Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Life the Wondrous Magician..

Have you ever stopped to consider that when you get up in the morning; as much as you might think you know what is to occur in the day that unfolds, really; there is no telling what might transpire. I love the mystery and delightful surprises that present, seemingly from "nowhere."

I was up early this morning. I "knew" I had a shift later in the day; so I wanted to maximize time in the day, toward pursuits that bring me satisfaction and joy. I appreciate the job, as far as that goes; but if I were to do only my shift and then sleep late; and leave little time for anything else, but just go back & do another shift; suffice to say my satisfaction wanes..

I recommenced a morning writing practice... I was inspired to do that again after reading about the clarity and connection it provided the author of an online blog. I knew experientially of what he spoke of - my morning writing had tapered off. I felt the pull to resume as soon as I was reading his account. So today was "day 1" of that "re-directing" of my energy & attention. There has got to be a day 1, in any pursuit large or small.

An idea that presented itself in the free-flow writing I was doing; went on to be the theme for a post, I put on the social media page, dedicated to my book & related events/activities..

My next vision was to get to the gym. I have the use of a rental car at the moment; so in the interest of time efficiency, I drove to the gym. If I have more time to play with, I would frequently either walk or ride my bike over.

When I arrived at the recreation centre nearest to my place; I discovered the parking lot to be full. I opted to go on to another centre (my pass is good at any one of 4 different locations).

I had a great workout! Sometimes the different location and equipment shakes things up and adds some variety and the challenge of new exercises that are refreshing. When I was finished I decided to treat myself to brunch at a newly discovered restaurant nearby. As I was walking toward the restaurant; there was a fellow sitting in the window seat, that began waving at me. I waved back & though he looked vaguely familiar, I couldn't quite place him.

As I got into the restaurant and saw who he was sitting with, it all came together. His companion was my former wife. They asked me to join them. At first where I sat was open; but it apparently was going to be occupied, by someone coming to join the party at the next table. I remained where I was for the "time being." One of the servers asked if I wanted to sit at the "bar." I indicated that I did not. I had planned to have a meal, & I didn't fancy being perched on a little stool. I was prepared to just have a beverage in order to visit and then go elsewhere to eat if need be.

We did a little shuffling about and everyone was comfortably seated, so I got my meal there after all. I hadn't seen Dee and her partner Rick since before I went away to Ireland (I can't remember if that was the winter trip or the Spring/Summer/Autumn one). Anyway they had been in France during some of my time traveling, so we had travel stories to trade. Mine of course, invariably lead to word of the completion and launch of my book.

Another reason I was over in that neck of the woods was that I had received yesterday in the mail (one of those "unexpected cheques" .. that I have read about in books about "abundance" etc.) ... way cooler than the random money in a coat pocket thang! (but I'm quite okay with coming into additional cash that way too!) - so I wanted to go and deposit it.

Well, as the conversation ensued, I had another unexpected cheque to cash as Dee, purchased one of my books! What a blessing! The whole thing!! We've been apart now for nine odd years.. I've never called her "my ex" or "the ex" or any of the other dehumanizing tags people use to refer to each other.
I don't know how she refers to me; but I believe it says something about each of us as individuals, the healing & growth that occurred for us, that she wanted to support my book; that we could all sit together and enjoy a meal (which was also graciously purchased for me) and be genuinely happy in each other's company & for the life trajectory, we've all taken.

Had I not decided to go to the alternative gym location, I never would have had, that meeting.

I had plenty of time to get home afterwards to prepare to go to work. I wanted to carry on with the "feel good" energy that was unfolding this day, so I walked to work. Walking and listening to music as I go, is one of my favourite simple pleasures in life.  I got to the facility I work at with time to spare. I sat in the staff room and read a few pages of inspiration and then proceeded to the shift report meeting.

When I arrived at the nursing station and grabbed the "sign-in" sheets - my name was conspicuous by it's absence. We had report and then began to try and sort it. I had been "pre-booked" a block of 3 shifts commencing last evening. Turned out the person I was replacing, was then reinserted into her schedule, which made my need to be there, redundant.  Some ensuing confusion and endeavours to unravel the bureaucratic beast ... led to me being informed by the staffing office that they had "called and left me a message" cancelling the shifts ... the only flaw in that scenario being, I didn't get the message. (I suppose one could chalk this up to the energies of Mercury in Retrograde).

I briefly felt somewhat put off and prepared to rerun some old; the injustices of the corporate juggernaut tape... but once I discovered I was "free to go..." I realized, I get another walk home in the fresh air and more music. I'm not "out anything" given my trip to the bank earlier today. Truth be told there was places I'd rather be and things I'd rather do.

For instance, writing this post at 7:45 p.m.  sitting in the comfort of my Lazy-Boy in front of the fireplace, instead of still having another 3 hrs left at "work.."

If I could have written this story... I would have written just like this!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Love What I Do & I Do it With Love!

Yesterday marked a return to busking. Not the first time since returning from my trip, but it had been a while. There had been a spate of poor weather, combined with my focus being more directed to my book, which meant I hadn't been out for awhile. The arrival of some clear, albeit cool days, along with some bright sky and sunshine, provided decent conditions. The fact I only have until the end of December remaining on this current "busking license;" also encouraged me, to "strike while the iron was hot." The other thing was, I had been doing quite a few shifts in the care facility (which doesn't exactly represent my dream work) so I wanted to get back out there and ensure I was spending a proportionately balanced time, doing the things I love to do.

Before getting into town, I had the opportunity to work some Christmas magic with a copy of my book. I won't elaborate at this time. Just in case, the individual involved should read this. Suffice to say it was gratifying, to be in the position to be able to do something of this nature.

I got into town to one of the spots I have frequently performed at in the past, and found it open. There's not nearly the volume of people busking this time of year, so the vying for particular spots is lessened.

It was wonderful to be out making some music again. Clear, crisp, sunny day, accenting the blessing of my circumstances. Recall if you will, that though of course I can find ways to spend this busking income... it's not entirely necessary at this place in time.

The highlight of this particular set, was a gentlemen presenting from a walk-way down the side of the store; and he just came right on over, and joined me in the cover of "Country Roads" I was playing. It's so much fun when something like that spontaneously happens. When we completed the song we shook hands and introduced ourselves. I thanked him for joining in. He was thrilled to participate, he said, "I heard the you singing that song as I was approaching and I just decided to jump right in.... I never do anything like that!! (never, really - well that is, until Now!!)

"I'm so glad you did then!" Congratulations and welcome! Turns out he plays piano around town and get this .... he says, "Yes I've been in Canada for about 15 years now.."

When I asked him where he had come from ...  he replied, "West Virginia..." really I replied, you don't say! (that would be the West Virginia, of the song we were just singing!!" As in, "Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue ridge mountains, Shenandoah river......"

Seriously, what are the odds that just when I'm singing that song, a guy from West Virginia happens along (in downtown Victoria).

Once I completed that set. I wandered over to a neighbouring department store to use their facilities and get a snack.
Out front of the store was a fellow I know from town. When he's around and the weather permits, that is "his spot" for selling the local "street news magazine" - "Megaphone." He informed me he had a copy of the latest edition for me and being year end, the calendars were available. I arranged with him to complete our transaction once I was in & out of the store.

He was particularly excited to have me get my copy of the magazine. But he never let on why. Once he hadn't me my copy it became apparent. Whose mug was on the cover, wearing a "Santa" hat but himself!! He was also one of the "featured" vendors in the December issue. Good on him! He gets around on an electric four-wheeled scooter. Many of the vendors are either supplementing "income assistance" or a disability pension. We always have some laughs when ever we cross paths. We solve a few local issues, slag a few politicians; more often than not, another one or two of the neighbourhood "rounders" joins in, and everyone goes away uplifted.

I always buy a copy of the magazine off him (well truth be told sometimes, I will also buy one from other vendors and then give the copy away somewhere). I also grabbed a copy of the 2018 calendar. It's entitled "Hope in the Shadows" A theme and journey I'm all to familiar with. The calendar features different individuals from the street community in both Downtown Vancouver & Victoria. So far this morning my income from busking $18.00, merchandise from my vendor friend, $23.00. That's just how I roll. This matter of soul-income/economics, may not always reconcile on the spreadsheet ... but it always works out in the wash.

The next stop was the public library where I was to complete the submission of my book for consideration in their "Emerging Local Authors" section. If approved my book will be on display and available for checking out for an entire year. How amazing is that? To have a book completed and beginning to enjoy some circulation, and to potentially have it be available in the library. It represent the unfolding of a multitude of miracles in my life - even to be in the position to be a candidate.

The next busking set was to be in front of one of the local liquor stores in another part of town. I got off the bus and good fortune was still flowing my way - nobody was performing there. I was both physically warmed up again, & my voice and playing were well grooved now from the previous set. This set yielded twice the take in a little under half the time. I was given $5.00 gratuities from three different people. One a gentlemen stopped and asked me if I was "Dave" ........ No I was not I replied. After establishing who Dave was (& that I still wasn't him) he says, "well, I had this out to give him from the Lord and well, now it might just as well go to you... (the 2nd  $5.00 bill)  Thank you ... good sir .. thank you Jesus!!

Another women came by and stopped and waited until I was finished the current song and then asked;
"Where do you play?"
I smiled and looked her in the eye, and said, "well, at the moment I play right here!!" "No, no she says, when you're not here, where do you play?" I replied, pretty much anywhere I choose to.." This still was not the answer she was looking for. "No the coffee house or night spots you perform at..."
"Ah, got ya, I've never actually auditioned for anything like that.." "I've been the featured solo music at a number of spiritual community gatherings.....  "What about choirs, are you in a choir?"

"I have been in a couple different choirs, but nothing currently."

"Oh but you have such a beautiful voice, what are you doing out here in the cold?"

"Thank you for your generous attention, I'll have to give it more thought I guess."

"Oh yes, please do, for now I'd like you to have this!" (the 3rd $5.00 bill)

The money is fun, for sure. It does vary. What is consistent and a significant part of my joy of busking (beside just loving to sing) is the immediacy of the people. So many interesting people and fun connections, joy and laughter. I both don't know that my "talent" is polished enough to take it off the streets and the indoor venues, I'm not sure would offer that proximity to the people passing by.

Last stop before catching a couple buses back to my neighbourhood ... "Superior Pizza" (which does indeed live up to it's name).

"One slice of heaven to go please!!"

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Don't Seek God ... Find Yourself....

How far beyond alone
Lies the warm embrace
Of a soul echoed

Though an oasis
A weary traveller
Is not to 
Take up residence there

A respite
To gird one's spirit
And then venture on

To then
Find & Serve
A Higher purpose
Humanity waits..

How many fruitless
Seeking finite treasures
To soothe
Timeless longing

How many hearts
Lie dashed
Upon the rocks
Of anguish

Having been seen
As the Source
Rather than
The vessel

Called upon
To serve
With an omnipotence
Never intended of them

A doorway
To an all consuming
Love and peace divine

The Alpha & the Omega
An all purpose salve 
For any & all 
Perceived short-coming 

A relationship 
So deeply intimate
It exists between 

It beats a heart
While attending 
Sorrows & sadness
Glorious multi-tasking

Diffuses rage
While clarifying
Was never required

The love of it
Can be shared endlessly
And though it is never absent
It cannot be kept

Renounce then
False Gods
Power plays

Open & ask
 Discover & become upheld
 Recipient & messenger
Of an everlasting Love

R. O'Neill (December 07, 2017)