Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Choosing Love

Photo: Kyla Macdonald

On the morning of June 15, 2011, the city of Vancouver was in the grip of Stanley Cup fever.  Even those who didn't normally watch hockey, like me, were jumping on the bandwagon.  Amidst the hope of the beloved Canucks claiming the Cup for their own, our newest little player, my grandson, Aiden, quietly made his way into the world at 5:43 am.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful for him to be born on the same day that the Canucks won the Stanley Cup?" we mused.  My son even joked about naming him Stanley.

As anyone who follows hockey knows, the Canucks did not win the Cup.  This, in itself, is somewhat disappointing but not insurmountable.  We are proud of our team and the efforts that they put forth to get them as far as they did but clearly, the better team won.

What is truly disappointing sickening sad scary is the events that took place downtown after the game.  We watched in horror and disgust as these little hoodlums took out their anger at life under the thinly veiled guise of support for their team.  Make no mistake, these were not hockey fans and this had nothing to do with hockey other than the fact that it gave them an excuse to gather and incite.

My heart broke as I watched the shameless acts of defiance and rage.  I was saddened for those youth who were so lost that they felt anger was the only way to express themselves, saddened for the parents of some of those youths who would bear the brunt of their children's actions in the form of blame and guilt, even though they had done all that they could to provide a loving, stable home and saddened that this day, the birthday of my grandson, was tainted by these senseless acts.

While it is important to note that "hurt people hurt people", we all have choices.  What causes some to make these negative, self-destructive choices, I don't know.  But I know that I can make a choice to remain loving and positive in this volatile world that we live in.  I can choose to provide my grandson with as much love as possible and hope that this is enough.  And I can choose to diminish the effects of those senseless, angry acts by not dwelling upon them.

For me, June 15, 2011 is the day my grandson, Aiden, was born.  That is all.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Song for Saturday - Motherland - Natalie Merchant

A Song for Saturday on Sunday.  I have decided to share a song from my favourite artist and can't believe I haven't done so before now.  Her voice touches my soul and her lyrics are always thought provoking.  Just when you think you know what they mean, time and circumstance change your perspective to reveal new meaning.  She truly is a poet.

Where in hell can you go
Far from the things that you know
Far from the sprawl of concrete
That keeps crawling its way
About 1,000 miles a day?

Take one last look behind

Commit this to memory and mind
Don't miss this wasteland, this terrible place
When you leave
Keep your heart off your sleeve

Motherland cradle me

Close my eyes
Lullaby me to sleep
Keep me safe
Lie with me
Stay beside me
Don't go, don't you go

O, my five & dime queen

Tell me what have you seen?
The lust and the avarice
The bottomless, the cavernous greed
Is that what you see?

Motherland cradle me

Close my eyes
Lullaby me to sleep
Keep me safe
Lie with me
Stay beside me
Don't go

It's your happiness I want most of all

And for that I'd do anything at all, o mercy me!
If you want the best of it or the most of all
If there's anything I can do at all

Now come on shot gun bride

What makes me envy your life?
Faceless, nameless, innocent, blameless and free,
What's that like to be?

Motherland cradle me

Close my eyes
Lullaby me to sleep
Keep me safe
Lie with me
Stay beside me
Don't go, don't you go

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sara's Smile

“Life is what you make it”, she said. 

He could hear her now.  She was always giving him advice on how to live more positively and therefore more happily.  Sara-isms, he called them. 

The thought of this made him smile and as he did so, he could hear her saying, “Did you know that when you smile your body releases endorphins that will help your mood?  So smile even when you don’t want to and things will seem a lot better.”

“Be grateful for what you have,” she said.  And he was - grateful for her, for their new baby daughter and grateful for the opportunities that he had been provided at work.  So why did he have this niggling feeling that something just wasn’t right?

As he pulled into his driveway, he just couldn’t shake the feeling.  Opening the front door, he thought about how he would try to explain it to Sara and how she would make him laugh with one of her Sara-isms. 

“All you have is here and now,” she would say, “Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened.”

“Sara, I’m home.” 

Nothing. Maybe she was sleeping.  She had been up with the baby quite a few times last night and she was probably tired. 

He walked down the hall to their bedroom. His wife was slumped in the rocking chair where she sometimes nursed the baby.  Her nightgown was stained with breast milk, her hair hung limply around her face and her red-rimmed eyes stared straight ahead.  As she saw him in the doorway, fresh tears started to roll down her cheeks.

“I can’t do this,” she sobbed. “I am not a good mother.”

He crossed the room and scooped her up out of the chair.  Falling onto their bed, he rocked her like a baby while she wept, uncontrollably.  He struggled to find the words to comfort her but all that came to mind were Sara-isms. 

“Well, why not,” he thought.

“A very wise woman once told me,” he started, “that God wouldn’t give us more than we could handle.”

She smiled beneath her tears as she recognized her own words and at that moment he was so grateful for endorphins and Sara-isms.

Red Writing Hood

This week's Red Writing Hood prompt comes from Carrie of Views from Nature.

Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Song for Saturday - Into the Mystic - Van Morrison

Today is my dear old friend's birthday.  We have known each other for over thirty years and to pick just one song for her was very difficult as there are many songs that evoke countless, wonderful memories from over the years.

This particular tune, though, reminds me of one very colourful night - a night of purple houses, yellow I-Rocs and brass trumpets.  Good times!

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don't have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows you know I will be coming
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it

I don't have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl...