All posts by Bridgesburning Chris

The older I get the more amazed I am at the simplicity of life and at the same time the complexity of it. I think sometimes we make the simplicity complicated by our own ingenuity and the insistence that something so wonderful cannot be simple. Perhaps our greatest failure is to make complex that which is not.

That Reminds Me

My long time blogging buddy Colleen posted today about her experience with a homeless man.  It brought to mind my own experience.

Way back in the fall of 1996 I was living in McAllen Texas.  I loved Texas.  Palm trees lined the streets and southern living was pleasant.

There were few homeless people that I saw.  It wasn’t like Toronto where pedestrians walk along busy streets sidestepping and ignoring the humanity who sleep right on the very walks, usually over heat grates.

There was one fellow in particular that I would see occasionally  standing on street corners holding a sign.  I never stopped to make a donation but something about him stayed with me.  He had an open face, intelligent eyes, a bearing of dignity.  Have you ever seen or met anyone and somehow you know you are linked or have a link to that person?  It was the strangest feeling but after a few seconds my mind would shift to the real world.

One evening I found I had some winning tickets, probably scratch not lottery, and headed out to a local store to claim my funds.  As I was entering the store this fellow was coming out.  I suddenly felt an urgency but it was ill defined.

I quickly got my money, probably about fifty dollars, and clutching the bills in my left hand got in my car and found myself searching for this gent.  I drove around blocks looking for him.  Honestly it felt like I had no choice. Finally I saw him sitting on the ground with his back to a brick wall.  I pulled over, parked my car and approached him.  His jaw fell open as I quickly mumbled something like, ‘I just won this.”  I handed him the bills, got in my car and drove away, almost immediately forgetting the whole thing.

I was driven, what I had to do was clear.  I actually forgot about that incident until I read Colleen’s post.  I don’t think I ever thought of it again.  I could really have used that money at the time, but it was never a consideration.  The message was clear, it wasn’t mine anyway, it was his.

I don’t know what ever happened to him or what difference it made in his life if any.  Somehow, beyond my role, it was none of my business.

The only time it came to mind was about six months later.  By then I was back in Canada and I had bought a scratch ticket. I won ten thousand dollars.  A memory flash somehow connected both events.  Probably conjecture on my part.  But I just can’t get rid of the feeling…..

Fall Falls

colorful-autumn-trees-lake-23247662It’s a new season and time to change the header and turn thoughts to the cozy and colorful.  My new header is actually an old one I have used before featuring G1 and G2 a few years ago.  The photo still warms my heart.

My outlook today is optimistic at best.  As I look out my window the skies are gray and sunless and the oak and maple and elm trees just hinting at the future beauty we associate with Autumn.

Of course there are places in full color, just not here right now.  Rain is coming very soon, a distant effect of hurricane Joaquin, with accompanying winds.  Though nothing like those in the direct path are experiencing.

The beginning of Fall makes me want to gambol about like a lamb.  Or at least how I think a lamb would gambol.  But I have discovered it is the ‘idea’ of Fall that makes me feel that way.  I always say, “Oh Fall is my favorite time of year.”

If I really look at how I feel when Fall comes I have to admit to a certain sluggishness, a desire to follow the bear into the cave to hibernate.  Hmm now that thought is somewhat appealing.  And of course all that eating to prepare for a winter of sleep.  I could do it!

Our bursts of color and the crispness of the air, is I think nature’s way of apologizing for what will follow.  I am very careful not to bad mouth winter.  As a Canadian subject to clearly defined seasons I make it a practice to never complain about the ‘white’ months.  I really feel anyone who cannot embrace that season really ought to take up residence somewhere else.  I try to respond positively to complainers without being rude and succeed mostly all the time.

But back to Fall.  Color, crispness, calm.  There is nothing better than a walk on a typical day.  I have been trying to walk everyday and last week found myself in a warm down pour that soaked every part of me.  It was a lovely warm day and I felt like a child walking in the rain.  I wanted to gambol about then too, but the neighbours were about so I restrained myself.

In a few days the rain will pass, the sun will shine and I will find myself thinking delicious thoughts about Autumn again.  Our Canadian Thanksgiving is in a week and it is my favorite holiday, one with companionship, a holiday feeling without having to buy gifts.

Giving thanks for what we do have no matter how great or small is so important.

Permanent Press in the Dryer of Life

Are you in control of your life? Really can any of us be in control ever or is it an illusion? That we have control of anything I mean.

Everyday things come up and we deal. Sometimes events occur that are so huge all we can do is hang on and sometimes we are not even aware of hanging on. We just are. I am not sure how we survive sometimes, but survive we do.

Faith helps but it doesn’t necessarily spare us the pain. It does give us strength. I guess sometimes the pain is the only thing that lets us know we still exist.

I have been tumbling about my own dryer of life and it seems to be settling for a bit at least, but the pain I speak about is of loss. I have a friend who lives on the other side of the world whose loss has been extreme and while my pain is not hers, it hurts to think of her hurting and struggling.

I feel like she and I are surviving the tumble but not yet able to see what the future will bring. Neither of us has control but we are blessed by love and people who care about us.

I have another friend half way across the country who came within a hair’s breadth of the most terrible loss, that of a son. Fortunately that situation worked out okay but there were hours that seemed like days or years when it seemed the worst would occur.

We have no control except over our selves. We are being buffeted by the winds of change – now how cliché is that – and some have no idea what the next step will be. We can only wait. Breathe. And wait some more.

It seems to me that love is the answer. To love and to be loved is permanent press in the fabric of life.  Okay that last bit was a little in the extreme but you get the idea.


Bridgesburning Chris:

A friend is gently spreading her wings into WordPress folks. Please make her feel welcome. She is my gypsy road warrior I have mentioned in BFF

Originally posted on Scatter Kindness:

I was surprised to have a comment on my blog cause I thought I’d just ease into it like a diary. I’m amazed at all the changes my thought processes have gone through in the last few years. I think I am becoming my own best friend. I like myself and I forgive myself but I draw the line at talking to myself😋.

My plan is to remain interested in the world and try to make the best of every day. There are so many things that I haven’t tried yet and I love to see how the children in my life, the nieces, nephews, soon to be 2 grandchildren,  see the world.

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What makes you strong?

Bridgesburning Chris:

Words beyond words, strength beyond strength.

Originally posted on thekitchensgarden:

What gives you that last ounce of strength?  What makes you reach for the impossible and win? What gives us the ability to tap that secret cache of power we all hold.  What enables us to survive.  To push through when the odds are so stacked against us it feels like hail in our faces. pigs

My friend, who looks after her aging father, told me yesterday that he fell and she caught him, he is 200 pounds, she is my size, she caught him and held him up for as long as it took for him to get his feet from out under the fall so she could lower him to the ground safely.  She said this was about 6 or 7 minutes as he struggled but felt like an age. But she did not drop him. She found an untapped strength that both frightened and amazed her.

This strength is in…

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We have become beggars

Bridgesburning Chris:

Thoughts? Lots of truth here

Originally posted on stickyideas:

begger_by_praveenchettriWe all have become beggars. You might be taken aback by this statement and you might even think it is rude but that is the hard reality: Yes, we all have become beggars. We beg for attention and acknowledgment in every damn activity we do. We have become so much addicted to begging that we have placed our happiness on the hands of others attention. More attention, we feel happy. Less attention, we feel frustrated. I realized this when I posted a blog after a long time and was checking my blog stats again and again to see how many people have visited and read it. Then it hit me that I started the blog in the first place for me and only then for others. It was contradicting that if I started it for me then why would I feel happy or sad based on the stats. That is…

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Getting organized is easy

Bridgesburning Chris:

Sometimes the right word at the right moment ….

Originally posted on stickyideas:

moleskine_ii__by_extrasist0leGetting organized is simple. Many think it is complicated and I was one of them until I started to follow a simple rule. The only difficult part about it is that it requires a lot of self-discipline. Unfortunately we have made our lives, a life of confusion. We have total confused our system by not being organized. We do wrong things at wrong time in wrong place. We watch TV in the bedroom instead of sleeping. We use dinning table as storage unit and use sofa in the living room for eating. We use treadmill to dry clothes instead of exercising and cupboard to dump things. We use TV stand to keep medicine and medicine box to store pins. We have been misusing places and time so much that we are completely lost now. When we go to bedroom, we don’t get sleep because our body thinks we should watch TV…

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This modern term for Best Friends Forever is not one of my favorites. First of all it is so commonly used one gets a little weary from hearing it so much. Secondly it smacks a bit of desperation as though the declaration itself will make it true.  At least that is how it seems.  I must concede though that it is said to denote sincerity and a promise – sincere declaration.

In days gone by the term best friend, dear friend, soul mate, may have been used.


*Someone may be your best friend, but you may not be theirs and that is okay.  Unlike some commitments there is no reciprocation necessary.

*You can have more than one best friend I think which decries the use of the word best, but there it is.  In that case I guess the term would be ‘one of my best friends’.

*A best friend is someone you respect.

*A best friend is someone who can see the worst of you knows your darkest side and still love you and accept you.

*A best friend supports you even when you make stupid decisions.

*A best friend comforts you when the consequences of said stupid decision comes to roost and never, well almost never, says ‘I told you so”

*Distance has no effect on best friend status.  The world is a much smaller place now and thanks to Skype and other media contact is not far away.

*Long periods of time can pass but when the connection is made it is as if no time has passed at all.

When I met my best friend eighteen years ago we had engaged initially in a social conversation.  During that conversation I clearly heard the words in my mind; I want this girl in my life.  And she has been.  She travels the world. I do not.  She has a gypsy nature, I do not.  She is adventurous, I am not.  Lest this seem like a lot of ‘nots’, it is in truth of little consequence.  She is more thoughtful than I, and stronger and kinder. Perhaps that is our link.  She is the better person I strive to be.

I have no idea what makes a soul connection exist.  It just does.  It cannot be made or constructed, or planned.  It is something that exists or it does not.  Gender has no influence.  It is beyond our ken and a gift, that if we accept it, it can only enrich our existence regardless of extraneous factors.

My best friend’s birthday is on Saturday and I celebrate her life and give thanks.