Detail or panorama…it’s all great

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DSC_0005Last night I had the privilege of joining a group of next gen. 20 somethings at Trinity Mosaic as they gathered to focus on things with spiritual meaning. I’ve been with them before… seems it just gets better.

In their creatively expressive liturgy (think old school church with candles and rows of chairs and hand washing and crosses and response prayers, instead of their usual contemporary way of doing things)… into that atmosphere of praying and singing (the old hymns I haven’t sung since I was little, like How Great Thou Art), I gave up some poetry. I went to poetize alongside the band, and I came home with something more.

Anyway, as is usually the case, I go into most things with my intent and purpose all clearly outlined, my lines polished and practiced and then something happens. Something bigger moves: a dart of truth finds its prickly way inside me. I nod my head, search for a pen to write down what I think my (soul) just heard. What was it? I come away with words, a phrase, a little gift thought.

Not every time. But most times. Mostly when I hesitate in saying yes to the ask is precisely when something waits for me at the end of my whatever it was I was withholding in the beginning. Hmmm… interesting that. Doesn’t seem to matter if you are looking at the horizon or down at your feet… his great can capture when you least expect.

Awakening to a small gift of great,

Lesley-Anne

p.s. rumour has it that you will soon be able to experience last night’s collaborative spiritual expression in a number of ways, so please stand by…

Brilliant.

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DSC_0700Dearest Bob,

Thank you for your fresh INTERACTIVE POETRY idea. You have an incredible mind, always inviting me outside the box of ordinary. I know you aren’t really a poetry person, you’ve told me that yourself. Still, you tolerate it, add to it, and sometimes find yourself in my poems too. And now this new poetry idea…

When we were chatting a while ago about what makes my work most sweet to me, you heard my desire to connect with people, not just deliver up words. Then you suggested something brilliant. And now that we’ve tried it, have seen the potential, it will be something I repeat. It’s so much fun.

So, here is our first interactive poem, posted here! Brilliant idea, babe. Brilliant.

Thank you for who you are and what you do, and for championing my journey as a poet. Knowing you are for me is what matters most.

 Onward together,

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

What’s next…

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What a wonderfully big and complex and exciting world we live in. I know this to be true, but I need reminding on a regular basis. Sometimes I need helicoptered out of my normal life to have my heart jump started.

This weekend did that. A road trip to Vancouver… springtime… sun on cherry blossoms… art installations… White Caps season opener… the pecha kucha… time with my son shopping for grad.… time with my husband on a professional and personal movie going level… time for reading and sharing poetry and coffee and urbanity… time to meet new people… time to recalibrate. All that and the big sigh as we drove over the top of the last rise over Peachland and saw Lake Okanagan spread out below us… HOME. I’m absolutely energized and ready for what’s next.

My deep thanks to the organizers of the BCSLA Conference for their invitation to present in the Pecha Kucha… just wonderful. What an inspiring bunch. 

Akebono cherries 3, in Vancouver BC

Akebono cherries 3, in Vancouver BC (Photo credit: wlcutler)

Poet busking is next. I am going to audition with Kelowna Streets Alive Program this week, and then I will take it to the streets. Not that random spontaneity isn’t fun, but this way appeals in its legitimizing of what I do. I’ll have the choice of 15 sites in the downtown area, any time during 12 hours a day, for as long as the duration of my license. And there is still a random pop up aspect. I’m soooo excited! The only rule… no bagpipes!

And, this weekend on May 5th, another unique poetry opportunity afforded me by the gracious Dorte Meyer at Tribehouse Collective. The Grace Experience at Bo.ttega (one of my favourite venues in Kelowna). It’s a free, family friendly event, a convergence of artists/musicians/creatives/ poets on the topic of grace. What does it mean to each of us… how can we share this overwhelmingly beautiful and somewhat difficult to understand concept in a tangible way, a communal way, an artistic way? I can’t wait to find out. I will be the poet for this event, and have been invited to read several collections of my work. I will also be absorbing all else, and will no doubt come home drained and thankful. GET YOUR FREE TICKETS ASAP!

What a trip life is…

Lesley-Anne, SDG

You pechakucha, I do!

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And if you, like me, have trouble pronouncing this word, here’s some immediate help!

A couple of weeks ago I did not know what PechaKucha was. I’m beginning to understand. And armed with this small and growing knowledge, along with a big dose of creative energy and OK, an even bigger dose of courage, I’m going for it! On April 26th, I’ll be part of a group of 11 PechaKucha presenters at the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects Annual Conference ~ Depth of Field, in Vancouver, B.C. 

PechaKucha, Japanese for “the sound of conversation”, and according to Wikipedia;

PechaKucha or Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa],[1] chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each.

A presentation on any topic, with supporting visual images (in our case all images and no words allowed) for 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. NO LONGER! Rumor has it the microphone is turned off after your time is up. Yikes!

You would think 20 seconds would go fast. It does not. To look at one image for 20 long seconds allows for a fair amount of gazing, thus rendering some images downright boring after 10 seconds. So, to choose 20 visually engaging images is not easy. Thankfully I have a family of avid photographers with some very uniquely creative eyes. NO SPOILERS HERE!

And, the topic of my presentation… POETRY. Before I worked out the exact timing, I thought I might read 2 poems. Seems I’ll have time for 4! Just like the images, perception and reality are different. And I am finding as I overlay poetry and images how some combinations jar the senses, how some images support the words or don’t. It is an exercise in patience as well as persistence so far. (And thankfulness for a very kind woman at my husbands office who initiated me in the ways of Power Point.)

I’m not certain how it will all turn out, but I’m excited to be creatively challenged and find a new way to offer up my poetry. I’ll let you know how it goes. And for now, here’s a Vancouver PechaKucha on the topic of the future and what open media, open source and open culture might mean for us.

Which occurs to me, is in part what PechaKucha is about… encouraging an open sharing of what we are most passionate about. Hmm… sounds a lot like Pop-Up-Poetry!

All SDG,

Lesley-Anne.