November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
My brother put this image up yesterday aptly titled Passing By. He has a keen ability in composition to provide a brief commentary that stops short of explanation and allows the observer to draw on their life experience to create a personal story. I am no different. I find so many possibilities for writing in the way he presents the world each day.
I am part of this world as I dive into his view of what surrounds him and pull together words to describe what I am reminded, my experience and dreams with the connected emotions, pushing and pulling on my psyche.
When is see Passing By it reminds me of how little I have participated in life as I focus on destinations. What was missed as I would shuttle from place to place not taking the time to breathe, smell, see or touch. Not slowing down or moving off course to open a door to something special or something that needs the warmth of another.
Who passes by closed doors and who stands behind them are often the same person. Living in a shelter of mind with surroundings safe but still able to see the shadows of a world as it walks by. Enough of a view to stir the imagination creating demons who justify solitude, a stark contrast to the inquisitive self left in childhood.
I feel my inner child stirring. Once again I am curious. It may be the time of pause, the regrouping of mind or the forced isolation of past few years that allows me to feel comfort and lose the shame. Once again I want to pull all those doors open. I want to see what is inside and outside, to explore the world, experience and lives of others and learn.
When you look at this Passing By what do you see, what do you feel?
November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
This morning I was reminded of voice. In speaking and writing it conveys character behind the words. Voice is more apparent or relevant to a new audience than one that has been present for a time and the situation impacts tone and volume.
In speaking the size of audience and their status effects the message presentation. We can be less like ourselves in attempting to push our rounded peg into the square hole of societal norms losing our individuality and mudding the waters of understanding of who is standing behind the words that flow with ease or stuttered to the waiting ear.
Written word has similar hurdles as words stack to replicate a pattern of an admired writer or conform to the rules of grammar using the autocorrect to dictate the language of the message. What falls away is the individuality and an emotional tie to the writer.
Regardless of the medium voice changes with the experience of the individual and is punctuated by the circumstances that require a softening or firming of the message. There are those who wax eloquently with experience using metaphor and analogy to deliver, others who state fact with precision and everyone else in between. No one is wrong in the reflection of self.
The audience is as diverse, some needing little and others needing relatable comparisons to provide understanding. Whether a child, parent, leader or follower how we express the words we share matters only in the first sentences or chapters. Soon the listeners identify, understand and connect with the messenger.
Some critique but only as comparison to what they deem correct and others, the learned ones, observe and appreciate the individuality of expression and the contribution to diversity that creates an exciting wonderful world.
Always nurture your voice from inside, keep it yours and continue to be true.
November 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
What connects us keeps us going. It is said that solitary confinement is a punishment that either induces or exasperates mental illness in those that are held in isolation. This is not a forced condition for many as the act of backing out of society and maintaining seclusion is done to avoid unwanted stress and over time it becomes a steady state.
I know. This is how I am and it is how I have become. For years my circle of socialization grows and contracts with the events of life. The growth is obligation and the contraction is fear and shame. The minimum size is defined by family and even that wanes depending on the depth of despair.
Recently I have been reaching back to a friend that is navigating a difficult time. Since meeting him eight years ago he continues to check in on me as he does with others. Not calls or visits to expound on his life but in curiosity of mine. Despite a situation that would cripple most he continues on with optimism, greets every call with laughter and tells how blessed his life is when asked.
I have thought about this often, not his situation per se but the contrast in capability and resilience. He continues past obstacle that have and continue to halt me. Yet we are very much the same, our work ethic, approach, experience and knowledge. Where we stand apart is connections, links to our past through those who were present.
Watching him cope and then thrive inspires me, forces me to take the difficult steps and reach out past my fear to those I have shared parts of my life. With each person I touch I am finding support not rejection. It is a beginning to a better end, one that I will fill with conversation, laughter and sometimes tears, not to feel alone again.
November 10, 2015 § Leave a comment
Other than cars passing by and a furnace that always seems on, it is quiet.
Except for the stir of the dog and the the voice of kids walking by, nothing invades this noiseless space.
Aside from ringing in my ears the doctors say cannot be fixed and the voice nattering they say may be fixed, I am in an oasis of silence.
Were it not for the bleep of the my phone and the rattle of another’s, this moment is embedded in a wonderful hush.
So alas my eyes close to dreams that embrace calamity and chaos all in black and to a movie silent, I sleep.
November 5, 2015 § 1 Comment
Find comfort in being alone, cherish the time to be in thought without distraction. Life will not always be so peaceful.
The congestion of our lives affords only small gaps for quiet time in thought free meditation however when those moments arrive it can also point us to our ‘to-do’ list. Gaining the discipline to make quiet time a priority provides benefits far greater than checking off a task on a never ending list.
When you find yourself alone avoid this temptation to seek company and cherish the solitude, it is not often we are given such a luxury in this busy world.
These times of quiet give our mind and body the opportunity to rejuvenate as we push away thinking and observe the very basics of our being, our breath and our body. Making this practice a habit allows us to step outside of our busy life and into seclusion where we can ground ourselves.
November 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
A weekend getaway to Grande Prairie to visit with friends indoors more than out. The grey of winter present although still warm enough for rain to fall instead of the white stuff usually attributed to Halloween.
The same seen in Calgary as we broke through clouds revealing the lasting green of grass in many areas including several golf courses with the diehard getting in another round. That all came to an end Monday as the morning commute began and big white flakes fell. It was beautiful and Calgarians seemingly unfazed by winters approach perhaps because of the extra hour of sleep everyone had.
Day two and a hard frost and plants that had missed all previous attempts by mother nature to shut them down were now bedded down for the winter. Everything with a skim of ice frozen until the temperatures would creep up mid-afternoon.
Out comes the toques and mitts, wool layers for beneath and above clothes, and thick soled footwear. All the requirements when autumn turns winter like this morning with the broad blue sky and crisp air. Another season is here and it is a chilly one.
October 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Remove the middleman from what you eat, keep close to its source. Food is beautiful in its simplicity, enjoy it that way.
There is a movement today to be local. But what does local really mean. Today the term is hammered into every product and service until this powerful notion becomes ubiquitous, losing all meaning.
We are in a time when the food we eat is from next door or a continent away. The way it is grown is unknown as its ownership moves from hand to hand until finally reaches its destination at a supermarket near you. Lost is the connection to the producer and our ability to make decisions beyond price as the blemish free and neatly stacked produce stands before us.
No longer are we standing with our hands in the soil that grows what we eat. But there is opportunity to do this again but it does take exploration and effort. It begins with growing one plant, in your home. Nurturing and caring for it until it delivers bounty to your table. It really is a wonderful thing to do this.
The next step involves a garden if you can and if you can’t finding someone who does grow that garden and buying what you can to enjoy it fresh. It can be vegetables, eggs, milk or meat. It allows you to talk to the farmer and understand the care that is taken to raise what he offers.
There is an advantage to removing the middleman or multiples, to know where your food comes from and how it tastes without processing or packaging. Don’t fear if it taste strange at first, it is just different from the offerings from a world of mass production and the difference in taste is the miles it travels to you.
It is worth the effort. Take the time to connect to those close to you and help build viable businesses in our own backyards so that we can sustain these individuals that work to bring you the best you will ever have.