Thursday, April 30, 2009

Magnolia


In the darkest grey dismal mist
that falls on the sodden grass
misery lingers in the silent home
enveloped in dingy splattered glass

Feverish and trapped in a wood cocoon
desperate for sunshine and air
claustrophic and sighing in boredom
the raindrops don't even care

Then a glance through the tear stained panes
past the pond with ripples of rain
is the pale pink blossom of hope
sweet magnolia blooms once again

Short is the life they are given
yet long the imprinted impression
pale velvet discs of pure beauty
a brief life, too short for obsession

Whether long the life that is gifted
likewise a flower to blow in the wind
it's the wake of beauty we leave here
that matters utmost in the end

Tired Dawn

Crimson and gold breaks the dawn
rusted and worn on the earth
tired and wasted on humanity
she resentfully repeats the birth

The unloved and unwanted day
grumbled and whimpered and wasted
no love for the red-sky beginning
the wine of the dawn goes untasted

The people in ego land wander
wanting the things that destroy
more and more they collect things
each day the dawn heaves a sigh

Yet the crimson red sky greets us forever
hoping for a glimpse of a scene
Where people who care for the sunlight
Choose to see her reflection in green

The sun continues to send love
This the earth each day discovers
and the dawn with her scarlet red hope
continues to hope she recovers

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Poem of Hope

In all the large vast universe
in all the unabashed space
we float along in oblivion
with a frown upon our face

We spin alone in silence
we wonder how to cope
but in all the endless universe
lies a thread of infinite hope

We hang on to the thread
one next to the other
golden threads grow stronger
when woven fast together

And we'll take the woven rope
and toss it out to you
hold fast you know we've got you
we'll gently pull you through


I posted before about my Aunt Christine who recently recieved a cancer diagnosis. Further follow up exams have found it's worse than originally thought. We're still hopeful this will have the most positive outcome long term. The poem above is for her and our family who will pull her through this safe and sound.

Living up to Expectations

It seems to me that many people are disappointed in others. I'm looking around seeing complaints and status on face book about how this one lies and that one is unfair and just offence after offence taken by one human due to the behaviour of another.

In mulling it around in my mind a bit I realise we spend a fair bit of our time in expectation of certain behaviours from others. Our mothers should be a certain way, our fathers should be another and certainly we spend a lot of time discussing what we expect from our children. Entire parenting philosophies have been written about expecting more and you'll get more.

I'm feeling the pressure lately of certain expectations. Some of them are from the outside, others are entirely mine. Suddenly my three year old is almost old enough to go to school and the "when are you going back to work?" question has been rearing its ugly head lately because of course, a human being's entire worth is dependant upon the money they can bring into the home. I've been working on letting that go. I work plenty. Four children, three at home, a husband gone for weeks at a time, and a house to run, and now, with nothing else changing I'm expected to get out there and earn a living, pull my weight financially. And somehow I doubt my husband would have earned as much money if I weren't here caring for our children. Fortunately he feels strongly that my role is as important as his and the money he earns is our money. He gets that and I'm forever grateful for it.

The dilemma is that a possible part-time job has appeared. The thought of it makes me nearly ill. First of all my baby would have to go into daycare. Second of all my older daughter would also require daycare as she attends every other day right now. Over the course of the summer both would require full daycare while I work. And meanwhile I still have the absent husband, three children at home and a house to take care of.

But there is incredible pressure for me to do this. It might become full-time, I have the experience, I could do the job. It doesn't matter that I have done this kind of work before and hated it. This might be alright, different company, they seem like nice people. There are many compelling reasons to consider this.

But my entire body collapses in on itself at the thought. I feel ill. The stress of all it would entail fills me with an incredible feeling of angst. I feel to my core that this is the wrong decision. Yet I'm considering it.

What message am I receiving. I don't think we'll starve or lose the house without the small amount of money I would make. I will not be as available to my children. I will not have the patience or energy they need. They will have to adjust, I will have to adjust. I get little time now to do the things I love to do, I'd have no time then.

I know what I should do. My heart and soul and body speak the answer to me. And yet, what will people think?

I know the expectation is there, I feel it pressing on me, pushing the breath out of me. And I also know I won't be taking the job. I know it is the wrong decision.

So my focus today is to allow the pressure to flow around me but not let it weigh me down. I know I will let others down in a way, they will talk, they will not understand my reasons however I also know that the wrong decision will let me down.

I have certain expectations for myself and one of them is to follow the course that I know will serve me and ultimately all of the family best. I'm looking for an out, a solution that will help us financially but also make me happy too. I'm not finding one that will make everyone happy so I think I'll just have to make me and my children happy. Meanwhile I'm sending an invitation to the universe. I need to earn some extra money and there is a way that will add to our lives, not subtract from mine.

So today, I request of the universe, and you out there in Bloggy World, Please spam me with any brilliant ideas you have. I will listen happily to them.

Namaste
Breeze

Monday, April 27, 2009

A True Story

Let me tell you a story. A true story. This story is about a man who has been about as low as a man can go and survive. He's an alcoholic, a crack addict, has spent multiple times in prison, has two failed marriages and two children he doesn't support and never sees. All a direct result of drug addiction.

This man, at his lowest times, would often go to the dump and look for things to sell to make money to support his drug habit. Right now he claims to be clean. We've all heard that story before, yet we want to believe, that this time, it's the truth and will remain so.

Yesterday he was staying with his friend, a disabled elderly lady. He met her when he was in one of his rehab programs. The relationship is fuzzy but she helps him a lot. He helps her. She can't get around much so he takes her places. She knows he's a junkie but she's ok with that.

An unlikely friendship however how they became friends is the interesting part. She's poor and lame and a couple of years back she broke her walker. She couldn't afford another and there was no program to help her get one. This greatly limited her freedom. She was housebound and depended upon others to help her. She was already friends with the man and he would go by and visit her sometimes. Often he was strung out or looking for money. She never had any but he still visited.

One day the man was in the dump looking for something to sell for drugs and found a discarded walker. He took it home and cleaned it up, and of course gave it to the lady. This act of kindness was typical of the man. He had a heart like this although most people couldn't see it underneath the pathetic picture he made walking the streets looking for a fix.

The man is also my ex-husband and the father of my two older daughters. This story was revealed to my older daughters yesterday and they told me. They have not had their father in their lives yet somehow knowing that this man that they love, is not a complete write-off as a human being restored a certain faith in him and in themselves, for no matter how hard we try, our identity and value is often tied up in what our parents tell us with their actions.

It also restored my faith as well, for underneath the mask of pills and booze and crack, the human being with compassion and hope still exists.

Secondary to that it reminded me, because I'm often asked, why I married him in the first place. Back then, before he was buried in the mire of self-destruction, that abundance of generosity was there, always ready to blossom. It's what made the eventual path he took so very sad.

I'm glad my daughters got to see that in him again. I'm equally glad that it's still there for him, for where there is loving kindness there is a chance for a new beginning. I hope that happens for him. He does have a new girlfriend who seems to be a positive force. And then there is the friend with the walker, who remains loyal to him no matter what his weakness, for the gift of freedom he gave her, while still locked in the chemical chains that bound him.

It's been a difficult task for me to find compassion in my heart for the man who injured the hearts of my children as he did, who left us for a chemical high, who does not truly know the wonderful people they are. But I've grown to do so. I've let go of the anger and taken the lessons I need to learn from the experience. I've tried to encourage my girls to do the same.

It is said that you greatest enemy is often your greatest teacher. Now we have learned this lesson and this time it is that humanity cannot forever mask divinity, it bursts through eventually to shine bright like a super nova and the darker the sky, the more brilliant the light when it comes.



Love thy neighbour
easy to do
love thy enemy
do you?

Find compassion for the innocent
you can of course
But compassion for the prisoner
who shows no remorse?

Easy love
earns an approving nod
difficult love
is a reflection of God.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crystal Blue Persuasion


Photo Credit: Christine Hoffe, Linda White, Jody White

Whenever I thirst for inspiration, here is where I go. This link is a website for my hometown, a magical, place, a geographical miracle, where all the corners of the earth come together to form a mystical magnetic force that draws her people to her. There is no leaving this place, everyone fortunate enough to be born on this little rock cannot leave her. Yes, physically we go, but spiritually we float above her, always hers as she's always ours. I don't physically go that often, but I've never truly left. It's an inexplicable bond, a love-hate relationship if you will, yet, somehow, the inspiration I seek, can always be found on her rocky surface. Check out the pictures of the icebergs that visit every spring and see where the inspiration for the following came from.

In infinite depths broke away
freed from the long-frozen source
floating adrift in saline fields
following a fate-charted course

The beauty is much on the surface
shades of white the visible hue
hidden beneath the strength of the tower
is crystalline infinite blue

buoyed up by the laws of the mother
Layered in eons of mystery
captured by all and by none
pounded by earth's timeless history

In awe we are struck by the beauty
internally dwarfed by her depth
insignificance is our impression of us
as we stand in her magnificence

Such is the life that surrounds her
reflected in the blue Crystal mirrors
revealed in the profound glacial frost
is the truth that is ultimately ours

All the visible us is the finite
we're not just that part you can see
our lives mostly viewed at the surface
just observing the part that's called me.

Ignoring the truth internal
floating along in the sun
unaware of the aqua blue depths
at the essence of every one

Until the hot sun melts and diminishes
as the icebergs founder in the bay
and the heavy bottom unbalances
and the depth is revealed with a bang

Secrets cannot long stay hidden
The Crystal blue truth must be known
Snow covered, cold frosted egos
melt away and divinity is shown

and for your Sunday morning listening pleasure!
Crystal Blue Persuasion

by Tommy James and the Shondells

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Moment


Snapshot by: Miss Sophia Chaffey

It is a beautiful sunny day. What a gift. I know it is coming, I anticipate it all week. I check daily for the weather forecasts, I love seeing the sunny and twenty degree Celsius notifications, winter was long and I'm glad it's finally over.

I don't have big plans, I just get out there. I walk, I read on my backyard swing, I putter, I hang out with the little ones who have a blast playing in the backyard and watching the ducks in the pool.

I read Twilight again, oversee my older daughter as she organised her study notes for a geography test, I walk, pick up a few groceries, the mail, things I do all the time. Mundane things yet in the sunshine they are pleasurable tasks to perform.

In the routine though, as I go through, habitually doing what always do, I experience what I call a snapshot moment. A moment that is etched on your memory for a lifetime, for no other reason than you are gifted with an acute awareness of it.

A five year old wandering around the back yard with a pair of binoculars(she is an unusual child who requested a pair of binoculars and a flashlight from Canadian Tire two Christmases ago, real ones, not toys) and she observes aloud that there are a lot of cattle, excitedly she peers at the ducks in the neighbour's pool and views them close up and then again, tiptoeing up to the robins for a closer look.

Meanwhile the blonde three year old swings higher and higher in her swing, "look at me" she yells as she pumps higher and higher, excited and happy to play in the warmth of the sunlight. She learned to swing last summer while she was still only two so I've seen this picture before as well.

As I peer briefly over the top of my book and I take a moment look at the scene before me suddenly its there. In perfection the scene unfolds, leaving me breathless with wonder and awe. As if it were a scene in an expertly directed movie these two performers masterfully captivate my attention. They are doing mundane children things, playing in the backyard, pretend play, fun play and in this most normal moment it dawns on me suddenly that I am witness to a miracle. That miracle is life.

In a moment of perfect clarity I see divine perfection before me, this scene, perfect children in pretty sundresses, blue sky with beaming rays of sun shining upon them, has been written in a script older than the ages. All moments are so. Standing outside of it all, looking at it as a witness, seeing the life unfold, suddenly reality is magic, life itself is a miracle and indeed I am its deponent, giving testimony on this page.

The opportunity to live, even a boring existence is a miracle. When you take the time to give thought to how truly incredible it is that there are billions of us, living, breathing, fighting, fearing, hating and loving, it's hard not to see it as a miracle. When we think of all of the things that have to go perfectly for two single cells to develop over a very short course of time into a human being, how can you not have reverence for the miracle of life.

Today I witnessed that miracle, the brief snapshot moment that once again connected me to the thread of divinity that runs through each and every one of us. The thread that pulls us together, the light that guides us towards our purpose and our destiny, the source of our existence, that gifts us with, not only the ability to witness a miracle, but to be that miracle as well. These are the moments make me humble and grateful for the magic called life.

Namaste

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lost Little Girl

A little child, just gone
vanished in thin air
there for all the world to see
then suddenly she's nowhere

Pretty, blonde and happy
now in stranger's care?
Cared for, warm and safe I hope
I feel you still are near

How does a child vanish
in a place so safe and small
This city's daughter now
we seek you one and all

How does a parent cope
with pain and loss so great
and not fill up their hearts
with anger and with hate

Compassion for the child
like wise for the family
and godspeed little girl
come home soon and safely

Victoria Stafford of Woodstock Ontario has been missing for 15 days, last seen walking off with a woman she appeared to know. An Amber alert was not called until a week after her disappearance, and at the same time the case was turned over to the OPP. At the same time they announced that this is now a child abduction case.

You can check for information in the ongoing search and see a picture of beautiful little Victoria as well as a composite sketch of the person wanted for questioning in the case in the Amber Alert message on the upper right side bar of this page.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Poem for the Great Mother Earth


She's lush and harsh and beautiful
amazing, large and awesome
Her generosity is endless,
her heart is pure and wholesome

She welcomes us to her gentle arms
is friendly with the skies
and cradles us in her gentle hands
as she sings us lullabies

She's our gentle blue-green mother
The rock of all our lives
though we don't appreciate
the very life she gives

Our mother is now weakened
sick with strange disease
and it's all because we've damaged her
with poison and with greed

Today is mother's day
a day marked in her honour
May every day be mother's day
let's harm our earth no further

A drizzly weighty fog is all around me
heavy with its grey blue damp
aching deep withing my bones
encompassing the wrought iron lamp

I stand in total darkness guided
by a beacon in the grey
guided towards a promised warmth
along the cobbles on the way

stumbling forward into nothing
catching on the painful stone
upright, moving upward, forward
wandering lost but not alone

Gradually the fog is lifting
burned to air by rising sun
scars and wounds on hands are healing
as I start a happy run

Suddenly the light is on me
I stand in open fields of green
before me is the promised land
a place where peace and freedom reign

Where is this? I ask a stranger
is this heaven? Is this earth?
Yes it is, the stranger tells me
all are one and all are both

Find the light here on the earth
Go forth in peace and you'll arrive
Move with grace, compassion and mercy
learn to die while you're alive

The fog is only sent to lead you
without the fog you wouldn't go
towards the light of peace and knowledge
or appreciate the glow

In darkest earthly days of fog
walk along with strength and purpose
Love and light and peace and knowledge
are always waiting near the surface


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Promise Outside My Window


It's supposed to rain but it hasn't yet and sun is shedding an ambiant glow over us, you know, that lighting that comes when the sun wants to shine but can't quite make it through the clouds. It gives the day a certain lustre, a promise of wonderful things to come if we only let them.

All around me are signs of a new day. It's still early here and the bulldozers are already busy digging hole across the way for a new home that's being built. How exciting, a new home, some family is going to be moving into a brand new neighbourhood, a friendly neighbourhood with kids and happy people and dogs and an atmosphere of welcome and friendliness. They're lucky people. I know this because I live here and it's a jolly place to be. I love our neighbourhood and our neighbours.

It's interesting to move into a new subdivision. We're in a small town and this subdivision is a big deal in the growth of the town. It's a sign of promise and growth for a tiny economy and while I did spend some time with the guilt of leaving a bigger carbon footprint than I'd ever intended, eventually I let go of that and enjoyed the process of our new home being built and slowly amalgamating ourselves into the neighbourhood and the society of the town. It's been wonderful.

Our neighbour down the road called us "subdivision pioneers". We were the 5th house built here. Indeed I think we had it pretty easy compared to the real pioneers who settled here a hundred years or more ago. But the dust, the noise, the mud, the inconvenience of the mess the spring before the grass was laid on our lot was overwhelming. I am so grateful for the timely invention of Crocs, they were easy to hose down when the kids played in the mud. Kids played, I hosed them in the driveway, set the Crocs in the sun and let them dry. Perfect.

The neighbourhood is not finished. We have an empty lot for sale directly across the street from us. I'm excited for it to sell, we'll have to deal with the mess and inconvenience of a building crew next door but new neighbours and a new view will be very exciting.

So the view out my front window isn't particularly pretty, mud, a hole, bulldozers and trucks, but also, in the glimmer of the morning light, the clouds slowly moving in bringing the rain they promised, I see that it's all just reflective of the way of life. Change, hope, promise, happiness, cycling, renewing, rebuilding and carrying on. All beautiful in they carry the message of inherent hope in what is to follow.

Have you ever noticed that while you are cleaning your house, that's when it's the messiest? Vacuum is out, cleaning supplies and rags all over, furniture moved aside, the transition is not attractive, but in the end it glistens and shines and you feel better for having done the work, gone through the transition and you are pleased with the final product.

All of life is transition. Go through the messy, step in the mud, move the furniture, start over, and always, always as you go keep your eye on the prize. A clean home, a new neighbour, a new job, a new way of life all require going through some mess. See the promise in the mud. See the future in the dust. As long as you shine the best possible light on it you will get through gloriously and reap the ultimate reward at the end.

Namaste

Monday, April 20, 2009

Changing Course~Seeing Good and Opportunity in Disappointment!

Today was a good example of how to turn things around when they aren't quite going as planned. My husband got home yesterday and we share an office. I had planned on working on some blog stuff, some emails and some formatting for my other blog. Suddenly I have no computer, no office, no space because the things he is working on require quiet and even the ticking of my fingers on the keyboard irritates him. So I leave him to it, suddenly things have changed, my plans have changed, and yes, I was annoyed. See he's not a mother and has not had the opportunity to hone his tuneoutability skills as I have! When do I get to work alone without interruption?

But then, I thought, well I have the outline of new book in a notepad so I could work on that. So I did and guess what? I finished a complete chapter of my quite neglected book. It makes me about exactly halfway through the first draft which is wonderful. It's also made me decide this is going to be my focus. I've got to finish this book! I have to finish one book and I have decided this one is it!

In turning things around, being flexible in our thinking and not allowing these little glitches in our plans get us too far down, what often happens something better comes out of the space that is created. Now, suddenly I feel better than I would have if I had worked on the same old thing I've been doing for a while. I will still get those done but I've accomplished something nonetheless. And I'm better off for it.

The next time something knocks you of your course, stop a moment, look for a different way to go, and do it instead of wallowing in the disappointment. You might be surprised at the good that is hidden inside the misfortune. Look at it as an opportunity for growth and to try new things. A positive attitude comes in handiest when applied to difficulties, it's wasted on the easy times, there's no growth to be gained there.

Look to the clouds
when the sun is gone
see the lining of silver
know that the way
has just shifted a bit
likely things just got better

infinite patience brings
immediate results
your heart begins to feel lighter
and the stress of the day
will all fade away
and the new dawn will be even brighter

OK..not bad for 7 minutes computer time! This is just a short post while my husband makes his lunch.

I'm out...
Namaste

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Gate

When it opened and you were free
it shook the very soul of me
Each sound you made outside the zone
left me screaming all alone

I used the gate to keep you in
and keep you safe and sound and then
you grew too big, you learned to scale
and you'd climb so fast it never failed

I removed the gate and watched you tumble
heart in mouth, ever so humble
as you picked youself up and dusted off
and climbed again, to land so soft

and still each time I see you climb
my heart stands still, it stops in time
I've shown you how but you do it different
you scare me with your independance

I can't let go, I'm scared for you
but there isn't anything I can do
I'm helpless against the hands of time
it's hard to know you weren't ever mine

Love doesn't let me run away
yet it breaks my heart in two to stay
I hope some day you'll appreciate
how much it hurt to remove that gate.


As your children grow, your life is a series of taking down gates, removing barriers and letting go. It's a rip in your heart every single time because it's inevitable they fall. You just hope they've learned how to land and how to dust themselves off and try again. You not only have to trust that they can do it, you have to trust in your own ability to let them go over and over again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Girl

Emptiness is all around,
the shell of me is cold
I leap and dance and scream and wail
in a search to find my soul

And the whirling of the bitter winds
whips my heart to pieces
and blows me as a dervish
towards the precipices

The sun fights with the greying clouds
to spread her warmth on me
but the cold north wind says no, oh no
I will not let her be

Escape is not an option
there is no place to go
I'm trapped inside this barren cave
alone without my soul

and I weep for that broken girl
the one that didn't stay
I plead please send her back to me
Won't she please come back this way

I sit on the cold in Meditation
trying to drown out the din
the noise of electric cacophony
always seems to win.

Then the hand of love touches me
I'm here but where are you?
I know I am the bow of love
from my daughters' point of view

It's not so cold and empty now
my self creeps stealthily in
the sun breaks free from the clouds
its warmth touches my skin

And the sweetness of the child's voice
with the sunshine on my skin
unites with love and harmony
to make me whole again.

And the girl I thought was gone for good
came back with all the other
she hadn't gone at all she said
she had just become a mother.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can anybody help in San Fancisco?

Today I wrote about St. Francis of Assisi. It seems more than coincidental that just a short time later I see a plea for help from the city that bears his name. And this plea, not from someone who wants something for herself, no this person, in the true spirit of St. Francis was making a plea for help for others.

A few moments ago I visited a blog that had a link to another blog with a plea to help a family that is homeless. A lovely woman, her three beautiful children, on the street begging for enough for a hotel room for the night. The shelters are all full and she has nowhere to go.

If you are anywhere near San Francisco and you can help this family in anyway, please do so. If you blog and think you might have traffic that can help her and her children visiting your site please post this link

It breaks my heart that in this day and age, on this continent that this is still a possibility. It is inconcievealbe that it happens anywhere but here? Where we have so much.

And even if you aren't in San Francisco, look around your own town and see who needs a hand up. Spread the word and let's help this family or others like them.

And because it's appropriate I'll repeat the prayer of St. Francis.

Make me an instrument of peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


~St. Francis of Assisi~

Make Me an Instrument of Peace


Francis of Assisi was the founder of the Franciscans order of monks. He is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment by the Catholic Church, two issues that are relevant to me.

The story of St. Francis goes that while working in the market selling wares for his businessman father a beggar asked for alms. Francis, overcome by compassion for the plight of the man, gave him everything he had in his pockets. This angered his wealthy and successful father greatly. Francis however, felt a compassion and a desire to help those less fortunate though everything and everyone was against such foolishness and he was ridiculed by his peers for such weakness.

Following that episode he joined the military where he had health problems which lead to his thoughts of a higher calling and he eventually gave up his earthly wealth and became a friar, starting his own monastery in Assisi.

St. Francis of Assisi wrote one of the most beautiful pieces and inspirational pieces of truth in prayer that was ever written. It likely could be the affirmation of anyone who wishes to live a truly good life, to be a person of integrity and compassion. If we can become what is wished for in the prayer of St. Frances how much better this world and indeed our lives would become.

Lately I've been having some challenges and I'm sure that we will come through but it's been more stressful than usual. I take great comfort in inspirational literature in times like this and certainly this is one of my favourite pieces, written not as literature, but as a prayer, yet it is as beautiful and honest as any poetry ever was.

Life is lived in ebbs and flows and such is the way of this transition for our family right now but I go through, working hard at maintaining equilibrium, determined not to run screaming in the opposite direction but to carry through until better times are upon us again.

The other day I was having a particularly stressful day and while escaping with a visit to some of my favourite blogs I encountered a beautiful piece of music called "Instrumental of Peace" and it was my favourite prayer set to music. I listened to it for a while and it reminded me that there is a higher purpose for all of us, that we are here to do great things, each and every one of us and that with or without obstacles we have to move towards that.

Please click here to hear Olivia Newton John singing this beautiful music. Allow it to be your guide as you journey towards a peaceful and loving life in easy times and good times.


While St. Francis may have been a saint of the Catholic Church his prayer transcends all religious barriers to speak a truth that is all encompassing and relevant to every person who reads it.


Make me an instrument of peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


~St. Francis of Assisi~

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Poem for A Special Person



Our family has been rocked by an unexpected health diagnosis. My wonderful Aunt Christine, that I and the rest of the family adore, has cancer of the colon. We're understandably shaken but confident she'll be fine in the long run. Her older sister was treated for the same disease twenty-four years ago and has been fine since that time. Her positive outlook and love from her family will get her through and keep her well. She will come out the other side of this episode with the dignity and grace she's always exhibited in everything she's done in her life. I wrote this for her, with all my love and positivity for a speedy and easy recovery.

You're loved my darling far beyond
the norms of family bond
treasured as a precious gem
our special precious one

Your dignity and beauty come second to
the strength that you exude
and challenges will step aside
so victory may come through

We stand with you in unity
you're foremost in our thoughts
we're far and wide and everywhere
and with you in our hearts

Stay strong my love, don't fret too much
let that be ours to bear
we'll buoy you up and keep you up
with endless hope and prayer

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Suddenly Susan


If you thought it was too late to pursue your dreams, if you've made excuses for not doing what you want to do, if you think it's all passed you by, check out this video.

I wept with emotion about 20 seconds into the song. My 14 year old was in a production of Les Miserables last fall and it's such a wonderful story of triumph over adversity and the victory of love over fear.

Susan Boyle of the UK left cynical Simon Cowell speechless with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream. She brought tears to my eyes just from the sheer beauty of her voice. Only Bette Midler has ever done that before for me.

Please watch this video and enjoy.

Real and Lasting Victories


Sitting in our warm living rooms and offices, sleeping in bed at night, watching our children happily play in sunny back yards,carefree and happy, we tend to forget unless we have military family, that our country, Canada, is at war. We forget that this is not a peaceful time but that in fact we are engaged in the conflicts of a different country on the other side of the world.

I'm not going to pretend to understand the complexities of the situation in Afghanistan, hundreds of years of history and a determination by the Taliban to restore strict Sharia law to the area resulted in a government of repression and violence. For some strange reason, the excuse given by our government, the hiding of Al Qaeda terrorists by that country, induced out country to send our young men and women, to weed them out for attacking our neighbour country to the south. This evolved into eventually Canada taking a leading role in the advancement into that country.

On April 13 a twenty one year old woman was killed in Afghanistan. Trooper Karine Blais had been there two weeks on her first tour of duty. I saw this on my news feed Monday morning, a sad story to wake up to. My heart goes out to her loved ones who sacrificed her. My research shows the number of direct and indirect civilian casualties in Afghanistan at 10,960 - 30,557. It's a sad reflection of the chaotic nature of war that the numbers are so inexact.

And, have we gained anything? In 2011 our military will return from Afghanistan according to our Prime Minister. It's one of the few actions he's taken as our leader that I agree with. What did we accomplish? A lot of people died. A lot of innocent people died. Our army is weakened and tired leaving us vulnerable should a threat to our nation occur. Violence only angers, we've only just redirected the anger towards us and away from the Taliban.

I'm a pacifist. I do not believe in war under any circumstance, there are always options. I believe the best we can do as democratic countries is to provide support and care, a refuge for the citizens of war torn countries but I believe, unless our own national security is threatened and unless we are invited by a government to help out our troops should not be deployed in the wars in other countries. It cheapens us. We should be setting an example for the people of Afghanistan, we should be the ideal they strive for as they fight for their own freedoms, but we should not be a violent force amongst them. What happened to our peace-keeping reputation that we were so proud of?

Bring the soldiers home. Twenty one year old women should not be dying in foreign lands in another country's battle. Civilians of a foreign country should not be dying in their own land by our hand, under the guise of freeing them.

We've not advanced the goals of the people of Afghanistan, we've set them back many years with the devastation that war brings. Their country will have to be rebuilt and their people will now live in a land where the Taliban are outlaws and more stealth and deadly than ever.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said "The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war". Bring peace to our soldiers, allow the people of foreign countries to forge their own peace, it will happen faster without our interference. Let us rise above the fray and be known as the country the rest of the world wants to emulate, not the one the world wants to hate.

Namaste

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Low Soul Sugar~Need Food!


The house I grew up in...it feeds my soul to look at this picture!

Life is chaotic. It's complicated and it's messy. I've worked out a routine that serves me well, I take time for myself, I sneak moments of solitary, a video for a small child, a day of quiet gets me through a day of noise, predictable noise. This is how I spend most of my days and it works well for all of us.

In spending time getting to know myself I have learned that in order to function well, in order to remain calm and in touch with the joy inside me I need meditation and quiet time. I need solitude to recharge. I need to write, I need walks in nature, I need those moments alone with myself in order to be able to serve others, particularly my children.

If I allow the chaos to rule then it seeps into me allowing my ego to take over and move me away from my centre. If I take the time for me I am far better able to serve others including my children and the other people in my life.

And then life happens. Easter weekend, no school, husband leaves and inlaws arrive for a two week visit. Yes, things get busy. I get intruded upon. The children are overwhelmed with excitement and change and it shows in their behaviour. They get up too early, robbing me of my morning meditation, they go to sleep too late robbing me of my nighttime writing outlet. They cling to me more, take more from me, only mom can do what they need although there are many other adults around willing to serve. I get overwhelmed with the amount of noise with no break, day after day, living in the din of voices and barking and power tools with no place to go for silence. A room with a closed door is subject to knocking and screaming, I feel trapped and I feel my inner self aching to be free, to be alone, to have some silence and some peace.

I think the reason mothers find it so difficult to maintain their equilibrium is because the place that should be your haven, your soft place to lay, the place that you call home is everybody else's, because you've made it so, but there is nowhere in this place called home for us to be alone, to be at peace. I know when I get to the place where even my favourite music irritates me because it's further noise, I'm close to the breaking point.

Home should be the place to escape to but for many mothers it's a place to escape from and that is where the problem lies. There needs to be a haven, a resting place, a place to recoup the sense of peace that gets buried underneath the stress of life. And it needs to be in the home. A mother shouldn't need to escape, a mother should have a space too, a sacred space, free from children to do the things that feed her soul. Yet children need to be attended to, supervised and striking a balance is difficult and sometimes nearly impossible.

I've spoken about letting go of excuses for not doing what you need to do but sometimes there are actual real reasons and needy children are a fact of life, one you cannot escape. Yes they will grow, yes things will get easier and there is a light but right now, this very moment, I feel stress and the need for solitude and it evades me.

I'm making it my intention to find a place for myself today. To find some peace and quiet, to write, to think, to simply be. It's as vital to my health as food and water, for just like the body, the soul must be fed. My soul sugar is low and I'm going to infuse myself with the sweetness of nature and live some of my life in silence. A shower and a meditation as a little girl watches a movie. It will do both of us a world of good. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself and I'm about to get me some!

Namaste

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where is Victoria Stafford?


Nobody seems to know. I live near the small city of Woodstock, Ontario where a little 8 year old girl went missing April 8. The only clue(that the public is aware of) is a video showing the little girl happily walking along with a lady in a white jacket, someone she seemingly knows, and disappearing off the camera screen and out of her parent's lives without a trace.

Today I went to Woodstock to do some shopping. I took my children with me and while I don't live my life in fear there is something that makes you stand up and take notice when your three year old disappears from sight suddenly in a store covered in the posters of a missing child. Your heart skips a beat, your thoughts go to that unthinkable "what if?" and you pick her up and carry her, holding her close, unable to be angry in the gratitude you feel that she's with you when another mother cannot hold her baby close.

I saw the question asked today "What kind of world do we live in where someone will hurt an innocent child? This question is certainly understandable given the current events. It's hard to get past that, at best someone unthinking and desperate, and at worse, an evil person, took this child. Yet there is another facet to the story.

There have been literally thousands of people join one or both of two Face book groups. There was a candlelight vigil for Victoria that brought out the city residences and many others from the surrounding area in a show of support for this family.

The outpouring of empathy for the parents and the child is a sign that the human race is made up of many more kind, compassionate and serving members than evil. The two Face book pages inundated with good comments and hope for a safe return. Yes there is the occasional misguided person who speculates negatively against those in the most pain in this sad situation but they are nowhere near as numerous as those who share in the pain and suffering of the McDonald and Stafford families. If we are to find the spark of light in this dark situation it is indeed that..

Please take a moment, if you haven't already and view the video of her walking away with the unidentified woman and the pictures posted of sweet "Tori". Someone, somewhere, knows where she is and I hope they find a seed of compassion for her and her parents and return her safely to her home.

Meanwhile, my heart aches for this family, living just down the highway in a city I know so well. Keep the faith, she will come home to you soon and your hearts will be whole again.

For Victoria

Blonde hair, blue eyes
the smile of dreams
golden hair
of sunlight's beams
A City's child
loved and kissed
may angels guide
you home,
you're missed

The Deceit of the Righteous!

Since I rediscovered the sestina poetry form I've been using Lisa's seed guidance to inspire. So I asked Lisa to send me 6 seeds and she sent me these words: print, jump, violet, litre, organ, blows. Here is the sestina those words inspired me to write. I call it

The Deceit of the Righteous.


With the word of the prophet in print
obedience demanded! proceed! Jump!
his Latin melody shrouded in violet
bread and spirits measured by the litre
outside golden spires announced by the organ
through the brass pipes the liars music blows

as the masses huddle inside as it blows
finding no escape though the print
of their feet walk with the tune of the organ
while every starving bone of their bodies jump,
begging, mister spare a litre
of water, hands, feet, meanwhile cold and violet

In unpardonable sin the liar in violet
pronounces fire and brimstone as the poor wind blows
pouring the blood from the golden litre
the only one with the words in print
fearing the masses will learn the truth and jump
abandoning the purple and that melancholy organ!

The perfect melodic noise of the organ
hides the deceit and sin of the violet
The lies hidden where love-babes jump
and the ocean screams and the north wind blows,
nature and God angered at the print
of lies told to the people who drink from the litre

Angry mobs will smash the litre
into the priceless discords of the organ
and in fiery pyres burn the print
that support the falsehoods of the violet
and silent then the golden pipe blows
and the liar stripped naked, prepares to jump

The crowds in justified anger agree, Jump!
as now they swagger sober free of the litre
the wind of love and truth now blows
The melody of peace drown the sound of the organ
and the iris grows gently a soft violet
while a new harmony is found in the print.

On nature's demand a honest wind blows
and all must walk a firm path or jump.
The tabloid is the form of the print
as long as the patriarch offers the litre.
Change the course so the beauty of the organ
is never lost in the lies of the violet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Enduring Love

I live in a small town with several seniors residences and nursing homes. Every fine evening I see older couples strolling along, holding hands, from their apartments, slowly, together after all these years, close, loving, bonded and still holding hands. Likewise, our neighbors are empty-nesters and again, while still only in their mid-fifties, they walk hand in hand after thirty plus years together. When my partner and I first were considering being a couple he said he just wanted someone to grown old with. I hope we are that fortunate. Our kids think we're already too old for love and romance! This is poem of love, mature love, the kind that grows and deepens and the kind most of us want for ourselves. I dedicate this poem to the love of my life who is away right now and I'm missing him.

Virgin love in all its splendour spreads
a golden light on every place
and lays a translucent hue of rosie dust
over the eyes of the lover's face

and he responds with heart and body
begging to kiss the maiden fresh
with heart in hand and hand on heart
they stroll the avenue of flesh

As time and temper take their toll
the blush has faded, yet the love has grown
maturity adds depth and strength
that newborn love has never known

The lustre fades, twas but all surface
nothing deep in the novel lust
a deeper love has penetrated
built on time and thought and trust


The greying hair and slowing gait
the fading timbre of their voices
hands held tight in life's embrace
support the rightfulness of their choices

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Broken Bridge


The voices whisper to the light
into the abyss they will walk
unconcerned about the approaching distance
between the hills and over the bridge
nature desperately seeks to preserve her harmony
and the land still dances with the ocean

But at the edge of the ocean
where the flash of the sailor's light
whirls in manufactured harmony
together lovers and spirits walk
on different planes to the same bridge
unaware of the presence of the distance

It seems the void of distance
presents no challenge to the ocean
her depths merely the bridge
from darkness into ambient light
as the lovers and spirits walk
in ignorant peace and harmony

The violence of the clouds in harmony
with the mountains appearing in the distance
make the lovers quicken their walk
and the spirits escape blithely over the ocean
as the source of the artificial light
shines on another, impostor bridge

and in the ruins they bridge
the catacombs, disrupt the harmony
add the night and extinguish the light
creating an unnatural distance
from the land to the ocean
disabling the lovers and spirits who walk

Then the lovers and spirits walk
silently across the span of a different bridge
beside the dried up ocean
stripped bare and stealing the harmony
leaving nature in the distance
whilst lover and spirit together lose sight of the light

For even the ocean will not live to walk
where there is no true light and a broken bridge
The harmony of man and nature victimized by insurmountable distance

Friday, April 10, 2009

Love and Defiance

I LOVE a challenge. A while back someone said the word sonnet so I wrote one. This comment Mmmm...you should write in sestina form with your repeating lines. It suits you well. by C. Michael Cox after my last poem sent me for a refresher on the form for the sestina. Here is what I came up with. It maybe be obvious that I have lately been reading some Jane Austen.

Love and Defiance

Beyond the hills of the land
the music of the lovers dance
and play the song of love
for the heart of the man
matches the adoration of woman
caring for the needs of their child

Then dusk falls and calms the boy child
and he comes in from the land
his eyes meet those of the woman
and in domestic bliss hearts dance
hers in ancient rhythm for the man
his quiet in steadfast masculine love

and their moments of love
go unmonitored by the almond-eyed boy child
who claims the heritage of the man
and holds the rights of the land.
Tonight the river of life will dance
and celebrate in the womb of woman

and the warm body of the woman
still held in the embrace of love
grows heavy with the life dance
until the birth of the girl child
with no claim to the land
steals handily the heart of the man

and the knowledge of fairness in that man
in devotion and pledged fealty to that woman
like in equal dipensation the love
discharges this precious land
in equal dispensation betwixt child
in a new and modern dance

and the moon celebrates the dance
and large is the pride of the man
less is the conflict betwixt child
and greater the love of the woman
who has no knowledge of love
of that inanimate land

For the eyes of a child will dance
and land with respect on a man
who treats woman with equal love

The River

To the river I went
in the heat of the day
to the river of life
to wash the heat away

To the river I went
in the dark of the night
to the river of life
in search of the light

To the river I went
in the cold of the winter
to the river of life
seeking warmth and shelter

To the river I went
in the bloom of the spring
to the river of life
as the song birds sing

To the river I went
in the warmth of the summer
to the river of life
to lay down and wonder

To the river I went
in the colours of the autumn
to the river of life
and stared down to the bottom

To the river I went
every day
and the river of life
carried me away.

To the river we go
its where we should be
the river of life
will set us free

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Imagine




A few years ago I had the privilege of hearing Justin Trudeau speak at a local school event. For those of you are aren't Canadian, he is the eldest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He is following in his father's footsteps and in recent years has entered Canadian politics. He is an environmentalist, an avid youth advocate and a true man of ideals. I will certainly support his political career particularly after hearing his views that day.

The topic of the day was character building and he touched on many of the ideals that I espouse, personal responsibility, respect, compassion, empathy, basically, the virtues. He also related these ideals to his personal life and occasionally mentioned his well-known father in his address to us that day.

The statement that affected me most however, is when he related a story of how as a little boy he said to his father that there was another boy he knew who couldn't afford something he needed. I believe it was school supplies, a book or pencils, something along those lines. He went to his father and asked him if they could help. After finding a way to help his friend he said to his father about the situation "that's not fair". His father, instead of saying to him as many parents would have said "well that's the way life is" his father said "no it isn't but it ought to be". He then went on to talk about how they were privileged and it is the responsibility of the privileged to help those who don't have it quite so good, to level the playing field so that life is fairer and everybody whether born a Trudeau or a John Doe has the same opportunity in life.

Today I was reading this blog, Life in the Second Half, and the premise of the post was "what do we want this world to look like after we come out of the transition we are in right now"?

I think I know what I want. A just society, not just in Canada but in the world, where people of all colour, religion, sexual orientation, economic backgrounds, every child of the world has equal opportunity to be a fully actualized person in life, to reach the goals they set and to not have limits placed in their way simply by virtue of who their parents are or the country they were born into. And we have to make sure all people of the world have enough to eat, shelter and security and freedom to be all they are meant to be. There is nothing but good to be gained from this goal. And I want the governments of the world to share the same principle, ensuring that their population is fed, that their environment is protected and that the people are able to grow and prosper regardless of their different opinions and status in life.

Then I want all of the people who are able to adjust their lifestyle so that we heal this planet we are living on and start to live in a way that enables the people to inhabit this rock in the universe to sustain its population.

Yes, I have lofty ideals, but even as someone who isn't a Trudeau, someone who is just a Jane Doe, simply being born in this country has given me automatic privilege. I live in a place of peace and abundance and I think it's incumbent upon me to share that as best I can. If I don't have ideals then what do I have? I may not always reach them but I have to strive for them. I have to reach out, I have to express understanding and strive for the just society the former prime minister spoke of so often.

I can't do this alone but a collective effort can make the positive change needed. I feel the rumblings of change and revolution. In addition, I'm hoping this time humanity revolts against injustice and disharmony with peace, not violence, because in the history of our existence violence has never brought peace. Peace cannot be enforced, upon the people, it has to be inspired by the people through positive actions and words. Your positive actions and words.

No, right now, for a lot of people, life's not fair, but it ought to be. Let's look around and see where we can pick up the slack for those who haven't had the chances we've had. Let's do our little bit and see if together we can't make things a little more fair for the world in which we live. Let's imagine it can be done and it will be done.

And for your listening pleasure Imagine by John Lennon

Namaste

A Beginning, A Middle, No End!


Another birthday. Yesterday. There is something special about a birthday. Someone asked me if I felt "old" and I laughed. I don't feel old or young, I just feel great. I don't think that "we" get old at all. Our bodies do of course, but, the essence of us, the true self doesn't age. We are on a continuum and this human experience is a part of that continuum.

But still a birthday is a good opportunity to think about where we are in our lives and to take a look at where we are right now and if we are living in the way we are supposed to be living, are we on purpose and filled with joy and passion for our life. That's what I did a lot yesterday, reflected and meditated.

Life is full of beginnings. We celebrate our birth, a beginning, we celebrate the beginning of the year, the beginning of spring but what I celebrated this year, the beginning I celebrated was that I've started to live from my core, my passion and to truly do the things I love to do. It's been coming on for a while but truly it's been this year that I've made a change to live from the heart and it's made all the difference.

So, now I'm 43. Officially middle age I guess. Not a Hallmark number, no big parties for 43, but definitely in the middle of the human average life-span. And being in the middle feels good. I'm in the middle of a great year, surrounded by a fantastic and wonderfully healthy family, I have 4 beautiful loving daughters and the best partner in life I could possibly hope for(thank you for the roses sweetheart). I'm in the middle of one of the most peaceful places on earth and the gratitude I feel at this time, with much of the world in the middle of upheaval and violence, knows know bounds. I'm grateful to raise my children here, in the middle of peace.

So now we reach the end. But only of this paragraph. Last night there was a full moon. I usually keep track of the moon but somehow missed that it was yesterday so what a nice surprise when I looked out from my front porch window and saw that beautiful white round sphere sitting in perdurable silence in the sky. Its impossible for me to not believe in the infinite life of the human spirit when I see a disc of rock floating before my eyes. More magnificent than any Copperfield trick, to think, that we float, in perfect orbits on rocks in space and to then say infinity of the spirit is impossible is to deny the truth that's before our eyes.

There is no end, we carry on, we are never ending. In the famous words of Teilhard De Chardin "We are not human beings have a spritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience. I'm not in middle age so much as I'm in the middle of my human experience.

Today, the day after my birthday, I continue on as yesterday, hopeful of this new beginning, 43 and a day, happy in the middle of my human experience, and grateful, ever so grateful that there is no end in sight for my spiritual experience. And I'm even more grateful to have you along on the journey.

Namaste


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Falling in Love


You've known her forever
yet suddenly you see
she's amazing and special
and incredibly unique

She's compassionate and loving
she's one of a kind
she's the love of your life
you never thought you would find

You've discover a way
of looking in her heart
and seeing the beauty
that sets her apart

Your surprise by the joy
falling in love brings to you
but you go with the feeling
it's exciting and new!

you get to know her better
as days go along
and you wonder how you missed it
how you didn't hear her song

Then you realise with wonder
she's the love, she's the one
she's the one you've been waiting for
now your searching is done

And you know you're complete
there is nothing else
when you finally fall in love
with your wonderful self!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Climb those Steps!



I heard a quote today that exemplifies what I try to say in much of my writing. Franz Kafka, a German author from the last century said "If you keep climbing, the steps will appear".

What a wonderful observation! Often we wonder if there is any point to what we are doing. If there is any reason to keep moving towards the object of our passion, for me it's writing, for others a life in music or art or medicine or some other calling we feel in our soul that we must follow.

But as we go along we encounter obstacles that slow us down, hinder us, keep us from moving upward towards out highest calling. Some of these obstacles are physical such as injury or illness and some are caused by a lifetime of hearing the messages that say we can't or shouldn't do what our inner voice, our sacred self, tells us we were sent here to do.

The thing that sets apart those who reach the heights of their purpose from those who fail to do so is often a persistence, a stubborn refusal to let things get in the way. The ones who see, no those who know their way, know that if they keep climbing they will get to the top and then reaching one top see more steps will appear before them so that they can go over each and every obstacle in their path. For there is no end to the path, no end to the steps if we are on the right path.

Some learn this at an early age and start out being steadfast, having a knowing in their minds of what their purpose is. Others learn it along the way after having stopped and started many times until finally they climb over, go around or break through the wall before them.

But for all there is one certainty, if you want to reach that which your heart insists you have to do, you do have to be persistent and go forward regardless of what is in your way. And as you continue to climb the steps will appear before you as if by magic, climb them, and more will appear. Trust that all will be provided that you need if you are on the right path.

The secret is to not be swayed once you know your way. Trust that your path is the right one and carry on. There are a lot of things we would like to do, knowing what you are meant to do is to be on purpose and to experience true joy! Keep climbing, it's not about reaching the top, it's about enjoying each step along the way!

Celebrate Yourself Today!

I received my first birthday card today! It's from my in laws who are in Florida, due to arrive next week for their biannual visit. My mother-in-law has a talent for picking very beautiful cards. This one is so nice I thought I would pay it forward and send the sentiment she sent me on to you!



Celebrate Yourself Today

Today, in the midst of your busy life, may you have at least one moment to sit back and relax~when you don't have to do anything or be anywhere in particular...May you have a moment to reflect on the past year, and all you've accomplished and to look forward to all that may be waiting for you in the year ahead! But mostly, in that moment, may you realise, here and now, what a gift your life is~not just to you but to everyone who knows you.

Yes. All of that to each and everyone of you. I started this blog at the end of January, a complete novice to blogging, I thought it would be a nice way to practice my writing, share my thoughts, my ideas, my life philosophy. But it's turned into something entirely unexpected and wonderful. It's become a very valuable part of my life. Not the blog, that's just a nice medium to play in. The blog is like the sandbox, that's fun even alone, but when your friends come over, now that's when things really happen. You are the friends that come to my sandbox and you are an awesome group!

There are now 37 followers here on this site. And more come without any official list. I have someone from almost every continent I think. No penguins yet. Nearly all of you have wonderful sites of your own. I try to visit everybody and comment and keep updated, stories of haunted houses and battles with illness that astound me with their heroic attitudes, cool ideas, a witch that I love, a 5 month old baby who blogs with some help from her daddy...artists..I love the artists...so many of you who inspire me daily. If I sit down and don't know what to post, I just visit a few blogs, see a picture, read a quote, somehow it comes. And then there are the technical guys, I've got to mention Fletch who has helped me set up my brand new blog with a beautiful new template and all I did was ask for help and he said ok.

I think this Internet thing, for all its problems and high tech issues it can bring, and we hear a lot of the negative on the news, also does something really positive. It connects us. It makes it so that I can understand completely the frustrations of a friend in Great Britain or Australia! I haven't travelled but sometimes I feel like I'm there. It's kind of corny but you're not going to think it's corny because you're all like me..you all know don't you?

So now, friends in Bloggy World, read the message above, once more! Know that it is entirely for you, completely and sincerely. With all my gratitude and love.

Monday, April 6, 2009

She's a Funny One is Mother Nature!

She's really trying to tick me off but I'm being zen about the whole thing. Seriously, I'm frickin' calm alright! Breathe. Yes. I'm zen, breathe.

It's like when I was 42 weeks pregnant with my third daughter and everybody was freaking out but I was calm and knew that eventually she'd come out! Guess what? She's almost six now. She came out 16 days past my due date but she did come out!

So this snow is a temporary condition. I'm usually optimistic and I pack the winter clothes away at the end of March. I was optimistic this year as well, but the optimism couldn't compete with my laziness and luckily the winter pants and coats were still in the hall closet when I dressed the kids to go out in this winter wonderland.

I think a poem is in order though~A little tribute to Ms. Nature and her silly sense of humour!

Twas the week before Easter
and all through the house
the furnace was running
as quiet as a mouse

because I nearly froze last night
though no stockings were hung
because yesterday it was 15 degrees C
spring officially had sprung

Then this morning I woke
and threw up the sash
and was greeted by snow
and I knew in a flash

Mother nature was giggling
somewhere in the sun
drinking a Margarhita
and enjoying this fun

So I thought Mother Nature
Choke, I mean sip on your drink
I'm gonna be happy
you rotten, mean fink!

So I woke up the kids
with Merry Christmas, wahoo!
It's snowing what fun
Wish we had a skidoo!

And they rushed to the window
and looked at the white
and said did santa come?
and I said, no not last night.

See this is a trick
Someone's being a prankster
this snow in April
it's the work of Ms. nature

But it'll go away
when she eventually gets sober
unless she's drunk
until the end of October

In that case I'll join her
in Margaritaville
cause snow even in April
is pretty much hell.

But snow through the summer
would send me to bedlam
you might as well join 'em
if you can't beat 'em

Cheers!

and a little Jimmy Buffet to set the mood!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Imagination

In foggy lands the dragon flies
on clouds of dreams and cotton
while fairies dance in meadows green
in the land that time's forgotten

In misty lanes the lovers walk
in paths of dew and fragrance
while unicorns of white delight
canter in the distance

The fields of daisies hide the lairs
of creatures and of angels
while ghosts of trees and goddesses
are quietly entangled

So lies the land of fantasy
where witches sing with knights
where you will visit in your mind
when I turn out the lights

Inspired by my daughters' who have wonderful imaginations..now off to spray "monster-away spray" under the bed and in the closet so they can sleep.XXX

No Limits Dan

So I started to write about the two characteristics of self-actualized people but had to stop. There is something more important that needs to be written first.

The conference that I attended was called "I Can Do It" and Dr. Wayne Dyer was the keynote speaker. He spoke for three hours, almost without break and had two guests on, one his daughter Skye who sang two beautiful songs and the second a young man named Dan Caro.

Dr. Dyer introduced Dan towards the end of the show as he was zeroing in on his points about excuses and how we need to get rid of them to reach our goals. Dan was introduced and came on stage to speak.

Dan Caro is a world class drummer. He is from New Orleans and has a wonderful speaking voice with the soft lilt of Louisiana. He spoke of the adversity in his life and how he overcame it to become a world class drummer.

Dr. Dyer has faced his own adversity, having spent the better part of his first ten years in foster home and orphanages but Dan Caro had adversity of a different sort. When he was two years old he was burned over 80% of his body in an explosion in the family garage. He spent the better part of his young life in the hospital being treated for the severe burns, he lost both of his hands and most of this feet. His face had to be completely reconstructed with skin off the areas that weren't burned and they were few. He has had 84 surgeries to correct the damage done on that awful day.

If you are like me, the very thought of this brings a welling of emotion that is indescribable, you just want to take the two year old baby that he was and fix it all for him, take away the pain of a the burns, remove the cruel words launched at him by the other children who called him monster and freak, and fix it all. We can put ourselves in the position of the mother or father who had to see their beautiful child go through this, I can only imagine the surface of their pain and that's enough to make me weep.

But then there's Dan. See, the thing is, you can't feel sorry for Dan. His presence, his humour, his abilities immediately take away your sadness for him. It took him seven years to learn to tie his shoes but his focus is not on the seven years but that he learned to tie his shoes! The victory is his message and that if he can, by being persistent and obstinate, overcome that, then surely the rest of us can overcome the little obstacles in our paths, obstacles that we often place there ourselves so that we have an excuse not to do what we want to be doing because we are afraid we'll fail.

After the young Dan Caro learns to tie his shoes, he jokes, the next obvious thing he has to do is learn to play the drums. And boy does he ever. He ends his talk with a drum solo that had 2500 people on their feet clapping! It was absolutely brilliant and completely inspiring.

He attended Loyola University on a music scholarship playing with the prestigious Loyola Orchestra. Now he has a book deal, a biography, he plays drums for many great performers, is touring as a motivational speaker with Dr. Dyer and lives a full and productive life.

And it could have so easily gone the other way. He could have picked up the sting of bitterness that he must have felt at some point in his life, he could have picked up the excuses many of us use daily and no one would have argued if he'd stayed at home and done nothing but wallowed for all of these 27 years since he was burned. But he didn't and the indomitable spirit that is Dan Caro is instead a gift to the rest of us to illustrate how much we all can do and how much we all can overcome.

If you are looking for an example in your life, if you are looking for a hero, turn off the television set, set down your books and look no further, I've found you one. And if you are still using the lame excuses we all use for not doing the things we want to do in life, let them go because if Dan Caro can't find excuses, there really aren't any!

When his book comes out in 2010 I'll post a link here. I believe he's calling it "No Hand Dan". Sometimes we need to look at true adversity and see how its been overcome to put our own situations in perspective. Seven years to learn to tie his shoelaces and many of us give up on things after only trying once. And he learned to tie them with no hands. He plays drums with no hands.

The only reason Dan can do any of those things is because he knew he could. And then he persisted until he did. I think that's all we need, a knowing and a doing. That's it.

So if there is something you want to do, just think you can and then start taking the steps and whenever you encounter an obstacle, think of Dan. And if your obstacle is bigger than his, maybe give up but if it isn't then there is your sign, yes you can do it, just keep trying.

He has a video story on his website and he calls it Without Limits. I don't believe you can watch that video and not end up with the understanding that all you want can be achieved if you believe it can be so.

Video of Dan


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Too Much Inspiration?

Is there such a thing? Last night I attended the "I Can Do It" conference in Toronto to see the keynote speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer. To say it was wonderful and all I expected and eye opening is to understate completely. He spoke on a wide variety of topics, all of which I need to let percolate and sit in my mind a bit. So too much inspiration, no, but an overwhelming amount of truth and ideas and an entire shift in thinking that requires some quiet time and meditation on my end.

The topic, the main focus of the address, was the excuses we all use to not do the things we really truly want to do. He introduced a paradigm shift to help us rid ourselves of the excuses. I'm going to extrapolate this bit by bit here at some point but for now I'm still reeling from the amount of information I received and want to completely immerse myself in the experience and formulate my thoughts. You are going to be on the receiving end of me working out the information here in the blog and I hope I can do it justice.

I am in complete gratitude that I was given the opportunity to attend last night. I am very thankful to my friend, Deb, who drove us both in and her company as usual was fun and lighthearted.

Tomorrow's topic: The Two qualities common in self-actualized people according to Abraham Maslow. Fun stuff!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nanobri suggested this.You know what happens when you dream of falling? Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you.
And sometimes, when you fall, you fly."

This was really hard. This is the best I could do. Forgive me. It's pretty lame.


In the time of your alter universe
when you engage with the men of the sand
you cannot depend on his arms
to catch you before you land

If you think you are going to die
you will die before you awake
You'll land hard on the ground in a heap
and pray your soul he will take

If you think that you'll awake when you fall
it'll be exactly as you said
then instead of dead in a heap
you'll awaken and continue to dread

But if you know that you will take flight
when you fall in depths of the slumber
You will fly home to the light and the love
and live free in the land of the thunder

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Sonnet for Ma Donna Lisa

The first of my challenges comes from Lisa. How interesting that she shares a name with the famous lady! I decided a sonnet since they are fairly easy to write and the topic was so challenging. Enjoy!




Ma Donna Lisa (Mona Lisa)

The Roman Terra holds the footprint of Gioconda,
She pulls gently the wagon full of love and contentment
Sharing her silks with the flotsam and jetsam
that surround the roadway to her appointment

Her voice in awe and bewilderment share with the child
the histories that lie in the countryside
where armies once battled when Rome ruled the world
though it is now the gentle habitat where artists reside

The bearing of nobility strains at her skin
while the heart in her chest beats renaissance
Contentment and peace are her constant companions
her fame and familiarity arrive only by chance

The oft studied face, the smile an enigma?
perhaps just reflects the gentle heart of a mama.