Monthly Archives: September 2016

Test

Where does my mind go? See below.

Sometimes I feel like everything is a test that I feel shamefully close to failing. Everything. And it all has consequences and considerations. If I say nothing, do nothing, what happens? What do people think? What do I think, really? If I poured all of my energy into this, think of what I could achieve! But is it really all or nothing? Is 100% dedication required 100% of the time? Is it healthy? Would I be happy? Who even knows what that 100% is?

Know yourself, know your limits, says one philosopher. Keep growing, discovering, reaching and blow past those limits — they mean nothing, redefine yourself, says the other. Everything and everyone is advertising something, all shouting to be heard. Proud to identify with a group or cause and determined still to stand out from the crowd, make a splash, a statement, prove their point. However much I might wish otherwise, I am one of them. We are all a part of it, there is no escaping it. It makes my head spin so much that I think I might puke.

Simplicity grounds me. If want to sleep, I sleep. If I want to run, I run. If I want to read or play cello, I do. If I’m hungry, I eat (not everyone has that luxury, but I do and I’m grateful). I try not to think about where the peanuts in my peanut-butter were shipped from, how much fuel it took for them to arrive at the final destination or how they’re probably covered in sprays and genetically modified. On whose standard would they be organic? Doesn’t necessarily mean that the farming practices are less harmful or more sustainable, nor does it mean the labourers are treated fairly. I take comfort in the benefits instead: that they are high in protein, tasty and unprocessed, other than a trip through the Vitamix to make butter (stored in reusable glass jars) for cheap, easy, sustainable sandwich lunches in reusable containers.

Eggs are more gut-wrenching. Organic, yes. Raised without any hormones etc. Grain fed… But the chickens could still be in cages, or in a massive barn and only let outside to a tiny yard for an hour a day (free range). What happens when their laying days are over? Do they want to die? Do they die peacefully? Are they respected or just thrown in a grinder? Should we really be raising animals to eat –or for any other purpose– when everything about the system is so huge and varied and often mechanized, inhuman and inhumane? I don’t buy eggs at the store — it is too distressing. I also can’t carry them home without cracking them… However, I might consider making a purchase from a neighbour whose half-dozen hens have the run of the acreage and live well.

I feel confident saying that nine times out of ten, I don’t have animal products in my meals. Meat is expensive and not at all convenient, or required for taste or nutrition purposes. The seas are overfished, methods are indiscriminately destroying multiple species and environments, wild stock is plummeting and fish farms are controversial at best. Mayo is pointless. Cheese I’ve discovered I can live without (no one was more surprised than me). Almond milk is delicious. Dark chocolate is wonderful. I hate that everything is wrapped and stored in and processed out of plastic and avoid it at all costs. I never ask for bags.

And at other times, it is the little things that worry me: Can I get up in the morning? Can I shave my legs in a satisfactory manner? Can engage in a decent conversation? Can I not panic? What the flip do I do now!? Should one aspire to have thousands of followers, post jaw-dropping photos on Instagram, to always say the right thing, sing in tune and be the best possible version of one’s self? Isn’t it enough just to be journeying through life, learning, adapting, reacting?

I feel I am enough. I am healthy enough to do everything I want to, am happy and where I want to be. But sometimes, I worry. Sometimes it feels like there’s this code that everyone knows, that I just can’t break.

*In response to the prompt Sept 30 (Test)

If we had coffee

Let’s drop the facade. I’m gonna come right out and tell you I didn’t know how to start this post. But here it is, such as it is. The idea stemmed from another post/prompt/challenge that I’d seen previously and is a regular theme at WordPress, which is to post as if you were having a conversation over coffee, and not just across cyberspace– something I thought would be fun to try this time round in conjunction with the aforementioned prompt (Facade).

If we were good friends and if we had coffee… this is what I’d tell you.

That I know how valuable time is. How the year has flown by. How I have grown. My love for writing and singing and simplicity.

That I look like Leo DiCaprio in The Revenant, wrapped in my blanket on the floor with my yoga mat and book of Harry Potter; that I can’t yet quote lines from the former, except “I’m here. I’m right here.” –which made me cry.

How fantastic homemade vegan ice-cream is. What beautiful gifts keen intellect, curiousity, humour and patience are to the world. Some of the reasons my heart is broken and many more reasons why not.

How proud I am of my brother, sister, mother and father. And why I love them.

I’d retell the tale of how a wayward Weimaraner once wolfed my burritto, and recall my favourite adventures to date.

I could tell you where to find every last trombone in the building at work, and if we’re running low, I can order you more. Two-bite brownies are the new currency and a delivery of more Worry & Stress is cause for celebration.

How I’ve realized that renting to a drummer may be awful, but living below Irish Dance professionals is rather worse.

The books I am reading, have read and want to read. The last best meal I ate, the most recent documentary I’ve seen, the conversations I’ve had a part in.

And I’d invite you to dinner — but only if you like avocados 🙂 And I’d say, “Let’s do it again, soon!”

 

 

Start? Barely.

This morning was epic. It was a mess. I barely managed to wake up and get out of bed, nearly falling on my face a half-dozen times. I was running a white-hot temp and felt really icky. Ice water and some air with oxygen in it significantly improved my recovery time, however, my keys remained illusive. Several minutes and muttered curses later, I’m out the door.

Rocky starts aside, the ball began to roll surprising well once I hit the desk. I made at least 40 phone calls, updated databases, files and contacts, assigned cases and taught the volunteer how to wage war on the postal machine. Lunch made me whole, tea kept me going and apparating and disapparating colleagues with admirable senses of humour kept it interesting.

I made a quick trip to the grocery store, got home, did a bit of researching, had a shower, cleaned up, made dinner (so, so good) and am now here, plotting an ending for this post, the day and my over-warm state.

Some people say, when a bad day dawns, that ‘it’s all down hill from here’, but I would have to disagree, because even the most dubious starts can morph into perfectly golden endings, like the one I had today 🙂

–Sam

 

*In response to the daily prompt Sept 28 (Disagree)

 

Several hours later

Remember I said I needed a nap? I had one. It ended up being 2.5hrs instead of say, 20mins. But that’s ok. I was really in need of it. Obviously. Except now I need to go to sleep for more than 2.5hrs and I can’t do it!

Check this book of Micro-fiction out, here if you’re looking for something else to read at this hour. Hopefully, my writing doesn’t put you to sleep…Some of the stories in this book kept me up for a very long time 🙂  It’s a very fast read though!

I’m working through my bookshelf, finally– reading what I own, but have not yet read, instead of just rereading my most cherished tales! It’s a double-whammy at the moment. The titles are Ru and The Best of James Herriot. I will report back once I’ve finished them both.

–Sam

Unfinished

unfinished art

So, this was in my head this evening…I had fun putting it together.

I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday…My motto cette semaine is this: ‘Keep it short and sweet; don’t try too hard.’ I am human, not super-human, and sometimes a friendly reminder of that is required. So maybe it’s incomplete, or maybe it’s entirely whole. But it’s short, sweet and I didn’t try too hard. Mission accomplished.

*The photo is by alexx-ego on Pixabay.com. All else is my brainchild 🙂
*Daily Prompt Sept 27 (Unfinished)

Tuesday, snooze-day…

I really need a nap, just to turn the brain off and close my eyes and be ready to face the constant flow of life on opening them again. It’s pretty calm, pretty quiet, pretty sunny and I’m feeling pretty good. But a nap is sounding like a really awesome idea.

Over and out,

–Sam

 

A long time traveller…

Well sometimes you can’t change and you can’t choose/And sometimes it seems you gain less than you lose (Passenger, Holes)

I’ve had my share of dilemmas. Nothing I want to talk about here and now, but they have existed and do exist. They have shaped my experiences, my sense of the world, and my choices.

I’ve been repeating songs for probably about a week, repeating artists. I will listen over and over and never get tired of it, until it hits that as yet unknown rep where suddenly it’s all too much and you simply cannot listen to that anymore or your head will explode and your brains will be all over the walls.

Rather appropriate, are these numbers which top my personal charts for the here and now…

  • Passenger — Holes and Circles
  • The Rankin Family — North Country and The Boat Song
  • The Wailin’ Jennys — Beautiful DawnGlory Bound and Longtime Traveller

I think we are not designed to be away from home for too long, to travel too far or to be out of reach and out of touch for extended periods. I find it interesting how the earth under our feet is perceived to literally ground us. I am fascinated by the brain, and right now, mine is a little haywire, but happy. It’s been a long day, but a good one. If you want to tie current events, brains and tunes together, grounded in scientific inquiry, click here.

–Sam

 

*In response to the daily prompt Sept 26 (Dilemma)

On point!

I look at my hands, and they are capable. My eyes are bright. My mind is clear. My shoulders are broad and strong. My feet eat up the ground in steady rhythm, in time with the reel singing in my ears. I smile and it is not pretend. I feel beautiful, invincible, warm, happy.

I put some miles on the feet today, powered around town for a good 6km, got a pack full of groceries, visited with Grandma and Aunty Jill, went to the library, cleaned house, prepped and made dinner (a variant on Shepherds pie which is just awesome and a really good excuse for me to indulge in my love of potatoes), blogged, ate a piece of heaven, drank tea, read 2 books, had a nap, listened to some excellent tunes…Saw a spectacular sunset.

It is that feeling that fills you up, fuels you all day, brings awareness to every detail, appreciation for each movement and maintains that balance between effortless joy, and quiet confidence.

I can find it often, but sharing it is harder. “Would you look at that!!!?” is usually all I can say, because these moments make me speechless. Because it’s amazing and it makes me so unbelievably happy! That’s it, right there! Marvel with me, run with me, smile with me, hold me, dance with me. Whether it’s eating nachos in the kitchen, reading a favourite book, flying down the sidewalk, gazing at the stars on a icy winter night or singing along to the song that seems to be written just for you, I feel I have enough enthusiasm for two or more, and it’s just the best when that’s matched and shared among friends.

I like a challenge, enjoy physicality and that which is well executed. I also like sleeping in and rocking out with pancakes on Saturday mornings, tea and conversations on everything from hobbits to Environmental Geography.

And that’s all the enthusiasm I can fit on the page today!

Hoping your day was as good as mine,

–Sam

 

*In response to the daily prompt Sept 25 (Pretend)

Sam’s antonyms

Daily Prompt for Sept 24 (Panic):

I’m dead calm and dead tired right now. Watching the black lung parade that starts at 730am (or earlier, but I wouldn’t know, because I’m usually not peering out windows before then) and runs continuously to some ungodly hour.

I’ve not ever thought about smoking anything or been pressured into it, though I was absolutely terrified (no joke) by the video they showed the class in elementary school about smoking/addictions. I was in grade 1 or 2 and there was a cartoon dragon and a skinny kid who smoked cigarettes, lied to his mother, got really sick and died…At least that’s my recollection of the plot. I still think it’s one of the most creepy and unnerving films I’ve ever seen — also, Sleeping Beauty, I wouldn’t touch any part of that story with a ten foot pole. Both gave me nightmares.

So, don’t smoke. It’s bad for you, smells awful (though, on the spectrum of awful, I prefer tobacco over the new flavoured Vape craze or marijuana) and, these days, does nothing for your wardrobe choices (bedraggled hoodies, cringe worthy pajamas and leisure suits… anything goes in this alley).

I’m off to curl up on the couch with headphones and a movie. Today was good; I ran errands, danced and ate. Tomorrow should be fun– I’ve got more stuff to do and new books to read 🙂 This cactus made me laugh– gotta get me one of those…

–Sam

cactus-1059633_640
PC: klimkin at Pixabay.com