Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rock My World

Stalwart bastion of ancient wisdom
Edifice of human longing
For immortality

Adorning the square

Drawing life from the four directions

Still will anyone - stop to commune
With your timelessness?

Let alone each other!

Forged by an inferno of creation
The craftman's chisel
Aims to improve upon
The Master Artist of the cosmos.

Cold, hard granite
A superficial judgement
While at the core
Infinite energies in suspension
Where they can be animated
By the spark
Of an enlivening catalyst.

Your limitless all-knowing patience
Has out-lived countless generations

I pray that while I sit
That I can listen, as you speak.

Slovenia Serenade

Bravo Slovenia
Intricately
Woven
Upon my Heart

Just as love is foundational
To national moniker
Instantaneous
Transformation
From
Foreign
To
Familiar

I can no longer
Be the same
Deep and vast
Your embrace
Encircles my soul

How often
Have I sought
To avoid
A painful parting
Love left
Dangling to dry
Upon the vine

My heart
These lands
Those that inhabit them
Call for
And merit
So much more

As deep as the lakes
Is my love
As powerful as the rivers
I will let Slovenia
Open my heart
So that I
May love her
      in
  Return

      I
Cannot
    Nor
  Will I
Leave my Heart
    For
Slovenia
   and I
    are
Now One!

   Hvala

Bog po┼żegnaj!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Timeless blessings - In Shapeless Tradition

Bells peal, reverberating throughout downtown Ljubljana. Whether a call to prayer or the announcement of the arrival of Christmas, these are no mere Jingle Bells.

I had in mind to experience the Midnight Mass at the Franciscan Church in the city centre. Interestingly, after having a peak experience, heart-centered day, the thought occurred to me, this "mass" might just pale in comparison.

"Low and behold"..... it did! (but apparently I needed to go and experience what I could have already known, had I chosen to "listen.")

First of all I had my own beautiful, connection healing experience; in that very church a couple days previous. I had decided I wanted to see it from the inside, as I had seen the outside innumerable times. When I entered there was a service going on - with just a small number of people in attendance.

I decided to sit. As the service was in Slovenian, I couldn't understand a word of it. This in itself allowed for me both to "listen" differently and ensured I could not be "triggered" by anything that was said. These distinctions in combination allowed me to be far more present.

I decided I could observe my own sacred silence and prayers, which could be directed with a focus on whatever came up for me. My hunch was that this was a Catholic service (based on all the sit down ... stand up..... sit down again..... etc.)

My youth included attendance at a Catholic school (despite my being "Anglican") so I determined right in the moment, that I was "here;" to heal and forgive the various trauma of that experience (mine is not the story of abuse suffered by many - just the same, I won't dismiss how I was impacted). I even went through the ritual of communion - believing my "communing" is with myself and the Creator of All that is (as I understand it). What does it matter if there is a different meaning assigned to this sacrament, by the church itself?

My time spent in the church on this occasion allowed for an experience that was "alive" personally significant and potent. I knew and acknowledged this within myself. A day later while walking with a friend (who lives in this city) my experience was more deeply affirmed, when she told me it is a "Franciscan church." I had seen a couple of "clergy" dressed in the traditional simplicity of the Franciscan order - but had not entirely, put it together. All I knew, was I was drawn to go inside.

Francis (the founder of this order) is a significant energy in my life. Not due to the "religious" association - I don't happen to believe that "his" energy, is exclusive and is accessible for anyone from any background - with or without "a spiritual belief system."

Christmas eve. night, same church, same recent past profound experience - but my attendance may have been more motivated by (for example) some sort of perceived need to "do" rather than just be, an old idea that I "should attend" consequently..... there was nothing there for me! The experience proved to be energetically flat... extremely crowded and not where I needed to be.

As I was leaving there was an older man still sitting in the outer entrance. He had been there when I first entered and was asking of all that passed through, for money.  As I approached I reached in my pocket and found a five euro note. I handed it to him, removed my glove and offered to shake his hand. He took my hand and thanked me ... while I wished him to be blessed and Merry Christmas.

There were hundreds of people in that church.... imagine if everyone, gave him even one euro. It is not my intention to judge whether others gave or did not give. I will never miss that money. My life has provided me with wealth and riches beyond my wildest dreams and, that money can't buy. I am truly prosperous. I didn't "empty my pockets" - there still remained, enough for my needs. My return to the church may have been all about that simple exchange.... Influenced by (the question: what would Francis do?)

I have not renounced "wealth" or comfort. Traveling is a constant reminder to me of how much is enough and when and where I reach excesses; all, a work in progress. Let's face it, that I am, at this time, able to travel, assigns me a degree of privilege.

Earlier this same day, I had the opportunity to go with a friend (the same friend that gave me the expanded knowing of the church in the city) for a drive to the beautiful seaside coast of Slovenia. Now this journey was alive for me; with the love of soul-friendship, the spirit of generosity, which I was graced to be the recipient of and the fresh, revitalizing air and energy of the sea. Coffee at the marina, walks through the quaint sea side towns, moments of connection with a resident cat, for me, all brought embodiment of the joy, peace and bliss "associated" with Christmas - but that may remain hollow sentiments, when sought through mechanistic, "tradition."

We came to a small church my friend knew of, that was dedicated to Mary. An invitation to sit for awhile. To my soul, this is like asking my body, shall we still breathe? The silence in there was so penetrating - and I perceive limitless ..... what a grand "Christmas" gift.  As I mentioned with regard to Francis, I hold the same to be true of Mary. Some religions have embraced them as "their own." I believe neither Francis nor Mary, carried such notions of exclusion or divisiveness. These are my beliefs personal and intimate to me - not in any way, shape or form, to make wrong the beliefs, of others.

As we were leaving the chapel.. my friend informed me that this too, was a church affiliated with the Franciscans.

We journeyed to another town, getting to a wondrous cliff top view point, as the sun was beginning to set. There were other friends in the area with which we had been in communication but that seemed to be walking parallel paths. With no concrete plan to meet - once we arrived at the lookout, they appeared from the other direction. Ironically this place was adorned with a "cross." If we were to remove for the moment, any other association with this symbol, perhaps it stood there announcing the crossing of two paths.

We chatted, laughed, took pictures and determined that this moment in time was indeed where we would both meet and determine; that our paths once again, were to become divergent.

After parting ways, my friend and I hiked down the trail to the beach, where we could directly experience the sea and the continued splendour of the sunset. I resurrected my "rock skipping" skills, more laughter, pictures and sea side healing.

As I indicated in a blog post before I left Victoria; the shoes I was, and am wearing on this trip, were immersed in the Salish sea back then. Now they were to be blessed in the waters of the Slovenian coast. As I walked into the waters edge, directly in front of me, in shallow water, a magnificent heart-shaped stone!

We had an amazing sea side dinner in another town which we deemed "Christmas dinner" and then drove the hour or so, back to Ljubljana.

I might have known that after a full day of "worship" and communing with heart, spirit and nature; there would be nothing further to experience, at a "Midnight Mass."

I guess I needed to experience.. that there was nothing more to experience... than the affirmation of a previous experience...

I'm sure this season ... I have received far more than I have given....

It may be true.... "you cannot out give the universe...."

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Season with Heart

The "season"reached for its inevitable zenith
Electronic friends fall silent
Called to all forms of sacred observation

What then will I celebrate?

Heightened senses stumble in the void
Attuned to each nuance

Connection to community ebbs
Giving rise to questions of authenticity

But wait, there you are........

Life symbolized by a hotel carpet of green...
There was room at this inn!

Within the warm embrace of this foreign refuge
A newly found apple tree wood pen (wand)
Conjures a heart's delight

Green polished apple wood
Weaving silken words
That glide across the page

Tethered to my heart
With gossamer threads.

Images stabbing upon the blank screen
Christmas' - Past, Present, Future?

No matter where you currently reside
Nor from placement upon time's illusory spectrum
Can you hide
From the limitless reach
Of my love drenched heart

Join me there in a mystical forest
Scattered beneath the windswept canopy
Are all forms of life's gifts....

I hold up agony's abyss
Soul-quaking ecstasy
Profound betrayal
The delirious delight
 Of a heart
Newly kissed

Blinding rage
A shame so pervasive
It wants nothing more
Than to consume itself
Before it is seen.

Unbridled laughter
That shakes bones and marrow
Until they plead for arrest

So then;

I will celebrate......

From all my heart.....

I love you all

I cannot miss you

You were never gone.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Traveller's Stew

This may prove to be an interesting blog post. Not necessarily, because I have suddenly been imbued with the capacity to convey the realm of the profound. This is the first post since my arrival in Slovenia. I have now been nearly twenty four hours in the country. I'm a currently staying with a friend in Ljubljana. Upon logging into the blogging platform, I notice all the menu links and tabs are in Slovenian! I don't have a comprehensive knowledge of the system in general terms and I have never had occasion, to change the language. So far, this is the only language anomaly I have encounter (online) - which is fortunate, as I don't know why this particular technical transformation has occurred; nor do I know how to change it.  I think I have enough recall of the position of some of the "buttons" I more commonly use, in order to function.

Just another example, albeit a rather benign one, of the experience expanding opportunities, of travel. Beginning tomorrow evening, I will be in a workshop for six days. Though no two are ever the same in terms of personal, nor collective experience; if some of my previous experience comes to pass, I likely won't be writing to the blog again until after the workshop is over. So then, assuming this post actually makes it online - the variance in visual appearance of the blog word processor, may be said to be, a non-issue.

While I appreciate the gift it is to be able to express in multiple languages, it is not currently my reality. That in combination with for example, though as I sit and write this now, it is 1:30 p.m. (local time) while meanwhile, "in a galaxy far ... far.... away" (Vancouver Island) it's 4:30 a.m. which is more in keeping with what my body is attuned to. I immediately adjusted my watch as I transitioned through various time zones. Once there, I would try and find a happy medium between what time a day it was and "listening to my body" so that I could generally get acclimatized. I suppose working the varying shift times back home, might make that process less abrupt. However, with respect to day/night here, I was still tired and energetic at will (not mine).

All these variances make for some interesting perceptual experiences. Those moving sidewalks in the airports are perceptually deceptive.  For me it was like looking at one of those animated optical illusion youtube clips - it presented as challenging; making stepping on in correspondence to the visual of the moving track bed.

I just stayed put at the terminal (London South Gatwick) I had a hotel there, to conceivably relax before the next flight, which is less than 24 hours after my arrival.  After checking in and freshening up, I sat at one of the airport lounges (Cafe Nero) that served coffee that at the time, was nectar of the Gods. While I sipped that, I indulged in some "fly on the wall" people watching (and listening). Certainly no one needed to be concerned about whether I was "eaves-dropping," as noted above  in my spoken language disclosure. Meanwhile I was surrounded by this international cacophony.

The next thing I observed was a couple members of airport security?  They had "Police" on the back of their shirts -  I don't know whether they were part of the regular force - assigned to the airport or specifically airport security. They were just strolling along "shooting the breeze." I wasn't inclined to approach them with my transplanted curiosity. After a double take on my part, I realized these two were each carrying, a rather menacing looking, submachine-gun. This was in addition to, amply equipped "utility belts" - they looked a little like Star Wars "storm-troopers" - except for the fact that this was real. I'm not dismissing the courage and responsibility, potential risk or dedication these individuals carry - just recognizing that for me, this imagery is atypical and therefore surreal.

As I pick up on the blog post, as I had speculated earlier, multiple days have elapsed since beginning this writing. The workshop has completed which is to say I and we, no longer physically occupy the seats of the circle. Participants have dispersed and I imagine, for each (through what is true for me) the "workshop" is in no way "over."

 Now back in Ljubljana (after 6 days in Murska Sobota) I now have expanded opportunity, to both experience my current environment through a self in flux and have a self reflected through my surroundings.

"Love is in the air," I cannot dismiss my own contribution to this, as I embrace the splendour of my own heart, enthralled in the shear delight of exploration. As much or more, it is the people of Slovenia that I perceive, provide the foundational experience of this love. Warm hearted, passionate  giving people; I am held in awe, humility and a state of unending inspiration. The vibrance of the city feeds my own appetite for adventure. Of course I have the present luxury of being "foot loose and fancy free" but even still, the contrast between the sleepy hamlet I call home and my current surroundings is stark. This is not about good or bad. I'm not about the creation of "10 best cities..... for ......... lists) it's just not my lens. More so, I am expressing a recognition that I am in the midst of making real, a more personal sense of "home" as not being defined by my address. I'm not talking about "Hallmark" sentiments about homes and hearts.... those are great, as far as they go (probably more so, for some bottom line somewhere).

I'm talking about my actual heart.... and the living, breathing, real time experience, of residing there! I'm not sure that I'm the one to divulge any groundbreaking revelations about the heart. However, I'm infinitely qualified to attempt to describe the experience of the evolution and revolution of my own heart. If my life journey is a kiln, learning institution and training ground, for the expansion of my heart; then Slovenia, is a full immersion transformational incubator of love, that is the catalyst for quantum leaps of healing and nourishment for the soul.

I would count my blessings to have the good fortune to be here, except I may not be able to count that high and I'd rather be out there continuing the experience.

My sense is I enjoy to be written through. I am offered through time spent honouring this connection a particular path to contentment. While I believe in upholding the sanctity of my sacred practices; I now must consider a need to observe the furtherance of the ceremony of diversity.

Which is to say - my butt must leave the comfort of this chair and once again venture out. Any moment now, there is an exchange of blessings about to occur. I have my part to play & I don't want to miss out!!






Monday, 12 December 2016

Can I Help You? (Many thanks, why yes you can!!)

Well.. the journey has begun. Of course when hasn't the journey been in progress? I was given a ride to the ferry by my friend and former wife and her partner. The beauty of this (besides one less bus ride) was I got dog blessings all the way to the ferry terminal. There was the Irish Wheaton Terrier (Sadie) that I use to co-habitate with and The Labra-doodle (Belle). Sadie seemed to believe I needed a head clearing as she kept sticking her nose on the back of my neck; while Belle was doing some "paws" on healing giving me alternatively one, then the other front paw to hold on to.

The ferry ride was relaxing - I had already eaten while waiting to board. I had some stuff to finish up from my fridge.  I sat near a young women that was engrossed in her electronics; so no conversation, but we traded off baggage security favours. I shared some of my mini mandarin oranges with her and then got back into my book.

When the arrival announcement was sounded I made a bee-line for the lower deck. I was given a tip to do so rather than disembark at the foot passenger ramp to save time getting to the bus to begin the transport/connection process of getting into Richmond. Apparently those that have been on board with their pets gather and walk off; so I was to "join" them. I was the first to arrive down there and began to think I look a little conspicuous - what with having "no dog." Besides that, I was standing right in front of the two rows of motor vehicles that would soon be keen to disembark. At the beginning of the cue were all the buses.

I was relieved that I was soon joined with more people and there pets! Which you guessed it, meant more dog blessings!! We docked that ramp was lowered and the gate was released for us to leave. We were steered toward a pathway that both got us out of the road and was solid asphalt versus the metal grating of the main road way. The ferry workers warned people to not have their dogs walk across as their legs could slip through.

So I'm leader of the pack now, once all the dog owners peeled off to the left (as they weren't catching a bus). Only problem with heading the procession is, it's of no particular advantage, when you don't know where you are going. I slowed down some and let another women catch up - I asked her, "where am I going, for the bus. She explained I could go the way she is about to go, or she's seen others going a slightly different route (which she didn't know the reason for or outcome of) so I chose the tried and true!

I asked her some questions re: fares etc. she says, "oh I don't know, I'm not catching the bus." Nevertheless angel number one got me fourth from the front of that cue. While I'm standing there I'm sorting some change as I know from reading online it's one of two cost and "exact change" is required. I'm nattering to the couple behind me and then angel number two pipes up, if you go in over there and buy a single trip ticket - it will get you on this bus and then the skytrain after (had I paid the driver I would have still needed to purchase something at the next terminal). Life I maintain (in fact God) is in the details. Of course this might be partly due to my seeing the world through a Virgo lens. Remember that next time I'm spinning a story that has you on the verge of a comma. Simple things - but they make a difference in the flow - that's one very crowed bus on which I got a seat!

Budda bing ... budda bong.... we're at the next terminal.... "I'm asking ... now I have to swipe to leave to?? Yup... then through various gates... tap and the gates open unto you!!

The skytrain terminus was directly across from a mall that had right in front of me a branch of one of the credit unions I "bank" at - so in for some quick cash. Found the facilities and then "customer service" found me my hotel.

I refreshing walk there - revealed that on the opposite corner was Ceilidhs "Irish Pub" (and I thought I was just booking this hotel because it was close to the airport!!) Soon there after I learned there is a Celtic cross in town (I'm sure the ancestors would not want me to miss that). This led to another brisk walk to the cross and then back to the pub for a delicious Veggie burger and yam fries, complemented  with a "kick-ass" Virgin Caesar.

When I returned I took care of my a.m. airport shuttle booking and clarified my morning exit strategy. When I showed up at the breakfast area - I stood perplexed at the cereal canisters. Two of three had a knob at the bottom that you spun to fill your bowl. The canister of the one I wanted was "knob-less."

As I studied this a moment looking for some secret latch - a hotel employee observed me and came over. "It's broken, just a minute please." She left and came back with a large ladle to scoop cereal from the top. While she was there she refreshed my memory on those "complimentary breakfast - waffle irons." Alright - got it!! Thank you!!

Today - I got to the airport really early!! I was checking through with people for the flight ahead of mine!! I toasted the fellow behind me as I drank my water, before getting to security. I then joked with him, "just so I don't become, "that guy" and then you're behind me - would you mind giving me a few clarifications while were way back here in the line?" He laughed and happily gave me the info.

The fact of the matter is - there's a very good chance I will be - "that guy," however I am delighted to re-experience just how helpful people can, want and are helpful.

I don't know about anyone else - but I can read the guidelines until I'm blue in the face and it's not as impactful as some simple in the moment guidance (delivered from a live being!!)

Makes me wonder how much value there is in reading things like "scriptures" - it just might be, that the live version of those is indeed God, as delivered through the presence of all those earth-bound angels along the way!!

Post script - written very quickly while waiting for a plane (no time to edit - I'm going to see about some food) - so I'm not that guy!! (last to board the plane).


Saturday, 10 December 2016

Now Boarding

Poised on the brink of departure
Creative energies employed
To allow for "minimalist" encumbrance
Mindful preparation bestowing
An appreciation for each article
Illuminated along the way
Inner "baggage"
May correlate
With a back's burden
"Google-Maps"
Unable to reveal
My uncharted geography
A pilgrimage unfolds
Guided by a gossamer thread
Spanning eons
Though timeless in origin
Unique while universal
Hearkening the call
To re-member
To re-unite
Echoing through the glens
Animating the dance of the trees
Heard in the song of the wind
Held in the stones
Released by the fire
A respond (ability)
Required to get me to here
Though I have been the beneficiary of change
I no longer claim it was, "my idea"
The call enlivens each foot fall
To a destination unknown
Arrival guaranteed
Mysts unfurl
To reveal
Fresh steps yield ancient knowing
While worn paths
Can still yield - untold treasure.


Friday, 9 December 2016

Miracles - Belief Outside the Box

On my way to the coffee shop to commence this current instalment; I had a flash of inspiration for the opening theme - however that train of thought left the station & I'm still on the platform. It's a little bit like I was at station 9 3/4 and I ran at wall, the idea got through, however I'm taking five on my keister.

No matter - there's always another train. So then.....

Does the universe experience pressure? I don't mean the variety that compresses decayed plant matter into "a girl's best friend." Or that which is released in Super Nova's or forms mountains while dividing continents. What I am referring to is what with all the expectation for "seasonal miracles"- is the universe lamenting: "Jiminy Cricket" I'm overwhelmed with this Christmas preparation - everyone wants a miracle.........

You might wonder, would the all powerful, omnipotent, infinitely intelligent force "behind" the universe, actually utter - Jiminy Cricket? Well you might recall, he was known to be in the habit of wishing upon a star. So clearly the cricket and the universe, had history. One verse alone from that classic song yields:

"If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do"

It would seem the universe can and will take it in stride. But, it was just a kids show, not even a real cricket..... (I can hear the arguments) - somebody had to write those lyrics.... What do you suppose they were based on? There are all sorts of supporting passages in numerous "wisdom texts" - so maybe not just a Disney blockbuster?

A passage from a reading on Native American Animal Teachings (Cricket): "If a cricket crosses your path, it is a sign of extremely good luck. All the things you have been working toward and dreaming  about are now possible."

Bah Humbug..Coincidence!! (retorts the miracle resistors). Humbug you say....  recall if you will the bonding power of a plateful of humbugs..... forget "crazy glue" - now there's some miraculous adhesion and damned if they don't taste great too!

A couple of passing thoughts regarding "miracles." If I don't believe in the possibilities, I can push them right out of my experience. The other thing is.... though I happen to believe miracles are happening, all day every day (not just through the month of December) it might be useful to spread the vision and associated expectations over the entire year - you won't save the universe any "strain," however, for yours truly..... (no not me..... you!) the relief might be considerable.

While I'm on the topic of miracles, a couple evenings ago I was to meet for coffee - my former wife and a niece of ("ours"). The former I have interacted with intermittently throughout the time we have been out of wedlock. She stayed connected to my parents right up to and through their passing, I have met her new partner on a number of occasions - she is driving me to the ferry to begin my adventure. The niece I have not seen much through the eight years since the "separation." There is no right or wrong here - this is how it went; it was a joy to see her again. Her brother was to be there as well, but he was detained up-island. He's one of the "on-air personalities" on a radio station up there. They had been doing a food hamper drive all day and when it came time to finish - the truck that had been provided, by one of the local rental agencies, to collect all the food malfunctioned. The back door wouldn't close so they couldn't leave, because they now had a truckload of food.

We have made arrangements for another gathering in the New Year after I return. My nephew was recently in Scotland/Ireland, my niece is going to Guam over Christmas and of course, I'm about to embark on a journey to Slovenia/Ireland - so we will have many travel stories to exchange.

I was in the village early where we were to meet for coffee (even after having dinner) so I decided to walk down to the waterfront. It was a beautiful still evening. Clear skies and accompanying, frosty temperatures. It was an opportunity to enjoy what snowfall remained; each footfall a sensual delight of crunchiness.

The lights from Port Angeles (across the Salish Sea) were fully visible; the sky was saturated with stars. I offered prayers of thanks to the ancestors of these lands - invited them to join ranks with my ancestors; as we journey to the sacred lands of my clan. I walked down to the beach from the lookout platform and was inspired to stand in the water just of the shoreline. Why you ask? It was right & perfect at the time - those same boots might well find themselves standing off the shoreline, on the Northern Ireland coastline.. I don't know, it could happen.

The following evening I attended a Christmas open house at the law office - where my family estate was mediated. I could have easily decided "it's not my scene," and to some degree that's true. However, it was a chance to step outside of my "comfort zone" and just go and experience being. It was a perfectly enjoyable gathering - the catered food was awesome!! I had a nice chat with the lawyer who had represented me - it was healing to be back there, having moved on from the "negotiations" and just chatting about our respective trips. I took the opportunity to sound her out about my need for a will. Oh, to be sure I have a will - however, I don't have a will (at least a current one). So that's a conversation for next year. Everyone was offered a bottle of wine as a parting gift - I don't drink, so initially I'm thinking, I can graciously decline that. Then I was "reminded" - you've got a staff Christmas lunch to go to (with a gift exchange) - I'll have a bottle of the white thanks!!

The staff lunch was fun - they sat us at the enclosed patio area, which features a beautiful brick fire place in the centre. What better way to generate festive season warmth. The recipient of the bottle of wine was happy with her gift. We all had a good laugh as, even though I had looked at the bottle (out of curiosity - frankly I know squat about wine) however, I hadn't noticed, that also in the same bag was one of the law practices "rack-cards."I had just creatively twisted the bag closed, attached a candy cane with festive red electrician tape and put the whole thing in some random gift bag, I had in the closet.

From lunch I was meeting another friend for coffee, however I had a couple of hours (and a bus to catch) before our meeting time. While I was waiting for the bus I saw one of the local "street magazine vendors" near the stop. He also had for sale their annual calendar "Hope in Shadows" - I decided to pick one up. Certainly I'm no stranger to shadows - you can spin that anyway you like!

The theme struck a chord for me - I happen to know and believe, that the shadows reveal unending potential and reason for hope. The caveat would be, not to remain mired in, nor to ignore the shadow; but to bring to it, the light, along with zeal and great gusto. I am a stand for hope. When the call came to "drain the swamp" it was hope that drew me forward, albeit cautiously at first, but nonetheless resolutely. I'm proud to have that calendar grace my wall.

Earlier this year another vendor had asked if, while I was busking he could take my picture (to submit for a contest for pictures for that very calendar). We (which is I suppose, to say I) didn't make the cut. He doesn't seem to hold that against me!

Maybe through the grace of that all intelligent universe - when I've been praying on all those stars - the light has finally over-taken the shadow, all in all - a pretty good problem to have I'd say. The truth is - I ain't no pin-up guy; and I'm infinitely okay with that.

Me and my concealed six-pack may never reach "heavenly body" status; however, I know miraculous blessings are unfolding around me constantly. Thank my lucky stars for that!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Plan(us) Interrupt(us)

Well, I've made my list and checked it twice..... Pardon my attempt to be "seasonally" attuned. Of course the statement would only be true if the "season" in question was specifically, Christmas and had I made any sort of list.  So, given the overall appearance round about the 'hood if nothing else, the retail world is set to embrace "Christmas;" despite the number of people, that don't necessary celebrate that particular event.

My list (had I made one) would have been in preparation for my pending travel, which is now two days from the launch pad. I certainly have been doing things to get ready. Some of it has been to do with the trip specifically, some has simply been; what's in front of me to do (which I would be doing whether I was going away or not). I was inspired by a friend before she went away, to travel with only carry-on baggage. I don't even know if she actually did that or not. Nevertheless, I decided I was going to. This entailed getting a bag that meets "carry-on" criteria. After I first made the decision and began considering what I would need for six weeks away - I felt a little anxiety arising. I wasn't about to let that "steer the ship;" so I just set out to see what I have, that is suitable for winter and space efficient. I already had various articles of "outdoor" clothing, so then it was just a matter of acquiring anything necessary to augment. Everything I've purchased "for the trip" I most certainly will continue to get regular use of; both for future trips and day to day use at home.

In affect I have just done what has occurred to me to do, when it has occurred to me to do it. This is largely how I see the trip going. I started looking at various places that had some sort of ancestral link. This proved to be fruitless, as I don't retain that sort of information. I haven't entirely eliminated thoughts about the future or the past; but to a very large extent, I live moment to moment. I hope to more fully embrace that while I'm travelling and see where I wind up. I've made a couple of hotel bookings for places I need to "over-night" before flying again - it made sense, to take advantage of lower cost options by "booking early." I also reasoned in those scenarios, I don't necessarily want to be scrambling to find something - nor have my feet held to the fire for higher costs, because the staff at the hotel will know, that is the case.

I tried to look at the various transportation links in some of these airport scenarios - it's pointless, I'm not going to remember the details come the time I need them (though perhaps some names might sound "familiar.") The last time I travelled in Europe, I didn't know anything about coming and going from the various places I visited. I didn't know I was going to visit them - until the night before in some cases. Everything I needed to know always presented (in some way, shape or form) to me when I needed it. I am trusting this trip will be the same. There is some part of me that wants to "organize" - then as I said, I start to read the "directions" and it just freaks me out. Walking myself through something is always so much easier than trying to assimilate the written instructions. Rather ironic given I'm a writer. On that note, I suppose I further trust, that if suddenly people on mass, were to renounce the written word, I would evolve in my ways of expression. Perhaps that will happen naturally anyway - I'm sure there exists, that which wishes to express through me, that might prefer a different medium - it just happens at this point in time, I haven't much developed that capacity.

Other preparatory "task" were the renewing and subsequent transferring of my mortgage to a different financial organization and submitting the draft of my book to a professional for "beta-reading."  Though my mortgage has nothing to do with my travel; having it addressed, gives me the freedom to be more present while I'm traveling. As much as possible, if my home front affairs, are just running quietly "behind the scenes," then there will be minimal need for me to administer them while away. The forwarding of my book project, represents my wish to have my trip be a continuance and expansion of my life - not a complete interruption. So, the manuscript was submitted - I've received it back with suggestions for refinement and now I am re-working it to prepare it to be edited.  I will be able to continue this work while away - though I don't intend to be holed up somewhere the entire time writing. I will continue to move it forward though.

Further preparation involved cleaning a couple bags full of non-perishable foods out of my cupboards for the collection hampers at one of the places I work. The food is being collected for an organization called the Mustard Seed (one of the local "food banks"). A couple of years ago I utilized these services while I was in the process of a life-reorganization. I am grateful the service was available and I know; all times of year they are challenged to keep their shelves stocked - so now I'm in a position to give back.  Similarly, I had a medium size "day-pack" that I was able to stuff full of various articles of winter clothes that I no longer, or rarely, wear. I took the whole thing down to the street shelter. One might ask, was it necessary to add this sort of activity to the mix; of that necessary to "plan," a get-a-way? Well, I could have waited until I returned to clean out my closets, however the folks that need that clothing, need it now! It would make absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, to be away for six weeks through what could potentially be the coldest part of the season in this region and all this surplus clothing is hanging in my closets; inaccessible and useless, to anyone.

I will even get a couple of "seasonal" gatherings under my belt before I go. As such I will have my cake and eat it too.

Even doing these various and a sundry tasks, here I sit, with the time and leisure to write about having time and leisure; with still two full days to go for any "last minute" preparations. My life is rich in oh so many ways, I am grateful to be able to enjoy the moments. Perhaps there are useful times and places to utilize the adage: "failing to plan - is "planning to fail! " However, I happen to know first hand, that the glory of the present, can be completely and absolutely lost, when I'm too engrossed in "making plans.

"Perhaps I will never be highly sought as a "tour director" - I would be hard-pressed to present others with "the plan." Conversely, I can assure you I will be on an adventure the moment I leave my door!