Friday, December 31

Ultimate Reflection: first/last 2010

Thanks to the fabulous crew at www.reverb10.com I had sone excellent prompts to help me reflect on my year. So in my continues efforts to respond to as many as feel possible and right for me to respond to. My

December 1, 2010 prompt:One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

The word for 2010: resonance
Why? I have been coming up against many people, decisions and complexities and feel the litmus test is "does this resonate with me?" From what to do on a Friday night to picking a yoga school to (re)adopting new/old beliefs... I built my journey on elements with resonance.

I think 2011's word will be love. This is not just in a "superficial" way of things or experiences or people (but I'm sure of that too), but also love as a deeper power and perspective. Starting tomorrow, I have a feeling that I will be sporadically humming The Beatles more often "do do do-da doo all you need is love. Altogether now... All you need is love."

December 31, 2010 prompt:Core story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)
My core story is being shares with the world more and more. I believe it came up here as well in the December Reverb10 postings too.
My story is the search, celebration and encouraging of passion and joy in myself and others.

The 30th & 2nd meet

Two more from www.reverb10.com

December 30th Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? The most memorable gift I received this year was multi-part; the gift of insightful, meaningful & genuine teachers in my current phase of life.

December 2nd: Writing: What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
Three things:
1)Tell myself I don't have time. (I know this is untrue. If I just hold myself accountable I can definitely make time/find time every day.)
2)Being apathetic or indifferent, therefore no good, write-able observations. (Find something to write about every day.
3)Self-criticism. (Say the criticism out loud or write it and use it as writing.

Thursday, December 30

Instant of Denotation

For December 29th the www.reverb10.com prompt is: Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year

One defining moment or even a series is a pretty tough thing to pin down. As such, I'll be abstract and metaphorical with a poetic response.

Easy Hider
I used
The easy hider
layers
of self deception
bandage upon wound
scar above it all.
Somehow hidden
free from interpretation
examination.

Closer to the wound
Closure
Lower than the surface
cleaner than the raw
Raw status of old pain
and lined up again
under layers
awaiting diagnosis

So I open up the dressing
trying to exhale
as I let the flesh
define itself to me.

by LyndiaP, December 2010.

Tuesday, December 28

Two verbs and a Reverb

Two verb must be a reverb... so I am doing two reverb posts today - achieve & celebrate.
from today: Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. I am looking at achieving something slightly, inherently difficult to quantify as an "achievement" but think the changing of the frame of mind today with the 10 things would be useful: relinquishing control... well excessive control of the old ego in quotidian situations. By this I mean not go crazy and give up self-control but rather give up the need to be "in control" of every aspect of my day and life.

I'd feel at ease and free. Sounds good to me!

10 Things I can do or Thoughts I can think to get this started today:
- not put everything (anything?) into my schedule/calendar with warning alarms.
- no worring about how much time there will be for the activities in the day (which leads to)
- planning fewer things in the day
- not think of multiple solutions or possibilities for every situation or question
- laugh more (because that always just happens)
- listen to silence
- not interrupt people or "help finish sentences"
- not gather more information, just consider what I already know or have experienced
- make decisions with intuition
- not argue just to be right or get the last word

December 27th's prompt was te celebration of ordinary joy. Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

There are many moments of ordinary joy, especially since I decided to "find the beauty in ugliness." Sometimes though those moments aren't exactly joy as intrigue or inspiration. But one such moment would be when I read or listen to messages or emails that are lighthearted, well-articulated and somewhat unexpected - an email from my cousin, a voicemail from my Grandmother or the first emoticon I ever saw my dad send! All those things of wonderful people reaching out and connecting with you is a shining sparkle of joy.

Sunday, December 26

photogenic finds

From yesterday's www.reverb10.com reflective prompt I have decided on the photo-of-the-year, well, the portrait of me of the year. However, first I would like to say in this era of "profile pictures" I find myself pondering the great numbers of self-portraits and images on the whole of myself. It's very strange. I mean, when you think about it there is really no use for most of the pictures but they exist in such prolific numbers that I have to admit I question the purpose... but I have digressed. Here is the prompt
Photo - a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

There are two photos - courtesy of Kelly Rosborough (on Picasa & with the Bokehccino Project)
Bathtub Part 1
 I had always wanted to have pictures taken in a bathtub... with something besides water in it. So for the first attempt I suggested shoes (the only think I could think of that I would have enough of to even get close to filling said tub) however, in subsequent shots I have used books and I was quite a bit happier with that since the quantity of shoes has nothing to do with my love for them whereas the quantity of my books is only a fraction of my loving for them. But I do feel this was the fun and creative self that I hope to display and cultivate.
&
Inner Strength  in an Autumn without a Fall.
Yoga in the park in the fall. It was perfect AND that I could attempt this pose (side-crow) without falling off the picnic table and with the two birds flying over the river in the background? Priceless. And even more so since I didn't have to make a health insurance claim for a broken nose or something... I think this, again, is a great shot by Kelly because it captures one of my favourite seasons with an activity I am very fond of and will be taking a 4 week training course for in early 2011.

Seconds Anyone?

The Reverb10 prompt after three of five days of eating? Appropriately, soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
I love eating so consider almost everything unforgettable. However, given the large quantity of eating, much is likely forgotten. There are two different occasions that come to mind when the food was particularly soulful: 1) I undertook 3 months of vegetarianism (for a variety of well-informed reasons) and experimented with a variety of recipes on the spectrum of tastiness and success. One, however was particularly unimpressive: a vegetable soup with over cooked quiona and eggplant. I could hardly finish a serving let alone the 8-10 servings I had prepared. So I froze it hoping it would get better with age and frigidness. I was wrong.
One day, months later I had nothing left in the fridge and felt like I'd hit the jackpot when I found some glorious leftovers in the freezer. It was the barely edible soup. But I persevered, adding both spices and cheeses and some extra cooking I came out with a really satisfying and comforting creamy soup that was relatively healthy and actually missed it when it was gone.

2) I learned, from my grandmother, to cook verenecka (some traditional perogy-like pockets filled with cottage cheese or fruit). Our giant batch (possibly a triple or quadruple recipe) took at least two hours to prepare. Then we ate them pot-luck style with some family who had just crafted some delicious deep fried homemade doughnuts!

From one side of the spectrum to the other and everything in between!
Thanks again www.reverb10.com

Friday, December 24

it's good to be OK

Today's Prompt from www.reverb10.com: Everything's OK.
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

I have a fear of getting stuck. I must have experienced it enough from people in their 40s and 50s that say how they regret not doing things earlier in their lives; folks with those coveted "good jobs" who only care about the marginal bit of time they have not at said job; and my own soul-crushing experiences that this is a very real fear.

In late winter, maybe the end of February, I committed to "keeping my eyes open" for other opportunities in life. I didn't make a vow or pact or anything, just knew I had to have a change soon. By about April I stumbled across several interesting job postings, got some good tips and even applied for something! Nothing panned out.

Then through spring I was dejected and busy and forgot about a lot of it. Things were put on hold and then I re-started the hunt for an apartment. By July I had moved AND was about 80% sure I would be going on another fabulous travel adventure in early 2011. That felt like momentum, change. So the Beast of Change was placated. Temporarily.

This urge was a a sneaky & persistent one though. Even when I thought I was satisfied with my job for another 6 months and settles on my India destination by the end of summer I found myself, one day in September, reading an intreguing job description online. I knewI had to apply. So around 10:30 that morning I began writing a cover letter. I expressed my interest & enthusiasm and then proceeded to profess my, unbeknownst to me, passionate academic intrest in this very area. I stopped writing the letter. I kind of froze at the computer. "Yeah," I thought to myself, "I really DO want to study something like this."

I was dazed for a moment. I had been researching and looking-into and reflecting and (over)-analyzing this very thing for several years. I CTRL-Sed the letter and went back online to look at Masters degrees in this area. There was one school I thought had a good program and my friend had just completed a different program with high regard for the school.

I was whipped into a frenzy and began looking into details, costs, start dates and application requirements. I requested the prospectus and signed up as a prospective student. Then in a moment of uncommon spontaneity I began applying.

I was well into the second page before my brain caught up to what my body was doing and I reviewed my last check-box response and answer-in-the-box-provided. I noticed I responded in the affirmative to "are you applying to any other schools" and had the audacity/foresight to start listing the schools in places I always wanted to go without bothering to even see if the exact program was even available.

At this point I was concerned for my own sanity and seriously doubted by suitability for any/all future endevours. "Why was all if this happening in a whim?" "Do I even know what I am talking about?" and a plethora of other questions came to occupy my mind. So while my mind was busy with those the Beast of Change went ahead and searched the websites for the three schools I listed (with space for an "unknown" fourth). I turned up interesting results twice with exciting programs at each and one less inspiring but passable option at the third. It wasn't what I had in mind. I went back to my search engine of choice and tried looking up yet another option and was given an astounding "suggested" (i.e. Sponsored) search recommendation along with my intended result. "Of course! That's the fourth place I always wanted to go!!" I thanked the Go...gods of the Internet, clicked and by 2pm had fallen flat on my electronic-face on the Masters degree program in the location of my dreams! Can I get an amen? It was a miracle.

So while hovering between the decision to start applying at once (which it turns out I couldn't as applications wouldn't be open for another two months) and going back to finish my cover letter, it hit me: I won't get stuck! Everything's gonna be OK.

*note: since this time I have completed my application and await with as much optimism as possible my acceptance to this program and in anticipation have booked my trip to India (as I do not forsee a Masters student being in the financial situation to do so) and even "quit my good job" and given notice on my apartment for when the time comes.

The Beast of Change is in line at the buffet just waiting to be fed.

wonder (December 4)

Apparently waking up at 4:35 am is not good for the pace of my wit or creativity. But since the bus-ticket-guy said to be an hour early this morning... I am here waiting for the ticket desk... TO OPEN & this find myself with some time to spend doing something that doesn't put me to sleep: blog time!
In my continued efforts to catch up to the Reverb10 prompts here is he December 4 edition – Wonder.

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Well I am stumped here. I am not sure whether to indicate just the premiss of this blog or a post in it or one specific thing.

Maybe I will cop out and use the blog itself.

I think the challenge to phrase things in the context of "wonder" certainly leaves no room for pessimism or disinterest. It was a bit stifling for my sarcasm at first but it forced my attitude to change and it I began performing and imagining more wonder around me; a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Wander for wonder and realized you never have far to go.

Wednesday, December 22

to Travel or not to Travel...

reverb10.com Prompt:  Travel. 
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?


 Ah travel... something I am quite fond of and generally "a regular" so to speak. With 2009 having been the year of the airplane I made sure 2010 was a bit more environmentally friendly. I did a lot more bus travel, a great train trip and on the more-fossil-fuel side of things - some driving. I stayed in my own region of Canada (except for the one flight across the continent) and even explored my own province a bit with a "writing road trip" where I made a 2 hour trip into a 7.5 hour exercise in curiosity.

For 2011, I feel the return of the jet plane. I should probably buy some carbon credits or something since it's not the most direct of journeys... but I will be off to India for a good chunk of winter from February to mid-April (so January's blog is likely to have a lot of travel preparations!) and then a pit stop in Germany for 10 days. For many people that might be enough travel for awhile... but no, I hope to get at least three more trips in! Another big one: Ireland. And via Ireland Scotland, England/Wales, and if I can hack it - some year-end holiday in Portugal or Spain.... but that one's still in the "dreaming" phase.

I'm all vaccinated up and await my first visa of 2011 - away I go!!!

Tuesday, December 21

skip the fake it, just Make it (December 6)

Make.
What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I've made poems - they usually take a lot less than non-poet-y people expect. Sometimes only a voice memo or a Tweet. Other times several pages of paper, ink smudges on hands, multiple rewrites and surely internal editors... but I'm not sure if that's what I constitute as my last "make." I'd probably more likely say cooking dinner for a friend, making soap from scratch or yesterday's "festive fruit crisp" for the latest holiday potluck. Even though it was overshadowed at the dessert table by a mountain of other things (not in plain tin pie plates?), I thought it was delicious - apples, rhubarb,  cranberries, nutmeg, cloves (and the usual: butter, brown sugar, oatmeal & cinnamon).

I'd really like to "make" another mosaic, a book and also more paintings & colleges but I feel more of the necessity is space (for said products afterward) than time... and in the realm of "making" food, a realm I like to visit often, I want to try making salsa, cheese, a fancy multi-tiered cake and the coloured/candied popcorn of my youth. If I can get three of those done by the end of summer I'll be pretty pleased!

Thanks Reverb10! Good post from Dec. 6th!

Caw-mew-naa-tee (December 7)

December 7 – Community.
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Poetry!! I definitely think that 2010 was the year of the Poetry Community. Both online and off there is so much flourishing, wonderful, inspiring new poetry that I can't believe my ears/eyes. From the annual poetry festival to the Stroll of Poets and other writing groups there has been so much great support here in Edmonton that I started to expand and see with the Internet(s) had to offer - to my excitement, there was a lot there too!

From my own creative challenge in October with Poe-a-Tweets and then jumping on board with the Poem A Day challenge in November I found so many great sites and forums and other e-poets that I was nothing short of thankful!
For instance there's Poetry Potluck (Mondays) on Jingle Poetry,
One Shot Wednesday at One Shot Poetry,  &
PoeticMindset.
Then the fabulous Tweeting Poets of which there are no shortage - in the most positive sense of the word.
Here are just seven great examples who I follow: Semaphore, Shashi, Pete Marshall, Leslie Moon, Theron Kennedy, Jem & Adam Dustus but try searching #poem, #poet or #poetry any hour of the day on Twitter and you're bound to find other great additions!

I think this is the first time that I felt a common bond in an online community and am quite excited to continue this adventure. I think the best part was that it was so well aligned to the discovery of the 'real-life' poetry scene & having them be so welcoming too!

Thanks Poetry! You made my 2010 way more share-y & fun. And the next time someone says poetry isn't a living, flourishing art form... I'll show them!

Lyndia of the Future

Today's Reverb10 prompt (as follows) made into a poem was also shared on One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry.
Prompt: Future self.
Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?
Letter to the Future

Dearest Self of the Future,

Your selfish self of the past
seems to think
she knows something you
don't.

But you already knew that.

I wait to hear from you almost everyday
and listen to my own whisper
unlikely guessing
unprophetic messing
about, in the unknown places
I can't see,
hoping
this blatant avoidance of
the time right in front of me
will make me wiser when I can see
it from behind
forgetting it
and regretting it
as a
past self ought to.

p.s. stop listening for me and just learn to love.



by LyndiaP December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20

The Beauty of Difference (December 8)

Continuing my catching up of the Reverb10 prompts... December 8th:

Beautifully Different
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

 Well only a few days ago it was brought to my attention that I was *ahem* beautifully different (although in another turn of phrase) due to my distinct lack of "doing what people expect" and because I wear purple, blue or red pants if the mood hits me. At first, I laughed at this because although I certainly considered the value of my vibrant wardrobe I didn't think people really noticed it and because I didn't think of myself as unpredictable. So even though this has been stated (and the more I think of it this isn't the first time for either comment) I am not convinced that it is really my "difference."

Exhibit A: orange boots on the office floor
I think my difference must also be in the way, the intention, the reason I do some of these things... I certainly don't don the red trousers to be flashy or attention grabbing - that feeling is one of the things I can say I absolutely detest. So my real reason? I guess it's just fun. If sometimes it makes someone laugh or starts a conversation that could brighten someone's moment/hour/day - all the better!

As for the unpredictability - maybe that's just the part of me that's always realized that none of us really have a great deal of control on how things are going to work out every second of the day... why? Well, the shocking part for me is that I don't feel like I do do that very often, but maybe, perhaps I did more this year. Thanks to whomever said "what you seek you already are." Maybe that's the theme of 2010.

So, I do things because they are fun and I think make for that moment of the day that's worth telling a story about. If that can help someone else find a story in their day, all the better. If it makes people smile and happy for even a little while = best. I guess that's what makes me "beautiful" but hope it's not THAT different from lots of other people!

I really didn't want to do this one...

No, that title isn't true... mostly it's my sense of humour in a phase of hilarious punch-lines equating to lame puns or weak paradoxes.

So today's #Reverb10 Prompt? Well, it sounds a bit like preventing (or analyzing) regret... in a way? Well, you decide. But my response will include a poem so I can also submit it to the Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry.

2010 Reflective Prompt #20
Beyond avoidance: What should you have done this year but didn't because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

My List

There were long lines
spaces too rare
waiting and doing
avoiding a snare.

I checked off pragmatics
I conquered a fear
I completed my goals
and missed something dear

now that I'm leaving
I finally see
many bleak days of toil
were really time to be free.

Too hurried to enjoy
rather scurry than wait,
and at the end of this employ-
ment, I know now - it's been great.

a less poetic translation
of what I just said
sometimes work is more
then what was stuck in my head.

Some days I was down
on my job- it's apparent
were all just great chances for my
perspective to be transparent

not that I lost all shots
to learn something new
I know I did many times
but missed quite a few...


poem by LyndiaP December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19

that Healing Feeling

For #reverb10 today the topic is healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden or slow evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?"

With no real physical ailments to speak of in 2010, I will have to approach this from a different angle. As such I took a minute to look up the word "heal" because I've found so many times that an assumedly straightforward word is far more beautifully complex than I realize. I was not disappointed with my foray into the depths of heal.

For 2010, my healing would be of the "cleanse and purify" brand for my whole self in relation to the difficult, emotional, life-changing events of the past 15 months. This was definitely an evolution that likely still isn't complete.
So for 2011? Heal: to restore, reconcile, mend. This kind of healing is a restoration of two components of myself - the all-dominating logical, meticulous, efficient self and the eager-to-grow creative, soulful, intuitive part... good thing I've got 365 days.

Saturday, December 18

Wisdom (December 10)

Wisdom – What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? From December 10th on #reverb10.

So simple and so true! The wisdom I followed was leaving days in my personal schedule ‘unplanned’ aka only having things planned two or three nights a week instead of all five. I tried, successfully, to be less busy. I opted out of things. I said 'No'... it was liberating.
Yes, this may sound obvious I know, but it was not, as they say, “how I rolled” in the past. So I hope after 12 months of a lighter schedule I will have made it into a solid habit!

Appreciate (December 14)

..still catching up... the list of stupendous Reverb 10 Prompts still inspires me to reflect and write more about 2010.
for December 14th the was prompt: Appreciate – What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

Of all the things I have to be grateful for, in 2010 I have realized how much I value a certain type of person... people who are on the same wavelength!
This does not mean agreeing or having the same interests on everything, no. However, that can be rather amusing and worth appreciating if it's for the long-term benefit of a hilarious situation. But for me it is more about people who are willing to be themselves, genuine and open but respectful of themselves and others. I have been so terribly lucky to find these people all over the place in 2010. Sometimes just out of the blue and other times like socks hidden in the back of a drawer – and when I am around these people it feels much easier to be myself, to enjoy life and to be grateful.

I was given the most insightful, simplest way to show my appreciation for these people: tell them. One of these very people made it a point, in 2009, to ask only for birthday acknowledgement was to encourage all his friends to tell the people who are important in one’s life just how much they mean to you. I called three dear people in my life (perhaps three because I am an overachiever or just love sharing good vibes). I explained this friend’s birthday wish. I thanked them for being the wonderful, loving, same-wavelength-dwelling people that they are to me.

That simple gift (more to me than anyone) became extraordinarily meaningful to me in the wake of one of these dear people suddenly passing away that same year. Thus, this expression of gratitude for the supportive, inspiring and genuine people I meet has become a regular practice in my life and I am eternally grateful for it.

Try it!

Okay #reverb10 - you must have known I was off doing some snowshoeing and was up for a short prompt today!
Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did/didn’t go for it?

This one is easy! This year I wanted to try moving to an apartment solo, sans roommates. It was such a valuable and satisfying experience – but also allowed me to appreciate all the great roommates I've had in my life! However, there were times when I felt I had too much space and was living in one-bedroom opulence... and did miss splitting the bills two or three or four ways...

Next year? I want to try living in another country. And since I've already got the plane ticket I think I'll be ready to try that one really soon!

Friday, December 17

Aaand action! (December 13)

One more #reverb10 prompt today (I said I'd catch up!!) This one is from the 13th.
"When it comes to aspirations, it's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?"

Just one?? How about five?
Well, I've had the idea of getting a Masters degree since I was 12 years old so having put in all my applications to my top three program choices this month feels like a solid step!

Steps two through four? Finally heading on my journey of a lifetime. Another "since I was very young" dream. When I realized my name, Lyndia, rhymed with India I was interested. After some travel experience, undergrad courses and personal research... sub-continent here I come! I've got the ticket and the visa and the vaccinations so I feel that was no less than three steps.
Step 5? Quit my "good job in a bad economy" to make sure I could get all I could of it so THREE MONTHS in India... here I come.

Is that enough? In the next three days I'll be officially dumping my beloved... downtown apartment. Journey of a lifetime...aaaaand Action!

This Body (December 12)

For December 12 the #reverb10 prompt was on Body Integration, as follows: This year when did you feel most integrated with your body?

Luckily this prompt is for 2010! If I had had to think about "Body Integration" any year previous I would have had to do an Internet search to see if that was the name of a cutting edge dance song...then I would have scoffed and made a generic, sweeping comment and then illustrated some mental tangent. But for this year - perfect!

I have been so lucky to have had a superb revelation about this, but not without some excellent guidance. In early spring I noticed my awesome lunch-away-from-the-cubicle-jungle yoga classes were cultivating something deeper. A relatively unfamiliar phenomena of my mind being in my body. May be basic but it took me awhile! In one position (pigeon pose) I felt I had "mastered it" and was going to ask after class how to extend the challenge. Then, a few seconds later, my favourite yoga teacher Eileen Chan said something like "for some of you this will be a challenging posture, but if you feel distracted see if you can challenge yourself to keep your mind in this pose and in your mat." I was surprised! Just what I needed! So I promptly lost my focus in excitement... but had two seasons of practice until late autumn... I got it! One unexpected day it clicked and I felt totally in my body thanks to good ole stretchy pigeon!

The mental flurry settled into the physical space: together, integrated. Just there. Finally there... always there. Well, starting with increments of, like, 35 seconds.

Life 101 (2010)

The #reverb10 prompt today gets right to the heart of "Life 101" for the 2010 term. Lesson learned: What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?

Simple! (not easy, just straightforward) One thing I learned was to trust and respect my instincts.
Sounds "touchy-feely"? It probably is but no less important. This past year has definitely had a significant spiritual/philosophical theme. Trusting my instincts sure was an essential component in articulating my life passions, advocating for issues I know are critical, being creative and understanding complex feeling-processes like grief. Lots of those issues are a bit heavy for us folks in this culture of hyper-individualization. Following my instincts was actually empowering, pretty freeing and definitely made this year possible.

My plan for this lesson? Keep it close to my chest but close to the surface as I embark into the wonderful world of overseas travel, post-graduate studies and in my continued spiritual/philosophical journey. Simple? Not likely... but will probably simplify things in the long run. Maybe it'll even open up other lessons about love, understanding and truth (see? philosophical/spiritual trend again...)

11 Things to Lose (for December 11)

Again, me catching up for #reverb10...
December 11 was another great prompt I can't pass up: What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

1) Regret.
Eliminate by - doing anything I think I could 'regret' later & let it pass when it comes up instead of getting sucked in by it.
Improves life because - I will be doing things that make me happy and can be free to learn by the past instead of being obsessed with something 'wrong' about it.

2) too many shoes & coats.
Eliminate by - not buying any new and getting rid of some of both.
Improves life because - saves money, reduces baggage and limits decision-making.

3) saying "I'm busy" when asked 'how are you?'.
Eliminate by - finding and using new responses.
Improves life because - stop obsessing with doing more than I can, create opportunities to talk/listen about life instead of 'to-do lists'

4) Gin.
Eliminate by - pouring out the single bottle in my cupboard (likely just giving it away) and refusing to order it anywhere.
Improves life because - it is the only alcohol that makes me feel like I have less than 24 hours to live but I still drink it on occasions of mind-boggling incongruity to this established fact.

5) fast food Chinese or French Fries
Eliminate by - saying no to buying or eating either.
Improves life because - both, like #4, are known to make me physically ill or uncomfortable in exchange for the short moments of 'delicious-ness pleasure.'

6) Others' definitions of Success.
Eliminate by - realize my own definition, stick to it & work toward it.
Improves life because - less self judgement and (see #8)

7) Soda/Pop.
Eliminate by - not considering it a treat or having on special occassions
Improves life because - it would stop the headaches and stale sugar taste I hate and I often get afterwards. It would also be healthier.

8) Over Analysis.
Eliminate by - follow my gut instincts and let my mind settle and be quiet more often.
Improves life because - reduces stress, headaches and validate my intuition which is empowering.

9) Expensive Cosmetics.
Eliminate by - not using costly/designer makeup, lotions or soaps
Improves life because - more budget friendly, less chemicals, increase acceptance of self as is.

10) Forgetfullness of Dreams.
Eliminate by - keeping a log of dreams remembered and for making time and a mental focus to write them down.
Improves life because - source for creating and insight (two things I value).

11) Crash Diets.
Eliminate by - normally eating healthy and not being overindulgent (but when/if it happens not to regret (see #1).
Improves life because - healthier, less self judgement, more energy and a better attitude.

Thursday, December 16

5 Minutes (December 15th)

The #reverb10 prompt for yesterday, December 15 was
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.
Fun! How could I pass that up?! Shockingly, under faux pressure of losing one's memory in 5 minutes it becomes ridiculously hard to rememer things...

My 5 Minutes (for 2010):

list:
30 second poetry reading in red shoes (then many more after that)

Yoga journey: from libraries and parks and theatres to books and silence and philosophy and now a Jaunary-dated plane ticket booked for India!

Train trip across the Canadian Rockies - reading, observing, embracing and then watching a rare Prince Rupert sunset. The woman who lived in the oldest house in town (now right beside the casino) sang La Vie en Roseto us at breakfast. Then we walked to the shore to see the majestic eagles.

Gators in Florida! of the real, humongous brand and even of the "fruit smoothie" type - but the latter only named after not included as an ingredient.

My search for self, soul and defining the strength of femininity.

One month of a Poem A Day

Deliberating on universities to apply to for my Masters degree and finding the top three.

Learning to make paska, verenika and shneeball from the expert

Sistina and soap making

Moving to a downtown apartment and having the first annual Sisters Week

Not buying clothes for 8 months and counting!

Painting, photographing and the present moment

Building relationships and young leaders 'from 9 to 5' by following their imaginations...

(*phew* that's tiring!) LyndiaP December 16, 2010

Friendship

So here's the December 16th prompt - How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

There were so many friends both bursting and gradually changing my perspectives this year. Transforming  confusion to opportunity with their own stories and coming out of unexpected places just when I needed them.

One of the experiences I am most struck by is more of me being a witness to the change of a friend. She grew, quite literally into a first-time mother. I really did not expect to be so impacted by it but I felt it was not only an amazing transformation of her but also a display of such Realness and Beauty that I couldn't help but be moved. I have never thought of the capacity to have a child in such an awe-inspiring and truly miraculous way but I really felt it. This is not to say I will be manifesting any such experience for myself in 2011, but to be able to observe the pregnancy progression to the tiny infant was totally inspiring. And for that I thank my dear friend; the growing hope and love that she showed resonated with me and gave me more hope and love for, as cheesy as it is, the whole world.

I'd say that was a bit of a perspective changer.

Thanks #reverb10!

Reverb Prompts 2010

I am SO excited about this! A sweet site called Reverb  is hosting this online creative challenge to reflect on the past year and manifest the next. I love the idea of people engaging in this kind of thing so am pumped to have found out about it... even though I'm starting on Day 16. Oh well- maybe I'll have to do two a day...

So if you'd like to join in - www.reverb10.com/the-prompts - it'll be wonderous!

(p.s. this may will very well slow down the In Response creative challenge... I'll manifest that for a month of next year.)

no Monopoly on Empathy

I too have been inspired by a book called "The Age of Empathy" by Frans de Waal . Biology and evolution in clear and accessible prose to expose the roots and embedded nature of empathy? Discounting the "sprung up like mushrooms" notion? That's a good idea to me!
A society based purely on selfish motives and market forces may produce wealth, yet it can’t produce the unity and mutual trust that make life worthwhile. This is why surveys measure the greatest happiness not in the wealthiest nations but rather in those with the highest levels of trust among citizens.
Cross-species Observation
 In Response

Empathy Monopoly

and we sit in parks or chairs
gaze at lovers with warm stares
dry a tear or laugh to share

justify we don't compare
to anything that won't shave hair
do car repairs
or stockings wear?

As if humans monopolized
the ability to care.



photo and poetry by LyndiaP December 16, 2010

Friday, December 10

Earth to Eaarth

Today's In Response comes from a quote in my calendar from Bill McKibben (who I had to look up online to learn more about and he has a great concept about renaming the planet from Earth to Eaarth because the place we have created/devastated is not the kind of place we'd want to call home.) The actual thought-provoking comment I read today though is:

"What sets wilderness apart in the modern day is not that it's dangerous (it's almost certainly safer than any town or road) or that it's solitary (you can, as they say, be alone in a crowded room) or full of exotic animals (there are more of them at the zoo). It's the fact that five miles out in the woods you can't buy anything."
Tree-flections

In Response


Wild like a Tiger

Wild like a Tiger
in a safety vest
directing a traffic jam of
blind race car drivers
fighting seizures
of road rage.

Rural outcasts
read the urban rule books
written in the language of lies.
Between the lines
exposes ingredients for Home
far from shopping malls
or credit, cash and debit
poetic directions to get there
hidden by too many flashy adverts
selling too much harmless fear
to let us take a breath
let alone a first step.



poetry and photograph by LyndiaP December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7

Human Doings

Here's the first quote for my In Response project. It comes from the book called "Chasing Rumi" by Roger Housden, 2002.


"People often take what they do to be the measure of who they are. If they are not doing something...they lose touch with the feeling of existence...as if the gap in action signified a gap in themselves."
Blue Wings. Constant Motion.
 In Response

This Programmed Life

This programmed life
dizzying
rushed
overwhelming
Alarms, reminders, lists make me whole.

I know I'm busy. I know I'm fine.
When I know I'm busy, I know I'm fine.

The threat is Nothing.
Schedules can't afford to slip
the threat is near.
Endless power of Nothing
that looks in a mirror
sees itself
reflects me.

my fear is the familiarity
of the stagnant
stationary
face:
Me
with Nothing
is nothing.

I push from this lull
to something
too many somethings
until Nothing can't hold
even as a memory
not me.

More tasks and work
ideas, things, words
to keep myself full
with Nothing
never a possibility
So I am always something
powerless with somethings.

Surface glances at mirrors
hiding Nothing behind them.
My reflection fleeting
my image always doing
something
I can relate to.
Always relate to.

Until the somethings
all reflect
me
No place
for fear
or Nothing or
me.
Doing. Doing
until I am free.

No room for Nothing
No room for Me.


photography and poem by LyndiaP December 7, 2010
(submitted to Jingle Poetry's Poetry Potluck - Week 13)

Monday, December 6

introducing In Response

In Response is something I'm going to try for December (as I've got other plans for January!) three times a week (given my schedule this month, I know 'daily' will only lead to mental and emotional instability).

The concept is pretty basic: a way for me to share my travels through the world of reading and still be creative...so "in response" to what has inspired me (see? easy!) I'll keep it brief so I can get back to reading said thing that has inspired this latest challenge.

- Keep wondering,
LyndiaP

Wednesday, December 1

December Calls

in honour of PoemADay November I wanted to post yet once more in poem-form for the first of December: PoemADay +1 (also for One Shot Wednesday at http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/

A-muse-ing Delivery
attend to the pictures in your mind,
ready the canvas while you wait on the surprise
secret delivery in a round wooden box
carved TO: your name
with just one other word
The Word
to inspire
you.
a steady polishing to expose the grain
looking deeper in a small hollow gourd
of wood.
Looking deeper to see the stars inside
stars that sing in colour
songs that are echoes of a primal rhythm
wait for the chorus in your chest.
wait for the refrain
then no longer refrain!

Make the empty contents of this box
a different source than the vain
brain
explains.
Quickly!
This message expires,
kept only as long as it inspires.
The Word
unspoken
undefined
keeping time -
with the song of the heartful

and space


to tell the story.


LyndiaP December 1, 2010 (PoemADay 31 of 30, an epilogue)

Tuesday, November 30

30/30

Month of Gratitude

November inspired
thirty poems for me; a gift
single frozen tear


LyndiaP November 30, 2010 (PoemADay Challenge 30 of 30*)

*which was SO much FUN!

Monday, November 29

flow-ers

untitled

Yanking flowers at pre-cut stems
watching them handed
to The Girl.

tokens
confessions
valued for their remorse

unsecret mystery waits
on the surface
to bloom
buds of guilt
petals as gifts
artificially scented
artificially explaining
in purified water
bathed to be sacred
welcomed by childish smiles.

Confessions begin.
Nothing can be done
healed
and nothing is broken.

Daises and daffodils
reminding the do-er
soothing the damned
with unequal unison.
Courting heartbreak
to mate
in temples of forgiveness.


LyndiaP November 29, 2010 (PoemADay 29 of 30)

Sunday, November 28

Your Basket

in response to a poem called 'Basket' I read by the wonderful Leonard Cohen. From his recent collection of poems "The Book of Longing" published in 2006.

Your Basket

I took you
everywhere
back and forth
carrying your basket
until you told me
a divine voice
announced it was full.

Full of leaves
Full of secrets
Full of black things
and dry water

I carried the basket
so you could sign autographs
on stollen content
basket of poem fodder
words of others -
to make you famous
and me wait.

In outstretched darkness
(my arms are tired)
praise basking in sunlight
(you lay your head in the muse's lap)


LyndiaP November 28, 2010 (PoemADay 28 of 30)
Also shared for Poetry Potluck
http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/p/poetry-potluck-monday_29.html

Saturday, November 27

1

One

Give me one minute
...then one reason
from one wanderer
to one wonderer.

One exception too
one rule
for my one and only
heart: one hole.

One whole,
note one who holds, answers
one tried
one time to
out run one
step beyond one's limits
one mile at a
time one made
count. One to
one.


LyndiaP November 27, 2010 (PoemADay 27 of 30)

Friday, November 26

Apology Day

Apology Holiday

reading my notebook
of days one to three-twelve.
Stainless steel arguments
in one column
Tarnished by the silence of
your point of view.

This record was partial
with fault all my own
for seeing the narrow
inside
solo-track of goodbye
from only one side.
On Holidays,
track glistens
becomes double wide.
Rusty familiar distances
travelled
to fill rooms with our
glares
empty stares
fills upstairs
pollution waiting to drift down.

So save what we mean,
the mean that we say,
to sit in apology
our curse and our gift.
Blemished smoggy
record drifting
beneath our noses
Floating weight
old words erased
beyond dull memories

Lifting rust-stains
of hurt feelings
putting a twisted tale
straight.

And clear air
we can walk in
not work on,
this Apology Holiday.



LyndiaP November 26, 2010 (PoemADay 26 of 30)

Thursday, November 25

Called You

Called You

If my lies could no more be typed

or sent
or texted
or recorded

What if I only called you.

If your fears could no more be avoided
or sluffed
or repressed
or hidden

What if I only called you.

If our war no longer lingered
or overwhelmed
or suffocated
or blamed.

What if I only called you.


LyndiaP November 25, 2010 (PoemADay 25 of 30)

Wednesday, November 24

New Message

E- Poem

I already Tweeted this.

It already went viral;
this message about life:
A cardboard box.
That we all have in common.

Pale Excitement:
this attachment of reality
this link to the real life.
A cardboard box.

Bland Awe:
the place no one has been
the space we long to be.
Real as cardboard
with Real emptiness inside.
That we all have in common.


LyndiaP November 24, 2010 (PoemADay 24 of 30)

I have no illusions that this is cheery or "wonder"-like, just a bit sad...and possibly sadder still that it was inspired by a dream.

Tuesday, November 23

winter home

With so much talk about weather I wonder if it's human nature to be captivated with it and constantly communicate about it. So a weather-related poem:

Winter Home

shielding all but the eyeballs
feet sink into the floor.
White cold slithers up far
past the measured drifts before.

With teasing all because
weather's all that's on my mind
tell the warmth-protected skeptics
they're welcome to rewind

a silent blizzard unaffecting
those with cars that sleep indoors
but trek past all those without roofs
- windchill cuts deep, heart implores.


LyndiaP November 23, 2010 (PoemADay 23 of 30)

Monday, November 22

MM WW

Levitate

You hover
in space
like you were born in that place

roll 'round
in the air
upside down as you dare

just watch
as I wait
trying to levitate

attempts
leave me bruised
spell-bound & confused

you warn
not to frown
as it's the coming down

... that's really the tough part.


LyndiaP November 22, 2010 (PoemADay 22 of 30 and submission to Jingle Poetry's Poetry Potluck - theme: MM WW - Magic & Miracles, Wonder & Wizardry)

Sunday, November 21

snow 21

in light of the many other thinking and/or writing projects today the poem today is short and sweet.

Snow Falls (haiku)

glorious snowflake
fragile ice floating in air
shovel: back aching

LyndiaP November 21, 2010 (for PoemADay. 21 of 30)

Saturday, November 20

Conference Poem

This is What a Poem Looks Like...

(introduction)
this is what a poem looks like
when it speaks bridges into existence
scribes the measured steps of justice.

(subject)
can we not experience kindred happiness
being inspired by others?
instead of being overwhelmed
details, statistics, perspectives, theory
of new information
wanting and wishing to love it.

Love by hearing the data but
letting yourself feel
the affect seeping
from brain to spine
to the deeper places:
Fingers & Feet.
Power to build bridges
Power to march toward justice.

(epilogue)
whatever it looks like in your empathetic eyes
where ever it takes you on the map of your heart


LyndiaP November 20, 2010 (PoemADay 20 of 30) Inspired by the Parkland Conference in Edmonton Alberta www.parklandinstitute.ca

Friday, November 19

Poeti-a-scape

A Tile Sounding Floor

...
click_____slish_____tump_tump_tump
__click__slish slish___timp tump__
timp_timp_timp________slissh______
________timp_timp_tump_tump_tump__
slish_____________________________
___slish__________chu-eh-ch-uh___
__slish_________ch-uh-ch-uh____ch
lish_______ch-uh_____ch-uh_______
_________________________________
timp_timp_______________timp_____
__________________chu-eh chu-eh_
whishp whaa_____timp_timp________

wisshp-aah___wishp_timptimp ch-uh
___timp____________timp__________
timp_____________timp____________
____________________whishp_aah___
_____________________________whis

__________ad nausea


LyndiaP November 19, 2010 (PoemADay 19 of 30)

Thursday, November 18

PD Poetry

Rather shockingly today I created my (first?) "PD Poem." It happened in a "PD" (Professional Development) session at work.

(it's another acrostic)

Culture to Community

Sense of community:
Having values
All create. Open to
Reinventing culture.
Evolving to be
Defined by what we share.


LyndiaP November 18, 2010 (PoemADay Challenge 18 of 30)

endnote: if you wonder about the topic of the session it was intercultural/multicultural-ism. We discussed many things but I was struck by the idea of "culture" as a set of rules that allow for inclusion and exclusion.... and plenty of other great stuff!

Wednesday, November 17

humanMarshmallow

HumanMarshmallow

lay back on the marshmallow mat
now a cushion separate from skin
speaks the language of spine.
Melt into the white mound
become the crust to this
Marshmallow Earth.

Stretching S's into child-drawn hilltops
both backbone and body
become one with white
HumanMarshmallow.

Sinking softly into itself
marble in thick syrup.
Displacing walls of comfort
calling to them from human lips
to slow waves of mushy mallow
soft and supportive.
Then a call from unknown
clouding the comfort
with claustrophobic fears
HumanMarshmallow of Light
engulfed by darkness.

Fear of darkness
weight of fear
pushing away the comfort
a way of belonging
HumanMarshmallow
in the contours of your own spine.


LyndiaP November 17, 2010 (PoemADay 17 of 30)

Tuesday, November 16

16 Take 2

I did PoemADay 16... then it electronically disappeared. It was one of those magic tricks you are totally fooled by and desperately want to learn the slight of hand behind it. I digress... perhaps fate has put this computer debachule in my day for a reason - forced me to go for "take 2"

Here it is -

(untitled)

Collage my heart with cellophane
be transparent to the world.
Collage my heart with tissue paper
it can soak up tears oft pearled.
Collage my heart in black and white
so every colour is content.
Collage my heart with dawn and night
opposites to represent.

Collage, the art I do alone
collage to show I'll share it.
Collage the lips that speak your voice
Collage the face that wears it.


LyndiaP November 16, 2010 (PoemADay 16.5 of 30)

Monday, November 15

Poetry Potluck 1

for my first "Poetry Potluck" with Jingle Poetry we have the theme of Emotions, Moods & Feelings" this one is something simply fun!

Plain Excitement

cheering, joy indeed:
"Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!"
"I've got it!"
and
"I'm going!"
Thoughts at sonic speed:
"preparations in a suitcase
inspirations in a new way"
Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Excitement ever plain
Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!
here I go again...
this time not quite the same
Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!
this excitement is 'plane.'


LyndiaP November 15, 2010 (PoemADay Challenge 15 of 30 & Poetry Potluck submission)

Sunday, November 14

Mountain Eyes

Closed My Eyes to Hear the Mountains

Thoughts drifted slower, slowly
so I could hear the mountains
one hundred kilometers away.
Far and away

Farther than a whisper on the wind.
Hide behind them like a satellite.
A planet
smaller than a voice.
A particle
grander than infinity.
From this breath 
and a million years before

Mountains far and away
Inside my sensitive heart.
A movement that waits
a weight that smiles
that risks all for love
and finds it in a mountain
waiting just below the surface

waiting, as a whisper, 
to be heard.


LyndiaP November 14, 2010 (PoemADay Challenge 14 of 30)

Saturday, November 13

Greenhouse Graveyard

(another dream inspired poem)

Greenhouse Graveyard

sell your flowers full of soul
personality of the petunias
desires of the dahlias
carved your bed into the hillside
carved your bed into the soil.

Stroll through rows of ravishing repetition
each one (for) you
looking like you, waiting for you
picking up dirt and making seeds grow
turn your lofting dreams into roots
turn your lightest laugh into gravity

Soil waits and soil weights grow
along a path leading nowhere
This is home.
This place that cradles unseen and light
with stillness and depth
Truth place - hybrid of sight
taking life making it darkness
(before deepest morning)
taking darkness incubating life
(from deepest mourning)
waiting for full-bloom


LyndiaP November 13, 2010
(PoemADay 13 of 30)

Friday, November 12

Atlas Afternoon

inspired by the title of a song from a kid's movie and a brand-new reference book that inspired more excitement than I expected... probably what I should have expected from a day off though.

Atlas Afternoon

nothing portable about the World
spinning on its axis.
nothing portable about this volume
12th edition atlas.
Lap's devoured - maps by the pound
legends scoured - obscure cities found
on this atlas afternoon.


LyndiaP November 12, 2010 (PoemADay Challenge 12 of 30)

Thursday, November 11

Acrostic

overkilling the sweet tooth

bulk bags - jellybeans, rosebuds
induces pancreatic shudders
this is my weakness
this is in my blood
even at breakfast and midnight
replacing sanity for sweets

soft chewy licorice in red
wads of wrappers - naked toffee
eager fingers stained chocolate
expert lips and impatient teeth turned blue
tasting tempting teasing tones.

stalling after sacks of sucrose
undone belts, diets, dental work
glazed eyes reflect doughnut crumbs
aching temples, tired jaw
replete stomach gurgles defeat

ravaged tastebuds already numb
unwilling insulin - overworked or on strike
stale flavours weighing down
hunger for confection subdued sugar stupor


LyndiaP November 11, 2010 (PoemADay 11 of 30)

Wednesday, November 10

November writes a Poem about Me

Today for the PoemADay challenge I was going to write about soup and sunshine. I didn't though because I remembered some unfinished ideas that were inspired by a recent viewing of Edward Burtynsky's "Oil" photography exhibit at the Alberta Art Gallery:

Reflecting on OIL

desolate beauty
seasick aesthetics cruise tailings "ponds"
toxic art with glowing prowess.
Detach myself
you draw me in closer.

In a trance I cannot comprehend
reflection appears lovely
but my heart retracts lonely
confused and longing
Portrait of destruction
continued industrial beauty
at expense of nature's duty.
Suffocating repetition
I cannot destroy you
I cannot destroy you.

Divine image of this Sacrosanct view
pedestal of smog to engulf former truths
with allies too slick and enemies few
I cannot destroy you
I cannot destroy you.

Oh desolate beauty that causes me pain
exceptional consumption
giggles insane
hollow echoes under fire
as our truth melts under tires


I am but a girl in green
dreaming of green
torn from the green
hungry for green

while you, portrait of annihilation,
completely vast, shiny false-clean
exudes a nauseating scene
junks food of green.

And I weep as the source grows shallow
lulled to sleep by the force once hallow
our deep green you made sallow.


LyndiaP November 10, 2010 (for PoemADay 10 of 30)

Tuesday, November 9

Watching

Recovery Sunrise
for my Dad*


my pen it prays for gratitude

while dawn is drawn and calls awake

my heart, in an emphatic mood,

to noble words when there's a stake.



The light still waits



So pen with ink for blood and food

silent invocation make.

Oh heart with intercessor's attitude

become the role for grandest sake...



in light I wait.




LyndiaP November 9, 2010

(*and for OneShotWednesday 19 & PoemADay 9 of 30)

Monday, November 8

Poetic Denial

Future Heart

Future Heart
what are the consequences
of my protesting?

My lips are moved in rally cries
by your regulating pulse.
My defiant speech is your echo
rhythm forever pounding.

In my blood-nourished mind
thoughts are fed
actions bred
all controlled by Future Heart.
As clairvoyant circulation
marches from your gates.

Thus my rebellion against you
Heart of Vitality
Heart of Peace,
with ignorant silence,
kills me and cuts me off
one neglected heartbeat
at a time.


LyndiaP November 8, 2010
(PoemADay 8 of 30)

Sunday, November 7

Beneath the Bookcase

Beneath the Bookcase

purple spine,
Stronger than my
backbone,
tattooed with black ink
beliefs.
Messages, mantras deep within
never changing
Your inflexible stance
lives on the pedestal.
My shifting twisting vertebrae
sleep on the floor.


LyndiaP November 7, 2010 (PoemADay 7 of 30)

Saturday, November 6

For You

For You

A person
selfless person
who's real and thoughtful and true.
Tells a person
a me-like person
that they'll help make it through.
Then that person
genuine person

draws a map
holds the lamp
shuts the trap
licks the stamp
shares the glory
co-authors the story...

and then thanks ME
for all my trouble
(which I remark was "zero")
Pour tea, another mug full,
and hand it to my hero.



Sincerely LyndiaP Nov. 6, 2010
(PoemADay #6 of 30)

Friday, November 5

Bunny Bizzare

sometimes there's a poem you just can't explain but it gets in your way like a tornado: keeps you still and anxious and cemented to the spot...until you let it pass and for this "Bunny Bizarre" the passing was only via the changing winds of the blog-post-process. So prepare yourself for something rather different...

Bunny Bizarre

the bunny in my mind
is made of black and white
with florescent light
florescent
Florescent like my boots.

the bunny in my mind
is made of black and white
it's radioactive
radioactive in spite.
Radioactive like the News.



LyndiaP Nov.5, 2010

Diet Drill Sargent

In completely atypical form of this blog and all it stands for (except for the fact of me making this oddly negative situation into something more hilarious) but I have a set of observations to make.

You know you've just been on a ridiculous diet when:
- you look through your cupboards and all that's left for dessert is powdered skim milk, chewing gum and the cheap decoy candy that tastes like soap.
- you smell vanilla extract and have a sugar coma.
- thinking about a three course meal gives you indigestion.
- you eat a half a tuna sandwich and think you are full.
- you look forward to taking vitamin/mineral supplements for their delicious flavour but watch the calorie content.

Thursday, November 4

Four for Four!

November 4th AND my fourth poem this month! Too bad it wasn't also April 2004... then I could be 4 for 4 on 4/04/04. Alas, it is not.

This poem is a mix of things - some prose, rhyme & a haiku so a slightly untraditional Haibun poem.

Season's Secret

winter: a place where sandaled feet on green grass should strike a heart with mild fear.

I can see you're 'fraid of Winter
when you curse this interval's name.
I can see you're scared of Winter.
It emits stillness; you breath fame.

Your cold feet about this season
I assert, are without reason

feverish progress
epidemic glow of 'more'
Winter: calming cure.


LyndiaP Nov.4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3

G'morning Poems

When you know you won't have time at a reasonable hour...you must use any and all unreasonable time. Thus, a 'Good morning poem' for today. Sometimes these get a bit stream-of-conscious-y...

Finally Waking

Branches of nighttime
stretched over eyes
stooping and swaying
with archetypal force
imaginary will
the pressure of the dream-end
dimming into dawns new shadows

Bent only on release
the fragrant mask of sleep.
And beneath it
something extraordinarily plain
exquisitely waiting
in both comforting surrender of night
and the cool sweet brush of sun rays.

While copper coins overturn Nations
intent on building things that can never be
happy
The Hero Something waits.
Still waits.
This cacophony of endless steel,
chaos expansion,
is no place for Heroes.

First someone must polish the coin
not with poison
not to see her reflection
but only to birth a surface which
shines light.

Only then from between the
diminishing coin pile
out of control growth of Nothing
into Nothing
That little space between
is the opening for Something.
for the Hero to build
Our minuscule shrine,
out of pollution and mis-intentions,
will construct the first of many places
we've always dreamed of
Right Here.



LyndiaP Nov.3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2

Taking Off and Letting Go

I've been listening to some great audio books & lectures on CD that have been talking about creativity and the creativity that comes from dreams. So this is my first ever (acknowledged/recognized/recorded) dream-inspired poem.

Taking Off and Letting Go

packing for a trip I didn't know I was taking.
I brought it all with me
more baggage than I needed
more baggage than could fit
since you brought out your
secret motorcycle.

It didn't sit in your garage
it wasn't out front on the street.

I walked
holding on to all my baggage
through the neighbour's fence
through two back yards
up a stranger's driveway
to find you.
Carrying two stuffed suitcases
handbag
small box
grocery bag
I held it all
dropped my jaw...

You used to drive a van!
You used to tell me the plan!
Now feeling stubborn and chided and lost
I sit in this awkward sidecar
yoga mat strapped to my back
purse between my knees
holding nothing
all my things left behind
on the unknown concrete
to let you lead the way.




LyndiaP Nov.2, 2010

Monday, November 1

Just Poetics

So today starts the PoemADay challenge for November.

This first one was short but they won't all be haikus (as much as I do like composing super short poems)

The patient parlance
triage-host assesses fate
emerg(e) poetry


LyndiaP Nov.1, 2010

(I realize this is a bit redundant as my Twitter feed is displayed on the right and says the same thing right now, but this is for posterity.)

Any and ALL poetic responses welcome :) (even a tangental rhyming couplet)

Sunday, October 31

Happy Poem (a) Day!

To celebrate November can be tough: in the difficult season of winter, after the glory and celebration that is Halloween (p.s. I was a matador this year) but before any of the glory, statutory holidays or festivities of Christmas pan out... I'm resolved to celebrate the best way I know how - one day at a time.

And (for me at least) what better way than with a Poem! It does not require excess spending nor venturing out into the cold and snow. To top it all off there'll be a whole bunch of us doing it (spanning timezones and boarders on Twitter & Facebook) thanks to PoeticMindset a really cool creative blog-space!

Please consider joining the poem-y fun. Share your Poe-a-Tweets on Twitter with the #poemaday tag or submit them to www.poeticmindset.com ...or for a narrower audience feel free to add them as comments as I post up some of my contributions on Tourist Candy all month long.

Monday, October 25

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

...Halloween!! It's my favorite holiday of all! This is saying quite a lot since there is absolutely no associated "day off" and I still love it.

Despite the oxymoronic fact that I am the most sensitive person to being scared, utterly dislike creepy/spooky/haunted things AND have found my affinity for mini chocolate bars waning... I am always up for the celebration, costumes and (of course) the candy!

Apparently this whole "any costume you want" is a big selling feature for me. There is something about the ability to be creative, silly and playful without reservation that deeply appeals to me. In the past my repitoir has included "Victorian Zombie", "Smurfette", "The Little Mermaid", "Japanese Geisha", "Elvis the Tank Engine", "Trapeze Artist" and my least impressive "Softball Player."
This year? Something new that struck me one day last month...but it'll remain a surprise until after Halloween...

There are easily HUNDREDS of costumes that are not creative and must only be donned to disappoint those of use who set out to conquer creative challenges, reach pinnacles of the princessy or the phantasmagorical to exemplify the epitome of eclectic, venture to the vistas of visionary or just bask in our own silliness.

So I salute those of you dressing up this week and would LOVE to hear what costumes you've rocked and totally understand if it's after the 31st because I think the surprise is the best part too!

Saturday, October 23

100 Wonders

There are all kinds of lists of things "you should" do or read or go or eat or listen to or learn about etc, etc, etc. I've always wanted to have a whole list of one hundred accomplished in my life but it only just occurred to me that quite likely I already DO have my own!

So should anyone out there want to live as I have (at least 100 experiences worth) here is my "already accomplished" list:

1) build a stereo cabinet
2) bake yeast bread
3) walk on the Great Wall of China
4) join a floor hockey team
5) learn how to install a toilet
6) make a mosaic table top
7) bike over 60km in one day to surprise parents
8) write a poem a day
9) eat duck's tongue
10) go up the Eiffel Tower to catch a daylight view, sunset and night scape of Paris
11) take a Spanish class for fun
12) get an asymmetrical amount of ear piercings
13) take a solo road trip to visit a grandparent
14) eat Cuban food in Panama City with three strangers from another country
15) read a French (translated to English) novel on a train in central China
16) make 14 varieties of homemade chocolates in one day
17) compare bagels in Montreal
18) eat gelato in Italy seven times in six days
19) learn how to weld
20) develop photographs in a dark room
21) sleep in a cave hostel in Cappadocia, Turkey
22) perform the national anthem at the beginning of an event
23) pitch your softball team into the finals
24) run a 5km race for charity (in a festive costume)
25) learn how to manage a website (at a basic level)
26) read your own poetry in public
27) teach senior citizens how to build and paint a birdhouse
28) go tobogganing in the Canadian prairies
29) crochet multiple afghans
30) donate baking to a political cause
31) write letters to your elected officials over educational, foreign and environmental affairs
32) eat without seeing (all dark restaurant)
33) perform at your high school graduation
34) steal tea from a hotel in London England
35) tour the Lourve, House of Terror and Umbrella Cover & new Acropolis museums
36) volunteer at a hospital, elementary school and an outdoor music festival
37) read 32 books in 365 days
38) be a radio DJ
39) see a performance of The Phantom of the Opera
40) do yoga on Vancouver Island, in a library, at a park and in a theatre under renovations
41) go on a photo safari
42) eat dessert for breakfast in Greece
43) take a kid to see their first play
44) go scuba diving in the Caribbean Ocean without lessons
45) sing in a choir festival in British Columbia
46) go jogging in New York City
47) take a train through the Canadian Rockies
48) honour history and the lives lost in the Holocaust by visiting a concentration camp
49) marvel at the Rhine, Vlalta, Danube and Yangtze rivers
50) drink red wine while gazing into the Trevi Fountain
51) go to Strasbourg (as a friend put it "it's always open")
52) go bridge jumping (but don't say I told you)
53) see the Grand Canyon
54) eat Goulash in Hungary
55) take a self portrait on the border of Europe/Asia, Saskatchewan/Manitoba & the Netherlands/Belgium
56) glimpse a giant gator, buzzard and manatee in Florida
57) get a slurpee or fast food in a prom dress
58) DJ a wedding
59) be interviewed by local news media at a jazz festival in Panama
60) take a painting class then go home and paint without rules, abandon or purpose
61) replace the end of your extension cord
62) go 'speed dating' in a foreign language
63) take a cooking class in another country
64) appreciate the 'public art' in airports (Chicago O'Hare, Houston International, etc)
65) sing karaoke on a Chinese tour bus
66) submit a short story and/or photographs to a contest
67) cross the Charles, Brooklyn and Bosphorus bridges
68) have an indoor picnic in an unseasonal snow storm
69) go on a spontaneous road trip with only the clothes on your back (& your wallet)
70) be amazed at all the action on the Las Vegas strip
71) ride the roller coaster at a town fair in Alberta
72) eat fresh lobster in Maine
73) witness the natural wonder of Old Faithful
74) visit Writing-On-Stone park and climb in the hoodoos
75) watch street performers in Munich, Edmonton and Prague
76) tell folktales of the world to classes of preschool to seventh grade students
77) take an online writing course
78) prepare butter chicken from scratch
79) decorate you cubicle/office/workplace for an obscure holiday
80) be a part of a human pyramid
81) participate in inter-generational bowling
82) make your own cosmetics, jam and shower cleaner
83) host a BBQ for 150 people
84) sew a piece of clothing
85) don't purchase any clothing for 8 months
86) make masquerade masks and go to a masquerade party on New Year's Eve
87) go on a four-block holiday and tour your own neighbourhood
88) help conduct your country's census
89) take a hula hoop lesson
90) learn to prepare the traditional cuisine of your ethnic/cultural/religious background
91) kick a field goal
92) go to a Turkish bath
93) sleep under dinosaur fossils in a museum
94) read in a hammock near the equator
95) host a costume/Halloween party
96) get a tattoo
97) burn a bra (for art's sake of course)
98) paddle in a dragonboat team
99) take percussion lessons
100) plant an urban garden in your flower beds
101) make your own darn list of 100 wonderful things you've done & celebrate your life

Feel free to share some here too!

Tuesday, October 19

Watercolour Cows

Dairy or childhood paint, I didn't know which to choose to help me celebrate my evening's home-based adventure via blog.

I won't digress to my planned attempt (and true, initial intent) of this Tuesday- trying to understand personal ritual, but I had to note it for future reference.

So I found myself distracted from my endeavour with normal pre-dinner hunger, all-too-frequent extended work-hour workings and some cheap watercolour paints. I always used to scoff at this style of painting because I never really grasped the technique.
A few years ago I took my first (and only) watercolour class with my dad and a few hours ago I realized just how much I enjoyed it. After over two hours sitting BESIDE my desk on the floor my right leg had gone numb. I had been swirling the colour-mutating water and pulling paint over the paper and observing the colours tease each other blending and mingling... I realized that I really wanted to keep this marathon of making moving!

But then comes the dairy-revelation: my love of milk steamers! I did a quick non-painting stretch and pulled out the three simple ingredients: milk, vanilla and the-best-mug-ever. (*optional: fancy battery operated milk frothing contraption) It is always a mix of anticipation and impatience as the microwave ticks back from two minutes: the spoon and the frother sit ready and the vanilla waits anxiously.
It whirrs and I wait. It perspires as I pace. Then the beep of bliss and blossoming of the froth. Taking the first sip is a bit like vanilla cloud heaven.

So it seems that the distractions of one night turned into an experiential session in my original intent - thanks to Cows & Watercolours - where instead of thinking about personal rituals I patterned and painted, smelled and sipped them.

Sunday, October 17

Mundane-a-holic

Self-proclaiming from the mountains: "I am a Mundane-a-holic!" and so are many others... but only when we get to let our imagination and sense of wonder venture ahead to make all necessary translations.

My top-nine celebrations of the mundane include (in no particular order)

- small-town obsessions with having a sculpture of the "world's largest" something or other (examples in the province of Alberta check this out, but a personal favourite of mine is the Dragonfly in Wabamun)

- people who are excited and creative in their 'should-be-benign' business emails

- an Umbrella Cover Museum on Peaks Island Maine, USA

- optimism in current events (YES! and Ode Magazines)

- chicken noodle soup made from powdered chicken stock & any recipe you know by heart or would never tire of eating

- the Pop Art movement

- good ideas (such as most of TED)

-things I learnt from the book "The Art of Pilgramage" by Phil Cousineau (his wikipedia entry) which made me realized ALL of life is just travel

- and Sharing!! We should really all do more of it (i.e. Shareable Magazine)


Sometimes I forget these are a few of my favourite... well... things - that inspired me to focus on being a life-tourist.

Wednesday, October 13

Words + Worlds = Wor(l)ds

Again more reading excitement, thrills and chills (minus the chills and maybe even the thrills, but I have always wanted to make reference to the "thrills and chills" of something).

I am excited to share more of my favourite books on Flashlight Worthy! If you're looking for something to celebrate Persons Day on October 18** (another Canadian Holiday, but this time observed not statutory) that celebrates Alberta's Famous Five (women who brought about significant legal change for the rights of women in Canada including making the case for women's suffrage).. try this list of great books by women authors who help take the stressful moving, reserving and planning out of travel!

Anyone else with favourite books they want to share? I always love a good suggestion and I love a great suggestion even more!

**on another note... should you be in Alberta on October 18th it's also the day to vote in municipal elections. Check out your town or city for candidates and polling stations. If I have to pull out my soapbox it's gonna be to get people to do their democratic duty - be an informed citizen! (and then read some great books)

Monday, October 11

Holidays in Canada

It never ceases to amaze me the awesome power of the statutory holiday. The thought hadn't occurred to me until a young woman coming to do a University exchange from England asked me on the Greyhound bus we were sharing, "Is it true Canada has a lot of bank holidays?" I laughed when I realized it was, telling her there is one in every month but June* (but that some months have two)! That left her wide-eyed and impressed and me proud that we under the maple leaf flag knew how to pump up our calendars.

(*note: I do realize that depending of the whims of Easter one of April or March is stat-holiday free, but the fact of there being both a Monday AND a Friday balances it out in my mind.)

I can remember in high school with my minimum wage job crossing my fingers in anticipation of the holiday-week's schedule dreaming of the huge cash in with overtime pay. On the other hand, I also remember - more recently and more delightfully - of being able to concoct all kinds of wonderful travel adventures only taking a fraction of the actual allocated holiday-days off. (Who knows what I was saving them for this time!)
Statutor-ically celebrating with jovial jaunts to the province next door, or complicated cheap connecting flights to explore slightly foreign places. Nonetheless, with the proliferation of inherent holidays in my home country I am not only imbued with national pride but I am kicking my feet up FULL of gratitude on this Thanksgiving day-off.

Wednesday, October 6

Houseplant Dance

I think everyone should have a houseplant. If you say you can't take care of them or they always die...that's no excuse. Start with something easy... a hearty fern or a cactus.

Not only are these little plants a bit of spring in December and a low-budget way to commune with nature but they also provide numerous other benefits:

A) they give you practice should you be considering your first pet. Weekly waterings get overwhelming? Fail. No puppy for you!

B) they purify the air...kinda... unless you've got a veritable forest of violets, mini palms and lilies one person will probably produce more C02 than that one leafy purifier can filter... BUT you are going to feel great when you breath deeply near its recently-watered soil!

C) a friendly reminder of just how habitable your home is. Consider... if you don't have good enough tap water quality, regular amounts of sunlight and a tidy counter top somewhere... should ANYTHING really have to live like that?

D) built in audience of unwavering, unconditional solidarity. You'll never eat alone again, never dance in the living room without a crowd and can practices speeches or positive affirmations any time of the night or day.

And in a note of my own personal victory - something for all new plant-owners to look forward to: one day the droopy one will perk up, the stagnant one will double in size and the bland one you never liked will bloom in the most beautiful way...and it'll be all because of your careful attention & very limited effort.
So excuse me while I go do the Houseplant Dance.

Tuesday, October 5

The Peppermint Lady from the Autumn Valley

The Peppermint Lady from the Autumn Valley is dedicated to TB:J

The Peppermint Lady. She moved in contrasts and fed no one's stereotypes. Her youthful black hair wound with spearmint strands was embraced by the antique blue expanse above, both longer than winter and smoother than nut-free peanut butter. The pace of her feet, gracefully casual - a harmonious dissonance to my nympholeptic sneakers with their deliberate unseen finish line.

The Peppermint Lady. Dark jacket hiding her knees like the mystery of the minty treat behind the cellophane. My shoulders bare. Her enigmatic solidarity with the fleeting autumn rainbow entitled her to stroll on the joggers' trail, repercussion free.

The Peppermint Lady: would speak with fresh sweetness if she had to speak at all. Her silence exuding enough delicious toothpaste-perfume to make chewing gum bland with envy. Refreshing. And all the while re-freshing unquenchable energy.

A source limitless and incomprehensible she: The Peppermint Lady.

Monday, October 4

Create-A-Fear

I have just realized how easy it is to create fear...but how equally easy it CAN be to create yourself OUT of fear too. Some may call this an all-to-wordy paraphrase of "fake it 'till you make it" but I think I'm trying to say something a bit different.

Sometimes when you are self-effacing something (i.e. jargon-filled way of describing the "fake-it" scenario) you are merely (or astoundingly) managing to forget the fear or push it into the subconscious. I'm not a psychoanalysis expert but I don't see how self-effacing can be a good long term plan.

An example before I continue, so you are getting ready for a big job interview and feel nervous. You really can't prove your calm self confidence when you are so eye-twitchingly nervous - the two are rather contradictory. Fake-it-'till-you-you-make-it (self-effacing) would have you repeating confident phrases to yourself in the mirror or simply putting it out of your mind until the situation is over. Then you have your stellar un-nervous interview and try not to wonder to where all that negative nervous energy went. If you are truly successful at self-effacing you should never even consciously think about that interview-nervousness again. But that feels rather short term an likely to explode one day...
so I say Create-A-Fear... or rather create your way out of the fear - you invented it in the first place!

I think there are many thing to create that can eliminate fear but it depends on the situation. (*note: I'm not saying you should 'create' your way out of a healthy fear of, say, going swimming in an electrical storm. I only mean non-bodily harming fears...)

Identifying my own fear to be sharing my crazy ideas, I decided to create an ongoing opportunity when I could express some of them: Open mic nights. Then I created a format that felt genuine and fun and armed myself with these crazy idea poems. I have already (in four months) gone from a shaky hand signing up to read to the name being down before I knew I had anything to say.

So where am I going with this you say? Ha, I dunno... but it sure was a wonderful feeling today when I realized I was no longer afraid.