my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

Guiding Light — October 27, 2015

Guiding Light

Katharina Love's photo.


Lately, I have been thinking about guides; not the “Welcome to London, on your left you can see Big Ben” kind of guides, but guides from the world of spirit.

They; yes those mysterious ‘they’; say that we all have a spirit guide assigned to us at the moment of our birth; that stays with us throughout our lives. These guides are purported to whisper encouraging words to their wards such as “You can do this, my darling.” Or, the more startling “Move your sweet ass now, that car is coming your way!”

Lately, whenever I have taken a picture (see following photos) I have noticed a small bright blue dot somewhere in the photo. Could this dot possibly be my spirit guide? I quickly dismissed this as fanciful thinking. Probably just a coincidence, right? However, while cleaning out one of my kitchen cupboards last week (I bow to the Queen of Spareness) I found a stack of old photos. As I was going through the photographs, one of me as a baby caught my eye. 

 What did I see? That’s right, the very same blue dot. What if this really is my spirit guide? Could it be that I have always been protected, that I have never  truly been alone? If I choose to believe in my little blue dot of protection, how will this change my perception of my place in this world? I will probably have to let go of my Special Victim Status, and relinquish my badge. That’s okay, I have been wearing it forever. It’s a tad banged up and is looking quite tarnished. Perhaps I shall put it up for sale on eBay.



Katharina Love's photo.

And God said, let there be light.

Katharina Love's photo.
— October 22, 2015
Ruminations on Restitution —

Ruminations on Restitution

I understand that gratefulness is the way in and through. The Buddhists, the Jews,  the Christians, and with special mention, the New Age gurus all preach about gratefulness. Keep a journal –  keep score –  keep counting your blessings.

And I get this. I really do. There is a large part of me that is grateful for all that I have, and I have a lot. Great kid, great friends, great hair. But what about that small part of me? The non-grateful bitchy pissed off part. The small dark part of me that says “Really? God/Spirit/Universe/ This is all I get ? This is your best game plan for me? ” I am pissed. Royally totally pissed. I WANT RESTITUTION!!! I’m not sure exactly  what restitution should look like for me, because my feeling of wanting (love, safety, a good and present mother) has been with me since I have been a child.

My family was very wealthy, we were definitely in that exclusive 1%. We had a huge house in the city, and an even larger one in the country. We took semi – annual vacations to exotic locations.  My sister and I had the latest clothes/cars/toys. I dated in my station (Jew/ upper middle class) and had a big showy wedding.

Then it all went to hell in a handbasket. When my daughter was just six months old, my father had a major stroke. My husband, unbeknownst to me, started taking steroids for his Crohn’s condition, that made him act out so violently that the police had to be called to our home. I had always harboured the illusion that when I needed my family they would be there. Admittedly, this was truly an illusion, since they had never been there even in the easy  times, but I still had harboured the hope that when push came to shove, my mother/extended family would be there for the tough.

I was feeling overwhelmed , dealing with the police, the lawyers, and my daughter Jessica. I just wanted to give my daughter some  happiness during this tough time.   Jessica’s 10th birthday fell on a day that the Toronto Raptors had a home game.  I asked my uncle,  a season ticket holder , if he would mind giving me two of his six tickets to the game. He replied in the negative. Wow. I was shocked. Actually still am. But I was the demon  daughter/niece, and I was born to be denied. I had almost resigned myself to that fact, but my daughter? According to my family, I was the demon seed. Why demon seed?  I did not follow “the rules” without question, and I questioned constantly the status quo, and didn’t I know good girls should be seen and not heard? Clearly I did not get that memo. In my family’s collective mind Jessica and I were a package deal,  hence she was the daughter of the demon seed, and that was that.

So I let that go (right? clearly not!) and focused on my divorce which was dragging on and  turning nasty. This time I turned to my mother for help with my mounting legal bills. When my father died he had left my mother  millions of dollars from the sale of his business , surely she would help me out financially with the lawyer bill? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. She told me she had ‘been advised’ to not help me. By whom? Her accountant? Her financial advisor? More than likely she spoke to my sister and her Machiavellian husband for guidance, who probably said “Don’t give her anything!   Katharine can’t be trusted with money, who knows what she will spend it on!”  More money for him and my sister when my mother eventually dies.

So I was on my own, and did the best I could go given my abilities. Jessica, despite my mothering and her lack of fathering (her father had performed a disappearing act long ago, right after our divorce.) is doing well now , working hard to fulfill her dream of  becoming the next Don Draper.

So if all is  mostly well in my world, then why am I dreaming of restitution? Because ironically the healthier I get, the more I sink deep into the safety of my own body, the more old memories come up for release. Here is the truth that I hid from myself until only  a few months ago. I was not a great mother to Jessica. I tried my best, but given my abusive childhood and cruel mother, I was not able to ‘hold the space’ for Jessica, for Jessica to be her own person. I wanted her to be a little me, a fey flower child wisp of a girl, but she wasn’t. She was strong and bold and clear on her needs. I often couldn’t hear them for my own little girl unmet needs were drowning out hers. I am so sorry for all the hurt I caused my beautiful child. I have apologized to her for all the pain I caused her both intentionally and inadvertently. But what is done is done. I am calm now, I can separate my needs from hers , but the damage is done. I have produced another generation of unmothered untethered  daughters. My fervent wish is that I have healed myself in time for Jessica to have a good enough mother, so that she can mother in a way that I was not able to.

I still want a good mother.  I need a good mother. Someone to wipe my brow when I am fevered, someone to cheer me on when I feel like giving up, a mother whose eyes light up when I walk into the room. And that will never happen. Ever. The absolute finality of that statement sends shivers down my spine as I write these words, because I can’t reconcile this truth with my profound need.

And it feels, in this deep dark place, that I will die without this restitution that has no name and no form. I feel moored into the pit of it, tethered to the restitution dragon with its big devouring teeth that threatens to destroy any fleeting happiness that comes my way. Rilke wrote “Perhaps all the dragons in the world are princesses who are only waiting to see us once, beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being, something that needs our love”.   With Rilke’s  advice in mind, I will do my best to love the beast with the big sharp teeth that is my deepest wound.

Swords — October 13, 2015


I live with my close friend Lorraine. We live in a light filled 1200 square foot apartment in the heart of Toronto. My bedroom looks out on the city and on a clear day I can see the changing coloured lights of the CN tower. And for 90% of the time, we get along marvellously. But that 10% ?  Arrrggghhh!!!!! My personality is ebullient and expansive. Remember the movie Up, where the old man’s house was carried away by balloons? Well, for the most part, on most days, I am those balloons.  Lorraine , not so much.  Lorraine is contained, logical, often prone to long diatribes on politics and the sad sorry state of the world. She loves Sudoku and crossword puzzles and is one of the smartest people I know. But, her words can sometimes cut like diamonds,  a pinprick to all my lovely balloons. So  when the expansive and the contained bump into each other like Tonka toys the result can be quite painful.  I am trying to pay careful attention to how I speak to Lorraine, asking myself  as I interact with her –  am I on the attack when I really should be more loving, more accepting, more embracing? Is this the  time to be a lover or a warrior? Buddhists talk about the ‘vajra sword’.  This is the sword of wise discernment that helps us know when to surrender and when to stand firm, when to merge and when to prevail. This ‘sword’  reminds me of the Serenity Prayer which goes something like this ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference’. In most situations loving surrender is the way to go with Lorraine , but every now and then I look under my bed, and I pull out my old but trusty sword and I go slay that dragon. Roar!

here and now — October 9, 2015

here and now

here and now

i have waited
breath by breath

for your arrival
now you
are here
bones and flesh
and blood
finding favor
with my request

you feel
so familiar to me
from another lifetime.
your hand
on my

i remember
in the winter
getting lost
in the deep

i feel you
a heart without question
someone to watch over
katharine love

Oh happy day — October 3, 2015

Oh happy day

On this day, 1/4 of a century ago, I was a little pregnant and a whole lot overwhelmed, for I was marrying a man that I did not love, wearing a dress not of my choosing, in a synagogue that I had no real relationship with. But, for one glorious moment, when those enormous wooden double doors opened, and I started to walk down the long red carpeted aisle, I heard a collective gasp from the crowd, and for a fleeting second I felt like a true princess, until of course , I saw my parents and tripped. ( It was a sign) Then of course, there was ‘him’. And even though it ended with vitriol and violence, it was worth it all for that one glorious second where I actually felt in the deep down part of me, that I was enough.

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