Saturday, June 28, 2008


"All this beauty; You might have to close your eyes." - The Weepies

We went for a walk yesterday and found a huge field full of foxgloves. The whole time we were walking, I had the Weepies in my head, so today I thought I'd share some of that beauty with you!

All this beauty;
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
All this beauty;
We traveled all night
We drank the ocean dry
And watched the sun rise...

You can ask about it
But nobody knows the way
No bread-crumb trail
To follow through your days
It takes an axe sometimes
A feather in the sunshine
And bad weather
It's a matter of getting deeper in
Anyway you can

All this beauty;
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
All this beauty;
We traveled all night
We drank the ocean dry
And watched the sun rise...

I can see you're new, awake
Let me assure you, friend
Every day is ice cream and chocolate cake
And what you make of it
Let me just say
You get what you take
From it, so be amazed
Whenever you stop...
You gotta be brave.

All this beauty;
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide (all this beauty)
And watch the sun rise.

- Lyrics by The Weepies

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Books I've Known

"You are the same today as you will be five years from now except for two things... the people you meet and the books you read." - Charles E. Jones

Over two years ago I wrote a post about my favorite children's books. The next day I sat down and wrote a post about my favorite grown-up books. I just found those posts when I was looking for something else and my direction for today changed! Reading through an Oprah magazine last night I saw the part where they ask celebrities which book made a difference to them. Today I have decided to hone my own lists down as far as I can. Today I am going to show you five books that have really made a difference in my life, and then I would love it if you would share yours with me!

My Oprah Magazine Bookshelf:

A Creative Companion by SARK.

My first SARK book was "Living Juicy." I remember seeing one of her posters on my friend Karen's wall and loving it. In fact, I remember
sitting on Karen's bed writing the whole thing into my quote book. So I bought "Living Juicy" when I saw it. "A Creative Companion" was bought for me by my brother. (Thank you David!!) I couldn't believe that books like that could be in the world. I sat on the floor in my room and gulped it whole and then reread it again and again. Without a doubt, SARK and her books changed my life.

2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris

I love everything about this book. It's another book that made me think: "Writers can write like this??" It's enchanting and engaging and enticing all at once. She mixes magic and reality with such grace that it is all believable. I defy anyone to read this book and not want to spend a few hours at Vianne's counter. This book made me believe in the power of magic and in the power of writing. My biggest gift was when someone read my new book and said it was like Chocolat mixed with The Alchemist. Someday I would like to sip tea with Joanne Harris so that I can thank her for putting this and her other equally good books into the world! (P.S. This link will take you to a page where she talks about how she writes. I love reading about how other people work!)

3. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

The first time I read this book I was house-sitting for a friend. I had just come back from England (where I had gone to try to understand myself) and was feeling very alone and isolated in a house that wasn't mine. I went to the women's bookstore in town and came home with this book. To say it changed my life is an understatement. The first time I read it, I did it cover-to-cover, underlining passages and making tiny stars in the corners of the pages I wanted to make sure I went back to. The second and third times I read it I dipped in and out, underlining more passages and making more stars. When I moved to the UK again I bought myself another copy and started from scratch, underlining and breathing through it. I love that I am growing and leaving myself messages on the pages of this book. It changed my life because I found that that feeling I was having of not quite knowing what was missing was normal. It changed my life because it is unashamedly and unabashedly FEMALE in everything it is. I had never read anything that celebrated that part of me - of women - before. It's the book that I keep beside my bed and dip into for answers. It has become the old woman whose lap I crawl up to in the firelight.

4. New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver

It's really ANY poems by Mary Oliver, but I had to choose just one book. I am slightly ashamed to admit it, but sometimes I find poetry quite hard to read. I love beautiful things and I like to let language carry me away and poetry sometimes feels like too much hard work. There are some poets, though, that leave me feeling altered after I have read their words. Mary Oliver is one of those people. She gets it. She sees it. She knows. I know lots of people reading this will be nodding. She's like the poet in residence of this particular corner of the blog world. Quite simply, her poems are wonderful.

5. Fruitflesh by Gayle Brandeis

There are lots of books on writing out there, and believe me when I say I have read them ALL. This book is different. This book is so full of life and inspiration it practically drips when you pick it up. It is a recent addition to my bookshelf, but it has had a massive impact on me in a short time. It doesn't fill you with technicalities, it fills you with the juice and the joy and the sensuality of writing. My copy has become dog eared and covered with stars and lines where I have been inspired and overcome. She writes about getting ourselves out of our heads and back into our skin. I always give a little shiver of pleasure when I am finished. I don't think it is just good for writing, I think artists of all kinds would really be inspired by what she has written.

So there it is. My five books. I have left out hundreds. I didn't even GO to children's books this time! There are so many more books that have impacted on my life. I haven't even added Christiane Northrup or Louise Hay or Caroline Myss. (I think those three ladies will be a whole other post on their own!)

(This is also my fantasy tea party: SARK, Joanne Harris, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Mary Oliver, Gayle Brandeis, Dr. Christiane Northup, Louise Hay and Caroline Myss. These are all women I admire and would love to meet someday. I'd make delicious food and get out the most beautiful teacups and be in fiesty, creative heaven!)

So what is YOUR 'Oprah' booklist?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

a cryptic post

"My darling girl, when are you going to understand that normal isn't a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage"
- Practical Magic (the movie)

Sometimes it is easier to do what we are supposed to do. It is easier to be afraid of the things that other people are afraid of. It is easier to be tangled up in the rules and regulations, the musts and the must-nots, and the 'never done it that way befores.' It is easy to listen to everything except the voice deep inside of yourself.

Sometimes it feels too hard. There's no path to follow when no one has shown us the way, and just because you are forging your own path does not mean that you can't get stuck there. There are ruts in that path, too. These ruts are harder to get out of because they are the ones that we have made for ourselves.

Sometimes the step that is needed isn't a step at all. Sometimes you need to stop being afraid or nervous or worried or jealous or stuck and take a good look around and ask yourself, 'what would be the biggest, bravest, boldest, greatest thing I could do next? What would be the greatest thing since sliced bread?' Then you need to just do it.

Why the cryptic post? I can't explain*, but what I will say is this: just do it. Do what? Whatever it is your soul is telling you to do. You never know how the seeds you plant will change your life. If you don't dare and risk and leap and dance and DO what your soul hunches tell you to do, your dreams WILL NEVER HAPPEN.


... and never is a lot scarier than leaping after your dreams is!


*(Explanation: a good thing happened after I took the most enormous leap you can imagine, but I won't talk about work on here so I can't elaborate - but trust me - THINK BIG!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

WHO AM I?????

"Fanciful weddings are imaginative and creative."/
"You are a Classic bride in the tradition of Princess Di, Grace Kelly and Jackie O." - Susie Coehlo

I have been struggling with wedding planning. It's not because I don't enjoy it or because I am worried about lots of things or even because I am thousands of miles away from where I am getting married. I am struggling because I can't really decide what kind of wedding it is going to be.

I am torn between elegant and quirky. In one breath I want it to be whimsical and delicious and in another I am looking for elegant and lovely. I know that those things aren't exclusive of each other, but I am scared that what will happen on the day will be a muddle of neither.

So when I found an online quiz that was supposed to tell me what sort of wedding I should have, I happily answered the questions. My results? I should plan a fanciful wedding. YAY! But then I went through my results and at the bottom it said: "You came close to another style: Classic." GIGGLE. So I guess I was right to be confused!!

Well the FANCIFUL invitations have gone out. (I wish I could have invited lots of you - but I was under firm instructions that it must be people I have met in PERSON! giggle!) I have chosen CLASSIC flowers (with a FANCIFUL twist.) My dress is CLASSIC and so are my bridesmaids'. The place is FANCIFUL, the food is CLASSIC. I guess that is what I am going to have to go for... fancifully classic. Ironically, when I read that description, it's about as me as it gets! It explains my eternal struggle with myself. Wow - it's 20 years of therapy averted - giggle.

Will you do me a favour? Will you take the quiz and let me know who you are?


(P.S. Those aren't my flowers in the picture. That's a bouquet that didn't quite make the cut - not fancifully classic enough!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


“Who was the first guy that looked at a cow and said," I think that I'll drink whatever comes out of those things when I squeeze them?”
- Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbs)

Don't know why I shared that quote - mostly because it made me laugh out loud and I'm feeling a bit silly tonight. Why? Well, let me tell you why!

Gonna have company this weekend!

Gonna have three women here to play with!

Can't type much because I've got to:
a) be excited
b) clean my house
c) clean my house!


I'll let you know how it goes!!! Wish you could all be here too!


Saturday, June 07, 2008


"There was a time when humanity recognized itself as part of nature, and nature as part of itself. Dreaming and waking were inseparable realities; the natural and the supernatural merged and blended." - Ted Andrews

The last thing I did before going to bed last night was ask for some guidance. I don't very often remember my dreams so when I ask for help it is always with the worry that help will come and I won't remember it.

Last night I did dream. The dream was long and complicated and a lot of it is fuzzy but I remember that there were dolphins in it. The reason I remember the dream is because at the end of it I was swimming up to the surface but I couldn't get there fast enough and I woke up gasping for air. I looked up dolphins in my animal totem book and this is what it says at the end:

If dolphin has shown up as a totem, ask yourself some important questions. What are your words and thoughts creating for you? If unsure, when dolphin arises, you will soon discover. Are you getting outside and enjoying the fresh air? Are you holding in tensions? Are others? When dolphin shows up it is time to breathe some new life into yourself. Get out, play, explore and most of all breathe. - Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

Before I went to Canada I was outside every day and was working very consciously on my breathing. I felt better than I have in a long time. Since Canada I have been very stressed about some things and I have not been outside and I have been completely unconscious of my breathing.

Then this morning I opened a magazine and read this:

"How much more exciting will life become if we trust the unknown and let our lives unfold magically. I have a suspicion that when we trust the unknown our lives will progress perfectly; as if our very faith in a field of benevolent intelligence will open us up to receive the good." - Dr. Sibis Mouton

So there it is. My answers: Remember to breathe. Get outside. Play. Explore. Breathe new life into yourself. Trust the unknown.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

i need a sign!!

"i said to you the one gift which i'd adore unwrap a package of the next 10 years unfolding but you told me if i had my way i'd be bored right then i knew i loved you best born of your scolding..." - Indigo Girls, "Language or the Kiss"

I've had this lyric from the Indigo Girls floating around in my head for the past few days. I'm feeling all a-muddle lately and all I can think is that I just need enough faith in our dreams to keep going. But then I think that it would be easier if I could just know without a doubt that it was all going to work out in the end.

I've never been the type of person to read the last page of a book, but occasionally - just once in a while - I have been so distressed by the events of a story that I had to read the last paragraph just to make sure I wasn't going to be devastated by the ending. I don't ever read more than that last paragraph. I don't want to ruin the whole story, I just need a little reassurance. This is where I am right now. I feel like I just want to open this particular chapter of our lives up to the last page and check that everything is going to be okay. I just want to see how things will be in a few months. Does anyone have a crystal ball?

But then that lyric floats through my head: "but you told me if I had my way I be bored" and I understand that we don't get to know. I have always taken the road slightly less traveled. How right is it for me to chase my dreams into the sunset and then to ask what time that sunset is expected? But it is here that I am sitting. I don't want to know what's going to happen in my life. I just want to know that all of this struggle and tension will be worth it. I just need a signpost or a cosmic sign. I just want to know that it's all going to be okay in the end.

language or the kiss - Indigo Girls

"i don't know if it was real or in a dream lately waking up i'm not sure where i've been there was a table set for six and five were there i stood outside and kept my eyes upon that empty chair and there was steam on the windows from the kitchen laughter like a language i once spoke with ease but i'm made mute by the virtue of decision i choose most of your life goes on without me oh the fear i've known that i might reap the praise of strangers and end up on my own all i've sown was a song but maybe i was wrong i said to you the one gift which i'd adore unwrap a package of the next 10 years unfolding but you told me if i had my way i'd be bored right then i knew i loved you best born of your scolding when we last talked we were lying on our backs looking up at the sky through the ceiling i used to lie like that alone out on the driveway trying to read the greek upon the stars the alphabet of feeling oh i knew back then it was a calling that said if joy then pain the sound of the voice these years later is still the same i am alone in a hotel room tonight i squeeze the sky out but there's not a star appears begin my studies with this paper and this pencil and i'm working through the grammar of my fears mercy what i won't give to have the things that mean the most not to mean the things i miss unforgiving the choice still is the language or the kiss"