Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mindful Sunset



So I am lucky enough to have a house with lakefront property, and I very much enjoy the times I can sit out on my front patio with my mom and dog and look out over the rippling water to witness some beautiful sunsets. 
Even if I am indoors watching through the window; even if it is not summer, but during those long, frigid, winter months. Although the snowy cold season can cloud cover the sun, I have caught an occasional magnificent setting over the ice of the lake.

Over the years, from lived experiences of challenging barriers and talking with others, I have gained a slightly different perspective on things. I learn and grow all the time. And I have come to appreciate another type of sunset, an inner dwelling one, what I call ‘the mindful sunset’.

“Close your eyes and breath,” I tell myself. “Recall the beauty and laughter, know that you are not alone and that it doesn’t have to be THAT terribly hard… at least not in this moment. Allow the fog to clear and the sunset to begin.”

I have a disability that follows me wherever I go, and some days are harder than others. The struggle can be overbearing at times. My feelings can become overwhelming. I’ve gotten pretty good at the disguise, not letting people see in. I vent through my writing, (shared or not) and to my social worker. At times I just stare and let the darkness in and then….

Stop!

The hurt only goes as far as my mind allows it. My disability only affects my life as much as my mind allows it. I am not handcuffed to that darkness… though I often forget.

The mindful sunset helps bring me peace… even if it is only momentary it is welcomed. Because I know that I can find it again. 

The struggles and challenges are like waves; they will come, but they will also go. And beyond them, will always be a calming and beautiful sunset.















Saturday, July 1, 2017

Oh Canada



Oh Canada, My Canada

It is where I was born; where I live. I am proud and would choose no other place to call home.

Life for me has presented challenges and I often found, and still find, solace within the lyrics and beats provided by the likes of Bryan Adams, Tom Cochrane, Sass Jordon, Sarah McLachlan, Honeymoon Suite, The Tragically Hip. The list is fairly extensive.
The laughter given by Michael J Fox or Jim Carry.
The talent of the CBC line-ups.
Sara Stanley in Road to Avonlea along with Anne of green gables.
The drama given to us by Keifer in a range of twenty-four hours.
Travelling where no man has gone before with William Shatner.

The weird and interesting David Cronenberg to Margaret Atwood… with a passion for writing, I’ll follow their lead with stories like ‘Chronicles of a Girl’ and ‘The Soul Bound Series’…#GirlPower
Having worked backstage at Canada’s oldest professional summer theatre, The Red Barn; an experience I’ll never forget.

 Oh Canada, my Canada.


From the 'Sleeping Giant' in Thunder Bay Ontario to 'The Chief' near Whistler Vancouver ; the rolling hills, flat plans, clear lakes, and frigid winds in Winterpeg… it is a breath of nature at its best. Niagara Falls and four seasons in a year that can drive us nuts, keep us on our toes, and bring us together.
Iceberg sightseeing to the rocky terrains of valleys and shorelines in Newfoundland and Labrador.

My dream of renting an RV with family and friends and going coast to coast and exploring the in-betweens.


Oh Canada, my Canada.

Memories...
My last outing with my dad before he passed away, an occasion spent doing the wave and watching our Toronto Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium.
Hockey night in Canada shared with my Opa, hooting and hollering at the Toronto Maple Leafs while we watched the television set and he kept score on a side of the nearest Kleenex box before cancer interfered with this ritual.
Alexander, Molson and Moosehead, the times we share and have shared toasting to friends in a basement garage, by a campfire, on a patio, and always near a grill.

Oh Canada, my Canada. 

The true North, strong and free.
“Strong and free.” Not just about physical prowess or location, but a frame of mind. Overcoming barriers and being a Survivor! My personal life anthem from Avril Lavigne in ‘Take me Away.’
Tears; Laughter; Pride. Respect and kindness.
Inclusion of people, culture, heritage and diversity.
Freedom to choose and be yourself.
The Canadian “honking” goose to the flat tailed beaver to the giant Moose; multiple winter toques to various summer sandals; lounging on a Muskoka chair to ice-fishing Lake Simcoe.
The Olympic gold medals I’ve cheered on, though more winter than summer.
Listening to the radio while cruising the highway,
from Toronto’s Q-107 to Calgary’s soft rock 97.7.
The Raptors.
The Blue Bombers, Argos and Roughriders.
Viola Desmond and Terry Fox.

The historical and defining Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge.
The advanced and supersonic Avro Arrow… a model of this I proudly keep.
Harvey’s Angus burger and Swiss Chalet dipping sauce.
Double doubles at Tim’s... though I do prefer tea with two sugars and a milk.
Crystal clears lakes, giant endless fields of trees, and good old fashioned genuine Canadian Maple Syrup.

This-Is-How-I-Feel!

Being Canadian and living in this beautiful country… priceless... eh!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Lockers



One of the most frightening things to me about high school, one of the things I was most uncertain about, was the rows of lockers; rows that lined the halls up and down on either end. There were so many and they represented so many people:

Keeners, nerds, bullies, preps, weirdoes, slackers, jocks, the popular kids.

I always wondered what category I fit into.

I was never stuffed into a locker; sometimes though I’d look in and wonder if I could escape through… like the kids and the wardrobe in that story about the lion and the witch.

But could I really do that? Could I crawl through?

In our school days all that I wanted to do was graduate and leave those lockers behind, to escape those hallways filled with cliques, groups, socials. So full of people, yet feeling so empty at times… trying to fit in wasn’t easy for me.

The locker was like a personal shrine to so many, filled with pictures and books and anything else one desired to place inside. Anything that made us cool. But it was only math, science, and English literature for me. Boring. 
No stickers, no logos, no pictures ripped from magazines.
Did this say something about me??

Damn those tricky combinations! Was it six to the left three times, four to the right twice, and nine back? Can someone give me a hacksaw to open this damn thing? I’m supposed to be getting an education, I have to remember my combo and try to fit in with the cool crowd? 

The locker, can I climb in and avoid all of this?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I graduated years ago, but in many ways I still have a locker with me that I carry around in my mind. I still often desire to crawl in and through to the other side like those kids in that movie.

In some ways I suppose that is kind of what I do and why I have become a writer, to escape the crowds in the hallways. My imagination has become part my my clique. And I am trying to cope, to come to terms with my grown-up high school life.

It still isn’t always easy for me.