Location, location, location

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It appears that art installations, like real estate, may be all about location, location, location. After the fiasco of vandalized art earlier last week, I intentionally returned to the same site, but a slightly different location. Rather than the quiet north side parkway, I chose a location directly adjacent to the front door of our Aquatic Centre H2O. While my daughter worked out, I installed lights and poetry and stood back all spy like and watched what happened.

Within 15 minutes all 20 copies of my poem and as many tea lights were taken by an interesting variety of people. I overheard joy, gratitude, questions and comments that affirmed what I was doing. The most energetic and positive being a group of tween girls with their enthusiastic YMCA leader who said “Look, this is a random act of kindness (RAK) which lines up completely with what we are doing tonight! Let’s take a poem back and copy it and share it with everyone.” I hadn’t thought of PUP as RAK before. Yes, I was standing fairly close by to hear all this! I also saw people take selfies with the installation. Yep.

The funniest comment was from a boy who was very excited until he saw “They aren’t real candles!!!” Then I returned to my car and received a sticky under my wiper blade. It said “you are special in many ways 🙂 🙂 “ I think it was placed there by those very same happy tween girls! So undeserved, so personal, so WOW.

I want to thank each one of you who spoke kindly and affirmatively when I was feeling hurt about the vandalism. Thank you for your reminders to rally on and not let the darkness win. You know who you are. You are my light.
LA

Wasup?

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Sometimes it feels like that hopeless

In the past two weeks I’ve ridden a bumper car of emotions, smashed up my self-esteem on a couple of occasions, felt the exhilaration of whirling about on the edges and being in the fray. I’ve written prolifically and faced a white page with fear. I’ve read books, and given up on a couple after reading the first chapter.  I’ve felt loved and forgotten, stifled and isolated. I’ve slept in, got up early, stayed home and gone out. I’ve cooked and refused to lift a finger. I’ve called back. I’ve ignored the phone. I’ve blessed my children, I’ve cursed bitten my tongue and said nothing to the myriad of ways my life is different when teens are coming and going like it’s a hotel, rather than a home. I’ve cried. I’ve had whine wine.What waits for you

Poetry is everywhere

And, after wondering what the heck was wrong with me, I asked my biggest confidant in the world (my husband, bless his heart) and he listened, pondered (for at least 30 seconds) and said with great wisdom, “It’s the summer.  You do this every summer.” And suddenly, I was OK again. OK to be me in summer, just like it’s OK to be me in fall and winter and spring. It just looks different in every season.

With a renewed perspective, I’ve jumped in with 2 feet and done the following;

  1. released 25 copies of my poems into the neighbourhood parks, mailboxes, outhouses, trees, and bus stops. (see photo above). And people found them and told me about it!
  2. busked my poetry with an amplifier, background music, sign, tip box, and a liberal amount of fear and trembling. And, to the man at the KYC, if you happen to be listening, telling someone people don’t really want to hear what they are saying is rude. Repeat, RUDE! And, I really didn’t mean it when I suggested you have a good day!
  3. opened the mail to a real, paper, beautifully illustrated, laid out, and formatted copy of CV2, where to my unbelieving eyes I saw my name, on the back cover, in the index, in the list of contributing poets, and, like a dream where you are just on the verge of waking but don’t want to end it… I saw my poem on page 35. Oh, I still can’t believe it. I’m over the top about it. (knowing of course that if you aren’t enough before you are published, you certainly won’t be enough when you are)
  4. met and talked with the most lovely people… someone who is going to work with me on a website & branding, someone who just wanted to spend time sitting by the beach and talking about our lives, someone who wants to collaborate when I busk, and someone who dropped off a book for me to read… life is rich when your eyes are open to it.

In all this, I’m reminded of the words of my maternal grandfather, a spry Englishman who has influenced me in profound ways… always… he would say,

“It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”

And I was, weakening. But, thanks to God for the people in my life who remind me to clean my artsy glasses (both figuratively and in reality, they tend to be smeared with finger prints, obscure a clear vision of things)… life is rich, and my life is for the most part, good.

Peace, out.

Lesley-Anne SDGIt's how we see things matters most of all

alignments, connections, and collaborations

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Last week I received a huge box at my door, and inside the box was an original piece of art, an unexpected gift of a painting from a talented and kind artist friend whom I collaborated with at Banff Centre. How over the top generous of Lynda Schneider Granatstein. Her gift reminding me of how inspiring to be part of something bigger than myself, to have someone invite me to participate in their process brings life. The painting is now hung in a place of honour, and I am thankful. Thank you again, dear Lynda.

This morning I received an email from a fellow blogger in Kenya, Africa. Kenny is someone I’ve connected with online around poetry. Kenny writes poetry on his blog Kolembo (and elsewhere) that turns me inside out, it’s raw, unique, gutsy, haunting and lyrical. Today Kenny asked if he might include a poem of mine on a blog venture he’s involved with. Of course, I said yes. In a couple of hours you will find ‘Provision’ included  in this months selection over at Ten of the Best (and I say that with my heart in my throat feeling less than worthy of inclusion). Kenny, my friend, thank you. And for the African sunshine you sent me today… double thanks. I can feel the warmth on my shoulders.

God continues to surprise and intrigue me.

SDG,

Lesley-Anne

I get by with a little help from my friends

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Here’s to friends, real, tried and true, old like a comfortable slipper, new and heart racing scary, virtual friends, and those yet to be.

Girls skipping at an athletics carnival

Girls skipping at an athletics carnival (Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum Collection)

Here’s to friends who share wisdom, like another supper idea when the recipe box in my head comes up empty, or say no when the bathing suit is just a little on the scanky side. Here’s to friends who laugh til they pee when I say something completely off the wall, and share their leftovers, and pass me kleenex at just the right moment, and let me use their chapstick.

And here’s to wordie friends… those who read and listen and affirm and suggest. The ones who understand the writing life is a bit lonely at times, who know a village, similar to the one required to raise a child, is needed to release a poem to the world. The ones who say something back when you say something you think might be OK to say out loud.

I have what I think might be a new poet/blogger friend in Vancouver, just over the mountains to the west. I recall reading about Samantha once in the paper, a couple of years ago. She inspired me. I found her online recently and read her blog, read what she’s up to which includes writing a poem a day for over a year. Wow.

And although I have yet to meet this friend face to face, she gave me a gift. What a generous spirit Samantha Reynolds has. What a gift to be featured on her blog, bentlily!  Thank you Samantha Reynolds! Thank you for believing, like me, that writing words down must always be followed by giving them away. Thank you, my friend.

Here’s the link to bentlily, Samantha Reynolds stunning, uplifting and creative blog.

And here’s the link to bentlily’s featured poet for the week (me).

Breathless and happy,

Lesley-Anne, SDG