Sunday, August 14, 2016

Waiting to words.

Photo by djb
I didn't realize how long I have been holding my worded breath.  Two years apparently.

This past week a quiet break appeared in my summer schedule and I reacquainted myself with my love for words.  I let out a long needed 'exhale' and starting writing again.

I'm attempting to write a book.  It's  turned more into bits and pieces of some mystical Hero's Journey than anything real or personal, but I'm writing it anyways.  I need it.  It has morphed just as I have.

I used to write in a straight line, but now I'm finding it more fun to just wind my way around random thoughts, without feeling the pressure to build accuracy or sound structure.  I can't tell you how freeing it is to be spontaneous and random with thoughts on paper.  And not fear this to be a fault.

Taking a closer look at the structure of my own life, I realized I actually preferred living more in that winding flow as a daily practice.  I started to fall more and more into a 'soft-landing' lifestyle.  The hard edges of responsibility combined with intense critical thought, began to feel more like a disgruntled relative than a cherished friend.  When I was constantly in survival mode, I was either running in a fear or flight mentality, so my foundation became the rock I almost died on....a few times, actually.  Allowing a softer acceptance to wash over that strong obsession in keeping things neat and tidy, almost made me frantic.   But I kept going, taking baby steps, creating space to slow down, be present, and not fret about the future.

I am still unpacking this challenge.  I value responsibility and critical thought.  But I need spontaneity and present moment awareness just as much.  Then it becomes all about balance.  I discovered I don't need to embrace one at the desolation of the other.

There's no need to split myself in two to be accepted.  It's not all or nothing.  Learning to live with both the flow and the corners.  It's a gentler world.  I need that.  Don't you?

Until next time,


Saturday, August 2, 2014

What I learned this far.

Summer isn't over.  There's still another 30 days of August just ahead. Alberta is not usually known for its exalted summer temperatures, but down South, in the desert coulees of Lethbridge, we have experienced a delicious and somewhat surprising heat of 35 degrees this past week!  What a gift to those of us who tremble at the thought of snow, and long to stay living in our shorts and sandals year-round.

So, summer isn't over.  But what have I learned so far? Here are a few of my thoughts:

1.  SPACE:  I am learning that being alone in your own space, surrounded by your memories can go a long way to offset loneliness.  When you are constantly looking at someone else's treasures, and they are not around to complete them, you find yourself feeling more lonely than when you are sitting in the quiet fabric of your own life.  How beautifully refreshing!

2.  DESTINY: I am learning that you can feel an intense desire for your own purpose and divine destiny, yet still wander the earth without a clear direction on how to fulfill it. To my recent amazement, this cycle may take years of a winding road before you really get down into the roots of who you are and the truth of what they should look like.  In the end, though, I get to choose what my destiny is.  There can be many options, and I can be distracted, but once I sit in the Still Point, once I stop striving and become quiet, I can choose the beating of my own heart's desire.  I am not at the whim of destiny, I am the sole creator of it, if I would only listen.

3.  INVITATION: I am learning that an invitation to one's table is the most intimate and loving gesture you can make towards another person whom you intentionally want to know better.  Unfortunately we can all fall short of this practiced treasure, obliviously leaving the relationship open to question its  substance. I have looked in the mirror, since moving into my own space, about such hospitality. I have found, to my surprise, I truly desire to provide an open door to those who are in need of that kind of sanctuary, even if its only a short and sweet interlude.  Its the invitation that strikes a chord in the heart, not the breadth or length of the Pinterest table. 

4.  SADNESS:  I recently read a woman's personal accounting of sadness in her soul.  I won't recount all the details, but the end of the story was her discover of its true value.  "Maybe the sad people are the healers and the prophets. Maybe the sad people have been given a gift to see the world as it really is. And when we see the world, when we see ourselves as we actually are, we understand how desperately we need God to come and bring healing." The happiness is there in the sadness.  What a peaceful revelation to those of us who live in our 'sad' days of mindful awakening.

4.  LIGHT:  I take myself WAY too seriously!  So here's a funny story to end off my post.  You know it might be time to think about getting back into that crazy, upside-down world of dating when you get back into your car after your daughter's 23rd birthday celebration, and the bobbing helium balloon in the passenger seat makes you glance over and say "Well Helloooo there!"  LOL  Then I proceeded to laugh hysterically at myself and the oddity that is a single woman over the age of 45 being alone for the past eight years without even a warm body sitting in the car seat next to me, to provide some much needed verbal feedback!  Next time its a talking helium birthday balloon with dark hair, piercing eyes, and a sense of humour.

On that note, I say adieu.  I hope you find the space, destiny, invitation, sadness and light that is your endless summer.

Until next time,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What's in a Face?

This was my cat.  He always had his face on.  I loved him deeply, but had to leave him behind when I moved four years ago to begin a new life.  
I miss the beautiful ugly of him.

There is a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that asks the question "What's in a name?" arguing the point that a name does not truly matter, but more so what something is in its content that is the substance.

My cat was a constant source of comfort and companionship.  That's what he was.

My youngest daughter and I would make up stories in strange Muppet voices, then act them out with my cat as the main character.  We could be entertained for hours!  (This obviously points to how desperate we were for a distraction, and found the cat to be the closest things to comic relief!).

I've recently finished a very interesting online course that defines your specific fashion preference based on various patterns and characteristics.  One of those definitions was actually the shape and structure of your face.  I found this concept both interesting and unnerving.  How could the structure and alignment of my face have anything to do with my apparel preference?

Then I thought about my cat.  The very beauty of him was his unique and specific face structure that defined his character and created a comic opportunity for us to enjoy him.

My food for thought brought me to my own face.

What do people see when they look at me?  What do I hide behind my eyes, what beauty of my character do I portray when I am smile or become pensive?  When I sit or stand, what message do I send?  Does my own face betray my heart and dim my light that should shine out to the world?

I noticed today as I went to get my nails done for my upcoming trip to Cuba, that they were running late for my appointment. Suddenly I found myself biting my lip and watching the clock when it became almost 20 minutes past due.  When I finally received a technician, I discovered the woman next to me was now bumped because I came first.  We chatted.  She was so friendly and accommodating.  I felt very chastised.  I wonder what she thought about me as I tapped my foot and watched the clock?  I wonder what she thought after we began to talk and I was all smiles and rainbows now that I was being attended to?

My true character showed through my facial expression, my body posture and my final relief in having my own needs met.  The moment was over, but what impression did I leave?  What grace did she show that I did not when she was left waiting?

As I look at my ex-cat (The one I left behind, the face I will never forget.  Maybe I should use the politically correct word, former-cat) I am reminded of the beautiful ugly we all can show in our unguarded moments.  I regret my impatience, but the lady next to me was very forgiving.  She carried a face of light and peace in the midst of change and neglect.  I did not.

What's in your face?

Until next time, and after Cuba, DJ

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Pillow for My Head

Why do I have a photo of a pillow?

Because lately I've been thinking about going 'home' and when I saw this pillow at a cute little store in Pigeon Lake, I felt it represented my feelings about home perfectly.  

Where is home? I'm not sure yet.

Do you ever feel like you're waiting for something that you've never yet known but you believe you'll recognize it when it arrives?  I've often been told this is a fantasy world that I create in my imagination and not to expect it to show up in my reality.

I'm not buying it.

If I can feel or imagine it, it could manifest.  If I can be drawn to Canadian Geese for no earthly reason, over and over as if always for the very first time, then there is an unwritten code deep in my soul that doesn't come from a logical explanation.  If I can feel the ecstasy of the ocean waves just by closing my eyes and know that there is something deep inside me that is intricately a part of the never-ending ebb and flow of its pull, then I can believe in the beauty of something unknown that was meant just for me.  

Like the pillow.  Perfect colours put together to draw my attention and remind me of a place I have yet to create.  A home that will ultimately reflect all that I love, a place to rest my head and build memories with my children and their children.  Where a fantasy world becomes real.  My fantasy of home.

Until next time,


Sunday, March 23, 2014

On Any Given Sunday

Sunday, Feb 9th

Today our family is celebrating my sister's birthday.  Its not her true birth day, but we had to find some time that worked for a family of 13.  This is not an easy task!

I have so many memories of her, like a river that flowed in and out of my small world, yet rippling larger than any other influence.

Relationships usually don't go as planned.  Friendships you thought would be around forever suddenly disappear, parents who were to watch your children grown up suddenly die, marriages that were supposed to be built on a solid foundation suddenly crumble.  I have been reminded of this more so lately as I have watched my own daughters suddenly appear all grown up and ready to begin their own lives.  Lives that will keep me more in the peripheral, than knee deep in the mix. It went by so quickly, especially when they moved away with their dad for a few years as children.  How hard that was.  Being far apart, and not knowing how to pull them back.  Not knowing how to reach out in separation and miles of wounds.  Now, of course, I can see all the answers.  I know what should have been done, but regrets won't bring back the moments.   I wish I could impress on these two precious souls the importance of taking care in each moment.  Don't let your spiritual guard down for a moment!  Time will steal anything it can grab in the oblivious blinding of mundane living.  Then I sit back and wonder if through all our family fragments, they understand this more profoundly than I ever did.

As I begin to move towards a new stream of living my own life,  split from my sister, I am going through the same metamorphosis.  I look around at the children I live with, and imagine not seeing their faces when I wake up or when I get home.  I think of the late night giggles with Sistah, after everyone has gone to bed, that would then need to be done over the phone instead of around the kitchen island.  There are the hugs after tearful revelations; someone next to me that just knows when I need a shoulder.  How will I take all this into my own little world?  Will there be holes where now these heart strings sing or will I find there will be other songs that show up?  I don't believe I will ever lose this strain of my song.  This has been my Still Point; the rest in my melody where I found my voice again.  She has been my rest, even as we re-aligned into a new and loving relationship, groaning through some transitional periods.  She has become the nurturing mother I had missed for so long after mine passed away and I felt bereft of foundation.  Now I will "leave home", never forgetting, always returning to enjoy the bond I have forged.  

Sunday, March 23

I realized I left this last post without putting it to blog.   On any given Sunday I find myself drawn to this screen and the private couch of my thoughts.  Sometimes it remains hanging, as I fall asleep in my life and forget to wake up to the delight of writing.  Today I am back on the couch, warm beverage in hand, ready to remember why I first started writing; to find a safe landing where I can open up my imagination in food for thought.  To dig deeper into life "behind the curtain".  Maybe there needs to be more fun on the couch with belly laughs and quirky characters to enjoy? Maybe there should be more words about mystical tales, or time travel?  Maybe historical accountings of long lost inheritance?  I find there are so many ways to write down the imagination!

Who knows what these minutes of engaging SHOULD be!  I only know what they land up being, and for that I am grateful, however they arrive.  They are a gift.  I look forward to opening them up on any given Sunday, and share them with anyone who may too want to enjoy a mindful rest on the couch.

Untel next time,


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Living in the Hidden Dimension

I put together a slide show last night for a Christmas Feast we had at our church.

This photo was last.  

We were celebrating how God can show up anywhere at any time, sometimes when we least expect it.  I shared some photo images of where I had journeyed, and how I suddenly came across a beautiful spiritual experience in a place I didn't expect.

I found myself at the Coco Bongo Club in Cancun with my camera, watching an amazing acrobatic depiction of the Passion of Christ movie playing on their multiple screens around the club.  It felt like I was right there in an old Roman arena, surrounded by high tiers of seating, layers upon layers of people screaming and clapping as these men dropped down onto the dance floor.  I remember being amazed that they let me through security with my camera at all, and captured this shot with little or no thought to technical settings or point of view.  I just snapped in my enchanted state of the moment.  It landed up winning first place, in my designated category, in the Caribbean Travel  & Life Magazine Photo Contest I entered every year that I travelled south.

The funny twist to this story is that the projection we had at the church would not pick up any pink tones in my photos.  We hadn't had time to run through the show beforehand, so after a long afternoon of putting together my small piece of art, my photos all came out with a blue undertone!  I was crushed.  There were vivid sunsets, landscapes, and artistic visual scenes I wanted to share in the full beauty of how I had en-captured them.  After I shared this frustration with a few close friends, they were surprised to hear the photos weren't meant to be that way.  They thought them very interesting and uniquely artistic.  

As I thought of this later, I realized this also represented a perspective of my life here in the small town of L.A.  For the past going on almost four years now, I not only have found a safe harbour to rest and re-alighn myself, but have also been hidden away to some degree, not fully projecting the beauty of who I am or what I will contribute to my world.  I needed to become very small and quiet.  The people  here accept my hue as it is, not aware of the visual I see in my mind and or feel in my soul of my colourful destiny.  This has been a gift and a curse.  For I know what is waiting to burst out of my heart, but timing is of the essence and I must wait and be content with the view from this projection.

If you too find yourself in a hidden state, don't fret.  There is no way your light can stay hidden, unless you suppress it yourself. There will be unexpected strategic sign posts along the way to help, if you're looking for them.  The key is to trust and keep the faith in what is unseen.  The hidden picture of who you were truly created to be is waiting to burst free into the open, and bring creative beauty to those around you.  That is your spiritual magic.  When the time is right, it will shine.

Merry Christmas,


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Art of Waking Up

I am reading a very enlightening book right now about uncovering the Art (with a capital A) I was made to live.

I am aware we all have artistic gifts, even if they can be somewhat hidden for some, and far too exposed for others. 

Some gifts are hidden in the kitchen, some are traversed in the studio, and some are even sunk into numbers.  The author presents her argument that no matter where one finds their "life", THAT is the arena they are to present their Art.  This then becomes less about the external circumstance and more about the internal divine delight in all of us.

"Who is the Artist?  You want to know the meaning of life?  This is your highest calling:  You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos.  This breath is your canvas and your brush.  These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making.  Nothing is off limits.  Your backyard, your piano, your paintbrush, your conversations, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul.  You're making a living with every step you take.  --Jon Forman"

I like it!

The reason I like that is because I have struggled with this very question most of my life.  Growing up we're all asked the all-encompassing question of what we want to be when we grow up.  Have mercy!  I hated that question.  I mean why do we need to DO anything?  Can't we just find a good book and read?  Won't that do?  One day I thought this, another day I felt that.  I was not one to really have a set plan for my life.  Ironically my life then became exactly that, unfocused and filled with variables that shifted on any given day.

Now, in this pivotal point of my life where I am at a crossroads of not only what to sink my feet into but who really belongs to these size 10 AA shoes, I am intrigued to ask that age-old question from a whole new perspective.  Not just what will I contribute to the world and my community as a certain creative gift, but what kind of Artist will I be inside my soul?  What resonates within each current circumstance that defines me uniquely?  How does my response to life reflect my understanding of my Art within?

When will I wake up to my Art?

And then it seemed to happen, effortlessly.  This morning I literally woke up, then WOKE UP.  I saw the dream of my Art laid out in its perfect form.  I saw the various pieces of what has always been placed inside my heart and soul, come together in a beautiful tapestry of living.  I always knew those pieces existed, but the fragments seemed disjointed until now.  Parts of a story that didn't quite fit until I recognized the heroine within each piece...myself.

Waking up can take time and determination.  It won't always come softly in the early morning, but sometimes only after long dark nights of the soul where you battle with yourself to truly know yourself.  I am only now truly waking up to the Art of my soul.  I'm not sure how the journey will unfold but I am willing to be brave and start making a map that shows where I began and where I hope to finish...with my Art shining bright.

Until next time