Life in the Fishbowl


 

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I rise just before 6:00 AM. I’ve been sleeping just a tad longer these days.  Leaving the welcome warmth of my bed can be difficult at times.  This has been a cold winter and I always turn the heat down in the evenings before going to bed as I cannot sleep well when it’s too stuffy.  Having the air be a bit on the cool side is okay when I’m tucked beneath my down-filled comforter.

Pillows tucked around me,  just so, with just my wee head popped out the top.  When the alarm sounds to rouse me from my slumber feeling the cool of the morning air inspires me to press the snooze button a few times.

And sleep has been odd these days.  Constant waking throughout the night.

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My dreams have been fervent and harried.  I wake feeling as though I am coming a great distance to join the waking world.  Even as my eyes begin to open, I am often still very much in the dream state.

Caught between two dimensions, if not more.

I shake the sleep from me by way of a morning shower.  In and out, slap moisturizer on, apply a bit of make-up, brush my teeth, drink a glass of water.  Dry my hair, dress and put my lunch together then dash out the door.

When did it become necessary for me to arrive at work so early?  Usually by 7:30 AM I’m sipping my coffee, going through emails and organizing my work day.

I put this on myself.  And yet, I love the early morning.  When the weather is great I witness sunrises that are breathtaking.  If not, I enjoy the sound of the rain.  The torrential down pours, I must admit, are a bit much sometimes.

As I cross the Queensborough Bridge I listen to the news of the day.  These days a man named Trump seems to dominate the air waves.

And I pause to wonder why it is as humans we can’t seem to find that balance in terms of getting along.

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Why is it so difficult?  Is it just our nature to behave the way we do?

Trump is trying to save Americans from what, I cannot say.  He’s sees a threat I suppose and feels it necessary to build walls and keep people out.

I feel deeply saddened by this.  Living in fear is a bad place to be.  I’ve been there. This is what I see when Trump is insistent on building a wall along the U.S. / Mexico border and when he bans people from seven countries housing those who follow the muslim faith from entering the country.

I see fear.

Trump thinks he’s being tough, and sadly tough is not what any of us needs.

In fact, we need compassion, love, understanding and acceptance.

When a country the size of the U.S. elects a President to isolate them to the degree he has already implemented in just under two weeks, we really need to look at ourselves collectively and how it is we all got here.

And sadly the United States is deeply divided as well.

A travel ban has been put in place and a 5 year old boy was detained for several hours and taken in hand cuffs at the Dallas Airport.

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Why?

Here in Canada, a disillusioned young man went into a mosque and shot down six people of Muslim faith as they prayed.

Why?

I believe, must believe that we all basically good at heart.  There is a a percentage of human population that is not good, misguided and evil. This is displayed in so many ways.  And oddly enough history has a way of repeating itself.

Still we have in the last 25 years gone through an extraordinary changes.  When industrialization took hold back in the mid-1800 and early 1900’s the response was not good.  Two world wars and then seemingly this world embraced the industrial age with fevered acceptance.

We humans, by our very nature, like routine. And yet in the last 60 years this world has changed so dramatically.

The industrial age quickly gave way to the computer age.  In my lifetime, and I am only pushing 59 years of age, I’ve witnessed the introduction of colour TV to having a device that I can hold in my hands that will connect me world wide.  Technology has moved into our lives at a rabid pace.

We haven’t exactly embraced it.

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Socially we turn to our computers, our smart phones and connect in a totally different manner.

We date…online.

We rant…online.

We do everything…online.

Show our intimate bits, and say things typically we would not.

Yet there is this world out there and the space that surrounds us.  A triangle formed by the new Moon, Mars and Venus held me in absolute rapture as it did so many others.

Snow that had piled up over several weeks leaving local lakes frozen over drew crowds that pulled on their ice skates to enjoy skating under a full moon.

And there is a magic to it.  There really is.  When we feel connected to the world we inhabit, it is a grand thing.

When we work collectively as the human race…oh…it is such a beautiful thing.  And it is usually in reaction to a massive evil that brings us together.   These days we find ourselves once again caught up in what appears  a terrible thing.

Let me leave you with this.

There is a small boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver that has been around for a very along time.  I won’t go into the why of it  now, however, across the parapet there is signage that reads:

UNLIMITED GROWTH INCREASES THE DIVIDE

On the Community College that sit across from it a sign went up recently that reads:

LET’S HEAL THE DIVIDE

We have more similarities than we do differences. Let’s focus on our commonalities and see where that takes us.  Let’s heal the divide.

To those who’ve lost loved ones due to violence inspired by fear and ignorance, I feel your hurt, pain and confusion.

Find forgiveness as this will save you.  Continue to love as this will elevate you.

If I could I’d wrap this world in love, I would.

So why don’t we give it a go.

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Wish…


 

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I rose early.

I’ve not done this too much over the last month since I’ve been unemployed, however, I wanted to attend the Pan Pacific’s 28th Annual Christmas Wish Breakfast.

So with a book of poetry (local) and a movie gift card in hand, I stepped out into the dark of morning at 6:20 AM.

A fat full moon hung in luminous beauty on a velvety black sky as rows of white and red headlights blinked in unison in the pre-dawn along the highway.

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I wanted to wish the gang at Rock 101 all the best as well.  I really appreciate listening to them each morning.  They elevate me.  They are so warm and open.

And wow!  It has been a while since I’ve watched the sunrise from downtown Vancouver!  I watched as the Lions now sprinkled with snow turned a beautiful shade of pink just prior to the sun flooding the sky.

The line-up at the Pan Pacific was long and that’s cool.  All of us in attendance were there to give back to those less fortunate.  May everyone have a blessed time over the holidays.

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I will be making my pilgrimage to BC Childrens’ Hospital again this year.  Notification will go up today.

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And it was such a pleasure to meet Willy and Kim.  They’ve been a part of my mornings for a very long time along with Alyece who I met earlier this year.

It’s been a tough one.

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Now I’m turning my focus toward all the good in my life.  all the little things that make my life a little happier, a little more bearable in times such as these, a little more joyful.

And yes, the gang at Rock 101 does contribute to this factor along with my friends, and bearing witness to beautiful sunrise.  It also helps to know that life will always have its ups and downs.  Your character can well be measured by how you manage the pitfalls in your life.

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For me, I keep this heart of mine full to bursting with all the love that it has been afforded.  Indeed, I’m truly blessed.

I’ve a daughter who in many ways saved this soul of mine.  I turned from a path of certain self-destruction to one of redemption and accountability.

And my god, the power of forgiveness!

To let go of the grievances that have plagued me, to rise above the hurt and pain, and release the the fear.

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Priceless.

To grow and expand and realize int really isn’t about me at all.

It is about my connection to everyone and everything that I share this planet with.

Its about respect, about love, peace and the human experience.

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I am humbled.  This moves me in ways you cannot imagine.

I have fought through the challenges of presenting my person and move toward wanting to make a positive impact and truly make a difference in some form.

I’ll keep trying.  Rick Hansen asked this of all us back in 2012 that were invited to run with him.  I take this request to heart.

I just finished a delightful salad at The Reach and I’m feeling incredibly emotional.  It’s a good thing though.   A release of sorts.

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Sometimes reminding myself that I’m part of this collective we call humanity is overwhelming.

I want to embrace and discard all the pain and suffering in this world as unreasonable as that sounds.  I want to ensure that everything will be okay.

The fact that I’m here, alive and pushing toward life, demanding that its essence fill me…

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Knowing that I am loved.

Is this not the greatest gift?

So I’ll keep on, keepin’ on.

Expansion will come the more I immerse myself with this world that surrounds me.  In manner that is positive with no expectations.

I can only offer…does not mean what I give will be accepted.

And never is there any remorse or ill will that what I offer has been rejected.

Know it will always be there.  What has been offered will never be removed.

That is the truth of where our humanity lays.

The Eagles Among Us


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Time to start doing the things I love again.

Admittedly I’ve been traversing through the realms of depression once again.  It’s been a tough year.

And while I may feel a little stuck, one thing I do know, is that I’ll get past this.  I will learn from the events of this year and grow as a result.

I’ve got to get back out there and try things not attempted before.  Oh, don’t worry. By this I’m not talking about leaping from planes or any such nonsense.  Those are activities that have no interest for this gal.

I’ve been considering a public speaking series to be offered in at secondary schools here in Vancouver and surrounding suburbs.  I will be drafting up the idea and then check in with my Toastmaster compatriots for some guidance on this.  I really do want to use the skills I’m developing in this area.

Later today we are having an Open House at Toastmasters.  After just 5 1/2 months I’ve completed the first manual and am working on the second that focuses on leadership.

On the weekend my photography group headed up to the 20th Annual Eagle Festival in Harrison Mills.  This is out in the beautiful Fraser Valley. It is an 1 1/2 hour drive from my home.  Saturday was spectacular weather wise.  I offered to carpool and two members came along with me.  We left at 9:00 AM.  It’s getting cold as winter is coming.

The effect was a magical mist that hung over the river kissing the trees that lined the shore along the way.  The deep autumn blue sky offered a fabulous contrast.

We arrived at our destination and spent the next four hours exploring the area and watching the eagles feast on the spawning salmon.

The area had been hit by a storm with high winds earlier in the week and the evidence was everywhere.

The treat was being able to watch hundreds of eagles!  At times there would be twenty or more circling high in the sky above.

Here are a few images from this event.  Enjoy!

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Just One Question…


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A couple of colourful Queens from last week’s Pride Celebration in Vancouver!

After toddling through my domestic duties I got out and about for a walk.

It is Gay Pride Week here in New Westminster.  Local business’ are having a competition for the best window display.

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This is where I was training prior to the car accident.  Tamer has done a fabulous job!  Love it!

I grabbed my camera and photographed the many displays on hand.

At times the pain in my back kicked in so I would just rest up for a bit before carrying on.  I’m committed now. I must keep moving, working through this if I ever want to get the life I had back or parts of it.

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It would be fabulous to be able to just go for a walk and not end up in pain by the time I get back home.

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The book store that is selling copies of my book!

I’ve been working on a series of blogs posts that I will present shortly based on the up coming elections.  We have a federal election coming up on October 19, 2015 here in Canada and south of the border they are ramping up for their election next year as well.

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I stopped a Greek restaurant for dinner then made my way home.

And I wonder why it is that some people find it unacceptable and intolerable that two people of the same sex love each other.

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Moxies on Davie St.  The party was on!

Love is and always will be the best thing anyone can experience.

I’ve lived my life very much alone.  Yes, I’ve raised a daughter, a beautiful and wonderful woman.  Yes, I have friends that I love beyond all else.

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But I never got the man and woman relationship down.  I let the scars from my youth unfortunately get in the way.

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And in my mind, if you find the love of your life then you are blessed.  Cherish it and hold it close.  Never, ever take it for granted.

Peace out!

 

 

 

Babies and Birth: The Birth of People, Ideas and a Book


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Last Saturday I attended Claire’s baby shower.  I am so very excited for her!  She is totally warming to the idea of motherhood now and getting rather giddy to boot.

I could see that there was a little fear in there too.  I wanted to tell her that this is a very normal response.

When the idea of a new life being born to this world hits a new mother, it can be a very powerful experience mixed with every emotion imaginable and a boatload of hormones to boot.

Claire will be just fine.

I then got to thinking of all the wonderful people I’ve met since I began writing in earnest, Claire being one of them.

She is one of the first people to have read any of my work.

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I had joined up with the New Westminster Writers Group in early February 2011 which was a critique group.  I hunted about now wanting to find another group that would provide additional information on the whole writing thing.  I found the Vancouver Writers Social Group and joined in March of 2011.  They would get together and discuss various topics.  I liked this and found it was the balance I was looking for.

While I had written all my life I can say in all honesty I really didn’t know anything about it.  When terms such as ‘steam punk, fan fiction’ and the like were bandied about I had no clue what these were.  So I listened.  Claire offered to give me some feed back on the memoir I had begun so I sent her the first chapter then met with her a week later at a coffee house near her home.

I was prepared to be critiqued.  After all this would provide additional guidance on this project I’d begun.  She looked at me rather resolutely and stated “I really like how you write.  You could possibly have a best seller here.”

I was absolutely stunned by her comments.

And it occurred to me then that perhaps I was good at this writing thing after all.

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The year of 2011 was a year of major breakthroughs on so many levels.

What I’d previously considered impossible now held merit and plausibility.  I needed to explore this further.

2011 was also a tough year emotionally.  I was stepping up to own those painful truths that I had denied for the better part of my adult life.  I was taking chances and stepping out of my comfort zone in a big way.  I discovered that my ‘comfort zone’ is simply what I’m used to, what I know and what I come to expect.  It can be a very stifling place to remain in.

Stepping outside of this mindset was the best thing I could have done to assist in my personal growth at that time.

I had to break down a few walls along the way though.

There were opportunities aplenty to change my mind and return the mediocrity of what I had known.  I teetered on this point several times.

But finally it was time to find out what was indeed on the other side of the mountain and my curiosity pushed me over the edge.

2011 was the ‘All or Nothing’ year.

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I just wanted to feel again.  I didn’t want to over analyze or question…I just wanted to experience this life fully and without inhibitions.

And I remember the night I started to write the book in true sincerity and with vision.

I’d chatted for years about penning a book.  There were many starts of fictional novels.  I started a journal back in 2004.  In a light blue duo tang folder I put a package of 200 line sheets in it.

On the over I wrote “Welcome to the Human Race:  With This In Mind”.

It took me seven years to write 100 pages of longhand.

On that January night in 2011 I reached a serious crossroad.   I’d been out with my friend Kathy and we’d had a conversation that would ultimately resonate so deeply that it propel me to change how I was living my life.  That evening I sat in the corner of my bedroom where the computer was originally set up and with a glass of red wine in had and pile of notebooks and such decided it was time.

By July 2012 I’d finished the first draft.

And it was meeting so many other writers, Keith, , John, Gareth, Amber, Jonanne, Perry, Peter, Sonya, Issac….just to name a few that propelled me forward wanting to improve my skill set.

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Claire’s initial affirmation was a major boost for my confidence and to continue on.

In the last five years I’ve finished and published my first book.  I’ve posted about 540 articles on this blog of mine and am developing six other writing projects.  A trilogy of the fantasy fiction variety exploring the evolution of the Written Word; an erotica fictional novel with the exploration of how we arrive at our sexual preferences at the core; a murder mystery and of course a romance.

This should keep me busy for a couple of years.  I also started my own publishing company and do hope to work with other writers as well.

Like all newborn’s there will be few slips and stumbles along the way.  That’s how we learn and grow.

I’m looking forward to meeting Claire and Denis’ little one.  Soon…

Peace.

 

The First Time Ever….


 

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The traffic was horrible on this evening.  I left the office at 4:00 PM.  I would have to navigate over two bridges on this evening’s commute.  I listened to the first traffic report that indicated a few issues on some of the bridges.

As I passed through the Cassiar Connector. which is a tunnel just past the Iron Workers Memorial bridge (a.k.a. 2nd Narrows), the traffic was backing up and beginning to resemble a parking lot.  I opted to take the 1st Avenue exit and travel along Boundary Road to Marine Way and access the Queensborough Bridge via this route.

I was making a special trip this evening as I was on my way to pick up the books I’d ordered.

This would be the first time I saw my work in print.

I cruised along extremely well and motored to Big Bend shopping centre where the traffic kinda slowed to crawl and sorta stopped altogether at times.

I cranked the radio and checked the gas gauge.  I had a 1/4 tank and should be just fine.  I switched the engine onto economy the sat back and sang out of tune to the songs on the radio.

Time wise I really wasn’t worried as U.P.S. closes at 8:00 PM and it was just 4:40 PM.

The minutes ticked by as the gas gauge slipped closer to empty.  The wild imagination that inhabits this head of mine began to nibble anxiously as the possibility of running of gas surfaced.

I reassured myself and my vehicle that we would be fine.

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An hour and half on the road and I was now approaching the bridge deck to the Queensborough.

Several traffic reports confirmed that accidents or breakdowns had somehow occurred on every bridge this day seemingly.

Michael Jackson crooned, “I wanna rock with you, all night…”

“You’ll get there” I whispered and ran my hand along the steering column like I would a familiar lover.

I squirted past the accident scene, saying a prayer and hoping no one was hurt.  I needed gas and I had to pee!

I seldom venture into this part of the world.  Surely there was a gas station somewhere around here?  Hadn’t I noticed one at some point?

I was down to an 1/8 of a tank when I saw the U.P.S. building and pulled in.

There was a fellow in front of me wanting to courier a watch face embedded with diamonds.  He wanted to insure it for more than $500 which was the limit U.P.S. apparently sets.  A kindly woman was on the phone making an inquiry on his behalf.

Twisting my legs a little tighter, I really didn’t mind waiting, I just need to pee!

The woman gave the fellow the phone so that the individual with the expertise could better explain to him why there was a cap on courier insurance.

After a moment she smiled and asked “Are you picking up a parcel?”

I grinned back “Yes.”

I handed her the tickets then asked if there was a washroom I could use.

She showed me where I could find relief.  Ahhhhhh!

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Upon my return the fellow had left and the woman retrieved my package.

My heart suddenly skipped a beat and crazy excitement began to build.

Completing the transaction my final question was where I might locate a gas station.

She gave me directions and it really wasn’t far.  Now I had the car gassed up and a box full books…my books.

I got back on track and head home to New Westminster.

A warm pleasure ran through me then.  I had been on the road for just over two hours and that was cool.  I was now basking in a strange warm glow as I maneuvered back through rush hour traffic.

The euphoria was building as I crawled back over the bridge.  I pulled out my nail clippers and opened the box then fished about and pulled out a book.  Reaching out I ran my hands along the cover and felt the tears sting my eyes.

I needed to record this moment and I needed food.  There was no way I could cook as every part of my being had surrendered to the sweet emotions that had engulfed me when I saw my first ever book in print.

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I order some food and a beer then opened the book reverently.

I gazed down at the dedication page and burst into laughter.  My first grammatical error glared at me.

To my daughter I wrote, “Not a day goes by that I do not appreciate the woman you ‘has’ become!’

I shook my head and smiled.  That’s just me trying so hard to get it right.

My daughter did the cover and I love it.  It works.

I knew I would come across a few spelling and grammar issues but I did try my damnedest to get it right.

And then I was just so overwhelmed by all of it.  I did it!  I really did!

This is a first.  This is a moment that will never come again.

Mistakes and all I’ve put it out there and bared my soul in the process.

While writing this book I found a strength and truth in my vulnerability that surprised me.

In doing this I am experiencing a  rush so sweet and pure….this is the first time.

Let me savour this for just a moment or two.

Peace.