Sunday, December 17, 2006

ponderings before flying

If I was to have a theme song for the past little while it would have been, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by John Denver. I'm off at 5:00am tomorrow morning for another journey across the pond. I am not complaining one bit but holy cow, I have only just gotten over the cold I got from the LAST plane I was on!

I woke up this morning feeling a bit worse for wear. It's been a hectic couple of weeks (as it has been for everyone everywhere) and I woke up feeling grouchy and tired so I decided to go for a walk. I wish with all of my heart I could transport some of you who I know read this to walk on my beach with me on a sunny winter morning. It was incredible. I had it all to myself and the tide was going out so the beach grew as I walked along it. There were some seagulls enjoying a breakfast and a bath at the edge of the sea and I wandered along searching for sea glass (the quest continues for a piece that is red) and just breathing.

Sometimes I like to be reminded of the time-fullness of the world I live in. As I walked I glanced up at the cliffs behind the beach. About three quarters of the way up there is a line of white that is made up of shells and stones. Uncountable years ago that was the sea bed. Talk about perspective! I looked up at the headland that you can see in the photo. At the top there is the remains of what was probably an iron age fort. A little farther along there are rings in the grass where settlements once were. Walking on the beach this morning made me and all of the grumpy problems that brought me outside shrink back down to know our place. I am a small, small part of the history of this place. It will be going long after I am gone. I love that.

So tomorrow I am off to the land of maple syrup and moose! My ipod is charged and full, my suitcase is packed with clothes and goodies, my hair has been cut, my parents know the flight details and at 4:00am the alarm will go off to begin the journey. I'm going to get to see some people that I haven't seen in years. I'm so excited. I feel like the stress of the past few weeks is all worth it now! So the next time I post it will be from my homeland. Keep a happy flight thought for me and I'll see you in a different time zone!

Monday, December 11, 2006

a whole lot o' ho-ho!

So yesterday was 'Meg's Christmas!' Seriously. Because I am going to be in Canada for Christmas I had it with Mark and his family while I am still here! We went out for a divine lunch at a pub and then we came home and ate baklava and mince pies and drank what was left of the Canadian Ice Wine with Brandy that we brought back last year. I also got to open all of my presents! It was a little bizarre because I was the only one opening presents as they are all waiting for the actual day to open theirs - so I was a superstar! It was awkward. But it's also kind of neat getting pressies before the day.

I was lucky enough to get Danny Gregory's book from Mark's sister and brother-in-law! I've been deeply intimidated by his talent and his website for ages so when I saw that he had a book that could teach ME how to get drawing I stalked it for a little while. Every time I was in a bookstore I looked for it and then would put it back and run away to the safety of the self-help/ motivation section. So I had to get someone else to buy it for me so I wouldn't be afraid of it anymore. I am happy to say that it worked!

I read twelve pages last night before bed. (I had to sleep, I started a four-day First Aid course this morning. It meant a 6:00am start. Ugh.) I felt a familiar fizzle in my creative core as I took it in. I have felt that feeling before - the first time I read Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison and the first time I read Inspiration Sandwich by Sark, and a few other times - like the universe had shifted a little and I could actually sense my own possibilities changing. My very favorite page so far was page 5. When I read, "Pure creativity is all around us" I shivered with excitement for the rest. In a week I will be going home again and I am excited about the train- train- airport- plane journey because it is just going to be me and this book. Just wait - you won't believe what I come out with!

I've been asked what sort of things I write. I'll admit to something here: I really don't write any one thing. I have written a fantasy novel, a young adult novel, a non-fiction book about living a real life, and I have six books haunting me - three non fiction, and three fiction. So I write a little of everything. I can't seem to write anything short that is fictional. And now I am opening up another creative window - or at least I hope to!

I'm off to read some more of this book and to relax in a bath (I'm frozen after a day being nervous in First Aid! If anyone has access to a 'Lush' store - try a bath with BOTH a Black Pearl and a Jingle Spells bath ballistic in it - pure, complete and total BLISS!) I'm hoping to come back a little more talented just from pure osmosis!!

"Do you dare to be creative?" - Danny Gregory

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's here! It's here!

A Happiest of Holidays to YOU!!!

It's time! It's happening! It's sleigh bells and reindeer and children with big eyes and decorations and cookies and stockings and gatherings and glitter and tinsel and bows and trees and magic and did I already mention cookies...?

I love Christmas. I love Christmas so much that I get like a little child when it begins. When I was younger I used to decorate my bedroom door with wrapping paper. I love wandering the streets as it gets dark, warm beverage in one hand, shopping bags in the other, watching the lights twinkle. I am blessed to be a part of a large family so I love the excitement of going to someone's house and being together for dinner.

A few years ago I was stricken with a very serious case of Mono at the beginning of December. (That's Glandular Fever to those of you from this side of the pond!) I came home from the doctor's, got on the couch and stayed there pretty much until the end of February. When you are bedridden in December in North America you watch a lot of Christmas specials! I watched "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," and "The Year Without a Santa Claus," and "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," and "The Muppet Christmas Carol," and many, many, many more. It wasn't long before I realized that every single one of them had the same message: keep Christmas in your heart all year long.

It makes me sad to hear that there are people who don't like Christmas. They cite the pressure and the commercialism and many other reasons. I feel like giving the whole world a little shake. Whether or not you believe in Christ or the Nativity or even in Santa, I think that there is something to be learned in this season: be nice to each other, take care of each other, spoil each other a little. The Muppets sing that "wherever you find love you will find Christmas," and I believe them. So I hope that in the next few weeks you will find some peace and goodwill towards men (and women) along with your twinkle lights and shortbread.

Ho - Ho - Ho!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What a MONTH!!

"Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, now I will you to be a bold swimmer, to jump off into the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout! and laughingly dash with your hair." - Walt Whitman

I think that in the future I will look back at November of 2006 as a point where my life really changed. What a month I have had. This morning I sat and read through Michelle's lovely post about her creative dreams and I became nearly frozen in a deep reverie. I feel so different now. I left blogging for a month hoping to sit at this computer and work my ass off. I hoped to get big leaps towards one of my dreams. I hoped that by today things would be different. BOY are they - but not in the way that I'd thought.

At the beginning of the month I went to Seattle. I came back from that reeling with potential and connection and friendship. I came home ready to get on with the business of writing. Then two weekends ago my Grandmother died. Within 24 hours Mark and I were on our way to Heathrow airport and a day and a half later I was at her funeral. I held my niece (and Goddaughter!) on my lap through much of the service, and was held in the tight circle of my family. My Grandmother would have been proud. Both she and my Grandfather gave us all the gift of knowing how important family is. She was an incredibly - almost unbelievably - positive person. I learned a lot from her and I will probably write more about her in the future. In the meantime, we've lost her and she will be deeply, deeply missed.

Between these two trans-Atlantic journeys I have been working and sick in nearly equal amounts. I seem to stumble between the deep desire to sit on the couch watching television and spending hours at my desk spilling my ideas and desires onto the page. It seems deeply unfair to me that I am so inspired and so snotty at the same time. I feel tingles in my writing fingers. I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to do all of the reading/ writing/ journaling/ creating/ connecting I want to do, but by the time I come home from work all my body wants to do is curl up in a ball and be sick. As I write this I wonder how to look at the illness as a part of my metamorphosis... but maybe it's the cold medicine talking.

I used to wonder if I would ever get where I wanted to be. I think this month, more than any other time in my life, has let me see clearly where that actually IS. I have a vision of what I want my life to look like and what I want to look back on and be proud of when it is over. I know two things now that I didn't really know then. I know that the only thing holding me back from everything I want is me. And I know that I am not alone on this journey. I thought I knew all of that before. But now, thanks to the lessons of this past November, I think I might actually understand it too.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." - Douglas Adams.