I LOVE music. It defines my life. I'm not musical but I surround myself with music whenever possible: music I love, music that means something to me, music that touches me. I know I'm in trouble when I begin to delve into Spotify and add to my many music lists (like mixed music tapes and cds of which I've created many) or when I investigate songs on YouTube. I can be 'gone' for hours at a time, reliving, discovering, uncovering and rediscovering. Recently on CBC Radio Two, Raina Douris has played a catchy song at around the same time each morning, usually as I'm getting ready for my day. I found it haunting and an instrumental part in the middle transcended all thoughts, even intellectual perception of the music, and resonated deep in my stomach (of all places, but if you're aware of tai chi, it would be my dantian, my energy centre). The song is Mission Bells by Armistice.
It's always exciting to discover a new bewitching song. For me, this has been a month of tai chi at the Marina with my lovely friend Louise, Monday evenings and early Wednesday mornings whenever we can make it. The instructor, Peng You, leads us in forms and plays gorgeous music which seems to drift into my soul and out across Lake Superior. I learned tai chi without music and can therefore do it anywhere at any time but music makes it magical and more dance-like. Hopefully the link below will work so you can listen to the gorgeous music and see Peng and a medley of forms and moves. The view you see right at the beginning of the clip shows you Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant. This is what we look out onto as we practice tai chi. So serene.
I've been catching up with Super Soul Sundays with Oprah on my pvr. This morning I watched an episode with Gretchen Reuben who wrote the wonderful book The Happiness Project. Gretchen mentioned starting her day with singing to raise her vibration and her energy. Oprah admitted that she also started that habit as a result of reading Gretchen's book. Music and magic again.
So much for the music part of this title. What about the lollipops? Super Soul Sundays make me think of TED talks and how inspiring they can be. Which reminds me of lollipops. One of my most favourite TED talks, one I could listen to every day several times, is about lollipop moments, those little moments when we reach out to someone and without even realising it, make a difference in their life. When you have chance, please watch this TED talk. It's 6 minutes long. Perhaps I've included it in a previous blog. I can't remember. It means enough to me that I might have. Please watch it again. It's worth it.
We have to end with my completed painting (partway through and completed) and the bounciness of an old song. Go ahead. Sing along! It'll do you good!
May your day be filled with music and lollipop moments!
Today it feels important to remind myself that I am a work in progress. And so are you. And so is everyone else. We are whole and complete, but we are also constantly evolving. That can be comforting when we don't feel like we've quite made it yet, when we feel like we've fallen short somehow in some way, when we want to embrace hope, when we feel overwhelmed. I feel good today but I believe in going with my intuition so here we are: a reminder that we are all works in progress and that is perfectly okay.
I wanted to take some pictures of works in progress. Like a selection of my gorgeous African violets.
Yesterday I learned that one of my most recent poems has been selected to be in The Banister, an anthology that will be available in the fall. I entered 3 poems into the poetry contest. None of them won a prize, but this particular poem won a place in the book. Every year I've entered poems, one of them has been selected to be in the book which is an honour. When I mentioned it to Rob last night he said, "Why didn't your poem win?" "Because it wasn't selected as a winner but it was selected to be in the book." It can be hard to reword that so it comes across not as a failure but a success and an honour. I think I finally did it. I felt proud of myself for not reacting to Rob's words. He didn't mean it negatively but his words could have been a trigger. No matter how well I did on my report card, unless I came in first at something, Dad's reaction always was, "How many others were above you? What did they do differently?" I perceived this as not being good enough though he would often, on Mam's prompting, say that I'd done well. Mam responded that the main thing was that I'd tried my best. "That's what really matters."
Other than yourself, what else is a work in progress in your life at the moment? Where is your energy focused?
I'm still moving through the decluttering. It's still a work in progress. But I wanted to show some movement so here is the bookcase area of my bedroom as a work in progress decluttering-wise.
And finally my painting work in progress: based on a new moon vow which is written underneath, this is my new holly moon in Cancer painting for my Moonshine course with Effy Wild. So much fun.
Keep creating and recreating!
The Northern Pikes are playing at 'Live on the Waterfront' tonight. They sing one of my favourite songs. I have many, many favourite songs but this one is a real pick-me-up funny song with a great beat and clever lyrics. It also has a hilarious video from 1990 when the song was first released. I won't be able to see The Northern Pikes tonight as I have a poetry group meeting but you can bet this song and the terrific lyrics will be playing in my car. If this is your first time hearing the song or seeing the video, enjoy! May it bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.
Partial lyrics (written by Bryan Potvin):
We made a date to go for a drink
I wore my jeans and she wore a mink
There was this misconception all over town
That she ate lonely guy heart by the pound
She said, "Take me home, there won't be no fuss"
I said, "Sure, you got some change for the bus?"
Watching her leave, I heard the bartender say
She ain't pretty she just looks that way
Read more: Northern Pikes - She Ain't Pretty Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Yesterday I accidentally broke one of my favourite bowls. I had bought it years ago from a yard sale precisely cos I thought it so pretty. I had a plate or two of a similar pattern and the frilly-edged-bowl and floral pattern surrounded by a band of crimson then lacy gold appealed to me. The people I bought it from wanted to give me a whole set of dishes...for the cost of the bowl. Apparently years ago you could build up a set of this patterned china when you bought gas. And one of their relatives had done just that. Anyway, the bowl chipped to a point where I could no longer justify its use although thinking about it now I want to rescue it from the garbage and smash it to use as mosaic pieces.
I'll resist that.
I try to live by the Buddha saying: The vase is already broken. It reminds me to live in the moment, to appreciate everything for as long as I have it because all things are temporary, including myself and each other. So I tried not to regret breaking the bowl. When I mentioned it to Rob, he said, nonchalantly, "Ah yes. And I broke the wings off your gargoyle today, too."
"Well, you know how it's under the light switch? I was looking for a shirt for the funeral and knocked the gargoyle onto the floor. But it's a clean break. It can be fixed. They just...fell off."
"The gargoyle reminds me of Grandpop."
"We just need some monkey glue. It'll be good as new."
My gargoyle with his broken-off wings. I had originally bought him as a present for my dad as the space between the gargoyle's upper lip and nose reminded me of my grandpop. But then I couldn't part with him and thought Dad wouldn't really appreciate him. I did show him to Mam and Dad. Mam understood the likeness immediately.
Today I lost my silver pinky ring...at work I think. Not for the first time. I hope it'll turn up again, the way it always has. I lost it for a few weeks once at home.
Anyway, it's been that kind of a week in a way. The latter part certainly. Yesterday was the funeral of my friend Val's dad. Rob also had another funeral or celebration of life to go to yesterday. And a visitation tonight and another funeral tomorrow. Finally tomorrow evening we have a wedding to go to.
Earlier in the week Lea (my ex-sister-in-law/ now chosen sister) visited from Barrie and we visited Kakabeka Falls, had dinner with Dane and Rob and my other chosen sister/ex-sister-in-law, Brenda at the Prospector and had lunch at Tulips Cafe at Vanderwees Nursery.
All in all, it's been a week of absorbing and acknowledging the importance of other people and their impact on our lives.
Cherish the people in your life who make it what it is. Remember, the vase is already broken.
I have things to do today. Primarily writing. And I'm resisting big time. I need to get my Guild anonymous story ready to send off which means I need to plant my butt in my chair and keep it there while I type. It should be simple. But my inner child wants to play, sway and dance. And paint. Oh she's longing to paint. So i may have to appease her on that then get to my writing. I only have today and part of tomorrow to work on my writing so i can get it finished before a family dinner, work and the deadline.
I listen to Spotify and somehow went down the rabbit hole of Dr Hook who are a favourite band of mine. I've seen them in concert at least 3 times. The first time was with Mam who came with me cos I didn't know anyone in Canada yet and my parents wouldn't let me go alone. Someone passed a joint to us. At first I refused but the person motioned to pas it along, so I gave it to Mam who looked at it quizzically then handed it to the person next to us. Dad would have gone spare that his daughter had been exposed to such a thing and would have torn a strip off the person who handed it to me. I was so thankful that I was with my more liberally-minded, calm mother.
Anyway, Dr Hook reminds me of Shel Silverstein who wrote many of their songs and whose work I love. So in addition to listening to my favourite Dr Hook songs, I also wanted to read my favourite Shel Silverstein poems. I had the poem Put Something In printed out and by my computer for years as inspiration and a daily reminder. My inner child especially loves Shel Silverstein.
So what does your inner child want today? You need to feed her/him to nourish your soul and to be able to move forward and invite something silly in. And what something, silly or not, will you put into the world today to make it a lighter place?
Yesterday was Canada Day, a day full of rain, celebration and fireworks. Yesterday also marked the day that I had immigrated to Canada: 1st July 1977. When I got off the plane and met Mam and Dad who had both lived in Canada for almost a year already, Dad said that it was a holiday and jokingly said that the whole of Canada was celebrating me arriving. I had visited at Christmas time and completely fallen in love with Canada or at least with Vancouver's north shore but it was lovely to see the place again and be reunited with Mam and Dad, our pets and all my familiar furnishings and my beloved record player and records! A couple of days after arriving, friends of Mam and Dad had a party to celebrate my arrival. Their young daughter, Adrienne, gave me the following poster-size drawing.
In 2004 I wrote a personal essay entitled 'What Canada Means To Me' which won first prize in the annual NOWW writing contest. The essay was also picked up by a glossy-paged magazine (now obsolete) called Transforming Boundaries, an American based publication. I tried to find the essay today but it has long gone from both my email and of course from my computer. It's the first time I really regret losing some of my work. When I first started using yahoo mail, I had to delete files to decrease the size of the inbox and lost my earlier works. I'll have hard copies from the NOWW magazine and Transforming Boundaries and will try to squeeze them in here somehow at a later date.
Although boring, the title 'What Canada Means To Me' invites reflection. What does your country mean to you? Something to think about in these early July days between Canada Day and Independence Day in the States.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.