Friday, May 22, 2009

33 in Guelph, ON.

It's 3pm on Friday afternoon and I am sitting in the Red Brick Cafe in Downtown Guelph. Get this - the place has FREE WIRELESS!! Can you believe it??!! Wahooo!

I feel like I've just won the jackpot.

So, I thought I'd try and give a more thorough update on my life since I've been so lackadaisical about it as of late. I have to defend myself though, by saying that not having the Internet has made me lazy about many things, not just blogging. Hopefully I will get my butt in gear and get it soon.

So the first news of the day is....that I turned the dreaded...get ready for it...33 years old this week!! Sweet Mother of God!! 33 years old. Holy Crap. I would put some expletives in here as well...but I think y'all get the point. How can I be nearing my mid thirties when in many ways I still feel like I'm twelve??? What the?! Will I always feel like I'm twelve?? Reminds me of when I was holding a 3 month old infant on my knee yesterday, and he was all slumped over having just fallen straight to sleep, and I was struck with how much he reminded me of an old man. Life is so unreal that way...we return just as we came: bald, tiny, dependant, diapered and slumped over. I wonder if it's God's funny little joke to him/herself.
And on that happy note.....I just spilt my coffee over my keyboard. Arg.

Guelph: small city or mid-sized town?

My answer: Mid sized town.
Maybe I'm a bigg(er) city snob, but there is no way that this place can be classified as a "city". Yes, it's a fun town that has a decent bookstore - two actually, a few good coffee shops, some great restaurants, a library, a little downtown and cool stuff going on....but it is most definitely NOT a city. My guess is they call it a city because of the suburb sprawl that has accumulated at a very fast rate over the past ten years. But that's what it is: suburb - not city. I don;t care if it has 115,000 people living here. Most of them live in a suburb. And the downtown core where I live, is the center of a mid-sized town with a University - not a city. Doesn't the word "city" conotate "urban"?? Why do the miles and miles of suburb classify as "city"? I'm not sure why this distinction gets to just does. But I guess the same can be said for a lot of other places in the GTA, namely, BRAMPTON (God, what a horrible horrible place). I think that there should be a rule that suburbs should be called something"Lego pre-fab ugly as sin housing next to (insert name of mid-sized town here)". Yeah.

Sorry for the tangent. It's hard to put into words in a blog what has been happening to me since I moved to Guelph. Some of the most obvious things are the feelings of being surrounded by the natural world. Tree's seem so generous and all pervasive here. And birds are tweeting everywhere and so much more noticeably then anywhere I have lived before. You drive or ride your bike a little ways in a certain direction and you are literally surrounded by fields and forests. It's amazing to me and has been slowly shifting my way of being. I have been commuting many weekends into Toronto to work and am always jarred by the difference and have trouble adjusting back into the slowed, more natural pace of life after a weekend in the city. I feel a bit like I'm still in between places and look forward to when that will not be the case.

On a deeper level, the sudden removal of all that is familiar has been unsettling and it has been hard feeling like the 'newbie' in a place again. I also feel like I have been on a "prolonged retreat" in a way...not so many things just surface I guess. I think it has been a good thing, but not always so easy.

One major perk has been the steady stream of friends and family coming in and out. I have really enjoyed offering people a little break from city life....

Tonight hopefully I will plant my herb garden, finally!

So this has been long. I will try and post some pics of life soon.

That's it that's all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

the town I'm from

Hellooooo Blogger land.

I feel like it's been forever since I've blogged. I am only writing now because I am in Ottawa and have full access to the Internet for the first time in over a's like I've been living in the dark ages or something.

So I'm here in Ottawa on a very quick trip that I wish was longer. I'm thinking right now of dear friends...the Rochelle and Mike and Jim and Sues and Jen and Andrew and Marcia and others. People I hope I do see very soon. Thankfully i was able to head up to beautiful Wakefield to see Krissy and the kids who are growing like crazy and making me feel so old! They are turning into such amazing people. It is good to see old friends.

It has been so nice to be here in the height of springtime, daffodils popping up on every corner, tulips of every imaginable colour literally adorn the city, the bright greenness of everything makes all of nature here look like it's bursting at the seams with life. Spring. I have even had a moment or two of sheer pleasure. The kind of moment where you are walking along and every problem, concern, anxiety, and thought is suspended in time and the only thing that exists in the entire universe is just me, the only sound are my footsteps on the path in front of me, the only sight is the purple little flowers poking out of the grass and the only feeling is the warmth of the sun on my face....and then it's gone. But those moments are so few and far between. I consider them pure gift. It has been a great few days.

It was my Dad's birthday, and my sister and niece and nephew were down to celebrate, so I decided to come a little late and celebrate with them. A good time was had by all. Tomorrow I head back to Guelph the train, which is way too exiting for a greyhound junkie such as myself.

For some reason this trip has been particularly nostalgic for me. I have found myself walking around and thinking about some of the really good years I spent in this neighborhood. Some of the more care-free and truly happy times of my life (with some bad days sprinkled in there, of course). Thinking a lot about all the different people that filled those days. I think for the first time I have started to miss things about my life here, or that time of my life, or the past. I felt like all the familiar places were filled with the ghosts of people I havent seen in years. Although it's been a great few days, I feel a certain definite kind of sadness. I'm not exactly sure what it's about. Maybe it's a saying goodbye to the past and kindof wishing it werent over. Maybe it's a kind of letting go. This is the city I grew up in, after all. There is a lot of myself in this place. Sometimes I forget....and then it just hits me.

Right now I am wondering why I can hear what sounds exactly like a lawnmower at 1:45AM. This place may be pretty but very strange sometimes.

Anyway, I will soon give a Guelph/life update but it's way too late at night and time for me to go to bed or something like that.

Hope you are doing well, whoever you are out there.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Peanut butter cups rock.

Yeah... really really tasty. And thats all I'll say about that.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Nothing happens,
and nothing happens,
and then everything happens."
-Fay Weldon

Isn't that always the way, though?
It is 5:45 am on Easter Sunday morning. I won't get into the details of why I am up at such an ungodly hour, but don't worry it really isn't very exciting at all.
I know this is a lame entry. I'm really tired, and have a headache and don't have much to say even though there are a million things swimming around in my head. Some important, some unimportant, some completely moronic, some just kinda bobbing along the surface irritating the snot out of me. But I stop and pause before I begin to spew them all out on this blog. No, not smart. Mmmm yes...the good old World Wide Web.

There is a question right now is repeating itself over and over in my head. I am sure thousands before me have asked it since the dawning of time itself. Sometimes, even on a blessed Easter morning such as this, it can come down to this one simple question:

"Is life just one damn thing after another?"

So it'll be a curmudgeonly Easter morn after all. But in the end folks, it's all good in the hood.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ode to Dufferin Grove Park

I'm moving out of Toronto in 5 days!!! Holy crap. Anyway, I, like you Ltk, am getting all retrospective on Toronto now that I'm leaving the city. Funny how that works. This post is dedicated to one of the places in the city I will miss frequenting the most. It's Dufferin Grove Park, of course! I have spent many a happy afternoon lounging around this friendly little piece of Toronto. I've sat under it's tall trees revelling in Spring, I've had wine with dear friends on fall evenings, I've stared up and the night sky during a lunar eclipse in the winter, I've talked, laughed, biked, argued, read, written poetry, purchased organic goods in this sweet, loving place. Arguably the best Park in Toronto (definitely the best farmers market) . So here's to you, Duffy! Thanks for all the goodness!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Everything coming up Roses?

Fare-well Toronto!!

So here's the latest: It's been six years in the big smoke and I'm moving on. That's right, in approximately 2 weeks I'll be an official "Guelphite". Hoorah! As much as I do love the big city, These days I'm loving' the little city a whole lot more. Who woulda thunkit?? The sense of relief I feel as I step off the GO bus/Greyhound and arrive at the Guelph station is hard to explain but makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Have I found a home? (or have i turned into a giant cheese-ball?) It remains to be seen, but regardless, I'm pretty stoked about the situation as it stands right now. The Donald and I have found a lovely apartment with a little yard in the back (where I can finally plant a herb garden) on a truly gorgeous street Downtown. I also have the added bonus of a full and steady supply of organic produce at my disposal courtesy of Don's superior farming skills and the nurturing soil of the Ignatius Farm. Aaand....I also have a potential job opportunity in Guelph that just plopped in my lap. Could life get any better?

It's probably not fair for me to say that it is "Goodbye Toronto" completely, as the other news item is my recent acceptance into the Early Childhood Music Education program with the Royal Conservatory of Music/Ryerson University! Hoorah! This was a bit of a stroke of luck (and a great reference) for which I am very thankful. It means that I will be doing a commute into the city quite often over the next couple of years. How often is yet to be seen. I fear I shall become far too well acquainted with the GO buses and trains. Sometimes I feel just like that Ron Sexsmith Song: "All our lives we wait on trains". Truth is, I do have a certain fondness for locomotives. Apparently so does my three year old niece. (We have the joy of Train and Bus riding coursing through our veins inherited from my nan and pop. They LOVED riding the bus!)
So it's not really good-bye, dear T.O...just... 'see you around and less often'. I know, I all you Torontonians can breathe a collective sigh of relief that you won't be losing Julia Churchill completely. That would be a tragic, tragic loss. har har.

All that being said, I am now in packing modes and not doing very well at it, admittedly. Who wants to pack when it's finally springy, sunny and warm out (or at least not frigid)? It's a bit of a problem. Whenever I do get around to it I end up picking up an old journal out of a box and then it all goes to hell in a hand basket. So far I have read three full journals from yesteryear. I have to say it is disturbing to read my inner most thoughts and feelings as a 21/22 year old. That's 10 years ago now...what a mind warp. At moments while I was reading it I literally had to smack myself in the head for the sheer stupidity of some of it. It was ME!! I will never read it again. Sometimes I wonder why I keep the darn things. Why do I keep those heinous journals?? This is something worth looking into....

But I digress.

Today as I was ambling around Queen street west, drifting in and out of stores, amazed at the warm air hitting my face as I biked through Trinity Bellwoods park.... I thought to myself how crazy it is that I am actually preparing to leave this big, bad, busy, beautiful-in-it's-unique-way city. But I am so ready. I'm beyond ready. To quote the immortal Dylan:

"well the times, they are a' changing".

that's all for now.
Peace and Happy St. Paddy's day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A little bit o' Paris in Guelph, Ontario!

My new cafe in my new (soon-to-be) town! Oooo, la la.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Shadows can be annoying

Done sometime early Feb on a particularly lonely week. And the funny thing is that I meant to post this on my comic blog but made a mistake. Whoops!! I think I'll just post on on both. Arg.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday and henri

Hidden Greatness

There is much emphasis on notoriety and fame in our society. Our newspapers and television keep giving us the message: What counts is to be known, praised, and admired, whether you are a writer, an actor, a musician, or a politician.

Still, real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple, and unobtrusive. It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility. Some of the greatest works of art and the most important works of peace were created by people who had no need for the limelight. They knew that what they were doing was their call, and they did it with great patience, perseverance, and love.

This one is Henri Nouwen again. I post this one as it has been something I have been struggling with a lot this week. Just feeling very much like a big faker with my dreams and the doing of 'my art' and having one of those stretches of time when I feel like everything I write or create or try and do is just pointless and dumb and too small and misdirected and this voice keeps yealling at me: "who am I to think of my self as any kind of artist when I'm struggling to really produce anything of real value" (how does one evaluate, really). It's strange as I thought I had kind of conquered this feeling since it hasn't reared it's ugly head in a very long time. I mistakenly thought I had killed it. So that is part of my disappointment. I think it was triggered by some comments I heard recently from a couple of completely unrelated sources talking about what constitutes a "real artist" and terms were being thrown around such as: emerging artist, producing artist, product, working artist.... There were others that I can't quite recall at the moment. I just remember feeling about 1 inch tall afterward, as I don't really consider myself "producing" much of anything - for the "market", anyway. Funny thing is, before letting these things get to me....I was loving just allowing myself to play around with things and experiment.

In writing this I know that I tend to get ahead of myself and also be hard on myself when I should be much much gentler. This quote reminds me that the little things do matter, that it doesn't matter if I am the only one who is aware of my awkward secret fumbling toward the dreams. What matters is that I do what I feel I should do, regardless of what anyone else thinks, or knows or says or whatever. Sometimes I just get so frustrated when shit like this gets to me.

I am thinking that this is a discipline to cultivate: "strong self-confidence combined with deep humility".

So this is my Ash Wednesday confession.
And now I am off to Kitchener.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The spiritual life as gigantic mystery....

"Truth Does not need to be defended, but there needs to be an openness to be a part of the dance. Meditation teaches us how to do this. We dive below the labels knowing they can't hurt us, we are okay with being offended, we don't just open the door to let some fresh air in, but jump out the door to find we have wings. We jump in, we dance, we stop looking at our beliefs to something deeper: The heart unified in Love."

-Cynthia Bourgeault

"For fifty years we should stop talking about God and call it the Holy Mystery, until we have a better, deeper understanding of what it is we are talking about."

-Karl Rahner

And here is the quote of the week (mine, anyway):

"My deepest me is God."

-Catherine of Genoa

Friday, February 13, 2009


Hey there,

So I started another blog dedicated to weird little comics that I have begun drawing about my life. It's pretty bizarre and random. I started drawing them as a kind of therapy to express things I couldn't or didn't want to write out or talk about, and also to make light of some of the hard stuff - or just draw you've been warned. Yes, in case you are wondering, these days I do have too much time on my hands. Anyhoo, it's kind of grown into something I do a lot of the time so I decided to post them just for fun and to share. As an old friend of mine once said "comics are for sharing"...oh no...whoops...actually he said "smokes are for sharing". Ah well. Same thing. (Please note: I am not a visual artist and I a lot of the time I can't spell.)

check it out:

It's like spring again in the city. Nice.
peace out,

Monday, February 09, 2009

Borderlands and the recovering creative mind

Hi there.

I steal the term "borderlands" from Max who was speaking of it so beautifully and eloquently this Sunday in his homily (or maybe it would be more accurate to say his "poem"). I was shaken with how much I could relate to the things he was saying. Borderland - the place of endings and beginnings. And sometimes you are right there on the edge waiting for the ending to end and the beginning to begin. It's the half-light at the end of the day and the start of the night...where everything is covered in a weird hazy grayish light and you can;t quite make out the form of things. It's the place I am finding myself in these days....figuratively and literally.
I can't say the borderland has been a bad place, though. Actually, maybe for the first time in my life, I've been enjoying it in my own way.

So I'm making my plans to leave Toronto. Thought I would be moving at the end of this month, and then plans went awry and turns out I will be here now until April. It was mainly disappointing as I was planning on spending time in Kitchener with Kate in her first month of 3rd baby motherhood to help her out and spend time with the family - and be the un-official "Doula". I guess it will just have to be put-off for the time being.

In the meantime, I have been working pretty rarely, picking up the odd relief shift at a couple of shelters and penny pinching quite a lot. It's funny as I keep making the decision to walk EVERYWHERE (instead of spend the 2.75 for the TTC) and then wonder why in the world I am so tired at the end of the day. I have the tendency towards impatience so it has been good training for me not to have all the answers right now and have to wait. I would get into more details but that would be boring so I'll save those for another time.

In the midst of biding time I have been going through the beginnings of a kind of creative recovery/exploration thanks to Lisa.L. and with the help of The Artists Way. In conversation with Lisa over breakfast 3 weeks back I was telling her that I wanted to start some kind of "creative group" to get together with other folks and talk things creative, and our creative journeys/dilemmas to which Lisa replied "oh, I already started one 2 weeks ago!". So a little group of us have been meeting for breakfast early Tuesday mornings to go through 12 weeks of Julia Cameron's book, The Artists way. Happening upon this has been incredibly timely for me - in Julia Cameron-speak, that's, like, total "synchronicity"! One of the many examples of random stuff I've been doing: Today I wrote a letter from my 80 year old self to my present self as one of my tasks...I was tempted to write it out here it was so super inspiring to me...but think I might wait on that. I also wrote a letter from my 8 year old self. Anyway, so far going through this process has been incredibly eye opening for me on many levels and I feel like I am finally gaining ground in terms of recovering my poor lost artist (I think I dropped her somewhere between the Catholic worker and the 108 homeless men I was looking after....d-uh).

It is also forcing me to face some things I probably would have left in hiding otherwise. The process of doing that has been incredibly freeing if sometimes uncomfortable. I am actually feeling comfortable with myself again, unapologetically. And I keep making cartoon strips of my life just for fun which I find quite hilarious and extremely fun. It's strange the surprising things that have popped up. It's been a lot of fun. I've just said fun a whole lot. I must be having fun.

Speaking up fun, I need to go to the gym. hip hip......not happenin'.
-jc (same initials as Jesus Christ and Julia Cameron!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

To Inspire; to breathe life into

I've been listening to We-haaay too much cbc radio lately with all my freeee time (note that free time doesn't come free). As a result of this I have been hearing some down right inspiring stuff. Some weeks the cbc really nails it on the head (we won't talk about the other times at this juncture). Anyway, if you need some inspiration check these links out.

Musicians for World Harmony: This incredible organization founded by this incredible individual recently had a project in refugee camps in the Congo with children who were forced to become soldiers and commit unspeakable crimes, many times against their own families. Girls forced to become sex slaves of the military. Through the use of music, musicians and music therapists help the children heal and give voice to their stories through song. You can hear the cbc radio dispatches interview with the founder here. Just scroll down until you see the heading 'Mending Lost Hearts'.

Joy Apparel: This Toronto based guy makes T-shirts with YOUR face drawn onto it...Here is part of his Mission -
Every face on a Joy T- Shirt has been inspired by a real person. When you wear your shirt you are encouraged to think about that person and how your everyday actions can affect others and the world we live in.

After you buy a t-shirt of some random stranger (who suddenly isn't so random!), then you send in a photo of yourself and someone else will be eventually wearing YOU! He started this company, in part, based on an encounter with a stranger, Mr. Frank Joy, who ended up having a major impact on his life. How inspiring is that??


Jenn Hadfield, A girl living on the Shetland islands and working as a shop-keeper wins the TS Eliot award for poetry - one of the most prestigious of it's kind. She is the youngest person ever to win it.
Here is a poem she wrote in collaboration with artist Douglas Robertson entitled Daed-traa. (I want to write this poem on my ceiling it inspires me so much.)


Hope that helped!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

note to myself:

music to pick up (at some point soon):
1) Sigur Ros
2) Hawksley Workman - new one
3) Leonard Cohen - specifically - "Famous Blue Raincoat"

Friday, January 23, 2009


These are the photos I took of myself in my apartment in the the beginning of the Black out that occurred not long ago in Toronto. The power was out in my apartment for 24 hrs on the coldest day of the year (so far) ! These photos were taken between the hours of 10:30pm and 3am. Hope you enjoy the brief play by play.

First Hour: "Yay, this is fun...I love candles!"

Third hour: " All shall be well all shall be well all shall be well..."

Fourth hour:"O mi goodness...I wish I had a Coleman stove...."

fifth hour: "Pretty candles that I wish were electric"

In conclusion, Here is a list of things to have on hand in the case of a blackout in -28 degrees:
  1. candles
  2. a flashlight
  3. a lighter
  4. a big fuzzy hat or toque
  5. flannel Pyjamas and a big wool sweater
  6. a hot water bottle
  7. double socks
  8. a Coleman stove
  9. a book to read by candlelight
  10. a fire safety handbook
  11. long underwear
  12. a bottle of Shiraz
  13. a camera
  14. knitting needles and wool

The end.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

10 more till 100!

So - it is midnight and I can't sleep. And here I am in blog land.

I just realized now that 10 more posts and my blog will have reached 100 posts total! That is since I started in 2005 (I can't believe I started this thing that long ago....seems like decades ago now). There were a couple of years there where I didn't write much at could say I abandoned blogging in a way. But anyway, I look forward to post number 100!

Some random notes on my life lately and life in general.

- All Obama all the time!! I feel like it's been 24/7 Obama land lately which is kind of weird. I didn't catch the inauguration speech unfortunately, but that morning, I have to admit I did get a tad emotional about the whole affair. Regardless of whether everyone's out-of-control hopes are not lived up to (mine included), it was a bright and beautiful day in the history of the world.

-Guelph, Ontario: Land of white crunchy snow and friendly folks!
I have spent the last 3 days in Guelph as I have been trying to feel it out more and make a decision about taking the plunge and leaving the big smoke for a little city with big heart. This trip has convinced me that Guelph definitely is the place I want to be at this point in my life. It's a breath of fresh air (literally and figuratively). I've already spent quite a bit if time here in the spring/summer and it has been neat seeing it in the winter. I love how strangers say hello, people randomly smile at you, the streets are narrow with old stone houses, and the parks make me want to buy snowshoes! I feel oddly at home here. I am really excited about this change. Hooray!

-I left Facebook! Yes - it's true. I went AWOL. I abandoned ship. I am no longer on Facebook. (Gasp!). I had been thinking about it for awhile, and then, one day as I was looking at photos of a complete strangers New years Eve party, I thought to myself "This is sheer madness". The funny thing about leaving Facebook is that you can't really soon as you "reactivate" (by logging in again) your account everything is there exactly as it was. It's creepy. What is interesting, too, that almost immediately after I did it I felt a gigantic sense of relief, which I still feel! That's almost embarrassing to admit and I'm not exactly sure what it means. I think, for me, it's the desire for more authentic communication in my life - as bad as I am at it. It's all good...just not for me.

-School application process begins. I am applying for a program offered by Ryerson and The RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music) as an Early Childhood Music Educator. It is a bit precarious as i am technically not qualified...on paper anyway, but have a very good reference backing me up. I feel pretty confident that I can get in the program...but a little nervous about it as we shall see. This also marks a concerted effort, on my part, this year, to make my creative life the major priority. It has been too many years of not doing that.

OKay...hopefully I can sleep now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Diving Bells and Butterflys and it's COLD.

Is it ever COLD!! My feet are like ice cubes inside my rubber boots!!

It’s a very frigid –18 (that is including wind-chill). I am sitting in the Timothy’s on Roncesvalles drinking my almost cold tea and trying to illegally connect to someone’s wireless connection with no luck – I am able to connect for about 4 minutes and then the blasted Rogers “hot spot” will take over and try to get me to pay 6 bucks for one hour of Internet use…yes you just read that correctly – I said “6 bucks for one hour”. That’s messed up. It makes me wonder why more coffee shops in this city won’t get a little more benevolent and provide some free wireless for their patrons. It seems to me that it would make sense on many levels. But nooooo…this is no Fogo Island, folks. This is Toronto. Where nobody is apt to meet you on the street and invite you in for tea and Hard Tack. No sireee, Bob. Unless of course you are willing to pay the big bucks. It occurs to me right now that this is a fantastic city for people who have a whole lot of money. Yay, Babylon!! Whoops….I mean…Yay, Toronto!!!!

Ummm…I sense this entry is taking a bit of a “down-turn”, to use a phrase that is being thrown around a lot lately. So I’ll change the subject…. to an amazing movie I rented last night called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It is based on the book by the same name, written by the (then) editor of Elle magazine, Jean Dominique Bauby, who had a stroke that caused a very rare condition called “locked in” syndrome. It left this highly successful, gregarious man completely paralysed, with the exception of the movement of his left eye. He was also left without the ability to speak or make any sound. The film is made almost entirely from his perspective, so the watcher feels what it might be like to be trapped inside ones own body. You can hear his inner dialogue as he struggles to communicate with the people around him. You would think that watching a movie like this might be completely depressing or morose, and it did have an element of sadness and discomfort, for sure….but it was surprisingly much more hopeful than it was anything else. You could describe the movie as an ode to the power of the imagination – which is the thing that enabled this completely paralysed man to write the book (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), with help, by blinking his left eye!!! It is truly inspiring in a very realistic, un-cheesy way. After seeing the movie I will be checking the good old Toronto Public Library (or TPL as I like to affectionately call it) for the book ASAP! You, whomever you may be, should see this movie.

Crappy. I just spilt my cold tea all over my leg here in the coffee shop. Classic. Now I have a very cold knee. And now I have cold tea pooled in the bottom of my precious rubber boots!! The nice man mopped it up for me, though. And a kind lady handed me a fist-full of napkins. Awww, maybe the people of Toronto aren’t so bad after all…(wink, wink).

Peace OUT,


Thursday, January 08, 2009

And now, a few words from Henri

Enough Light for the Next Step
Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, 'How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?' There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let's rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.

Living the Moment to the Fullest
Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.

-Henri Nouwen
After reading these little snippets this week, I have to thank my lucky stars for Henri Nouwen. Especially in times like these where I feel overwhelmed with decisions and the temptation is there to be completely preoccupied with the past or with the future. Even if these readings remind me that I am probably the least patient person I know. I am so stinking impatient it is ridiculous. I am only now beginning to realize the deep affects of my impatience on almost every aspect of my life. I am notorious for not being able to wait in line-ups. I would throw full on fits as a kid in restaurants if the food wasn't delivered in 2 seconds. 20 odd years later and not much has changed. but it's not the surface impatience that is the's the sense in myself that I need to be in the perfect life condition now now now. I need to have some kind of comprehensive plan to fulfill all of my dreams and goals this second. I need to fix all of my weird personality quirks right away. It's only when I have completely burnt myself out by all of the self inflicted demands, that I realize that I'm doing the same thing I did in McDonald's when i was a screaming five year old and had to have that happy meal IMMEDIATELY, or else. So immature.

Sometimes I wish I were some kind of Zen master who knew how to be completely absorbed in the present. Either a Zen master or a three year old. There's got to be some kind of happy medium. Unfortunately I am one of those people Henri described - always trying to 'get away from' where I am.

Reminds me of a dream I had a dream about Henri Nouwen a couple of years ago at a particularly difficult time. He showed up in my kitchen and sat down. I remember in the dream being so relieved to see him and I remember asking him a question...something along the lines of "What should I do about this, Henri?" I remember he just looked at me smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Then I woke up.

So, this will be my mantra for the next couple of weeks until I'm out from under the haze:

Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

You've just lathered up and.....

..the hot water runs out!!!

That is what just happened to me....actually it happened about a half hour ago. Here is how it went: I'm in the shower, soap all over me and just about to wash the conditioner out of my hair when suddenly the water becomes very very cold. I turn the water off, hoping it is some kind of weird glitch, only to eventually find myself huddled in the bathtub, clutching my knees to my chest, turning the faucet on and off frantically and praying to the shower Gods to let the hot water please come back. It was not to least not yet. Before I continue, let me be clear: I have taken my fair share of cold showers and consider myself to be fairly adaptable to different or harsh environments in that department. I also fully realize that in most places in the world the idea of a hot or even warm shower is but a dream. Nevertheless, for some reason today I just could not bear it....I could not bear being under a freezing cold stream of water.

So, believe it or not, it is now 45 minutes later, the hot water has STILL not come on, and I am wrapped in 2 towels, practically dry, with soap residue encrusted in my hair and all over my body. that is the condition I am in as I am writing this. Sometimes if you don't see the humour in something you might just start crying about it....or throwing a full blown adult fit...which I almost did but then didn't. Yay me!

So for some reason, I felt inspired to blog about this. Maybe it was a good way to kill the time while waiting for the water to heat up (??!!), But i think it was more about an alternative to throwing a fit.

Happy Sunday...and may all your showers be forever hot!