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

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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Little Fern

Once upon a time, in the middle of a stand of tall dark trees, there lived a fragile little fern. The little fern was frightened by the dark trees that loomed all around her. The trees were so tall and strong and she was so little. She was so little that she thought that even the sun could not see her in the shadow of the tall trees. She crouched on the forest floor barely breathing. She curled her delicate leaves up tightly, afraid to reveal herself to the dark trees standing so tall around her, and she snuggled herself as close to the earth as possible.
Every day, high in the sky, the sun would peek down between the tall trees. Oh how she wanted to feel the sun’s warmth, but she knew that if the sun’s rays did reach down to her between the trees, she would be burnt. She was not yet ready for the sun.
Time passed and, even though she was still afraid and wanted to stay snuggled close to the earth, the little fern began to grow. Her stalk began to stand firm and hold her away from the earth. In return, the sun’s rays squeezed themselves between the trees toward the little fern tottering on her stalk. Unafraid now, she let the sun warm her. She basked in its warmth.
Although she was still scared to be away from the earth and scared of the tall dark trees, she began to stretch herself toward the sun. She stretched and stretched and stretched. When she was on her highest tiptoe, she knew she could not stretch any further. And when she looked around she was no longer frightened by the trees who continued to stand so tall, for she realized that she too was alive and part of the earth. She was beautiful and whole. The little fern looked at the sun and bowed a deep thank-you. She thanked the sun for finding her when she was so small and hidden between the trees.
The sun smiled at the little fern who had grown tall and grand between the trees. “And thank-you,” beamed the sun, “for having the courage to stretch up to greet my warmth.”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

One-Year Diary

My first real journal was black, rimmed with a delicate gold pattern. It had a lock and two keys. I wrote in it everyday when I was thirteen.

Looking back, the journal is full of words, but more insightful are the silences. No where is it written how I truly felt. Any hints of truth have been blocked out or coded. Full pages have been removed.

Despite the privacy of my journal, I felt unable to voice my truths. My heart. Lest it be opened up, revealed, taken on by prying eyes and ridiculed and dismissed. Or worse, my written thoughts hurtful to those who stumbled upon them.

I want to cradle my young self and let those truths flow through her.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tarry Awhile Pointlessness

Sometimes, everything feels pointless. Nothing can relieve the heavy weight that sprawls across my ribs no matter how I try to rouse it.

Once, I read somewhere that perhaps I should invite this feeling in, welcome it, make a space for it.

Offer it tea. Sugar? Cream? No, milk of course, less heavy that way.

And after a nice visit, bid it good-bye.

Welcome it back again sometime.

Just not too soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


'Bach is like an astronomer who, with the help of ciphers, finds the most wonderful stars. Beethoven infuses the universe with the power of his spirit. I do not climb so high. A long time ago, I decided my universe would be the soul and heart of man.'  - Frederic Chopin

In the dark hours of April 14th, 13 people sworn to secrecy entered Holy Cross Church in Warsaw. With whispered reverence, they approached a pillar and removed a crystal jar filled with amber liquid. Within which, bobbed a white lump: Frederic Chopin's heart. 

It is rumoured that his closest friends believed Chopin died of a broken heart. Upon his deathbed, he desired that his heart be returned home. His sister answered his plea and smuggled his heart to Poland (I imagine within the folds of her skirts). While his body rests in France, his heart is submerged in a jar of cognac in Poland. Since then, this jar has been opened and examined a number of times.

It seems unfortunate that the symbolic preservation of one's soul is reduced to an alcoholic concoction stuffed into a jar where it can be exhumed and prodded whenever the pull of curiosity arises.

I wonder, upon each opening, does a little bit of his soul escape? Does a little tissue become dislodged?
Does his soul find the ceremony around each opening liberating or stifling?

Would those who open the jar be able to resist the temptation to nibble a bit from this legendary heart desiring to ensnare his genius for themselves?

Or perhaps it is us that eat a little of his soul each time his music plays and lingers on the air.

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.



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