is that my haters include every single member of my family except for my brilliant and non- bullshitting progeny.

Yes, the emperor has no clothes and his winkie is winging free in the wind, and I have been shouting this to my family since I could first form a sentence. In addition to the cardinal sin of speaking my truth to power, there is the messiness of my Moebius Syndrome getting in the way.

No one wanted to speak of my difference, easier to make me bad, then for them to feel bad that I looked and spoke differently than the norm. I remember being constantly teased at school and muttering to myself:

“Don’t these kids know who I am?”

Clearly they did not.

Not only was I teased at school, but my home life was no better, actually it was much worse. It’s one thing to not feel like you belong with the kids at your school, but it’s a whole different experience to feel as if you don’t belong to your family. My sister looked and acted like a Kardashian, which gave my parents entrée into places they would normally have not had access to. When asked if I was jealous of my sister’s beauty I would always say no, because the Kardashian clan did not appeal, I was much more envious of Katharine Hepburn’s classic beauty and sensibilities.

I think it has always been hard for people to understand why I feel so powerful, especially because I look so different; it’s almost as if I haven’t earned the right to feel strong. Has anyone heard of the Halo Effect? The Halo Effect causes people to assign positive traits to men and women who are beautiful.

Perhaps the same effect happens in reverse, where the ugly, the weird, and the different are assigned negative characteristics. I have spent my life so focused on getting my family to love me, that I have failed to actualized my own life. I began using food to numb my pain at the age of fourteen and continued harming myself with food until I was almost sixty.

I have spent most of my life hating myself and torqueing myself into uncomfortable positions just for the chance to be loved. What no one talked about, what was never factored into the equation is that I will never be beautiful enough nor compliant enough for my family to love me. Ever. Full stop.

I have been the rainbow scapegoat of my family for so long now I don’t think it’s possible for any of them to see me any other way. I am the only one who has the power to change how I see and feel about myself.

 I’m going to try with all of my mighty power to feel what I have never let myself feel before because it was just too fucking painful. My family will never accept me as I am. I will try my hardest to not keep asking and asking and asking them to love me.

Instead I shall turn my focus on mentoring other weird looking, truth telling, powerful rainbow scapegoated girls, to help them to know and to feel that they are perfectly made.

The Lesbian Chronicles: Artemis and Me — January 24, 2018

The Lesbian Chronicles: Artemis and Me

He slipped into the booth adjacent to mine this morning at the coffee shop down the street from my mother’s apartment.

He told me his name was Hugh. When I asked if Louie and Dewey were coming to join him, he did not appear to be amused. Perhaps he was averse to ducks; perhaps he was averse to me.

Hugh was lit from the inside, he seemed both birthday candles and birthday cake.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

Hugh was wearing a beaded tiger’s eye bracelet on his left wrist that immediately grabbed my attention.

I had to have one just like his, even though I had long forgone jewelry, even though I had long forgone men.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I lusted after his bracelet, knowing if I owned one just like Hugh’s, his super powers would flow from his bracelet to my mine.

Hugh told me about Jasmine who sold her jewelry from her home across from his yoga studio.

Of course he practiced yoga, I’m sure he brought his own mat made out of organically grown hemp.

After some not so gentle prodding, Hugh gave me Jasmine’s number. I could feel myself inching closer to the magic.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I sent Jasmine a text. She replied instantly. “Come over right away! I live in St Henri.”

Which meant nothing to me, since I am directionally challenged on the best of days.

“Is that far?” I asked “I don’t have a car and I will be walking with my puppy Lucille.”

“It’s not far at all” said Jasmine “Just walk down Greene Street, then turn left onto St. Jacques. It should take you less than twenty minutes.”

So off we go, intrepid Journey woman and her trusted canine companion.

Except that it doesn’t take us twenty minutes, or thirty minutes or even forty but I tell myself I don’t care:

because it’s all downhill,

because it’s a sunny day,

because Lucille is happy,

because the eye of the tiger is calling me home.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

I reach my destination, then boldly knock on her crimson coloured door. A full bodied woman wearing a vintage Japanese kimono greets us and says “Welcome, I’m Jasmine!”

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

“I’ve been walking on my knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.” I said.

“Then you must be very thirsty.” said she. She offered Lucille and me water from her well. I had never tasted water so pure and so sweet.

Jasmine brought out her baubles for me to admire. She had bracelets made of amethyst and garnet, lapis and hematite. There were bracelets made of silver and gold, copper and pewter. My tiger’s eye bracelet however, was nowhere in sight.

Worriedly, I asked Jasmine if she could make me the same bracelet that she made for Hugh. “I’m so sorry.” said Jasmine “Hugh is divine incarnate. I made that bracelet just for him.”

And just like that, with one little snap, I was banished from the island where hope and hearth and family reside and I most definitely now, never will.

I couldn’t help myself, my eyes immediately filled with tears. Jasmine offered up a consolation prize, a bracelet made of hawk’s eye.

Hawk’s eye? I was not a graceful loser, always mortified to come in second. When the going got tough, I left the race. Safer to escape, than deal with the shame of certain defeat.

So there I was, my tears staining her cherry wood table, when Jasmine gently took my hand and placed the bracelet on my wrist.

“Look Katharine, I think hawk’s eye suits your skin tone even better.” “Tiger’s eye is the sun, but hawk’s eye is the moon, and didn’t you just tell me that your favourite colour was grey?”

I did and it is and I keep a portrait of Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon on my nightstand beside my bed.

I know my hunger, my wanting, will never be sated by donuts and Dim Sum, baubles with bling, winning medals of honour, or donning angel wings.

I get that, I truly do. But the wanting, my wanting, is the closest I’ve gotten to feeling tethered to something tangible.

So for a moment, that one brief wanting moment, I can stop feeling that I’m here, dangling all alone on the edge of the earth.

My heartbeat. The hunger. I want it. I want it.

The Lesbian Chronicles: Signs — January 14, 2018

The Lesbian Chronicles: Signs

I believe in signs. As an incurable romantic, when I found a small diamond ring embedded in the snow this afternoon my initial feeling was one of joy, for what better sign for love impending then finding a diamond ring? However, on further inspection I realized that both the gold and diamond were fake.

Now how should I interpret this? My intuition tells me:

 Love is coming, though I must be judicious before falling, for I haven’t waited all this time just to be lulled into thinking she is the real deal then gutted when her glitter fails to sustain and the diamond is now clearly seen as the glass it always was.

Note to self: Listen to Joan Baez sing ‘Diamonds and Rust’.

I am a Lover — December 9, 2017

I am a Lover

The buzz word in popular culture right now is ‘Warrior’. I heard it first on a fundraising  commercial for a local children’s hospital, then I overheard my mother and sister use the phrase ‘I’m a warrior’, obtained most likely from the Tony Robbins weekend workshop they participated in this past summer.

Last night while watching my favourite episode of Survivor, where the remaining contestants see their family members for the first time in a month, I saw a commercial for the new movie ‘A Wrinkle In Time’. I watched as Oprah, dressed as a queen/fairy/witch implores the young heroine to  “Be a warrior!”

Why would I want to be a warrior? To be a warrior I must first be involved in a battle, and quite frankly, I am battle weary. In a war, there is always duality. A winner and a loser, the good team and the bad team, the victorious and the defeated. Instead of the duality of war, I am choosing the singularity of peace. I am discarding my fatigues for a cloak of many colours, working hard to negotiate peace through love.

If after much negotiation, my goal of peace through love can not be reached, I will walk away, taking solace inside my comfy cozy coat, knowing that in choosing love, I am  choosing not to abandon myself to the fragmentation that inevitably results from war.

Hot House Flower — October 16, 2017
1. Love — October 14, 2017

1. Love

I have had a migraine for the past five days, and when I’ve been ill like this, my normally bouncy self loses it’s resilience and just lies down flat, void of buoyancy and affect. The only antidote that seems to reboot my bounce are the three C’s: Caring, Comfort and Compassion. I haven’t run into those three C’s often in my life, partly by fate, partly by choice.

In partnering with women who replicated my mother, I enjoyed the negative pleasure of choosing cruel and physically powerful women who could double whammy me in both mind and body.

I’m so over that now. These past few months have brought me to my knees, the pain so deep it excised the anger and resentment I had been storing up for over 50 years.

I feel re-born, re-newed and re-invigorated. Despite my health challenges or perhaps because of my health challenges, I have re-prioritized what is important in my life.

Here is my list:

1. Love

There is no 2. because love is all that matters. Giving it, getting it, creating it.


There you have it, my mini manifesto.

Love is Love is Love.

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