THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
I'm a book lover...I've always been a book lover. For that gift in life, I'm eternally grateful. Books have always been a way to at times escape the world, at other times to delve deeper into it. I'm a believer that any time spent reading is never wasted time.
My problem is that my passion with books oft times turns into an obsession, where book after book sits and collects dust on a shelf or in a closet. Then, historically, a big purge ensues, where the local thrift store, or one of a number of recipients ends up with my beloved collection. Then the collecting begins again.
I occasionally resort to e-books, and have a large selection of them on my devices as well. But I don't know. There's just something about holding a book in your hands. Smelling and feeling the pages. Turning down the corners to go back to. I think it's a lot to do with my old school upbringing, and my old school self.
In an effort to try and reduce the vast numbers of books that surround me, over the past couple of years I've taken to gifting them instead. Reading them through, taking a photo of a phrase or paragraph that speaks to...or haunts me. Then putting out little verbal, conversational feelers to determine who might next love, learn from and enjoy the book as much as I have.
My most recent read has been Tanya Talaga's "Seven Fallen Feathers". I picked it up at a little bookstore called Queen Books, on Queen Street when I was in Toronto in March to participate in our charity's (Artists Against Racism) most recent campaign launch. It was the perfect accompaniment for the campaign we were launching, which was a cross Canada billboard campaign featuring some of our our country's greatest Indigenous artists. The hope? That people across the country might see these fabulous works of art, take a step back and consider what the piece is trying to say to us. So many of the artworks tell deep, visceral stories of the spirituality, heartbreak, history and challenges of our country's First People. Each story told through the beauty of art.
"Seven Fallen Feathers" ran much deeper into the history and often agony of our Indigenous people. Tanya did a wonderful job of weaving the the loss of seven high school students in Thunder Bay, Ontario into the history that has led to those deaths. In a country where so many of us have been blessed with so very much, to better understand how it is that students across our province (Ontario) have to travel so far from their homes to gain the academic requirements to move forward in the world. She reminds of of much of our country's bloody past, including deepening understanding on The Indian Act, the Residential School system, the racism that still stains our country so deeply.
I try to imagine what it must be like for all the parents who are faced with sending their young, impressionable teenage children miles and hours away from secluded northern communities, into what they know will be a dangerous world of so many first time opportunities, good and bad. The fact that between 2000 and 2011, seven of those youth turned up dead, with no closure as to why, how or who might be responsible is heart-wrenching. Those deaths continue, if you pay attention to today's news. And yet, it seems little has been done to improve the situation. Why is that, in what so many claim to be the greatest country in the world?
I think that "Seven Fallen Feathers" is another one of those books that everyone should make the time to read. If knowledge is power, then the more we educate ourselves on how we've come to where we are in Canada, the more power we can gather as a community that steps forward to demand change. But will we? Or will be continue to turn a blind eye?
For now, I can only hope that each reading opens someones eyes just a little wider, and that the world will slowly inch forward into something that we can become more proud of being a part of, as this powerful read makes it's way to the next person that I hope will find a glimmer of enlightenment from it's pages.
I've become so impassioned with my beading and wind chimes, that I've now opened my own Etsy Store! Who'd have believed it! Check out my Singing Dolphin Wind Chimes when you have a chance!
I’m not sure when it began again for me. I think it was March. I knew the grand kids were coming out to visit for 10 days, and that might have been what spurred the purchase. It could have been my ideas of what we could do for some ‘fun’ inside should the rainy days that we’d experienced for weeks and weeks continue. It could have been my conviction, finally, to get rid of some of the seashells that we’ve been collecting from every trip we’ve taken to be near water in the last 10 years. I’d always managed to drag bags of them home, but had yet to decide on what to do with the collection. There was always an idea in the back of my head of things I ‘could’ do when the time and opportunity arose, but they remained just ideas, until the last two months. Regardless of what triggered the purchases, I found myself in the local Walmart looking for some beads that could be used to pretty up some sort of creation, my thought being to make wind chimes out of the shells that were gathering dust.
The first time I sat down and actually worked on the craft was with a girlfriend who was visiting from the prairies. We had a great evening creating our beginner versions of the shell chimes, that would hang as reminders of good times spent together. The second time was with my grandsons, one working on a wind chime that he would take home with him, the other working on a necklace that spelled out his name and used his favourite colour. Then everyone headed for their respective homes and I was left with the beads...and the shells...and a passion to create once again.
I am not sure exactly how soon after that that it hit me. I was working on restringing a wind chime that had been my Mother’s, having made the decision to start using beads and baubles from some of the old jewelry that sat in boxes in my storage. Stuff that had been my Grandmother’s, or my aunts, or my Mom’s. Junk jewelry, that I hadn’t the heart to throw out, but had no desire to use or wear myself. So the dismantling began. Cutting threads, snipping wire, organizing colors, then putting the pieces back together in a new way that said ‘Lynda was here’.
By about the third creation, it all came back to me. I love this! I had loved beading and creating as a child, but had completely forgotten for over forty years. As I sat at the kitchen breakfast nook, threading the little glass beads onto the fish line, one delicate bead at a time, the memory of doing this as a child came flooding back, and the joy filled my spirit.
We learned about it in elementary school, and I don’t even truly remember who it was that taught us. Something tells me it was Stella Smoke or maybe it was Tony Myran, who were two Indigenous mentors brought in to the school to work with students who were being mainstreamed into our typical education system, and I realize today, they were likely the first students in that situation. After generations of Indigenous children being sent to Residential Schools, those that we started Grade 1 with were among the very first to have escaped that system. But inclusion came with challenges, as all inclusion does at the beginning. The mentors were brought into try and ease some of those challenges by being examples to the Indigenous students, and educators to the rest of us. The beading, I remember, was one of my favorite learning, and once I’d learned the basics of it, I would spend hours and hours at home creating headbands, name tags, small pieces of work that filled me with so much pride. I never achieved the intricate, detailed pieces that the ladies from the neighboring reserves were so gifted at creating, but I still loved the little bit that I did do.
As I sat at my kitchen counter I finally remembered that. As with the resurgence of any passion, I’ve been diving into this with both feet as I scan Walmart for more beads, garage sales for discarded jewelry treasures, and the seaside for shells and driftwood that might work for the next piece. Then, upon returning home, comes the pleasure of the sorting and organizing and grouping. It’s crazy, but more importantly, it’s fun. The thing that we all need more of in our lives.
I try to keep the pieces consisting of up cycled and recycled materials for the most part, but I also want them to be eye catching. I’ve found that Amazon is a great source for an assortment of bead suppliers and options, and most of those options are actually quite reasonable. To be able to add a little bit of brand new bling to each piece, something that is a signature that I can recognize. Something old, something new, something....you know.
Each creation gets a little more refined and techniques are adjusting and fine-tuning as the days go on. You’ll have to take my word for that, because before I thought to take pictures of some of the first ones, I decided to gift them for special occasions. Handmade gifts are always a hit, and what better way to say Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island than by using the gifts of the sea that we receive right here.
I’m loving being immersed once more in something that I loved so dearly, and had forgotten about. The evenings are different, relaxed and more focused. It’s a kind of meditation all on its own. It’s a gift to be reminded of things that fed our childhood passion, because the truth is that those things usually still do. We come into this world with creative gifts to share, but we get devoured by the busyness of living and providing and forget that those gifts ever existed. Yet they are still in us to give, in one form or another.
Take some time, find a quiet place and let your heart wander back through time to who you were before the world started making you into what it wanted you to be. What were the things you loved to spend your time doing? What filled your hours with joy and pleasure, and made time pass by unnoticed? What part of that could you recreate today to bring more of that childlike joy into your grown up, responsible adult life? It can be done you know. We all have the right to live more passion filled, joy filled lives, but we neglect to give ourselves permission to embrace that. The time has come to allow ourselves to pursue whatever it is that feeds our souls and our spirits, because although we think our time is endless, it isn’t. Don’t waste it being anything other than your happy, authentic, true self. It’s what the world is waiting for.
Welcome to My Passionate Life!
The Passion Test supports you to live your life more passionately, creating the life you dream of, doing the things you love!