Belief

I have been very busy,
lately,
well,
by my standards, busy.

Lots of social activity,
learning,
cultural outings.
Went to see Book Of Mormon,
with my Bff for her birthday-
so smart, so funny, so irreverent,
and yes, a little offensive,
but we loved it.

Funny, how things, 
come to you,
to flesh out thoughts,
ideas,
creative questions,
or meaning of life,
interrogations,
a little mysterious.
I am not referring to research,
but, just living,
your life,
and things appearing to shed light,
on barely flickering ideas.

I have been writing about this,
for a while now,
how faith and specifically church,
has brought,
centered ness into my life.

Now to be clear,
it hasn't made me happy,
it has made me calm,
well, calmer.

I am happy, I was happy,
I am blessed, 
I have an amazing family,
friends who are...well,
the best there is,
I have love and passion.
My health is good.

What church has brought,
is an opportunity,
to work on letting go,
of anger,
an opportunity to forgive.

I struggle with some of these,
things,
it is hard for me to let go,
of hurt,
of anger,
but I am working on it.

I find that faith,
is a lot like love.
You have to believe,
you have to trust,
you have to make,
yourself vulnerable.

Faith isn't the way for,
everyone,
I don't think.
But, belief is,
living your life ironically,
is bullshit,
love isn't ironic,
neither is goodness.

Sarcasm and snarkiness, 
hide pain.
Laughing is good,
essential to long life,
like singing and loving,
but,
profiting from others,
weaknesses and foibles,
laughing at them,
isn't.

As Bruce Springsteen sings:

Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

When things are hard,
belief is all the more important,
but, even us happy blessed people,
need belief,
well, I think so

still fleshing this idea out, I wonder what you all think about this.


Be well you all.
Later girls,
BB

Taking notes, taking note

Hello all, hope your Easter,
long weekend was,
great.
I had a marvelous time,
stimulation, reflection, relaxation, exercise,
all of it. 
The weather was a little of everything,
good, bad, a tiny bit ugly at times,
but,
truly,
it was all good.
I went to a Passover celebration,
at St-Jax's,
fascinating and inspiring.
On Good Friday,
I went to the Cathedral,
humbling and thought provoking,
and on,
Easter Sunday,
I went with mom,
to my wonderful church,
there was the Montreal Gospel Choir,
we sang and danced,
with enthusiasm if not,
great rhythm :-)
there were baptisms,
so much joy,
so much love,
really a day of hallelujahs.

I have been feeling fantastic,
lately.
It seems,
faith has brought,
calm to my life.
Faith is different,
for everyone,
I think,
I'm no expert,
but, for me, it brings,
centered ness,
and, what I can only describe,
as peace,
of mind, of heart, of purpose.

I was watching a you tube vlogger,
the other day,
he's an ok guy,
a bit hipster but,
anyway,
he said something,
that rang so true,
to me,
resonated,

there are two kinds of people in the world,
those who want to do things and,
those who do things.

He went on to say he wanted to be a doer,
this was in the context of him cutting and bleaching, his hair

Taking chances,
moving out of your comfort zone,
it's a good thing,
doesn't always involve,
risky behaviour,
either,
it didn't for me.
What it did mean,
was not just thinking,
about going to church,
on Christmas Eve,
but actually suggesting it,
to mom and us going.
It also meant not just thinking,
about volunteering when I have,
more time,
but, noting that I have...
plenty of time,
and just walking in,
to the community center,
to volunteer for literacy tutoring.

I have always loved,
notebooks,
but,
I used to leave them at home.
Now I have a small pocket one,
if I need to leave someone a note,
happens less and less,
a smallish not too small,
idea jotter,

as an aside,
I used to remember everything,
no need for notes,
but, recently,
I was listening to the Sunday sermon,
and it struck an idea,
a parallel in my head,
and, I knew it would make,
a really good blog post-topic,
after listening and enjoying,
the sermon,
not writing down a thought provoking note,
I forgot it,
the thought has not returned, yet, or has it,
who knows??

point is,
notebooks (real or phone) are our friends,
I prefer the paper version,
no one thinks you are,
checking your face book updates.

I have an Alpha and theological notes,
notebook,
and a journal, I keep notes,
I no longer rely on memory,
take notes,
take note,
live your life,
consciously with intention,
experience,
don't just let things,
happen to you,
experience them,
relish in them,
learn from them,
take notes,
take note,
that is my current modus operandi

Be well, you all

Later girls,
BB

p.s this blog was written last week, sorry for the lateness, been a busy week
:-)


Notes on spiritual quest part III

Hello all,
hope these notes,
find all of you,
in good spirits.
I have had a cold,
for a few days now,
and the rain has been with us,
here in,
my beautiful ugly.

Rain in April means,
flowers, to come, awakening, growth,
no way that is... negative.

I am feeling very strong,
centered, lately.
Not necessarily,
buoyant and smiley,
but, quiet.
A resonating peace inside me.
I do believe,
that is a direct result,
of my heart and mind,
being open to the spiritual.

I think of it as the St-Jax's affect
:-)

I went to St-Jax's with an open mind,
a yearning,
I have been welcomed with love,
and prayer, with humour,
with intelligence.
Strangely enough,
I seem to fit there,
I have not contorted myself,
to fit a mold,
nor have I have been made,
to feel I should.
Many of the people there,
have a similar thirst,
thirsts, even.
For knowledge, for meaning.

This past Saturday,
we had our holy spirit day,
we watched videos, we sang,
we worshiped and prayed,
those of us who wished to,
called to the holy spirit,
in whatever way we wanted.

I felt at peace, I felt,
cherished and loved,
I felt safe.

My faith, manifests itself,
quietly,
it builds a little at a time,
it is of the mind,
and,
of the heart.
It is calming, it is centering.
It may have been there all along

In the last year,
I have cleaned out,
the negative influences,
in my life,
the meanness of some,
masquerading,
as humour and wit.
The disparaging of divergent,
opinions, points of view.

I would have felt embarrassed,
to share the fact that I like,
church,that I look forward to going,
that it fills a part of me,
that needed,
sustenance.

I am not embarrassed,
I am not preaching,
I am sharing.

blessings and peace be upon you

be well

later girls,
BB







Notes on my spiritual quest part II

Good morning all, hope you are well.
March has been,
all over the place here,
in my beautiful ugly.
Hot, cold, record snow storms,
and today,
rain

According to the dates,
on my blog post,
it's been more than,
two whole weeks,
since I wrote.

Lots has been going on.
I continue my Alpha classes,
at church.
I am liking it,
my group is a good fit.
The discussion is of a high level,
but, civil and respectful,
friendly,
no putting people's ideas down,
very far from,
a preachy or belligerent tone.

One of the things I like most,
about my church,
is the friendly,
(not over friendly invasive)
 sincere tone.
I don't like to be pushed,
never have,
I can make up my own mind,
but, my heart is open.

I know that to many,
religious belief makes,
no sense,
that it can't be scientifically,
explained.
That's cool, there are a lot of things,
I can't explain and that doesn't stop me,
from believing.

For instance,
how does one explain,
love.
Attraction, 
can be explained,
scientifically, chemically,
but, love?
Nope.

In fact that has been and remains,
one of the great quests of,
art and literature.

I am not here to try to convince,
anybody of anything.
I just share my road and journey,
with you all.

Today, I have a meeting,
for volunteering,
in a literacy program,
helping a person to learn,
to speak and eventually learn to,
read and write,
French.

Seeking purpose

I continue writing in my journal.
I have been reading much more,
lately, C.S Lewis, St-Benedict,
Merton, Montaigne, Orwell.
This all sounds very deep,
and it is,
but, it is snack size,
the great ideas collection,
from Penguin is perfect,
for carrying around,
reading on the metro.
Less than one hundred pages,
usually.

Today, would have been,
Francoys, my anarchist friend's,
fifty-seventh birthday.
You are missed my friend,
I miss your laugh,
our talks,
your coffee,
I miss you,
but, 
I feel your friendship,
in my heart,
in my life,
everyday.
I imagine there would have been,
quite a bit of talk,
about church,
but,
I also know,
that you respected my choices,
and me.

Bonne fete cher ami

have a great week,
you all.

Later girls,
BB

Notes on my spiritual quest-Part I

Mom is away for a few days, 
I hope she is having,
lots of fun, she must be,
she is with my aunt and,
they get on, very well.

I miss her when she isn't here,
it is definitely more quiet.
Mom is a whirlwind of sound and movement,
it is who she is,
and I love her the way she is,
but, quiet and solitude is good for,
everyone.

I have written of my new quest,
my spiritual quest,
my personal exploration of,
faith,
my coming to St-Jax's is quite,
serendipitous.
A part of my everyday landscape,
spoke to me, one day,
open modern church, all are welcome.
 
I have been going to service,
almost every Sunday,
since mid January and in the last,
few weeks,
I have been attending Alpha,
on Wednesday evenings.
I have gotten a few questions,
from friends,
both live and via social media,
on Alpha,
what it is, what it means.

I am no expert,
but, to my way of seeing,
Alpha is series of guided,
talks on Jesus, his life,
the meaning of life,
and our place in the world.

Alpha, starts with a meal,
the food is delicious,
varied and plentiful,
afterwards you watch a video,
and a group discussion follows.

So far, I have to say,
I have enjoyed it.
The people are lovely,
and welcoming.
My group,
is a good fit,
smart and reflective people,
who I like.

I am not sure that the videos,
would convince,
Atheists,
I think most people who come,
to Alpha and to the church,
come with an open heart,
a heart yearning,
for whatever hearts yearn for.

I say this not in a flippant way,
but, in a sincere way,
I think different hearts,
yearn for different things.

Mine, my heart,
and I believe by extension,
my soul,
yearns for meaning,
for purpose.
Some people yearn,
for love,
for acceptance.


I am not sure,
if St-Jax's and Alpha,
lead to that purpose,
maybe.
But, I do,
feel good and welcome,
there,
I feel centered,
at peace.
It's hard to explain.

I think faith,
is personal.

A framework,
guidance,
helps and may even be, 
essential,
but, to me,
it remains,
a relationship,
between me and,
my God-
like I said it's personal.

I share this with all of you,
because,
I share most of my quests,
with you,
it helps me to know,
what I think,
gives texture to my thoughts,
my ramblings.

There will be more of these

Take care all of you,
be well

Later girls,
BB




Stop, turn, look around

Hello all, hope all is well, with all of you.

I am feeling good. 
The quasi dawning of Spring,
fills me with joy, always.
Even, the cold blustery, rainy parts.
Spring is renewal, rebirth,
new phases, flowers, melt,
all of it,
as my best friend always says,
it's all good.

I don't always think that,
It's all good.
I let myself get morose,
critical, down,
but, I recover.
You got bounce back,
keep going.

Last week, I felt a little tired,
a little cold.
And then, a friend,
posted something in response to,
a photo of me and Bff at the hockey game,

It was the Clarkson Cup, women's hockey league championship, in Ottawa and our beloved Montreal Canadiennes won!!!


He said, you have a lot of fun in life, BB,
and it is contagious.

Wow, reality check,
damn right,
I am lucky,
I have fun,
I have friends,
family,
acquaintances,
a job,
a curious mind,
a good heart,
most of my teeth.

I love life,
I care about the world,
about the planet,
my fellow humans,
and all the creatures,
great and small who share,
it with us.

Is there lots of ugly,
in the world?
oh yeah.
But so much beauty,
so much good,
so much deserving,
of our hard work,
belief.

Keep working,
keep smiling,
keep the faith.

Use your anger,
at inequity,
injustice to spur,
you to work,
to protest.
Use your gratitude,
to all you have been,
given,
to help and give,
back.

Remember that smiles,
and good humor,
can be...
contagious

Keep trying, the sun rises,
everyday

Be well, my friends

Later girls,
BB


Sometimes, I just don’t know

Hello all,
hope you are well,
that wherever you are,
is warmer than here,
in the frigid,
beautiful ugly.

After a very warm spell,
a mini Spring.
It's gone,
cold,
again.
Oh well, 
it's early March.
Not an easy time,
physically or emotionally.

The week started out,
well,
I was feeling good,
the anniversary of my surgery,
was positive,
my life has so drastically,
improved,
I felt things were good,
I am exploring,
the political me,
the spiritual me.
I felt,
that I had become,
more receptive,
to other people,
their feelings,
their dreams.

I don't think,
I was looking,
with an observant,
eye,
listening,
with an attentive,
ear.

This week,
I have failed to understand,
two of the most important,
people in my life.
I have misinterpreted,
and sent mixed signals,
it has resulted in,
hurt feelings,
on all sides,
it has resulted,
in,
the necessity,
to explain,
to hash out.

Not good.

I suppose,
most of us,
feel misunderstood,
sometimes, 
lots of times.

I am a word person,
it is hard for me,
when my words are,
misunderstood,
I reach for the right,
words.
Words,
are essential to me,
but,
they often,
fail me,
do not convey,
the emotion,
behind my emotions.

Pain and frustration,
can come off as anger,
worry as dismissiveness,
concern as impatience.

I need to work on being,
better at explaining,
my words,
my thoughts,
my feelings,
my self.

I need to work at listening,
better.
I need to open,
my ears,
my mind,
my heart,
more.

Life is a work in progress.

Whenever, there is misunderstanding,
about words,
this old song,
comes back to me:

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
Baby, do you understand me now?
Sometimes I feel a little mad
But don’t you know that no one alive can always be an angel
When things go wrong I feel real bad.
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood
Baby, sometimes I’m so carefree
With a joy that’s hard to hide
And sometimes it seems that, all I have to do is worry
And then you’re bound to see my other side
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood
If I seem edgy, I want you to know,
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems, and I get my share,
And that’s one thing I never mean to do
Cause I love you,
Oh,
Oh, oh, oh, baby – don’t you know I’m human
I have thoughts like any other one
I keep working on it.

I apologize for the,

difficultness,

that is,

sometimes,

me.

Be well you all

Later girls,

BB

Alien removal

Good day,
friends.
Yesterday, marked,
an anniversary,
for me.
Two years,
since the top notch,
surgical team,
lead by the great Dre. Diane Provencher
at,
Hopital Notre-Dame,
here in Montreal,
removed,
the giant fibroid,
that had invaded,
my body,
the alien.

Giant is by no means,
an overstatement,
it was 30 cm,
in circumference,
and weighed,
over 12 kilos,
for my American,
and,Liberian readers,
over 25 lbs.

To say my life has changed,
since,
would be an understatement.
It transformed my life.

I went from being tired,
all the time,
lopsided and physically,
awkward,
to slimmer and more limber,
much more energized.
I went from avoiding cameras,
to being a selfie,
freak.
:-)

I went from angry,
mood swings to,
a much happier,
yet,
determined disposition.

A series of losses,
griefs,
preceded the surgery.
The surgery and it's,
aftermath,
brought lots of fear,
great discomfort,
as well as a long,
convalescence.
But, mostly it,
brought,
clarity,
confidence.
The only slightly,
negative thing,
the surgery brought,
was a massive scar,
and,
honestly,
I have learned to,
embrace it as a part,
of,
me.

Two years,
prior to the surgery,
I closed my bookstore,
and,
a year after that,
I lost,
my friend,
the anarchist.
The smartest,
most flamboyant, kind,
person,
I have known.
Both losses were traumatic,
and left me reeling,
wondering,
what would be next,
and,
then the news of the necessity,
for this surgery.
The very real life threatening,
possible consequences.

I can't tell you how scared,
I was.
I quit smoking,
I waited for the call,
I wrote letters,
in the event of my...

The surgery and convalescence,
were a complete,
success.

note to all you superwomen and supermen out there, follow your doctors orders when recovering, it is essential, and if you don't trust your doctor, find another 

Dre Provencher and the surgical team,
saved my life.
They also changed my life.
I am physically different.

I had lost weight before,
but,after the surgery it actually,
showed.

I have changed,
I am not sure it is,
discernible,
to others,
but, I am different,
I tell people what I think,
I don't keep quiet.



I share my opinions,
my truth,
if it can make a difference,
to someone, somewhere.

People find solace,
in many places,
in odd and strange,
places.
People need to be,
listened to,
heard.

I believe I listen,
better,
and hear,
more,
I have also banished,
haters.

For years,
I thought,
if I listened to,
was kind to,
haters,
that they would,
change,
people change,
when and if they,
want to.
You can't change them.
Listen and empathize,
listen to the pain,
empathize with the sorrow,
move away from-
 the hate,
don't let it,
invade you.

Seek your truth.

Be well friends,
don't keep quiet.

later girls,
BB

Perhaps…Spring

Hello all,
hope you are well,
happy and healthy,
in some parts of the world,
Spring is on the verge of,
springing.

Here in our beautiful ugly,
it's a little early for,
Spring,
but, yesterday and today,
again,
we have had some tremendous,
weather,
sunshine and mildly gorgeous,
weather.
It brings hope,
for an end to Winter.

I can hear a few of you,
saying,
our winters are so much,
milder than they used to be,
and, of course,
this is true,
it's just that I find the,
grey of winter and,
the damp cold,
hard,
harder to deal with,
it weighs heavy of me.
I know it,
I dress for it,
but, I could do without it,
so Spring or even,
an inkling of it,
fills me with joy,
puts a bounce in my step,
and a bigger smile on my face.

I have begun planning my,
Spring wardrobe,
pretty much under control.
Elements of butch style,
well in place,
woo hoo,
dusting off the caps,
polishing the boots,
and laundering the jackets.

I have been attending,
church,
and letting myself,
be open,
no overthinking.
The Alpha course,
starts this week,
in both French and English,
I look forward,
to that.

I don't know what will come,
of all this,
I don't know,
if it will,
ultimately be the right,
fit.
But, I do know:
that I have met,
smart, loving, welcoming people,
that I feel peaceful,
and engaged,
in the house of worship,
that is St Jax's.

I have been open,
to the signs,
and I feel good about that,
my year of spiritual,
and political,
continues...
I remain questioning,
it is who I am

I have been doing quite,
a bit of reading,
a wonderful book,
by the late great,
John Berger,
part of the Penguins,
great ideas series:
Why Look At Animals?
It is brilliant all,
Berger is,
Imho.
It was recommended by Meghan,
at Argo Books,
you should check it out.
I have been doing,
the bible in one year,
an interesting approach.
Lots of things on Urbanism,
and an old favourite,
Anne Lammott's
Traveling Mercies: Reflections of Faith.

My foot feels much better,
the cane and stretching,
have been great,
the flat boots,
have been banished.

I feel fine,
I hope you all do as well,
may Spring come,
soon.

Be well,
you all,

Later girls,
BB







Finding your way back…and better

Hello all, hope the,
deep dark of February,
isn't being too hard on you.

I have been very quiet of late,
on this blog,
in a lot of places,
well, quiet,
for me.

I am still working,
on the not overthinking,
thing.
I figure that will be a,
work in progress for a,
long time to come,
but,
that's cool.
You gotta have stuff,
to work for,
live for,
strive to improve,
in your life,
in your personality.

So, yeah, quiet,
took a bit,
of a break,
from Face Book,
from the blog,
from everything.
having foot issues,
plantar fasciitis,

or as I refer to it to myself: the fascist who lives in my foot

Luckily, this flare up,coincided with a, possibility,of working from home,which was great,because it's frigid cold,out there,not to mention,
slippery,and my rubber boots,don't have adequate,arch support


I have spent time,
at church,
at the museums,
reading, listening,
to podcasts,
watching films,
seeing friends, 
being,
absorbing.

I have also taken,
a photography class,
on line,
that lead me to ask,
myself questions,
about photography,
and,
if I want to go in that,
direction.
The answer is:
I don't think so.

I love photography,
I think I have,
a decent eye,
I like to share,
on Instagram,
https://www.instagram.com/bookishbutch/
on Facebook etc,
illustrate my life,
my city,
but, 
it isn't my voice, 
it's a hobby,
I want to keep,
doing it,
learning from it,
it brings me joy,
but,
it isn't the thing.

So what is the thing?

Hmm, it isn't one thing,
and it isn't easy to,
explain or describe,
I like sharing, communicating,
teaching with a small 't'.
I am not a formally trained,
teacher,
I am,
however,
someone who,
likes to,
share what I learn,
about the world,
about life,
about myself, 
with others,
I like to learn from people,
there is so much to,
learn.

This morning,
as I turned over,
in bed,
woke,
to a new day,
I smiled to myself,
at the good day,
I had yesterday.
Participating,
in a political party,
of ideas,
feeling that my,
talents and strengths,
can be useful in such,
contexts,
that I can inspire,
people to want more,
and better,
that turning away from,
hate and cynicism is the way.

I don't have a big circle,
or massive influence,
and,
I don't believe in,
harassing,
or brow beating.
people,
and I really don't think,
I have all the answers,
politically, spiritually,
but,
I am searching and I have,
found in my new party,
my new church,
a place where I can find,
eventually,
my spot,
I think.

So, I keep writing,
the blog,
I keep,
sharing with you all,
hopefully,
you read it,
hopefully,
every once in a while,
it echos what you are,
feeling,thinking,living,
or just brings a tiny,
sliver of light,
to,
an experience,
that isn't yours,
and adds to your,
understanding,
of people, the world.

This morning,
I thought:
I miss my anarchist,
so much,
and, I will never,
replace him,
I miss my bookstore,
and the camaraderie,
that came from it,
but,
I have,
begun,
after my years,
of grief,
to rebuild,
to take new paths,
while still having,
my pillars,
my family,
my friends,
my love.

I feel confident,
and, strong.

thank you, all, for reading,
for 'listening'

one thing, I would wish,
for 2017...
that you would,
comment,
more,
share more,
what you think.
That you would,
feel comfortable,
to converse,
with me.


Be well all of you,
later girls,
BB