Saturday, September 22, 2018

Mozart.....

Our word for today is "music." Well, it's been our word for a few days now and I just haven't set aside the time to write a post. Nor have I set aside time to do a number of tasks related to The Artists' Way, the 12-week course I'm working on. So I decided to do as much as I could to-day!!



My Artist's "date" was to listen to some music outdoors, so I put on my odometer, found some Mozart on YouTube and set out to walk through the cemetery listening to "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - a little night music at 8:30AM- The story of my life!!

I walked for 6.70kms live streaming these incredible symphonies until my phone died. Although, I had set out with 72% charged, all those violins must have taken a lot of energy and the French Horns - well, what can I say, they were a blast!!



I did have some creative thoughts though. Just before I left, Brainpickings reminded me that it is Leonard Cohen's birthday today, so I could think of his thoughts on creativity, my favourite being - "There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." I actually belong to a group on Ravelry, dedicated to those knitters, who also love Leonard Cohen - we're a small select group.



I do like walking through Mt. Pleasant cemetery. It's also an arboretum, with gorgeous old trees. William Lyon MacKenzie King is buried there, as are a number of other dignitaries. I, invariably pass headstones I've seen before, they're like old friends. It's hard to find a quiet place in the city. Even the places that were once quiet are getting noisier, busier. I think I have to do my walk on a weekday, rather than a Saturday and I think I'll try another composer. Mozart is actually quite raucous!!

The pictures? Light, music and cemeteries.

Have a thoughtful day!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Perfectionism...

Perfectionism is our word for today. I am not a perfectionist, although I am getting better. I marvel at people who spend time on "things" to get everything just right. I'm more of the "just do it." Not so much to dash it off - a league or so away from perfection, but just to get the project done. I have a habit of not finishing "things."



Now there is a person in my knitting group who is a perfectionist. She is always perfectly "turned out" - make-up applied, finger nails done, clothing immaculate and co-ordinated. Her knitting is also precise - beautiful shawls, intricate details, perfect colour combinations. I am always in awe. Last week she taught us how to knit a beaded bracelet. There are 8 of us in the group. Well, she prestrung beads for us in amazing combinations. We were working with over 100 beads per bracelet and everyone of those beads was hand selected and placed in the queue in such a way that every bead complimented each other. I need to acquire some of that perfectionism.



I see perfection in nature. Not all the time - the garden is looking a little ratty this September, but there are a few flowers, especially the roses, that are opening to the perfect multi-foliate rose. I remember the word, multi-foliate, from a poem by T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men. I know that it means something else in the poem, but to me, it means rose windows in ancient cathedrals, precious flowers in perfect gardens and complex people (friends) with many layered personalities.


The pictures? beads and roses.

Have a picture perfect day!!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Go-Fund Me

My friend has started a "Go-Fund Me" campaign to help bring the minimum wage project, which was started by the Liberal government and cancelled by the new government, to completion. It has one more year after this one, to run its course and be accurately evaluated. People on the program - 4,000 in all, have enrolled in courses, put deposits on apartments, started new projects, because of the government support. We can't destroy their dreams. Here is what my friend is doing.

   I started a GoFundMe campaign to support photographer Jessie Golem’s - Humans of Basic Income project.
   Jessie was a Basic Income participant who was, prior to the program, working 4 jobs to earn enough to care for herself. Basic Income allowed her to grow her photography business and get a better paying job so she could leave Basic Income behind. She worked her way, with a leg up, to self-sufficiency.
   Basic Income is a 3 year pilot program started by the Wynne Government to test “whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes, and help ensure that everyone shares in Ontario’s economic growth.” The Ford Government passed down a decision to cancel the program next March, after 2 years, despite a campaign promise to not do so. The effectiveness of the pilot can only be known when the 3 year pilot is complete and evaluated.
    4000 participants made commitments to housing, college and university, based on the government’s promise. They are now struck in worse positions.
    Please take a look at the the GoFundMe campaign for all the details and donate if you are able. In any case, please forward the campaign to friends you think might be interested.

https://www.gofundme.com/humans-of-basic-income

   Jessie and I will be grateful.



I clicked on the linked and made a donation. I have had good fortune most of my life. I felt that Gayle's Go-Fund Me campaign was a great way of spreading this good fortune to others, in fact 4,000 other people with just a click. How often do these opportunities present themselves in the daily to-ing and fro-ing of our lives. WOW a $4.00, $40.00, $400.00 donation from anyone (or all) of us will directly impact the lives of 4,000 people. Don't miss it!!

The picture? A family whose dreams will be shattered.

Have an awesome day


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Crowds...

Our word for today is "crowds." It's from an article I was reading about the crowds of tourists practically destroying the treasures they have come to see. I have said before, there are too many people in this world. That being said, I still find it eerie to be alone in a deserted area.



We had an encounter in Barcelona a few years ago. It was just off Las Ramblas, which was crowded with tourists, however the side streets were empty. We were approached by two man, who fortunately didn't take our money, although they did ask for our passports, which we had decided to leave at home. It was unnerving.



In Malaga, if you go up to the castle along the south walk, there are streams of people. If you go up on the North side, there are very few people, and some of them are a little strange. We tend to stay on the more travelled paths. However, even on a busy walk once, we suddenly found ourselves alone, facing a weird woman who was trying to take my wallet, while selling me Rosemary.



Both of these incidents happened in winter. I have seen the crowds in early June and I'd never go anywhere "famous" in July or August. Even September is iffy. There was a time, in the late '60s, when I travelled in Europe and no one was there. One or two people were at the Trevi Fountain and 15 or 20 were in the Sistine Chapel. Fewer, at Notre Dame. There were no line ups. It was a different world. A normal world - not the frenzied hysteria, I see now. Venice might very well become another Atlantis, buried in the sea, if something doesn't happen soon.

The pictures? The busy-ness of people. Sigh

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Cookie...

Our word for today is "cookie." I love the baked kind. I can't remember my mother or my grandmother actually baking cookies. However, my grandmother, always had cookies in her cookie jar, which was shaped like a rather rotund woman - go figure (or not as the case maybe :) I will eat peanut butter cookies, even though I don't really like them, probably because I don't like peanut butter. I prefer shortbread, raisin oatmeal or gingerbread. I'm not one to look a cookie horse in the mouth, though, so even if it's peanut butter, it's still a cookie and it's a treat!!



On the other hand, cookies become a little less appetizing when they get lodged in your computer and track your where abouts. Maybe Big Brother didn't bake cookies. He just created some coded ones to control us. Another less appealing cookie is the one used to describe an orthopaedic arch support. We talk of fallen arches being supported by cookies. Can a fallen soul be redeemed with a cookie and if so, what kind?



Finally, I like Cookie as a person's name. The first time I heard it used was on a CD cover describing The Rankins, a singing family from Cape Breton. One of the sisters is Cookie Rankin. I coveted her name. I have said before that I have always wanted a nickname. My father was Corky. I might have been a Corkie - just one letter different from Cookie. Clearly another statement on my life - always just one letter off - just an inch away - an hour too early - an hour too late....the list goes on.


The pictures? Cookies with attitude.

Have a sweet day!!

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Water...

Our word for today is "water." It's my word, no doubt influenced by the fact that we are just back from Prince Edward County, which is surrounded by Lake Ontario. Being in the city most of the time, I forget how lovely it is to see the water, especially a large expanse of water, like the sea.



Water slows you down and makes you think. Or at lest gives you time to think. It's a little misty today - water suspended in the air, a contemplative day. What should I think about? I could think about all the chores that need to be done. I really don't like referring to cooking as a chore. I like cooking and making soups for freezing - flavoured water in winter, maybe.



The garden doesn't need watering. We've had a lot of rain and I think that more rain is forecast. What the garden needs is a good cleaning, as does the house. This is when a basin of warm water is a benison, a blessing. Nothing says "clean" like soap and water. Would that we could clean out all the dust in our minds, with a little soap and water.



Some start the day with a shower. I start the day with three pages of writing, long hand. I guess it's a little like purging those petty thoughts from our minds, the dust that obscures our vision of what could be.

The pictures? water and water carriers - a selection. I have more, lots more.

Have a thoughtful day.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sisters...

I know I said in my last post that my writing partner and I were putting the word-a-day posts on hold for awhile. Well, we can't stop writing, even though we are writing 3 pages of long hand every morning. The compromise is - a word every other day. Our word for this day is "sisters."

I have three sisters. One biological sister and two adopted. I also have a biological brother and one sister-in-law. It's interesting how relationships change. My biological sister is closest to me in age. She's actually three years younger. We are very different people and for many years, we were never close. In fact, I was closer to my next sister, who is eight years younger than me and adopted.

My brother is next in line and twelve years younger than me. My mother in her late forties was given the opportunity to adopt the child of friend of my eldest sister - families are complicated. My youngest sister is twenty five years younger than me.



Over the years, my biological sister and I have become friends and have distanced the next sister, who has shut us out and manipulated our father into giving her the family home. The only daughter he remembers, besides the one who lives with him, is our youngest sister, because she rode horses, one of his many loves.

Blood may not run thicker than water. My closest sister is the one who is researching the family tree and has found hundreds of cousins. We still have thirteen first cousins we keep in touch with and many second and third cousins, my sister is in touch with. The remaining DNA we had to capture, to extend the cousin count, is from my brother, who had gone missing for years.

Well my sister e-mailed me the other day, to say that she has found our brother and he is well, sober and working part-time. He's quite keen on doing the DNA "stuff." Maybe we'll get to be a little closer, now.

The picture? Our immediate family, minus one son, with my husband's sister, brother and our niece. People talk of "family planning" as though it were something you could organize, like a holiday. They have no idea!!