My own personal Thanksgiving.
This Thanksgiving (two weeks ago now, sheesh!) I went back to Nanaimo for the second year in a row. I have no doubt that when I left there ( almost three years ago)I was really, really ready to leave there, but there is a part of me that will always find itself in the neighbourhood where I raised my daughter and where I drew the nearest to God and to myself.
Tops on my list of things to be grateful for then is simply the chance to go back, pretty much whenever I want, thanks to some very dear friends who are still there and make me feel like it's my own home that I'm coming back to.
This year my friends were actually in Nepal doing this amazing trek that had been part of a birthday present the year before when I was in the same place. However, that left their 18 year old daughter, who is like a second daughter to me, by herself for Thanksgiving and she said that she would rather have me there with her than hang out with her friends for that weekend. I felt the same way so, perfect.
The first night we just visited and talked, found our way with each other. I truly like this girl a lot. She is very important to me and a second thing I will give thanks for is being able to continue to be this close to this family.
The second day was indescribably beautiful. I have put pictures with this post simply because a picture is often, truly, worth a thousand words.
It's like, the way that the water looked when I walked down to the beach. It was crystal clear. You could see every pebble, every ripple, every shadow and even though it was fall, I wanted to put my toes in it because it was so perfect. There was every cliche fabulous thing happening at the beach that day it made me laugh out loud. There were feathers floating. There was a jelly fish on the shore, there were seagulls flying over head, there were sailboats and it was quiet and I heard people being gentle and kind to one another.It wasn't just beautiful to look at it was beautiful inside of me. I just felt so present and available. Full of inner hospitality. That's what I strive for everyday and it's always so satisfying to have a day like that. It keeps me hopeful for days and days afterwards. It's what I want to bring into the relationships that I have with the people around me. It's like, when I am around my family, especially my daughter and granddaughter, I am content or I get excited and I feel happy without trying because things make sense. But, when I am by myself I have to work not to feel jangled and disjointed in my head because I feel like something is missing. None of this is okay from a Christian standpoint because I know that there was a time in my past that being alone was so easy for me. It was just time to be connected to God and it was like breathing. This is all stuff I am finding my way back to and this time in Departure Bay was like finding myself fitting back into my own skin again without any effort. It was, quite simply, exactly the way that I want to feel in my own head and heart all the time. I would love to say more to try and convey that but it's just the truth. It was a time for me to remember what it felt like to be alone and not need or want for any other feeling to be inside of me or anything else to make the moment what it was.

Posted by Jan at 8:16 PM 0 comments

So, I have no idea if this is funny to someone who has never used a rotary phone or grown up without computers, but I found it spot on.

A purely Canadian Rant (or why I've sworn more in the last six days than in the last six years)

So, anyone following the manufactured crisis in Parliment right now, knows what is going on. I had thought my days of being incensed were long over (people still confuse my passion with anger, but nonetheless I don't often get angry over things nowadays) however, when I heard, sitting in my quiet little apartment, trying to settle myself for bed, that there was a back door coalition being formed to oust the current government, I found myself in one of the blackest rages I have ever felt.

Some background information: I was a liberal my whole life till approximately two years ago. Even upon not voting for them in the last election, i was still of the opinion that it was a temporary measure rather than a permanent shift in loyalties and that I would vote liberal again one day as soon as there was a leader that didn't scare the crap out of me.
I should state that I am also much more of an anarchist than I am a liberal. For those of you who know me through the church this might be confusing so let me elucidate - I am conservative and orthodox in my faith, but liberal to the point of anarchy (true historical anarchy not the crappy throw bombs at buildings kind) when it comes to my politics. So, with that being said, you might think the anarchist in me would welcome the coalition.
If I thought for one minute that the leaders of this infantile monster were anything other than power hungry politicians angry that their turn in the sandbox did not materialize when they thought it should (seriously, you can see them literally stamping their feet in a tantrum defying all reason!) i would be on board.
The argument that is being the most abused right now is that it is all on Harper's head. Yes, he is an asshole. Yes he's arrogant and has no empathy and seems to be severely deficient in that way, but hold on, this is not a good argument for upending a government. "I just don't like him" should be their slogan. Instead, if you listen carefully folks, their platform for putting us through this is just that...a platform. AN ELECTION PLATFORM!!! I am infuriated that I and my country should have to go through this simply because neither party in this coalition could run a successful election campaign when they had the chance. FOR F#@K SAKES! If you don't like it, then wait and hold a better campaign, or wait and elect a leader for your party that you all actually believe is a leader instead of giving us one that you don't even want for yourselves!!!
Yes, there have been coalitions in the past, that was in war time folks.
The irresponsibility of Harper's actions are so completely overshadowed by the irresponsibility of overturning a government when the whole world is in crisis. The fact that anyone is buying their saviour of Canada nonsense is beyond me!!! This is such a thinly veiled attempt at justifying compeletly out of control power choices that it makes me gag! See I am not even being articulate. Just when we were starting to look like the only safe bet on the planet to invest in, we look instead like a complete joke. Grown men playing amateur games at running a country. Men beyond their prime are being consulted, men who were simply too powerful and made most of us turn from the liberal party in the first place (yes Mr. Chretien, I am talking about you). I am all for a revolution, personally I pick Jesus as the head of the country, there's the original anarchist for you! I think that the other rot that is being spewed is that we need this huge financial bailout..what's the standard coalition line...."every other country in the world has one, why don't we??" Yes, and I'm sure someone stole your marbles and didn't give them back too. I am not sold on why we need a bailout, nope not one bit! Their fearmongering didn't get them the election on these same exact issues and now they are simply going in through the back door and trying to represent themselves as....ok. I'm done, all I hear in my head is yelling now. I think I'll move to Scotland....anyone heard anything embarrassing about Scotland lately??

Full up inside.

Okay, I wrote this in August and I was just blathering because I felt full up with stuff and always meant to go back and fix it but I will publish as is so that I can move on to another blog. Also, this stuff is still true and even though the seasons are changing, it was how I was feeling at the time.

I love my life.

I love that after a really long week I can go for a walk after work instead of sitting on the couch and that my walk takes me on the waterfront and the inner harbour and that I can sit on a bench and eat warm bread from my daughter's restaurant and watch ships go past, some on their way to our neighbours in the south like the coho which is so old and sounds it's horn like the ferry's used to do where I lived before and i love that there is so much life in the harbour and downtown. I love my God and I love that He smiled on me this day and i love that the sky is beautiful and that I can see the rays of the sunshine in the clouds like a message of hope and I love that I can tell the tourists from the cruise ship what a heron is and I love that there are bands playing and lanterns lining the walkway and weekends like this where there is so much activity and energy & beauty. I love that on my way home I go past the massive cathedral that takes up the sky and I love that I have to tilt my head back as far as it will go to look at the top of it and I love the way the sky is all dusky and purple and warm and summery and I love that I live and work downtown and still feel like I'm in an old neighbourhood and I love that my daughter works around the corner from me and that she loves her work and I love that just as the day is setting the moon comes out full and still orange and yellow from seeing the sun on it's way down and I love the homeless in this city and I love that I can walk past the park beside the church and know that they would talk to me if I tried and I don't love that I am not in relationship with these people even though God tells me that they would feel valued if I asked them how they got here and why they are living the life that they are and I hope that one day I will have the time and the courage and the extra love to help me reach out and start the conversation with them that I feel prompted to at times so that I can share what I have with those who truly need it.

o.k. I'll play
 Two things you love
1. Spending time at the beach
2. Long car rides with my daughter

Two things you hate
1. Miscommunication
2. Smelly people on buses

Two best friends
1. Wendy
2. Meghan

Two best memories
1. The look on my 4 year old daughter's face after she licked mine with a blue popsicle tongue
2. Cursillo

Two things you would change
1. Child abuse
2. The space program

Two favorite music artists
1. Louis Armstrong

Two good songs
1. In the air tonight
2. Leaving ninety-nine

Two good movies
1. Crank
2. Romper Stomper

Two good actor/actresses
1. Russell Crowe
2. Helen Mirren

Two things you watch on TV
1. CSI Miami
2. Grey's anatomy

Two good books
1. "Winter's Tale"
2. "Shadow of the Moon"

Two things in your room
1. a 3' X 5' picture of the ocean
2. God

Two things you wish you could do
1. play the piano
2. go kyaking every day

Two places you'd like to go
1. Paris
2. Prince Edward Island

Two good things about summer
1. no socks
2. looooong days

Two things people should know about you
1. I'm a work in progress
2. When I'm silent, I'm more often praying than stewing

Two things you are constantly told
1. "turn off the light"
2. "you are not old enough to have a 21 year old"

Two things you look forward to
1. An amazing job
2. Grandchildren

Two current thoughts
1. I have no idea how to finish this letter
2. "All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well"

C'est la vie
So. I am moving. 
It has happened so suddenly and so unexpectedly. 
Like perfoming without a net, it is just time to do it. 
I will be leaving my Mom at a time when she is maybe feeling like she would like me to stay and that is hard, and I feel caught between responsibilities and opportunities.
And the journey is not laid out neatly. No long term answers about the duration about the location about the people who will be in my life; who I will be keeping company with.
I am o.k. with the concept of the camp stopping when the pillar of fire stops and moving when the column of smoke starts and so, in many ways this is the journey I have asked of God all my life. 
Simply to be led. 
So lead Lord. 

The answers
1)A Fish Called Wanda
2)The Fisher King (one of my top five all time favs)
4)Yay Grosse Point Blank
5)Guess Who's Coming for Dinner
6)Blade Runner
7)Muppets from Space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8)Mystery Alaska
9)Men with Brooms
10)Eulogy (super funny indie film)
11)Hunt for Red October
12)Pride & Prejudice (so long as everyone understand Meghan and I mean the A&E version not that crap ass shit done by Keira Knightly
13)LA Confidential (nother one in the top five)
14) Men in Black
15)Apocolypse Now

All Answers were answered correctly by users on facebook, which may prove something about Ryans point on the age divide on lj, but stil some of it is a border issue as well, as two Canadians over 30 did know #9 as well as Jaime, so yah, you should all  watch it, it will let you in on some of the canadian national psyche *shudder* scary stuff, you may not be ready for it.

O.k I also have fallen victim to this survey.
 1. Pick 15 of your favourite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions.

1.It's K-K-K-Ken c-c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me. 
2.  It's important to think. It's what separates us from lentils. 
3. Those giraffes you sold me, they won't mate. They just walk around, eating, and not mating. You sold me... queer giraffes. I want my money back.
4.+ "You're a fucking *psycho*.
    -"Don't rush to judgment on something like that until all the facts are in. 
5.There'll be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say "screw all those people"! Anybody could make a case, a hell of a good case, against your getting married. The arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them. But you're two wonderful people who happened to fall in love and happened to have a pigmentation problem, and I think that now, no matter what kind of a case some bastard could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse, and that would be if - knowing what you two are and knowing what you two have and knowing what you two feel- you didn't get married. Well, Tillie, when the hell are we gonna get some dinner?
6.I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. 
This one is for J'aime!
7.You tell him, and I will smack you. I will smack you like a bad, bad donkey, okay! 
This is my favourite quote from a movie ever. makes me laugh my head off every time. Of course you have to see it to get how funny it actually is, otherwise it just sounds...well, bad.
8. No, I'm not okay! Do I look okay? The fucker shot me! What the fuck-ass fuck of a bum-fuck shithole town is this? 
I defy any of you yankee folk to know #9
9.How do you forget about 400 pounds of defecating menace?
10. +We pumped your mother's stomach. 
       - Yeah, it was an accident.
       +: How did she accidentally chug half a bottle of sleeping pills. 
         - She was cleaning them up.
          +: With her mouth?
11.Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please. 
12. Shelves in the closet; happy thought indeed.
13.Wendell, I'd like full and docile co-operation on every topic.
14. It was like he was wearing a edgar suit. 
15.I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. That's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight... razor... and surviving. 

O.k. I think it was more fun for me looking up old movies and seeing all the quotes for them. It was really hard to pick the ones I liked best.


Days of Grace

So, the other day was the anniversary of my Dad's death. It is a day after Valentines Day and it always makes me very reflective. This year was no different. I wasn't sad in particular. It was a day without him and this year a day without my daughter which was weird but getting more normal I suppose.

My family and close friends know that my Dad was not an easy man. He was moody and cranky and there was a gulf between us. However, I have good things to look back on and be grateful for. One of them was Valentine's Day. I'll back up a sec to say that no matter what the holiday was, Christmas, Hallowe'en, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, or Valentine's, my Dad went out of his way to be in a good mood all day and to really make the duration of the holiday special. This is a huge legacy he left because I dont have too many cliche hang ups about holidays being all awful and full of family angst etc.

It's just that in our family, Valentine's day wasn't so much about romance as it was about family. It wasn't so much about the evening out as it was about a special breakfast setting. Through out the rest of the year, the norm rather than the exception was to eat breakfast separately. We all had different schedules etc. so it wasn't very often (i'm sure that a lot of families experience this) that we shared the morning fast.

So back to the hole that is left by my Dad at Valentine's day. Every day since I was a little girl, when I woke up in the morning and saw the breakfast table laid out with all of our plates there, there would always be a heart shaped box of chocolates for me as well as for my Mom. He never let me feel left out of this holiday shaped by the world to be about romantic love. I didn't have it and there was no one else to place the box there but him. He never missed one. Except the last day. Just a box of chocolates, just one day a year. Looking back it meant the world.

Thanks Dad.

That present malady
Why do we persist in accepting the mediocre in life?
Why have we forgotten about radical change, radical growth? Or do we just not think that kind of shift belongs to us. It's for other people, is that the way we have started to believe?

We do it in our families.... well, I can't tell her/him how I feel about that, it's just the way they are. We've always had that relationship and I just don't see it changing... and, my beliefs, views pain, it is just not what they want to hear about. Why doesn't it matter enough that you could reach farther into their hearts and truly know them , to take the risk of being exactly who you are with them and let them truly be who they are with you. That means mother to daughter, daughter to mother, sister to sister, aunt to nephew, neice to uncle, cousin to cousin. We were put in our families for a reason and they are a testing ground for how we relate to the world. Why do we lose all our courage here in this landscape?

We have friendships that we just let disappear and fade into time and others that we maintain but how much is real and how much is just a facade. How many of your friends really know you. And it's not how many friends would stand beside you in a crisis, it's how many of them would you ask? How many of them would you let in?

Romantic relationships end and instead of making new friends out of the person we have just ended it with, or honouring them, we live in culture that just expects things to get bad or worse or just be nothing... is that person nothing?

I am horrified at the little we accept, at the mediocre and lukewarm prayers we pray. We allow our well-worn and time honoured traditions around communication and lifestyles to rule us. We truly let molehills become mountains in our lives by refusing to step out in faith and courage.

I am sick to death of the mediocre in me. I want to slam it into a wall and never let it up again. I want to rise to every challenge God puts in my way, even if the challenge is learning how to be grateful. I don't want to accept a mediocre gratitude from myself, I don't want to pay lip service to anything I do. My church, my neighbourhood, my country, my world is in bed with mediocrity and I know there are some righteous souls out there kicking lukewarm in the ass and winning and I want to be a part of that.

What about you?


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