Sunday, February 18, 2018

Another school shooting? Yes. Another.

We are all in the gutter,
but some of us are looking at the stars.
- Oscar Wilde
Over this past week, it's been difficult
to keep looking at the stars, hasn't it?

On Valentine's day,
17 children in the US (Parkland, Florida) were murdered. 

Gunned down by another young, crazed, angry, white man.

It makes me sick to my stomach.

An 18 year old in the US can buy an AR-15 assault rifle,
but he can't buy a beer.

Some teenagers started eating Tide Pods (don't ask me why!)
and now, Tide Pods in grocery stores are practically kept
under lock & key, so as to avoid another incident.

In most pharmacies, certain medication
is kept safely stored behind the counter.

The guns - oh, those are ok.
You can buy them at Walmart,
along with 1000 of rounds of ammunition.
Not a problem at all.

IT.
IS.
INSANE.

It breaks my heart to know that these children
went through such hell.

I have faith that many of these young ones
are going to channel their anger and fear
into something grand and powerful.

Lord knows the old, white, wealthy politicians
are too busy counting their money to care at all.

So over the past week or so,
I've been busy cleaning & organizing!
It's not something I do often, trust me -
but lately, I've felt the need to get rid of some stuff,
externally and internally. ;)

The photo above is "before"
and the photo below here is "after".
It may not look that clean to some,
but it's more than fine for me.

I bought this fabulous book last weekend.
An illustrated book on how we are all
connected to the universe.

Science and art, rolled into one.
Hardcover, and it was something like $18 (CAN).
I love the book.
Anything that encourages
learning and thinking
is a good thing.

Too many of us have lost the ability (or the desire?)
to spend any time thinking on things.
We keep ourselves so busy,
that we barely allow ourselves time
to think of what to make for supper.

And with cell phones now,
we are almost constantly distracted 
from our own thoughts.

Sometimes, when things get heavy out there,
or when things just don't make any sense to me -
it feels good to be reminded that we are ALL part
of a huge universe,
more connected than not,
and that even in nature, 
there is suffering.

So I didn't just clean my desk,
I cleaned the whole room,
and man, did it feel good once it was done.
And the best part?
I got rid of a LOT of books.
Like between 75 or 100.
That's huge for me.
I'm kind of a nerd when it comes 
to getting rid of books.

They just feel much more a "part of me"
than clothes or shoes or furniture. 
But I let them go with good intentions,
hoping that whoever reads them,
gets as much out of them as I did.

Besides, there's a time for everything, right?
Some of the books I purged had me thinking:

"why the hell did I want to read THIS?!?" :)
Ta Daaaaaa!
Both book shelves - done.

I like organizing my books by color,
but I haven't tackled that since the cleanup.
I'm visual so whenever I'm looking for a certain book,
I can always remember the color,
and I usually find it quickly.

Plus, it looks cool when it's color coded. ;)

So I did this (below) on the evening of Feb 14th...
I was (and am still) so angry about it all.

And I did this one (below) the day after...
still processing the anger and sadness.

Some people can talk about it for an hour,
and then they're fine.
They move on to something else.

Not me.

I need to sit with the stories
and the questions, 
and the words -
sometimes for days.
None of it makes any sense,
but I'm at least able
to turn the anger & sadness
into art that becomes somewhat healing for me.

I can only hope the families of those murdered
can find their own path
to healing somehow...

Thanks for being here!
I'll keep you posted here on my new website 
as soon as it's live!
Wishing you all a happy week!
xo

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Are we there yet?

Hello people!

Today is sort of an off day.

It's been a month since I've posted here, you guys!
The space we've shared here
is nearing an end.

I won't be disappearing - I'll just be moving.
With every ending, there's a new beginning. :)
I've been hard at work on my new website,
and i'm only a few weeks away
from being live!

It's all a little scary
because you don't want to put something out there
that's done half assed,
but so many people have told me
that a good website is never really done.
That you change and adjust
and add and remove
as you go along.

I believe them.

Also, i went to the bookstore last week
and leafed through the book above (I love Andy Miller)
and when i saw this page, i smiled. 
:)

Yes, thank you Carolyn, for the lovely reminder.

As much as it's a challenge to design my website,
i'm really enjoying it.
Mostly, I'm enjoying the confidence it gives me
with every little step I take.

Initially, I was almost paralyzed in fear.
(I know, crazy, right?! It's a website, not a rocket launcher!)

But once I jumped in and just decided to DO the work,
it all started to flow together.

I can't remember if i shared anything here already,
but here are 2 sample pages:




And of course, I'll be adding ARTWORK in the top menu. :)

This blog has served me well, 
but it doesn't feel like "me" anymore.
Funny how that happens.

How something can work for so long
and all of a sudden, it doesn't feel right anymore. 
I guess it's just time to grow. :)


I've been trying to fill my days
with things that inspire me and energize me,
like art and work and yoga
and books and walking in nature.

At the same time, I try to avoid things 
that drain me of my physical and mental energy,
like the news and Twitter and Trump.

Not an easy thing to do,
but I'm getting better.

Like any good addict,
I relapse now and then, ;)
and find myself checking twitter
while the coffee is brewing...

"just 5 minutes", I tell myself
and then I end up stuck to the small screen
for 20 or 30 minutes
and of course, it always feels
like wasted time.

But I try not to be too hard on myself.

I spend some evenings painting,
writing in my journal,
watching Netflix,
reading good books.

Movies/documentaries I've enjoyed on Netflix lately:

The Danish Girl (I'm late with this one, I know!).
A true (and sad) story.

Wormwood

Mudbound

13th

Jim and Andy (Jim Carrey)

Spotlight

Dirty Money (Especially the episode called CONfidence man). It's difficult not to become distrusting of everyone after seeing this series, but the more we know about something, the better educated we are about the decisions we make in life. 


Thanks for being here,
and I'll let you all know
when my blog moves to the new space,
so you can (hopefully) follow me there. :)

I hope you all have
a restful, peaceful week ahead.

xo

Thursday, January 4, 2018

winter makes me feel zen

And now we welcome the new year,
full of things that have never been.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Happy 2018 everyone!

I hope this finds you all in good health and spirits
and that if you did celebrate Christmas,
it was a good one.

This (below) is what I see outside my window right now. 
They're predicting from 20 to 40cm of snow,
along with high winds & freezing rain.

Hopefully, we won't lose power
until I'm able to post this. :)

Christmas here was a bit strange this year.
Between cancelled plans due to freezing rain,
an emergency trip to the hospital for dad on Christmas eve,
and a snowstorm on Christmas day,
it was just a little different, let's say.  ;)

Thankfully, dad's emergency ended up being sorted out quickly.
He thought he was having another heart attack,
but it turned he tore a muscle
when he sneezed the day before!
He went to the hospital by ambulance 
at 7am on Christmas eve,
and I drove him back home at 4pm.

We were all relieved and
he was very happy to be back home.
He went right back to watching
Christmas movies,
as if he hadn't skipped a beat. :)






In that lovely space between Christmas & New Year,
I spent lots of time
making soups,
reading & writing,
painting, and
watching movies.

Basically, doing as little as possible.

Some people go all out during this time
with goals and plans and resolutions
that put me to shame.
Clearly, I'm not one of those people.
I seem to do more thinking than anything else
in that quiet week after the holidays.
And chances are good I'll be in this mindset
for at least a few months.
Maybe it's a Canadian hibernating thing? ;)
Like I'm mentally preparing for the new year.
The one thing I do that's as close to a plan as I'll ever get,
is Susannah Conway's UNRAVEL YOUR YEAR.
I've been doing it for a few years now,
and it always helps me ease into the new year
without much pressure 
and look back at how much I've actually accomplished
in the year I'm leaving behind.
I don't know about you, but I often feel
like i get very little done in the course of a year.

Until I look back.

And it's not even about what I get done
but more about how I feel at the end of the year.
I've been walking as much as I can,
because i really think it's the most beneficial form
of exercise for the body AND the mind.

It can be so meditative - 
even if the weather makes it challenging sometimes.

This photo (below) was taken a few days ago,
when it was about -18C. (closer to -25C with the windchill!)
On that day, I dressed like an eskimo and braved the cold
and it was so worth it.
I ended up walking for an hour
and came back feeling like I had gone to a spa.
Seriously.
I know I would miss winter
if I lived in a warm climate.
Of course, winters can be harsh here in eastern Canada,
and come March, I'm ready for the sun again.
But if you dress properly when you have to leave the house, 
and the roads are cleaned fairly quickly after a storm,
it's really not that big of a deal.
It may not be pretty outside right NOW
but by tomorrow, when the plows have cleared the roads
and the sun comes out again,
it's gonna bright & beautiful.
You just wait and see. ;)

Here's to wishing you all magic
in the new year!!
xo