I ran to English school to escape my French perpetrators.
I ran in figure skates and ballet slippers to be away on weekends too.
I ran so the monsters under my bed would not bite me.
I ran and hid in snow forts, the pool, and the neighbour’s yard.
I ran in jungles in my colouring books.
I ran with stuffed animals who loved me.
And I ran with all my might to escape from the truth that would swallow me.
I ran to food to soothe me.
I ran to sex to release me.
I ran to alcohol to raise me.
I ran to drugs to erase me.
And I ran to an English art college to create me.
I ran to Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design.
I ran into my mentor, Paul Baker.
I ran wholeheartedly into theatre and opera design.
I ran heedlessly with my creative impulses.
And I had to keep running to forget and survive.
I ran to Toronto with my hellish boyfriend in tow.
I ran hapless and powerless into the jaws of more abuse.
I ran with drugs, with art, with as much of it as I could claw.
And the more I ran, the more circular it got.
I ran to the Banff Centre and the University of Victoria.
I ran in phenomenal landscapes that beckoned my soul.
I ran in clouds of hydroponic marijuana and magic mushrooms.
I ran with Shakespeare, Chekhov, Williams, and Albee.
I ran into my first girlfriend or she ran into me.
And I ran into a new me.
In due course,
I ran back to Toronto to work on my first professional production.
I ran into my first sexy, butchy girlfriend.
I ran into my first therapist’s office.
And then I ran into a me I really did not know.
By and by,
I ran into my first memory of sexual abuse.
I ran into my grandfather and what he did to me.
I ran into my mother and what she did and didn’t do to me.
I ran into my father and the insanity of what he did to me.
And I ran into my grandmother and all the love she had for me.
When Mamy was dying,
I ran into my first big blast of unconditional love.
I ran into the arms of my first dead aunt and ancestor.
I ran into magic, mystery, and invisible energy.
I ran into alternative medicine and Reiki.
And, most importantly, I ran into my innate power to self-heal.
I run to feel the heartbeat of the earth,
to fall into a dance with my beloved Mother
in a way that I have yet to before.
I run because I thrive
And I run to see where my open heart takes me.