Posted in 2019

We all stand beneath the same sky. vcl©

Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really…How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

Paul Bowles~ The Sheltering Sky

Almost through another week. The snow falls. We struggle to find our smiles as we slide along slippery streets, bundled against the frigid northern breezes. It is dark and restless now. I stare into the dark night sky. No stars, just a cloud blanket shaken by an unseen hand, showering snowflakes. A lone figure stalks along with his dog. I never envy anyone walking a pet in cold weather. It looks like all duty. None of the joy of a summer dawdle.

When we were a family, we trained our dog, AJ to take his own walk…along the path to his spot, around the curve and back again, always returning with that same satisfied grin.  365 days x 6 years. He was always joyous to reach home. A simple bark and the door opened and he bounced right in.

How often I have stood watching the night sky. Sleep is often elusive. I am comforted that I am not alone. I have a simple faith. God is there. Walking with me.  365 days X 65 years and counting.  ❤️ I’m not in any hurry to move on yet, but I’m sure about where I want to go. I’ll be happy to reach home.

We all stand

beneath the same sky

and sigh

for things that are

unrevealed, denied

clouded in mystery   

shrouded through history

until that great day

when all will

weep for we

have been set free

from our collective misery   

For we all stand

beneath the same sky.

 

Posted in 2019

The Narcissus Garden. vcl©️

Hello friends. It has been a sad, slow journey since the untimely death of one of our daughters. I find it difficult to put words to page these days. A few months before she passed away, in a happier moment, my husband and I bought a vacation package to Las Vegas for New Years.

We aren’t gamblers, but enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the many entertainment venues and eateries available. Visiting the hotels with all kinds of interesting stuff is a treat. One particular favourite stop of mine is the Art Gallery at the Bellagio. It is a small innocuous spot nestled along the busy promenade where visiting artists are showcased.

This last visit was spectacular in its simplicity. Perhaps it was my melancholy that perceived it this way, but the exhibit by the Japanese artist  Yayoi Kusama was riveting to me. As the picture shows, it is just a collection of stainless steel polished globes. They are all grouped. But they are not randomly placed. The interesting thing is that they are arranged in such a way that no matter where you stand in the room you can see your reflection in the balls. It is named The Narcissus Garden.

The story of Ms. Kusama is really intriguing . You can check out her website here.  I’ve included her picture. Spoiler alert….she has an obsession with dots.  She also continues to wrestle with the big question of who we are and where are we going.  As do I. ❤️  Then there is my experience in the Infinity Room. More on that later. 

http://www.yayoi-kusama.jp/

Posted in 2019

Are you burdens light? ©️vcl

True story: While grocery shopping the clerks always asked if they could help me carry my groceries. When I was younger I felt quite offended. In fact one time I responded with a terse “I’ll let you know when I need help” as I picked up my 40 bags and struggled to the car. By the time I dragged them home I had broken out into a cold sweat. My husband offered to help, but I waved him away intent on proving that things were lighter than they looked.

Sometimes we are unwilling to let someone help make our burdens “light”. We would rather struggle along self righteously or indignantly wearing ourselves out, perhaps not wanting to be seen as weak… ignoring the help that is offered. How silly it seems now.

Posted in 2019

The praises. vcl ©️

My days seem to speed by. I guiltily carve out some writing time this evening.  Actually it’s all been a bit wispy snowy and foggy lately.  As the denseness evaporates, the trees have acquired a white frosty attire that makes me think that Christmas is just around the corner again…lol.   I am a busy property manager, and found myself out and about with my husband Ken, (my maintenance manager) earlier than usual, surveying my “Kingdom” as I jokingly tell my staff. Snow blankets everything.
It actually wasn’t that cold. Walking along, hearing the crunch of my boots in the morning air was a comforting sound. I was reminded of the words of Maya Angelou, “Still, like air I rise”, as we strolled along catching a glimpse of our site bunny sitting as still as a statue against the fence begging us to ignore him.  We eyed him back, looking to see if there is any change in the colour of his fur which indicates the soon arrival of spring. You don’t need a groundhog when you have a site bunny. 😁.       How quickly that would bring a smile to Ken’s face as he “strongly dislikes” snow and cold. Perhaps soon he will be rewarded. The new month of February is coming…Praise God.  The groundhog awaits !😬 Here is an Elfjie ❤️ Shaped like a tree. Go well today friends. It’s all about the praises. 

Trees

dressed finely

Celebrate their Creator

Every day they whisper

Praises

Vcl©️

Posted in 2019

Thank you Mr Murray ©️vclz

I remember Mr. Murray well. Designated as our homeroom teacher, the grade 11 class regarded him warily. Perhaps it was the ascot knotted at his throat, unusual apparel for a Nova Scotia fishing town. Or it may have been his pasty skin, the unwell appearance of an unhealthy person, wearily moseying along the road of life.. nearer to the end than the beginning. Every movement he made was languid. I remember the class atmosphere as whispery, as if we were all in a hospital waiting room. It was instinctive that we felt compelled to best behavior.

He taught us English Studies. I loved to listen to him speak about the characters in the stories we studied. He had a lovely way of shaping words. One instance, I cannot remember the name of the book, he stated how over dramatized and “gushy” it was, and that any minute we could expect violin music emerging from the bushes, highly unlikely in the circumstances. We were encouraged to envision it. The girls giggled, the boys rolled their eyes. His danced merrily.

My Father was a religious zealot. He was quite firm on what literature his children should have access to. It was with a sinking heart that I brought home the designated reading for the semester. Of course it had to be “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” by Canadian author Mordecai Richler, newly minted, off the presses and reallllly controversial. My Teacher was that kind of man. Controversial. My father was angry and impetuous. Pulling open the kitchen coal stove lid, he thrust the book into the flaming fires of hell, and slammed the lid shut. No child of his was going to read that garbage!

I was a nervous child. It was not easy living with a Father that talked directly to God. Unfortunately, neither he nor God accompanied me to school to explain the situation to my teacher. Approaching his desk, I gathered all of the little courage I had, and I told him my story.

I must explain here that I am an eye watcher. Eyes say everything, especially in unguarded moments. I can read even the faintest twitch of untruth. My children despise me for it. I remember his eyes that day as they changed from curiosity to interest in my story and then to pain. No anger, I was used to anger. Smiling sadly, he stated that he would give me another assignment. “I want you to write an essay “he said.” I want you to write about Success. Tell me all you can learn about Success.”

Then turning to the class, he called it to order. Pulling an armload of envelopes out of his satchel, he proceeded to hand them round to each student. “ I am going to teach you something that will be the most important information you will ever need to know as you venture out into the world. I am going to show you how to fill out Income Tax forms.” We spread them out on our desks, rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

I wrote my essay on Success. I do not remember much of what it said or the mark I received. I left for another school at the end of the term. I heard that Mr. Murray did not return the next year either. After a I graduated I got a job. I got married. I felt the most happy feeling each year as I got out those forms and filled them out because I had the knowledge my husband didn’t have yet. I felt needed. As the years past and the taxes became more intricate, I willingly passed them over to our tax man.

Oh yes…One quote I do remember is “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. “~Albert Schweitzer

BTW I picked up the forbidden book later in life. Funny thing, it is a story about a young man desperately determined to be successful. And he wasn’t. Thank you Mr. Murray. ❤️

Posted in 2018

A lifelong love affair🤩©️vcl

I started real work as I call it when I was 15 years old. I went away to a church run private school and paid part of my tuition by working part time in a book bindery. My classes started at 730 am till noon then I worked the afternoon 1 until 4 . Oh yes…and all day Sunday. I worked as a cover layer ..rebinding old and putting new books together. Covers were cut and glue (old horse glue) was melted in a machine that was plastered on the covers and another machine was used to fold and trim the corners and edges. I was so efficient at my job that I was asked to make the year books. It was a huge task. Oh and all the work was done standing btw. And the hot glue smell? …..phew , especially if you forgot and it started to burn!

Those years cemented a lifelong love affair with books because an added bonus to my job was being able to read the books that I was working on during my lunch breaks. Books of poetry, books about the world, history books, books of maps, and magic…… all kinds of books.

I have also noticed through the years that whatever work I have done involves a lot of reading…❤️.

There is a song that I heard as a child that goes “I’ll work till Jesus comes” and I joke that I took those words literally.

If there is a heaven…(and I believe there is) …this quote says it all… book paradise.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

― Jorge Luis Borges

photo:Pixart