8 May 2016

Better Than This


Last week I took a
Leap for love
And fell flat
Splattered heart
Still pumping
Slowly, afraid

Last week my dear
Friend from Norway and I
Shared a bottle of wine
On a Bridgeland patio
Together we answered the
"36 Questions to fall in love"
Just to fall in love
With each other even more

Friendship.  Bliss.

This weekend I've been
Obsessing about a boy
Who doesn't love me
Who am I?
 
The cat needed love today
Twisting her little body madly
To best expose her belly
She was, as Brene Brown and Maria Ulvestad
Put it - 'in the arena'
Like me

My friend with three lively children
Heard I was heartbroken
And dropped everything
To comfort me over coffee
And waffles

Tell me, sweet ones,
Does it get better
Than this?

Yesterday I was told that
When I was away
Gallivanting about the world
My boyfriend at the time
Sat down weekly with my
Little bereaved brother
For a year
Who just lost his mother
To watch TV
And eat chips

The perfect sacrament
In cases of death

This weekend my roommate
And I ate ice cream
And laughed at obscure films

The perfect antidote for a
Fragile heart

The sun shines bright
Scorches, blazes
And a song plays on the radio
My mom and I used to sing

'Georgia'
In rich, ripe tones

I smiled at the sky as I sang
Just an old sweet song
Knowing she was still
Singing with me

She always loved to sing

I burnt my ankle yesterday
Just one ankle
And fires blaze in Alberta
Swallowing homes
And livelihoods

And people, everywhere
Like my friends
Ignited
Dropping everything
To support

How intimate light and dark are
Such a wild, fiery dance

And also,

My neighbour fixed my bike
So I could race along the river
Where lilacs are in bloom
Their perfume plastered
Everywhere

And then,
 
Last night I saw the
Northern lights from my
Front porch
Dancing in the blackened sky
Above the city

No, it doesn't get better than this.

25 Sep 2015

spiritual grit


There comes a brave moment on a soul's journey, where one is presented with the profound opportunity to regard themselves, their life, their entirety as essentially good, worthy and worthwhile.  No longer do the tugs of the 'shoulds' of the world nag at our consciences.  The light from our own being is now enough.  It is enough now to trust that, to walk forward as we were always meant to. 
This does not make for an easy journey - that was never the promise.  The world is full of should-shouters, insecure, judgmental, fearful people who have not yet found their own space of personal peace and spiritual grit.  So the call is great.  It is to be brave and courageously yourself.  To be the expert in 'you' in this world.  To shine and create with all the courage you can muster.  And when you fall, to get back up and do it again.  This is what Cheryl Strayed called the call of the "wild."  It is what Elizabeth Gilbert calls "coming home."  It is returning to that place within that knows that you KNOW, and committing to walking that path.  Bon Courage!

22 Sep 2015

call of the wild

After an anxious ridden week and a late Friday night, I woke up this morning feeling surprisingly light and refreshed. I opened my curtains to a bright, dewy morning sun and felt a very strong urge to be outside immediately. I dressed, threw on my runners and headed to a large, wild, local park right by my house. It was like walking to heaven. Warm sun, kiss of crisp autumn breezes, dancing grasslands, brilliant wildflowers, hawks, black birds, beetles, grasshoppers met me with their brilliant aliveness. I caught myself in silent awe around each new bend and summit. I am alive and surrounded by utter, endless beauty. How is it that we forget this so often? (It comes as no surprise that my doctor friend recommends all his patients spend 30 minutes outdoors each day. The healing in that act alone is more significant than most of us realize).
So, I relished this morning in the hills. I picked wildflowers. Sat and stared. Walked slowly. Ran up hills. The bigness of the world holding my being in gentle caress.
I brought home my lightened, joyful spirit and a bouquet of wildflowers to set on my kitchen table. Now for breakfast - another human act that can heal us so well, if only we took the time to notice. Today - Lemon Coconut Quinoa Pancakes with local, organic peaches with a side of chamomile tea. Thank you coconut. Thank you lemon. Thank you chamomile for counseling so well. Thank you beetle for your vibrant scuttle. Thank you grasslands for your bold dance. I am lighter today because of you all.

1 Apr 2015

could there be more clarity than this?

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


~Mary Oliver

6 Feb 2015

bon courage

The world doesn't wrap dreams up like gifts to
give away. Rather than wait, she stretches her
arms toward the things she wants. The future:

an intersection with too many street signs.
She makes her own road map; she goes
fearlessly, shamelessly. The secret


recipe is, Put one foot in front of the other.
Don't stop. She is doing it. The password
is, Work hard. Be kind. She wants to make,

so she does. She doesn't count those
who take note. She was born with all
the keys already in her hands. Imagine:

creating because it's possible, not because
it's profitable, clearing the path for others
gaining the boldness to follow behind. Her

spine is a braid of steel; her hands, open. She
has what the world needs, so she births more
and gives it, until her arms are overflowing.

12 Jan 2015

it flows

Were we ever to go
digging danger
up from the springs
of world's edge?

The mountains whisper
sweet nothings
or was that you?
No matter

the wind beckons
constantly, always
and the wings of my hair
rejoice in dance

Where or where have
you taken me
under the garnet sky
of hope and darkness

can there even be more
than what is?

I am dripping with
abundance, and now
gratitude

4 Dec 2014

Like the birds


There are moments in one's life, at least I hope there are, when they feel like they see for the first time.  The ordinary hills, trees, sidewalk one has walked upon and through a million times is seen as though new and foreign and it commands awe.  That was today.  Born a Calgarian who has lived in Manitoba, BC, the U.S., Central American, Asia and Europe, I keep coming home - to many people's surprise.  The comments of surprise and wonder at my desire to move back to 'cow-town' are numerous, and I myself am increasingly surprised at the distain Calgarians (and, let's be honest - insert any city dweller here) hold for their own city.  If you are unhappy, dear human, then move.  But I can assure you of this - it is not the beauty of a city, the temperature, weather, politics or city organisation that makes a city worth living in - there is so much more to life, people, community and meaning (that comes with struggle) that encourage my decision to settle where I have.  Moderate weather alone will not cut it. 
As I reflect on my happiest times in life, they have been when I had less distraction from the moment - less Facebook -, when my life was simpler -I had less - and when I lived in community.  Today, as I walked along a sidewalk in a suburban community in south west Calgary, I was in awe of the blueness of the sky.  The sky here in Alberta is brilliant.  It is so big and obnoxiously and joyously bright.  And that blue - it is so pure and beaming - like it was the first blue ever created.  And then there is the snow - or rather, sparkles, under my feet and all around me.  The crunch and squish cut the silence of the crisp, still space of this area - until you run into the bushes of a hundred little birds, who cannot stop chattering excitedly at the sparkly decorations of their home.  The birch trees, rooted and strong play games with the sun's rays.  They are happy just to be.  A reminder of the joy of stillness and quiet.  And among those trees, I fell in love again - with this life so generously given to me.  What blessed creatures we are, to be able to call this place our home. 
And so the decision stands and is confirmed again.  It's the simple, and the still moments of looking around that we realize the beauty of life and being alive.  And I am grateful and elated, like the birds.

5 Aug 2014

Playfulness


"[Life] is a musical thing and you are supposed to sing or dance while the music is being played."  ~Alan Watts

Today I am aware of my tendency to run.  Like a hamster - in a wheel.  I wake with to-do lists in my head, I scurry about all morning - task to task, very robotically and mindlessly to get ready for my day.  Most days are busy, packed, really.  Mostly with obligations, others with self-imposed disciplines such as exercise and study.  Things that are neither good or bad and sometimes both. 
Lately though, I have become a little more cognizant of the girl inside of me anxious to get out and play.  I have kept her trapped for too long and she is getting impatient. 
Are adults simply working to finally play again?  Is play not an essential part of life? 
Philosopher Alan Watts' basic metaphysical assumption hinges on an understanding that the universe is essentially playful.  The universe has no necessity that can be fully comprehended, and yet it exists - beautiful and blatant.  With all our gust and endearing drive could we have forgotten what it means to simply exist in this paradise?  Have we forgotten to stop and look around and remember what a gift it is to simply be alive?  There is much we can learn from children, who wake up and immediately start to explore and play.  That is our nature! 
Today, I remember little Stephanie excited to explore.  That is my intention today.  I hope it's yours.

2 Nov 2013

This Beautiful Life


Today I wake up to gray and drizzle.  Characteristics that naturally bring comfort and warmth.  For that I am extremely grateful.  I wake up slow.  I lay in bed and breath thankfulness.  I stretch, make peppermint tea and munch on baked apples while snuggling a kitty.  Moments like these are precious gifts and I fully intend to be present and breath in this beautiful life.

7 Aug 2013

Held

Find me between the boughs
Of weeping willows green
Betwixt the gnarly cushions
They bare

That is where I hold myself

That is where S/he holds me

I came upon a forest
That lead me to my heart
I saw myself as a deer
And breathed the purest air

Thank God for the forest
The deer
The chipmunk
They teach us who we are

Held.