Slowly but surely…


DSC_0063

I adore playing with my Nikon DSLR… but I don’t always have the patience to read the manual (never) or the attention span to watch Youtube self help videos. So, I just play. I randomly test and spontaneously shoot and sometimes magic happens. Like above. Rain back lit by low light. But I don’t know if I could repeat this. And I’m OK with that. LAE

A continuation of paying attention to the details, taking notes, and persuading my heart to be grateful:

546. eye feast, soul banquet, in every direction…

547. son’s 21st birthday dinner

548. soccer success

549. air conditioning, home

550. love is all you need

551. Facebook void not as painful as might have been expected

552. dogs

553. irrigated lawn on a hot afternoon

554. relatives calling to wish him happy birthday

556. family life

557. a safe drive there and back

558. photographs

559. the ability to remember

560. brushing your teeth

561. finding a good gift of an experience rather than a thing

562. life is wonderful, God is good, God never gives up on us

563. more peace, more shelter

564. confirming words from listeners…

565. the ability to write a letter, post it, and have it arrive in another’s hands…

566. rest

567. grace

568. kale salad, kale smoothie, must try kale chips

569. typography, fonts, endless variety

570. Antigonish Review #177

May the fullness of this day be yours,
May the generosity of God overtake you,
May the loveliness of your presence
be shelter for you as it is for others,

Lesley-Anne

 

All I want for Christmas…


I’m not usually one for Christmas lists, I seldom ask for specific gifts. Come Christmas morning I will feel quite uncomfortable with all eyes on me. I feel some pressure for an appropriate joyful, grateful response, and wanting my family to know how much they mean to me apart from what they give, but also how much I appreciate their efforts and love to me in their gifts. I’m not gifty. Perhaps I’m complicated content.

My grandmother used to say, “just a hanky,” when we asked her what she would like for her birthday or for Christmas. It seemed such a little thing, a hanky, yet I know how you reach a point (or maybe you were always there) where material things don’t mean much.

So, as I was thinking about what I’d really like for Christmas, it’s about the intangibles of relationships and social constructs that are most meaningful to me… the HOW we LIVE with one another. It comes down to the acceptance of who YOU are and who I am, and finding a way of doing life together that brings meaning and joy to both of us. I want for us to KNOW each other, to love each other all the more for knowing how imperfect yet wonderful we are.

So I am going to disclose some personal things to you with the real hope of acceptance and continued relationship. Forgive me if I’ve been less than forthcoming previously.

So here goes;DSC_0301

1. I believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. I am a simple woman, simply trying to follow Jesus and infuse all areas of my life with God’s love. I celebrate Christmas because of what I believe. If you want to hear my story, I have one to share.

2. I live in a constant tension of faith mixed with doubt. I do not have many answers, and I’m becoming more comfortable with saying, “I don’t know.” It’s not about convincing, arguing, debating, although there are those who are very good at apologetics, I am not. I believe my life is becoming what it is because of God and me doing life together. It just is, and most days I believe it to be true.

3. I’m uncomfortable with organized Church. I regularly push myself to participate, serve, contribute to my local church, and for a time I feel real belonging, but I often also feel like a square peg in a round hole. I have been, and perhaps always will be, a dweller of margins.

4. I am imperfect. I say stupid things, forget birthdays, don’t return your calls or texts. I talk negative and overly-serious and deep when you want light and fun. I hide from people. I spend too much time on Facebook. I fight with my husband and my try to control my kids. I hate cleaning my house. I’d rather write or read. I’m unfriendly to some of my neighbours, and don’t speak to one. I’ve ignored you. I’ve broken promises. I am horrible at baking, but love getting praise for my cooking. I love getting praise for anything I do, but feel guilty for loving it too much. I want to do things for God, but feel I’m probably doing things for me a lot of the time. I run from conflict. I have strong opinions. I talk too much. There’s more.

5. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I have not been diagnosed with clinical depression, and I am sensitive to those who have been and how much worse they must feel compared to me. However I wonder sometimes if it would be best for everyone (my family especially) for me to spend a little time in a hospital and get myself somewhat re-tooled. If this is even possible. Often my depression lines up with SADD (several months of cloud and no sunshine in the Okanagan), menopause (sleeplessness, hot flashes, irritability etc.), and a predisposition towards introspection and time alone. I wonder how #1, #2, and #3 line up with this point. I have noticed that being more involved with projects around creative expression and things outside the world of being a stay-at-home manager of my family, helps my mental balance. I have noticed that happiness and joy are two different things.

6. I love to create, and I love to see others find their creative spirit and create. I believe passionately in how much better we all are when we find what we are meant to do, what we were created to do, and then go do it. I love to connect with others and encourage them to be their best.  I love to see the ripple effects of love, joy, and healing go out from the heart of each creative spirit into the hearts of others.

7. I want to be part of a bigger picture of creative expression. I am keeping my eyes, ears and heart open to what is next for me as part of the greater creative collective. I am considering how I may pour myself into realizing a new dream around words, writing, giving and growing.

8. I intend to continue to sign “SDG ~ Soli Deo Gloria,” to my work, and attribute thanks to God for what he allows, facilitates and carries out through my one life. I continue to desire and ask for integrity in this.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for your open heart. This has truly been a gift to me to be able to write to you, share things at Buddy Breathing for a long time now.

I look forward to what life holds for us in 2014 and hope you write and tell me what you are up to, what you are learning.

May you be blessed with a renewed spirit of deep joy and gratitude for who you are, and the gifts you have been so rightly given.

With my love, SDG,

Lesley-Anne

midweek random ramble 023


emmy eyes1. A shout out and blogacious thank you to Robert Rife, author of the insightful blog Innerwoven and frequent forays into poetry at Rob’s Lit Bits (check both out, especially Rob’s transparent and vulnerable life story which he posts in segments, called “From Earth to Sky”). Mr. Rob Rife generously included Buddy Breathing in his list of “cool blogs”. Well, Mr. Rife, you are too cool for school too! And a great big thank you!

2. A beautiful boy named Jordan Unrau left this earth last week to be with Jesus. Jordan attended Kelowna Christian School with two of our kids. He was just 15. I can’t imagine what his family is facing now, what they have experienced in the past year, and yet there is so much more than pain in their story. Here is their blog called Jordan’s Healing, which contains the most profound expressions of faith I have ever encountered.

3. Decking my halls with a girlfriend is a brilliant idea. No more feeling sorry for myself that the family is less interested in the process than the result. No more pity. All light, all joy, all music and eggnog and girly conversation, and a beautiful end product that everyone can enjoy!

4. Started watching “Touch” on Netflix. Becoming attached to the character of Jake, and wondering what the world might look like through his eyes… if there is documented proof of ‘seeing’ in the way that is portrayed in the show? Might wonder only be visible to some? Hmmm…check it out. And, according to this article, Season 2 will be released Feb. 8, 2013.

5. I finally bought my airline tickets! I’m attending a workshop with poet Patrick Lane, on Vancouver Island, in January. I’m feeling a little scared and giddy at the same time. To learn from Patrick will be a landmark and a huge honour. To share my work with him, will take courage.

6. Facebook… I have to say I miss you once in awhile, but not as often as I thought I might. I’ve done great and wonderful things without you. Like, thinking without interruptions to post thoughts, fixing things around the house, organizing things around the house. writing, special projects, seasonal preparations, connecting with real people in real life, and I’m surviving just fine thank you very much. Still, I do like you Facebook, you just have this way of sucking the time out of me. Maybe it’s just me, but I think a little bit of you goes a long way. Maybe we’ll catch up again in January.

In all things, somehow grace enough.

Lesley-Anne SDG

I used to be a blogger…


There was a time when I blogged on a regular basis, saw lots of people drop into my blogs, linked my blog from my facebook page, and utilized the social networks I am part of to spread Buddy Breathing as wide as I could. And now, well, now Facebook has made some changes, and I’m no longer visible to all my ‘friends’ unless they choose to make me visible. And, I’m just not in a place where I want to ‘work’ my blog, spend hours making connections with people on their blogs, commenting on their writing which means reading their writing so that I can comment intelligently on it… I’m just not able to prioritize it right now. So. maybe it’s time for a little holiday from blogging… a bit of a break…

Another issue that’s come up recently is that whenever I share a piece of my poetry here, or anywhere else online, it’s considered ‘published’. That’s rather annoying to me, as much as I want to share my words openly, I don’t want posting my work here to undermine or prevent my ability to enter competitions, or even submit said work for publishing in the more traditional sense. So, the thrill I’ve had for the past 40 Poetry Fridays is somewhat muted by this fact.  Again I wonder, is it time to take a little hiatus from the blog?

I’m somewhat undecided, sitting on the fence, really. Processing, listening for some clearer direction, inspiration, or maybe just a new way.

So, I write about the Top (10) reasons why blogs fail… and wonder if mine is failing, or if I am?

My brother and his wife are currently blogging their trip to Iceland… lots of beautiful photographs, little bits of words, and it works. It’s interesting, fresh every day. Maybe I’m just tired, or distracted?

I am fairly certain that I need to re-purpose this blog… refocus my efforts. I hope you will stand by while I do that. But, if not, then thank you for all your visits (all 7676 of them). You’ve inspired me thus far, you really have.

For now… “adieu“. For how long… I don’t know yet. But I will be back some day.

Keep smiling… keep believing in the hope you have… keep on keeping on. Soli deo gloria!

Lesley-Anne

p.s. if you want to keep in touch, just drop in and leave me a comment… or, find me on facebook. Either one works for me!

Midweek Random Ramble018


1. I’m taking a break from Facebook right now. No judgment, no soap box, nothing like that. Just decided that my other writing was taking a hit because I was giving away so much time to writing creative profile updates and so little time to writing other more time intensive projects. Other than peeking last night for under 2 minutes (yes, I timed it) I’ve been away for 4 days… or is it only 3? I don’t know, but it sure is hard to not go there, not wander around to see what all my friends are up to, not post witty responses to their posts and update my profile every couple of hours… oh dear… did I really update THAT OFTEN??? I’ll keep you posted apprised of my progress. And hey, have you noticed how much more blogging I’ve been doing in the last few days… could there be a connection?

2. So I got up this morning prepared for my ritual… shower, blow dry, dress, set table, wake up kids, make coffee… HALT!!!… COFFEE MACHINE NOT WORKING!!! So, I took a deep breath, held it for 10 seconds, and made tea instead. Only by about 9 AM I realized that the tea just wasn’t cutting it… the foggy feeling in my brain required more caffine than is found in Red Rose.

I got creative. Boiled some water, put the paper cone with ground coffee in it, inside a small sieve resting over my coffee cup, and poured the hot water slowly into the cone (you know, camp style!). Only the cone didn’t hold up well wet, and suddenly I’ve got this soggy, sloppy, coffee ground mess all over my counter, down the front of the cabinets, and onto my freshly mopped floor (yes, this is what happens when you mop… if you don’t mop, no mess, as soon as you mop… mess) And, after I cleaned it all up, I enjoyed a mug of hot coffee with milk and sugar and a smile.

Worth all that trouble… you betcha!!!

3. Heading out the door to the frozen dog park. YES! Frozen again. I’ve had several visits lately that were more Spring-like than Winter, and the result was mud, mess (I seem to have a mess theme going here) and then there was the head to toe shower of poop-infused water that put me over the edge. So, I’ve been away. And now it’s frozen and I’m going back. And Emmy will thank me. She’s been a little stir-crazy without the running and romping and wrestling of the dog park. I just wish there were an easier way to transition to Spring with a dog… without mud!

4. Wrote 2 3 poems these last few days. See #1. Perhaps there really is a correlation… just saying.

5. Getting ticked at WordPress and their built in ‘filters’… been having so much garbage coming at me here on my blog… one day there were 200 so-called ‘referrers’ that were not only ‘spam’, but bad, rude, inappropriate, yuck… you know what I mean. So I emailed support and asked for help… still waiting for someone to help me be proactive about this! Anyone know anything that might help?

6. So what’s with the Starbucks ‘Via’ instant coffee anyway? I mean, we’ve always mocked teased my father-in-law for not drinking ‘real’ coffee. He mixes his mug of morning coffee by the tablespoon (is it Folgers or Maxwell House?) and says it’s just fine. But, when he comes here to visit us, he does seem to really enjoy making pot fulls of the percolated kind. I’m just surprised that a die hard coffee drinking Starbucks culture would find this ‘Via’ to be an acceptable alternate to real percolated coffee? And if ‘Via’ turns out to be a successful product line, does that mean Folgers was right all along about ‘the best part of waking up’?

Maybe I won’t have to go out and buy a new coffee maker today… just little boxes of individual packets of ‘Via’? … no…I’m not convinced.

(Settled on a ‘french press’… 1/10th the cost of a percolator and strong, hot, black coffee!)

7. OK, I guess that’s it. Duty calls. The dog calls. My To Do List calls… so that I can spending some time just being when it’s done. Or, should I be being before… betwixt and between… is writing being… is blogging being… and other questions!

Peace will come,

Lesley-Anne

Sunday Soliloquy


Lanckorońska as a child, with her father

Image via Wikipedia

The Nature of things

Breathing isn’t something I accomplish by my own effort
No. Breathing is hard wired, natural, subliminal, subconscious, like
sneezing
or sighing,
or desiring to leave a lasting mark,
something to echo when I’m gone.

There are things that require tenacity, that fight against
what comes naturally, and that, my friend, is the
straw that’s breaking.
The ache for making a change for the better eludes and
deludes me into thinking
it’s up to me to buckle down and
try harder, to strive with more deliberate intent,
To repent.

Take for instance
forgiveness of things, like
a sideways look, or a word unspoken, or a birthday forgotten, or a violation
of my body, or a crime
like taking the life of what’s mine, or a lie
told in the form of a story or a prayer
that’s clearly crossing the line.
Contrary to what I would like to think, or what I’m being told,
I can’t make myself forgive.
I can’t close my eyes, concentrate harder and presto, forgiveness
comes like a blessed dove, and makes beauty of my broken bits.
No, the hit hurts and the blood squirts red
and I need more than a King James bandage to
fix this. ‘nuff said.

Or, while we’re talking about expectations
there’s Sacrifice and Surrender, a pair married for years, and still
making it work despite their differences.
While the world screams, ‘self-actualize’ and ‘to thine on self be true,’
these two
quietly stand, hand-in-hand,
watching, suggesting
submission brings freedom and life,
contrary to the strife of opinions on everything
every little decision that must be
made and played out, all things being equal.
No. I can’t by my own willpower choose these.

And Rest, well
that’s another idea I respect, but
for the life of me can’t get around to it, yet. So many other things to
accomplish and prove my own worth, while
my to do list is longing just to be still
and know that someone else will
pry the steering wheel from my sticky fingers,
take back the waste,
redeem the
trivial Facebook posts
twittering reality shows
and mid-winter naps.

Human nature being what it is, real life being what it is
it’s contrary. Preposterous, this
Kingdom upside down thought
that Sunday morning ideals
can root in
and stick ‘til Thursday.

And while I rant and rave
on things I don’t have the capacity to understand, nor
the power to change,
He waits for me to be still
and listen.

Lesley-Anne Evans
January 2011