Saturday, October 29, 2011

106th Post - Reminder

This week came complete with tragedy, conflict, teenage angst, and generally all the mayhem that is part of life at a middle school. 

It must be noted that there is much more positive than negative amongst the teens and soon-to-be teens at our school. They seek out help when they need it. Even the most marginalized look out for each other. They are creative, fun, joyful and have an abundance of ...
 E N E R G Y !

In addition to my work as school counsellor, I co-lead our school choir with a very talented French Immersion teacher. This year's group is no less fabulous than previous choirs. 

"Everything I needed to learn I learned in choir!"

I rushed into practice late (don't ask) and since we're on a time crunch to learn a couple of songs for Remembrance Day, I was more than a little frazzled. Nothing like music to calm this savage beast!

Amazingly in one rehearsal these talented young people learned a  new song complete with two parts, and are well on their way to learning another. This week was a case of the students extending the joy of music to the teacher. Talk about music therapy! Thirty minutes of leading this group restored balance and peace to my heart. I was able to carry on with some of the more difficult tasks of the day with a greater perspective of goodness and hope! 

My lesson was (again); we all bring good to each other; age, experience, level of education aside, we are connected at a human level and we need each other. This week our choir gave me much more than I gave them. They gave me renewal! 

If you have time, take a listen to one of our songs. This version is  not our choir, nor is it really a choir song, but the message is important and to hear our kids sing this, brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.

The goodness, the worth, the hope continue to be greater than the sorrow, the tragedy and the angst. It took music and a choir full of students to remind me. 

What reminded you of goodness and hope this week?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

105th Post - Answers

I probably should have titled this post "Questions" because it is clear that I have more questions than answers.  

Occupy Vancouver, why?

Is there such a thing as political truth?

Would society tolerate an "embrace faith" movement? 

Can we take the politics out of education? Please.

We know the needs of many of our at risk youth. What would it take to ignite the will to provide them the opportunity for life change? Do our youth even feel the need for life change?

As I put these questions into print, the word that comes to mind is simplify. 


      if we see a need, can we fill that need? Do we have the will? 

It is difficult to accept that life is worse today than it was when I was 10...20...30...or even 40, yet it feels worse. I have more, yet it feels like I have less. 

Is it possible to stand up and speak...
         without violence...
                  without infringing upon the rights and liberties of others?

And what would that even look like? Sound like? Feel like?

It seems to me that the whole world needs to press the pause button. 

Just stop for a moment. 
             No protests.
                      No violence. 
                                                 Simply stop. 

Maybe a global time out.
Drop everything and reflect! No Internet, no electricity, simply you and your inner self; pray, meditate, whatever you do to get grounded, centered, or if not that just do nothing. 

If everyone stopped.

For a minute.

Maybe our  collective energy would give someone, somewhere the answer.
The answers.

I don't know.

It beats tearing up the lawn in front of my Art Gallery!

Do you have more questions than answers?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

104th Post - Dance

I can't dance. There I said it. I. Can't. Dance.

As mother of the groom I was to be honoured with a mother/son dance. I was scared witless. There was a list of things to do for this occasion: speaking, playing, hostessing, arranging, being a wee bit bossy - but not too bossy. All of these were a walk in the park compared to the 'dance'!

My baptist roots are pretty clear about the evils of the dance and where it could lead...a loose and immoral life! Oh my! That was in the 60's, yet here am I closer to 60 than the 60's and I still have the dance phobia. 

Turns out my fear was much ado about nothing. Middle son and I rocked at the dancing thing! In fact turns out dancing is so much fun the reverend and I took to the floor and pumped with the youngsters. 

Middle child dancing with his new bride.

103rd Post - Knocking

I hear it, the distant rumble of the dark cloud. It seems to be heading my way. Will it dissipate before it reaches me, or will it make its way right to my front door? Will it tap lightly or boldly walk right in? 

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. The Facebook wall posts have begun. They are filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. Today I don't feel grateful, nor thankful. Clearly I have much to be thankful for. On a cognitive level I rehearse my gratitude list. Yet, it seems, that as quickly as I write the good it dissolves into nothing. 

There are many reasons why I am feeling this way today. Most of the time I can push this darkness aside and make my 'happy' list. Most of the time that works. It's not working today. Yes, I believe. Yes God is good. I'm not looking for affirmations; I know I am blessed. 

Today, depression is attempting to corrupt my hard drive.

          Today, the platitudes are irritating. 

                    Today I am depressed. 

I do not have the energy to put on my happy face and pass along greetings of Thanksgiving. Yet, that is the expectation. Not doing so will undoubtedly give rise to judgement. I listen to the judgement chirping in my ears as I write. 

HOWEVER, I do know it will get better. I know that tomorrow is not today. I've been here before. Different circumstances, same feelings. My feelings are under siege, yet my faith is strong. My hope has been stocked piled like money in the bank; time for a withdrawal. 

It is with faith and its shield that I will face today. No lists of why I'm thankful. No shoulds nor judgment. 

Today I am me and me is not happy.

 Tomorrow I will be me and it is with great hope that me will be restored to a healthier frame of mind.

I shall not open the door.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

102nd Post - This is My Guest Post

My mother, Irmgard is seldom this subtle. Apparently I haven't blogged for a week or two, so she sent me the following guest post. Ah, the gentle nudge of my mother. It is with pleasure I welcome, Irmgard and her guest post.

Irmgard, getting the royal treatment while visiting family in Dubai

You have to understand that the fridge upstairs died. So the upstairs family purchased a new one. The old dead one had to be taken away.

Seeing I am retired I got to stay home and let in the men bringing the new fridge, as well as the men taking the old one away. And that was ok except Luna, our Jack Russell does not like strangers in the house. So I had her shut in my kitchen (downstairs)

When I heard them knock I had to open my interior kitchen door to get to the front door and of course Luna got there before me. I managed to push her into the garage and then opened the front door to the men bringing in the new fridge. Of course just as they came another huge truck pulled up to get the old fridge.  I told them where the old fridge was ...and they said they would go around to the back entrance.. Fine with me....

Well they finally all left and I climbed up the stairs  and can you believe they removed the sliding door and left it against the wall? The floor was all wet, not sure why, so I got a towel and was drying it when my phone downstairs started ringing again. I threw the wet towel down the stairs  and went to answer my phone...I did close the screen so Luna would not run out.

I got back downstairs and decided to sweep up the mess at the front entrance. While I was there I opened the front door to check the mail box and there was Luna on the lawn real close to the road. So I yelled upstairs to let them know that the dog was out!

When I asked how the heck she (Luna) got out front, I was told, "The men left the gate open when they left with the old fridge."

.......well tell me - how did they know the gate was open and seeing they knew, why did they not close it?

Hey, Can you tell if I am happy or sad? (Dear Mother, that is one of the mysteries of life) 

Submitted by Guest Blogger: Irmgard, Mom, Mother, Grandma, GG. Loved by all!

My son's wedding was wonderful. It poured rain but not even that could dampen the joyous celebration. Some of you wondered about the big fear I had mentioned in my last post. It was the mother/son dance. I can not dance. All went well, no injured feet. No bruised ego. 

Happy Thanksgiving,