About Perpetua

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult, American author. This is my playground.

Goodreads

As much as I enjoy writing, I prefer to read the fine prints.

A good chair, books and beverage are ways of promoting literacy in this area of Gastown. These are permanent fixtures for art lovers. Most folks bring their own reading materials and use the char.

This one is my favourite step in Lonsdale Quay. It reminds me of the book I give to my nephews or nieces once they graduated from high school. I bought one for myself.

Sidewalks are perfect for finding Goodreads. I am not sure if this is my photo I found on my iPhone.

Cultivating Creativity

Most of my topic is about gardening. Gardening involves a lot of cultivation that includes my whole being. It’s my way of being creative. Planting a seed and let it bloom is the best part.

Manobo boy and his Kudyapi

Don’t even think that this is Picasso. No siree. My brother painted this originally on a canvass. I challenged him to paint it on my leather jacket. And he did and not doing it again for anybody. I proudly wear this jacket and advertise his work.

Hills Where the Lord Hides

My brother and I seems to get along well when it comes to being creative in our own ways. He paints and sends me photos of his work-in-progress. I take a good look at his work, critique and provide my observation. I enjoyed writing about this piece “Hills Where the Lord Hides.”

Me: Beautiful landscape with blended colours that makes us follow the solid ground towards the Hill. Magnifique.

Him: Thanks for noticing, good eye!

Me: One has to really think and feel what the painting is for me, not just the eye. I could easily say something simple which is boring … tee hee

Him: It’s the eye that senses the painting. Then you feel and think.

Me: Not to mention the horizon is stunning that complements the rest of the painting. A cloudless sky and the sun has just set.

Him: Now you have pointed it, yes, a cloudless sky and the sun setting. Thanks.

I wrote a Haiku on this:

My reason for going
Chuck Mangione played to death
Hill Where the Lord Hides

The following day, he told me this piece is SOLD to the highest bidder in Thailand!

Dan S. Siglos, Painter

Currently, my brother is creating a comic style painting of our family. We are enjoying this activity as he paints from the oldest to the youngest in a huge canvass and I create a blurb. The blurb stays between me and him. Or maybe I will share it later.

This is Dan S. Siglos self-portrait (not Picasso), stepping on a snake. The snake is the symbol of evil. My brother is fearless. The meaning behind this is “Fear No Evil.” I understand what he means knowing what he has gone through.

I shall update and post more of the comic painting next time.

With my cats, I am contented in my sanctuary.

Lesson No. 1: A cat is quite content to be a cat.

Maurice

“If you think long enough about what you see in a cat, you begin to suppose you will understand everything, but its eyes tell you there is nothing to understand, there is only life.” Leonard Michaels

My cats helped me define myself, just to be, to have inner peace. Every since I started living on my own, without companionship, I will be suffering on my own. Being with the cats, they are very sensitive to my needs in such a way they will just sit beside me saying “Here I Am.”

Looking back in my old post, I want to include this to remind myself that the Earth is a sanctuary.

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Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with a new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer from memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.

An Ute Prayer via Education for Justice

The Philosophy Of Mental Illness

I haven’t written about mental health for a long time not because I am healed. Far from it. It’s because there are so many people feeling some grade of mental illness due to the COVID pandemic. The opening sentence “We’re all mostly insane” made me laugh. In retrospect, I really could use a dose of insanity to put some humor in my life.

Banter Republic

We’re all mostly insane. I visited a family once and I must say that even though insanity didn’t run in that family, I’m convinced it strolled through, taking time to get to know each of them personally. I should have known. The first warning sign was that they all talked at the top of their voice. This one time the dad was speaking to me, and I had to remind him, in the most respectful manner, that I was only just five feet away, and that I could hear him clearly. He paused for a bit and increased the volume. Crase

What is Mental illness? Mental illness in it’s purest form is shaving off your entire eyebrows, only to draw them back on with a pencil. It doesn’t get more accurate than that. A close second will be shaving your entire hair and then proceeding to prance around in…

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Thinking of Winter in the Middle of Summer

I could really use an ice-cold drink as cold as winter.

Ice Cold Drink

Yesterday, I was speaking to a man who moved to BC from Ontario because his family cannot stand another winter or summer further up north.

nightime

In Vancouver, our winter is becoming milder and milder. We used to have plenty of snow and frozen city lakes. The temperature only goes down to -10 celsius. I miss those days when we can actually go cross country skiing in our city parks.

Vancouver Snowman

No more snow days.

 

 

Falling for Autumn

Autumn is my second best season next to spring. These are some of my favourite shots from the archive.

Dance

First, we celebrate labour day. Still warm enough to go dancing in the park for young at hearts. It’s one of the biggest gathering knowing that it’s the last party season as we end summer.

Autumn of our life

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.” ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Garden or Cemetery

Combining festival of the dead and preparing a plot for fall garden is a sure way of having fun. Kales are the best to grow during cold season. As for the skeleton, we have to wait how it will mature or whether it will grow some bone spurs.

 

The Great Pumpkin

I want this one!

HA! Must have the biggest pumpkin to harvest from the patch. It would take a long time to carve this one.

Forget Me Not

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom at Metrotown

My reason for going
Err in the side of caution
Sakura spring blooms

It’s so beautiful to see the Cherry trees in full bloom in spring. Japan Sakura Festival is one of the significant events in welcoming the arrival of a new season, a new beginning, a new life. Here I stand, in an empty parking lot at Metrotown, celebrating spring. The fragrance of the flowers permeates the entire lot—no exhaust fumes to contend with.

Bonsor Pipeline

Bonsor Pipeline skate rink.

You are limitless
Grown-up man springing along
Lone never lonely

It was exciting to watch him rolling away all by himself in the skating rink. Usually, this place is pack with people. The weather is mild and overcast, a typical spring day. There are so many ways to continue your daily activities on your own as long as we practice self-distancing.

Shangri La

Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite exhibition in 2010 located at the Wild Bird Trust sanctuary

Shangri La to Shangri La
Community of squatters
Springtimes and sweaters

Forest bathing at Wild Bird Trust Sanctuary is a perfect spot to go thoreau-ing. “I love to see clear crystalline water flowing out of a swamp over white sand and decayed wood, spring-like.—Journal, 18 July 1852.” A breath of fresh air, birds friendly enough to eat on my hand, red and green buds emerging from the branches and twigs, plenty of room for a quiet reflection and contemplation amidst the turmoil what this new virus brings about. The meditative journey gave our inner self to expand and make room to focus on what is essential in life.

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not garden

Forget Me Not fleurs
A gift that keeps on giving
Spring twenty twenty

Out of the blue, this plant suddenly appeared in my garden. I let it stayed. Two years later, I am delighted to see how beautiful it is to have a mass growing in the garden this spring.

Legend said that God named all the flowers except for this one tiny plant. As God was about to leave, the plant cried out: “Forget me not, O Lord!” The Lord decided, “That shall be your name.”

“I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget….first, forget not to be patient with yourself…second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice…third, forget not to be happy now…fourth, forget not the why of the gospel…fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Forget Me Not

 

Plant your own garden, Decorate your own soul

Plant your own garden

Layla Pie and Miss Pretty planting the hydrangea

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises. 

Summer rain

Weather forecast for the first day of summer. Rain.

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

Lavenders

Lavender Harvest. A good day. Rain the following day.

After a while, you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers

Bouquet of flowers

Flower girl.

And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn and learn.
With every goodbye, you learn.

 

Note:
I originally posted this title on June 13, 2013, here. According to Dear Abby, it was a poem AFTER A WHILE by Veronica Shoffstall. Much to my surprise, this is my top post and most visited. As a curious person, I wonder who Veronica Shoffstall is?

In my searches, I cannot find a reliable source to indicate that Veronica is the real author. In the Urban 75 forum, this question Who is Veronica Shoffstall came up. Apparently, it was a Spanish poem written by Jorge Luis Borges. With the help of google translating it to English, much to my surprise (again} so it was his poetry.

I really don’t know whether it was plagiarism. That is not for me to judge. I just want to throw some more light into the validity of who I am quoting.

At any rate, it’s still beautiful poetry.

 

Thanks Again, John

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to reach out to everyone here at OLPH and say thank you!

Thank you for your kind messages, wisdom, thoughts, prayers, and support; it has really made a difference in my life during these difficult past few weeks. Me and my family truly appreciate the support and prayers, and we will never forget that. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the OLPH community by my side throughout this all.

Thank you to Lora for Sandra for your sincere understanding.

Thank you to Lyn and Gail and anyone else who helped organize a beautiful bouquet of flowers to be sent to my Mother.

OLPH Staff

From OLPH Staff

My family is very blessed to have had my Dad!

James Lochhead Logan

James Lochhead Logan Lovingly Remembered

 

Jim Logan

Jim Logan Lovingly Remembered

I hope you don’t mind I share some photos with you all.

Evelyn Logan

Mom and the Logan siblings

It feels great to be back in the building with our wonderful students, by the way.

The Logans

The Logans

Thanks again and have a great rest of your week.

Johnnie Logan

Graduation: UBC-Bachelor of Education, CapU-Bachelor of Jazz Music

Family Camping

Family outing

Dad and I

Dad and I

John Logan,
Music Teacher, Pre K-7

Punctuation

Tranquillity seems to ooze from this light, blue-grey that inspires moments of quiet meditation. This soothing shade creates a look of elegance and simplicity. – Benjamin Moore

IMG_1360

Meet Grace, a new addition in my sanctuary, another lifeline, for me.

Grace is a very quiet cat, hardly meows. Looking at her has a calming effect on me as well as my other feline companion, Lucy.

it’s funny to watch my cats after eating catnip zoning out. A whiff of this plant soothes me, as well. Catnip tea has the calming effect on humans, but I prefer Chamomile.

What if …

Imagine if the world is safe to travel, I could be somewhere in the world right now visiting sacred places on another pilgrimage in Peru.

Here in my sanctuary, Vancouver, BC, Canada, I can only imagine walking and following the footsteps of the Incas. Dreaming.

Tell me, are you on this list? What part of the world 🌎 are you staying, sheltering and keeping safe.

IMG_3019

 

Dear Dad, Thank you for making us happy. Love, Lucy

My dad was a humble man. Well-travelled, well-loved, and simply well lived. Although his successes in life include travelling the world, finding love that lasted near 40 years, and having 6 kids, he never boasted about his life accomplishments. As I now rest in the wake of my dad’s death, I think about how he was a man of few words.

Lucy and Dad, Sweet Dreams

Often times, I find myself exhibiting my dad’s characteristics, especially when it comes to a shortage of words. In the days since my father’s passing, I have been hesitant to share this part of my life with others, even concealing it from some of my close friends. It wasn’t that the grief was too heavy to talk about, but rather that I couldn’t find the words to properly explain how I was feeling.

Lucy and Dad, Camping Days

As the youngest sibling, my relationship with my dad was different than the rest of my family’s. When my older siblings had all moved out, I remained home with my parents. On days when my mom would work, I’d be left home alone with dad. We’d both do our own things, never speaking much except for when we’d share a meal. Words between us were rarely ever needed. Instead, it was my father’s calming and gentle presence that always made me feel secure. It’s funny to think about how the most mundane memories are ones I cherish the most.

When the day came for us to say our final goodbyes, I was eager for words. I felt as though I needed to say the perfect things in order for him to forgive me for the years of lost communication. It wasn’t until after he passed that I understood how wrong that mindset was.

Dear Poteet

When I reflect on our relationship, it is not the conversations had that bring me peace. Instead, it was his presence. It was being at home and knowing I was safe there with him. It was knowing he was proud of me. It was knowing that he would support me in whatever I wanted to do. It was feeling his love instead of hearing it. It was knowing I would never be alone.

Thinking about adjusting to life without my dad is scary. For the first time in my life, my mom will go to work, and I will be home alone. Although physically, he won’t be there, I still know his gentle presence will always look over me. I know that even now after he’s gone, I will never be alone.

Rummaging through old mementoes of my parents and their shared love has inspired me. I came across one card my dad gave to my mom. She always said that he would never write her long or extravagant messages, but the short notes he did write held so much love. The one card I found read,

“Thanks for making me happy.”

Lucy and Dad, Grad Night

Lucy and Dad, Grad Night

I now know I inherited my father’s minimalistic love language. Knowing that, if I could say one more thing to my dad, it would simply be:

Dear dad, thanks for making us happy. Love, Lucy.

Miles Fly By

Moses at Mt. Nebo

At Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land

It’s a long road to freedom, a winding steep and high.
But when you walk in love with the wind on your wing,
And cover the earth with the songs you sing,
The miles fly by. (Song by Medical Mission Sisters)

It was a hazy, hot day when I took this shot from the top of Mt. Nebo. I can’t even tell you what the Promised Land is? There are so many roads that would take you there, but the question is what path to take.

Santiago de Compostela The Way

The Road

From this road, it appears that the path I thread on was smooth. Paved. Hot on my feet. Vehicles zooming by. I wished for trees along the way to shelter from the blistering sun. There were no short cuts but to stick to this road until we reach our destination.

A thought came up recently from one of the articles I read.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Santiago de Compostela The Way

An elderly couple walking hand in hand

Metaphorically speaking, the road is the way to a destination. Roads have mostly been destroyed to use the comfort of a vehicle. Fast. Furious. Get those rocks off my road!

I’ve been thinking lately about my sister and her husband, who passed away recently. When her husband had his first bout of illness, the doctor gave my sister something to think about. The sickness is operable but no guarantee of a good result. It’s either the blood clot in his brain to be left alone, live a good quality of life and monitor his health.

My sister, with her infinite wisdom as a nurse, opted to provide a quality of life for her husband as she made a vow for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health at their wedding.

Santiago de Compostela The Way Fog

The fog of unknowing

From then on, we entered into a foggy road having to stick together along the path. We cannot see what’s ahead, nor can we know what’s behind us.

FOG. F.O.G. How can I eliminate this fog on the road? A light in my head and I thought. FOG. Focus on Gratitude. FOG. Focus on God. FOG. Focus on Goodness. I could think of so many meanings of fog.

Miles flew by.

Many events and memories happened between my sister and her husband. Their two younger children graduated from high school, entered university and received their diploma. Some got married and four grandchildren soon. They travelled. A lot. Two significant trips that they have wanted to do: Holy Land and going back home to New Zealand, the birthplace of her husband.

Five years. Ten years. Fifteen years.

Santiago de Compostela  Map

Map guide starting from France to Santiago de Compostela

To be on the road, we need a map to guide us to our destination to provide us with some knowledge of the place. But the path we take is more important than the roadmap. In our way, it becomes personal how we face the unknown, exploring the possibilities of quality life instead of quantity.

My brother-in-law lived for another 15 wonderful years receiving the best care one can ever get from my sister.

Back to the question: “Where do I see myself in 5 years?”

My answer: Alive.

 

Celebration of Life

Eulogy of Greg Logan

Good afternoon.

I want to start by saying thank you to all of our family and friends. Thank you for all the condolences, prayers, phone calls, texts, emails, memories shared, flowers delivered to Mom, food dropped at the house, and every assistance and support provided to our family. To know our Dad touched these many lives give us feelings of peace and happiness, in this difficult time. I also want to say thank you to the St. Joesph church, who have accommodated us on short notice in these unprecedented times.

In the days since our Dad, Jim Logan, passed away, we have gathered, shared memories, stories and prayers. We have cried together, and we have laughed together. Through this all, I had the opportunity to reflect on his life. And as I asked family and friends to help paint the full portrait of our Dad, several themes began to emerge. Themes of kindness, generosity, humility, and family. Themes that weave together to reveal the fabric of a good life, measured not in time or material things, but in the love and opportunity created for those left behind. So although there are sadness and mourning, this is also a time to honour and celebrate his amazing life. A life that has ultimately been defined by family and the legacy that endures in them.

Jim was born James Lochhead Logan, in Wellington, New Zealand. He grew up about 50 kilometres north, in a town called Paraparaumu, on the Kapiti Coast. His parents, James Logan senior and Mother Phyllis, had earlier immigrated from Scotland to New Zealand to escape the war. Jim was the youngest of 5 children, and with an age gap to his older siblings, he was always considered the baby of the family. Now…we all know Jim had a passion for golf, but it is important to understand where this came from.

The Logan family lived in a house backing onto the ninth hole of Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. This is a renowned and hallowed golf course, considered to be one of the top links-style courses in the Southern Hemisphere, and has played host to many professional tournaments. Golf was in the blood. Jim’s parents and siblings were competitive golfers, winning many tournaments and club championships. Jim’s youth was spent hopping the fence to play with his family and friends. Jim would also earn money working as a caddie for some of the wealthy members and a few famous professional golfers who passed through. Jim became an excellent golfer in his own right, competing with family and friends and winning junior tournaments. The game taught him many principles and values that would carry with him his entire life.

The young Jim Logan had other interests as well, such as rugby and cars. He purchased his first car at age 18, a Morris 8 Convertible. According to his childhood friends, his Mother loved this car, and when he took her for a drive around town, she would smile from ear to ear. At the age of 19, Jim left New Zealand for Canada, following his brother Jock in search of new adventures and career opportunities.

Jim arrived in Toronto in 1969. He spent several years working at a bank before applying to a job at Canadian Pacific Airlines. This involved re-locating West, and he moved to Vancouver in 1974. Jim would share a house in Richmond with several of his new colleagues at CP Air, which they dubbed the Aztec hotel. His work colleagues would become his best and life long friends, some of whom are here today. Jim would go on to work in the airline industry for 31 years. His job gave him the opportunity to travel the world. He always had exciting stories, exotic foods, and gifts for us when he came home from trips.

As children, we were incredibly fortunate to frequently travel on airplanes to new destinations. Dad loved Hawaii, and our family trips to the Islands would become a hallmark of our family memories.

Jim met Evelyn Siglos at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, in 1978. Jim was shy and reserved, Evelyn was the complete opposite. She complimented him perfectly, coaxing the fun and humorous side of his personality, and it was true love. After Mom finished nursing school, they married on September 26, 1981. They had six children, which, I believe, is a sign of a happy and devoted marriage. Many people who would meet and get to know Dad would say, “I never would have expected you to have six kids,” to which Dad would reply, “I’m not sure how it happened… “ Being a relatively new father myself, I often ask myself, how he did he do it?…

Well…I think we all know the answer to that question. Our Dad’s best fortune in life was meeting our Mom. She was his bedrock, his guiding light, and she has shown incredible strength and grace in the time since he has passed. We love you, Mom.

I believe Dad’s greatest passion was being a Father.

As the oldest sibling, I can remember eagerly awaiting his phone calls from the hospital to proudly announce the newest sister or brother in our growing family. He was involved in school, sports, scouting, travel, camping, fishing, and any interest his children displayed. Everything he did was for his family. The time Dad invested watching and driving us to activities is infinite. He was funny, a great storyteller, and a good listener. Being a grandfather was a feather in his cap. He adored his grandchildren, spending lots of time with them, and always asking Mom for the daily pictures or videos we had to share.

My time and words here cannot do full justice to our Dad’s life. We take comfort, knowing his story continues in his children and grandchildren. Children and grandchildren who carry on his name and traditions.

If anyone here has stories of our Dad they wish to share, please approach any of us after mass, we would be grateful to hear them.

We love you, Dad. We know you are in heaven now. Please watch over us, until the time that we will see you again.

Thank you.

Note:
This is the first time the church opens its door to the public as part of re-opening due to COVID. We are blessed and fortunate to celebrate my brothers-in-law, Jim Logan, Mass of Christian Burial.

We were allowed to have maximum 50 people including the body of Jim in the church. Having a big family, we cannot accommodate them all.

Needless to say, we gathered mostly in prayers by using Zoom. The funeral was lived streamed via Facebook. All something new.

Thank you for the new technology, over 500 viewed the video from all parts of the world that joined us celebrating the life of Jim Logan.

 

Dad

Jim Logan

Rest in Peace

A break in the clouds
Beams of light, splintered, ethereal
Streaming, intently, boundless, welcomed through a window, resting
A comfortable bed
Radiant skin, a relaxed brow
White hair, flowing from seasoned winds, invisible

Strength
Serenity
Gathering

Peace

It’s peace
It’s the peace that comes from a full life
It’s the peace that comes from growing up in a place
A place that is pure, untouchable, in memory
It’s the peace that comes from a long and happy youth, defined by a game
A game of character, honour, tradition
A tradition that is observed, taught and passed
It’s a peace that comes from knowledge of places and things, of travel and culture, of here and there, of curiosity, experience and adventure
It’s a peace that comes from brothers and sisters
It’s a peace that comes from friendships that endure
It’s a peace that comes that comes from true love, of partnership, of a life together
It’s a peace that comes from children
It’s a peace that comes from grandchildren
It’s a peace that comes from teaching, patience, and virtue
It’s the peace of intangible wealth
It’s the peace of family, of legacy, of chapters still to be written
It’s the peace of knowing…we will be together once again, and forever

Love you Dad

by Gregory Logan (2020-05-23)

Canadian Loon vs American Eagle

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A loon defends itself against a swooping bald eagle. (Jon Winslow)

Beaking news … fatal clash between a bald eagle and a loon protecting its chicks, Canada’s loonie mascot stabbed America’s national bird through the heart.

We know conflicts between bald eagles and loons have soared in recent years as a result of the recovery of our eagle population. We are seeing more and more eagle predation on loon chicks and even adult loons. Who would think a loon would stand a chance against such a powerful predator? (Blogspot)

Saturated

I am using the word saturated instead after finding out that “All Wet” is a slang word during the 1920s, meaning “full of crap!” Please note that I am not implying that your post in this week’s Lens-Artist is cr*p but quite the contrary. You are all brilliant!

rain and ladybug

Phew… to save my skin, English is my second language, and I enjoy looking for meaning and definition of words and phrases.

Are you thinking of visiting the beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada? If you are, it’s essential and fashionable that you bring an umbrella. Out of 365 days in a year, we get at least 180 days of rain. It’s only water, and nothing stops us from staying outdoors.

Vancouver Rain

Another thing that is useful here is to bring your rubber boots with your rubber ducks to add fun to your adventure in the rain.

It’s raining, the children are splashing in the puddle, and I just have to join in.

depth puddle

Vancouver made a great impression on the world during the 2010 Olympics. To commemorate what an artist thinks of us is this “all wet” blue raindrop.

raindrop

The Drop at Vancouver Convention Centre

Now, that’s what I call “full of crap!>

To create a story

We create stories, fact or fiction, war or peace, love or indifference, poetry or ballad. What is more compelling in all that we created, there is always lessons to be learned, hope and charity.

In the end, the child raises a very pertinent question, “Why did it take a virus for the world to become a better place?”, to which the poet answered, “You have to get sick in order to get better.”

Epic Lines

jose fuster

In the galaxy far, far, away … someone said this epic line:

“May the force be with you” became a famous line on the 4th of May. Hence, we sometimes use this line “May the 4th be with you!”

The Star War saga has so many lifelines that we can use as tools to improve the human race namely:

  • Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny  – Yoda on Fate
  • Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering – Yoda on Consequences.
  • In a dark place, we find ourselves and a little knowledge lights our way. Yoda on Problem-solving
  • The fear of loss is a path to the dark side – Yoda on Anxieties
  • Who’s the more foolish; the fool or the fool who follows him? – Obi-Wan Kenobi on Obedience
  • The ability to speak does not make you enlightened. Qui-Gon Jinn on Silence
  • I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die. Qui-Gon Jinn on Inaction
  • Your focus determines your reality. Qui-Gon Jinn on Perception
  • Let go of your hate. Luke Skywalker on Freedom
  • Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. Anakin Skywalker on Compassion

And of course, this the famous line I use all the time:

Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

100 days old and counting

It’s a celebration!

Happiness Square

For all those resilient folks returning to your old self that was your normal before becoming totally absorb having your cake and eat it, too, it’s time to celebrate life!

It has been more than 100 days since Covid became part of our daily vocabulary. We learned how to protect ourselves and others living in a bubble.

The old word bubble is back in style again.

How do you maintain your bubble? What old ways did you bring back to life to return to your old normal?

As for me, Covid or no Covid, I am normal as I can be until others changed their idea of what they think of me. Simple.

Bloom where you are planted

At the Manor, there are 48 suites with two or one-bedrooms and bachelor suits. Most of the people who live here are immigrants from the Chez Republic, Bosnia, India, Ireland, Iran, Korea, Japan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Yugoslavia and other countries that I can’t think of.

I am one of them.

Bee Home

The Birdhouse took over by bees.

Now, we are citizens of Canada. We made The Manor our home.

“O Canada, our home and native land” is the first line of our National Anthem.

Rock Garden

Front entrance rock garden.

The residents here are lovely, approachable and pleasant. We enjoy chatting from the balcony, window or entranceway as I potter around the garden. I must admit the garden is an icebreaker for many, even from passersby.

Flowers from the Garden

Bloom where you are planted.

One of the tenants took up photography and had a field day taking macro shots of all the flowers in the garden. The end product was framed and gifted to our lovely manager of the building.

When I cut flowers from my hard-earned gardening, these go to the manager as well.

Our Doors

Our Doors.

From single to couple to third-generation residency, I’ve witnessed them. Most of these people love to have their family around living in the same roof. It’s good to see a couple having a child or two and be able to bring a surviving parent to add the responsibility of taking care of their children.

Of course, I get to play with the children when they were younger in the garden.

Lucy and Grace

The Blue Room

Kindness plays a big important role in living in this community. If you are unkind, who else will help you but your neighbour?

I must admit I find myself special because the manager allowed me to paint my suite when I had one of my episodes on mental breakdown. The activity kept my focus away from living in my head.

The end result was brilliant.

Pistachio green paint in the living room, kitchen and hallway. A hint of a rose colour for the bathroom.  Skyblue for my bedroom to calm me down.

Oh, these little things, I am grateful.

List of Lies

One ear to another - Malta

Lies I’ve told my 4 year old recently

  • The mole men live in the subways.
  • The bird men live in the skies.
  • The monster doesn’t actually live under the bed (he’s hiding somewhere else nearby).
  • There are 71 flavors of snow, but only 63 flavors of water.
  • If you sing enough, you will never grow old.
  • Don’t worry, I lock up bad dreams in little cages.
  • Every good room has a ghost.
  • When we made you, we left part of ourselves behind so you would never be lonely.
  • Your shadow knows your secrets.
  • Books hide when they don’t want to be read.
  • Time moves faster when close your eyes.
  • You knew everything, but then you were born and forgot, and now you have to learn everything again.
  • Be nice to your brother, he will always be your best friend.
  • We’re not lost.
  • Moms and Dads never really get lost.
  • We know exactly where we’re going.

Memories found in my Facebook written by Kiki.

What lies have you told yourself lately?

Dream Works

“We may be different and far apart” is an artwork of an elementary student working as a part of a team at school sees the future being as one organized nucleus in living in harmony.

Well done!

Now, we are still working part of the team, alone.

Reader’s Digest compiled a selection of video conferencing working from home. We may be at home, one thing we have to remind ourselves is that etiquette still rules!

Prime example:

And there is zoom as distant learning. Imagine yourself falling asleep or logging in to a different class in another country. Oops.

I remember at work, we had a team IT telephone conference. At the other line, we could hear a trickle of liquid, then gushing, then plush. I can only think of a bathroom break. Should we laugh out loud during the meeting? We were well mannered. Complete silence.

Got any to contribute to making our teamwork to crack the monotony of working alone?

LifeLine

awareness

“I am too insane to explain it to you, and you are too normal to understand.”

She explains:

Concerning my illness, it makes me feel needy and weak. It affects my mental, physical, emotional and sexual part of me. For two years now, I am consumed with bringing normalcy in my life. 

He understands:

Please, I beg you …. bring normalcy to your life…. and this is where I want to be there for you.

As the mind thinks logic, the heart breaths mercy.

Morning Wake Up Call

April 2020 Full Moon

Note to me: Wake up early. Full Moon. April 16. 2020.

This is a rare day for me to get up early just to witness the full moon high up. Usually, the moon rises from the east and very low on the ground at night. With my balcony facing west, I get a good view.

Most days, I do nothing but watch the stillness of the morning. Breathing the fresh air, looking at the full moon waning as the dawn breaks, listening to the silence.

Plant your garden

The sight of the garden is enough for me to brighten my day all year round. The poem I posted here is a reminder to plant my own garden, decorate my soul.

Crow Nesting

Again, from my balcony, there is plenty to amuse myself, especially the birds. Crows. Starlings. Finches. Woodpeckers. Robins. Seagulls. Sparrows. Hummingbirds. We feed them. Currently, the crow is busy building a nest on the holly tree. Crows are the least of my favourite because the smaller birds disappeared since they started nesting. And that’s ok. It’s only during the spring.

I'm through with love

Life is short without coffee drinking from my precious cup. The cup’s original writing is, “Fortunately, there’s still sex.” I have to change that now.

Thinking of sex, one has to be mindful of sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS was the number one killer then, now it’s COVID, and you don’t even have to have sex!

So, the trending word now is CATS.

Our local SPCA is busy providing cats and dogs as companions for all those lonely people during this shelter in place.

Thank God, I have cats. I’m alone but not lonely.

Cats

And here they are, all over me, waking me up to feed them breakfast. The time is past 9 a.m.

The Good That We Do

For small hands, the best musical instruments for kids to learn are drums, xylophone, pianos, handbells, etc.

For adults, simple pots and pans, spoons, or carpenter’s saws are just as good as a violin in having a jig.

The question is: who is first and foremost instrumental in providing this innovative music lessons? The parents, family, adults, teachers, of course!

Yesterday, I mentioned that my nephew is a music teacher. He has to go beyond teaching in front of the students by providing a recorded lesson plan.

Instrument

Watching him perform solo with no audience is so inspiring. And this was his introduction:

(Piano introduction)
Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, boys and girls.
Welcome to music class, distance learning style.
We miss you all very much.
We wish we could see you in person and experience music together.
It’s so much fun.
But for now, we will be learning music this way.
(piano playing)
In a very different way.
(piano playing)
But, the cool part is, you get to experience it with your family.
Maybe even alone, which is also just as much fun.
Now, when you listen to music by yourself,
sometimes you hear things that you may not catch when with a group.
Those are the best thing about music.
(piano playing)

 

Music can save your soul

I tried. God knows how much I tried. I took lessons. Private lessons. Banjo, Guitar. Piano. The music died on me.

But, I can still appreciate a piece of good music, teachers and anecdotes.

My nephew is a K-9 music teacher.  I tease him a lot lately since schools are closed. Send him plenty of cartoons.

Music Covid

Yes. He still has to work. From home. Thank goodness his students can afford a computer. Music must go on.

Music Covid

 

There is something about music that will keep us being grateful and appreciative. His students, for sure, will let him know.

Music Thank you.

As for me, I love this song. A ballad. Music with meaning.

Aloha and Mahalo

Hello Peeps!

Hawaii (2)

No, I didn’t forget to get a spray tan, it’s me, I’m dead. Let’s not get into the details, but I’m embracing the weightlessness of afterlife. I’m not usually one for surprises but get ready for the adventure of a — well your — lifetime.

Instead of gathering you all down the road at a church, park, or something totally average and un-me, I’m inviting my besties and a few people who owe me from my living days to my destination funeral in Tulum (please use #Tulumeral).

Hawaii Diamond Head

This isn’t your Grandma’s funeral. I flew around the world, took weekends off, and maybe went into credit card debt for your birthdays, bachelorettes, weddings, second weddings, children’s birthday parties, mixers, whatever, so I’ll be cashing in this last favor. Get your Pilates bodies and designer wallets ready to fiesta in the name of your girl.

As described in my will (written via Notes App), the schedule is STACKED. Please review the itinerary below and RSVP to my mom. See you on the beach.

DAY 1: Set Your Intention (To Party)

Hawaii Hanahuma Bay

Please coordinate to stay at the eco-lodge. It’s $400 (American) a night. A steal. While I won’t have to deal with the impending apocalypse, I took the liberty of ensuring we stay somewhere that is preserving your home, Earth. You’re welcome. A yoga class will be held on the roof while an art piece projecting collages of images of me mashed with audio from my voicemail greeting plays. If you have photos to contribute, please contact Jordan, that artsy guy I dated last summer.

DAY 2: Open Casket & Open Bar!

Hawaii Rest

I’ve arranged for a little bit of the funds from my Save The Goldendoodles Foundation to cover flying our fave hair and makeup girls from Glam Squad to do my open casket makeup1 and get you ready to mourn all morning and spend the night partying on behalf of the departed! The dress code is hot widow. There will be an open bar that my cashed out 401k is covering following the ceremony. A cash bar is getting very tacky post-30. Please take note of that for your future gatherings. Remember, now I’ll always be watching you.

Lauren, you are in charge of overseeing this to ensure my makeup is smoky, sultry, don’t you wish you had made a move while I was alive, etc.

DAY 3: A Weekend to Die For

Hawaii Sunset

Before you head back home, swing by the lobby to nurse your hangover and grab some brunch. The menu is limbo-themed, so enjoy eggs in purgatory and our signature cocktail, the Diablo Michelada. Vegan options will not be available. There’s nothing like creating an awkward vibe in the office when you’re asked about your weekend and extra day off and explain it was for a funeral. Revel in that. Use it to elicit empathy from your office crush, make an IG post dedicated to our times together using photos where you look hotter than me. Death has changed me. I’ll allow it.

See you there or see you in hell!

— Me

Source: 

Reminder ~ Slow Me Down, Lord

In order for me to live calmly in a fast paced environment, I scheduled a reminder notice on my computer.  It pops up every 30 minutes.  A simple note to myself: “Slow Me Down, Lord.” 
The full meaning of this came from another clipping I know not where it came from.  It’s very old and faded.  Before it will fall into pieces, I wish to share it with you. 
slow me down
 

 

Whispering Hope

I have written about the c-word here. Some commented on what it means to them.

The ‘C’ word is synonymous with another ‘C’ word, I believe…and it’s a Catalyst for change….. personally and collectively. In the long run, humanity as a whole may evolve to a higher level of consciousness, I opine. But Change can also be Crippling if one is unable to adapt.

Catalyst. Change. Collectively. Consciousness.Crippling. Profound c words from the passion for truths.

For me, there is one c-word that controls my whole being for it has been known by many other people before me how their life changed amidst suffering.

Quora asked this question and what it means?

 ” I am the way, the truth, and the light, nobody can come to my Father except through me” in John 14:6

“ricercare et trovatà,” one answered.

2020 Easter

Search and you will find.

A Gift To Be Simple

Nature is winning as the world is at a standstill. To think that life is for the birds, we got it all wrong. Birds have a simplistic view of life. Bird brain? Small they may be, they can thrive all year long at the Holly Tree growing in front of my balcony. It was fascinating to observe this bird to prepare a nest to lay her eggs.  When the fledglings were mature enough, they took a leap of faith from the birdhouse, flew and never to be seen.

Nest material

Staying home, staying safe and distancing oneself can be an opportunity to rest, have a healthy self-reflection, pick up the pieces where I had left off when I became too busy making a living and no life to enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.

Note to myself: Do not watch the news. Do Not watch the news. DO NOT WATCH THE NEWS. When I do, my mind goes into a curve of never-ending spiral of negativity. Binge on Netflix instead.

Oh, I do know what people are currently preoccupied with, the ‘c’ word. Whenever I say this godforsaken word, the curl of my lip is indescribable.

The other day, I spoke to my Jewish friend inquiring how she is managing with her children. Our conversation turned to excitement about how we are going to celebrate the next few days. She and the children will celebrate Passover Seder with her mother and sister. While I will be observing the Triduum alone watching the live broadcasts of the mass either from Vancouver or the Vatican.

Holy week for me is not complete without viewing The Ten Commandments, an old-time movie favourite with Yul Bryner and Charlton Heston. According to the bible, ten plagues happened in Egypt. The motion picture showed at least four: turning the Nile River into blood, the storm of fire, darkness and death of the firstborn humans.

Egypt

Go down, Mosses. Way down in Egypt land. Tell ole Pharaoh, let my people go!

In the movie, they found a cure against the 10th plague, death of the firstborn, by sacrificing a lamb and smear the blood on the door of their house. The epidemic passed over houses with the lamb’s blood.

I wish it’s that simple with COVID-19.  There I said the ‘c’ word.

Look Down and Stay in the box

step inside

Image source: John Virgolino at Flickr

This is my kind of line, step inside for happiness instead of the yellow tape we use that is a touchy subject for most people.

It’s so easy to miss the sign if one is not looking below the belt or where you’re stepping. The line-up at our market has an attendant checking the shoppers to mind the line.

I must admit, I am enjoying the personal spacing between me and others. I can move, I can breathe, I am in my comfort zone.

What about you? What do you think of seeing these signs where to stand?

 

Stay With Me

Quote

I never knew the name of the song, so I titled it `Leave all your blues in your shoes at the door.

I am a man without envy
No roof, no walls to defend me
Hoping someday you’ll be friendly
And take my troubles away.

Walk with me, talk with me
Tell me all the good things you’ve done
Stay with me, pray with me
Leave all your blues in your shoes at the door.

With the power of the internet, my post reached other parts of the world. I received a comment from “chrisrushlau” on  about the song on YouTube:

Thank you, Chris.

 

via Leave all your blues in your shoes at the door.

The Door is Open

Gallery

This is no ordinary door. It is a place where they serve FREE hot breakfast, hot meals, sandwiches, coffee, juice and desserts to complete a full meal for the hungry, especially the homeless with mental health and addiction issues. They … Continue reading

Let the game begins

When a child starts to discover little things, they are full of wonders.  One game I love playing with a child is: 
“Where’s your belly button?” 
“Show me your belly button.” 
Since the child does not understand words, the game turns into a “show and tell”. 
Exposing my belly and say: “See, belly button”. 
Doing it for at least three or five times, the child mimics and starts looking for his own belly button. 
Where is your belly button
 And the game begins….
 
 
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/rdp-saturday-loking-within/

The Power of One

Gallery

“The amazing thing is that chaotic systems don’t always stay chaotic,” Ben said, leaning on the gate. Sometimes, they spontaneously reorganize themselves into an orderly structure.” ― Connie Willis, Bellwether All it takes is one to start a commotion or chaos on … Continue reading

Crystal Clear

”No one is ever born into life alone. Everyone has shared the bond of family, at least at birth, and for many people, it is a bond that will follow them throughout life. For many people, it is the most essential bond of all.”

I was lucky enough to have in my life a family filled with love, compassion, acceptance, and tolerance. I am what I am as a direct result of a family life where belonging is imperative.  It is gratifying to my health and one of the reasons why I am still alive.  Without my family’s caring nature, I cannot conceive living alone.

Reflection 25 years ago

Reflection 25 years ago

When I was younger, I tagged along with my sister, her husband, and two boys.  Have a van, and we travelled anywhere. I was more than welcome to join since I can chop woods and carry water on top of being a babysitter. Stopping on a pristine crystal clear rocky river bed to cool off on the way to the campground is always part of the fun.

Reflection of my 17 year old nephew

Reflection of my 17-year-old nephew

I used to drive the children around and take them on a field trip.  Sometimes, I am the one that takes them out for the weekend of cub scouts or brings the boys along on a camping trip without the parents.  Yes, they trusted me with their children.  Trust is essential.

Years flew by, and I am the one being driven around by their fifth child. Making a short conversation so that I don’t distract him while driving, I asked: “Aren’t you much too young to drive as a sixteen-year-old?”  He quickly exclaimed: “I’m seventeen years old!”  “Oh, pardon me, young man,” I responded.  His father beside him was chuckling while he teaches his son to drive. No, I wasn’t scared of a young person driving me home.  I trust him.

Reflection of a one and half child

Reflection of a one and half-year-old child

Life is all about the play when I am with my sister’s grandson. At his age, everything is magical, even playing hide and seek behind a jug of water. ROAR, he screamed as he was trying to scare me with his dinosaur sound.

Through thick and thin, our family will pass the bonding to the younger generation. I am hopeful that we have shown them the importance of forming an intimate family unit as a cornerstone of our existence.

Hello Dali

Gallery

A bigger than life bronze sculpture is exhibited at Downtown Vancouver sponsored by Chali-Rosso Art Gallery. A faceless woman to symbolize all women. The height is 360 centimetres equivalent to more than 11 feet. It weighs 500 kg equivalent to 1100 … Continue reading

Feeding my soul

Quote

 

Sometimes life just simplifies things for you. A slow healing foot and a clunky cast means: no running errands, no snowshoeing, no major home or studio projects, no trips, no February studio sale, not even very many crow walks around the neighbourhood. But what there is, waiting for me every day, is the garden. And […]

via Simple — The Urban Nature Enthusiast

Pilgrim Progress: The Road I Travelled

Gallery

Little do I know that the road I travelled in 2017 will become the theme for unity in the Christian world this year. Malta. Photos taken were stored, collecting dust. Now, I am revisiting the pictures I’ve made and reflect … Continue reading

Living for something bigger than myself

Quote

img_0115

to live the words of the prophet: “I, the LORD, have called you…I have grasped you by the hand…I formed you…and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations” (Isaiah 42:6)

 

via A view from the kitchen window

“How long should an engagement last?”

Gallery

Ask me a question, and I will answer accordingly. In social media, Aleteia started its post by raising this question: “How long should an engagement last?” It sounds rhetoric to me. I am more interested in the question rather than … Continue reading