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.
Italy was such an adventure for me. It's confirmed many of my dreams of what it would be like, but in other ways it has held a certain sadness...in how much garbage there is always found along the roadways, how frightening driving can be with so many determined, aggressive drivers sharing the highways, how much I don't understand because I didn't invest the time necessary to learn more of the language. But really, those are all small things compared to the joy of just actually being here, after so many years of imagining it.
I found I would dream about Shane almost ever night here. I dream about him a lot at home as well, but these were different dreams. They were dreams that included the sadness and frustration of things that he could not do or enjoy. I wonder if it was because one thing I'd noticed so much was that in all likelihood if Shane were still here this would never be a place he could enjoy being himself. There is very little that is even moderately accessible, and maybe that is another part of the acceptance that I continue to walk through. Whatever the cause, there weren't many mornings where I've awoken and he's been very far away.
The afternoon was pretty lazy. We wandered over to the #1 resort again in pursuit of the elusive mini-mart, once again didn't find it, then returned home and had a couple of ' almost warm' showers to get the sand out of our hair, then relaxed in the apartment. A nice change to some of the steady going that we'd had over the past couple of days. We relaxed at the apartment until 6pm then loaded our beach bag with some towels, wine and 'pink' red-cups, then headed down to catch the sunset.
That night we had the beach all to ourselves, as the crowds had headed in for the day, so we found a sheltered place along the dunes and enjoyed the colors of the setting sun. It was nice to talk about hopes, dreams, passions. I am focusing on mine and wanted for Cecil to think about doing the same. Although he says he doesn't have any, I know that is not the case. He is just afraid to verbalize them I think, for fear they will either sound silly or unattainable..or maybe that he's dissatisfied with how things currently are. I try to keep explaining that we can be very, very happy with how things are, but still need to have a dream to move towards. It's those dreams and passions that keep us growing!
It was a quiet night after that. Went back to another dinner of dried bread and cheese, a couple of glasses of wine and some hours spent on Pinterest as I try to keep building my plan for better social marketing to work towards my ideal life...that is just around the corner.
Two thirds of the way back down from the top of the Dixience Dam, we came across Chapel Saint Jean. The small stone chapel was built in 1930 by workers during the first stage of construction of the dam. It was built to accommodate the deeply faithful Italian workers who dedicated years of their lives on construction of the dam.
The chapel was small but beautiful with detailed craftsmanship inside and out. The benches inside would only accommodate a very few men at any given time, but in sitting in the quiet of the tiny sanctuary, one could gather a sense of the peace that those who sat in prayer must have embraced.
Where are the places that you go to find that same sense of peace in your life? Is it in the sanctuary of a church? In the quiet of the space you where you meditate? Or is it walking in nature? For me, its either overlooking the view I have of the Assiniboine Valley here at home, or being close to a body of water. But on that day, peace found me in the mountains of Switzerland, and the quiet of that little church.
We continued our journey down the mountain, and continued the adventure of exploration, grateful for all the magic we've been allowed to experience!
There have been many times in my life where passion and hope were non existent, where the darkness that had developed around me seemed to be as relentless as the pain that had caused it.
I will not say for a moment that life has been easy, or struggle free. No life is...no life is meant to be.
But what I have learned that even the darkest, bleakest of times will and do pass...just as the good ones will as well.
I've learned that we need to live in the moment, knowing good or bad, the moment is just that...a moment in time, there to give us what it is we need, often without our knowing that we needed it, and all that we truly have. With each moment, ask yourself what is this teaching me? Giving me? Showing me? If you can adopt an attitude that nothing happens to you, instead everything happens for you, you begin to open yourself up to the events as they happen, knowing it's for your greater good. You learn to trust that you are not the one who really knows what your greater good really is, but rather it's a source much beyond your control
knows that much better than you do.
So what do we do when the bad times surround us? Remember they will pass. Remember that your reaction to events, and not the events themselves, often determine the outcome you will experience emotionally and mentally. Do your best to make your reaction and attitude a positive one, creating a chain of positive energy moving forward through it. And when the bad time passes, and the good times come into your life again, remember that these too are impermanent, and that you must relish and drink in all that they have to offer, in the moment that they are there offering them to you!
Don't miss the moment, good or bad. Instead, take it all in, drinking deeply from the fountain of experience that they offer you. Trusting deeply that whatever is happening is part of the plan you made for this journey long before you started it, as you try to unravel the mystery of all that is going on about you. The power to come through it is in you, it is you, so know that you can manage whatever the current situation is. Let each moment be part of what it is that leads you to being exactly who you are meant to be, that is....'Truly You'.
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!