Thursday, December 30, 2010

flowers and bumble bees

Live Love Laugh is our motto for the year. #1 gave me a picture frame with those words written on it. I also gave Tink a little trinket box with those words on it. There are a few of us who are going to have to create our own happiness rather than depending on it happening on its own. Dig a little deeper to find it.

The new picture frame is on my wall. I have fancy pictures on my wall of flowers and bumble bees. This picture frame spoke people. I needed to put my friends in it; Tink, #1 and Belles mom, #1.5 and her husband. I hung it on the wall, and didn’t think anything of it. Then, later on, I was drinking tea and looking up at it and there was and smiles and histories and stories. I realized how important it was to have pictures of people up on my wall as well. So I printed out a whole bunch of pictures of friends and put them on the wall.

I also told a few more of them how important they were to me. Until this point I had no problem telling the ones who told me I was special, that they were special too. But I realized there were others who talked to me. We shared pieces of ourselves with each other and they needed to be recognized. Others had needed no invitation to tell me I was important, I needed to step up and tell others they were important to me. I recognized this; I was aware and I wasn’t scared.

There is a new year to see where these friendships go.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our motto this year is LIVE LOVE LAUGH.

So I haven’t been writing much, and for someone who writes like most people breathe, that is unusual. I worked a whole bunch of overtime at work, and quite time for writing is not something that happens at the parent’s house over Christmas, at one point I sat at the table with a book and a journal and a pen and that was about it for the writing. It was an amazing conversation to be part of, and makes me think, among other things, that there is a lot out there coming my way. I usually think, how am I going to do things, this year? I believe, this year; it’s coming towards me.

The Duncan family, meaning the immediate family of four, doesn’t do boxing day sales. Except this year I wanted an ipod nano and a blender. Well I got a blender and for a girl who never had a real smoothie until 2 nights ago, let’s just say the blender is totally earning its keep. There was also a great sale on DVD’s so I picked up season one of Sex and the City.

I would watch bits and pieces of Sex and the City on my breaks, during breaks, on the night shift at “The Hotel;” when there wasn’t a Saturday night party. I had since pushed it away with all my other TV memories. So when I put Season one Episode one in the DVD player I fell in love all over again. I love that these women have so much trouble finding men and are so articulate about it. Whether they’re right or they’re wrong, it doesn’t matter, the idea is that I enjoy it and get swept away.

So, I now own all six seasons and hey, really, who needs to eat?

Considering the amount of TV I watch, I’ll be content until I’m forty.

Hope everyone had/is having a good holiday

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cliff

There is a simple end
To predicaments like this
Others land, head on stone
A hand pointed upward

Slow motion dream
I fall past the
Layers of rock
Secrets of a billion years

A history lesson
Of people and laughter
And pages turning
Only crows appear

My senses heightened
The dew of heaven
Reaches out
To my shoulder

There is a stench
Of wasted hours
A moment
When breath is stolen

Strong hands of a tree
Pull me up ward
Bones snap
Like weaker limbs

Roots run deep
Into a strong cliff
There is new land
Marked off for me

Culled, my ice fingers
On the blades of rock
Digging deep
Loose stones echo below

There is a flat edge
Trees and a cave
Shelter from the wind
A home

Fires are built
Many hands throw
Axed logs
Announcing sparks

There is a soup
We drink from bowls
Melting our minds
And remove our cold

We tell our lives
Until it is so late
Our hearts begin
To live each other

Stories become etched
Into the rocks around us
By people who
Are gone by morning

I wonder if I am to
Sit here until
They return
Or do I fall

Friday, December 24, 2010

Festivus for the Rest of Us

Aunty and Cousin and Papa Duncan's Gingerbread House

Mama Duncan and I did this one

Sister Duncan and friend from the past I was happy to see again

Monday, December 20, 2010

Enjoy the Holidays

No matter what holiday or how you celebrate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Present

As I was waking up last weekend I comforted myself with a fantasy. I asked myself what I wanted from it. Touching, holding, excitement, family, friends, emotions, shared intensity, fear of a big change, building stronger connections. I realized I had those things in reality; I just needed to know how to process them.

Yesterday, I went home to set up the tree. I went the whole day without disappearing into a fantasy. A few times I went inside myself just to pull things together, but I didn’t have to leave the room or pull out my journal. I remained present.

Home is one of the places I would disappear, even on walks with the parents I would slip into long romantic excursions with the president of the cute, untouchable boy of the month club, George Clooney, Robbie Turner, etc.

Maybe that’s why I have been avoiding going home for so long, I was building up strength, healing.

This morning, I couldn't disappear. Today, I see opportunities opening up.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tea Would Have Been Nice

I knew I was headed for a transition, but naively I pictured a nice quiet weekend, tea in one hand, cars driving by the window, a sigh and me saying to myself: “Yes I see.”

After starting the week off on such a high, I was hit with reality. I will need to prioritize and I will need down time.

When I cry the first thing that comes to mind is my last few years in the city. When I would cry, it would last for hours and I would get scared because even though nothing bad happened I didn’t want to be by myself if it did, if my emotions got too much for me to handle. So I would go to the hospital and they would give me a bed and let me talk to psych and maybe my medications would be debated and more appointments made. The stuff I was crying about was never resolved.

So when I hit hour 2 1/2 -3 of crying last night I was worried. I finally put myself to bed at 9:30. I woke up with bloodshot eyes, but as the day went on, I sent myself little notes, my mind kept working on new things completing thoughts finding answers. I had this feeling of emptiness and clarity. I decided tonight the emptiness was good, I have been cleansed and there is room for new.

That dip in emotion also has me on alert. I don’t want to be sick again and if I do get sick I want to be aware of what’s going on.

What if all this crying is a monster leaving my body and it makes me cry because it's been part of me for so long? And I never even knew it was there…

I’ve reached a point in my life when the Dr won't have a magic pill to take the pain away. It's up to me to deal with it on my own.

I saw that what I'm looking for in my fantasies I have in real life I just have to learn to interpret it

Sunday, December 12, 2010

and this is life

I wish I could show you the pictures I took last night. I may ask for permission in the future but not right now. I don’t post pictures of me, so I’ll not put that pressure on my friends. Let’s just say I’ve fallen in love with them, the friends and the pictures.

I’ve chosen to go to these people for laughter and help and support rather than to curl up inside myself. If something happens that we part, and this is life. There will be much pain.

Last night I took the five year old Kodak EasyShare to the work Christmas party (there’s no delay, when you want to take the picture it takes it). My friends looked beautiful, and something amazing happened, I trusted myself and they trusted me. Souls come out. When I sat at their table to take a picture, friends smiled at friends, spouses held each other. One husband wrapped himself around his wife and yelled my name as I passed. I’ve never been able to take good portraits before. Sure there were some bad ones; a great lot of us had found the bar a couple times over, but I grew a little bit.

This makes me want to take my photos more seriously.

Today and yesterday I sang after a week of focusing on overtime and running and cooking cool meals. My voice is getting stronger, it’s nowhere near a place where I want to ask a professional for lessons again, but it’s a consideration. I want to keep up with it, it sets me free.

I struggle to write as much as I want to, I write a few blogs, and try to get my Julia Cameron 20 minutes of free fall a day. From this freefall I pull rough outlines of things to expand and create. I’ve spent a few weeks working on a poem that has been great to play with, but it is nowhere near shareable. I want my writing to be stronger.

I added an extra half a lap to my run last week and would like to keep that up.

Work is asking for overtime.

And I still need to read, keep the apartment up to snuff (right now it is nowhere near snuff) and cook.

I want to be a good friend to these people who I have been sharing these great experiences with.

Thinking about it has overwhelmed me, I think, I can’t do it, it’s too much, something will need to be left behind. Wah wah wah.

And then I read this by Pixie Campbell:
As the solstice approaches, I'm growing my list of everything to be released. I'll be attending my first sweat in years, since I began having babies and nursing them through, which seems to be another aspect of this transition I've been experiencing between one who has babies and one who is finished having babies. At the top of my list to release at the lodge is that grief. I cry each time (like right now) I acknowledge that I am moving beyond that sacred place. I didn't see it coming when I was in the earlier stages of my mama bliss. It really hit me when I was weaning Ivy back in the summertime.

I too am going through changes that need to be released; I’ve gone from a phone/e-mail agent to a QA. And I’m going from a person with depression, nursing and healing a sick body, to a much healthier person. My day no longer revolves around surviving, but enjoying. I need to take time and realize that, learn how that changes the daily routine.

I was thinking this Christmas wasn’t feeling like Christmas to me, maybe this year it’s a transition time more than a celebration time. A chance to tell myself I can do it. I can experiment with time and commitment and learn. A time to release the old and accept the new.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Learning in Pieces was posted at 8:05, that’s before I proof read and spell checked (as best as I can do at that time in the morning.) I had to leave at quarter after, nothing was packed, I hadn’t brushed my teeth or dried my hair. I thought, Frosty maybe you should just wait, there could be more. But I posted it.

I was challenged twice today. The first time I said "I hear you and I will change the way I approach that." That’s what this week has told me. I had to go over the line to find the balance.

The next time, it was stuff that I learned from going over the line, stuff that I felt I understood and I stood up for it; stuff that came together after this morning’s post. It was intense.

I’ve always been afraid to stand up for what I believe in, or even mention what I believe in, in case someone (me) has to be wrong. I explained why the decision was made and did all in my power to make it clear.

I looked at a friend and said don't worry, it will get better. I believe that, I understand that. I see the pattern in life. New things are hard at first and then they get better.

I came home and added an extra ½ a lap to my run, giving me permission to eat chips with my chili.

PS...due to my work it has to be vague.

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Learning in Pieces

I’ve been doing my job for close to two months now, and yesterday I felt confused like I didn’t know when I was doing. My choices were questioned and scrutinized. I knew what I made the decision I did, that would happen. And it did; in public, in front of everyone.

I just realized that as I was writing this that what happened was big. Of course I’m affected. This week I’ve felt out of sorts, writing e-mails to apologize for e-mails, feeling scattered.

This morning I found a blog on monsters. I’ve never thought about monsters as a phenomenon. Monsters as a whole, something people consciously think about when they write or tell stories. What do they represent, who are they where do they come from?

When I was young, there were ghosts in our old house and I was afraid to go to bed, even sleeping under my covers. It scared the dog that I was so scared.

This morning I also found an essay called Dealing With the Self-Doubt Monster. Synchronicity folks? It says it’s ok to feel self doubt.

“If we never stop to question ourselves and our abilities… if we brush off feedback (or never seek it), then we will likely develop a higher view ourselves and our … ability than we truly have.”

“Perfection is unattainable. We need to guard against thinking we’re already close to perfect. And we need to guard against thinking we need to be perfect. Instead, we can begin to develop a quiet confidence in our … abilities—seeing how far we’ve come, but knowing we still have room to grow.”
Jody Hedlund

I’ll keep going forward; I’ll take what I learned this week, and roll the above quotes around in my head and apply it to my work and my life. And tonight it’s me a pen and the world of monsters.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

His Name is Skylar

We went to the local animal shelters open house. We were really involved when my sister and I were little and then we went to university, it’s a hard place to be. The truth about a lot of things is in your face.

Mama Duncan started to tear up asking that the donation be put in puppies name and I decided I wanted to take home one of the rats in the reception area, and started to cry. Don’t worry, BK was ready with a list of ways to get a pet rat into a “pet free” apartment complex.

We went to the kitties first and they loved my set of keys, and I talked to all of them of course, told them all they were beautiful, found one with the same attitude of the real Frosty, quiet calculating, and after a bit she warmed up and played with the keys too. There was a pair of kittens black and black and white, bobbed tails double paws, I had to fight to get the keys back, I was sure they were going to figure out how to use the whistle.

We moved on to the dogs and the more experienced shelter people were there ready with the stories. I’ll spare you, except for Skylar. He was a 2 year old golden lab, sitting in the corner, trying to figure out why everyone was feeding him doggie cookies.

“This is Skylar, he came in this morning, his family moved and didn’t take him with them.”

I looked at Skylar and said “So you don’t understand…” Well I tried to say understand, but I instead I looked at Mama Duncan and said “Now that makes me cry.”

I left ready to ask the mean landlord if a rat was acceptable, but he chewed me out for spilling dry laundry soap on the laundry room floor. He left a note and waited until he heard me come back downstairs to chew me out personally.

I’m 30 cough years old and stepping out of an all encompassing fight to get well. I’m single and not sure what to do with all this emotion. There’s a real part of me that’s ready for the responsibility and I need to have something in my life I can nurture and take care of. And two kitties are much more practical than a baby.

I saw a picture on a blog of a writer, writing at her coffee table, two cats on her lap and one on the floor beside her. I thought; that’s what I want. #1 talks about her cats sitting at her face waiting for her to wake up and feed them. I want that. I remember coming home and Roxie jumping up on the table so she could see me better. “Kitty Kisses” I’d say, and she’d bow her head forward and I would kiss the top of her head. I want that.

So the search may be on for a little apartment that allows cats. I may be ready.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

See You Later

I ran a around a farm taking pictures from 9 until 11:00. I then proceeded to run around the neighbouring town, also with the camera in hand and came home at 2:00 where I crashed on the couch. Feeling tired I made a list of all the things I needed to do. My friend left me a note on Facebook and asked if it was me she saw out jogging. As I was answering her (no it wasn't)it then dawned on me that I was exhausted. Most of the list is waiting until tomorrow. I did get some Christmas wrapping done, well, until the paper ran out.

His status on Facebook said “See you later Jean.” It’s been ten years since I’ve seen this person, ten years since I’d seen Jean. She directed Arcadia at university and I was assistant stage manager. When I need a good memory of University, after friends, comes the production of Arcadia. It moved beyond the politics (sure it was there) and productions near the end left me crying at the mercy of history professors or waiting in the wings trying to shut them out, I embrace the memories of Arcadia and how well it worked.

Jean died yesterday of a blood cancer.

For a moment there was a flash, that some time in the future in heaven or future lives or whatever, but somewhere in the future we would all be together again, maybe putting together rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead, heading over to a house where most of the theatre department could be found; drinking, reading monologues and debating the lighting techniques of Casablanca into the night.

I started reading a crappy story; I knew it was crappy when I picked it out at a library sale over the summer. This whole thing reminds me of how important it is to find a well written piece. How important it is to talk about it, and to make it come alive. I want to read something that can breathe.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rapsberry Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup almond meal/flour
1tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups soy milk
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup earth balance (butter or margine) melted
2 tsp vanilla

2 cups frozen raspberries

preheat oven to 375 (190) and grease muffin pans

In large bowl combine 1st four dry ingredients

In another whisk brown sugar and wet ingredients pour over dry and add raspberries. Stir until just moistened.

Bake for 25- 30 minutes... Mine took 30.

It made a dozen if you notice, there are some missing

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Real safety is your willingness to not run away from yourself."

random neighbourbood cat

I created great fantasies in my head: weddings, marriages, children, parties in my perfect house with my perfect family; all that stuff. There were great meetings of old friends from another time and amazing accomplishments. I was distracted from the right now and I believe when I do it, I drain my energy.

This weekend I realized when I do create fantasies and day dreams they have to be about me achieving my next goal; for me.

If I slip into one of those old fantasies, I imagine myself running and set a goal for me. On Saturday I decided I wanted to join the charity committee. On Sunday whenever I slipped away I would bring myself back by thinking about walking up to the Charity Committee Head and asking her to include me.

On Monday I went to see her, I was so sure of myself and wasn’t scared at all.

On Sunday night I simply thought how beautiful it would be to have a baby sleeping beside me. It’s still a fantasy but I found strength and I’ve always had strong dreams about babies.

In the last 6 days I have slept harder, had more vivid dreams and more synchronicity type connections with people then I have had in a long time.

After I wrote a similar letter to the secret keeper she mentioned Pema Chödrön, so I googled Pema Chödrön and fantasy and came up with this right away.

The way I understand it is that we rob ourselves of being in the present by always thinking that the payoff will happen in the future.
The only place ever to work is right now. We work with the present situation rather than a hypothetical possibility of what could be. I like any teaching that encourages us to be with ourselves and our situation as it is without looking for alternatives. The source of all wakefulness, the source of all kindness and compassion, the source of all wisdom, is in each second of time. Anything that has us looking ahead is missing the point.