Another Year…


 

dyke-no-2-sunset

My birthday is fast approaching.  Next Wednesday I’ll celebrate fifty-nine years!

In a conversation with my daughter last night we discussed age.  While some may say that 59 years of age is old…it doesn’t ‘feel’ that way.  What an odd way to describe our age though as how we feel?

I will always feel the wonder of this world that I inhabit.  Despite all the mess currently going on regarding the politics of our time, this planet of ours is so much bigger and wondrous than we’ll every be.

20151228_163108

We are not all that nice to each other or to our Earth at times, are we?

On Wednesday here in BC we will celebrate not only someone’s birthday but also Pink Shirt Day which is an initiative against bullying.

The theme this year “Make Nice”.

hug 3

I’d like to take that challenge a bit further and just ask everyone to practice kindness on a daily basis.

It isn’t easy.

Still the benefits so outweigh the difficulty of dealing with our anger and not projecting it elsewhere.   And if someone is hurting ask if they’d like to talk.

Listening is one the best skills any of us can have.  I have been working on this in a big way.

New York_1 324

Since joining a local Toastmasters chapter a year and half ago my listening skills have increased ten fold.  Still, there is always room for improvement and always will be.

We just passed Valentines Day.  At our Toastmasters meeting we were all asked to say one word that describes what love  means to  us.

After the fact I thought about this quite a bit.  How could one word define love?

And this is what struck me just before falling to sleep a few nights back.

Canada Day July 1, 2015 285

Love = Freedom

 

coyote

Hate = Fear

Freedom is expansive…it encompasses so much!  Embrace freedom and surrender to a loving heart!

peace 3

Kindness matters…always!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Life in the Fishbowl


 

20161005_072640

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.

Eagle Festival 295

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.

Pride 2015 011

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.

Pride 2015 017

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.

blue moon July31, 2015 029

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.

 

 

 

 

Democracy…Tell Me What It Means To You!


I have provided the links to an article that was written by Gwynne Dyer back in July 2016 and also of a recent lecture he gave at the University of Regina.

After one week in office President Trump has moved in a frightening direction.

In Trump’s head its okay to tear up trade agreements and insist that all the jobs that have been lost in the U.S. due to out-sourcing and immigration.

Now President Trump thinks himself quite the business man as well.  If this were true then he would surely know that how we do business worldwide has changed as dramatically as it has due to technology in the last 25 years or so and not the out-sourcing that has gone on and certainly not by people immigrating to North America.

In fact having people move to North America has in fact assisted in the growth of our economy here in Canada and in the U.S. as well.  This is a proven fact and Canada has displayed this time and again.

Canada does indeed have her issues, still there is an awareness to do better and to grow as a collective.

I would encourage anyone who is reading this post to please take the time to watch the lecture which is close to two hours in length and read some of Mr. Dyer’s articles.  It is well worth it.

I have also provided standard definitions for democracy and dictatorship.

One of the things that is truly frightening is Trump’s desire to ‘control’ the internet.

Freedom to information is difficult enough and in these times our best defense is to stay informed of the facts and not the hype that Trump is spewing.

Let’s go about our daily lives informed and united.

Peace!

What does democracy mean?

1.government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

2.a state having such a form of government

3.a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges; common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.

Dictatorship

1.  a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.
2.  absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.
The above are the dictionary definitions of what democracy and dictatorship mean.

A Truth


dyke-no-2-sunset

Sunset in Steveston

I sit before this screen thinking about the things I’d like to talk about.  The rush of ideas come fast and furious.  I could surely wax poetic on any number of things; I could rant on any number of issues as well.  There are injustices a plenty that I could champion.

The screen remains empty.

I make my breakfast and pour another cup of coffee.  I gaze out the window at a frozen world.  It’s beautiful.

20161226_120538-1

The view from my home on Dec 26, 2016

I’m wrapping up a challenging year that was preceded by a few tough years.  I was asked a question at dinner with friends last night ‘What did you take from those experiences, what did you learn?’

Now this was in reference to my bout with cancer and the treatment provided.  It could well apply to the vehicle accident that followed as well.

I responded that we need to ask questions and be kind to ourselves.  And indeed we do. The question remains though.  ‘What did I learn from this?’

And the screen, while I’ve jotted down these thoughts, no answer is readily coming.

20160904_161821

Vancouver from the Ferry in September 2016

I entered 2016 in the metaphorical darkness of depression.  I had felt the all too familiar slide begin.  In truth, I’d been fighting this for quite some time.  2015 had begun with promise.

I was working out with a trainer and running with my group again wanting to take back my health after the cancer thing .  The vehicle accident kibosh-ed my progress.  The pipes in my building flat lined and the building had to be re-piped. For 3 months no hot water. I was attending physiotherapy and the bills began to mount.

My job was stressful yet I kept at it.  Despite the pain, despite the overwhelming cost to fix our building I was beginning to slip.  I’ve never experienced a back injury before and physically my condition was not improving.  I would try to do things, but just walking was an agonizing thing at times.

blue moon July31, 2015 029

A moon to remember

I was living with pain daily.  I wasn’t sleeping.  And I was still recovering from the effects of chemo and radiation.

‘What did I learn from all of this?’

Still an empty screen to this question.

Fear crept in.  Was I going to lose everything I’d worked so hard for?  In many ways I felt completely impotent regarding the direction my life was going.

Did I talk about any of this with anybody?  No.

In my mind, to give it voice would give these feelings validity.  I was in denial.  My financial safety net was gone to the renovations in my building.

I then lost my job.

The quicksand I call depression was pulling me, enveloping me…my strength was gone.

20161216_161037

Sunset December 2016 in Steveston

All of the avenues I’d been exploring…meditation, energy healing, etc. were no longer viable options for me. My head and heart weren’t there.  I was in that all too familiar dark place.

In 2016 I sold my place and recovered some of my costs, though I still have debt, it is now manageable.

I found a condo that is now more of a home than my previous place.  I found another job which I really like.

And a few months back I emerged from the mantle of depression.

20161005_072640

What have I learned from all this?

Perhaps this is an ongoing lesson.  Perhaps the answer has many layers to it.

One thing though, despite the darkness I appreciated and admired every morning that I’ve been graced with.

I still stop and stand in awe of a luminous moon rise and always let those who I’ve been so blessed to have in my life know it.

And I will never give up on myself.  I will never give in to the pain of the past.

There is a balance between the dark and the light that must be found and met.

Fireworks Aug 1, 2015 077

I will focus on wellness in 2017.  I will ask for the help that I do in fact need and look to heal and strength my person.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pledge


 

Sunset, November 28, 2016 in Richmond , BC

I have not written much in the last six months.  In fact, I’ve not been writing much at all in any capacity.

Understand that it is not a lack of ideas.  This head of mine never turns off, and there are times where I dearly wish it would take a break.

No, the ideas just pile up.  When I slip into bed they fight for position and I promise to commit them all to the page so that I can get some much needed rest.  At some point I will.

Been a tough year and half though.  And at some point I had to finally accept that I am human after all.  And I’ve been far too human for the majority of my life.  What do I mean by this?

20160630_213835

The pain of being incomplete…at least in my head.  The pain of rejection, of not being loved by those who would impact my life directly (i.e. family), and the desire to just be whole.

So the quest was taken on and in 2010 such a major breakthrough!

I was soaring.  Finding aspects of myself I’d never known and growing in every way imaginable.  I was tearing down walls and breaking chains that had confined for a lifetime and I was scared shitless at all the emotions and moods that were enveloping me.

I produced my first book, was running 1/2 marathons and taking control of my life in a way I’d never done before.  I liked who I was becoming…loved the direction I was moving in.

Then physical ailments hit me.  Heart issues…a stent was inserted and then uterine cancer.

But I took these on the chin.  I wasn’t prepared to let them take me down.

In January 2015 I had been working with a trainer for 3 months and had started back with my running group when the car accident happened.

'I can never do anything with my hair phobia.'

‘I can never do anything with my hair phobia.’

But it wasn’t just that.  It was being let go from a position I’d held for 5 1/2 years because chemo had messed up my focus.  It was taking on a job that was far too stressful considering my physical issues…it was the a back injury that compounded  all the issues and then the condo I owned having no hot water and a serious special assessment needing to be paid out.

I’ve never had a back injury.  Finding myself in a position where just going for a walk left me in agony was so tough to deal with.  I was trying desperately to hang onto what…I wasn’t too sure.

2015 was such a bad year for me.  I toughed it out though. I had to.  In typical fashion I figured I could do everything myself.  HA!

Oh yes, I kept records for ICBC.  I tried to get back my health only find I was worse off.  Then depression hit.  I was sinking.  I was let go from the stressful job unceremoniously and without cause.  My confidence was non-existent.

Between Cancer treatment and my pity parties I had put on 80 lbs.  I felt and looked awful.  I was in pain constantly and started to wonder if it all the shit was worth it.  I was spending money irresponsibly.

I found another job after a few months but I was scared. My old place was sinking me and I was drowning in debt.

In the New Year I saw my place fixed up and sold it by mid-April.  Paid down a big chunk of my debt and got set up in my new home, which I love!

5

Still, I was moving a frenetic pace.  A new program at work…a reunion,..getting back on track with my health and trying to deal with behaviours that had reared their heads once again.

And now I’m sitting here hoping that my tenacious attitude to try and deal and resolve all this will succeed this time.  And I pledge that I will never give up on whatever it is I am supposed to give back to this world.

Peace out!

 

Grievances…A History Of Sorts


 

20160929_072536After a year and half the American election finally came to bitter end.   The outcome was not what anyone expected.

We watched closely up here in Canada as the ugliest campaign in history unfolded. I could not believe that a man such as Trump could even be considered.  He has legal cases pending in court, he is loud, obnoxious and has virtually no experience in the political realm.

He’d somehow become something of a celebrity with his show ‘The Apprentice’.  The Donald, as he sold himself some 20 years back,  has an insatiable appetite to be in the spotlight.

What you have to understand is that it’s not just the U.S.A. that is experiencing radical change.  There is global unrest and a lot of it.

58

We should be coming together as a global collective to remedy the issues that exist, and I fear with the choice Americans made on November 8, 2016 that the shock waves will be felt for years to come.

What I have seen my neighbors to the south try and hold onto is the old adage that they are the greatest country in the world and they have this ‘American Dream’ thing that, like their love guns…they cannot dismiss or let go.

And what is the American Dream?

Here is Wikipedia’s description:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity, and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1]

The American Dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that “all men are created equal” with the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”[2]

There you have it.  Yet it seems that for many, the factory workers, those who were not has fortunate somehow felt cheated to some degree.

Eagle Festival 298

The ALMIGHTY ECONOMY (a.k.a. Oil) became the ruler of the day after the Second World War.  With technology advancing at a rabid pace from the 1970’s forward tens of thousands of factory workers found themselves out of a job.  Small towns became ghost towns as their citizens lamented over the good ol’ days.

Several economic recessions and the crash back in 2008 left many with absolutely nothing.   No educational options, no retraining options, no jobs, no home, no nothing.

Meanwhile in other countries such as Bosnia, Ruwanda, Lybia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Mexico, etc. corruption and war had made it impossible for their citizens to eek out a living.

The exodus began as refugees sought out new lives for themselves and their families here in North America. The American dream has been sold globally and many made their way to Canada and the United States to begin a new life.

For many of the citizens down in the U.S. with no job and having lost so much, they found the idea of immigrants coming to their country as offensive.  These people were stealing their jobs, their livelihood.  Even worse were the ones who gained entrance illegally.

Storm 3

The setting was ripe for a man of Donald Trump’s nature to come in and tell these U.S. citizens that he was going to build a wall to keep out the illegals and toss out all the aliens who had come to America.  Yet he could walk across the street to a different rally and feed a line of bullshit to that group, even if it contradicted what he had just spoken about, and quite often it did.  In fact, the contradictions were absolutely astounding.

Riots were breaking out at his rally’s.  He was having people tossed out and continually made derogatory remarks about women.

Women became the devil and he was running against a woman.

And yet the Republican party, even though many didn’t like him, didn’t want him to lead party allowed it anyway.

Trump may think he can build a wall, tear up trade agreements, trash the U.S. healthcare system, send immigrants packing  and repeal women’s rights in order to make ‘America great again’ but those are not things that can be done with the snap of the fingers.

Trump had best be careful as all those people who voted him in may turn on him when he doesn’t deliver their brand of justice.

Let’s hope that President-Elect Trump doesn’t do anything rash out of the gate.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

2016…A Year of Transitiions


This has been an interesting year.  One filled with several challenges.  As I begin to finally settle into my new digs I am reflecting on some of the things that I’ve experienced and felt.  And I’m thinking about the things I am in the process of adjusting and / or changing.

One thing that is out…the microwave.

A microwave is a form of non-ionizing radiation. As a matter of contrast, ionizing radiation changes the electromagnetic nature of atoms, or ionizes them. … Your food is being zapped by high-frequency waves of heat, and some people argue that this radiation can be harmful to your health.     Feb 24, 2015 

I used to cook all the time without one.  Perhaps it’s time to revisit those habits.  Still, I have a panini maker that makes awesome sandwiches if I want something fast!  I’ve got my Ninja that makes awesome smoothies and shakes!  The appliances are old but in very good condition.  I’ve cleaned them to the point that they appear new.  They are about 30 years old.

20160611_205443

I like to have a cold one and read a book.  I’ve read many books this year.  Taking the time to do the things I love to do.

20160731_16263720160813_180231

These were two of the books I read this summer.  Gareth Wood is a friend.  I met him at my first writers’ group.  He is an excellent writer!  The other book that I read was ‘The Rainbow Comes and Goes’ by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt.

I’m actually reading a classic at the moment.  ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

As stated I moved and I’ve been here a couple of months now.

20160806_113925

20160806_13481620160806_134833

Moving day August 5, 2016.  A little windy that day but we got it done!  These were the first photos I took from my balcony!

20160820_07570520160820_07581120160820_081146

And then I explored my new neighborhood.  I found fabulous trails in the ravine that borders our building!!!

It is beautiful!

20160630_21383520160724_10322420160630_213829

And I was being my old silly self.  Sharing time with my daughter in her neck of the woods as well.  We would head up to Ucluelet over on Vancouver Island during the Labour Day weekend.

520160902_115017

20160902_115012

We enjoyed the beauty of the rain forest.  Some of the trees here are more than 800 years old!

1920

We met Pinky, a female Humpback whale that’s been coming to Barkley Sound for the past 5 years to feed.

23

33

Sea lions waved at us as we passed by on a Zodiac during our Whale Watching expedition.

3038

There were at least a hundred relaxing on the rocks.  Cormorants  and seagulls  occupied the other end of this little island.

5649-5

We decided to head up to Long Beach.  It is absolutely spectacular up there.

5347

The weather was fabulous.  And at night, I saw something I’ve not seen in ages.

Stars!  I saw billions of stars!

43

40

There is an aboriginal settlement that is 5,000 years old close by.

63

On our final day we woke to heavy fog.

20160903_185215

My daughter prepares as we consider our final destination.

20160904_080631

20160904_080642

20160904_08030920160904_075338

65

This lighthouse has stood here for more than 100 years.  The rocks in this area are unforgiving.  If you plan on sailing in this area…best to know what you’re doing.

20160904_161821

Then it was back home.  This a photo of Vancouver from the ferry.

20160820_192418

20160820_190233

20160820_185953

The Tragically Hip performed their last concert from Kingston, Ontario.  It was broadcast live across Canada.  Gord Downie, the lead singer, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.  I’m praying that a miracle happens.

He and his band have produced some of the most prolific music…ever!

We watched the concert here in New Westminster during the food truck festival.

morning-sunrise-jan-10-012

Then it was back to work.   We are making a lot of changes and upgrading systems.

20160929_07253520160913_07252020160929_072616

And I’m once again enjoying the awesome sunrises that occur during the autumns months on my drive in to work each day.

20160929_19061020161006_14564620160929_190622

And the sunsets have been pretty spectacular as well.

20161008_164145

The view outside my home is changing as well.  The trees are all ablaze.

20161009_11030120161006_14554720161009_110243

20161005_072034

Pumpkins are almost ready for picking.

That’s what I’ve been up to more or less.  I received the all clear regarding my health.  The heart is good and my body is cancer free and beginning the long journey back from the effects of treatment.

I still have back issues from the vehicle accident, however, I need to keep moving.  The alternative…well, we won’t go there.

This is our Thanksgiving weekend and I have so much to be thankful for.

I know I am blessed and need to say it more often.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Namaste.