Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When Life Throws you a Curve Make a Detour

I've gotten off the track just a wee bit lately. But that's OK. See how flexible I am becoming? Hah! Life has thrown me a curve, and I've decided to take a detour.

Just as I got my five year plan in place - save, pay off debt, retire early in 5 years, go off to Nova Scotia and buy land and wait for the world to end while I did some bee-keeping or alpaca-raising or some dog-rescuing... something, someone popped up on my radar and changed everything.

I thought I had my life all figured out. After a few failed relationships I decided I was a much happier (read less unhappy) person on my own. Always very independent I carried on with my career, raised my daughter, bought a trailer and made my plans to retire in 5 years on a reduced pension. Well that plan has changed to a degree. I no longer think about "life beginning at retirement" - I've decided to start living now....and living "in the now." My 5 year plan has become a 5 hour plan, sometimes even a 5 minute plan.

The structure of the plan is still in place. Money continues to be socked away, debt continues to be paid down, and I still hope to retire early in 5 years. I'm just not going to wait 5 years for my life to begin. It seems that for my entire 53 years (as of yesterday "happy birthday to me"!) I've been waiting for life to begin. When I finish highschool....when I finish university....when I make it to the top of the pay grid....when the house is paid off....when when when, never now never today.

Enough I say! Rise up, live a little, it doesn't hurt to be spontaneous once in awhile! Get off the highway and take a detour. Take the path less travelled, you might find you enjoy it more than the paved busy freeway. Explore, take a risk, take a chance, you don't have to play it safe all of the time. Instead of settling for "less unhappy" grab for the gusto, seize the moment, you only live once! (Don't quote me on that one!) All I know is I am having the time of my life and my 5 year plan isn't suffering one little bit!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Sublime - Part of "Getting There"

I can remember learning the meaning of the word "sublime" when I was in one of my many university art history classes. (I thought just it was the name of a great band!) According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word "sublime" means (in reference to nature and art: "affecting the mind with a sense of overwhelming grandeur or irresistible power; calculated to inspire awe, deep reverence, or lofty emotion, by reason of its beauty, vastness, or grandeur."

For me, the photo of the Bayfield sunset taken last weekend evokes the sense of the "sublime". For someone like me, who writes much more fluently than I can speak, I get "finger-tied" when trying to capture on paper what such a scene means to me. It has just been pointed out to me by a wiseass friend that when I gaze at the sunset I appreciate the presence of clouds as they enhance the overall sunset experience. (This same wiseass took me to task when we watched a sunset that was sans clouds and I voiced a complaint..." clouds...what good is a sunset without a few clouds for colour and texture??")

How can one look at such a sight and not feel the awe-inspiring power of an all-seeing creator, such as the magnificently inspired Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel, finger-touching, white flowing-haired powerfully majestic God who created such beauty for our appreciation.

On a much smaller scale a sense of peace, beauty and joy can still be created by the simple arrangement of a chair for relaxing and the surrounding plantlife springing into being by the warming of our environment. One's perspective on life (positive or negative) can help us find joy in the simple things in life, as opposed to those more costly, highly pursued yet totally unnecessary consumer-type items.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting There

It was a cold and windy weekend in Bayfield, Ontario, but the beauties of nature were still on display, although looking like they'd prefer to go inside somewhere warm. Lake Huron was a sea of white-capped waves and I didn't feel the least bit inclined to stick my toe in.

So I stayed away from the water's edge, and explored the mighty deposits of driftwood and multitudes of other sundry items - from huge fish skeletons to tiny, bright green baby shoots bravely thrusting their tenderness towards the unfriendly skies.

I loved the S-shape of this pile of driftwood and decided that pictures don't always have to align themselves to the horizon and are more visually interesting if you take away the usual perspective. What do you think?

Don't you just want to scoop up these brave little green beginnings and protect them from the fearsome forces of nature? Such hope is embodied in their optimistic upwards thrusting towards a sun still cold and untrustworthy. Hold strong - your time is coming!

I placed this gnarled, hairy little piece of debris on a bleached-white log not realizing I was also capturing the journey of some wood-boring creature - a happy accident!

Although an icy-cold wind was blasting these furry little blossoms I feel that their exuberance at being released from the long winter's grasp is firmly achieving the upper hand.

"Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through, and be silent."

Rumi, 13th c. philospher, theologian, poet and teacher.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting Closer to Getting There

I took a walk with a friend through the Westminster Ponds on Sunday and took many pictures of the most incredible spring journey I have ever been on. The photo above was my favourite shot of the day.
This is a part of getting there: taking in the beauty that nature has to offer. Also, getting away from HERE (work, stress) is a big step towards getting "there".

Fiddleheads - just one of the many amazing edibles nature has to offer. I often came home to find wonders of nature in the kitchen - my father was a great one for walking through the countryside and bringing home treasure in the form of: fiddleheads, watercress, puff balls and morels.

Our provincial flower was in full bloom.

And the flowering trees, dogwood and crabapple, were in full bloom. My heart is full of the beauty nature has on display.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You Can't Get There From Here!

I lied. Part Two of Getting There will be slightly delayed. Right now I can't get there from here.

A day in my life talking to Lori, one of my students with autism.

Lori: can I bend your glasses?

Me: no...why would that not be a good idea?

Lori: because then I would owe you $537.00?

Me: right, do you have $537.00?

Lori: no. Can I look down your top?

Me: no....because.....?

Lori: it's personal?

Me: you got it.

Lori: can a man wipe a woman's bum?

Me: no... because.....?

Lori: it's not appropriate?

Me: right....Get your math out Lori.

Lori: then can I break your glasses?

Me: no....because....?

Lori: I don't have $537.00?

Me: right. Do you have a ruler?

Lori: yes....have you been on Gore Rd.?

Me: yes....lots of times. Turn to the last page you were working on...

Lori: where does it end?

Me: where does what end...(as if I didn't know!)

Lori: Gore Rd. Where does it end?

Me: ummmm Clarke Side Rd. I think...

Lori: right, Clarke Side Rd. Where does it begin?

Me: (sighing) Hamilton Rd.

Lori: yeah, (dreamily) Hamilton Rd.

Me: start on this question.

Lori: what roads will we take to get to East Park?

Me: (what the hell time is it?) Dundas St., then Adelaide, then Hamilton Rd.

Lori: do we turn left or right on Hamilton Rd.?

Me: left, now let's get going on your math...

Lori: when he leave Eastpark, do we go left or right on Hamilton Rd.?

Me: left, we turn left onto Hamilton Rd.

Lori: left, yes that's correct, we turn left....

Me: ok, do you know how to do this question?

Lori: can you call Ed Roland today?... (Ed Roland is the lead singer of the band "Collective Soul" and I have brought Lori two CD's of their music to school for her to swoon to..)

Me: no, I don't have his phone number, it's unlisted. Do you know what unlisted means?

Lori: yes, go on google and get his phone number.

Me: I can't, his number is unlisted.

Lori: spicy eyes, you have spicy eyes...(my eyeglasses have the words Spicy Eyes on the arms)

Lori: can I give you a hug and a kiss and pretend I'm Ed Roland? (hormones raging...)

Me: you can give me a hug, but not a kiss.....AFTER you get your math finished.

Lori: spicy eyes....spicy eyes (doing her math now...)

That's a five minutes glimpse into my daily journey as a special ed teacher....