Friday, 18 November 2016

Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act. —Leonard Cohen

Like many, I continue to contemplate what is happening in our world and wonder what we can do to make things better. I honestly do believe that it starts in our own backyard. If each of us took time to care for those in our communities, then, like the heat that radiates from of a ray of sunshine, everyone would feel the warmth. We all need to know that someone cares, that we matter in this life, that we are loved.

I have always enjoyed Leonard Cohen's songs. They brought peace and solace to me in times of stress. I was saddened to hear of his passing, but I know that he lived a life of his choosing and has left his mark. That is more than many of us can claim.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of performing Hallelujah. It was with the wonderful Madcap Players, the troupe that my husband and I were a part of for so many treasured years. And, in true Madcap fashion, I rewrote the lyrics to suit a Christmas show. Embedded in that rewrite is my belief that we make a difference with our everyday actions.

With the Christmas season approaching, I decided to share it here. If you sing solo, or in a choir or know someone who does, please share the lyrics. Encourage everyone to reach beyond December's good wishes and generosity. Idealistic? Perhaps. But simple and doable. Let's all make a concerted effort, throughout the year, to make our world everything that it can be, everything it should be.

         (Lyrics below)


Christmas is upon us now
We bow our heads and take a vow
To live the good that really
should flow through us
We toss a coin
We give a gift
To charity we'll give a lift
We raise our heads exalting Hallelujah
Hallelujah , Hallelujah
Hallelujah , Hallelujah

Gestures grand and warmly meant
We do our best to prevent
A sad or hungry Christmas Day
for anyone
But Christmas comes
just once a year
Too many days they live in fear
Each day survived they bless with Hallelujah
Hallelujah , Hallelujah
Hallelujah , Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
Who gave us strength and gave us love
But what's the point if we don't
really use it
Make each day
a Christmas day
Help someone along their way
Then we'd all have cause to shout out Hallelujah
Hallelujah , Hallelujah
Hallelujah , Hallelujah


Hallelujah , Hallelujah


Friday, 11 November 2016

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside. —Denis Waitley

I have not managed to get much writing done this week. Along with millions of others, my attention and thoughts have been focussed on, and ultimately derailed by, what happened in the United States.

I followed the American election closely for the first time in my life. It was difficult not to be drawn in by its reality-TV-like presentation. Filled with grandstanding, released "secrets" and jaw-dropping rhetoric, it was impossible to look away. And, it had become exhausting. So, happy that the show was coming to an end, anxious for a hate-mongering candidate to be shown the door and convinced that there was no way such a vitriolic person could represent the hearts and minds of the American people, I tuned in on Tuesday night.

Anticipation fell into disbelief which was ultimately swallowed by despair. I cried. I honestly wept. My heart broke for my American friends. Having read the man's 3 am Twitter rants, knowing that he's now going to be in a position to direct America's benevolence or its wrath, my mind worried for our world. And, then my anger bubbled. How stupid were the American people? And, that's where I got stuck for a few days.
As the cloud of emotion lifts, I see my anger as representative of the same ugly sentiments I am condemning in that vote. I am painting a nation of people with a single stroke. And America, like Canada, is anything but a single colour, a single texture, a single style. I can't pretend to understand the motivation of folks who would put a man who has clearly demonstrated throughout his life that he is not a decent human being in such an important position. But I cannot condemn a nation either. A country is populated by people, and people are fallible.

I do know that as Americans sort through their decision, there is much to ponder. They must figure out what has gone so wrong in their country that a man with questionable business acumen, a man with no political experience (Seriously, entry level position is the Oval Office?) and, most importantly, a man who is so proudly lacking in moral values can become president. I also believe that we, as a country, should also be looking around. If we scratch the surface of Canada, what lies beneath? I'd like to think nothing equivalent to what we've seen in the States of late, but then that's what many Americans wanted to believe too.

What can we do to ensure our country remains the idealistic vision we hold of it? What can Americans do to rebuild their optimism in each other and in their future? It starts with kindness and generosity. Extend it to all you meet. Pay it forward, pass it on. Don't wait for the phoenix to rise from the ashes. Build the fire, fan the flames of decency and goodness and light the world. 


Saturday, 5 November 2016

There's no such thing as downtime for your brain. —Jeffrey Kluger

I was going to skip posting anything this week but, since I know many of you actually check in each weekend, I thought it unfair to just leave it blank. Images of you returning repeatedly, only to find the now stale GIFS from my previous post, are nudging me to at least leave an imprint here so that you can move on with your weekend. Busy days sneaking in yard work between raindrops, digging deep into revision and writing new words have kept my mind occupied. So, I'm fried. Spent. Depleted.

So, move on. Don't come back 'til next week. And, have a terrific weekend!

One of our recent visitors.