Posts Tagged: jenmorrison’s realia

two and a third days and a little more

Last weekend was delicious. The days were a blessing; crisp and sunny, the kind of autumn days you need to be out in because you know that with every weekend that passes, these kinds of days are less likely to occur for… well you don’t want to think about how many months.

And it was more than that.

It started with spontaneous “beer o’clock” on Friday with family, then moved into a weekend that was about wandering around, changing minds, making diversions, sharing meals, turning your face to the sun and letting it slide its arms around your shoulders against the cool air, exploring neighbourhoods, watching diamonds floating on the lake, taking pictures of freighters, long kisses, longer conversations, sharing old pictures, beholding skylines, sleeping in, drinking cesars with big breakfasts, standing on the street corner deciding which way to walk home and then a crying like an idiot in the middle of a busy station as you collect your long-away sister.

That weekend – lets not bother to quantify the beauty. Lets call it all beautiful thing number seventy-two.

Breakfast CesarTo my non-Canadian friends – the reason you don't have Cesars in your country is because we're not willing to share them.

Late October Patio by Sugar BeachA sunny patio on a late Saturday morning in late October looking at diamonds on the water on Lake Ontario.

rainy

There has been a soft rain falling off and on since last night, and as I walk to work under the heavily overcast skies this morning everything is glistening luminous under the dim light; the pavement a wet black canvas painted here and there with splashes of colour reflecting the city pulsing above it.

Earlier, I lay in bed watching the sky through a gap in the curtain, thinking I was as reluctant to come to wakefulness as that sky was.  Last night’s rain capped a gorgeous, warm and sunshiny Sunday – that kind of weekend day you look upon as a gift at any time of year, but particularly this one.  The day was gentle; I walked and shopped and puttered around my home, and later my table housed a big pot of vegetable barley soup and toasted rosemary bread and warm company and suddenly I find myself in deep autumn with not a little pleasure. 

The slowed pace amidst the low clouds and glistening streets extends that autumnal comfort even on a Monday morning.  Once upon a time when I was a driver on the highway trying to get to work in mornings like this, I would curse at the way even a soft rain like this would slow everything down.   Now I feel lucky to be able to find pleasure in the slowed pace of a city under a rain.  It wasn’t all contentment – I wanted to walk right past my office and spend the morning in it. 

I’m not sure I’ll move so peacefully into winter, but who knows?  Maybe I just need to learn to carry with me in my mind the gentleness of a rainy morning.

pissing people off with peace love and understanding

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I'm sorry to be bringing this up again, because I know that to most of the rest of the world, Canadian national concerns are not sexy.  I mean, we don’t have leadership candidates feeding us crazy-interesting sound bites like: hurricane Irene is god’s wrath at our spending too much money on our people.  (Seriously, I read that today.  Is that true?)  Our leaders are just not that interesting, even when they lie.  Anyway, for the most part, we don't care about your disinterest.

But I am compelled to write about the events of the last week because I think they're really significant. These events have triggered an expression of the desire in us to know a different public reality.  In this video you'll see the power of a message perpetuating that desire, from the only politician in the room who was dead.

Find in the video below a former politician and current humanitarian delivering that powerful message of hope and encouragement.  The message pissed a whole bunch of people off, but it inspired a whole bunch more.  

If you’re not Canadian, there are some things you should know before you watch:

This was a state funeral.  Jack Layton was the leader of Canada's official opposition to the government.  Our biggest dignitaries are all there. The Queen is represented by the Governor General. I make note that it's a state funeral because you might not think so seeing all that clapping and standing and cheering.

You also need to know that the reaction in that room is not just representative of Layton's party supporters who were present.  Thousands had collected outside and along the route of the funeral procession.  People showed up to City Hall in Toronto and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and other cities to pay personal tribute all week. 

You need to know that everybody knew how sick Jack was, but when he died everybody was shocked anyway. Nobody anticipated the reaction to this loss because Canadians just don't act this way. 

What I see in this eulogy, and in the response to it, and in the response to Jack's death in general, is that I am not alone in my rejection of the anger and ugliness that has permeated our social and political realms.  What I see are people that are finished with it; we don't want to be held apart anymore.

Please watch; it’s Stephen Lewis, one of the most gifted and passionate orators alive, paying homage to a man's life work and ideals.  You'll be glad you did.

(And if you do I promise to shut up about it.)

(The Canadian politcs part, not the peace love and understanding part.)

 

summer: beautiful thing number fifty

I've had an unusually social week.  If I wasn't having dinner with company, I was out with Carly seeing the final installment of Harry You-Know-Who in 3D or having a thirteenth birthday celebration for my niece Lainey. 

Summer's been particularly enticing this year.  Each year, I'm drawn out into summer more.  I get panicky when I think even a few moments of it will be wasted.  My mother experiences the same thing; I checked on her last week during a nasty heat wave and she was cranky and feeling squirrelly, trapped indoors.

Most of the summer has been luscious though.  Now that I'm working in the downtown core I escape several times a day for a walk around a different block.  There have been a number of blog posts in my head, but didn't get written because I can't stay in. 

After this very social week, I must say I'm enjoying having some alone time tonight.  But I'm glad you're virtually here, and so I think it's appropriate that I share a little of my summer, and some of those unwritten blog posts with you. 

 

MC

Cousin Mia and sister Cathy.  Family, light meal, bubbly, sun, breeze…
MC
A view from my condo's roof, the Empire Sandy pointing at the Toronto Island Airport.  Yeah, maybe there is a some soul lacking in condo living, but my building's roof is one of my favourite places to be this summer.
MC
I looked out the window a couple of weeks ago and that moon, as it always does, called me outside.  It was a hazy night in the harbour.
 MC
The moon, and an incoming plane, later in that same walk.  One of the best things about living on Lake Ontario?  The lake is south, giving us THAT view of the moon.
MC
Shopping with my niece Lainey in advance of her thirteenth birthday.  Her mom bought her that hat.  Artsy aunt bought her artsy niece some watercolour pencils. 
MC
You know what kind of daughters I have?  the kind that when they have an extra ticket to the U2 show, they invite their mom.
MC
U2. Big. Drama. Doing what they do best in an open air summertime show. 
 
MC
Daughters and old friends; dinner and beers on a patio on a warm day.
MC 
On the roof again; Pati, Kelsey, Carly, Ryan, cool breeze, vegetables, fruit, wine, knockout view.

 

Oh, and have I mentioned there is a new little boy in our family? I have a new nephew, Logan James, a tiny (well not so tiny) harbinger of all kinds of beautiful newness to our world.  You might not like this when you're a teenager Logan, but right now, you're beautiful thing fifty-one.

 

Tomorrow I'm off in a rental car to another event which can't be talked about in advance. But when it's over, I really will try to share it with you in writing.

 

in which a daughter says it better

I’m walking home from work this evening to meet up with my sis and my cousin for dinner, and I find this status kicking a little ass amongst friends on facebook:

“[I’m] disappointed to see all of the judgmental, mean and even flat out jokes being said about Amy [Winehouse]'s death.  Addiction is never funny and unless you have a loved one who has gone through a similar struggle [you] have no right to judge a perfect stranger.

This week of all weeks should remind us we all need to practice a little more compassion.”

If you could give your kids one thing, what would it be? 

I’m moving down to number two.  Number one, compassion, seems to be taken care of.

Moments in which you realise a daughter has become much more than you ever hoped she'd be: beautiful thing number 49.