Tuesday, May 30, 2006

80 and counting...

I keep on opening up my blog and thinking that I just need to write something. It's hard sometimes to know what it is that you want to put out into the world. So I just sat down and thought, "I just need to bloody write something!" As I opened Blogger I saw that this is my 80th post. It doesn't seem like a lot to me in the grand scheme of things. 79 posts ago I sat down at my computer and hoped desperately for some kindred spirits. 79 posts ago I began a journey that has changed my life. I can't believe how many connections and proper friends I have made somewhere along those 79 posts. It blows my mind how different things are now.

I sometimes feel that I need to stop writing such glowing posts about this community. There are people who read this who don't tell me who they are (I know you're there, I have a counter!!) There are also people who have commented who I don't know or who I haven't had a chance to follow back to their sites. So sometimes I worry that I am making them roll their eyes as I say AGAIN how much I have gotten out of starting this blog. But I can't help it - I'm a gusher - it's just who I am!!

So I think that as I started out grumpy & am now gleefully thinking about my blogging tribe, I will change this post into a grateful list. I won't wait until Friday:

Today I am grateful for:

- Mark (as always and forever.)
- Andrea Sher and Christine Miller for inspiring me to start on my own journey.
- the wedding invitation I got from my gorgeous cousin Katie (so sad I can't go)
- Laini, Alexandra, Liz, Tara Dawn, Susannah, Denise, Claudia, Jamie, Michelle, Cate, M, Letha, and all of the other women I have met on my blog - in my sidebar and otherwise (I'm going to revamp that one soon!!!!) You have all altered me in a wonderful way. You have made me feel less 'weird' in a world where sometimes I didn't quite fit. :)
- for my oldest and dearest friends and original 'tribe' of girls from QML
- for a whole day of sunshine after two weeks of rain and fog
- that I get to play with Letha and Susannah in London in two and a half weeks!!!
- my parents and my extended family and that baby that just doesn't want to be born yet!
- new ideas blossoming for books to write
- our friend Jonny coming down for the weekend

Sigh. I can smell my supper cooking. I'm off to change into my jammies, watch a bit of Big Brother (I'm a reality tv dork) and then get an early night. Sometimes when I make lists of the things I am grateful for, I forget that the little things are just as important as the big ones. So tonight cozy jammies, yummy food on the table, good company and sweet dreams are the things I wish for you all.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Permission to Begin

I have had a bit of a crazy week. I know that I haven't been posting very much & I promise I will post more from now on. I had my job interview this week. (For the job I have already been doing for the past month. yeah.) I found out on Thursday that I get to keep on doing the job. Which is good for our finances, but it is also very scary for my brain. It is my first permanent contract you see. I have always done jobs that are short-term contracts. Short term was good for me because I could move on when they were finished. If I enjoyed them, I could go back another year, but I wasn't tied to any particular thing forever.

Well, this week I agreed to do a job forever. I know intellectually that I don't have to do it forever - or even for a year if I don't want to - but it seems like a very big deal. For the first time I feel like I can't just pack up my life into two suitcases and leave. I was never actually going to do that - Mark and I are committed and we are going to be here for a while - but I had the option before. This is really grown up. I have a job with a contract and holidays and lots of permanent responsibility. It's a big deal.

Having a permanent job also makes me nervous because I have also made a real commitment in my life to Write. I have all of these books and ideas in my head and I am scared that I will not have the time, or more accurately, the energy to give them life. I am so excited about some of them. I want to thank everyone who sent me recommendations on books to get my artistic juices flowing. I have bought a couple of books on those suggestions, so I'll keep you posted.

All of that being said, I need to tell you about something that happened yesterday. Scared of not having enough energy or time, worried about not having the talent or the creativity to make the ideas become something, and nervous about starting anything when I am so discombobulated, I stumbled into a bookstore yesterday afternoon. This is one of those bookstores that only sell inspirational/self help/ women's issues kinds of books. It's another place that I feel totally at home. I often go into this bookstore but the last few times I haven't come out with anything - nothing has spoken to me. Yesterday I took a deep breath before I went inside and asked for guidance. I wandered along, waiting for inspiration and finally found some SARK books on a shelf. I usually don't pick up her books because I already own most of them, but I felt drawn to pick up Living Juicy for the first time in years. I closed my eyes and opened the book, hoping for an answer. When I opened my eyes I was looking at one of her permission slips. It read: Permission to Begin.

So there you go. Fears, job, doubt and energy be darned. I asked for a message and I got one. Now I have to listen to it. yikes!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - First Love

When Laini told me about this week's post I sat and thought about it for awhile and then I did something I very rarely do. I Googled someone. A few someones actually. I started thinking about my first crushes and wondering where they are now. I'm sad to admit that I can't remember all of them. I had a very deep crush on a boy named Troy when I was still in Elementary School. I was dancing with him at the Valentines Day sock hop when Danny P. came over and held a heart above our heads and told us to kiss. We did - quickly. It was my fist kiss. But now I know I didn't love him. (And I couldn't find him on Google.)

My other crush in the eighth grade was alternatively two guys named Derrick and Darryl. (HA ha HA ha - funny how alike their names sound now!) Derrick had spikey hair and high-top sneakers and he brought his ghetto-blaster to school every day. We would all hang out in the breezeway and listen to Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet album at lunch. Ah, good times! He and I sat beside each other in class and I had a real crush on him but I was really smart and he teased me all of the time about it, so I was too scared to admit I had a crush on him. I found someone with his name on Google who is now a Geography Prof. at a university. That would be ironic if that was him, but the picture didn't look anything like the guy I knew. I also know now that I didn't love him either.

When I started high school I had a mad crush on a guy named Ted. He and I worked together. Every year we would flirt for months, go on a date or two in the spring, and make out a little. Then I would go to camp for the summer and not see him for months and it would take us nearly a year to get back to 'seeing each other' again and the process would start again. Then he hit 17, started playing rugby, became a jerk and blew me off. I was hung up on him for years. I couldn't find him on Google either. What I felt for him wasn't love - it was teen angst!

Then there was Andrew - I will not go into that tale of woe and embarrassment. He had another girlfriend at the same time, and the result was a loss of three years of my romantic life, a lost 'best' friend, and a trip to the UK. I know that despite me thinking that I loved him, that what I felt was friendship, fear, and attraction. Then I also think I was scared that I would never find anyone else. That's not love. (And nope - no Google entries!)

So what is love then? Well, I've thanked Andrew many times in the past few years (in my head) because if it wasn't for our dysfunctional relationship I may never have come to the UK to find it. I truly think that in coming here I have finally experienced my first love. I can't describe what love is or how love feels, or how you know when you are really in it. I just know that for the first time, I have felt it. My Mom and my Aunt Kathy once said to me that, "you just know," when you are with the right person. At first with Mark my knowing was clouded with geography and other people's opinions, with 'shoulds' and other things, but I always knew that he was special. I always knew that I needed to give it a try. And now I "just know" that I am finally with my Love. And since this is my first time feeling this way, I guess he really is my first love.

(And yes, I Googled him, and yes, he's there!! Top of the list!) xo

P.S. I'm still in email purgatory - hoping to be back on at the beginning of the week! Sorry my posts have been few and far between. I have lots of news - I'll try to write more on Monday! XOXO)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Tribal Council.

"Make sure your crayons are sharp, keep your stickytape untangled and always put the tops back on your markers." - Mr. Dressup

Okay my peeps, my tribe, my friends, I need your help. This isn't a plea for support or for kind words, this is a plea for your advice, your tips, or your experience.

Let me explain. I have three - count 'em THREE - books dancing, singing, and whispering in my head. I have written one of them, but it is the kind of book that can't just be text. I also want it to be beautiful. I have a lot of difficulty thinking of what I want them to look like. I can sense them waiting behind me. Sometimes I feel like if I just turned my head I could see what they look like, but I am not quick enough. I want to give them the start and the form that they deserve.

So here's the question: do any of you have any advice - books that have helped you, websites that are inspiring, lessons you can send, ANYTHING - on how to begin to free the artistic side of me to know what my artistic 'voice' is? People who know me well are going to laugh at me a little because I have always been 'crafty' in the sense that I can make things look pretty with decoration, etc., but I want something more for these books. I want them to come from the center of me - because I want them to speak to the center of you. Does that make sense?

So, if you don't mind, I ask you humbly for your wisdom. I'm itching to get started!!

Added later: I'm answering La Vie en Rose's comment and saying that I'm looking for books that help me figure out how to be more confident in my artistic abilities. I need to figure out who I am in relation to creativity and colour and making the words that I write look beautiful. I also need to look at fonts. I already have a Lynne Perrella book so I don't think I want anything else on collage. There are a lot of books out there with collage in them - I'm not very good at collage - I'd like to see what I am good at.

P.S. I am having trouble with my email account (NO emails in or out - ack!) I haven't changed it or anything - it's just causing trouble - sorry! xo

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #8 - Three Wishes

I might as well be straight with you from the beginning and tell you that I am really scared of wishing. There, I said it. I am scared to make a wish. I think this fear comes from grade six when my teacher read us a story about a couple who get to make a wish. They wish for money and the next day they get a letter through the post that their son has died & the exact amount of compensation that they get for his death is the amount they had wished for. Yeah. Scary.

That being said, I am still the girl who wishes on falling stars, and on birthday candles and when the clock reads 11:11. I wouldn't want to waste the opportunity, but I am partially paralyzed with fear when I do make those wishes. For years I had the same wish. It was made out of love for someone else, and also because I was afraid to make a selfish wish. So there you have it - one of my many neurosis. I am not scared to make the wish. I am scared that it might come true and either a) not live up to what it was supposed to be like, b) bring with it some dire consequence or c) mess up fate so I would miss out on something that was supposed to happen that would have been better than what I wished for. I think I need to go back into therapy.

So deciding what would be my three wishes was a daunting task for me today. In fact, I may not sleep tonight knowing what I have put out into the universe, but I will try.

I wish: for health for me, my family and other assorted loved ones. I want my Dad to stay well, my brother to get well, my Mom and Mark to be well, my new niece or nephew to be born well, for my sister-in-law to come through the birth well, my Grandmas to be well, and on and on - I want health for the people I love. I know I could ask for happiness for them all, but I worry that that means that we will not learn our lessons. If we are all healthy, we can get on with the business of being happy without having so many worries. So... health.

I wish: to have the confidence, money and time to write the books I want to write and have them be published and then loved by at least one person. This wish is sort-of selfish, but I hope fervently that the words I write will reach at least one person and inspire or help them in some way.

I wish: for the leaders of this world to STOP IT. I wish that they would figure out the damage they are doing, stop making their citizens fight each other and start realizing that if they could learn to be nice to each other they might be able to work together to fix the huge MESS that they have made that the rest of us have to live in.

So there. Those are my wishes today. What would be yours? For more Sunday Scribblings, go here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Gratitude Friday

I don't usually make a Gratitude Friday list. I'm not sure why. Lately I have been enjoying thinking about poetry on Thursdays - it's kind of like a blogging deadline. But shortly afterwards I have to get geared up for Sunday Scribblings, so I tend to ignore my own site for a couple of days. But I am home today. I worked two long weeks and now have a glorious, blissful three days off so I have a few minutes this morning to do this and hopefully some time this afternoon to catch up on all of your lives, to meet some of the people who have commented lately that I don't know, and to return to a sense of calm about the whole thing.

One of the things I am grateful for this week is a moment of gentleness. In the museum we have a lovely machine that plays a variety of old songs. It is completely unexpected and charming, and often catches people by surprise. Well, the other day a group of people came in and I played them a rousing tune. Charmed, they looked at the list of songs and one of the men asked me if I could play the song Ave Maria. He told the lady that was with him that it had been a favorite of his mother's. When I started the machine, he just stood there listening and tears soon filled his eyes. He remained motionless, listening and lost in his memories, tears falling from his eyes. When the song was over he smiled and thanked me gently. I was humbled by his willingness to stand in the middle of his memories.

The other thing I am grateful for this week is Mark's generosity and understanding. Why? Because despite major money issues, he understands my deep need to be home for a little while. So after some juggling at work, I AM GOING HOME FOR A WEEK!!!! I'm so excited, my stomach hurts every time I think about it. A week isn't very long, but it is long enough to meet my new niece or nephew, see my brother and sister-in-law's new house, spend time with my parents and other members of my family, get some gum for Mark :) and just be normal for a little while. It's always hard to be home because I can't get to see everyone I'd like to see. For some reason I turn into a crazy selfish homebody, and all I want to do is be at home. (Except for a trip or two to Chapters and Shopper's Drug Mart and Staples - ahhhh, the mother ships!!)

I still have to wait for awhile for the trip, so please excuse me if I go on about it a little! Wherever you are, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and I'll try to check in soon! xo

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Poetry Thursday

This week's Poetry Thursday assignment is to go on a field trip. As I live pretty far from anything resembling a bookstore, I went on a virtual one. I followed a long line of links, hoping that a poem (or even a whole poet) would speak to me.

When I came upon this poem I had a whoosh of memory. I knew this poem once, and somehow I had forgotten all about it. When I was in high school, my drama class put on a Remembrance Day assembly. My part in it was to recite this poem while my friend Brandy danced. She was all dressed in white and was under a black light. It sounds silly now, but it looked beautiful. I remember reading this poem for the first time and loving the language. It reminds me a little bit of e.e.cummings' work for it's sheer exuberance in word use.

I ended up having to recite the poem at my church - also for Remembrance Day. It was a very moving ceremony - with people standing up to tell their stories. One man had never told anyone anything about his experience in the war. For some reason that morning he felt safe enough to share. He had been on a submarine and they had been fighting with another boat all night. As the morning came they had finally sent a shot that was a direct hit. The men all cheered as they heard the explosion and the reports came in that the boat had been sunk. He said the cheers soon fell away into a profound silence as one by one they realized that that boat had been full of men just like them.

I got up to recite my poem right after all of this and I almost couldn't do it. I was so moved by the emotion of the service and the stories that I was in tears. I am always really moved by Remembrance Day services. I get really emotional seeing the veterans. I think I can sense how much suffering and pain they went through - something that many of us (hopefully) will never have to experience. I am honoured by their presence wherever I am.

Whew - that was a serious post! Here is the poem I wanted to share. The author died when he was 19. He was American but was fighting with a Canadian regiment in 1941. His plane collided with another in a cloud. A few months before he died he sent this poem to his mother. It gives me goosebumps.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence; hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, Up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

- by Jon Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Pilot Officer, RCAF

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

a tiny bit of truth

"Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it."

-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: The books I would write

This week's Sunday Scribblings is about the books I would write. It's not about the books I WILL write - that is the difficulty. As I sit in my office, there is a filing cabinet behind me. In the third drawer (my drawer) there are a number of files with titles on them and notes inside. These files are eventually going to be my books. A slightly superstitious sort, I tend to want to accept ideas from the universe. I don't want to have a wonderful idea for a book and then see it in a year written by someone else, so I write the idea down as soon as it comes to me. I feel that by capturing it as it floats by on the ether that it can now be mine. The universe won't give the idea to someone else who was paying better attention. No one else will write my books.

So this slightly neurotic tendency causes me some concern as I sit here to write about the books I WOULD write. I tend to accept any idea as it goes by so I rarely think about the ideas as something I would like to do in another life. Having said that, as I sit here, two books have floated by my head as I wonder what I would write - I have seen one of them clearly (which is rare, I don't usually 'see' things.) It is a book about beauty.

I think that I am addicted to beauty. I would love to write a book that captures the feelings that you get when you experience the beautiful - not beautiful in the sense of a pretty woman - beautiful in the sense of the world, your experiences, the feelings associated with the perception. I would love to write a book about beauty as a verb. I want to write words that help people to experience the shift in focus that you need to really see that there is so much beauty around them. The trouble is, I see that book being made up of my words, but also of beautiful artwork - swirls of purples and pinks and greens and sparkle and expression that my unexercised art ability would have trouble bringing into the world. I do not feel up to the artistic challenge of that book. So that is the book I would write if I felt I could do it justice.

P.S. I know that I posted the photo before, but I just love it and I thought as I was writing about beauty that it was a good choice!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Poetry Thursday

I haven't posted anything since Sunday because I promised myself that I would NOT blog until I had completed the job application I have been agonizing over. But seeing as it is Poetry Thursday I decided that I could get away with a small post - HA! This is not a small post, but the bit by me is small.

The instructions for Poetry Thursday were to choose your favorite poem. I have already shared many of my favorites and I have many MANY more waiting in the wings, but I decided to share my first real favorite poem. When I was in Grade Six, I loved - no - adored my teacher. She had us memorize really long poetry to share with the class. Up until then, poetry had been childish and for children. Well she took us from there and threw us into the deep end. Some of us memorized The Lady of Shalott, some Casey at the Bat, and for me? I memorized this poem. (Because it is the one that Anne recites in the movie Anne of Avonlea!) It is long, but it's language makes it thrilling - especially to a 10 year old girl!

P.S. I can still recite the whole thing!

The Highwayman

by Alfred Noyes



The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.


He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.


Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shuters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.


And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—


"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."


He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.



He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.


They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.


They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her.
She heard the dead man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!


She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!


The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the rest!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast,
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to her love's refrain .


Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!


Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.


He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.


Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

* * * * * *


And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.


Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

my soundtrack

I have fallen in love several times in my life with songs. I have been known to buy a CD (or more recently to download one) and play the one song that prompted the purchase five or six times in a row. I tend to need to immerse myself in a song like I would a book or a movie and just one play isn't enough for that experience. The first time I heard Stephanie Dosen's song "brave," for example, I sat on the floor and let it flow over me play after play until I was full. More recently it has been Polly Paulusma, James Blunt, Rosie Thomas and Deb Talan. I can play their music until I can feel it in my bones.

I never used to listen to music very much in my house unless I was cleaning. Once I got my driving license I was a mixed-tape QUEEN. I still have the box of tapes in my closet at home and when I am in Canada and alone in my car, they come out. I'll drive along and remember who I was when I was listening to The Indigo Girls and Sarah McLaughlin and Tracy Chapman and the Tragically Hip and the various Canadian bands I loved so fiercely in my youth.

Some time ago I began thinking about the concept of a personal soundtrack. I thought, if they made a movie of my life, what songs would capture the different parts the best? It's not about the songs that I like now, it's about the songs that captured who I was then. (No matter how embarrassing they are!) So for the last few days I have been going through my iTunes files. Due to geography, I haven't got access to everything I once loved, so this is a working list of the 12 songs that are on the Soundtrack for My Life (in chronological order.)

1. Shake your sillies out - Raffi

I lived at a summer camp when I was small - my earliest musical memories are silly camp songs! (And yes, I do have this song in my iTunes library.)
2. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - the Tokens
One side of my extended family used to go camping every single year. During that camping trip we would all sit around the fire and sing fun songs. This is the only one of those songs I have in my files.
3. Pop Goes the World - Men Without Hats
Yes, this is embarrassing, but I won the album when I was on Campus Quiz (t.v. show!) and my friend Robin and I used to listen to this song in the back of the bus in grade school. We even had a dance routine you could do sitting down.
4. If I had $1,000,000 - The Barenaked Ladies
Parties, my friend's band and the BNL coming to do a concert at my high school.
5. Closer to Fine - The Indigo Girls
There can be no other song that more fully symbolizes my time at camp and with camp friends - we sang this a lot. And no list of the songs in my life would be complete without something by the Indigo Girls. I truly love them.
6. Untouchable Face - Ani Difranco
Definitely THE bitterest breakup song ever. She rocks.
7. Wannabe - The Spice Girls
Captures my time with crazy fellow Pioneers - if you dance to the Spice Girls in the parking lot of your work, you like the people you work with!!
8. Wide Open Spaces - The Dixie Chicks
This was the song that helped me go to England the first time.
9. Don't Marry Her - The Beautiful South (the swearing version)
Fun times being a waitress in the UK and doing nothing else but drink in the pub!
10. Life For Rent - Dido
Do I move to the UK again or not? YES.
11. London Rain - Heather Nova
This is a sappy song but it makes me think of Mark and I every single time.
12. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'
This is just the craziest, happiest song. It's good for who I am right now - following dreams, hoping for the best, waiting for the rest of the movie!

So there you have it. There were songs that I liked more, but these really would be played in those scenes of my life. I may come back to this in the future, but for now that's me. So now I challenge you to create and share your own soundtrack. I am starting a meme (will someone please tell me what that means?!) but I'm challenging everyone. If they made a movie of your life, what would be playing in the background?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: 'My Shoes"

I wish that I was the girl who could write a whole post for Sunday Scribblings this week about the pair of knee-high electric-blue stiletto boots that I wore out one night. I'm not that girl. I secretly would love to be her. I was only slightly shocked to look back through my Illustrated Discovery Journal to find lots of pictures of platform shoes and sparkley boots and quirky sexy heels. That's a side to me that I always knew was lurking, but I have never really let out to play.

Before you feel sad for that part, you need to know that I have loved the decisions in my life that have necessitated the need for more stable shoes! In fact, the shoes that I am going to write fondly about are a pair of battered leather boots. I just wanted to let you know that this very practical-dressing, size-10-footed chick has a crazy shoe dream. In fact, during the last scene in Mama Mia I couldn't dance properly to the music - all I could think about was where I could find and then where I could wear BOOTS like that! (Silver sequined platforms if you haven't seen the play!!)

But back to my beloved Roots boots. I bought my boots on a shopping trip in Kingston with my friend Jayne. She had a pair and loved them and rather than being irritated by my apparent copying, she happily walked me to the shop and helped me pick them out! I loved them immediately because of their round toes. When you have size 10 feet you sometimes have to make do with boots that make your feet look big. These lovely round toes and beefy treads made my feet look like a normal size. As soon as I had them on I knew we would be friends for a very long time!

I began to wear my boots nearly every day. I wore them with my costume when I dressed up as a Pioneer (not very authentic, but very comfortable.) I wore them out dancing (in Canada in winter you need to wear something to dance in that will also get you home across the ice!) I wore them when I worked at a summer camp. And when I walked onto the plane to fly to England for the first time, they were on my feet. In fact, every time I fly anywhere I pull out my trusty boots. They have been to Holland, Singapore, England, Scotland, Majorca and Lanzarote. They have been covered in all manner of strange things. They have been my constant companions.

(This is a side note where I say that as I type this the song, 'Boots or Hearts' by the Tragically Hip has begun to play on my Party Shuffle. This line goes: "when it starts to fall apart, it really falls apart. Like boots or hearts oh when they start, they really fall apart." Good timing for the rest of my post.)

I over-pronate. A result of ingrown toenails when I was a kid, I walk with a roll. So sadly, over the years my boots have worn down on the outside of the heel. They no longer feel as stable and secure as they used to. I don't feel like I can take on the world with them on my feet. I have worn them down - used up all of their power. I have been desperately looking for a new pair, but they don't seem to make them anymore. I am deeply saddened by this turn of events.

So now, emboldened by the fact that I have had that relationship once, I am on the hunt for a new pair of magic boots. I don't want them to be sequined or platformed. Magic doesn't really live there. Magic isn't in the flash and the sparkle. Magic is in the relationship. It's in the security and the stability and the support. Magic is in the adventures you have together. I know I will find it again. In the meantime, my old battered black boots sit under my bed. I just can't seem to get rid of them. No, I can't get rid of them - we've been through too much together.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Poetry Thursday

This picture is one of the views from the place I work. This was taken late in the day so it doesn't even do it justice. I just can't seem to get a picture that captures the view properly. I thought this stunning view would go well with the poem I chose for this week. I've been sitting on it because I haven't felt it in my bones the way I would have liked when it was time to share a poem.

I love (LOVE!!) this poem because of its sheer exuberance. I love e.e.cummings' work because of the way he uses words and punctuation. His work is written the way thoughts run through your head. When I first met this poem I only read the first stanza. I loved it so much on its own because it captures how I feel sometimes when I come across a view or a certain colour of sunlight - the kind that makes you believe that there simply has to be a Creator of some kind. Once I read the whole poem I loved it in a different way. There is a real energy of gratitude and love for the day in this poem. I love the running, tripping, loving, zestful joy that is present in his words.

I hope for us all that we can experience this kind of appreciation for our world and our days as much as possible!!

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings; and of the gay
great happening ilimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Monday, May 01, 2006

I've done a crazy thing.

"If you want to catch a fish - think like a fish." - Uncle Onkoo from Northern Exposure

You are not going to believe this.

Mark and I have signed up to run a half marathon.

Yes, you read that right. The same friend who talked me into the 5k also talked me into this. We have a coworker who ran the London Marathon two weeks ago. This coworker is 57 and this was her first marathon. VERY inspired, Michelle and I (and now Mark and maybe also some other people from work) are going to be running 13.1 miles in Cardiff, Wales in October!!

For many years now I have bellyached about my weight. Well, Dr. Phil was right - up until now I have chosen to be fat. I have made poor choices in my life that have led to me being overweight. "If you want to catch a fish - think like a fish." If I want to be a healthy weight, I have to start thinking (and acting) like it matters to me.

Many of you have mentioned that you either a) run or b) have run marathons or other long races. I wonder if you would help me? Do any of you have any advice for a complete novice?! Any sage tips, affirmations, exercises, recommendations, or just plain help?

I am still doing my Race for Life for Cancer Research. It's a women-only race so I am pretty excited about participating. Apparently the atmosphere is amazing. It's only a month and three days away now - EEK!!!! (If anyone would like to sponsor me for that race you can do it HERE.)

"Examine what you believe to be impossible, and then change your beliefs." - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer