Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

Holy COW - It's almost Christmas!!

Hard to believe that Christmas 2008 is literally around the corner. It is the evening of the 23rd and I am doing my usual procrastination. This particular time I am putting off wrapping gifts and packing up my bag for my trip to Newfoundland tomorrow. I also have a sink full of dishes to do....and clothes to fold and put away...and a floor to sweep...and garbage to put out yada yada. Yikes that all reminds me that I should probably make a "to do" list.

It is a wild, wintery wonderland out there, which is kind of nice, and somewhat problematic for those of us flying any distance. I am hoping that my flight to St. John's does indeed end up leaving tomorrow on schedule, but we shall see I guess. I'm really looking forward to seeing family in Newfoundland, and actually being there as it has been awhile for me.

Christmas has really crept up on me this year...2 days ago I was like "oh yeah, Christmas this week...weird!" There has been so much going on in my brain that Christmas didn't even have a chance. I was thinking yesterday about how this time last year I was knitting like a mad-woman. I made the reeeeeaaaally dumb decision to knit all my gifts. Christmas tip #1: Never decide to knit all your Christmas gifts a month before Christmas. Never again. All that to say that this year could not be any more different.

Last night Don and I had our own version of Christmas dinner here (with chicken instead of Turkey) which I am still full from. It was delicious....thanks to Don. While he was cooking (the entire meal - poor thing!) I was braving the crowds at the mall. Christmas tip #2: Don't ever go to the mall between 5 and 8pm on Dec.22. Never again. Anyway, after I went to the gym tonight I came back and had some of the left-over scalloped potatoes from last night. So so good. So much for working out!! We also baked cookies last night which will be my Christmas gifts this year to family and friends. I am like that one weird, ghetto relative who gives people Tupperware containers full of hard cookies, or some knitted thing for Christmas. It actually makes me laugh out loud. Another thing that makes me laugh out loud is the fact that it took 2 hours to finish baking all the cookies since I only had one tiny cookie sheet. Soooo funny.

Anyway....that's it for my rambling, random Christmas entry for this year.
For anyone who may be reading - I wish a very very Merry Christmas to you and yours....
and happy new year, too!!

See you in 2009.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hello Ladies and Gentleman, dogs and cats...whatever.

I am back from the tropics straight into disgust-oid (yes, that IS a word I made up) land of November's cold rain, grey sky's and Ontario blah-ness. O joy. Got back about 2 weeks ago.

Axel Rose is a fool....November rain is not sweet. It is shitty.

Anyway...yet again, due to my stellar planning abilities, my life is hanging in mid-air, somewhat aimless and waiting to see a clear way ahead. Or at least a way...any kind of way. No me gusta. I have options in front of me one of which may possibly involve me going back to Costa Rica for a year, but waiting on confirmation or non-confirmation. In the meanitime I am again participating in the exciting territory of the job-search. Those of you who have been there can relate to how much of a majot pain in the ass it is. But, alas, there you have it. There are other major life decisions pending which I don't really feel at liberty to discuss on the blog, but which are life altering as well. All of this seems to be happening at the same time which requires me to have to figure out major life shite in a relatively short period of time. It's been a reeeeeally weird and disorienting 2 weeks for me to say the least. I feel like a scrambled egg right now when I need to be feeling decisive, resolute and sure..... Sunny Side UP. Heh heh. Not happening. I hated scrambled eggs as a kid. Still do. They make me want to gag.

To add to life's curve ball insanity these days, a friend of mine is also getting hitched next week, which is great, but also makes me "the last woman standing" of my closest friends. Yes, that's right, I am the very last un-married one of them. I feel like I deserve a trophy, a giant ribbon, or at least some kind of recorded applause (insert here). I imagine, within a short period of time I will be the very last child-less one of them as well. More fun times for me to look forward to. For whatever reason, at this point in time, the whole business makes me want to move to Bangladesh and never come back. And in all seriousness, I am fighting the urge to do just that...OK - maybe not Bangladesh, but some place where I can start new, where no-one knows me and I don't have to carry around the baggage of "Julia, the un-married childless one."

It's in times like these that I wish I were a man.

I also wish I were swinging in a hammock next to the Caribbean sea.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Still in Central America...

I have been such a baaad blogger.

It is hard to believe that it is the end of October, and here I am in a teeny tiny mountain town smack dab in the middle of Costa Rica. I was actualy supposed to be back in Toronto but decided to delay my ticket for a month. So now i will be headed back up North on November 12. My connection to the internet right now is a little precarious, so this one will be short.

I have been loving my time while at the same time feelng a lot of conflict about my life. Not really wanting to come back into the high speedland. Things are so different here. So much slower and open to simple enjoyment of life. It has been difficult being the alien and suddenly I have a lot of empathy for people who come to Canada from other countries, not knowing the language and feeling very much the foreigner. Nonetheless, it is an interesting and inspireing thing being confronted with a completely different way to live. The natural beauty here shakes me everywhere I turn..although I do find myslef getting used to it.
I am now going to go out to drink muchas cervezas. Aiiiiiiie!
(Que Dios Queire.)

con carino,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The view para aqui...

Some random pics for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hola mi amigos!!

Hello from Costa Rica!!!

I am currently writing you from the Spanish school in Tuis where I am taking lessons. I am in my second day of spanish school and homestay and feel like I´m in an alternate universe. Even still, I am just as in love with this place as I was the first time...and getting to know the people and the language only increases my affection for it. Speaking of affection....there is a TON of it here!! It is amazing to see how openly demonstrative people are with one another when greeting each other and relateing to each other. I can see why people here would come to Canada would think we were a bunch of cold people. With the exception of Newfoundland of course (heh heh).

My host family are incredible people and so gracious and generous it is staggering. It is a full and active house and I love playing with thier two younger sons. Marcos is 14 and Antony is 10. I have a feeling I will learn more of the language from them than almost anyone else!! They are helarious. Gattica is my host mother and also works here and the school. She is one of the hardest working people I think I have ever met. I will be staying here in Tuis with my host family for the next two weeks and I am very excited about it despite the language barrier. It defineately makes things more interesting.

Last week I stayed with April and her husband Tony. April and I took a trip to a beatiful town called ´La fortuna´ which is home to one of Costa Rica´s active volcano´s, Arenal. We stayed at an incredible resort which was quite literally at the base of the volcano!! We also went to ¨the Baldi Hot Springs" which is one of the most amazing experiences ever. I would try to explain it but it deserves it´s own entry for sure. One word: WOW.

Just a short side note that will make some of laugh quite hard: Since Tony (Aprils husband) is a personal trainer I am attending the gym regularly. Yesterday I was actually lifting wieghts with April, in a gym full of reasonably large latino men pumping major iron. It was uncomfortable to say the least. I am definately breaking new ground here. Tony is convinced that he can transform my body in as little as 15 days!! I am not so convinced...but - hey - Por que no?

I will be uploading some pictures as soon as I get a chance. Believe me when I say that you will be blown away and want to hop on the next flight here.

I´m sure there is a whole lot that I am omitting. Ah well. Stay tuned for pictures!!

Dios le Bendiga!!

ps - for those of you spellers out there, lo siento (I´m sorry), but the connection here is slow and I am not willing to wait to check! Peace!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The journey begins...

Hi friends, family and random people who check my blog.
Just a note that the central American travelling will be underway in less than 24 hrs!
I will be updateing my blog periodically with updates and maybe a few pics if yer luck! ;)

So...feel free to check up.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

life in dreams

I've been having dreams lately that are seeping in and through my days. They are strange dreams that carry strange feelings with them even through my waking hours. I try to shake them but to no avail. It happens often...and sometimes it's great if the dreams are good....but when they are strange it's like they cast a strange haze over everything I do and everywhere I go. It's super duper annoying. It's even more annoying when I can only remember random parts of them that have no connection with any other parts. It's like getting snippets of a full-length movie and trying really hard to piece it together without success.

Even as I write this I don't really want to go to bed because of all the weirdness I fear I will have to confront shortly. Sometimes I feel like my dream world is more real that my actual life. Which reminds me of the movie 'Waking Life' which I loved so much when I first saw it that I spent hours writing out huge chunks of the dialogue in my journal, pressing the pause button on the DVD to make sure I got every word.

I wonder if my strange dreams lately have to do with the fact that I am leaving on Monday for Costa Rica and my subconscious is preparing for the fact that I am soon to be thrown into an entirely different reality. I realize that sounds kind of Jungian and freaky, but, what can I say? I live in a rather Jungian and freaky world a lot of the time. As i think about it, I really have felt in a bit of a haze lately. The line between waking and dreaming isn't so clear. Here but not here. Nowhere land soon to be somewhere completely different land.

I really hope i get it together to do all the last minute shite I have to do tomorrow. I'll be standing in the line to renew my health card at 8am. Oh joy. Should go to bed.
peace out.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

by the way

Isn't this the cutest little gee-tar ya ever did see? She may not sound as sweet as she looks, but she has palm trees's, and thats what counts.

Central America Bound!!

Finally, I have made a decision about travelling - headed to Costa Rica in 2 weeks time! I'll be there for a month and a half, mostly hanging out with April, learning some spanish, hanging out with the people in Tuis and doing some travelling around Costa Rica and maybe another country, time permitting. I am really looking forward to being in a totally different environment, the slower pace of life, and being able to spend some solid time with April again. The pictures are from last year when we were there for April's wedding. The picture below was taken at the pre-wedding party that April and Tony had at thier place. I will never forget the taste of those re-fried beans as long as I live! No joke! The first photo is of the village of Tuis where April works, and where we lived while we were staying in Costa Rica. It is a beautiful lush place with equally beautiful people. I am getting really excited about the trip...if a tad stressed out about stuff I need to do before I go. Yikes.

I also feel a little worried about the pile of questions that will be facing me upon my return. No steady job, a potential move lurking, and I feel kindof ruderless in terms of how I should orient my efforts when I get back. Classic "me", to be thinking about that when i am two weeks away from leaving on an extended vacation. It's ridiculous to not be living in the present, but these things are a reality nonetheless. There are, and will be, many things hanging in the balance and I hope that I am up for dealing with it all when I get back.

Anyway, thats what up with dat! Costa Rica - get ready - hulia is comin' to town. Yeee-ha!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Down the gorge...

....in a tube is a true metaphor for life. That's me in the yellow helmet staring straight at the rocks I'm about to crash into. A moment after I had repelled myself from those rocks I was floating in a veritable serene paradise. Five minutes after that I was rushing down a large rapid, got thrown right off my tube into the rocks, caught in a massive current that was taking my with it and swallowing me. I thought I was going to die. Three minutes after that I was back up on my tube, bobbing down a sluggish and smooth current, observing some baby ducks, as if my near death experience a mere 5 seconds earlier had never even happened! A version of this pattern repeated itself many times over, as we were floating down the Elora Gorge in our tubes. I also got stuck in many a side pool, my big tube literally pushed outside of the current and spinning me in circles - not moving even an inch forward. Numerous times I had to get someone else to pull me back into the current.

It was a few weeks ago now that I went tubing down the Elora gorge with Kate Rob and Don, but i started to think about it again recently. The times of sweet serenity in life seem to be so quickly and almost rudely interrupted by "life"...either pushing me outside the current that I find myself spinning and spinning in circles, or throwing me around so that I can barely breath and feel like the end is just around the corner...but no, around the corner is bliss and ducks...until the next thing gets thrown at me. Lately I can most relate to the 'spinning in circles' - not being able to get anywhere despite all my efforts, and watching everyone else pass by at an enjoyable pace, in their tubes, bobbing along and loving life.

So that's it for the cheesy life metaphor. You can breathe a sigh of relief. Until I find some other random thing to compare to life.

So my summer has been ambling along slowly. I decided to stop panicking about the fact that I have no idea where to travel and my life feels like it's hanging in a giant balance. I decided to just try and enjoy my summer and not put any more pressure on myself to have anything "figured out". It's a hard thing for me not to get anxious....I think it's a genetic thing passed down to me from generations of sea people wringing their hands while looking out to sea and always waiting for a boat to come in. That's my half-baked theory. Anyway, I digress. It's summer, and it's great as every morning I think about getting up and the panicky feeling starts to rise, somehow, It just fades away, during the making of a smoothie, and I end of enjoying my days - more or less. It's like an art, learning how to ride the tension. Surprisingly, I've been enjoying the Toronto Summer, when I've been there. It's nice to feel like a tourist in the city, and not be bogged down by work stresses. It's so fun to be free to go wherever I want, whenever I want! A beautiful feeling. I've been loving Dufferin Grove Park, the Harborfront festivals, the Lakeshore, Toronto Island, and cruising around on my bike checking out my favorite city spots....oh - and drinking Heineken in Christie Pitts - so fun!!!

I also spent a little over 2 weeks in Ottawa, taking in the jazz festival which was amazing, and just hanging out with family and checking out the old stomping grounds. It was good times.
I'm writing this from the farm in Guelph, after spending the weekend with Don's family. Next weekend I'll be back to go to the Hillside Festival. More good music. Yay.

Hope everyone has been enjoying the summmmmmmer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

City Mouse...


I am again back in Toronto after being in Elora and Guelph again over the past 5 days. I have been back for approximately 7 hours and will be re-packing my bags and headed back on the greyhound bound for Ottawa tomorrow morning for another week or more to hang with my parents and take in some Jazz festival. I am almost dizzy from all this back and forth and whizzing around! I am very excited to hear Chick Corea for the first time live, and also Brad Meldau (for the second time)!!! Amazing that I will be hearing these two people live within the SAME WEEK! Wow. I'm pumped.

As could have been predicted, I have been thinking way to much about the country vs city thing over the past month or so, since I have been spending a lot of time on the farm and in (and around) Guelph. As soon as I start to visualize myself actually living in the country, or even in a smallish town the panic sets in and I start thinking thoughts such as this one: "How the heck do you think a city girl like yourself will hack it out here in the middle of winter, or any time of the year, for that matter, when you can't just hop on a street-car and head to your favorite sushi place?! Do you really think you will get busy canning pickles or darning socks or forming a quilting bee?! Get real!!"
And I have to give that thought some serious cred. It's true that I have become so accustomed to the excess of city living that I don't think I am even fully aware of how dependant I am on the little things - that actually end up amounting to a lot. Here is why I am the ultimate city person:

-I have early memories of sitting on benches in the middle of the busiest sections of the the city with my mom, eating ice cream, and making up scenarios about the lives of all the people rushing by. It is one of my favorite young memories.

-I am 32 years of age (deep breath) and do not have a drivers licence. Yes, this means that I have relied on public transit my entire life. I am slightly proud of myself for this (much to my family's bewilderment) ...but the only way I could have done this is by living in a place big enough to sustain a working transit system. Yup, you got it: a CITY.

-I have actual dreams about Istanbul and New York.

-I started eating Donair's, Fallafel's, jamaican patties, Gnocci's with Pesto, Poutine (god help me), and Shwarma's when I was still in grade school. I am not Greek or Lebanese or Italian. I thought that people who had never tasted hummus were totally weird.

-For most of my life, up until my recent burn-out from working at a homeless shelter, one of my favorite things to do was to head downtown and chat up the panhandlers.....not so much anymore. (understatement).

-I spent 3 weeks deeply exploring the city of Paris, France and felt I had only just skimmed over the top. And for a person like myself, I was probably right.

-I like to walk or bike down some city streets with no place to go or no goal in mind...just cause. This remains one of my favorite pastimes. I was under the impression that most people enjoyed doing this...and have recently learned this is not the case.

-I spend a fairly large chunk of my life in various coffee shops. I like my Americano long. The people at the Portuguese bakery know my "thing" for custard tarts. Yikes.

-If I wanted to I could go for weeks without doing groceries. Especially if I hit up China town on a regular basis. Ye-eah!

-When I am bored I window shop...really that only means looking in store windows and rarely walk in them. I like to do it at a fairly fast pace.

-I can maneuver my way through a giant crowd on a busy sidewalk like nobody's business. Seriously. I should probably be ashamed, but I secretly think it's pretty cool.

I'm on a roll with this list, and could go on and on but I'll cut it there before I really disgrace myself. Actually, it's not even that I see these things as bad, necessarily. They are the fabric of my life and I love many, even most, aspects of my life in cities. I feel that the city has been the teacher of my most valuable life lessons. City's are so messy, and busy and scary and lovely and gritty all at once. Cities are white lights at night, and music, and food smells, dancing and sadness and crowds.....

Cities are....sitting under a tree watching a little girl chasing a red balloon in the park
hearing the street car bell, seeing the tennis ball crack against the racket while eating Roti and squinting into the sun.

Cities are beautiful.

Can this city person try another way?
Stay tuned....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yours to Discover

Back in the blogosphere.
Back in the smogosphere.

Back from 10 + days wandering around southern Ontario. I have been in Guelph, Kitchener, Wingham, Lucknow, Goderich and a few little towns in between!

Actually most of those days were spent on Ignatius CSA organic farm just out side of Guelph - visiting Don who is an intern there. I have been officially done work for a month and a day and finally, my nerves are beginning to settle a bit. I think 10 days in the country helped out with the "unwinding". I have to say I felt a certain amount of guilt as I was lazing around, swinging in hammocks, reading, taking leisurely walks in the fields, picking wild flowers, while Don and the other interns were slaving away in the fields all days squashing potato bugs, weeding, planting and sweating.

Last weekend we headed to Guelph Lake and watched the dragon boat races and splashed around in the water a bit. We headed into town and went to our favorite store called "the family store" which is the wackiest sally-annish used "stuff" store I've ever been in. It has everything from stuffed, mounted animals to old baseball cards to live budgies for sale...the place has everything weird and wild. They even host bands there, too! Love it. We stopped in at the Albion one evening and drank too much beer after eating too much ice cream and then had a harrowing bike ride back to the farm...I had to squint to see the white line...thanks to the moonlight we made it back without any damage!

Guelph is steadily growing on me. It is small but but lovely with a little grit and a lot of heart. It feels more and more like a refreshing alternative to big city living. Toronto, I am realizing, often makes me feel all clenched up and tight - in mind and body. I have started to accept the fact that i need space both literally and figuratively. I see the truth of my 'slow-ness' more and more. I'm starting to see that maybe it is not the bad thing i have always thought it was.

I made a trip to Kitchener to visit the Halls which was great fun. I got to see little Kathryn graduate from her swimming group "Sea Turtles". She will become a "Salamander" next and is super pumped.. I also got to see Simeon in the early stages of walking!!! He looks like a little
e-wok....super cute.

I went from Kitchener back to Guelph and then we drove out to Wingham to attend the wedding of don's family friend. The ceremony was on one of the most beautiful farms I have ever been on. The Farm house built on a hill over looking rolling green hills as far as the eye can see. I walked through grass up to my waist and stood looking over the grazing sheep and the ocean of rolling green....it literally took my breath away.

On Sunday I helped Don and Carol hoe her garden (which is huge!) and we drove out to Goderich with Don's folks and spent the afternoon at the beach next to the salt mine. The waterfront is on lake Huron and is a really beautiful spot where they have built a long boardwalk along the beach. Don and I drove back to Guelph in the evening surrounded by lightning storms on either side of us!

This morning i got on the bus back to the city at 7am! Feel a little bit of trepidation upon entering back into the city...but looking forward to future travelling adventures! I think I am ready to tackle Ireland, Germany, Turkey...i think!

I'll update my plans on that front...

And there ends Julia's Ontario adventures (for now).
Peace OUt!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

songs and things....

lyrics to a new song. Voila.

Have you grown tired
of living in tight and tiny spaces?
It's been some years

of putting on tough and fighting faces.

I did not want to talk about it
I did not mean to sing about this
But maybe it's time for giving in a very different way
maybe it's time for giving in a very different way

And can you hear the silent longing
emanating out from all things?
It says:
"You can do anything you want....you can do anything you want."

Can you look out

and see the way the wind blows through the grasses?
Now is your chance

to run out there and play before it passes.

And i did not want to talk about it
I did not mean to sing about this
But maybe it's time for living in a very different way

And can you hear the silent longings
emanating out from every single thing
It says:
"You can do anything you want....you can do anything that you want."

I wrote this 2 days ago. It just slipped right out of me and it was nice to have written a new song on the guitar. I've been a little (maybe more than a little) preoccupied with my accordion as of late, which has been so great, but it's good not to be neglecting the guitar altogether. I feel like it is a song sung by me - for me, as I am right on the cusp of leaving the shelter and embarking on travelling and doing...um...stuff?? It is a strange feeling - this in between-what-the-heck-will-i-do-next feeling, but I do feel ready for it.

And speaking of new adventures, Don left for his farming internship in Guelph a few hours ago. I feel like i'm floating on the surface of a big sadness...but it's not like we won't be seeing each other often. I think I'm a bit nervous about the potential loneliness of being in the city and not having his constant steady companionship....and all of the uncertainty of what the future will bring....it's a lot. I imagine I will become a crazy accordion geek and drive the whole neighborhood completely insane with all my jigs'n'reels. Ah well. They'll survive!

And I'll leave it at that.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Barbara - Benny's sister

Yes - would love to connect
my email: julerific@hotmail.com
Drop me a line.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

major blog/life overload!

Holy Crap!!

I just did a bit of a stupid thing and decided to read all (almost) of my blog entries from 2005 till now!!! Wowsers!! In retrospect probably not the smartest thing to do - when I'm already super tired and need sleep.

A harsh reminder of what a crazy and unbelievably intense 3 years it's been for me. I almost forgot....but not quite. It's weird, but right now I have this bizarre feeling.... like - I really wish that I could stand outside of myself and give myself a hug....for all the shit i went through with the crrrazy community and all of that madness and feeling like the most alone person on the face of the planet. O - so so much pain. I wish I could give my self a hug that says "i'm sorry...and I understand..and it wasn't your fault...you did your very best". I think mainly because I am the only person able to do that. That's a totally weird thought. Maybe that's the way it is with the really painful things that forever change you....that sense that in some ways we all bear certain types of pain and hurt alone. It's odd to feel actual compassion for one's own self. I think that is what I felt after reading all of it...not self pity...but real compassion - as if i were reading about Someone else and not me. I think that may be a first!

I think I got hooked on reading by how crazy things got. Kindof like those reality shows that you know are going really wrong or will end up really badly...but you just can't tear yourself away. It's also weird, as the whole community experience has been coming up a lot lately, totally independent of my bringing it up (generally, i don't like to think too much about it). The other weird thing is that I actually ran into a member today at the coffee shop. Bizarre.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's time to start "unpacking" it...or something. (??)

Or not.

btw - if there are any readers out there anymore...it's not all bad...don;t let this post scare you...some of it was so funny I was laughing out loud quite hard. Especially the part about 'Jesus drinking gin out of the cat dish' because of all the 'fucking hypocrites'. yeah - quite a bit of profanity over a certain span of time...but really really funny in parts. At least I thought so...but I did write it...Ok - now i sound like a complete weirdo. Awesome.

It's late. I'm bombed.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

the eve of Easter Sunday

It is the Saturday night before the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I have always identified closely with the Saturday of Easter more than the extreme sorrow of good Friday or the extreme joy of Easter Sunday. It was the day of Jesus in the grave....in the dark...in the silence...covered and shrouded and...dead. It sound a bit macabre...but this day seems most symbolic of my constant struggle with things of faith and of God. Most of the time it has been a blind groping in the dark. Most of the time it has been struggling with a silent God. Most of the time it has been completely shrouded and covered in many things, both from within and out. If i were to be completely honest this is how it has been, for the most part. I can relate to this part of the Easter story.

Jesus in the grave: hanging in the infinitesimally fine balance between certainties.

I can understand that. Because that is what most of life is, i think. At least, that is what mine has been. It is the place of ultimate unknowing and vulnerability. This is what is completely real and not illusory. This I know to be a major part of my life and spirituality. God in the grave....in the very middle....carrying the tension of all the inbetween places of the world, and of the deepest caverns of the human heart.

So - I want to keep vigil for this Jesus. Just as he, in his dark grave is attending to my most hidden vulnerabilities and holding them steady...in divine resignation. I'm not afraid of this resignation - because by it and through it there can come a transformation of sorts. Maybe, a slow movement from illusions to reality, at it's most stark and beautiful. A slow movement towards acceptance of myself, and all the things I will never know or understand about God.

A movement....
A way opening...
A stone rolling away.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Malade d'etre malade....

ooooohhh la la la la la la.........Rhume.

Ce n'est pas agreable. Pas du tout.

I can't find the accents on my anglophone laptop. I'm not even sure if they even exist on it. It doesn't look like it. Stupid english goons. (it's just a joke...c'est un blague.)

So - yes - sick again. I feel that ever since coming back from Christmas holidays I've been battling some kind of sickness...whether it be various forms of the stomach flu, the common cold, coughs, flu, weird rashes......and it's been 2 flipping months already! Arg!

Il devient tres ennuie.

Oh Spring...please come quickly. I need to see green growing things again.

I wonder how long i will be trapped in sick modes....like my body is running behind the pack always trying to catch up. Maybe I just need to let it be. I hate being slow sometimes...it can be so frustrating.

Which reminds me of something I read today. I've been thinking about our society's rushing and relentless need to be in competition with each other. This reading gave the example of of a Jesuit priest who was in France one summer working with the L'Arche community (a community that cares for and lives with people who have developmental disabilities). One afternoon he was helping some of the community members train for the Special Olympics: I'll quote from it directly:

"Claude was having a great time fooling around instead of trying to improve his running ability. Doug, losing his patience, scolded him saying, 'Claude, if you don't smarten up even Jean-Pierre is going to beat you!' Jean-Pierre, being very spastic, could hardly walk, let alone run. Claude lit up with a great smile and said, 'Wouldn't it be great if Jean-Pierre won!' "
-Excerpt taken from 'Enough Room for Joy - The Early days of L'Arche'
Bill Clarke SJ

There was something about reading that today that both pierced me and freed me simultaneously....if that's possible. I wish so badly I were that free from the need to compete. I wish I were that open and unaffected and loving. I wish I were that free from the Subtle vindictiveness that can creep in when we see others win...in whatever way. God, help me. I can be such a worm.

Reading that also made me feel that maybe it's okay to be sick and unproductive this week. Maybe I don't need to panic that I'm falling behind in the big, bad, crazy, rolling world out there.

So that's what goin' on.

peace -jc

Saturday, February 16, 2008

a letter at 10:20pm on a Saturday night...

I write this to you on my new (used) lap top. I feel so special.

I'm sipping camomile tea with honey. I'm listening to blues on CBC radio. It's surprisingly good. Really good, actually...I gotta find out who this guy is.
I am having a very quiet Saturday night. I'm not minding it much. I have spent the evening cleaning my apartment....as it was messy messy messy from the previous week. Piles of dishes in the sink. Then I had a bath. I'm looking fantastic right now in a lot of pink flannel (that was sarcasm, incase you were wondering). I was thinking of cooking a fantastic meal for myself....but then I got too tired. I never ate actually. Nope, thats not true - I had a bowl of yogurt! Dinner of champions. This must be so thrilling for you.

I wonder what fun things you are up to tonight.

I took a long walk throught High Park today. It was nice...so bright. There was silence there, too. So much snow i wanted to jump around in. But didnt. I probably should have. There were a lot of dogs out having a blast. One too many with a fancy coat on, though. Some of them were actually better dressed than I was. The scary thing is that I'm not even joking. It was a little wierd. On my way out of a coffee shop on Bloor West where one little guy was tied up looking very 'northface' I whispered to him, "hey buddy, you look good, but don't you feel like you've lost some of your doggy dignity?" He looked at me with sad eyes. I think he was saying yes.

Guess what? My sister had a baby boy yesterday. The day after Valentines day. Not sure what his name is yet. I think they are still deciding. I hope he enjoys these day of being nameless...there is something so fresh and inviting about the idea.

I'm thinking of calling the EP 'lighthouse of dreams'. Did I ever tell you about my dream of spending half a year in a lighthouse?

So here is a poem/quote I read today that I thought you might enjoy:

Stillness is what
creates Love
Movement is what
creates Life
To be still -
Yet still moving
That is everything.
-Do Hyun Cho
I hope you are well.
Much Love,

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's very important to...

"...Keep the rock rollin'."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

a year in review..


It's early 2008 so I thought - what the hell - maybe I'll post something.
Last year kicked off with a bit of a rough start - much change, uncertainty and exhaustion ...but 2007 blossomed into a restful. lovely and sometimes surprising one. I'm very grateful for it.

Some highlights big and small (mostly small) - in no specific order:

  1. my first solo apartment (the hobbit hole) in the big city
  2. my first herb garden.
  3. many a custard tart enjoyed with Elly while living on Beatrice
  4. a new set of non stick pots and pans from the folks
  5. a great b-day with Krissy and really good sushi and a day on the island...turning 31 lost it's sting...
  6. some fun gigs with Max - and singing with Anna...and Joe
  7. cooking soup, soup and more soup. I looooooove making soup....
  8. weekends in Wingham with Don and the Bowyers
  9. Don - and his constant loving, grounding presence in my life
  10. august trip to Newfoundland with my family, aunts, uncles and cousins - pilgrimage to "the Cape"
  11. my grandfathers accordian made new (which I'm yet to learn how to play)
  12. peaceful spring afternoons, alone with a coffee on Roncessvalles
  13. Aprils October wedding in Costa Rica...and experiencing the beauty of Costa Rica...it deserves it's own highlight list
  14. weekend of silent retreat in Arnprior
  15. Don and Chris's new pad
  16. meetings with Max
  17. reading Kahlil Gibran for the first time
  18. Poppy's beautiful funeral in March - Newfoundland
  19. Easter weekend in Shells apartment
  21. my ghetto keyboard!
  22. tobogganing with Don, Shelley and Altin at Christie pits
  23. weekend in July touring TO with mom (visual image of mom walking in china town while sipping from a coconut and carrying a little chinese umbrella to shade her and trying to carry a ton of bags at the same time...very funny)
  24. hearing Oliver Schroer's 'Camino' for the first time
  25. day trips outta the city with Elly and her 'wheels'
  26. Kate and her sweet baby boy Simeon - "chill baby"
  27. Dad's 60th
  28. Spa days with Shell
  29. the kiddie pool in Kitchener with Kate and the kids
  30. Aprils August visit before really moving to Central America (!)- her wedding shower - going dress shopping - marvelling at the mytery of life and it's changes
  31. camping trips with D...drunken teenage boys pukeing next to us!
  32. Elly's booth at the Toronto Outdoor - and hoodies hoodies hoodies - and DAILY coffee breaks at the G-way.....eeeeevil starbucks makes me feel so gooooood.....
  33. beers at the Gem with some of the Gateway gang
  34. Summer trips to Wards island beach
  35. many post-work evenings with CBC radio and a cup of tea....thank you CBC for your constant companionship...
  36. learning Kodaly at the Royal Conservatory of Music...I never thought I'd love school again!
  37. Don's brothers wedding in London
  38. drinking wine at Dufferin Grove park....drinking coffee at Duffering grove park...going to the Dufferin grove market....D's cob at Dufferin Grove...skating at Dufferin Grove ...you get the point
  39. I learned to run!! I can run 7K!! it's a miracle.
  40. Finishing the EP. FINALLY! Thank you DOUG
  41. Knitting, knitting and more knitting
  42. Making Christmas Chutney...mmm mmm good
  43. new years Fire Works in Ottawa with Ma and Pa from the Westin window. Breathtaking....
  44. Handels 'Messiah' at Roy Thompson with Don...such a perfect and beautiful way to cap off the year. I won't soon forget that performance.
I didn't expect this list to be so long....and it could be so much longer...so many moments. And it's all about the moment, i think. Looking over this list...i think that it's actually true...the moment is all we have. That list also reminds me of highschool year book write ups. creepy.

On a side note...It occurs to me I should write a 'favorite music of 2007' list....as if we havent had our fill of "lists". But there are a few gems....that will be for another post.

Anyway. Thats all she wrote. Good-bye 2007. Thanks for everything.