It's September, oh yeah, my favourite time of year, weather is great, a little cooler, still sunny, the time of year for long walks, The time of year of new projects, new beginnings, buckling down, getting it done, deep thinking, planning, the time 'til, Christmas. Well for me it is... :-) Lots has been going on. Got a new job, similar to the old one, but better pay, more professional. I liked my old job, I was really good at it. It and the people I worked, with, allowed me to get through, some difficult times, rebuilding my health, rebuilding some of my, confidence. But, they are closing, and, it is a place of, complacency of frustration. I had become, complacent, there is no joy, in complacency, there is no growth, in complacency, there is the illusion, comfort and stability. I need to be shook up, I need to be a little bit, scared, pushed out of my comfort zone, or at least to, switch off, the automatic pilot. This new job is in the same, general field, but, vastly different. I have much optimism, and some fear, I don't think it will be, an enormous challenge but, stimulating at first. I also am doing some, volunteer work for, the municipal elections, here in my 'hood, in my beautiful ugly. I believe when you care, about your city, your environment, your fellow citizens, social equity and solidarity, you must at the very least vote. And every once in a while, roll up your sleeves, make some calls, put up posters, hand out flyers, give money, whatever. I am doing some, communications stuff, very limited in it's scope, but, I am a vast believer in, every little bit helps. The party I am involved with, are progressives, the real deal. I am taking an online class, blogging and digital marketing. I will be finding a way to renew, my literacy mentoring. I will continue my spiritual quest, my becoming a greater part of a community, that I love. We will be doing another Alpha class, at St-Jax's and also what has been dubbed, tent theology. It isn't going to be like, tent revivals, give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion more like we all meet to discuss, some theology, discuss issues of faith, listen to theologians, live and on video, work those intellectual muscles, and then we take the tent down, until we pitch it the following week. I can't tell you how much, I look forward, to it. I feel so at home in my church, loved, welcome, part of the family, and I feel that more, all the time. Yesterday, During the service we discussed, the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, both in listening and talking, modes, listening to our pastor, and in small groups, discussing the messages of these books. Our group hadn't found much, positive, we found these books to be filled, with chaos, violence etc. Often at St-Jax's the microphone is, brought to those who wish to articulate, what their group has come up with. This time, since it was the, welcome back from Summer service, Graham, our wonderful pastor, asked us to introduce ourselves, so I did, and I shared our group's, thoughts, and then I added my own difficulties, with the angry and rigid old testament God, and, the kinder and gentler almost hippie like, New Testament Jesus, I shared how as a new church goer this, gave me pause. This contradiction, this dichotomy, An angry father and a benevolent 'brother' supposedly one and the same. I realize this is a simplistic version, I am learning, wrapping my head around all this, questing, still Afterwards, we had our community lunch, and several people told me they really liked, what I said, that they felt similarly. It allowed me, sharing did, to make, new connections. I read the week before, don't ask me where, lol, that humans think that others, want to see them, as strong and above, things. But in reality, we are closer to each, other and truly connect, when, we open up, share, make ourselves vulnerable, even. Food for thought, eh? So yeah, September has been, and will continue to be busy, stimulating and scary May your Autumn be joyous, enjoy the last of the golden warm sun, bite with full gusto into the harvest, and have a great back to school, work, all of it Be well dear friends, Later girls, BB
Hello all, hope your Summer, has been top notch, mine has been, outstanding, which kind of surprises me. It rained lots, I have been kind of broke, the usual, and yet, I have had a, fabulous Summer, lots of social, time, lots of me, time, lots of urban exploring, museums, walks, Montreal anniversary happenings. Lots of stuff. On Sunday, in church, we discussed in small groups, what had changed in our mindset, during the Summer, brought me to think about things, articulate and express them. I believe this Summer, I have appreciated, my surroundings, my friends, my family, myself... more. I have looked at my city, differently, through new eyes, the eyes of a traveler, a pilgrim even A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journey (often on foot) to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system. Well, maybe not literally :-) but, I do feel that I have come, from afar. deep in me, to reach this place of, centeredness, and that all the walking, I do, alone, with friends, in and about my beautiful ugly, have brought me to a greater love, of it and me. But I also think, that my church going, has had an immense place, in my calm and centered place. I have found much, food for thought, at St-Jax's, I have found, sincere, smart, good, people, not lip service Christians, people who, talk the talk, and, walk the walk. The church, the community, have become a part of my life, a vital part of my life, when I cannot go on Sunday, my week seems...less. I miss the people, the sermon, the readings, the prayer and conversation, the coffee and bagels, the sun coming through, the stained glass, the red floor and vaulted wood ceiling, the brass plaques that testify, to it's history and place, in the history of, the city I love. St-Jax's is now a part of what, home means, family, friends, my 'hood, my church. Obviously, I don't need to go, in order to pray, or read the bible, investigate, cogitate, but, church brings it together, for me. I started the year, searching for spiritual growth, for more implication, for a calmer and more resolute, heart, route. I'm getting there. Enjoy the last beautiful gasps, of Summer, the harvest, the bounty, the beauty Be well you all Later girls, BB p.s I write about this because it is a part of me, Faith is personal but not private, if we can discuss all aspects of our lives without it being considered attempted conversion(sex, politics, sports) why not faith? Just sayin'
Hello everyone, hope your Summer, is, has been, fabulous. Mine has been, good, I have spent lots of time, with friends, with mom, mostly at home, because of her, wrist injury, but we have watched, a lot of TV, which is bonding thing, with us. I have gone to the museum, several times, seen inspiring art, soaked up lots of vitamin D, via the sun, well mostly in August, but, hey better late, than never, I have been working on, gratitude, centeredness, appreciating all that I have. I find myself, at an age, where I am neither, young nor old, I have lived through, a few things, many of which were, scary, traumatic, grey hair, and brown spot producing, and I find that I am less, scared then I used to be, about, pretty much ... everything. I also find that some, of those grey hairs and wrinkles, have come from much laughter, and, some deep thinking and searching. I don't want to cover them up, they are a part of who I am, of where I have been, of where I am going. just babbling... Get some sun you all, charge your batteries chill Be well, my friends Later girls, BB
Hello all, hope you are all healthy and happy. I am feeling quite well, positive and pensive, and overall, pretty darn happy. I think many people will remember 2017, as the Spring and Summer it rained:-) I have to say in spite of ups and downs, it has been a terrific Summer. Less sun than last year, but, that has also meant, less bone melting heat. I have been wearing my shorts, a little less, don't like rain on my legs, also the AC at work is insane, from sweat to chill. My vacation was great, did lots of exploring, of my beautiful ugly, read, rested. Some pics from this Summer, vacation and otherwise, Montreal, Ottawa and Mom and I Church has figured, more and more prominently, in my life, it's Summer, lots of people, are away, but September and it's, new, learning and sharing opportunities, are right around the corner. I look forward to a new deeper, exploration of faith, I have done, lots of reading this Summer, C.S Lewis's Mere Christianity, as well as My Bible in One Year, morning ritual. I figure by the time, February rolls in, I will have one year, of regular church going, one year of daily bible reading, and, I should know if that is, a road I need to keep walking down I love my church, I love the people, and feel surrounded by love, by those around me, and from above, the key to faith, I think, for me, is to just have it. To learn and question, oh yes, but mostly to stay open, to accept the love and kindness, and, reciprocate, to not doubt everything, to not tear apart, to not say but tomorrow it will rain, when it is sunny, I loathe when people do that, and, I will not succumb to it, well, not too often, anyway, I'm human, I get cranky My title is the Summer it rained. Rain is good, it brings growth, it brings quiet, it brings space to think, it offers up time to be, it can also be annoying, walking in the wind and the rain, arriving at your destination soaking wet. But, it's July not November, I won't catch pneumonia, I am blessed, with love and friendship, with strength and health. September will bring, theology and journaling, a new project and a new job, life moves on, through sun and rain, ain't it grand Be well you all, Later girls, BB
Good morning all, hope you are well. Happy, healthy and chill. I have been on vacation for the past, almost, two weeks, I had a list of things I wanted, to do and see, and I have managed most of it. Caught up on some reading made a few resolutions as far, as reading is concerned, more on that later. Went to the museum, went to the movies, did some walking, spent time with mom, with friends. Read two books, shredded some papers. Took lots of pictures, went to parts of the city, I don't normally frequent. Got some air, got some sun. Watched a few seasons of, Damages. Mom and I went to the open air museum, downtown, part of, Montreal's 375 celebrations, it was a lot of fun, but mom had an accident, she tripped on, a foot traffic heavy, hazard laden sidewalk, could have happened to anyone. She hurt her wrist, a bad sprain and has been, in pain for more than a week. Ice and Aleve, rest, it has healed well, she is almost 100 percent. My vacation was like... life, fun and frustrating, scary and jubilant, all at once, the accident sucked, and, there are many challenges, in my life and of those around me, but, mostly, I don't have a whole lot, to complain about. Not having your dream job, is not much to complain about, in a world where people starve, live in war torn constant fear, don't know where their next meal, will come from. In a world where millions, have no homes, have no future, a world of pain and disease. A few years ago, when I had my surgery, it was a big operation, but, I was expected to make, a full recovery, I had no cancer, after a few months, convalescence, all would be well. It was hard, it was painful. The last evening I was, in the hospital, my best bud was visiting, she visited everyday I was there, she helped me walk, very slowly, and with an old lady stoop, down the corridor. I had been in the hospital, for four days at this point, but, hadn't walked out of my room. I didn't have Cancer, but, I was on a Cancer ward. As we slowly made our way past, people's rooms, I could see many people, obviously, in pain, despair, people dying. It gave me some perspective, on my pain, my fear. I made a promise to myself, that evening, back in my bed sweating, from the exertion, and the over heated hospital room, it was February after all. I vowed to not complain, over dumb ass things, to reach for all the good, I have in my life. I haven't always succeeded, but, I try, hard. I used to think, surrounding yourself, with smart people was, important, it is, but, more important still, surrounding yourself with, kind people, and at this stage of my life, I would add, people who try, to see, everyday, just how lucky, they-we are. Be well you all, enjoy the Summer. Later girls, BB * I mentioned earlier some reading resolutions. I find in the past few years I have been reading less and spending more time on social media, I need to reverse that, I meed to see people more in person, when possible and to read more. While on vacation I have read 2 books and am almost finished a third. I have read at least 10 articles that had been lingering in my articles to read file on my laptop. Social media is great but, concentration and serious reading have to regain their place in my life. I don't believe my path will be found on Face Book. So, resolutions, start every morning with 30 minutes of reading, a book. End everyday with 30 minutes of reading, a book- carry one with me, always- put away the phone, often. Try... and don't beat myself up when I fail, just try, again*
Good morning you all. I hope your Summer is going well. Summer has had a tough start, here in my beautiful ugly. The rain has continued on, from April and May, June was rainy. But, now July is here, the hot and sunny month. Today is a gorgeous day, the first official day of .... MY VACATION!! Yay I had a pretty cool, Canada Day weekend. I am still feeling grounded. My spiritual quest, seems to be good for me. I find I am more calm about, things, in general. I still have anxious moments, grumpy moments, periods of doubt, I am a thinking and doubting human:-) I do however feel- centered, and I know this might, sound weird- thankful. Thankful for what, the spiritual quest, has brought me. I have met so many, bright, positive, beautiful people. My church people. I used to have certain notions, about church people. I had a bit of a, not precisely... distrust, but not a positive view, either. A lot of hate and ugliness, has been perpetrated, in the name of God, via various religions, but, along with that much good, as well. Church people are like everyone- some are nice and friendly , some are shy and reserved, some are closed minded, some are what my dad used to, refer to as, the keepers of the truth. Many are good, real people. When I first went to St-Jax's, many people welcomed me, with open arms, a few were cautious, which I get, trust takes time, I could have been, a come for a few weeks, kind of person. But, I now have been, going to church since, late January, so almost 6 months. I have been through, the Alpha course, which I loved. I occasionally volunteer, for the welcoming group, greeting people at the door, smiling, saying good morning, that comes easy to me, the smiling. I have a bit of a reputation, as a smiler. This week a woman who had never, really spoken to me, she had smiled, politely, gave me a very enthusiastic, good morning, we exchanged pleasantries, and I felt as if something, had changed. I have been in the congregation, long enough for her, to consider me, one of them, I think. Faith is not as yet, perfectly defined for me, but, I do feel part of a, whole. Not quite family, warm and friendly, loved and loving. I look forward to Sunday morning, I get up at 7 o'clock, voluntarily. I like my church, it's people, it makes me feel centered, light. Be well, you all. Later girls, BB
Hello all, hope the Summer, has been good to you, so far. It's grey and muggy, here in, my beautiful ugly. Today is the first day, of the long weekend, here in Quebec, La St-Jean, la Fete Nationale. I am hanging out, drinking tea, enjoying some solitude. Have lots of, social activity , coming up, on the weekend. Time with friends, old and new. This has been, a week, of reflection, introspection, and frustration. I just noticed in, preparing this post, that it is the 800 Th. Wow, that ain't nothing. Been more than seven years, since I started this blog. Some people journal, I blog. I 'hear' that blogs, have become, a little bit, passe. Hmm, I think I may have become, a little bit, passe. I'm fine with that, truly. Weird, I keep searching, for what it is, I am looking for, and yet, I am mostly ok, with who I am. I am. neither young, nor old. I have people who love me, I strive to learn new things, everyday. My health is pretty darn good, and my mind quite sharp. I have more confidence, in my abilities, than I ever have before. I realize that by, conventional society, standards, I am not very, successful. I have no money, no career, no car, no house. I have no marriage, I have no children. I like comfort, I like exploring for meaning, I like to spend time with people, I like to walk, I like to talk, a lot I like to do, what I want to do. I have no real ambition, in a standard sense of the term. But, I am lucky, might even say, blessed. I have received many, kindnesses, in my life, from loved ones, and relative strangers. I have had some difficult, passages, and have weathered some, better than others, grief is particularly, challenging, for me. As I have gotten older, I don't bounce back, quite like I used to- But, since I am not, a rubber ball.. That's ok. I tend to not lie to myself, about how everything is fine, anymore. I face difficulties, more than I used to, I know the consequences of burying hurt sometimes with drama, and panic, but, more and more, with real emotion, and I hope, reason. I do trust in the future, I have faith, it ebbs and flows, but, I really do believe, in the inherent goodness, of people. But, I also find my, bullshit detector, to be, pretty strong. I appreciate sincerity, and earnestness so much, even when it is, to the point, of naivete. I have less and less, respect for snark and sarcasm. I have also learned that, some smiles and honey tones, hide, bad things. and that some of the, gruffest people are also the, kindest. I am who I am. Neither young, nor old. Far from perfect. Occasionally, I am shallow, superficial, unkind, weak, but, I work at improving, and at not beating myself up. Every day I pray to be kinder, to be more patient, with people, with their foibles, with me and my...limits. Last night, I was watching a, television show , the Big C, with Laura Linney, and Oliver Platt. I love both of them. At one point, Platt's character, Paul, Linney's husband in the show, says to their couples therapist, 'she is a a ten and I am a four, or between a four and a six, on a good day'. I loved that, I feel that way about this stage, of my life, it's between a four and a six, some parts are tens, some parts are twos, but, on the whole, no complaints :-) Thank you, all for being there. Be well. Later girls, BB
Hello all, the sun, has arrived. Hallelujah :-) We seem to have been, drowning, in rain, here in my beautiful ugly. April rained steady, May was rough as well. Even June which can be, quite hot and hazy. Last week, I thought I would lose, my mind, and that's why, I didn't write, who needs to read, whining, we all have our battles, we all occasionally, feel like we are, losing it. Full moon and practically, a week of rain, not pretty: 'nough said. The sun is back, with a vengeance, kind of scorching, these last few days, but, you know, I got my shorts game down, oh yeah, fun in the sun. I am reading a fabulous book, almost done, love it: Help Thanks Wow: 3 Essential Prayers, by Anne Lamott, fabulous, she never disappoints. She makes me laugh, out loud on the subway, she also makes me cry, quietly, same location, I like to read on the subway. This book is a perfect, carry with you book. It's funny, touching, full of insight, it's smart not cloying, or goody goody. She is a good person, she is flawed, she tries, she fails, she succeeds, she is weak, she is strong. I love her writing, it makes me think. It feels like, I am 'listening' to a, friend, a smart funny friend, who has been around, the block a few times, knows the lay of the land, and, knows that ultimately, we don't know, shit, but, we should keep learning, and trying. We should reach for meaning, keep the faith. Lamott's book, made me cry for, my gone, but, not forgotten, beloved cat, Dude, brought back feelings, of doubt and the "did I do, the right thing", questionings, and a few pages later, reminded me, that I loved and cherished him, and did the best I could, always, that I tried to avoid him, suffering, and prayed for him, to go in his sleep, but, it didn't work out, that way, sometimes it doesn't, that doesn't mean, we shouldn't, keep hoping, for it, praying, for it, whatever term you are most comfortable with Her book, reiterates, to me, that it is ok, to ask for help, it is also important, to say, thanks, to our people, to a greater force, God, whoever, whatever, and that we are, surrounded by beauty, wonder, and... life. So get out the sunscreen, put on those shorts, no, not those, the nice ones, you only live once:-) get out there and soak up, the sunshinny days be well, all of you Later girls, BB
Good day you all, hope you are all well. I am, well, that is :-) I have made some, changes in my life. I asked for a raise, at my crappy job, the manager, hemmed and hawed and, said, well, you know, she couldn't make, any promises, and if there was something, it wouldn't be much, bla bla bla. So, I left her office, I decided, that evening, while working, that I would give notice, I did, this is my last week. I take next week off, vacation time, rest and relaxation, the week after that I find, a new job. This change has been, a long time coming. Time to move on. When I first took this job, I needed it, it was a transition job. It allowed me to go from, the closing of my bookstore, and then, the death of my anarchist, through some health issues. Through griefs, and rebuilding, my confidence, my health, my life. For that I will always be grateful. It was a perfect job, for me, it didn't require too much, of me, and I was very good at it, I talked to people, which I love. The thing with me, and, I suspect most people, I want a job that requires, my brain, my personality, my strengths, I don't want a job, that will suck out, my life force, or that exhausts me, or one where I am, disrespected. At this point, I feel like paying me, minimum wage, is disrespecting me. I am worth, more than that, figuratively and literally. I may take another, in between job, but what I really want, is one that uses, my people skills, my communication skills, that pays me a living wage. I want to grow and help others, to grow, in whatever way I can. Change is inevitable, and in this case, required, and most especially, sought out. more to come, soon. Be well you all Later girls, BB
Hello all, hope you are all well. It is early afternoon, in my beautiful ugly. Mom has gone visiting, for a few days. I am sitting at the computer, having partaken of some delicious, homemade vegetable soup, added some leftover yams, to the mix, yum. Normally, at this time, on a Wednesday, I would be, getting off, the metro(subway), walking towards, the adult education center, where I volunteer. Unfortunately. both my student, and, her husband have, had health issues lately, so no tutoring, today. I have found myself, with some extra time, and, have decided to, explore a topic, that has been floating, around my head for a few weeks. As you know from, reading the blog, I have been exploring, my spiritual side, and I am happy in, my exploration. I have met people, I like, encountered ideas, and a way of living, my life, which appeals to me. I have never been, a joiner, nor a naysayer. I have always, believed that love, is the way, to understanding each other, sharing the world among, ourselves in harmony. We need more love, in the world, desperately.
You all remember that old Depeche Mode song: People Are People?
People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
You and I should get along so awfully
So we’re different colours
And we’re different creeds
And different people have different needs
It’s obvious you hate me
Though I’ve done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done
And we’re different creeds
And different people have different needs
It’s obvious you hate me
Though I’ve done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done
I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
The Christian message, is one of love, of acceptance, of diversity. It isn't always, interpreted that way, that doesn't, nullify it's meaning. A few weeks ago, I was talking about, church, with my girl, and I asked her, what she thought. She said it seemed, to make me happy, but, that she had worried, that I would become, a zealot. Hmm, me a zealot??
noun: zealot; plural noun: zealots
a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
historicala member of an ancient Jewish sect aiming at a world Jewish theocracy and resisting the Romans until AD 70.noun: Zealot; plural noun: Zealots
Interesting word zealot, it can be very strong, or sort of soft, fanatic or enthusiast, to me those, aren't really synonyms but hey... When I shared this reflection, with a lovely man, from church, he seemed to think, I had a bit of a, zealot in me, That when I embraced, something, I was all in. Hmm. He also felt, that I had a bit, of a provocateur in me, and pointed to this blog, as a manifestation of that, spirit. I felt no criticism on his part, he was telling it as he saw it, he's that kind of a guy, straight shooter, sincere, nice guy. This got me thinking. I don't believe I am, or ever will be, a zealot. I do however, like to talk,share, explore,discover. I care about people, passionately. I love the Christian message, reading the bible, singing hymns, calms me, fills me with love. My objective in writing about, these thoughts and feelings, is not to convert or evangelize, it is to share. Of the 16 personality types in, Myers-Briggs Type indicator, I am : Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception, The Campaigner, ENFPs are fiercely independent, and much more than stability and security, they crave creativity and freedom. Hmm maybe I am a zealot, after all Be well you all. Later girls, BB