Wednesday, February 25, 2015

he did visit me

"wherefore, i did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me"--1nephi 2:16

this morning i had one of those prayers.  the ones where it all come spilling out and the honesty and the realness between you and God is the pure thing there on your alter.  this kind of honesty in prayer isn't an every day thing with me.  i don't mean that usually i lie or anything like that.  i mean that sometimes i just feel blocked.  not fully able to commune because of something in me. i call it blindness.  Jesus healed the blind and i asked for the same blessing.  i ask for it.  and God, he accepted my offering.  and i felt him near.  and then i read this verse in the scriptures and i wanted to do this picture. and make it honest and real too.  exactly, or as closely to it as i could.  i'm inspired right now to tell my story of right now.  not how i want to be--but what i am right now, in photos.  truth photos.  it's my thing right now.
last night was clear and crisp and cold.  i looked up at the stars as i rounded the corner of my house and stared up the stairs.  i saw orion's belt and smiled at it.  and then i wondered why three stars close together had to be a belt.  and i thought that's just what i was told when i was little, and so that is what it is.  i wonder if they are something else to someone else who was told that since they were little.  i like how i can see the stars from my house on a clear night.  there's something precious and magical and comforting about stars.  something that makes you feel so tiny in a creation so intricate and organized and expansive and full of wonder.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

and he'll draw nigh

add archie tucked into the crook of my mouse arm and you have an accurate self portrait of me this sunday evening february 22nd 2015.

there's a new couple in our ward.  they're both musically talented.  today the husband played the piano and the wife sang this song: (this isn't them, just a rendition i found on youtube and they also appear to be lds)

the first verse, i was like why is she saying are there anybody here--that's wrong. then the second verse, are there anybody here like peter a sinkin', call to my jesus and he'll draw nigh,...  i was like, yeah, me.  i'm like peter sinking sometimes.  and i call to my jesus and he draws nigh.  and big tears piled up in my eyes and spilled out and ran down my face over my jaw, down my neck... i found it so simple and beautiful and so true.

i've been thinking lately about "ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you" in relation to knowing God, feeling him close, asking for his comfort and help.

i'm grateful for the messages God sends me.  i've noticed lately that sitting in my meetings in church, it may not matter what is being said or sung, i am open and a-tuned to the spirit, and i receive so much more.  and  it could be about anything in my life.

Friday, February 20, 2015


when i packed away her things it wasn't easy.  the sheer volume collected over 2 decades was overwhelming.  and it wasn't just that.  it was like packing her away.  it was shutting the door on her time here.  it was her lovable and frustrating quirks all mixed up together in drawers, and cabinets, on desktops and shelves.  it was why did she have 7 boxes of staples? it was the cutesy notepads her mom gave her every year.  it was the handful of animal shaped lip glosses she liked just because of their bottles.  it was the drawer that had years of day timers she couldn't get rid of, where she used to keep that bottle of rum that she hated, and the wind up penguin that danced and made her laugh every time and the piles and piles of dumpster treasures brought to her from members that she accepted every time, and chocolate bars she hid and forgot about and the gum her sister used to send her from the states,  and the two tiaras, one for her and one for me, that we wore that day and laughed, and it was everything.  it was her history.  i boxed it all up and put it away.

and i changed everything.  in the middle of painting the walls turquoise i would stop and think about how she would hate that colour.  and all the bright contrasting colours we chose.  she would say it was gaudy or like a kindergartener chose it.  i felt guilty, sad and free and guilty again.

recently dave went through the boxes.  he told me after that he got rid of mostly everything.  i'm glad i wasn't there because i couldn't have allowed it.  at the same time i wish i was there because i would have taken a token or something.  i could have saved something special.

then i saw her special mug.  among the other mugs.  it's an oversized red starbucks mug that she protected vigilantly.  she never even let it sit with the other mugs and here it was in the midst of the mug population. well this was just wrong.  so i swooped in and saved it. i didn't know what to do with it.  i don't need a mug.  so i had an idea.  i'll plant something in it.  she loves flowers.  and i'll keep it.  and i'll put her picture in the office because even if her stuff is gone, she's not gone.  she's a part of me and a part of my history and i'll always remember her.

Monday, February 09, 2015

a rainy day in the bog

i think my life has been dark lately.  and i want to walk in the light.  this will mean many things, but one thing it means is to go outside.  so i took advantage of family day to explore the bog in richmond nature park.  

it was a day misty with tiny raindrops that clung to bare pinkish blueberry bushes that lined the paths of the bog.

and single slender lone birches bejeweled with droplets.
they even dripped like diamonds from the evergreen needles.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

small kindnesses

yesterday i was feeling quite sad about something and a little bit lost.  but i had this appointment at the roeder's for dinner.  so i wiped my tears and put on my mocs and walked over to their house.  i had such a nice time.  i'm sure i over stayed.  i got there at six and it was almost ten when i left.  but the roeders are so kind and gracious to me.  we talked and talked and talked about families, books, jane austen, mental illness, conflict, my work, blah blah blah blah.  i don't know how i become a person that never stops talking when i'm with them.  but i definately feel it's a kindness from them.  and i went to bed last night feeling much better than when i left my home.  thank you God for small kindesses that mean big things.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

super saturday day

yesterday i had a shower.  yes this is big news.  i don't shower every day twice a day, like some.  but the point is, i've been hating on me.  feeling ick about my hair, my clothes, my weight, my home, my day to day.  with my hair, it was feeling so dull and heavy with build up. so yesterday i said to myself, self, why don't you give your hair an apple cider vinegar rinse? groovy idea, self, i responded. and so i did.  i diluted some apple cider vinegar with some water and put it in one of the empties that hang around my shower for no purpose but to mourn their emptiness.  and i was feeling good about the whole thing.  my hair looked good.  shiny even.  and i took some extra effort with my looks and wow, yeah and mmhmm.  yep.  hi cutie.

but then life got back to normal.  i went to costco to buy some (a lot) of stuff and when i came out it was raining so hard.  i had an awesome parking spot too.  but by the time i got there, and got all my mountain of stuff into my car, i was soaked and my hair was flat and wet against my scalp.  ironically there was a jacket with a hood in my car in case i needed it.  but i don't expect to be so prepared and so it was for naught.

it dried ok, but the sheeny shine was gone.  a slowly accumulating cloud of fuzz  had replaced it by the end of the day.  that's more real life.  that's more me.  that's the life of it's own frizz  that baby avereigh pointed to in horror on halloween night long ago.  so go ahead self, have an apple cider vinegar rinse moment, but don't expect it to last long.  your homeostasis is fuzz and the universe will not let you forget it for long.

random thought i had yesterday: why does saying 'an unicorn' or 'an unicycle' sound so so wrong?

today was our ward's relief society's super saturday.  this did not include crafts.  it was a morning of workshops and then a potluck lunch.  i signed up to bring a crock pot meal, but i didn't have the energy/will/soul/life to make anything last night.  so i thought about not going. but which is worse, not going, or not bringing food? i looked at my frizz cloud and doubted some more.  but then katie called and i told her my dilema.  she said usually when she didn't feel like going to something, it turned out to be exactly what she needed.  yeah, actually that happens to me too, i thought.  so i decided to go and leave before lunch.

so basically i chose workshops that didn't have anything to do with parenting or fhe.  that left me with estate planning first and pitchers and glasses--self care second.  so basically i don't have an estate to worry about, but i might have one day before i die, so it was useful information.  bankerbishop cook gave that workshop.

the second one on self-care was really good and it was the one i needed to come for.  socialworker jacinta did that one.  right at the beginning she told about at the early part of her career when she was working in homeless shelters and how she would come home and go straight to her room, turn off the lights and climb into bed with all her clothes on and just lay there because everything was so heavy and she just couldn't handle it.  i got a lump in my throat from that moment on.  she was talking about her but talking about me at the same time and what she was talking about was burn out.  it was a really good workshop.  i know that as a nurturing giving woman, i need to take care of myself, or else i will be on empty and have nothing left for anyone.  i know about it and i agree with it.  but i don't always practice it.  in fact, i'd say that as soon as life starts getting hectic self-care is the first thing to go for me.  i stop getting enough sleep, i am haphazard about replenishing my spiritual reserves, i eat sporadically and make bad choices, and i just keep taking on more and more and pushing myself more and more and thinking that i can handle everything.  but then i come home and you know what? in this state i don't like coming home.  sometimes i even just sit in my car for a while and listen to the radio or text or whatever, because i know that inside there are many things that need to be done and that i want to do, but i just won't do them.  i'll go to my bed and lay there and even then try to make myself accomplish more things, like edit photos even if my creativity is on life support because i am an empty shell of a woman..... :) days like today are so good because i think it will be a life long thing to remind myself to stop and take care of myself so that i can do all the other things.

so i made some self-care goals.

after that workshop was one all together with a marriage and family therapist who talked about dealing with conflict in relationships.  i liked her workshop a lot too, after i got over the fact that she says "right" every couple of seconds. :) i had to tell that part of me to shut up and pay attention to the content.  she said in conflicts you can be fight, flight, freeze, food or sex.  and honestly i identified parts of me in all of them except the sex one. like fight--aggressive, irritability, blaming.  i can definitely get irritable, and maybe sometimes aggressive, but i don't blame much.  it's not my jam.  flight--avoid, escape, withdraw.  yeah i can do all of those too, depending on the sitch.  freeze--deny, minimize, downplay.  yeah, i have a condo in d' nile and sometimes i stay there.  food--over or under eat, comfort foods.  let's not talk about it.  i'm going to deny my food issues.

if you're a fighter--take a breather.  give yourself a time-out.  say "i'm leaving the room but not the relationship" if you are a runner--be present. stay in the room.  if you're a frozen buff--give yourself internal validation, and give the situation a ranking.  if it's food--eat balanced etc.  those are just quickies about each type.

when i got home i started on my new self-care goals right away.  i may or may not have made a chart that may or may not be totally rad.

after all that is said and done--the christmas tree is now on the porch and i think that 's a good start.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

maybe you shouldn't...

too late. you did.

there has  never been enough air for me under the blankets.  how do people do it?  and how do people sleep on their stomachs? no aaaair.

just discovered: my duvet smells like stale salty human. time to do some laundry.  where is neil when i need him.  oh neillll!

i should go on another cruise.  "i should do a great many things". who said that and in what movie?  ...or something like that.

right now i'm laying in bed with my laptop on my chest and typing with my elbows awkwardly poked out at sharp angles.  i have pulled my braid across my brow and tucked it behind my ear so as to give an impression of a braided uni-brow.

i have heartburn.  i have a heart that burns.

i have depleted the stores of energy, creativity, caring.  i am a barge and i need a man with a long pole to push into the river bed and move me along, singing low.  i am. i need. i want.

here are some pics i've been doing in between doing other pics.  pics are my life.
when lovers vandalize ancient buildings it's picture worthy.  this is the qatiby citadel in alex. and this was in an area that must have been more romantic than others because this is where the lovers expressed by smitten hand and sharpie, their loves.  do you think it was radwa or mohamed that wrote this? were they on a school field trip? did they sneak to lover's corner? who knows? maybe  fatma loved mohamed but was too shy to write her own name so she used her best friend's name, and then maybe mohamed saw it and fell for radwa and fatma was left alone and sad.  poor fatma.  yusef likes you, but you don't know it.
 i love this pic.  here we see the sad fatma taking radwa and mohamed's photo.  she acts brave and cheerful.  but inside she is miserable.  but who takes the pic of fatma taking the pic? yusef.  yusef is saddest of all.  just talk to her yusef.
 egyptian pigeons fly over a wall.  radwa and mohmed feel the beat of their wings is like the beating of their hearts.
 i'm a wall and i'm a witness to love and to loneliness.
 we are also witness.
 me too.
and this is are my life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

is life just about being tired? sometimes it seems like it.  working your butt off and recuperating from working your butt off.  cycle, cycle, cycle.

help. i'm a hostage of my christmas tree.

i have nothing really to say.  every day seems a blur of work.  every night an oblivion in my bed. resting sore feet, working on photos, the heaviness of cats, the overheating of the laptop.

today i work late.  i'm going to make bahn mi and pho.  wish me luck.