Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fire in the Belly

"Carpenters bend wood. Fletchers bend arrows.
Wise men fashion themselves."

It feels good to have some time, once again! For many days in a row now, I have had a regular yoga practice. Every day I have challenged myself with duration and intensity. At first it seemed all I could do was rediscover how to breath, trying my best not to be distracted by all the minutia both inside and out.
Today was the most satisfying yet. My arms feel fatigued and a little sore from multiple rounds of spider to sphinx to down dog. Balance has improved. My mind has at least slowed its monkey antics. My hips have loosened, my spine seems a little straighter and taller.
As I sit here, initially just surfing sites, looking for some inspiration from other bloggers, I realized that I am feeling something inside myself. Heat and energy. And it hit me, this is fire in my belly!
So this is what it feels like. A calm with confidence. It is not happening in my head. It has seated itself just below my ribs and has warmed my fingers and toes. It did not come without a cost. It required that I move and breath and infuse myself with just a little bit of divinity. Such an insignificant price and yet weeks go by and I am unwilling to pay. And as such, I lose touch.
I have no idea how to actually live with fire in my belly. Sure, it feels good, and all those small things have for the time fallen by the wayside. But...

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light,
From now on
our troubles will be out of sight
So have yourself a merry little Christmas night.

Every year I promise myself that I will go through all of my decorations and weed them out! And then, of course, I never do. That is until this year! And instead of waiting till the season is over, I actually did it as I was 'pulling out' rather than 'putting away'! The result is a truly spectacular tree (my humblest opinion) with only the ornaments I love and adore. Lots and lots of white lights, sparkly silver ribbon and a collection of stuff that has been building for 16 years.

This is one of a set of six tin snowmen that a dear friend gave me almost 10 years ago! How quickly time moves when measured in Christmases!

Merry Christmas everyone. May you find some magic in the day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Solstice: Walking into Light

Quickly we are closing in on the long nights of winter and readying for their exchange into longer days. Living at 58.5 degrees of latitude in the Canadian north, I am experiencing a strong appreciation for the extremes in light and dark. Both have such beauty. Both remind me that my journey is also all of our journey around the sun.

The darkness seems to have enveloped me this month. When I go to work the sky is a deep navy blue black and the moon sits proud just to the east of my drive. The still invisible horizon shows no hint that the sun is anywhere to be found. As I return home, so does the darkness. A blanket of charcoal grey slides into the dark of night and settles evenly around. Everything is crisp and frozen and crunches loudly beneath my feet in juxtaposition to all I can no longer see.

In the past, the night has not always been my companion. I recall waiting anxiously for the day that marks the change. For the hours of light to lengthen and the other to diminish. But for some reason, this year is different. Perhaps I have been so busy that the embrace of night is a comfort. Perhaps it is how it seems to slow down time and gives me room to breath. Perhaps something inside of me is just not ready to move on.

Long before the impingement of Christendom, the winter solstice was celebrated the world over by almost every culture and civilization. Somewhere around the 4th century, the sun and the son got lost in translation. For thousands of years, people have gathered to reverence the renewal and rebirth of the waning sun as it waxes to full strength. I find myself not quite ready, I'm not yet done with the darkness.

Life is an overlapping, interweaving series of events. For me, in this place and time, I have been asked by a small still voice to listen to the crunching snow beneath my feet and to watch the morning sky filled with moon and stars. To reaffirm and provoke the beliefs that I need to challenge.

“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.” Richard Wright

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Monday morning coffee and a blog...

I just counted, this is my 8th blog since beginning school in September. You probably have no idea how sad this tally makes me. There are so many days I long to sit here and rattle this keyboard, all the while composing numerous posts in my head (which I assure you are far better than the ones I actually write down).

I'm taking the day off. Well, sort of off. Lately I feel like I am caught up in a never ending what if outcome loop that generates mountains of work that I can never get to. So I have opted for a personal day, in which I am going to spend the time at school trying my best to get caught up and plan for the remaining weeks until Christmas.

Right now I'm giving great effort to overcoming the bitterness I feel about having to take a personal day (I actually get to pay them for this priviledge!) and the 2 hours I spent last night preparing for a sub. Usually getting prep'ed doesn't take so long but I am in transition in almost everything and needing to introduce new topics. Also today is my outside duty day for the week, it seems kind of mean to lay all of this on a sub, so I tried my best to make the rest of her day as painless as possible.

On other fronts, life seems very confused. I'm not so good when I find myself with no personal space to sort through daily events. It is easy to become closed and choke the energizing flow that keeps me in balance. Today is an attempt to open this wider. My mind becomes the proverbial hampster on the wheel and needs to be manually switched to off.

Some time ago I posted with regard to a possible move back to Vancouver Island. From all the behind the scenes indications, this is going to happen in the new year. I find myself experiencing many mixed emotions about this. For one thing, I love our home here in the north. The VI market is much more expensive and staying in the same dollar range will mean a significant change. I know, I know... this is my ego talking! Also, teaching jobs are not easy to come by on the island. It could mean years of waiting in the wing on a substitute list. So while my husband advances and earns more, I may stall and take a serious pay cut! And to add to the stress the current housing market here in the north has just dipped for the first time in 7 years. Selling could prove to be difficult and not as lucrative as we had hoped.

On a more positive outlook... I love the Island (for those of you who are thinking remote island in the Pacific, don't! VI is the size of Nova Scotia and is home to the capital city of British Columbia). It is incredibly beautiful. The place and the people are grounded and seem to have their priorities less mixed up. We lived there for 8 years and I can honestly say that in that time I felt more like I had found home than anywhere else I have ever lived, including my first love the Miramichi. Truthfully, I want to go. I'm just not sure I've done all the living here that I want to do.

Ah, I feeler calmer already. Do you find blogging meditative? Sometimes I find it to be the best medicine for what ails me.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. Gilda Radner