Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hide and Seek

Only daughter just got back from New York and Toronto where she was seeing plenty of stage performances(Mama Mia and Rent to name two) and participating in acting workshops. Last night she described how good and right it felt to find another layer to her voice in two of those workshops. Being a drama queen has been easy enough for me to play out in many phases of my life but that's as far as it goes. I do, however, know what it feels like to find my writing voice. At the moment I feel like it is playing hide and seek and it matters not that I have counted to 100 and announced, "Ready or not, here I come!". It's in a darn good hiding place and I'm getting worn out looking for it.

Oh, I have been posting a lot lately but nothing that comes from that gut place inside - the place where the depths of what I think and feel bubble up and spill out onto this page. The place where writing is true and without pretense. Before you say I am being too hard on myself know that I recognize when I am being real and when I am just typing away on this keyboard to fill the time and space. I know when I am skirting around what I need to get off my chest and am instead resorting to playing it safe for my own sake. And I trust those of you who have read me for the past year can sense that too.

If I trace back to when my "voice" left, it was about 3 weeks ago when I was facing some potentially serious medical tests, and in order to keep the stress of that from my adults kids who read here regularly,I chose not to blog about it. I didn't want to cloud my daughter's two week trip to NYC and TO with worry about stuff that could (and did) turn out to be nothing. So I hedged around on here. I had to type on one hand and shove down feelings on the other. It didn't work too well. I would have been better off to write a one line post that read, "Help, I'm scared shitless!" and get it off my chest. It would have freed me to be real and there would be no need now to play an exhausting game of hide and seek.

The other part of it is the hide and seek game I feel like I've been playing with God. On Sunday I walked into church only to have Father Charlie ask me how I was. Hmmm. He never asks me that because he knows I panic trying to come up with an answer. But that day I knew exactly how I was and told him I would rather not be there. I said I felt like God was on a distant planet and I was out of hearing range. Well, I told him God hadn't moved but I was keeping my head full of noise so that I wouldn't have to listen. I hadn't wanted to come to Mass in case I got quiet enough to hear. Too much information. It came and bit me in the butt. Er, heart.

Usually Father Charlie reads the gospel and then leads off the homily asking us questions. More often than not he doesn't read what he prepared but answers the questions that the gospel reading raises for us. With only a handful of people in the pews it works quite well. But this Sunday he read the whole flipping homily. And it spoke directly to the matters I had raised with him before Mass ever started. I left church feeling safe enough to stop doing the "la, la, la fingers-in-the ears-I-can't-hear-you" dance I often play with God. Big breath in and we were on speaking terms again.

I don't know how it is for other writers. I get uneasy when I sense that I am not being true to myself in what I write. It doesn't mean I have to always dig to the bottom of the barrel to share on this page. But it does mean I desire to be honest in all my writing - even if all I am writing about are the mundane activities of life like buying groceries or having a pajama day.

I suspect there are certain feelings brewing inside me that I am not willing to face. The "keep from rising to a conscious level if at all possible" option is the one I have been choosing for a few weeks now. I would not even have begun to look at doing something about it had I not read this post by Anj and in particular this quote: "If you will not share your pain with me, I do not want your wisdom."

If nothing else, when I am unable to reach deep inside to face what truth lies beneath, I can count on one of you to speak to it for me. It's the one time I am thankful to lose playing the hide and seek game. "Ready or not, here I come."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Juggling My Spoons

My grandma once told me that as a newborn, fighting for my life in an incubator, she saw a look of sheer determination on my face. I don't know if it still shows in my face today but I still feel very determined in my heart. Man, I can be stubborn. Forty three years ago I was born 10 to 12 weeks premature and weighed just over 2 and a half pounds. In short order my weight dropped to two pounds two ounces. My mom says the nurses used their thumb to massage my chest and get my heart beating again. I was so skinny she could fit her wedding ring up to my knee. (Not sure it would fit on my finger now but hey, that's another story!)

This has been a tough week physically. I don't talk about my health issues on here very much because I am determined not to let them define me. But I have to say this week was the worst in a while and I want/need to vent about it a little.

I miss being able to carry on a normal day to day life and still find my new normal hard to accept. I've been slowly going down hill for the past three years and every day I have to choose how I am going to use the spoons I have available. I am always looking ahead to what is on the calendar so that I have enough reserve energy to make it through the week. Having somewhere to go on Wednesday often means I do absolutely nothing for Monday and Tuesday and then again nothing for the day after too. Some weeks a little extra expended energy puts me way behind. Often I have no idea when I will "hit the wall" and find there is a sudden loss of energy and an "oh crap, just used up my last spoon and had no warning it was coming" episode.

I had several days this week where I had one spoon available on rising. All because Tuesday I cleaned the bathroom and livingroom and made a nice supper. Tuesday night I was quite proud of myself and my accomplisments but when I put on my pjs I saw that my legs were swelling and Wednesday morning found me with very limited spoons. It was a delayed "oh crap" moment. I went to the Mall that day (dumb choice I know) and after walking its length once I had to stay in the van for all the other stops we had to make. There just wasn't the energy to walk any further. Thursday night found me having trouble simultaneously talking and breathing. It was talk, breathe, talk, breathe most of the night. In addition to the connective tissue disorder I have there are also problems with the blood/oxygen exchange in my lungs. Rarely do I spend time with people when I am having a bad day and I was acutely aware of the talk/gasp/talk/gasp dance I was doing while spending time with friends that night.

But I am determined to have as normal a life as possible. So much so that I declared last night I was going to go buy groceries today. I can't remember the last time I bought groceries by myself - at least 4 or 5 months ago. There are days when I use up all my spoons half way through the store and it can be a panicky feeling to know I have more steps than energy left to make them. I try not to concern myself about what people are thinking when I shuffle across the store because I don't have the energy to walk and pick up my feet at the same time.

No one was impressed in my household that I was going to attempt a solo shopping excursion but me. For the most part I concede pretty quickly when an idea of mine that uses up more spoons than I have available is challenged, but I miss my independence and ability to go do what the heck I want when I want to do it. I miss falling into bed at night with that good kind of exhaustion that means I've had a productive day. So today I said, "F... it" and made the 150 km round trip and bought two weeks worth of groceries by myself. We had already planned that if need be I could leave the van running for several hours at home so that someone else could carry the groceries in when they got home instead of leaving them out there to freeze in -20C weather. But I did it all by myself!! Well, okay most of the groceries are still sitting in bags for someone else to put away but over the course of an hour I managed to carry them all inside. It probably sounds like a miniscule thing to you but for me it was an accomplishment. One I am willing to give up all my spoons for a few days to have done.

My, how life has changed. I used to have a daytimer that had very long lists on every page and my day was judged either good or bad by how many things I was able to cross off the list that day. The more check marks I had the higher my self esteem went. Heaven help the person who got in my way. It was all about the tasks and not about the relationships around me, including my kids. On days when I was going to clean the house from one end to the other you could just take care of yourself, thank you very much, and while you were at it please stay out of my way. I would fall into bed thankful for order instead of chaos with little thought to the little people in my house who had been snarled at in the process.

I was a screaming ninny kind of mother until it took too much lung power/increased heart rate to do that. In fact the last time I raised my voice I startled everyone because I just don't choose that option anymore. If nothing else I am determined that I ain't going to die of a heart attack because the world(my family) isn't co-operating with my plan (again). Oh, I still want them to but there isn't much I can do about it if they don't. Not that I ever could but I still tried an awful lot. And for the record, I still do but I don't yell to try and get my point across anymore.

Once, when I wrote about this kind of stuff before on my blog someone left a comment telling me that their mother had serious health issues and it made her very present in every relationship she had. I have mulled that over since then and made an effort to learn how to be present to others. I know I am much more positive about life in general than I was before. Now, how weird is that? It takes energy to bitch about life. Not that I never do but I do it less now. I will never win the Pollyanna of the Year award and I am not sure I want to but it is nice to see her attitude come out of my mouth from time to time.

I don't know what the point of this post is but I am just grateful that I got to do something today that I used to take for granted. Every day above ground is a good one even if the spoon count is zero.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Good Reads

This guy always shares something to make me think about the human condition: Waiter Rant.

This mom makes me laugh - she shares with such honesty and humour the journey of motherhood: Motherhood is not for Wimps

And this post still has me thinking on the sentence, "I want your life.": Job's Tale.


Losing The Velcro Touch

On the weekend I called an old friend and it was the way she softly said, "hey" to me when she recognized my voice, that made me realize how much has passed between us and how deep our roots with one another go. Today I followed up on a promise to go have coffee with her. We originally met before either of us had kids, bonded by living over 600 miles from our shared birthplace. Twenty plus years later with our kids now grown, she has become a grandma and mother-in-law, while I am still waiting to experience those privileges (I'm not in a hurry she says to her kids reading this!)

Much of the time motherhood has found me feeling pressure filled. It doesn't take long into your firstborn's life before you find yourself either comparing your child to someone else's or having someone do it for you. "Oh, she isn't crawling/sleeping through the night/free of her soother, etc. yet"? And then the misgivings start(for the record I was passed out drunk the first time one of my babies slept through the night so maybe the misgivings should have started earlier) and you wonder how you ever got to be a parent without passing go and collecting 200 buckaroos.

It is only now, in adulthood (theirs not mine!), that the pressure has lessened. It's no longer about me all the time when it comes to my kids and their actions. Notice I didn't say never about me, but it's much less. It would help if they somehow grew up without having to make mistakes and learn/not learn from them but hey, that's how I got to where I am and they are so much farther ahead maturity wise than I was, at their ages.

I wish I could have figured out how to not make it all about me much earlier on the journey but am thankful I am headed firmly in that direction now. I don't have to voice my own misgivings about some of the choices my kids' make based on how it will make me look but rather on awareness of my own journey so they don't have to hit the same road blocks I did. Not that they are asking me for that advice but I don't remember asking either when I was their age.

About 10 years ago I was part of a Bible study group that consisted of 8 elderly women and myself. My kids were all preteens then and I used to marvel as these women shared bits and pieces of their adult children's lives without being stuck like velcro to the outcome of those choices. They were able to separate themselves from their kids' decisions/actions and I wondered how grey one's hair had to get before the velcro lost its touch.

At a baby shower for my friend's daughter this past weekend we were given cards to write out some advice for the first time mom. I just wanted to tell her to deal with/get help as her issues arose. I know of no other guarantee of issues rising to the surface than having children. Dealing with those issues would go a long way to avoid thinking that her child was an extension of herself long before the grey hairs began to appear. "Don't let yourself become grey haired before you separate what is and isn't you," I wanted to say. It's the best parental pressure reliever tool available.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Catholic Carnival LXVII Is Up

The newest Catholic Carnival is up and you can read it here.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Laughing Hope, Crying Hope, Human Hope

Today at Mass I was telling Jesus what a mess of a human being I am. And you know what kind of response I got? In my head came this picture of Jesus throwing back his head and roaring with laughter. My God, when will I ever stop thinking that being human is something that surprises our Lord?!

On the way home this afternoon from a baby shower I was a bit discouraged. I realized that I have been isolating myself somewhat and if I wait for people to come see me I am going to be waiting a long time. At the shower I made tentative plans to go have tea with an old, old friend this coming week. I know she will be surprised when I follow up on it. How easy it is to say, 'we should get together soon' when we both know it will never happen. Anyway, on the way home today I met a truck with a camper on it and across the front window of the camper in big bold letters was the word HOPE! I think Jesus was still laughing.


At the beginning of the year I told myself I was going to give myself a year off of stepping on the scale. Tired of defining myself by my weight I thought, "what the heck, let's give up on the scale for a year and just let it be". How do you spell denial? Oh, right, D E N I A L. Weighed myself this week and came up 15 pounds heavier. Before I did that I felt okay although my clothes were feeling a bit tight. But since I found out the truth I feel like I morphed into a whale overnight. God, I hate this struggle. Went to the darn fat store a few weeks ago and bought clothes and when they asked me if I wanted a membership I said no quite emphatically (smart women there didn't push it)....and in my head I told myself for the umpteenth time that I was never going to have to shop there again. Right.


"Baseball teaches us, or has taught most of us, how to deal with failure. We learn at a very young age that failure is the norm in baseball and precisely because we have failed, we hold in high regard those who fail less often - those who hit safely in one out of three chances and become star players. I also find it fascinating that baseball, alone in sport, considers errors to be part of the game, part of its rigorous truth. ~ Francis T. Vincent, Commissioner of BaseBall

Friday, February 17, 2006

"And You Are?"

I figured out why I have a hard time introducing myself to people. Like I said the other day, my name I can do just fine but what comes after that stumps me. Do I say I am a mother, a wife, a writer, a homemaker, a....? I keep wanting to answer the question with the words, "I'm me." I realized that it is because I want people to value the essence of who I am not what I do. What I do is not who I am. Is it? If it is I am in big trouble because for the majority of my day(s) I do nothing.

I think I've had a problem with this whole concept ever since my husband went back to work as a nurse. When he was a truck driver, he was a truck driver. A darn fine one too, I might add. When he went back to being a registered nurse his worth seemed to go up in some people's eyes. They esteemed him higher because of what he did to bring home a paycheck. They lost sight of the fact that one job is not more important than the other. We need them all to make our day to day lives keep moving much as they are today. It pissed us both off. These people failed to recognize the essence of who my husband is. They only saw what he did for a living.

Does this mean I am somehow perfect in keeping the two things separate? Of course not. I'm guilty of the whole thing as much as the next person. But I do know that I am leary of being known for what I do instead of who I am.

I think being at my uncle's funeral this week makes this topic surface too. What really matters in life seems to boil down to relationships. The rest is chaff. When I think about how people are eulogized it is about the essence of who they were. That's the stuff that sticks.

So the next time I go to my weekend course and have to introduce myself I am going to say my name and "I'm me" to the instructor. And my greatest wish is that she would want to know "...and who are you?" meaning she would want to get a sense of my essence.

Last week I met someone face to face who I have only known through email and my blog. We shared tea and lunch and more words than time to say them all. At one point she was talking about gossip and she said to me,"Why would I want to talk about someone else when I have your story sitting right here in front of me?"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Simply Sane

Words that spoke to me from my current read:

"Learning teaches us only how ignorant we are. Which would be beautiful if ignorance could be accepted. Power teaches us only how weak we are, which would be fine if weakness could be affirmed. The discovery of new fixes teaches us only how much in us is imperfect. Which would be superb if only imperfection could be loved. If only imperfection did not always have to be fixed."

Who Am I?

Last weekend at my Lay Formation Program we arrived just as introductions were about finished. Every month we have a new professor and need to let him/her know who we are. I hate it. I don't know who I am. I sat down and told them I never knew what to say. Then I added that I knew my name though. They all chuckled as I introduced myself by name to the Bishop. I'm always at a loss as to what to say next. It makes me ponder who am I and how am I known? So to feed this loss please go put your two cents in at this Interactive Johari Window. If nothing else it will entertain me on this snowy winter day. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sitting On The Pity Pot

So I come home after being away for 36 hours and find 700+ posts on my bloglines of 114 blogs. Way too much truth to absorb. Of course I worry I will miss something so I slog my way through all 700 posts. If you wonder why I don't comment often on your blogs it's because I run out of words early on as I make my way through the list. But here is a post that speaks to me:

"Think about what you fear--

How much of your fear is centered on either not getting what you want or not losing what you have?"
~Rick @ A New Life Emerging

And because my head is full of fear stuff I figured I'd just type it all out here and get it out of my head and free up some room. Otherwise I won't sleep tonight.

It's easy for me to be grabby. It is a struggle for me to willingly open my hands and let go. Between this post and the one by A that I linked to the other day I am seeing that I need to start going back to meetings. Of course I worry that that will make me so self absorbed but then I just have to look over my posts and I think it would be hard to top them in that category. Too hard on myself you say? That is just my reality tonight. Tomorrow I may have perspective again but tonight I have none. Warning - pity party ahead.

What do I fear that I won't get and what do I worry that I will lose?

~ My health - am waiting for some diagnostic tests to come back and they feel like too much right now on top of the chronic illness I already deal with.
~ Relationship with my youngest son....can't seem to get past being pissed off at him for his choices. Someone told me it was important to detach without distancing myself. Detaching with distancing is what I am doing. No amount of anything seems to be changing that for me.
~ That I will carry around this extra 70 pounds the rest of my life and let it define me.
~ That I will go from one substitute to another to numb unhealed areas in my life.
~ Am very close to making myself a list of rules instead of trusting myself to the process we call life. I hate it. I know I feel fragile when I start looking for rules to make me feel more in control and safe.
~ I watched the family dynamics at my uncle's funeral. I don't know the whole story or even part of it. Broken people in a broken world. For a man who shared what he had and loved how they said he did there was no love lost between his kids. How does that happen?
~That I will keep writing posts like this on the tail of better days like the 12th and keep thinking there must be something wrong with me to have such a wide variety of emotions in my posts in one week. I often feel like I need to hide until I am in a better frame of mind.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The First Dose of Medicine

Best post on rigourous honesty I've ever read. Kudos to you A.

Clearing Up Some Head Space

Isn't that what blogging does sometimes? Clears up the old head so you can think about something else for a change? That is what it feels like today. Sometimes I feel like my hardrive is about full and needs some files deleted. I know, I know, that is what the garbage bin is for but sometimes that is what my blog is about too. Please feel free to root through it and take what you like and leave the rest.

Yesterday I was at my monthly Lay Formation Program - had the pleasure of listening to a Bishop do the teaching. What a wise and wonderfully human man. Good teaching on salvation. "There is no becoming without waiting." Much food for thought found among the notes I took.

Yesterday during morning prayer I got a call that my great uncle Bruce had passed away a few days ago. I came home one day early so I can travel part way today to where the funeral will be held tomorrow. I had only renewed acquaintances with this uncle about 7 or 8 years ago. Family was important to him and the fact that I was his sister's grandchild meant I was family forever and he treated me as such. He was crochety and funny. He was tender and tough. I will miss him. What I loved most about him was the way in which he loved my granny. I don't think she experienced a whole lot of love during her lifetime but he spoke of her with such tenderness that it surprised and touched me.

We are having what can only be described as spring weather today. I think the high is supposed to be +8C. The forecast though for later on in the week is a high of -27C. The joke is that winter is finally arriving here mid February. Many years winter starts at the end of October so there will be no complaining from me if it truly arrives this week.

I haven't taken the time to figure out how to post the books I am reading on my side bar but for now I'll leave you links to my current reads right here. The Spirituality of Imperfection is number one on the list this week. Next is Simply Sane and last is a fun read called A Round Heeled Woman.

Several years I have given up reading books for Lent. Not quite sure what Lent is going to look like for me this year. It is very hard to be honest about my motives for any of it. It is easy for it to sound so spiritual and yet be so empty. I have a hard time navigating through the waters of what I give up I can also benefit from the discipline of in a selfish way, so is that really what I should be doing? Trying to discern in my heart something that would prompt an inner reaction of "no blankety blank way am I giving that up' for Lent. Well, of course much of the time I don't want the journey, whatever the liturgical season, to cost me a thing.

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary. What can I say? Every year I say it has been the best year together and then within the next year comes pain and refinement in us both that seem to nearly cause a shipwreck. Good will. We have a spirit of good will towards one another that was not there on my wedding day and took 20 years to become reality. This past year I learned that a spirit of good will needed to come before everything else. It has helped me speak Truth more tenderly and go on the defense much, much less. I learned early in life to see the world through a grid of believing it was out to get me. Six years ago, after a nervous breakdown, I learned that my husband was not and never had been out to get me. That lie belonged entirely in my head. I told Father Charlie this week that it was a miracle that my dear husband had stuck with me to get to this place on the journey. Thanks for seeing me through a much more tender grid all these years dearest heart.

There, the hard drive is a bit emptier. Thanks for sorting through it with me.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Feeling Safe, Playing Free

Lots of tears yesterday during my monthly counseling session with Father Charlie. Glimpses of the transformation lighting up my inner world. It was and is good. I never imagined that healing would ever feel tangible. Trusting the process has been hard and continues to stretch me. I say all this not to declare I have somehow arrived. I am grateful to be where I am on the journey and thankful to know in that deep place inside that if tomorrow I lose sight of it all, I will be okay. Choosing the pen name of Hope has not been a coincidence. My cup of Hope feels like it is brimming over.

On the way to my session I thought about how often I have felt like curling up in a ball and rocking back and forth during my sessions with Father Charlie. So many pain filled feelings, scary and uncertain, often surface during our talks. I decided to give myself permission to curl up and rock if I felt like it I needed to yesterday. I took stock of my physical feelings during our time and then sat quietly for a while, searching out that little girl inside me to see how she was doing. I was totally confused as I saw her coming and kissing me on the cheek before running off to play. After having that image repeat itself like a tape on automatic rewind I finally shared it with Father Charlie. He said, "She feels safe enough to do that." Instant tears.

All my tears yesterday were ones of thanksgiving. In awe of what has been taking place in my life. In awe that it could ever come to pass.

On my coffee table sits a vase of pink tulips. Yesterday one of them, in an earnest desire to seek the light, wound itself sideways until its cheery face could soak up as much sunshine as possible. By the time the sunshine was at its peak, what started the day as a bud had progressed to full bloom.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Colour of Perfectionism

Yesterday I finally got around to spending my Christmas gift money. I have had to learn how to spend money on myself without guilt. It hasn't been easy. But yesterday I came out of a store with watercolour paints in every which way. Watercolour crayons, pencil crayons and tubes of paint too. Paper, brushes and books of how-to.

I have always loved the softness of watercolour paintings. As my children were growing up I would often draw their attention to this medium used to illustrate the oodles of picture books we read. I am full of creativity but not artistic ability. It has been a gift to have learned to simply trust my instinct when it comes to drawing the pictures that come to mind about how I am feeling. I have enjoyed putting them on paper. I have thoroughly enjoyed the lack of inner critic when it comes to what the picture looks like. Me, who has a hard time drawing a stick figure, am comfortable expressing myself in colourful images instead of only in colourful language.

Last night I experimented a bit with the tubes of paint. What a delight to see brush strokes applied to paper, full of the hope of beautiful images and transparent emotions waiting to be born. I love that these colours can be vibrant or soft.

I don't know where the energy of perfectionism has gone in my life. It's increasing absence is the best new feeling I've ever had.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


When I think I have something to write about I often let it roll around in my head for a day or two to see if anything worthwhile will take shape. The danger with the delay between the thought and the writing is sometimes the whole mess dissolves into a distant memory. I went to bed last night thinking I would let a particular idea stew a while and woke up this morning with no memory of what the idea had been. I do remember waking up in the night with the moon shining fully on my face. Does that count?

This morning I turned on CBC radio and fell in love with not only the sound of a man's voice but the fullness of what he had to say. I wish you could have heard him too. It was pure pleasure. The man who was being interviewed wrote and sings one of my all time favourite songs, Hallelujah. And in the course of listening to his conversation he said a few words that reminded me what I wanted to write about. How cool is that? Thank you Leonard Cohen for retrieving a piece of my brain.

And speaking of men, the man in my life gave me the greatest chuckle yesterday. Because of my health issues he has taken up the slack in house work - he does a darn fine job of it too I might add. He washed the fancy schmancy thing that hangs in front of the shower doors and was going to rehang it. He asked if the valance goes in front of the shower curtain or behind. When I tell him it goes in front he swears up a storm. Back down the hallway he goes to fix it. I chuckled outloud and yelled down the hallway that I had no idea he knew what a valance was. Oh, that was sweet. He didn't think so, especially not after hanging it up wrong three times before the blankety-blank valance was back where it belonged. I chuckled the rest of the day to think that my husband knows what a valance is. Sorry to sound so stereotypical, but we are. It would be like me knowing where the dipstick was on the motorbike.(Please tell me a motorbike has one.)

So what post idea did Leonard Cohen remind me of? He talked about how people can judge us based on our opinion on a single issue as if that were the sum total of who we were. He talked about being for or against things.

I have been mulling over for a few days now my tendency to have conversations solely about things I am against and rarely about things I am for. I have spent most of my life talking like this and I am weary of it. I mean, I can tell you what is wrong with not only myself, the church, and the world, or just insert blank here and I can tell you what is wrong with it, too. I wondered wouldn't I like myself better if I was for more than I was against? I wondered if when we stop holding our humanity against ourselves, we lose our need to be against everything, including other people a great deal of the time? I have wondered why some people can talk about what they are for (without forgetting what they are against) yet without the need to hold everything in their 'against pile' in front of them like a shield preceding every conversation.

It's a whole new idea for me. There is hope for me yet! Hallelujah!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cradled In His Arms

The readings at Mass today undid me. Job had the worst luck and the greatest faith. After receiving the Eucharist I went back to my pew to pray. Today was one of those days when I didn't have any words to say - I just told God I was open to hearing. The picture that came into my head was of Jesus cradling my head on his breast and holding me close. For once I let myself be held and loved without resistance. It was good, tears and all.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Tagged by Bobbie over at Emerging Sideways Hope you learn something new about me!

Four Jobs I've Had:

1. Orientation Tour Guide for incoming students at college
2. Telephone Answering Service Operator
3. Teacher's Aide
4. Grocery Store Cashier

Four Movies I'd Watch Over and Over Again:

1. Braveheart
2. Love, Actually
3. Chasing Amy
4. To Sir With Love

Four Places I've Lived:

1. Sarnia, Ontario
2. Peace River, Alberta
3. Indian Head, Saskatchewan
4. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Four TV shows I watch:

1. The Amazing Race
2. Sports Saturday on CBC TV
3. House
4. Cold Case

Four Places I've Vacationed:

1. Quebec City, Quebec
2. Bellingham, Washington
3. Mount Rushmore
4. Steinbach, Manitoba

Four Websites I Visit Daily

1. Bloglines
2. Brennan Manning Message Board
3. PH message board
4. yahoo.ca

Four Of My Favourite foods:

1. Chocolate
2. Salsa
3. Chicken Caesar Salad
4. Dill Pickles

Four Places I'd like to be right now:

1. On the other side of some upcoming medical tests
2. Hugging my daughter
3. Having tea with my sister
4. Having tea with many of you

Crossing Paths

Every day I walk out back to feed the chickens - I have my own little foot path embedded in the snow. Daily I see the paths of others crossing mine. I smile at the small tracks of a mouse barely scratching the surface and at the deerprints that not only break through but bury themselves deep off to the side of my trail. I can hear the traffic of the highway to Alaska come through the bush and if I go for a walk on the road the traffic can see me too.

Every day we are in a hurry to go somewhere. So many paths to cross. I'm glad yours and mine did today.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

This present moment

It's been a stressful few days. At one point I wondered if all a person accomplished in their lifetime was learn how to be present in the moment what a great thing that would be. I marveled that I know there is even a present moment to be had. So much of my life has been lived waiting for the future. But here I am in this moment and there you are in yours. Breathe deeply and savour it. It is all we have - the rest is an illusion.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Birthday Boys

I have two brothers with whom I have next to no contact. One hasn't been in my home for close to twenty years and the other has only been here once in my 24 years of married life. It is weird how I just think of that as normal. They never call me and any news we have of one another comes through my mom. My older brother turned 47 today and my younger brother turns 41 tomorrow. They often had their birthdays lumped together as children. That must have sucked.

I send them a card every year and some years I phone them as well. One brother lives 10 hours away and the other thirteen. I don't really know their children anymore and now some of their children have children.

I have sometimes wondered what it would take to have a relationship with each of them. To talk about things that matter. Things of the heart. Sometimes I wonder if they will one day come to my funeral and wonder about this sister they never knew. Or if I will go to theirs and see that their friends knew them better than their siblings did. I have no idea how to go about having a real relationship with them. There is nothing reciprocated when I try to reach out. Both of my brothers married women from families that were not close to one another. I sometimes wonder whether this has had an influence in our lack of communication. Had they married women who were close with their own families would they have made more effort to contact me? Both brothers messed with my sexuality - one covertly and one overtly. I wonder if they remember? I do.

Of the four of us who married among my siblings only one of us had a normal wedding with all of us present. The rest, including me, had weddings with little or no family present. The niece and nephew who are married now had little family present - we never had an invite and only knew of the weddings because of my mom.

I sit here and wonder about my own kids and how the relationships between siblings will work themselves out in their lives. I would like to think it will be better. That they will matter to one another enough to keep in touch. That they won't hear each other's news via me. Most of you and for sure my close friends here in my community know me better than my siblings(except for my sister Deb). How strange is that?