Thursday, 18 January 2018


2017.12.06 overlooked
I went to a small country school
Red Deer Lake
So many people wanted in
It was somewhat ghetto and covered in asbestos
Still all the nouveau riche wanted to join  
It smelled like that Napoleon Dynamite hipster vibe
We were in the boundaries, so were a shoe in
I chose it over Strathcona (nauseous old money)
I was an tomboy and didn’t want to wear a skirt
There were only 32 of us in my year
Mostly close
Wholesome kids (we still cannot believe how damn wholesome we were)
Still some of my best friends today
At the end of the year, we all looked forward to the RDL awards ceremony
Especially year 9
After year 9, we would all split up and go to the city or Okotoks for high school
Everyone looked fabulous that night
Sateen spaghetti strapped nineties gowns
Silver chains and spikey frosted tipped hair
Everyone got an award
Some got two
Some got three
I remember eagerly waiting for my turn
My heart with butterflies every time they called a category I might win
I remember watching friends go passed one by one
At the end of the night
I was embarrassed
Mama by my side
Graciously congratulating my friends and comrades
32 children, 43 some odd awards 
My name, along with two others, were never called
I’d been overlooked
The doors slam shut on the muddy mini van
The sound of seat belt swipes and clicks
The van engine roars
In five minutes, we’re back in the Old Country II (aka the farm or acreage)
We discuss why
I was a music prodigy child. I completed the RCM music program at 14, played almost every instrument and performed countless times
I hold the record (still) for the highest bid at the lunch box social
I played JV volleyball, basketball and won provincial high jump in track and field 
I saved a younger kid from drowning
Bake sale, cake walk, french
My peers loved me
Most of my teachers loved me
I won hot seat 

Then consideration of the dark side crept in
My brother caused a lot of issues at the school
I was the ring leader of the daughters club that was shut down because not all the girls were included
When the boys were cruel to Grace day in day out, Bunny, Ash & I put insulation in the boys pants while they were in gym. 
It was a botched job, we couldn’t match the pants on the change room floor to the owners and we got some of the wrong lads. 
Man those cats were squirming next period in science and band. 
In school suspension and a deep bellowed laugh from the principal years later. 
He said “it was  *** hilarious. Never seen anything like it in all my years of teaching. I know your eyes welled with tears at the time, but I went home and laughed till I cried”
I was crying too
I didn’t understand why 
I sat at the kitchen table in the Old Country mansion I called home 
Completely isolated and alone
Another secret for those walls to keep
The tears welled 
Confused contemplation
Out of 32 children, 43 awards and 29 recipients
It was clear 
I wasn’t just overlooked
Born with a silver spoon as opposed to thick skin
These are the moments I look back and relish
The rush
That goddamn pain
Thick humiliation
Unchosen Resilience

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Jupiter transits Scorpio Oct 2017 to Nov 2018 | Unravelling a Twisted Cosmic Knot

2017.01.11 Jupiter in Scorpio

In October 2017, the planet Jupiter entered the area of the sky that the star constellation of Scorpio inhabits, what astrologers call the eight house. 

Due to the speed of Jupiter’s orbit traversing in our solar system, it will transit through Scorpio until November 2018 when it will move into the constellation of Sagittarius, or the ninth house.

The eight house is mysterious. Deep bonding and  energies merge in this house. It is a ruler of birth, death and transformation. In a divergent strain, the eight house also rules property, money, real estate, inheritances and investments. 

Jupiter expands everything, especially wealth. Jupiter is benevolent and kind. Generally its gravitational pull and warmth smiles on its subjects, this child like positivity brings them luck.

So, you can imagine the combined influence of Jupiter in Scorpio.

The last time Jupiter entered the eight house to traverse the plane of Scorpio was October 2005 to November 2006. Eight house activities we started then, will expand and grow with prevalence.

At first when I tried to ponder what activities I was undertaking 13 years ago, the memories were dull and almost forgotten. Through the help of paper documents in a file cabinet, it came flooding back. 

October 2005 energies merge • child like luck

I was living in Newark on Trent. My best friend had killed himself the preceding June and I was still wheeling from the effects. I had not returned home to face or accept reality. I was in shock. I decided to plan a fancy dress party for Halloween. 

I drove down to London to pick up supplies and found myself at a dark and gloomy market on an even darker and gloomier day. 

Weather that would have otherwise depressed others did not dissuade me.  I was enlivened. The grey skies and cold dampness in the air complimented my mood. Everything was mystical and unknown. 

I purchased six large pumpkins, envisaging the results of a thrilling jack o lantern carving competition without planning the logistics. The gourd monger doubtfully gave me a black plastic garbage bag to secure haul.

The load was heavy and I clumsily lumbered across the footbridge overpass to the car park. There were about four switchbacks left on my descent. My temperature was rising. I was sweaty. I knew I’d made a blithering mistake.

Between the slippery sweat of my palms, the cold dampness in the air and the weight of the gourds, the plastic bag ripped open from seam to seam. 

One by one, the pumpkins rolled away from my grasp down the windy descent. I frantically ran after them without a focused goal. 

Meanwhile, thirty business men in black suits ascended up the ramp, ensuring to plummet their hands deeper into their pockets and hide their miserable faces deeper into their collars. 

I finally gathered myself and aimed for the furtherest pumpkin. Picking up speed by virtue of a focused direction, as my hand extended almost within reach, the thirty-first business man raised his foot to catch it and then briskly marched on. 

In that split second, I felt the deepest gratitude. It was close to the kindest thing that any one had done for me.

Enlivened again, I turned to face the remaining tumbling gourds and opened my arms like a mother welcoming home a gaggle of children.

November 2005 Deep bonding and benevolence

The memories of the entire month are faint. However, I flew to Malaga Spain and remember every single blessed detail of that trip.

Selena was waiting for me. She was a dedicated lass who took the time to learn Spanish while we were in high school. 

This time was her nova. In astronomy, a nova is when a star suddenly and largely increases its light, which then incrementally dissipates after a few months and the star returns to its regular brightness.

Selena was my connection to the Spaniards, my translator. She was my support and release in my grief, my nova.  

I slept a lot and was unable to eat. Everything smelled and tasted like filth. This was of no concern to me.

We started at the homestead sitting on the bed reporting the events of the preceding year. She told me everyone from home was so worried about me since Matthew died. They thought I would say something. Call them. Send my usual letters and packages of wine. My people knew me as expressive, quick tongued and even obnoxious. For the first time in my life, I silently starved. I had nothing to say. An aloof cat without a tongue. 

Up until that point, my relationships had always been about me. My enjoyment, what I wanted to do, recharging my batteries through incessant chatter and communion. 

Selena’s nova gently showed me empathy. How to step outside myself and see another’s point of view. I will always feel gratitude for her honest heart and direct words.

We ventured to a semi abandoned mall so I could learn about the lollies and ghetto Spanish life.

Next was rummaging through markets for souvenirs. Baskin Robbins in an ancient stone world built in the name of a christian god. Red desert esque dusty sand on the streets. Meeting Jesus. Magical nights in another stone town square. The stone wall that runs forever along the beach. Somersaults in the sand. Dancing until sunrise with pervy old men. Tequila. Football. Running from gun shots in the hood. Running with the bulls. Deciding to get matching tattoos. 

The whirlwind came to halt when I yanked on the glass door of the parlour to discover it was locked. I yanked again. Pressed my face up against the glass. Checked the times on the door. Checked my watch. In that moment, I learned of the greatest societal practice of all time: siesta. 

Praise to whichever christian god that the tattoo parlour was closed for siesta. 

December 2005 Death

I stayed out my last days at in my wing of Cowtham House and said my goodbyes to living in the England and travels through Europe. 

A day before Christmas Eve, I packed two of the heaviest suitcases, including a glass tea pot for my sophisticated grandmother, and made my way to Heathrow.

Around 23.23 the check in clerk noted that my bags were double the allotted weight and I would need to pay 175 pounds (Jupiter expands). She saw the fears and tears as I said I only have 23 quid for my journey home. I stammered and said I would try to make some calls. Embarrassed, I moved my bags to the centre of the tiled hall and asked a man if I could borrow his phone. 

The clerk caught my eye and waived me back over. She said, its almost Christmas Eve love. Don’t worry about the fare. Just get home safe. In that moment, I felt deep gratitude. 

After the homecoming reunion and christian celebrations, my highschool sweetheart took me to my best friends grave.

It was cold, it was dry, it was snowing. The grave yard was so far out of the city. It took forever to find the grave because of white blanket covering the earth. I was wearing a drop waist skirt with army print and knee socks likely in an attempt to mimic one of Canada’s great fashion icons, Avril Lavigne. No one was happy. This was not a happy time.

We cleared away the snow from the granite rock. As if looking at a rock would reverse the decay on the bones beneath our feet. 
Nonetheless, I involuntarily collapsed to my knees and buried my faced and freezing tears in the freezing snow and sobbed. 

I felt John’s forever furnaced hand on my back. Again, a feeling of deep gratitude washed over me and muddled into the sadness. 

We got back in the truck and he drove me home. At the end of the estate driveway he put the truck in park. Maybe from force of habit. We nestled into the heated seats and our energies merged with passion and old familiarity. He stopped and said: I love you Natt, but I can’t get back together with you again just because we’re both really messed up over Matt. 

January to April 2006 resisting transformation and investing in death

I conquered the bureaucratic strain of transferring my university credits from Lethbridge to Mount Royal College and switching my degree from agricultural studies to psychology. 

It’s a shame bureaucracy is such a beautiful word, linguistically, because its such an ugly beast. Somehow the word bureaucracy always reminds me a beautiful antique french made wooden desk, built with solidarity with a lingering smell of the beautiful earth.

On enrolment, I knew I was going down.  The natural and logistic choice was to enrol in Human Anatomy 1214 and Chinese 2205. I can only chalk this bizarre divergence of course up to the mysterious influence of Scorpio. 

I was so depressed I almost died. I looked up into a circle of light to see all my friends leaning around a circled barrel. I could see tens and twenties of arms trying to grab me as i fell backwards down into the bottomless dark black hole.

Natalie Clark was there. She didn’t give up on me. Looking back, it was probably difficult for her to be my friend and support me. Losing my best friend had changed me, changed my personality, but I refused to acknowledge facts and drank the oceans of my life away.

Even now, from taking this look back, I can feel a sickness rising from my solar plexus. Its spreads everywhere and it is difficult to keep returning to the writing desk.

I achieved a C+ in Chinese and a D in Human Anatomy and was put on academic probation.  The most terrifying part of all of this is that I only learned about the location and functions of my large intestines this year.  It may be good to retake that anatomy course.

May to August 2006 money and birth 

In the summer, I canvassed to raise awareness about depression and suicide. At the first door I broke down crying. Rachel Rose and Rachel Craig stood closely behind in tears. 

Richard Clark taught me how to pitch. When I asked him for a donation I was sheepish and didn’t want to cry. He said, what the hell are you doing? If you’re coming to my house and asking me for money you better clearly tell me how much and why. 

I got my motorbike licence. I walked out of the dirty suburban Shawnessy Registry and was so excited about the licence I picked up the phone, dialled 2781861 to call Matt to tell him. When his mama answered I remembered he was dead, but with a collected calmness said: Diana, I just picked up my motorbike licence so I can drive in the ride this year. 

I didn’t end up driving, but I attended the second annual Matt’s Ride. 

To be honest, I don’t remember anything else from that summer. I couldn’t tell you where I lived, if I had a job or my social activities. I was an equitable millionaire and heiress to a real estate empire so my problems didn’t transcend to meeting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I had the luxury of lamenting and grieving for as long and as obnoxiously as I needed.

I think I spent the majority of my time trying to lose my virginity to my ex boyfriend, writing songs, hanging out with Matt’s parents or trying to kill myself.

September to November 2006  • child like mystery 

In the fall I found myself back at Mount Royal College enrolled in Archaeology 3303, Issues in Consumer Economics 1160, Strength Training 1145, Tennis 1249 and Principles of Psychology 2205.

Again, there was clearly no logistic plan or method to these class choices. Shooting from the hip. Drawing straws in the dark. Looking to the disconnected for a connection.

I met my psychology teacher Tammy who turned out to be my friends’ cousin. 

I was taken with her. Everything about her was fabulous. I haven’t thought of her in years, but still hold her in the highest regard. 

I began blooming out of my sadness and devoted all my energy to studying. I don’t remember making any friends at school (I know I had too many friends on my plate anyway) or really any more detail of the last half of the year.

I think that was the year dad built the ski chalets, so around October / November I would have been riding Kicking Horse. 

After the semester finished, I received the Jason Lang Scholarship for excellence in academic performance. I was so moved when I found out I’d won, I wrote a long winded and weird thank you letter to the board. 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Natural's Heart

Chapter Mark and that stupid DMA's cover
Cut out the bridge
The part where he says he doesn't need you anymore
Cut out all the words and all the things the words are suppose to mean
Leave his awkward ways
The green gum in his mouth 
It must have smelled like mint
Leave that gorgeous vibrato 
Close your eyes and feel the cool between the teeth
the start of the shudder
Then Shudder
the echo
The hazy feeling I had waking up from the groggy world
Somewhere between lethargic exuding cathartic magic
My body was sick
But my heart had butterflies and despair
I dropped and ran
Leave their awkward low brow dress
And that silly ball cap
Leave the love
Keep whatever you can from this
Grasp it to its depth
Your fingers cannot hold
It's slipping away 

Believe in life after love


Friday, 23 June 2017

Natural's Horatio

Today is Carmen's birthday. Graeme told me she was afraid of being forgotten. Her life and story have left a special imprint on my life.

One day, Graeme asked me to read his tarot cards. He had never asked before (I'd only offered). I was jazzed. I threw down all the cards. I was instantly emotional. I said, Graeme I feel very emotional. What did you ask. 
He said, it's a yes or no question, tell me if the answer is yes or no.
I looked down at the cards and began to sob
I had no idea why
but I said, your answer is no. 
I asked again, what was your question 
Graeme was quiet. 
The tears still ran down my face.
I asked a third time. 
He said, I asked the universe if I would make it home before my sister died.
My sobs became ugly 
His flight was for 16 December 2016.
I said no. You won't make it home. 
Graeme changed his flight to 2 December 2016

I missed him. I was exhausted 
It was a Wednesday night
I went to my usual yoga class
Then my girlfriend & I grabbed the deep fried chips
There was a dog there 
Sitting alone 
I'm a sucker for a lot of things but not for animals
I respect their power 
But their like humans
We don't all click 
Also, like pregnant women bellies, I never touch a domesticated animal without the owners express consent 
Don't be rude cats. Know your boundaries

My boundaries were uncertain
I was drawn to this animal 
I came closer and sat on my knees in front of him 
Even though it was in public 
He was old
He was also tired 
His owners arrived and gave me the okay 
I took his delicate silver name tag between my fingers
I said out loud: Horatio 
And then to the owners: Hamlet's Horatio, what a great name.
They smiled with thanks.
I know nothing about popular culture let alone memorized facts from culture culture. I've never read, watched or discussed Hamlet. I don't know how I knew the character Horatio.

That morning around 2,3 or 4 am (I cannot remember the time) I received a call from my husband. He said: Carmen died a few hours ago. Some people are showing up now to take her body away. The family was dying. 

My best friend killed himself 2 days before he was 19 on 24 June 2017 after writing me countless poems and songs about how much he wanted to goddamn die. I always said no death would affect me as deeply as his.

I became the death guru. For the years ensuing, when friends lost someone, they'd say - go to Natalie Craig, she knows what to do. 

I still do.  When someone dies I can feel the moment where the world stands still, benevolently watching, for their soul to gently leave their lifeless corpse. 

The sky opens up. The world silently watches. Their soul throws back in laughter, shakes their hands, shoulders and worldly weight; laughs in joy and says I'm outta here baby.

That's what happened with Carmen. It's what happened with my darling Matthew, Adrienne's Mama, The infamous D Robinson and my mama's baby. 

Horatio means time keeper. He was there when Hamlet died. More importantly, he was secretly Hamlets' best friend and confident. He was there every step of the way. Even though no one could see it. 

I met an old, tired, blue heeler mutt named Horatio in the hours she died. She's not forgotten. Through this story she's alive. 

She died 4 days after her brother came home. He changed his tarot and she didn't die alone. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Natural's Crystal Castles


I'd known they were coming for months
I'd asked most if they were keen 
The resounding answer was no
No group mentality 
No one knew who they were
No one knew them

The four weeks leading up were my darkest yet
It's not an exaggeration 
Ask anyone 
I'd painted myself in a corner when there wasn't time to let the paint dry
The moment was coming 
Where I'd need to sit on the unpainted small square of wooden floor
Slowly and reluctantly pulling each big girl boot over each of my tiny, tired hooves
Vibrating to every echoing response to the velocity of my gait through toxic smells and sticky resistance 
Axiomatic that I couldn't give a damn that it was all for naught and about the added mess on my way out

After two days of straight listening and a strange dream about the show, two brothers, four yoga mats, four lips and a kiss

I resolved to go it alone

I suppose my canvassing wasn't vigilant
Jamie Lee probably would have loved the shit out of it
But I didn't ask her
I don't know why
Wedged between a strange dream, the dark, a rut and the resounding ornamental sound 
My silent hill

That day, I'd had the worst day
It was the first time I'd ever said: I don't love my job; emotionally stonewalled; physiologically exhausted; neurally negative; all over drained; spiritually anxious; bindingly alcoholic; unequivocally alone; despairingly ugly. 

With them in my ears I proffered the following into the universe: Give me something. Give me anything. Just say yes or no.

The night came
I was tired
In my usually weird work clothes
Let's get real, they were weirder and more awful than usual 

B knew I was down, so we got up to our old dog day tricks and visited the Buddha with a bottle of red 
My veracious yogi joined
The lads got on as I knew they would
We gathered, communed and revelled
My spirits lifted, but that damned Peter Pan Crocodile with the blasted clock between his bearing teeth kept chasing me
I finally interrupted the flow
I said: it's time lads, I'm gonna go it alone 
I was slightly nervous, but going alone was better than not going at all 

VY said we could suss out the scene, so we sat back to let a gypsy sorcerer lead the way
Lit as the wild
The gates of the Tivoli were tattered and old save for the vibrations of that resounding ornamental sound 
I was running on my good name, but the gatekeeper wanted gieldan

In my true clumsy Canadian fashion I claimed that the puck had already dropped 
Between confusion of the terms or the kindness of the universe, without half a pence the heavy wooden gates battered behind VY and I
The two persons of least importance had arrived 

It would take me several thousand words, sounds, smells, photos and feelings to accurately convey the ensuing hours, so I'll sum it up in one:


That moment of breaking between the stillness of our tireless efforts to live  

I didn't even know till the moment of arrival it would work out at all. It didn't turn out in any way I contemplated, but it turned out. 

The universe shouted two things loudly that day:
Natural, sometimes the answer is yes; and
You don't always have to go alone