Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sunday Uplift - Listen

Because I'll be camping this week, I thought I'd throw the Uplift out there a little early. Take time to stop and listen, folks...

"A soundscape is any collection of sounds, almost like a painting is a collection of visual attractions," says composer R. Murray Schafer. "When you listen carefully to the soundscape it becomes quite miraculous." David New's portrait of the renowned composer becomes a lesson unto itself, gracing viewers (and listeners) with a singular moment of interactive subjectivity. This film was produced for the 2009 Governor General's Performing Arts Award. By David New,
2009, 6 min 21 sec

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Rooted Heart

The Rooted Heart, Fort Worden, WA 2010

For twenty-five years, I have worn one form of the winged heart or another, most of them in broach form, all representing my own restless heart. I always forcibly clipped my wings in order to stay in a single place with a single man, but that never worked for long. I stayed, but only until my flight feathers had grown back and I could move on with my restless winged heart.

A great deal lately has seemingly conspired to offer me that last Great Love I have so long begged the Cosmos to give me, and as hard as I twist and turn, I find myself increasingly enmeshed in an undeniable increase of emotion towards this gentle fellow who has so unexpectedly come into my life. Coldly put, eh? That's just my Gate Guardians doing their best to protect my fragile corpus.

For the first time in my life, I am being prudent, careful, taking time to know this man, to check the fit of our puzzle pieces, to discover everything I can before allowing my gates to open and grant him full access. So we walk, we talk, we sit, we talk some more, and we walk some more. Knowing mine is a heart so-ready to take flight at the slightest hint of danger, you can but imagine my surprise when, during the first of our lovely walks, I encountered a graffitied winged heart on a wall of an old building. And I took a photograph.

Weeks later I happened across the photograph again, and it suddenly struck me that this was not just a winged heart. It was a winged heart that had grown roots!

Could it be that I was growing roots as I walked over the needle-softened ground and down the rock-strewn beaches with this comfortable person, or were the roots there, just waiting for him to nurture them? With every step I grow stronger and healthier, more sure-footed and alive. Every time his arms go around me, I settle a little more into them. His smell is becoming a part of me, and I miss it when he's not near. Parts of me I thought long dead are coming to life like plants in Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret Garden. The possibility of love - solid, honest love - is real again, and much to both his and my own absolute pleasure, we are caught in an amazing whirlwind of pleasure.

Will this last? Will the roots grow deep and healthy? Will my wings only be used for flights of fancy from now on? The only answer I have for that are the words of Willy Wonka, "The suspense is killing me..I hope it lasts!"

Sunday Uplift - Come Again In Spring

For this cold Sunday in January, a lovely piece of animation - Belinda Olford's "Come Again In Spring" (again from the Canadian National treasure, NFOC).

This gentle tale about mortality works in subliminal ways. When an old man is visited by Death at his home in the meadows, he has to delve deep to secure more time for himself. Does he have the strength to find the answers he needs? Can we negotiate our time on earth? How do we reconcile our mortal fate? A lyrical look at a reality as old as humanity, yet as young as today. Based on a story by Richard Kennedy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Delicate Balance

When embarking on a journey, whatever that journey may be, it is wise to take a set of useful tools/supplies. Without some modicum of preparation, journeys can become ordeals rather than pleasure trips. But deciding what is best taken to make the journey a good one can be most difficult.

For instance, I have begun a journey with a new friend, and just a short distance from the start I already find myself wishing for a muzzle or at least some form of light sedative that would allow me to shut the hell UP.

I've said it before, I'll say it again...when I'm nervous, I chatter. Oh, it's a terrible thing, my mindless prattling, and I am apparently powerless to stop the witless twit that's conducting the cacophony of squawks and blasts issuing forth from my too-stupid-to-shut-UP mouth. I'd say brain, but that part of me doesn't really seem to be engaged during these rambling rants. I'm SO good at talking when I should be silent that sometimes I just sink into a pit of despair. Annie Lennox sang for me as my marriage was ending with "Why?"

But really, all of this just brings me face to face with that most difficult of processes, self-forgiveness. I'm fairly adept at forgiving others (with the exception of my mother, of course, and even with her I've achieved some real strides in terms of forgiveness) their transgressions, perceived or genuine, but forgiving myself is nigh onto impossible.

A man once told me "You think too much" and I took offense, for thinking is at the core of me, but now I believe there might've been a solid grain of truth in that statement. One of my greatest talents is a huge capacity for worry, and what IS worry but thinking too much? I catch myself reciting a mantra in my head, over and over, "Let it go...let it go...let it go." The chant helps. A little. But still I worry, still the self-recriminations go on and on. Did I say too much? Too little? The wrong thing at the wrong time? The right thing at the wrong time? Did I blow it yet again with my verbose delivery?

At times of such self-doubt, I reach for an essential tool in my repertoire; the ability to trust. I trust myself. I trust the patterns of the Cosmos. I trust the Universe to care for me. So if my verbosity or mindless prattle closes a door, I trust that the door wasn't meant to be open in the first place.

There's a Joni Mitchell song that frequently sings within me, speaking my feelings and thoughts better than I am capable of doing. It's called "All I Want," and the first part of it goes like this:

I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Traveling, traveling, traveling
Looking for something, what can it be
Oh I hate you some, I hate you some
I love you some
Oh I love you when I forget about me
I want to be strong I want to laugh along
I want to belong to the living
Alive, alive, I want to get up and jive
I want to wreck my stockings in some juke box dive
Do you want - do you want - do you want
To dance with me baby
Do you want to take a chance
On maybe finding some sweet romance with me baby
Well, come on...

So here's my question. If intent is at the core of everything we do, does my loving intent override my sharp tongue and blather? Maybe a better question to ask myself during moments of nervous chattering is "what IS your intent?" Wonder what kind of difference I might make in my delivery if I could break through my inner wall of sound with that question? Hmmm...I'll have to give it a try soon.

Thanks for listening. Sometimes it helps a lot just to talk it through with a stranger.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Wings Are Attached To The Backs of Angels

Once again, the National Film Board of Canada funds another exquisite animated piece. This one is "How Wings Are Attached To The Backs of Angels" made in 1996 by Craig Welch. In it, we meet a man obsessed with control; his intricate gadgets manipulate yet insulate, as his science dissects and reduces. The storyline is surreal to the point of being difficult to understand, but the artwork is stunning and well worth the 11 minute length of this piece.

The God by Konstantin Bronzit

The God by Konstantin Bronzit Everyone’s got something that gets the best of them. Brilliant comic timing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What is WRONG with these people?

Yesterday, the increasingly aged nutter, The 700 Club's Pat Robertson went off again on an insane rant, this one about Haiti. He said, and sadly, I quote: “Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about. [Haitians] were under the heel of the French...and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And the Devil said, ‘OK it’s a deal.’ Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.”

But just when you thought Demented Pat couldn't be topped for the Batshit Award, Rush Limbaugh stepped in during his radio programmer with (and notice I quote) the following proFOUNDly insensitive and freakin' STUPID statement in response to a caller's question about where he could donate money to help with the tragic Haitan situation: ""We've already donated to Haiti,'' Limbaugh told the caller on his radio show. "It's called the U.S. income tax." But that's just the VERY tip of the hateful bile he spewed.

I encourage you to read the full transcript of the show, including such charming segments such as "Oh, this is what he (Obama) lives for. He lives for serving those in misery. Now, don’t misunderstand here, folks. I don’t have the whole press conference, but I wonder did he apologize for America before acknowledging we are the only people on earth that can possibly help ‘em out down there in any significant way? By the way, I’ve checked it out, Cuba has offered nothing. Venezuela has offered nothing. They have nothing to offer. (interruption) Venezuela is going to send 30 people? Well, they’re people who want to get out of there anyway because they’re having rolling blackouts in Venezuela, in Caracas, which is an oil-driven — it’s the most amazing thing. The vision of our future is right before our eyes in Venezuela. Socialist country, devalued the currency on purpose a couple days ago, putting people in jail if they raise prices as a result of this. We are devaluing our own currency, not as rapidly as Hugo Chavez did but we’re doing it with all of our deficit spending and borrowing. " You can find it posted here.

So, Heartless Rat Bastard Award of the week goes to Rush Limbaugh. An easy choice. The ONLY saving grace in all this is the relief I get by watching Jon Stewart and his brilliant associates give us this news with that mythical spoonful of sugar. See for yourself...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's a Beautiful Life

Remember that post about manifesting love that I made back in June? I talked about the deep chill over my house and how "I started taking stock and making myself ready for my love, who I feel certain is surely nearer me with every breath taken. Love, I am waiting..." Remember that? Well here's a miracle...I met a very nice, witty, smart, attractive man whilst standing in the post office queue, and tonight, a week later, we have talked, been to dinner, snogged (who knew THAT would ever happen again!?! It did and was amazingly delightful!), and tonight I'm taking dinner down to his place...a mere two blocks away - on the same street.

Is this lovely gentle man slated for more than where we currently stand? Who knows? We're both just enjoying this surprising turn of life for now, with no plans for more than each week as it comes. We plan to make a couple of treks to Seattle, so it's more like a week at a time than a day at a time.

Isn't it wonderful that life forever has the capacity to surprise and delight? Truly, my newfound motto of "Today is not tomorrow" is perfect. It's a beautiful life...

George and Rosemary

This lovely animated piece from my beloved National Film Board of Canada made me smile today...perhaps it will make you smile, too. This animated romantic comedy about two golden-agers proves that passion is not exclusively for the young. With humour and empathy, it tells of George's affection for his female neighbour and the outcome of his decision to quit daydreaming and take action. George and Rosemary both certainly deserve love, don't you agree? Don't we all?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 - Imagine

Tis my wish for the new year and fresh decade that the inhabitants of this world find a path to live The Middle Way, bringing tolerance and peace and compassion to one another; living in a state of love, of bliss.