One Week

What would you do if you discovered that you only had a limited time left on this planet, that you only had a day … a week … a month left to live. What would be the first choices, your first gut, heart-wrenching reactions? Would you flee in search of adventure, truth and answers? Would you hibernate? Would you share your news with the world, or would you sit with the information, trying to decipher what it all meant, truly? What wish would you fulfill? Would you express your love to anybody in particular? What book would you write? I can’t imagine anything more ground-shakingly real than a death sentence imposed in bright bold headlines screaming that your reality is suddenly and wholeheartedly finite and defined.

The Library of the Abbey of Saint-Gallen. Photo by Candida Höfer.Such is the premise behind the movie ‘One Week’. A treasure I found in the bowels of the teeny St Clair library here in Toronto. As is my normal routine in settling within a city for any length of time, I find the closest local library and become a member. This is of vital importance to me. That connection with community and knowledge, the ability to establish a routine of sorts where I actually feel a sense of stability and solace, where I can expand my education in whatever realm I pursue to explore. A home to endless pleasure and ever-expanding schooling. Libraries do this for me. Be that in the form of illuminating movies, fascinating reads, stunning moments of connection with the pages of a book or quiet solitude. From my experience, Toronto has one of the best library systems in the country that I’ve discovered. A sheer wealth of resources available, be it at the tiniest of libraries or in the heart of the giant 4 story building dead-centre downtown Toronto. I often stumble across fabulous movies I’d never ever consider renting or watching, and with free access to hundreds of thousands of titles, I grasp whatever theme I fancy to explore and examine.

As with any journey, whether it be on the road to discovery (in an Airstream trailer!), through the pages of a book, the chronicling of a documentary, or in the questions stimulated by a really good movie, I realize that any pursuit of knowledge and the very personal answers that journey reveals can be a life-changing event that forever shifts perspective, ideals, goals and dreams.

The beauty of journaling, about what comes up in the midst of this excursion, lies in the revealing answers about what I might consider doing when life is presented on a platter, in vivid black and white, and I must choose between the comfortable confines of my current existence or the uncanny rhythms of a road less travelled.

I highly recommend this movie ‘One Week’ not just because it is a gorgeous sampling of Canadiana unveiled (part road trip movie, part love letter to Canada) but because it might just present a journey into the unknown, asking questions you dare not even consider in the solace of your daily life.

“One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
~ Ulysses

More Memories

There have been many places I’ve lived and loved, wanting to bring home a piece of the regions essence and beauty with me. Oh how I remember the days before digital cameras, ebook readers, mp3 players and email. Nowadays, travel is so much more compact, friendly and sharable! In my fledgling days of world travel, I resorted to writing long letters and sending a ton of post cards to my friends and family. I still think that such an art is appreciated by many, although today’s method of armchair travel is far less expensive, instantaneous and easily-shared via the web. And over the past few years of rekindled travelling, I’ve made a conscious and notable effort to write letters or postcards, letting those whom I appreciate and love in life know that I think of them often.

During my 20 years abroad, being the packrat that I am, I would carry home souvenirs of the countries I visited and remnants of the events that had an impact. Right now, I find myself in an emotional quandary about donating some incredibly beautiful and useful travel photo books and guides from the places where my heart-strings were plucked like a wailing banjo. Moreover, destroying paper and photos that hold remarkable memories of an amazing and love-filled past (including home-made cards from my childhood days) is extremely difficult to do! Some of the examples of things which hold sentimental value:

Update: My sister took the beautiful table photography books for her bed and breakfast guests to enjoy. It’s much easier for me to purge when I know that it’s going to a home where the item(s) are actually used and enjoyed!

Truly, Madly, Deeply

True BloodHave you ever found yourself sucked in by something that took you totally by surprise? When I was a teenage, I devoured every Stephen King and John Saul book that I could find. I loved the horror genre with tales of terror, mayhem and the supernatural. I also loved anything fantasy based that weaved a world so beyond the grasp of reality whilst inspiring a child-like wonder … Marion Zimmer Bradley (I read the Mists of Avalon twice), Tolkien, Anne Rice, Terry Brooks, time travel escapades in any form: pure unadulterated escapism.

But there came a switch when I went to University. Any reading that I tackled had to do with Law & Psychology. I lost my edge and my passion, entangled by the adult world of real life mystery and twisted haunted realities. I basically grew up. And then my tastes in literary content swung a complete 180. Documentaries, non-fiction, reality based life stories kept me fascinated and grounded. Perhaps all the years of psychology studies wielded a new profound meaning that added depth beyond the fantastical and imaginary. It was perhaps the time to grow up and realize that LIFE beyond my imagination was physically real, painful and often not-so-magical and ethereal. The time for escapism within the written word had exploded into my need for exploration beyond flight and fancy. The first step in truly growing up and developing my burgeoning wings with the hard knocks of life.

And then another switch occurred, less tangible in time or sense …. anything that exuded violence or blood or spawning pain triggered a reaction of withdrawal within me. I couldn’t read, watch or hear about the induction of brutality or savage human cruelty, especially if it involved bloodshed or guns. I’m not quite certain when that sensitivity to such genre emerged. Even knowing that violence in any form may be fictional or reality based, I to this day sequester my senses to a tamer more peaceable pacifist reality based form of thinking. Perhaps that is why I lean towards a yogic way of life, that which seeks peace and harmony in my daily existence.

Back to the reason why I started this banter … today I was introduced to something very out-of-character to my viewing and literary senses. It’s filled with violence, blood and carnage. And surprisingly, I am madly in love with the series of ‘True Blood’. I was loaned the Season 1 dvd set, and for the first two episodes, I was riveted to the screen, unexpectedly drawn to the ferocity and the explicit gory and raw sexuality. I’m hooked! And can’t wait to get through all 3 seasons.

Frivolous flirtations of the Facebook kind

So much for my New Year’s Resolutions! Every day, in every way. Not so for the month of March. Let’s hope that April will provide for a better track record?

I am so far behind in my blogging, and so incredibly sorry for letting you (and myself down). But nonetheless, I am very willing and anxiously wanting to catch uP (as best as I can, at least)! However, the difficulty of falling behind the blog writing curve is the inability to remember each and every day (even with the aid of many photographic hints). But with the delights of facebook happenings and digital photography, I hope to be able to share my many fabulous memories from the past 2-3 weeks. Soon enough. It’s just getting beyond the hurdle of disappointment which has edged, like oozing ink, in to the crevices of my cre8tive well, leaving me breathlessly apologetic, stumbling and repentant.  It’ll return. Just you wait and see. When you least expect it, the comeback queen will once again unearth her groove and breath her written word into a seamless tapestry of benign cre8tivity. :).

Just in case you didn’t know, the beauty of facebook updates is in the ability to go back through a ‘wall’s’ many older posts, copying and pasting witticisms / momentary lapses of hasty foot-in-mouth comments. My facebook ramblings seem to be far more up-to-date than any other words I’ve uttered on the web. Perhaps this has to do with the captive audience I’ve garnered / earned and the immediacy of feedback on my profile page? Yup, it’s true. When it comes right down to it, I’m addicted to facebook and the depth of knowledge I grasp from all my friend’s lives and goings-on. Call me a peeping Tom of sorts. Or a nosy Nancy. Either way, I spend way too much time on facebook and not enough time on this blog.

Forgive me faithful readers for my frivolous philandering. I’ll catch up — soon enough — with titillating tales from the throes of our Airstream antics. Promise! (Because I’ve missed you, you know :)). I’ll do better in April — no April Fool‘s joke, honest!

Behind again :(

So so busy …. and truly behind on my blogging. This has been an incredible whirlwind of a journey thus far in trying to get our Airstream ready to head south. All this plus making the time to visit with friends and family keeps me challenged in trying to fit everything in. And my writing is suffering :(.

Could it be that we really left Calgary a month today? Feels more like a year! This past weekend, we were divinely blessed to spend Halloween with my dearest two girlfriends and their families, in upstate New York. Trick or treating with children is kind of like re-experiencing Disneyworld with children in tow. Fabulous and light-hearted, and oh so much fun. Time with my girlfriends is oh so precious, and this weekend fit the bill perfectly. We then made a detour through Toronto on our way home, spending more quality time with good friends, eating succulent meals along the way (‘The Friendly Thai‘ rocks!). Our time is completely full and blessed. So thankful for all those that bring so much love and happiness along our journey. The Airstream awaits patiently as we ready her for her maiden voyage into the unknown. Thank you to all that are so supportive of us in this amazing journey of a dream fulfilled.

Friends = angels

I’m feeling uninspired lately … that and oh so weary. I’m finding myself completely exhausted, utterly busy and often dragging around a sore aching body. I have neglected my Flickr project 366, my blog, my friends, my cre8tivity, my healthful diet. At times I feel negligent and unworthy. BUT, daily and with purpose, I remind myself that I am very worthy … and very blessed. Just really really tired.
Friends are angels