Thoughts on a year ending and one about to start

Hello all.
Hope your holidays have been,
joyful and restful.
I also hope that your year has been,
fulfilling and interesting.
Mine was pretty darn good,
on the whole.

Last year around this date,
I wrote of resolutions,
and, 
of new avenues of explorations.
I said that 2017 would be a year,
to search for meaning,
and,
it has been.

I intended to be more involved,
politically,
with Projet Montreal,
and to do my bit,
to have our first female mayor elected,
and, yes,
we did it:-)
I had a tiny part to play,
a small contribution,
and I am massively pleased,
with the outcome.
Less so locally here in my 'hood,
but, Big picture,
woo hoo,
as we say here,
Valérie a la Mairie!!
A big highlight for my year, 2017- the year we made history.




I have also spent a lot of time,
exploring faith.
I have been,
attending church,
at St-Jax's,

regularly since late January 2017.
I have learned much.
I have met so many wonderful people.
Faith works for me,
in many ways but, I still,
have tons of questions,
and I have doubt,
I don't see that as a problem,
I don't think my pastor does,
either.
This is why I love my church,
open, modern, 
appreciative of differences,
patient and unorthodox,
they are a quirky bunch,
with big hearts,
and curious minds.

I intend to keep working at it.
In 2018, I will keep attending,
keep reading the bible,
I am almost all the way through it.
Much of it,
still,
confounds and confuses me,
but, I do believe,
the exploration is,
still,
most worthy of my time,
and that,
my search for meaning,
travels down this path.

Last year,
I resolved to read more,
to write more,
both in a deeper,
and more meaningful way.
I have read more slowly,
and I have read things,
that require reflection.
But my words, my voice,
a lot of... silence,
in that area,
but,
I know it will return.

As seems to be the case,
in the past five years,
my job trajectory has been,
weird.
I have learned much,
I have been presented,
with many challenges.
I have risen to some,
and declined others.

I must have faith in,
my abilities,
I must trust that things,
will work out and that,
I need to not obsess over,
things.

So 2017,
has been...
a good year.
I really look forward to,
the new one.

I wish you all a wonderful,
New Year.
Many it be filled with,
love,
good health,
good cheer,
passion,
purpose,
and fun.

Happy New Year!
Bring it on!!!

Be well, be strong

Later girls,
BB

p.s this is last years New Year's post
http://bookishbutch.com/?p=5057

Gone fishing

Good afternoon everyone,
hope you are all well.
I haven't been around much,
of late.
Writer's block,
a pretty bad case

I have tried,
but my mind is elsewhere,
it is unfocused, confused,
distracted,
and cranky.
The other day I went shopping,
couldn't find what I wanted,
I was frustrated,
and sad.

Last night, I went for a walk in the cold,
with my bestie and before leaving,
I noticed my fake fur hat and warm gloves,
were missing.
Obviously, I lost them.
I've looked everywhere,
and have come to the conclusion,
that I must have lost them Monday,
when shopping and sad.
Tuesday was mild and rainy,
so, no warm hat and gloves,
required.

I know, it isn't,
the end of the world,
I have others but,
this isn't me,
I don't lose stuff.
I am distracted.
I feel tired,
I feel sad,
I feel cranky,
and I am confused as to why.

So, I am taking some time off.

No blogging or writing,
a minimum of social media,
until the New Year.
Want to spend time with,
family, friends,
get my head on straight

I want to wish all of you,
Merry Christmas,
Happy Hanukkah,
Happy time off.
And a most blessed New Year

Until we meet again,
May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmas(ses) be white

Be well

Later girls,
BB

Change is brewing

Hello all.
Last week, 
I was going to write,
a post,
on style, 
the evolution of personal style,
with age, with life.
I was about halfway through,
and then something-
a noise, a call,
I don't know what,
distracted me,
and then I lost the thread,
that happens with writing,
you are pounding away and,
then a noise, a fly,
weird taste to your coffee,
an invading thought,
and you are toast,
not another word comes,
dry well!!
You can blame it on,
someone else.
Noisy bloody neighbours,
dish washing mother,
but, in the end,
it's a foggy idea,
a vague notion of what you,
really thought you wanted to say.

Truth is,
sometimes we force,
ourselves to write because,
it's been a while,
and,
sometimes it works,
other times, really not.
Last week,
was one of those times.

I don't think,
what I had to say,
about style was ground breaking,
or even,
new,
so,
no big loss,
onwards and upwards.

The month of October has been,
gorgeous,
here in our beautiful ugly.
Warm and mostly sunny,
kind of odd for Montreal,
but, definitely enjoyable.

At the beginning of the month,
I felt strong and positive,
happy,
as the month has progressed,
I have felt weaker and more,
emotionally raw.
This happens to me,
in the Fall, or so my mother says.

Little things bug me,
throw me off my game.

My new gig is good,
but, last week,
after an off night,
I doubted myself,
was I good enough?
could I do this?
Of course, I am
Of course, I can

Fact is I think a combination,
of confidence and doubt,
kindness and humour,
perseverance and flexibility,
are required,
keys to understanding,
to living your life,
well,
living my life.

My confidence and patience,
both with myself,
and other people,
have been off lately,
change is hard,
growth is hard and painful,
wallowing and bitching,
are the easy way out.

Through the changes,
through the mistakes,
we all have to find,
time for gratitude.

For health,
for family,
for friends,
for love,
for the passions,
that inhabit us.

The world is a frustrating place,
politics can be wacko,
we live in an age,
where misinformed belligerence,
passes for an opinion.
But, there are wonderful,
people working hard,
to make the world a better,
fairer more joyful place.

I want to keep an open heart.

So I wrote this a few weeks ago, it has stayed in my draft box, since, unfinished...

This is the time of year,
where I reflect on the past year.
This year has a lot to recommend it,
a year of involvement,
political, spiritual.

A year that on the whole,
has been:
positive.
A year of changes,
spits and spurts.
The end of some things,
beginnings of others,
some great starts,
some mistakes.

All this to say-
I think that I can,
no longer refer to,
Bookish butch,
as a blog about books and life.

I have another domain,
that I reserved about a year,
ago,
called butchesbrew.com
I will be launching that in,
January 2018,
it will be about things,
cultural, in a very wide sense.
My take on,
books, films, tv,
social media, fashion.
It will feature photography,
and lots more.
I haven't worked it all out yet,
but,
it is my intention to do collaborations,
giveaways etc.

Bookish butch will remain,
as,
my virtual column,
my journal.
About my life,
my views on religion,
politics,
aging, my everyday,
struggles and triumphs.

So I will be taking some time off
to concentrate, elaborate.
Figure out how to pull it off.

I will follow my gingerbread crumbs back to where I need and want to be.

Hopefully you can all accompany me

Be well, all of you.

So grateful for all of you.

Later girls,

BB


 

Even in November…there can be wonder

Good afternoon to you all,
apologies for being quiet,
in the last little while.

I have been busy and also,
I have been suffering from,
writer's block,
or perhaps,
writer's blockage,
would be a more,
apt descriptor.

I have lots to 'say',
on any number of things.
Those who,
know me,
know this,
but, lately,
maybe even longer than,
lately,
it hasn't been coming out,
or it starts to,
and is all,
garbled and confused,
at times,
it even seems,
nonsensical.

It's as if all the pots,
on the back of the stove,
that have been steeping,
have spilled over,
making a sticky burnt mess.
As if,
what I thought was going,
to turn out,
creamy sweet and complex,
has become something,
unexpected,
that at first sight seems,
a mess but,
may yet,
turn out to be,
nourishing and sustaining.
Maybe...

So yeah, lots going on.

The new gig, has been,
challenging,
and as is the case with,
challenges,
both enriching and trying,
also,
rewarding and sometimes,
even infuriating,
but it sure ain't boring.

Church and,
my journey,
through faith is also,
not what I expected,
I find myself,
after almost a year,
still deeply questioning.
I love the people,
I love the theology study,
I do pray,
I have felt my prayers,
answered,
I do feel loved, accepted,
guided and protected,
and I know that a big part,
of faith is not having to know,
everything,
a big part is,
trusting.

I have no plans to stop going,
the journey is on going...

So, lots of challenges,
lots of faith,
lots of reaching,

But the best part of November:
the election of Valérie Plante,
as the first female mayor,
of my hometown,
the city I love,
my Montréal!!!



I am a member of Projet Montréal,
the party that Ms Plante leads.
I have been a member for a few years,
I voted for her as leader.
She has begun all her political races,
as an underdog,
and has won all of them,
including becoming the mayor,
of the second largest city in,
Canada, 
and the second most important,
French speaking city,
in the world
(after Paris, of course)

She did it her way,
with hard work,
grit, humor,
ideas, fierce intelligence,
people skills,
and
lots of people,
believing in her.
She is a woman who can,
rally people,
inspire people,
she listens, she cares,
she leads, she does not dictate.

I played a very small part.
I spoke to people,
around me,
I debated ideas,
I volunteered some time,
I used what influence,
I had to get people,
to listen,
to read,
to vote,
to inform themselves,
and, to believe in the...
possibilities.

I have to say,
Sunday night, when she won,
was one of those,
I remember where I was when moments,
not a sad one or a hard one,
a moment filled with hope,
and a moment where you know,
the work has just begun.

So, as far as,
Novembers go,
this one has been pretty darn,
memorable and enriching,
in all ways

Be well you all.

Later girls,
BB



Blessings and challenges

Hello all,
hope all is well with you.
I have been very busy of late-
and not just social butterflying.

I tried a new job, wasn't a good fit,
moved on.

And then...providence, God, the universe...
stepped in.

I have been doing some volunteer,
literacy training,
for a community center,
with a social justice mission.
They help immigrants to fit in,
giving them the tools and skills,
to take on life's challenges in,
their new home.
The center also helps people,
who suffer from chronic poverty,
from isolation and loneliness,
helps people in the community,
makes their lives better,
gives them a place.

This center is a special place,
the people who work there are,
special people.
They want to make a difference,
they make a difference.

On Monday,
I met with my new 'pupil'
I will be tutoring her,
getting her up to speed,
so that she can enter,
the French language skills program.
We worked out a schedule,
and I will be meeting with her, 
next week.

While I was there,
the lady who is my liaison,
at the center,
was talking to one of her colleagues,
they needed someone to take over,
their English language workshops.
They didn't need a teacher,
they needed a communicator,
someone perfectly bilingual,
someone who believed in their cause,
an open minded people person,
with good communication skills.

My liaison person, looked at me,
we had been discussing,
my search for a part time gig-

You could see the light bulb,
go on,
over her head like in the comics
and she looked at her colleague,
who looked at me,
they swept me down to meet,
the director.

Last night I observed,
and next week,
I will be flying solo.

Four evenings a week,
I will be leading workshops,
a beginner and an intermediary level.

Woo Hoo.

I am so excited about this, 
it is a challenge, an opportunity,
and I believe-
What I have been waiting for-
at least part of it.

I relish the opportunity to help,
people,
and I know my life will be enriched,
by meeting,
and interacting with,
people,
who's life experience is,
so very different,
from mine.
 
My theology courses at church,
are fascinating.

It's Fall, I am happy

But...my uncle has had,
a major heart attack,
scary,
he is important to me, 
one of my people.
He is in  good hands,
and I feel he will be okay
but, it is hard,
illness, aging, all of that

Like mom says:

Old Age is hard on old people



Be well, you all, cherish,
your life, your health,
your opportunities,
your people.

Later girls,

BB


September disguised as Summer

Hello all,
hope you are all well,
are you experiencing a heat wave,
where you are?

Here in my beautiful ugly,
our Summer heat has hit,
in what is technically,
the Fall.
It has been sweltering for,
the past few days,
and although I am glad to have,
a mini Summer,
it's a little hot for me.
When it's crazy hot,
I get cranky,
I have trouble concentrating,
makes ole BB a bit of a,
dumb dumb
:)

I have been doing a lot,
of thinking,
and a lot of being,
lately.
Thinking about the future,
what I want,
because I know,
what I don't,
want.
Also, I have been hanging out,
with friends, with my lady,
with my church folk.
being, me.
Enjoying the city I love,
trying to give myself time,
to find the next thing

I left my job,
found another,
and although it went,
ok, 
better than ok,
it wasn't right for me.
I used to not follow,
those gut feelings,
talk myself into things,
allow others to influence,
my decision process.

I find now,
that I trust more,
in the future,
that something will,
happen,
because it always has.
That even though,
it's been a few years,
since I closed my,
bookstore and that I,
haven't found the next,
big thing.
I have worked,
I have made new friends,
I have been involved,
politically,
I have done and will continue,
to do,
my literacy work.
and yes,
I have church.

I think all of you,
who read my blog,
know,
that I have been,
going to church since,
February.

I love my church,
the people,
the building,
the warmth,
the laughter,
the intelligence
the sense of community,
the constant food for thought.

I have a little confession to,
make,
I know a lot of smart people
that isn't the confession,
and for the longest time,
I thought, religious people,
might have been a little bit,
slower.
And, yet, I envied people of faith,
they were so sure...

The more I investigate, faith,
the more time I spend,
reading the bible and other books,
the more I believe that faith,
isn't so much about certainty,
as about...
trust.

I have issues with 'them against us',
notions of the world,
be they nationalistic or ethnic,
or religious.
I don't believe Christians,
are better than Muslims,
or Jews or Atheists.
I don't believe that,
Canadians are better,
than Ethiopians.
I believe men and women are equal,
I believe gays are every bit as good,
as heterosexuals,
and I think my church friends,
know that, respect that,
and in most cases,
agree.
And even if we don't share,
one hundred percent agreement,
so what?
We cherish and respect each other.

I know that in a so called,
secular society,
being a church going Christian,
can be seen as archaic,
anachronistic, obsolete,
and old fashioned,
but I tell ya,
the people I go to church with,
are,
smart, caring, flesh and blood,
men and women,
they live in,
the real world,
and they make room,
in their lives,
for joy, goodness and an occasional,
miracle.

I haven't been born again,
and I still have doubt, 
but I don't doubt that a Christian model,
lived in a thoughtful and reflective way,
is a good one.

I hope you all don't mind,
me sharing this ongoing quest,
and journey, with you

Be well you all.

Later girls,
BB

September!!

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

Pilgrim

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'

Summer Chilling

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

The Summer it rained

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