Who Am I?

Who am I?

Who am I? (Photo credit: BuhSnarf)

“Who *are* you behind your online words?” is a question asked by blogger extraordinaire bottledworder today in her post. Her byline is “easy reading is damn hard writing”.

That is a good question. Tell me, who do you think I am behind the posts I write and the things I reveal on my blog? I have a good idea who many of you are: courageous, smart, excellent photographers, funny, well-read, thoughtful and kind; some of you are my good real life friends; many of you I have met here in this blog space, and I consider you good real life friends too.

As many of you know, I have been putting together a book on “Bliss” from my posts and your comments from the first half of this year. Consider any comments you make some more fodder for my book—so comment away—and be sort of honest (lol).

And remember, bottledworder is right, when she says “easy reading is damn hard writing”. Sometimes I get it right; sometimes I don’t.

(Yes—I know this is a self-serving post—but it really will help with my book. You will be doing a  girl a favour. And any of you who know me in real life are exempt from this exercise.)

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Published in: on August 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm  Comments (41)  
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Moments

My theme for this year is finding my bliss—and though I have given up writing about it every day an E-mail I received this morning from my sister Peggy reminded me of those glorious moments we want to capture and make last. While bliss moments may be fleeting, they are plentiful if we learn to recognize them.

First Peggy’s bliss moment: dangling her feet in the water while sitting on the dock at her cottage on a lovely little lake. It was just a few moments in time but moments that counted. And they counted because she appreciated them.

Summer can be full of blissful moments:

Sitting in the yard, smelling the freshly mown grass, reading a book, and sipping on a cold lemonade with your feet up. Even those tiny fluorescent green bugs that seem to love the tree you are sitting under are not too bothersome—in fact if you look at them closely they are just another wonder of nature. (Really, I am not on drugs!)

Summer Window

Summer Window (Photo credit: mystuart)

Sweeping off the back porch – a retro and simple thing – an odd bliss moment but one that is relaxing and productive at the same time.

Hearing the mailbox clatter shut and knowing the mailman has delivered the mail and there might be a magazine or a card, or even (gasp) a cheque waiting for you. And no matter that on some days you just get flyers and bills, there is always hope for tomorrow.

Looking out at the street after the garbage truck has been by and seeing that they picked up everything you put out.

The sigh at the end of the day when your work is done and you can relax. Not all days are like this—sometimes the work day goes into the evening, but those days when you can call time your own for a while are blissful.

There are so many moments of bliss—tell me about a moment of  unexpected summer bliss for you.

Published in: on July 5, 2013 at 8:33 am  Comments (49)  
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Is This The End of Bliss?

So I have tried Recipe Saturday. Writing Wednesday. Words of Wisdom Sunday. Writing a poem a day for the month of April (only missed one day!) Various themes for a month and been semi-successful—I think I spend a month writing just 200 word posts; then another month using the letters of the alphabet as a prompt; and occasionally I do Michelle’s prompts.

Bliss first logo (2006-2008)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But I am out of ideas today. I have  been pretty good about my bliss posts—only missed a few days since New Year’s. But I think I have about covered the subject as much as I can.

So, I am asking you—what bliss have I missed?

 

Published in: on June 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm  Comments (28)  
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Happy Happenstances

 

Doubling up

Doubling up (Photo credit: Brett Jordan)

Anna Quindlen on the subject of fear and how it changes over time:

“Perhaps instead of scaring ourselves we need to surprise ourselves every day. We are, after all, always a work in progress. There were things I hadn’t done, didn’t know, couldn’t imagine at fifty that have all come true in the last decade. There must be such things to come in the decades to come as well. They arrive not because of the engraved invitations of careful planning but through happy happenstance, doodles on the to-do list of life.”

This was just one bit of pithy advice I gleaned from Quindlen’s latest book, “Lot of Candles, Plenty of Cake”, a memoir of her life. But it is a memoir with a difference, with a message or two or three, with her wry observations of life creating more than one aha moment.

Her quote was based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice that it is important to do something every day that scares us, but Quindlen makes the point that as we put a few years under our belts, fewer thing scare you. So instead she opts for surprise. I would like to opt for surprise, for happy happenstances.

We all have “situations” and “issues” that are big and need to be taken care of. But I have come to the conclusion that we cannot stop living while we are trying to get these resolved. As we are living through them, we have to stop and enjoy the happy happenstances. (try saying that three times fast)

Bliss is the happy happenstances or “the doodles on our life list”. What are your doodles?

*Don’t Hate Me Because I Am Beautiful

This post was written semi-tongue-in-cheek, but there is some truth to it:

'Tongue in Cheek' at Goodwood Sculpture Park

‘Tongue in Cheek’ at Goodwood Sculpture Park (Photo credit: tednsteph)

Prompt of the Day: You’re asked to nominate someone for TIME’s Person of the Year. Who would it be, and why?

Well, Michelle, I would nominate me. Why? Because no one else would. I have been in the situation where no matter what I do, how much I do, or how well I do it, there is always someone who does it just that little bit better,  or does a little bit more, or knows how to get recognized for doing what they do.

I think that I should be Person of the Year and represent Everywoman.

So many of us are not recognized in a big way for the things we do. And I know we should do them anyway—just because, and not for the recognition. But it sure would be nice to be acknowledged.

At this point I cannot hand out any award or give someone tuition for university. But I hope to be in that position someday. And do you know who would be the recipients of my largess? The Vice-President of Student Council. The planners of the prom. The yearbook editor.  The kid who gets A- or B+ and in some cases the kid who worked their a** off to get a C. These are all substantial, smart, and deserving people. And on occasion I would give it to the A+ student, the President of the Student Council, or the Prom Queen or King because I am nothing if not fair, and many of these people had to work hard too. But, I am just saying…..they are more likely to get recognition because of their higher profiles.

I am not saying the right people do not get recognized all the time. But sometimes the right people do not get recognized. Sometimes I wonder about nominators and think “who died and made you queen?” Who bestowed on you the wisdom of the ages to declare someone Person of the Year? Or most beautiful woman? Or sexiest man? Or, well, you get my drift……………

Bliss is speaking out even if it makes you sound stupid. Am I right?

*I always hated that
commercial

This Night Stands On Its Own Merits

heart with smile

heart with smile (Photo credit: Pan.101)

“You cannot judge the prudence of an action by the results.” ~ Henrietta Ann Klauser, Put Your Heart on Paper

After Klauser makes that statement she follows it with this truth: “What a hard truth and profound statement. It will give you great power when you are at peace with that.”

Her book, “Put Your Heart on Paper”, is one of my favorites, but I must say that this statement particularly resonates with me. I hate to do something and not realize the results. I want to know that my effort was not in vain. That the work or time I have put into something counts. But even if we cannot see the results, or the results are different than we anticipated, Klauser want us to know that the effort was worth it.

She tells of an insight she received from a friend when she told him the story of staying up one night when she was at university to comfort a friend in crisis even though she should have been studying. She told him that if she still passed the test than the time spent with her friend was worth it. The insight she received was this: “No, whether you pass or not, this night stands on its own merits.”

Those simple words, “…this night stands on its own merits” is one we can learn from. The action is what was important, not the outcome or what we would consider the reward. The reward in this case is that the friend was helped through her crisis and that was the important thing—the thing that had merit

I find myself always looking to do the thing that is worthwhile—the thing where the outcome will be worth the effort put into it. Now I am thinking that the process may be the key and that the time and effort put into something is worth merit, not just the product.

I seem to be quite serious of late, sort of giving myself some “self-talks”. Will let you know if they are successful, but I guess I should keep in mind that the process of working things out is just as important as the end result.

(I am hedging my bets and buying a lottery ticket too though).

Bliss is the journey as much as the destination. What do you think?

 

Orange You Glad It Is Saturday?

English: A Pumpkin flower attached to the vine.

A Pumpkin flower attached to the vine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Any colour-so long as it’s black.” ~ Henry Ford

Choice. Henry Ford was not really into choice when it came to the colour of the cars he produced.  And black, if you have to choose just one colour is not a bad choice.

What colour would you choose if you could only choose one colour? I always have trouble answering the question: “What is your favourite colour” because I have lots of favourite colours.

For some reason I love the colour orange. It makes me happy. It is the colour of my favourite fruit, the pumpkin, which heralds my favourite season, fall. But I like red and green and yellow and peach and pink. As well as persimmon, eggplant, cinnamon, salmon, and avocado green (ever wonder why there is no colour associated with tuna or garlic?) Just blue does not capture my imagination—but certain shades blues like sky blue and robin’s egg blue and denim blue do. And I love the words indigo, cobalt, azure and sapphire. And cerulean. Okay I guess blue does catch my imagination.

Chartreuse is my least favourite colour mainly because I do not like the sound of the word. It is kind of jarring, and unpleasant to my ear. A bright yellowish-green, it is unpleasant to my optic and auditory palate.

So what colour gives you bliss today? And what colour takes it away?

Published in: on June 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm  Comments (54)  
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Rain Day

Rain days

Rain days (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The sun does not peek

From behind angry grey skies

It is a rain day.

I secretly like rain days. I like the sound of the drops on my roof. I am not tempted to leave my work, but bend over it and diligently get it done. Then at the end of the day reward myself with the satisfaction I have a day well done under my belt.

Do you find bliss in rain days?

Published in: on June 7, 2013 at 10:02 am  Comments (45)  
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Tuesday Wisdom

Classic Gold (album)

Classic Gold (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.”   ~  George Carlin

This is one for those of us who are tired of navel gazing. Especially if we do too much of it ourselves. Carlin puts it in such a way that hilariously rings true.

Bliss sometimes includes the practical. What do you think?

Published in: on June 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm  Comments (20)  
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Remembering June

              Remember June when you were a kid? It was warm outside and the last thing you wanted to do was sit in a classroom.  Yet, you had to endure exams even if you wanted to be playing baseball, or skipping rope, or just doing nothing. Remember when exams were over, and it seemed silly to still be in school?  But those days at the end of June were a nice breather—the teachers were a little more relaxed (once they got the exams marked) and many a June day was spent outside with your class under a shade tree, listening to the teacher read a book, or using art class to sketch a little nature, or doing a science project which entailed examining a pail of water with tadpoles and other tiny life forms found in a nearby mud puddle, or if you were lucky, the creek.

            June was also the month when teachers found time to take students on nature hikes or a picnic at the park.  It also featured the end of the year party. That party was always fun, but you knew once the summer was over, you were another year older, and in another grade which expected more of you than the grade you were currently in.

            One of the fun things that happened in June when I went to a one room school house was that we sang a lot. We had a music teacher come in during the week, but every day our regular teacher would lead all the grades from one to eight in a sing song. One of my favourite songs was “Puff the Magic Dragon”, the words of which take me back to a time of innocence, when summers went on forever and growing up seemed far away. The song, written by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) and Leonard Lipton is based on a poem Lipton wrote in 1959. (info from Wikipedia)

            Examined more closely from an adult perspective, it is actually quite sad—it is the story of a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the things of youth and belief in the imaginary. To jog your memory, here are a few verses from the song:

1. Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.
2. Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff’s gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whenever they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flag when Puff roared out his name.
3. A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
4. His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave.  

          

Puff, the Magic Dragon

Puff, the Magic Dragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  I am not going to ruin a song from my youth with rumours of what some of the words “really meant”—I am taking them at face value. And at face value they tell the story of growing up.

            As adults we can capture the children we once were with memories of songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon”. We can remember those days with a fond nostalgia that does not have to be lost. The days with seemingly no responsibility, when our parents sent us out to “play” and we were not confused as to what to do—we rode our bikes, went to the store for popsicles, explored nearby creeks, read while sitting in our favourite tree, played a game of baseball that needed no adult supervision or organization, discovered fairy rings, or just lay on the lawn seeing what we could see in the clouds.

           

Is June the beginning of summer bliss? According to Wallace Stevens: “A summer night is like a perfection of thought.”