Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Well, I'm going away to leave you
I'm gonna leave you in disgrace
Nothing in my favour
I got the rain in my face
I'm going home
Hey, over the hill
Over the hill
Hey, over the hill
John Martyn. His beautiful emoting music and his eclectic sound fills me with nostalgia. A smiling stranger who fought his demons every single day. May he find and rest in peace.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
sunwarmed juice of strawberries ripe
the smooth taste of deep red merlot
a hushed silence felt in comfort
the touch of our fingers entwined
an embrace on a lonely winter's night
a long lingering kiss goodnight
and three simple words expressed in the breath of a whisper....
I love you
clear away the clutter and you will see my cupped hands.
they hold the simplicity of an evening together.
they reach out for you.
lets pour that glass of wine
turn on some soft music
pull closer to the warm embers
and bask in its glow
on this stormy night of angry blowing snow.
Brought to you by Carmi's Thematic photo word of the week.....simple. I guess i'm a simple romantic trying to de-clutter. For more simple offerings, check out Carmi's Written Inc link on my sidebar. And may you find a few moments of shared simplicity for yourself this week.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
at the moment when the light of day flattens
I saw you turn your face to the daywilting sky
at the empty hour of evening transition
the palms of your hands opened upward
rough bitten, they hold a burdening plea,
a wordless request from a beaten down heart,
your need for serenity in affirming validation
through the collective din of your psychosis.
In a moment of surrender, I watch you tuck them back into your oversized pockets and walk on in search of a bowl of hot soup at the end of the never ending waking day. The voices are hungry. The crowds float by like a backdrop to your own world.
No one is paying attention. No one hears except you. You can't filter them out. They can't filter you in. Who is lost?
Monday, January 26, 2009
Yeah, I've had my share of interviews....more than I care to admit. Given that the first 8 years of living in this province was a process of juggling various casual and term positions, jousting for something permanent they did add up. And they continued.....in spurts and bursts over the years. It's just that I've never been completely settled in any job I have worked in. I always seem to be looking for the right home, the right place to be me.
I never thought it would be so difficult to find this place. I have always known I wanted to work in the field of counselling....I wasn't one of the majority who didn't know what they wanted to be when they grew up. I always knew I was a people person who saw herself in a helping profession. You'd think that would be a straightforward process. For many reasons, it has been anything but straightforward. I realize now that much of this happens as one grows through mastering one's craft.
We seek out challenges....where the discomfort leads to adrenaline inducing learning. Settling, which was something I have longed for may not be all that it's cracked up to be.....Settling is different than security, but both are illusions.
So, tomorrow morning (Tuesday) I will be sitting across from 4 people answering the lobbed at me questions to the best of my ability. Yes, I have job interview......one I am keen to perform well in. "Why?" they will ask..... "Describe a situation..." they will wonder outloud while assessing my ability to think on my feet.... "What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Goals? Dreams? Opinion?" "What are your hobbies?" "How do you manage your stress....?" "Give us an example of...." All pretty darn predictable questions acting as a springboard for answers which I hope will be perceived as genuine, thought provoking, memorable.
Chances are it will begin with something along the lines of........."Tell us about yourself......" Who knows how it will unfold from there.... I'll let you know.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
'Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we'll all live together and we'll all learn to say,
'Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
'Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of "me",
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we'll all live together with a love that is real.
bow and to bend
we shall not be ashamed.
To turn, turn will be our delight,'
Till by turning, turning
we come round right
The hymns which touch a chord in us that hasn't been plucked in a while offer us a simple gift of our lives affirmed. They have the ability to make our dry eyes well up in fountains of tears. They soften even the hardest of outer shells. Hymns open our eyes to see the beauty in a moment of reflection which often is tucked in the middle of chaos. They can halt the immediacy of a crisis, can tear down the defences of an enemy, can hold out it's harmony in trucefull honesty, can express the indescribable, can bring people into a gathering place of peace Hymns can make you believe in the unbelievable.
No matter wherever you are or however busy you happen to be, please take a moment to enjoy this meditatively brilliant version of Simple Gifts. I think you'll agree with me. It's a gem.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
When MacKenzie became ill and had to travel to Halifax for treatment, he saw how much of a financial toll it was taking on her family. She missed a lot of schooling during her illness....missed alot of the fun. So, Matthew took it upon himself to help them as best as he could. His goal? 56,000 dollars....one dollar for every inch between MacKenzie's house and their school. He would collect loonies (Canadian dollar coins) because they were approx. 1 inch in diameter. He placed large mason jars in convenience stores and solicited the market goers and shoppers every chance he could.
A few anonymous people donated larger amounts of money. An elementary school class in Oromocto sent letters taped with loonies, one for each child. Most of the donations were 1 loonie at a time. The community and the local media celebrated the hope and loving kindness of this little boy. I know that every time I thought of him or saw him outside the market with his big mason jar my heart melted into his determination and unwavering belief that MacKenzie would beat the ugly disease.....
Every night, he prayed with his family for his friend to heal. They openly discussed the big life and death issues together. The talked about cancer and the chances of MacKenzie surviving it. Matthew knew the doctors were dumbfounded that MacKenzie had survived this long. And yet, he stayed true to his beliefs that she would overcome the odds.
Over the course of his compassonate fundraising, Matthew gathered 14,000 loonies! With the money, he was able to lighten the financial load of MacKenzie's family as well as shower his kindred spirit friend with gifts to help her experience some fun. His actions also provided her an affirming love which no doubt helped her in her battle to beat the odds. This act of love and kindness brought two families together in a place where courage and fear, where reality and escape from it all meet. This beautiful youthful soul created this.... Matthew traded in his childhood innocence for harsh light awareness to take the initiative to DO something. It was the trading in of innocence they both understood at a level most of us never experience.
Their story was covered regularly through the media and I would see Matthew out and about at the Market on Saturdays collecting his loonies. A recent story published a week or so ago alluded to the fact that MacKenzie was struggling, but the picture posted of the two of them sitting side by side simply illuminated in hope that anyone who saw it, would remain optimistic for a miracle. Strength in their bond.......bravery shared.
On Thursday, Matthew and his Mom visited MacKenzie in the hospital. According to today's newspaper, she was unconcious throughout the visit. But as Matthew was leaving MacKenzie opened her eyes and waved at her kindred friend for the last time. She died yesterday surrounded by her family. May beautiful MacKenzie rest in comforting peace. And may Matthew feel her presence every day as a loving guardian angel.
ps. I want this wonderful young boy recognized by our city. I want his efforts to be applauded with tears and respect. And I want this little girl who fought with such courage to be remembered as a spark we can all learn from. I plan to send the Mayor of Fredericton an email to request that he consider recognizing this friendship, and acknowledging Matthew's gracious heart.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I'm beginning to realize that my "getting throughs" are in direct correlation with the absence of enough light in my life. I need it to boost my energy. The paradox here, however is that I love winter nights when the pitch outside has an infinite space to it, when the twinkling lights inside glow brighter in contrast. I rarely feel the pushing sensation of wanting it to end, of wanting to get through it.
It's been a long week full of the regular responsibilities accompanied by a multitude of other activities thrown into the mix. Its left me with an empty cup. Somewhere in the middle of the week, my focus flipped forward with such yearning for Friday to come. That "in the moment" frame of mind kept slipping out of my grasp and the more it did, the more energy I had to expend in order to stay on task. Wishing one's week or day away is an unsatisfactory trap because you do miss out on the collective nuances of breathing the air around you.
I had a few amazing counselling sessions, and connected with a few colleagues at a deeper level.....sharing personal histories never shared before over the lunch hour. I celebrated the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, soaking up his stern message to anyone who was listening clearly that it was time to grow up and take some ownership on our global and personal affairs. I spent one evening trying with all my might to remember how to figure out the standard deviation of a bell curve. HELLO!?? Thank God for my blogging friend Breadbox who came to my rescue with a quick tutorial for my daughter who was studying for her Math exam. Thank you N!
All week, I advocated, conjoled, promoted, counselled, listened, interacted.....all good stuff but tiring too.....especially if your mindset is focused on the end of the week. I am literally all talked out and spent from listening and coaching and trying to find solutions. Spent. I havent one new idea in my head......not one. I used them up.....
So here I sit on a Friday evening....having made it through another week. I made it! I'm sitting on my oh so comfortable couch, snuggled into the corner, tucked in under great new blanket my parents sent as a Christmas present. Everyone is out tonight for a short while. The dogs are sleeping soundly. I can faintly hear the singleness of a lonely car driving by below on the old highway along the river. No music is playing. The TV is off. Every now and then, I stoke the logs in the fire and listen to the last of the sap steam through the cracks in the wood as the flames lap up in a heated dance. That's as boisterous I'm going to get tonight.
I'm happy, grateful, peaceful, warm, reminiscent, wondering and content. It's Friday evening and I'm enjoying every minute of it's nighttime darkness and inside twinking light in the quiet comforting silence of my home....a place where I can hibernate and recharge my batteries.
Oh, I wrote too soon.......! Gracie the puppy has just pounced up on the couch with her new bone and is desperately trying to bury it in my new blanket! Drats! Looks like I'll have to share this couch cocooning with rawhide and puppy breath. The little bugger has literally crawled up behind my back and is staring down over my shoulder watching my fingers hit the keys. Too funny.
Off to stoke the fire and find a chew toy for you know who.....and get back to the blanket before my bare feet feel the cold.
good night.......hibernation awaits...I've been so looking forward to it.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tonight, I was given a surprise and I want to share it with all of YOU! There is a new blogger in town.... Her name is Daydreamer and she's my beautiful daughter. Martha's creativity is definately not a surprise. She was born with a confidence to rely on her intuitive imagination, and to see the world through her own prism of light and colour. It was evident from a very young age. Her blog, which will primarily be an avenue for her to share some of her photos and her love of music and lyrics, is a beautiful surprise! I love it and I believe you will too.
I welcome you to check out Daydreamer's photoblog for a glimpse of her captured creative gazes. And please "sign" her comment guestbook. She would love to receive some feedback. Thank you.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Oh, yes there is beauty in the fresh fallen snow. I'm just not seeing it this morning as I gather my energy to go forth and deal with it. OH! They just announced the temps are going to increase by noon which will make the snow turn into freezing rain! Oh Goodie!! Happy Monday!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Gracious good greetings from the Great White North....a glacial gem on our globe......
- where growth gleefully germinates under the glistening glassy ice of its geologic tundra and gigantic glaciers,
- where gortex and galoshes are granted fashion status by the guys and girls who gather the gumption to go gallavanting out into the great outdoors
- where the growling groans of gaunting ghosts gather in the gaels and gusty northwind galaxies
- where the geneology genuinely gathers the glowing golden genes of multi-culturalism
Much to the dismay of the brass gentry who wither at the sound of his controversial gravelly grizzly voice, we Canadians listen...sometimes rolling our eyes, sometimes laughing at his gutsy bravado, sometimes yelling back at the TV screen and believe it or not sometimes in tears when he shares his patriotism by recognizing our "boys overseas" in Afghanistan, or when he sends his love and best wishes to a hockey family who are going through rough times or when he demands the attention of every little kid who plays hockey whose listening while he gives them a couple of tips to playing the game. The guy's got gutsy compassion.
Grapes galvanizes us during Hockey Night in Canada.....like no other. And I love him for it. I may not agree with his politics or opinions all the time, but I love his passion and compassion. If Don Cherry ran for PM, he'd win....we'd be in deep trouble because he'd most likely piss off every leader in the free world, but he'd win.
Goals....He SHOOTS! He SCORES! Ah, the sweet sound of the excitable commentator of our great sport when the blistering puck slides past the goalie and into the net! No matter what level of hockey, goal scoring is exciting and gets us up clapping with our gloved hands making the sounds of happy seals. There are a few goals which are gouged in the collective memories of Canadians. And, we do gloat about them. :)
The first one took place in 1972 when Paul Henderson scored with 5 seconds left against Vladislav Tretiak in the Canada-Russia series. Honest to God, not only did that 7th game in the series bring this country to a halt (it was shown in the school gymnasiums right across the nation...even bridge playing ladies hosted hockey parties that afternoon) it brought this vast and magificent nation together!
The second monumental goal happened during the Salt Lake City Olympics when we beat the United States for the Gold medal for the first time in 50 years! It was a glorious gleeful whooping moment. You could hear the whole country shout for joy at the very same moment. Not a dry eye to be found when that flag was hoisted.
Gentlemen....believe it or not, there are many in the fast paced gnashing game. Gordie Howe is the first who comes to mind. The most recent player to take the reins is our boy from Cape Breton, Sidney Crosby. Thrown onto the professional rink at the tender age of 18, with lightbulbs flashing and our full attention, Sidney has taken his role as hero to all the little timbits hockey kids and mentor seriously, learning from one of the great gentlemen of the game....Mario Lemieux. Instead of letting this kid grapple and gangle....Mario, who runs the Pittsburgh Penguins team, invited Sidney to move in with his family. How cool is that?
Goons.....oh, hockey is FULL of them too. These elbow throwing high stickers know how to check another player into the boards with GUSTO. These are the guys who most often make the front pages of our national paper or the first story on the national news, sometimes even usurping an international story of far more gravity and importance. They are also the eejits whose violent antics have made a mockery out of our national sport. However, the ones who do their jobs, who protect the goal scoring elite, aren't recognized properly for their important role in the game. Grapes recognizes them....using their defensive plays to teach us the nuances of the fastest paced game going.
Glide....I love this word and the sound it makes when spoken....gliiiiiide.....it's the artistry of a skater....it's the freedom ringing from the razor sharp blade on the endless ice. It looks so easy....gliding.....but it isn't. And when you see a person who has the gift of making their skates look like they are a part of their body, it is a Rockwellian moment. The last time I glided? Some kid cut in front of me, knocking me off balance and in order not to fall and crush my son, I took the fall backwards with a thud so hard I saw stars. I ended up in Emergency in the throes of sobbing hysteria which I was told is a side effect of a concussion. I was sidelined for a week. I haven't put skates on since. Gotta rectify that. I need to get back to gliding....
Gretzky the Great One.....the God of the game. The ultimate hockey gentleman, goal scoring phenom, coach, mentor, Wayne Gretzky is our gifted ambassadour of hockey who is presently working diligently to pull together the next gold winning hockey team for the 2010 Olympics on our home ice. The pressure on his shoulders to repeat the glory of the Salt Lake City win is HUGE. Nothing matters more to most Canucks when it comes to the Olympics. Nothing is acceptable except GOLD
Wayne could run for Prime Minister too. What I admire so much about this man is how humble he had remained. No primadonna demands from this guy.......
The Great Outdoors.....Most hockey players learned how to skate in their backyards. Outdoor skating is THE best. It's where I learned too, on the rinks my father created for my sisters and I. There was also a neighbourhood rink on the street where I grew up which normally was overtaken by the boys and their hockey sticks. So, in order to have my time on the ice, I would don my skates before school started and practise my gliding! There are many outdoor rinks across this country.....and rivers and lakes and streams all waiting to be tested.
Next month, the World Pond Hockey tourney takes place in the little village of Plaster Rock, about two hours from here. Teams come from all over to jump into the game.
Yes our GREAT outdoors offers us many opportunities to play all types of hockey....in fact a forthcoming road hockey game is being organized in front of my house in the upcoming week or so. You're more than welcome to join. All ages and both sexes will be represented. Beverages to be provided during and post-game.
Well, there you go. I had plans to write on other "G" words, but given the time of year, and the wintry weather, I couldn't help but focus on hockey. Thank you Judy....that was fun to write. And PLEASE go visit Judy's blog and Naomi's too. I always enjoy their pictures, photos, commentary and stories.
If YOU would like to take on this creative and fun task, just let me know either email or in the comment section and I will send YOU a letter to lead you on your way.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This empty kitchen coldness, hums a moaning strain.
I catch your reflection in the mirror
whos to blame?
like the rain......
the woodstove fire's gone out
who's to blame?
this loneliness in my soul echoes like rain,
This week's Thematic Photo theme over at Carmi's Written Inc is Aged. Love can do that to you can't it? It can make you feel young and it can leave you feeling very old. Still, we take the risk of opening our hearts, of seeking love because without it, we starve. For more (perhaps upbeat) takes on the theme this week, check out Carmi's blog.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
If we allow it, our thinking trumps our feelings like a lion would a lamb. It seems so much more aggressive as it feeds off our emotional simmerings, stirring up the voices which make you second guess yourself.
"Prove you are a good person...."
"You don't fit in........"
"Nobody really cares about you....."
"Why do you feel you are worthy? YOU aren't worthy."
"You keep screwing up. What's wrong with you?"
"Why do you think anyone can love you?"
The lamb within us becomes an innocent victim when the lion within us decides to pounce.
Our ability to think is our greatest gift, though there are times when it would be helpful if one could turn it off in order to avoid the guilt, shame, fears and anxiety it can generate. It is an isolating weapon producing paralyzing pain. When our thoughts turn on us, the pain feels like an unrelenting slaughter of the soul....one that is so difficult to stop. It is a quick swing of the pondering axe which can lead to self doubt and depression, especially if our thinking is hungry for fuel....if we are already in a wounded place.
How do we protect ourselves from allowing the roaring lion reflections to turn our lamb like emotions into a carcass? How do we internally fight off the attack of the nasty thoughts in order to find peace between the two animals? We need to take special care to hear the voice of the lamb. We need to release our thoughts, the harmful ones and the hopeful ones into a pool of prayer....where the attacking monologue turns into a dialogue with God. We need to listen to the small voice tucked deep inside...the one who reaffirms.....the one who will show us how to coach the lion to lay down with the lamb.
Listen for the love.....experience it as amazing grace. He never lies.
Monday, January 12, 2009
ooooohhhhh! Guess what? They have a beautifully gifted little sister too who gets up every morning and writes poetry before she heads to school. Many of her attempts she tosses in the trash. Some she saves. Shy and quiet, my little friend who is in Grade 3 has a magical gift she is tentative about sharing with many. I was honoured that she let me read some of her more recent descriptive pieces. The one I have posted here is, according to her, unfinished.