Friday, October 30, 2009

a few of my favourite things

1) Mat Kearney-Closer to Love from City of Black and White-going to see him Sunday!!

2) French roast from Starbucks

3) Anatomy of Gray-"We all come from loss and from love"

4) Beeswax tea lights

5) The White House in Fort Langley-you will think you've died and gone to heaven at Christmas time!

6) Scott Micheal Foster and Siren's Eye-check out Go Away and Falling on myspace

melon call een de fall

I have always been a lover of waves. The crash-beauty of the beach. The sun and even the salt. I love flip-flops and walking leisurely with friends. So when, about five years ago, I first dropped out of the sky and landed in California, I knew I had found a home for all the longings of my soul.
But today as I sit in perfect couch-pajama squishyness, candles lit, the gray sky framed by late autumn-yellow and wet brown bark, I am filled with lovely, thoughtful moodiness. Sunshine makes me run and waves make me swim and laugh, but they can't make me think.
It's the dark skies that make me aware of who I am. I always thought that I didn't need the seasons. But I do. The sunshine to be and the clouds to know. The dark moments of my life actually serve to enliven the luminous ones. The way that darkness and light are interspersed throughout my life is what gives me hope and pause, and I need both.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

can we go back?

I have just began reading the autobiography of Sidney Poitier, a recommendation of my mother's, and found myself remembering the last autobiography that I read, Child of the Jungle. Both begin with childhood's spent in simplicity. Both experienced their first years of life without television, advertising and a bombardment of stimuli. As Sidney described his early years on Cat Island in the Bahamas, how he fished and roamed and lived his childhood literally just him and the world around him, something within me stood up and shouted "Amen!"

Similarly, the girl (who's name I have lost) in the aforementioned 'other' autobiography had such an uncomplicated experience. Just her and her siblings and the children of the tribe with whom they lived. They climbed trees and picked fruit. They nearly drowned and learned to swim. They taught themselves games and made spears and arrows out of the rocks and trees.

Both stories are replete with tragedy and hardship. But in societies of less and even no sense of entitlement, death and loss are not abhorred, avoided and stamped out. They are accepted. This is what happens. When you fall into the river and the current catches you, you drown. Then your family weeps, they have a public and emotional ritual to say goodbye and honour you, and then they move on.

In a world of luxury and convenience death seems unacceptable. We spend our entire lives, and really Western Civilization's entire existence trying to beat death. Medicine and health-related advances mean that no one should have to suffer. Even common Christian-thinking, that Christ died for us and therefore we should not suffer, but in his power rise above it, denies pain, sickness and grief a place in our lives.

I believe in Christ's power to heal, that his presence on earth and in my life changes things. But he wept when Lazarus died, not for Lazarus, but for those who were left behind. And I don't know exactly what it means for me that he did take on all pain and human-condition crap when he went up on the cross, but surely it doesn't mean that we should chase health and youth to the point of denying that life here on earth in these bodies does end.

So what I want to know now is how can I for myself and for my family to come, embrace a more rooted, organic life. How can I give my children a holistic and life-affirming experience. How can I learn to accept pain in my life.

(Now this would be a great time to send down answers on a scroll, or a banquet hall wall...anything clear and definitive would be greatly appreciated).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

forlorn never looked so good

Autumn crunches
beneath my boots
and I pull at the cuffs
of my sweater
tuck fingers inside

I breathe in gasps
the gingery
scent of fall
lost in the lines
the curve of every bough

I choose to climb
the lookout
high and lonely
leave fears below
for some other day

I trample through
the bramble swarms
on an unremarkable slab
a concrete reminder
of brevity

And the deepest ember
glows with pleasure
at the crunch beneath boot
the inhalation of spicy-sweet
the happy-lonely view
the past-lives of this place

This is how I choose
to remember today

The day I turned