Sunday, May 31, 2009


the mystic smiles the blues
his soul seeping out of his knowing eyes
he hears music others can't hear
and dances on sandy shoals
when night stirs secrets of tangled sorrows
wrapped in blessings.

others sense his unique aura
a warm glow emanates his wisdom
casting spells too delicate to approach
fascinated by their attraction to his otherworldliness
they stand at a distance afraid to come too close.

the angel in pensive wonder
watches the blue mystic gather broken shells along the shore
catches his body language
slumped shoulder wounds open
his slow pensive steps
lost in a shadow surrendered in serious contemplation.

Unaware he is being watched,
the blues flow out of him
sorting sorrows with God.

it worries the angel.....she sees through his own broken shell
a restlessness of complicated meanderings
confuse his soul
forcing his whole being to exude burden

answers, answers, answers....
reasons..........there HAS to be a reason
what does it mean?
his body is contorted in problem solving......
in figuring out spiritual equations
formulas for defining truth.

The angel feels deeply for her mystic wanderer
knowing she is responsible to watch over him,
she sends out a prayer to help ease this part of his journey.....
a prayer of simplicity
a prayer of love, unconditionally
a prayer asking for the walls to come down.....

she sends her own energy through her fingertips
in silent threads of silver
summoning ease to touch him at the shore.

when suddenly she begins to hear
comfort in the sound of one little boy singing with innocence and purity....

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

The blue mystic,
known for his sage and insights
his charismatic energy
sought out for his spiritually awakened guidance
suddenly lifts his mournful head
and begins to look around at the beauty of the seashore,
the glistening of the waves lapping at his feet.
He watches the gulls soar and dive into the water
catches the sun tipped sails past the stone breaker

a smile returns to his face.....

His arms rise up into the air
as he lets his knees bend to the sand
as enlightenment flows into him through the suns rays.
On his lips are two simple prayer full words....
"Thank you."

Let us never forget the simplicity of faith.....caught in the hymn sung by an innocent voice. Being an adult is so complicated.....believing in God need not be.
**written for my two mystical friends who know some answers are found during mind clearing walks along the shoreline....**

Saturday, May 30, 2009

covert yearnings.....

Hidden behind twilight's sight, she stood alone. Her unspoken sentiments veiled in cool cotton secrets, summoned an awakening of fragile pleasures beneath the evanescence of daylight. She longed to let her secrets seep out of her thoughts as a freefall offering into bliss.

Under the cascading birth of stars weeping from the night sky, she let her white shift slip into an ebony of evening lace, transcending the purity of her pale lipped innocence. Her covert spirit blushed in tender newness scented with the essence of crushed lavender and apple blossoms.

With a smile masking bodystatic anticipation she stepped across the threshold, pulled by the magnetic force of deepening longing. Her elegant movements transformed the air filled with humidity into the clarity of dizzying thinness. The ripe moment had arrived to taste the bittersweet nectar of unbridled love. There was no turning back.
As she was about to reach the soul piercing pinnacle of her heightened secrets, she inadvertently alighted upon a hard protruding root causing her to lose her delicate balance. Her secrets spilled out with a rollicking force, lost inside her tumbling heart until she landed splayed out flat on her back with a shuddering thump. It took her breath away and left her shaken to her core.

Up above, the birthing stars continued to surrender tears. She looked up to cast a secret wish as one gloriously shot across the night sky in front of the knowing moon.......

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is "covert..." For more covert offerings, check out their blog.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

lost and found.....

And if God is great and God is good why can't he change the hearts of men?
Well maybe God himself is lost and needs help
Maybe God himself he needs all of our help
Maybe God himself is lost and needs help
He's out upon the road to peace
Tom Waits

If God is lost, where does it leave us? Maybe being lost is where we need to be. I can't think of anyplace where vulnerability feels more raw can you? And isn't the key to enlightenment found in the deepwell echoing plea......"help me?" Maybe God being lost is His way of changing the hearts of human beings? Maybe we need to heed His message and wander a bit farther into the wild?
Vulnerability awaits. So does humility. Both are heart altering.

Monday, May 25, 2009


  • Patterns of footprints layered under pine rich loam, left as a collective trace of shared repast. how many meals were share in this one spot?

  • Exuberant voices captured by the limb awning above, stored like ancestral linen in a hope chest unfolded and spread out in remember whens.......
  • How many have sat at that worn old picnic table surrounded by the sturdiness of the white pine and gazed out at the lake on a perfect summer day?
  • how many have sat up late into the hot night drinking a beer with a friend, listening to the loon in the distance.....
  • how many kids knelt on the benches, their fingers covered in white gooey glue and paint as they whiled away an afternoon creating popsicle stick cabins with wonky roofs and broken stick picket fences?
  • a solitary early morning riser, hot coffee in hand......journal and pen. she watches another person paddle close along the shoreline lost inside a quiet reverence.....
  • two in love, tucked in beside one another on the same side watching the sun go down as they shared their tentative confessions.....hoping time sleeps
  • carved hearts and intials whittled into the repainted wood lasting traces connecting to the memory of scented pine
  • silly songs, card games, laughter............lots of laughter echos and bounces back off the old branches of the giving trees.

Seasons come and go stretching over generations of footprints in the pine rich loam.....layers of traces mixed into the clay connections. It makes me want to sit down quietly to add my own to the memories left behind, and to listen to the joy nestled under the canopy.

no trace camping? there's no such thing.

come sit with me

lets slow down the day

lets escape the outside world rush

can you hear the loon? Ah, the lonely call beckons

Are you as smart as a 6th grader?

A few facts for tomorrow's Social Studies test on Human Rights..... translated here, but written in french on the fact sheet for the Grade 6 class. ....

10% of the world population lives with some form of physical or cognitive disability.

250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 years work. Of that total, 120 million children work for a living.

Around the planet, there are 160 million children suffering from extreme malnourishment.

More than 1.3 billion people are paid less than a dollar a day.

Females represent 70% of the population living in extreme poverty.

More than 35,000 die each day from reasons associated with poverty.

Females living in poverty are in more danger to die under the age of 5 than boys.

There are 50,000 children living on the streets in Australia.

The most common form of violence is directed at females, predominantly in a domestic situation.

So, all you have to do is translate them and you'll be ready to see if you're as smart as a 6th grader in their first year in a french immersion class.

ps....great discussions on these facts btw. As I struggled to translate the french sheet into english in order to blog it, my son walked away with Naomi Klein's No Logo cracked open, barking out more stats with an incredulous tone in his voice. Time to learn about sweatshops and how they're linked to the products people covet. He's hooked! New awareness can be quite a motivating shocker can't it?! His qualities of innocence combined with new knowledge of what is SO VERY WRONG in this world holds the power to make changes.....
This is what I was trying to convey yesterday.... we need to revisit our own empathic and compassionate innocence and join the ranks of 6th graders who really want to make the world a better more equal place to live..... Our children hold the spark driven desire..... and we hold the critical thinking means.

Oh, and the picture above? His beautiful face visits my thoughts every single day as I wonder if he's having a loving one or not. Normally they are not, and he deserves better than that from us all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

innocence revisited....

Innocence touches delicately like a pale pink summer dress on soft skin. It's sacred purity belie the presence of soulknowing with a cloak of ignorance, when in fact it may hold the power of wisdom in its peaceful heart. Behind the bluewater eyes of innocence is a wellspring of ancestral memories wrapped in a hymn. Strong, hopeful tones set to the white lightness of a child's voice, it's essence seems almost ethereal.

Why do we believe that we leave it behind when we cross the threshold into adulthood, that somehow we forfeit it during our rites of passage? Do we lose touch with our innocence behind the thirsty pangs and the impulsive actions which drive us in our daily lives? Or does it only manifest in our early years and then evaporates into a faint apparition, replaced by the gravity of amplified guilt? Lose our virginity, lose that it?

In adults, innocence languishes under the tidal shoals of forgotten thoughts and hesitates to reveal itself to us again. Once lost, forever lost? It hides behind the more attention seeking orchestrations of suffering. It gets lost in the shadows of doubtful ruminations. We love to see its freshness revealed in others, and smile every time it flashes its purity. So, why is it so difficult for us to look into the mirror and recognize the innocence we all carry inside us?

Innocence never vanishes completely. It lives inside every single human being, including the worst of the worst irreputable villains. We may not be innocent in what we do as human beings. Our actions may teem with guilty pleasures and/or indescribably unforgivable sins. But, the sense of innocence? The ethereal essence of white lightness? Listen for it. Look for it. Please. For within our innocence lies the key to the ancestral wisdom and harmony we need to turn this world around.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

perfectly clear now...

Abundance isn't something we manufacture. It is something we tune into. And if our imaginations are allowed to be limitless....?
This morning the sunrise was so brilliant, it was blinding! A large male robin is perched on the railing of the back deck looking towards the sun. The light has caught his orangey red breast and has turned it into part of the sunrise. He looks so strong and full of himself....regal like. Though he is one of many birds in my yard this morning, he seems solely entranced by the light and colour and oblivious to his role of protecting his family's nest tucked under the deck.
As he stands alone, he seems to be absorbing as much of the sun's awakening energy as we humans try to do. I think it allows him to feel abundantly whole, as well as part of a bigger universe.
Actually, he's scanning the backyard looking for other orangey red breasted predators in an attempt to protect his babies. But, there was a moment when I believe he was reflecting on his birdness.

One within himself....One with nature. Abundance defined. Thank you Mr. Robin.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"as you think, so ye shall be...."

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in the common hours."
There is an intuitive place where thinking and feeling find one another and form a moment of unexpected focus. No words can match this "felt sense..." Instead, what you're left with is a vision........a picture or a symbol representing a personal dream or an obstacle in the way of fulfilling that dream. And if you were to take that initial vision a few steps beyond, it just may lead you to a vista beyond the line in the a place where the panoramic view is unlimited.
Our thoughts always seem to have boundaries........or perhaps it is just our inhibitions getting in the way of broadening the possibility of where our imagination can take us. We continue to step in a patterned mode, continuously repeating the same moves, the same actions even if we languish in a spiral going nowhere. Why? Because its comfortable. We are comfort seekers rather than wilderness seekers. Despite our awareness of what our needs are, or what our dreams look like, we rest easy within the confines of our bordered thinking....

Jesus said......."As you think, so ye shall be............"

Hidden potential.......what is yours? What are the changes and challenges which block you from responding to your gifts? What are you willing to do in order to reveal your hidden order to dream big? What do you need to nurture in order to move into the direction of what it is you want? How do we feed our thoughts with the passion we so often withold?

When was the last time you allowed your thinking to blend with your feelings to stretch yourself beyond the boundaries you have purposefully set up to protect yourself from escaping the tame and embracing the wild side? When we allow ourselves to focus on this type of travel, we experience the "felt sensing" moment where wisdom taps us on the temple.... where we transform into a spiritual being having a human experience.

Transformation......such a loaded word isn't it? I used to think it was an stand alone event which happened to some people connected to their religion and church. What i realize now is that transformation is an evolutionary process which may or may not be formalized through organized religion. It's a lifelong unfurling of personal growth and not a true destination endpoint. It is the type of journey which allows one to move beyond the boundaries of our defined self, of our form to advance beyond what we already know to meet, as Thoreau describes...."a success unexpected in common hours."

Eternal, infinite and life changing...this is what transformation is all about. If you are willing to be open to going beyond the original field of dreams and focusing on the place inside where the merging happens, you just never know where your intuitive nature will lead a place of discomfort. To a place where uncertainty feels like your life undressed. To a place where the words are few but the dreams are open ended.....
*my thoughts after a great visioning day with the new team....***

Thursday, May 21, 2009

one of a kind signs

You always wondered where paradise was located didn't you? Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia is most definately a piece of paradise to this family. Once a thriving ship building community along the shores of Greville Bay, a part of the Bay of Fundy, this little village has been the ancestral home of my husband since 1778. The Old Shipyard campground is located right along the beach, where the tides flow out farther than anywhere else in the world........ You can almost see the beach growing before your eyes..... or shrinking depending on the time of day. And the view? Spectacular!

The most famous ship built in Spencer's Island was the Mary Celeste. The above placque, attached to a cairn right beside the boat launch (and where the old wharf used to be) describes it's ghostly fate when it was found off the coast of Portugal with its sails up and no one aboard. This spooky story is best told after the sun has gone down on the Old Shipyard, sitting around a glowing campfire toasting marshmallows and the only lights are the flickering ones of the ships out in the bay..... For more on the Mary Celeste, check this out...

This week's photo theme is "signs"......Wanna see more? I invite you to visit Carmi's blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

i'm a happy enchilada....

There is a man whom I have never met face to face but who has been in my life longer than my husband and has followed me around wherever I've roamed. On days when I sorely needed some grounding and a little lightheartedness, I have ALWAYS been able to count on this man to put a legal/illegal smile on my face. In fact, this man impressed my husband so much when I introduced the two of them that I believe he had an impact on the fate of my ensuing marriage to my husband. He even told me so!

Well, it turns out this man is coming to town, and I plan to send him an email to invite him for dinner. It's time we met face to sit on my back deck and swill a few beers and talk about "how the world goes day you're up and the next you're's a half an inch of water and you think you're gonna drown.... that's the way the world goes round...."
Or maybe we'll chat about "blowin' up your TV...and movin' to the country to plant and little garden and eat a lot of peaches and try to find Jesus on your own." OMG, what fun it would be to have John Prine for dins! I mean the man's gotta eat...why not at my house?? to his concert sold out faster than Leonard Cohen for God's sake, and we weren't one of the lucky ones to nab any of them!! So, we'll be heading to Saint John to catch his concert there. Personally, I blame Terry Seguin who BLABBED on and on and friggin' on his CBC morning for the past week and got the whole damn county all frothy about getting tickets! GRRRRR! (Terry, if John Hiatt happens to show up in this fair city, I will sabotage your microphone until I can get my hands on tickets....either that, or you're taking me with you!!!)

Despite my disappointment that I can't see Mr. Prine sing Fishin' and Whistlin'....and croon about the Angel from Montgomery....sing about his Grandpa who was a Carpenter in my own town....I am PSYCHED that I will be sitting pretty at the Imperial Theatre sometime in August soaking in the words and tunes of a one of a kind raconteur....

Next week?.....a whole new ballgame for ticket purchasing. The other man in my life ... my son, Sir Maxwell silver hammer....? He and I are going to attempt to secure two tickies to see McCartney in Halifax. Wish us luck! Chances are they too will sell out in 5 minutes or less. :)

A slice of Prine.....enjoy his song and his Happy Enchilada story.... ! He owns a piece of my heart this man....

help in math....

Little Zachary was doing very badly in math. His parents had tried everything...tutors, mentors, flash cards, special learning centers. In short, everything they could think of to help his math. Finally, in a last ditch effort, they took Zachary down and enrolled him in the local Catholic school. After the first day, little Zachary came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn't even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying.

Books and papers were spread out all over the room and little Zachary was hard at work. His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner. To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before.

This went on for some time, day after day, while the mother tried to understand what made all the difference.

Finally, little Zachary brought home his report card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his room and hit the books. With great trepidation, his Mom looked at it and to her great surprise . Little Zachary got an 'A' in math!

She could no longer hold her curiosity. She went to his room and said, 'Son, what was it? Was it the nuns?' Little Zachary looked at her and shook his head, no.
'Well, then,' she replied, Was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms? WHAT WAS IT?'
Little Zachary looked at her and said, 'Well, on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around.'


(sunset along the saint john river, may 2009)

"Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend in a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment when in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God. "
Soren Kierkegaard

(thank you, friend for taking the time to find this quote for me....)

Monday, May 18, 2009

what is right? how do i get there?

(sunset from my front yard, may 2009, kodak instamatic 124)

I was told..
"We did the right thing."

contemplate, concentrate
choices abound, answers unfound
making a decison,
a sleepless indecision
why can't i settle down?

formulate, celebrate
say a vow, take a bow
formulation, transformation
move along with change......
tick, tock, tick, tock.......tell me how

certainty aligned?
uncertainty is blind...

you did the right really did.
yes...I did, didn't I?

rationalize, harmonize
last resort, no retort
ease the pain, swallow shame
wasted time, bitter crime
anger rising, temper short

tears expressed, such a mess
I did the right thing.....I think.
I did, didn't I?

Uncertainty causes stressssssssssss
uncertainty is life undressed

hesitation, protestation
saving grace, saving face
sad relief, fainting grief
lessen stress, its anyone's guess
when we finally find resolution.

back off, I need the space....
a whiskey soaked pace
'cause i ain't there yet.


lonely fears, silent jeers
finger're disappointing.....
deny, deny, deny
i'm trying to stay afloat here!

THESE are the best of times?
they're the only times i've ever known....

happiness, happiness,
it's the greatest feeling i want to possess....
repress, digress, eat less, wild guess, obsess, don a dress
humour seems pointless

or not....

intellectualize, harmonize
think before you leap
displace it all
suppress the fall
coping skills dont sleep.

just another word for grieving....
one tearslippery rung at a time....
Why is it that most choices we make in life either don't feel to good, or don't live up to our expectations?
Why is it that some choices refresh old wounds?
Why is it that some choices hurt the ones we love even more?
Why does it takes so damn long to emotionally catch up with the brain driven decision???

Adaptation...learning how to cross thresholds into blue yonders takes practise I guess. Making some of life's decisions takes guts to recognize just exactly what need you are intending to know what you WANT...and then to know when to jump off the regret train, and move on.

you're doing the right thing
doing the right thing
the right thing
right thing
thing.....? what was that thing i did so right? Looks like I repressed it so deeply I can't even remember what it was all about.

ps.....this post was spurred on by this article...longitudinal research on how a healthy adaptation process, using effective (as opposed to neurotic, which we all know well....) coping mechanisms and problem solving skills can lead one to an emotional resolution, consequently will lead the way to a feeling of happiness. Or not.... The conclusion is yours to make.


twilight trembles
in the ancient echos of misplaced souls
and turns inward
absorbing the fading colour of others
leaving disconnected murmers
of unfulfilled desire
filling the emptiness of my heart.

inside the ancestral din
i hear your voice
pulling me back from the lonely edge of darkness
into a pinebow creche

nestled in the tall grass
layered in the down of soft comfort

cradled in your arms,
i feel your lips softly brush my nape
your warm breath reminding me of my existence,
reassuring me i'm not one of the lost souls.

it is only then my sigh settles into the twilight
connected to the warmth of your kindness.

The prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings is "disconnected." For more interpretations, check out their blog.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

happiness unfurling...

Joy and woe are woven fine,

A clothing for the soul divine.

Under every grief and pine.

Runs a joy with silken twine.

William Blake

Sunday morning .... skies were cloaked in dark grey. Draping down to touch the hilly fields, the clouds hovered to the riverbend. Rain fell straight like a fine spray evenly soaking all that it touched, feeding strength, encouraging growth.
Newly planted seeds, row upon row.....fresh budding leaves, tender roots unfurling......germinating under the grey laden rainspray skies.
'Tis the season where light moves us from the insulation of darkness. Even the gloomy skies can't forgo the feeling. In fact, the alchemy of colour POPS out of the grey.....with dramatic vitality....from the dreary dross comes golden touches.

If happiness were a colour, I would choose the innocence of green in spring. Its open vibrancy tantalizes the eye with the fullness of future happiness does to the heart. Tender green shoots.....our nature exposed to the elements, joy woven with woe. It is a risk to be exposed. Happiness does that to us....we are more open to risk when we choose happiness....but I'm thinking its one worth branching out to....

Friday, May 15, 2009

shameful entitlement....

Ana left her home in the Philipines not because she wanted to, but out of desperation. Her husband was hurt in an accident on the worksite. There was no money and no option. She had to find work to keep her family afloat and the only way to do that was to move to a country far away and far different than the climes of her look for work as a live in caregiver. She knew many others from her village who had made the trek and were working full time for families with room and board covered on top of a salary. They left with the same save all their money to send home to their destitute families, with the dream of eventually move them to the land of milk and honey.

With very little in personal possessions and a pocketful of hope and enough money to pay for a plane ticket and a few days accomodation when she landed, Ana hugged her 5 children, her husband and boarded a plane. She had no idea what she was getting herself into. She had no idea when she would see her children again. Left in the care of her own mother, including a toddler she had just weaned from her breast, Ana held onto her faith with all her might, and tried not to look back.

As soon as she arrived on foreign soil covered in ice and snow she had never seen before, she was quickly embraced by other Philipino women who took her under their wing and arranged for her to be registered with a government agency. Soon, she was hired to look after an elderly woman who had just been released from the hospital after death defying surgery. She was frail and weak after years of alcohol addiction, and had lost much of her desire to live. Dementia was setting in as well. Unable to attend to her own personal care, Ana was the sole person responsible for this woman's well being. Unbeknownst to her, Ana soon learned that this woman's husband also needed attention as his health too was deteriorating from Alzheimer's and recent hip replacement surgery which didn't heal properly.

The woman who hired Ana and oversaw her hours of employment and paycheck was the daughter of these two needy people. She took her own responsibility seriously, so much so that she chose to hold her power over Ana at every waking moment. Knowing that Ana had to live and work in Canada as a caregiver for three years before she would qualify for any type of immingrant status, this boss woman took advantage of the fear instilled in Ana. Condescension and powermongering were the chosen tactics. Passive aggressive threats were common. Ana was coerced to believe that she should be grateful completely to her new employer, even though she was never given a day off for months until some intervention from other family members took place. And even then, she paid for their voiced concerns when they were too far away to protect her.

Every two weeks Ana sent home the majority of her paycheck. And every two weeks, she was allowed to leave the house for 1/2 a day reprieve. After a year of this treatment, one of the other family members, who wasn't legally and rightfully supposed to be involved in the day to day goings on in his own parent's home, demanded that Ana receive enough time off to return to the Philipines to see her family. This "intervention" was held over Ana's head and held as a deep anger grudge by the woman in charge.

What kept Ana going was the knowledge that she was appreciated and loved by the other family members who had no legal recourse to help her, but were always just a phone call away. What kept her going was her family in the Philipines whom she loved dearly and who needed her to make the money to allow them to live and eat and survive. What kept her going was the prospect of a better life one day in the near future.

Over the course of two years, Ana, who was hired to look after one aging and needy person, cared for two demanding dependent people with many needs and accumulating health issues. On top of that, she cleaned and cooked. She shopped on her days off, ran errands too without the luxury of a vehicle to use and dealt with anything in the home that needed attention or repairs. Near the end of her tenure, their health issues became more and more grave. Visits and repreives were offered whenever the other family members of this elderly couple could fly to her assistance, but in between those times, she was on her own. It was stressful, debilitating, and inhumane what she had to endure. And there wasn't a damn thing anyone could do about it to change things because the person in charge was the person in charge who was the power of attorney. The continuous threats were harsh and unbelievably unforgivable.

There is much more to this story, but I can't find the words yet to finish it. It was one of the worst experiences I have been connected to and it haunts me to this day. One day, I will write out all the sordid and sorrowful details of how badly this woman was treated, but not yet. Today, beautiful Ana comes to mind very vividly, two years after my in laws passed away because of the recent story in the news about Ruby Dhalla, Member of Parliament from Ontario who is still in the process of trying to clear her name and reputation after two very brave and very scared women from the Philipines came forward to describe how they were treated by Dhalla and her family while they were employed by them to care for an aging parent. Like Ana, they were threatened and expected to work like slaves.

I am sickened by this story because it hits too close to home and has dredged up raw pictures in my recent memory of a time when I was powerless to do anything about it. I know how difficult it would've been for these two caregivers to come forward knowing full well that it might be the end of their dreams of remaining in Canada and bringing their poverty stricken families to live here. I know full well how the "system" works and how quickly they could be sent straight home, left off in the margins by the people who should be working for the government to make sure they are treated with equality and dignity and respect. I know how many threats they have endured already, as the shining star beautiful Liberal MP scrambles to save her ass from political annihilation.

I wholeheartedly believe the women and what they described.....I wholeheartedly believe that they were forced to do work they weren't hired to do, they were forced to listen to a Ruby Princess who grew up fed on sugared slices of entitlement talk down to them, yell at them, and demand they hand over their passport. I bet there were threats to call the Immigration office, and to ruin their reputations with the government agency who originally referred them. This, I'm afraid is commonplace in the world of Philipino caregivers. For them to come forward and testify at an inquiry created overnight by a hungry government willing to take advantage of a faux pas of the opposition is one of the bravest actions I've heard of in a very long time.

Ruby Dhalla? Bollywood is calling you again. I'm sure they will have a part for you as Princess Entitlement. Your time as an elected official is up. And your dream of becoming leader of the Liberal party has evaporated. Oh, and if you need an assistant or someone to play the role of lady in waiting in your next film? I've got just the right person for you. She too thrives on the flavour of entitlement. The two of you are meant for one another.

As for Ana's old boss? She forfeited her family and she will never be invited into my house again. Ever.

You know what makes me hold my head in shame as I shake it back and forth? These people have no inkling...NO INKLING that they have done anything wrong. In fact, they consider themselves victims. It makes me want to vomit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

human fingerprints

Unshared thoughts are like lost embers floating up from the chimney flue when they're not anchored to spoken language. If we consider the words we choose and the feelings we use to express them, we quickly learn that language has the capacity to capture a fraction of what we mean. As much as it adds lustre to a perambulation of the unspoken idea finally freed, language is also held within a mystery. We can't ever cover all that we want to communicate. And, more often than not, when we do? It's misinterpreted.
Why do some people think you can read their minds? Why do some people think they can read your mind? Or even more annoying, why do they think they have the right to even attempt it?
I may seem like an open book in this venue, but I'm not as open as I appear. Like you, there are many more facets of me than you will never know.... heck, there are some of mine I havent even met yet. Truth be told there are only a couple of people on this planet who I may be emotionally comfortable enough to completely strip down to place inside me where I am that vulnerable. That type of "safe" is a very complicated place to reach.
We have a tendancy to try to sum someone up with a few descriptive sentences don't we? And for most people, that's just about enough for them. They don't want to go any deeper than that. Most descriptions are really only a reflection of themselves....of what they value, of what they like and dont like. They are judgement statements decorated with adjectives, whose definitions have a beginning and an end. In fact, I believe that most of these statements float in the cosmos of an illusion created by perceptions rather than in any essence of clarity.

Ask someone to describe you. What words would they choose??
I'm guessing if I asked 5 different people in my life how they would describe me, there would most likely be common threads....some of which may be correct. Some may be completely off the charts simply because of the situation or the events surrounding our encounters.
Believe it or not, there are some out there who think I'm simply a moody complicated opionionated blowhard! Can you believe that??? There are some who think I'm a bleeding heart pushover whose lead by her spilling out emotions. Can you believe that??? Then, there are some who would put money on their belief that I'm just a dramatic wingnut who can't get her life in order. Can you believe that???? Ok, here's one...... a threat. I'm a threatening overbearing shit disturber. Now, that's very difficult to swallow isn't it? :) Wait a minute! I think there may be one or two who see a few angelic tendancies in me, but how can that be? Then, there are some who think I'm nice. hmmmm..........very Canadian, I am.
Do I care? Of course I care. But, there's probably not a damn thing I can do about it.....people form their opinions on impressions they make in a slice of an instant. weird. Interpretations are simply that.....owned by the one who formed them.
We are all multi-layered. I may seem to be an open book, but there are several chapters I have yet to reveal. There are several chapters I have yet to discover. I may have all of the above characteristics, but slice me another way and you'll see I am more like you than you may be willing to admit..... or I may be willing to admit.

Humans have much in common.....we all have the same goods inside us, but we are far from cookie cutter replicas or one another. Our sameness.....the capacity to feel the same feelings, to yearn for the same dreams etc is what allows us to connect. Our differences is where we either clash or appreciate each other's unique gifts. My fingerprints are etched with my own design as are yours. And the only way I have to clarify who I am is through my language.......

oh, wait a minute..........
I could show you who I am too. Action without words? Now that's a thought. Sitting together in a comfortable stream of silence? Maybe that's the ideal place to delve deeper into the understanding of our unique human fingerprints. Maybe we rely too heavily on choosing the right words, on trying to find a common language........on trying NOT to be perceived the wrong way.........on trying to project an impression we may think is suitable, acceptable, welcoming....or even trying to be outrageously memorable?
Sitting together in silence strips away pretence and somehow levels any sort of power imbalance. Though it offers up enormous room for interpretations and second guessing as to what the other is thinking etc, eventually if both people are authentically genuine and honest in their physical expressions ...... comfort will be felt in the softening of the holy space between.
As John O'Donahue so eloquently captured in his writing, an unspoken essence between two friends is also present, no matter what the distance is. He referred to it as the holiness of Spirit. It makes me wonder if this Spirit's language can express our truth far better than we humans ever can?

My second posting on Carmi's thematic photography theme...."human." Check out more at Written Inc.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

human hearts

We humans continue to grapple at understanding the world around us by trying to fit it into an ideology. We have such a propensity to know how to conceptualize, compartmentalize and intellectualize create a subtance solid enough to hold onto. Life isn't like that. Its meaning stretches beyond what we can fathom with our ticking brains. As soon as you think you've got it all figured out, it changes shape. It turns a different colour. It runs far enough away that its beyond our grasp, leaving us staggering in doubt.

Life rarely makes sense when we only use our minds to decipher it. However, if we let our hearts lead the exploration, we are much more apt to feel confident in exploring the wildness of being human.

This week's photography theme is "human." For more photos and interpretations of the theme, check out Carmi at Written Inc.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Great Aunt Vera was an eccentric creative being who molded clay into unique forms and coloured canvases with striking shapes influenced by post expressionism. Her living space was a mixture of studio chaos and modernity in fire glazed earth tones and blues. She herself seemed like a combination of whismy and serious intent. Her art was her passion. Her passion fed her lifestyle. As a child, I was intrigued by this woman who was so different than anyone else in my young life. I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to be a potter.

Aunt Vera fueled my dream just by being. I can't ever remember telling her directly that it was my intention to follow in her path, to use my hands to create the designs formulating in my own imagination. I'm sure I talked incessantly about it with my Mom and I most likely talked about my desires with my Grandma, both creative thinkers themselves. When anyone asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, my answer was always........."I want to be a potter."

The pictures in my head were clear. I saw myself living that dream, smack dab in the middle of my own studio turning a chunk of clay into my own masterpiece. Even the idea of having my clothes smeared in dried remnants, and my fingernails chipped and permanently greyed by my craft seemed romantically blissful.

If I closed my eyes, I could see the wheel spinning, my hands and fingers maneovering and squeezing the soft substance into a shape as I sprinkled drops of water to moisten the bring it alive as I sculpted. I could imagine mixing the own signature blends to capture the piece in a glazed essence. I could feel the orange heat of the kiln and how it blasts out energy when the door is opened to slide the work in progress into its magic..... once just a seeded thought in my imagination into a finished product someone may covet as their own. Fired just at the right temperature, for just the right amount of time.

So, it was with great enthusiasm that I signed up for a pottery class in high school, feeling like it was the first step to a great career. I learned the basics....coils, slabs, free molding. I learned about making sure the clay was free of air bubbles while using your own handheld heat to warm it into a suppleness of potential. I had my turn using the wheel, pumping its speed with my foot on the pedal, learning quickly what happens when too much water is adding to the mix. I learned how to use my thumb to smear creases, and to pinch round off the opening of vessels. I learned about shape and size and colour and balance....what is pleasing to the eye and what doesn't.

And I learned quickly how much I sucked at it. Every single project looked the same....a mess. Not a damn thing I tried to make ever looked like it did in my imagination! My career as a famous potter crashed and burned before I ever reached the kiln!

Best intentions, seemingly reachable dreams sometimes don't make it to the final end product. In fact, it can feel like you're the victim of a hard slap to the face. There often comes a point when one has to accept this unfortunate reality and learn how to let go and move on. However, it's so easy to hold onto something, even to cling to it blindly because we wont allow ourselves to recognize its not a good fit. Its not working for us.....that we failed. If we choose to continue moving forward with the same intent....the same picture in our heads of what we want, we end up tripping over and over again like someone has tied our converse shoelaces together without our noticing. It becomes a burden, a cross to carry.

Unrequited intentions, the more serious and complicated ones in our lives, (ones that are WAY more serious than my short lived career as a famous potter) can quickly turn into a cross eyed monster feeding on the endless self talk messages of failure. Before we know it, we've wasted so much time wallowing and obsessing that we lose our way back to the path of discovery. And when that happens, we lose our confidence.....we lose ourselves in the crash and burn of self injurious thought and action. We feel ugly and useless.

So, how do we stop this echoing madness ............ how do we unhook from intent gone awry?

Step back .... reflect ..... let go .... forgive ..... atone ...... smile ...... breathe ..... adjust ....... push away old limitations ..... unlatch from guilt and failure .... share your story so it has words and legs to walk away on its own ... seek out someone to help guide you to a place of reflection .... take what you can from the experience and use what you've learned .... and constantly refresh yourself by returning to the place where possibilities dwell.....where new intentions are forming into doable dreams.

Where is that dwelling? It's in the centre of your heart where God is hiding. You'll find Him working on a piece of clay. He's got the knack for creating.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Early Saturday morning and I found myself driving 4 beautiful 15 year old girls to a weekend at a summer camp about an hour and a half away from town. They have all applied for jobs as CIT's (Counsellor in Training)and are competing against 28 kids for 16 positions. The whole excitable crew converged at the camp with the Director and summer staff for a tryout of sorts! They were so cute, and so excited and so nervous and knowing how psyched my own daughter has been throughout the winter as we approached this formidable weekend, I'm sure the other families have experienced the same jitters along with waves of doubts and bravado .
Still on the verge of innocence, though worldly in their own ways….knowledgeable and aware, their anticipation of what lies ahead was contagious! We stopped at the "Blue Canoe" Irving Big Stop on the TransCanada for a treat and off we went.......listening to their great choices of "indie" music while driving off the big highway and out into the country side, following the Saint John River south…..

You would love the scenery and landscape….the big beautiful trees….pine, birch, maple, towering evergreen, oak, cedar……., undulating hills and beautiful still water painted with reflections of the shoreline. It always makes me slide into a natural calm, like I feel when slipping into an old sweatshirt and a pain of worn in jeans. False pretenses and quickened paces disappear, packed away in a forgotten memory of "must do's." What is left as I find my way back to the countryside is an ambling soundtrack, strummed by someone who loves getting lost in the harmony, hunched over their guitar as one. There is a sense of reveries revisited, like the pull of a paddle on the sleepy surface of the deep bluegreen water below.

As we continued to hug the shoreline, the river widens a great deal and it has a feel of a lake where the camp is situated. This too holds familiarity for my own travels towards a place I hold dear in my own heart. Though my camp experiences happened many years ago, in a completely different part of this country, the scenery coupled with the excitement swirling in the conversations in the van allowed me to completely understand where these girls are in their lives, and what they have in store for them as they hold onto hope of being one of the handful chosen. Its funny, personal camp experiences............camper or staff........they all have the same bucket of feelings and very similar memories are gathered.
As I drove along, I longed to be sitting there as a 15 year old heading down the camp road again.......I guess we never lose that. Its not often I feel the urge to want to return to a younger age. But, when it comes to camp...........I'd do it over again in a minute!!!! And do it all the same.!! Even the big emotional roller coaster stuff that goes with adolescence.
Clouds and sunbursts……and new green where everywhere. I love the green of the season in its infancy….fields renewing….. a few deep purple blueberry fields restoring their growth…. Lovely cottages tucked along the river…….huge bales of hay rolled and left from last autumn…. Red roofs, tin roofs, big old country homes with scraped white peels and longed for porches that you know come June will be decorated with porch swings and bright colourful wicker, all to catch summer breezes. Inviting and private at the same time.....familial stories, ancestral ghosts creak into the large pine planks painted deep green.....whispers of the past......up and down the hills, turning off the country road onto another and another.......closer to our destination and the energy heightens.....
The girls went a little beserk when I pulled into the camp road…..squeals of delight and terror at the same time….were they going to be chosen???? It was LOUD! It was HILARIOUS!! These calm "I'm not nervous. Are you nervous??" teenagers let out a collective wail! I distinctly remember the feeling…..all youthful adrenaline surging hope, tumbling with the what if's….

I pulled into the driveway, and we all piled out of the van quickly……to be accosted by the familiarity of pine curled in wood smoke, and mossy mulch layered under the bare budded trees….the girls ran ahead to be enveloped in a large group hug from last summer kindreds. My heart felt own yearnings to feel the heat of my own kindreds surged through me. All these years later, I still have deep longings for those times. The sense of belonging never feels as sweet......

After a short stint…just to make sure they had all their gear…..and one last piece of advice "Just be your beautiful selves!!!!" .I got back in the van alone…. And took the long way home….. Just me and Mr. Springsteen…. And a view to die for. Layers of my armour fell off………possiblities visited…..I stopped and took photos whenever I wanted too, and thought about how much I would love to show you my part of this world.

I think I'm a country girl. Worn jeans and an old sweatshirt, a pair of comfie shoes that fit my sockless feet...... I feel most beautiful in that attire. I am my best sheltered in a cove of tall pine or standing in a open field surrounded by green innocence and bales to climb...... the possibilities are endless. Come join me?

Friday, May 08, 2009

memorable trips...

I wrote this post originally as an email letter one evening not so long ago. My intention was to simply send a link to an article I had just read, but what came out was a story wrapped in many memories of my Grandmother, Mabel. In return, I received the story encapsulated in a piece of word art designed my emerald friend, Pip. SO COOL to see many of the key words pulled together! It caught me by smiling surprise. I decided to post the story with a few tweaks and a few updates along with the Pipdesign tonight as I take time to remember Mabel. This week is the 6th anniversary of her death. Everyday she continues to travel with me.

Good evening friends....hope it is warm and toasty where you are as it is here in my little writing den. I have some my music on.....and am tucked under a dark purple duvet reading lamp is the only light feels like a little cave with books and pictures and photos..... outside the weather is drizzly fog. Indoors, I'm surrounded by my den which I named after my Grandmother, Mabel Darby. This is the "Darby" room. We had it built after we received some money from her that she had inherited. She shared this late life wealth with all of us, making sure every grandchild and great grandchild would benefit. So, when I'm in here, I think of her and wish, she was still alive to share this part of my journey with me.

I know, I know... she IS...but I'd sure like to talk with her about it all. There is a framed picture up on the bookshelf of just Mabel and I on my wedding day. Its in a frame she made at a woodworking class she took in her 70's.
There's another one on that shelf too...of my Dad, Jamie, his Dad, George and his brother...on a summer day at my parent's cottage before George's Alzeimers kicked in. I think it was the summer my little sister was married and we were all home to celebrate.
There's another of my two nephews who are young adults now standing in a hay field behind the old house Jamie's mother grew up in Spencer's Island, Nova Scotia with my beautiful Max when he was only 3. It was the first time they had met!!! My nephews live out west and we rarely see them...the three of them, despite the age difference took to one another....the big boys never leaving Max out of whatever beachcombing adventure they set out to enjoy. It's a bittersweet photo now, because it looks like we have lost our access to that old house and the property.....but that's another story I will write when the estate is finally settled. Lets hope thats soon. It may be. But, the result of the estate settling is just going to be sad.....
Maybe i should keep in mind the lesson of the woodcutter..."Whether it's a blessing or a curse, I do not know....."
There are lots of photos in my Darby room. Ancestral, generations of tugging and huggin belonging. Our roots. My roots. My little family's roots. I love writing in here.... :)
Over on my desk, there is a hilarious photo I took of Martha and Max acting up together Hmmm how old were they there?? 5 and 9 years old maybe? That one silly shot strums a whole story song which jumps right out of the frame!

We were on our way from Fredericton to Burlington, Ontario (a 14 hour drive when the weather is good....) to celebrate Mabel's 90th birthday. She was born on the same day the Titanic sunk...April 14th, 1912.... So it was April 2002. The van we owned at that time had been a lemon from the moment we drove the damn thing off the car lot. One thing after another had gone wrong with it, like it was possessed by demons. It was so bad that financially we were being hit like we had two car payments a month. But you know what happens with a car like that? You think.....ah.....just get this one thing fixed and then everything will be alright...NOT!!!

So, there we were, car tuned up, everything checked over before we hit the road. Our plan was to make the trip in one full overnight stop. With all the amenities in the car to do just that, and then some........we piled into the van along with our trusty chocolate Lab, Lucy. 14 hours of being in the driving ZONE!
6 hours into it, we pull off the highway just outside of Quebec City for lunch and the van goes.....kachunk, kachunk..... oh no!! It was the kind of KaCHUNK that is never good news. The mechanic who couldn't speak any English, motioned to us that it was what we feared...transmission problems. He suggested we take it to the transmission place located on the highway a couple of miles back.... kachunk, kachunk off we go to Mr. Transmission in the land of french speaking anglais...!!

As Jamie went in to the greasy little office that smelled to the heavens of transmission fuel and gasoline and oil slicks....I sat on the curb in the parking lot and lost my composure completely. I knew it was going to be expensive and I didn't know what was going to happen.... whether we would be able to continue on or not. However, I knew my grandmother was aging and beginning to weaken so being at her birthday party was very important to me. But, it was a Friday afternoon in Quebec City and we had another 8 hours to travel without a vehicle...the party was on the Sunday.
Tears came in frustration and anger over this damn van. My brain wasn't working well. It was tired and I lost it. My two children right then and there took it upon themselves to make me laugh. They jumped out of the van, pulled the "head hole" of their t-shirts up to frame their heads, which made their arms and shoulders hunch up. They looked like little goofballs. Then they sang me a song or some such thing. What was the funniest was to see how they cracked each other up! I laugh now remembering how beautiful it felt to experience their ability to be in charge of dishing out the empathy.

My tears dried up, replaced by recognizing the absurdity of the situaton. My kids had made me realize how silly life can one has to lighten up and just go with the punches. I took the photo which sits framed in the Darby room right then because i knew that whenever i looked at that photo in the future i would promptly remember this lesson. Tonight, I remember this lesson. Go with the punches....go with the flow.

The van ended up having to stay there...they didn't have the right transmission. We somehow managed to find a rental...a much smaller car to continue on with the trip. Two kids and a fat chocolate Lab shared the back seat. After a few hours sitting and absorbing the reality we were back on the road but ended up stopping on the way overnight. The day had been way too long to push through the night. So, we arrived at my parent's place on the Saturday, still wired and frustrated over our consistently pain in the arse van problems and aching over the amount of money it was going to cost us in the longrun.

The trip ended up costing us close to $3000.00 dollars when it should've been GAS money and some eats! But i wouldnt have missed Mabel's birthday party for the world. I got to give the toast to the Birthday gal......surrounded by family of all ages.

Wow! You know, I was just going to write to you about this link to this AMAZINGLY achingly beautiful correspondance between journalist Ian Brown and Jean Vanier....I got fingers tripping over the keys so quickly that I couldn't stop myself! Vanier's response to Brown's questions about aging and dying are so touching. It truly hit a good place in me.
I know you will like this article about accepting our own mortality. I wonder who will come to mind for you as you read it? For me it was Mabel Darby, my grandmother who died just after her 91rst birthday. She is the person in my life who in her own dying helped me be less afraid of it. I don't know how that happened. I just know it shifted me enough not to be so full of anxiety over my own death. You know what else? It was Mabel who in her ability to embrace the adventure helped me learn how to go for the gusto.

What I'm thinking now??? If Mabel were alive today? There is no way on God's green earth that i would be considering a trip to Greenbelt without her! Never wanting to miss a good good thing, especially if it involved travel and meeting like minds, she'd be demanding that i take her along.

Of all the people in the whole world and beyond, she is the one I think I take after the most in many ways. I was given the honour to stand up at her funeral to toast her, and I spoke of the road less travelled because it made a difference for her as she lived her life and it certainly makes a difference as I live mine.
Enjoy this correspondance between Brown and Vanier as i did and spend a little time with the person who comes to mind for you.