Monday, 28 February 2011

My Bucket List (Today)

Keep seeing other people’s Bucket Lists. Off the top of my head, if I were to say eleven things I really, really, really want to do before I move on - they’d be as follows (in no particular order!):

  1. Attend the Kentucky Derby.
  2. Ride my bike across Canada.
  3. Ride my bike from Scotland down to Cornwall.
  4. Ride my bike through Italy.
  5. Row a boat through Venice.
  6. Spend more time in Africa.
  7. Make a movie to change the world.
  8. Ride with wild horses.
  9. Compete in a Half Ironman.
  10. Get married for the third time.
  11. Make a music video.
  12. Attend the Cannes Film Festival with one of my own.

Subject to change of course. I’ll keep you posted. 

Have you done one?



Sunday, 27 February 2011

I am She


I am she.
The best that I can be.
Once to dream.
In lights the name.
Hastened by time.
I know what speaks.
Can admit when wrong.
The efforts call to me.
I beg it to be.
What the heart desires.
In five years where will I be?
I will still be she.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cycling Withdrawals

It’s not just cause I like having something in between my legs. It’s cause I LOVE the workout. The longer the roll the better. Getting back home knackered is what it’s all about especially on the weekends.
As I live floating in a small space, i.e. on a boat – the trainer and the vid don’t jive. Unless I ventured to some nearby indoor situation aka a gym.
Which I can’t. So now I hear about these indoor training vids called Sufferfest and man do I feel like I’m missing out.
Some say a few days off won’t hurt. Had an aerobics instructor in Toronto who blasted out the cardio moves. He’d declare at the end of the class for those that were still standing, something like – “You miss one day – nobody notices, you miss two days – you’ll notice, you miss three days – the audience notices…”
Can’t remember what he said or if he did about four.
Haven’t rolled since Tuesday. Now I know how they’re all feeling in Alberta with the worse then sub zero temps then we have here in Victoria (yyj) – a balmy -6 Celsius last night?
I’m complaining. Yes I am. I want daffodils and Robins to sing and wake me up. Not the screeching of ice against the side of the hull or the crackle underfoot as I waddle along the dock.
Get on with the spring and let me get on with my rolls!
Can’t cope anymore with these cycling withdrawals!!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Good Riddance Debt

Went to spend my last five dollars in the grocery store the other day and the Manager was dragging out a woman for shoplifting.
At the checkout a fellow was remarking to the cashier how in the past when he was in hard times, he never ever would he consider taking something.
“You go without,” he said.
The two reminisced on their journeys to the Food Banks. I handed over my bank card for my $1.30 bread purchase.  With family and friends I’m fortunate I don’t have to go there.
Not having a penny in your pocket does limit you though. It’s definitely demoralizing, but it’s not the end of the world.
Providing you’ve got a roof over your head and your health.
We throw so much out. Especially when it comes to food.
Since I’ve been pinching I notice it. Buy what you’re going to eat today. Nothing gets wasted.
There’s a lot of talk in Canada these days about our household debt. I agree. We’ve overextended ourselves. Living way beyond our means.
A friend once said to me, “The more you make, the more you spend.”
So true. And when you don’t have it, quite simply – you won’t spend it.
I’ve gone two years now without a credit card, line of credit or overdraft. It’s been great. Next step is to reduce the debt. I’m looking forward to it. Sell this, sell that. Don’t need it. Know I can live without it.
Good riddance debt!

Monday, 21 February 2011

That Sinking Feeling


Swimming was easy when I was a kid. We had the opportunity to swim often. Mum and dad would visit friends with pools. Kids swim, turn into prunes. Mom and dad enjoy the extended cocktail hour.
Occasionally there’d be some kid fighting. Someone would try sinking someone else… playfully. I’d get scared.
We’d talk it out and things would be fine. Then we’d go back to the fun.
Wish it could be that easy in the real world. The adult world that is. When things get tough. You get that sinking feeling. It’s scary. Lots of times there’s no way to talk it out.
That’s when I feel like ice cream. Soft ice cream. There’s nothing like it. It quells all fears. Heals all scars. Makes you forget anything bad. In those moments.
Yet, as fast as you can feel better – you can feel terrible again.
Perhaps it’s time for change. Certain luxuries no longer afforded. Like driving a new car. Nothing wrong with riding a bicycle!
It’s all in what we make of it. Like mum always said.
“Everything happens for a reason, you won’t realize it now, but you will later.”
Even when it comes to that sinking feeling.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Growin’ Up Now


Was different back them. So she claims. Didn’t have to worry about walking alone at night. No fear. It was simply a case of being. No worries.
I contemplate what she’s said. So much is true. My grandmother is pushing 95 years old. It happens that she was home today. On my chilly roll home from my road riding hill climbing day I decide to pop in for tea.
There’s always something to talk about. Memories. The good old days.
Nana brings up the murder not long ago by two young boys. They killed a young teenage girl. Minutes from where she lives.
We all have to scratch our heads on that one. Why? What makes a person so young commit such cruelty?
Then she sits back; deep in her wing back and claims life is like this. But it wasn’t that way when she was growing up.
“I grew up in the best times,” she says.
She remembers her days in Vancouver and walking around Stanley Park, even at night.
“You wouldn’t do that now,” she adds shaking her head.
True. Because of fear. Because of the known. Because of what’s been.
We live in different times. Shaded by horrors of the past. Not war. But murders, rapes and robberies.
Two cups of tea and some homemade cabbage rolls later, I push for a positive note to end the visit on.
We talk about my brother’s children. Her grandchildren. The accomplishments of the others.
Growing up a different world to what hers was.
Growing up in the new now. 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Clock the Walk

Wink, wink – it’s gone. Back to almost Sunday and soon to be Monday. It scares me. Can’t it be Saturday one more day, please?
Gotta wonder why the weekends leap by so fast. Like a comet through the sky. Even faster then the morning coffee line-ups at the local Tim Hortons.
I mope about Saturday mornings on the bike. Rolling here and there. The luxury is in the time. Engulfed by the freedom of the space. Playing it up outside. In the grand outdoors. No rush to finish. Happy to carry on.
Till you think about the week - the clockin’ it wears thin. Give in to that Monday through Friday.
Be here then. Go there later. Get it done now. Don’t wait till tomorrow. Do it today. More to do the next day.
Come the weekends we have the count to enjoy. Ringing in the slow motion of the hour.
But why does it have to go so fast?
No time to stop and savour.
Do this, do that. Get caught up on this. Then that. See the fam damily. Hang with the friends. Wash the dishes, do the laundry. Walk the dog. Clean, vacuum. Empty the garbage.
Before we know it. It’s back. Time to start all over.
Back to clocking the walk.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

U-Turns and Roundabouts

Lots of roads these days have roundabouts. To slow you down. Instead of going straight.
Occasionally you take a wrong turn and end up perhaps at a dead end. Which way should you go?
Last night I turn on the boob tube. I’m baked from an early morning road ride and staring at a computer screen. I’m zoning. On comes Dragons' Den.
You never know what a day will bring.
As a self-employed artist I constantly have to re-invent myself or something. I’ve got my hands in five projects at the moment. All at different stages.
One of these initiatives involves food, making a difference to the environment and giving a kickback to an International Charity.
I recall reading in the paper last week that the Dragons' Den producers were coming to Victoria for a pitch fest. I’d even stuck the time in my BB calendar and then promptly forgotten about it. Till the show aired last night.
Back out came the laptop and I fired off the on-line application form.
No sleep for the wicked. I show up with two hours of free street parking, a picture of my idea, a lot of enthusiasm and some words for the wise.
It was so much fun! Lucky me I had a chance to rehearse to the A-Channel first. Then a pre-amble round table discussion with some folks in the know, then it was my turn. On with the show! Rather pitch.
They asked the right questions. I minced some words. Got the idea across. Came out stoked.
“I did it! I did it!” could be heard as I drove away.
Who knows if I’ll get on the show? For me it was about showing up, presenting and learning. But most importantly - getting it out there.
I can’t say for sure where it will go from here. So much depends on resources. It could end up doing a u-turn or maybe just slow down for another roundabout...

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Our Ugandans


I was inspired to post this after reading about the drama unfolding in Uganda pre-election time. 
The youth are our the voices of the future...

Monday, 14 February 2011

LOVE Day


Every day should be LOVE day.
Love yourself first then you can love others.
Was leaving the parking lot of the grocery store today and saw a man hovering over the city’s boulevard garden. As I pulled out I happened to glance into my rear view mirror. I watched as he bent over and scooped right out of the ground a red flower arrangement.
Wow, I thought to myself and grinned. What some people will do for their love...
On LOVE day!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Pushing Boundaries

Love the word BONK. It suits exactly the state of my body today as I set out for a (press play on Gilligan’s Island soundtrack) three hour tour…
Saddled up ready to go I thrust the wanna bes over the seat post and set off. Up the hill I went. The call-outs start. Not in the hips or the gluts, but in the thighs.
The sound-offs then went through my gut like a rocket heading out to space. Was I sick? No way. Impossible.
Racking up the mileage is what you’re supposed to do. Gradually. I reckoned a build to Saturday’s epic would see me coast through Sunday’s (today's) additional three hours.
My week had dabbled with three Tripleshot Cycling (Predawn Cafe Destination Cycling Club) diddles. It was a chase with the pelaton. I held it down when I went with the C’s on Friday, but I did a snore.
So when it came to the fifth ride in a week and the sixth work-out of the week my body said, NO! While my mind went GO!
Good at suffering, I capitalized on my misery by rolling all the way to a decent coffee shop for a snooze over the daily and a mouthful of a day-old muffin.
I’ll not shed any more misery today I decide. I had the energy to do the chores. Ready for the craziness in a week.
Knowing also that when it comes to steady as she goes, for the training regime – careful how I go now with pushing boundaries.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Inspired Logic


Get it while you can!
Whether it’s from Twitter, the newspaper or a conversation you had last night. Run with it, I say. Run with it!
Like the taste of a soft ice cream cone. What are you thinking? How good it is? How much is melting on your tongue into your mouth. The taste. The richness of the cream. You’re in the moment. Savour it!
When inspiration knocks at the door. Hold onto it. Take it for a walk and see where it goes. Maybe to a novel creative realm you haven’t visited yet? Some twisted altered state. Who knows! Don’t be afraid. Explore it! Most importantly, make time for it.
I’m a journalist. Always been one for writing things down. Words that trigger a connection. Things that inspire me. Language that moves me.
I take it and let it shake me into another galaxy. Why not?
No barriers. Unknown boundaries. I make it up. It’s mine to grow. And you never know where you’ll end up.
Get out there and say or do what you want for the world. No inhibitions. Reach deep. Say yes. Move with it. Take it. No rambling.
Really, it’s what I call inspired logic.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Impossible Love

You reach for it, but it’s gone.

It wavers back and forth.

Your mind plays tricks.

Is it here or is it there?



When did you have it last?

I promise he says. I will come.


In a moment you waste realizing.

The lingering is in the time zone.

Awakened by darkness, the silent night speaks.

He is there.

The impossible love.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Committed

Problem with saying you’re going to do something is, well of course – if you SAY you’re going to do it then you bloody well better do it!
Not much for failure. I tend to capitalize on these words and other words spoken. Even if it does completely and utterly consume you. Which is sad to say.
“Do what you like, but like what you do,” my dad used to say.
So in today’s world, be careful with what you say you’re going to do. In my case, once you do so you are committed.
The ultimate sacrifice of time. Given it may or may not be completely to your benefit. Prowess plays in.
Must get it done.
At times, I dwell on the commitment of time for others. Things always take longer then anticipated. Due in my part to my anal attention to every little detail. I have to do the best job possible.
“You’re only as good as your last job,” someone once said to me.
So no matter how much of your own time you have to give up, once you say you’re going to do something, you’ve got to do it. To the best of your ability.
You are, after all – committed.

Monday, 7 February 2011

The Family Heart


Years ago at a family function I’d done my best to sneak out of the boredom of the eve. At the time, a teenager – friends were way more fun. Of course.
I remember my mother being irate.
“Remember one thing, Jane. Your family will always be there for you. Your friends may not!”
The guilt got chewed on. I weighed in on the unit. Miserably stayed afoot until it was legally OK to go. The line stayed with me though.
Good thing. Recently I dished it out to my son.
When you’re 18 almost 19 you think you’re in the know.  Fact is, life revolves around you. Like a carriage horse with blinders on. It’s straight ahead. Wherever that my lead.
When dad was alive, Sundays were a traditional road beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner. Around the table. A time to share. To laugh. To commiserate.
Two weeks had gone by and every time I spoke to my son I’d ask him, “So when am I going to see you?”
The reply was always, “I don’t know.”
Happily, I received a call today to meet-up for dinner.
I did a double take. He hadn’t changed much. Still making sense of life and all that he’s got going on in it. The girlfriend, school, a weekend job and friends.
I was delighted to be with him. Delighted to once again feel the family heart.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Routine Realized


Simple as it sounds do we adhere to it?
Reminders scribbled down in the day timers. For the old fashioned folk like me that still prefer the handwritten kind.
Lists are penned. Prioritized inside the noggin.
But when it gets down to it. What’s done isn’t always there.
It’ll start like this: what needs to get done, what has to be done, and oh yeah - what I really feel like doing right now.
Really.
So it goes. The day beats on. Time trickles upward.
Days pass into weeks. The b/f (bring/forward) re-writes sketch in. Again.
Trembled by focus the peripheral vision outside the cortex of our minds is blended by the fact we are social beings.
Did I work out today? Have I met the necessary family obligations for the day? Has the dog had three walks?
Festered by due diligence the circle equates to this:
Did I meet my financial obligations this week?
Controlled by money our lives resemble a week of time. Devoted to what matters most. Work.
Get up. Work. Come home. Sleep. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Sleep. Get up… and so on.
Until the weekend arrives. For most an excuse to be. To do. Whatever.
Then Sunday comes along and we’re back.
To the routine realized.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Film Fest Wonders

Please note: The Victoria Film Festival runs February 4-13, 2011.


You won’t discover it unless you go.
Sometimes I pick the movie for the country that it came from. Other times the topic. Outside the box. In a realm unknown. An opportunity to explore.
Not usually a click click click of sights and sounds. Like the art of film. The movies breathe. There is time.
No big box office guidelines. Stars unborn.
Our society is synced on kismet tales of darkness. Or action action action. Three to five second frames. Like your kid playing a video game. Micro attention spans.
It’s the depth I enjoy. Openings into the vast unknowns.
There’s always a surprise. Something good or at times so incredibly bad. Glaring production flaws. Sound checks unheard. It all ravels into one.
Greatness can come out of a no budget flick. It’s all in the topic, the faces and the music.
Tonight I went to the Congo. To hear the “African rhythms in Beethoven.”
A multi-stored doc the description said. Kinshasa Symphony it was named. It was real. So were the people.
You never know from a picture and a description what the movie is really going to be like. Till you go.
A chance to feel the dynamics of outside the big box offices of filmmaking. The genuine craft of film. Love and art. Through a whole lot of heart.
I’ve been to the Congo. Never expected to hear a stringed instrument in the street.
It was captivating. At times moving. But mostly real.
I saw, I heard, I felt, I smiled and I laughed. When the film faded to credits we clapped.
A Film Fest wonder.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Dance Flow

Went to my first Five Rhythms dance experience with Bold Girl Dance today.
It was like meditation, except I was dancing.
The word flow resonated. Never stop moving. Connecting with our being. Our inner, inner core. Ourselves.
Fluid. Interchanged glances. Interpreted emotions. With individual energy and vitality. Elicit freedom. Yes! Dancing like no one is watching.
I thought about sitting down at a desk and computer for the rest of the day. My right palm strapped over a computer mouse. Still. Eyes intact. At a screen.
How would I play out the magic of being in the flow? Nourishing the centre of freedom. The unleashed emotions of joy and sorrow.
Hadn’t danced so freely for so long to such incredible music since I was in Africa. Honestly. That’s how it should be done. Daily. Allowing yourself to be. To truly be. To release. To unwind. To witness your abundance. Naked - but free. Movement no matter what. Like water pouring out of a tap. Like a river running downstream. Like our soul souring up, way up to the sky. An awakening of all of our senses.
I smiled. I breathed. I cried. The sad erupted and melted away.
Delight shone. I was in the know.
I was one with the dance flow.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Bike Artist at Work!


video
That's my little red Devinci in the background. Got stopped in my tracks when I saw Troy at Trek Pro City Racing working his magic on this bike art. Not the first one I've seen of his either. 
Check out the seat post. Look ma - no brakes!!