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

 



When horror hits, home

Good morning all.
Hope you are all well.

I am in a sad,
place,
right now.

It is cold, very cold, 
February right,
around the corner.

The last week brought,
what seemed like nothing,
but,
bad news,
from around the world,
from our neighbors,
and then on Sunday night...
a young man walked into,
a mosque in Quebec City,
and,
opened fire.

He shot and killed,
six men,
five more are hanging on,
to life,
thinly,
in some cases.
My hopes and prayers,
are with them,
with all of us.

How does one react,
to such hatred?
I think the only way,
is through love,
but,
also deep,
sadness.

Thousands of people,
gathered in Quebec City,
Montreal,
all over,
in vigil for the victims,
and,
for our Muslim,
brothers and sisters,
for all of us,
to mourn and,
show our support.

I live and work,
in a multi cultural,
multi ethnic society,
I don't have issues,
with ethnic groups.
I think, 
that sometimes,
it is difficult for all,
of us to understand,
each other,
to accept each others,
peculiarities,
quirks,
differences

this happens in our own families, why should it not happen on a societal level?

sometimes,
effort,
is required.
So what?
All things worthwhile,
require,
effort,
why should,
understanding,
and
getting to know,
people,
be an exception?

I work with many,
people of North African,
origin,
of Muslim faith.
We get along,
some more than others,
but,
I can say that of,
anyone,
no matter,
where,
they were born,
and,
raised.

I have been thinking,
about last Sunday's,
sermon at church.
Our pastor discussed,
the first book of Samuel.
I had never read,
the book of Samuel.

Something he said,
Graham,
our pastor,
really struck me.
We tend to associate,
with people like,
us.

My first instinct,
was to think,
not me:
I have friends,
from all walks,
of life,
all origins,
and age groups.
I have friends,
of different faiths,
of no faiths,
humanists,
atheists,
gay,
straight,
searching,
men,
women,
all kinds of people.

and...
as if he read our minds,
he said,
you know all kinds of people,
interact with all kinds of people,
work with all kinds of people.
but,
the people,
you would have over for dinner,
on a Tuesday night,
are they not...
like you?

I had to look,
into myself and admit,
to myself,
no one else-
that yes,
the people I am,
most comfortable with,
are like,
me,
sort of,
we all of us,
have uniqueness,
we are individuals,
but,
much more unites us,
than,
divides us.

There is a wave,
of intolerance,
of hate and ugly,
sweeping over,
the world right now,
we must,
all us,
stand tall,
take our neighbors hands,
resist,
with love,
with peace,
with determination,
fight back,
stand tall.

be well,
all of you

Later girls,
BB






Neverendingly Vigilant

Good morning all,
hope your week has been,
pleasant, joyful, productive,
educational, fun or 
uplifting.

My week has been fine,
in no way,
exceptional,
it has been a busy week,
a little networking,
a little bit of social.
An ok week.

It has mostly been,
a week of reflection,
not overthinking,
my biggest resolution,
for this year,
and beyond....
not overthinking.

It has been a week,
of realization,
and putting pieces,
together.
A sad week,
an empowering week.

I went to the,
Montreal Women's March,
with my BFF last Saturday,
felt good to be out there,
with my sisters and brothers,
offering up our,
solidarity,
to our American cousins,
holding strong against,
the threat that is,
the orange administration.

Later that evening as I was,
editing and posting photos,
on social media and watching,
You Tube videos from the,
Washington march,
seeing the young women,
like America Ferrera,
Scarlett Johansson,
speaking with such eloquence,
and then the Icons,
of feminism and progressiveness,
that are,
Gloria Steinem, 
Angela Davis,
and all,
still out there,
fighting the fight,
with a smile and much resolve.

It struck me how lucky,
we were to have them, 
to have had them.

and then,
Mary Tyler Moore died...

This has upset me so much,
in the wake of the present,
political situation,
even more so.

Mary Tyler Moore,
was a part of my,
childhood,
formative years.
Her character,
Mary Richards,
was a single woman,
a career woman,
a model not common,
in the world of,
popular culture.
Not then,
Not now.
She was smart,
funny, earnest,
hard working,
vulnerable,
and she,
had great style.
She navigated,
a man's world,
with elegance and grace,
and a quiet brand of,
feminism.
She had a massive influence,
I don't think,
I realized how much,
until I sat in front of,
the computer,
watching the opening of her show,
on You Tube,
it felt like I was loosing,
a member of the family, 
a beloved,
member of the family.

Television in my childhood,
and formative years,
before,
the internet and You Tube,
Netflix and on demand television,
was very different,
it was an integral part,
of our lives,
Mary Tyler Moore,
was a guest in our living rooms,
Saturday nights,
Carol Burnett,
on Sundays,
funny, strong women,
these were their shows,
they had excellent,
cast mates,
but, it was their show.

So, Mary dying this week,
seeing Gloria,
out there,
still bringing it,
still marching, writing, protesting,
it struck me that no matter,
what we think is won,
as far as women's rights,
LGBTQ rights,
racial equality,
religious freedom,
etc
there are always,
people,
just waiting,
to take it all away.
To be clear,
I am not,
referring to differences,
in political opinions.
We need difference to evolve,
in my humble opinion.
I mean,
people who think,
their skin color,
religious affiliation,
gender,
and,
the way they 'love',
is,
somehow,
superior to mine, ours.
People who become elected,
officials,
and decree,
oppressive laws and measures
to control people's lives,
to oppress people,
to bully,
to silence.
Who manipulate people,
into handing over their rights,
by using,
scapegoatism and fear,
and disinformation,
about 'others'

These are dark times.

It seems the fight is,
never ending.

“Never forget that a political, economical or religious crisis is enough to cast doubt on women’s rights. These rights will never be vested. You have to stay vigilant your whole life.” Simone de Beauvoir



Let all of us keep fighting the good fight.
For truth and justice and equal rights.

Be well all of you

Later girls,
BB


It isn’t always about choosing

Hello everyone,
hope the new year,
so far,
has been good to you.

Still holding true?
To your resolutions?
Making plans,
moving forward?


I've shared this before, Calvin and Hobbes, never gets old:-)

I have,
mostly,
stayed the course,
as far as,
my not overthinking things,
plan is concerned.

I had a slight,
slide back,
last week,
got all weird,
with myself,
others,
about expectations,
but...
I am back,
on my path.

You might recall,
in December,
I said I would,
pick a project,
a creative endeavour,
to work on,
this year.

I have spent,
more than a month,
being with friends,
family,
etc,
working, reading, 
watching, observing,
absorbing.

I have chosen to not,
chose,
not yet.

I will be taking,
the Alpha course,
at St Jax of Montreal,
exploring,
the spiritual,
in my life.

They are nice people,
very nice.
I still don't know,
if I will follow that road,

the church road I mean,

But I will follow,
the 'class',
ask questions,
meet people,
break bread.
With an open mind,
and,
an open heart.
I will also be,
attending,
Sunday service,
from now and up until,
the end of the Alpha course,
afterwards,
we shall see.

I am in my second week,
of an online,
photography class,
with shawacademy.com,
my BFF gave me a voucher,
for a free class.
I chose the photography class.

I love photography,
been taking pictures,
for a few years,
learned it on my own,
trial and error,
with varying results,
but,
it makes me happy.
If there is one thing,
I have learned over,
the years,
it's that you always,
have stuff to learn.

Even in the first few classes,
about basic principles,
a couple of lights,
went on in my head.
Very enjoyable.

My promises to myself,
to take concrete steps,
in political,
action,
are also moving along,
meeting people,
networking,
going to the women's march,
on Saturday.
A world wide collective,
protest to the disturbing,
trends in politics,
all over the world,
but,
mostly with our neighbours,
to the South,
we stand with you,
sisters and brothers.

Keeping my journal,
reading everyday.
Being the best,
friend,
daughter,
girlfriend,
person,
I can be.

Letting,
light,
beauty,
thought...
in.
 
Going to keep doing that,
for a while,
sometimes,
it isn't abut choosing,
it's about being.

Be well you all.

Later girls,
BB


2017-Commit, create, flee the haters

It is here, the new year,
has been for a few days.
I have made a few resolutions.
I have discussed a few with all of you,
here on the blog and on face book.

Work harder,
write more,
read more and deeper.
Keep to the path of better health,
and, nutrition.
Do not over think,
things,
everything.
Flee the haters.

Concretely,
I have been keeping a journal,
not really a diary,
keeping track of what I do,
who I see, what I eat and read,
what preoccupies me.

So far, so good,
entries every day,
sometimes more than once,
on long days.

I have been doing my workout,
walking,
a bit of a challenge,
in the deep freeze.
No beating myself up,
no complacency either,
keep going,
do the best I can,
always.

I am currently reading,
Jane Jacobs,
The Death And Life Of Great American Cities
read her years ago,
but,
with my renewed interest,
in urbanity,
the space I live in,
share,
with my fellow citizens,
and,
how much I wish to work,
with others to make it,
a better place,
as great as it can be,
my beautiful ugly.
Jane Jacobs helps me,
flesh out concepts,
give texture and words,
to feelings, thoughts,
longings.
I am also reading,
at the same time,
a wonderful,
book form,
conversation between,
one of our best architects,
and,
a brilliant journalist,
about the importance,
of beauty in our daily,
lives,
surroundings.
More food for thoughts,
Et Si La Beaute Rendait Heureux-Pierre Thibault, Architecte et Francois Cardinal, Journaliste.

Thoreau's essay:
Walking,
of particular interest to us,
walkers and spiritual seekers.

They all go together,
preparing me for my,
new found fervour,
and quest for meaning,
in my life.
Two paths are most important,
to me this year.

Involvement in,
municipal politics,
to me it's a put up or,
shut up, 
proposition.
Things need to change,
I will no longer sit,
ideally by,
sure vote,
but watch people,
who don't deserve to run,
our city and institutions,
get into office,
fight voter apathy,
talk, discuss the issues,
make it real to people,
because it is real,
and,
this 'they are all the same',
attitude has got to go.
No more putting up,
with greed, graft and corruption,
our ideas may not always,
prevail but,
in my case it will no longer be,
through lack of trying.

Also this year,
I want to help people.
I must,
use my people skills and,
communication abilities,
they are my strengths,
and putting them to the,
service of people,
in whichever way I can,
is an objective,
and,
I believe a path to,
meaning.

This year I will make art,
write,
no matter what,
because life goes on,
until it does not.

Funny, all the plans,
I made for New Year's day,
didn't work out,
not even plans,
B and C,
and,
I became much less flustered,
than I had similarly,
a week earlier,
so ,
maybe just maybe,
the reflection and,
especially,
the not overthinking are,
working,
maybe.

I wish all of you,
a happy, healthy, fun and loving new year.

My words to live by for this year,
are by the great Louisa May Alcott:

Good Books like good friends,
are few and chosen; the more select.
The more enjoyable.

Flee the haters,
seek the light.

Be well, all of you.

Later girls,
BB