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Showing posts from 2016

Day 252 Somewhere between Calamity Jane and Coco Chanel, you will find me, here.

She's in there, somewhere deep.
Deep within who they told her she could be, should be and wouldn't be.
In the place where they tried to keep her hidden away.
In a box.  I nicely decorated box, albeit, but a box still.
Looking for the way out.
Searching for the crack,
The imperfection,
A sliver of light
Finding its way to her.
Planning her escape.
From this box where she was once placed.
From which she waits to live the life that waits for her.

Leonard Cohen - Anthem (w/lyrics) London 2008 and Serendipity

Ring the bell that still can ring.

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That's how the light gets in.

This song by Leonard Cohen inspires me.  In fact, he makes me fall in love with words every time I hear it.

Over 20 years ago, I first heard his words when I was a Communications Officer at FCC.  One of my coworkers quoted it and I never forgot it.  To find the crack. The inspiration. The point of light.  The imperfection.

Our Communications team was talking about how we could be more creative and more innovative.  I remember saying that we needed to be the information and not the noise.  That was more than 20 years ago, and the noise is even greater now.

Yesterday I discovered my book, "How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond" on a shelf at Chapter's in the Business section, in the same place where books about Steve Jobs, Justin Trudeau and Ghandi are for sale.

When I first published the book, I purposely launched it quietly and dig…

Blame it on my muse.

I was innocently sitting in an airplane, and bam. It arrived. No it demanded to be heard.  Having no paper and pen handy in that very second, I pulled out my phone and started reciting was being dictated to me.  
You speak to me quietly. I strain to hear you. I like that. You make me want to lean in As I study your words one by one
There are just the two of us.
I am a writer.  I write all over the place. In journals. On my phone.  On my hand.  On napkins in restaurants.  On receipts at red lights. The words . . . just arrive. Sometimes they fly by as if they are on their way somewhere, and if I am aware of them, I can reach out and hold them. Other times they hover.  Sometimes I feel like I got hit by a truck.  This is my muse, and we have a love / hate relationship.

In Greek mythology, a muse is an inspirational goddess of literature, science and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs and myths that were related orally for centuries …


"Write hard and clear about what hurts."
- Ernest Hemingway 

The last time I did this, it took me two years, 39 drafts and about 82,000 words until I was finally able to let it go and be free.  "How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond" was published December 2014. I just learned this past week that Chapters Regina is going to stock my book on their shelves.  It will be in the local writer section, which is cool.  Maybe someday it will be bigger and important.  I don't know.  Maybe by serendipity . . .

I didn't write Pink Flamingo to make money. I wrote it to write about what hurt.  In fact that I would make money never occurred to me.  The point was to write hard and clear about what hurt, so that I could let it go.  And I did, to some degree, although not completely.  I still look back sometimes at the chain of events that precipitated that book and ask myself how I could not have seen that coming.

The hardest part about what hurt was that it was a…

The Voice of the Butterfly

Somebody years ago with whom I shared a tumultuous relationship called me a butterfly.  At the time, he was pretty frustrated with the fact that he couldn't nail me down to save his life. He was my boss. The conversation went like this:

Him: You are a butterfly, flitting about from here to there, I can't catch you.  Me:  Then stop trying. Him: [Mouth open, asking himself if I really just said what I just said . . . ] Me:  OK. Don't worry about it. I will keep you in the loop. You will always know what you need to know.  Him:   Ok then. 
That was the first time I had heard that, but he was right.  I am a butterfly.  He didn't fire me, but on the other hand, it never occurred to me that he might.  I am a butterfly. And butterflies were meant to be free.

Being a butterfly isn't always easy in a world that loves to put people in boxes and containers with nice safe labels on them.  Have you ever tried to put a butterfly in a box? Please don't, because a butterfly …

Michael Jackson 'Speechless'

Things I need to remember . . .

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.  How do you know this is the experience you need?  Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."

 - Eckhart Tolle

Year 5 of Emancipation

Good morning.  Today is the 5th anniversary of my emancipation.  Five years ago today I officially left the corporate world behind with the stroke of a pen.  On that day, I remember I was wearing a double breasted navy suit and gold Calvin Klein sling backs . . . I asked my lawyer when "this" would be over, and he said "today", to which I replied, "well it's a good thing that I wore my gold shoes today."

Emancipation might seem like a strong word, usually preserved for human rights and freedoms kind of events, and I don't want to reduce the importance of those events by borrowing the word to describe my freedom, but it was, and is, a mammoth event in my life.

I had worked in the corporate world from 1996 after graduating from the School of Journalism & Communications at the University of Regina.  My career began as a student communications officer writing copy for a federal crown from Monday to Friday, and writing features and chasing fire tr…

Eurythmics - Would I Lie to You?

That F**king Feeling

It's a feeling that I can't shake.
I dread this feeling when it comes.
Because I know that when it comes for me, there is no way out.
There is no way to avoid it.
It knows me better than I know myself.
It knows my every move.
My every wish.
My every dream.
My hopes.
My fears.
My lies.
My insecurities.
And I hate that.
I hate that it knows where to find me.
There is no escape.
No place to hide.
It already knows everything.

Annie Lennox - Why (Official Music Video)

This Will Be Our Year - The Zombies

The Madness Revealed

Maybe it’s mad. I don’t know.   The surreality of it all. That was my life.  And I never understood why I felt like I did. Why I dressed like I did. Why I felt like I was just a back up dancer to all the men in my office. Why they got all the credit while I did all the work.  Why I had to cajole and coax them before a big meeting so that I would have some idea of how they could turn on me at the last moment just to get a leg up on the next guy.

These are the men of my past. The men under whom I worked and trained. The men for whom I worked, and dressed. The men for whom I became the person that I thought I had to be in order to be at the table. In order to be relevant. In order to keep my job. In order to pay my bills.

And I was their girl.  The one who smiled. Who dressed for the part.  Who meticulously chose every aspect of my presentation daily, from the colour on the soles of my shoes, to the height of my heels, to the coordination of my purse and pearls. My outfit would be car…

Still here. Not sleeping.

I remember that day, the last day, the last time, the last everything. I remember hello’s and good-bye’s. I remember regrets. I remember feelings, sensations and touches.  I remember all of it.

There are times when I can’t breathe, when I can’t catch my breath. When I can’t find my way ahead. When it feels like it’s all in vain. When it feels like I finally overstepped my destiny. Went to far.  Exceeded the speed limit.  Took too much.

And then there are times when I feel like there isn’t enough time to do what I have yet to do.  To feel what I have yet to feel.  To be heard. To be seen. To be the person that I couldn’t be back then, because I didn’t know that she existed. I didn’t know that she was possible.

And there are times that I lay away at night, in the darkness, and the quiet, and I just breathe.  Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Until finally my body falls away from my mind, and I am able to drift off for three hours before  I have to get up again.

And I know that this is what is s…

Not sobbing. Just streaming tears.

For my friend, D. 

Arms stretched forward, heels together, and legs reaching the outer edges of my towel,  I close my eyes, breathing, listening to the sound of my breath,  paying attention to its cadence, to its depth.  With each breath, my chest would rise and fill, my spine lifting and releasing. 
My body is alive beneath me - no it's actually vibrating.   There is just too much stimuli. Too many thoughts.  Too many things to do. Too many questions. Too many doubts.  Child's Pose - a total surrender - a total shut down of my nervous system
to cradle it back to life.   
Breath comes in. Breath leaves.  Body lifts, then lowers, lifts, then lowers.   My chest falls closer to the bathroom floor.  Knees widening as the weight of my body pushes its way through
this barrier of bones, tissue and muscle,
submitting to the the floor, free falling with each breath. 
The tears start to come. No they are streaming now.  And I am breathing.   I don't stop them. What's the use? Th…

Queen_Who Wants to Live Forever/I Want to Break Free

For my friend Denise.  You know you mean the world to me.


Queen - I Want To Break Free (Official Video)

Words you should never say again.

Aging gracefully.  Never say this again.  We are not aging gracefully. We are living until we are not. My grandson Ronan is aging. He is two years old.  You are aging as you read this. Life is about that. If we are lucky. Some of my best friends never got to "age" because they died too young. From a logical perspective, the phrase makes no sense whatsoever. Here's how I know: Apply the "rule of opposites" to determine if the opposite makes sense also.  There is no opposite to aging gracefully, unless you consider it to be dying well. I rest my case.  Just stop please.