Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Best of Times

It's February 1999 and I'm strolling down the avenue in New York City. No, not strolling - something more chipper and intentional, less quirky than prancing, more energized than ambling. It's my fifth or sixth day in Manhattan, and I am in love with life. Having raided Freckle's closet and that of at least 2 girlfriends before taking off, my outfit is the perfect combination of fashion-forward and comfortable - a black leather biker jacket, a long boho chic skirt, a soft feminine sweater, the uber long & muppety burgundy scarf I bought on arriving in frigid Greenwhich Village. I am present, in my skin, happy, and free in the most alive city in the world.

A man I barely notice until I can see the white of his smile is approaching me in the opposite direction. As we pass he says, "you are gorgeous - thanks for making me smile." And I laugh, and say thank you, and we continue on our divergent paths - he back to an office, or home for dinner (no, it's too early for that), or to meet friends & colleagues for lunch, and me on my way to the New York Public Library to be hushed and awed and moved.

That crystal moment is one of my favourite memories. I relive it like I'm still in it - feel the crip Eastcoast air in my nostrils. The blush warming my cheeks, wondering who heard our exchange. The leather squeak of my jacket as my arms swing freely. The swish of his wool coat as he turns to speak, and turns again to carry on. The only detail that's missing for me is what I was wearing for shoes. Did I have knee high black boots then? I imagine that I did.

Whenever I feel that memory coming upon me I know it's a good day - a day to savour. A day to celebrate being. Today is one of those days. I need nothing. I welcome everything. And I am free.

The Accidental Inarticulate

Although I hold my word skillery among my most prized possessions, it often happens - when pushed comes to shoving - that what I want and need to say is not at all what comes out. In ink (or pixel) my words are generally fully arranged (mostly even self-arranging), neatly ordered little thought soldiers who march out, form an intention, and build a foundation, and march on through to the end (though sometimes typographical errors leave a few walking wounded). But in speech, well, that's a communication of another colour.

It seems that sometimes when I mean to ask for assurance & comfort, what comes out is 'does this shirt hide my fat tummy?' And sometimes when I'm scared and want someone to check the dark corners for monsters, the words sound more like 'go away, monster.' There have even been times when this dyxlexicographia has struck so ferociously that when I tried to say I need some time for myself it came out 'I can't be with you.'

It causes untold upset and creates drama and sadness. The funny thing is, it also creates opportunity. Like how the crazy lady talking to herself on the street always has room to walk, no matter how crowded the rest of us are. And, there's another upside - it's possible that sometimes 'That's really interesting' can sound like 'You have the most gorgeous lips - kiss me.' And that 'I enjoyed that' can sound like 'please, sir, can I have some more?'

I am sorry though, to everyone to whom I tried to say 'I love you' and it came out 'I don't need you.' Maybe I'll learn sign language and see if that works better. Or maybe I'll just blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TI♥T - whenever I'm in doubt, Winnie-the-Pooh is the answer

When I was turning 6 my mom bought me the most beautiful hardcover edition of The Collected Poems of A.A. Milne (which included the collections "When We Were Young" and "Now We Are Six") with colour illustrations. I still cherish it as one of my favourite books and prized possessions, and it sits alongside a similar hardcover illustrated Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh (which includes both the "Winnie-the-Pooh" story collection and "The House at Pooh Corner" collection) I bought to celebrate BB1's birth.

And then I started school, and quickly bounced into dear Mrs. Livingstone's Grade1-2 split class, where we were frequently rewarded with viewings of the original Winnie-the-Pooh films, from the original stories, before the voices went weird, and the characters were Disneyfied, and the stories became little more than pedantic moralising. I love those old films, with the turning pages and the consoling narrator. And my books. And their lessons of love and friendship and acceptance and bravery.

So this week I've returned to the house at Pooh corner, to visit some old friends, and re-learn for the first time some old lessons:

♥ When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish.

♥ Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

♥ Some people care too much, I think it's called love

♥ You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

♥ Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.

♥ Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.

But most of all, and always,

♥ If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart ... I’ll always be with you.

A girl who has a tendency to over-think things can learn much from a bear of very little brain.

Monday, February 15, 2010

gaping void time again

I'm not sure where the title 'Gaping Void' comes from. I probably read about it sometime. Anyway, sometimes Hugh MacLeod squiggles what I am thinking. Tonight is one of those nights:

I know some people will think this is personal. It's not.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Olympic tee hee

This weekend has been ALL about the Olympics for me, with slight interruptions for celebrating Valentine's Day with Cowboy, selling BB2's old loft bed, and doing dishes (during commercials). And while I suspect/hope/intend that once I get to work tomorrow things will get back to normal, I thought I'd leave this image with you from the flower ceremony for Canada's first Gold medalist on home soil:

PS - I'm SUPER ticked right now that CTV isn't airing the medal ceremonies, or at least isn't airing them on time and in any form of completeness, but ... it's not like they're going to care what I say. Jerks. You better believe the CBC would show the medals ceremonies. :P

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You too can play Olympic games ...

So, I've caved to the hoopla, put aside my resentment of our provincial government's insistance of 'the games at all cost', and fully given in to my love of the Olympics (at least until we get the final tally on what it's costing us). Olympic fascination first coursed through my little heart as an 8-year old girl sitting in a cool basement watching the CBC's coverage of the 1976 Montreal games and seeing the perfection of Nadia Komenici, the commitment of Bruce Janner, and the possibility of unadulterated excellence. 

Despite my increasing cynicism over the years (curse you Ben Johnson) as I become aware of politics and selling out and doping and sponsorships, the Olympic games still hold a strong fascination for me. And no less so because they are right here on my doorstep (though Gordon Campbell can still go to heck).

However - this was only meant to be a quicky post as I wait for Jenn Heil to take our first home-turf gold tonight in the Ladies' Moguls. I thought maybe we could play a quick game of ...


Friday, February 12, 2010

TI♥T - February 11 edition

Okay - one last TI♥T update, since I totally forgot yesterday was Thursday. I've been back in my life for almost a week now, and what I've loved most about it is
  • BB2 figuring out what was wrong with his car and fixing it. Not so much that in itself, but the look of pride and joy on his face afterwards
  • Creating the opportunity to be totally honest with people, and having them get what I'm saying
  • Yam fries (it doesn't always have to be deep)
  • Giving people their "I went to Mexico and all you get is this XYZ" presents and seeing that I've hit the mark
  • Figuring out what's next for me, and taking steps towards it
I'm back. And it's good to be here.

TI♥T - February 4 edition

Another week in Mexico, another fabulous chance to love things I don't necessarily get to love at home:

  • Pirate birthday dinner cruises! AAArgh!
  • Meeting fantastic new friends - it's like summer camp, but with alcohol
  • Catamaran boats in warm waters, and seeing dolphins, humpback whale mom & baby, pelicans, boobies (the birds, silly) and SEA TURTLES - awesome!
  • Night after night of beatiful sunsets
  • Sitting quietly in the sun
  • Writing postcards home

TI♥T - January 28 edition

This backdated TI♥T should have happened in week one of our trip to Mexico, and I did take some notes:

  • Flying Club Class: seats so wide they make my thighs look skinny, real (gluten-free) meals on real dishes, dedicated flight staff, skipping the line at check in, first suitcases on the carousel. Oh so worth it!
  • Flowers in January - hibiscus, bougainvillea, flame trees, seguaro cactus blooms, birds of paradise, ginger blossoms ...
  • Being warm!
  • The sea - snorkeling in warm water, playing in surf, the pull of the undertow scopping sand from beneath my toes
  • Side by side massage by the beach, aromatherapy, the surf pounding 20 feet away
  • Flea markets, bartering, and knowing I paid way too much to buy something I didn't really want. HA HA HA HA

Next up, TI♥T week 2

How do you say "Overdue" in Spanish?

I had promised last week that I would update about Mexico, and tripping, and life and TI♥T, and then life lifed some more and I didn't want my come-back post to be whiney, so I didn't post. And then I cleared some grey skies (I'm powerful like that) and woke up this morning thinking about ALL the various things I have to post. So here we go ...

Mexico was fantastic. We sunned and snorkeled and whale watched. We took 4X4s high in the Sierra Madres and tour buses through lava fields and past agave farms. We drank tequila and spoke Spanglish and made friends. We had 30 degree sunshine and 13 degrees with rain. And a tropical storm that may have been a cyclone and the tore apart trees and shanties. And we took pictures - 500 pictures between the two of us, the best of which you can view here (or in my albums if you are my friend on Facebook - ha).

There's something that happens when you travel with someone and the busy-ness and distractions of every day life are stripped away. There's an opportunity and a risk in it, and we're still working through what we saw. But either way, the trip was wild and wonderful.

And now I'm home. And there's updates to get on with. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Buenos Nachos

Well, I sat down this evening intending to write something deep and thought-provoking about happiness, and our ability to experience it any time, and our freedom to be not-happy when that's what we choose. And maybe to expound upon our culture's assessment of what should or should not be a happy time/place/event etc.

But then I started watching some weird/creepy movie with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman both looking pretty horrible (Papillon), and my eloquence has been predictably dulled by the blue buzzing.

Clearly I'm home from Mexico. More on that tomorrow, maybe with pictures. And most likely with a couple of book reviews, since I managed to finish 2 great ones on the trip.

Oh - and sorry I missed 2 TI♥T entries - I made notes, and will update those tomorrow as well.
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