Wednesday, August 31, 2011

not really about baseball at all

In good resolve I send the light.
A pitch ill-timed,
hitting the dirt,
too close to the batter
Dust covered intentions.

a poorly timed swing.

Where is the re-play,
the slo-mo,
the play-by-play
so I can see where it all went
so terribly wrong.

In good resolve I send the light
not wavering on my ability
to play the game
but wondering
how long the
season will last.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Intent and Resolve

My first test regarding not speaking to a third person about an issue I have with another individual. Without going into details I will tell you it was a powerful moment. I have spent my summer ruminating over something an acquaintance of mine has chosen to do. It involves her children. It has bothered me all summer.

A few days ago I found myself, judgementally, telling a friend my 'opinion' about it all. And, well, you probably guessed it, I had never spoken this face to face with the person involved. So....

Next day I see her and ask for a few minutes of her time. I explain that I have been carrying around something about what she has been doing, and that I clearly had an 'opinion' because I had felt it necessary to share my 'opinion' with someone else. I shared my worries and thoughts with her.

It was amazing. We had a wonderful heart to heart. I got the back story to her decision. A decision that is not easy for her. I left feeling connected to her and her life in a much deeper way. She thanked me, for coming to her. Wow! Now there is a lesson.

It is not easy, especially with certain people where I realize there is a habit of 'nittering'. I am afraid that some friendships will have to change, or be lost, and they are good friendships.

But, that said, I also feel so much more in control. Even at home, sometimes I find myself starting to tell my husband something, then I realize he isn't the person that needs to hear this, and often, really, no one needs to hear this, or that. It is sometimes just petty junk.

So, I am breathing deeply these days trying to speak out of integrity and resolve.

Someone said yesterday 'We are intent driven people, and our intent is powerful. When we think or speak badly of another person we can actually make that person sick.' I know this to be true. It happened to me years ago when I was working on the Mission Reserve. I was unwell, struggling, and a first nation friend of mine said 'You have bad magic coming at you. You need to re-connect with your spiritual practice to protect yourself.' I did, and I got better. Another powerful lesson.

I once heard at a lecture that whenever we think poorly of someone that thought becomes attached to the person in the form of an elemental being. Can you imagine what that would be like? He also said we can reclaim this thought, by sending a good thought towards them, a ray of light.

So today I will be sending light out. Because if I don't my world will become a darker place.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Year, new resolve, day two.

Ok, I am back at work. A few hours on Monday to settle in, a few more hours today to prepare to facilitate the welcome back Faculty Meeting tomorrow morning. A few people were around. Lovely hugs, and smiles, and sharing quick holiday anecdotes.

The school looks great. New paint job, some lovely renos....I am positive that this can be a good year. And I am practicing my resolve about the gossip, nittery thing. So far, so good. I have twice been in conversations where I simply said, "I am not going to do that', 'I am not going to go there'. Sometimes aloud, sometimes to myself. And it is good. I am feeling good.

Tonight I am off to Pilates with a dear friend. Neither of us have been for a long while, so it should be 'interesting' to say the least. Another of my resolves, to go to yoga/pilates at least 3x per week.

And walking, to get ready for the Camino next fall, perhaps, in a year, more or less.

So, you see, I am a teacher, and for me the start of school is like the start of the new year. Resolutions, new beginnings, promises made to myself, a fresh slate.

I had tea today with a current student and an ex-student. Lovely, sharing holiday stories, catching up, hugging, alot!

I saw my daughter on skype today with her lovely haircut, her new tattoo, her amazing smile. She is so beautiful. Inside and Out.

My son called and he is flying home on Friday. It has been just over 3 months since we left him at the airport, and I will be so glad to hug him tight to my heart.

So, all is as it should be. I am feeling strong. I can do this. Jack Layton's words are guiding my way

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we'll change the world.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


The first day home after almost six weeks on the road I was at a loss for what to do. Once the laundry was done, the camper cleaned, the second what? I didn't want to start into school work yet. Not, yet. So I decided to clean out my email box, and that lead me to reading all my blogs back to the beginning, and then letters I had written my daughter, and she had written me.

These letters started when she was heading off to university, to live in residence. Only up the hill to SFU, but still it seemed so far away. Many of the letters are short and silly and verifying this and that. But a number are heart-wrenching. Even as I write this I have tears finding there way down my face, and as I sat at the kitchen table a few days ago it was the same.

They were the letters about broken hearts, broken promises, apologies, and sometimes misunderstandings. They were the letters where we could speak truths that couldn't always be spoken in person. At least not then. They were the letters of a young woman finding her way in the world, and a middle-aged woman trying to help.

These letters are a gift. Even though they are digital, and not tied up with ribbon in a cedar chest. They are a gift.

I have similar letters from and to my son as he travels the world trying to find his place. I have many, many letters from and to my husband when I have been travelling without him, or he without me. Those letters are full of love. I have letters from my sister filled with such understanding that it is little wonder she is my best friend.

And they are all saved on the computer. But that doesn't seem right. So, I will begin the process of downloading them and filing them in order and perhaps, even, wrapping a ribbon around them.

Those letters tell a story of a woman and her family. A woman loved by her family. A woman who loves her family fiercely. A woman who sometimes has to read letters that could break her heart, but they don't because she knows that the relationship that has forged that trust has wrapped her heart in such a way that she could bear it.

These are letters full of love, honesty, trust and wisdom on all sides, and they should be saved in the truest sense of the word.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

perfect endings - Bliss

I spent all day Tuesday reading a book. When I say all day, I mean ALL day. I started reading as I chased the sun around the yard with my morning coffee, and finished my book about 5:30pm. Bliss.

Then we made supper, and headed down to the beach to watch the sunset. I put on my bathing suit, but wasn't really intending to go swimming. However, as soon as I got to the beach the tide was up, the sun was glowing, the seals were splashing, and I just walked right into the water and floated away. Bliss.

After my swim we sat and watched the sun almost set, and continued to watch three seals splashing. It was quiet. And beautiful. Then we headed back to the camper and started a fire. Just a simple fire. No guitar. No talking. Just burning all the random pieces of wood that were around the fire pit as the sun set and the stars came out. Bliss.

To bed. Crossword puzzle, podcast of Q. Bliss.

After we locked up the cabin this morning, we headed for the ferry with no idea when it would be leaving and how long a wait it would be. Got to the ferry slip. Ferry was just arriving. Probably the eighth car in line. Ferry loaded us. We were off. Next ferry, next sailing. We were off. Drove the lower road - no traffic, and arrived at the terminal at 2:15. We were boarded on the 3:10. Home by 6. Bliss.

All day I have been feeling good, peaceful, relaxed, happy. Bliss.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

sun, sand, mead, and me

As summer winds down, at least for me, I have spent a glorious number of days on the little island with three of my siblings, my husband, and two great-nephews. Sleeping late, crossword puzzles, chasing the sun around the yard, swimming, winery visits, campfires.....ahhhhh.

This is relaxing at its best. Good food, good conversation, good friendships, and comfort.

Comfort is a state of mind, not the owning of things, or the acquiring of things....just comfort - in my own skin, and in the company of those around me.

Yesterday we saw three eagles in full flight, chasing each other, slamming into each other, one even turning somersaults. What an amazing sight. How lucky we all were to witness something so wild and free.

I got a little too much sun yesterday (well I worked hard at this chasing the sun from spot to spot to spot from 10am until 6pm, but I feel good, and strong and healthy.

That can't be a bad way to end the summer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What if?

Two thoughts are rolling around in my head. One: Don't criticize someone to a third party if you haven't spoken directly to the party involved. Two: If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.....(this is a quote from Thumper in Bambi).

Ok, what if I made a plan to do those two things?

I always hate how I feel after I have been talking unkindly about someone. I heard two CBC shows about people that have challenged themselves to not talk about people they are upset with, or miffed at, without having first spoken to the person involved. Wow! Could I do that? Especially in the work place, my work place, I find all the 'nittering' toxic. It is frustrating to work in a place with a spiritual foundation where it seems the nastiness is palpable. In simple words - sometimes we aren't very nice to each other.

I don't want to be part of that anymore. I want to finish this last year of teaching without the angst of personal snipes, clashes and, well, unkindness.

Is it really that hard to be kind? Just be kind. I talk to my students about this all the time, and also talk to them about how adults really don't do that much better than teenagers. Oh, sure, we might not post on Facebook that so and so has gained weight, or that you know who has a crush on person X, but still we say these things to our 'friends' and so it is out there. Maybe not on the social network page, but it is out there in the ether. And that ether is swimming with unkind statements.

I often joke to my colleagues when I can't be at a social gathering that they aren't to 'talk about me'. Because invariably if you aren't at the social gathering, well, your name might come up. It never feels right.

Why is it? Are we afraid we won't have anything else to talk about? Is it easy fodder? Is gossip just too much fun? Are we insecure in our friendships? Is it just the symptom of being human?

I have to believe that we are all doing our best. What I do might not be your best, but it is my best. I also have to believe that if we don't keep trying to do better, if we stagnate in our development, then we are letting ourselves down. I believe I made a deal with myself for this life long before I ever got here. I want to do better. I have come here to learn things, and to do better.

So, Thumper, let's give it a try playing it your way.

I will post my experiences here......and hope to hear from others as well.

Monday, August 8, 2011

home again, home again, jiggety jig

Well, we are home, albeit for only a day before heading off once more. Believe it or not our truck broke down again as we left Vernon on Sunday to drive home. 40 kms past Kamloops on the Coquihalla Highway we lost power steering, power brakes and coolant. Well! That can't be good.

We got pulled off the highway (barely), and sat watching/feeling traffic whizzing by at 120 kph! Luckily we were in cell phone range, and since the truck is still under warranty we called Chrysler road side assistance. Within 45 minutes the tow truck arrived, and towed us back to Kamloops and the Dodge dealer. Did I mention it was Sunday?

So, there we are, dropped on the road outside the Dodge dealer, beside Hwy 1. The tow truck driver drove us to a restaurant because it was 4pm, and we hadn't had lunch. Can you say 'low blood sugar'? After lunch we started to walk back towards the truck and stopped at a starbuck's for an iced coffee and free wifi!

We then walked the remained 2kms back to the truck, in the heat, alongside the highway. Man, it was hot!

By the time we got back to the camper it was 8pm, and we decided to boondock it on the street rather than get a hotel. How bohemian? It was a noisy night being beside the highway (and the train yard), but luckily I sleep like the dead.

At 7:30 we were the first at the door of the dodge dealer, and by 10:30 we were on the road (with a new water pump, serpentine belt, and replaced coolant).

So, that was exciting.

We got home by 6pm without any other incidents, and I marvelled at how beautiful our mountains, and rivers, and farmland is. I am lucky to live here.

So, home, laundry done, bills paid, and bath completed. Ahhhhh!

It was a wonderful holiday. I feel good, and rested, and sun-kissed and inspired. On Wednesday I head to the little island to visit with my sister and brother-in-law, and two brothers. I plan to lie on the beach and swim and talk and talk and talk.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


July 29, 2011

2nd night in Glacier National Park. I think we are touristed out, and have spent the last two days hanging out at the beautiful lake here. We did see a black bear last night on the side of the road. I was too excited to get a pic, but it was so cool to see him/her foraging around in the grass.

Tomorrow is our 34th wedding anniversary. I think we will take the shuttle to Logan's Pass to celebrate (our truck is too big to take the road, but the shuttle is free!).

My dear son is home from Europe. Well, by home, I mean in Canada, but that is good enough for me! My dear girl is blogging away on the east coast, and I feel so far from both of them. My eldest sister had surgery yesterday, and I spent all day trying to use phone cards, pay phones, and flaky cell service to get an update on her progress. By 4pm I was in fretful tears, but by 7 I had heard from both my niece and my younger sister to learn all is well.

I am so used to being connected via facebook, or email, or texting and not being connected has made me fretful. However, yesterday texts from both my kids - so that made me much more relieved.

I am getting lots of sun, walking, and eating well. I am reading alot! I finished Anna Karenina, and before starting War and Peace I read a trashy romance novel. I also found an odd little book called 'from intellect to intuition' by Alice Baylie who clearly was a contemporary of Steiner. She is just as difficult to read, but it is interesting.

Let's see, what else? Our truck is running well - so far so good. I think we will head to Waterton Park on Sunday - and then work our way back home. It will be odd to go home and not have Mitzi there yelling at us for being away.

I am not feeling all that philosophic, so this is just a diary entry of doings. Just wishing I could gather all my family under my wings and keep them close to me and safe. Just wishing.