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Archive for the ‘Glimpses’ Category

Rainbow coloured outlines
Painted in the square
Bodies sprawled out
Cut down in the midst of life
Holding hands
Clinging to one another
Around a globe
Only
Two simple words
Remember Orlando

Remember Orlando

Watching countless people
Walk straight across
Eyes averted
Or unaware of
Horror represented
Under their feet

I don’t know
When it appeared
Maybe they’ve seen it
Everyday and grown
Accustomed
Maybe they only see
Rainbow colours
Leftover Pride graffiti
Nothing to see here

I see it today for the first time
My heart weeps
Lives cut short by hate
I stop
Pause
Remember
Reflect

My heart weeps more
I know there is much
Since that horrible night
I know we can’t hold
Everything
Our lives would be
Overwhelmed

But the lack of care
To realize some
Almost certainly
Counts themselves as allies
Their Pride duty done

To hear a parent ignore
A child’s question
Hey look! What is this?
Their response
Hurry the child along
I understand protecting
Innocence
But at what cost?

Clinging

White hetero-normative appearing
Twenty-something couple
Pauses to look
A sliver of my faith restored
Until
Traffic slows
Their words clear
In the silence

Okay. I know some people died, but
Do we really need to have this
Everywhere?

I sit back down
I write
I take photographs
Knowing they are not
For me
I will not forget
But much of the world will

Orlando

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Spring has sprung

I could say I hate to brag about the weather in Victoria, BC, but that wouldn’t be honest. It’s pretty much a required part of living here.
It might not officially be spring but it’s like someone flipped a switch and suddenly winter is gone.

Spring has sprung

spring blossoms

I wish this next photo was scratch and sniff. I wanted to stay standing under this tree all day and just breathe in the gentle scent of spring.

Spring scent

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Walking Glimpses

I’ve been feeling cooped up. There’s a reason we call it the Wet Coast. Since the sunshine has finally found its way back to Victoria, I’m trying to spend at least one of my coffee breaks or part of my lunch hour outside. Add to that I’m feeling the need to find my way back to this space on a more regular basis.
There may not be a lot of words, but for now part of my break-time walking is going to include keeping my eyes open to the joy around me.

I love this wall mural for one of my favorite downtown stores.

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“I want to ask you a question.”

“Sure,” I replied. Seemed only fair since we were meeting for tea because I was curious about the master’s program in Spiritual Psychology my colleague was taking.

“How do you feel about mirrors?”

“How do I feel about … what?” I hesitated, sure the noise in the coffee shop had garbled his words.

“Mirrors. What do you see when you look into one?”

It seemed unrelated to our conversation. The response on the tip of my tongue “Fine. I feel fine about mirrors.” But it wasn’t the kind of conversation where fine was a sufficient answer to everything.
I paused and chose honesty.

“They’re not my favourite thing in the world, but it’s improving from the ‘avoid-really-looking’ place it used to be. I’m slowly learning to look and really see myself.”

That was September 23rd.

I’ve been thinking about mirrors ever since and what I see has been changing. In good ways. In ways I never imagined were possible. In ways that are allowing me to see myself with kindness and acceptance.

As part of that journey, I decided to take Vivienne McMaster‘s 10 day Beloved Beginnings course. It’s an easy, dip your tip-toes in kind of introduction to the life-changing and powerful gift that Vivienne is bringing to the world by teaching people to use self-portraits as a way to see yourself with compassion.

It started with a simple exercise. Put one hand over my heart and whisper a little love to the woman I am today. And then use the other hand to take a photo. Late one night after I was ready for bed, I tried out the suggestions that Vivienne had given. Words like “You’re enough” and “It’s all going to be okay” but I realized that those weren’t the words I needed to hear in that moment. What I needed was to speak three small words out loud and hear them quietly ring in my ears.

I needed to say out loud the words that had become true to me in a moment of surprising clarity a few days before as I’d continued to ponder why I felt the way I did about mirrors.

With my hand on my heart, I whispered the words quietly, hesitantly, questioningly at first. Trying them out to see if their truth still held up in the light of day.

I’m not broken?

I clicked the shutter button on my camera phone. I grimaced at what I saw reflected back on the screen, but the words, while unfamiliar, still felt true.

I whispered the words again, just as quietly but with a little more confidence. If they still felt true when I saw myself with eyes half closed, hidden behind glasses obviously thick even when they’re made with “thin” lenses, maybe they really were true. The shutter clicked again.

I’m not sure how many photos I took that night. Each time, I pressed the camera button, I said the same words over again. Soon there was no hesitation. The love I needed to hear from myself that night was a strong declaration of truth that was in stark contrast to the lie I’ve believed about myself for as many of my 44 years as I can remember.

I’m not broken.

Each repetition of the words allowed the truth it sink a little deeper into a wound so old I don’t remember when I first began to believe the lie.

As I continued to take photos, the words took on a new tone.

Beloved Beginnings Day 1No longer were they simply a declaration of truth.

They became a celebration of truth that I could now hear and claim as my own.

I’M
NOT
BROKEN!

So many of us have breathed in that lie. That we are broken, damaged, not good enough no matter what we do, no matter how hard we strive. But it’s not true. Even if you learned it in childhood, in Sunday School, it’s still not true.

Yes, you may do broken things. There may be parts of you that have been broken and damaged by whatever life has thrown in your path. And it may even be true that we have all “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, but there is a truth deeper than that, a … deeper magic, if you will. We are all created in the image of the divine. At our core, we’re not broken.

I’m not broken.

You’re not broken.

At our core, we are beautiful and whole and we reflect the divine.

—–

So what about you? How do you feel about mirrors?

I’d love to her your story in the comments or over on the facebook page.

P.S. Getting to meet Vivienne, hang out with her, give her a great big in-person hug and say thank you was definitely one of the many things I loved about Soulsisters!

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On March 25th, I bought a new journal. It’s not like it takes much for me to want to bring a new journal home.  There’s something about the blank, lined pages that makes my heart smile. There’s so much possibility. What will those pages contain?

That little bit of mystery is part of the temptation that is so hard to resist. This time I knew exactly what would fill these pages.

Wake Up Smiling Journal

Gratitude. For silly things. For sublime things. For profound and powerful things. For things that only seem important to me. For things that make a difference on a grand scale.

It might seem counterintuitive given the “wake up smiling” title on the journal, but each night before I turn off my light and go to sleep, I’ve been spending a few moments writing down at least three things from my day that make me grateful.

Some nights, many things flow onto the page fast enough that my pen can hardly keep up. Other nights, I have to stop and think back through my day to find moments of gratitude.

Those are the moments that help me to wake up smiling. Those few minutes thinking back over my day and recording my gratitude leave me ready to sleep, at peace and content with my world. Secure in the knowledge that no matter how crazy the day has been or how I’m feeling, there is beauty in my world. There is cause to be grateful. There is joy to be found even in the smallest moments.

This weekend I also happened to take photos of the things that ended up on my gratitude list.

Lambs in the Daffodils

Every spring, I hope to see the lambs in this daffodil field.

Tomato Season Has Begun

Tomato seasons in Victoria, BC has begun.

Fabulous Finger Peeler

Love my new vegetable peeler. Peeled all the veggies for a roast beef dinner and my hands didn’t end up sore and grumpy.

Ready for a Perfect Afternoon

A cup of a delicious Angelwater tea from Silk Road, in my favourite tea cup from a dear friend, ready to sit down and read River of Stars, the brand new book from my favourite author, Guy Gavriel Kay. No better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

What about you? What are you grateful for in this moment? What is making your heart happy?

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