Mariposa Journal Scrawls

You say you don’t dance

You say you gotta learn

Ah baby come take my hands

Won’t you give me a turn

Spin me out, skirt a’swirling

Then bring me in real close

I like everyone when I’m dancing

But I’d like you the most.

I wrote so many pages in my regular journal while I was at Mariposa. I hardly used my phone and I talked to more people than I can recall. We talked and shared stories and almost never connected on social media. We just moved along with our weekends. I like it.

I also saw friends and acquaintances and hugged some favourite people. I kind of miss Mariposa.

I only just got home Monday evening and since then I went to Merry Wives of Windsor in Stratford one night and I’m working a concert at my home theatre tonight. Tomorrow is movie night with friends and then it’s Kultun festival and then swing dancing in Hamilton on Sunday. How even if this my life.

Not complaining.

This Life Is Sweet

Festival set up in the blazing sun
It’s a joy to volunteer.
Turns out hard work can be fun
and plus they give you beer.

This life is sweet.
I’m a big fan.
One thing would make it sweeter, love
I want to hold your hand.

Sunset hues and crescent moon
A man plays guitar on the dock.
The remnants of labor settled by
An evening swim and a walk.

This life is sweet.
I’m a big fan.
One thing would make it sweeter, love
I want to hold your hand.

Guitar and fiddle and banjo
Waves of song wash over me.
Story as lighthouse, the chorus safe harbor
My blanket a raft in this musical sea.

This life is sweet.
I’m a big fan.
One thing would make it sweeter, love
I want to hold your hand.
If you were here by my side, my love And if you would hold my hand.

at the market

At the market the bike lane advocates have
       set up a booth to encourage urban cycling and
       they're giving away silver bells (I got one).
The marketplace din is punctuated 
       by the bright ding ding of bike bells.
Strawberries are in season!
       And the egg lady is smiling and 
       the fair trade coffee in my travel mug
       is finally the perfect temperature.
Sipping the coffee I absorb the colours and sounds
       in small doses. Or try to.
       I never got the hang of microdosing.
Fuck it! Suck it all in, breathe every scent, sweet and foul
       trip on the greens of kale, berries red, golden honey!
Every human here is shining and beautiful
       and I love them all it almost hurts but
       I keep loving them even that one stealing 
       a ripe strawberry and yes even that one
       scowling at the child with the bike bell.

Wishes

I’m doing a community art project called #100notebookwomen where, as suggested, 100 women get notebooks. There’s a month and a half and you just do whatever your artsy heart desires. Mine’ll be poems of course. Songs without music. Lyrics without songs. The words to this one follow the image.

 

Wishes

I always have a wish at the ready
Affirmation, prayer, whatever they are
My desire thrust at the Universe
At 11:11, dandelions, shooting stars.

How lucky am I? My wish box is empty!
My most recent wishes all came true!
Now I’m dreaming in sweet summer breezes
I’m willing up wishes anew.

11:11 comes twice every day
Dandelions seed, stars fall.
The air tastes of hope, love, and magic.
Summer is wishing season after all.

The wish must be something possible
Where luck is handy but not required
A lover’s kiss? A friend’s good health?
Something absent but much desired.

11:11 comes twice every day
Dandelions seed, stars fall.
The air tastes of hope, love, and magic.
Summer is wishing season after all.

An empty wish box is a blessing it’s true
Of unbestowed wishes, I have but a few.
All the same I think I’ll wish up one or two.

Summer Solstice to Autumnal Equinox

I had it in my mind that I would stop drinking on my birthday, for one full year. Not that I drink to any great degree, not that it impedes my living. But my mom did just die from her alcoholism. And it does run down every branch of my family tree.

But it’s more than that. You ever meet people who have heard “the word of god” and they thirst for it, they long for it, they yearn? That’s kind of how I feel about sobriety. I actually really like drinking, though. I don’t like being drunk and I loathe being hungover but otherwise I like everything about drinking. I like smokey scotches and hoppy beers and charcoal porters. I love full bodied red wines and the liquid Christmas tree kiss of gin. I’m into the ceremony of champagne and the ritual of patio beers. I like drinking.

But it is inescapably true that alcohol causes cancer and that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. It’s a Group One carcinogen – so it’s like saying there is no safe level of asbestos consumption. I mean, obviously. And alcohol robs you of your awareness. It’s also fattening and expensive.

I am loving life so much. I’m having honestly So. Much. Fun. I’m excited for school. I love my job. I’m proud of my kids and am looking forward to watching their adventures. I don’t want to miss a thing. I’m acutely aware of my mortality and of time ticktickticking away. I don’t want to lose anymore time to the fog of drink, or the pain of hangover. And I don’t want to consume something that I know has a proven ability to cause cancer.

So tomorrow – no, later today – I’m drinking my last drinks, for a year and a quarter at least. I said I wanted to quit on my birthday, but the weekend after my birthday I’m attending an event that is marked by copious amounts of free alcohol (I don’t know about you but honestly, free alcohol seems to be everywhere). If I’m going to do a thing, I like to set myself up for success. By my birthday, I want all the effects of alcohol to be gone, so it’s a truly clean year. I read this book called Sober Curious and I like the idea of being sober curious. Not “sober sober” as she calls it. I mean, I’ll be sober sober until Fall 2020 but then, whatever, it’s my life. I expect though I won’t return.

I miss being just naturally weird, you know? I miss sliding along a natural high, blissing out on the colours of the sunset or perfect harmonies or cool lake water. I’m lucky in that my brain naturally likes to take those routes. If I just let it, my brain goes places that some other people use substances to find. If I give it enough fresh food and sunshine, it piques those peaks with no side effects.

I think it’s going to be an interesting summer.

 

 

Personal Mission Statement

I’ve been engaged in a learning program through the Satir Global Network, which is a body dedicated to “to furthering the creation of healthy and just relationships with self and others based on the teachings of Virginia Satir.” Virginia Satir was an American psychotherapist. At the end of the program I will be certified as a trainer and coach in Satir method, which will give me an extra boost of confidence going into my Masters in  psychotherapy.

Part of my current assignment is to develop a three word mission statement. These are increasingly popular and are meant to be immediately impactful. Consider “Just do it” or “Do no harm”.

I’ve been listing words and reading blogs (apart from on Pinterest, I just can’t handle that site). I’ve been overthinking this as is my wont, and taking it seriously due to my frustratingly earnest nature.

I started at “Kindness centred growth” but ack, I hate it. I’m bored halfway through it- which I guess would be at cent–, snore. The lesson plan has a list of words attached. I found another cool list in this helpful blog post.

I wanted it to capture the feeling of facilitating growth – my own, that of other individuals, and that of organisations or communities. I wanted it to capture my taste for adventure and my insatiable curiosity. But I also value the strength and autonomy that can arise from integrity. All of this in three words.

All the blog posts encourage the readers to try their personal mission statement out for a while and to change it as needed. So I’m not marrying myself to these three words. They might change. For now though, and I hope I don’t fall asleep halfway through reading them, what I’ve got is:

Nurture Authentic Curiosity

Memory Book

Tonight we are gathering in Midland in memory of my Mother. It occurred to me recently that I would need photos of her, as well as a Memory Book for people to write in.

She didn’t want a service and insisted that if we do anything, it was to be small. She didn’t want people to make a fuss about her. But she also did not like to be overlooked or ignored. It’s a fine line to walk.

So we’re seeing a play in her honour at our community theatre home, Huronia Players. We’ll toast her with red wine – truly her poison, as it killed her in the end.

It’ll be nice to see people and to hear stories but it’s also bittersweet, fraught, too tangled to be parsed in a short blog post.

In any case, two days ago I went through all my photos to find ones she would deem acceptable to put on display. I could hear her denigrating herself “I’m too fat in that one, too old, too stern” and her pride “Yes, that one, it shows off my ankles.” When illness made her ankles swell, she mourned them.

So many photos – up until digital cameras and Facebook. Photos of friends from two decades ago, and some of those friends we will see tonight. Some people in the photos are dead, some have moved out of our lives, some I can’t recall who they are. Photos of my mom with her ex-lovers, and photos of me with mine. I can hear my kids on some unknown future day “Oh, nice shot of mom, too bad he’s in it,” when they look for images to put on display for my memorial.

The older you get, the more every experience loops back to past experiences until every present moment has echoes and somehow the process loops forwards as well and every death forecasts our own.