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.

World Access in Isolation

World Access in Isolation

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I should start by saying this is not a complaint. Merely an observation.

It seems almost paradoxical. The way of things today I mean. Everywhere you look people are focused only on the device in their hands. Out on the streets heads are bent as fingers fly across small keyboards. Are they even called keyboards anymore? No one makes eye contact anymore. Okay there are some.

I used to comment it was only the young people ( meaning anyone younger than I), but I notice on the streets, in stores, in cars (a no no) eyes are cast down and some of them belong to pretty old people. If you speak or otherwise engage and the head comes up, the eyes seem out of focus if they meet yours at all.

What I find strange is that at the very same time we have personal access to people across the world. Which in my mind makes this little planet that much smaller. Each week I come face to face in real time with my cousin in Scotland, my BFF in Winnipeg or Mexico or the west coast or the east coast or points between, wherever this Gypsy Road Warrior chooses to be, and then halfway around the world to my friend freshly recovered from an accident and still brave and back as good as new Judith Baxter whom you know as growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com who lives in New Zealand.

I am pretty sure the outcome of this will be a world of folk unable to engage in proximal reality, physically close together. Even with skyping or messaging our reality becomes that face on the screen. Social skills lost.

How will next generations be able to interact? Will they be able to tolerate another human in close proximity? Will they be aware of trees, skies, breezes, natural beauty at all?

Will they lose their humanness? I read a prediction from a very science type on Quora that ultimately that is exactly what will happen. I am also sure that if someone from the nineteenth century were to glimpse our world as it has become they might also deduce we had lost our humanness already.

Times they are changing, as the saying goes.

Having said all that, I am most grateful that those I love around the world are as close as ‘this’ and we can look in each other’s eyes and raise a glass of red wine as we chat about any old mundane thing that crosses our minds.

My Near Perfect Day which was not a day at all but a morning, and, far from perfect, unless you are the really really optimistic sort.

 

I love the neighborhood I moved into almost a year ago. It is a lovely subdivision with wide lawns and large mature trees, and has a peacefulness about it that makes going for a walk pleasant indeed.

I have been considering finding a church to attend for some time now, although I am not sure why, but the thought persists often enough that I first considered what church it should be. You see I have attended and joined many churches in my lifetime; christened in United after birth, baptized in water at age thirteen in the Baptist Church, converted to Roman Catholicism through RCIA at the age of fortyish, and joined the Salvation Army at my last unfortunate attempt at marriage. The Church remained, husband did not. I was happy and active in each of my churches, largely I believe, because I am comfortable in my faith, and I will not argue ideological differences that some cling to in attempts to say their church, their God is right and no one else is.

Anyway, I decided to look for a church that was within walking distance. Yes, I drive, but the thought of walking to church has a certain appeal. There is a lovely little United Church just down the hill a little over two kilometers away, so about one and a half miles each way. I watched for signs each time I passed it to see what time service started. Last week I noticed it was a ten o’clock  service.

So this morning I awoke, put on my Sunday best and headed off twenty minutes before ten, enjoying the walk on a lovely not too warm sunny day. I came to the parking lot first and noticed only one vehicle, which I thought strange. A few more steps took me to the front doors where a sign read, ‘Closed July and August.’

Maintaining my Sunday Best Approach I decided to head back up the hill intending to stop at a Timmies, A Tim Hortons (Canada’s addiction) and treat myself to breakfast and a latte. The day I figured was not completely lost.

Now Tim’s has booths, all of which were full, and tables and hard on your butt chairs, and two delightful faux leather stuffed chairs by a delight faux fire. I take my breakfast, latte and napkins to the comfy stuffed chairs, pull out my tablet (free wifi), notebook and pen, prepared to continue research in my present endeavor. Ah. Perfect.

Balancing my tablet on my lap, holding my coffee, I reach for my pen. In the blink of an eye, or in the more modern phrase, in a nanosecond, my latte is spread down the entire left leg of my virginal white pants and in a wide arc around my reading chair.

You all hear about how nice Canadians are so while I kneel to start clean up a young couple come over and help with the mop up. Then a young worker shows up with mop and pail. I head off to the ladies room to try and wash some of the coffee from my pants as another worker calls out, ‘don’t worry I will have another free latte here for you when you come out.’  You see there is still a certain perfection to the day. Unfortunately the washroom has an automatic tap and only an air hand dryer.

So I throw handfuls of water on my once white now brown pants then use thin bits of bathroom tissue to mop up the floor. When I return back to the counter the young lady has my new latte ready.

I decide to sit at a proper table and chairs to work, but find the urgency to get my pants into a good soak a soon as possible is, well urgent. So I gather all up and walk the remaining one thousand steps home, still savoring the beautiful day and gardens and parks.

My clothes are now clean and wearable again and now I head off to see my Auntie, and while the Nursing Home insists I brighten her day, I have to say she brightens mine. So I guess all in all, this is still a pretty perfect Sunday.

 

This is my Job

This is a life. Thank you Celi!

thekitchensgarden

Farming these acres is my job.  A job I chose. A job I chose and grew to love. Being a woman farmer is what I am all about. A woman who farms not a farmers wife. I am the farmer.  The grower of food. cows

And I am still a relatively young woman.  In the peak of her working life. This is not my retirement or anything, I am not old enough for that – not by a long shot – this is my job. This is not a hobby or just something to pass the time. This is my job of work. It is a small enterprise on purpose. I like to fly under the radar. My food revolution is spreading by word of mouth. My job has impact.  I feed people.  I invite people to come and experience farming. This is my job. sow

It is not 9 – 5. It is…

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make sure …

Sometimes the first line of a book, a chapter, or a blog resonates and remains. Such is this.

thekitchensgarden

.. this life you have arranged for yourself is how you want your life to be. Because if what you are doing is not what you want to do -there will be troubles. Though to be fair there is tons of stuff we don’t want to do that we HAVE to do, dishes, and dusting for instance.  But these are a means to an end. zip line

Lucky for me – I am doing what I want to do. Of course I always wanted to fly over the creek that is really a ditch to test the tension again and again and again – so I am good!  The tension of the wire is a work in progress so John attached a piece of clothesline string to me so he could pull me back if necessary. (And it was)  The work in progress continues.  But to tell you the truth, I could have…

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Emotional Bankruptcy

Emotional Bankruptcy

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This is a difficult subject for me to address for one main reason. I fear I do not have the words to adequately address it and worry that I may trivialize it.

Now this is NOT earth shaking life changing. It is merely an observation and was triggered by something I saw in passing the other day.

I was reading on line about the celebrity deaths publicized in headlines in the last couple of weeks. You know, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Rene Angelil, Kitty Kallen. Some names more familiar than others. Any way I glimpsed a quote from some actor – no I don’t know who, it all happened as I was clicking to another page, a quote that said something about our displaying emotion or something like that. I cannot remember the quote but it did trigger a remembrance of back thoughts. Those thoughts that pass through our brain, not staying, but not going so far away that they cannot be recalled in an instant.

I have always been impressed by the British, and not because fifty percent of my heritage hails from Scotland. I have always viewed them as being strong in character. I remember watching a film when I was a child. In the scene were three men, one of whom left the room suddenly. The second fellow looked at the other who said, “Personal problems.”

“Oh, I see.”

Nothing more needed to be said. There was just an understanding. No further explanation needed. No sobbing dragging out of the innards for all the world to see.

You see, a few decades ago, when it became acceptable, nay, desirable, to give expression to personal feelings something changed forever in our society.

There is something strong about the whole ‘stiff upper lip’ thing. There is strength of character.

Now please do not get me wrong and assume I mean that we should never discuss that which is very personal. What I mean is that the discussion takes place between two people. The object of our sharing is very selective. I guess a lot has to do with media – this very public sharing of every aspect of every emotion.

Secretly I have this fear that by baring it all to everyone that we are creating emotional bankruptcy although how is very difficult to explain. There is, I think, an inner secret part of us that is strengthened when we stiffen that upper lip.

VERY IMPORTANT! I am in no way suggesting that everyone does this. I personally know a lot of folk that share a bit with us and carry on. And I would never suggest keeping it all in when it would be detrimental to our health.

Not at all, but I think society as a whole is poorer. As I write this I think I may appear way off base on this. Maybe this is one of those times when I should suck it up and stiffen that upper lip. Which by the way I think many still do.

But I have to ask: is it necessary to bare all to have some understanding or kindness for another? Is it possible to support someone, with personal problems without knowing every painful iota of that person’s suffering?

I like to think it is. I fear I have missed the point I wanted to make.

Heads up! two important topics for discussion.

  1. COMING ATTRACTIONS  TWO ISSUES
  2. Are we sharing too much emotion, angst, or thoughts with everyone? Have we become too sloppy in our emotions and personal sharing?
  3. who knew reverting to ‘the nee’, you know your birth name a female is born with, could possibly result in confusion and the fear of illicit activity?

Friday Toppers 12/366

Above is a photo of my last two hats and one pair of mittens.  I made them for my grandsons, both of whom love them. (I wasn’t sure but yes they loved them.)

Before I start my next project I thought I would use the rest of my blue yarn and make a few more hats.  Generally I do these kind of things in the summer to have them ready to donate to charity in the fall.  For some reason I feel the need to make more so will continue on.  Following my feelings always pays off.

I saw Auntie this morning and we talked about what it was like sailing across the ocean on a liner.  I am not much for boats so am in awe of those folk who traverse the water to reach a destination.    Her mind comes and goes, wandering off now and then, so conversation is patient and interesting.  She did talk about the joys of having a wonderful partner for over thirty years but the pain of the big goodbye.

It is hard to believe it is finally the middle of the month.  The first week seemed to drag on endlessly until the second week found it’s roller skates and sped up.

I finished a few books; Clive Cussler’s Ghost Ship, Sue Grafton’s Undertow ( a reread), an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot short story.  Books and stories are my comfort blanket.  Lost a dear friend of the family this past week, my age, so have a funeral to attend Monday morning.

It is important I think to find joy and humor is each day.  It is there.

OH almost forgot! Judith at growingyoungereachday and Donna at Scatter Kindness and I are starting a fiction writing course on Monday.  The course is from Future Learn at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/start-writing-fiction/

The course is  FREE! Check it out and hopefully join us!

Have a good weekend all!

Feeling Bad about Missing a Midnight Deadline Until You Realize it Might Not Be Missed 11/366

 

I missed the midnight deadline, a post, which by the way was about the reliability of midnight deadlines. Had it all planned. It was the execution that proved problematic.

See, in the world of daily blogging I have fallen a little behind. Advanced to the Rear as they say, except it was not an aggressive advancement which should count for something I think.

If you take note of the date you will see it is the thirteenth of the month. Really, here we are almost halfway through the first month of 2016.

I have accepted the reality of this being after midnight, though I suppose of could call dibs on the midnight next to come, say in Manitoba, or British Columbia. I could just date it the 12th, then I am just a wee bit behind. But no I will stand tall and loudly proclaim my allegiance to midnight in Southern Ontario. And let the chips fall where they may. Hmmm wish I had some chips here to snack on. I am not usually up this late, but I have things weighing on my mind so this happens occasionally. You know the staying up late part.

Any commentary up to this month relating to El Nino and the lack of snow in my part of the world can now be put to bed with the bears.   Winter has arrived!

Yesterday morning I did not brave the trek to my usual Café O to meet with my peeps. By midday it was over cast and damp so I made the 12 km run to The Home to see our favorite Aunt. The plows had been out so the roads weren’t too bad as long as one drove slowly leaving lots of distance between cars.

We had a nice visit, tea and chatter. Frannie was able to tell me about someone who had come to see her earlier that day, she spoke of Jack but knew he had died a long time ago. The only thing she was unable to do? She had no idea who I was. Oh she was pleased to see me, she knew she must know me. And she was very socially polite but I could see her trying to figure out exactly who I was. She just could not remember.

It leads to anxiety and more confusion. Then in a blink that part of the picture clears though another piece of the puzzle fogs.

‘I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself.’Winston Churchill 10/366

Statistics are like Play-Doh. They can be molded and shaped to give us what we want or what we want others to believe.  It’s a funny thing but it seems that whenever people hear ‘Statistics say…’ they automatically believe.

Decades ago I was part of a community council of sorts and we wanted the public to agree to let us spend a large amount of money.  To stop any nay sayers from grabbing a foot hold, the public was reassured that to prove we needed to achieve what we wanted, we would hire an independent research company at great cost and they would prove or disprove our goal.

Well you know, if we pay somebody a LOT of money they must be worthy of our belief.  We met with the company to describe the parameters of the research then at the end of the discussion they were told exactly the results we wanted.  Oh my, surprise surprise.  The results completely supported and justified what we were doing. Amazing huh?

You see the numbers are accurate and can be proven and depend entirely on what area or section you do your research.  They can be skewed.  Skewed is such an appropriate word.  One needs to be knowledgeable enough about a situation to ask the right questions.  That is the hard part.  But I cringe at the thought of people believing because they believe the numbers are impartial.

So what is this about anyway?

Yesterday I became most agitated because I suddenly had a high cholesterol that the doctor said could not be controlled by diet and medication was the only route.  Oh and that I currently had a one in three chance of having a stroke. (see there is the statistic).  I was told in the beginning this was a possibility but of course it took a back seat to the business at hand.

So I spent a few hours muttering to myself about the side effect of medication I must take being more deadly than the disease, and that stats that say cancer is more survivable than previous (certain types) don’t count deaths from side effects of treatment.  So if I expire from a stroke, no one is going to say cancer killed me.  But technically it will have.

And it annoys me that say statistics predict say nine percent of this particular population will develop something resulting in death.  Or that there is a one in fourteen million chance you will win the lottery.

I am telling you that for those people who die, or win the lottery the chances are not nine percent or one in fourteen million, they are one hundred percent.

Then I had a moment of reality.  How dare I complain about my situation?  It takes some nerve to bitch about something relatively small.  I thought about someone dear to me who has never smoked in his life but is now tied to oxygen tanks to survive.  I thought about my mini me cousin who went through exactly the same as I but much worse and is suffering from constantly painful side effects.  I think about a dear one who at thirty eight is just beginning that long road with the Big C.  I think of so many close to me who are suffering with things out of their control.  When I think of those we loved and lost from cancer and they had no choice.

And I think to myself, “How dare you, who can walk, laugh and sing, moan when you want and truly live, having to accommodate one small pill, How Dare You?

So properly scolded, I apologized to the universe and to all whose own suffering I belittled in my own self pity.

I go off shortly to see our Auntie.