Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who wrote these wise words?

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." 
As someone who finds it hard to change directions, this quote resonates with me. 
Today, it soothes me. 
It also mystifies me, because I haven't been able to discover its source. I believed that E.M. Forster wrote these words, but others suggest that Joseph Campbell did. If anyone can point me to the text I'll be very grateful. I'm hoping that it's an E.M. Forster novel, in which case I will promptly read it. 

P.S. After more digging I'm satisfied that E.M. Forster wrote these words. I just can't figure out when or where. It does not appear to have been in a novel. I will have to read more Forster!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A shift in perspective

My husband and I are facing a difficult decision, made more difficult by the fact that the ultimate outcome is largely beyond our control. How to make a weighty decision with many unknowns?

I was feeling pretty raw after a late night grappling with this issue, when J pointed out a painting of his which has been displayed on our fridge for the past few weeks. I suggested we paint again, and he wanted to do so immediately. After breakfast we got out his paints.

I sat down beside him with my own piece of paper, applied paint to brush, and tried to let my creativity flow. As my brush moved, I considered that there are many potential paths in life, that we cannot take them all. I suddenly realized that there might not be a wrong decision. That regardless of the direction we choose, our lives will almost certainly be full and joyous. It was a revelation for me.

J and I stopped painting and we baked a cake together. Later, we covered the chocolate frosting with multi-coloured sprinkles. I forgot to take a picture, but it's easy to visualize. So pretty.

It was kind of a perfect morning.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Odd Life of Timothy Green: Creepiest movie ever?

Last night I went to see a movie with a friend. We settled in with our popcorn, chatted while the theatre filled, and turned our attention to the screen when the lights dimmed. I suddenly found myself confronted by a trailer for an infertility film. Really, I thought? An infertility film? I suppose so. It's reality for far too many of us today; it was only a matter of time before someone made a movie about it. Call it the Kramer v. Kramer of the, um, what do you call this decade anyway?
But wait -- it gets worse...
A loving couple, told that they will never conceive, bury their parenting dreams with their own spontaneous parenting wake. They drink red wine. They fantasize about their would-be child. They take notes. They put the notes in a box. Okay. Fair enough. Infertility is agony and grieving is healthy.
But then...
They bury the box. In the backyard of their little house. Their Gothic-revival farmhouse.
It is a stormy night. There is a weird light. And in their house they discovery a dirt-covered boy in a box! So creepy! Not even a baby -- no, a boy. A walking, talking, perhaps-eight-year-old boy. He greets them as Mom and Dad. Seriously. I am nauseous just thinking about it.
And then it gets weirder still because it's a Disney movie! It is not a horror movie. It is a movie-of-the-week movie. With a dark and twisted and creepy soul. There are hot dogs and soccer games and curious events in the yard of the Gothic-revival farmhouse. I shudder to imagine what happens next. In fact, I'm going to try hard not to imagine what happens next in this movie.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is scheduled to open next summer, but it's already being promoted.
Creepiest movie premise ever or what?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An ambassador for gentleness, forgiveness and spiritual awareness

This post was inspired by a post and follow-up comment by Tanja Hoagland, the Minimalist Packrat.
Tanja's moving post is a reminder to pause and breathe. At the end of her post, she describes a shark-sighting during her morning walk, and shares some shark symbolism from Avia Venefica's website. As if spotting a shark before breakfast wasn't striking enough, the shark symbolism is intriguing. 
Tanja's post and the shark symbolism got me thinking about how much I love natural surprises. Like a woodpecker feeding her young. Crickets in the city. Especially, deer.
Where I live, we don't see sharks, but we are lucky to see deer from time to time.
No matter how rushed I feel or how busy my thoughts, whenever I spot a deer I slow down spontaneously.
If I'm driving, I slow or stop my car of course.
More importantly, my body slows. My breath gets deeper, my mind stops racing, and my heart follows suit.
One deer-sighting was particularly unforgettable. Shortly after my mother's death, I was driving to work one morning when I was stopped by the sight of a deer at the edge of the road. She wasn't just any deer. She was massive and majestic. While it didn't seem cool enough to see one's breath, the deer's exhalations froze in expansive clouds, drifting over the road. I was filled with the certain belief that I was being visited by my mother's soul. I felt comforted and loved. 
Since that day I've seen many deer, and mostly I am moved by their beauty and grateful for their presence. Always, I am inspired to go a little slower, breathe a little deeper, and appreciate the important things in life.
So after reading Tanja Hoagland's post this morning I took her lead and looked up some symbolism at Avia Venefica's website
"When we encounter the deer in the wild," Avia writes, "our breath catches - we are transfixed by their graceful features and delicate movements." Sure enough. 
"The Celts also believed that deer were associated with the fairie realm," she writes, "and would lead troops of fairies - hundreds of them trailing behind them as the stag cut a path through the forest." Gives new meaning to the term 'stag party'!
On her blog, Avia adds that a female deer, "is an ambassador for gentleness, forgiveness and spiritual awareness." Indeed.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Haven't posted for a while, so I'm giving myself ten minutes to write my fastest post ever. What's happened in the last few weeks?
Ashtanga yoga class was suspended for the summer, without notice.
Signed up for boot camp on the spur of the moment.
Started doing boot camp, so I dropped my run/walks.
Boot camp was gruelling but an incredible mood-booster.
Consulted a fertility specialist who told me to drop boot camp (and take up whole milk!).
Dropped boot camp (and took up ice cream!).
Busy week with friends in town and hubby on vacation. Lots of fun catching up with them and being together.
Had an awesome time camping with my dear husband and our little one. A lot of splashing. A little hiking. A perfect vacation that really deserves its own awesome post.
Positive ovulation test for the second time in my life; the first time in almost four years. (I'm thinking this was a reward for peeing on an ovulation test stick in a gas station bathroom the day before.)
Came home from camping and recovered from the bug bites. That is to say, lots of showers, baths, and air conditioning.
Moody without hiking, boot camp, running/walking, or yoga...
Started Mysore yoga on July 25. Four yoga classes that week.
Turned 41. Almost overlooked turning 41. Celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with a trip to the drive-in for ice cream with our son.
Long weekend. A little beach time. Not pregnant.
Four more yoga classes this week.
I love the semi-daily yoga.
Now I just need to get back on the trail.
Going away again next week, to my home town to spend time with my family. Should be crazy hot. Going to unroll my yoga mat between the roses in my dad's tiny backyard and work it all out every day. Little J should get a kick out of it.
And remember to breathe deeply and quiet my mind whenever I can.