“Them’s the facts, ma’am; however…”

SwansI was torn about publishing this particular post, until a certain little voice said, “What are you afraid of? Go ahead, keep it to yourself if you like, but remember, you can’t help anyone else unless you let an open, loving heart prevail a little over that closed, fearful mind…”

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Garden Musings: On Changes

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Garden Musings: On Changes

Perennials I planted ‘round the bower
Have sprung up, green, and hasten on to flower,
While bulbs I placed in careful clumps last fall
Now bloom where squirrels rearranged them all!

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Sonnet on Time

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They’ve come and gone again, these endless Ides*
That ebb and flow relentlessly as tides!
Thank God they’ve lapped again upon my shore,
Each crash of waves unlike the ones before. Continue reading

Six Fourteenths of a Sonnet

Torture your brain for fun?

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Free, from clipartpanda

We do it all the time, disregarding the danger of acquiring time-consuming, relationship-destroying addictions. (We prefer the euphemism “expert status”). What are we doing so recklessly? Crossword puzzles! Sudoku! Riddles! Cognitive-training games like Lumosity!  Some people even succumb to solving Rubik’s cubes, and playing chess!

It’s all well and good, because the general population seems to have given these types of activity the stamp of “normalcy.” Everyone sticks to the rules to solve the problems.

But what if you’re one of us subversive types whose game is to juggle words, secretly, Continue reading

Expressive Arts Therapy: “Cosmos Dancing”

(…continued from My Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy).

Cosmos Dancing within my Soul –  a collaborative expressive arts therapy project

For a couple of weeks toward the end of our two semesters of art therapy, only “Mary” and I were able to attend regularly, along with Kimberley, our program facilitator. For us, she cooked up something new, alright! Continue reading

A Pain in the Butt: Redux

"A beggar dressed in rags, limping with the aid of a staff towards a village." Etching possibly after Jacques Callot. Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

“A beggar dressed in rags, limping with the aid of a staff towards a village.” Etching, attr. Jacques Callot.  Wellcome Library, London.  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

I’m grateful for having received a lot of empathy, encouragement, good advice, and reassurance that I’m in plenty of good company, after my post on A Pain in the Butt and Other Life Lessons. Thank-you!

Now, I thought an update would be in order. This caveat still stands: anything I (simply a patient) mention here or in the previous post is for information only. For yourself, check with your healthcare provider to gear to your own situation. Everyone is different!

Since I’m different too, I’d better add another caveat to this post. Warning: Limericks Ahead!

This rhyming, inane, in my brain
When my nether parts wallow in pain
Has one main attraction:
Providing distraction
From feeling I’ve derailed my train! Continue reading

First Snowfall

It was inevitable, but of course we were surprised (or just in plain ordinary Canadian denial, having procrastinated in getting snow tires) when we got our first real snowfall during the night of Nov. 21.

Huge snowflakes, floating gently, silently from the dark sky and glistening in the soft glow of street lights, piled in soft mounds on branches and covered the ground. Slick driving conditions notwithstanding, you had to be in awe!   Continue reading

C is for …

C is for Clutter Creativity

Can you have both clutter AND creativity at the same time, or do you have to choose between clutter OR creativity? Drive yourself crazy trying to find consensus in scientific or popular commentaries on the internet, then find out what’s right for you!

Old Mother Hubbard - Detail of Wikipedia image (Public Domain)

Old Mother Hubbard – Detail of Wikipedia image (Public Domain)

I concede that, as much as I cringe at the thought of filing papers, I complete more creative goals when my desks are clutter-free (once I’ve recovered from the awe-inspiring, bright sight of empty work surfaces, with my writing and painting tools handy in tidy containers).

Alluding publicly (on my “About” page, no less) to my lofty intention to “downsize clutter,” I must have wanted, subconsciously, to be held accountable for achieving that goal. (On the other hand, it’s also possible Continue reading

Ballad of the Old Boots

Hiking_DSC8043First, the Background
     1) My New Boots:

It was 1987, and we were bound for vacation in the French Riviera and Austria. I splurged on a pair of expensive (albeit on half-price sale!) sturdy, yet light and airy hiking boots. Not “my colour,” but the last pair in stock in a difficult-to-find size, they had to be mine. We fast became good buddies on many hikes. Continue reading

Laughter, Seriously

IMG_9678_Laughter_500I accomplished an archaeological dig through the stuff on my desk this week, and found this treasure: “Laughter is God’s hand on the shoulder of a troubled world.”

My sister had given me this little mini-plaque a long time ago. I had stuck it on the front of the wooden box that holds my scissors and hole punches, handy to look at anytime. No surprise, it’s always there; but suddenly, today, I SAW it! And, with my mind almost as clear as my desk, it got me thinking. Continue reading

To My Homesick Immigrant Mother

You described it well,
That homeland you left behind.
Over and over
          Your words heaved like waves
          That tossed your ship towards us:
          Hopes rose as tears fell.

Describe it once more:
Those hills, their green heads dreaming
In pink haze of dawn,
          Your village snuggling
          In sleepy shadows below,
          Unscathed— yet— by war, Continue reading

Maui Ocean Center “Portrait” – Meet Roi!

Meet Cephalopolis Argus, a blue-spotted grouper fish, known in Hawai’i as “Roi”.  His many spots reminded a zoologist of the hundred eyes of the giant Argus in Greek mythology (whose watchful eyes ended up on the plumage of the peacock, thanks to Hera). And that’s how this guy got his legal name, plus argus grouper or peacock grouper, peacock hind and peacock rockcod.

A very serious-looking fish indeed, not to be trifled with. As I was closely watching him hiding out in the aquarium, I suddenly realized:

Cephalopolis Argus,  Blue-spotted Grouper (At Maui Ocean Center)

Cephalopolis Argus, Blue-spotted Grouper (At Maui Ocean Center)

Groping for Words

Groping for Words

Groping for Words (An octopus in Maui Ocean Center)

Or, Checking the Internet to Avoid Duplicating a Clever Title

Here’s what I discovered:

My clever expressions: “clichés”!!
My mind has been mulling for days
        (ideas unshackling,
        my funny-bone crackling!)
just a mundane phrase in a maze…

“Back to the drawing board,” as they all say.

– – – – – – – – – – –

More about where my “writing buddy” (pictured above) lives: Continue reading

Que sera? – One Last Winter Dream

H0000019_800Saturday Night, March 28 in southern Ontario: the day’s sunny high temperature of -3C was plunging back down to a nightly low of -10C (again/still…)

As I was waltzing dizzily across the dance floor in my hubby’s arms, new lyrics to the familiar Doris Day ditty started spinning in my mind:

When it was cold at minus 10,
I asked the forecaster, “What will it be?
Will it stay winter? Will there be spring?”
Here’s what (s)he said to me:
Que sera, sera! Whatever will be, will be!
The weather’s not ours to see. – Que sera, sera.”

Well, March went out bleating like a lamb after all, and April 1st brought Continue reading

Fault and Default

 

Thinking Hard - Yes, there's a story coming some time this year

Thinking Hard – Yes, there’s a story coming some time this year

Somehow, two months slithered through this blog’s word processor in total silence, and froze there. It’s Febrrruary, and our cold temperatures have reached record lows. Cozy in my house, I’m thawing out some frozen chunks of writing starts, perhaps coming soon to a blog near you…  There’s a little piece describing a sunny flight over snowy southern Ontario in a Cessna 150. Some illustration efforts. Another chunk with fragments of deep thoughts inspired, but more eloquently expressed by other writers, photographers, artists and musicians.

Well, after all that, surely through no fault of its own, my brain simply defaulted to its favourite mindset for “when the going gets tough”: sheer silliness! If you dare, you can read some in the attached pdf below. Continue reading

Red is for November

Tree of Life (Austrian cross-stitch folk-art)

Tree of Life (Austrian cross-stitch folk-art)

It has been one of those “roller-coaster” months for me, seeming a whole lifetime of profound events crammed into thirty days. It’s been a time of grieving, remembering, rejoicing, recoiling, rethinking, refreshing, repenting, reaffirming.
Here are some of my thoughts.

My November calendar has scarlet outlines, squares marking the life-blood throbbing and oozing through our decades–beginnings and transitions, overlapping marked time with eternity: Continue reading

Is it Still Summer?

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A little watercolour sketch of my irises back in June

What a summer! While some Ontarians (those deprived of perfect holiday weather) were complaining about how “not summery” it felt this year– so much rain, our lakes too cold for swimming, etc.– of course I listened sympathetically!

But then a few gardening friends and I gloated privately to one another Continue reading

About (Not) Writing – Blame the Month of May!

(Chaucer did, so why not I?)

Distractions! One of my favourite down-to-earth poets, Geoffrey Chaucer, put it most eloquently in the prologue to his book The Legend of Good Women:  after declaring his fervent devotion to reading books, from which nothing could waylay him, he confessed in lines 34-39 [non-rhyming modernization]:

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“…except, certainly, when the month of May
Has come, and I hear the birds sing,
And the flowers begin to bloom–
Farewell, my book, and my studiousness!”

Well, like many humans, I do enjoy writing, “except, certainly, when” I also succumb to Chaucer’s distractions.  But it’s not just the birds and flowers. It’s living life! Here in a nutshell, in chronological sequence, are our two main wonderful distractions of May 2014: Continue reading

Mindset – Reflections En Route is published!

Introducing Mindset – Reflections En Route  – a book of poetry with photographic images:

Book Cover

A personal path travelled: enjoying nature’s beauty in four seasons with reflections on life, treading through dark ravines of adversity (including my personal experience of breast cancer), finally coming to a place of profound Light. 

The positive mindset of hope, patience, and joy underlying all situations emanates from reliance on and thankfulness to God.

The variety of traditional structure, free form, haiku, and tanka poems together form a cohesive “story line” enriched by the skillful blend of images.

Dear friends, the winter was long, the publishing learning curve steep (pretty much straight up),  Continue reading