Tag Archives: separation

The Audacity of Divorce Court

Waking up this morning in this surreal state. Today is my first appearance in divorce court.  There are alot of things that cause me discomfort about this. But probably the thing that causes me the most discomfort is having to interact with my X in the forum of “divorce court.”  I have a backlog of stories to be telling you. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve recently become more verbose. Something shifted. And I have a huge backlog of stories to tell.  One thing I’ve been meaning to tell you is that I’ve realized that there is this lexicon that lives in my body. A lexicon built over 16 years with my X that tells this story of how I loved.  It is deeply engrained in the fabric of my cells.  I know it well, this lexicon of love I will call it. What my body doesn’t know as well is the lexicon of goodbye and the lexicon of separation and divorce.

My body remembers well what it feels like to lie beside him night after night for 16 years. To be held safe and warm in his arms at night. I can still feel the warmth of his front body against my back body.  How he sandwiched my feet with his legs when they got really cold at night. How he brought me a drink of water every night before bed.  How on some evenings I’d fall fast asleep on the sofa and he’d convince me to take my tired and reluctant body upstairs. My butt can still feel the push from his hands as he forced me up those stairs and how I’d lean back with all of my body weight backwards into him. It was rather comical. That was the lexicon of bedtime. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.58.07 AM My body remembers well how I prepared meal and after meal for us. It remembers breakfasts. Breakfasts were huge around here when X was still here. My body remembers how it made the eggs and toasted the toast.  Pulling this that and the other thing out of the fridge and onto the table. My eyes remember the fullness of the table spread. My belly remembers the feeling of full.  How I kissed him goodbye in the back room and how he rode away up the gravel driveway to work. My ears recall the sound of the tires on the gravel. And my arms remember waving goodbye and and my throat remembers calling out to him, “I love you sweety.” (with a y of course, not to be confused with “sweetie” which was what my ears recall him referring to me). This is the lexicon of our mornings and it’s a well worn dialect in this body. My hand remembers well the feeling of being held in his hand as we walked the streets of the market. How we walked the streets of the world together. My body remembers how when we walked, he always took the position between me and the street. My ears recall him saying he did this to protect me from danger of the street.  My pinky finger remembers the way it would link through his pinky and fourth finger. This is the lexicon of how we walked through space. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.54.54 AM Today my body has the awkward task of going to divorce court. Alone.  We live a few mere blocks from one another and within walking distance to the court house.  My body is considering now the awkwardness of walking there alone. On this cold and miserable November day, my body considers walking the streets to the courthouse on the same sidewalks we walked hand in hand. Walking by the place where we had our first date.  And the place where we were engaged to be married. And the place where we rented an apartment for 3 years. The awkwardness of the courthouse and the courtroom.  I’m a lawyer, I know the halls of these places well. These are war grounds. Where people go to battle it out.  How is it that after 16 years of speaking the lexicon of love,  that I come to meet him in this place of war.  My eyes still find discomfort with seeing him from a distance and my body still finds discomfort with not closing that distance.  How he will sit in one place side by side with his lawyer. How I will sit some place different by myself.  The awkwardness of having to wait like this for our turn to be called to appear before the judge. And the awkwardness of being called by the judge. How we will walk down the aisle together once again. Yet apart.   To the war tables. This very linearly arranged room. How I will stand behind one table as respondent. How he will stand at another as applicant. How we will speak to the front of the room to a strange person called a judge about how it is we sever this life we shared.  This is a lexicon my body really doesn’t know. How to be in relationship with him in these awkward ways. What do you wear to divorce court? My mind for some reason remembers now, the dressing up for our wedding day.  Everyone knows you wear a white dress to your wedding. But what do wear to divorce court? I am learning day by day this new lexicon of how I relate to this man I now call my X husband.  My eyes feel tearing and my cheek feels the tears rolling downwards.  There is another life with all kinds of new lexicon on the other side of this divorce. It’s already happening and I’m building a new language in this body to speak to that.  But today, this body goes to divorce court to speak the foreign and awkward language of divorce to a man that I held dear for 16 long years. Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.48.26 AM

We Never Dance Alone

I am the proud granddaughter of Juliana Dumayas. She was a smiler and a dancer with a sharp business sense.  She was kind and generous and sensitive. I remember seeing her cry when talking about what matters to her most.  Strong and courageous she was. I wish in this moment I knew her full name to tell you. Or the years she graced this earth. Or had a picture of her as I remember her,  smiling and spiralling with joy and contentment in her eyes. I wonder often where I get my sensibilities from and I think, yep, I am the granddaughter of Juliana Dumayas.  I want to find out more about my grandmother. Like her full name and find some pictures of her and tell you more about her but another time. I tried to find a picture of myself dancing to attach to this post but I  was drawn somehow to this one taken very recently. It’s my legs on the left, and I’m dancing up a storm with my son on his second birthday.   Perhaps an odd choice for this post but it demonstrates to me this sense of lineage. My grandmother is a dancer. I am a dancer. My son is a dancer.  When I’m dead and gone I hope to be remembered fondly as a smiler and a dancer, full of courage and love.  And I hope to be remembered, referenced by this sense of lineage. I am the proud granddaughter of Juliana Dumayas and loving mother to my dear son.  I am a sister. I am an ex-wife. I am a daughter. I am an enemy. I am a friend.  We never dance alone.




There. I said it three times. And publicly.  There is a deep longing within me to open to unspeakable places.  To welcome the unwelcome. Include the excluded. Embrace these underground disparate parts of self that don’t make it to the conversation table.  Why? Because these things are part of who I am and they matter to me. Greatly.  And these social conventions that say NO and wanna exclude and shame hold less and less weight for me. The need to be me and embrace the wholeness of who I am means too much to me.  I have fought my entire life for truth, and justice.  I have fought my entire life for the right to simply be me.  And I’m done with fighting.

I hear the many voices of NO that are deeply entrenched in this world we live in. That are represented so strongly in my my mother and my ex husband. But the truth is the war isn’t with these voices. The war has always been against myself. And I’m done with fighting.  I am ready to take my seat in myself and welcome it al with a resounding YES. I have these off the chart incredible orgasms. (And I want to talk about that seriously, somatically, naturally, uninhibited.)  And I hope you will still love me tomorrow for saying so. That saying so makes me no less intelligent. No less serious.  No less worthy to work in a professional field of work. No less worthy as a mother.

The text below was a post I placed on Facebook. I didn’t say it then but it was a milestone post for me. A triumph in that it was the first time I opened publicly the conversation on orgasm and sexuality. The first time I uttered the word “ORGASM” in social media. I wanna celebrate that moment here in this post. Here I am. Dodie Sobretodo. All of me.

What is the fascination with “orgasm” in this world. This sense that once we pass a threshold, the journey becomes no longer about the journey but about the race to orgasm. I noticed myself resisting the kiss the other day for fear that it would take me down a path that wasn’t my choosing. But I chose the kiss and dropped the story. I kissed him because I really wanted to kiss him and because I really love kissing. I kissed him with great intensity at times, softness at times and thoughtful moments of pause. Then when this dance was over we had the most magnificent hug I’ve ever experienced in my life. So soft in intensity yet so deeply rooted. I don’t know that I’d ever felt so at home in the arms of another. The point is that I love to kiss, and I love to hold hands and I love to hug and I love orgasm. But in no particular order. I love that a kiss doesn’t need to mean a certain crescendo to orgasm in the course of a night or a lifetime. Because if it did I might have missed out on that most unforgettable hug that impressed me so. What does this have to do with Soul Motion? To me everything. IMG_0527

For My Son. This wish.

I was out with my 2 year old son the other day at Hogsback Falls when I happened upon a sweet moment which I shared with a friend via text:

“A neat realization. Out at Hogsback. I caught him blowing on one of those white dandelions.  I never taught him that.  Maybe his dad did.  The imagining of that touches me. That he gets to be exposed to new and different repertoires than I can offer. That I get to be surprised by his growing repertoire”

As background I’ve been a single mom pretty much attached at the hip to my son since he was 6 months old when I separated from his dad under rather fugly circumstances.   Quite honestly it’s the first time I can remember that I’d ever observed him doing something outside the realm of what I’ve exposed him to.

On further contemplation of this moment at Hogsback, I recall the significance of blowing on this white spherical weed. How I engaged in this ritual as a young child and made a wish.  Wishes I no longer remember.  Yet in *this* moment I am filled both wishes and eager anticipation for the unfolding of my dear son’s life.  I wish for him to transcend the bounds of my experience and limitations of what I can show him in this lifetime.  That he evolve to be bigger and better than I could ever be because of the inspiration shown to him by his dad.  Because of the inspiration offered to him by the many others that he will cross paths with.  I wish that the echoes of those experiences will serve him and offer him a growing and expansive repertoire to choose from.  A repertoire that he can see with, understand with, play with, grow with, do anything with, or do nothing with.

And. What a relief!  I don’t have to this alone.  I can relax some.

K one point for my ex. Just one.


Divorce Papers. Served.

Divorce papers. Served. What I thought was mine turns out really isn’t. Who I thought I was, dissipated that one night last year after dinner. Caesar salad, roasted chicken, and a 6 month old baby fast asleep upstairs.  A belly and life that felt most certainly full to me.  Then he walked out after dinner. Biked away with a duffel bag into the night,  and left me with no thing.  I wake up this morning warm in my bed with no thing.  And I am free and clear.  Wildly rich with the potency of all things that is born of no thing. I know this deep in my wise old bones.   And  yet in the knowing of this, I also wake up terrified.  Really really terrified.  Referencing to no thing ‘feels’  terrifying after spending a life referencing my life to this thing, that thing and the other thing.   I am terrified yet I am content.  I empty yet I am full.  I am no thing and I am everything all at once.

Dear universe.  I am a lucky woman. I know this. With deep gratitude for everything.  For the everything that finds me on any given day.

Dear friends.  I commit to you now. To this life of no thing. To the practice of emptying. Giving it all away.  So that I may wake up free and clear everyday to fall in in love with you over and over and over again with fresh eyes, and generosity.  This part is important so please stand as witness for me dear friends: I stake my life and calling on the simplicity of offering my empty hands to you for holding onto.  Hands held out plain to serve and to welcome and reach out for the same.  I stake my life and calling on the simplicity of holding out my empty arms to you in an embrace.  In the potential that lies in the sanctuary of truly being held and seen.

I can feel the coolness of the dirt under *these* feet and between *these* toes and the resiliency in *these* bones. The suppleness in *this* spine and the softness in *this* gaze and the gentleness in the rise and fall of *this* breathe. All of which form the foundation to extend *these* hands and *these* arms to you. In the no thing I offer you everything.  Over and over and over again.


The River Amstel

Waking up in the Dam in a cosy corner in De Pipe (dutch for “the pipe”). Hosted by a lovely Aussie bearing delicious food and affectionately referring to me as his “mate” and “sweetheart.” Running along side the contours and curves of the river Amstel this morning. My mind meandering and wondering …

Will I live aboard a boat? In a house low to the ground, or high above, will I be found? Will I live in Amsterdam, Ottawa, Barcelona or far off lands? Will I marry for love, will I be on my own? Will I just jump from lover to lover, the story is yet to be shown. Will my life be neat and in time, like poetry and rhyme? Or messy and ugly and never in time?  What I know for sure is this view that I see, what I feel in my feet, what I sense that is me. Are those ashes on my feet, from the burning of past?  Are those wings on my arms, am I phoenixing at last?

It matters little to me what the future can see. I want as much now as this moment allows. So bring it on universe, I’m soft yet alert, with strength in these bones, and rooted in dirt. Listening dearly with hands held out plain. To serve and to welcome and reach out for the same.

What matters the most is the space where I stand. The landscape may sway but it’s in this body I land. Come to me river, come to me sand, come to me princes and frogs and far off lands. I run and smile as my feet hit the ground. My life is my practice. Reality. Found.


Sunday’s at Lansdowne

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 4.04.14 PMFor several years now I’ve been going to Lansdowne Park Farmer’s Market (temporarily moved to Brewers Park) on Sunday’s.   There’s something as sweet as honey about that place.  Family oriented. Good local healthy eats. An atmosphere of ease. People move a little slower. They smile and take the time to connect with one another.

I was there this past Sunday and was reflecting on my history with Lansdowne Market and how it tells and sweet meandering story.  I used to go there with my X husband and our dogs.  Some of my most cherished moments with my X are these simple and easy times we shared together. There’s a reason my blog is titled “Everyday Inspiration.” It’s because I adore the simplicity and comfort of the everyday experience. In looking back on my marriage it’s these simple times that I look back on most fondly and miss the most.  It’s when he shined as a husband and we shined as a couple.  These moments when no one was really looking and nothing really mattered.  We’d buy garlic, organic veggies, fresh farm eggs.  We’d get delicious wood fired pizza and enjoy it on the lawn under the trees and talk about how it reminded us of the best pizza we ever had in Naples and reminisce about our adventures in southern Italy.

One time two summers ago when I was very pregnant, I was at Lansdowne with my girlfriend M, and I looked longingly at where the musicians would set up for the kids. I turned to my friend M and said I have fantasies of sitting in the grass with my husband and son to be, and watching the musicians play.  Somehow that being a perfect picture of family for me.

And once again that same pregnant summer, I remember being there with my X and wearing a big puffy blue tutu. This woman at one of the vendor stands whom I saw frequently told me that she would notice my outfits from week to week. That she would tell her young girls about this woman who dared to wear a tutu to the market. Conveying that she wanted her girls to understand that growing older doesn’t mean giving up the child in us.

Then there was last summer. Newly separated from X,  I would go to the market with my son who at that time wasn’t even a year old.  I remember the first time I went to the market last summer with my son and my girlfriend M and felt inundated with scene after scene of happy couples with their newborn babies. The dad’s proudly toting the baby around in a carrier while the mom’s happily went about their shopping.   These dad’s, so in and engaged felt like a personal affront to me.  It felt impossible to reconcile the joy I’d felt coming to Landsdowne with X,  pregnant even,  with the fact that he had been unfaithful for much of that time. It felt utterly impossible to wrap my mind around the fact I was now a single mom.

I remember in that first visit, passing the musician’s area and saying to M,  “why did I think it was a “fantasy” to be enjoying the music with my X and my son?”  As if I was foreshadowing the fragility of my marriage and the separation to come.

Another time last summer,  I remember in particular seeing this one dad proudly holding his newborn baby in a carrier. Lovestruck he was.  This dad was not at all my type.  He was a farmer. A country guy.  Not someone I found physically attractive at all. But I remember turning to the friend I was with and saying, “I NEED that man.”  I needed a man that was that in love. And that engaged. And that devoted to his family and his child.

Then there was this past Sunday.   I biked to Lansdowne towing my son in a trailer along Colonel By. He fell asleep en route and woke up just as we were nearing the market and I told him of the excitement to come. Music, veggies, date squares, bipimbop (a yummy Korean dish sold there).   I got some bipibop,  and a date square and we headed to the musicians area. There was a most talented young guitar player there this time.  He playfully improvised his music and lyrics with inspiration he elicited from the children.  He’d say something like, “what’s your favourite animals.”  Then he’d ask, “what should we name these animals?” And then he would elicit suggestions for what kind of adventure could they go on.  Then he’d improvise the funnest quirkiest songs, peppering in inspiration from all around him.  One dad had snap peas which he shared with all the kids there. All us parents got inspired and left our kids with that one dad while we all picked up a box of these snap peas for ourselves. Then all us parents and children, we all snacked on snap peas (and bipimbop and date squares) and enjoyed the music, under the big blue sky.


My first mother’s day with S last year.  Improvising a new story of a mom in a tutu, and a charming newborn in a lilac jumper, and how love & devotion carried them to solid ground.

In looking back on this past Sunday I smile at the simple ease of that brilliant sunny day.  The everyday inspiration of it. I smile to myself in recalling the contrast of increasingly easeful moments like this past Sunday,  to the impossible pain and hardship of last summer.   Like the musician this past Sunday, I improvise this life of mine.  I take this woman Dodie, and this cute as a button young toddler S, and this silly dog Ruby.   And I ask myself, “what fun and quirky adventures can the three of us go on today?”  And I keep my eyes open and available for inspiration to find me.  And I watch as a semblance of family unfolds before me. It’s not the fantasy that I’d envisioned years ago, but like the story of the farmer guy I saw last year, my story is one full of love and engagement and devotion.  Unlike fantasy, this story is real and sturdy.   And like that mom who went home to tell her young daughters about me in my tutu,  I hold dear my sense of childlike wonder as I continue to improvise from moment to moment, the story of my life.