If I am not [true to myself], I miss the point of my life, I miss what being human is for me.
- Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity

Please click on an image to view it more clearly.

Friday, August 2, 2013

An Oasis at Knight and 33rd

A red light is almost always a frustration in traffic. Yet, when the light turns red at Knight and 33rd it is a blessing. It provides a little time for me to pause and appreciate the herons calmly presiding in their rookery. Jeannie Kamins' mural covers the entire side of Kona Stained Glass. It is an oasis between the trucks and horns of frantic traffic.

A few weeks ago, my car came to rest at this favoured intersection. Imagine my horror to see the herons no longer at rest, but smothered by huge blocks of angry black paint. A hideous mar on the mural and my journey.

And then, perhaps only two weeks later, my pleasure to see that, despite the defacement, the herons returning to their roost once again. Their wall habitat an oasis once more.

Thank-you Ms Kamins.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dancing Cheek to Cheek

Rearview mirrors are wonderful things. Side view mirrors too for that matter.  Rectangular disappearing horizons.

Last week, engulfed by an intense sunset, serenaded by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, the side view mirrors on my van, those perfect frames, beckoned me to hold onto the sky and release my heart.

Which I did.

Thank-you Louis and Ella.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Be the rainbow in someone's cloud

Maya Angelou
Unique Lives

Last October, my sister and I had the privilege of attending one of Vancouver's speakers presented by  Unique Lives.

As the curtain swept open, a deep and powerful voice filled the theatre. The voice of 84 year old Maya Angelou swept the room. She began with a poem. Her voice the song of our hearts. An hour later on that rainy October night she implored us to

Be the rainbow in someone's cloud.

I would like to pass on her desire to you: be the rainbow in someone's cloud.

Love, 

Zinnia

SARK would agree that Maya Angelou is a succulent wild woman.

Friday, July 19, 2013

If B minor were a person, who would he be?

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog
Caspar David Friedrich

Driving home from a class last fall, I was struck by Paolo Pietropaulo's Signature Series on CBC Radio 2. He opens his series by stating that:

    The key signatures of music are kind of like the signs of the zodiac. If you take all the music in a
    given key, you'll discover certain characteristics - characteristics that can define your personality.

That car ride last fall, Pietropaulo described the personality of B minor as The Dark Romantic. He spoke with such panache that, upon arriving home, I immediately brought up as many pieces in B minor as I could handle for one afternoon. Snippets of his words, so aptly and gorgeously spoken, resonated with each piece.

I implore you to listen to him on CBC Radio 2 here:

The Dark Romantic (make sure you click B minor: The Dark Romantic a little down the page; not the current station.)

Figure out which musical key describes you.

I know you will love it!

Love,

Zinnia

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Under My Chin

at 2 a.m.

a little shoulder heaves

up

and

down

gently

determinedly

warm breath on my neck

a tiny body in my arms

my beautiful baby

I love you at

2 a.m.

under my chin

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Do Women Want?

What Do Women Want?
Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Substance, Shadow,and Spirit

“Substance, Shadow, and Spirit”
T’ao Ch’ien (365-427 BCE)

“Every one, noble or base, brilliant or dumb, clings tenaciously to
life, which is nothing but a delusion. Therefore, I have given voice to
Substance and Shadow to express their grief, and let the Soul or Spirit
resolve their problems by following the course of Nature. Those who
are concerned with this matter understand my intention.”

Substance to Shadow
Earth and heaven endure forever,
Streams and mountains never change.
Plants observe a constant rhythm,
Withered by frost, by dew restored.
But man, most sentient being of all,
In this is not their equal.
He is present here in the world today,
Then leaves abruptly, to return no more.
No one marks that there is one man less —
Not even friends and family think of him;
The things that he once used are all that’s left
To catch their eye and move them to grief.
I have no way to transcend change,
That it must be, I no longer doubt.
I hope you will take my advice:
When wine is offered, don’t refuse.

Shadow to Substance
No use discussing immortality
When just to keep alive is hard enough.
Of course I want to roam in paradise,
But it’s a long way there and the road is lost.
In all the time since I met up with you
We never differed in our grief and joy.
In shade we may have parted for a time,
But sunshine always brings us close again.

Still this union cannot last forever —
Together we will vanish into darkness.
The body goes; that fame should also end
Is a thought that makes me burn inside.
Do good, and your love will outlive you;
Surely this is worth your every effort.
While it is time, wine may dissolve care
That is not so good a way as this.

Spirit’s Solution
The Great Potter cannot intervene —
All creation thrives of itself.
That Man ranks with Earth and Heaven,
Is it not because of me?
Though we belong to different orders,
Being alive, I am joined to you.
Bound together for good or ill
I cannot refuse to tell you what I know:
The Three August Ones were great saints
But where are they living today?
Though P’eng-tsu lasted a long time.
He still had to go before he was ready.
Die old or die young, death is the same,
Wise or stupid, there is no difference.
Drunk every day you may forget,
But won’t it shorten your life span?
Doing good is always a joyous thing
But no one has to praise you for it.
Too much thinking harms my life;
Just surrender to the cycle of things,
Give yourself to the waves of the Great Change
Neither happy nor yet afraid.
And when it is time to go, then simply go
Without any unnecessary fuss.

Translation by Angela Jung Palandri, “The Taoist Vision: A Study of T’ao Yuan-ming’s Nature Poetry.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 15 (1988): 97-121.