Thursday, October 30, 2008

Too Much Drama, Obama

Can one man be placed in a position where he could possibly orchestrate the changes needed to end wars, fix the economy, provide health care for every single American, bring back jobs, stability, pride, soothe relationships with other countries, bring harmony and understanding throughout the land? Is there one person who can live up to the mile high list of expectations which seems to keep growing in need and priorities? Can one human being...............a HUMAN responsible for cleaning up the environment, finding new energy resources, put dictators in the place, pull down walls, stop tsunamis, create abundance, eradicate poverty, eliminate racism and inequality..................oh, and do this by working through the mire of a shut down ineffective mess called bureaucracy where kingdom creating and "working in silos" are the order of the day? I don't think so.

The expectations placed on Barak Obama are completely off the scale. Its insanity! Yes, he's inspirational and he does seem to have the eyes, ears and heart of enough American voters that he has a good chance of winning on Tuesday. Maybe he is the real deal. Who would know? The world of politics and campaigning has become a such a slick manipulative wank on the public that I don't think anyone has a handle on what is true and what is made up. The mud slinging on both sides, and the spinning of issues and controversies as they creep into the media seemingly on a daily basis dirties the process to a point where I have swallowed a whole pint of pessimism.

Take the stories reported by so called journalists and shared on the national morning radio news. On Tuesday, the CBC reported that Obama was going to win by a landslide. It'll be a cakewalk, even in diehard Republican territory. Then, on Wednesday, the "angle" was much more subdued and doubtful.........they maintain Obama will win, but that McCain is closing the gap. Neither story had any depth to verify and justify the predictions. Rather, it was surface skimming journalism, which seems to be the norm these days. However, both stories had one major theme in common...........that Barak Obama is the second coming.

Excuse me??? No, he's not. This crowning and fawning over the man by the mainstream media, on Youtube, on blogs, in editorials both in the papers, on the TV, on the internet, on the radio does counteract the threats and nasties spewing out of Sister Sarah's gosh darn mouth, and the painfully obvious angry man John McCain. However, I am left with a serious bad taste emanating from my gut. It's all Smoke and Mirrors, tit for tat phony baloney......because who out there really knows what's true? The 1/2 hour infomercial last night which cost over a 3 million dollars.....a mere spit in the bucket when he has 150 million raised in September alone to spend by next Tuesday.......was a glossy emotional heart tugging staged chat, accompanied by a soundtrack right out of a David Lean movie. The only thing missing was a demonstration of some K-tel Bass-o-matic grinding device a la Dan Ackroyd and SNL.

The amount of money spent on this election is shocking. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars...........and people are homeless and starving because the banks are going down the drain?? I don't get it.

The smears and innuendos are beyond the pale. I can't imagine what its like living in the United States right now with the onslaught of talking heads and talk shows along with the regular news shows clamouring to continue stirring it all up. There's no room on those shows to even LOOK at stories and news happening beyond the borders. At least when I take in some form of news that I am offered an array of stories with both a national and internation flavour. Do you think the average Joe the Plumber even knows about the deadly earthquake in Pakistan earlier in the week.....? Doubt it very much.

If Obama does manage to stay alive and get elected as President of the United States, no one should expect he will accomplish much outside of the borders of his country. He will be so busy trying to stop the pulsing jugular which is bleeding all over both "Wall Street and Main Street," that he won't be looking at any issues internationally. Or maybe he will. Maybe I've got it all wrong. Maybe he is the Messiah and peace and harmony is within reach.

Ah, the audacity of hoping for hope.........reckless? No........this isn't a reckless election campaign. It is scheduled and planned out right down to very last minute.
Will Obama win? Who knows at this point. All it takes is one big faux pas.....and you can bet your ass the Karl Rove is not sleeping while looking for that nugget.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

gladness and hunger

"God's calling is found in the place
where one's deep gladness
meets the world's deep need."

Frederick Buechner

I have been thinking about the word gladness for a while now. It's just one of those words that seems to get stuck in my craw for some strange reason and it won't let go.....kind of like the chewing antics of this puppy who accompanies me in the morning while I try to write. The word and her chewing are incessant, though I can't say I'm "glad" about it.........more annoyed as she tugs away at my sleeve! She seems glad and eventually I will too when her company isn't so disruptive.

Gladness or the term "Gladdens" seems to be a peripheral term you hear often connected to sermons or used when someones says grace. For some reason it resonates with more depth of feeling than it used to in my thinking. There's more to it.......

Gladness….a softening smile on the inside when you know you are doing exactly what God intended.

The essence of gladness can accompany even the most painful sorrow when there is unconditional love and belonging shared with another……..gladness is the soul touching clarity of a sense of oneness between someone in need and another who answers the calling. It is a deeply felt validation captured by the actions of one's acknowledgement and the other one's acceptance of it. It's like a warm caressing of intertwined souls.

Frederick Buechner encapsulates the yearning for gladness in the following paragraph where he describes the needs all human beings crave to fulfill. When I read this piece aloud, I find it so bang on. In fact, I read it aloud to a friend at work yesterday and it precipitated a wonderful discussion on how lucky we are to be working in a place where we are given the opportunity to touch our own core where gladness dwells, and how often we can see and feel it in others.

"We hunger to be known and understood. We hunger to be loved. We hunger to be at peace inside our own skins. We hunger not just to be fed these things but, often without realizing it, we hunger to feed others these things because they too are starving for them. We hunger not just to be loved but to love, not just to be forgiven but to forgive, not just to be known and understood for all the good times and bad times that for better for worse have made us who we are, but to know and understand each other to the same point of seeing that, in the last analysis, we all have the same good times, the same bad times, and that for that very reason there is no such thing in all the world as anyone who is really a stranger."- Frederick Buechner
How true.... If we can look through our own lens at another person and realize just how much the same we are on the inside, the connection we intertwining caressing of two souls, will lead to feeling the essence of gladness. Sometimes it may accompany sorrow. It may force us to taste the parched emptiness of their hunger and leave us to feel impotent in what we can do to help them, but in that one instant where the connection occurs....that can never be taken away. One seed......just may be the food needed to share with another.
Our combination of life experiences may be vastly is the understanding and recognition that we are all filled with the same hunger which allows gladness to prevail. Gladness is the thanksgiving of grace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

laughing legs, happy feet, hopeful heart.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows how much I love the Boyce Farmer's Market in Fredericton. It is my pleasurable destination on Saturday mornings. I usually try to get there before the crowds so I can mooch around, buy produce and something savoury OR sweet to eat, take photos, and most importantly have a chance to talk to friends who work there and others whom I happen to cross marketplace paths with. It's a touch base place...........a "how was your week" kind of comraderie, though I do find that many of the conversations I end up having are much deeper and more interesting than one would expect. I think that's what makes this market unique.

There's no telling what subjects are on the usually depends on what is happening in the city or beyond it's borders. Politics is a huge staple, as it is THE destination for any glad-handing campaigner. Global issues, recent reads, what's happening at the Universities, the weather of course because that is ALWAYS threaded into a conversation with a Canadian, sports, health.....the economy are all fodder for opinion driven open airing. There are regular buskers, a balloon animal creative clown who last month had a sign asking everyone to VOTE for Tinsel for Prime Minister, a few regular people asking for money. There's a little girl entrepreneur who has her own table (a child's plastic picnic table) where she sells "tickle sticks" and beaded bracelets. Tickle sticks are kebab sticks skewered with gummy candy. The place is full of activity...........full of hardworking farmers selling their harvests, fishermen from the north shore selling their fresh catch, and creative individuals selling their wares.

BTW, The photos accompanying this piece are of the same woman I've been photo stalking for the past year, and she found me out!! :) I have been OUTED as a legging admirer!! Lisa sells wonderfully eclectic bags, satchels, knitted hats and of course leggings like the ones in the first photo. She's now a bloggie reader! Hope you like the pics altogether Lisa. You keep being leggy creative and I'll keep taking pics. Then, we'll do something REALLY cool with them, K?

Yesterday morning, I was up very early once again writing while everyone slept. After I put a dent into the piece I ended up finishing and posting later in the day, I got dressed and headed out the door, only to be blown away by the beauty of the sunrise. It never ceases to take my breath away, especially the sunrises in the fall. For some reason, and I'm sure there's a scientific reason to it, the sunrises are much more vivid and dramatic in the fall. Ribbons of red and orange spread out across a purple sky, interspersed with the dark layers of cloud. It made the newly naked trees silouetted as it reached from the land up into the vast sky. I stood there and marvelled at how lucky I am to be living in this part of the world where abundance is taken for granted, where beauty never sleeps. It is never hard to find.

It seemed more powerful, more emotional to me yesterday morning, and I think that had to do with much of the reading I have been doing this week on the conflict and oppression in the occupied territorities where my friend Paul has been experiencing and exploring as a pilgrim. His posts have been heartflowing and have prompted me to educate myself a bit more on the conflicts in that part of the world.
I couldn't live farther away from strife than I do. The sense of freedom, spiritually, politically, emotionally, expressively paints our skies with hopeful comfort. Our dreams expand beyond the horizons into the infinite possibilities of eternity. This is what I was thinking as I looked out at a new day dawning, realizing just how damn lucky I am.
As I turned on the car to set off, a song came over the airwaves which nearly sideswiped me with it's magical timing. Alison Kraus' version of Down to the River to Pray (from O Brother Where Art Thou) filled my van as I pulled out of the driveway and headed east towards the Monet sky, with the beautiful Saint John River flowing beside me. The hymn never fails to grab hold of something very deep inside me and pulls me into singing along off key but in my mind completely in harmony. The purity of her voice is like listening to a ray from the sun.
The next song on the radio also blew me away because of the symbolism and memories it holds for me. James Taylor's version of You've Got a Friend........ All of a sudden, I'm transported back to a chapel I had orchestrated many years ago at the summer camp I attended and worked at. It was the last chapel of the summer..........AND the last summer of my 12 years at camp. I had taught my group of girls/campers the song in order to have them sing it with me at the chapel. I loved the song and wanted to pass it onto the rest of the camp in order for it to be included in the songbook/repetoire for the future.
So, there I was driving to the Market but completely and utterly remembering the very moment when my girls and I got up to sing it...... what happened as soon as I opened my mouth to lead the song? I was struck with such a forceful blast of emotions, like my 12 years of camp was floating quickly passed me, that I couldn't get past the first two lines.
My throat constricted, my mind went blank and I was overwhelmed by the reality that my years at a place I STILL hold close was coming to an end. I was also acutely aware that I was standing up in front of 100+ sets of eyes who were expecting me to continue to conduct a Sunday chapel! I was a wee bit mortified! But, you know what happened? The group of 8 girls who had been under my wing for a whole month continued singing.
They circled around me and let me step back behind them and they taught the camp the song, with their fearless leader soaking in a puddly mess of teardrops behind them. It was like a passing of the baton. I'll never forget it. Many of those girls, who are now in their 40's are still in touch, and I love that. I heard from 3 of them just last week.

The drive to the market thank GOD is only 2 songs long or I would've visited my whole life in one reflective stint! It was just enough to boost my sense of who I am and what continues to stir my sense of gratitude. Once there, I parked in my secret parking spot, I got out of the van, hot tea in hand, camera slung over my shoulder as well as my big market bag. The sky was lightening up but full of a salmon glow. I found my way along the sidewalk heading towards the stalls, when I realized that the uplifting feeling I have for this corner of the world stems from a sense of being folded into a duvet just out of the dryer on a cold day.

And off I went.........with laughing legs, happy feet and a hopeful heart. The morning shone from within.
ps. thank you Lisa for being a good sport. I really am a sane woman. just a bit eccentric.
HERE is the link to Alison Krauss singing Down To the River to Pray. I dare you not to sing along!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

a stroll inside a system.

There's always a reason or two or three why someone has found themselves living on social assistance. It's not a lifestyle choice, though it can easily turn into a lifestyle. Once someone has walked through the door of the welfare office, which is recognized as the last stop at the end of the road for financial help, and finds out they qualify for assistance, the longer they remain on and IN the system the harder it is to get off. It's a big black hole of dependence. It's like the scene in Alice in Wonderland where she keeps falling and falling through the rabbit hole, only there isn't a tea party at the end of the drop. Rather, it leads to a maze which seems to have one dead end after another, all made more complicated by the distorting mirrors which reflect shame, guilt and fear. It takes such emotional strength to figure out how to exit successfully before depression, desolation and dependence sets in. It ain't Wonderland like Alice's. Its more like Wretched Wonderland.

There is no room to look at someone's situation at face value though the way things are set up with a shrinking number of people working in the frontlines that's the typical approach. A one line summing up of why someone is receiving a paltry monthly cheque from the government in order to survive doesn't cut it. As far as I'm concerned the word "lazy" is a four letter one. It could be that their outward behaviour appears to be lazy-like, but the internal churnings, the conflicts behind the actions spell out a very different description of what is really going on. I have always believed and will continue to believe that "being on welfare" is the least of the worries....... "being on welfare" is a symptom of internal angst. If we are to ever really and truly help the human beings who are able to lift up and out of the system once and for all, we need time to respectfully connect, engage, interact, understand, encourage, listen, listen, listen and guide them ONE AT A TIME out of the wretchedness. And for the people who simply need to remain receiving assistance, they need our support and comforting and understanding.

If one wants to help someone pull themselves up from the mucky mire, one has to help them unravel their feelings and let them tell their story. It's the only way out...... it is the map to figuring out how to get out of the maze. What makes it complicated is that the map contours are different for everyone. How to interpret it is an individually driven process. Sure there are generalizations that can be applied. It is a known fact that the majority of people who end up sitting across from someone like me is suffering from depression. Even knowing that and helping someone recognize this is not enough, especially if the person is a part of a family or community who have historically been linked to the social welfare system for years.

It takes time and a willingness on both sides of the interactive partnership to dig deep to find the reasons behind the circumstances.....It takes time to sift through to figure out where the fear and the emotional pain dwell in their souls. The map always has the same destination.......if you take the time to read it together.

I look for signs of motivation.....the brute determination, the fire in the belly, the hope behind the words and expressions as markers on the person's personal map to help me see if there is a readiness to move forward and I point it out to them. I look for signs of emotional turmoil, usually shared in a story or two that have floated up to the top of the conversation like buoys bobbing in the open harbour of thoughts. I look for the fear...........the rope wrapped around the burdened statements that begin with the words "BUT," "I Can't,"............or in the eyes which spell out hesitation, loss, unknown..........sometimes even hidden behind the self deprecating humour thrown out in the conversation. Sometimes is is caught up in the back of the throat recognized in a whispered feeling between the words. These are at the crux of why someone simply can't get unstuck from the muck that is their life.

The other day, I met with a very young mother in her home. I wanted to see her environment. I was curious about how she interacted with her toddler. Outward appearances, she seemed to have everything in place to grab hold of life.....her health, some supportive family around her, an education to build from. Her daughter was well care for and obviously the two of them had a close bond. This young woman was a beautifully well dressed smiling human being who giggled a lot, and only gave me short answers with no depth. She had NO idea what she wanted to do with her life.........or so she said. She also seemed to have no desire to engage in a deeper conversation with me. This had been her pattern with others in the frontlines, and it made her appear lazy, unmotivated, dismissive, haughty. It made her look like she was only keen to stay far away from responsibility or any self directed independence.

Reality had been pointed out to accusational words many times and it only made her more unresponsive. Confrontation wrapped up in the voice of parental authority was not the ticket, never is, but for the most part it seemed as though this is how her life and our system treated her. Either she was "saved" by an enabler, or she was "scolded" by a system. Her own feet had never found their walking shoes. Her own ability to be an adult, to think and feel like an adult and to demand to be treated as one wasn't recognized nor encouraged.

This is where I steered the raft of our first to adult conversation, through my own self disclosure of what it has been like to be a Mom, to be undecided. I shared little snippets of me and spoke to her as one woman to another despite the fact that she was young enough to be my daughter. It was important to level that playing field. No one reacts well to a judgemental "parent" barking at you. Surface talk to begin with.....and that's alright because it's on the surface where we must begin building a rapport and the trust to mine the wounds, the fears, the trepidations which are the ropes around her burdens. She doesn't want to be on welfare. No one does. Many can't get out and get off the dole for many serious reasons........ but I know this one can. It's what I shared with her......

As I watched and interacted with her daughter while lobbing questions towards the young woman as a way to level the playing a way to assess the feelings behind the words spoken and the body language....... she doesn't know what she really wants to do........ that's fine, that's fine...... most people really don't know either...... I tried to get under her see through her eyes..... and as we grappled with the first of hopefully many conversations, I wondered if perhaps she thought that once she made a career decision it was set in stone. The career she chooses would be THE path she would HAVE to take

How daunting! Not REALLY knowing if this may be one of the obstacles to making any decisions and remaining stuck, I lob it out.......

"Do you know that most people have 5 or 6 or ever 20 different careers by the time they retire??What usually happens is that once you get started, you realize you have broader interests and different skills than you realize........or sometimes the labour market changes and the job you have been trained to do doesn't exist," I remark. "That's what happened to me. I moved here after graduating in a field where i specialized in working with babies or working in a school system to help kids who are struggling with the work or with just fitting in. I always thought I would be surrounded by kids. But, it never really happened."

I see that I have her attention, though she is still appearing to focus on her daughter. Her body language tells me I continue..... "I have found another path, and one that keeps changing.........but it is a path where I get to work with adults and sometimes I get a chance to meet 2 year olds and play with them too. I fought it for a long time.....kept trying to find THE job for me in the school system or in early intervention and when I was finally offered one, I turned it down because I realized I LOVE working with adults. I can be more real."
"There are so many things that can affect the decisions we make OR don't make and life just happens to force us to go another route.....even where we end up living. It makes a big difference in our options. Babies sure make you think differently don't they?? I couldn't believe how much my life changed when I had children.......most of the time it's great, but some of the time it feels like such a burden and I don't feel like I have any freedom."

She laughs and agrees, but doesn't share........not too much......but it's all there, just under the surface.

"I think many people feel a big amount of pressure to figure it out with the belief that once the decision is made, there's no turning back. That's why we were given the gift of reflection. We are always assessing and reflecting on our decisions, on our past and wondering about our futures. But, a decision can always be altered, dropped, or even expanded on. Isn't that the right of females to change their mind??" She laughs....

I stop my perambulating thinking out loud approach and she responds..... "I do feel pressured. I have a lot of things going on in my life......."

There it is......the of the buoys bobbing in the harbour. I don't have a clue what is happening in her life, what she is struggling with. Yet. But, for the first time, a glimmer that perhaps she will trust me enough to spill a little of her internal churnings is seen. Good.

"Why don't we meet again in a week.....maybe in my office where we can have some privacy and you can share some of what your struggling with."

"OK".......she says smiling........

Before I know it, I'm back in my car on my way to another appointment. I don't have a clue how long it will take to help this young woman find her way out of the rabbit hole. It's completely up to her to make the decisions, and to do the hard reflecting work. It will be up to her to take the steps forward. I can't take them for her. I can't carry her. Besides, she's had too much carrying. She needs to learn how to fish in the harbour and provide for herself and her daughter. Can she do it? Will she? It'll take time.......... but I'm guessing she just may figure it out. I want to be there when she catches her first big fish.

One at a time............out of the muck.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

la luna

Early morning and I found myself, outside with a cup of tea in hand. Barefoot, I stood in my housecoat in the dark fog waiting for my puppy to do her thing. It was so quiet except for the sound of a car in the distant somewhere. The only light was a solitary streetlamp at the edge of my property. Around me were the remnants of the flowers, most of which didn't make it through the night frost. Up above was a half moon with a glowing fog circle around it............all alone up there. Like me down below.

Whenever I look up at the moon, I travel in my thoughts wondering about others. Like many, the moon is a focal point for this kind of reverie. The other night out of the blue, my son who was sitting on the couch with me watching the ballgame asked........ "I wonder if anyone is thinking of me right now?"

"Your Dad probably is......." I reply, knowing it was around bedtime in Iceland where he was attending a music festival with his brother.

"I'm thinking it's Sandy......(our friend who lives in Barcelona). I don't know why, but I have this strange feeling that Sandy's thinking about me."

"Could never know. There are quite a few people out there who may be thinking about you Max. It's a good feeling isn't it?"

Yes it is..........yes it is. Our conversation then led to wondering about the people in our lives who are out there..........wondering how they are and then expanding on our discussion with stories and memories of the last time we were in contact with them. It was a global conversation ........ ranging from Japan, to England, to Tunisia where my parents were visiting on their cruise Iceland, to Burlington where much of our family down the street. The people in our lives are spread out across the globe. We live in an era where it all feels like "just down the street" because we are all a finger touch away. More importantly, they come rushing right to us and settle inside as soon as we think of them. Our thoughts spin threads outward, using the moon to lasso the people in our thoughts right back to us. It's synchronistically magical.

As I looked from my vantage point of the front steps at the lonely moon I wondered who was thinking about me and then I turned my thoughts towards the people I was thinking of sending messages up to the moon to loop around it and fall down into their skin. Sometimes I feel like if I think about someone really intensely they can feel it. I believe this wholeheartedly. It happens to me so it must happen to others. I'm not that bizarre am I? I'll be going about my day only to stop in my tracks when a strong surging connection to another fills me with a smile. From that point, I continue but with a goofy smile on my face as I recall a conversation, an email, an I conjure up their face and warmth.

la luna........

I wonder what he's doing right now?

I wonder where she is right now?

I hope he's figuring it out.

I can't wait to tell her all about what i've just read.

I hope he's coping

I hope she's happy.

Where are they today? I hope they know I'm thinking of them.

I hope he has a day of wonder....

I pray................all the way up to the moon and back..... with feeling.

It's time for a new day to begin. I'm thinking of you. Can you feel it under your skin?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

jack happy

It's that time of year again when people go a little bonkers decorating their lawns and verandas with ghoulies, and ghosties........and smiling pumpkins. happy halloween...........a little early. This piece of folksy art is quite large actually and would look great hanging on a white picket fence. It was for sale at the farmer's market..
This week's theme is HAPPY! More to come this week on this theme. hmmmm, where are my happy feet? For more happy snappies, check out Mr. Happy Guy, Carmi's blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


"Our real journey in this life is interior; it is a matter of growth, deepening, and of an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts. Never is it more necessary for us to respond to that action." Thomas Merton.

Last Friday, I spent most of the afternoon sitting with a woman in her kitchen. She was only 7 years older than me but she looked as old as the hills. Confined to her apartment because of a weak heart and a severe pulmonary disorder, she was also hooked up to an oxygen feed...........a long tube attached to a tank that was hooked under her nose providing constant air. A year ago, her whole respiratory and circulatory systems seized. She was told by the ER doctor when she finally made her way to the hospital after a couple of months of denial and coping with symptoms that would've left most of us on the side of the road, that she wouldn't make it through the day. She was told she was dying and they couldn't save what was left of her lungs. They were too damaged. She'd be dead by dinner so she better make arrangements for her family to join her there so they could say goodbye.

Can you imagine? How appalling is that?

The lack of empathy and complete absence of any form of proper bedside manner by the attending respiratory specialist left her with bitter determination to prove him wrong. This feisty woman told him too in big florid language while laying on a gurney, hooked up to machinery. Every day that she was hospitalized, she reminded him that she had more living to do and she wasn't ready to die.

A year later, she lives the fullest extent as she can given her confinement and her serious health issues. Last winter, she was not allowed to leave her apartment at all because she wouldn't be able to handle the cold air. So, from the day she arrived home last October until March 14th, she remained cloistered and dependent on her family to run errands. Her family doctor was a phone call away and made sure that her prescriptions were covered and delivered. She has never seen the specialist again and has no intention to.

Her life sentence is just that. During our conversation, she openly expressed her anger and grief over her loss of independence, but she was also quick to throw in the dark humour only someone who's struggled even on her good days. This is a woman whose hard life has been one huge struggle.........poverty and abuse as a child living in a distant rural area, minimal educaton because she was forced to go to work at age 14 to help pay the bills and her father's drinking habit, an abusive marriage. As a mother of 4 young children she found the strength to leave the violence behind and go out on her own. She single handedly raised 4 children, all of whom completed school..........2 who went onto post high school training. They all work now and have families of their own. She did this working two minimum wage jobs....."stealing from Peter to pay Paul.........and sometimes putting the two of them off for a month and hoping somehow the bills would get paid...."

There was never time to look beyond the day she was living. The future is a luxury when one is trying to find a way to get through another day. Ironically, most of us are trying to LEARN how to do live in the moment and embrace the moment etc, and for someone living the suffering, this is reality, not something to learn from some Budhist flavoured how to book. And it's because she has weathered many storms she's able to cope with the drastic changes to her lifestyle. Now, recognizing that she needed to mourn her old life and move on, this scrappy determined woman redefined her perception of independence. It's all a state of mind.

Last March 14th, when the weather was warm enough, she extended the tube length of her oxygen lifeline so it was long enough to leave her apartment, in order to walk down a small flight of stairs and out the back door to the outdoors, in order to walk down another flight of stairs to the laundry room, in order to visit her neighbours, to get her mail, and to greet her grandchildren at the front door when they come to spend the weekend with their grandma.

How has she been able to do this? Where does she get this positive outlook? I asked her many questions along these lines...............her answer?? In a nutshell........The act of loving and the feeling of belonging play a major role as does her attitude and decision not to fight destiny.........just go with it. This woman's journey is internal which is a much longer and broader journey than any external one. Independence is a state of mind. You can be completely dependent on others for your well being, but if you can maintain some level of empowerment, the feeling of independence continues to be reinforced. It's all in how you view life looking from the outside in. Oh, and humour......and lots of it.
I don't know if I could be so optimistic and brave to face mortality head on. I don't know if I could live with such confinement without succumbing to depression. Where does one find such faith and hope in the face of having no real control over the future?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

we are not afraid.

Two links I would like to share. I tried to post it right here, but have had no luck.


Please take in this speech. It leaves me with shivers of hopeful inspiration. Here is the link

Then, hear it in harmonious inspiration....... and sing along. Let the hymn breathe with you as it should wherever you are and however this finds you tonight.

We are not afraid.......we are not afraid....
We shall overcome someday.


Friday, October 17, 2008

the passion of red

Red bleeds meaningful attention. We are pulled into this colour like no other because of what it represents in our thinking. War, conflict, vibrant life and the drama of death all encompass the passion of red. It runs the gamut doesn't it?
Held in it's hue is violent rage as well as desirous love. The beat of red tangos. It never waltzes. It pulls people close together face to face in heated debate, fueling attacks and consequent drawbacks after vicious stabbings and accusations. But, it also is the sexual flame between two people in the throes of lovemaking.
Red is life lived to the fullest. It is a open hearted expression.....of stirred yearnings to actively take on an run, not dance, not stand take hold of the pulse of life and let go of doubt.
Red is there at the beginning of life and at the end of it. As in nature, when the sugar maple leaves turn from green to red, we recognize a time of transition......and with any transition there follows change.
I spotted this leaf atop of a young sapling which was nestled in a group of mature evergreen trees. It was only one of two leaves on the small tree and it was a wonder that it had the strength to compete with the evergreens for sun and sustenance. But it did, with a wound cut through it's perfection. I love the symbolism of this brave little leaf. What a feisty survivor. May it grow to experience many seasons and many transitions. May we all.

blurred reflections....

You haven't looked at me that way in years
You dreamed me up and left me here
How long was I dreaming for
What was it you wanted me for
You haven't looked at me that way in years
Your watch has stopped and the pond is clear
Someone turn the lights back on
I'll love you til all time is gone
You haven't looked at me that way in years
But I'm still here.
Tom Waits

4 am feeds on a loneliness wrought with serpentine emotions which tend to hide away during daylight. Night watches time differently as it moves in a dream state. It filters our reflections and fears through glass altering truth. We may have moments of clarity in the deep forest of the dark night, but for the most part the monsters of internal doubt blur our sleep deprived imaginations. Lost love wraps itself in the misery of wet tears and the curling smoke from the end of your last cigarette.
Another offering of the photographic theme.....blur. For more, check out Carmi's blog....just click on the link from my sidebar.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

finding a healing voice.......

Yesterday, as I was driving home from work, across the bridge which connects both sides of the city, I saw a man pushing a grocery cart overflowing with empty bottles he had most likely collected out of the large garbage containers behind office buildings. He must've been headed to the recycling depot (aka the redemption centre....what a name!) to cash them in. He was headed in that direction, but had at least 2 more miles to go. He was disshevelled looking in his worn threadbare clothes that were all greyly muted. A scraggy patchy beard covered his cheeks and chin...........a stained baseball cap covered his unwashed matted hair. What was most predominant however, was his posture...........bent, older than his years, wasted tired. I wondered how many people driving by saw him.......really saw this man's head to toe exhaustion and wondered what his story was.

Poverty seeps through our communities like an invisible toxic vapour and strips away the hope and dignity of our most vulnerable. No one seeks out poverty.
It is not a life choice.
It is not a life choice.
It is a symptom of one or several life events and factors. Abuse, addiction, illiteracy, mental illness, family dysfunction, lay-offs, sickness, economic downturns, minimal formal education, geographic location, a family history living in poverty........the system too adds another cloak choking layer often too difficult to overcome. Poverty is a life of suffering through daily struggles to survive and often a dependence on the same system which foists the biggest barrier when it is supposed to be the way out.
On Saturday morning I took a walk along the Trans Canada trail and the Saint John River. I parked my car in the parking lot adjacent to the buildings which house several services frequented by the people I work with on a daily basis.........the mental health clinic, the detox centre, the methadone clinic, the Emergency shelter and the Community kitchen. All of these services and more are within a stone's throw away from one another. On the other side of the parking lot is the grand estate of New Brunswick's Lieutenant Governor.........a beautiful old mansion which used to be the headquarters of the RCMP at one point. The trail cuts through the back of the estate. It's such a contrast between have and have real middle ground.
It was a beautiful morning........the sun was filtering through the autumn colours, touching the path. A group of young men all dress in black formal suits were posing for wedding photos, using the grounds of the estate as a background. Apart from them, I didn't see anyone else on the trail.

I took my time ambling along stopping to take photos and to take in the quiet beauty of the area. When I reached the part of the trail which put me directly behind the estate, I looked down the small hillside which leads to the Saint John River and noticed an old mattress and crumpled blankets laying there abandoned. "Home" for a homeless person. Despite the numerous services available and located a short walk away, there are homeless people in this city who either are not welcome at the shelter due to out of control substance abuse or mental illness which forces these people out into the cold night because they can't handle the shelter environment.

It's a sad dilemma, one that doesn't have an easy answer or an easy fix. But, there has to be a better way to intervene and to help these people who have no choice but to sleep outside in a country where the temperatures dip below freezing at night for half of the year........with no amenities, and no safety. I wonder how many people who walk along this part of the Trans Canada trail even notice let alone think about what can be done about it.

today many bloggers around the world are recognizing the issue of poverty as a way to voice concerns and outrage. It's time we all took part in the solution. It's time we made it very visible and helped out. John O'Donahue writes....."Suffering brings you to a land where no one can find you. Yet when the human voice focuses in empathetic tenderness, it can find its way across any distance to the desolate heart of another's pain. The healing voice becomes the inner presence of the friend, watchful and kind at the source."
Perhaps the key is to find our healing voices as well as our advocacy voices to reach out to touch the people who lives in the margins of our society.....the tired human beings who live hand to mouth off the land, or in the dumpsters where empties lay like urban gold nuggets. "The ability to care," according to O'Donahue, "is the hallmark of the human, the touchstone of morality and the ground of holiness. Without the warmth of care, the world becomes a graveyard. In the kindness of care, the divine comes alive in us......"
Its time to walk our prayers. Its time to find our healing voices.

the blur of light and colour

It only takes a whisper of rustling wind to diffuse the sharp colour of an autumn morning. It gave the leaves a translucent blurry feel to them. I took this photo last Saturday morning while walking amongst the large colourful maples on the grounds of the Lieutenant Governor's estate in Fredericton. The trees were just ablaze, peaking in their brilliant reds, oranges and yellows......the sun was tickling the tips of the leaves and sending rays down in between the strong branches. Picture perfect.
I looked up while standing under this mightly maple with a trunk so wide I couldn't get my arms around it and saw the light dance in colour. Knowing the wind had stirred up and the chance of capturing the picture I originally had in my imagination, I decided I'd see what would it look like with a little wind to lift. It turned out to be one of my favourite shots that morning.
Sometimes the best shots are the ones you initially consider deleting because they aren't in complete focus. We are sticklers for perfection..........looking for the gotcha photo. How often does that happen?? RARELY! What a small window of creativity we allow ourselves if perfection is our goal. Life is rarely in focus, so why should all slices of life captured through a lens be sharp, balanced and frame-worthy?
Light and movement allows colour and shade to bleed together and blend into an impressionistic softening blur......offering us a gazing gift of beauty we may not have experienced if we only ever strive for perfection.
This week's thematic photography prompt is blur............For more interesting impressions, check out Carmi's corner of the blogworld.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the football match

Jesus Christ had never been to a football match. So we took him to one, my friends and I. It was a ferocious battle between the Protestant Punchers and the Catholic Crusaders.
The Crusaders scored first. Jesus cheered wildly and threw his hat high up in the air. Then, the Punchers scored. And Jesus cheered wildly and threw his hat high up in the air.
This seemed to puzzle the man behind us. He tapped Jesus on the shoulder and asked, "Which side are you rooting for, my good man?"
"Me?" replied Jesus, visibly excited by the game. "Oh, I'm not rooting for either side. I'm just enjoying the game."
The questioner turned to his neighbour and sneered, "Hmmm, an atheist!"
After the game, we asked him if he was in the habit of never taking sides. "I side with people rather than religions," said Jesus, "I'm always more interested in the human beings rather than Sabbath."
taken from The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello.
Jesus may not pick sides in football, but everyone knows that when it comes to hockey, he's a raving Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Go Leafs!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


handknit wool socks to insulate you from the cold ground and to make your feet happy.

There is most definately a nip of autumn in the air this morning as I sit here with cold toes in need of socks. Fewer birds greet me at dawn, when I usually awaken........their melodic symphony has flown south with them leaving the more robust baritones to carry on in their absence. Squirrels are in abundance scampering after one another up and down tree trunks and along the dewy grass filling their coffers for winter. One just skittered and leaped by in front of my window as I am writing this.

Yesterday as I emptied a few flower pots to be stored until spring, I came across many acorns that had been tucked away in the soil and felt badly that I had found a squirrel hiding spot. I think though that they realize humans are a pain in the ass and mess up best laid plans, so they have back up spots. They are entertaining little creatures on a mission and they remind me that this is the time of year when we all begin to prepare for a more internal hibernation. There is a holiness to the rituals, and a tender sense of external quieting as the leaves float off the trees as part of the dance of autumn. The harvesting of the fields are concluding filling our tables with a bounty of goods and produce to take us through a long winter of candlelit contemplations.

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. The colours of fall are at their peak, the sunlight is the most sharpest clarity.....offering up long shadows of remembrances. We can't save daylight time. We have to savour it as it is. Today, we're off to enjoy the outdoors........some apple picking, a walk in the woods and then up to Keswick Ridge to give thanks at a harvest table surrounded by friends and family. It's my favourite time of year.

The photography theme this week at Carmi's place is "ground(ed)" I've chosen these photos, all of which I took yesterday as my offering to this week's theme. As much as the trees around here are doing their very best to grab my attention, the ground displays many lovely treasures too........especially if you're lucky enough to be walking around in multi-coloured striped socks.


We are in a world where we all want peace, and we all love peace. But the question will always be "are we prepared to work for it?" And to work for it can mean to put one's life in danger. It can mean to cross over barriers where one is not always understood or respected. Cross over the frontiers to meet the other, to encounter the other, to find strength to listen to the other.

Jean Vanier, Encountering the Other

It all begins by asking someone to tell their story. That's the easy part. Where it gets difficult is to sit in your own silence, a type of silence that opens you up to receive the story. To understand the every human being is seen equal in the eyes of God, no matter what their circumstances matter what their story reveals......... Every human being has a core filled with the desire to be loved, to seek justice, to search for mercy, to embrace the quest for peace.

Peace will only be attainable if we take on the truth of God's unconditional love and spread it for it in our families, communities, it in a country under strife and in need of healing. Peace sits longingly in all of our is where we must go when trying to connect with another human being. Where to start? By breaking down the barriers through kindness and empathy, not through judgement, but through conveying the message of communion. We must strive to do God's embrace our ability to see we are made from God's love. We all are. And if we are able to accept this, our mission to work towards peace through love unconditionally?

the barriers will fall

the defences will fall

wounds and vulnerabilities will be shared.

our message will be heard..........."I'm with matter what......."

we will discover a sense of forgiveness we never expected.

we will see the unveiling of joy. Joy is a beautiful feeling, but much more profound when joy shared transforms both lives.

Are we prepared to work for it?

Friday, October 10, 2008


I have a new buddy sitting with me this morning as I write. She's curled up around my back on the couch having puppy dreams after waking at 4 am alone in her new crate anxious and LOUD. Her name is Gracie. She's a yellow labrador/golden retriever mix just like our other dog. She came home with us two nights ago after we learned that she needed a home. Every one of her limbs is touching me...her head tucked into my need of reassurance.

Gracie is only 7 weeks old, and was taken from her mom too early at 6 weeks. During that week, she was well loved and obviously well fed, the little chubbo, but her new owners have a son who turned out to be allergic to her. So, she had joined this who is used to shedding dogs and one who had been looking for a while for just the right fit.

As much as we had been keeping our eye out for a puppy, however, it happened so quickly and it happened at a time of year when we are moving into the cold weather as opposed to out of it, which makes it more difficult for training etc. Like most things in life, finding the right timing rarely occurs. If I've learned anything about becoming a parent and being a parent is that timing is a lost concept. Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet and go with the ride.
Welcome to our family Gracie. Take your lessons from Lily. She knows how to stay on the good side of the humans.

I must be out of my mind.............

or not........... isn't she adorable? But, man she's got big paws!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


tiny faith by Marisa Haedike

Can I call myself a Christian if I have a strong unwavering faith based on strict boundaries and impenetrable rules? Can I be called a Christian if I show no empathy for another person's faith journey that contains sacreligious questions and doubt? I attend church every week, pray everyday and believe that the man is the head of the household. Women have their place as mothers and keepers of the home. Homosexuality is a sin. Masturbation is a sin. Abortion is a sin. Questioning God is a sin. Enjoying passionate sexual intimacy with another is a sin. Anyone who has the audacity to question the gospel deserves to go to Hell. My place of worship is far superior than other fraudulent churches that quite frankly water down the Word of God and allow their church members to discuss their personal interpretations like they have a right to. Is this Christianity?

Is faith always pure and steadfast or can it include pockets of doubt? Can I believe in God but not in some of the seemingly farfetched walking on water, parting of the seas stories? Am I still considered a Christian if I have a tough time swallowing the story of the resurrection as it is told after passing through many minds and hands of others? What is faith if it accompanies twinges of doubt? How can I find the key to my own dwelling in order to soothe my growling passions, my stirred up desire to feel a sense of peace in my bones?

Can I be considered a Christian if I don't attend church regularly and stumble through the self conscious discomfort of prayer and never quite get it? Can I be considered a Christian person if my fears of death and skepticism of the afterlife leave me in a puddle of anxiety at 4 am?
What about if I can't hold my impulsive emotions and I let them out too much in a boost of ego driven frustration instead of doing that surrendering to God thing? Will God be patient with me as I continue to fuck things up on a regular basis as I try try try to figure out where I fit in bigger scheme of things? Meister Eckhart wrote ........ holiness is not based on what we do but rather on what we are.......if our ways are good, then our deeds are radiant. Can I still be considered radiant if some of my deeds lie within the realm of sinfulness?

Why do I sometimes crave that taste of sin? Why do we allow our fears to leave us in what Father O'Donahue describes as a state of hunger in the famine of our own making? Is the taste just too alluring or could it be that we need cross the threshold to dip our toes and our souls into the open waters of the inner deep?

Any direction, answers, confessions, discussions...........will be warmly received....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion." Carl Jung

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I am Discomfort.
I dwell in the dark night of your soul where ache and yearning cuss and moan. I'm not well liked. In fact most people avoid me until they have no choice by to arrive at my doorstep. Most of my visitors begin their journey around twilight, when hope intermingles with doubt. I'm predominantly nocturnal, absorbing light and all colours to form my black cloak. But behind the cloak, I'm your naked image, vulnerable to the cold winds of reality. No, I'm not a pretty sight...with birthing stretch marks displaying the struggles I have faced. But, if you stay awhile, you will see my inner beauty. You will know that I'm on your side.

My name is Discomfort.

Dizzying Discomfort............I spring forth with fumes of light headed enlightenment, even if it's not wanted. I have the ability to burrow under your skin, or to tap, tap, tap on your conscience. I will nestle into the pit of your stomach and make you long for that zone where my nemesis comfort dwells. But who wants to go there? If you stay with me, I will offer you awareness, insight............a place to make decisions. I will take away your yearning, at least for a little while. I will help you find the compass to guide your way through the transitional twilight, out of the bear growling wilderness and into a pasture where sunrises express hopeful glory.

My name is Discomfort.

I may absorb light..........stay hidden in the haunting shadows of despair and doubt, but believe it or not I also hold your dreams until you're ready to take a risk. The journey to my dwelling may be fraught with confusion, aversion and dislocation............but I will make it worth your while. Why? Because I am where all learning takes place.
I am the salt left from weeping, the ache in your misery, the sting of new stretching.....the sensitive side of surrender. I am the beauty in your wounds. I am in the rising of passion.

Trust me............please?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

later the same day.........a happening.......

Here I am again, but this time I'm sipping on a well earned glass of wine...or two. I've mellowed since this morning when I began what I thought was a happy little ditty of a piece and turned into a sourpuss rantsy pants piece. What has mellowed me beside some crushed grapes? Well, it turns out, I'm psychic. I've always known that I had intuitive powers, but now I believe I'm psychic. I was also bit on the arse by my own own desire to avert yet another freaking "happening."
Before i get into my little explanation of my psychic arse biting episode, let me give you a chance (if you haven't already) read my earlier post this morning........ I'll wait......
Scroll down and give it a read...... I'll just sit here and hum a Bay City Rollers song, take a few swigs, fill up my glass............while you read.
s-a-t-u-r-d-a-y NIGHT.......
Ok. Caught up? Good.
So.........I was writing about the dread I was feeling about waiting for a happening?? It happened. And, if this is the intensity of the happening I have to deal with, I'm going to be alright. Not only that, I just may get to laugh at the absurdity of if you wait long enough, you learn that holding pride too close knocks the stuffing out of that notion and quick.
This afternoon, the much anticipated overdue birthday party for my number 1 son took place. I had arranged to have the school gym for a couple of hours. This was the preferred site for all involved. Given the precarious weather we have had since July, an outdoor fiesta was too dicey. 11 year old boys are too darn rambunctious to be bouncing indoors in my house with hockey sticks and bouncey balls. Been there done that.... So, the gym was a GREAT venue. As a huge bonus, I was offered full access for free because of all the years being head honcho fund raiser at the school.
Last Wednesday while doing my best to multi-task my way out of drowning in my list of "to-do's", I stopped at the school to fill out the necessary forms for access to the know the ones designed to sign your life away and to cover their no fault asses. I hadn't been in the school since last June and got caught up in a variety of conversations with staff.....catching up, filling them in on the wondering how the annual Christmas bazaar planning was going and feeling a keen sense of belonging as well as continuity. So, yappy, yappy........somewhere along the line, the principal gives me the key to the school. I think. 'Cause I can't remember. I know there were keys involved in the discussion but whether or not I was given one or was told that the school would be opened on Sunday is a bit blurry.... it still is. Usually that was the case. If I had needed to use the school facilities for a meeting or setting up for the bazaar in the past, someone would be there to unlock it.
Papers signed, off I head back to work....with my list of todo's.........content that things were set up for Sunday's boy basketball birthday bash at the alma mater. The next day however (thursday) I get hit with the stomach flu and am out for the count for an intense short period. All bets are off on the completion of the to do list let alone my ability to focus and organize. It's all put aside until I can get back on my feet.
Fast forward........everything is ready for the 2 hour gymfest.....sports equipment.....drinks, cake, cut up watermelon, loot bags, and all the essentials packed..... I had arranged to be at the school 1/2 before the boys arrived in order to take charge! Charge! What a funny concept that is?? I mean who really is allowed to take charge when destiny is in the cards?
As soon as we pulled into the school parking lot, I'm struck with a lost and foggy thought.......hmmmmm...........I think I was given a key to the place.........hmmmmm...........

Let me tell you............the level of anxiety I was feeling right at that moment turned me into a peri-menopausal hot tamale.......knowing 10 boys and their parents were about to show up and I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had put the key???? It was then and there when I realized that not only was I psychic, I had been bit in the arse by my own prediction of a happening taking place. I caused the damn happening......... I had this urge to run away and choke myself.
Mad dashes ensued.... The "goods" and the family were dropped off in the parking lot and I rushed home to tear apart the house in search of the key all the while bashing my memory trying to remember what I had been wearing the day I had visited the school and got all caught up in conversations and catch up.......the day before I ended up praying to the Porcelain Gods. Scramble, scramble searching in pockets, under the bed, in the washing machine....I dug into my bottomless pit of a purse to no avail. In a flash of insight, I grabbed a bunch of sweatshirts for the boys who would no doubt show up in gym shorts so that the party could take place outdoors in the school playground and the telephone book to try and track down a teacher to save the day. This was plan B. Thank God the weather was nice albeit a little coldish.
I arrived back to find everyone assembled.......the boys trying to figure out what sport they wanted to play and not having much son on the verge of tears because of the chaos...........and the male parents standing around talking men talk. My daughter had put in her i-pod buds and removed herself to a picnic table to work on her art project. I had to face my own music and admit that I had completely fucked up my son's birthday party. I also informed everyone that this would be my very last kid's birthday party.
Once I got the boys set up to play road hockey in the parking lot, I made a bunch of phone calls to no avail. But, the boys were focused and I focused on trying to find my happy hostess persona while organizing the goods on the steps of the school. There was an air of disappointment for sure, because they were all so pumped to return to their old school gym and have it to themselves for the afternoon, but somehow we managed to keep them moving along scoring goals. There was one sourpuss (isn't that always the case???) who kept making mean comments and not wanting to play along. It was very tempting to choke him or at least restrain the little shit. Instead, I kept the thoughts to myself ...... well until his comments were heard and felt by the birthday boy, and then during a pep talk with Max to try to buoy him up I think I may have used the term dickhead to describe his friend. ah well.............Max has heard worse. He watches Will Ferrell movies. He hangs out in playgrounds. He has the ability to read the lips of pissed off hockey players on the ice.

Off to the field after the road hockey game slowed to a halt........and the urge to play soccer baseball was voiced.....except by sourpuss boy whom I'm tempted to ask who it was who peed on his cornflakes, but held my momma role model tongue.

It took a bit to get them organized again........teams and all that, but success was achieved. All of a sudden, a car pulled into the parking lot and out popped an eager beaver teacher. She very smilingly and lovingly believed me and my plight and opened the side doors to save the day and then headed up to her classroom on the second floor. While the boys are attending to the game, I moved the cake and other sundries into the foyer. Then, I placed someone's sneaker in the door to keep it ajar and went up to the field to announce that we had access to the gym. The boys, all full of vim and vigour, raced past me to the door. The first kid there is the dickhead sourpuss........turned out I used his sneaker to keep the door ajar. Unthinking, he grabbed his shoe and let the door shut.................LOCKED out again with the birthday cake inside glaring at us!!

I couldn't believe it. I felt like I was in the middle of some Abbott and Costello meets Seinfield sitcom........A happening that continued......I felt a bigger bite in the arse and cursed my psychic abilities. My desire to choke the sourpuss kid escalated but this time I'm not alone. Every single kid wanted to pile up on top of him. My son Max's tear ducts are ready to explode. I'm ready to sit down to laugh and cry at the same time. Off went my husband to circle the school to find the teacher's classroom window to try to yell up to her and get her attention as I try to unsuccessfully re-engage the boys to return to the field to pick up on the soccer baseball.......

It all looked lost until all of a sudden, we hear a whoop from the back of the school. My husband was a success......the teacher had been alerted by his incessant yelling up to the second floor and she came down again to re-open the door. THANK GOD!

In we ALL went.............and I breathed a very big sigh of relief as I threw the basketball in the air to start the game. They all stayed way past the end of the party. That's a good sign of a successful one isn't it? Think I'll refill my wine glass.....and toast to the end of a day.


Why are we here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come.
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Are we all just actors in life's theatre of the absurd? Are we simply tramps biding our time, muddling through life's happenings waiting for Godot? Is there a Godot or is He one of us just trying to make His way home?

There is a well known saying, one that is understood by a group of people I will always be connected to despite the fact that our summers together have long passed. I don't know where it came from, but I do know that it was passed on from one generation of counsellors to another....the meaning and the memories it conjures up are warmly felt. The memories may be different to one and all, but they are similar in their soft aroma because they all include the comfort of kinship........of hanging out together.

"Where's the happening?"

Instead of realizing that it was right under your nose, there was a sense that as you were waiting for this ever elusive big deal happening to occur, you were also smack dab in the middle of one, living the moment. During adolescence, we all tended to think that something bigger and more important was lying in wait around the corner of time, but in reality the joy of just hanging out sometimes just slipped by unrecognized. Every now and then a wise soul would point out the obvious, but there was always that lingering wistfulness.......that perhaps Godot was about to appear?

This morning, I awoke struck with the thought that I'm waiting for a happening. There is no clear sense of what it looks like, or how it will present itself and in fact it makes me feel unnerved. As an adolescent, there was always a tinge of excitement and of adventure.... perhaps experimentation. As an adult, however, happenings seem to collide in my head with change and turbulence. They don't seem to include the everyday ordinary living moments these days, or the stir of anticipation that used to bring smiling butterflies in the belly. Instead, they seem to be the crux of stress and emotional turmoil that produce a growling sensation in the pit of my stomach.

Am I becoming more cynical and less adventurous as I age? Am I becoming more fearful of change or do I see more clearly the need for changes with a tinge of immediacy? Or maybe there are just too many of the damn events that it's just becoming an annoyance?

So much of those ever elusive "happenings" have occured over the past year which have stirred up change and have thrown reality in my face that I think I get swamped in the reflections of them at times. I'm left with a muddled mess of interloping thoughts and fears of what the future has in store........of what I can and cannot control..........of what I need to face and to address and what I need to simply let go.

Oh, I know I'm not alone, ...... suitcases get full of bluesy loathings and can weigh a ton even for people whom others perceive as strong. The muscles used to carry the load, while anticipating MORE to throw in the bag at a time when the happenings are not simple "hanging out" moments is zapped today. It seems like I manage to get one item out of that damn suitcase and another one replaces it. It seems like i sit down for a breather and all of a sudden I get a tap on the shoulder to inform me that ANOTHER sweet life happening is beckoning. Am I allowed to SCREAM for help yet??

Happenings have somehow become crap that needs to be dealt with. And when you're a wife and mother with a full time career outside of the house, a human being trying to grab onto life and SQUEEZE it out as best as she can despite it's slipperiness, a multi-tasking mule with a list of to do's and a birthday party for ten 11 year old boys to orchestrate this afternoon and a 48 year old woman who is on the verge of getting her period for the umpteenth time in a matter of months, well.....lets just say, the suitcase needs a good airing out.

Think I'll go hang out under the tree with those two forlorn tramps for a bit and wait for Godot. 'Cause if I don't? I fear I just may choke someone.