Saturday, June 4, 2016

guilt is a good teacher

hello everyone!
I'm happy to be back.
I hate that it's been weeks since I've posted.
I miss my on-line tribe. (yes, that's you!)
My time is so much more limited
now that I'm in a prison cell
(I mean a cubicle) for 8 hours a day. :)
During the past few weeks,
there's been some art,
lots of reading,
beach walks,
finding something
and losing something.
Not necessarily in that order. 
I look forward to the days
where i can blog more regularly again.
So I have to share this story with you.
I went to a restaurant earlier this week for lunch.
It was a cool day, so i brought my book
and had a nice bowl of soup.
When I walked out of the restaurant,
there were 2 people walking my way -
a young woman and a young man
both dressed in black.
They both had huge backpacks on,
with dangling silver cups on the side.
"Excuse me", he said.
"Could you spare some money?
We're hiking across Canada
and we're looking for any help we can get".
I stopped long enough to acknowledge them both,
smiled, and said "no, sorry"
and they turned away & continued to walk
and I kept walking my way to the office.
Why did I say no?
I couldn't believe I had said no.
Hello guilt.
me: Why didn't you give them something?

the other me: they should have a bit of money if they want to do this.

me: But they're 2 young people living a dream!

the other me: maybe they'd buy drugs or booze.
it's not up to you what they spend it on.
When you give from the heart, you just give!

the other me: they shouldn't rely on others for something like this.

me: You should've given them at least something
and let them spend it however they want to!
me: You have at least $80 in your wallet and a brownie.

You could have at least spared $5 AND the brownie!

Who hasn't wanted to do what they're doing at one point in their life?

How brave they are to be leaving with little in their pockets 
and the HOPE that they are gonna make it!
me: Remember Cheryl Strayed - in the book WILD?
How there were moments when she was hungry
and she had to rely on the goodness of strangers
to make it another day?
YOU could have been that stranger.
 you could have been that stranger...
I turned around to see if I could still see them,
and considered running after them to give them something,
but they were nowhere in sight.
They were gone.
Slowly, and with a heavy heart,
I walked back to the office.
When I got to my gray little space,
I told a co-worker what had just happened
and that I regretted not giving them something,
and her reply was:
they should work for their money
just like we do.
As I sat down and pretended I was a robot again,
I thought about how selfish we've all become.
When did we become so greedy?
So unfeeling towards others?
I have no problem sending money
to starving children in third world countries,
but when I have 2 human beings
in front of my face - I say no.
I didn't let the guilt wash over me
any longer than it had to -
I don't let myself feel crappy about myself
for too long - because deep down,
that accomplishes nothing
and i think we're all doing the best we can
at given times in our lives.
But I did make a conscious decision
to do things differently next time.
So many of us have opportunities every day
to do things differently.
To be that stranger. 
And just when I was in need
of something good in my week,
i get this lovely card from a fellow artist
with words that melted my heart.
Thank you Lorinda.
Your card could not have come
at a better time. 
...and then (I swear), THE NEXT DAY,
i get this lovely print from a painting by my good friend Tara, (T!)
who is also a wonderful artist -
(the actual colors are beautiful - this pic is not the greatest) 
along with a beautiful photo she took
of a bird in flight at the ocean.
I love the print so much T.
I love it all.

So i leave you with this.
I'm reading a book about some of the horrors
the Jews had to endure during WW2
and the Nazi occupation in Europe.
This passage stayed with me
and is probably the best definition of HOPE
I have ever seen.

Thank you all for sharing this space with me.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

sea, sand and sky

Just a few recent photos
and words that I wrote back in 2008...
that still speak truth to me today.
I sit here
and watch the birds in flight
gracefully balancing themselves in space
against the strong, ferocious wind.
And I see freedom.
I watch as they wash
their snow white feathers
and glide with open wings on the wind
catching small fish as they are
rocked by the crashing waves.
There is a seagull close to me,
with both feet in a small puddle,
the wind ruffling his feathers
and he stands, and looks at me.
Like he wonders why I am here
on his turf, in his territory.
He is aware of me.
He slowly approaches with tiny bird steps.
He is alert
and every move I make is noticed.
This is life.
This is the point.
The connections.
The awareness.
The wind, the sea, the sky...
We complicate it so
by overlooking what really matters.
We concern ourselves too much
with money and things 
when they bring no riches
to the heart.
The birds and the ocean do.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

what a difference a day makes

For after all, the best thing
one can do when it is raining
is let it rain.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
After i wrote my post yesterday,
I did a bit of yoga.
Then I enjoyed some coffee.
Then I wrote some more
and puttered around the house,
tending to things
that get neglected during the week.
I thought back at what i wrote yesterday
and felt a familiar guilt
about being so judgemental
of others who are on a 
different life path than I am.
Much of what i write here
is often written for ME.
My words may give you a boost
at the same time
but in all honesty,
they are meant for me first.
I write what i need to hear at the time.
If I am feeling frustrated
or angry or confused,
i write about it.
It helps me sort things out
in my own head
and sets me back
on the right path.
On my path.
So after writing that yesterday,
I made it a point
to find time during the weekend
to go for a walk
or do some yoga
or paint -
so that I would come back
to what matters to ME
and not focus so much
on what others are doing
or not doing
with their lives.
And lo and behold,
it rained,
so it was a near perfect day.
(I don't know an artist
who doesn't love a rainy day)
I even found some time
to go to the bookstore
and enjoyed a peach green tea lemonade
as i plunged into the
graphic novels & art section.
I came home feeling inspired
and relaxed
and peaceful
and much less judgemental
than I felt on Friday night.
I am trying to let go of things
that make me angry,
because in the end,
they matter very little
and they often get in the way
of finding my own peace of mind.
I still let things (or people)
make me more angry than i should,
but i'm getting better
at letting go now
a little sooner each time.
Eventually, I'll be flying
above everything.
Thank you all
for being here.