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.

 

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)

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.

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.

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)

 

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.

Stay With Me

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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.

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/

Hello Dali

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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

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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

Living for something bigger than myself

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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

Dare to be something different

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I’ve kept these shots for the longest time and just don’t know when to share it. Now I dared myself to show and tell about my cousin, Jesse, taken when we were younger. The photos reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger … Continue reading

“I asked my reflection, How did you get there?”

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“The Gift-Wrap & The Jewel” by Wanda B. Goines

I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair,
and I asked my reflection,
How did you get there?”

You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique.

My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied,
you’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth.

The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel,
should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel.

So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free,
to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity.

 

Original news you may read here.

Black Mother

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Someone told me to read the lives of the saints to help me in times of the dark night of the soul.  Not just the saints but as well as people who had the courage to come back.  These are … Continue reading

As Painter Paints the Language of Sphere, Color, Line and Form

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This gallery contains 11 photos.

To see what a painter paints, one has to look at the unexpected form that jumps out of the canvas and not to look into his mind. Art is not escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a … Continue reading

Let’s Talk. A friendly reminder you’re allowed to talk about your mental health.

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I am talking about mental health to support Bell Let’s Talk Mental Health Awareness Month. It is no secret that I live with mental illness diagnosed with major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder and generalized anxiety. For years, I have … Continue reading

Your Best Self

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To commemorate the occasion of Jean Vanier turning 90, he released a YouTube video laying out his “ten rules for life to become more human” by sharing his thoughts on life and on growing older. He speaks about success, vulnerability, listening, fear … Continue reading

The House of Belonging

The House of Belonging

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,

this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

The House of Belonging- David Whyte ©1996

After the War: Remember The Living

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To see these boys together as responsible young men celebrating a baptism is worth remembering to tell a story down the road for Greg’s firstborn son initiation into Christianity. They grew up together, some studied at the same school, prayed … Continue reading

Of Public Places and Spaces

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Public arts abound on alleyways and bus boards in Vancouver.  Local painters and writers creative works are shared for the public to enjoy. It astounds me how much imagination a person has from painting to writing. Putting them together create … Continue reading

Peripheral Vision

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When push comes to shove, historically speaking, people will quote the bible to harness the power to govern and dominate even though their action is vile. Why not start from the beginning. Blame it on the apple. Then the women. … Continue reading

One Final Post

I always looked forward for her bus to arrive on my screen and waited and waited and waited…. It finally arrived. Thank you, Catherine. May perpetual light shine upon you. Rest in peace.

To honour Catherine, teach your children well, respect nature, stand up for something you believe in, and hold your loved ones dear.

Canada 150 Bus

Catherine Mitchell

September 8, 1931 – June 8, 2018

Catherine Mary Power Mitchell started her life September 8, 1931. On that day, she was born to Michael John and Mary Ann (Dillon) Power in their family home in Calgary, Alberta.
Catherine attended St. Ann’s School and St. Mary’s Girls’ High School and entered the Sisters of the Faithful Companions of Jesus at Sacred Heart Convent in 1947. Catherine graduated from the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts. She then went overseas to Broadstairs Kent, UK for further religious training.
Catherine returned to Calgary in 1957 to begin her teaching career, which continued both in and out of the classroom, including managing the St. Francis Archives, until 2016. She taught at both St. Mary’s Girls’ High School and St. Francis High School.
Catherine left the convent in 1967, and later met and married her…

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i am not alone – by a hermit’s journey

In the journey through life people come and go. Maybe in passing, for however long that maybe, we will sit on these benches together and connect. But whether I sit with you, or someone else, I will never be alone because I will always be with myself.

Photo Sociology

A Hermits Journey

A Hermits Journey

I do not live alone, I live with myself. This is a position of strength, although it may appear to be an isolated existence.

A Hermits Journey

My mental health difficulties can lead to very morbid thoughts, but somehow I manage to walk that path in between life and death. I find there is as much joy to be found in darkness as there is in light. That’s not the way it used to be, so I think a positive attitude comes with experience and age.

A Hermits Journey

People are important to me. Through my studies I have developed an online community, and I have some very close and wonderful friends that I have known for years. However I chose not to meet with people very often, I prefer to have a physical distance, and enjoy the freedom of not having to be with people.

A Hermits Journey

If I spend too much time around…

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Happy Nurses Week – love being one ♥️💞

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She posted Happy Nurses Week – love being one ♥️💞 on Facebook For her, being a nurse is a vocation, not a job. She’s a ped, short for Paediatric Nurse. It’s in her nature. I’ve listened to her countless stories what it’s like to take … Continue reading

Setting the record straight

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Women play an essential role in the world. For without the woman’s womb, we are not born. Rejoice and be thankful. – Perpetua

Perpetua and Felicity

Perpetua and Felicity

We celebrate the lives of some remarkable female saints this week, and today, we remember saints Perpetua and Felicity. These remarkable women were early third-century, African martyrs were of great significance in the life of the early Church. They were condemned as Christians by the Roman authorities and sent to the public arena, to be mauled by wild animals. However, they survived and were then taken to be executed by the sword. Their story was widely circulated secretly throughout the early Christian congregations, giving encouragement in the face of adversity. They were martyred for their faith on this day in the year 203.  – Pray As You Go

Overcoming Social Media: Dear Future Generation

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This is the original photo I posted titled “Extra Ordinary Bond” in July 2014 photographed by Sirish BC for National Geographic assignment “The Animals that We Love”. It’s a familial bond similar to a man and his dog where the … Continue reading

These Nuns are out of Order #SuperbowlinTheConvent

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Between Layla and I, to keep us entertained, we followed what the nuns were tweeting. Reading their tweets were more exciting than the game itself. Hilarious! Sister Bethany, fsp‏ @SrBethanyFSP Feb 4 Nun 1: Did you see that player? He made the … Continue reading