Monthly Archives: January 2016

Jan 31

If you’re just reading this, thanks for stopping by! This is the concluding post in a month-long experiment of mine to try to post one post a day for the month of January.

I’m happy to report that was absent only 3 days, and I’d say that the experiment has been a success! And that the new year is off to a pretty great and interesting start. Feel free to browse over the last 31 days and see what 2016 has been about so far 🙂 *In case you were wondering, all of my posts that are in a series or based on common themes are tagged with “themes”, so if you’re feeling adventurous and readerly, clicking that tag is always an option.

Today hasn’t been too exciting. Mom came for a visit, bearing gifts! I’m most happy that my lovely, artistic, yet slightly creepy random dog photo/frame has found a new canine portrait to house with a more fun-loving vibe! And books and chocolate, love it!

I’m signing off now though, my ears hurt. I’ve had my headphones on for quite some time, and glasses, too. And it’s time to rest.

TTFN,

–Sam

 

Wacky Cake

It’s been a crazy week, and the crazy just keeps coming.

I had tofu dessert and peanut butter toast for breakfast, went to Grandma’s for a belated birthday lunch, and then to dance (which was a little slow today, but at least it was warm!).

Everyone was like, “Is this ok? Can you do this? Can I help you” and the guest instructor was like, “Is everyone feeling in their bodies today? Let’s just try this, was that ok? What do you think? How are you with touch?” I’m good on all accounts, thanks! Just do it, dance! Grab the Stix, don’t grab the Stix, touch me or not, I won’t bite! Why is this so weird today?  It was just very different from the usual, with too many choices and too much hesitation and not enough music (the sound system was down = no tunes!).

hands-220163_640Coming home, I almost got flattened by the fare gates at the train! Maybe it was stupid, but my purse and pass were at the bottom of my pack and I was two steps behind someone heading through the gate, so I thought I’d go for it…Unless you are a solid wall of a person, don’t go for it! They close fast and hard with enough force to stop you in your tracks, if not send you flying backwards, which was a near thing for me, let me tell you. First and last time I will be trying that!

I just really wanted to get home. I had been out most of the day, cold, wet and confused. It was dark, I was tired and sick of transit and traffic. Though I did see a poster for how peanut butter can save the world, which made me smile and google it later (PB for the Hungry), and I sang in the elevator, which was fun 🙂

I made it home. Finally. Made dinner, did the dishes, scribbled on my chalkboard and played some fiddle and am feeling pretty normal now.  My head is still pretty full of the week’s events, but hopefully that will get sorted 🙂

Nope. Nada. Zip.

Nothing of great interest to write about today.

I watched the latest Shadow Hunters episode on Netflix last night, just because I wanted to watch something, but it wasn’t the greatest. I think I prefer Bondi Vet.

I will say I was more than a little offended when halfway through last season’s Bondi Vet, the “new” episodes somehow ended up being just two old, shorter eps smooshed together… I thought I’d heard these stories before, and I wasn’t wrong! But the new season seems to be made up of new episodes so far, so that’s good! 🙂

I seriously need a good night’s sleep. I’m zombified at the moment and not feeling so hot. Thankfully, whenever this happens I usually just sleep for a long time and wake up feeling so much better, so that’s the plan tonight. But before I close my eyes I might just watch a show (don’t tell anyone, but it’s only just past 9pm on Friday, LOL).

In other news, I’ve got a lunch date with Grandma and Ruby and dance happening tomorrow.

And that’s about it.

-Sam

Stories.

The heart stops and the blood rises and fire burns.

The ground shifts and sighs and murmurs.

Movement is exaggerated and the wind sings in the trees.

I take my weight and power forward with a chink and thump and look up.

The fleece brushes my nose and my teeth bite down

on a smile as the zipper is held between them

And I feel alive.

***

I was having a really hard time coming up with what to write today. So I wrote the piece above because all I could think about was snow and winter and the mountains and how amazing it feels to be in that environment. And then I remembered how important stories are. They are so important.

Stories hold knowledge and understanding, and they help us to know and understand. A good chunk of my day is made up of stories, connections and scenarios.

I think it is so important to be able to tell stories and create stories and share stories, rather than simply stating facts or figures or opinions or events or outcomes.

For example, I could say I love my SideStix because they are designed by users, for users, with shock absorbers, rotating feet and ergronomic angles. Or I could say that I have a blast up the mountain, snowshoeing with my family on local trails using the snowshoe attachments, and have not experienced any wrist pain in years because of the unique grip design, rotating feet and shock absorption system that work to eliminate discomfort and disruption as much as possible throughout my natural stride.

I want to know the story. I want to share stories with others.

I hate it when people do one liners, like, “I’m on this diet, because I want to lose weight,” or “I’m just working this job until I have enough money to go travel to Mongolia.” and they just leave it like that, like what about the rest of it?!

I want to say that dieting is not all about weight-loss and that ‘diet’ is a silly thing to call it, because a diet is defined first as what you habitually eat and not what you restrict yourself to eating (or from eating); we are all on a diet! I want to know the motivation behind it and the history and the bigger picture view of where all the pieces will end up.

Why did you pick Mongolia? What area will you visit first? What are you most excited to learn/see/do, and why?

***

I’ve worked really hard today– learning and thinking and doing, and interacting with all sorts of people. And I’m really very tired, so I’m going to go to bed now!

Today’s story has come to an end!

Good night, friends 🙂

mongolia-84133_640

 

 

Big and Small (2)

A Retelling of Yesterday into Today (AKA: Thoughts Loosed)

I dream, I wonder, I find and see possibilities everywhere. Sometimes the big stuff is small, and sometimes the small stuff is HUGE! The picture attached to Big and Small (1), the post before this one, captures this idea, and my thoughts and experiences over the past two days so, so well! 🙂

***

I spent 30 minutes yesterday watching and listening to Mr. Michael Bublé open up to fans on Facebook about his philosophy, hopes, happiness and outlook on life as a new father of two. It was so refreshing and unexpected and genuine. I loved it. It was very cool!

He says,”No mystique is a big mistake,” that there has to be a part of you that you don’t show the world, that they don’t get to see. And I believe it.

***

I also have faith and love science and facts, and know that there is beauty and forces and all manner of things which we cannot explain but can still experience.

I was in the library once, years ago in high school, reading a print copy of the local newspaper in which there was a brief article on the symbiotic relationship between faith and science.

And though I can’t for the life of me find that article, I read it once and that was enough. It was beautiful, and it made perfect sense, and it restored my faith in humanity. I know it, and that is enough.

***

I know it. And that is enough. 

And right now, there are things I can’t say, that would take me days to pull out onto this blog or fit into a conversation, but I am seriously inspired. I am determined to be my own person and go on my own journey.

To work hard. To do my job well, and be well. To support people’s mental health and my own –because it’s important and overlooked and misunderstood.

To do things differently, make small changes and be apart of the trickle-down. To be there, up-close, to participate and not be at a distance. To have a positive effect, an impact.

To train dogs, learn more about the brain and behaviour and cross-species communication. To create partnerships and friendships and understanding with people and causes I care about.

To learn to skate, and horseback-ride, and drive, and administer first aid.

I want to travel, and meet new people. To ask good questions, give good answers. I want to walk in the rain, and watch movies with popcorn.

I want acceptance, to be myself and grow in a continuous process.

I want to be prepared, I want to have fun, I want to do what I feel is best for me in the moment and not feel adverse to the pressures I come up against.

***

I am in a good place right now. I know it, and that is enough.

Things are happening, and I have the measure of them. I have considered carefully and I am not afraid of waiting nor of leaping. If I died today or tomorrow or sometime in the near future, I would not regret it or be unfulfilled.

I am utilizing my skills and learning new ones.

I am happy with where I’m at and looking forward to where I’m going, to the opportunities and possibilities ahead. And that has not always been true.

***

This turned out much longer than originally planned!

But I feel good about it. I don’t have a dog or plant or person or anything to talk to or unwind to at the moment, so the page is perfect.

Now, I really have to go eat something, and relax. Maybe watch some Shadowhunters or read or just head to bed at a decent hour….

I am anticipating cake — it’s my B-day tomorrow. And if my cravings get the better of me before Saturday, well, I’m treating myself to a strawberry milkshake, because, let’s be honest, those are to die for 🙂

 

Big and Small (1)

I really want to read today. And play some fiddle. And drink tea. And have a nap– naps are under-appreciated.

I have some tidying to do and some gritty emails and details to attend to….

***

Personally, I feel I got lots done today. It was a long day, good day, quiet day. I puttered and got rid of some clutter. And now I’m off to get cozy before bed. Eeek! So happy and content, and tired!

milky-way-1023340_640

 

 

Because it’s fun to play!

I think about playing fiddle all the time and how much fun it is to literally fill the house with music. Forrest and I on fiddle, Rube on piano, Dad on guitar. And if you’re really lucky, you might catch me or Rube or Dad singing softly, maybe some cello.

We look at each other, we smile, laugh, goof off, make up harmonies and crazy variations. We ask, “How does it go again?” and dive head first into our favourite tunes while the rest of us jump in a beat or two down the line.

I always remember the block party we had ages and ages ago, when we still had the brick around the fireplace and Kita-girl was the only dog. All the neighbours came. Everyone brought food, we cleared out the kitchen pulled up some stools and chairs into a circle and began to play.

No one worried. No one stopped. No one studied. It just became a part of the room, part of the celebration of good fun and tunes and neighbours and food. And I think this is what’s missing on other occasions.

Somehow, we always get pulled into playing for family and yet never find time to play as a family. Our relatives are wonderful people, but it’s always a weird compromise between practice and performance.

There’s worry (Got to catch the ferry).

There’s stopping (We ask ourselves: is this tune appropriate for the occasion?) –And, they say: “Nobody move! The Riesco’s are playing now!” 🙂

There’s studying (What’s the time? Can you remember the harmony? Wow, that’s amazing you can play without music –but what if there was music, what would it look like on paper?).

We live a ferry ride away. Coming to Van is a big undertaking. Coming with instruments, setting the time aside to practice a set is a serious commitment. And like it or not whenever one branch of the family tree crosses the water to intertwine with the other, we are each of us out of our element, we do not really know one another. We live different lives and see each other maybe twice a year.

Christmas 2015, Mom made turkey dinner and had the whole family over. As many as could make it were invited to share Christmas Day with us. And I for one was relieved. Finally, we would be on home turf, yeah, we’d have to play host. But this was our house, our town, our rules and our comfort zone. No more feeling like the hicks from hicks-ville in with the city-slickers for the evening of awkward conversations about the latest video games, fashions and funerals at odds with the best snow-shoe expedition, farm fresh eggs and ferry traffic analysis, because that’s the only time anything close to a traffic jam hits this town, thank goodness! 🙂

Playing was fun, still slightly awkward with everyone listening so hard you could imagine their eardrums busting with the strain, but fun. My uncle got offended when I said quietly how much fun Forrest and I had last year just jamming with Dad before dinner for hours. And my Grandpa asked how all this would look on paper…

The point was almost completely missed.

It’s not what it looks like on paper! It’s about what it sounds and feels like. Does it make you want to dance? Does it make you smile? Does it make you cry? Do we dance and smile?

It’s not that it was not fun playing this year. It’s who you play with, how comfortable you are, being able to have that bridge of understanding between each other as musicians and listeners.

So next time, just relax, enjoy it and let us do the same. Listen with your whole body, with your heart and not just your head.

Maybe we can do it again some time, as a family and have a real old fashioned kitchen party where nothing’s written down and everyone’s having a good time in the kitchen 🙂

And here’s the inspiration behind this post that’s been brewing for a while. Like Mr. Newman says, “Music doesn’t get much happier than this!” Nuala Kennedy, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas 🙂